Posts Tagged ‘Pop’

RJMJ - Glamping

“Glamping is a portmanteau of glamorous and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with ‘traditional’ camping.”

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And now that you know what Glamping properly means, we finally have a sound to associate with it as well, in the form of Roger Joseph Manning Jr.’s new solo EP of the same title. So, let me first ask, how do YOU know about Roger and his many sonic contributions to the universe? Maybe you recently discovered a tiny mad scientist keyboard madman on a tour with Beck? Or…maybe you have hung on since his college rock indie days back in the late 80’s when he joined Beatnik Beatch with Andy Sturmer? For me, it’s what happened after Beatnik which put Roger on my radar at a very young age, that project was Jellyfish. Ask me about that another time if you already don’t know of how that band changed my life. Roger has been turning out music for 30 plus years at this point. Whether he’s doing session work, or pushing the envelope with one of his own original bands or giving us polished and scrutinized solo work…whatever it is, he’s certainly giving stellar efforts.

So…let’s discuss Glamping, cause for this moment, that is why we are here. This is Roger’s first new solo recording in about 10 years. And his agenda, as far as I know, was to put more solo music out for the last few years but he had gotten caught up with some other cool work outside of his own – Last Winter RJMJ surprised us all with an absolutely unreal Pledge Music campaign which would coincide with the release of Glamping…to get it out, to get it in the hands of music lovers and beyond. This was no regular run of the mill campaign. With this, came a peek into Roger’s world a bit. Video updates while on tour with Beck kept a smile on our faces, a glance (literally) into his closest as he sold off Jellyfish clothing from the early nineties (WOW!) Pieces of gear he was parting with, chances to hang and record shop with him and a slew of other fun and juicy bits to be involved with. Hardly 48 hours had passed on that campaign and a number of components had sold out. Roger considered it a huge success and I know was very touched by the response. And, because of that very reason he has promised more solo music, sooner than later. This whole thing also allowed him to reissue his first two records which both had Japanese releases and under the radar domestic ones as well. There is a lot to get into here and I don’t want to veer off course too much more…

So, again…Glamping. This 4 song EP is quite an appetizer to what will hopefully be followed soon by a main course. A contribution that leaves you with a belly rumbling, it whets a pallet that had been starving for a taste for nearly a decade. The perfect and pristine songwriting in which Roger has painted himself into a decadent corner for so long does not disappoint. An avid fan of the 70’s, Mr. Manning certainly wears his heart and influences on his sleeve for this one, maybe more than ever(?) It’s a very focused and streamlined collection of songs. Perhaps the fact that there are only four songs this go round didn’t leave much room for the wackier more experimental stuff to creep in. What you have here is four delicate yet deliberate songs keen on love, playful on adventure and confident in delivery. The production is clean and smooth with Roger doing the bulk of the work with a little help from some amazing friends. Brother Chris (the Witchdoctor himself) is present with some assistance in the vocal department and helping in general to bring all of this out of RJMJ. Jason Falkner plays some guitar, Bleu McAuley sings a little, Lyle Workman plays a bit of guitar too…it’s a cavalcade of radical folks curating a really unbelievable set of tunes that ends just a bit soon. These songs are sang so sweetly, it always sounds like Roger has a smile on his face when he sings and that attitude really comes across here. First track, “Operator” is a cute and clever song sprinkled with a dash of loneliness, “Operator, I need a favor…could you take some time, I’m in need of a connection in the worst way, so don’t say goodbye.” A song possibly too smart for it’s own good! Next up is “Funhouse”, which is appropriately titled as it is probably the most playful of the set, sounding like it could easily transport you to the carnival with just a little imagination. It is also, the only song which Roger writes the lyrics to completely on his own, the others have Chris Price assisting or handling them in full. Third track, “Is it All A Dream?” is my personal favorite, it’s just such a beautiful song with a chorus that you’ll be singing for days, a perfect pop song with hook, line and sinker. The EP ends with the longest in the collection, “I’m Not Your Cowboy”, a modest song about a modern man who simply knows his place and graciously accepts his role as a non-superhero. Perhaps the most complex of the songs, “Cowboy” is triumphant and ends the release big. The musicianship throughout is top notch of course. I just wish in the end that Roger had handled all of the lyrics on his own. Either way, can’t wait for more original music from Mr. Manning!

Listen to first track on Glamping, “Operator” below!

ALSO, If you have extra time, check out this great conversation I had with Roger a few years ago in which he drops many hints about Beck, Glamping and a bunch of other cool stuff!

Episode 9 is now up! And…it’s an absolute trip. We hung out with Alt-Pop monster TRYST and were literally laughing seconds in. We talked Music and influences, complained a bit, laughed some more, and…ate some weird macaroons. Give this a listen and share a laugh with us while you get to know a bit about this fantastic artist. Listen, Share, Repeat!

*ALL MUSIC USED WITHIN THIS PODCAST IS PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL WRITERS.*

DL FOR FREE ON SOUNDCLOUD!

M-S-G EP. 9 TRYST

M-S-G Episode 5 02.16.18
Last week I had the opportunity to sit down and talk, I mean…really talk with my friend Andee Blacksugar. After many years of knowing each other we finally got to have a conversation almost 10 years in the making. And the best part is…you get to be a part of it.
Listen & DL Free on SoundCloud
A phenomenal and in depth interview. Andee reveals some tips and insider info as well as a little glance
behind the Blacksugar curtain.
We talk hard about music, songwriting, influences and much more!
*ALL MUSIC USED WITHIN THIS PODCAST IS PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL WRITERS.*

M-S-G Episode 4 02:09:18

This is the first of our Episodes so far that is guest free and the first “feature” episode. I dive deep into band, AAA Battery and singer Spookey Ruben. I had a blast doing this go round and it was also a big test for me as I had to make sure it was interesting enough to keep you guys listening to me! Aside from the great music here of course. LISTEN AND SHARE!

*ALL MUSIC USED WITHIN THIS PODCAST IS PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL WRITERS.*

 

Listen on SoundCloud

 

Roger and Soda somewhere in space
This is the interview that started it all! Almost two years ago I wanted to branch out on the blog. I did a phone interview with one of my musical heroes, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., from my favorite band, Jellyfish. This was in depth and absolutely incredible. We thought this was too good to not make it a part of the formal Podcast, thusly we are bringing it back and calling it Episode Zero. It’s not perfect sound quality as it was done on the phone straight forward but it is still so badass. Enjoy and share!

LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD HERE

*ALL MUSIC USED WITHIN THIS PODCAST IS PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL WRITERS.*

See the original Posts on the blog here:

Roger Joseph Manning Jr. original Blog posts

Hey out there in Cybertron! It’s been a while since my last post. First, to cut to the chase with my lack of contributing, for the last quarter of the year or so, I…was sick. But, I am happy to say I am now a Cancer survivor!!! Almost all recovered and way ready for 2018.

Second, Happy Freakin’ New Year! Another one in the bag. I wanted to make a final post for 2017 before it ended. I’m breaking my rule of only dropping posts on Wednesdays…every now and then I’ll break them rules 😉 – I hope to post and share more here in 2018 and also have a plan in the making for a possible MUSIC-SURVIVAL-GUIDE Podcast if that can get off the ground…we shall see.

And third, I wanted to share my musiccentric goodies I got for Christmas from my Fam. Pretty good spread, eh? Funny too that I didn’t already have some of this classic stuff in my collection.

Xmas goodies 2017

Xmas goodies 2017

Let’s dive into this! I’ll go from as left to right as I can:

-Framed David Bowie Star Child/Starman print. It’s a beauty

-The Menzingers – Rented World CD

-Prince – 20Ten Xtended CD (pretty obscure version of this album)

-RHCP – Greatest Hits And Videos (always wanted this double disc WITH the vids!)

-Prince – A Private View Book

-Erasure – I Say I Say I Say Pop-Up Castle CD Pack with oversized book! My fav Erasure record and now I have this wicked version!

-Beautiful Bodies – Battles CD (which I am spinning now for the first time)

-T-Boz Book, “A Sick Life” LOVE HER!

-Little Caesar self-titled CD, always wanted this record since I was a little kid. Finally!

-The Rasmus – Dark Matters CD Limited Edition w/Bonus Track

-Saigon Kick – Live Around the World 1991-1996

-Shocker Soundtrack No More Mr. Nice Guy!

-Arid – Live CD

-Luther- Let’s Get You Somewhere Else pink and black splattered vinyl

-AAA Battery – Corrosion Of Buddha CD (expect a review for this record soon)

-Fender Frontline Magazine with Jellyfish on the cover! :::drool:::

 

SO…back in April of 2015 I made a post here about Favorite Albums, saying that I had been working on compiling a list of mine as a fun exercise to pinpoint a bunch of records that really made me, changed me, supported me, etc etc. Then again in September of 2015 I posted a follow up about not forgetting the project I gave myself that I wanted to share with whomever was interested. And now, fast forward to the present, almost two years later (which is horrifying). I have finally finished said list. It wasn’t necessarily two years in the making or anything like that, but, every time I opened the document with this sprawling list of wonderful records I always redefined it, added to it, subtracted, making subsections until finally this week I said, if not for anyone else I want to finish this crazy little project for myself for multiple reasons. One being because I always finish what I start and two, because I’m a mega music geek. I began this idea saying I was going to do a Top 25, then a Top 50 but came to the conclusion as I sat down in front of a wall of music that it’d be impossible for me, so, I decided to go for a Top 100, and even that was hard (you’ll even see an “honorable mention” section here because 100 just wasn’t enough :::wipes sweat from brow:::). On this list you’ll find: Pop, Metal, Singer/Songwriter, New Wave, Alternative, Rock and ALMOST everything in between. These selections come with a boat load of memories and inspiration for me, it’s not just because I love these records but they also hold little pieces of the puzzle that form my life. I’m happy to have them and thankful to all of these people involved in sharing what they do, because in the end that’s what it’s all about. So here, I share this list with you. Hope you have fun with it. Could this change by next month? Hahaha, it sure can so let me hit that publish button cause then I can’t turn back. If you don’t know these records, find and seek! Rock on!

Jellyfish – Bellybutton
Extreme – Pornograffitti
Jellyfish – Spilt Milk
Extreme – Extreme
Seed – Ling
Marilyn Manson – Portrait of an American Family
White Zombie – La Sexorcisto:Devil Music Vol. 1
Saigon Kick – Water
Moonwater – Invitation
Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque
Prince & The Revolution – (Music From) Purple Rain
Darlahood – Big Fine Thing
Mineral – EndSerenading
White Trash – Si O Si, Que?
Engine Alley – Engine Alley
Plexi – Cheer Up
Faith No More – The Real Thing
Wilson Phillips – Wilson Phillips
Nuno – Schizophonic
Nirvana – Bleach
Mr. Reality – Mr. Reality
Sparkler – Wicker Park
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – Ghost of a Dog
Spookey Ruben – Modes Of Transportation Vol. 1
Zuckerbaby – Zuckerbaby
Limblifter – Limblifter
Hawksley Workman – For Him and the Girls
Animal Bag – Offering
The Murmurs – The Murmurs
Raging Slab – Dynamite Monster Boogie Concert
Blind Melon – Blind Melon
Flowerhead – The People’s Fuzz
Wig – Wireland
Placebo – Placebo
Jason Falkner – Presents Author Unknown
Sponge – New Pop Sunday
Saigon Kick – The Lizard
Marilyn Manson – Smells Like Children
The Age Of Electric – Make A Pest A Pet
Animal Bag – Animal Bag
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Are You Normal?
Tori Amos – Boys For Pele
Teenage Fanclub – Grand Prix
Placebo – Without You I’m Nothing
The Black Crowes – Amorica
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
Aimee Mann – Whatever
Lemonheads – It’s a Shame About Ray
Nirvana – InUtero
Savage Garden – Savage Garden
Reigndance – Problem Factory
Muzzle – Actual Size
White Zombie – Astro Creep:2000 Songs of Love, Destruction and other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head
Sugartooth – Sugartooth
Matthew – Everybody Down
Tears For Fears – Songs From the Big Chair
The Escape Club – Dollars and Sex
The Lost Boys – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Spookey Ruben – What’s a Boy To Do? (Modes of Transportation Vol. 2)
Hawksley Workman – (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves
Marilyn Manson – Anitchrist Superstar
Limblifter – I/O
Prince & The Revolution – Parade (Music from the Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon)
Darren Hayes – The Tension and the Spark
Imperial Drag-Imperial Drag
Coward – Coward
Cree Summer – Street Faerie
Sons Of Elvis – Glodean
Robbie Nevil – Robbie Nevil
At The Drive-In – In/Casino/Out
Ours – Precious
AFI – Sing the Sorrow
The Age Of Electric – The Age Of Electric
Wendy & Lisa – Girl Bros.
Wig – Deliverance
Limblifter – Bellaclava
Teenage Fanclub – Songs From Northern Britain
The Sundays – Static and Silence
Veruca Salt – Eight Arms To Hold You
The Tories – Wonderful Life
Howlin’ Maggie – Honeysuckle Strange
Blindside – The Great Depression
Depeche Mode – Violator
The Cure – Disintegration
Ours – Distorted Lullabies
Duncan Sheik – Phantom Moon
Candlebox – Candlebox
Rasputina – Thanks For the Ether
Carole King – Really Rosie (Original TV Soundtrack Recordings)
Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories – Tails
Population 1 – Population 1
Spookey Ruben – Bed
Spookey Ruben – Breakfast
Veruca Salt – American Thighs
Vince Guaraldi – A Charlie Brown Christmas
The Ghastly Ones – A-Haunting We Will Go-Go
Skid Row – Slave To the Grind
Dangerous Toys- Dangerous Toys
Martika – Martika
Jeff Buckley – Grace
-HONORABLE MENTION-
Prince – For You
Aimee Mann – Lost In Space
Beatnik Beatch – Beatnik Beatch
Juliana Hatfield – Beautiful Creature
Dishwalla – Opaline
Angie Aparo – The American
Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward
Depeche Mode – Sounds of the Universe
Poison – Look What the Cat Dragged In
Rasputina – How We Quit the Forest
Savage Garden – Affirmation
Prince – Musicology
Pet Shop Boys – Very
The Cure – Galore
Fudge Tunnel – Creep Diets
Jane Child – Jane Child
Culture Club – Colour By Numbers

Less than a week ago I had the pleasure of seeing Lisa Loeb perform again. I’d seen her only once, and it was 20 or so years ago in NYC when I was kid. I remember being so happy after watching her play and being able to be a part of that time when she was really at a peek and I myself was just learning how to be a singer and a songwriter and really absorbing the moment. Now, so many years later and having seen her again was a similar experience but different at the same time. I realized her influence even more.

Promptly taking the stage at 8pm, Lisa and her guitar looked more petite than usual in the Boulton Center on Long Island. Moments into the performance you knew that you were truly in on something special. The room was full of people that were very eager. It was obvious this woman’s work had come to be adored.

Lisa Loeb Live @ The Boulton Center, Long Island 03.30.17

Lisa Loeb live @ The Boulton Center, Long Island 03.30.17 (Photo by Soda)

 

Lisa played and sang and regaled us with a number of stories that spanned the course from her time just starting out up until that very moment. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear stories of someone coming up in the early to mid-nineties in NYC. Sign me way up! This particular performance was full of those stories and just about equal to the songs given like precious little gifts, and, I was one of the lucky people there for the unwrapping, (thanks Blacktop Records). Hits like “Truthfully” and of course “Stay” were delivered so delicately with connections to the stories that went along with them. Lisa told us about how “Stay” of course changed her life. She was at number one without a record deal, we learned how that happened thanks to the film Reality Bites. It all sounded so magical. We were also treated to songs like “The Disappointing Pancake,” a tune true to it’s title. If you didn’t know, Lisa has also become successful in writing songs for kids, she also has an amazing foundation called Camp Lisa in which all proceeds from that recording of the same name goes to help children who can’t afford a summer camp experience to have one.

Myself and Lisa Loeb, Boulton Center 03/30/17

Myself and Lisa Loeb, Boulton Center 03.30.17

We could sit and listen all night long. It was intimate and personal. She has the charm to make you feel like you’re the only one in the room. Throughout the performance Lisa may have forgotten some words and had to poke around a few chords as well as a very nimble guitar intro in which she was very happy to have learned because it was “the guitar AND bass part rolled into one”. Those happy little mistakes made only for a better show, one in which a successful songwriter, an actor, an author and more…can just seem so, human. Tales of her friends and her children made you feel like you’d have known Lisa your whole life, and…that is a true gift. I certainly hope I don’t have to wait a bunch of years to see the one and only Lisa Loeb perform again as some shows you want to just get lost in. Thanks Lisa!

Check out the latest Lisa Loeb album, Feel What U Feel, out now.

Lisa Loeb - Feel What U Feel

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Brooklyn’s own SHINOBI NINJA are just about to drop their best album to date. So, you should be aware that this Friday “Bless Up” will arrive a powerhouse of sound and songwriting. Few bands in NYC are at the level the Ninja’s are at. And I don’t say that due to the fact that over the past four years we have become good friends and have shared art, music, respect and bounced ideas off of each other, that is just a bonus. This would be a band I would migrate toward regardless. Watching artists grow and really corner what they want to represent is really a beautiful thing. And “Bless Up” is just that “thing”. Every song on this record could be a single, it’s like everybody in the band within their vast many roles have spit-shined what they do best and brought it to the table like it was the last supper. It’s Rock (Subcon), It’s Pop (Programmable Animal), Alternative (Funday), Trippy (Bending Spoons)…it’s a wonderful melting pot of everything you’d want in those styles. The songwriting is so fine-tuned that it’s hard to find a hole in the album to pick apart because it is that good. You can hear components of classic Incubus, Faith No More and 311 weaved through some of the compositions but saying that doesn’t take away from the freshness and originality that SHINOBI NINJA possess. The turntables are sickening, the rhythm section is tight and thunderous, the guitars are chunky, nimble and fun and the dual vocal strikes from Duke Sims and Baby G have never sounded better.

This is the kind of record you’ll spin a few times in a row and roll down those windows burnin’ up the highway. It’s a good time and it’s meaningful. Through clever marketing with videos, merch and a powerful live show these Ninja’s prove that as a unit of like minded people with drive and a multitude of talents that anything is possible. It’s hard not to get caught in this vortex, if you don’t know you will. “This is the right direction, the right direction…”  Minus the two fun little interludes you’ve got nine rock solid songs that are begging to be accepted by a multitude of formats. It’s a great record, no BS.

http://www.shinobininja.com/home.html

BUY BLESS UP

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Southern California’s own AFI return with…(The Blood Album), their first in almost four years since the dense and very dark Burials. Since AFI’s 2003 breakthrough masterpiece Sing The Sorrow the band has shown us a multitude of styles and soundscapes in the form of Punk, Rock, Pop, Hardcore and beyond. This new installment is no slouch, adding to the bands now very versatile catalogue.

Once again as with Burials, (The Blood Album) shows guitarist, Jade Puget writing all the music for the group, this time however also at the helm producing the record. Much like the Davey/Jade side projects Puget continues to expand the reach and grasp of his monster talent. The album is beautifully produced and very clean with few peeks and valleys, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing with a record so accurately executed. Clearly drawing heavily on their new wave influences this album presents the listener with a bit of a sigh of relief as it’s predecessor was vast and brooding. Not that this one opens all the windows to let the sun in but it does relieve those of us that really appreciate the bands pop territories. This is also probably the closest they have come to the Sing The Sorrow sound in years.

“Blood” opens with the sonic seducer “Dark Snow” with the foursome setting the bar very high which they manage to maintain. The catchy sway of single “Snow Cats” is commercial without seeming lame. More tracks like “Hidden Knives”, will most likely become an AFI classic, both danceable and singable. It’s hard to find something really wrong with this contribution. In whole, the album is pleasantly haunting (“Above The Bridge”), nestled in punk roots (“Pink Eyes”) while remaining flavorfully accessible (“The Wind That Carries Me”).

Put quite simply, AFI is a band that can bend a genre without coming off contrived or insincere and at the same time able to easily return to any style they have showcased in their 25 plus year run. Kudos gents!

(The Blood Album) will enter billboard top 200 at number five. The bands highest charting record since DecemberUnderground.