Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mr Little Jeans - Another Choir Song

     In the April 8th blog entry we “outed” ourselves as being suckers for songs with choirs. That choir-based entry can be accessed by CLICKING HEREWell, removing ourselves further from that closet, we admit a particular weakness for songs with non-adult choirs.

     It follows that we enjoy the song “Oh Sailor” by Mr Little Jeans. The background vocals are provided by the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Youth Chorale, a non-auditioned group of singers within the range of 8 to 16 years old. If you went to Coachella, this is the same source of the Nick Cave’s youth singers
     Mr Little Jeans is Monica Birkenes, a Norwegian singer who is now living in Los Angeles. When asked about the source of the name “Mr Little Jeans,” she answered, “I stole it from the janitor (Kumar Pallana) in Wes Anderson’s movie Rushmore.”
    “Oh Sailor” by Mr Little Jeans
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/mrlittlejeans

    “Back to the Start” by Mr Little Jeans

Monday, April 29, 2013

Killer Female Vocals

      In the blog entry of March 29th, we featured three songs with strong female voices. That March entry can be accessed by CLICKING HERE. Today, it’s another set of female-strong songs, but this time with a violent theme. In the first, the band name includes the word “kill.” In the second, the song title includes the same word, while the lyrics of the third repeatedly refer to “killing me."
     Lexy and the Kill is a band based in London. While their song “We Can Dance Alone” is receiving the most attention, we favor “Black Dog,” with its often minimalist approach to instruments and its layered vocals when the song reaches the 2:45 mark.
     "Black Dog" by Lexy and the Kill

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/LexyAndTheKill
Website - http://lexyandthekill.com/

     Sia Furler ("Sia") is from Australia. She has a style similar to Lana Del Rey, but Sia arrived before the flash that was Lana Del Rey. Similar to the song above, "Kill and Run" leaves the best for last. In the final minute of the song, Sia sings with such power and emotion that we have found ourselves repeatedly replaying those 60 seconds.
     "Kill and Run" by Sia

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/SiaMusic
Website - http://siamusic.net/

     Beatrice Eli is from Stockholm, Sweden. She was originally interested in jazz, but switched her focus to soul music. She likely would have been successful in either genre, but we are selfishly happy she is in the R&B arena.
     “Violent Silence” by Beatrice Eli

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/BeatriceEli
Website - http://beatriceeli.com/

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rayne - A Band Review

     We bumped into the band Rayne through their offer on NoiseTrade. For the price of an email address, Rayne allows a download of the song “Fallen.” The NoiseTrade page notes a comparison to Angels & Airwaves, but we have become skeptical of such band comparisons. Nevertheless, this is a comparison that is fitting. Rayne certainly has its own sound, but the guitar at the start of “Fallen” screams Angels & Airwaves. Then, sampling other songs by Rayne, we noticed that the instrumental “The Enlightenment” includes a portion (from the 0:25 mark to the 0:55 mark) featuring a muffled percussion sound similar to one used in a number of songs by Angels & Airwaves (such as “Breathe” and “Love Like Rockets”). But it should be emphasized that Rayne is not a knockoff of A & A; they are a very different band.
     Rayne is a trio in Sunderland in the U.K., comprising Ben Potts (Vocals/Bass Guitar), Adam Dagg (Guitar/Keys), and Steven Naisbet (Drum/Samples).

     “Fallen” by Rayne

The NoiseTrade site for the download of “Fallen” is CLICK HERE

     “My Desperation” by Rayne

     “The Enlightenment” by Rayne 


     As noted above the percussion sound that first enters at the 0:25 mark of "The Enlightenment” is similar to one used by Angels & Airwaves in songs such as "Love Like Rockets." We selected this song by Angels & Airwaves because it is the song that best matches both the guitar of "Fallen" and the muffled percussion sound of "The Enlightenment" (starting at about 0:16 in "Love Like Rockets").

Saturday, April 27, 2013

F Bombs on the Radar – Free, Legal and Recommended Downloads

     In 2009, Mumford & Sons released “Little Lion Man” with a number of F bombs. A “socially acceptable” version received far more exposure, but most fans of the band heard the song in its unedited form. Well, the band did experience some success, right?
     KNESSET and Chester Endersby Gwazda are two current entries in the F Bomb arena.
     KNESSET identifies itself as being from Phoenix, but is currently based in Los Angeles. The members are E. Fox (Guitar, Vox), E. Graf (Bass), M. Bell (Drums, Percussion), and M. Manger (Mallet Percussion, Rhodes). The song “RVRSE” contains a number of the F bombs. But we have been semi-obsessed with the song for a month and haven’t turned to drugs or a life of crime. Therefore, we have reached the appropriate comfort level in recommending this song to others.
     “RVRSE” by KNESSET – currently a FLR download (Free, Legal and Recommended)

     “Steady Hands” by KNESSET – currently a FLR download.

     If your browser doesn't show the free download, CLICK HERE 
Assuming you enjoy the music of KNESSET as much as we do, we recommend the purchase of their album from the site http://weareknesset.bandcamp.com/album/coming-of-age

****************************************************
      Chester Endersby Gwazda is a producer in Baltimore, Maryland. In the Indie world, he has a very impressive collection of connections. His Bandcamp page includes the following:
“Here's a short selection of projects I've produced:
Dan Deacon "America"
Future Islands "On the Water"
Cloud Nothings "Cloud Nothings"
Ecstatic Sunshine "Way"
Cara Beth Satalino "The Good Ones"
Dan Deacon "Bromst"
Air Waves "Air Waves EP"
Future Islands "In Evening Air"
Lonnie Walker "These Times Old Times"
Junk Culture "Hang Roxy" (mixed)
Ed Schrader's Music Beat "Jazz Mind" (mixed).”

     The song containing the word which establishes qualification for this blog entry is "Skewed." At least for now, it is another FLR download.

“So High” - Ghost Loft vs. Here Is Your Temple

     We noticed there were two songs entitled “So High” within the list of songs we were considering for blog entries. So, it made sense to combine the songs into a single entry.
     Ghost Loft is the moniker of Danny Choi, who is based in Los Angeles. The music is described as being “electronic,” but it is not the steady stream nightclub electronic. Instead, Ghost Loft presents intelligent transitions in beats and vocals. As a result, “So High” has the potential of reaching beyond the electronic fan base.
     “So High” by Ghost Loft.

     Here Is Your Temple offers a very different “So High,” but deliberateness is certainly also a feature of this song. The band is from Sweden and comprises Andreas Hourdakis (Guitar), Olle Nyman (Drums), Emily McWilliam (Vocals), Ille Borg (Bass), and Mikael Svensson (Keyboards). The steady beat has the sound of a low resolution recording, but the vocals are high resolution, particularly during the stretches of multiple vocals. And we always appreciate the detailed additions, such as the shoegaze guitar notes that start around the 2:10 mark.
     “So High” by Here Is Your Temple (The song is bundled with "Daniel")


      We also like “Once Rich,” maybe even more than “So High.”

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hello Ocho - A Great Concert Song

     The popularity and profitability of multiple day music festivals seem to be on the increase. New festivals are cropping up, such as the BottleRock Festival in Napa, California. And well-established festivals are gravitating toward adding a second weekend that mirrors the first. Coachella went to two weekends in 2012 and Austin City Limits is doing so in 2013.
   The festivals are great opportunities for music lovers. Depending on the festival, there are between twenty and sixty bands to listen to each day. But it is not uncommon to have overlapping performances by bands you want to see. So, strategies must be developed. Some strategies are entirely within the control of the festival-goers, such as attending the performance of a particular band for the first 15 minutes of the set, then quickly moving to a different stage to catch a different band. Other strategies are less obvious and completely out of the control of the fans. One example is basing the timing of your movement from one stage to another stage upon hearing a "bucket song" at the first stage.
     The term "bucket song" is unabashedly taken from the movie "Bucket List," a film about two terminally ill men with a list of activities to experience before moving on ("kicking the bucket"). At a festival, a bucket song is "The Song" we want to hear from a band before moving on. Interestingly, many bands don't save their fan favorites for the end of their festival setlists. Encores are almost non-existent. And if you’re a band attempting to gain additional fans, you want to put your best foot forward before potential new fans migrate to an alternative opportunity. However, the “bucket song strategy” actually creates the opposite result, since hearing the song may trigger migration.
     According to the bucket song strategy, if there are overlapping performances by two bands we want to see, we will start with “Band A” but quickly move to “Band B” after hearing a particular song.
     Some songs are easily identified as being a band’s bucket song. The band may have a number of other songs that we would otherwise look forward to hearing, but one song (sometimes two) stands out. That leads us (finally?) to the song “Stickin to the Sheets” by Hello Ocho. Early in the song, the percussions have the sound of fast-paced mechanical factory work. Then, the vocals enter with the same pace. Some of the transitions within the song are accented by screams. The song seems to end around the 2:30 mark, but then comes back with force. If Hello Ocho can do this song justice in a concert setting, we want to be present!
      Hello Ocho is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The band members are John Gregg (percussion), Chris Yonker (vocals and electronics), Clinton Callahan (bass/guitar), Tim Kohler, and Chris Childs. For more information about the band, their webpage is http://www.helloocho.com/ and their Facebook page is CLICK HERE.

     "Stickin to the Sheets" by Hello Ocho


The song (in fact, the entire album) can be downloaded on a "Name Your Price" basis by going to the Bandcamp site - CLICK HERE

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SOLO. – A Band Review

     This is our first post after a short break to spend an enjoyable three days at the Coachella music festival. Certainly, attending live performances is our preferred music-related activity, but writing about our recent music discoveries is enjoyable as well. This is a blog entry about an artist who we appreciate, and who is either willing to take risks or is in need of a publicity agent.
     There is almost an audible snicker from a computer when you attempt to learn something about a musician by entering “Solo” into an Internet search engine, such as Google. To lower the number of hits to something less than one million, we entered “Solo” with the name of his song “Alone Tonight,” only to find that the search engine concluded we were looking for synonyms of “solo” and “alone.” Fortified by the feeling that in the quest to discover information about Solo we were not companionless, stag or unaccompanied (yes, we checked out the list of synonyms), we entered the name of his 2012 EP – “Read with Your Eyes Shut.” This did lead us to relevant information, but not as much as this artist deserves.

     SOLO. is the performance name of Solomon Major, who is based in London. As apparent from the above picture, he is young. But he has already developed skills, with the most significant of his talents being the ability to layer guitars. At times, the layering is seamless, so that guitar riffs may enter and exit without being noticed by the casual listener. At other times, the transitions are more apparent, such as at the 3:48 mark of “Alone Tonight.”
     SOLO. is offering free downloads, making these FLR (Free, Legal and Recommended) downloads.
     “Alone Tonight” by SOLO.    

     “Ghost” by SOLO.

     “Stay True” by SOLO.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Free Download of Bonnaroo Sampler

     We received an email notification regarding an opportunity to download songs for the price of an email address. This is a regular occurrence, but some offerings are better than others. The current offering is one of our favorites.
     NoiseTrade has posted a Bonnaroo Sampler (Bonnaroo is a music festival in Manchester, Tennessee). When we looked at the songs included in the sampler, three stood out immediately. We already own the three, but that didn’t curb the enthusiasm. They are not “rock” songs, but that didn’t matter. The three songs are:
1. “Time to Run” by Lord Huron
2. “Alabama Pines” by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
3. “Ole Friend” by Sea Wolf

     Then, there’s “Household Babies” by Reptar, which is one of those bands you need to see live before appreciating what they have to offer.
      The NoiseTrade offer is embedded below, so that the songs can be sampled. If your browser has a difficulty with that approach, merely go to the NoiseTrade site at Click Here.

To access the songs, just click on the arrow in the orange area below.

Swim Deep – A Band Review


     “She Changes the Weather” is the song that distinguishes Swim Deep, a band from Birmingham, England. We also enjoy “Honey” and some of the band’s earlier surf rock, but this latest release is superior.
     During our first listen of the song, we thought “She Changes the Weather” was an instrumental. The vocals do not enter until the 1:43 mark. Prior to the vocals, the piano carries the song. Then, with the vocals, the “dream guitar” works well with the voices. The members of Swim Deep are Austin Williams, Tom 'Higgy' Higgins, Zachary Robinson, and Cavan McCarthy.

     “She Changes the Weather”  by Swim Deep


     “Honey”  by Swim Deep


     “King City”  by Swim Deep

Black Chandelier - Biffy Clyro Compared to Violins

     Despite not being sufficiently prepared, we head to Indio, California today for the Coachella Festival. In comparing notes, we agree that within the list of "Top Ten" songs we want to see performed live during the three days is Biffy Clyro's Black Chandelier. Below is the song by Biffy Clyro. Additionally, the song is covered by the Cairn String Quartet.




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Echotape - A Band Review

     We have to buy a new globe. Our current globe shows the U.K. as having a size that would allow it to fit within other geographical boundaries that provide an impressive amount of innovative music. As examples, the impression is that the U.K. could comfortably fit into either Texas or California. But it seems that we hear something new and likeable from the U.K. on an almost daily basis. Three possible explanations are (1) the U.K. produces a disproportionate amount of high quality music, (2) the U.K. bloggers and promoters excel at bringing the region’s bands to the ears of music lovers, and (3) we own a defective globe. Since the third possibility is the easiest to remedy, we choose that one.
     
     Today, we want to introduce Echotape, a band from Wallop (southern England, according to our soon to be trashed globe). In “Cannot Stop,” the band’s name is appropriate. At the start of the song, the use of echo is effective. But it’s the emotion-filled assertion, “I cannot stop loving you” that establishes the walkaway appreciation for the song.
     "Cannot Stop" by Echotape


We also enjoy the guitar work within songs “Hades” and “Far From Heaven,” and the piano within the song “Puppet Show.”
     "Hades" by Echotape

     "Far from Heaven" by Echotape

     "Puppet Show" by Echotape


Monday, April 15, 2013

It’s the Ides of April – Music Alliance Pact (MAP)

     As noted in the blog entries of February 15th and March 15th, on the fifteenth ("Ides")  of each month the Music Alliance Pact (MAP) makes a collection of songs available for free and legal download. MAP is a collective of 36 blogs (at least) in an equal number of countries.  Each blog chooses a song by an artist from its home country for the monthly post.  Approval from each artist is a requirement. This month, there are 37 songs in the MAP collection.
     There are three options:
1. You can merely listen to the 37 songs at one of the MAP authorized sites. For example, the Scottish participant is The Pop Cop, and the MAP page is accessed by CLICKING HERE
2. You can selectively download the songs by going to one of the MAP authorized sites and using the "Save as" capability of your web browser.
3. You can download all 40 in a ZIP file at CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ZIP SITE.

     For the April collection, our recommendations are:
     1. Austria's Francis International Airport. This band was the subject of a February blog entry. If you appreciate "The Right Ones," check out the other songs of our February entry - CLICK HERE.


     2. England's Tiny Dancer. We don't know the original name of this 18 year old and cannot confirm that her performance name is based on the Elton John song. In MAP, the introductory paragraph for Tiny Dancer notes a similarity to the singing style of Gwen Stefani. The comparison is appropriate. So, fans of No Doubt, or Stefani as a solo artist, should sample the music of Tiny Dancer.
     "Who Am I?" by Tiny Dancer


      3. Russia's On-The-Go. The MAP description identifies the genre as “dreamy indie pop.” But we favor the central portion of the almost 6-minute song, when the band gets away from the vocals and moves closer to a post-rock style.
     "Deception" by On-The-Go


     4. Scotland's Father Sculptor. The MAP collection features the song “Sault.” We recognize that Father Sculptor and the blog that nominated the song (“The Pop Cop,” which is one of our favorite blogs) have other considerations. But if the only factor were taking advantage of the attention given to MAP in order to promote the band, we would have selected the song “Blue” from a previous release or “Lowlands” from the same EP that includes the MAP selection. So, in order to promote this band, we are including a non-MAP song below (namely, “Blue”).
     "Sault" by Father Sculptor - this is the song in the MAP collection.

     "Blue" by Father Sculptor - this is the song not in the MAP collection


     5. South Korea's Rainbow99. Maybe it’s just that the political situation in North Korea  makes everything from South Korea seem more relevant, but we like “Walk.“ Unfornunately, we cannot find a legal stream of "Walk," so you'll need to go a MAP site to hear it. But here is a different song from Rainbow99.
     "Soda" by Rainbow99



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jai Paul- An Artist Review


     Jai Paul is a British producer and songwriter from Rayners Land, UK.  We first heard "BTSTU (Demo)," which was released in 2011, and we were instantly pleased by the downbeat and chill sound it has to it, giving it that blissful feel.
     Jai Paul is signed to XL Records and has kept out of the public eye, giving him a sense of mystery. BTSTU has had widespread coverage in many countries since the release date. But as Jai Paul continues to grow as an artist , he has become more widely known in the United States. Jai Paul’s genre is considered to be “Pop” and he utilizes a synthesizer throughout most of his songs.  Rapper Drake and R&B singer Beyonce have used samples of BTSTU in their tracks “Dreams Money Can Buy” and “Til the End of Time.” Jai Paul featured another single on his SoundCloud page entitled “Jasmine,” which surfaced in late March, 2012. "Jasmine" was named “Best New Track” within an hour of its release; pretty impressive!  He definitely deserves more recognition, and we would like to see him tour the United States.



Broken Anchor - A Band Review

     We chanced upon the Los Angeles group Broken Anchor. Truthfully, we went to their website expecting to assess a sampler from the recording company Broken Arrow. Rather than a sampler of different recording artist under the same label, we bumped into songs from a band we soon wanted to add to our mental library of noteworthy artists.  So, we admit to being lucky, which is not a tough attribute to deal with as you go through life. Best yet, Broken Anchor is offering their sampler for FREE!
     The Broken Anchor sampler has a number of worthwhile songs, but we particularly favor “Dear Diary.” The voice of Austin Hartley-Leonard is easily enough to maintain our interest in the song through its first two minutes and thirty seconds. Then, at the 2:30 mark, the song takes a slight turn – not vocally, but instrumentally. Mike Duffy is the percussionist. It is not a major transition, but it is enough of a shift that it becomes a "listener’s interest refresh.” Well done guys!

    The five-song sampler of Broken Anchor is available as a free download from the band’s website – http://brokenanchormusic.com/You have the option (not requirement) of leaving an email address. We did so, since we wanted receive email updates regarding the band. 
      As another option, you can download the same five songs, but with a darker sixth song, “Stencil Heart,” by downloading the sampler from the NoiseTrade site - http://noisetrade.com/brokenanchormusic/broken-anchor-vol-1  
     "Dear Diary" by Broken Anchor


     After “Dear Diary,” we recommend “Never Leave Me Alone,” because the song has more of a rock edge to it. If it matters to you, there is an “F Bomb” or two.
     "Never Leave Me Along" by Broken Anchor

     "Leave the Light On" by Broken Anchor


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Wolf Alice – A Band Review

     In previous posts, we referred to discussions with a good friend regarding judging a band or a particular album based on its best one or two songs, as compared to considering the entire body of work. We tend to fall on the side of considering a band/album as having “delivered” if there is one song that we enjoy so much that it is fair to argue that the rest is all bonus.
     But there are exceptions, and Wolf Alice is one of them. Certainly others will disagree, but in our opinion Wolf Alice does not have one of those “the rest is all bonus” songs. HOWEVER, we enjoy the body of work. Twice, we were close to writing a blog entry about the song “White Leather.” Both times, we backed off because the song is too light, too “fluffy.’ “Fluffy” is a term we sometimes use to describe a song that may be likeable, but without enough substance, drive or complexity to be that song that leads to a conclusion that the band has “delivered.” Ironically, Wolf Alice has a song entitled “Fluffy” that does have drive and sufficient complexity (unlike Alanis Morissette, we do know the definition of the term “ironic”). We like both of those Wolf Alice songs, and we also like “Leaving You” and “Bros.” So, this blog entry is overdue.

     The band name, Wolf Alice, is from a book by Angela Carter, rather than being a dyslexic reference to Alice Wolf, the U.S. politician who recently retired. Wolf Alice is based in Northern London and was originally a solo project of Ellie Roswell. In addition to Roswell, the current members are Joel Amey, Joff Oddie, Theo Ellis.
     It is useless to try to compare the band to other bands, since the songs vary in even their basic structures. For example, while listening to “White Leather,” you might find yourself thinking that Wolf Alice sounds similar to a particular established female artist, but a switch to “Fluffy” results an equally quick switch in the evaluation. So, it’s better to just present the music.
     "White Leather" by Wolf Alice

     "Fluffy" by Wolf Alice

     "Leaving You" by Wolf Alice

     "Bros" by Wolf Alice

Friday, April 12, 2013

Airborne Toxic Event and Nightmare Air at The Warfield - A Concert Review


Airborne Toxic Event
     Last night (April 11), Airborne Toxic Event visited The Warfield in San Francisco. The Warfield is an “elderly” venue, but it has aged well (unlike the neighborhood in which it resides). The capacity is approximately 2,300, which includes a general admission floor area and a reserved seating balcony. We recommend the venue.
Nightmare Air
     The opening band was Nightmare Air, a trio from Los Angeles. The members are Dave Dupuis (guitar/vocal), Swaan Miller (bass/vocal), and Jimmy Lucido (drums). The Facebook page of Nightmare Air evidences their pride in being loud. Unfortunately, they sometimes overtaxed the sound system. Thus, while Dupuis in particular intentionally introduced guitar distortion into the performance, unintended distortion surfaced too often.
     Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the performance by Nightmare Air was what appeared to be a genuine, exuberant appreciation the band had for being at The Warfield.  Twice Dupuis informed the audience that Nightmare Air is a “new band” with a new album. As our friend (Bret B.) pointed out afterward, it had the feel of a band member yelling almost disbelievingly, “Hey I’m in a band and people are listening; this is great!”
     "Icy Daggers" by Nightmare Air


     Then came Airborne Toxic Event. This was our third opportunity to see the band. Airborne Toxic Event is also a Los Angeles band. The members are Mikel Jollett (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Steven Chen (guitar, keyboards), Noah Harmon (bass, vocals), Daren Taylor (drums) and Anna Bulbrook (viola, keyboards, tambourine, vocals).
      The performance can fairly be divided into four segments. Segment A comprised the first five songs. The music was enjoyable, but it was the enthusiasm of Airborne Toxic Event that ruled the segment. We liked Steven Chen in other performances, but he seems to be more connected with the audience now. Mikel Jollett twice looked ready to leap from one of the higher speakers into the crowd, and based upon his energy, he sold the threats. He was “on.” Noah Harmon had a strong stage presence, and continues his signature stance in which he separates his feet further than most musicians, while playing the bass. The songs of Segment A were:
1. Gasoline
2. Happiness is Overrated
3. Does This Mean You're Moving On?
4. True Love
5. Changing

     In the four-song Segment B, the energy was not as high, but certainly acceptable. If there was a “knock” on the event, it is that unless a particular instrument was being featured at a particular time, the lighting for the musician was probably insufficient. On television, it is common for cameras to just follow the singer. In a live performance, concert-goers should be given the opportunity to focus wherever they wish. But the bottom line is that Segment B was a good experience. The songs were:
6. Something New
7. Half of Something Else
8. Numb
9. Safe      

      Segment C brought the songs we liked most. There was some concern, because the arrangement within the first song, “Wishing Well,” was more downbeat than in the album version. But afterward, things exploded. “Timeless” was solid. By itself, “Sometime Around Midnight” was worth the price of admission. It was during this five-song segment that the wisdom of adding Anna Bulbrook to the band a couple of years ago became very apparent. The viola and her voice add new dimensions to their performances, such as  when Bulbrook and Harmon provided a string-section intro to “Sometime Around Midnight.” The poetry of “All At Once” finished the segment with a very positive affect on the crowd.
10. Wishing Well
11. Timeless
12. Sometime Around Midnight
13. All I Ever Wanted
14. All At Once

     The final segment was the encore. We had never considered Airborne Toxic Event as a cover band, but the encore included songs originally done by Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, and The Magnetic Fields. It was interesting.
15. The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields cover)
16. The Graveyard Near The House
17. Missy / Ring of Fire / American Girl / Born In The USA     
     "Timeless" by Airborne Toxic Event

     "Sometime Around Midnight" by Airborne Toxic Event

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Veils – Free, Legal and Recommended Download

     The Veils' songs tend to grow on us. That is, the reaction to hearing a new offering tends to be ambivalent, but further visits cause us to question why we didn’t recognize the song's attractiveness sooner. Admittedly they have very different signature sounds, but the same applies to new releases by Arcade Fire, which is one of our favorite bands. So, with the assumption that “Dancing with the Tornado” will experience the phenomenon, we post the song while The Veils are offering free downloads. The duration of the offering is not predictable.
    The Veils are based in London and the current members are Finn Andrews, Sophia Burn, Dan Raishbrook, Raife Burchell, and Uberto Rapisardi.
    The band has an appearance at The Independent in San Francisco on April 24, 2013. At least for now, tickets are still available. 

     "Dancing with the Tornado" by The Veils

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Magic Man - Band Review

UPDATE - September 10, 2013 - Unfortunately, Magic Man removed most of its free downloads. We understand, because they have moved to a level of notoriety at which giving away music is not a good business move.  We wish them continued success, because they have earned it. 

On the other hand, "Every Day" was made available for a while (press the arrow to access the song:


****************************************************************
     Magic Man is a synth-rock band  that hails from Providence, Rhode Island. The band started as a duo, but Sam Lee and Alex Caplow have been joined by Justine Bowe, Nolan Robert, and Daniel Radin.  Another significant artist is the person who provided the artwork for the two releases this year – “Texas” and “Paris.”  Ted Wiggin is credited with the artwork. Nice work Ted.
     But the music must keep the attention of potential fans, and Magic Man delivers. “Texas” exhibits the vocal strenghth of the band, as well as the ability to smoothlessly transition among energy levels. A good example of an energy transition is around the 1:00 mark of the song.
     "Texas" by Magic Man 


      "Paris" by Magic Man 

      Here is something from the "old" Magic Man (2011) - "Darling"


 "Nova Scotia."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cameras: “Defeatist” – A Song Review

     It was released in 2011, but it remains blog-worthy. The song is “Defeatist” by Cameras. The band is from Sydney, Australia and comprises Eleanor Dunlop (Vocals, Keys), Fraser Harvey (Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Ben Mason (Drums), and Mike Morgan (Guitar).
     “Defeatist” by Cameras. We particularly like the guitar energy buildup shortly after the two-minute mark.



     More recently, Cameras released a strong cover of the Kate Bush song “Running Up that Hill.”



Underground Lovers: "Au Pair" - A Song Review

     Underground Lovers is a Melbourne, Australia band that was formed in the early 1990s, but took an extended break between 2002 and 2009. They classify their genre as “rock electronica dream pop.” But we would call the song “Au Pair” electric electronica. For songs like this, we consider the reaction of the crowd in a concert environment. It would be a lively place. The rhythm is tight and the vocals give the impression of being purposeful, despite the subject matter being relatively shallow (but who says songs must have a serious agenda?). The members of Underground Lovers are Philippa Nihill, Richard Andrew, Maurice Argiro, Glenn Bennie, Vincent Giarrusso and Emma Bortignon.

     “Au Pair” is the lead single from “Weekend” the first album from Underground Lovers in 14 years. The album has been released in Australia, but the U.S. release date is next week - April 16, 2013.
     This is a Free, Legal and Recommended download.  If you're like us, this song will create an interest in purchasing the album.