Friday, May 31, 2013

Deerhunter compared to The Dear Hunter

     In yesterday’s post, we noted the similar vocal sounds of Baptist Generals and Maps & Atlases. Today, we note the phonetic similarity of two band names - The Dear Hunter and Deerhunter. Yes, in print the names relate to entirely different types of "adventures." But only the article “the” distinguishes the two names in a discussion among fans or during an introductin of a song on the radio. We can let others worry about the possibility of confusion, we just judge our appreciations for the music by the two bands.
     Below is a song from each of the bands. Clearly, while the band names have a phonetic equivalence, the styles of the bands are very different.

     "Whisper" by The Dear Hunter


     "Nothing Ever Happened" by Deerhunter



The Dear Hunter
     The website of The Dear Hunter describes its music as "progressive rock." The band is based in Providence, Rhode Island and its members are singer/writer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Casey Crescenzo and drummer Nick Crescenzo.  They are preparing to release the album "Migrant."
     Website: http://thedearhunter.com/

Deerhunter
     Deerhunter is a five-piece indie rock band based in Atlanta, Georgia. The current members of the band are Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Frankie Broyles, Josh McKay and Lockett Pundt. Deerhunter describes its music as "ambient punk."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Baptist Generals vs Maps & Atlases

     Until recently, we thought the Chicago-based group Maps & Atlases had a distinctive vocal sound. The frontman, Dave Davison, not only plays the guitar differently than most (staying exclusively along the neck for some songs), he has a voice that is easy to identify. But then came the release of songs (and now an album) by Baptist Generals.
      We compared the names of the members of Baptist Generals to the names of member of Maps & Atlases. No, Davison is not on both lists. Then, we used the Google search engine to determine if there was a buzz from others making the same comparison. OK, we get distracted easily and didn’t spend a lot of time, but we found nothing. So, we are going to leave it to readers/listeners of Indie Obsessive to determine if the two voices are as similar as we believe them to be.

     Baptist Generals is a band based in Denton, Texas, which is 958 miles from Chicago and Maps & Atlases. The Facebook page of Baptist Generals identifies its members as "Including but not limited to Peter Salisbury, Paul Slavens, Ryan Williams, Jeff Ryan, Jason Reimer, Cee Flemmons, and David Pierce." The members of Maps & Atlases are Dave Davison, Shiraz Dada, Chris Hainey, and Erin Elders.

     Time for the comparison. Note that as least for now, the two bands are permitting free downloads (Free, Legal and Recommended).

     "Broken Glass" by Baptist Generals. If your browser doesn't show the free download icon, CLICK HERE

     "Dog That Bit You" by Baptist Generals. If your browser doesn't show the free download icon, CLICK HERE


     "Fever" by Maps & Atlases
If your browser does not show the FLR download CLICK FOR THE FREE DOWNLOAD

Contact information for Baptist Generals

Contact information for Maps & Atlases

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Year Zero" by Rob Reid - Our First Book Review (Music Related, Of Course)

     It turns out that earthlings have horrendous taste in macramé and interior decorating, but we generate the best music in the universe. Perhaps the better way to state the situation is that the music of other planets is so bad that the theme song from a 1977 episode of “Welcome Back Kotter” is enough to send non-earthlings into a state from which some never return.
     Year Zero is 1977, when the rest of the universe discovered earth's music and reset the universal calendar. At least partially because of the discovery of earth's music, everything seemed better in the universal. That is, it was better until copyright law was discovered. The non-earthlings realized they were pirates.

     The strengths of the author, Rob Reid, are most evident when he uses satire in referring to subject matter for which he has strong opinions, such as the difficulty in justifying the statutory damages under copyright law. On the other hand, he is less adept at “painting” pictures of alien worlds. But if Reid’s goal was to reach an audience that would not otherwise listen to his message regarding the need to revisit some legal principles, we tip our hats. The book is a good blend of entertainment and message.

     Still, we wish "Year Zero" made more refererences to the history of earth-generated music. For example, just looking at the start of the calendar, it is easy to dismiss 1977 as a dismal year for music, since it was a year in which disco was still popular and Ringo released one of his albums. But 1977 also brought us:
   1. Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell" album, arguably one of the best;
   2. A double album from Emerson, Lake and Palmer;
   3. The "CSN" album from Crosby, Stills and Nash (Stills still had a good voice);
   4. "Slowhand" by Eric Clapton; 
   5, "Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac; and
   5. Album drops by Journey, Jethro Tull, The Kinks, Yes, Dan Fogelberg...

     Below is the trialer for "Year Zero"


     To watch the TED talk of Rob Reid regarding copyright math, go to http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_reid_the_8_billion_ipod.html 

    The book is timely, because the recording of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" while on the International Space Station has raised some discussions of applying copyright protection in space. The recording can be vewed at http://youtu.be/KaOC9danxNo. An article regarding application of copyright law on the recording may be read at http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/05/economist-explains-12.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grizfolk – A Band Review

     Grizfolk is a band that has had as many names as it has songs. Presumably (and hopefully), they are preparing to release more material. Seven months ago, the band released “The Struggle” under the name “Griz Adams.” A good guess it that they ran into trademark difficulties with the owners of the long-ago television program “Grizzle Adams.”  The band name is now Grizfolk.
     Doesn’t matter what the call themselves if they keep generating this music. The three members of Grizfolk are Adam Roth, Sebastian Fritze, and Fredrik Eriksson. They identify their hometowns as Los Angeles and Stockholm, but they are currently based in Los Angeles.
     “The Struggle” by Grizfolk - At least for now, this is a Free, Legal and Recommended Download.

The Struggle Lyrics:
Brothers got room to talk
Messin' round on the block
Corner shops, stares, and stops
Mother rather not

You're young enough to say what you feel
So say what you feel, say what you feel
Sometime it's all that we got
Its all that we got, its all that we got then it's gone

He turns around and sees the world he knows fall apart
The struggle you are up against makes you what you are

Sneakin' round through the cracks
Doubling up the stacks
He said if God lives by the gun
I'll show the world a little more love

You're young enough to say what you feel
So say what you feel, say what you feel
Sometime it's all that we got
Its all that we got , its all that we got then it's gone

He turns around and sees the world he knows fall apart
The struggle you are up against makes you what you are
Don't turn around when you're alone running in the dark
The struggle you are up against makes you what you are.

      “Hymnals” by Grizfolk

Website: http://grizfolk.com/

[UPDATE - CLICK HERE for the July 31, 2013 update] 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Another Three That Are Free, Legal and Recommended (FLR)

     Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of new releases.  The end of the offer may be based upon reaching a maximum number of downloads or the expiration of some period of time.  But at least for now, here are songs that qualify as Free, Legal and Recommended (FLR) downloads.
     The first of the three can fairly be categorized as Indie Rock. The second is Indie Electronic, and the third leans in the same direction.
     The members of The Reflections are Darian Zahedi, Brady Wills and Jon Safley. This is yet another Los Angelesband that deserves attention.
     “Disconnected” begins with far-away haunt vocals, but the guitar work is the feature that establishes the song as a recommended listen, even if it were not a free download. We particularly enjoy the cooperation between the drums and guitar starting at the 2:55 mark.
     “Disconnected” by The Reflections - Free, Legal and Recommended download.

Website: http://thereflectionsmusic.com/

     “A Violent Sky” is a release from Apparat, the performance name of Berlin-based musician Sascha Ring. Although the song is indeed based on electronica, it is something of a departure from older Apparat songs (such as “Black Water” or “Black Veil”). “A Violent Sky” is a track from an album (Krieg und Frieden) that is an adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Pretty artsy stuff.
     “A Violent Sky” by Apparat

Website: http://www.apparat.net/


     District Emma is a three-piece electronic band from London, but they describe themselves as a “psychedelically inclined rock band."
     “Purple Trees and Green Rain” by District Emma

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Mankind" by Laurel - Song Released Today

     On her website yesterday, London-based Laurel posted the following:

"Tomorrow is the online release of my new song mankind. I am super excited. I almost feel like its my birthday tomorrow, which is an odd feeling seeing as its already been this month. Thank you to everybody who enjoyed and shared my last song blue blood, I never expected the welcoming that it got, I hope you guys like this one just as much!! Whilst toasting the soundscape of blue blood it is about a very different type of love. Not an easy enjoyable love, but loving somebody that is already taken by another soul. Why are the good ones all taken damn it? Mind you, arguably, the good ones aren’t the ones I usually fall in love with.
Enjoy the song my darlings! It will be uploaded onto my soundcloud at 4pm english time. Do let me know what you think!!

LOOOoooooziiiieeeee xxxx "

     One policy we always follow is to pay attention to announcements that include the term "whilst."
     Laurel's full name is Laurel Arnell-Cullen. Within "Mankind," we enjoy the transitions between the near monotone description of the couple's relationship and the power vocals that evidence the level of emotion (and dissatisfaction) she has for the current situation. The simplicity in the use of the instuments works well within both the low energy and high energy portions.
     "Mankind" by Laurel

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Laurelofficial
Website: http://classiclaurel.tumblr.com/

     June 16, 2013 update - we are adding another song by Laurel, since we like it more each day we listen to the song - "Blue Blood."

Bastille – A Concert Opportunity in SF (and LA)


    This is our third 2013 mention of the U.K. band Bastille. The first was a January blog entry, when we praised the “tribal vocals” in the song “Pompeii” (CLICK HERE to access the entry). The second mention was in March, after we discovered that Bastille had teamed with To Kill a King and others in recording “Choices” at Ralph’s Balcony (CLICK HERE to access this second entry and its free download of "Choices"). 

     We recently discovered that Bastille is headed to the U.S. for only a few of days. The band’s website indicates that they will be in Spain on July 20 and the U.K. on July 26, but will make appearances in San Francisco and Los Angeles between those two dates. Now that’s a demanding schedule; we may have to curtail our whining about our schedules (not likely).
     We immediately bought two tickets for the July 22 show at Rickshaw Stop, and then looked for an explanation for the scheduling. The Facebook page of Bastille explains:

To all American people who also happen to like our music... We're massively excited to announce the US-only release of our "HAUNT EP" on May 28. It features "Pompeii", "Bad Blood", "Overjoyed" and "Haunt", and to mark the release we'll be playing two West Coast shows in July and a bigger tour in September. We can't wait to finally release some music and play some gigs in The States.” 
The explanation sounds good for the most part, but the phrase “who happen to like our music” gives the impression that the appreciation is something of an accident.
     Tickets for the SF show at Rickshaw Stop can be purchased at https://www.snagtickets.com/53790/
     The official videos of the four songs that are featured on the US-only release are below.
“Pompeii” – this is our favorite


“Bad Blood”


“Overjoyed”


“Haunt”


Saturday, May 25, 2013

HAERTS – A Band Review

     This past Wednesday (May 24, 2013), Shout Out Louds performed at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. They put on a good show – no surprise. The surprise came in the opening act. HAERTS is based in New York, but includes members which hail from Germany, England and the United States. The five members are Nini Fabi, Ben Gebert, Garrett Ienner, Derek McWilliams, and Jonathan Schmidt.

     HAERTS intends to release its first album sometime this year. In October 2012, HAERTS provided evidence of the band’s abilities, with its single “Wings.” The song starts with late-1950s to early-1960s vocals (if the name of the specific singer eventually hits me, it will be added later). The power of Fabi’s voice is apparent as the song progresses. BUT now we get the second offering – “All the Days.” The voice is powerful and the production has the right balance of value-added and natural ability.

     "All the Days" by HAERTS

     "Wings" by HAERTS


Friday, May 24, 2013

Vance Joy - An SF Concert Opportunity

     We have intended to write a blog entry about the song "Ripetide" for awhile. It cannot wait any longer, because Vance Joy will be in the San Francisco area next week. Vance Joy is opening for Lissie on May 29 at the Great American Music Hall. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

     Vance Joy is from Melbourne, Australia. His Facebook page identifies the genre as "folk pop." We have grown to enjoy his other songs, but the appreciation for "Ripetide" was immediate.

LYRICS:
I was scared of dentists and the dark,
I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations,
Oh all my friends are turning green,
You're the magicians assistant in their dreams.

Oh, and they come unstuck

Lady, running down to the riptide,
taken away to the dark side,
I wanna be your left hand man.
I love you when you're singing that song and,
I got a lump in my throat 'cause
you're gonna sing the words wrong

There's this movie that I think you'll like,
this guy decides to quit his job and heads to New York City,
this cowboy's running from himself.
And she's been living on the highest shelf

Oh, and they come unstuck

Lady, running down to the riptide,
taken away to the dark side,
I wanna be your left hand man.
I love you when you're singing that song and,
I got a lump in my throat 'cause
you're gonna sing the words wrong

I just wanna, I just wanna know,
If you're gonna, if you're gonna stay,
I just gotta, I just gotta know,
I can't have it, I can't have it any other way
I swear she's destined for the screen,
Closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you've ever seen, oh

Lady, running down to the riptide,
taken away to the dark side,
I wanna be your left hand man.
I love you when you're singing that song and,
I got a lump in my throat 'cause
you're gonna sing the words wrong

Oh lady, running down to the riptide,
taken away to the dark side,
I wanna be your left hand man.
I love you when you're singing that song and,
I got a lump in my throat 'cause
you're gonna sing the words wrong

Oh lady, running down to the riptide,
taken away to the dark side,
I wanna be your left hand man.
I love you when you're singing that song and,
I got a lump in my throat 'cause
you're gonna sing the words wrong
I got a lump in my throat 'cause you're gonna sing the words wrong

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Vancejoy
Website: http://www.vancejoy.com/
     "From Afar" by Vance Joy


    As noted above, Vance Joy is opening for Lissie, which is the stage name of Elisabeth Corrin Maurus. Lissie was born in Rock Island, Illinois. Her current single is "Shameless."

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lissiemusic
Website: http://www.lissie.com/

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Dreams of Cannibalism" - A Song Review (And Austin City Limits Alert)

     Typhoon is a band based in Portland, Oregon. Depending on your source of information, the band has 11, 12 or 13 members. The above picture showing eleven members is currently the band’s Facebook cover photo.
      Typhoon will perform during both weekends of the 2013 Austin City Limits Festival in October.

     The song "Dreams of Cannibalism" is the musical equivalent of the trite optimist-pessimist test of "half full" or "half empty". It includes so many elements, that it can be argued that merely by giving the song a listen, you’re sure to find something you like. Alternatively, it can be argued that if you listen to the song, you’re bound to find something you don’t care to hear in a song. In this test, we land on the side of being optimists.
     “Dreams of Cannibalism” starts with a tease – one second of horns. Yes, one second.  Then, there is a gentle guitar play with periodic surges by a piano and the drums. If you like crescendos, this song has plenty. If not, well there’s plenty more to like about the song ("half full!").
     Interesting aspects of the single include:
1. A title that seems disjointed from the lyrics (which are included below, along with the “dream interpretation” that provides some explanation);
2. Lyrics that start with a paraphrase of Richard Nixon’s assertion “I am not a crook,” using the term “criminal” instead. [OK, that’s a reach, we know];
3. Horns which periodically enter and exit;
4. Some country guitar twang that is particularly apparent starting at the 1:45 mark;
5. A team shout of “Hey” at 1:54 (like a Lumineers’ style “Hey”);
6. A choir approach toward the end of song. 

      "Dreams of Cannibalism" by Typhoon


LYRICS:
"Unhand me, I am not a criminal;
though I've played a guilty part.
In the modern sense that one pretends
their life is original.

I wrote a book and I will call it something cynical.
The story's slow, the hero does not change.
And if he can then he won't anyway..
Instead his foes and lovers all become identical

I fled the country.
I thought I'd leave this behind.

But I built the same damn house
on every acre I could find.

And i tried to fake my own death.
Just shake the devils from my mind.

And I said
Unhand me I am not a criminal.
If I am I paid the man just let me go.
Soon enough you will be dancing at my funeral."


According to dream dictionaries (for example, http://www.dreammoods.com/), “To see cannibalism in your dream symbolizes a destructive and forbidden desire or obsession. In a literal sense, cannibals consume people's lives, along with their energy. Thus, this dream may then denote an aspect of your life (career, relationship, children, etc ), which is consistently draining your enthusiasm and vitality.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearetyphoon
Website: http://www.wearetyphoon.com/

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Understated" Vocals

     The term of the day is “understated,” so that the relevant songs are “How Are My Thoughts Not My Own?” and “Actors.”
     “How Are My Thoughts Not My Own?” is a late-2012 release by Challenger. Challenger is based in New York City. The members are John Ross, Devyn Waitt, Waylen Roche, and John Frank.
          “How Are My Thoughts Not My Own?” by Challenger - We enjoy the understated vocals at the start of the song.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/achallengerisborn

     “Actors” is the first single released by Still Parade. Understated are the vocals, the acoustic guitar and the slide guitar. Below are the YouTube and SoundCloud versions of the song.

     "Actors" by Still Parade - Currently, the band is allowing free downloads.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stillparade?directed_target_id=0

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

“Part of the Echoes” and “Enemies” – Song Reviews

     We have professed our attraction for songs with choirs. So, “Part of the Echoes” had a running start toward being the focus of a blog entry. Then, when we tagged it, the song coincidentally landed next to “Enemies.” The two songs are very different, but seemed to belong together.
     The 20th Century had its “Big Band Sound” that was “swing” in the 1920’s and Bebop/jazz in the late 1930's and beyond. In comparison, the term “Big Sound Bands” seems appropriate for “Part of the Echoes” and “Enemies.” The Big Sound Band is not necessarily an ensemble of musicians (like Mother Falcon’s 17 to 21 member performances) and is not the same as a "wall of sound." It's just here-we-are, loud-and-proud power music.
     Oh, and let’s throw in “Love Me Again,” since this blog favors three packs.

      “Part of the Echoes” is a song by Embers, a band based in Manchester, U.K. The song starts strong and includes only momentary breathers, such as the choir-featured portion starting at the 2:00 mark that is followed by an energy-building portion.
     “Part of the Echoes” by Embers


     “Enemies” is majestic at times and subtle at other times. The song is from Pylo, which is also a band based in the U.K. – Bath. The members are Matthew Aldus, James Scott, Richard Gully, Max Blunos, and Johan Jorgensen.
      “Enemies” by Pylo


     “Love Me Again” is presented by John Newman from London. He is associated with the Soul genre, but we are going with “Big Sound Band.” November update: The soundcloud version was taken down, so here is the Youtube video.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hunter Hunted - A Concert Opportunity in SF (and elsewhere)













     This is the last of three blog entries regarding upcoming opportunities at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. The first entry was a notice that The 1975 will perform at the Rickshaw Stop on July 25 (CLICK HERE for more information), while the second was notice that Small Black will at the same venue on June 11 (CLICK HERE for more information).

     On Thursday July 11, Hunter Hunted will be at Rickshaw Stop. The headliner is Meg Myers. 
     Hunter Hunted is the Los Angeles duo of Dan Chang and Michael Garner. But Chang and Garner performed with three other musicians when Hunter Hunted appeared on Conan  on February 28, 2013 (That performance can be viewed by CLICKING here). Since the Conan show, a song by the band has been featured on the television show Vampire Diaries.
     "Keep Together" by Hunter Hunted

     "Operating" by Hunter Hunted

     "End of the World" by Hunter Hunted

     "Dora Maar" by Hunter Hunted

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Folks We Oughta Know, Revisited

     While helping the local Fastpitch Softball Youth League (and having a great time doing so), a fellow umpire (Bruce C.) explained that his daughter enjoyed alternative country songs. It prompted us to revisit the genre. Thanks Bruce!
     In the blog entry of March 8, 2013, we referred to the upward trend in attention given to the Indie Folk genre. The March 8 blog is accessible by CLICKING HERESince then, we have tripped across 2013 releases that deserve mention.
     In Their Thousands is a band from Letterkenny, Ireland. An advantage held by this band is that all four members contribute to the song writing. The members are Ruairi Friel, Aidan McClafferty, Declan McClafferty, and Liam Kelly. As apparent from the below song, the band gets away from the typical “fluffy” song topics.

     “Woodcutter” by In Their Thousands – this is a song about a woodcutter who deals with the death of a loved one by carving her image out of wood.


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/intheirthousands
Website: http://intheirthousands.com/

     Wild Feathers is from Nashville, Tennessee. The members are Taylor Burns, Joel King, Ricky Young, and Preston Wimberly. The difficulty is identifying one genre in which Wild Feathers resides. If you ask the band members, the response is “The band’s sound can only be described as diverse. With the songs coming from all band members, their live set changes from stunning vocal harmony laced acoustic acapella folk to edgy electric alternative rock in a seamless progressive crescendo.” OK, we’ll go with that.
October Update - our opportunity to see Wild Feathers at Austin City Limits was rained out, but we loved them at the Outside Lands Festival this year.
     "The Ceiling" by Wild Feathers

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WildFeathers
Website: http://www.thewildfeathers.com
**********************************************************
     A GENRE BREAK:
Another Nashville band having a name that starts with "wild" is Wild Cub. We plan to see them during our visit to the Austin City Limits festival, but they will also visit San Francisco on July 30, 2013 (at the Neck of the Woods). 
     "Colour" by Wild Cub

    More information about Wild Cub, and a Free Download of "Colour" is available at the KEXP website http://blog.kexp.org/2013/02/28/song-of-the-day-wild-cub-colour/
**********************************************************
    BACK TO THE ORIGINAL GENRE:     
     “Sailor” by Jay Nash – a Free, Legal and Recommended Download.


     “Not From Body” by Grant Olney – a Free, Legal and Recommended Download.


     “One of a Million” by The Green Apple Sea