Friday, February 24, 2023

"Anything" is a total Friday jam from Frankie Rose.

Photo by Esme Rogers Smith. 
I was just listening to Frankie Rose's Love As Projection ahead of its March 10 release* and gol-DANG-it if one track didn't leap out, grab my ears, squeeze my heart, and fill me with a sense of wistful wonder. 

Feel like spinning in place with your eyes closed and arms outstretched? That's the vibe of this compact pop ditty that reaches to be something bigger, and more meaningful. In short, a spot-on, perfect jam for this sunny (if rather brisk) Friday!

*It's solid all the way through and worth picking up the pre-sale, if that's your sort of thing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Spring finally makes its way over the horizon.

For the first time in a long time I am optimistic about my own future. It's not that I was devoid of hope; more that I was unsure if I'd ever truly feel "happy" again. And even when I felt like things were on an upswing, I'd rarely write about it for fear that acknowledging anything positive would immediately cause that thing to get crushed by some new development.

I know it's maddening to hear this, but it again appears the only way out of difficult times is to just get through them, and the healing will follow, but you must accept it will happen at a pace you can never dictate or fully control. 

But you will benefit mightily by just letting yourself be open to the journey it takes to let it happen, instead of trying to force it to happen. 

Eventually, it will work out. Things will be different, and sometimes even scary, but it will end up putting you exactly where you're supposed to be.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Way down, now? This'll pick you right back up!

Y'know, I bought Goodbye Jumbo on cassette when it came out, and fell hard for the album, but I don't think I've ever seen this video before today. Incroyable mais vrai!

[Credz for this particular discovery due to Marc

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Back to basics on the road? That's the way to go!

I took a road trip last weekend in a car that only had a CD player. No auxiliary inputs. No tape deck. Not even a 6-disc CD changer. Just a single CD player.

I highly recommend it.

I had forgotten about the whole practice of “choosing CDs for the car” and how that usually starts with a huge pile of stuff I need to bring “just in case” before you realize that in this instance* less truly is more. And, in the end, the return trip was almost entirely soundtracked by a used CD purchase I made, so I could've traveled even lighter.

At the start of the trip I found it initially difficult to make a selection, or even offer an opinion on what to listen to—so used am I to being blinded by an endless list of digital possibilities that often leaves us unable to make a choice at all when it comes to modern listening habits—until I realized that the small selection of CDs we had was more than ample when it came to offering options that would be enjoyed by both people traveling in that car.

I'm so glad I just brought a few discs and didn't default to filling up an old CD book with a blinding number of options!

*And, really, most instances.

Friday, February 03, 2023

Looking for some Bandcamp Friday recommendations? I've got you covered!

Hey y'all! It's Bandcamp Friday! And in an effort to clear the backlog of albums I keep meaning to write about, here's a bunch of music available through that platform. I've included a wide variety of acts, so I hope there's sometime in here for everyone. Sometimes it's hard for me to know, since my own listing is, erm, a bit more voluminous than the average fan's might be. But every single one of these is worth your time, and if you like any of 'em, remember that all proceeds from sales through Bandcamp today go 100% to the artists!

The Freqs

This trio delivers a solid EP of nice, solid, hard-charging—and somewhat tuneful—stoner stylee RAWK. This took me back to the sounds of Double Door circa the early aughts.

Fucked Up
One Day

All the guitar tracks were recorded in one day, and then the band built over that. It ended up being a terrific approach because it resulted in their best "punk" guitar-based album in years. So while it's kind of a "step back" to a more familiar sound, I'm glad they revisited it before they move back onto more epic, experimental fare.

King Tuff
Smalltown Stardust

On their latest album, King Tuff's psych-pop walks the line between the rock and a more sensitive glam vocal style and delivery. This has been a nice breath of fresh air during the harsher winter days, for me.

Heating Up

This collection of numbers is definitely fuzzy, but not particularly heavy; adopting one of my preferred approaches to power-pop stuff for the most part. And while most power-pop lyrics tend to fly out of my head, I found Megadose traffics in a shaper vein of words that actually stuck around my brain after the last chord died out. I dig it!

Attachement Styles

Really cool, super angular indie-guitar-minded aggressive backing tracks, with vox that flit between the seams of sound. The band's energy is undeniable, and singer Róisín Nic Ghearailt delivers her thoughts with an emotion I could palpably feel. Which is unusual for me, these days. 

Imperial Dawn

I've noticed during the pandemic that the one genre that never slowed down high-octane output was the realm of metal. This indicates to me that the entire metal ecosystem grew so self-supporting so long ago it managed to bypass many of the issues that plagued most "mainstream" (and that includes indie these days) music. This slab of power metal is just plain fun, so I think anyone will dig it, regardless of how you feel about the genre in general.

We Are Scientists

Hot damn, for the second album in a row, they out-Killers The Killers again. I play this album a LOT. You will too. Fun fact: one of my first interviews for a local, long defunct, arts magazine was with one of the group's early drummers, They, and I, have come a long way since then.

Higher Lonely Power

This last one is free or pay-what-you-want on Bandcamp, but after listening to it, you'll want to throw a coupe bucks the band's way. I picked it up on via a recommendation on a podcast, otherwise I would've missed it entirely! And while it starts as pretty unilluminating hardcore meets emo stuff on the first track, don't let that fool you.After that Fireworks jumps around all over the place! Intriguing to say the least Apparently this has long been in the works, so maybe that explains the variety of approaches? Whatever the reason, I'm glad it resulted in this rollercoaster ride of an LP.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Gettin' groovy with Good Bison.

Good Bison—centered around the musical vision of one Pablo Alvarez—has a new EP coming out later this month and its five songs hop wildly amongst genres but are all rooted in rhythms that creep up around you until you find yourself moving in tandem with the inescapable charm of their internal beat. 

"Better Lies" is the tightest encapsulation of the band's approach to what most would consider pop, so I'm happy to see they just released a video for the tune. If you dig this, you will probably like the entire Ghost on Mulholland EP, so head to Good Bison's website to pre-save a copy to spin on February 21.