All posts filed under: Music

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POPDOSE SINGLE PREMIERE: THE MARCH DIVIDE, “Exit Signs”

While San Antonio’s March Divide is really driven by singer/songwriter Jared Putnam, the sound is very much that of a band, which is never an easy thing when you’re doing it all yourself.  Nonetheless, the first single ahead of The March Divide’s new album Saturdays, is “Exit Signs” and it’s here for you to listen and enjoy – “enjoy” being the operative term.  Rich in melody, catchy, and at the same time, thoughtful, this is quality pop at its best. The album won’t be out for a while, but at least you have a chance to have a taste of what’s coming and for you to work your way backwards if you haven’t explored The March Divide previously – and there’s a lot for your pleasure. But right now, here’s “Exit Signs” for your Popdose Premiere: Saturdays is due for release on Friday, May 13th, 2016. http://www.themarchdivide.com/

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POPDOSE SINGLE PREMIERE: ROSIE CARNEY, “Better Man”

Eighteen year old Irish native Rosie Carney delivers this new track to the Popdose stable, “Better Man”, along with its accompanying video.  In advance of her appearances at this year’s South By Southwest, Ms. Carney has been unleashing a string of serious, lyrically consequent tracks in lieu of an album – and this is her latest. Vulnerability is a currency in which Carney proudly deals. While many of today’s songwriters fear showing genuine feelings, writes as an attempt to encourage herself and listeners to “let feelings of sadness and loss run their course without using an antidote.” Hence the inspiration for another (previous) track, “Antidote” – brought on by the feeling that comes with “being heartbroken after a breakup or the loss of something dear to you.” In the meantime, here is the stunning “Better Man” for your enjoyment: www.rosiecarney.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: EDWARD ROGERS, “Glass Marbles”

You absolutely have to love when an artist like Edward Rogers delivers a new album because he gives you a complete package – thoughtful, image-laden lyrics, almost always thematically unified, melody and always a full complement of songs.  And on Glass Marbles, his sixth solo album, no less than eighteen songs – right there, more than your money’s worth. So this splendid gathering of material opens with the sprightly, upbeat “The World Of Mystery”, which is a perfect way to start the program – it shouldn’t go unnoticed that Mr. Rogers takes on the younger Dylan in a very clever and enjoyable way; “Denmark Street Forgotten” has a very “vintage” sound, production-wise, which adds to the overall feel to the song (dark, slighly brooding) and has an on-the-one guitar solo and “Jumbo Sale”‘s wash of reverb and slightly-My Bloody Valentine texture helps the vocals shine brighter as the band builds up (but never explodes) – and listen for that very neo-psychedelic middle – colorful and vivid. “My Lady Blue” goes in a gentle, pastoral direction …

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EhOR: Saga fused prog rock with pop

Editor’s note: In this installment of EhOR, Jay Kumar examines the long career of Saga, a band that found success straddling the worlds of prog rock, hard rock and pop. In the mid-’70s, prog rock found favor with mass audiences thanks to the likes of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson. Soon, newer bands emerged, melding proggy elements with poppier fare. In the Toronto suburbs, as bands like Rush and Triumph were having success with their take on prog, a band called Pockets decided to change its name to Saga and released its self-titled debut in 1978. Formed by lead singer Michael Sadler, guitarist Ian Chrichton and bassist Jim Chrichton, the band was rounded out by keyboardist Peter Rochon and drummer Steve Negus. Nearly 40 years later, Saga is still at it, although the band is primarily remembered in the U.S. for its brief period of AOR prominence in the early 1980s. Strangely enough, Saga didn’t make much of an impression in their homeland at first. Their first album, however, made an immediate splash in both …

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Berlin’s 7fields Covers the Strokes and It’s Kind of Amazing

When is a cover more than a cover? It seems like the mere act of reinterpreting another artist or band’s work is frowned upon or seen as either an easy way out or simply lazy. But when a cover reinvents or elevates a song beyond what anyone knew it was capable of, then it becomes its own entity – and transforms the original. Like many of my generation, I remember encountering the Stokes for the first time. In my case, it was when I caught the “Last Nite” video on VH1 at two in the morning. (You know, when they show music videos.) The sound has become ingrained in me, even though it’s not my favorite nor one I naturally gravitate towards. Nevertheless, the thought of a Strokes cover by a German folk/pop artist both intrigued and terrified me. It’s the sort of thing that can go really bad really fast — or could change your perception entirely. Berlin-based 7fields is Wolfgang Schrödl, meaning literally he plays every role in this operation. And, I’m relieved to say …

The Beach Boys to Bowie: LA’s Hot Rumour Spill the Songs That Shaped Them

Though Hot Rumour has only been a tangible unit for, oh, four months, the three members have enough musical cred among them to more than make up for what they lack in longevity. Renowned LA producer and Hot Rumour’s bass/synth player Frankie Siragusa — who’s hit the studio with the likes of Reggie Watts, the Decemberists, and REM — is joined by brothers Aaron and Josh Ficchi on guitar/keys and drums, respectfully. With their first EP just around the corner, the trio is planning a summer tour and is already feeling the love with their first single, “Run to Me” (take a listen below). Intrigued by the band’s alt- and indie-rock sound reminiscent of acts like Muse, we asked them for five of their most influential tracks. Here’s what they came up with. 1. “Monday Morning 5:19,” Rialto Says Aaron: “From the big, orchestral drums, to the jagged guitar riffs, and Bond-esque imagery, this track was a big influence on me. I’ve always been very interested in the use of minor, diminished chords and sevenths in …

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Finding Salvation In The Best New Music of 2016

For my final POPDOSE post until Fall, I am going out with a bang — or better yet, a shake, rattle and roll. Cancer sucks. I am shifting my focus in the months ahead to support my wife through chemotherapy. In many ways, music serves as therapy for survivors, supporters and just about anyone dealing with this thing called life. The rhythms wrap around us, the lyrics comfort us, the beat keeps us moving forward. So let’s focus on the positive. 2016 is proving to be one of the best years in years for great new music from new and beloved artists. Let’s dive in. New Order • Singularity For fans of New Order’s 1989 masterpiece, Technique, this is as New Ordery as New Order has been in the New Millennium. Music Complete, one of the top albums of 2015, was a both a bold move forward and a solid reconnection to the sound that put em on the map in the first place. Plus, there’s a cameo by Iggy Pop which brings us to… Iggy Pop • …

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ALBUM REVIEW: HIGH WAISTED, s/t

What one might expect and what one gets from this, the debut from High Waisted, are two completely different things.  At a glance, you might think the music in the package is going to be predictable sleaze-rock or more of the “trashy” sound that’s become both cliche and irritating from some (God help us) hipster band.  Instead, what you get is some remarkably tasteful, tuneful and shockingly vintage-style pop. Starting with the opener, “Trust”, the voice and the sound go hand in hand – a mix of early ’60’s pop with some very Ventures-sounding guitars, although restrained and highly melodic – and  the production matches the entire package.  “Party In The Back” is high energy but the fills and catchiness take it on a 100 mile-per-hour drive and again, the sound is a joyful throwback; “Door” has a heavy-duty “Western” twang and a fantastic use of echo (a nice, big room sound) and between the sweetness of Jessica Louise Dye’s angelic voice and the deft musicianship of the band, this sounds wonderfully familiar, yet thoroughly …

ALBUM REVIEW: Nick Urb, ‘Until the End of Days’

In recent years, Detroit has become infamous for its epidemic of dilapidation and, to be frank, ruin porn. But going under the surface, what makes Detroit so fascinating is its resiliency and resolve; these people not only survive lake-effect-filled winters, but also the devastation of constant job loss and the unimaginable burden of watching their city paraded about as an example of what not to do.  Considering this determined mindset, it’s little surprise that folk/pop singer-songwriter Nick Urb (who was raised outside of Detroit) has the same “through thick or thin” attitude about his music. “If you love something, that’s the way it is” he says. “Whether good or bad, right or wrong, your mind has been made up.” Urb spent the majority of his 20s touring around, playing churches, homes — basically anywhere he could. After releasing his first album, We Are Able, Urb scored an almost unbelievable seven million streams on Spotify and enjoyed a coveted Daytrotter session. Now, his sophomore release, Until the End of Days, continues in the same folky vein as Ed Sheerhan, a …

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POPDOSE EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: KAREN HAGLOF, “Perseverance And Grace”

It was a little under two years ago guitarist-turned-oncologist Karen Haglof released her initial bow, Western Holiday.  That album was the soundtrack to my trip through Georgia and now, she’s back with some deadly great collaborators – Steve Almaas on bass/guitar and  C.P. Roth on drums and recorded (again) at Eric “Roscoe” Ambel’s Cowboy Techinical Services Recording Rig in Brooklyn with Perseverance And Grace. Popdose is pleased to present to you the title track, which is twangy, tasty and sly – melodic as all get-out and just good old fun, while being meaningful.  So please sit back and have your appetite whetted for Ms. Haglof’s next album by way of “Perseverance And Grace”. Perseverance And Grace will be released Friday, April 22nd, 2015. http://karenhaglof.com/

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E.P. REVIEW: NICE MOTOR, “Seminary St.”

Chicago has just been an endless wealth of musical riches for the last two years with new bands/performers cropping up regularly (certainly to this writer) and here again is a new band, Nice Motor.  Formed from the ashes of  two bands, Jonny Rumble and Super Happy Fun Club (now there’s a name for ya!), this four-piece plays a crisp, thoroughly enjoyable pop with no pretension or pomposity.  To this point, they’ve released two tracks and now have issued their debut E.P., Seminary St. “All The Neighbors” has a nice, very ’60’s-meets- early ’80’s vibe; great reverb on the guitars with clean strums and a strident rhythm – and listen carefully for the very subtle underlying “ah”s on the chorus; “Turn To Stone” jogs along with sweetly picked acoustic guitar as its body, but the pulsing bass and foot pedal keeping time on the drum keeps it lively and builds toward the end.  “High Maintenance” is ripe with melody and a very nice mix of twangy guitar, gentle keyboard embellishes and a taut drum pattern that …

Carl Jackson, the producer of Orthophonic Joy, with The Shotgun Rubies: (L-R) DelNora Reed, Val Storey, and Dani Flowers

Album Review: Orthophonic Joy – The 1927 Bristol Sessions

Before there was rock, there was country. And before there was country, there was an ad placed in the Bristol Herald Courier on Sunday, July 24, 1927. The Clark-Jones-Sheeley Company, a music store in the twin cities of Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia, was hosting a Victor Co. recording machine for 10 days. Any musicians in the area who wanted to make records should make an appointment at the store. The Carter Family was interested, as were Jimmie Rodgers and Ernest Phipps. A total of 19 acts recorded 76 songs that formed the start of the country canon. The Bristol Session recordings are sometimes called the “big bang” in country music: the point where the performers, songs, and technology came together to launch the genre. The recordings have been reproduced and studied for decades. However, recording technology was so primitive in 1927 that the original Bristol Sessions are not pleasant to listen to, nor can they be re-mastered. They moved from art to artifact. A few years ago, the Virginia and Tennessee tourism departments and …

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E.P. REVIEW: BRETT NEWSKI, “Hi-Fi D.I.Y.”

From the opening of “Black Taxi Car”, there is a fair amount of “real American” inflections of Brett Newski’s music – a little Springsteen, a little Mellencamp, a little Fogerty.  Cleanly strummed guitars, neat twanging riffs underlying on the verses and harmonica make this first entry on Newski’s newest E.P., Hi-Fi D.I.Y. a very worthwhile and impressive listen.  With its harmonies, crisp drums and overall feel, this is a fully realized track that makes it very easy to want to listen all the way through. So with the brushed percussion, the low-key opening verse and then the kick-it-into-high-gear chorus, “Move To Berlin” has an equally great punch; “Cigaretiquette” has a lot of interesting nuances with its off-kilter guitar interplay and breakneck pace but then pulls back into a poppy “woo-hoo” refrain and “This Will Destroy Me” turns it all around with an deft acoustic piece where vocally, he veers into Dylanisms, but not in a bad way and the melody is enhanced with some very sweet slide figures. All in all, a very satisfying and …

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VIDEO PREMIERE: THE POP GROUP, “We Are All Prostitutes”

Since the last year-plus saw the return (in a big way) of early ’80’s British post-punk legends The Pop Group, it’s only fitting that more long-lost pieces of their puzzle be unearthed and restored for all to hear and see.  Along with the first-time reissue of their 1980 album For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder, the video for the single “We Are All Prostitutes” is now available and you can see it right here on Popdose. Sharp, provocative, abrasive – the sound of The Pop Group meshed with their message – both politically and socially.  And while it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, at the very least, they’ll make you stop and think. Step back to when meaning was of value and sometimes you had to go on an aural assault.  Here are The Pop Group, once again: For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder is available now. Band photo by Chalkie Davies  

After Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Stones, and Allmans, Billy Crain Deals With ‘Family Matters’

You’d probably recognize Billy Crain’s guitar before you’d recognize him. That’s not a slight against Crain; on the contrary, he’s shared the spotlight with the Dixie Chicks, the Outlaws, and many more, while opening for bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers with his late brother, Tommy. And this is just literally scratching the surface. It would take a full book to list all the incredible musicians Crain has stood beside. Now, his musical focus has expanded to include a philanthropic angle. Through his church, Crain’s completed missionary trips, including one to Haiti, and taken up the cause for fostering, parenting and adopting two children, Stella and Dallas. His humanitarian efforts shine on his latest release, Family Matters, which is sure to delight classic rock fans with its Southern Rock lean. But it’s truly a winning disc for any and all music lovers — and knowing Crain’s a good guy doesn’t hurt, either. We chatted with Crain about his incredible past, remarkable present, and bright future. First off, your resume is amazing. You’ve performed …

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POPDOSE EXCLUSIVE SINGLE PREMIERE: BOB HILLMAN, “Big Sur”

Ten years is a long time between albums for anyone; it’s a lifetime in music.  But the forthcoming new album from Bob Hillman, Lost Soul, will have been well worth the wait.  The 12 songs are produced by no less than singer/songwriter (and Plimsouls/Nerves legend) Peter Case and are a stunning exercise of the harmonious balance of lyrics and music. Lost Soul will be released on Friday, March 25th, but Popdose is pleased and proud to present to you for the first time, the initial track to be released from this collection, “Big Sur”.  Sweet and wistful, it’s the perfect soundtrack to the oncoming change of seasons. Please enjoy Bob Hillman’s “Big Sur”. http://bobhillmanmusic.com/

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Popdose Premiere: Typhoid Rosie ‘Baby I Want You’

Typhoid Rosie, rising like a phoenix straight outta Brooklyn, recalls a feistier rock & roll yesteryear when the likes of Joan Jett, Suzi Quatro and Kim Carnes ruled the charts instead of the typical sex kitten dinner theater we’ve been deluged with ever since a bored Britney Spears emerged from the classroom. The rebellious attitude comes from lead vocalist Rosie Rebel, a stand-up comedian who found cathartic release in the throws of rock and roll. Most funny people mask a dark side, so her songs are naturally filled with heartache, heartbreak and loss. As the band’s second album, Hearts Bleed Goodbye (out March 26th, 2016), started coming together a few years back, Rosie’s mother died of an aneurism while leaving her grandmother’s funeral. Two losses in a day, heartbreak that is still healing to this day. The rest of the tight-knit band includes Rosie’s husband, Phil Wartell (drummer/producer), along with Dean Wartell (bass), Matt Kursmark (guitar) and Justin Rothberg (lead guitar). If you’re into Blondie, Garbage or 90’s BritPop acts like Republica, Elastica or Echobelly, Typhoid Rosie should hit your sweet spot. Definitely a band to keep an eye on. …

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ALBUM REVIEW: BOB WOODRUFF, “The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain”

This new album from Bob Woodruff is only his fourth in a 22-year recording career and it’s a fine statement as to what patience and skill in songwriting can do.  Although he’s a New York City native, this album was recorded in Sweden and sounds more like it comes straight out of Nashville.  A clean, crisp production with a big, radio friendly sound helps lift this collection of songs up even higher, considering the quality of the songs already do this. Wryly titled The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain, the maudlin nature of the title belies some of the joyful and uplifting melodies that shape this record.  The album’s opening track, “I Didn’t Know” is bouncy and catchy, primed to come screaming out of radios; “I’m The Train”, with its very fine-tuned Rickenbacker 12-string chiming sound and sweeping pedal steel lines reminds me of a Tom Petty-oriented tune (and lo – Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench appears on this album!) and the title track is a pure country kicker – dark, pain and perspective …