Friday, March 26, 2010

Snowstar Record Compilation (FREE on Bandcamp)

Snowstar Records is a Dutch indie label. This compilation is FREE. You should check out Snowstars bands I Am Oak, Florida Snow and Secret Love Parade.

<a href="">Lian Ray - These Things We Can't Repair by Snowstar Records</a>

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Son(s) - Radar

I just did a review of The Juliets who sound as if they were entrenched in the U.K somewhere. The reality is that they are from Michigan. Conversely The Son(s) alt-folk dream like musical vibe sounds as if they would fit in with many bands from St. Louis that have a similar sound. The Son(s) aren't from St. Louis. They aren't even from the U.S. They hail from Aberdeen, Britain. I came across their album Radar on Soundcloud. After listening to it a few times I thought it deserved a post.

The waltz time opening track "Radar" features a dreamlike sound. It is punctuated with some nice lead guitar works that breathes nicely. The pop punch of guitars on "Saturday Night Special" shakes up Radar . It makes for a good counterpoint to the serious/somber feel in the other tracks.

The production on this album successfully frames the vocals well. "There Is A Hole In The Middle Of The Sea" features nice harmonies and slight production touches like the hammering of the guitar note that fades into the sound of the ebbing sea sound which helps to emphasizes the enormity of the sea. The Son(s) take their time with these songs and it shows.

A quote from The Son(s) Soundcloud page which says their music is "Spooky Waltz Harmony Pop". That is an apt description for their winsome and engaging music. Please keep posted on their souncloud page. The band says,"we are in the studio at the moment mastering and mixing these and some new tracks so the released stuff will sound a bit better than these demo's."

Masters by The Son(s)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Family Feeling... the St. Louis Music Scene

I was able to visit St. Louis last year twice with my family. So I passed on the gratuitous photo of the arch and chose a photo of our favorite place to go, the St.Louis Zoo. Pictured is one of many metal sculptures that are on the outside of the gates. They are near life size and must be seen in person to truly appreciate them.

I think for me to write a post about the St Louis music scene, it's important to give those of you who haven't been there a feeling for the city and the folks that call it home. I have been to St. Louis 5 or 6 times total now and have enjoyed every trip. The people are always nice. They have the niceness of people from the South, but the pace of living is more uptempo than their counterparts in the South. The St. Louis arts community is strong. They have great museums that are affordable or free altogether. There is a family vibe to a lot of the city that spills out into the music scene which is influenced by folk, Americana and shades of Country and Bluegrass.

"Innocence" by Alone In India

St Louis has most of the things that make a music scene explode: great bands and venues, and they have their own indie publications that cater to the college students there that make for a strong fan base.

"The Dakotas" by Pretty Little Empire (Sweet Sweet Hands B-Side)

First and foremost it's about bands : Pretty Little Empire (pic below), Old Lights, Theodore , Wyoming Street, Alone In India, Blood Pony , Say Panther, Cassie Morgan and The Lonely Pine, and the Jump Starts to name a few. Most all of these are current bands and you can see them on a regular basis. I am friends with Justin Johnson from Pretty Little Empire. I scheduled a vacation to St. Louis around a concert of theirs at CBGB's. They were great live and they are really nice people.

The openers, Wyoming Street, played awesome as well. (Can't wait for the album Sam). I was turned on to some St. Louis bands by Justin, and others like Alone In India I came across on Eleven Magazine's site.

Mortar and Stone - Demos - Wyoming Street

Paper Leaves (master) - Cassie Morgan and The Lonely Pine

Eleven Magazine is an indie music publication and website that covers both local St. Louis artists as well as the international music scene. The first magazine of theirs I found the music of Old Lights, The Middle East and Alone In India. I check out their site often, and am tempted to get a subscription to their print magazine.

There are some really nice venues in St. Louis. The Fox Theatre is a beautiful theatre (pic) which has a great vibe. It has been restored and is a must see for music fans and architecture buffs as well.
CBGB's was a blast. Cheap beer and a decidedly rustic look. It's a neighborhood bar that happens to have a stage in it. The bands I am friends with in St.Louis like to play Pagaent, Firebird, and LEMP Arts Center.

Even though I feel like a bit of a travel show correspondent saying this, you need to check out the St. Louis music scene for bands like Theodore (pictured above). Visit because the city has so much to offer.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

21 - Oh My!

Check out these Swedes on their bandcamp page. Download this for FREE. It's in the Franz Ferdinand and The Strokes vein. I downloaded this and enjoy the pop energy.

<a href="">Long Time Ago by Oh My!</a>

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pelican - What We All Come To Need

Pelican is an instrumental band consisting of :

Laurent Schroeder-Lebec -guitar
Trevor de Brauw -guitar
Bryan Herweg - bass
Larry Herweg - drums


What We All Come To Need
is one of those albums that needs repeated listens to soak in all of the little nuances it has to offer. In that respect it reminds me of a really good Jazz album. You have multiple rhythms that flip flop from being in the forefront then moving to backing music. The trick is not to overwhelm the listener with an overabundance of notes. The pauses and rests define What We All Come To Need every bit as much as the big guitar crunches of lurching bottom end which are played with precision.

The dirty riff that opens "Ephemeral" is reminiscent of the early 90's Sub Pop guitar bands. This gives way to a quicker sinister chucking that is all the more effective in the small doses that Trevor and Laurent utilize the technique on this album.

Specks of Light
"Specks of Light" is the track that I keep hearing over and over again in my head. The initial killer groove gives way to an impressive break that subsists on Bryan's bass and Larry's drums .

Pelican, along with bands like Isis, is proving that metal has grown up. It's been fully established as a respected form of music. Musicians now can use metal as a jumping off point to create something that is very unique much the way Pelican has been doing for years. This album has more identifiable/classic chord structures than their 2007 release City Of Echoes. It works because the band is confident with the switch. They added to the depth of the sound by having Greg Anderson, Aaron Turner (ISIS), Allen Epley (Life And Times), as well as Ben Verellen (Helms Alee) guest on this album. Pelican is at the point now where they employ just enough of the known metal to satisfy some aggression while at the same time delivering landscapes of music that touch on progressive and just good ole rock with an eye towards the final sound as a whole. At times I get happy flashbacks of native Illinois band Hum's expansive sound when listening to this album.

What We All Come To Need is on the Southern Lord label. Check out Boris from Japan who are also on Southern Lord.

Pelican will be playing a show at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago this Friday March 12th. Come check out their expansive sound and stay for the beer.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Winter Wingding Benefit at Beat Kitchen 3.6.10

Had a blast at Winter Wingding on Saturday, March 6th at The Beat Kitchen. This was a benefit for The Leukemia Research Foundation. Local band The Tracks (my friend Joe plays bass for them) were performing for the first time in almost 5 years. The guys have a high energy sound, and though from the South side were able to draw a considerable amount of fans to this show on the North side. I have VIDEO of a couple of songs on my dedicatedears2 youtube channel. Check out their music on their site. The Tracks are gigging again, so contact them about possible shows.

Also on the bill were The Commodes, The Polkaholics, and The Locals.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

kc quilty - Clover/Coriander

Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., kc quilty is a three piece rock band that makes music that hearkens back to the early 1990's. The guitar of Sadie Dupuis along with her plaintive vocals are a great mix together. At times this is very reminiscent of Veruca Salt on "Jackshit", a good thing in my opinion. Julian Fader on drums and Brian "John" Connor on bass provide a rolling bottom end.

They experiment at times and it pays off on songs like "Tags" that feature a lonely trumpet and also have some noise elements that contrast well with Sadie Dupuis' vocals.

Jackshit coolingpierecords

"Supernova" has some nice guitar work done by Dupuis. This song brought to mind Liz Phair, another good thing.

"Shark Week" is propelled by a driving drum line by Julian and a nice effect on Sadie's vocals that make this a big fuzz sound all the way around. It has a bit of a lo-fi feel to it production wise.

Clover/Coriander moves tempo wise at a good clip, yet there is enough done with the production that you get very smooth sounding production as well as lo-fi moments that all add up to an album that has a varied sound. On subsequent listens of the album I am struck by the overall depth of the sound. kc quilty have updated the big 90's guitar sound and infused it with modern touches like lo-fi noise.

Clover/Coriander is on Cooling Pie Records. You can purchase the album on the kc quilty site as well as on itunes.