It has been one busy week here for yours truly. The problem is, I can’t seem to recall exactly what kept me so busy. Sure, I worked a few days, and sure, I vegetated for a good portion of the remaining days, and sure, my work as Batman keeps me occupied at night… but seriously… I can’t remember what I actually DID.
So you can imagine my consternation when I woke up this morning and realized that I haven’t posted anything here for a whopping six days. That. Simply. Will. Not. Do.
I’ve been playing this track by Goldishack since Monday. You see, upon sifting through the 11,714 emails I have (yes, that number keeps increasing), I usually come across something that not only makes my feet tap, but my ears perk up as well. It’s the classic combination that leads me to believe that I am listening to something I dig.
The email I received regarding Goldishack and his song, “I’m Burning,” reads as such:
“[I’m Burning] is a tight and tough blues-influenced rock groove with touches of country dust and smokey soul. This track was spawned in the swampy Lower East Side of Manhattan, under sticky summer air in the depths of the city. Goldishack’s downtown world is colored by intense lived experiences with Occupy Wall Street and Hurricane Sandy – moments when the city’s communities were faced with both self-reflection and a natural disaster.
This collaboration between the artist and singer/activist Sade Adona ignites with a crackling energy of the people of New York.”
Goldishack is apparently someone named Goldi who writes out of his shack in the East Village of NYC. His bio explains, “His musicality ranges from spacious cinematic instrumentals to rap infused hip pop, with a penchant for layering sounds to achieve larger-than-life soundscapes. Unrelentingly obsessed with analog technologies, Goldishack takes great pride in creating organic analog sounds, relying less on traditional samples and loops. Guests who appear on songs are from the very best of New York’s underground scene.” (taken from Go Rogue Records website)
And that, my friends, is all I can find out about Goldishack. I’ve ransacked the Internet for anything more, and have come up empty. Whilst it may be true that my idea of “ransacking” consists of no less than 5 mouse clicks on a few links that lead me to THIS picture…
… waitiaminute… what was I talking about?
Check out “I’m Burning” by Goldishack. My curiosity is piqued.
1. Erasure was playing when I first made out with a girl
2. Erasure was playing when I first didn’t make out with a girl
3. Erasure was playing on the drive to my a Senior Prom
4. Erasure was playing when I walked up to the podium to accept my Academy Award for “Best New Extra” in the George Lucas classic, The Asian Zombie Experience. Don’t bother looking for the film, it has been banned by the entire world because of the way it depicts Zombies.
You can imagine my excitement when I opened up the email announcing Erasure’s latest release, “Elevation,” and news of an upcoming album, The Violent Flame. I was beside myself. I actually said to myself, “Self? That’s pretty rad.” Then myself replied, “Who says ‘rad’ anymore? That’s not rad.”
The conversation went on for a few more minutes and ended in a slapping fight. I’ve got the scars to prove it.
Here are more details about the new Erasure stuff:
‘Elevation’ will be the first single from Erasure’s forthcoming new album ‘The Violet Flame,’ and will be released as a full single on September 15th in special 9-track CD or download formats with the following tracklisting:
The CD edition of the ‘Elevation’ single is available exclusively from the official Erasure shop at Lexer Music and will not be available anywhere else, and anyone pre-ordering the single will also receive a free integrated CD slipcase which will contain space for all the singles from ‘The Violet Flame’ project.
As an additional bonus anyone pre-ordering ‘Elevation’ will be able to download an MP3 of Richard X’s Extended Mix of the track immediately!
Check out the tune below and if you have an excellent Erasure memory, tell us all about it!
Here’s Erasure’s tour schedule for September. Radical!
12 Sep – Miami, FL, Fillmore Miami Beach, USA – w/ NINA
13 Sep – Orlando, FL, House of Blues, USA – w/ NINA
14 Sep – St. Petersburg, FL, Mahaffey Theatre, USA – w/ NINA
17 Sep – Atlanta, GA, Symphony Hall, USA – w/ NINA
19 Sep – Washington, DC, 9:30 Club, USA – w/ NINA – SOLD OUT
20 Sep – Washington, DC, 9:30 Club – w/ NINA
21 Sep – Reading, PA, Santander Performing Arts Center, USA – w/ All Hail The Silence
26 Sep – Atlantic City, NJ, Borgata – The Music Box, USA w/ All Hail The Silence
27 Sep – Boston, MA, House of Blues, USA – w/ All Hail The Silence
28 Sep – Homestead, PA, Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead, USA w/ All Hail The Silence
30 Sep – Toronto, ON, Danforth Music Hall, CANADA – w/ All Hail The Silence – SOLD OUT
I spent 3 hours at my local DMV yesterday. THREE hours. Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever had to be at the DMV for that long of a time, so if you haven’t ever had that experience, let me be the first to tell you… DON’T DO IT, MAN! It should not be anywhere near the top of your “To Do” list. It’s not as fun as… oh, I don’t know… NOT spending three hours at the DMV.
Now, I would appreciate it if you would please not remind me that had I set an appointment, my stay would have been considerably shorter.
The time wouldn’t have been so bad if I were able to lean against the wall. The Stormtrooper guard kept telling me that I can’t lean against the wall for fear of tarnishing the paint. Apparently, I am so dirty that the mere act of touching the wall would thus soil it beyond repair.
So what does this have to do with the song, “You Won’t” by Emily & The Complexes? EVERYTHING. My inability to lean against the wall has EVERYTHING to do with this song. From the opening single guitar note of the song through the sounds of pure Rock and Roll to the last hint of guitar feedback, “You Won’t” was written specifically about my three hour tour at my DMV.
What, you think I jest? Well, jest take a listen and you’ll see that I’m right:
Right? Pretty incredible, if you ask me. It’s like they crawled right into my head and stole my thoughts. By the way, you can download “You Won’t” for free. Just click the download link right in that Soundcloud image above.
Emily & The Complexes have an interesting story (taken from their press release):
“Emily & The Complexes began on the road. While his peers moved into dorm rooms and attended lectures, singer/songwriter Tyler Verhagen took to the off-ramps, truck stops, and 24-hour diners that are the unseen epicenters of a hitch-hiking sub-culture. For the better part of two years, Verhagen criss-crossed the country with nothing but a backpack and an acoustic guitar. He caught rides in semis, slept on beaches, busked on the streets, and got kicked out of San Diego. It was here on the road that he wrote the songs that would become Emily & The Complexes’ first album, Styrofoam Plate Blues (2012). When passing through Ohio he would stay with future bandmates Jordan Finke, Tom Konitzer, and Brett Gregory who were all attending classes at OSU.”
I wonder what Verhagen did to get kicked out of San Diego? He probably leaned against the wall at the DMV one too many times. Let’s face it, he should have known better.
The band is releasing their EP, Dirty Southern Love today, August 19. You can stream the album here. If you liked the sound of “You Won’t,” then trust me… you’ll dig the rest of the EP.
Here are their upcoming shows:
Aug 20 Velvet Lounge Washington, DC
Aug 22 The Royal American Charleston, SC
Aug 23 Burro Bar Jacksonville, FL
Aug 25 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA
Aug 26 WonderRoot Atlanta, GA
Aug 27 Sky City Augusta, GA
Aug 28 The End Nashville, TN
Aug 30 Tinderbox Cincinnati, OH
Every now and then I get into the mood for something that evokes a different side of me. For those of you that didn’t know this (and I’m guessing that includes the majority of you), I grew up as a musician playing in a pretty hard, progressive band. We had song titles such as, “The Hooker Unknown,” and “The Dragon Slayer.” Our stage show sucked, but we had a lead singer that could command a room even if he were on 10,000mg of Valium.
So every now and then I crave for something that only this hard, progressive, Goth sound can satisfy. Luckily for me, I found the Los Angeles based band Le Reverie.
Described as a “female fronted Dream Theater,” (Fireworks Magazine) Le Reverie infuses their songs with heavy riffing, often subtle keyboards, and a (you guessed it) female singer whose voice blends in so well with the world the music is creating. I will leave it up to you to decide what that world is… but for me, there are dragons, swords, angels, devils, and maybe a couple of Teletubbies to balance it all out.
At this point, you either know exactly what their sound is or you’re asking yourself, “Self? I’m damn curious now! I think I will hit ‘Play’ and find out what the hell he’s talking about!” Either way, hit “Play.”
Le Reverie – “The Dream”
Yep. That’s very reminiscent of the style I used to play. Only we were not as good.
“The Dream,” has been selected as the theme song for the horror movie thriller Lake Eerie. That’s pretty outrageous. Check out the movie trailer.
Ok, I’ll admit it… there were a couple of parts there that freaked me out.
For those of you on the west coast, the band will be performing on August 28 @ 8pm at the Los Angeles House of Blues for the Lake Eerie cast and crew party. Click here for tickets. I’m sure it’ll be quite an event, so pick up tickets quickly!
And as an added bonus, here’s the promo video for the event… you can see the band jamming away “The Dream” in this promo video:
Le Reverie’s latest album, Dark Symphony, has been getting some excellent press and reviews. Their songs have an epic-ness to them that can only be described as, “epic.” Check it out here and get your Goth on.
Matt Szlachetka has one of the more difficult last names to spell. Now, this isn’t a bad thing… it’s memorable, it’s unique, and if you sit and think about it for a few minutes, it makes you say to yourself, “Self? Why aren’t you a pony?”
Now, I can’t say I can pinpoint what Charlie Brown and Snoopy have to do with Matt Szlachetka, but that’s my favorite Peanuts strip ever. Snoopy’s blank stare is priceless, as is Charlie Brown’s out-from-nowhere outburst.
“Waits For a Storm to Find” is the title track to Szlachetka’s (ok that’s a hard name to spell… from now I’m just going to call him “Sizzle-M”) latest album, his first solo effort since his time with The Northstar Session (here’s our featured post on them). The song reminds me of a melancholy song I’d ask a band to play as I drink down my sorrows at the bar. I can almost hear the conversation right now… and perhaps some of you musicians out there can relate to this…
Me: Hey guys, play that one song. Band: Which song? Me: You know, the one that I like. Band: How does it go? Me: Come on… you know the one… the one that I like! Band: How much have you had to drink? Maybe you should call it a night. Me: I will after you PLAY THAT SONG I LIKE! Band: WHICH song? Me: The one that I like!!!! Band: Are we going to go through this shit again?
“Waits For a Storm to Find” made me put on some headphones, close my eyes, let time pass me by without any care, and reflect… and I love it when a song does that to me.
Take a 5 minute break and hit “play.” Have some headphones handy because the song truly shines when it’s heard that way. I’m sure Sizzle-M would appreciate the effort.
Love that song. The lonely dobro, the horn section, the harmonies… beautiful! Pick up Waits For a Storm to Findhere.
Matt is currently playing a plethora (what is a plethora?) of dates in California. Here’s his August schedule:
Aug 12 Angel’s Share WinePub Littleton, CO
Aug 15 Hopmonk Tavern Sebastopol, CA
Aug 16 The VINE at Bridges Danville, CA
Aug 17 Edna Valley Vineyards San Luis Obispo, CA
Aug 21 San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market San Luis Obispo, CA
Aug 22 Avila Beach Farmer’s Market Avila Beach, CA
Aug 23 Frog & Peach San Luis Obispo, CA
Aug 24 Figueroa Mountain Brewing CO. Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 28 The Cottonwood Truckee, CA
Aug 29 Bar of America Truckee, CA
Aug 30 the beacon South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 30 Steamers South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 31 Northstar at Tahoe Truckee, CA
Do what you can to make it to one of his shows. Strong songs, great guitar playing, dynamic singer… and a new awesome name of “Sizzle-M.” What more do you want?
The Rules:I reset the play counters for all the songs currently on my iTunes. Then at the end of every week, I check to see what the top five most played songs are. Whatever happens to be in this top five are then presented in order here from most played to least. If I have posted a particular song in the past, then I will bypass that song and post the next in line. If one artist dominates the list, then I will write about that artist in lieu of a Top Five list.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted the top 5 songs played from my iTunes… so what better time to start again than the present? Yes, I’m excited about doing this weekly list again, as it gives me an idea of what I’m gravitating towards. It’s kind of like a weekly music diary for me – I can look back and see what sort of mood I was in. Was I in a nostalgic mood? A mellow mood? A drop-my-pants-and-do-the-helicopter mood?
I text my buddy Obama and told him I’m starting this list again, and he text back:
“2 kool 2 kool I b chillaxin 2 it yo.” He’s excited, and therefore you should be as well… so without any further ado, here’s This Week’s Top 5 Most Played Songs From Swap’s iTunes.
Ryan Bingham – Beg The Poet (live at the Connoly’s)
I have no idea where I got this live performance of “The Poet” by Ryan Bingham, but I must have gotten it from somebody super-dee-duper cool… which means I must have given it to myself.
“The Poet” is the first track off of Bingham’s Junky Star album. I love this album. I love this album so much I have it fake-tatooed on my right butt cheek. Why the right one, you ask? Because it right thing to do at the time.
This live acoustic version could be an earlier draft of the final tune, as it differs from the album cut in the arrangement and some of the lyrics. Regardless, it’s a great beautifully dark listen. I have the entire Live at the Connoly’s show somewhere in my collection… I’ll look for it and post it sometime.
I played this song 13 times this week.
The Poet (live at The Connoly’s):
Cowboy Junkies – Misguided Angel
I actually have the Cowboy Junkies‘ Trinity Session album on cassette tape. I was surprised when I found out. So surprised that I wrote a poem about it:
Hey hey, Bob Dylan, I found an old cassette tape
No, it’s not of one of your records
It’s by a band named The Cowboy Junkies
I bet you wish you thought of that name for a song
Well, you didn’t, so I guess that sucks.
I never said it was a GOOD poem.
“Misguided Angel” was apparently the last song recorded for the album. Story goes that the band had to wait for the extra musicians to arrive in order to track this song. The session was running late, so they paid the security guard a few bucks to let them stay. When everyone arrived, they recorded “Misguided Angel” in one take. Very cool.
So cool that I played this song 10 times this week.
Sheyna Gee – Breathe
Sheyna Gee is a country artist that has been making a name for herself out here in Southern California. She’s been in the business for the majority of her life (if not for all of it), and has been developing a following the old fashioned way: by playing out relentlessly. I think she continues to play out at least 4 times a week either with her band or solo. That’s quite a schedule to keep up for a performer.
She’s known for her more energetic and upbeat side, but “Breathe” brings her down into the depths that we all go to when we take inventory of our lives. This track showcases the intimacy of her voice, which is a side I love hearing from any singer. The power of a whisper is something not to be underestimated.
Check out her website and Facebook page for upcoming show dates and news. She does a great job keeping in touch with her fans, so throw her a note and tell her Swap sent you. She’ll know what you mean.
I played “Breathe” 9 times this week.
Jeramiah Red – Can’t Help Myself
Here’s another Southern California band from Southern California. Jeramiah Red was formed in 2010 and has since achieved some pretty impressive things. They’ve won in the “Best New Artist,” “Best Blues,” and “Best Rock” categories at the Orange County Music Awards, and their debut single, “My Baby,” currently plays at the Honda Center every time the Anaheim Ducks win a game.
Impressive. Most impressive.
What’s their music sound like? Their bio states, “Their boot stomping combination of blues guitar, steel-driven harmonica, and raucous vocals, created a perfect storm that continues to destroy everything in its path.”
That sort of description intrigued me, so I played this song 6 times this week to thunderous applause.
Do I even need to tell you who John Lennon is, or anything about his signature song, “Imagine?” I certainly hope I don’t.
I mean, how can anyone that listens to music NOT know who John Lennon is? And how can anyone that listens to music NOT know this song?
So to test my theory, I went and asked my 101 year old grandmother (yes, she’s got her eye on becoming the oldest person alive) if she knew who John Lennon is, and whether she has ever heard “Imagine.” Do you want to know what she said to me?
Her exact words (translated from Chinese): “I am greatly offended by your line of questioning. Please step outside so’s I can whomp your ass.”
Now, I do not enjoy having my ass “whomped,” so I apologized and rubbed her feet as I played this live acoustic version of “Imagine.” It played 4 times before she fell asleep and I could sneak outta there alive.
Imagine (live acoustic)
There you go! That’s it for this week. Thank you always for reading and be sure to visit our Facebook page to stay updated on all that goes on here at TheFrontloader.com! Some exciting things are coming up in the near future… you won’t want to miss it!
I am guessing that many of you have the same challenge I face every time I dig into my music collection: I’ve got way too much music. Too much music in the sense that there is now possible way I will ever get through all of these songs… EVER. Maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad, I don’t know.
Today, though, it was a good thing because I came across a song that has been blasting on my speakers now for the past hour. The song is only 2:18 long, so you do the math as to how many times it’s been played.
“Red Hands” by Loose Limbs has apparently been sitting in my iTunes now since 2010… just waiting patiently to be heard. Sure, it took me four years to find it, but better late than never, eh? In this case, though, I am most likely too late, as I cannot find really anything about Loose Limbs anywhere on the web. Is the band now no more? Did they change their name to something else? What happened to Loose Limbs?
I found a MySpace site and something on Bandcamp, but aside from that, not much else. That’s my loss.
Oh wait, I found a YouTube video of the band performing “Red Hands.”
Totally digging the song. Plus, the bassist is playing a Jaguar-style bass. So Jurassic.
I’ve posted the studio version of the song below in the Dig-It section. Make sure you turn it up before you hit “play.” If you’re at the office, your coworkers will thank you. The raw, punkness of the track will get you all slam dancing and you’ll most likely trash the place, but hey – that’s what comes with the territory of bad ass music.
Bands may not always last, but it’s good to know that the music will.
I’m a sucker for love songs. Scratch that – I’m a sucker for painful love songs. Scratch that – I’m a sucker for love songs that painfully revealing love songs. Love songs that unveil more about the singer’s fears, faults, hesitations, wants, needs… love songs that are more than just, “I love you, man.” Those songs, to me, are the ones that hit the hardest because love is all about humility. Love isn’t about how great I am and why you should love me… love is about how great YOU are and how I’m the luckiest fool that you love me.
That’s how I see it.
So when I heard “My Heart Wasn’t Ready” by Kristopher James, I was floored. From the delicate opening to the powerful close, I was clinging to every word and every note until the final fade out. I then hit “play” and experienced it all over again.
Kristopher sings, “You deserve the best of me / A fired heart, a bended knee.” To be honest, I probably never gave that to anyone except myself. What a shame. Maybe I’ll do better next time.
I should pay Kristopher for the therapy this song has given me.
Take a listen and I suggest you’re alone when you hear it. No distractions. Put some headphones on and close your eyes.
KJ (that’s what I call him now since we’re best of friends) has been performing around Florida for the past few months. His EP, Movement 1, can be picked up here. There’s some great material there like, “Runaways,” and “Where is Your Sting.” Hmmmm. I just named 3 of the 4 tracks off that EP. I guess you can tell I dig it.
Here’s KJ performing “My Heart Wasn’t Ready” live. No, you can’t call him “KJ.” Only I can.
For those of you in the Florida area, you can catch him on these dates:
Aug 12 The Ale and the Witch – St Petersburg, FL
Aug 28 Cock and Bull Pub w/ Jeremiah Daly, Chasing Jonah – Sarasota, FL
Aug 29 The Peacock Room w/ Jeremiah Daly, Chasing Jonah, Kyle Cox – Orlando, FL
Sep 04 Green Bench Brewery for Florida Folk Showcase – Saint Petersburg, FL
Sep 06 Fubar w/ One Trip Little, Mountain Hollar, Lesa Silvermore – St Petersburg, FL
I know you know someone that will love his music. Do them a favor and pass this post on to them!
Soundcloud.com is an excellent way to find new music. Every now and then, if the mood hits me while I’m listening to a particular song, I take a gander at the recommended section on the right hand side of the screen. As you might expect, sometimes the recommended song is good, sometimes it’s not.
This last time was good. This last time was really good. This last time was so good that I actually said… out loud… “Thank you, Soundcloud!” and then I asked Soundcloud on a date. Sad thing is that Soundcloud didn’t say anything back, so I took that as a rejection… so I said, “Oh, ok. I understand. Yeah, I wasn’t really feeling it, too. I just asked you out because my friends bet me I wouldn’t do it. It’s cool. Thanks for playing along. Ha ha.”
Wow. Can anyone guess why I’m still single?
Anyhow, this last time was Jurassic. I found an artist, Leah Shaw, and her gorgeous song, “I Went to War.”
Shaw, a classically trained bassoonist, got her start busking in the subways of New York City. For those of you that don’t know what busking is, watch Leah’s video below.
Yep. Busking is when (in this case) a musician stands in a public place and just plays to anyone that will listen. According to her bio, Leah developed her voice in those New York City subways, stating that, “In the subways, I refined the art of overcoming awkwardness to play confidently in front of just about anyone. F-Train people are my favorite.”
Personally, I’ve never gone busking before because I’d be too shy and end up performing like this:
I wonder if Leah ever performed “I Went to War” while busking, as I’m sure it would have been a crowd pleaser. There’s a sad beauty to the song that I can’t stay away from… and the lyrics? Shaw was gracious enough to reply to my emails and explains:
“[I Went to War] I wrote in 2012, reflecting on the past three years where I had moved back into my parents house to help take care of my mom who had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Writing it was a moment of saying, “Holy shit that was hard!” and nobody could prepare me for that process. I wrote it with my older sis on mind with whom I have always been very close but with whom I had a falling out during the time; she kind of warned me that moving home would be hard, but ultimately she was occupied with her own battle (the line did you know? Could you foretell? Or were you busy at war as well?)”
The fact that she busks and replied to me leads me to believe she works to connect with her listeners in as many levels as she can. Very cool.
Leah posted a video of her tracking the “I Went to War” vocals here. The end result is a song that is going to be a regular spin in my iPod. Take a 4-minute break right now and enjoy the song. It’ll do you right…
So Jurassic. I’ve played this song about 9 times right now, and it still hits me like a Ninja foot right in my belly.
Leah has an EP out titled, I’m Just the Same. I’m looking forward to more music from her. She’s definitely an artist I’m going to follow.
Here are her August show dates:
TUESDAY, AUGUST 12TH @ 11pm
THE WAY STATION
683 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY. 11238
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24TH @ 6pm
ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL
Leah Shaw Live on Stage One
196 Allen Street
New York, NY. 10002
Catch a show if you can, or just hang out near the F-Train. If you’re lucky, you’ll find her trying out some new material or playing an oldie but goodie. Either way, you win.