Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cure for the Mondays:Supagroup "Hail! Hail!"

Supagroup - "Hail! Hail!"

We've all been that little kid in the basement playing a yard stick like a guitar.

This awesome group from New Orleans has been putting out some of the best rock'n'roll since the late 90's. In my opinion their 2004 self-titled album is one of the best rock albums of the new century. Last year saw the return of Supagroup with the release of their newest album Hail! Hail!. If you haven't discovered this band yet here is your chance to hear some of the best rock to bless your ears.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Living Room Performance: King Dude "Vision In Black"

King Dude - "Vision In Black"
Sargent House Glassroom
Echo Park, CA
November 14, 2012.

With elements of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, King Dude channels the sound of the those early Sun Studio Recordings that exist at the inception of rock'n'roll. This is the purest and most organic form of rock'n'roll to see life in a long time. Big in Europe it is well past time for him to gain recognition on his native soil here in the US. I'm certain that his latest album Burning Daylight is sure to be instrumental in reaching that goal.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

From The Shelf: MS MR - Candy Bar Creepshow EP (2012)

Candy Bar Creep Show E.P.

Majestically grand songs fill MS MR’s debut Candy Bar Creep Show E.P. With a unique musical physics that is compellingly weighty without being oppressive this short and sweet collection of songs foreshadows greater things on the horizon. Lizzy’s hauntingly breathy vocals seem to be coming across some great expanse. Whether physical or spiritual in nature one can not discern. Disembodied and foreboding her voice is given lift, carried on the wings of Max’s musical arrangements. With a dreamy fluidity that’s nearly hypnotic in nature theses songs are understatedly powerful. Like the tides of the ocean or the tentative hold of the human mind on sanity, this music threatens to carry away its listener if they lose even the slightest measure of focus.

This four song E.P. is a must have and will wet your appetite for a full length album in the no to distant future. Catch this wave early because they are destined to be big.  

Living Room Performance:Paul McCartney and Nirvana -"Cut Me Some Slack"

Paul McCartney and former Nirvana members -"Cut Me Some Slack"
12-12-12 Concert
Madison Square Garden
New York,New York
December 12, 2012

I couldn't call myself a lover of music if I didn't pass on this amazing performance from lat night's 12-12-12 Concert in NYC. It has been a dream of so many that one day that the band Nirvana my reunite in one form or another. What no one could have imagined is that it would be with a Beatle at the helm. What came together last night was awesome as Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic,& Pat Smear joined forces to play an unforgettable one song set to benefit victims of storm Sandy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Double Feature: Line & Circle "Roman Ruins" & Fiction "Museum"

This weeks Tuesday Double feature has two videos with a classic Eighties feel.
Songs ripe with the new wave post punk sound that you'll swear that your in a John Hughes Movie.

Line & Circle
- "Roman Ruins"

California transplants Line & Circle have taken to their sun-blessed environment with a vigor. Creating music filled with lively hooks and lovable melodies this band is just starting to gain strength.make sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for this band because they are sure to be heading for great heights. 

Fiction - "Museum"

Like countless forfathers before them London based Fiction have adapted an 80's post-punk sound that sets them apart from the current musical trends. Making what was once old new again this band will release their debut album The Big Other will see light of day in early March.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cure for the Mondays: The Knocks ft.Mandy Lee "Midnight City"

The Knocks (ft. Mandy Lee)- "Midnight City"

A little something to get the blood pumping and the feet moving. Here's hoping the days not too bad.

NYC based The Knocks have had an amazing year. Still riding the wave of last years release of their Magic EP. 2012 was peppered with the drop of numerous releases both original and collaborating remixes with some of today's hottest acts. 2013 should continue to see their rise starting with a gig as the house DJ's for MTV's Club NYE 2013 Celebration.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

From the Shelf: Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons - Exercise Your Demons (2010)

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons
Exercise Your Demons
Self  Released

Not free-based smack; nor crystal meth have the additive properties of the crunchy guitar hooks of “Trouble With the Devil,” the opening track off Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons’ debut LP Exercise Your Demons. Pairing aggressive guitar frenzied rock’n’roll with playful lyrics and a ball busting seductiveness Pussycat and the boys have created a viciously fun punk rock album.

The boldly tight energy of this album is unrelenting. With sultry rhythms that chug toward swilling madness only to pull back with one limb over the edge. The tracks of this CD are like musical orgasms that threaten to driver the listener insane. At the center of this storm, like a punk rock mistress, Pussycat’s dominating assault of lyrics drips with sex even through digitalized translation. If she can get you hot and bothered off a rotating piece of plastic I can only wonder what damage she dose live.

In addition, I'd be a fool not to mention the rest of the band and the animal like aggression of their playing. Without them Pussycat would just be a girl in a cat suit.  Executing  a guitar style that is complexly assertive without the pointless fill of lesser players Jake gives these songs their lively environs. While the energy and foundation is provided by the dynamic duo of Antz and Mike on drums and bass. Together they play a music both gritty and bold. Like all the best punk rock, this is music you NEED to play loud.

If you love punk rock or just enjoy great music you must pick up this album.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

10 Questions: The Last Bison

Virginia based The Last Bison mix traditional folk with elements of classical orchestral instrumentation to create their unique style of music. A seven piece, this large musical family is striving to expand the geographical stretch of their audience with the release of their latest Inheritance EP.   They took the time to talk to us about their music and what else lies ahead for the band.
BLS: Tell us a little about how The Last Bison got its start?

LB: Many of us in The Last Bison grew up together creating music as family and friends. We would create and play music at home and in church, so we were familiar with playing together. Ben started the group after returning home from a year of school in northern England. He began writing songs and we (Dan, Annah, and Andrew) started arranging and performing the music wherever we could get an audience. Teresa and Amos joined later adding the strings element and Jay, who was at all of our rehearsals, simply started playing things we didn’t have enough hands to play.
After making some connections with local bands, we were offered a spot at a local showcase at the NorVa (Norfolk, VA) which gave us exposure to local radio (WROX / 96X) It all happened very fast and very organically. We are amazed that what started in a very homegrown sort of way, in less than a year lead us to recording with Universal Republic and the larger opportunities we have today.

BLS: What is the significance of your band’s name?

LB: Ben came up with the name Bison while in high school even before he had a band. He loves the whole late 1800s vibe, and culture of the westward expansion. Later we took the name on, loving its strength and how it is an American icon. We think it captures the coupling of tradition and new frontiers in our music. Expanding the name to The Last Bison came after realizing there were a handful of other artists using Bison. We discussed various options including total name changes but landed on The Last Bison being what we thought was even a stronger symbol of heritage (another theme we love.)

BLS:  Your band has seven members in it. What is the hardest part of having so many members on tour and in the studio? Any benefits?

LB: It’s a tight fit when we squeeze 7 band members along with a few support people into a van for long periods of time. The close quarters with very little time away from each other can create tension. It certainly creates opportunity to live in community, practice patience, and learn to accept and live with personality differences and the various needs of each person. Opinions vary not only artistically but even when it comes to what to eat, where to sleep, how clean the van should be, and what music to listen to. It’s a continual process of learning to love and like each other!

BLS: It’s been a year since you released your debut album Quill. Has the band evolved or changed any during this time? How So?

LB: We have certainly developed a more cohesive sound in live settings. We’ve grown deeper in our understanding of one another on personal levels that translates into live performances musically being more creative and tight. There is a spiritual side of the band as well that we are trying to cultivate, though touring makes this difficult. We feel that the more spiritual community we share as a band the stronger our music will be.

BLS:  What does the rest of 2012 have in store for the band?

LB: Some tour dates, a few local Christmas shows to support the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, and hopefully some time for creating and writing new material!

BLS: You have found success in your hometown region? As you focus on gaining attention on a more national level what are the greatest obstacles you face?

LB: Touring is rewarding in many ways. Meeting new people, performing in new cities, and sharing our music and art is exciting. However, touring is also very tiring, and we recognize the need for down time and ample opportunity to be home with friends and family. Keeping up with the pace is certainly an obstacle.
We also recognize that we are playing Indie Folk music which has seen a definite rise in popularity over the last several years. This is an opportunity and an obstacle. We do not want to simply be seen as riding the band wagon so to speak. We feel our music is unique enough to stand on its own and hope it will be embraced for its own merit.

BLS:  Recently, you had the honor of having your song preformed by Hickory Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Was any of the band members involved in school music programs? How did it prepare you to be a commercial musician?

LB: Many of the band members were involved in piano, voice, and orchestra with lessons and recitals. Amos (Cello) and Teresa (violin) were both involved in Bay Youth Orchestra as well as regional and state orchestra and did side-by-sides with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Teresa says that having to play for Concerto competitions prepared her to play her best in front of audiences. She would add that practicing hard is important to performing well.

BLS: Having spent time in Virginia I know the ongoing argument of Northern Virginia versus Southern Virginia. How would you say this argument plays out in the area of song writing?

LB: We may be somewhat ignorant to the ongoing argument. We are deep in the southeast corner of Virginia and maybe have been sheltered from such discussion. We love Virginia however. We love its history and heritage and are proud to be from the Mother of States. We certainly draw inspiration from the land and history of the place we call home. And although the state we call home is blanketed with battlefields, both historic and political, we would say that our music is less about tension and argument and more about the wonder of life and the beauty of relationship within the context of love and faith.

BLS:  Virginia has a long standing tradition of folk music. How much does Last Bison draw on this tradition? From what other main sources do you gather material for your music?

LB: Though we do not play bluegrass standards (nor could we,) folk music and the simple, narrative style of Appalachian music certainly influences our song writing. Ben claims that hours of hearing Allison Kraus and the Carter Family along with southern influenced guitar styles strongly influenced his love for roots music. Another very strong influence is classical music. When Amos and Teresa joined The Last Bison we knew we did not want to add fiddle or folk influenced strings, but rather wanted to maintain the classical sensibility that they brought to the music. The end result was a blending of the folk tradition with classical sensibility, poured into a pop-rock container.

BLS:  Name 5 bands you love but who few people have heard of?


Django Reinhardt

Deep Sea Diver

The Soil And The Sun


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Double Feature: Lana Del Rey "Born To Die" & Tristan Prettyman " My Oh My"

Beautiful women and exotic cats, is apparently the theme of this week's Tuesday Double Feature. I don't know that I planed it that way but we'll run with it now.

Lana Del Rey - "Born To Die"

The ache of Lana Del Rey's voice holds a beautiful sorrow. Combined with lush musical arrangements her music has a power and grace that is almost classic in nature. Like old Hollywood with it's lovely facades and dark secrets, Del Rey's music is unforgettable. Having released the Born to Die: The Paradise Edition in November. This deluxe edition collects all of her singles and packages it with originally unreleased material. It's a must have for fans and new converts alike.

Tristan Prettyman - "My Oh My"

The sultry blues of Tristan Prettyman is empowered with her bold vocals and a dynamic beat. Fresh on the heals of her latest release Cedar+Gold, Prettyman is in the midst of a North American tour. She'll blow through Portland in late January with a show at the Doug Fir Lounge on the 26th. I look forward to see how her musical energy translates to the stage.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Living Room Performance: The Mavericks "Come Unto Me"

The Mavericks - "Come Unto Me"
2012 Americana Music Festival
Ryman Auditorium, Austin TX

Nashville veterans The Mavericks have been making their unique style of Country-rock for over twenty years. This January the band will be releasing In Time, their first album seven years to coincide with the 20th anniversary of their first major label release. Enjoy this performance of "Come Unto Me", a track you'll find on the new album.