Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Little Earthquakes - "Brightside"

Little Earthquakes - "Brightside"

We all need a poppy theme song to dispose of the bodies to.

The latest release from Austrailian siblings Mathew and Justin Hyland, Little Earthquakes mixes the better parts of indie pop, rock & electronic and acoustic instrumentation in order to animate their quirky pop-rock melodies.

With the recent release of their Brightside EP the boys are gearing up to hit the road in support. I'm not sure when they'll make it to the states, but I'm certin that their fun energy will be well recieved. Until then just remember, that even if you have dirty deeds to do, it's alright to do them with a little extra bounce in your step.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Concord America - "So Gay"

Concord America - "So Gay"

This ones for the crappy jobs we've all had, and the odd love affairs they inspire.

Atlanta based trio Concord America are pulling out of the gates with the high-energy of their dirty sweet garage-rock sound. Consisting of brothers John and Vinny Restivo and friend Ben Presley, Concord America is following up their 2013 debut Shag Nasty LP with the recent release of the Suns Out Guns Out EP on the Post-Echo label.

This video for their latest single captures the irrevernt joy of this band in all its tounge-in-cheek glory. May its crazy highjinks make your Monday a bit easier to bare.

*Featuring this video has no bareing on BLS's veiws of Alternative lifestyles but infact, like all things we do here,is about the music; its sound, its structure, and the artist that make it.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Living Room Performance: The Feed - "Rex"

The Feed - "Rex"

The Chevy Music Showcase: St. Louis

Venice Cafe

St.Louis, Missouri


Saint Louis's swinging rock four-piece The Feed, have some how found that sweet spot between soulful blues and catchy pop. Preping for the August 5th release of their sophomore album Outsider. Returning from a 3 year hiatus, the band is armed with awesome new material and brimming with new found energy.

Influenced by the band member's eclectic tastes and talents The Feed are creating some perfectly weird and eccentric melodies. With the impending release of the new album we can only asume there's a tour soon to follow.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cure for the Mondays: Wrongchilde - "Gold Blooded"

Wrongchilde - "Gold Blooded"

For us in the older crowd it's like a journey through our childhood.

It's funny how all things come back around, and in the last few years the sounds of the 80's have been slipping their way into musical stream. Case-in-point, this new wave-synth infused pop gem from New York based Wrongchilde. The solo project of Kill Hannah's Mat Devine, Wrongechilde has launched a PledgeMusic Campaign in order to self-finance the independent release of his albume Gold Blooded due for release on August 19.

Through the PledgeMusic Campaign fans can pre-order a signed copy of the album, nab an exclusive limited edition Gold Blooded ring, or if they're feeling more generous, they can pledge for the more exclusive Burn Notice or Procreation Packages. Check it out, because the only way good independent music can continue to be created is through the support of the people that love it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Living Room Performance: Cancellieri - "Western States"

Cancellieri - "Western States"


Austin, Texas


The creative child of multi instrumentalist and songwriter Ryan Hutchens, Cancellieri has the beautifully organic sound of the street performer’s soul. An American troubadour who's wondering soul finds its way into the well warn and forgotten streets of this wonderfully complex country of ours.

The recent release of his first full-length album, Welcome to Mount Pleasant, follows the maturing footsteps of the three EPs that came before it. This is the sound of soul-deep honesty.

Friday, June 6, 2014

"Seven Day Forecast" with Blue Skies For Black Hearts: Double Feature: "Sitting On the Edge" & "Going to California"

As we come into the final stretch of our Seven Day Forecast with Blue Skies For Black Hearts, I thought I'd serve up a special double feature.
So sit back and enjoy.

Blue Skies For Black Hearts - "Sitting on the Edge"

Blue Skies For Black Hearts with Jenny Conlee-Drizos - "Going to California"

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Seven Day Forecast" with Blue Skies For Black Hearts - The List: Awesome Music Movies

As a recording engineer whose main hobby is writing songs and playing in a band, I spend a lot of days immersed in music. I wind down by watching TV. I gravitate to the movies and shows that involve good music. This isn't a definitive's a few that I've been watching that are a little off the beaten path. - Pat Kearns

10) Cisco Pike (1972) - Kris Kristofferson plays a fresh out of jail songwriter gone drug dealer trying to get back to being a songwriter. Gene Hackman is the corrupt cop who gets him to go back to dealing. Sounds good to start, right? Plus, Doug Sahm appears in the studio, apparently on some sort of stimulant. Worth it just for the cameo.

9) The Secret To A Happy Ending (2009) - This film about the Drive-By Truckers documents that it may sometimes hurt, but you should always follow your heart. Because of this movie, I became a fan of the band. That's a good movie. You actually get a sense of how this band works together. And you want to root for them and be on their side.

8) Rockers (1978) - This is a classic Jamaican film, the next one down the hill from The Harder They Come. I love the scenes from the famous Harry J Studios. The language is thick, but it gives the movie incredible vibe. The story is good, but this one is so full of eye candy that you can put it on and tune in when you want. Plus Burning Spear is in it.

7) Captain Beefheart Under Review (2006) - When I need to reset, there' s nothing like Beefheart. This British doc takes an analytical view of Captain Beefheart's entire music career. It's filled with insightful interviews and obscure footage. The early footage of The Magic Band playing on the beach in Cannes, France, is mind blowing.

6) Human Highway (1982) - Neil Young, Devo, and Dennis Hopper. I was amazed when I found out that this happened. And I was even more amazed after I saw it. This is Neil Young at his self indulgent best....making a movie! And it gets weird, even more weird than you can imagine.

5 & 4) Play On, John: A Life In Music (2009) - This is a Smithsonian doc on John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers, a major player and musicologist on the American folk scene since the early 1960's. Oh, and John Cohen also makes amazing films about music. He might even be a better film maker than he is a musician. See his film, The High Lonesome Sound (1962) for further proof.

3) Color Me Obsessed (2011) - This may be the best music documentary I have ever seen...and there is no music by The Replacements in the documentary...and nobody in the band was interviewed either! I saw it in a theater. It was a special showing of an early cut arranged by Jackpot Records in Portland. I talked my wife, who was not a Replacements fan at all, into going with me. The movie goes chronologically by album and features fans telling stories about the band and their music and what it meant to them. After we got home, we listened to their first five records back to back - my wife's idea. Remember what I said about a good music movies? We also drank a lot of red wine.

2) Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - No, not obscure, but this one is different. This is the beat side of being a musician...and I don't mean "Howl" beat. This is the down side: the creative struggle, the missed connection with the audience, the failed audition, the foot in mouth. I don't know what it was about this movie that got me, but it sunk it's claws deep in me. There's not a lot of action. It's melancholy. It's depressing to watch someone that's in one of the most important musical places and times, 1961 Greenwich Village, and they're missing the opportunity to become a great artist and a self-actualized soul because of negative energy and self sabotage. I feel the Coen brothers warning...but I also wonder if there's no hope and that it all lies in fate. I constantly thought about this movie for weeks after seeing it. It haunts me.

1) The American Astronaut (2005) - Directed by and starring Cory McAbee of The Billy Nayer Show, I came across this gem by accident. And, man, I love it! It mashes up science fiction, film noir and propaganda films all into it's own, unique low budget package. Plus, I had the extra bonus of seeing my old friend Mike Silverman (That One Guy) show up in the space bar scene. There's Rock & Roll and's actually a real musical! There's a related short film series that's even more bizarre. Totally worth the time to track down.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: 10 Questions: Pat Kearns and Mike Lewis

Pat Kearns and Mike Lewis,  two parts of the talented team behind Portland Oregon's Blue Skies For Black Heart took some time to talk to BLS about the band, their upcoming new album and Afghanistan.

BLS: You have a new album set for release in July. What do you enjoy the most about the new album?

PK: It's new! For me, the music needs to change and evolve. This album brings longer songs, new and more sonic textures. Keys are as much a part of the picture as guitars on this record. They've been on our past recordings, but not so prevalent. I think the songs have a sense of perspective to them that we didn't have on earlier records. It's all part of evolution.

ML: The vocals harmonies. I've been singing in vocal groups since I was five...with the addition of Grant Law and Mark Breitenbach, we are able to do four part harmonies on almost everything. In past lineups, we've worked toward this, but never quite got there...but this band nails it. I haven't had so much fun singing in ages.

BLS: Blue Skies for Black Hearts has been producing music for over ten years. What do you equate your longevity?

PK: Persistance. And when things got rough, I had even more desire to make music than I did before. Making music is important to me in the way that I connect with the rest of the world. Some people call friends on the phone. Some people go to the bar and watch football. I write songs. That's all the sense I try to make out of it.

ML: We're stubborn, I guess. But really, for me, the first time I tried out for Blue Skies over 13 years ago, there was a magic there...especially between Pat and I. I can't imagine giving that up. It's what gets me up in the morning, centers me when times are rough...those moments of magic, on stage, in the studio, when rounding out a new's what I live for.

BLS: Your music has a palatable retro sound, what do you sight as the defining influences?

PK: I grew up listening to a lot of college radio and underground music, but my heart has always been in Rock and Roll. My earliest memories are listening to Elvis Presley records on my mom's player. And still, no music can stop me in my tracks like primordial Rock and Roll. Arthur Alexander, Smokey Robinson, and Roy Orbison all knock me out.

ML: As the songwriter, Pat should really speak more to this. However, as a guitarist, I love simple, ear grabbing hooks. For me, The Edge and Mike Campbell are huge inspirations. Those guys can make two notes stick in your brain forever.

BLS: Michael Lewis, you’ve been recently working with Rock School Kabul in Kabul Afghanistan. Can you tell us more about the work you’re doing

ML: I am volunteering as a music instructor at the rock school. This time out, my friend Jerry Joseph (a fabulous Portland songwriter who I look up to immensely) is here with me. He busted his tail end and raised a bunch of money for the school. Because of that, we were able to bring a big shipment of equipment out to the school...drums, guitars, pro audio gear. Music has meant so much to me in my life...given me so much, I just wanted to give back to those who don't have the access to it that I had. I am honored that Jerry and his fans have been so generous in helping out the school. And have to give a huge shout out to Humayun and Robin, the founders of the school...they are doing the work day in and day out for nearly three years now. (also check out Robin's killer band, Arc Iris!)

BLS: With the busy lives of the individual band members, how do you manage to keep the band vitally active?

PK: Lots and lots of coordination. This is also why it takes a few years in between records for us.

ML: Lots and lots of coordination. It's a lot of work...but worth it in the end.

BLS: Other than your album release, what dose the summer have in store for the band?

PK: We'll be touring the west coast in July and we have a few festival dates in August around the NW.

ML: As much sunshine and days on the river as possible!!!! Plus touring and festivals and generally kicking ass.

BLS: The Blue Skies in the name, is that wishful thinking being from Oregon?

PK: I'm sure it's not an accident that our name references it. When the sun comes out here, after six months of rain, everybody smiles.

ML: Pat named the band...but I think it is as apt a description of what it means to be a Portlander as any.

BLS: As a long time Portland Band, What do you love most about the hometown scene? What’s you least favorite element?

PK: I love that there's so many different scenes that have evolved here...but I also hate that we don't easily fit into any of them. We're not punk enough for the punk scene, we're too indie for the alt-country scene, and too retro sounding for the pop scene. I just think of us as a Rock and Roll band. Although we don't fit, I never had a desire to follow the rules of a single genre. My favorite songwriters all move around.

ML: I love the artistic pressure cooker...there are so many artists, that it pushes everyone to greatness, because you can't be a slacker band in this town if you want to play. But I find it to also be a little overly clicky and competitive. At any given show, half or more of the crowd are musicians, arms akimbo, standing in the back, not moving a muscle. In New York, people still go out to see music, because music is what they love, and they dance and freak out and don't care about who's looking, what they're wearing, or whether the band is cool enough for them to be into them. They just love music.

BLS: What's the one Portland venue that’s no longer around that you miss the most?

PK: EJ's. Man, I miss EJ's.

ML: I loved playing shows at the recently departed Langano Lounge. House show vibe with a good bar.

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


Hillbilly Dumbass (Portland, OR)
Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat (Portland, OR)
Moving Sidewalks (Seattle, WA)
Troublegum (Oakland, CA)
Exploding Flowers (LA, CA)


The Virals (UK)
The Plimsouls (old school 80's west coast band)
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons (Portland/Salt Lake City)
The Knast (Seattle, WA)
The Equals (UK...their early stuff, when Eddie Grant was in the band...they wrote Police On My Back, my favorite cover by The Clash)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: The World Premier of Blue Skies for Black Hearts' "It's Gone On Too Long" Video

BLS is proud to percent the world premier of Blue Skies For Black Hearts' video for "It's Gone On Too Long".

Blue Skies for Black Hearts -"It's Gone On Too Long"

The first single off of Blue Skies For Black Hearts latest self-titled album, set for release in July.
"It's Gone On Too Long” was inspired by the songwriting of Smokey Robinson. While the video was born out of a combination of an idea that the director, Kevin Hanzlik, had about showing the day to day struggles of being in a band and a short story Pat Kearns had written. Blue Skies engineer, Mark Brachmann, plays the record producer. Chip Mabry, esteemed documentary producer, plays the record exec. And Peter Hughes, guitarist for Sons of Huns, plays the OSPIRG volunteer who steels the musical talent in the end from The Painters.

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: Cure for the Mondays:Tom Petty - "I'm Stupid"

Tom Petty - "I'm Stupid"

Picked by Blue Skies for Black Hearts' Pat Kearns.

I watch this and think, "There's no way these guys have been to bed yet." I love Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. And this is the loosest and most off the cuff you'll ever see them. Even when he isn't trying, he can write a great song. This one makes me laugh every time. - Pat Kearns

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Seven Day Forcast" with Blue Skies for Black Hearts: Living Room Performance: Blue Skies for Black Hearts - "The Stich" and "World Without Love"

Blue Skies for Black Hearts - "The Stich" and "World Without Love"

The Comet Tavern

Seattle, Washington

June 7, 2012

Portland based Blues Skies for Black Hearts are audio crafts men of the highest caliber that set their skills to a style of retro pop sweetness.
Set for the release of their self-titled album in early July, we thought this would be a great time to have the boys take the reins of BLS for the week. With a full week of great features put together and highlighting the band that includes the premier of their latest video. It's been great working with the band and it's an honor to present Blue Skies for Black Hearts' "Seven Day Forecast".
Enjoy and come back daily for all the great features.