Written by Eric Riley
Poking around online while in the process of getting started here, I wanted to see what some other people were saying and if it matched how I feel. While the results were a bit sparse, the briefest review I found was also the most helpful; five short words, encapsulating not only the buzz surrounding Vérité but also a perfect summary of what Somewhere in Between offers.
“I can die happy now.”
With the exception of blockbuster movies and the Stanley Cup Finals, summer is the worst of the four seasons - it’s a thousand degrees, football is still months away, there are bugs everywhere - it’s awful. But, along with the exceptions above, there is one more key redeeming factor that comes to mind - pop music always hits a peak midyear.
Now with a trio of EPs on her resumé and a successful cover going viral, Vérité (born Kelsey Byrne) is here to not only show what she has to offer with her debut full-length, but prove that she can keep pace with the summer’s brightest starlets.
Written by Eric Riley
Whatever the craft, whether you are a musician, a writer, an artist, actor, athlete, anything whatsoever (artistic or not, really), making a strong impact is something to be desired. And while impact is one thing, legacy and lasting value are what separate the sudden fads from the reveled and remembered.
Now in the process of building on the foundation that was their debut, 2014’s stellar Ars Moriendi, North Carolinian mini-community The Collection have returned with Listen to the River, a second exploration into the struggles and stumbles that lead us to where we’re heading.
Vocalist/lyricist David Wimbish describes the album as a way of “reexamining and reorienting” a sunken sense of faith, courage, and spirituality while, alongside ex-wife and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mira, “processing the divorce and recontextualizing the relationship.” With the collision of these two struggles, River’s songs were a way to approach both simultaneously. Within the first moment of the album, Wimbish croons “Oh, there was sorrow in every word / Oh, how it longed to be heard. / But for the first time, I am not speaking / I am just listening until I can hear you / On my own.”
Where the first single “You Taste Like Wine” keeps things joyous and bright with horns and keys dancing, followed by the snap-along “Mama,” we hear the first and few instances of upbeat tempos. Each track is worthy of praise (and I’ll try to remember to circle back to them) but what follows is the first true standout Listen to the River offers us.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Columbia City Theatre; Seattle, WA
Written by Kristen Schell
Sex appeal, drums that give you chills, and crisp vocals. Night Argent live is an entirely different experience than say… listening to their EP via Spotify, with a bottle of wine and two cats, which is what I did before going to their show at Columbia Theater in Seattle, WA.
Descending from the country of Poland, Brodka (Monika Brodka) broke out into the music world after winning the third season of Polish Pop Idol in 2004. Having already released three previously acclaimed albums, Clashes is her first album released in English; while studying classical music as a child, Brodka also listened to death metal and grunge bands which significantly influences her sound. Haunting and dramatic instrumentals accompany her delicate vocals throughout the entirety of the album, nailing the juxtaposition of uniting dark and soft elements.
Her strong orchestral and avant-garde approach to music is what differentiates herself among current pop artists and the genre as a whole. Her vocal style is similar to the likes of Lana Del Rey and Radiation City possessing a romantic, whimsical voice that seamlessly slows from one range to the next. This is one of those albums you must be in the mood for to truly appreciate her point of view and musical elements where sinister, melancholy sounds meets chaotic alternative.
Love Train Tour, Pt 2
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
New York, NY
Written by Jon Hecht, Photos by Gina Garcia
I’ve lived in New York City for 6 years now. It’s a city of the interlocking concrete grid, the Great White Way, the screech of subway brakes, and some not-bad dive bars that sometimes have good music. I realize that people who don’t live in this city are probably sick of people living here ranting about how great it is, especially considering how much it’s also what happens when a bunch of exceedingly rude cockroaches all start arguing about who has the best pizza.
But there’s a part of this metropolis that is somehow overlooked, despite all the annoying people talking about how great this overcrowded rat maze is. It’s interwoven by water. I’m obsessed with it. I have a roommate who works with boats, and most of my life is just living vicariously through her. I have a book called Gotham Unbound sitting on my coffee table, tracing the history of the city’s waterways ever since the Dutch came to this swamp. I have on numerous occasions read the Walt Whitman poem, “Mannahatta,” and relished in his version of an old (olde?) New York, when it was a “City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts!/City nested in bays! my city!”
I guess that all of this is a roundabout way of saying that I really enjoyed seeing Nikki’s Wives and CeeLo Green on a boat in the Hudson River.
I’m a music fan.
That’s such an understatement, and an obvious statement at that. But I’ll explain.
There are some people who don’t really like music as much as they have a music taste. We all have the one friend who will refuse to listen to anything outside of the one or two genres they enjoy. I personally will give anything a shot – good music is good music. Anyway, back to the point: I’ve never been hugely into the southern rock/alt-country/grassroots rock ‘n’ roll genre, but that’s not to say I’m opposed to giving it a shot. Enter Larkin Poe, stage right.
Boston Calling Music Festival
May 27th, 28th, and 29th
City Hall Plaza; Boston, Massachusetts
Written by Eric Riley
Even before the first note was played, we went into Boston Calling last weekend knowing it would be the biggest one yet.
Early Friday morning, the heads of the festival revealed that this May would not only be 2016’s only edition, but also the final installment of Boston Calling to take place at City Hall Plaza. In an effort to expand the festival in both size and what it offers, this year was a bit of a trial run before making the big move in 2017. With the addition of a smaller stage tucked into the back, a handful of local music acts and comics performed throughout the day, lending a sample of what we can expect next time around – more stages, with more to see.
But, hey, that’s not for another year. Another long, long, what-are-we-going-to-do-with-no-festival-this-September year.
Let’s talk about this year, here’s what you missed; the Good, The Bad, and the Uhhh….
Moving Units proved to be ahead of their time marrying dance music and punk since 2002; the vocals glorifying this unique union. Now with their fourth album Damage With Care out, the band has found a home with their catchy electronica-like tunes with guitars and drums turning rock shows into dance parties.
It’s almost summer time, and out on my side of the earth (California), it’s creeping faster than normal. If I’m being honest, summer is my least favorite time of year. I’ve never been a fan of the heat, and I tend to gravitate more towards the crisp fall air and the sound of rain tapping on the windows. But at the same time, there’s something oddly comforting and exciting about this time of year. It’s easy to have a romanticized perception of summertime, but one of my favorite pastimes is just to drive. Even if it’s just down the highway, having a small taste of escape while cruising around, windows down and music blasting, is always welcomed. I’ve discovered some of my favorite bands and albums while driving, and that sense is always seemingly heightened during the summer months. Night Argent has become another one of those bands for me. Their self-titled EP is as infectious as it is creative, and it’s the perfect fit for those summer night drives.
The Mindsweep Tour
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Ace of Spades; Sacramento, CA
Written by Bryce Hoffman
I’m going to level with you, Internet reader. Prior to this show, I had listened to a grand total of 3 Enter Shikari songs. I know, I know. Why am I the one writing a review on their live show? In some ways, sure, I’m the least qualified person to be writing this piece right now. I’m sure there are other attendees who would be much better suited for this task. I had heard the opening bands before (The White Noise and Hands Like Houses, which I’ll get to in a second), so I knew what they sounded like and there was a level of anticipation in that regard. Enter Shikari was a band I had certainly heard of, but just never really listened to. Until after this show. Look, when you can walk into a show having no idea what the headliner sounds like, and can leave that same show equal parts impressed, energized, and on your phone syncing their latest album on Apple Music so you can listen on the way home, then clearly this is a band worth paying attention to.
There’s nothing to make you feel so powerless as complaining about the weather.
I really want it to be spring. It seemed like it would be a few times already, when the temperature and the sun have collaborated together to make a March day lovely, once or twice. And then, to my utter dismay, we’re back to the bite of winter.
It’s not that I don’t like winter. Winter can be great. And I realize that hoping for an early spring feels like hoping for global warming, which much smarter people than I say will doom us all. But in this early April, I am just so ready to sit on my porch, and ride my bike, and look up at the expanse of blue without having to wear a jacket, because for the past few days, I’ve been listening to exmagician’s excellent debut album, Scan The Blue, and dammit I just want to be outside all the time.
Emo Night LA: Taking Back Tuesday
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Hell, The Masquerade; Atlanta, GA
Written by Carina Browder
After a year of watching friends on the West Coast attend Emo Night, I was beyond excited to see Taking Back Tuesday finally head south to Atlanta on April 19. Bringing together a few hundred 20-somethings, the night was filled with the songs that made us cry and feel things as teens. Despite the night getting off to a shaky start - I never want to hear “club goin’ up on a Tuesday” ever again - it was Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” that got the party started. Which, for anyone who knows me, is the perfect way to start a party.
It’s not very nice for me to write about a band that people have barely heard of, that is just now releasing their first album with a proper record label, by talking about how lonely their sound is. I’m sure that the Montclair, NJ natives that make up Pinegrove would love to have many more fans and be making much more money, and to my ears, they surely deserve to.
But the best thing about Cardinal, Pinegrove’s short-but-sweet 8-song album, is the feeling that you might be listening to it alone, because the emotion it delivers is hand-wrapped in your own special package. The lyrics are conversational, direct in their words if not always their intentions. Singer Evan Stephen Hall has a nice voice, but he never seems completely sure if he’s singing, letting an ache trespass into the musicality, along with a slight drawl that seems somewhat at odds with the band’s New Jersey roots.
Before I get started, I’ll say two quick things.
One - I have made no effort to ever hide my love for Forgive Durden’s Razia’s Shadow. It’s easily in my Top Five. And there will surely be a few mentions of it in the coming paragraphs.
Two - man, it’s great to have Thomas Dutton making music again. Here’s why:
On the debut album from glam-pop duo Cardiknox, made up of Lonnie Angle and Thomas Dutton, of the now-defunct aforementioned Forgive Durden, the pair packs California sun and New York City ambition into a dozen tracks, each one as infectious as the last.
I’ve always liked how Fearless Records handle their new signees. Where major labels will sometimes sign bands to deals off of the strength of a single, the independent Fearless has been known to have their rookies release EPs before delving into full-length territory. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do. Maybe it’s because I don’t see it very much (though, if other labels are doing it too, I apparently don’t notice) or maybe it’s because it’s a way of testing the water, who knows.
One thing that I do know is that, more often than not, these previews are a look at some of the best up-and-coming bands out there. This time around, with Orange County four-piece Movements, we could be getting our first taste at something special.