Posts

Station - Bainbridge & Co.

from the single Station (2018)

A few years ago, I was bouncing around London and staying with my friends Mary and Gareth.  One night, we were sitting in their kitchen, eating Indian food, and telling fun stories.  In the basement, their teenage kids - Martha and Sid - were making music.

At some point, they were playing Come As You Are by Nirvana, when Gareth suggested that I play bass with them.  He busted out his trusty, old Guild and into the basement I went.  I think I taught them how to play Blister In The Sun?  It was more fun then you could imagine.

Later that night, I thought "One day, I'll be able to say I played with Martha and Sid."

Well, that day is today!!!  Martha and Sid are in a band named Bainbridge & Co. and have released their first song, Station.

I am so excited for them and wish them all the luck in the world.  Check it out !!!

Click Here to listen to Station by Bainbridge & Co.

Feel Good - Maribou State

from the album Kingdoms In Colour (2018)

Have you noticed that this decade has not produced any new musical movements?  In mean, in the 1970s we were introduced to punk, disco, and rap.  In the 2010s, not so much.

Another difference is that you don't hear much differentiation in the developed world's music based on geography.  In the 1970s, London bands sounded different than New York bands;Los Angeles bands sounded different than California bands.  Today, I can't really tell if a band is from Brooklyn or Australia.

Music is becoming more of a global blend.  Genres and geographies are melting away, being replaced by grooves and vibes.  New music is increasingly new intersections in older music.  This is bad news for innovation, but the good news is that there are infinite combinations.

Maribou State is an electronic duo from London who embrace this development; offering global samples and stylings in their music.  On their new song, Feel Good, they collaborate with Texas f…

Near - Deafheaven

from the album Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (2018)

When you think of a metal band, do you think of a magnificent and beautiful arrangement that lifts your spirit and satisfies your soul?

That is what you get with the song Near by San Francisco's Deafheaven.

The loftiness of the song might remind you of a dream pop or a shoe gaze band, but the texture and tone is considerably darker.

This is a magnificent song.  I could listen to music like this all day long.

Click Here to listen to Near by Deafheaven.

Nothing I Can Say - Tony Molina

from the album Kill the Lights (2018)

One of the fascinating outcomes of all the whiz-bang technology we are immersed in is its impact on song length.

Only a decade ago, the idea of a "radio-friendly" song abounded.  Ideally, a song would be three minutes long, fitting perfectly into commercial formats.  But today, with most people consuming their music via alternative channels, it is increasingly common to hear an eight-minute electronica track, or to purchase an extended remix (allowing you to get more music for your $1.29) than to find a three-minute song.

Sadly, I have always thought of this in terms of longer songs.  That is, until I started listening to Tony Molina.  On his new album - Kill The Lights - eight of ten songs are less than two minutes long, with the majority clocking in at under eighty-seconds.

I particularly dig the opening track: Nothing I Can Say.  At one-minute-eleven-seconds, this is still a complete song.  There is a verse, a chorus, and an instrumen…

Pink Squirrel - Episode 6

Hey, y'all!  I am really digging Episode 6.  It features a bunch of indie and alternative tunes from 2018 that sound great together.

One of the more interesting threads that runs through these songs is the abundance of 1980s new music textures and tones.  As you listen, you will be reminded of Echo & The Bunnymen, INXS, and Lena Lovitch.  There is also a new David Byrne song included.

I am pretty proud of this mix; it is cohesive, driving, and melodic.

Hope you dig it!!!


Here is the playlist:

Salton Sea by Josh Rouse

Heat Wave by Snail Mail

Make 'em Like You by Tom Grennan

Violent by Grapetooth

Blue Rose by Amen Dunes

Sugar & Spice by Hatchie

Heaven's Only Wishful by MorMor

Now U Got Me Hooked by Against All Logic

Chasing Stars by Alice Ivy

Bad Dreams by Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson

Incidental Boogie by U.S. Girls

Plastic Skeletons by Jealous Of The Birds

Everybody's Coming To My House by David Byrne

Sloane Ranger by The Essex Green


And, in case you missed any, here a…

Walking To Oman's - Fraser A. Gorman

from the album Easy Dazy (2018)

Two days ago, I had never heard of Fraser A. Gorman.  Then I discovered Walking To Oman's, a new song by the Australian singer-songwriter.  By yesterday afternoon, I had his song blasting out my Sonos player as I sang, danced, and washed the dogs.

With its jangling melody and groove, this song made me happy.  It is wonderful when the right song finds you.

And as I sit here today, slugging espresso before the sun rises, I am anxious to share this song; because I imagine it provoking similar reactions for friends in places like Boston, NYC, London, Denver, and Atlanta.

If it feels like I've done this a thousand times before, it is because I have.  As serendipity would have it, today marks my 1,000th blog post on this website.

Now, that's a milestone worth celebrating!

Click Here to watch the official music video for Walking To Oman's by Fraser A. Gorman.

Plastic Skeletons - Jealous Of The Birds

from the album The Moths Of What I Want To Eat Me In My Sleep (2018)

Naomi Hamilton is a splendid singer and songwriter from Belfast, Northern Ireland.  I admire her, not just for the sound she creates, but for the way that her visual imagery can take on a philosophical and spiritual nature.

Add to that her process.  On her new five song EP - The Moths Of What I Want To Eat In My Sleep - four of the songs are new versions of songs she released on her 2016 album Parma Violets.  These versions contain subtle changes that, in my opinion, make the songs more listenable and better connecting with her audience.

Naomi Hamilton is actually applying an agile development methodology towards making and releasing music.  This process of defining a minimal viable product and then continually reiterating until you reach your destination is a central pillar of software development and is used on all theirs and gadgets that define our times.

I am not sure if she is aware that this is what she is doin…

Even Now - Walter "Wolfman" Washington

from the album The Future Is My Past (2018)

Walter "Wolfman" Washington is one of the great soul men who have never fully received their due.  A New Orleans native, Washington spent his teenage years immersed in music; getting singing lesson from the legendary crooner - Johnny Adams - while mastering his chops as a guitarist.

By the time he was nineteen, he was touring with Lee Dorsey's band.  Soon after, he was playing on some of the 60's greatest New Orleans recording, including Working In A Coal Mine (later covered by Devo), Ride Your Pony, and Get Out Of My Life Woman.

Along the way, he became the leader of a touring band who would support great singers, including Johnny Adams and Irma Thomas.

Now severity-four years old, he has reunited with Irma Thomas on the duet Even Now.

The song is a slow-burning, deep soul masterpiece.  The vocals, with their texture and dynamics, are chilling and timeless.

I am also incredibly captivated by the drumming.  There is somethi…

Lemon Glow - Beach House

from the album 7 (2018)

Many moons ago, my buddy Jack needed a place to stay and I let him sleep on my couch.  He wound up staying for four or five months.  It was the most important period in my musical education.

These were the days before Jack became a world-class guitarist.  Days when he would play for ten hours straight, perfecting his technique and tone.  As a gracious host, I would spend several hours a night laying down bass grooves for him to play over.  My faithful basset hound, Elmore James, was usually sleeping on the couch.

We spent endless hours talking about tone.  We would listen to great guitarists, like Dick Dale and B.B. King, and then try to recreate their sound.  It always started with the instrument and amplifier.  Next came the strings.  It is amazing how slight variations in the gauge of a string effects a guitarist's tone.  Equalization and effects also matter.

At the end of the road, you find technique.  Even if you everything perfect, you still can't…

Now U Got Me Hooked - Against All Logic

from the album 2012 - 2017 (2018)

Against All Logic is a pseudonym sometimes used by Chilean-American producer/DJ Nicolas Jaar.

I am digging his song Now U Got Me Hooked.  It is filled with great synths, beats, and a vocal line that you can easily lose yourself in.

I picture myself sitting in a comfy chair at some fancy SoHo lobby bar, cocktail in my hand, listening to this song in somebody else mix.

Good stuff.

Click Here to listen to Now U Got Me Hooked by Against All Logic.

On The Beach - Boz Scaggs

from the album Out Of The Blues (2018)

Willie Dixon famously said, "The blues are the roots, the rest are the fruits."

Over the years, I have found myself coming back to the blues periodically.  I find it offers a sense of renewal for my spirit.  The only other force that has a similar effect, for me, is sitting on the beach.

Staring at the sea cures many ills.  It also replenishes my inner strength.

In his song, On The Beach, Boz Scaggs lays down six-and-a-half minutes of slow burning blues cover of a Neil Young tune that is the next best thing to being there.

The band sounds incredible.  I can lose myself for hours listening to Jim Keltner's drums and Willie Week's bass creating a backdrop for the magnificent tone of Boz Scagg's voice.

I suppose the complimentary quote to Willie Dixon's is that "all life comes from the sea."  Don't tell Darwin.

Click Here to listen to Boz Scaggs cover Neil Young's On The Beach.

Click Here to read my April 20…

Nightclub Love - Matt Maltese

from the album Bad Contestant (2018)

Whew.  Last night was a blur...

It started with friends drinking a tequila and rosé champagne concoction I dreamed up (the agave nectar made all the difference), shifted to a restaurant for the best meal in recent memory, and ended (at least in my conscience) with me playing the bass line White Lines by Grandmaster Flash with a group of wasted people singing along.

Now, the morning.  Cleaning up the mess, putting the pieces together of various conversations.  Even people stopping back by with questions like, "Did I leave my vape here?"

I put on a mix of new music.  A few minutes later, the song Nightclub Lover by Matt Maltese comes on.  Funny thing is, I have no idea how it got into the playlist.  I do not recall ever hearing the song before.

Either way. it is perfect for this morning.  The cheesy 70's keyboard riff makes for the perfect opening, as do the throwback kitch of the melancholy vocals.  The backing vocals put this song ove…

Gimme Some More - Art Of Tones

from the single Gimme Some Love (2018)

There once was an expert pasta maker, named Al Bente, who had a passion for elbow macaroni.  He loved its size and shape, the way it could be readily managed with a fork, the way that meat and cheese would cling to its corner.  For Al Bente, there was no other noodle.

Needless to say, his family ate very well.  However, his children endlessly bellyached for burgers, and such, while his wife berated him over the family's modest income.  "Why can't you make linguine or penne," she would screech.  "That is what people eat!  How are we supposed to survive?"

"But honey," he would reply, "I make many types of pasta.  Some noodles are longer, others thicker, and some are gluten-free."

As the years wore on, his wife became ever-more estranged.  His children grew up, and, despite his desire for the family business to endure, showed no interest in learning the art of pasta making.

Then one day Al Bente died.

Make 'em Like You - Tom Grennan

from the album Lighting Matches (2018)

It takes a whole bunch of craft to write a catchy pop song.

First, you need to come up with the various parts of the song - intro, verse, chorus, bridge, breakdown, ending - and stitch them together in a way fits cohesively and resolves itself musically.  In addition, each of those elements needs to sound good and be optimized.

Next, you need to think about the beat and the groove; followed by the various hooks and melody lines.

From a distance, it all sounds so simple and easy.  However, those who have tried know just how elusive a well-written song can be.

Make 'em Like You by Tom Grennan successfully brings all those things together, while adding one more bit of creative genius: it doesn't sound quite like any other musical artist.

Take a close listen.  It sounds so simple...

Click Here to listen to Make 'em Like You by Tom Grennan.

Like Sugar - Chaka Kahn

from the single Like Sugar (2018)

Today was a strange day.

The strangeness actually started the evening before.  I was up on a newly opened rooftop bar, scouting locations for my birthday bash, when I made the grave mistake of checking my work email.

Stupid, I know...

Much to my surprise, my credentials failed and I could not receive email.  I then checked the various other corporate systems.  None worked.

Before too long, paranoia got the best of me and I reached the conclusion that I would be fired the next morning.  I texted my boss with no reply.  My night was ruined.

In the morning, I dreaded going into the office.  I drank espressos and got showered, all the while role-playing a series of imaginary conversations.  By the time I began my 90-minute commute, i was a teenage zombie.

I put on a playlist of songs I'm considering writing about.  First song up: Like Sugar by Chaka Kahn. Sweet perfection.  Loose yourself in the groove, the beat.

Once traffic cleared, I sped towards B…