Review of a List of Songs.

Specifically responding to this post of 11 songs, posted by A Journal of Musical Things!  Check out their website, it’s very cool!… Allen Cross has a lot going on over there on that there website.  There’s a ton of good stuff to read about, and music to learn more about.

The Eleven Songs Listed:

ARTIST SONG ALBUM
1 Jamiroquai Automaton Automaton
2 Dan Auerbach Shine On Me Waiting on a Song
3 Flatliners Indoors Inviting Light
4 Broken Social Scene Half Way Home Single
5 Sorority Noise No Halo You’re Not As ____ As You Think
6 Fox Grin Fall Into You Dawn EP
7 Big Walnuts Yonder Sponge Bath Single
8 Imaginary Tricks Bird Skommel
9 Crown Lands Being Right Single
10 Maximo Park Get High (No, I Don’t) Risk to Exist
11 B.Miles Running B.Miles

Essentially just a list of 11 songs, as not much is said about the music other than

“Some really interesting stuff came across my desk this weekend, including an up-and-coming Canadian two-piece called Crown Lands. If you haven’t heard about them yet, you will. The other ten songs on this list are pretty cool, too.” 

So why are you here? Because I have a thing for lists… when a list of “hey check this out,” falls into my lap, I like that stuff, and I take notice.  I’ve listened to all 11 tracks from eleven to one…and it just so happens that as I’m typing this sentence I’m listening to the last song on the list…

[Note: If you’re reading this review of this list of songs, and haven’t listened to any of the songs…just stop reading right now. Go buy the songs on iTunes, and come back. Please. Seriously though, none of this is going to mean anything to you… this is just my impromptu ramblings about music…and bands that coincidentally & sometimes tragically, but probably unknowingly are repeating parts of rock and roll music history.]

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 2.59.00 PMThe number one track on the list, by Jamiroquai… kinda cool, but I can’t help but wonder if this number one spot has some sort of financial backing behind it? (probably the conspiracy theorist in me thinking too much) … it is Jamiroquai, and they haven’t done shit in a very long time (6+ years). And in case you’re wondering… Jamiroquai is NOT touring the new album in the USA (yet), but they are elsewhere in the world (ok.). I’m not really excited about “Automaton.” The intro starts out with a move coined by Ozric Tentacles on their album Erpland in around 2003? (Something like that)… Jumps into a robot kinda feel taken directly from Daft Punk.  The entire track sounds like it was done with a keyboard & ableton live (ok.), happy for Jamiroquai to wake up after 6 years and join the scene again… I guess? This song is not worthy of a Napoleon Dynamite dance scene…that movie ruined everything for this band… seriously… it’s sad but true…maybe that’s why they took 6 years off.

Song two on the list is Shine on Me, by Dan Auerbach… it has this ice cream cone,maxresdefault roller rink slash carousel feel, sounds exactly like Dire Straits: Walk of life, but on guitar…I almost thought it was going to be cover until vox entered! Hilarious… good times. The lyrics “shine on me,” are very original let me tell you! Basically anyone can sing along to this track.  I like the glockenspiel and clapping, it’s taken catchy to “eleven!” (Hilarious Photo!) —>>>

imgresSong three on this list is Indoors by The Flatliners,  begins exactly like a poor version of Surf Wax America by Weezer, and changes into this… uh, like a… Temple of the Dog kind of Seattle sound kinda feel, with a classic lead guitar intro, uh…puke! This is the worst type of crap that sends me running out of the grocery store! Backed by the classic, “I just started a garage band drum beat, including the whole single stroke drum build and all.”  Sorry, I had to turn this one off, I tried very hard to give this track a second listen. Nope. No way… but hip milfs in their yearly 30’s may just eat this stuff up… maybe that’s their target audience, I have no idea… this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this band.

Song four on the list is Halfway Home, by Broken Social Scene.  This song opensimgres-1 like… pick any U2 anthem type song that flows, drives, builds, and adds those long extended vocals lines like on: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Where The Streets Have No Name, or Pride (In The Name Of Love).  But this Bono feel doesn’t stick around but for a minute or so, It fades into a sort of… no wait… it’s like that for longer than a minute… cool guitar noodle solo into the bridge… I like the bridge, and I like the build. But U2 has done this before. (sorry, I really don’t know what else to say… start a U2 cover band maybe? you’d be great!…oh wow, look! You guy’s met Stephen Colbert!…how cool is that!)

maxresdefault-1Song five on this list is No Halo, by Sorority Noise.  This song starts off like an old Blink 182 tune, followed by driving drums, and half way spoken lyrics… Good lyrics…really great lyrics!  Like this song!.. it’s really well written, and I wanna go get in my car and drive…no fly down the freeway at around sunset and blast this song on my Rockford Fosgates!!! This is a great song, and by far the best song on the list if you’re listening from one to the end… clocking in at 2:50 seconds, I could listen to this tune on repeat a few times.  I really dig Sorority Noise, and would say that it’s definitely a worthy listen. Is there a music video for this song? I’ll have to look for that.  “When god called you to fulfill a vacancy, I tried to see why it wasn’t me.” I like this Band.

Song six on this list is by Fox Grin and it’s called: Fall into You. This is a well maxresdefault-2written song. I really enjoy the voice, the singing, the harmonies… I really enjoy the way it’s put together.  Very good drums on this tune.  Everything in a great song starts from the bottom up…the bass and drums on this are locked and loaded.  The rest of this song floats upon this foundation, and in 2 minutes, 43 seconds, it’s over…bam! Very good song from beginning to end… it’s got it all: Sweet piano licks, Vocals, percussion, chord progression builds and flows, back ground vocals add & lift the song, and then there are intimate breaks for the lyrics to come in and give this really sweet message “Fall into You.”  I like it. I like it a lot, and I’d go see this band live (if that doesn’t say anything, I’m not sure what else to say.)

imgres-2Song seven is called Sponge Bath, by Big Walnuts Yonder.  There’s a lot going on in this tune… it’s very layered.  There’s this Trent Reznor thing going on with the vocals that I like…it’s in the back, it’s subtle, but it’s important.  Feels like BucketHead might have produced this track.  Most of all I like that you can hear that this is an actual band. I might like to hear the rest of this record.  Like I said…I get this sense of a sort of Faith No More, Mike Patton influence thing going on here that I appreciate. This is a cool track. I dig it, and i’m sure some day they’ll open for the R.H.C.P. if they’re lucky! Way to go!

Track eight is Bird, by Imaginary Tricks from Brooklyn NY… straight from the top,imgres the listener gets this feeling that what’s about to be laid out is coming from an inner place… of musical honesty. It doesn’t try to follow in the footsteps of everyone else… The lyrics speak directly to the listener, and tell you precisely the point from which the song was written… like a conversation.  I can’t compare the beginning of this song to other music… it’s just music.  It’s simple, and it does what it needs to do… Provides a beat you can bob your head to… to a story that is being told, and a sound scape to back the story.  There is a guitar solo that is raw, and real, and it sounds good.  “Despite what you’ve heard, I am still feeling like a little bird. flying away… despite what you’ve heard, I am still feeling like I’m not out of line for more than freedom.”  There are background vocals that just melt back there…simmering through the chorus, providing almost this faint feeling… reminiscent of Brian Wilson two part harmonies… with this rolling arpeggiated backing guitar, and another guitar track matching the vocal melody interspersed, this song has depth and intricacies. I bought the album, you should too (that says a lot)… don’t let this one get by you.

imgres-3Song nine is called Being Right, by Crown Lands.  I feel like every garage band in history has played this exact groove at one time or another… I believe I played something like this exactly the first year I learned to play bass. The catch phrase “Don’t you hate being right?” is working fantastic for me at the moment.  It’s like maybe the voice of the late 70’s… think Alice Cooper/Foghat/Ozzy but then you don’t know who those people are, so you’d compare the singer to Jack White.  I appreciate the synth keyboard nod to YES, but I’d probably skip their set altogether, and doubt they know who YES is.

Song ten is by a band called Maximo Park, called Get High (No, I Don’t) and has imgres-4this completely reminiscent generic bass line that you can’t exactly put your finger on, but you feel like you’ve definitely heard it before on the radio, like a hundred time and had to turn the channel to something else quickly…like talk radio.  The chorus is a very tight comparison to any indie rock/post punk kind of thing, with little originality.  There is a risk to exist, and this song has rolled the dice. (Craps!) Next please…

imgres-5Song eleven is Running by B.Miles.  I like this gal.  She’s got the whole overly-produced studio track thing going on, with a Macy Gray kind of rasp to her voice, this track has an R&B quazi mainstream media, clear channel radio station feel.  I don’t exactly see how this song ended up on this list in particular… but I’m sure a lot of Erica Badu fans would enjoy this B.Miles. Cheers!

Now go see a live show, support your local music scene, tip your bartender…& most of all support your local music education programs!!!… it’s the key to a good and decent next generation of live music!!! (kinda hard to argue after listening to this list of music huh?…)

Artist Spotlight: Timm Rolek

The question we need to be asking is not “How do we sell Schubert”, but

“What do we do when nobody knows Schubert?”

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       Timm Rolek, Conductor

Rolek was the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor with Sacramento Opera, a post that he retained for twelve seasons. During his tenure, the company grew in ticket sales, revenue and audience. It became necessary for the company to restructure its 2011/12 season in light of the economic downturn. He was on the podium for their 2012 production of Rigoletto. Both the public and the press greeted those performances with enthusiasm. His audiences trust both his repertoire selections and his ability to balance and present casts that offer the best of what is available in up-and-coming artists. His philosophy is that the opera/work is the most important; the casts to populate and sing those works will follow.

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