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Category Archives: Rock and roll

50 States of Talent continues This stop Indiana and Fossil Generation

 

Fossil Gen

 

Hailing from Muncie, Indiana the birthplace of the Garfield comic strip, y’know the fat orange cat who loves lasagna, Fossil Generation is an eclectic pop alternative band.  Fusing many styles but most easily recognized is early 90’s alternative before grunge took over a la  early That Petrol Emotion and Gene Loves Jezebel among other bands of that era that surfed  just under the mainstream radar.

Originally formed in 2010 by Bradley Thomas as support for his project “Bradley Thomas and Friends”.  They toured the midwest,  released 2 ep’s and an album.  Eventually the group decided to change direction and transformed themselves both musically and how they identified themselves. It was here that they decided upon the name Fossil Generation.  All aspects of the songwriting process became everyone’s responsibility.

primitiveThe first release from them as Fossil Generation is titled “Primitive”  Released 2013 available on itunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/primitive/id653283309  Unlike most bands who play around with a lyric and build from there these guys approached even the songwriting process differently, at least this time.  They wrote and solidified the music first and then added the lyrics.  “Primitive” is conceptual at its root.  Knowing this ahead of time helps if you want to follow the relationship between songs.  (some lyrics can be found here: http://www.sonicbids.com/band/fossilgeneration/lyrics/ )  If you aren’t paying much attention to the lyrics and just listening then you will be content with the sound of the guitars and the mini jams that  occur throughout.

However, the songs are relatable on a more human level.  They speak of alienation and remaining true to yourself and not conforming to the masses. This is a mindset that the members (Bradley Thomas, Shawn Ayala, Seth Scales and Ryan Minton) of Fossil Generation have embraced. In their corner of the country they provide a unique sound not conforming to the musical genres of their fellow local musicians/bands.  They chose this path because at the end of the day it is about staying true to oneself and being happy with the music you are creating.

Finding “local” musicians/bands to share is not always an easy task. These guys are definitely worth checking out if the early alternative sound is your thing. Even though that sound has been here before these guys approach it differently, with a modern twist.  If you are local to their corner of the world go see them live.  If you are not so local to the Indiana area then check out their webpage http://www.fossilgeneration.com/  Listing of upcoming shows are here as well as links to any media outlet such as twitter, YouTube, and  facebook  https://www.facebook.com/fossilgeneration and of course there is a link to Itunes where you can purchase “Primitive” https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/primitive/id653283309  and help support the local musician(!!)

Happy Listening

–NotHaydn

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Re-introducing Daniel hales, and the frost heaves and their new release Contrariwise

Hello friends, I hope that the new year has found you all well and managing to keep warm if you have been affected by the polar vortex.  I apologize for my extended absence. I have been rather busy with my own musical endeavors and certain things have been neglected.  This blog being one of those things.  However, I promise to get back into the swing of things and get new, local, undiscovered talent your way. That being said let’s get to it……….

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Back in December 2012 I introduced you to Daniel Hales and the frost heaves from Massachusetts.  Well, they have been busy working on a new release and it is here that we pick up their story.  They ran a successful crowd funding campaign to help bring their latest project to fruition.

This project was to take the poetry of Lewis Carroll and set it to music.  This is a fitting marriage of the arts as Lewis Carroll was known for his word play, fantasy and literary nonsense long before our own beloved Dr. Suess.  Daniel Hales and the frost heaves are musically eclectic with smart lyricism so it works. Their latest release “Contrariwise” consists of the poems of Lewis Carroll’s from” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” as well as “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There”.  The title song combines both verse from Carroll with the chorus by Daniel Hales and  “(Push them into the) Wishing Well” is drawn strictly from Hales himself. I guess you could say it hails from Hales.

The adventure begins with “Jabberwocky” and continues on from there telling a story along the way.  The music is seamlessly fused into the writings of Carroll and it all makes sense. Well, as much sense as a Lewis Carroll poem can.  The tone of the poem sets the tone for the music going from excited (Jabberwocky) gentle (A Secret Kept) firm (Speak Roughly) and so on.

One of my favorites in “Contrariwise” is the title song itself.  The chorus reflects upon doing different tasks “peek past the scenery”, “pet the Cheshire Cat” but if you are to do any of these things do it “contrary, contrariwise”.  The poems set to music keep you as the listener engaged.  Daniel Hales and the frost heaves know when to turn it up a little and when to lull you further into the story.  “(Push them into the) Wishing Well” provides a nice little reprieve from the absurdity of Carroll’s words but let’s not get carried away, we are on a journey here and the lyrics while modern still maintain some absurdity to them.  Because the whole concept is brilliant “it’s time to surprise them, push them in and baptize them, it’s time to surprise them, push them into the wishing well”.

The journey begins to wrap up with “Queen Alice” and ends with “But a Dream”.  The last song is ethereal and you feel as if you may be waking up from an unsuspecting nap under the summer sky. You feel groggy, confused, and refreshed all at the same time.  You stretch and contemplate your next journey.  I hope that some of you out there will be willing to take this particular journey as it is worthwhile.

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To buy the album or find out more about Daniel hales and the frost heaves check out their website

www.thefrostheaves.com 

There is a little Alice in Wonderland visual surprise if you hurry there. Just beware of the Jabberwock.  

Find some videos of them on you tube as well.

The frost heaves are: James Lowe: bass , Ivan Ussach: drums & percussion and Anna Wetherby: viola

 

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Strangely Alright’s new release is here: The Time Machine is Broken – or is it?

A few weeks ago I let you in on one of Washington States many musical secrets, Strangely Alright.  Well, theyFINAL CD COVER 1 have just released their effort “The Time Machine is Broken”  It delivers as I suspected it would.  I was safely transported to and from my destination.  So, I guess in my case the time machine isn’t broken, and well, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

The songs are all well written though sometimes I really didn’t feel the song kick into a natural groove until the first chorus. Once the chorus hit the songs soared and the groove of the album was found and provided a quite enjoyable listening experience.

There are many catchy phrases in the songs where you say to yourself “Damn how come I didn’t write that?!”  Whether Regan is writing about his experiences or drawing from others close to him it is clear that this is a very personal album.  The songs revolve around  lives lived, mistakes made and turning points that have changed their lives and made them realize the world is a two way street. You get only what you give and at the end of the day giving is better then receiving.  Love and forgiveness.

Reflective of that thought process is one of the slower songs on the album “If I don’t laugh I’m only going to cry”.  The song reflects the distance they have travelled and how time has matured them.  It is in this song that we find the albums title. There is a lyric questioning the possibility that they have become their parents and really is that such a bad thing?

“Before the Fall” is another slower song that dives into one’s self and sees how others have given so selflessly and the only way to repay that is to give themselves completely to the other and in that realization there is a clarity and warmth even as the summer sun settles.

So while the lyrical content of the album is complex and not just a bunch of pop songs so common in today’s world, it is still an easy listening experience.  I don’t mean Barry Manilow easy listening.  I mean that the songs lyrics are  combined with structurally sound adult alternative pop and catchy choruses that welcome you to sing along.

Towards the end of the albums closing we find that Regan and the rest of Strangely Alright (Ken Schaff:Bass, Jeff Reiner:Lead Guitar, Lee Gregory:Keys and Preston Darvill:Drums)  have all found the “Direction Home” and end the album on a very upbeat summery tops down in the convertible kind of song aptly titled ‘You and Me” and when we get to our destination “let’s share a bowl of Capt’n Crunch”.

So do something nice for your ears today and go check out the new album from Strangely Alright

at http://www.strangelyalright.com/

you’ll be glad that you did.

-NotHaydn

 

 

 

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50 States of Talent continues and I’m feeling Strangely Alright about it

FINAL CD COVER 1Did you catch that? If not then you weren’t paying attention.  Strangely Alright is just that only there isn’t anything strange about it.  Quite frankly they are better than alright too.

Hailing from Tacoma, Washington Strangely Alright delivers catchy and infectious shall we say…..adult alternative.   Lyrically, they give you beautifully written pop songs with all the perfectly planted hooks that leave a song stuck in your head : “I was Jesus, the Beatle, John, lost myself, I lost it all…..”    The songs  reflect where they are in life and what they have observed. Their songwriting and deliverance reminds me of plenty of well known acts from the heyday of alternative music.  I can easily pinpoint School of Fish and Josh Clayton-Felt’s “Inarticulate Nature Boy”.  There is also a Beatle Influence that can be picked up on easily.  Really, many bands and artists have been influenced by the Fab Four that it comes as no surprise.

Strangely Alright is a group of guys who have tightly woven themselves into one entity.  Fronted by Regan Lane, a gifted songwriter who has a few awards under his belt, some have battled demons and realized what is most important in life,  not just their life but life in general.  Fortunately for us they are able to share this with us through their music.

The band is made up of Regan Lane ,(vocals / guitar) , Ken Schaff (bass), Jeff Reiner (guitar), Lee Gregory (keyboards) and Preston Darvill (drums).  They officially formed in late summer 2012 when Regan formed a friendship with Ken, a fellow musician and now friend.  They got to talking as most musicians do and decided to put the songs Regan had written out there and make it happen as a full fledged band.  Shortly thereafter, the other pieces of the quintet fell into place and they started making magic.

Their latest  album, “The Time Machine is Broken”  is slated for release in June 2013.  I will keep you posted on its progress and release.

They have a website http://www.strangelyalright.com  complete with a widget tab!!  There you can read up on them, join a mailing list and look at some pictures and sample their songs.  Their home page has all the links to them in the wide world of the internet, Facebook, twitter, myspace, etc.

Definitely check them out, if you like introspectively written pop songs, that are upbeat no matter how dark the lyrics may be. If you like Michael Penn and School of Fish or other similar bands.  This is a band that  should not go unnoticed.

 

 

 

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50 States of Talent continues in Alaska and Big Fat Buddha

BFBuddahThat’s right Alaska. You know all about Alaska right? Deadliest Catch, Yukon Men, Denali National Park, Klondike Gold Rush,  and perhaps one of my favorites; Grizzly Adams.  Well, Alaska has more to offer than just the bits and pieces we see on tv or learned about in school.   Comparing Alaska to what we’ve seen would be like comparing Jersey to Snookie and the Sopranos, while there may be some truth there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Alaska has a rich musical history. No, it isn’t rock, it isn’t jazz, it isn’t blues.  It is earthy they way it should be, it is the song of the peoples native to its soil, long before we set foot there as miners bringing with us the Early American Folk, people such as the Inupiaq and the Aluet.  Music in Alaska  has evolved as it has everywhere else, they have jazz festivals, they have a local opera festivals.  They have what we have but the only difference is that they still have the beauty of the land and most musicians in the area draw on the folk music of yesteryear, and really that folk music is feel good music.

This is where I feel this weeks band fits in perfectly.  They are Alaskan music. They are Big Fat Buddha hailing from Anchorage.  I will say that they are like Jewel when she first made her rounds, in the early days, if she had been accompanied by a band.  She was barefoot, wearing jeans and a tshirt with feathers hanging from the neck of the guitar, she was folksy and she was real.

Big Fat Buddha, yep, these guys are real and they formed in a way that is one step beyond the posting in the paper or bar bulletin board..  It all started with a posting on Craigslist.  Founding member, Brad Fidel, posted one evening in 2010 an ad looking for fellow musicians who like the Beatles and Dylan.  His ad was answered by singer/songwriter Matt Brenna.  These two musicians met and hit it off, they were onto something.  A friend of Brad’s, Jeff Arms who just so happens to be a percussionist  heard what his friend was up to and liked the idea so much he joined in.  Recently they added drummer Kyle Drake.  Big Fat Buddha was born.

These guys play a nice combo of rock and funk, compare them to a jam band of your liking, Grateful Dead or Phish or compare them to Rusted Root. I would make that comparison more because that’s what they remind me of.  Either way, it’s music that gets your feet tapping and your body moving.  Just watch the videos on YouTube, the crowd is not sitting around bored, they are all moving and having a good time.

The songs are well written, the vocals are smooth and pleasing to the ear and there is just enough jam factor without it being overkill.   The first song that you come across on their website ( http://www.BigFatBuddhaBand.com ) “You Drive me Crazy (Baby Blue)” is quite catchy.  If you like what you hear with that song you will definitely like the rest of what you hear.  The sound is a familiar mixture of rock and funk, not too hard, not too soft, just right and it is fun. It would make a good soundtrack to a cross country drive, tops down, wind in your hair with not a care in the world.

The website is http://www.BigFatBuddhaBand.com and there you can listen to some music, read their blog, look at some pictures, see where they are playing etc. It’s all there.  You can even buy their self titled cd, which I would recommend.  If you liked one of their songs you are sure to like them all.

Additionally you can find them on Facebook, go like their page, see what they are up to in real time https://www.facebook.com/BigFatBuddhaBand

They are currently in the process of hitting the studio to work on a second release.

They also have additional videos to view on YouTube.  Check them out.  This is one of those bands that I will do some follow ups on.  The lower 48 needs to know what these guys are up to.

 

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Elementary my dear with Washmen and the Fisher

washmen and the fisherSo, have you ever asked yourself at what age do most bands get their start? Just when do they form or what was it like for them when they were just starting out.  I mean we all know about bands/artists like Silverchair and Johnny Lang and Hanson (c’mon Mmmmm bop was huge) young talent barely out of high school who exploded onto the scene and made their mark.

Well, Washmen and the Fisher could be one of those bands, young talent that is focused on their future. It all started out when three friends: Paul Criscuolo (guitar/vocals), John Bogan (guitar) and John Ball (bass), got together and started playing.  These guys have been playing together since before the glory days of high school. They would get together and play at open mic nights at various coffee houses and even do some home recordings.  In February of 2012, Justin Giannuzzi joined this trio on drums for a few  jam sessions and it was then and there that they realized that the chemistry worked.  They were on to something.  This newly formed quartet decided to pursue it and take it to the next level as a full-fledged band beyond the open mic of the local coffee-house.

Originally they chose the name The Diamond Eyes and played a few gigs at the Legendary Stone Pony. Due to some copyright issues they changed the name to Washmen and the Fisher and I like the obscurity of that name much better.

This young group of guys have scored big early on. They have landed a deal working on a project for an internationally known surf board designer, Ryan Lovelace of  Ryan Lovelace Surf /Craft.  Washmen and the Fisher’s music will be featured on his full length film titled “Almost Cut My Hair” that he will release to his distributors in the US, Australia, Europe and Japan in the Spring of 2013.  This film also contains music from some other well-known (understatement) artists such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young,  The trailer for the film is already creating a buzz for these guys.

While they are new to the scene as far as media goes they can be found on Facebook and YouTube under Washmen and the Fisher.  They are still in the process of sorting out their marketing skills.  The guys plan to release some media at Reverbnation and they do have a song for download at http://www.GoSong.com and http://www.washmenandthefisher.bandcamp.com  I am sure their catalog will increase as they get more songs recorded.  Currently there are some originals out there such as the single “your love was mine” and  “fish woman”.

The sound of Washmen and the Fisher is old school rock and roll all the way complete with bluesy influence Think 70’s rock, solid guitars, a few solos, a steady drum beat to hold it together.  Perhaps compare it to a rough draft of early Bad Company, the building blocks are the same.

So keep an eye on these guys.  They are young but don’t count that against them.  Washmen and the Fisher have a sound that is mature and will only get better with age.

 

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50 States of Talent Continues in Michigan with Amy Gore and her Valentines

AMY GORE

Just in time for Valentines Day I am bringing you Amy Gore and Her Valentines.  Their sound is Detroit all the way, garage, punk-ish and good old fashioned rock & Roll all mesh when Amy hits the stage.  I mean look at them, those ladies are old school rockers.  Their look is vintage meets 50’s pin up gal.  The guys rock their own vintage look Dan Zanes style.

Amy Gore a talented singer/songwriter/guitarist who has had her share of success performing with music icons such as Blondie and The Cramps. In 2011 Amy put together a line up that consisted of Jackson Smith on guitar, Leann Banks on bass, and Joe Leone on drums for what was supposed to be a one show deal to showcase her new material. (let me insert here that all the musicians she put together are accomplished in their own right be it studio musicians or other successful local bands)   However, the bands chemistry was such that they decided to make a go of it.  Amy Gore and Her Valentines was born, originally dubbed Amy Gore and the Squires.

The debut album has recently been released and it is a solid release in the school of rock, catchy lyrics, and solid riffs. A must listen for any guitar driven rock aficionado.

You can find Amy Gore and her Valentines on many popular social media sites, Facebook and twitter and of course YouTube.  She has her own channel there where you can watch some live performances and some artistically produced videos.  One in particular reminded me of a certain Pretenders video and I loved it.  I think Chrissy Hynde  would approve of Amy Gore and her Valentines since there are many similarities between them and the Pretenders. Of course don’t let them be boxed into this garage rock sound.  On the YouTube video channel there are covers of the Plimsouls and Smokey Robinson and some classic country artists too,  Her website is nice and quite professional, it contains everything you need, pictures, bios, upcoming events, links to social media sites and most importantly her music.

So like I said, just in time for Valentines Day, check out Amy and her band.  It’s something sweet for your ears.

She can be found at http://thisisamygore.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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