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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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Here comes a N’oreaster……….. Mystics Anonymous

With a N’oreaster on the horizon I thought it might be fitting to go back to the Northeast.  So back to Massachusetts and Mystics Anonymous. Jeff MA

Mystics Anonymous is the recording project of Jeff Steblea.  Formed in 1995 Jeff’s focus was artistic freedom. He released “Mystics Anonymous” in 1998.  However, a solid line up never materialized so with  a little creative thought a light bulb went off and Mystics Anonymous became a recording project as did building his own studio.  It was during this time that Jeff was asked to contribute some original scores for some independent tv/film projects.  The “Brutality of Beauty” was released in summer 2003 as a limited mail order featuring 7 new songs.  He also composed “Middle Distance” for the “Of the Earth” art exhibit at the Artworks Gallery in Connecticut.  That score was released in 2003 and comparisons of his work were made to Brian Eno and David Lynch. Mystics Anonymous was quite active during this time, recording and releasing “Winsted in the Space Room” also in 2004. It featured 14 new songs that leaned towards the more experimental side of Jeff without alienating the listener.

That brings us to present day and Mystics Anonymous’ latest release “Dreaming for Hours” which came out January 2014.  I’ve been listening to this thoroughly over the course of the last few weeks delving into the composition, style, the nuances of the vocals. The first sounds of “Sinner’s Lament” are that of a drum machine spewing a tribal beat that compels you to listen.   Slowly the other instruments/sounds are layered on top of it adding fullness and further drawing you into what’s next. Imagine smoke tendrils as fingers curling in a “come hither” motion. And you do.

In “Wells had it Right” the lyrics are poignant, reflective and present that leads you into “False Voices” which is an instrumental piece. This  experimental instrumental has all the ebb and flow of a tide. A little more than halfway in and you may notice some R2D2 sounds and a vocal sample as it seamlessly transitions into a tribal themed beat again, reminiscent of Meat Beat Manifesto.  The allterna-pop pace picks up again with “Knife Thrower”  The lyrical sarcasm/irony is smart and well done. For some reason “Days” really sticks with me.  Maybe it is because it reminds me of early World Party (All Come True) even be the way the backing vocal comes in and hi-lights the lyric that reminds me of the time I first heard Sinead O’Connor backing Karl Wallinger and World Party on Hawaiian Island World.

Mystics anonymous“Made of the Time” has a heavier sound to the vocal and overall mood of the song.  It reminds me of Low Pop Suicide / Joy Division and how they tended to be a bit darker without being completely dark.
The next few songs “Dreaming Interlude”, “Theme from Night Sweats”, “The Fifth Business”, and “Hours Epilogue” are the more experimental songs on the album. They contain more of an electronic feel and they are a welcome addition. It mixes up the alterna feel of the album and takes it into yet another musical realm. There is no easy classification of this release and I like that.  It has appeal to many in that sense.

Jeff states: “the whole point was to establish a project where nothing is off-limits”.  Well Jeff, mission accomplished.

Check out Mystics Anonymous on their website here:http://mysticsanonymous.com/ or like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mystics-Anonymous/326367507376859?ref=ts&fref=ts

Listen and download their stuff here :http://mysticsanonymous.bandcamp.com/

 

 

Happy listening

-Not Haydn

 

 

 

 

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Lee Gregory- Going Going, Going, Gone Solo

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A little while back I introduced you and followed up on a band out of Washington State, Strangely Alright.  Since that review the keyboard guru, Lee Gregory, has chosen to go solo and pursue other interests and projects.

His first release was a cover of Johann Johannsson’s “The Suns Gone Dim” which can be found on SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/lee-gregory-keys  His version is a little different than the original.  He kept the electronic feel of the piece but made it a little more ethereal with a much fuller orchestration. 

Since releasing that cover he has released a few other originals on Soundcloud. The first one that I came across after listening to the cover is “Stuck in Tacoma”  It is night and day if you are comparing it to the cover.  This song has bounce and gets your foot tapping from the start.  It has hints of Bob Dylan, Karl Wallinger, Beatles, and Grateful Dead for starters.  There is even a bit where I feel like I’ve walked into a saloon and the can-can girls are doing a dance.  The song is a lot of fun and should not stay as the title implies “Stuck in Tacoma”

Moving on to the other songs that Lee has on Soundcloud we get a sense of the influence that The Beatles may have played in his musical upbringing.  Which comes as no surprise when you think of their catalogue and how many artists from many genres cite them as influences. Listen a little further and you also hear some Pink Floyd influence on the song “2”.

Lee does not have many songs up on Soundcloud yet but I sense that as he writes and records the list will grow.  I also sense that the list will contain many songs that are  similar to what he has shown us thus far, ballads, pop, etc.  He is a gifted songwriter and keeper of the keys so I’ve no doubt that many more musical gems are in store for us if we are patient and follow him on Soundcloud.

Here is the link again: https://soundcloud.com/lee-gregory-keys

Once on SoundCloud you will see the other links that Lee has available.

 

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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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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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Follow up to some artists I have featured this year, Richard Davia, Mike Wyatt, Truly Ford and Matt Wade

Happy holidays to all!!!! I will not be featuring any one artist this week as the holidays are fast approaching and things are hectic all around.

So I thought as the year starts to wind down and winding down it is since the Mayans were kinda wrong.  (Where are those Mayans anyway?   Seems they fizzled long before 2012)  I thought I would do a little piece on some of the artists I have featured and what they have been up to since they last appeared here.

So first let’s start with Richard Davia the singer songwriter from Rhode Island.

Richard won the Charter TV3 WooTube video of the month and now he is up for Video of the Year  with his videodavia1 “Breaking up around me”

Let’s help Richard achieve that by voting here http://www.facebook.com/questions/308340722599950/

Richard’s videos were top of the line so let’s get him the recognition he so well deserves.

Also, a quick note of Mike Wyatt and Truly Ford, the two Brits I have featured.  Both have a unique style and vocally are not your average pop singers, Mike, having the makings of the grittiness of Tom Waits and Truly a  young Florence.  Both of these artists are making their mark in the UK and both are in the studio working on new material.  I will keep you updated on the progress and release as I learn more.

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And last but not least is NJ’s own  Matt Wade who was up for Keyboard player of the year and well, you matt 2

guessed it, he won. Great accomplishment.

I guess that about sums up all there is for now.  I will

return in 2013 with more great bands and artists and of course 50 States of Talent continues.

Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Kwanza and a great Boxing Day, sorry if I missed any and Have a safe and Happy New Year!!!!!

 

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50 States of Talent Continues…….. NJ’s own Matt Wade

Matt’s a local guy here along the Jersey Shore and he knows first hand what a Super-storm Sandy can do. He put his musical connections and prowess together and created his own super-storm in the form of a benefit for the locals in our area who were affected by Sandy. With all proceeds going to the local chapter of the Red Cross. So kudos to him for that. Picture here on the left is from the benefit so pardon the informal setting.

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So just who is this Matt Wade fellow? Besides being a local, Matt is primarily a self taught musician beginning at a young age like most prodigies.The guy breathes music. ( I wonder what happens when he yawns?)

A multi-instrumentalist Matt has been performing in talent competitions, community events and garage bands all while honing his craft. Eventually he decided to go solo and play his music and not covers, though he does throw in a few of those. He is backed by a band and the current line up is: Matt-piano/vocals, Colin Thompson- bass, Kevin Grossman- drums, Denis Daley – bari sax, Paul Vinci – sax and Charlie McDonald- trumpet. No, I didn’t omit a guitar player. There isn’t one.

Matt released a self-titled debut album in 2009. It contains many fan favorites, “Back On My Own” and “City Song” to name a few. He followed that up in 2011 with D Sides & Demo Tapes. That also contains some very alt-radio friendly tunes like “I Wanna Be On the Radio” and “Get the Picture”.

The overall sound is piano driven pop but that is just a generalization since there are obvious jazz and blues influences. Matt’s song writing has matured with his second release and definitely contained more vulnerable slower songs that really evoked the emotion in his voice. A good example would be “What can I say?” such a heartbreakingly beautiful love song, stripped down to near nakedness Those songs explored a tenderness that he doesn’t often show you in his live performances.

Matt can be found on YouTube where you can view quite a few musical performances. He can also be found on Facebook and his own web page http://www.mattwademusic.com His website is nicely done, containing all the info you need regarding upcoming shows or subscribing to a news letter buying merchandise etc. There is also a link to Itunes where you can buy his albums.

That said, I hope you will check him out and enjoy what you hear.

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