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Tag Archives: pop music

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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Follow up on the 51st State and Stuart Newman

As I promised, a follow up is in order. What better way to get through the summer than with some new music?avatars-000035976694-ivu6s9-t200x200 Especially some music from an artist that provides some nice mellow rock perfect for sitting around the campfire or hanging on the porch with friends enjoying some summer cocktails.

Stuart provides just such a back drop with his new single “The Whiskey”. Reminiscent of some XTC and Love and Rockets this single just starts, wham- vocals. I actually thought I may have missed something the way vocals are looped on the intro. Those first few seconds threw me but once I got into the song and the lyrics all was good. There is a lot going on in the lyrics and that is what I like about Stuart and his style.

The song contains some memorable lyrics, and is catchy enough to find yourself humming along to or in my case singing along to. “Every man’s castle needs a moat” is one such phrase that sticks with you. Overall, this song is built with a solid foundation and is lyrically smart. If you are one who likes to delve into a song and the lyrics than this song will satisfy your cranial needs. Stuart is definitely an artist to keep your eyes and ears on if mellower rock is your thing. I look forward to more from Stuart in the coming months and will keep you updated on his progress.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer and why not add some Stuart Newman to your summer music rotation?

Here is a link to make it easy for you https://soundcloud.com/stuarttnewman

And if you haven’t already done so check out some of his other tracks, you will find some Radiohead influence, intelligent songwriting and pleasantly mellow guitars.

There are also some videos and such out there if you want to see Stuart in action. I believe I found a few previously with a quick google search.

Enjoy!!!!

– NotHaydn

 

 

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Follow up on Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves

Heaves

 

So you liked what Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves had to offer?  A Travelling Wilbury’s motley sort of bunch that wants nothing more to deliver a good time to all even those of you who feel rhythmically challenged. Their folksy alternative sound, their artistically smart lyrics, Daniel’s soul patch?

If you liked all of that or are just into supporting local acts then let’s give them a hand.  They are currently working on a third release. And if you are like me, can’t wait to see just exactly what they are up to.  Then let’s help them reach their goal.  Throw them a few bucks if ya can. If you would like to help them on their latest recording endeavor follow this link.  They will be grateful for your support as all the local guys I feature are.

 

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/contrariwise-songs-from-alice-in-wonderland-through-the-looking-glass

 

 

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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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Follow up -Richard Davia

So in case you were wondering what some of my previous features were up to I thought I would take a moment to let davia1you know what Richard has been up to.

He is currently working on getting into the studio to do some recording but he needs our help.  Recording is a costly and tedious process and well, most musicians are not millionaires.

So let’s give him a hand, he has a kickstarter campaign going on right now.

Check it out and perhaps give him a hand.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/209089852/recording-the-sound-of-gravity

Thanks, and as always support your local artists.

 

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Tomorrow 50 States of Talent continues…….

Sorry for the delay in my posting.  My brother passed away unexpectedly and I have been busy helping out where needed.  In doing so I have neglected my own things.

In time for Valentines Day I have a treat for you a rocker chick (meant strictly as a compliment) from Detroit.  They don’t just make cars and reality tv up there they also make good music.

 

 

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50 States of Talent continues in Arizona and The Afterlight

afterlight bwThis week finds us in a warmer climate.  I’ve traveled west as I said I would and stumbled upon The Afterlight a pop/punk band hailing from the Mesa area.

The core members of this band have been on the Arizona punk scene for almost a decade  A scene that has given us such bands as The Gin Blossom”s and Jimmy Eat World.

Many of the guys in The Afterlight  have been part of some popular bands during this time such as Already Lost, Curbside High, and Spindle who changed their name to Third Approach.  Third Approach was a mainstay on the scene for 7 years releasing 3 albums during their reign.

The last band to have members of The Afterlight in it was The Heartless.  A band that enjoyed immense popularity on the scene and had a promising future. Their album “One Night Stanza” landed them a spot in a contest on The Howard Stern Show.  They went on to win the contest.  Unfortunately, shortly after their success on the Howard Stern show the singer left and the band went their separate ways.

This brief history brings us current and The Afterlight as they are here: Ross Chambers- vocals , Adam Blaylock- bass Chris Nunes- guitar, Jeff Tretta- guitar and Ben McCarthy -drums. These guys come together and bring a lot of experience both as musicians and as well seasoned performers and you can hear that experience on this recording.  Their album Chasing Stars was released this past fall and it is available for free download here: http://www.noisetrade.com/theafterlight  :

The album contains a really cute intro reminiscent of the late 80’s and early 90’s.  It then dives right in with G.F.Y. and I had to take a step back to make sure that I didn’t accidentally change the music.  There was such a professional quality and sound to the song.  Easily compared to Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Eat World.  The album continues to hold your interest with such songs as The Beginning of the End and These Aren’t the Voids You’re Looking For, Move along.  A very radio friendly tune.  The Afterlight is capable of showcasing their softer side as heard in such songs as “Said and Done’ and “End of October”, another radio friendly song.

Unfortunately shortly after releasing “Chasing Stars” Ross had to leave the band for personal reasons.  The Afterlight though continues on as the remaining four musicians are happy to go forward filling in on vocals while they perhaps look for a front-man.  This is similar to a situation that Genesis found themselves in before finally handing the mic and drumsticks to Phil Collins.

The Afterlight does not yet have a website but you can find them in may places on the web.  They are on Facebook as TheAfterlightAZ.  I find Facebook to be a good alternative if you have not yet made a website because it is easy to maintain.

They can also be found on twitter, instagram and YouTube under TheAfterlightAZ.  On YouTube they have their own channel with some interesting videos some from shows, others just video updates. They are also on www. Reverbnation.com/theafterlight

Check them out if you are a fan of alternative and pop punk.  Their sound while a local band is universal.

 

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