Friday, October 19, 2018

Monica Martin - Cruel

One of the most special singers I've encountered these last 12 years has new music today. I first crossed paths years back with Monica Martin (and her Wisconsin bandmates in PHOX (Partisan Records) in Texas at SXSW. And then it was, fantastically, like they were everywhere I was; on the road, in Boston, NY and at Newport Folk.  Over the course of the last few years Monica has developed into a next-level kind of talent.  

Here her classic vocal delivery and her personal dedication to soft grooves shine through on new offering "Cruel." Link below to download the goods. Support game when you see it!

Editor's Note: High marks for Monica's protagonist in Cruel.  She wants to be honest but also doesn't want to be cruel. "You know I only sleep with the truth." Brilliant.

Monica Martin
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Today Wilco announced the anticipated 2019 return of the Solid Sound Music Festival to North Adams, MA in June. This is a world class music experience in the bucolic splendor of a rural town with farmhouses and sprawling nearby forests and livestock and cornfields. I've been to a number of these and they are characterized by a devoted personal delivery of the sets by the acts (including multiple interactions with the band.)

Thought we might take a trip down memory road today with these amazing photos from RSL photographer 5342 Studios at the second ever Solid Sound in 2011. Those were amazing days. The groundwork was laid for a sustainable music event which allowed the band to join hands with its most fervent fans willing to travel to a remote spot to celebrate music and life. In doing so, they've helped save a community dependent on music, arts, culture and their agricultural roots.

Conceived by Wilco and inaugurated in 2010, Solid Sound will again present Wilco as hosts and headliners and will feature an eclectic, Wilco-selected musical lineup of indie, rock, jazz and more, as well as performances by Wilco members’ side-projects. "After almost two years off the road, we’re going to be so excited to be back on stage together," says Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. "I can’t wait to have that feeling again." In addition to the expansive galleries of MASS MoCA, the festival includes a fully programmed comedy stage, naturalist/outdoor activities that exemplify the spirit of The Berkshires, a broad variety of family activities, local food, craft beer and cider, and more.


Three-day tickets for June 28-30, 2019 go on sale this Thursday at 11:00AM ET. For a limited time, tickets will be offered at a reduced early-bird rate of $149 (regular price $179). Children’s three-day tickets (ages 6-10) will be available for $55 and children under 6 are free. Thursday also marks the opening of campsite reservations for the official festival campground Solid Ground. Campsite reservations can be made only by calling the MASS MoCA Box Office.

Solid Sound: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Wilco: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
MASS MoCA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tristen Gaspadarek - Baby Drugs

This isn't a new song but it is amazing and I'm celebrating it today! "Baby Drugs" does everything a pop song should and more. It grabs you immediately and takes you to a different place. Singer Tristen Gaspardarek, who goes by simply 'Tristen' offers seductive rhymes over the rising drums and guitar. The protagonist offers understanding and welcome arms where there are, apparently, none. Pretty convincing story. 

Tristen has released three albums to critical acclaim: Charlatans at the Garden Gate (2011), CAVES (2013), and Sneaker Waves, which was released last year via Austin label Modern Outsider. She also performed as a member of Jenny Lewis's live band in 2015.

The featured song "Baby Drugs" was featured on the HBO television series Enlightened and the film Better Living Through Chemistry. MTV's reality TV shows Catfish: The TV Show and Teen Mom 2 used the song "Gold Star" and the teen drama Finding Carter used "House of War."[13] "Special Kind of Fear" was featured in Denis Leary's television show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Long Winters - Stupid

Falling for One Song At A Time... (But seriously I think I love every other song I've ever heard from The Long Winters.) Let this kick off your day.

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Monday, October 08, 2018

It's Time to Meet Philippe Bronchtein

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT - I remember meeting Philippe Bronchtein in person and I cannot clearly recall if we had been communicating for a bit first - but I do know that after that day I felt like we had known one another for a good while. He's got that kind of energy.

We had discussed music and a bit more briefly, a little on life. At the time, Phil would go up on stage as Hip Hatchet - and when he did, the whole day got better. Now with a new set of songs and a fresh outlook, Phil is back again and playing under his real name. The change could be important for him - in which case this time is certainly important. On the verge of releasing a new album, this is someone you definitely need to know.

This clip features Bronchtein with pedal steel accompaniment by Jason Montgomery. To have been seated in this room during this season would have been a real treat. The atmospherics generated by the pair in this room are amazing. Bronchtein's voice is amplified by the chilling slide of Montgomery's strings. Wow. 

FROM THE WEBSITE - By the time he was 27, Bronchtein had logged several hundred thousand miles in on the road, crossing and recrossing the US and the Atlantic. In a few short years, he had quickly become one of Portland's most well-loved, consommate road-warriors, cherished by fans of songcraft, other songwriters, and the bandleaders who, over and over, invited him to join them on tour. Still a young man, he'd released three LPs, numerous splits, 7"s EPs, and singles under the moniker Hip Hatchet and toured as a multi-instrumentalist for the likes of Esme Patterson, The War & Treaty, Quiet Life, and others.

Bronchtein relocated to Nashville in 2017 to continue working as a touring musician. But the endless cycle of barely-occupied sublet apartments, ephemeral friendships, and might-have-beens left him drained, burnt out, longing for some semblance of stability or a connection that remained always tantalizingly out of reach.

Philippe Bronchtein
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Friday, October 05, 2018

Wanderer from Cat Power

Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, releases her first album in more than a half decade today. Her songs are smoldering, sensual affairs in their representation of her protagonism. Less apparent on Wanderer, is her trademark delicate approach. Truth is that life can do that to a person. In it's place are new strength and a high end range to a soul and a life in music. Cat Power plays Boston tonight at The Paradise.

These are samples - Click the Album Link below to stream on Spotify!

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Thursday, October 04, 2018

Piano Music from Casey Gibson

For a decade, I've had the pleasure of fostering and cheering a most promising band of young musicians and I've watched them grow into a critically-acclaimed international phenomenon. Filligar, who hailed from the Chicago suburbs, filled US concert halls before shifting gears, acting as US ambassadors through music and brought their live performing to countries all over the world.  It gives me fits of joy to see what's become of them..

Filligar piano and keys madman Casey Gibson, who now makes music for films and commercials in Los Angeles, has released his debut solo album. It's a mesmerizing, instrumental album of simple beauty that needs to be shared. 

In His Own Words - "Actually, I'm Robert Castleman Gibson, Jr., if, you know, you're not into the whole brevity thing. I write music for commercials at a company called Mophonics in Los Angeles. The Who's Pete Townshend once called me clever."

Gibson with Filligar. Piano Music is a a wonderful 'other telling' of his ability. 
David Kepner photo.

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