Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Boy Azooga

THE INTERNET PROVIDES: So every so often I double click on a link without cause or I listen to a music submission received from an unknown publicist. Being a music blogger doesn't mean all good times, but it can result in some wonderful discoveries. This week the Internet provided the UK's Boy Azooga. Upcoming EU dates for those interested. Thanks Infinity! 

Music / Web / Fb / Tw / Insta

Saturday, December 08, 2018

A new Christmas Song closes out a huge creative year for Kirby Brown

Christmas may be deeply entrenched in the song tradition but that doesn't mean it's all good times down on Highway 10. On the new song, Shepherd's Lament, Kirby Brown sings about waiting for Grace and finding purpose -- "everybody's waiting for a friend." This isn't a track about geography. It's a song about having the season find you in not-the-strongest-place. 

The song is the perfect bookend to a 2018 that saw Brown release his finest songs to date on his first full-length album - the appropriately titled, Uncommon Prayer. 

BEST OF 2018 - Those songs were formed over the course of the last two years as the charming and talented songwriter has sought to find love and a place on glory's path. It's impossible for fans not to hear the influences of Brown's heroes and contemporaries on a country-steeped album that strives for sources of light. Beautiful and haunting stuff. 

The Album's Best Line: On Sweet Shame; "you're holding my heart like a cigarette.."

Album / Web / Fb / Tw / Insta

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

My Next Band only writes Songs about Space (New Mix)

While I have a history of sharing my playlists, I have never communicated the thought process behind crafting one of these. So today I'm doing that. Hope it helps draw you in closer to the music.

For this one, I envisioned the protagonist of this mix finding themselves in an ever changing environment, a series of crossroads. The tracks were to present a series of descriptions for what our hero encounters along the way. (Laughing) I tried to find a way to share this story without sounding like an eight-year old boy. Follow along and we'll get to share one of my favorite mixes of the year. 

As soon as I considered the concept for the mix, my mind immediately self-reminded of the Crossroads story line from Marvel Comics. (Yes - and don't ask me why, because I don't know why..) but my mind jumped back to these books from 1985. This adventure involves the once-hero Incredible Hulk being cast out into the multiverse. There the banished Hulk continued to encounter all sorts of new life and face fantastic challenges. I furiously reviewed the stories on the pages I remember them intensely three decades later. Even as a boy I knew whatever I did for work, I knew I wanted to create.

Mike Mignola art 1985. Words by Bill Mantlo.

Remembering these comic pages and listening to the music playlist it inspires puts a smile upon my face. And it pleased my young mind then to consider that adults in this would could produce work like that as a way to make a living. Those lucky comic book creators somehow found a way to win the keys to the palace: they managed to dislodge their grounded character from the confines of a restraining reality where they - like The Hulk - could explore whatever path they chose. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Pyramid Song by Radiohead

I jumped in the river, what did I see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
And all the figures I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt
I jumped into the river
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
And all the figures I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt
There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt
There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt

Web / Fb / Tw / Insta

Saturday, November 24, 2018

mxmtoon shows us there is no ceiling

mxmtoon (pronounced em-ex-em-toon) is the moniker of 18-year-old Maia, an Oakland-based singer, songwriter, and ukulele player. Maia is like any other teenager, playing sad songs from her bedroom and making goofy videos. But these videos have reached a global audience - a staggering 75 million streams at this point. She's not being celebrated here for being famous, though. She's here today because she's good.


I guess what I find most inspiring by young creators is their relative lack of understanding of limits and boundaries. mxmtoon, 18,  literally has no idea the she shouldn't be able to accomplish so much at a young age. Her debut EP, Plum Blossom, comes out later this year. Until then she needs to be content with her near 1 million listener following on Spotify and a trove of young global listeners who treat her like a cultural touchstone. My favorite so far is 'stuck,' the self-questioning song that any adult can understand. 

The ukulele has never seemed more powerful.. the sky is no longer the limit.. anything is possible. Artists of all ages please take note. 

Music / Web / Fb / Tw / Insta

HER BIO:  Growing up in Oakland, music was a constant for this rising star as she took lessons in violin, cello, trumpet, and guitar before being introduced to the ukulele in middle school. Since then, Maia has written about a host of subjects, from being a burden to her friends (the sweet 'please don't'), the trials of love ('cliché''s head-over-heels moment, or the bubble bursting on 'don't play your card'), and her connection to the Chinese side of her family (the wistful 'hong kong').

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

SPOTLIGHT - Come Undone from Gracie Curran

You want atmosphere.. I'll give you atmosphere. Our Spotlight today shines down on Come Undone, the soft and bluesy new track from Gracie Curran. Her huge personality and empowered vocals are well-supported here by an all-star band made up of some of New England's best. 

photo credit: unknown

Come Undone
Gracie Curran- Vocals
Damon Fowler- Guitar
Matt Walker- Bass
Justin Headley- Drums
Victor Wainwright- Hammond
Pat Harrington- Guitar
Mark Earley- Sax
Doug Woolverton- Trumpet

I love how after the first big horn break, the band walks it back.. the long segue, and that slow, eventual triumphant return to Gracie's voice are just great! This music could be heard pouring out of the alley behind a Detroit or New Orleans blues bars after 3am. Song of the Day. Gracie Curran is a name you need to know.

Web / Fb / Tw / Insta