Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kurt von Stetten - Reduce

It's Halloween and that means gawky legs emerging from ghost costumes, sexy corpses and other public reveals. It means new music. Underground sonic hero Kurt von Stetten (Static Motor) has unveiled "Reduce" - a mesmerizing telling of the man's state of mind. 

Von Stetten sure is quirky. And these songs are typically a race to the finish and leave the listener wanting more. The Reduce album is an explosion of experiences and can seem discordant but, of course, this is by design. 

Here - as always, the DIY von Stetten is fearless in taking chances and believing in his vision. Man is a bit of a Darwin miracle -- he's out there on his own, completely unique and he's developed into a bit of an art dynamo. (All the album art, labels, essentially everything on his releases, are crafted with his own hands!) 

Impressively, this is Kurt's thirteenth album, and while I've only been listening to these songs for about two hours now - this album is already one of his very best. This material is completely separate from his work with other band, label-mates The Longwalls - who are also weird and very, very good. Kurt von Stetten is a name to know.

Kurt von Stetten
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Thursday, October 25, 2018

New Music from Twin Shadow

I couldn't be more excited for a new set of songs from George Lewis Jr. More familiar by his stage name Twin Shadow, Lewis has a powerful voice. His audio infatuations and influenes all contribute to his soul. And Lewis deftly finishes with a producer's brain. The results are stimulating for sure. The new song Hollow Days uses Island vibes to dance and hop above bleak lyrics. Executing street poetry, Twin Shadow, is the Beck of his world. More delights from this wordsmith lie ahead. 

Hanging dark in the Walmart lot
Waiting for you
The black top wave
The interstate that drags you
My obsessions
Teach me lessons
I'm always waiting for you
The Drugs we take
Play with our fate
I love you
(full lyrics)

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ART: Durieux does Apocalypse Now

This sensational new Laurent Durieux silkscreen poster will go on sale in Austin in two weeks. (Good luck with this one fam) during a gallery celebration of the man's well-measured career in art. 

“The Art of Laurent Duriex Part Two” runs from Nov 9th - 17th at the Mondo Gallery from 7pm to 10pm. For those who cannot make it, Mondo is likely to put up a small allocation of the poster run (and it's variant, detail below) available through their website. Drop date not yet announced.

The reflection!!!! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

England attacks North America with Los Campesinos returning to steal our Children!

11/1 - The Biltmore, Vancouver BC (19+) *
11/2 - Neumos, Seattle WA *
11/3 - Revolution Hall, Portland OR *
11/5 - August Hall, San Francisco CA *
11/6 - Echoplex, Los Angeles CA *
11/8 - Thalia Hall, Chicago IL (17+) ^
11/9 - Ace of Cups, Columbus OH ^
11/10 - Loving Touch, Detroit MI ^
11/11 - The Opera House, Toronto ON ^
11/13 - Elsewhere, Brooklyn NY (16+) ^
11/14 - Elsewhere, Brooklyn NY (16+) ^
11/15 - Sinclair, Boston MA ^
11/16 - Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA ^
11/17 - Black Cat, Washington DC ^
*with Illuminati Hotties
^with Adult Mom

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Favorite Record from 2016 has been released on Cassette Tape!

This album is probably new to you and it absolutely shouldn't be. Magnificent Ram is a celebration of brainchild Don DiLego - a musician and production genius we've been following for years. It occurred to me the other day I had previously failed to celebrate this record properly. Let's take care of that now.  

Ryan's Music Challenge... Track 5: Go Pack Your Suitcase, Track 4: I'm on Fire, Track 3: Drive Like Pirates, Track 1: Karma King. 

Here in each case DiLego creates with a nuanced, pop-genius which is characteristic to all of his work. Some more twangy, others more percussive or jangly. All brilliant looks. Moments are stretched. Time is fluid and emotions flow. What gets me on this record is that every song is a celebration of it's story. 

VERDICT: Stellar exhibition of talent. Don is the man. He works with the best talent in music today and he's one of the finest producers on the East Coast. So yeah. I've listened to this album at least once a week, every week since it was released two years ago. And I use the songs/stories from the album often - adding them to my monthly playlist. This record should be listened to right away. Repeatedly. Then we will talk. 

Oh yeah, it's now out on cassette. Weirdos.

“Magnificent Ram A is the album you’ve been dreaming of” – BuzzFeed
“Magnificent Ram A, in short, is DiLego’s masterpiece” – No Depression
“DiLego brings a stunner of a record that showcases his songwriting talents throughout”. – Paste Magazine
“One to watch” – The Guardian
“Don DiLego is quickly becoming the “Next Big Thing,” in the Americana-Indie-Folk scene.” – No Depression
“Drive Like Pirates” is excellent” – Bob Harris / BBC2

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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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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Exploring Space with KAL MARKS

Kal Marks by photographer Omari Spears

There's all sorts of bands out there clamoring for your attention and none more worthy than Boston's Kal Marks - right now likely still asleep in the back of the van or already motoring on to their next date. The Northeast's most important noise-rock band is burning up highway on their Fall US Tour. Remaining dates below.

Kal Marks are influencing their fellow creators and dominating the underground while impressively flirting with a more mainstream audience. The band were recently tapped with a Best Rock Band and Best Album (for 'Universal Care') by the Boston Music Awards. Clearly this is an act that performs for audiences. Kal Marks is Carl Shane, Michael Geacone and Alex Audette.  

The impressive run of live dates culminates back in Boston for what is sure to be an explosive finish to a righteous 2018. 

11/09 Smiling Moose in Pittsburgh, PA
11/10  Slash & Run in Washington, DC
11/11 Super Wimpy HQ in Philadelphia, PA
11/16 Hometown Welcome - Allston, MA
Great Scott a Night also featuring
Maneka, Nice Guys & Rong

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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Instant Gratification from Night Spins

Not quite sure how I missed the June release of Night Spins' hot new eponymous full-length but it's something you should be checking out. The Brooklyn four-piece were formerly known as The Boobies. What the rebrand means is a reconsolidation of efforts and a hell of a fresh start. 

The lads; Josh Brocki, Manquillian Minniefee, Andrew Jernigan and Jesse Starr, make the most of this reboot - executing throughout producing a gritty pop record of note. 

On lead single, Tell Me I'm Wrong, Night Spins are every part The Greenhornes (the Cincinnati showstoppers led by Craig Fox.) This thing doesn't just rock - it bounces... also evoking early Kings of Leon. And just for a bit - we're back to summer again.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS - "This album is self-titled, as it's the first incarnation of our band,"Night Spins". Presented with ten original tracks, the album barrels through themes of love, cheating, and burning revenge - while still making time for the beach and the blurry LES. Inspired by New York City and born out of the burly South, our music might find itself on playlists with the likes of Weezer, Alabama Shakes, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, and Iggy Pop. Please enjoy what we call, "garage pop with teeth".

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