…On the Heart [Wildlife]

By Paul on April 5th, 2013 in , ,

Forgive us for becoming the Wildlife Channel recently. They’re just that amazing. A month ago today, they released a new album,…On The Heart. We also gave you a free song, Born to Ruin, in anticipation for that release. And ya know what? Dean and company later said I could give you another song! Of course I’ll have to oblige. This one is my personal favorite and was "Song of the Week" on the Canadian iTunes store. Hit the jump for the download, and to read about Wildlife’s new album.

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Yukon Blonde – Tiger Talk

By Paul on November 26th, 2012 in , , ,

Happy Cyber Monday, everybody! And do I ever have a gift for you! May I present to you Yukon Blonde, who played in D.C. fairly recently with the Jezabels (another magnificent band). Unfortunately I was unable to see them myself due to… reasons… but even so, these guys make some pretty amazing music.

When I discovered they were playing in town, the only reason I gave them a second look was because I wanted to see the Jezabels in concert. Up until then I hadn’t heard of Yukon Blonde, or maybe I once heard about them from the friend of a friend who overheard a hobo at a metro station or something. But whatever. I listened to Yukon Blonde and I was hooked.

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Atherton [No Threat]

By Paul on June 20th, 2012 in , ,

Have I ever told you about all the cool indie rappers out there? No? Well, shoot, let’s change that starting now! Hip hop is kind of a big thing, after all. But, just like any other genre, the artists with the most creative license are often not the ones on the radio; they’re the independent musicians. Take Canadian rapper Atherton, for example.

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Jeremy Messersmith — The Trilogy of Life

By Paul on July 11th, 2011 in , ,

It sometimes seems like every band has an album about death. It’s almost a requirement before you get your indie badge, but it’s often tough to wade through that gloomy death sea and find a song you really love to death. It takes a unique approach, something that goes beyond the standard death album, to really catch hold in a memorable way. This is why Starfucker had such an amazing album in Reptilians. Similarly, Jeremy Messersmith‘s new album — The Reluctant Graveyard — is an album that just won’t die. And that’s a good thing.

The album came about as a natural progression of Jeremy’s music. He has two older albums, The Alcatraz Kid and The Silver City, and each of the three albums is about a particular stage of life. The Alcatraz Kid is all about growing up. Continuing to the Silver City, Jeremy talks about joining the adult world with adult rules and responsibilities. Finally, we reach Jeremy’s current album, The Reluctant Graveyard. If you look at the progression, you are born, you grow up, you get a job, and then what? You get old and eventually die. It’s a very sad thought, but it is the natural end to a trilogy of albums all about life.

The first song, Lazy Bones, actually seems to be more of an extension of the Silver City. It helps to segue the listener into the new album smoothly, as well as introduce a completely new style of songwriting that will span through the whole album. It is more of a throwback to early Beatles, Beach Boys, and the like. The other two albums just didn’t have that feel to them, nor were they supposed to. Perhaps it helps the album to feel just a little bit older and more mature?

The Reluctant Graveyard stays exciting with Dillinger Eyes, a song about determinism, of all things. This idea pops up again with the song John the Determinist (obviously), and it may be in other songs as well. After Dillinger Eyes, the album really starts to settle down into its much sadder feel. By the time you get to Deathbed Salesman (surprisingly based on a skit by Jerry Seinfeld), you will have realized that this is a really sad album. But, there is a real beauty to the sadness, especially in Deathbed Salesman, and it is this beauty, the wonder of life, that you should really pay attention to. In death, there is a sad homage to life that Jeremy captures perfectly.

Please enjoy our audio interview with Jeremy below, along with the videos from the live show. Then, go get his albums. All three of them. Jeremy lets you pay whatever you want (including nothing) for them, so there’s no reason not to. But please consider paying a few bucks, because an artist this talented deserves it.

Jeremy Messersmith interview

Cloud Cult — Light Chasers (Album Review)

By Paul on May 28th, 2011 in

Another first! When we really like a good band, we’ll do the occasional album review, but our main focus will always be the live shows. Our first ever album review is for Cloud Cult — a wonderful orchestral indie rock band headed by Craig Minowa — that will be releasing their eighth album, Light Chasers, on September 14.

It is already available as a digital download, though, so go get the album. But before you do, a word if you please. When you buy this album (and please do, you’ll thank me later), buy the whole thing, not just one or two songs. This album is a story. Some would call it a concept album, but I don’t want to do that. That doesn’t give it enough credit.

A concept album, by definition, explores a concept that is consistent through the whole album. Light Chasers certainly has that, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Even the Foo Fighters’ the Color and the Shape, another concept album, actually has a story somewhere in there. The Foo Fighters are great, and especially that album — home of classics like Everlong, My Hero, and Monkey Wrench — but if the Color and the Shape was a good novel, then Light Chasers would be an epic. It would be the Oddysey compared to the Color and the Shape’s Catcher in the Rye.

This album has everything. Exploration, love, life, death, and anything in between can be found in Light Chasers’ pages. The song “Room Full of People in your Head” explores the conflicting emotions felt by the hero of the story. It is perhaps the most descriptive metaphor of the sad inspiration for the album. Craig and his wife Connie lost their first son, Kaiden. When there is an untimely death in the family, a whole range of unbearable emotions comes out. I can only imagine that that is magnified when the victim is your firstborn son.

But the story ends well. You will feel strong and inspired after the final song, “There’s So Much Energy In Us,” is over. The hero’s mission is complete. He has found the light that he and his crew were chasing through the whole epic. It serves as a wonderful metaphor for the introduction of the newest member of the Minowa family, a young boy named Nova.

This album honors both Kaiden and Nova at the same time. Kaiden’s legacy is the best concept album I have ever had the opportunity to listen to. It also gives a grand introduction to the new life in Nova.

Cloud Cult is currently touring for their album, and will be playing at the Black Cat in DC on May 28. Their full tour schedule is available on the band website. Please see them. The Reverb Signal cannot, unfortunately, but we hear it’s an amazing show.