VIDEO: The Memories’ “I’m Not Going To Work Tomorrow”

This is one of those videos where, upon watching the first second, you’re wondering if this is going to be an Odetta sized hit or miss. Eventually you realize that, in the words of James Brown, this is a hit. This hit was created by The Memories, and is taken from their vinyl-only album Love Is The Law, which you may order from Burger Records. The video contains imagery of stairs, cigarettes, fondling bodies, and vomit.

AUDIO: Mona & Maria’s “My Sun”

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A small handful of you may recognize the name Bazooka Boppers and are probably thinking “WOW! I HAVEN’T HEARD THAT NAME IN YEARS!” The Norwegian group had split up three years ago, and fans of the group were wondering what happened to its members, specifically Mona Andersen and Maria Knudsen. They decided to continue working together in their own capacity and create a duo simply called Mona & Maria. You’re now able to have a listen to what they have been up to with “My Sun”, the title track from their forthcoming album on Jansen Plateproduksjon. The full length will be released on the 21st of October. Their brand of folk pop will be a return to goodness for those who remember Bazooka Boppers fondly, or as an introduction to the goodness you have been longing for. My Sun was produced by Christian Engfelt.

BANDCAMP SUGGESTIONS: Kirk Pearson’s “Monocot Down”

 photo KirkPearson_cover_zps6160e8f0.jpg Kirk Pearson is a young music artist. In fact, his Facebook page states he graduated high school in 2012, but if the Monocot Down EP is any indication of his talents, he will definitely continue to explore all of the avenues available to and in front of him, especially with the styles of music he plays. Pearson incorporates elements of folk, pop, soul, jazz, and if you’re a fan of surf music from films created in the 1970’s, he’s ready for soundtrack usage. While Pearson wrote the majority of the songs, he brings in a number of collaborators (including Julian Korzeniowsky, who helped co-write “Pollinate”) in this project to help perform the music, and it sounds like some kind of laid back vibe you might catch at a beach or park. He currently lives in Ohio, but he is already traveling quite a bit through the music he creates. I look forward to following his journey in the years to come.

SOME STUFFS: West Coast is the place to be for Powerdove shows

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Annie Lewandowski, John Dieterich and Thomas Bonvalet are Powerdove, and they are doing a small handful of shows (nine in total) on the West Coast in support of their album Do You Burn (my review of which can be read by clicking here. If you are in or within the vicinity of these cities, please check them out.

July 18… Albuquerque, NM (Sisters)
July 19… Tucson, AZ (Solar Culture Galactic Center)
July 20… Los Angeles, CA (Pehrspace)
July 21… San Francisco, CA (Hemlock Tavern)
July 23… Portland, OR (Secret Society)
July 24… Seattle, WA (The Comet Tavern)
July 25… Boise, ID (The Crux)
July 26… Salt Lake City, UT (Kilby Court)
July 27… Denver, CO (Sidewinder)

If you are unfamiliar with them, have a listen to “Love Walked In”, where you may end up not wanting to walk out.

(Do You Burn is available in digital, vinyl, and CD and can be purchased directly from in Portland, Oregon, or you may order them from Amazon below.)

REVIEW: Bevel’s “Twin Knowledge”

 photo Bevel_cover_zpsef9839c1.jpg At 19 songs, Bevel‘s Twin Knowledge (Maroon Desert Fountain) is interesting before one even listens to it, and now that I’ve listened to it, I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I like it 50/50, and here’s why.

Musically and stylistically, Bevel goes to and through a lot of places, never resting in one location at any given time, and normally I like that, but it was hard to figure out a unified platform of sorts. On most of the album, the man behind Bevel, Via Nuon, shows his expertise as a storyteller. It doesn’t matter if he’s being direct or abstract, Nuon does this quite well and primarily through different textures of folk and indie pop. When he starts to sing like a guy from the 60’s who hung out in a lot of Greenwich Village folk clubs, my mind goes elsewhere and I’m not sure whether to move to the next song or keep at it to know about the mission Bevel is creating for himself. However, as a means to cleanse the pallet, there will be an instrumental that borders on progressive rock passages or interludes, or some nice rural surf movie music from the early 1970’s. At times, I found myself enjoying the instrumental pieces more than some of the vocal tracks, with the emphasis on “at times”.

What I did enjoy about Twin Knowledge is that each story (even the instrumentals, which count as a musical story) comes and goes fairly quickly, at two-and-a-half minutes or less. He sounds like that guy you might catch at a farmer’s market with a hat by his feet, ready for people to throw change, not many people paying attention to him but there’s something from him that makes you want to listen, even the irritable things. I don’t know if others would call this alt.folk or alt.prog.folk or whatever mixture of words made to sound like a Usenet group but there is that something that makes me want to listen, at least in part.

(The vinyl pressing of Twin Knowledge can be pre-ordered directly from the store at

SOME STUFFS/RECORD CRACK: Among Giants to become big about it in Florida tour this summer, with split 7″ also on the way

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Normally around this time of the year, I’ll post about bands going out on summer tours or doing the festival circuit, as we are now in festival season. It’s nice to hear about a band who are just concentrating on doing shows throughout a single state. In this case I speak of Among Giants, an Orlando-based trio consisting of Greg Hughes, Zachary Anderson, and Marcus Menendez-Aponte. This punk/pop band have been around for a few years releasing a few albums and singles here and there, including a lathe cut record. For their summer tour, they’re bringing along fellow Orlando residents Zap Dragon & The Attack and rather than get complicated about a special name for the tour, they’re calling it Florida Tour 2013. Fair and simple. If you are in or heading to Florida this July, you’ll be able to check them out, so plan your evenings or vacation time accordingly. There will be a few other bands along the way, some of which are indicated below:

July 4… Winter Park, FL (I4 Fest)
July 5… Sarasota, FL (TBA)
July 6… Saint Petersburg, FL (Fubar) $
July 7… Lakeland, FL (Evolution Records) #
July 8… Gainesville, FL (TBA)
July 9… Tallahassee, FL (TBA)
July 10… Jacksonville, FL (Underbelly) %
July 11… Saint Augustine, FL (Nobbys)
July 12… Orlando, FL (Wills Pub)

$ w/ The Mother Machine
# w/ The Attack, Stubborn Beauty
% w/ Xmas

You may stream and listen to their music through the Bandcamp players below.

Among Giants will also be releasing a split 7″ single with a band out of New Jersey called Aspiga. This will be released in early July by Say-10 Records, and you may pre-order your copy (or copies) directky from Say-10 by clicking here.
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REVIEW: The Sea And The Mother’s “We Were Meant To Be A Gentle People”

 photo TheSeaAnd_cover_zpsb955492d.jpg The Sea And The Mother is the musical project of singer/songwriter/author Dao Strom, whose passion for words and how they are expressed and interpreted is a big part of hew new album, We Were Meant To Be A Gentle People. Musically, it’s very much of the folk motif but where she takes the words and herself are in lands that are unknown, and dare I say a foreign experience. Maybe this is a reflection of some of the experiences Strom has gone through in her life, moving from one culture (Vietnam) to another before finding the comforts of an established home in Portland, Oregon. Her stories can be very elaborate with every detail heard and sensed, while other persons can be thick with metaphor to where you may be unsure of what or whom she may be singing about at first. If you take in the album as a whole, you’ll be able to see all of the pieces and find places to put them in for a more complete picture, yet even that may be a bit abstract in the sense that the big picture (an album) could lead to music that’s yet to be written and released. Or at least I’d like to think that’s how she creates her work as a singer and writer.

Dreams, nightmares, and reality tend to blend into a recipe that could be a delight on one end, and a bit eerie on the other, sometimes within the same song, maybe from verse to verse. She comes off like a modern day Joni Mitchell or Kate Bush, women who share their strengths through stories of fear, triumphs, regrets, and tentative wishes of hope. Strom writes her songs in a poetic fashion and at times may seem unconventional, but it works once the puzzles are understood. I like that she creates her music as if she’s challenging the listener to follow her through the audio fields, or through oceans and lakes. If one chooses to take on the task of the search, the end result will be very rewarding.

SOME STUFFS: King Dude offer brief video, prepare to head on brief west coast tour

This video was released five months ago and has only 154 views? Let’s change that. The guys in King Dude (no relation to guitarist Guy Mann-Dude) released an album last October called Burning Daylight (DAIS) and now they’ll be burning the evening light as they will be going on tour in the west, beginning next week in Seattle:

March 26… Seattle, WA (The Comet)
March 27… Portland, OR (Mississippi Studios)
March 29… San Francisco, CA (Elbo Room)
March 30… Santa Cruz, CA (Catalyst Atrium)
March 31… Los Angeles, CA (The Echo)
April 1… San Diego, CA (The Casbah)
April 3… Sacramento, CA (Luigi’s Fun Garden)

REVIEW: Powerdove’s “Do You Burn”

Powerdove photo Powerdove_cover_zps00e24aeb.jpg Vocalist Annie Lewandowski uses the harpsichord to execute her compositions to the public. She uses the name Powerdove, and what started out as introspective music for one has turned into a trio. For Do You Burn (Circle Into Square) she brings in Deerhoof’s John Dieterich and L’ocelle Mare’s Thomas Bonvalet to assist in instrumentation. While she has a tendency to call her music folk, this is not traditional folk by any means. In fact, this borders along the lines of indie/eclectic pop meets freeform freedom. There are moments where the music feels seamless, with no detectable rhythm. A few of the songs may sound as easy flowing as spoken word, like Bjork singing without instrumental accompaniment. Other times, Lewandowski is assisted by Dieterich and Bonvalet with what sounds like syncopated rhythms but may have been very well played in the studio, on the spot as Lewandowski was singing it. It sounds live, and the possibility of this being recorded with no overdubs is great, although overdubs would be fine by me.

What initially starts freeform turns into something unique and festive, which leads to a few solo tracks, true Powerdove songs where it’s just Lewandowski singing, and playing the harpsichord. One is reminded of those Neil Young solemn moments where hearing the songs makes you want to listen to it more intently, so that you’re not missing something. Even if you’ve caught all of the lyrics, you’re moved to want to hear it again.

While it may be too soon to call her a modern day Joni Mitchell or Judy Collins, Lewandowski definitely has the musical chops and songwriting skills to get there, and musicians who can help her reach that level. What I like is that Powerdove sounds like nothing you’ve heard, or at least nothing like I’ve heard before. I enjoy the freeform moments where you’re unsure where she’s going to place a lyric or verse but when she gets there, everything falls into place. I’m hoping fans will find a place to fall within her music, in order to enjoy it for years to come.

(Do You Burn is available in digital, vinyl, and CD and can be purchased directly from in Portland, Oregon, or you may order them from Amazon below.)

SOME STUFFS: Saul Conrad offers a slice of “Sycamore” before hitting the street

Director Catherine Please came up with this video treatment for Saul Conrad’s “Sycamore”, and it comes at a good time. As fans both old and new get a chance to be excited musically and visually, Conrad will be hitting the streets for some performances. This is also known as “hitting the road”, a/k/a “a tour”, beginning this Valentine’s Day. If you can make it, you will have fun for an hour or so. Dates and times are located below. You may click here to see what artists will also be performing at each show.

February 14… Boston, MA (The Lily Pad – 11:30pm)
February 15… Pittsfield, MA (Marketplace Cafe – 7pm)
February 16… New York, NY (National Underground – 7-8pm)
February 17… Wilmington, DE (Mojo 13 – 10pm)
February 18… Baltimore, MD (Bohemian Coffeehouse – 8pm)
February 20… Pittsburgh, PA (Inn Termission Lounge – 9pm)
February 21… Cleveland, OH (Wilbert’s – 9-9:45pm)
February 22… Columbus, OH (Kafe Kerouac – 10-10:45pm)
February 23… Canton, OH (Buzzbin Magazine & Art Shop – 9:30-10:15pm)
February 26… Bloomington, IN (Bear’s Place – 9-9:45pm)
February 27… Nashville, TN (The National Underground – 7-8pm)
February 28… Louisville, KY (Zazoo’s – 10-10:45pm)
March 1… Chicago, IL (The Elbo Room – 9-10pm)

He is doing shows because he likes to, but he also released an EP called Poison Packets, my review of which can be read by clicking here.