Sitting here on the bench, waiting for the train to take me to work, I realize that I finally finished the first show podcast in many years. The way my brain works, I have been also contemplating and processing ideas for new shows and the impending and looming master’s thesis that I need to start and finish to graduate. Life is busy, it needs to be busier in a few areas of my life, but it is good for the moment.
Since it has been almost six years of quiet and silence, new shows and their accompanying missives will necessarily evolve. This first show is approximately 45 minutes with an introduction and then we’re off and blazing. Like everything appearing and heard here previously, the shows will not be married to any one genre, but they will all be local, independent, and unsigned (mostly). As time and creativity allow, I’ll add a blurb about the band or a few words at the very least. The show is 45 minutes now, but I may play with the length as well. There is no interlude or closing remarks from me but that is also subject to change. About 3/4 of the way through is a sponsor-like advert from MusicSubmit.com. They are not our sponsor, but they are loyal and the vast majority of the music you hear is due to their diligence in allowing me to hear folks who need to be heard.
I do have to say something about the theme that will begin each show. That powerful but bluesy riff is from a dear friend who has been a favorite from the beginning, Maggie Walters (www.maggiewalters.com). It’s taken from my favorite recording of one of my favorites, “Spin,” which is one of the greatest commentaries on contemporary media propaganda I have ever heard. At some point, I’ll have to ask Maggie for permission to use the lyrics in that book on propaganda I need to write. Plus I love the live version better than the rest, which is where this riff is from.
And a polite request and note for the immediate future. While I love doing a forward and back announce where I discuss some aspects of each track, that is generally impossible at the moment with life being what it is at the moment due to the writing of my thesis and my silly commute to work that eats most of my time. When I have time to do that for the shows I will, but my biggest concern has been getting this music out for you and for the artists as well. Please understand that I am doing the best I can for everything and everyone. Please prepare to be surprised.
Without further ado, I should tell you who you are listening to.
Graham Reynolds and the Golden Arm Trio: A composer and his band from a few years back. Reynolds is a composer who should b better known. You’ve probably heard him is a few films over the years, if you care to explore his projects via his website.
Last Snow: Ready for the radio, but not radio ready (That is, they should be heard, but they don’t sound like the bands that make it to commercial radio that all sound the same.). And this is what I am always looking for. While I don’t feature metal all the time, I do look for exceptional examples that stand out, and this being alternative metal with the rare but incredible woman leading the band on vocals, I stop to listen.
Spencer Robinson and the Wolf Spiders: Hearing a veteran now and then is incredible but hearing the current musical explorations of someone from a band that played with the likes of the Who, X, and the Cramps almost leaves me speechless. There is something that is sexy and dangerous and fills the need for mystery and a little speed all at once with this track.
Eliza Sayers: Pillar of Salt is a single I believe, but I hope there is more to come. There are elements here that would be loved on commercial radio, but there is something undefinable in Sayers voice or the melody that pushes it over my edge and makes it a wonder to hear and listen to repeatedly. I hope there is more to come and and an album, soon.
Brutus Begins: This is one of those projects that becomes fun only because it’s too different to put into a box that we all attempt to do when we’re listening to music. While there are elements here that will be reminiscent to a few, at the end of the day this is undefinable. Listen to it and create your own genres.
Jana Pochop: Jana is an old friend from Austin. She may still be there or she may be in New Mexico somewhere. It’s of the folk variety but lyrics have always been a thing for me and incredibly important. So this sequence more or less fell together based on the submission dates, but there is a theme. There is always a theme that I manage to find, either through a melody or a lyric or even an opening riff. The one that found me here is hopeful, spiritual and if you look hard, you will find it through several tracks that I managed to create interconnections throughout.
Deborah Crooks is also a good friend who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her music is more soulful while traveling down the folk roads, but lately Crook has veered a little off-road to explore some of the Americana roots in her musical explorations. She’s been to SXSW once or twice, either officially or unofficially like many other friends, including Pochop above, so she may be returning to what really, if it’s nothing else, is my musical Home. Crooks plays out regularly in SF so please visit and let her know we sent ya.
The Singing Limbs: Doing a recent search made me chuckle and, well, we all need to see this band which is touted as “music for the brain and booty.” That’s probably enough for las all, but they are pressing enough audiences that they’ve made it into a few larger venues. While it doesn’t remind me of any jam bands due to their derivative nature that doesn’t pay homage to any of the Dead’s original heroes (Hello, Bill Monroe.), there are some definite instrumental and melodic elements that are worth observing. They jam in intricate ways that are uniquely their own. And then there are those lyrics that are hopeful and a little soaring and unlike most jams. So just go listen and if you are in the Bay Area, just go.
Lynn: There is something definitely here in her voice. In combination with the melody, the lyrics, long with her vocals, this is powerful. And while Lynn is probably being groomed for radio airplay, like some of the music I have been receiving, the is gratefully, not the generic pablum that we all hear on commercial radio. In fact, we should all seek out Lynn’s album when it’s released.
Lotus Hill: This track, and all of the tracks I’ve heard so far, are exceptional. It’s not quite hip-hop, but it’s related somehow. So it can’t quite be conscious hip-hop. But whoa, it is definitely conscious, and in the words of Lotus Hill, the music is created “uplift and enlighten the masses through intricate lyricism and a positive message.” I know I implore you to listen to artists I ply, but please seek him out. He lives in Miami, as I just learned, and so I also really need to seek him out.
Chantil Dukart: Dukart is a recommendation from a former classmate and a good friend. Schedules and transportation being what they are in Miami, it’s a little challenging to plan for anything unless it’s almost a whole day. Dukart’s music is some of the best soul- influenced melding of musics that I have heard in a while. I haven’t seen a live show yet, so I am guilty, but I need to. Whenever she tours, you definitely should make an effort to see her.
Craig Black: Here is a great track, a little easy on the ears, a bit Neo soul and wonderful. However I know very little about the artist. There is very little coming up on my searches. If anyone knows more or has a better link, please let me know.
12 Cents for Marvin: Ska is something I have always appreciated but something I have never pursued. 12 Cents for Marvin are doing way more than ska if you listen closely and carefully. The band has been pursuing this music thing since 1996 and are quite popular locally and almost everywhere else, it seems. While I generally incorporate only a tiny tidbit fro a bio, 12 Cents for Marvin have quite a pedigree. There is at least one professor, a music director, a tech executive, a lawyer, a brewer, two founders of nonprofits, among others. And then there is the music which translates into a lot of fun wherever you are.
Until next time and the next podcast,
Michael aKA the Fevered Brain