New Music Friday is here and there are some releases that you should definitely check out.
Commander Keen recently released Dying in the South. Today, they’re sharing the songs that influenced the album. Check out their picks!
The Nerves – “Hanging on the Telephone”
In my mind this is the perfect song. There’s not a single note out of place, nothing is more complicated than it should be, and the structure is water tight; there’s not a single ounce of fat on this track. This song manages to cover a larger emotional pallet in two minutes than some bands cover in their entire careers. When I think, “How can I write a better song?”, I start here. – Blake
Weezer – “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here”
Weezer’s Blue Album had a big influence on how I wanted this record to sound. The guitars had to be massive, but harmonically rich enough to carry a hook and support the bones of a pop tune. This is one of my favorite songs to blast in the car on a nice day while I’m driving around town. For me, this track gets better the louder you play it. Listening to this record over and over again really hammered Blue Album’s sonic construction into my head. In my opinion, this track captures it best. – Blake
McLusky – “She Will Only Bring You Happiness”
McLusky is a band that, in my opinion, never got its proper accolades. They were sonically unique in the era of Indie-Rock Rides Again (2000-2010), and they were just too mean and too sharp to be generally likeable. This is arguably the most un-McLusky McLusky song, but the bite is still there; there’s a real picture of quiet desperation and mechanical living inside this Pavement-esque slacker stroll. As far as our record is concerned, this track in particular served as a great example of how you can say what you really want to say in a song by dialing things back a bit and letting the track breathe. McLusky was a great band, please listen to them. – Blake
Hawkwind – “Master of the Universe” (Space Ritual Live Version)
Space Ritual and No Sleep til’ Hammersmith are two of my favorite live albums. I think it’s no coincidence they both feature the late, great Lemmy Kilmister. When you break down Hawkwind to its elemental core, they’re a punk-rock band. Their brand of psychedelia is fast, and it would probably scare you a little bit if you were high on LSD at one of their shows. I personally don’t consider us a psychedelic band, but we have a few numbers that reach into that lysergic ether a bit. Hawkwind’s brand of high energy psychedelic rock is something I’ve certainly tried to draw from. – Blake
Joy Division – “Warsaw”
This song, to me, embodies the structure of punk rock and Peter Hook’s tight control of the rhythm was a definite inspiration for the bass parts on this record specifically. – Matt
Alice Cooper – “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
The bass track in this one carries a strong harmony to Alice Coopers main vocal melody and the soaring riffs and solos featured. It inspires me to think about parts in terms of intervals. In my mind I want to play bass like that all the time. – Matt
The High Numbers – “Zoot Suit”
This is one of The Who’s (formerly the High Numbers) earliest singles. Aside from Entwistle being my all time hero, the swagger they put off as a band is palpable in this track. Their early stuff before they embraced the hard rocking sold out arena shows (also great) has this effortless coolness about it that I will probably never attain. – Matt
The Dramatics – “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get”
Stax records was kinda the Southern rival to Motown back in the day. Being based out of TN, I’m partial to it. Anytime I listen to a record produced by this label it undoutably has the best wall of sound vibe you can find. Horns. Strings. It’s all there. Being in a 3 piece band, it’s important to try to play “big.” For me, this song definitely inspires that effort. – Matt
Green Day – “She”
This was the first record I ever remember hearing, and this track is my favorite. I love how Tre Cool drives every song. – Zach
James Gang – “The Bomber”
For me is the epitome of Southern rock and roll. Three piece, loud, and incredible drumming. His style is one of my favorites. – Zach
State Champion – “Don’t Leave Home Without My Love”
These guys are from Louisville and should have way more recognition. The songwriting is fantastic and obviously the drums on this track hook you from the start. – Zach
Cloud Nothings – “Wasted Days”
I basically modeled a lot of my playing on Dying in the South after this dude. I fell in love with the intensity and minimalistic kit setup this guy uses. Despite only one cymbal and one Tom, he is able to push the song that much more. – Zach
Joe Diffie – “John Deere Green”
A solid 75% of what we listen to on the road is country music. A good bulk of pop-country is super corny, but it’s way too catchy. Joe Diffie played a show in Lebanon, TN and we emailed the promoted and begged him to let us open. We made a solid case, but we did not get to play the show. You just can’t deny how good this chorus is! – The band
The Young & Restless took time to talk to us about their most recent EP, their new single, and much more. Check out the interview.
With Horizon having been out for a little over a year now, how would you say you’ve progressed as a band since then?
Well the Horizon EP was very different compared to our first EP, Leave Us To Our Own Devices, as it really demonstrated the progression as a band, we were aiming for a more modern pop punk sound, the lyrical style and musical composition was a lot more angsty compared to our first EP too, where as the first EP has that more nostalgic late 90s/Early 00s feel, it was a bit more anthemic, upbeat and about having a good time,
With the new single “Family Values” it took more of an emotionally raw turn, right from the very moment the first verse kicks in, it catches you right off guard and throws you right in the deep end, it’s full throttle right from get go to the very end.
What was your writing and recording process like for “Family Values”?
The song was recorded by Ed Sokolowski at EAS Studios in Milton Keynes, he recorded both our first and second EP, this guy is amazing, he’s not just a guy who sits behind a desk and presses record, he really gets involved in the whole process, it’s like we’ve said before it’s as if he becomes another member of TY&R, he really did make the song what it is and it’s always a pleasure working with him. The recording process itself was fairly straight forward, we demoed the song in a day to help give Ed a better idea of the direction the song was going in, there was a complete change up in the melody and rhythm of the lyrics, it was quite a mess to begin with! But with Ed’s magic he helped tidy everything all up, then the actual recording process took place over 3 days.
What was the inspiration behind the song?
It’s about the typical scenario of a broken home, sure that could mean a lot of things, but we wanted it to be something people can relate to no matter what the circumstances could be, and these things can have a traumatic impact on you when growing up, at a first impression the music is quite upbeat, until it the opening line comes in and slaps you straight in the face, but after all the said and done, it gets better, no matter what.
Are there plans for another EP or a full length in the works?
We are forever writing and coming up with new ideas for songs, it would be amazing to eventually do a debut full length, we might even do another EP, it’s yet to be decided.
What will you be working on for the rest of 2018?
We have a 3 date tour coming up at the start August, then we shall be taking some time out from gigging to focus on writing and getting some new material out, hopefully before the end of the year/start of next year!
Which venue in London is your favorite to play?
Our favourite place has to be The Black Heart in Camden, not only is it an amazing place to play, but it was also the first ever place we played in London two years ago, and remember it like it was yesterday! Camden is one of, if not the best hot spot for up and coming bands in London, great atmosphere, great sound, all in all a great place!
Speaking of shows, do you have any plans for a U.S. tour in the near future or is that something you’re hoping to do later down the line?
A U.S. tour would truly be a dream come true, it would be amazing to have a support slot with a big band on a big tour!
Thank you for your time! Where can our readers keep up with you?
You can keep up with us on a social media via the links below:
Lori McKenna has been releasing albums since 2000, but I had no idea until her 2016 release, The Bird and the Rifle. I enjoyed that album, but her new album, The Tree, is one that quickly roped me in. I’ve mostly known her work through the songs she writes for other artists, but this new album is one that all country fans should be listening to.
“A Mother Never Rests” immediately sets the tone for the album. The acoustic guitar and McKenna’s vocals go hand-in-hand. Her songs don’t need to have a huge production behind them to be catchy either. You might not hear her on the radio as much, but I’ll just keep playing the album on repeat to get my fix in.
One of the songs that really stuck with me as I continued listening to the album was “People Get Old.” It’s instantly relatable, because there’s really no disputing the song title. People just get older, with the rare exception of tragedies that happen when people are young. We’ve all lost someone simply from old age.
The following song, “Young and Angry Again,” is one that I found myself just wanting to play on repeat. The melody on it is fun and the chorus is catchy. The album closes out with “Like Patsy Would” and I love the nod to Patsy Cline. It’s a fantastic note to end the album on and you can tell that McKenna draws influence from Patsy.
This is a record that I’ll be listening to for quite a while. It’ll probably be one I listen to even more as fall comes around because some albums just go nicely with certain times of year. Overall, I loved this record start to finish.
If you want a copy of The Tree by Lori McKenna, you can pick one up over at Amazon.
Gloop hail from Maryland and today they’ve shared a playlist of their favorite songs of 2018 so far. Give the playlist a listen!
Fratmouth – “Download Yr Meat Judge”
We just played with them and I have yet to listen to the whole album. But they play wild music and put on a wild show. To not be missed if you like feeling uneasy.
Thought Eater – “Bones in the Fire, Pt. 1”
RIFF AWAY THE PAIN.
John R. Miller – “Red Eyes”
Local hero does good! I still remember the first time I saw John play in Shepherdstown, WV when I was 18. He was just a level up from everyone else in terms of songwriting.
HIRS – “Invisible”
HIRS continues to blow me away, one day I will check them out live.
Fire! – “The Hands”
Bass, saxophone, and drums. Really locked in and hypnotic.
Hatchie – “Sure”
Undeniably my favorite song of the year so far.
Kero Kero Bonito – “You Know How It Is”
My summer earworm from their latest EP. In this track KKB traded in their usual electronic pop sound and leaned more on fuzzy guitars reminiscent of The Pillows. Proof to me that solid songwriting really is the end all.
Drinks – “Corner Shops”
A lovely weirdo rock collaboration between Cat Le Bon and Tim Presley. This is also a PSA that the Drag City catalog is available on Spotify now.
Blessed – “Sound”
This song is 7 minutes long and worth every second; sounds really complex but easy to remember.
Tunic – “Teeth Showing”
Raw, balls to the wall noise rock.
Pretty Please – “Milk Steak”
Solid heavy sludge with catchy melody and dissonant guitar parts.
Frigs – “Talking Pictures”
A curious song with a driving beat.
In The Whale are currently out on tour. They took some time to tell us about the Denver music scene, what it was like touring with The Descendents, and more.
With the band turning 7 this year, how would you say you’ve progressed since those early days?
We’ve grown quite a bit in popularity and our sound has grown quite a bit as well. We like to think we know a lot more about what it takes to survive in this industry. But we still have a lot to learn.
What is the local music scene like in Denver? Is it pretty tight-knit for a major city?
Honestly, we don’t spend much time at home these days as we’re trying to tour as much as we can. Sadly, we’ve lost touch with how the Denver scene has been lately, but we do have life long friends who are promoters and talent buyers and in bands in Denver.
How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t listened to the band before?
We would say if you haven’t listened to the band before, than just do it! Don’t wait for us to describe our sound to you, just find us on Spotify and listen and you’ll be good to go!
What was it like touring with The Descendants? What did you learn from being on the road with them?
Touring with the Descendents was an experience we’ll never forget. We were so flabbergasted and amazed that we were allowed to play with them that we didn’t really have time to learn much.
You’re on a headlining tour now, how is that going?
So far so good. The crowds have been great and we’re testing out new material from our new EP that seems to be going over very well.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2018?
Tour our butts off. Stack fat paper.
Thank you for your time. Where can readers keep up with the band?
Or for upcoming tour dates: bandsintown.com/inthewhale
Welcome to Geekdom returns with an episode on The Incredibles. Murjani Rawls joins to discuss our favorite moments in the film, the cast, and more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Overcast, or Google Play and check out the episode below.
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