Page 1

Brendan James, photo by Joseph Tennant

46 Brendan James


70 Ra Ra Riot

86 Head for the Hills

108 Poor Young Things

c o lu m ns:

f e a tur e s :

30 James and Blac k


Vinyl Roots:

America’s First Punk Band, A Band Called Death.

120-121 BalconyTV Charleston:

Host Amanda Muirhead discusses Charleston’s booming music scene.


Last Call:

Visit The Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR, the century-old venue with an upstairs brewery.

r e vi ew s :



Coast to Coast 1:


Coast to Coast 2:

3-Day Pass:


Coast to Coast 3:

Kodiak Fur / Miami Brothers Or Not / Austin Loudman / Minneapolis Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy Spooks / Madison Filligar / Chicago Hurray for the Riff Raff / New Orleans Through the Sparks / Birmingham Fox and the Law / Seattle

Take a trip to hear live music at: Austin City Limits / Austin, TX Friends of Nature Festival / Miami, FL Stereosonic / Sydney to Brisbane, Australia One Big Holiday / Riviera Maya, Mexico


Ode to the Web:


Spin-Off/Seasonal Spin:

25 Copyright your song. Mixtapes and remixes.

14 album reviews spanning the musical wavelength.

Jhameel / San Francisco Nico Vega / Los Angeles Musée Mécanique / Portland Molina Speaks / Denver Twinsmith / Omaha Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey/ Tulsa The Broadcast / Asheville Blackstone Rangers / Dallas

John French and the Bastilles / Athens Seven Handle Circus / Atlanta Bent Shapes / Boston Tape Waves / Charleston Zoe Sundra / New York City The Love Language / Raleigh The Sweater Set / D.C. Amy Stroup / Nashville

116-117 A-Side/B-Side:

Get your iPod ready for our staff-compiled playlists.

The Broadcast / Asheville Hurray for the Riff Raff / New Orleans

The Sweater Set/ D.C.





Nick and June / Hamburg, Germany Gravy Train / Delhi, India



Taxi Violence / Johannesburg, South Africa Unbuttoned / Toronto, Canada


Across the Globe:

Featuring 42 international cities and their rising stars Narea y Tapia / Santiago, Chile HeuReun / Seoul, Korea Husbands ‘n Knives / Totnes, UK Movo / Kaunas, Lithuania The Bedroom Philosopher / Melbourne, Australia The Away Days / Istanbul, Turkey Kitty in a Casket / Vienna, Austria Taxi Violence / Johannesburg, South Africa Lloyd Williams / Brighton, UK Nick and June / Hamburg, Germany Lilly Hates Roses / Poznan, Poland Minnie Marks / Brisbane, Queensland Minta & The Brook Trout / Lisboa, Portugal Eder Insondable / Mexico City, Mexico Hentai Corporation / Prague, Czech Republic Kamhn / Kostroma, Russia Gravy Train / Delhi, India Kimbal Imaz-Hirst / Sunshine Coast, Queensland Rebecca Geary / Dublin, Ireland Sarah Blasko / Sydney, Australia Unbuttoned / Toronto, Canada


Míde Houlihan/ Cork, Ireland Secret Company / London, UK Sister Gray / Edmonton, Canada Arkady Lantsberg / Saratov, Russia Janek Samolyk / Warsaw, Poland Sara Renar / Zagreb, Croatia Matthew Hornell / St. John’s, Canada The Say Highs / Berlin, Germany Cornelius / Tokyo, Japan LolaMarsh / Tel Aviv, Israel Eskiz Koda / Crimea, Ukraine C+C=Maxigross / Messina, Italy Go Out Strangers / Bogotá, Colombia Karrie O’Sullivan / Tralee, Ireland The Retuses / St. Petersburg, Russia Pontes / Belo Horizonte, Brazil Núria Graham / Barcelona, Catalonia Ane Trolle / Aarhus, Denmark Drunk Butchers / Modena, Italy Elli de Mon / Schio, Italy Dan Riverman / Porto, Portugal

FOUND: Music Uncovered

Chief Creative/Editor-In-Chief Becca Finley

Fall Issue: 2013

“Simplicity is...”

Staff Writers: Carrie Cranford, Becca Finley Justin Henderson, Ryn McAtee, Amanda Muirhead, Grayson Sandford, Sadie Skeels, TJ Weaver Managing Editor: Brandy Pruitt Creative Director: Joel Travis Graphic Designer: Christina Corsino Director of Media Content: Joe Davies Promotions Manager: Carrie Cranford Promotions Assistant/BalconyTV Host: Amanda Muirhead Business Development Consultant: Taylor Rains Additional Staff: Thomas Champagne, Taylor Marchbanks, Kyle Thomas, Oliver Wentworth Cover Image and Back Cover Image courtesy of: Joseph Tennant Office: 1504 Middle Street #D Sullivans Island, SC 29482 843-819-7811 Publisher: This Is Noteworthy {tin} Like Us on Facebook: Follow Us on Twitter:

FOUND: Music Uncovered is a quarterly, online magazine produced by a group of music enthusiasts yearning to broaden and expand each reader’s music experience. We believe in the power of music to change a mood and enhance a moment; as well as facilitate change and link the past with the present. This is our community– seeped in passion, creativity and cultural awareness. Within the pages of each issue, we will bring you history, interviews, CD reviews, new music outlets around the nation, and so much more.

Among other exciting music related features, FOUND: Music

Watch Us on YouTube:

hidden gems found in up-and-coming bands, and also cover nationally

Uncovered features fans talking about music. We aim to uncover recognized musicians and events.

letter from the editor

"Stop for a minute wipe the progress from our eyes. If you can, so can I, simplify." A very wise, new friend of mine (who happens to be our cover artist this month) penned those lyrics and I think he has stumbled onto something.

Becca Finley, Playa Coronado, Panama

Over the last few months, I have really been thinking about these words, applying them to my more recent music interactions. So, I decided to strip down my music experience to the bare bones. When I hear a song, I listen the whole way through. I give it the chance all songs deserve, to be listened to, at least once. At a record store or shopping online, I really look at the artwork on the CD (someone took the time to convey a message that was important to this particular body of work). And at live shows, I turn my phone off, and fully engage in the experience: the sights, smells, and of course, the sounds.

Be present.

I challenge you. Simplify your music experience. This gift can never be duplicated.


Follow Us!


Beach Flow Yoga Birthday & Bachelorette Yoga Wedding Yoga

reel music


n the ‘70s, Detroit, America’s Motor City, ran

band’s televised performance on the Ed Sullivan

on hope, prosperity, and the American dream.

Show, the brothers had decided which instruments

The tunes cranking out of the once prosperous

they wanted to play – David on guitar, Bobby on

metropolis gave birth to Motown and helped

bass, and Dannis on drums. Momma Hackney had

change the face of music. However, just down

only two rules: “After 6pm you gotta cut it off,” and

the street, three African American brothers

the rule by which the three still abide by, “back up

gave birth to a new sound. A sound best

your brother.” Unsure whether they wanted to be a

described by New York Times columnist Mike

rock or funk group, they called their first band Rock

Rubin as “punk before punk was punk.”

Fire Punk Express. The Hackney Brothers gutted out

Practice session. Image from

Practice session. Image from

Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino’s documentary, A

an upstairs bedroom, turning it into their rock

Band Called Death, takes us back to 1971, a time

haven. David’s goal was to become the ideal guitar

when “punk” could only be described as loud,

player; in his effort of doing so, he played along to

boisterous, white boy music. Though The Ramones

recordings of Queen, and studied the musicality of

would go on to be accredited as the first punk band,

Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend. Then one night,

the band Death proceeded them, but for nearly 35

David discovered the sounds of Alice Cooper and The

years, their sound and title as the “Fathers of Punk”

Who. He told his siblings, “That’s it. This is the music

would go unnoticed.

we’ve gotta play.” This was the beginning of Death. Their first song, “Keep on Knocking,” which opens

While Detroit’s ears belonged to Motown, the

the recently released album, came into fruition as the

Hackney Brothers, David, Bobby, and Dannis were

neighborhood girls vied for the band’s attention.

listening to something entirely different – rock n’

While the lyrics hint at the band’s youthfulness, the

roll. Their parents not only encouraged and

sound was just the beginning of what would become

supported their sons’ musical endeavors, but also

an eclectic mash up of fiery punk and hard rock.

introduced them to The Beatles. By the end of the

Clive Davis of Columbia Record, the same guy who signed Iggy in 1972, told Brian Spears





recording company, that if the Hackneys would change the band name, he’d give them a record deal. David told Davis, “To go to hell!” David reassured his brothers that if you allow them to change the name, you’ll allow them to change your sound, and if you allow them to change the sound, you’ll allow them to change your image. As Earl put it, Death’s music was referred to as “white-boy music.” Three African- American brothers playing heavy, powerful, screaming rock n’ roll did not sit well with the community. “We were the loudest thing they’d ever seen,” said Bobby. Again, David stayed true to the band’s Then came “Rock n’ Roll Victim,” an angry and boisterous comeback to the neighbors who felt like victims to band’s music. Their only brother not in the band, Earl, recalled people, “running around screaming, ‘Turn it down, turn it down!’” Dannis’ drumming kicks the album into seventh gear, while the screaming vocals and hand claps give the song some bite.

was hit head on by a drunk driver and was killed instantly. The death took a toll on David’s life, and like a true artist, he explored his emotions through his craft. He later became fascinated with the idea of death and the fear that surrounds the topic. David presented his brothers with the new band name – Death. As the band’s visionary and as the oldest brother, David received little resistance from Bobby and Dannis, who believed in their credo:


“Back the




executives weren’t as supportive.


play on the radio.” Bobby and Dannis didn’t take well to the rejection: they were rejected by their community for playing “white boy music,” rejected by the music industry for the band name, and rejected for their musical taste which didn’t fit in. It was like forcing a puzzle piece in a puzzle that was already a complete

Then tragedy struck the Hackneys; their father


sound saying, “Pure rock ‘n roll is what they don’t


brother.” record

picture. Death belonged in a different puzzle box. Death came to an end nearly a decade after its birth. Bobby and Dannis moved to Vermont and found success with a reggae band. Meanwhile, David stayed in Detroit and battled his own demons. In 2000, at a family wedding, David handed Bobby and Dannis Death’s master tapes. “Keep these safe,” he said, “One day the world will come looking for this music.” David’s heaving drinking and smoking took a toll on his body and he passed away from lung cancer that same year.

D E AT H belonged in a different puzzle box.

Eight years after David’s death and 35 years after Death’s birth, David’s prophecy would come true. Death’s music was discovered in a record store and was passed around by several record collectors. One night, at a college party, Dannis’ son recognized his Uncle David’s voice from a recording. Upon discovering his father’s band, he has since made it his mission to carry the torch. Today, he’s lead of the band Rough Francis and tours the country playing his father and uncle’s badass punk music. Death’s puzzle piece had finally found its picture.

Guitarist Bobbie Duncan, singer Bobby Hackney and drummer Dannis Hackney. Photo by Ariel Zambelich, Wired

While we’ll never know how the band could’ve changed the music industry in the ‘70s, you can enjoy their recently released album …For the Whole World to See, a 27-minute trip of punk glory. A Band Called Death is a story that will resonate for years to come. The documentary serves as a reminder to both the music industry and fans that just because it doesn’t fit, doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy. Like the great artist of our time, Death’s music could only be appreciated from afar.

KO D I A K F U R Sy n t h / D a n c e

Out of Florida’s heat and elite beaches comes a band

significantly stepped up their production level. Going

whose name may seem better suited for a chillier crowd.

from their first, classically low-budget music video, for

Kodiak Fur, Miami’s up-and-coming dreampop quartet

“Hi Luv,” they released the shimmery, sexy “Lips” music

released their first EP last year and have followed up

video this past February, making a definitive splash

with a series of accompanying music videos that have

on Youtube and Tumblr. Kodiak Fur has been steadily

hit the music blogosphere with a synth-fueled slap. Band

seducing club crowds and Miami bloggers alike since last

members Steve Sanz and Albert Vargas, two parts of the

fall, and have kept busy building noise while playing at

powerful Mr. Familiar production team, teamed up with

trendy Miami hotspots Vagabonds and Grand Central.

Chris Thomas and Jesus ‘Zeus’ Munos to form Kodiak Fur

If Kodiak Fur keeps trending towards a tighter, sleeker

in 2012, quickly churning out their self-titled EP, released

model of itself, as they appear to be doing, they will soon

later that year. Lacing their songs with bouncy synth

become an unstoppable force of mystic, dark beauty that

beats and entrancing vocals, Kodiak Fur wastes no time in

will become the new music of the night.

asserting their hypnotic, dance-inducing power over their listeners. Featuring light beats contrasted with darker messages, their self-titled EP’s four tracks will turn you around and upside down in the best of ways. Building each track slowly, layering vocals and laser-like effects in a manner reminiscent of Kavinsky’s “Nightcall,” Kodiak Fur’s understated dance soundtracks make a home in your head with ease, suddenly becoming the soundtrack to your entire day. In the space of a year, Kodiak Fur has

Steven Sanz, Zues Muñoz Albert Vargas and Christopher Thomas


Blake Rawlings, Wyn Gregory Paul Whitney, Colby Faulkner James

BROTHERS OR NOT Ro c k n’ Ro l l

Just a band of four guys, fueled by rebel hearts

others, “I am a Pioneer” holds its own as the album’s

and beer, and solid rock’n’roll. It’s not “indie” or

namesake. Revealing each track to be far more complex

“classic,” it’s just good old plain rock’n’roll-just what

than standard rebel-rock shouted anthems, Brothers Or

the doctor ordered. In a town full of indie darlings

Not pull off a true rock’n’roll sound, sans any cliches

and alt/indie pop gods, Austin’s rock’n’roll throne

and fluff. The album’s closer, “Lighthouse,” has a true

has just been filled by four guys known as the band

Texan twang to it: a feeling of home and hope, steeped

Brothers Or Not. Comprised of former members of

in iced tea and whiskey. Chock a block with rebel lyrics

The Tastydactyls, Veloura, and Westbound Departure,

and joyfully raucous riffs, Pioneer  may not pave the

Brothers Or Not is by no means a newborn band-it’s a

way for any new turns for the rock’n’roll genre, but it

serious project that has been a long time coming. Wyn

certainly makes a great addition to any rock library or

Gregory (guitar), Colby James (bass), Blake Rawlings

playlist. This band of brothers (or not) live up to their

(guitar/vocals), and Paul Whitney (drums/vocals)

creed of “homegrown and grown up;” these are a band

head the rock quartet with a sense of serious fun. With

of good ole boys with the chops to play with the best in

a demo and self-titled EP released in 2012, Brothers

the Lonestar, and every other state.

Or Not released their new 6-track album Pioneer this past June on South Division Records.  Album opener “Talk All Day” builds slowly, alternating expertly between chill verses and loud, fast paced choruses. “Vixen” and “When You Next Speak to God” employ darker melodies and screaming choruses more than the


LOUDMAN Sy n t h - E l e c t r o n i c a

Alex Pederson, aka Loudman, produces fantastic synth-

influence among other underground electronica fans and

electronica from Minneapolis with the aid of an old

artists. Featuring peppy beats and expert instrumentation,

computer and a few good friends. After producing music

Spectre/Watch will no doubt make a quick jump onto

for underground parties for years, Loudman has finally

the radio circuit, finally earning Loudman, and his

released his debut EP Spectre/Watch on Bandcamp,

helpers, the respect they righteously deserve. As the man

quickly earning a place in many “album of the week” blog

himself states, he crafts “music made with synths, an old

posts in the Midwest. Dance-worthy without pledging

computer, too many snacks, and a whole lot of love.” This

allegiance to EDM, Loudman’s tracks have more depth

is electronica soul music - it will make you dance, but it’s

and story than the excessive percussion of classic EDM.

not EDM. It’s a joyful electronic experience again and

Loudman’s perfectly controlled and crafted tracks form

again, deserving much more than it’s “pay what you want”

a perfect mini-journey, not just a sweaty hustle on the

price on Bandcamp.

dancefloor. With the help of Pederson’s brother Blake and friend Tyler Rosenow, Loudman and company round out tracks “Ghana” and “Hardwire” with guitars and bass, tossing Spectre/Watch  into a completely different electronic arena.  “Willow Top” and “Mutant” rely only on Loudman’s spectacular synth and keyboard skills, though they definitely do not disappoint. Various cult music blogs and podcasts have featured “Hardwire” as an instant electronica classic, remarking on Loudman’s



LONESOME WYATT & THE HOLY SPOOKS Gothic Country Sometimes you see something so odd and wonderful, you exclaim, “Where has this been all my life?!” That was exactly my reaction when I encountered Lonesome Wyatt and his brand of gothic country music. Also known as gothic Americana or death folk, it is exactly what it sounds like, and no, it’s not as discordant as you may think. Goth country takes the themes of regular gothic music, such as death, ghosts and other various horrors and sorrows, and sets it to a dark country melody. It’s reminiscent of southern Gothic literature, which includes writers such as William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. Like Faulkner and O’Connor, Lonesome Wyatt is also a master of his genre. Also a member of the duo Those Poor Bastards, Lonesome Wyatt (along with the Holy Spooks) produces wonderfully creepy alternative folk music. Lonesome Wyatt & the Holy Spooks have just released their latest album Ghost Ballads, most definitely a tribute to Dean Gitter’s classic spooky folk album of the same name, and while their music is much quieter than Those Poor Bastards (who seriously kick the crap out each song), but don’t call it mellow. Each song is like a slow, quiet nightmare, but in a delightful way. Even the more upbeat songs are still dreamlike, and still creepy-crawly, such like “Dream of You,” about a dead lover, and “October 1347,” which is about the Black Plague. Never thought you’d like a song about the plague, did you? Both Lonesome Wyatt & the Holy Spooks and Those Poor Bastards will transport you back to the dark days of the American past, where ghosts and witches lurked in the shadows, and the dead would rattle their bones in the wind to entice you into their graves. I think I forgot how much I loved horror—now I’m going to be spending my free time listening to goth country and looking up creepy folk stories. By gum, it’s been a while.


FILLIGAR A m e r i c a n Ro c k

Casey Gibson, Johnny, Teddy and Pete Mathias

The thing I hate the most about bands is when they’re

good though, to tour with artists such as the Black

comprised of people who only kind of know each

Keys, the Cool Kids, Counting Crows, Ben Folds,

other. It’s less a cohesive group of friends who love

and even the U.S. Department of State. The group

music, but rather, “Oh, you have a drum set? You’re

has been asked to serve as cultural ambassadors in

in.” It’s not such a case with Chicago quartet Filligar,

Eastern Europe, to represent the “American people

though. As opposed to four strangers, Filligar is

and their cultural values” as part of the Arts Envoy

three brothers, Johnny, Pete, and Teddy Mathias,

program. Filligar’s most recent album, The Nerve

as well as one lifelong friend, Casey Gibson. They’ve

(2010) was nominated for “Best Rock Album” at the

been playing together for the better part of the last

2012 Independent Music Awards, and this past year,

decade and have released several albums, but the

SPIN Magazine listed Filligar as one of music’s Next

group’s members are only recently graduated from

Big Things. Far be it for me to argue with SPIN! If

college. What’s most enjoyable about a band who

you missed Filligar on tour this summer, be sure to

knows each other so well is their unity in music.

catch them in the future, as RSL Blog named them

Filligar has a tight sound, with rocking vocals,

one of the “Eight Best Live Acts in America.” I’ve

excellent electric guitars, strong drum beats and

already bought my tickets!

amazing keyboards (check out “Not Gonna Settle” for the most bitching keyboards since Billy Preston). It’s rock music that you can dance to at the show, and then rock out to by yourself. Don’t even try to tell me that’s not a special ability. They’d have to be




RIFF RAFF I n d i e Fo l k

New Orleans’ most kind and hauntingly beautiful

clear, enchanting voice controlled and light through

sound comes to the Delta by way of the Bronx - Alynda

and through. Spanning generations and states across

Lee Segarra is a 20-something Puerto Rican who

the nation, Hurray for the Riff Raff never fails to

traipsed across the United States with nothing but

astonish with Segarra’s ability to take pure emotion

wanderlust in her soul, soul in her voice, and a voice

and craft it into something so unfailingly wonderous

in her banjo. Hurray for the Riff Raff will lead you to

and accessible. There are few bands who can take

the promised land of sweet, Southern soul melodies

something so universal and raw, make it personal and

with one yodel of her classic lilting voice. Winning

share it with unparalleled musical grace. Fiddler Yosi

accolades even across the pond, Segarra released

Perlstein joined up for Segarra’s 2012 album Look

Hurray for the Riff Raff with Loose Music in the UK

Out Mama, a compilation of classic Americana, as

in 2011. Her melodies are a breath of fresh, folk air.

perceived by the “Ramblin’ Gal” herself after touring

Her voice shares the lightly seductive quality akin

the United States for two years. My Dearest Darkest

to the likes of musicians like Melody Gardot and

Neighbor dropped earlier this year on ATO Records.

Blossom Dearie, but with a more solid, gypsy woman

With a new album just out, Segarra and Hurray for

tinge to it. Whether her tracks are soaked with

the Riff Raff has a new set of sweet tunes to win more

tears or bourbon, Segarra never lets her medium’s

multitudes of fans over.

emotional nature get the best of her - she keeps her


Alynda lee Segarra

Greg Slamen, Grey Watson, Shawn Avery James Brangle, Jody Nelson

THROUGH THE SPARKS Psyc h e d e l i a

Through the Sparks, a five piece self-described “basement-

Pink” features a video the band’s members cut together

baroque, mid-fi psychedelia” band out of Birmingham,

using footage from their iPhones. Reflecting their youthful

celebrates their 10-year bandiversary this year. Since the

lust for good times and fun filled nights, Through the

band’s first EP Coin Toss in 2005, they have been steadily

Sparks’ tracks are reminiscent of The Virgins with a small

churning out singles, occasionally releasing a single each

dose of old school Vampire Weekend in the best of ways.

month over an entire year. In fact, their fourth album

Since the release of their first EP, Through the Sparks

Almanac (MMX) Year of Beasts, released in 2011, is a

has been steadily building a slightly obsessed fan base

compilation of 12 singles they released monthly over 2010.

throughout the Southeast. Signed to Skybucket Records,

The name of their last album Alamalibu, released in 2012,

Through the Sparks has garnered critical acclaim and

pays homage to their nickname for their “studio,” aka their

audience adoration alike, becoming a popular choice at

basement. No matter which album you decide to dip into

CMJ and SXSW over the past few years. Currently, the

first, you’re sure to pick up some definite psychedelic and

indie rock quintet is hard at work on another full-length

folksy notes. Jody Nelson (vocals, guitars, keys), James

album due out later this year.

Brangle (guitars, keys), Greg Slamen (bass, guitars, keys), Grey Watson (guitar, vocals), and Shawn Avery (drums, vocals) craft comforting, soothing tunes well-suited to festival vibes and late nights with friends. It’s chill rock mixed with Southern soul and indie psychedelia - a beautiful, smooth sip of summer. Fan favorite “Preacher



FOX AND T HE LAW P u n k /C l a s s i c /G a ra g e Ro c k

Guy Keltner, Peter Williams Patrick Dougherty, Dan O’Neil

Feeling a little lost? Let the sweet sounds of Fox and

with their feel good beat and (ever so slight) classic rock

the Law’s sweet garage rockin’ riffs bring you back. The

twang. Meanwhile, “Bad Education” and “Sleep With the



Lights On” focus mainly on garage/punk influences mixed

made a splash at SXSW, winning over the blogosphere with

with Jack White-style vocals and jamming guitar riffs, all

their brazen rock music and ability to play loud, proud,

masterfully controlled and crafted. These boys play their

and extremely well (and all at the same time). Frontman

instruments with a blissful vengeance; they are entirely in

Guy Keltner leads on guitar and vocals, with Ryan Granger

their element, surrounded by their own joyful noise. With

(guitar) and Patrick Dougherty (bass) close behind;

two albums released in the past year and a half, Fox and

mop-headed Dan O’Neill bangs joyfully on drums in the

the Law has not wasted any time branding themselves as

background. One moment they’re the White Stripes, the

rock and roll masters of symphony and cacophony. Both

next they’re a classic rock cover band, and before you know

Scarlet Fever and Sleep With the Lights On  are available

it they’re throwing punk and psychedelic inspired riffs at

on Bandcamp for download; you can follow them on tour

your lustful ears. Truthfully, it all works. Really, really well.

vicariously through Instagram and Facebook.



If there’s a magic formula for a “perfect” rock genre, then Guy and his guys have found it. Each track twists typical “rock” riffs, chord progressions, and solos in a wonderfully spirited way to make boisterous, wild, and expertly executed tracks. Less raucous and more peppy, “Treat Me Right” and “Awake” will have you shimmying around in no time


JAMES & black 30

“Gu eri lla So ul” from L to R: Bella Black and Bruce James

Bruce James of James and Black

First of all, we must say: There cannot exist a better term than Guerilla Soul to describe your sound.  Do you have any insight on the origination of the term? Bruce James: I have always said that being an independent musician on the road is guerrilla warfare.  It is even more true now with unconventional methods prevailing in the music industry.  With us it just fits – we are making it work while completely “breaking the rules” unrepentantly.    Bella Black: We’re an independent group on a mission to spread our music the world over. Right now we’re doing that with our lives strapped to our backs and wherever & whenever we perform we leave it on the stage, nothing but soul.

We know you guys are from Texas, but with your abundance of soul, and your lack of 10-gallon hats, we are dumbfounded, what were you guys doing growing up? BJ: I grew up in Houston—Phil in Dallas—big cities —we have lived in Austin for over 15 years.  My folks love Willie and Waylon but growing up in a very multicultural church and going to a performing arts high school in Houston, I was introduced to soulful stuff way before learning and loving the subtle beauty in real country music…  

Bella and Bruce, please tell us how/where you guys first met? BJ: I got a call from Bella in the summer of 2011 in Austin. She was looking for someone to produce a demo for her. We got together and it was just right—she is an incredible songwriter.  It was not long after that we hit the road. I think our first tour together was in the fall of 2011.We did a 2-month residency at a place in San Diego. I think we were doing 13 gigs in 13 days with 1 night off—4 hours a night for 2 months.  It was a great incubator for what we are doing now.

And how did that fateful meeting lead you to where you are now, touring foreign countries and producing records together? BJ: After that west coast trip we did a 3-week tour of Belgium, Holland and Germany. The response was overwhelming. We started making plans to go back after returning to the states and everything just kind


of lined up. After about 6 months back in the states, we decided to pack it up and just go. It has been amazing how things have been happening.  It has been completely organic—one gig turns into 10 —the folks we have met have become family. We have done about 30,000 kilometers in 8 countries so far—the doors keep opening up, so we keep running through them. 

Bella, how did you get your start singing (post choir)? In other words, we wanna know how you went from the choir stand to the stage. BB: I enjoyed my work, but I was no longer passionate about it [administrative work]. That led to an enlightening conversation with my mother which prompted me to relocate to pursue my music career.


Bruce, your voice has drawn comparisons to Dr. John and Tom Waits. How would you best describe your unique voice? BJ: It’s the only one I have, haha. I wanted to sing like Marvin Gaye —I still do—I guess there are some things that have influenced the tonal quality of it. Unfortunately, I am a smoker, but hopefully not for long... 

from L to R: Bruce James and Bella Black

Tell us some of your influences ranging from the obvious to the obscure B-Side stuff. BJ: I love good songs—I love the Flaming Lips and Uncle Tupelo—I love Karl Walinger (World Party), Tom Waits, Paul Simon—Motown and Stax were special because of the songs—I mean Otis or Al or Stevie could sing anything and make it a hit but the songs and production of those institutions made a serious impact on me musically.  The sound of the recordings made a huge impact on me as well—the sound of the drumst—the distortion in the vocals—the little things—every record is a text book. BB: Mahalia Jackson, Al Green, Betty Davis, Mavis Staples, Goodie MOB and Pearl Bailey.

So, who’s getting the heavy rotation on your iPods these days? BJ: Unfortunately my Macbook, ipod, protools rig, and all my music was stolen off of the train somewhere between Antwerp and Amsterdam last August. As a business model, I am not a fan of Spotify but it allows me to check out some new music. I have been listening to M. Ward and Andrew Bird. I love Gregory Porter.  There a couple artists from the UK I really love: Laura Mvula , the Noisettes. DJ Phil Ross: I have so much music its hard to say. I’ll say TNGHT, Addison Groove, and Diplo for now. BB: Ann Peebles, Laura Mvula, Gnarls Barkley, Fantasia, Dr. John.

Tell us your “closet song”. You know, that song that you are embarrassed to admit that you truly love, but behind closed doors it’s a different story!  I KNOW one of y’all is rockin’ some Bieber…spill it! BJ: I love Neil Diamond.


DJ Phil Ross currently touring with James and Black



Were you guys auditioning new instrumentalists and out of nowhere, Phil shows up, turntables in hand, asking to borrow an extension cord or what? Seriously though, what was the catalyst to bring the “flava” of Phil Ross to your already-established sound? BJ: I have played in projects with Phil for about 15 years actually. We had a project called Erbamate back in 2000—Phil was actually the “vocalist” in that band using samples and the turntable. We started playing music together again when we returned from Europe the first time and I kind of pitched the concept to him and he totally got it.  He loves to travel and learn new languages as well. He has always been on my 4am list—you know—those cats you can call at 4am when something is wrong, so it was a natural fit to the crew.  Musically, we have been doing the trio for a year now and it has really evolved into something  I really enjoy the space in the music—the hybrid of the organic stuff and electronic thing.  

The sound is unique and original and pure badassery. How have audiences received Phil’s “spin” on your music?   BJ: I love the word badassery—I think I’ll lift it from you—haha.  The audience loves it!  The DJ culture in Europe is huge; for the public here it is a natural thing. At the Porretta soul festival it was a bit different. He was the first DJ to perform at the festival in its 26 year history.  Some of the old timers were a bit offended—I consider it a victory. DJPR: People have been very receptive, but there will always be people out there who don’t like what i do and I am ok with that.

One last one for Phil, and then you are off the hook: You are exploring new territory, as far as your instrument of choice is concerned.  Can you tell us how your journey has brought you from ‘90s Hip-Hop to today’s Guerilla Soul?  DJPR: Well, I was bored as a dj honestly. I moved to austin in 1997 and after seeing a jam session that Bruce was in I wanted to play with bands. I started playing with sound effect records and guitar pedals, playing with hip hop artists, jamming with drummers and anyone else who wanted to play. I started taking musicians to my dj gigs; I didn’t want to dj anymore, i just wanted to play original music. I remember the first time i did this i took a djembe and a cello player and I played Star Wars movie records and scratched Beatles records. Everyone was like what is this guy doing, but I really didn’t care. Eventually I formed my own funky jazz band. I wanted to push jazz to new levels with my instrument. After a couple of years of searching for a keyboard player, we met Bruce and he immediately joined the band. He taught me a lot about the music industry, I learned how to listen and play with other musicians. The band eventually split up, but we played on and off again over the years and this last summer he invited me to come play with James & Black. 


from L to R: Bella Black and Bruce James rockin’ out

“i love the word

badasser y.”

from L to R: DJ Phil Ross, Bella Black and Bruce Jame

e n o s a w “ of those completely

organic things that just kind of ev olved.� 38

We noticed that you guys are sometimes performing as the Transatlantic Soul Conspiracy. Is this a permanent thing in Europe, or more of a oneoff gig with your Dutch cohorts while playing Amsterdam? BJ: Once again it was one of those completely organic things that just kind of evolved. A friend of mine in Austin “introduced” this cat Jay Tee Teterissa to me— incredible bass player in Amsterdam who introduced us to Marcellino ( the drummer ).  We met Naomi at a workshop we did with her in Breda – Our good friend Martin Rhode, who had worked with the North Sea Jazz festival for decades, suggested we put something together for a festival in Leiden. We just did a gig in Vondelpark in Amsterdam with the band supporting Candy Dulfer. We are trying to put some more things together for the band—great folks!  Killing musicians!   We have met great musicians all over Europe. We had the opportunity to play with great band from Bologna, Italy as well.  I had the opportunity to do some recording with some great artists in Amsterdam—one the projects, Eminent Stars, will be released on a German label next year—the other, Rocky Marsiano, is available now on vinyl.  Exciting stuff.

If it is even an issue, how has the language barrier played a part in your European tour(s)? BJ: It has not really been an issue. In the Benelux pretty much everyone speaks English—good for us because Dutch is incredibly difficult! Music is a universal language. We have picked up some Italian, Spanish, and German, even some Basque. It has been really interesting keeping up with the different languages. Phil is our official translator; he picks it up pretty quickly. 

You guys seem to be developing quite the following in Europe, which is awesome. However, we want to know when you are going share the wealth back home here in the States! BJ: Hmmmm….our calendar is filling up though the end of the year.  We go back to Belgium and Holland in September and October. We are getting into the studio in Amsterdam as well—ooking forward to making a new album. We are back in Spain in the first part of November. We are doing a tour with Slackers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for the end of November then back to Italy in December.  We are already booking festivals for next summer in Europe. I guess we’ll come back when we are invited...  

Last, but not least: If there were a fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be? BJ: Bella and Phil—everything else can be replaced...

3 Day Pass all photos courtesy of ACL’s facebook page


October 4-6 & 11-13, 2013 (A festival so good it had to be over two weekends instead of the usual 3-day spectacular.)

WHen: WHen

ACL Music Festival features artists from all over the world, the fabulous food that Austin is famous for, and an art market to rival the rest! Just because the name is Austin City Limits doesn’t mean that there is a limit on the music represented here. Genres from all over the music scene will be represented in the 130+ artist lineup set for the festival and there’s fun for the whole family with Austin Kiddie Limits open until 4:30pm each day of the festival.

This festival brings music lovers--young and old--together to celebrate the latest and greatest artists while chomping down on some of the country’s most delicious food and perusing through some of the Austin-inspired creations by local artisans.


Featured artists range from the Arctic Monkeys to Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon, and Kendrick Lamar, but be on the lookout for some of the indie scene’s most popular emerging artists!


Austin, Texas


Austin city limits

Zilker Park in...

all photos courtesy of Friends of Nature facebook page




november 9-10, 2013

(What better way to honor our country’s veterans than to spend Veteran’s Day Weekend learning about how to save and protect our environment while celebrating the freedom of expression from artists from all over the country?)

WHen: WHen

Friends of Nature Music Festival is a “Party With a Purpose.” It is a three day festival filled with dancing, comedy, fun, good vibes, and information sessions about how to protect the Earth through sustainability and education. This festival runs solely on natural resources; think solar, bio-fuel, and natural gas generators powering the entire festival. Neat.

Nobody wants to go to environmental lectures about sustainability on their day off...well, some do, but the majority would rather be educated about how to save our environment while dancing to the reggae rhythms and electro beats by some of the top artists, laughing at the fest’s comedians, and admiring the art exhibits scattered throughout the park.


Reggae aficionados, tree-huggers, lovers of the Earth, and a few who want to listen to great music and learn more about green efforts across the country. Some of the best reggae artists and electronic fusion jammers will be in attendance including Matisyahu, Badfish: Sublime Tribute, and Slomo, to name a few.

Miami, Florida


friends of nature Festival

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

Some of the world’s top electronic dj’s including David Guetta, Nero, and Alesso will be mixing the beats along with some of electro’s freshest faces. Festival junkies, BassHeads and anyone who loves a good bass drop is welcome.

This traveing two-day rager is Australia’s biggest music festival and will be all over Australia throughout the month of December starting in Sydney. You can’t camp at the fest, but you can spend every waking moment dancing your pants off. This isn’t for the faint of heart either--Stereosonic has brought in artists from every spectrum of the electronic seen to blow. your. mind.

Stereosonic brings thousands of people together to dance it up to some of top names in the music industry’s electronic creations. Every day has a different artist--no two-day repeats in one city--so every second of the festival provides something exciting for everyone in attendance.


november 30-december 1, 2013

WHen: WHen


Sydney to Brisbane, Australia



Sydney > Adelaide > Melbourne > Perth > Brisbane



all photos courtesy of Stereosonic facebook page

(The perfect summer kick-off. First weekend is Nov 30-Dec 1 and travels to various cities every weekend in December.)

all photos courtesy of One Big Holiday’s facebook page


january 26-30, 2013

(Save your money during the Christmas season and save up for this little party, no buyers remorse here.)

WHen: WHen

Need a vacation? Look no further. This is the perfect holiday getaway festival complete with relaxing yoga sessions, tequila tastings, and adventures around Mexico during the day and three nights of the best of My Morning Jacket...and of course, an unforgettable dance party each night! There are theme nights, there are spa packages, there are all-inclusive suites, there is a charity involved--what else do you need for a perfect holiday?

Because, why not? This festival featuring My Morning Jacket even lets you fly solo by setting you up in a room with another solo fan on holiday. Think of it like a throwback to freshman year in college again--random roommate! Not only will you get to experience My Morning Jacket like never before, but the excursions, adventures, and theme nights will help you relax and get to know a lot of people in a way unlike other festivals. Hotel party, y’all.


My Morning Jacket and all their fans. The festival features three totally unique shows with the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop, plus an off-the-hook dance party hosted by the band that promises plenty of surprises.

Riviera Maya, Mexico


one big holiday 2014

The Hard Rock Hotel (all inclusive suites) in...

970 Morrison Drive Charleston, SC 29403

LINEUP october / november / december

presented by

Tuesdays / 7pm - 11pm

O c t o b e r

1 ,

2 0 1 3

This Frontier Needs Heroes / Aloha Radio / Atlas Road Crew

O c t o b e r

1 5 ,

2 0 1 3

D aniel L awrence Walker / Elim Bolt / T h e Resto ratio n / Boring Portals

O c t o b e r

2 9 ,

2 0 1 3

The Kenny George Band / Brave Baby / E. Normous Trio / Fox Street Allstars / Hailer

November 12, 2013 Caromia / Godwin Falcon / Dead 27s / The Como Brothers / Big John’s Belly

November 19, 2013 T h e R o y a l N o i s e / D a r k Wa t e r R i s i n g / We s t e r n R o m a n t i c

December 10, 2013

Lectra Lust with Special Guests *$5 Special Ticketed Benefit*

F R E E live at:


The Royal American thanks to our sponsors

s i m p l i f i e s


Brendan James photo by Joseph Tennant

Brendan James press photo


What’s new in the world of Brendan James? Just dropped a new album Simplify in August, and now I’m running all around the country playing it live for folks. It’s been some of the best touring of my life so far. 

Inspiration for the “Simplify” song? Lately I can’t help but feel like we’re a pure people distracted by a growingly loud noise- progress. I wanted to write a song pointing out some of the drawbacks— less human interaction, more material greed, less consideration for the natural world.

You always do interesting videos, how did this one unfold? My first thought these days is to include real friends and real people in my videos, hopefully resulting in a more tangible and authentic final product. This particular concept came pretty easily- just asked a bunch of friends to camp out for a weekend, bring good food, and be ready to have fun.  It doesn’t take much.  

You’re in the kitchen and you are making your fave meal...what is it? I make a pretty mean marinara from scratch these days, good and spicy, with whole grain pasta, and maybe a ceasar salad on the side... and if we’re talking ideal, apple pie would have to be involved.

Brendan James photo by Joseph Tennant

“I moved to where I wanted to live,

stopped letting the music biz dictate that.�


Name and describe 5 things you have seen over the last 6 months that were simple, but perfect. 1. The small cabin in the woods that I wrote the song in... with no more than running water, electricity, a bed, fireplace, trees, and a river outside. 2. A meal at a private show in California consisting of whole grains, organic veggies, and fresh fish. 3. The cliff we jumped off of at 11,000 feet into Blue Lake just north of Boulder. 4. A dance party under a full moon, on a dock in the Chesapeake bay. 5. Having breakfast with my wife after three months on the road.

Name 3 ways you have simplified your life over the last year. I moved to where I wanted to live, stopped letting the music biz dictate that... Changed my diet to veggies and whole grains and almost no meat, and threw out a list of possessions I was saving up to buy.Â

Brendan James press photo

Most simple album cover? Beatles, White Album.

Don’t cheat and google it, but name 3 songs with simple in the title. “Simple Life” by The Weepies “Simple Song” by The Shins “Simple Lives” by Nicholas Williams

How do you define a good time? Finding a great hike or ocean swim, or a volleyball game with friends, some great food, a few drinks, and late night dancing.

Chimpanzee, Anteater, Sparrow, or Marlin? You have to be one for a day...which one and why? Definitely a Marlin. I love swimming, and have dreams about breathing under water.  Plus I’d love to fool a fisherman, take him down to my world, mess with him for a while. 


Who designed your album cover? An artist by the name of Courtney Ay, out of Philly. And it’s my favorite to date.  

Pick one song on the new album that you really want people to listen to and think about and tell us why. “Constellations.” It’s all about everyone being in the same struggle, no one being different. We all battle an unquenchable thirst for uniqueness and individuality…it felt good to write about it.

Is there a charitable cause you feel passionately about? Better treatment of livestock. Less plastic in the oceans.  Educating kids about diet and the environment.  

Brendan James photo by Sara Spangler

You have an upcoming tour with Tony Lucca? You looking forward to it? How do you determine who you will be hitting the road with? Yeah this tour is gonna be like none I’ve been on. Two bands on stage, original songs as well as covers, and a bunch of wild personalities.   I think its gonna be insane. A lot goes into determining a touring partner... personality, style of play, and ability to draw crowds all helps when determine whether it’ll be the right fit or not.   Tony and I have been in similar circles for years.  I think we’re both really excited. 

What elements do you think make a good photograph? I think the best photos are the ones that make the viewer wish they were in it themselves. But composition is key, as is interesting use of light.  Light is everything.  


If you had a time machine and could go anywhere for 2 days where would it be and what would you do? I would probably go 500 years into the future. I think a lot about the planet and how we treat it, and it’d be cool to see how its faring, and maybe come back with a helpful report.  

When you are thirsty, like Sahara Desert thirsty, what’s your go-to bevvy? There’s a beverage for all occasions if you ask me. Daytime favs are sweet tea, OJ, or naked juice, but after hours you’ll usually see a bourbon of some kind in my hand (jack, highland park, or bulleit works) or a beer like FatTire, Dos Equis, or Rogue Dead Guy.  

Brendan James press photo

Life is such a special gift, what things in your own life are you most thankful for? My health, my marriage, our community of friends, and my seemingly tireless drive to write better songs.

Finish this sentence: “Friends wander...... “ …into my life, and if they’re honest and positive, I hope they stay awhile.”

Your musical hero? Bob Dylan

For the past five decades, Bob Dylan has shape-shifted our social consciousness. Following in the footsteps of his musical hero, Brendan James is the next troubadour to elevate and inspire a generation ready for change. 56

Brendan James press photo


Ghostly International Records

Vicious Recordings


Musician Jhameel is an enigma. Originally, he

produces, and mixes all of his songs. The man is

was going to be an officer in the United States

ridiculously impressive. You have a young man

Army—with fluency in Arabic, Korean, Spanish,

who is a multi-linguist, a multi-instrumentalist,

and Russian, he would have been quite the asset

a producer and mixer, androgynous yet straight,

to the armed services, but after a year in UC

an intelligent feminist whose music is played

Berkeley’s ROTC program, he rescinded due to

in regular rotation at such stores like American

his beliefs on the army’s presence in the Middle

Apparel and H&M. Just saying, Jhameel would

East. After graduating summa cum laude with

make a highly effective secret agent.

a degree in Arabic, Jhameel embarked on his musical career. His first album was a quiet and insightful piece, a highly electronic album, yet


with lush orchestration, eclectic sound effects, and Jhameel’s own melodic vocals. His second album, The Human Condition, was an explosion of funky sounds and frankly incredible guitar. As Jhameel’s music has progressed, it’s become more and more dance-pop oriented, like his smash hit “White Lie.” Is this a huge change from his earlier work? If you ask the artist himself, the answer is no. “It’s pop. I’m switching it up every single time, because within that pop I’m talking about a lot of different stuff. I have a lot of freedom within the structure of pop, so I don’t want to limit myself to talk about a certain type of emotion.” Both Jhameel’s music and androgynous style show inspiration from artists like Michael Jackson and Prince, and it works extremely well. For anyone who dumps on pop for being mindless drivel, one, you’re a moron, and two, you definitely haven’t heard an artist like Jhameel, who plays every instrument heard on his albums (around fifteen),




A friend of mine once remarked, “I don’t see the point of singers who aren’t women.” While I don’t agree with Jimmy “I Hate Musicians” Pham, when I found Nico Vega, I immediately wanted to share their tunes with him. I mean, is there anything sexier than a female singer who can rip the notes out of her throat like an incredible, animalistic howl? I didn’t think so. Nico Vega is fronted by singer/lyricist Aja Volkman, but don’t let her incredible presence distract from Rich Koehler on guitar or Dan Epand on the drums; every part of this trio is impressive. The band originally formed in 2005 when Koehler and Mike Pena (the group’s original drummer) saw Volkman perform at L.A.’s Universal Bar & Grill, and they were immediately blown away by her voice and charisma. In the wake of the release of their first album in 2009, they began touring with such groups as Blondie, Metric, Manic Street Preachers, and Shiny Toy Guns, just to name a few, and their song “Beast” has been used in the soundtrack for major films like Jack Reacher and Pacific Rim. Their sound employs lots of blues-driven guitar, with

Aja Volkman, Rich Koehler, Dan Epand

a good dose of synth. Add in Volkman’s Joplin-inspired vocals, and you’ve got one hell of a rock band. The songs are fast and hard; they’re songs that you can dance to, rock out to, and build your life around. Nico Vega has just released their second album We are the Art, so be sure to check it out!


MUSÉE MÉCANIQUE M u s e u m Fo l k

Owing their name to the iconic museum on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, Musée Mécanique has emerged from Portland’s lush greenery with an equally lush chamber-pop sound. Entirely unique and yet it feels like you’ve been listening to them your entire life, each Musée Mécanique track plays with light, tinkering wonder - a soundtrack to childlike exploration and contentment that audiences of all ages will appreciate. California natives Micah Rabwin and Sean Ogilvie came together as childhood friends who also shared a musical bond. Inspired by the Mechanical Museum, they began experimenting with a mixture of pianos, trumpets, woodwinds and a menagerie of other forgotten musical oddballs: musical saws, Casio keyboards, synthesizers, glockenspiels and an accordion. Once Rabwin and Ogilvie moved to Portland, they joined with like-minded instrumentalists Matthew Berger (drums), Jeffrey Boyd (bass) and Brian Perez (keyboards, lap steel) to complete their little quintet. Although each member has their own specialty, they all chip in with multiple instruments, multitasking and experimenting effortlessly. It’s haunting and wonderful - the kind of feeling that you get while wandering through a dreamy and old library or, aptly, museum. You feel a strong nostalgia


for yesteryear coupled with an eerie sense that you’re intruding on something sacred and intimate. “Hold Producer and audio engineer Tucker Martine assisted mixing and producing the band’s debut album Hold This Ghost, released on Frog Stand Records in September 2008. Since the release, the quintet has kept busy playing alongside other instrumental-indie bands Great Lake Swimmers and Horse Feathers. After touring the United States and Europe, the boys have returned home to a devoted following in Portland to create their next record From Shores to Sleep, hopefully to be released soon. Sincerely and wonderfully experimental, Musée Mécanique employs their collaborative genius to create fantastic musical ecstasy.

Micah Rabwin, Sean Ogilvie, Matthew Berger, Brian Perez, John Whaley

M O L I N A S P E A KS Hip-Hop

“Let’s go to Denver, Colorado. You never think

shimmy inducing songs (“Crook Rap” and “Get

about hip-hop music coming out of there!” True

Money (featuring B.A.G.)” especially) and his

story, Mr. Molina, true story. Yet out of Denver’s

comedic bits, listeners will be joyfully tearing

rock and folk dominated music scene comes

through the entire album without pause. In a day

Adrian Molina aka Molina Speaks (previously

where Macklemore and Childish Gambino have

known as Mo Brown and Molina Soleil) full of

made nerd-worthy rap cool, Molina Speaks still

youthful fire and wisdom beyond his years. After

stands out as a down to earth, self-deprecating

graduating from the University of Wyoming with

yet confident voice.

a law degree, Molina moved to Denver, where he splits his time between teaching Chicano and Media studies at the University of Wyoming and leading various creative projects, including his own musical/spoken word endeavors. Emcee, rapper, poet, professor, Molina is a wunderkind


for a new American generation - an America of youth, immigrants, 21st century civil rights, and social media. A generation fueled with equal parts confusion and compassion, purpose and aimlessness. Molina Speaks knows his audiencehis humor hits home easily, especially when coupled with his equally accessible music. Molina offers a hilarious and pin-point commentary on today’s hip-hop culture and rap business; his message and music are equally heartfelt and powerful, not to mention funky, groovy, and jam worthy. Featured at TedXMileHigh, Molina’s passion for youth extends beyond his music; he does not shy away from any topic, tackling racism, robots, and even the food industry. Molina’s music spans meaning and joyful listening; sure, there’s a message, but Molina’s track stand on their own as well crafted and accomplished. Between his

Molina Speaks


Out of the ashes of high school band Betsy Wells comes Twinsmith, comprised of Betsy Wells founders Jordan Smith and Matt Regner and newcomers Bill Sharp and Oliver Morgan. They’re full of what they describe as “East Coast rock with a sprinkle of West Coast vibe.” In short, Twinsmith will take you on a mini vacation as soon as you hit “play.” Full of smarts and dreams, Twinsmith’s boys embody classic, groovy pop from an era gone by. Their Heartland feel shields them from jaded big city stereotypes and pressures - everything they make is sincere and playful. Their array of indie-pop skills may be likened to indie favorites Band of Horses, The Virgins, and Vampire Weekend, but their decidedly East Coast meets West Coast style brings an entirely different groove to the table. The resulting melodies feel so... free. From where else could such a feeling of pure freedom come from than the heart of America? Entirely unexpected, Twinsmith will make you forget everything heavy and lackluster, filling your head with thoughts of sunshine sparkles on the ocean, blue skies, and summer poolside parties. Album opener “Summer Jam” and “This Must Be Hollywood” imbibe everything great about Twinsmith - their summery vibe, groovy melodies,

Jordan Smith, Matt Regner, Bill Sharp, Oliver J. Morgan


and catchy vocals. “The Thrill” features psychedelic ambiance with deliberate, slow verses, showcasing more contemplative and controlled vocals. “Easy Thoughts” and “Only” are full steady guitar riffs and echoing choruses; “End Song” is a tonguein-cheek album closer than will have you smiling uncontrollably. After their self-titled EP released earlier this year, Twinsmith has been playing out and about in their hometown of Omaha. For now, fans await their next album, Banquet, and follow the band around at Omaha hotspots like Oleavy’s Pub in search of their next dose of summer fun. Ready to fall in love with Omaha? Pull up Twinsmith on Spotify and press “play.”


JACO B F R E D JA Z Z O DY ESS EY Re d D i r t J a z z Jazz is an interesting genre. From its feverish

like jazz is an untouchable genre, something that

beginnings in speakeasies, bootleg liquor flowing

only smart people can listen to, but jazz is free and

freely and reefer smoke a perpetual haze around the

jazz is unifying. Start listening to Jacob Fred Jazz

cool cats on stage, it had sort of mutated out into

Odyssey… Soon enough, you’ll feel able to converse

this irritating and unpleasant thing only parents

Thelonius Monk with the best of them.

and hipsters listen to, the sort of music you hear in a department store in the ‘90s. I grew up hating jazz because my parents listen to the worst jazz there is, robbed of its depth and energy and creativity. It wasn’t until I was older that I could appreciate jazz, but still, I gravitated toward the older stuff, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Moondog


and the like. Modern jazz was mostly unreachable to me… Until I heard Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Originating from Tulsa, Oklahoma, the group describes their sound as “red dirt jazz.” Obviously, this sounds awesome, I said to myself as I clicked on the reverbnation page. I was unprepared for how awesome it is. JFJO has been playing together for nearly two decades, touring with such luminaries as Mike Gordon from Phish and Les Claypool, as well as playing some of the premiere venues in the country and internationally. The group has been lauded for its creativity and innovation, a unique sound that is unparalleled in today’s modern jazz. It’s electric, psychedelic jazz from the heartland, and it deserves every bit of praise it receives. Though JFJO interprets artists as diverse from Beethoven to







compositions, such as 2011’s “Race Riot Suite,” a twelve-movement album which musically depicts Tulsa’s 1921 race riot, the worst in the history of the U.S. The album has since reached #1 on the CMJ Jazz chart, and has been widely acclaimed by critics and the public alike. Sometimes it feels

Brian Haas, Sean Layton, Dove McHargue Matt Leland, & Kyle Wright


Ruth Ellen Smith, Derek Kutzer, Dan Bornhorst

A mix of Kerouac-inspired soul with a good dose

number with perfectly controlled crescendos and

of Joy Division and the Pixies, Blackstone Rangers

bridges. Full of synth-pop beats and darkly dance-

are both beautiful and badass. Ruth Smith, aka DJ

worthy melodies, Into the Sea marked a solid debut

Baby Ruthless, and Derek Kutzer (guitarist) met as

into the electronic/pop music scene, despite the

all great duos do: on the road. Somewhere in the

fact that the Blackstone Rangers are far too unique

middle of Kansas, Smith needed a ride and Kutzer

to limit themselves to any one genre. Is there a

picked her up, citing the “honesty in her voice”

genre for gritty, dance-y cool? Winners of the Dallas

that enabled him to trust her immediately. A few

Observer/Village Voice Music Award for “Best New

years and a drummer (Daniel Bornhorst) later,

Act” and official selections at Austin’s SXSW and

the noise-pop trio officially came together in 2011

Toronto’s NXNE, the Blackstone Rangers followed

and released their first EP Into the Sea in 2012 on

up their whirlwind year with a tour of the United

Dallas Distortion Music. Album opener “Mutiny

States, crossing the countryside that brought them

at Toho Bay” showcases the Smith’s nimble vocals

together, and are rumored to be releasing another

and the team’s dark dance beats. “Hollygien” and

EP later this year. Keep your eyes and ears peeled

“Pidgeon” move towards more psychedelic and

for this Dallas trio, because their magic is something

sweeping melodies with minimal vocals, letting

that few, if any, others can weave.

their instrumental and synth skills show. “Sheep Machine” uses Kutzer’s deep vocals masterfully, coming together as an easy listening electronic



TH E BR OA D CAST Southern Soul

Caitlin Krisko, Rich Brownstein, Matthew Davis, Aaron Austin, Tyler Housholder, Michael W. Davis

ASHEVILLE The lure of the South and of soul is undeniable.

thinking that this is a one-trick pony, every member



of the group is highly skilled, and every song is a

Broadcast migrated to Asheville, North Carolina

treasure. From the funky guitars, the tickled ivories

where their soul-stirring music is taking audiences by

(or plastics, whatever), the rocking percussion (that’s

storm. Formed in 2007, The Broadcast is comprised

definitely beyond only a drum set), they’re groovy and

of vocalist Caitlin Krisko, Michael Davis (drums),

soulful tunes. Just take a song like “Hide Yourself

Matthew Davis (bass), Rich Brownstein (keys), Aaron

Away,” for example. You have tireless and smooth

Austin (guitar), and Tyler Housholder (percussion).

vocals, a deep bass line, a fine and funky guitar line

Their sound can be compared to the “Motown Sound”

(and later, a really ripping solo), and if my ears don’t

of the sixties and seventies, though the band draws

deceive me, a bongo. The sound is undeniably tight,

inspiration from a variety of artists, such as Janis

and the band’s live performance has been praised for

Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Adele, and Grace Potter

the musical interplay of members. If this has piqued

and the Nocturnals. The most ear-grabbing feature

your interest, The Broadcast will be releasing a brand

of this sextet is Krisko’s vocals, which Cosmopolitan

new album in the fall of 2013. To sate your appetite

Magazine described as “drenched in honey, and

for good neo-soul in the meantime, they have their EP,

dripping with soul.” No arguments here, Krisko is one

Days Like Dreams, and a live album, both available

talented singer; heck, I’d listen to her sing the phone

on iTunes. Even though I normally can’t stand live

book. But don’t let the singer’s talent fool you into

albums, I can’t seem to stop listening to this one.







Dallas, TX

Asheville, NC

Mathieu Santos & Rebecca Zeller

Wes Miles, Mathieu Santos, Rebecca Zeller




f t e r s k y r o c ke t i n g t o a n e a r l y i c o n i c i n d i e - p o p s t at u s i n 2 0 0 6 , R a R a

R i ot h a s t r u l y c o m e i n t o t h e i r o w n s i n c e t h e y b e g a n s t i r r i n g u p c o l l e g e p a r t i e s i n S y r a c u s e , N e w Yo r k . N o l o n g e r t h e n e w b i e s o n t h e r a d i o w a v e s R a R a R i ot h a s g r a d u at e d f r o m s c h o o l a n d e m e r g e d f r o m h i b e r n at i n g i n c h i l l y b a s e m e n t s . T h e s e fo u r w u n d e r k i n d s h a v e h a d a l ot of g r o w i n g u p t o d o i n t h e p a s t fe w y e a r s , b u t h a v e c o m e o u t o n t h e ot h e r s i d e with three extremely successful albums, a headlining tour, and endless s e t s of w e l l c r a f t e d a n d e x u b e r a n t m u s i c . B r i m m i n g w i t h p o s s i b i l i t y a n d c o n f i d e n t s p o n t a n e i t y , M i n o B o n a c c i , Re b e c c a Z e l l e r , We s M i l e s a n d M at h i e u S a n t o s h a v e s e t t l e d a l i t t l e m o r e c o m fo r t a b l y o u t s i d e of t h e i r c o m fo r t z o n e s . T h e y ' v e c o m e b a c k w i t h a s t r o n g e r a n d , d a r e w e s a y i t , m o r e j o y f u l e x p e r i m e n t i n i n d i e - c h a m b e r p o p t h a n e v e r b e fo r e . T h e i r l at e s t a l b u m , B e t a Lo v e , i s a m a n i fe s t at i o n of t h e i r n e r d y f a s c i n at i o n s w i t h t h e f u t u r e , a m o n g ot h e r t h i n g s , a n d t h e i r s a g e a b i l i t y t o g r a s p i t entirely on their own.

Where and when did you all begin to really get serious about making music? Wes Miles: I have always wanted to be a musician. Both my parents are good musicians an my brother is a great songwriter and musician so there was never a time in my life that I can think of that music wasn't a huge part of. I spent most free afternoons and weekends from middle school through college making music in some form or another.

What sort of ideals or goals do you guys hold as a band? Individuals? WM: When we first started, we made a list of semi-fantastical goals with deadlines that we would reference from time to time. Things like “get a record deal by 2008”, or “tour Japan 2010”. But we eventually accomplished all of them, so we had to update that list. The one thing that has remained constant is to have fun. It’s easy to lose sight of that one and, frankly, it can’t always be the number one priority, but over the long term, if it’s not bringing joy, then it’s time to ask if it’s worth doing at all.

What’s the most challenging/scariest part of having a headlining tour? WM: Our first tour of the year was during release week in the Northeast US, where we have the biggest draw, so we were really happy with the turnout. The scariest part of that tour was just playing so many new songs all at once. We had rehearsed a lot for it and were immensely proud (and still are) of our record, but it’s really hard to know which songs will connect with the crowd right away, and which ones need work. It felt great though, and after that was over all the music started to feel better every show. On this tour, now that the record is 9 months old (and even older to us) we have to challenge ourselves to keep the set fresh for us and the fans.


Best place or crowd you ever played? WM: My favorite show ever was probably at the Bandshell in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I lived just a few blocks from there, so it was special to begin with, but it was also our own show and there were about 7,000 people there (our management says more, but I’ll be conservative). Our friend Steve Marion of Delicate Steve came out to play a solo in a Steve Winwood cover that we did, and it was just generally a great, fun, successful show. I had such a good time.

You studied physics, given nods to William Gibson, Ray Kurzweil and EE Cummings in your songs. What’s the fascination with them? How did you channel them into your latest album? What do they mean to you ? Where else do you draw inspiration? WM: Science is one thing that has always been interesting and fun to me. It sounds nerdy, but I think embracing this feeling is what led us to making Beta Love. But Mathieu was the first of us to get into Ray Kurzweil. While we were recording the Orchard, he was reading The Singularity is Near, and any time he had a question or an interesting thought, he would show me and we’d end up talking about the future of technological evolution, and what might or might not happen. This was probably the first direct seed of Beta Love . From there I started reading William Gibson, and became fascinated with his vision of the future, which differed from the one described by Kurzweil. These competing futures sparked a lot of ideas of our own, and Beta Love was an attempt to see those through. Mathieu Santos

Let’s talk about Beta Love! We love it, as do many of your fans. What do you think Beta Love brings to the table that you didn’t have before? Mathieu Santos: Well, we always try to do something different each time we’re writing and arranging and recording - although I suppose it has less to do with trying to do something different, and more to do with our natural progression as people and musicians and a band. This time around, we wanted to be a lot less self-conscious in the studio, and leave more room for decision making and creative spontaneity to happen on the fly. We wanted to be more open, and we tried to treat the songs more as songs, rather as opportunities to pile up the arrangements. Overall, I think we tried a lot of new things that we might not necessarily have felt comfortable trying on the first records.

Do you have a mantra that keeps you on track when you’re writing or performing? How do you stay focused and motivated? WM: One of the most motivating factors in being in a band is the fear. At any point, our luck could run out, or our ability to make music that we and others love could wear out, so we have to make the most of every performance. There will always be nights that just don’t feel right, or could be better, but if you don’t work hard, then you’re just asking people to forget about you.

If you had to pinpoint one thing that inspired or influenced Beta Love, what (or who) would it be? MS: I think the biggest thing was our new attitude. Just saying “yes” more often, and listening a bit more to our guts. Also, working with Dennis Herring, who produced the record, was an amazing experience, and we learned a ton from him every day. He definitely helped us get outside of our comfort zone immediately, and that was a big goal of ours when entering the studio this time around.

Wes Miles

You’ve recorded three different albums in three different settings - how has your environment affected your music? MS: I don’t think we ever really considered how important the setting was until we started recording Beta Love - our first two records, as well as our first demo and first EP, were all recorded in really cold places in the middle of the winter. So we’d sort of come to associate recording with being cooped up and maybe a little overly-involved. Having space is really important. We recorded Beta Love in Oxford, Mississippi, in the late spring in 2012, and it was amazing - being able to stroll outside of the studio at any given moment, whether to nap in the shade or shoot some hoops or walk downtown, made a huge difference in our overall attitude and approach, and I think it definitely manifested on the record.

Rebecca Zeller

Mathieu Santos, Rebecca Zeller, Milo Bonacci, Wes Miles




The future is hard to predict in any creative field and that can be very scary, but as long as we continue to use that fear as a motivator and stay focused on what we want to accomplish, we can wait to consider a backup plan.

Was there ever a moment what you all thought “maybe it’s time for a back up plan?” What changed your mind? WM: I think about that almost every day. The future is hard to predict in any creative field and that can be very scary, but as long as we continue to use that fear as a motivator and stay focused on what we want to accomplish, we can wait to consider a backup plan.

How have your roles as band members changed since your beginning? WM: The roles have been in a state of constant flux since the beginning. When things started feeling stale after recording The Orchard, we decided to make a big change in the way we worked. Instead of being together through 90% of the whole process, I took a trip to Oxford to work with Dennis Herring on the songs and on preproduction, while the rest of the band worked on arrangements and writing other material up in NY. But generally Beta Love was about the four of us filling the role that was needed for each song. Becca is not only a violinist now, she is a vocalist/keyboard player as well. The same goes for Mat and Milo. Every one was ready for change for Beta Love , and that’s why it came out the way it did.

Most defining moment as a band? WM: CMJ 2006 sparked the biggest change for us as a band. We were just a college band playing house parties, and doing super DIY tours until that fall. We were less than a year old, and yet we were getting all this attention. We met our UK and US booking agents, our US lawyer… All great people that were willing to take a chance working with us and we still work with them today. It was a fun time for us, but also helped us get serious about the band at a time when we maybe wouldn’t have otherwise.

How has your creative process changed over the years? MS: One of the fun things about this band is that it’s made up of six very different people with very different personalities and backgrounds and sensibilities - and those sensibilities are naturally always changing. We’ve been together for almost 8 years now, and have learned so much from each other over that time - every time we get together to work on something, everyone has a slightly different frame of reference, some new inspirations, new ideas, etc. Sometimes we jam and figure things out collectively, sometimes one person will take the lead on an arrangement, sometimes we work bottomup, sometimes top-down - it’s always different and always changing.

ode to the web Library of artists at


ormally when I write my Ode to the Web columns,

name a few), they are no doubt extremely established

I’m all about finding sites that bring you the most up

and their credentials don’t lie. The website includes a

to date music and simultaneously do it in a stylish

full breakdown of their team, their studios, and all the

way (and for as little cost as possible). This month, I

services that they provide. Of course, the format is

ask you to take a moment and instead, allow your

very trendy as well. Under the “OUR MUSIC” tab,

mind to soak up some musical industry knowledge.

you have a full alphabetical library of all the artists

This website is Downtown Music Publishing, one of

and their specific songs that they own copyrights for.

the leading independent music publishing companies

Constantly flashing in a slideshow format at the top

around, and home to some of the biggest names in the

are exclusive pictures with their library of artists and

music biz. In a nutshell, artists come to DMP with

links you can click on to listen while you browse. If

songs that they want copyrighted. With over 60,000

you are a song writer who is serious about his craft,

copyrights in their catalog (including songs by John

you may want to contribute to this company and

Lennon & Yoko Ono, Mos Def, Hans Zimmer,

show them what you’ve got.

Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Keith Urban, to

If you are a song writer who is serious about his craft, you may want to contribute to this company and show them what you’ve got.

“OUR MUSIC” tab at



o hip-hop and rap are the biggest things out right

now, correct? I mean, any time a rap album is dropped, even if it is the most meaningless, monotonous crap you’ve ever heard, it is going to be number one for at least a couple days because of the massive appeal that people have for it. Is this album going to have the next best beat? The next best verse? Everyone has to know. But while they are wasting their time downloading the mainstream, you can be soaking up some underground mixtapes to find the next big thing. Digitaldropped is a fantastic outlet for this, featuring new mixtapes every day and the hottest new remixes out right now. Although the interface can get a little corny, having their rating system as VERY HOTTTTTTT and






downloads a song is currently getting, you get the picture regardless. There are also some other R&B jams on here, not just rap, including artists like Leona Lewis, Miguel, and some electronica like Kavinsky. It’s really a mix and match, but it’s based on actual download numbers. You can also submit your own music if you are in the game already and need a come up. The archive tab is extremely comprehensive, organized monthly spanning over three years since the websites release in 2010. The numbers are constantly growing and are always being updated, so get with the program and digitally drop!

Digitaldropped is a fantastic outlet...featuring new mixtapes every day and the hottest new remixes out right now.

Homepage of


1. "The Innocent"- Mayer Hawthorne

8. "Borderlines and Aliens"- Grouplove

2. "Devil’s Backbone"- The Civil Wars

9. "Buildings"- Rusty Truck

3. "Blew My Mind" - Dresses

10. "Radiate"- Jack Johnson

4. "Forever Like That" - Ben Rector

11. "All Time Low" - Nine Inch Nails

5. "The Blame Game"- Let It Happen

12. "Beer in the Headlights" - Luke Bryan

6. "Flaws" - Bastille

13. "Body Cast"- Carnaval

7. "Whiskey Legs" - Tedeschi Trucks Band

14. "The Modern Art Museum of the Modern Kiss Goodbye" - Lovers


staff selected tracks from The Seasonal Spin

seasonal spin

Mayer Hawthorne /

Where Does This Door Go

Dressed in club chic and hipster glasses, Andrew Cohen (aka Mayer Hawthorne) takes on the dark side of flirting and youthful uncertainty in his third full-length record Where Does This Door Go, released on Republic Records this past July. The record spins as cheeky and flirtatious as Hawthorne's previous record How Do You Do, but WDTDG relies less on Motown vibes than Hawthorne's previous albums. Fret not, Hawthorne's latest tracks are still as addictive and, if possible, more fun than before. "The only rule I had when I went in to make this album was that it had to be fun," Hawthorne says. Album opener "Back Seat Lover" gets things off to a powerful start, fueled by Santana-like guitar and Hawthorne's trademark jazzy vocals and keyboard chords. Fan favorite "Her Favorite Song" bridges beautiful and catchy, while "The Innocent" and "Crime" take on a sexier, darker vibe. "Allie Jones" and "The Only One" are bouncy numbers that showcase Hawthorne's smoothly crooning voice. The album's title song "Where Does This Door Go" is much more moody and contemplative than the rest of the record, but hardly any less toe-tapping than the rest of the album. The album's side two features four bonus tracks, including dreamy and peppy "Designer Drug." No matter the material, Hawthorne's made sure that the meat of this album is sweet, unadulterated fun-never has being a "cheap, back seat lover" sounded so good.

The Civil Wars /

The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars have fast become everyone’s favorite new folk darlings, and with good reason. This Nashville-based duo has the vocals, the musicality, the talent, and the charisma to go as far as they want, and their new self-titled album is more than evident of that. It’s an intense listen, and your heart will break on almost every track. Songs like “The One That Got Away” hit you right in the gut—Williams’ shimmering voice is absolutely pregnant with anger and regret; on “I Had Me a Girl,” White’s deep country voice, at times almost a yodel, blasts through the heavy and clanging guitar, as he sings deep into our souls. But don’t think this album is bereft of hope. Songs like “Oh Henry” and “From This Valley” are bright and joyous, and “Sacred Heart,” sung in French, is soft and sweet as lemon cake. Along with unique covers of both Etta James and the Smashing Pumpkins amidst stellar original compositions, this is an album without a single weak link, and without a doubt one of the standout albums of 2013.

Dresses /

Sun Shy

With all the injustices and tragedies in the world, we often need something to help take our minds off of it. Indie-pop duo Dresses has the remedy for your blues in their new EP Sun Shy. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, this fun-loving guy and gal serve up a nine-track dose of adorable and twee songs. Their new single, the title track “Sun Shy,” will have you tapping your toes and dancing in your chair, and frontwoman Timothy Heller’s vocal quiver and leaps will have you quivering and leaping yourself. The album is more than audio cotton candy—a fun piece of fluff with no substance—as the duo’s talent and insightful lyrics will no doubt satiate you. This is one cute and happy album that you can’t afford to pass up!

Ben Rector /

The Walking In Between

Tulsa native and Nashville based Ben Rector's latest album The Walking in Between bridges the territory between melodious nostalgia and unassuming love—sometimes simultaneously. Rector, recently married, carries his fifth album with cheerful and grounded grace that will serve him well in the future. His newfound love is prevalent in the album, buoying it even higher than Rector's pop-inspired singer/songwriter choruses. "Ordinary Love" starts the album off with sweeping choruses and upbeat, peppy verses preaching the joys of a seemingly "ordinary" love. The album continues with the sweetly nostalgic "Beautiful," a great contrast for the sobering and hymn-like "Making Money." "I Like You" alleviates the mood instantaneously with its simple beat and sweet lyrics. "Follow You," "Wildfire," and "Life Keeps Moving On" bring meatier messages and heavier melodies, really allowing Rector to showcase his vocal range and lyrical abilities. Rector's message is clear: take joy in the sweetness of unadulterated affection and don't let the little joyful things pass you by while you're focusing on "fixing things on computer screens." All in all, Rector's latest endeavor happens to be his best, thus far; within a day of its release The Walking in Between was already in the Top 10 iTunes albums available for download. Here's to soul mates, love, and the great little things found in The Walking in Between.

Let It Happen /


The Unraveling

Let It Happen is the best pop punk band you’ve never heard of, but make sure you hear their new EP, The Unraveling! Drawing inspiration from acts like Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind, and Reliant K, Let It Happen writes music for the millennial generation. “Regardless of age, life is complicated,” says drummer Sean Highley, “and our generation is coming of age in a complicated time. Our music speaks to that.” The Unraveling is quite indicative of that philosophy. High energy and dynamic, Let It Happen have created an upbeat, yet insightful album, about love, heartache and growing up, that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Bastille /

Bad Blood

London quartet, headed by Dan Smith, released their first full-length album this past summer, leading with the infectious and showstopping “Pompeii.” With opening vocals that may remind one of The Lion King, “Pompeii”’s invigorating and booming chorus contrasts beautifully with it’s gracefully echoing verses. Quieter verses, paired with insistent choruses take the lead in “Things We Lost in the Fire” and “Bad Blood,” both laced with twinkling electronic accompaniment. The quartet picks up the pace with “Icarus,” steadily building the ballad with an urgent and resounding air. Deceptively sleepy “Oblivion” glides softly with Smith’s higher, lighter vocals and echoing verses, paired perfectly with haunting piano accompaniment. The album includes heartbreakingly beautiful “Laura Palmer,” previously released as a single,” and three bonus tracks: “The Silence,” “Weight of Living, Pt. I” (“Weight of Living, Pt. II” is track six on the album), and “Laughter Lines.” The “Weight of Living, Parts I and II” particularly showcase Bastille’s brutal honesty regarding universal (and often uncomfortable) truths, that will nonetheless endear them to their audience—how better to acknowledge the heavy “weight of living” than with music? Bastille’s command of raw storytelling and deeply touching, uniquely composed music will leave you pleasantly stunned and fulfilled. A soft cross between rousing and soothing, Bad Blood is a remarkable piece of work that will stick with you for a long while (in a wonderful, epic kind of manner).

Tedeschi Trucks Band /

Made Up Mind

After their massively successful, Grammy award-winning debut album, the Tedeschi Trucks Band are back and better than ever! Impressive as it is to win music’s most esteemed award with a debut album, most artists would probably be content to rest on their laurels as opposed to strive and push themselves to new levels of excellence. The Tedeschi Trucks Band, however, are not most artists. Made Up Mind is a masterpiece of contemporary blues rock. Susan Tedeschi’s deep and soulful voice permeates each song, while Derek Trucks’ lead guitar soars triumphantly. Add in some spirited keyboards and brass, and you’ve got one hell of a blues album! If you like to bet on major award shows, you won’t go wrong putting your money on Tedeschi Trucks Band for Best Blues Album every time.

Grouplove /

Spreading Rumors

Los Angeles-based band Grouplove has released their second album, and holy crap, is it good. On Spreading Rumors, the follow up to 2011’s Never Trust a Happy Song, it feels like Grouplove has truly found itself as a living organism, a band that’s realized their potential beyond hyperspecified genres, and more, it feels like really the nascence of a mature sound for this decade. I’ve been suspecting we’ve reached that point for a couple of months now, but Grouplove has solidified that hunch for me. Spreading Rumors is a high-octane whirlwind, a synesthetic experience in under an hour. It encapsulates the brilliance of the millennial generation, bombarded by social technology and crippled by student debt, yet we are so very clever and attention-detailed and really just have the potential to be an incredibly beautiful generation of people if we want to be. The album won’t leave you alone, not after one listen, not after seventy-two. Because dammit, it’s so good, and it’ll make you want to create something just as good. We’ve never been older than at this moment, and we’re just getting so much better with age.

Rusty Truck /

Kicker Town

Mark Seliger, renowned Rolling Stone photographer, who has photographed musicians and rock and roll gods for the past few decades, has released his second album with Rusty Truck via Crosseyed Music. Rusty Truck formed in 1998 and they released their first album together, Luck’s Changing Lanes, in 2008. Seliger treats country western with the same integrity that he has used while photographing some of the biggest names in music and it shows with this stellar album. “Buildings” sets the tone for the entire album: a classic country western sound that Seliger describes as his “country opera.” Ranging from a more country/rock vibe with “Blood Brothers” to an old time country western harmony in “Good as Gone” and “It’s All Good”, Rusty Truck boasts true blue country music with astute lyrics and classically powerfully melodies. “Beautiful Pain” and “Rattle Trucks” are sun-drenched and soulful, full of gloriously melancholy lyrics and resonating melodies. “Sister Maria” and “Hold the Mayo” bring classic Texas landscape to life, evoking visions of the scenery and its denizens. Rusty Truck steers clear of anything that isn’t pure, true blue country music-nothing shallow or superfluous here. Seliger and his band craft tracks worthy of the Lonestar state’s history and hype. Seliger and his crew hit the nail on the head with this album, a sincere accomplishment in songwriting and a welcome return to classic country western music.

Jack Johnson /

From Here To Now To You

After five studio albums, Jack Johnson has no intention of slowing down, and his newest release From Here to Now to You is more than evidence of that! The album is a chill and enjoyable listen, perfect for stretching out in the sun and lounging; it’s characteristic of Johnson’s Hawaiian upbringing and surfer lifestyle. The hit single “I’ve Got You” was the perfect mellow summer song, but as the weather gets colder, the song brings back memories of warmer and pleasant times. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the fast lane, smell the hibiscus, and relax with Mr. Jack Johnson. So kick up your feet, pour yourself a drink and let yourself float away with From Here to Now to You.

Nine Inch Nails /


Hesitation Marks

Experimental industrial giant Nine Inch Nails has come back with their eighth album and they have never been better. Trent Reznor and NIN’s most recent work is full of the delightful experimentation and thoughtful melodies that first buoyed them to their now cult status. Reznor’s collaborations with Atticus Ross on David Fincher’s films The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo seem to have refocused the mastermind’s efforts to his original experimentations with the industrial, electronic, and rock music genres. Delightfully disjointed “Came Back Haunted” plays like a trip down memory lane to NIN’s debut, complete with ambient and eerie instrumentals combined with more soothing melodies. “Find My Way” features hymn-like lyrics and an ethereal, truly lovely melody while “All Time Low” imbibes a looser, funkier groove that still remains true to their experimental edge. The band brings back Bauhaus-like beats with “Everything,” channeling stellar electronic rock compositions that provide light relief against the album’s heavier sets. All in all a joyful return and remastering of their original tricks, NIN’s most recent endeavor serves as a reminder of their unparalleled ingenuity and skill set. To this day, no one has equaled NIN’s trailblazing in modern alt industrial.

Luke Bryan /

Crash My Party

Georgia boy Luke Bryan’s follow up to 2011 album Tailgates & Tanlines swings Bryan’s trademark “good ole country boy” tunes, but with a little more bitter with the sweet, a little more break with the heart. True to form, though, Bryan’s tailgate and bonfire friendly anthems will make you feel like you’re coming home: full of memories, heart, and friendships. “That’s My Kind of Night” and “Beer In The Headlights” kick off the album with a solidly fun start, promising good times ahead. Bryan takes a sweetly reflective turn with “Crash My Party,” “I See You,” and “Goodbye Girl,” ruminating on fresh heartbreak. He pulls up pretty quickly, though, with playfully hopeful “Play It Again” and enduringly loyal “Blood Brothers.” Bryan cleaned up at the American Country Awards and Billboard Music Awards (in the country music category) in 2013 for his work with Tailgates & Tanlines, and Crash My Party, released this past August, is set to earn him another round of nominations and, most likely, wins. Bryan’s youthful charm and ability to range from beer-filled Friday night parties to gut-wrenching heartbreaks and bounce back with the tender butterflies of budding romance give him an undeniable command of country’s best motifs. Even if you’re not usually one for country tunes, Bryan’s fun and charming tracks are sure to have you tapping your toes and toasting the weekend with a cold one in no time.

Carnaval /

Say the Bells

Charleston quintet Carnaval has released their first full length studio album, Say the Bells and it rings of strength and truth. The first track, an instrumental piece called “Soft Kill,” starts off slow before it takes you on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, twists and turns. It's a bit eerie as it begins to build, like you're anxious and alone in a deserted theme park. As soon as you’re spooked, it breaks, and the relief overwhelms you—you're hooked. They then move gracefully into a dark, but a beautiful darkness with “Holds Like Ghost.” A lyrical tune with a violin adding an extra layer to the sound. These rockers have a bold way of building and releasing with their songs, perhaps due to their roots as an instrumental band. However, with the addition of lyrics, it really allows the band to excel. Carnaval has a truly unique and mysterious sound, so grab your copy of Say the Bells and get ready for a musical adventure.

Lovers /

A Friend In The World

Portland trio Lovers released their seventh album this past September via Badman Recording Company, all the while on a whirlwind tour of the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. The album features frontwoman Carolyn Berk’s trademark achingly honest lyrics coupled with instrumentalists Emily Kingan’ and Kerby Ferris’ synth and percussion skills. Album opener “Tiger Square” revisits an old romance and motherly advice. “The Modern Art Museum of the Modern Kiss Goodbye” prevails as one of the album’s most dance-worthy anthems; Berk’s shockingly intimate lyrics, full of raw sincerity, wonderfully offset the instrumental accompaniment that drives most of the dance-floor action. “Girl in the Grass” feels like a return to classic Lovers style-lyrically driven, laced with haunting harmonies, and synth backbeats. “Oh Yeah” harks to some of their laser-like effects a la “Peppermint,” but with harsher verses. As always, Lovers’ tracks bring a nearly unsettling candor to the table, filled with graceful harmonies and unparalleled electronic and synth instrumentals. One of the band's founding premises, and one that they return to again and again, is that of solid, unadulterated friendship and creativity that love fosters. With A Friend in the World, the band celebrates the joy and freedom found together.



Head for the Hills - press photo by Marc Leverette

S L L T HE HI Bluegrass, much like its cousin, country,

is an emotional genre. Listening to bluegrass evokes memories of old lovers and friends, the feel of your hometown, old dormant memories that the music stirs deep within you. If you’re at home, you close your eyes and let the memories engulf you; if you’re listening to it live, you’re too busy making new memories to get caught up in the old ones. Colorado bluegrass band Head for the Hills is an up-and-coming group, one that’s been gaining a lot of attention as of late. We were able to hit them up for an interview, all about bluegrass, Colorado and even comic books.

So, you’ve just released your third studio album. How does it feel? It feels good! I know we feel Blue Ruin is a pinnacle creative success for Head for the Hills—aesthetically, musically and creatively. We self produced and allowed ourselves a more concentrated creative freedom that I think really shows on tracks like Look at You Now and Dependency Co. It’s also the most complete project to date for us: we pressed Blue Ruin on vinyl (a first for Head for the Hills) and will be releasing several music videos in the coming weeks and months, including one for “Take Me Back” which is out now.

The tagline for Blue Ruin  is that it features “meta-fictional sea shanties, pop-infused newgrass murder ballads and urbane lyricism, twang and punch”, and that it was inspired by “love, misery, and comic books.” That’s insanely compelling. Do you have specific inspirations from love, misery, and/or comics? Head for the Hills isn’t much of a “love song” band—in fact, before this record, one might find it difficult to identify even one such song in our catalog—but on this record we start to deal with relationships a bit more. We tend to be more interested in the rough patches than the sunny days, and this is true in spades on Blue Ruin, but I think there is nuanced understanding of love and what it can turn into on songs like Never Does. It’s not all bad or all good! The comic book part comes from a song of Adam’s, “Bosun Ridley,” which pulls it’s narrative from The Dark Freighter, a comic book inside of Alan Moore’s opus Watchmen. 

You worked with a lot of talented people on this album, including Timothy Doyle, the screen print artist who has worked with everyone from Muse to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. What’s it like to work with that kind of renowned talent? It’s always fun and rewarding to interact and create with people who are at the top of their respective game. With Tim specifically it was great because I sought him out after being a fan of his work, not entirely sure if he’d be willing to take on the project. Not only willing, he was enthusiastic and did a wonderful job translating our vision!

You’ve also performed with artists like The Flaming Lips, The Avett Brothers, and Emmylou Harris, not to mention countless others. Any good stories to share? Being a band that plays the summer festivals, you get to share bills with a lot of these great acts, seeing them perform is always a treat. I do recall meeting some of the Flaming Lips featured dancers one time, they may or may not have been clothed…


Matt Loewen Joe Lessard

Head for the Hills has quickly been gaining national attention, especially after being awarded “Best Bluegrass” band by Denver’s “Westword” and being called a “SXSW Critics’ PicksMust See” in 2011. Must seem a bit crazy at times. Being recognized by our peers and fans really puts fuel in the tank and never gets old!

Joe Lessard

You guys seem to play a lot of festivals: SXSW, Wakarusa Music Festival, Northwest String Summit, Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival... the list goes on. Do you prefer to play the big festivals, or smaller, more intimate shows? I like them both for different reasons. Musically sometimes it’s easier to do our thing at a show of our own—a club or theatre play. People are essentially there to see you; generally the set is longer, you have a greater degree of control over the sound and lights, etc. That being said, the festivals are amazing because they bring new people into your audience and we get to hang out, play with and meet other musicians that we’d certainly not have an opportunity to meet otherwise. Festivals are a great way to make fans and the club/theatre dates are where you keep them.

As the years go by and your discography lengthens, do you guys feel more confident in your music and yourselves? Most definitely. Head for the Hills is definitely an evolving entity and we, as individual players, are always growing. With this most recent record I think we’re finally getting into a place where we feel like creatively “this is the sound,” that we’re getting close to our collective vision for the band. Nothing is perfect and we’re our own worst critics, but it’s getting there!

To me, the term “bluegrass music” has a definition akin to how we see jazz music. Jazz doesn’t only refer to the music of King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong; it refers to a whole amalgamation of styles and songs inspired by those early virtuosos. 90

You’re all from Colorado. Does it influence your music much? H4TH has a very distinctive newgrass sound. Inevitably, yes. Colorado’s history, in terms of bluegrass music, doesn’t go back that far—we’re talking the late 70s—and it’s formative acts like Hot Rize weren’t particularly locked into tradition. Nick Forester played an electric bass, Pete Wernick used a phase shifter on his banjo and their songwriting frequently strayed outside the boundaries of traditional bluegrass. By the time you get to Leftover Salmon, all the rules have pretty much been broken. What that means for us is Colorado audiences are open-minded and ready for whatever we throw at them. For better or worse, we rarely feel constricted by audience expectation.

What is bluegrass for you? That’s a tough one. Bluegrass music, in a strict sense, is music played by and modeled after Bill Monroe, The Stanely Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs, Jim and Jesse etc. We don’t really play that music, at least not like they did. No banjo for us, and nobody really sings a true tenor. To me, the term “bluegrass music” has a definition akin to how we see jazz music. Jazz doesn’t only refer to the music of King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke and Louis Armstrong; it refers to a whole amalgamation of styles and songs inspired by those early virtuosos. We talk about this and get asked this sort of question a fair amount and I don’t have a hard and fast answer, it changes all the time! Here’s how Bill Monroe defined it: “Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound.” Head for the Hills - press photo by Marc Leverette

Bluegrass is a traditional American genre, one that originated from Irish-Scots immigrants. Do you feel like you carry on the bluegrass traditions? Let’s not forget the banjo originates in Africa! Not to mention the other various threads of religious music and work songs people originating from Africa or the Caribbean brought to the table early on and the influence jazz had, particularly on the second generation of bluegrass musicians. In some ways I think we aren’t really carrying on the bluegrass traditions. We don’t have a banjo, and more importantly the subject matter of the songs and their construction varies widely from “traditional bluegrass.” On the other hand—and this is usually what sticks with me—we are carrying on the tradition of finding our own sound, soaking up what’s around us and playing mostly acoustic music. Just like Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, Clarence White and The Kentucky Colonels after them, and David Grisman and Tony Rice did after that.

With a music genre so steeped in tradition and history, what do you think about new social platforms for sharing music, such as Facebook, bandcamp, soundcloud, etc.? In a post-record label music industry based around live concert income instead of album sales, encouraging fans to share your content is critical in absolutely every genre. So those services are definitely things we rely on, while trying not to focus too much on them. I think one of the reactions to the current popularity of electronic music is that people are (consciously or subconsciously) more driven than ever to discover and share these types of organic, acoustic-based music. Musical traditions are only really preserved or pushed forward when they’re being brought to bigger audiences and made more accessible, so it seems backwards and insular to me to neglect any available technologies or platforms just because the internet wasn’t around when people started playing bluegrass.


Who or what has been the foremost influence on your music? One thing that makes our band unique is that we all call upon different musical influences because we all have different musical backgrounds. Be it classical, rock, jazz, hip hop, folk, bluegrass etc., we all integrate pieces of our own musical foundation into our individual songwriting. As a bluegrass guitar player, I am largely inspired by the new acoustic stylings of Tony Rice, but also consider Django Reinhardt to be of paramount importance on my study of jazz music. Similarly, I draw an equal part of lyrical influence from John Hartford that I do from Paul Simon. How about Steely Dan, Bela Fleck, The Beatles. All the different influences we have in life shape who we are as people and in music there is no exception.

It’s one thing to hear a musician, but it’s another to actually see them. The precision on the stringed instruments was fascinating. It’s obvious that you’ve all spent a lot of time with your instruments. Has there ever been a time when you didn’t think that you wanted to play music for a living? I don’t think any of us really planned on playing music for a living. However, as we began to gain momentum I think we all made a collective decision to really commit to our music and truly study the nuances of what makes acoustic music unique. Obviously we spent huge amounts of time studying our instruments but there was a lot of learning going on in our early years that transcended mere practice. We were taking cues from the bands we loved, playing new venues and of course, listening to lots of records! We are still learning a lot but I believe these elements really shaped us as individual players and allowed us to hone in on developing our sound and style as a band.

Head for the Hills at Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2012 - photo by Josh Elioseff

How did you guys get together? Mike and I grew up playing music together in Golden, CO and met Matt and Joe at CSU our freshman year in 2004. Our first rehearsal was in a dorm room. We began writing together, playing parties and the rest is history. I don’t think any of us imagined we would be playing together almost a decade later, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s a good feeling to still be inspired to make music together and have fun growing as a band.

All the different influences we have in life shape who we are as people

and in music there is no exception.

Though most of your songs have upbeat melodies, the lyrics tend to be much darker. Any particular reason behind that? That is one element of bluegrass that I have always been drawn to; sad songs with happy melodies. I have an affinity for that type of subtle counterpoint. For example, one of my tunes on the new record describes someone asking a loved one in their deathbed to just let go, as a lighthearted ascending melody line is being played throughout the song. If my writing has gotten a bit darker over the years, it’s probably because I’m bored of listening to trite lyrics about mountains, waterfalls or breaking up with your girlfriend. Not to say I am not inspired to write about nature or don’t value a great love song, but for me there needs to be a certain amount of depth in a song to hold my attention. We are constantly trying to incorporate depth into our lyricism and arrange our songs in interesting ways to keep our sound dynamic. It just so happens that lyrically they tend to land on the darker side of the spectrum.

There’s definitely a flair for the dramatic in your lyrics. Do you see yourselves as a dramatic group? Not at all. We all function with very little drama in our lives but watch plenty of The Wire.

I’ve noticed that you have both songs with and without lyrics, such as the awesome instrumental “Priscilla the Chinchilla.” Do you prefer one to the other? I think there is definitely a place for both lyrical songs and instrumentals in our band. During our live show, we structure our sets to feature both styles and I think that’s one thing people like about us. We love showcasing our diverse instrumentals to stir things up and break out of the box with some different flavors.


What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from life in the music business? The most important lesson I’ve learned is to stay focused and not become stagnant. It is so easy to lose sight of the creative aspect of the music industry because it is cutthroat and competitive but it is crucial to keep evolving. These days the bands that make it are the ones that set themselves apart creatively and release content in interesting ways. The bands I love have always maintained the hunger to keep composing and recording new music and that is exactly what we are striving to do.

What’s next on the schedule for Colorado’s favorite newgrass band? Who knows! That’s the fun part of what we get to do. Europe tour? Featured soundtrack in a cult spaghetti western film? The future certainly seems like it could hold some really great things for Head for the Hills. I know we will be playing more and more shows and festivals and writing and recording more and more original tunes. In the years to come, I hope we can continue to share the stage with the many musicians who have shaped us and inspire us to keep playing our music. What else could we ask for?

Head for the Hills - press photo by Marc Leverette

These are four gentlemen with great intelligence and thoughtfulness about what they do, not to mention great talent. Be sure to catch Head for the Hills on tour near you! Whether it’s a small venue or a giant festival, they’ll be sure to knock your socks off.




& T H E BAST I L L ES Fo l k Ro c k

John French, Josh DeRamus, Kevin Justmann, Rebecca Cash and McKendrick Bearden

John French got the idea to form a band after

his bandmates throw in a little more country rock

releasing his solo album On the Face of It in April 2010

with a harder, darker number in “Death in Fancy

and receiving enthusiastic praise for his warm and

Clothes.” At times their tracks may seem like an old-

full-bodied ballads. Joining up with Josh DeRamus

school Coldplay anthem with a Mumford and Sons-

(drums), Kevin Justmann (Bass), Wes Kent (electric

like twist and the result is a cure as old as the hills:

guitar), and Rebecca Cash (vocals, banjo) to form

John French and the Bastilles produce a sound so

John French and the Bastilles, French’s band has

pure and clear it will render you helplessly soothed

toured the southeast and played at classic Athens’

and comforted. French and his cohorts aren’t out to

downtown venues since coming together in 2010. In

simply entertain, they’re on a mission to move your

fact, they just released their first full-length album

soul, and they have the musical madness and skill

What Wakes the Night in December 2012. Folk and

to make it happen. Their album What Wakes the

acoustic influences play heavily with their music,

Night feels like a cathartic homecoming, wrapped

building slow and sweet melodies like in “Gold and

with crisp melodies and warm vocals. You can

Madness” and “I Used to be a Watchmaker.” The

find them this summer playing around Athens and

beautifully haunting “A Dinner Guest” will slip you

download their album on Bandcamp or iTunes.

into a campfire friendly trance only to have “Lake


Susan” bring you back to life with its softly rousing call, “rising!” Before long, however, French and


SEVEN HANDLE CIRCUS A l t e r n a t i v e Ro c k From the land of Coca-Cola and T.I. comes Seven

“Walking Through the Wilderness,” “Georgia

Handle Circus, a bluegrass sextet that roams

Man,” and “Cruel World,” Seven Handle Circus

Georgia and its environs, playing what has been

strikes up quick-paced and timeless anthems.

hailed as “Bad Ass Bluegrass.” Taking traditional

Light and whimsical, yet nonetheless enduring

folk and bluegrass motifs, and gracefully crafting

and thoughtful, Seven Handle Circus delivers

them with a contemporary edge, Seven Handle

pure delight and satisfaction with every track.

Circus hits the elusive sweet spot between the two


genres. The sextet charmed Atlantans and YouTube

“Whiskey Stills & Sleeping Pills” in January 2012,

fans alike with their cover of the Postal Service’s

following up with a full-length album “Live at

“Such Great Heights.” Fans of Old Crow Medicine

Terminal West” in June 2013. They have played

Show admire their lyrical prowess while bluegrass

all around Georgia and the southeast, including at

traditionalists appreciate their flawless devotion

Atlanta’s classic Fox Theater alongside Mumford

to the genre.

Their otherworldly and complex

& Sons. The band recently launched a Kickstarter

instrumentals convey intensely developed talent-

campaign to produce their next full-length album.

chief songwriters Shawn Spencer (guitar, vocals)

This fall they can be found in Nashville, Athens,

and Colin Vinson (banjo, vocals) and bandmates

Atlanta, and New Orleans.











Burroughs (fiddle), Jeff Harrison (drums), and Troy Harris (bass, vocals) all grew up playing instruments, enduring years of training to hone their craft. With songs like “Bluegrass Girl,”


Shawn Spencer, Colin Vinson, Steve Bledsoe, Richard Burroughs, Jeff Harrison, Troy Harris

B E N T S H A P ES “ H y p h y n r r r d p o p”

Andy Sandalwood, Supriya Gunda, Ben Potrykus


Peppy pop trio Bent Shapes imbue everything they do with sweet, bouncy fun. With a twinkle in their eyes and the wide-eyed confusion of those who are forever young, Bent Shapes makes a departure from the trio’s lo-fi experimentations as Girlfriends, but that does not make it any less sincere. Ben Portykus (guitar) began playing under the name of Girlfriends back in 2009, joining up with Andy Sadoway (drums) and Supriya Gunda (bass) to form Bent Shapes shortly afterward. The trio has put in some hard time growing up - getting “cleaner” in Gunda’s words. Previously releasing singles and EPs on mixtapes and 7-inch vinyl, the newly branded trio will be releasing their first fulllength album late summer 2013. Unlike their quick-fire recording process as Girlfriends, recording as Bent Shapes required more time and calculated effort, recording and layering bass/drums and guitars/vocals separately and piecing them together afterwards (as grown-ups do, naturally). Laced with punkpop vocals and a garage pop/punk sound, Bent Shapes’ tracks are nonetheless polished and upbeat. Born out of basements, thrift stores, and coffee shops, the Bent Shapes trio are properly nostalgic, scrappy, and talented - the perfect Bostonian band. Appreciatively clever and nerdy, but never elitist, Bent Shapes brings the best of what would otherwise only be available to hipsters to the rest of the world. Underneath all the art gallery candid photos, Gunda, Sadoway, and Portykus are truly like the rest of us: feeling kind of weird and trying to figure out what this “growing up” deal is all about. The band’s debut album  Feels Weird  was released on Father/ Daughter Records this past August.  If they don’t swing your affection on the first listen, give them another try - bet you can’t find the X-files references hidden in the verses.

TA P E WAV ES D r e a m Po p

Jarod Weldin, Kim Hart

Charleston in the summer brings to mind dreamy days spent on the beach and fuzzy nights on porches with friends. Tape Waves, Charleston’s own dream pop duo, bring to mind the very same with their newly released self-titled EP. The newly engaged Jarod Weldin and Kim Hart craft beach friendly dream pop with West Coast guitar stylings and beautifully layered vocals. The duo’s sweetly blended melodies and Hart’s ethereal vocals make for upbeat, blissful listening. “Wherever I Go” is slated to be the soundtrack for your next crush, “I wanna know what you’re doing... I see your face wherever I go.” Tape Waves will have you swaying along to their wistful “Drifting” and “Somewhere,” dreaming your day away and plotting your next getaway. This duo crafts otherworldly tunes while remaining entirely relatable and, to be honest, adorable. Weldin’s carefully measured guitar solos compliment Hart’s warm, earnest vocals; in turn the two of them make sounds of pure summer: filled with

sunsets, road trips, and surf-side gatherings. Tape Waves are everything you need to make your summer memorable and to keep the memories fresh when the weather turns chilly. Though the duo has only released a few tracks, and all of them this summer, they have already been featured on blogs The Grey Estates, The Le Sigh, and on DKFM’s Top Ten Essential Summer Sounds. The immediate response has inspired the duo to concentrate on writing a full-length album of original songs; the duo also released a cover of Beach Fossil’s “The Horse” earlier this year. The band quickly sold out of their limited time only 7” release, complete with scented miniature notepad and ombre watercolor vinyl sleeves. The Beautiful Strange in London released cassettes of their four track EP this September, in addition to digital downloads on Bandcamp.


T H E S W E AT E R S E T C o n t e m p o ra r y Fo l k D u o

Full of vibrant harmonies and jazzy-pop melodies, The Sweater Set will charm your heart with a few strums of their ukuleles and banjo. The folksy/jazz-pop duo formed in 2008 when Maureen Andary joined up with childhood gospel choir friend Sara Curtin to compete in a folk competition in West Virginia. The two clicked immediately have been crafting beautiful, haunting, and jazz-pop tunes ever since. Armed with their voices


and an array of ukuleles, guitars, flutes, banjos, and the occasional glockenspiel, The Sweater Set has been awarded several “wammie” awards from the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) for Best Contemporary Folk Duo/Group in both 2011 and 2012. Their debut album, aptly named Surprise Visit, dropped in 2009, shortly after the duo came together, and was recorded mostly live. Their sophomore album Live @ IMT released just a year later after a performance at the Institute of Musical Traditions in Rockyville, Maryland. Goldmine and Oh Visitor followed in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Andary and Curtin’s soprano voices blend well, sliding into their trademark gorgeous harmonies that accompany light pop or country-tinged melodies. Their gospel routes are especially prevalent in tunes like “Not At All” and “Sister,” released on Goldmine, and “Until Morning Comes” on Oh Visitor. “The Breaker” departs from their floating pop melodies, bringing a darker message accompanied by a rousing folksy/gypsy melody, compete with accordion. Fans of The Watson Twins and The Wailin’ Jennys will especially appreciate The Sweater Set’s folksy ballads, while She & Him and Ingrid Lucia fans will gravitate towards their more jazzy and ukulele heavy numbers. With a good mélange of both on each of their albums, the duo shows off their marked ability to embrace variety while still adhering to their folk and gospel roots. Their vocal and creative range area is as impressive as their consistently playful melodies and solid messages. With motifs of heartbreak, sisterhood, friendship, and love, The Sweater Set have a little something for everyone. Maureen Andary & Sara Curtin


AMY STROUP S i n g e r - S o n g w r i te r

Lightly crooning into your heart and soul, Amy Stroup will turn your bad day/week/year around with her upbeat “Chin Up” and sweeping “Hold Onto Hope Love.” Nashville-based, although she was born in Boston and grew up in Abilene, Texas, Stroup’s delightful and upbeat pop songs twinkle bright in the same dreamy vein as A Fine Frenzy and Ingrid Michaelson.  Growing up playing the piano and guitar, and touring the country with her family in a VW van exposed Stroup to a variety of musical influences, including folk, pop, and gospel. Her semi-transient childhood rooted her in one solid universal: love. In 2006 she released her first full-length album and followed up with several EPs with the help of producer Thomas Doeve, of Paper Swan studio. Crazy, messy, worldaltering love, in all its forms, continue to fuel Stroup’s creativity. In her own words, “all these songs explore different types of love.”


emotionally and culturally relevant tunes seems to be her specialty. With her soulful lyrics and light, sweet voice, Stroup’s songs have played on television’s Grey’s Anatomy,  Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, One Tree Hill, Army Wives, Greek  and  Pretty Little Liars  soundtracks, and Prairie Home Companion named her as one of their “Top 20 Songwriters Under 30.” As if that weren’t enough, she also won a national Peacemaker Award. Not one to rest on her laurels, Stroup has been hard at work in the studio recording a new record, while also consistently playing both solo shows and at Ten Out of Tenn shows across Tennessee

Amy Stroup

and the Midwest. Extremely driven, but content with her current Nashville nest, Stroup promises to continue independently releasing soulful, pop tunes for her fans and hopes to someday score a movie. She plans to tour the west coast this fall with singer-songwriter Denison Witmer and is hard at work recording a new record, details to be released later this year. 


ZOE SUNDRA Fe m m y G l a m Ro c k

Zoë Sundra’s strong voice is most certainly turning

Her albums feature heavy Ani DiFranco and Patti

folk music on its head. Everything from her wild

Smith influences, but with a special Sundra spark:

child vintage dress to her clear, sometimes sultry,

brassy sounds accompany her earthy vocals, taking

voice lends a definite glamorous quality to her

folk to a whole different level. From her sequined

music and performances. A Massachusetts College

hotpants to tattooed sleeves and infectious smile,

of Art graduate, Sundra relocated to Brooklyn after

Sundra’s strong voice and artistic style bring a

spending a weekend in the big city and found her

theatrical, but honest, element to her performances.

niche immediately styling, sculpting, and singing.

Crowd pleaser “Scarlett” features her trademark brass

Former stylist and assistant to What Not To Wear’s

accompaniment with her folk inspired melodies and

Stacy London, Sundra took her leave from her

the rousing “Ache” follows up. Other notable tracks

“responsible” career of styling and focused all of her

include “Rise” and “On Monday,” with an ever so

firepower into making music. Everything from her

slight twang, brass backups, and swooning, crooning

boundless style to her unapologetic moxie says one

vocals. Each track alludes to romantic entanglements

thing: legendary. Sundra’s freshman album Death by

and heartbreak without falling into pity, despair, or

Love Songs released in 2010, garnered her a steady

“done me wrong” anger; she sings with the grace of an

series of gigs at Arlene’s Grocery and Cakeshop. Her

old soul and fire of a young, bold heart. Sundra’s out

most recent album, The Hunt, surfaced in 2012,

of this world style, combined with her humble verses

boosting Sundra to blogosphere stardom and landing

and impressive musical range, make for solidly great

her a spot at the HartFolk Festival in Connecticut.

music that will give you hope and healing.

Zoe Sundra



THE LOVE LANGUAGE L o - F i I n d i e Ro c k

Thomas Simpson, Andy Holmes, Autumn Ehinger, Eddie Sanchez, Jordan McLamb, Stuart McLamb

In the wake of a breakup in 2009, The Love Language

instrumentals and old school synthesizers to create

frontman and director Stuart McLamb closed

their uniquely whimsical sound. The band’s roots in

himself into a storage space with some friends’

emotional upset continues to set them apart with

recording gear and emerged with an album on a

their honest charm and lo-fi ambiance. The now

4-track. What happened next was pretty remarkable

cheerful McLamb continues to refocus and hone

- after bouncing around the Raleigh-Chapel Hill-

the band’s sound, directing and arranging multiple

Durham triangle for a while, The Rosebuds invited

layers of vocals and instruments to craft their

him to tour with them. McLamb united with brother

unique sound. Although many of their recorded

Jordan McLamb (percussion, vocals) and friends

songs have an easy, ephemeral quality, the band

Missy Thangs (keyboard, vocals), Justin Rodermond

has an enthusiastic following for their live shows,

(bass, vocals), and DJ Burton (electric guitar,

where they embrace their more wild and noisy side,

vocals) to complete The Love Language. A master at

charming audiences with their low brow enthusiasm

arrangement, following up 2010’s Libraries with the

for their music and message. After a solid month of

band’s latest full-length album Ruby Red, released

16-hour days recording Ruby Red, McLamb and his



crew are out and about touring the United States

begetting great music is hardly a novel tale, but

promoting their latest album and livening up venues

McLamb’s particular musical expression stands

everywhere with their raw, enduring spirit.


Records. Post-breakup

alone. Never sappy or sad, instead alternating peppy and chill, The Love Language’s tracks are full of life and synth-fueled melodies. Their instrumental pop






The Dallas S discover learn play DLP is an online, sequential, and comprehensive music learning program for students of all ages who want to Discover, Learn, and Play Music.

School of Music, Inc. The Kore Course and Jazz Course are each available for 35+ instruments.

Theory and Resources are available for FREE - JOIN NOW!


Matt Fratpietro, Michael Kondakow, Dave Grant, Scott Burke, Konrad Commisso


Canadian based Poor Young Things have been creating some serious buzz in the music world recently with their new album The Head. The Heart. The End. We got a chance to chat them up in between their non stop tour dates.

So if you turn the first word of the band’s name from ‘Poor’ to ‘Pretty’ and make it into an acronym, you get P.Y.T., pretty young thing. Any relation to MJ’s big hit or just coincidence? Matt Fratpietro: Purely a case of great minds think alike.

After just 2 years, you have been signed, have a record deal, some pretty cool marquee representation, and have been named by Sirius XM as the Emerging Artist of the Year. That’s pretty impressive. Does it feel a little overwhelming or is this an easy transition? MF: We just kind of do our thing. We love to play music, and we've definitely caught more than a few lucky breaks. That's half the battle right there! We'd still be doing the same thing regardless.

What is the biggest difference between touring in Canada and coming to the states? MF: America is such a densely populated country. There are so many states with so many people. Whereas Canada is very spread apart. That usually leads to longer drives between shows. Plus US beer is WAY cheaper.

You primarily toured the east coast of the U.S., only going as far west as Texas. What this mainly because of Warped Tour or will the West coast be getting love sometime soon? MF: We'd love to get out to the West coast. All in good time, but we're just starting to get our US touring legs under us. Obviously the plan is to Johnny Cash it and be everywhere, man.

So not only are you touring everywhere together, but you also live in the same house as well? That must be a good mix of bonding and wanting to pull each other’s hair out at the same time. MF: You know, it's funny. People say that all the time, but we really do get along so well. There are rarely any fights, and when there are it never lasts more than a few hours. I think we've been in close proximity so long that everyone has their own way of dealing, like brothers do. 

I know most bands don’t like to play favorites, but Canada aside, what was your favorite place to play in the states? David Grant: There’s an amazing group of people in Lansing, Michigan that always show us a good time when we’re down there.

You are a pretty heavy and rowdy rock band at times. Wildest moment at one of your shows? MF: We played a show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto where we brought a piñata out on stage at the end of the set and smashed it. The crowd got to eat some candy, so they were happy. Things never seem to get too wild. We wish they would, though. We'll work on that.

Jon Drew produced your album, he is an extremely talented engineer who has brought many other Canadian acts to life. Were you intimidated going into the studio with him? DG: There was definitely some intimidation going into our first EP with Jon, but he's a super loveable dude and those fears didn't last too long. He really liked the songs when we played them for him so there was a sense of relief.  At that point it was just getting down to work.  He has a real knack for taking off-the-cuff ideas and making them come to life. The man has no limits!

Did you ever feel you needed to live up to some type of expectation when it came to the other acts Drew has produced like Fucked Up, Alexisonfire and Tokyo Police Club?

Who were your biggest music idols growing up? What was that first song, that first album that really made you want to pursue music? DG: Individually we all come from different schools. Tom Petty, AC/DC, Black Crowes, Springsteen were all common ground.  But I think it’s what we took from our personal influences that make us a bit different. MGMT for example; we took a band that Scott and Konrad really dug and covered ‘Electric Feel’.  We put our own spin on it and it turned out pretty cool.  

So you’re all turning 27 this year…..any superstitions in regards to the 27 Club or are you guys soldiering on to beat the system? DG: There will be one point this year where it will be winter and everyone in the band will be 27. There will be a snowstorm and we will be driving in the middle of the night...we won’t sleep well until 2015. 


MF: We certainly are big fans of all those bands, but we've never really felt any pressure or expectation. We just wanted to make the best album for us.

MF: The sound guys on the Vans Warped Tour called us "Tom Petty and the E Street Band"...we'll take it.

You are clearly a rock band with different elements like jam rock and some alternative. That makes it difficult to pin you down as just a “Rock n’ Roll” band. What would you consider yourselves if you had to choose? MF: There's too many genre labels these days. It's all just music. We don't have time to find a nice neat category to shove ourselves into.



What have people compared your sound to in relation to other artists of your genre?



‘Sign of the Times’ is a great lead single off the album. Why this one? Every song has a catchy hook or chorus that could warrant any track off this album as lead single potential. Is there a different song that you guys thought would be more popular than the rest, or one that you wish had been the single instead? MF: Sign of the Times just seemed to hit all the sweet spots, and it had that "never back down" message that we're very into. Also it's one of the hardest tracks on the album, and we really wanted to come out of the gates swinging. It's tough to say what will be popular and what won't. We just write it for us and throw it out there, and let the good people decide.

Is there a song in particular that you guys love to play live? One that really gets the crowd going? DG: The Low Road is a great song to get people clapping their hands. I think people can really relate to Blame It on the Good Times and it has a super chanty chorus that fans like singing along to. We are starting to see people sing along to Revolver. Covers are always great, but that's kinda cheating.

The Head. The Heart. The End. is a pretty unique and somewhat epic title for your debut album. Any insight as to where the title came from and what it means to you and to the album? MF: It's certainly an album that deals with love and loss, as well as hope. It's the human condition. The heart wants, but the mind doesn't. The mind wants, but the heart's just not into it. The battle between being careful and letting yourself get carried away.

I think my favorite part about the album and your sound in general is that it’s raw but refined. Even with my first couple of listens through the album, I feel like nothing is overly produced and there is strong parallel between how you sound on the record and how your live shows are. Is this what you were shooting for or am I way off? DG: Ya. We’re always looking to capture the energy of the live show. What we are playing individually isn’t too complicated or difficult. But when you put it all together it has an effect of sounding huge and raw. I think we pride ourselves on being able to play our music live like you hear it on the radio. There are too many bands out there that have great studio sounds, but can’t get it done in person. It comes with a lot of hard work. 

Matt Fratpietro, Michael Kondakow Dave Grant, Scott Burke, Konrad Commisso

“with getting older, I guess it comes

and in a

seeing things different light.

We were looking a little more at


and our relationships

with friends, parents, girlfriends;

the relationships that shaped us as people up to

this point. 112

Matt Fratpietro, Michael Kondakow, Dave Grant, Scott Burke, Konrad Commisso

I think my favorite part about the album and your sound in general is that it’s raw but refined. Even with my first couple of listens through the album, I feel like nothing is overly produced and there is strong parallel between how you sound on the record and how your live shows are. Is this what you were shooting for or am I way off? DG: Ya. We're always looking to capture the energy of the live show. What we are playing individually isn't too complicated or difficult. But when you put it all together it has an effect of sounding huge and raw. I think we pride ourselves on being able to play our music live like you hear it on the radio. There are too many bands out there that have great studio sounds, but can't get it done in person. It comes with a lot of hard work. 

My favorite song off the album is probably “Dress It Up” mainly because the lyrics seem to be fueling some type of love struggle, and I’m a helpless romantic. I know you guys cover a lot of different topics, but is love lost a continuous theme in a lot of your songs? MF: This album has a lot of them for sure. I guess it comes with getting older, and seeing things in a different light. We were looking a little more at ourselves and our relationships with friends, parents, girlfriends; the relationships that shaped us as people up to this point.


The five of you have known each other since high school. What a journey you have taken to still be together and rocking to this day. Do you think this bond is part of what drives your music? DG: We are just a group of guys who can stand each other. Haha. I feel like our bond is tighter because of the things we have accomplished and the amount of time we have spent together. Also, if we broke up, we’d have to get real jobs and that’s not a popular idea.

Bumstead Productions have been putting out some pretty excellent bands and seem like a really cool company to sign with. Were they a perfect fit for PYT and the band’s sound or were there some doubts joining up with them? MF: There were definitely some overwhelming feelings when they first started talking to us. Mainly we were confused as to why they were interested, but they told us they saw potential and wanted to really grow a band in a grass roots way. They believe in the philosophy of tour, tour, tour and then tour some more, and that’s something that we were totally on board with. We knew a few of the bands on the label already, and having one of Canada’s preeminent rock n’ roll bands (The Trews) on their roster didn’t hurt either. DG: John Angus McDonald (The Trews) was nice enough to have a meeting with us (few drinks) and answer any questions we had about working with Larry Wanagus and the team at Bumstead.  

There is an AWESOME cover you fo with Tim Chaisson of “Electric Feel’ by MGMT on the Bumstead Productions website that I’m super in love with. Where can I get a recording? Do you guys see yourselves doing some more cover type things in the future or was this just a fun pit stop in the midst of touring? MF: It’s that whole feeling of going back to the garage where it all began, calling up a few buddies and just fucking around with some cover tunes for a while. I’m glad we got to do it. I’m sure we’ll do some more in the future. It’s always fun to put a new spin on something. I think we’re going to be putting it up on our website soon, actually. So keep checking.

I know the band has been outrageously busy getting the album out and touring as much as possible. May be too soon to ask, but is there any plan for a new album? Have you been working on any new songs lately? MF: As a group we haven’t put anything together yet, but we are starting to get the bug to buckle down and work on some new tunes. It’s important to us that we keep writing and moving forward and evolving as a band. When we have to time off in 2045, maybe we’ll get down to it.

Matt Fratpietro, Michael Kondakow Dave Grant, Scott Burke, Konrad Commisso

Check out Poor Young Things online at

With a handful of highly acclaimed acknowledgements and ferocious thirst for live performances, Poor Young Things seem to be in for the long run. Make sure you hop on the bandwagon.



The DuBarry’s “Throne”


Dead Man’s Bones “Name in Stone”



“Until We Get There ”

“All the Days”



Dead Ship Sailing “Burn to Dust”

Young Galaxy “Pretty Boy”

Ivan & Alyosha “On My Way”

Jenny O.

“Well, OK Honey”

Lia Ices “Love is Won”


Super Shiny Saturday

The A-Side

Sadies’s Mix

The National “Sea of Love”

Noah and the Whale “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”

Radical Face

Fool Me Once, Shame On Me

The B-Side

Joel’s Mix

Daughter “Youth”

Damien Jurado “Sheets”

“Welcome Home”

Great Lake Swimmers “Still”

Regina Spektor

Imogen Heap


“Come Here Boy”

Peter Bradley Adams “The Longer I Run”

The Gospel Whiskey Runners “Hold On”


Wild Belle

“Let Her Go”

“It’s Too Late”

Heartless Bastards “Hold Your Head High”

Blind Pilot

“The Story I Heard”

Bastille “Pompeii”


For the 3rd year in a row, Conde Nast has named Charleston as its reader's choice #1 travel destination in the US. Now see why BalconyTV chose it as its 5th city in the U.S. to represent musicians. How did you get involved with BTV? The Music Initiative and This Is Noteworthy in Charleston drew me in. They produce the show here in Charleston. When our executive producer said she could see me as a host for BalconyTV Charleston, I jumped at the opportunity. I filled in for a host that couldn’t make it for one of the tapings and it felt right! So we ran with it. Now, I also help book the bands and I love working on the social media promotion.

BalconyTV is all about "music with a view", why do you think views are important to telling the story of music? They let the viewers see something beautiful while they hear something beautiful. Each city has a view that is as unique as the music, and for some artists, the view and the feel of the city are the inspiration for their music.

Bands come to Charleston to perform from all over the world, what is the one thing you’ve noticed that all bands have in common?

Amanda Muirhead

Host and Assistant Producer for BalconyTV Charleston


Beyond playing music? No matter how tired the artists were from traveling all night or all morning from a late-nite show in another city, they always come to life when they start playing their music. I think it’s inspiring that, no matter how they’re feeling, they can throw everything out the window except what they’re feeling in their music.

“ becomes the

perfect city

for musicians who want to follow their dreams.”

Charleston is a smaller market than the other BTV cities in the US. Why do you think it’s an emerging music town? Charleston’s artistic atmosphere attracts all kinds of artists, including musicians. Combine people with a love of music, a beautiful city, and lots of great venues for live music, and it becomes the perfect city for musicians who want to follow their dreams.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about the music industry since working with BTV? I’ve learned that it requires thorough planning, double-checking, and dedication to make a show like BalconyTV run smoothly. The people I’ve met in the industry that I’ve enjoyed working with the most work hard, but play hard too.


Why do you think the BalconyTV concept is important? It’s a fantastic way to let emerging musicians reach an international audience—not just because BTV is on the internet, but also because it focuses on the new videos in each city each week. It allows for fans to vote on their favorite videos between cities, as well as to have access to music from artists all over the world in one website.

Top 5 BTV shows to watch produced by Charleston? The Mowgli’s, The Grand Folks, Emily Hearn (coming soon), The TonTons, Sun-dried Vibes (coming soon)

Follow our bands and keep up with us with all the BTV Charleston happenings on our facebook page.




international spotlig


ght series

Narea y Tapia Out of the ashes of Chilean punk-rock band Los Prisioneros come musical duo Narea y Tapia, as in Claudio Narea and Miguel Tapia. Los Prisioneros marked a turning point in the Chilean new wave movement under the Pinochet regime. Even after going through several hiatuses and band changes, Narea and Tapia did not lose steam, creating several groups separately before reuniting in .... to showcase their life's worth of work. The group began playing together once again at a live show last April, reviving fans with a mix of old anthems and new tracks. Their latest work marks a definitive departure from Los Prisioneros' new wave sound, featuring guitars, tambourines, and ukeleles. They openly admitted to still working on some of the tracks in their set. Their less-than-polished sound didn't deter the crowd's enthusiasm—they responded with relish to anthems old and new. "Fiesta Nuclear" and "Legitimar" and bouncing around before long, thanks to electric guitar melodies and catchy choruses. The band's political roots bring even more depth to their already expertly crafted tunes, furthering demand for their sound. Narea and

(Santiago, Chile)

Tapia are doing more than filling the void left by Los Prisioneros, they're furthering Chile's alt-rock scene-they are bringing together those reminiscent for the politically charged lyrics of their music, just with a different spin. With new music in the works and hopeful audiences on the horizon, Narea y Tapia have only good things come their way. Their new music, with the same quality lyrics and even better experimental sounds, will only be in high demand over the coming months—between having a stronghold with the older generation that grew up in the 1980s and appealing to the younger generation, they have Chilean and international eyes and ears ready for their great new tracks.

“The band's political roots bring even more depth to their already expertly crafted tunes...”

Miguel Tapia and Claudio Narea


HeuReun Pop songstress HeuReun has a made a name for herself in the "k-indie," Korean indie, scene with her sweet, soft ballads and indie/pop dance numbers. More dreampop than indie, HeuReun's beautifully lilting voice transcends language barriers, though many of her songs alternate between Korean and English lyrics. Her voice, much like her name, which means "flow" (like water), glides gracefully around lyrics of heartbreak and romantic confusion. Her songs are sweet; they may just make you forget that your heart is crushed. HeuReun released her first EP in 2006 and followed with a 12-track album in 2009. She released her latest album, Leisure Love, in 2011 on Fargo. Dreampop laced ballads and chill,

(Seoul, Korea) smooth numbers fill her albums, generally sticking to her indie/pop feel but allowing for a solid amount of variation (one of her tracks features rap lyrics). “Leisure Love,” the title track for her latest album, is a harder pop number than her more introspective and light melodies, but it’s just as addictive and sweet. HeuReun may not have a huge cult following, but her record is slowly making it’s way stateside after “You Don’t Know Me” was featured on Art&Seoul Magazine’s blog as one of the best songs to brighten up your winter day. You can check out HeuReun’s musings and artistic inclinations on her tumblr page.


“Her voice...which means "flow" (like water), glides gracefully around lyrics of heartbreak and romantic confusion.”

Husbands 'n Knives (Totnes, UK)

and loud; Lou’s voice is rough and could have been ripped from a young Pauline Murray herself; Joolz’s guitar is gnashing and impudent; the lyrics are, well, look no further than the song “Nazi Bull Dyke.” So in a single word, Husbands ‘n Knives are awesome. In their own words, “We wanted to create a space where the riot grrrl DIY spirit of the ‘90s would meet the beefier, more classical sound of bands like Betty Blowtorch and L7. A band that would marry gritty poetry with tongue-in-cheek punk farce and would appeal to the disheveled, the hormonal, the dreamers and the underdogs out there.” Husbands ‘n Knives currently have one album, Raised on Synthetic Bitch Milk, released in 2010, and have appeared on multiple compilations, such as Ear Infection, Bitchslap, and Riot Grrrl Berlin. I’m greatly anticipating their next fulllength, and while I wait, I’ll be blasting HnK while I practice my Johnny Rotten sneer in the mirror.

from L to R: John McDermott, Julie Knives, Lou Knives, Craig McCracken

Back when I was a real punk rock kid, I had dreams of growing up to be a real punk rock lady such as Patti Smith, Kathleen Hanna or possibly a genderswapped Joe Strummer. Unfortunately my life didn’t take me in that direction, but I still harbor the fantasies of throwing off the shackles of my button-down lifestyle to follow my dreams of being a hedonistic punk rocker. UK group Husbands ‘n Knives does nothing to alleviate me of these daydreams. Definitely taking inspiration from the riot grrrl movement of the ‘90s, with groups such as Bikini Kill, L7 and Hole, their sound also evokes memories of classic UK punk groups like Penetration and the Rezillos. Fronted by two veritable punk ladies, Lou (vocals) and Joolz (guitar), they’re accompanied by two punk rock dudes, McCracken (bass) and Hermit (drums). The songs are gritty


Husbands 'N Knives performing at Ryan's Bar in Torquay, England

“Definitely taking inspiration from the riot grrrl movement of the '90s, with groups such as Bikini Kill, L7 and Hole, their sound also evokes memories of classic UK punk groups like Penetration and the Rezillos.”


(Kaunas, Lithuania)

It’s a well-known fact that rock ‘n’ roll is a universal language. From the Velvet Underground and Plastic People of the Universe soundtrack of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution, to the sounds of the Beatles literally being broadcasted across the universe, and not limited to me dancing Gangam Style outside a bar in Barcelona with a bunch of Spanish kids, rock is truly the Esperanto of music. This universality of course extends to Lithuania (cue the cheers from our lone Lithuanian reader), where rock group Movo resides in Vilinus, not far from Kaunas. Comprised of Linas Kubekas (vocals and bass), Augustas Masevičius (guitar), and Mantas Tamulionis (drums), the trio was brought together after meeting in The Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre; they were immediately noticed after they released their debut demos, "Ką jie tau padarė?" and "Supjaustyk širdį gabalais," for

Movo performing at Artistai Klubas in Vilnius

their unique blend of rock, blues and reggae. Lithuanian reggae? Yes, you read that right, and it’s awesome. The reggae influence is definitely discernible in the guitars and drum work, as is the blues sound of the distorted, talking guitars and long rock ‘n’ roll riffs. In 2012, local club Tamsta organized youth band competition “Garazas”, where Movo easily scored second-place and was invited to perform at the Tamsta Music Festival. Movo has already been nominated at the T.E.T.E. awards for best rock group in 2012, and in April of 2013, the group released their first album Mano Aš. Only in rock can the language of the blues and reggae end up in a single Lithuanian group. It’s pretty damn amazing if you think about it.

“Lithuanian reggae? Yes, you read that right, and it's awesome. The reggae influence is definitely discernible in the guitars and drum work...” Linas Kubekas

Justin Hazelwood

“From a douchebag hipster to a ticket taker on the tram (just lookin' for some lovin'), The Bedroom Philosopher will have you howling with laughter...”

The Bedroom Philosopher (Melbourne, Australia)

I’ll admit it—I’m a sucker for funny things. I’ve watched each episode of the first ten seasons of the Simpsons at least fifty times each; I have an entire folder full of pictures that I look at whenever I need a laugh (which is often); it baffles me when people don’t realize how funny the Beatles were (spoiler alert: they were hilarious). That’s why the first time I saw the Bedroom Philosopher video “Northcote (So Hungover)”, I watched it five times in a row and laughed so hard I cried. And then I watched every other video. And then searched his tags on Tumblr. And liked him on Facebook. Let’s just say I get excited about things very quickly. The Bedroom Philosopher, aka Justin Hazlewood, is a Melbourne-based musical comedian, and like I said, he’s disgustingly funny. A mad impersonator of the mundane, his multipleaward winning album Songs from the 86 Tram features a score of characters from suburban life, yet with depth and personality usually not afforded


them. From a douchebag hipster to a ticket taker on the tram (just lookin’ for some lovin’), The Bedroom Philsopher will have you howling with laughter, and loving the music at the same time. Think “Chris Lilley meets Beck.” The video for “Northcote” was a gigantic hit, even outside the musical comedy nerd community, earning several awards for best music video including the Australian Director Guild and Australian Cinematographers Society, and two U.S. film festival awards. The BP currently has three albums, and Hazlewood released his first book last year titled The Bedroom Philosopher Diaries, receiving accolades from writers such as Neil Gaiman who commented, “It was what all the great rock and roll touring books would have been like, if the people who wrote them had been honest to the point of embarrassment.” Hazlewood is currently working on his fourth album and working on a new book about being an artist in Australia.

The Away Days (Istanbul, Turkey)

Istanbul (once Constantinople) was the capital of Western culture during late antiquity and the Middle Ages—judging by indie rock band The Away Days, things haven’t changed too much! Obviously they have, just not in terms of Istanbul producing art that can be enjoyed around the world. Formed in 2011 by Oguzcan Ozen, Sezer Koc, Ercan Evren, and Berk Tekelioglu, these young Turks are fast becoming an international favorite, having played gigs such as SXSW, being featured in publications such as the Guardian (and Found:Music Uncovered!), and playing with well-known bands such as Blur. The Away Days released their first (and certainly not last) album, the EP How Did It All Start in late 2012, and it’s a wonderful listen. It has a sort of ethereal quality; it’s the kind of music

you would hear in a cloud if the cloud listened to awesome rock music. It’s certainly an accurate depiction, seeing as how their debut single from the album is a track called “Galaxies.” It’s the kind of music that makes you see lights, but don’t think they don’t know how to rock. Tracks like “Hands” and “Dear Blender” certainly bring it; it’s moody, yet infectious, indie rock music. I usually have a pretty good sense about which bands would be good to see live, and I would snatch up any tickets for The Away Days the second they were no more than one state away. It’s a small wonder why they were featured on NPR’s SXSW coverage. The Away Days’ first album is available for purchase on iTunes, and I expect to see much more from them in the coming years.

The Away Days

“…are fast becoming an international favorite, having played gigs such as SXSW...”

Kitty in a Casket I’m going to let you guys in on a secret: I freaking love psychobilly. I think it is just the coolest music out there (well, since classic punk died). I love the energy; I love the loud and angry guitars; the stand-up bass; the creepy, ghouly subject matter! Who doesn’t like punk songs about ghouls and monsters and skeletons and all that creepy-crawly stuff? Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a good psychobilly band I haven’t already heard—that’s why I nearly squealed when I came across Vienna’s Kitty in a Casket. Back in 2008, Kitty Casket and Billy the Bat decided to join forces to create Kitty in a Casket, and once Todd Flash, Tom Mooner, and Mike Mean Machine were added to the lineup, the cat was Kitty in a Casket

(Vienna, Austria)

from L to R: Michael Osabal, Todd Flash, Kitty Casket, Thomas Sommereder, and Martin Langheiter

“With Kitty's powerful and highenergy vocals, the relentless guitars, and the crazy rad drums, you'll feel like a ghoulie in a fresh cemetery!” born. Kitty in a Casket currently has three albums and tours extensively in Europe, playing major festivals such as WGT 2010 and Back to the Future in Germany, Fiesta du Rock in Spain, the Warhead Fest in Poland, and many more. If you’re a fan of the Horrorpops, Necromantix, and/or Tiger Army, then you’ll definitely be a fan of Kitty in a Casket. With Kitty’s powerful and high-energy vocals, the relentless guitars, and the crazy rad drums, you’ll feel like a ghoulie in a fresh cemetery! As an added bonus, there are tracks such as “Blutsauger” sung in Kitty’s native German, which, yes. You don’t know how awesome psychobilly can be until you’ve heard German psychobilly; if you’re a monoglot, then you won’t be disappointed with the English tracks, because the lyrics are as fun as the music (just take my favorite, “Zombie Wannabe”)! Kitty in a Casket is currently recording new tracks for an upcoming album, but if you need your feline fix, be sure to download their albums on iTunes today!


Taxi Violence (Johannesburg, South Africa)

clockwise from top L: George van der Spuy, Rian Zietsman, Louis Nel, and Jason Ling

unquestionable cool and effortless talent; Van der Spuy and his gang are total naturals on stage and in the studio. Amidst their smash rock numbers, you'll find a particularly tasteful rock and roll cover of Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down." It may lack Cash's signature gravelly tone, but the True Grit hit looks good in a rock and roll light. Other fan favorites "Unholy" and "Untie Yourself" feature the band's well-crafted rock and roll, tinged with just the right amount of blues. While Unplugged: A Long Way From Home explores more popinspired melodies with rock and roll inspired messages, Soul Shake not only serves as a kind of rock and roll homecoming, but a new a level of accomplishment in the art of crafting great, toe-tapping rock and roll.

”...Taxi Violence has seamlessly shifted from softer, more country-tinged rock, to their classic, unapologetic and wild rock and roll of old.”

After coming together as a band in 2004, the four lads that comprise Taxi Violence went on to quickly steal the scene at a battle of the bands, following up their victory with a self-titled EP in 2005. Since then, George Van der Spuy (vocals), Rian Zietsman (guitar), Louis Nel (drums), and Jason Ling (bass) have released four full-length albums. Their latest release, Soul Shake, is "a return to [their] roots: good old-fashioned rock and roll," according to Van der Spuy. Dressed in polished rocker clothing, the band projects

Within the past few years, the band has had the pleasure of playing alongside Billy Talent, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Seether, in addition to making rounds around Johannesburg's best venues and festivals. Most recently, the band performed an acoustic rendition of "Brainmash" for BalconyTV; you can find the album version on their website and Spotify. Without missing a beat, Taxi Violence has seamlessly shifted from softer, more country-tinged rock, to their classic, unapologetic and wild rock and roll of old.

Lloyd Williams When Lloyd Williams performs, each ear in the audience perks up in anticipation of the journey upon which they are about to embark. Williams' acoustic banjo and guitar skills are unparalleled, and he appears entirely at ease working within intense instrumental melodies.  Heartbreakingly earnest lyrics patched together with gripping instrumentals make Williams' ballads nothing short of enchanting. Within mere minutes, Williams will have an entire audience in a borderline dreamlike state, courtesy of his masterfully introspective and haunting melodies. Ranging from tales of redemption to losing love and hope, Williams' honesty shines through each number, reminding audiences of how great folk truly can be when done right. Weaving together strings, harmonies, and the occasional church organ, Williams manages to avoid monotony. In "The Foolish," what begins as a sorrowful ballad, builds joyfully to a haunting end. "Go Without" strikes a tenderer chord, layering William's light, smoky vocals over strings; "Station" features his renowned banjo skills and harmonies. Alongside band Autumn Red, Williams Lloyd Williams


(Brighton, UK)

released his second full length album, Time, earlier this year, featuring tracks that range from whispering lullabies to raw, cathartic ballads and soothing songs of yesteryear. Hailing from Brighton's cloudy coastline, Williams' contemplative songs are perfect for rainy days-soothing, but never morose, he crafts tunes that perfectly accompany days by the fire and nights at the bars. Weaving story and melody effortlessly, Williams is blessed with a true bard-like quality, earning himself a cult-like following in the United Kingdom. While the Brits may brand him as "traditional," Americans may find his melodies reminiscent of Appalachian folk music, steeped in bluegrass roots.  Regardless, Williams' eye for collaboration and knack for creating timelessly beautiful music will set him apart in years to come.

“...he crafts tunes that perfectly accompany days by the fire and nights at the bars.”

from L to R: June Kalass and Nick Wolf

Nick and June Pop-folk duo Nick Wolf and June Kalass bridge the space between young lovers and truly old souls. Wolf, garbed in black with curly hair, and Kalass wearing a thin headband like a crown over her long, blonde hair, Nick and June may appear mismatched at first sight. The partnership becomes apparent, however, once the music starts playing and their low-key pop melodies find home and truth in folk-inspired verse. Their songs "Annie Hall" and "Little Things" immediately drew fans to their charming, easy going tunes and lilting harmonies. Whether it's their realistically dreamy lyrics regarding love or their refreshingly cheery views on the matter, it's difficult to imagine anyone else managing to encompass love present and past with only sweetness—hold the bitter. Earning praise from Germany and international audiences

(Hamburg, Germany)

alike, and often compared to American band Angus & Julia Stone, Nick and June can't help but charm their audiences with each song. Armed only with their voices and a lone guitar, the duo is only more powerful without any bells and whistles. They have the only things that they actually need: one another and an audience. The duo's first full-length album, Flavor and Sin, dropped this past September and is available on iTunes and Amazon. 

“Armed only with their voices and a lone guitar, the duo is only more powerful without any bells and whistles.”

(Poznan, Poland)

Lilly Hates Roses place in your heart. "Only a Thought," released this past May, is a simple, but masterfully executed, gorgeous piece, showing that Lilly and Clark's vocals do not need accompaniment to make an impact. These two are equally as composed live as they are in the studio; despite the serious nature of their songs, they are all smiles in

“Poignant lyrics and indie rock/ folk guitar work, accompanied by the duo's strong vocals make Lily Hates Roses a band to be remembered....”

Lilly Hates Roses

Straight out of Poznan comes sunshiney folk duo Lilly Hates Roses. Clark's nimble guitar skills accompany Lilly's strong, lilting voice and the two have undeniable chemistry. Perfectly in sync, they are a duo the likes of which we haven't seen since The Civil Wars, and their music equally as catchy and touching. Formed in 2012, the group has released single "Youth" later that same year, followed by singles in February and May 2013. Hushed verses lull "Like a boat, like a plane," already steeped in sad lyrics, into that special bittersweet


person, immediately putting their audiences at ease, slipping them into beautifully building ballads. Poignant lyrics and indie rock/folk guitar work, accompanied by the duo's strong vocals make Lilly Hates Roses a band to be remembered. Featured on Seattle's KEXP and Britain's NME magazine, and singer Sarah Blackwood plans on covering their first single "Youth." They released their first full-length album this past year, featuring a mix of Polish and English songs. No translation needed, though, each track speaks for itself: Lilly Hates Roses stands on their own as a new kind of folk duo. 

In the words of Shakespeare, "thought she be but little, she be fierce!" Accompanied by her guitar, Jango, and drummer, Boris, 19-year-old Marks has made a riff-laced splash "dirty sweat rock," as she calls it. Raised in the small beach town of Crescent Head, Marks overcame her youthful shyness by playing pub gigs, soon moving to Brisbane to further her career. Inspired by Sarah McLeod, Marks began crafting hard rocking, foot stomping songs. Her earthy, earnest enthusiasm, coupled with her incredibly wild and fantastic music, makes for unforgettable stage presence. Performing barefoot on a balcony, she completely unseated Brisbane BalconyTV anchor Allen with her performance of her rousing original song "Little People." Other notable tracks "Thief in the Night" and "Jack in the Box" are slower, featuring more indie rock vibes and displaying Marks' heartfelt range, both vocally and creatively. Marks' young face may cause some to overlook her (at first), but her songs tell of

a talent of someone who has studied music their entire life. Though she describes herself as painfully shy as a youngster, she exudes nothing but joy and confidence while onstage. Miss Marks may look like just another teenage singer-songwriter, but she's got moxie flowing out of her boots and the chops to prove it. Now in high demand at festivals, Marks is fresh off a European tour promoting her sophomore album Voodoo and Honey, released on her own record label last year. Whether she's covering her idols or crafting original tunes, Minnie Marks is one truly gifted musician and it will be an unparalleled pleasure to see what she does next. 

“...her songs tell of a talent of someone who has studied music their entire life.”

(Brisbane, Queensland)

Minnie Marks

Minnie Marks

Francisca "Minta" Cortesão

Minta & The Brook (Lisboa, Trout Portugal) Singer-songwriter Francisca "Minta" Cortesão and her band (The Brook Trout) ended 2012 on a high note, gathering accolades from Blitz, Punch Magazine, and Radar Radio as one of the year's best albums. Minta's songwriting abilities are at once haunting and light, chilling and cozy. Joined by Mariana Ricardo on bass and ukulele, Manuel Dordio on electric guitar and lap steel, and Nuno Pessoa on drums, Minta & The Brook Trout blend their cool, chill voices and pair them with woodsy melodies to make sets of dreamy, yet earthy, tracks. Frontwoman Minta's clear, calm voice floats luxuriously over jangly drums and bass, joining with her counterparts to form cheery harmonies, lulling listeners into easy listening. Minta & The Brook Trout feel like an indulgence-it's luxurious indie folk pop, if you will. At once both exotic and familiar, Minta & The Brook Trout demand your utmost attention, and they will win


your affection with ease. The group's second full-length album, Olympia, dropped last year after the group toured around North America with fellow Lisboa-based band They're Heading West. Playful songs like "Family" and "Future Me" showcase the band's skillful repartee and witticism without sacrificing their down to earth vibe. "At Your Will" may be the best song on the album with its Southern-tinged rock vibe, it's pure indie pop folk at its finest. 

“...Minta's clear, calm voice floats luxuriously over jangly drums and bass, joining with her counterparts to form cheery harmonies...”

Eder Insondable Eder Insondable's music translates beautifully no matter what language you speak. Hailing from Mexico City, he decided to ditch the traditional mariachi band shtick and took to the acoustic guitar, accompanied occasionally by friends on bongo drums and backup vocals. Eder became obsessed with learning how to make music at an early age; his passion did not wane as he grew up, meeting fellow musicians who helped him find his voice. After earning himself a fair few gigs around Mexico City, he also began playing at universities and schools.  Eder's earnest nature takes his beautiful music to a new level; when an artist comes to the table with the sole goal of making life more beautiful with their music and lyrics, it can lead to a many a great thing, and Eder is the perfect example. His music is freeing, flowing easily like a summer breeze. His present and clear voice, accompanied by an almost jazzy acoustic guitar, make for light and sexy music that will have you dreaming of Mexico after the first listen. He's innovative, but not forcefully so, and his positive

Eder Insondable

(Mexico City, Mexico)

Eder Insondable

outlook encourages audiences (both live and digital) to participate in doing good (and feeling good) no matter what language they speak or where they live. Such transparent goodness, when accompanied by earnest talent, begets only good things, and Eder's music proves itself track by track. While there are definitely a few traditional elements to his melodies, Eder draws heavily from modern rock and indie to form the basis for most of his music. Heartfelt lyrics relate universal messages and gently building guitar melodies make some of the most refreshing music the singer-songwriter genre has produced in recent past. Eder's music is available on SoundCloud and MySpace for streaming and download; he also performed for BalconyTV this past summer.

“His present and clear voice, accompanied by an almost jazzy acoustic guitar, make for light and sexy music that will have you dreaming of Mexico...”

Johannesburg, South Africa www. ran dl

Brisbane, Australia w w w.ra ceca feo . au

Melbourne, Australia w ww. pr ince b a n u

Sunshine Coast, Australia w w w.g o d d essof b a bylo m . au

gear | instruments | accessories

media company

Sydney, Australia www. inte rmu si u

Delhi, India w w w.b a lco m /u/o i j o

Cosmos Scientific Systems

Seoul, Korea

www. -Reviews-Coffine_Gurunaru_Myeongdong_1st_Store-Seoul.html

Tokyo, Japan w w w.cosm

production company Winner of The True Award 2012

Aarhus, Denmark www.m2fi l

Barcelona, Spain w w w.b er niesd m

Crimea, Ukraine www. ti es

Kaunas, Lithuania w w w.vero ca

Hentai Corporation

(Prague, Czech Republic)

Hentai Corporation There are some genres you just don’t listen to very much. While a super grunge guy may not listen to much jazz, it’s not because he has something against it, he just hasn’t found a jazz artist that he likes enough to get into. I’m sort of like that with metal. I don’t think it’s bad; I just don’t really listen to it. Today, I’m adding an exception. Prague’s own metal group Hentai Corporation has won me over, though, for the love of God, do not Google image search them without your filter on. Comprised of the Croaker Brothers on vocals and guitar, Frankey on keys, Durex (yes) on bass, and Zed on drums, this is one quintet that will have you moshing and slam-dancing with the hardest guys you can imagine. One of the reasons I’m digging them so much is that they experiment so much with other genres. A definite inspiration is the trash rock from the late 80s; in fact, frontman Radek Josef Škarohlíd sounds quite like a Czech Axl Rose, though Axl Rose has never been described as being a “feral performer” (possibly because he’s not rad enough).


Hentai Corporation is more than trash metal, though. They experiment with some jazzy piano, some darkwave synth, some fun-loving funk, and more. My personal favorite element of the group, though, is their sense of silliness. For a long time, metal has had a bit of a “humorless” reputation, so it’s nice listening to a metal group that can write a silly song and have fun doing it. Take a listen to “Shower” and just try to be in a bad mood. You can’t do it. Get ready to turn your volume up to eleven and headbang your way into whiplash with your new favorite Eastern European metal group.

“Get ready to turn your volume up to eleven and headbang your way into whiplash...”


(Kostroma, Russia)

There’s a certain lyric quality to the Russian language. It’s often made fun of in cartoons for sounding too “angry,” but anyone who’s actually listened to Russian can tell you otherwise. That’s just one of the reasons I enjoy listening to Russian rock group Камни (pronounced: kahm-nyeh; translation: Stones). They’re still a new group, just formed in spring of 2012, but they’re fast making a name for themselves in Western Russia. Formed by Paul Shepel (vocals), Nicholas Yasnev (guitar), Dmitry Golubev (bass), and Vladimir Korzhev (drums), the band spent the better part of 2012 on their debut album, Cities, which was released in April of this year. In addition to recording, the group gave numerous performances, including television performances and headlining rock festivals such as “Height” and “Hypation Settlement.” The band’s tight sound and camaraderie have already made KamhИ

them fan favorites. The music itself is good rock music, with a liberal use of electronic sound. The musicians know their way around their instruments and in the studio. There’s a dance quality to Камни, and they have several remixes to prove it, but the guitars are nothing short of pure rock. Be sure to listen to my personal favorite song, “В ИТАЛИЮ” (“To Italy”). There’s something hypnotic about the chorus, and the way the group interacts with each other is such a pleasure to hear. If you’re looking for a good foreign language group to get into, Камни is definitely one that you can’t pass up!

“The band's tight sound and camaraderie have already made them fan favorites.”

Gravy Train Tanya Nambiar

(Delhi, India)

Akshay Johar

“While Nambiar has one strong, fantasic voice, the Beatles-esque harmonies of her band mates is just the pudding on top.”

It’s always a pleasure to see a new musical group form. Did I write “always?” I meant rarely. Without communication and years of camaraderie and practice behind them, more bands fizzle in and out of existence than dust mites, due to in-band fighting and simply lousy musical chemistry. So when I say you ought to check out this new band, I mean freaking check them out. Formed in December of 2012, Gravy Train is without a doubt one of the newest bands we’ve covered, but they’re fast on their way to the top. They’re a quartet from New Delhi, but they play blues-infused rock like they were raised in the American South. Gravy Train is made up of Tanya Nambiar on vocals, Karan Malhotra on guitar, Akshay Johar on bass, and Bhairav Gupta on percussion; each member of the group is invaluable. While Nambiar has one strong, fantastic voice, the Beatles-esque harmonies of her band mates is just the pudding on top. It’s obvious that they have a strong foothold in their classic rock knowledge—along with a kickass cover of “Layla,” the band named itself after a line in the Pink Floyd song “Have a Cigar.” As the band said, it’s a bit of a wishful name, being able to make a lot of money for not a lot of hard work. But if you listen to the band’s music, you realize that they’re very hard workers dedicated to their craft. Hopefully someday they will be compensated thusly.

Karan Malhotra

Bhairav Gupta


Kimbal Imaz-Hirst One of the worst things about getting older is all of these freakishly talented kids. It makes you feel old and useless and like the younger generation is going to swallow you alive with how good they are at things. I started grooving on some Kimbal Imaz-Hirst, only to then read his bio and spit all over my computer, “He’s only twenty?!” Freaking kids, man. But, seriously though, the guy has real talent. Imaz-Hirst was born in Tenerife in the Canary Islands and came to Australia as a child, but returned to Spain after finishing school. Now he’s back in the down under, delighting audiences with his laid-back, guitar-based sound. He describes his sound as a mix between blues, reggae and surf music, and he sounds a lot like an Aussie Jack Johnson or John Mayer (with a little Marley and Santana thrown in for good measure). Imaz-Hirst has great talent with the guitar—he started playing when he was eight years old, spent four years at music school, then studied classical guitar for an

(Sunshine Coast, Queensland)

additional five years. He’s performed throughout Europe and released his first album at just seventeen years old. Damn impressive. The relaxed quality of his music is indicative of the bright, sunny beaches where he’s spent most of his life. It makes me want to lie out on the sand, let the water lap at my toes, while I listen to Kimbal tool around on his guitar. Sounds like a day in paradise.

“The relaxed quality of his music is indicative of the bright, sunny beaches where he's spent most of his life.” Kimbal Imaz-Hirst

Rebecca Geary (Dublin, Ireland)

Rebecca Geary

”I’m a full hearted heavy piece of what the world has given me. I am not weak.” Thus sayeth Rebecca Geary, and we all need to perk up and listen. Not just another member of the Regina Spektor and Kate Nash brigade, Geary’s heartfelt lyrics and stunning piano skills fuel her alternative pop sound with a humble honesty. Her nimble, light voice loses nothing amidst playful staccato verses, and she transitions easily into sweeping choruses. A creation of her own making, Geary brings something wonderfully cheerful to the table: her songs betray her earnest love of making music and quickly put her audience at ease. This is the music of wholesome truth, a joyful celebration of individuality and whimsical musical expression. Dublin born and raised, Geary started her musical career at the age of 13 and the years


have not faded her enthusiasm. An adept piano and ukulele player, Geary strikes a rather unforgettable image with her Minnie Mouse bow atop brown tresses and her geek chic clothing. Don’t be deceived by her cute image; beneath it lies musical depth akin to that of Regina Spektor, Kate Nash, and Sara Bareilles. Last we heard from Geary, she was at work recording an EP, release date to be announced. Geary performed her original song “Weaknesses” for BalconyTV this past August. She teamed up with fellow artists Darragh Cullen to play at the All Ireland festival. In addition to composing original songs, Geary also covers popular songs, adding her own beautiful twist to each; covers of Edward Sharpe’s “Home” and Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts” are available on YouTube and SoundCloud. With any luck, Geary’s sincere melodies will accompany her into many a recording studio session, blessing the rest of us with her songs, refreshing reminders that individuality and happiness still run strong among us and, often, make for the best lives and music.

“Don't be deceived by her cute image; beneath it lies musical depth akin to that of Regina Spektor, Kate Nash, and Sara Bareilles.”

Sarah Blasko

“Her lyrics are masterful and thought-provoking; her music has evolved into miniature symphonies.”

Sarah Blasko I often wonder how people in the future will view the music from our time. Will Lady Gaga merely be a footnote in the annals of our history, or will she have managed to become galactic queen by the year 2020 (only to be heroically assassinated by Rihanna, naturally). No one knows for sure if our favorite artists will live to see immortality among the Bachs and Beethovens of the world, but sometimes, you come across a musician so talented, it would rank among life’s greatest tragedies if they were not listened to centuries from now. In my humble opinion, Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko is one such musician. Though a multiple-ARIA Music Award winning artist, not too many Americans are familiar with the work of this Sydney native. And I say, for shame. Blasko is without a doubt one of the most intelligent and talented songwriters of the last decade, with an ethereal and emotionally heartwrenching voice to match. Her lyrics are masterful and thought-provoking; her music has evolved into miniature symphonies (which is unsurprising, given her

(Sydney, Australia)

collaboration with the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra for her latest album I Awake). Blasko has stated that she was aware that recording such an album was risky, but she didn’t want it to be “watered down or unnecessary.” It was neither; like a night garden, I Awake is a dark and lush masterpiece from an extremely talented creator, with genius blooming throughout. Blasko has undergone a fascinating creative evolution over the past decade—her first two albums, though incredible, were just a prelude to 2009’s As Day Follows Night, which was musically “stripped down,” removing both electric guitars and keyboards that were present on her previous works; the end result was a percussion-heavy, piano-rocking, ARIA winning wonder, setting the stage for Blasko’s departure into the realm of such stuff that musical legends are made of. There’s no way to tell where life will bring both us and the music we love, but we can share it, hoping that it will last. The great stuff always does.


Unbuttoned R&B/pop group Unbuttoned formed in Casey MQ’s basement in 2010; Casey and now fellow bandmates Jonathan Milner, Miles Gibbons, and Kamilah Apong pledge allegiance to crossover music, the musical sweet spot where genres collide. Incorporating funk, R&B, pop, and electronic influences, Unbuttoned’s creations are something unprecedented and unexpected. Although they all recently turned 21, their music has the depth and careful construction of musicians twice their age. Every member contributing to vocals and multiple instruments, Unbuttoned’s accomplished members are built for musical multitasking in the best of ways, layering harmonies and beats like grand masters. Always controlled, never getting carried away, Unbuttoned’s crazy dance numbers like “Dance Like You”, slower R&B/pop ballads like “Something Wicked,” and their hit single “This Feeling,” speak to the band’s free and lively spirit. Infusing each song with arcing vocals and soulful melodies, Unbuttoned plays on our hearts and ears with tantalizing ease. The band released their first EP Electric Kingdom May 2012 and followed up with two covers: Aaliyah’s "One In a Million" and a smart, funky remix of Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful”, both released summer 2013. “This Feeling,” their first single, weaves a soft,


(Toronto, Canada)

“Infusing each song with arcing vocals and soulful melodies, Unbuttoned plays on our hearts and ears with tantalizing ease.” sweet, pop-laced R&B tune. “Ruler of the Sun” and “Cold in the Summertime” showcase the band’s more jazzy talents, while “Something Wicked” picks up with a peppier beat. The band has garnered recognition from noted producer Kevin Killen and has charmed music aficionados in both hemispheres, with music blogs, both North American and European, chattering frequently and fondly about Unbuttoned. There is no substitute for the songs that Unbuttoned creates—they are soulful and clever and without equal. Unbuttoned returned to Toronto after touring New York and playing North by Northeast this past summer, serenading Toronto with their swinging vocals and melodies.

Míde Houlihan The elusive, down to earth Mide Houlihan hails from Clonakilty in County Cork. Standing nonchalantly with her guitar, Houlihan pours her heart into each song, playing simply beautiful guitar melodies and coupling them with boldly honest lyrics. Houlihan's songs are like listening to your best friend, if your best friend had the voice of an older rock star and classic folk guitar skills. Each track has a definitive message, whether it's comfort or advice (or both), and is nothing short of truly, truly lovely. Her voice is somewhat of an enigma - unadorned and unassuming, yet undeniably beautiful. It’s something you’re not likely to forget anytime soon and, hopefully, we’ll have new Houlihan songs to accompany us on all our journeys. A natural storyteller with raw, down to earth talent, Houlihan will humble every verse and comfort you with each chorus. “Why do we fight and why are we friends,” she asks in “Nuts and Bolts,” a song about when it’s time to call it a day with a relationship and the attempts to analyze each aspect of a relationship, especially at

(Cork, Ireland)

“...Houlihan will humble every verse and comfort you with each chorus.” the end. “Survive” and “2012” both follow in the same vein, taking on relatable, “everyman” problems told with impressive empathy and beauty. It’s impossible to listen to Houlihan’s music without feeling better in every possible way; it’s a feeling quite like returning home after a long day to find that everything is truly all right. Houlihan has released several singles on Bandcamp and was hard at work recording this past summer and will hopefully release an EP later this year. She regularly plays gigs at DeBarras and was featured this past August at the Sherkin Responsibilities Festival. Ready to be stripped down and lifted up? Turn up and raise a glass to Míde Houlihan!

Míde Houlihan

(London, UK)

Secret Company When longtime friends Scott Revell and James Patman found themselves in between bands, they started scribbling songs together. They quickly scooped up friends Kushal Gupta and Tim Reyland to round out their indie pop rock quartet and named themselves “Secret Company” after one of their older songs. After forming in 2011, the band played Big Bear Fest and released a self-titled EP in 2012. Amidst their busy schedule of recording and playing bar gigs, Secret Company kept in touch with their fans by posting weekly covers, updates, music videos, and video diaries to YouTube. The band notably remixed Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” and Chris Malinchak’s “So Good to Me,” perfectly twisting the melodies and turning them into something entirely new. The band’s original songs are where you’ll find the true gold, though. Each band member fits perfectly into each melody, maximizing their individual talents without sacrificing the end product. Their song, and apparent creedo, “Make Something Out of Nothing”

perfectly sums up their vibe—it’s hard to believe sometimes that just four musicians are able to make such a dramatic and enthralling musical experience. Each song has it’s own story and message, steeped in deep emotion and are carefully constructed. The band’s songs, like their videos, are down-to-earth, but sleek and polished-they mean business, and by business, they mean really good music. Revell and Patman performed “Fever of Love” for BalconyTV this past summer, armed only with their voices and guitars; it’s truly difficult to decide which version of the song is better. Even when performing stripped down for acoustic versions, Secret Company doesn’t lose any of the power or beauty with their music. The sound is reminiscent of fellow London born band Coldplay, with their slow builds, powerful climaxes, and ethereal yet raw voices. Citing other influences as John Mayer and The Killers, Secret Company has successfully made an honestly great something out of nothing.

Secret Company

“Each song has it's own story and message, steeped in deep emotion and are carefully constructed...” 148

Sister Gray

(Edmonton, Canada)

from L to R: Ben Shillabeer, Jenesse Graling, Warner Morrisseau, Brittany Graling, and Ajay Paterson

Applauded by Best of Edmonton’s “Best Hidden Gem” in 2011, sisters Jenesse and Brittany Graling craft the best electro-rock around. With definite influences thanks to Ms. Jett and her Heartbreakers and the eternally iconic Blondie, Sister Gray combines the best of both their worlds: angsty rock and powerful pop. These two are a dynamic duo for the ages - packed with unapologetic musical brawn, Sister Gray crafts addictive and sultry electronic rock/dance numbers that will make your mind, and feet, spin. Full of synth, guitar riffs, and whoa-worthy choruses, these girls are a shot of rock’n’roll, dance-tastic power. The sisters are joined by Ben Shillabeer on drums, Ajay Paterson on bass, and Mike Morrisseau on guitar. The Graling sisters’ voices play well off one another, wailing against one another and harmonizing with each other in turn. “Close the Night” and “Hipsters” are out of this world electro-rock dance numbers that will have you spinning in no time. “Lies” showcases their keyboard skills sans synth, joining with their lilting melodies until it morphs

“ sounds like he rips his words from the bowels of Hell, and my God, is it something to hear.” into a full-scale rock ballad. In “Close the Night” and “Old Wives Tale,” the sisters pull a more sassy, jazzy rock and roll vibe. One may make the mistake of underestimating these two tiny sisters, but they soon make themselves known with crazy good rock and roll. There are definite pop and electronic influences, and they apply synth perfectly to their anthems, but these two definitely have rock and roll deep down in their souls. Their debut album Close the Night dropped in 2010, earning them instant recognition at Canadian festivals. They released their latest album Analog Truth this past March on Bandcamp. With a wonderfully “girl power” air, Sister Gray takes the stage a message that says “take no prisoners... and play really good music.”

Arkady Lantsberg

(Saratov, Russia)

Arkady Lantsberg Clad in a bright blue peacoat and accompanied by an acoustic guitar, Arkady Lantsberg sweetly croons sweet and jazzy tunes that will lighten your heart and your day. Lantsberg performed "Over" and "Ubout us" for BalconyTV this past year. The 17 year old Saratov native, fluent in Russian and English, writes and records original songs about love. Brimming with light soul influences and with the air of a 1950s singer on stage, Lantsberg seems older, exuding confidence with each verse, as he performs on Saratov's balconies. Lantsberg's delightful voice jumps from track to track, rising and falling with each chorus, carefully managing every inflection. His boyish face lends him a surprising advantage: this teenager knows a lot more about love than one might assume. With song titles like "Over" and "About Us," Lantsberg does not shy away from the heavy matters of the heart, but instead matches them with simple lyrics and modest, sometimes jazzy, chords. The resulting combination is a series of sensitive and on-point tracks about the "L" word. Apart from love, Lantsberg focuses mostly on the roots of happiness—which most frequently appears


to be love. Everything from "late night blues" to "soul is heavy," Lantsberg's sensitivity to the ups and downs of the human spirit is unnerving. His songs set you up for a hard look at yourself, with the knowledge that you have a solid friend at your side. Lantsberg's goofy, boyish persona turns out to be his greatest asset: he's the best friend you never had, with music to accompany you through your best and worst days. What's music if not a medium to convey emotion and comfort? Lantsberg possesses talent and wisdom beyond his years, and he's not afraid to show vulnerability. In this case, vulnerability and sincerity are his greatest strengths.

“...he's the best friend you never had, with music to accompany you through your best and worst days.”


(Warsaw, Poland)

Here at Found: Music Uncovered, we cover a lot of artists in a lot of different cities. Sometimes an artist will come up from a city different than the one we’re covering at the time, so we pout and try to remember the artist for next time. Well, my friends, the day has come for me to tell you about Janek Samołyk, and hooo boy, am I excited! Samołyk is without a doubt my favorite artist within all of Poland, and hopefully, he can become yours too. Samołyk has been performing since 2002, in both of the bands Sztumbrrr and The Ossis, as well as his fast-rising solo career. His music has often been described as a blend of Polish poetry set to British rock music. Though my Polish poetry studies are a little rusty, I can attest to his influences from British bands such as the Beatles, the Smiths and Blur (and personally, I think he sounds a little like Jens Lekman and I love Jens Lekman). Samołyk often portrays two sides to his music—there are intimate performances with just an acoustic guitar, and there are full-blown rock concerts with the whole band accompanying. Samołyk has been gaining Poland’s attention quickly, after performing at the prestigious Off Festival, the premiere alternative music festival in Poland, and having received an award from the President of Gdansk from the Young Bands in Jarocin competition and performing in front of millions on KFPP Opole. So far, Samołyk has two albums, Wrocław and The Problem with Fidelity.

“...there are intimate performances with just an acoustic guitar, and there are full-blown rock concerts with the whole band accompanying.”

Janek Samołyk

Sara Renar No matter where you travel in the world, there will always be someone with a guitar and a song to sing. Sometimes they won’t be very good (how many times have we heard various Guitar Guys do “Wonderwall” at some party?); other times, they’ll blow you away. Sara Renar is Croatia’s answer to the universal need for soulful singer-songwriters. A native of Zagreb, Renar is a very talented young musician. Despite loving music and writing her own songs since 2008, she had never stepped into a studio before recording her first song in 2011. Now, accompanied by Goran Leka on drums, as well as Luka Geček and Jura Geci on guitars, she’s released her very first album, Children. The self-titled debut single from the album is a powerhouse of a pop song, and includes a wonderfully nostalgic video of early 90s home movies. It’s always so exciting when you hear a song, and you just know that it will be a hit. But

(Zagreb, Croatia)

don’t get me wrong—every song on Children is worthy of being a single. The video for “Children” is symbolic of Renar’s music; it has a definite feel of the 90s. The guitars are the same guitars that wailed with the angst and aimlessness of the pre-Y2K, and Renar herself could be mistaken for a Croatian Cat Power. This isn’t to say that it sounds dated, because it most certainly does not. It sounds like Renar has grown up listening to some very good music, and has been influenced by some very good artists. If she isn’t already, I expect Renar to be all over Croatian radio very soon.

“...Renar herself could be mistaken for a Croatian Cat Power.”

Sara Renar


Matthew Hornell (St. John's, Canada)

“I think 'brilliant folk musician' ought to be the next Canadian stereotype that we Americans come up with, and at least this one will have basis to it.”

Matthew Hornell

Canadians have a bit of an odd reputation. One of their stereotypical characteristics is that they’re much too nice and polite… I’m not exactly sure how that’s a bad thing, but okay. Another is that they’re all quite outdoorsy, meaning that they wrestle grown moose, can rip a tree from the ground with just their bare hands and they all wear flannel shirts with ushankas. Obviously that isn’t true, but I’ve basically learned everything I know about Canada from cartoons and Kate Beaton comics. While the man in the photo may be wearing a flannel shirt (no proof yet of the ushanka), Matthew Hornell makes beautifully sophisticated folk rock music. This isn’t your grandpappy’s folk, but there’s no doubt that he would enjoy it as well. Hornell writes deeply emotional songs, lyrically and sonically.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried over “Red Crescent,” and I got close on several others. Each song is a modern-day Western epic; it sounds like the music I would hear while walking the desert in search of what I’ve lost. Currently, Hornell has two albums, Matthew Hornell and the Diamond Minds and Have It All, the latter just released this year. Both are incredible examples of contemporary folk, an absolute necessity for any music lover’s library. Comparing the two albums, it’s exciting to hear how Hornell is evolving with each release. Have It All is so full and complex; it’s a genuine joy to explore it. I think “brilliant folk musician” ought to be the next Canadian stereotype that we Americans come up with, and at least this one will have basis to it.

International Digital Publisher

Lisboa, Portugal www.n

Modena, Italy w w w.d ig ita lind ex .i t

LITIUM Records

Porto, Portugal www.hote lmal aposta .com

Pontevedra, Spain w w w.mysp a m /lit ium re co rd s

Poznan,Australia Poland Sydney, www. s lowmormu ti on di www.inte si stu u

Prague, Czech Republic w w w.kyta r /

Vienna, Austria www.25 hou rs- h otel .com/wi en /

Tel Aviv, Israel w w w.b p m -m

Capital Media

Warsaw, Poland www. magn etoffon .i nfo

Austin, Texas w w p ita lm ed ia co r m

Brooklyn, New York www.t h een

Charleston, South Carolina w w w.m o rg a ncreekg r m

I feel like most people have a soft spot for an acoustic guitar. I know that I certainly do. Hopefully there’s still enough room in that spot for Berlin’s own The Say Highs. Lovely and unpretentious, this indie folk group has been together since 2005 and has slowly been gaining traction around Germany and Europe. One of the prime differences between The Say Highs and any other group is that while nearly every other band ever has focused on the A-side, The Say Highs defiantly focus on the B-side. They don’t write hits; they don’t try to play to fill a gap in the market. They write the music that they want to, and the people listen. They write music to be performed in theatres and bars, not the stadium or the raucous house party. As is usually the case with B-sides, the songs

are understated, yet impeccably orchestrated. On a first listen, you may think a certain song is simple, but then on subsequent and more intense listens, you find it’s anything but. Like a pointillist portrait, everything seems easy at first, but as you inspect, you realize that it is millions of tiny details that make the art. These big-city folk musicians will most certainly capture your heart. You’ll always have time to Say High, and these songs will keep you stay high.

“The write music to be performed in theatres and bars, not the stadium or the raucous house party.”

The Say Highs

(Berlin, Germany)

The Say Highs


Keigo Oyamada a.k.a. Cornelius

Cornelius I have a love-hate relationship with avant-garde music. On one hand, I love how much thought and theory the artists put into their work. I can understand what they’re doing, and I love that they try to turn conventional music on its ear. On the other hand, I just hate some of it so much. The first time I heard Schoenberg, I literally threw my headphones across the room. If you’ve never heard atonal music, it basically sounds like how I imagine Hell would sound. But not all avantgarde, experimental music makes you feel like your ears are curling in on themselves—some of it is downright enjoyable to listen to. One experimental artist I quite like is Cornelius, who hails from Tokyo. Cornelius (né Keigo Oyamada) first entered the music scene in the late ‘80s with the duo Flipper’s Guitar. Following the duo’s disbandment in 1991, he embarked on what has been a very successful solo career. Cornelius doesn’t make songs that you can sing along to, or sometimes, not even songs that

(Tokyo, Japan) you can hum to yourself. He’s admittedly a bit of an acquired taste. But he makes ridiculously awesome music. He’s rock ‘n’ roll, he’s avant-garde. He’s art rock, indietronica, Japanese Beck. His songs aren’t so much songs as they are audio journeys. Possibly the best part of experimental music is the inevitable self-exploration into what music really is to you. A teacher once asked a class of mine to describe music to someone who has never heard it. No one had a suitable answer. I feel like Cornelius would come up with a fascinating response.

“He's rock 'n' roll, he's avantgarde. He's art rock, indietronica, Japanese Beck.”

LolaMarsh Fresh from Tel Aviv comes the latest and greatest in indie folk music. LolaMarsh, comprised of front duo Yael Soshana Cohen (lead vocals, ukelele) and Gil Landau (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals), and their accompanying band Mati Gilad (bass, vocals), Rami Osservaser (guitar, keyboard, vocals), and Dekel Dvir (drums, vocals), have been hard at work on their debut album, due sometime next year. The band has been together for two years, although they took a brief hiatus so Cohen could compete on an Israeli television show comparable to the United State’s “The Voice.” Israeli music bloggers have been abuzz since Cohen covered Fleet Foxes “Blue Spotted Tail,” accompanied only by her ukulele and rock star turned folk singer voice. Once LolaMarsh debuted “Waitress” and “Stranger to My Past,” they secured their slot among the world’s top indie folk bands. Cohen’s honeyed warbling voice joins with the band’s eerie harmonies, wavering just above nimble, exotically tinged guitar melodies. The band definitely takes nods from indie favorites Fleet Foxes, Noah and the Whale, and Laura Marling, but their ballads incorporate their own lilting harmonies

(Tel Aviv, Israel)

and Middle Eastern guitar melodies. Their talents were put to good use this past June for Balcony TV’s Tel Aviv Festival and at Tel Aviv’s legendary White Night: a full night of galleries, museums, bars and clubs stay open all night and dancing crowds take over the streets until the morning light. The band released singles “What Am I,” “Stranger to My Past,” and “Darn This Throat” on Bandcamp this past July. The group’s undeniable chemistry wonderfully blends each part, making the finished product both complex and humble, a testament to their ability to feed off of one another’s strengths. Perfect for balmy summer breezes and late nights under lamplight, LolaMarsh’s songs speak of exotic beauty and incredible talent.

"The group's undeniable chemistry wonderfully blends each part, making the finished product both complex and humble.”

from L to R: Gil Landau and Yael Soshana Cohen


Eskiz Koda

Eskiz Koda After meeting by chance (or destiny) as youths in music class, the sprite-like Madre and easy going Padre, as they call themselves, quickly became friends, eventually resulting in the creation of Eskiz Koda, a fresh faced indie folk powerhouse. Madre provides vocals and Padre accompanies her on guitar; the two have undeniable chemistry and balance that makes their work even more enjoyable. With definite pop influences, Eskiz Koda adheres to a basic indie/folk backbone, using pop beats and electronic remixes more as decoration and indulgences than as a crutch. Madre’s voice coasts clearly and smoothly above Padre’s nimble guitar work, crafting crystal clear songs that range from sorrowful ballads to lilting tales. The duo insists that one does not need to be fluent in Ukranian in order to understand their work: the music speaks for itself and the lyrics are born out of universal emotions— love, loss, and wonder. Officially formed in 2010, Eskiz Koda released their debut album Minimalism via Ultra Vague Recordings a mere six months after coming together. The two pride themselves on their pure and easy approach to making music: they grab a feeling, write a song, rehearse a few times

(Crimea, Ukraine)

and perform it live. No bells or whistles needed, their teamwork and talent speak for themselves. Unpolished and live is when Eskiz Koda is at their best—they both visibly light up when performing no matter the size of the crowd, and the result is a truly joyous experience. Their second album Revisions features electronic remixes of several of their most popular songs, offering a completely pop and synth regulated look at their folk ballads. Due to high demand, the two performed an online concert via Ultra Vague Recordings this past May and have been touring the folk and acoustic festival circuit in Eastern Europe this past summer and fall. Versatile and honest, Eskiz Koda strikes just the perfect chord, no matter which language you speak.

“No bells or whistles needed, their teamwork and talent speak for themselves.”


C+C=Maxigross (Messina, Italy) I’m going to make a rash assumption and make the educated guess that the majority of our readers have been called hipsters before. It’s okay, so have I. I don’t know you, maybe you are a hipster (in that case, please wipe the PBR from your ironic facial hair before continuing), but for the “falsely accused,” I’d wager that it was because of your musical tastes. I feel your pain-- I’m regularly referred to as a hipster because I don’t listen to the music everyone else does. But you just know it all already, don’t you? When was the last time popular music surprised you? Where is the weird? Sometimes, you have to go underground. Sometimes, you have to search across the other side of the world. If you’re lucky, you’ll find something truly wonderful and surprising. And since you’re reading Found: Music Uncovered, I’ll share my new favorite surprise with you: C+C=Maxigross. Yes, it’s a weird name, and yes, they make joyously weird music. Listening to their brand new album Ruvain, I feel like blasting it at top volume, so everyone can revel in it. It’s such fun music, a little like an Italian Gogol Bordello meets Neil Young, with a good dose of Brazilian tropicália (Os Mutantes would be proud). The


“psychedelic collective” of C+C=Maxigross began in 2009, and has thusly spread like wildfire throughout Italy. In 2012, they won the Arezzo Wave, a huge Italian music festival, and in their few years, they’ve played over one hundred concerts, and have shared the stage with such artists as Yann Tiersen, Matt Elliott, Honeybird & The Birdies, and many others. When describing their latest album, the band says that, “The fourteen songs of Ruvain tell stories about old postcards, mental and physical trips, walks on the hills, creeks which make rumors, friendly cows, days of the week we should forget, missed calls, Croatian grandfathers, Spanish sailors, holy spaceships, and night bakers.” This is why you shouldn’t get upset if you’re called a hipster—because you listen to truly awesome music, like C+C= Maxigross. I think they make up for just about everything.

“...and yes, they make joyously weird music.”

Go Out Strangers press photo

Go Out Strangers (Bogotá, Colombia) Bogotá’s indie rock band Go Out Strangers churn out infectious dance-rock tracks that caught the eye of MTV’s IGGY blog, naming them one of “10 Colombian Bands on the Rise” earlier this year. Blogger The Hungry Tiger also mentioned Go Out Strangers as a part of their weekly “cool and cute” music roundup. With heavy influences from Muse, Kings of Leon, and the Strokes, Go Out Strangers creates fast-paced indie rock anthems with dance and pop tinges to them. Band members Felix Galindo (vocals, guitar), James Brown (guitar, keyboards, synth), Julian Delgado (guitar, vocals), Jesus Otero (bass), and Sebastian Pedroza (percussion) began collaborating in 2010 and released their EP, Being Smart Will Be Hard, earlier this year. Well received in Colombia and abroad, Go Out Strangers quickly began stepping up the ladder to international repute. They recently played “The Shining Things” for BalconyTV and released a new video for their song “Sunshine.” “Darling” and “Curtis Lover” are fellow infectiously fun tracks that still hold up to emotional scrutiny.

“Always fun, never boring or shallow, Go Out Strangers play a certain kind of rock that's difficult to find...” Always fun, never boring or shallow, Go Out Strangers play a certain kind of rock that’s difficult to find: equal parts raw, fun, and relevant. This band’s particular gand of glinty, glamorous rock is perfect for parties and festivals alike; Go Out Strangers are not strangers to the festival scene, having played at a good many festivals like Stereo Picnic and Rock the Park. Sung mainly in English, though they compose in Spanish, Go Out Strangers’ tracks lay down serious fun with their rollicking guitar accompaniments and twinkling percussion, adding a slightly more beach vibe to their otherwise pure rock/dance numbers. Go Out Strangers plans to release their next album this December.

Karrie O'Sullivan

Karrie O'Sullivan Karrie O’Sullivan left a life of horse training and became a bright eyed, red haired songstress from the heart of Ireland. She started a collaborative album in 2009, where they joined traditional Irish and American folk music. She has since released her debut album in 2011 to popular praise and earning spots on national radio and several album of the week roundups. Within six months of officially starting her career, O’Sullivan was playing at Cork’s classic venues for large crowds. Alternately contemplative and carefree, O’Sullivan’s deeply lovely voice ranges from soothing folk verses to upbeat and sunny pop choruses. “Diving Off the Wreckings” features her lovely acoustic abilities, with minimal accompaniment her wavering voice weaving soft verses around light guitar melodies. With deeply personal and sage lyrics, O’Sullivan’s tracks are perfect for a mellow day, or when you need a friendly reminder that you’re not alone. “Absolutely Do” and “Disbelief” are more melancholy numbers, with ... “Desperate for You” has a more American-folk/pop twang to it,


(Tralee, Ireland)

“...O'Sullivan's poignant lyrics and graceful melodies are as refreshing as sweet spring air.” with a fun and more carefree message. “Stir Crazy” follows with genial and carefree melody that plays well with O’Sullivan’s mature voice. With each track, O’Sullivan’s poignant lyrics and graceful melodies are as refreshing as sweet spring air. After playing a series of gigs this past summer, O’Sullivan graced BalconyTV with her song “Absolutely Do.” Currently working on more recordings and learning guitar, in addition to celebrating “Stir Crazy”’s listing on RTE Radio. O’Sullivan may be hard to pin down, at times acoustic and others folk/pop, but her music never fails to have a nourishing aspect to it—you feel entirely refreshed after listening to her earthy voice and soothing melodies.

Misha Rodionov’s passion project The Retuses, an independent folk band based out of St. Petersburg, has come a long way from their first tinny recordings in 2007. The band has since become veterans of Russia’s finest music festivals, including Moscow’s “Afisha Picnic” and earned two nominations for Russia’s independent music awards. Alternating between Russian, French, and English, The Retuses released their debut album, Echo, in 2009 on Whispering Net Label before signing to indie label Snegiri. Much like Russian literature, The Retuses’ music may seem foreboding, gloomy, and frustratingly complex at first glance. It only takes the length of a song, possibly just one chorus, for Rodionov to rope you into his world, graced with rich piano melodies and ethereal instrumental accompaniment. His voice glides and sails, resonating both emotionally and physically. The feel is rather reminiscent of Dead Man’s Bones’ “Name in Stone” or Beirut’s “Nantes,” with delightful “Paris in

the rain” and wonderland vibes. Classically Russian, Rodionov admits that he often draws inspiration from poets Sergei Esnenin and Nikolai Gumilev; the poetic effect, however, comes off as timelessly beautiful instead of cliche. Rodionov’s compositions are cleverly crafted and masterfully executed, all in a selfdeprecating manner. In “Cranz” and “Flood,” carefree, almost jungle inspired, instrumental accompaniment plays with Rodionov’s deeply dreamy voice-the two contrasts balance one another well without scattering the song’s focus. “Лес” (“Forest”) and “Rosa” employ more choral and string techniques, creating haunting and stirring ballads. The Retuses have recently been touring Belarus and Russia, playing at summertime festivals and concerts.

“Rodionov's compositions are cleverly crafted and masterfully executed...”

The Retuses (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Misha Rodionov

Belo Horizonte’s indie folk/pop band Pontes lovely ambient acoustic songs make for great, dreamy listening. With the pensive motto, “We are all bridges,” Erik, Leo, Clayton, and Phil write traditional folk inspired music with a nouveau twist. Recording on balconies and small spaces alike, the quartet brings a wonderfully intimate feeling to their music, softly and sweetly. Though they sing in Portuguese, no translation is needed for their music; with gently sweeping vocals and almost dream-pop inspired instrumentals, Pontes’ ballads are a joy whether or not you need to quote lyrics to your friends. Pontes’ members swap lead vocals, harmonize effortlessly with one another; the end goal is always showcasing the music, never showcasing just one member or, even, the members themselves. When playing, they seem to disappear, fading into their melodies and verses until the only thing that remains, and matters, is the song itself. Like the bards of old, each song tells a tale, not only



lyrically, but musically as well; each accompaniment goes through several transitions, building and twisting into something entirely different. The group’s collaborative nature gives each track a multifaceted perspective, some focusing more on vocals and others more on accompaniment. Each song’s lovely arching theme never fails to showcase the group’s seamless effort, their pinpoint timing and natural ability. Recently featured on Brazilian blog roundups and on BalconyTV over the past few months, Pontes has started to generate some serious, well-earned, buzz. Pontes has been busy making rounds at many of Belo Horizonte’s classic and trendy venues and even released a limited edition line of band shirts.

“...each accompaniment goes through several transitions, building and twisting into something entirely different.”

(Belo Horizonte, Brazil) from L to R: Erik Baptista, Leonardo Onerio Lima and Clayton Vilaça

Núria Graham

Núria Graham By now, I’m sure all of our readers have heard the latest smash hit from New Zealand, “Royals,” by Lorde (though to be honest, I’m not sure what the last smash hit from NZ was. “Six Months in a Leaky Boat”?) I’ve absolutely fallen in love with her—her Love Club EP has been on solid rotation for months, and I’m constantly finding new things to fawn over. However, when I discovered that she was only sixteen years old, I may have thrown up a little. Oddly enough, Lorde doesn’t seem to be the only ridiculously talented sixteen year old across the ocean. Meet Núria Graham, a teenager from Barcelona. Already a master of guitar and voice, she writes absolutely haunting songs, reaching far beyond her years. She may sound (and look) fragile, but the underlying strength of her pieces is beyond noteworthy. Graham is like water around you, cool and soothing, but with the power to destroy and to erode your tough exterior. Graham doesn’t yet even have her first album released, but

(Barcelona, Catalonia)

“Graham is like water around you, cool and soothing, but with the power to destroy and to erode your tough exterior.” she does have a self-produced and recorded seventrack demo CD. Once her full-length drops, I have no doubt that she will blow everyone away, much as Lorde has done. When people say that they weep for the future based on those younger than them, I roll my eyes. There are such talented young people in the world, and we’re living in an age where we’re able to experience all of them. Seriously, what are you even doing on the Internet? Candy Crush? Get out there and explore! We found Lorde and Núria Graham, there’s no telling who we can find next.

One of Denmark’s foremost singers, Ane Trolle has had singles featured on France and Germany’s top hits, and has traveled extensively, gathering influences and stories for her songs. Trolle’s music has a distinctly Western folk vibe to it, full of glacier clear vocals and crisp chords. Trolle’s songs feel like the best bits of fall and summer combined. At once, they are cool and funky, and at other times they are rolling, rollicking, building to clamoring choruses. It’s this dichotomy that makes Trolle, and her music, so wonderfully enchanting: her alto voice alternates between dreamy and whispering to brass and icily clear, belting out choruses and chanting pop-inspired backbeats. Trolle undoubtedly finds her own groove, settling in to her own little world and churning out well-crafted tunes from her cottage. Before going out on her own as a solo artist, Trolle had already made a splash after singing for DJ/producer Trentemøller’s “Moan.” Other collaborations include Balstyrko, where she and colleagues Blæs Bukki and Ormen crafted pure Danish

tunes for the Scandinavian airwaves. After making herself at home in her indie-everything niche, Trolle continued to work on her full-length album, Honest Wall, released in October 2012, to popular support and critical praise. Trolle draws from a wide variety of influences, both Scandinavian and Western. Sometimes funky, chamber-pop, and other times more indiefolk, Trolle’s music is unfailingly honest, as the name portrays. Somehow glitzy and humble, Trolle’s Feistlike voice dances well with complex guitar melodies and layered percussion. Trolle’s popular “Honest Wall” and “Rooftop” have found fans across Europe and the Americas, inspiring several popular remixes. She performed “River of Chimes,” one of the album’s love ballads for BalconyTV-Aarhus this past summer.

“...Trolle's music is unfailingly honest, as the name portrays.”

Ane Trolle

(Aarhus, Denmark)

Ane Trolle


Drunk Butchers

Drunk Butchers (Modena, Italy) Italy’s Drunk Butchers, an Irish folk/punk band, is fueled by talent and booze. Local musicians Stanz (vocals and guitar), Scaglia (mandolin), Thomas (violin, tin whistle), Fabio (accordion), Piero (bass), and Gabry (drums), decided to come together as an official band in 1999, as they put it, "after many bottles of everything." True to form, they perform almost every show inebriated, much to the joy of their fans. Their “special style” of playing does not detract They have played for rousing crowds in town squares, taverns, and Rimini's annual Irish festival. The band has gained an almost cult following, singing in a gruff mixture of Italian and English, and always accompanied by a nimble string melody. The band released their first full length album Davanti a un bicchiere di vita, which translates to "A Glass of Life," in 2010 and Soldato F, which translates to "Soldier F," in 2012. The ever game Drunk Butchers cover everything from original songs to a Irish infused and infectious cover of the ever beloved "Cotton Eye Joe." "Bella Stella" and "Acero Rosso" feature traditional Irish melodies

“The Drunk Butchers' vibrant and boyish style gives them a light, yet still incredibly skilled, air.” with a classic punk twist and playful lyrics. "Go Home, British Soldiers" and "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" are sung almost entirely in English. The first being rather riotous and funny, and the latter a more contemplative ballad. The Drunk Butchers’ vibrant and boyish style gives them a light, yet still incredibly skilled, air. Their dexterous melodies and pleasantly unpolished vocals make you feel right at home. Between Italian and English, folk and punk, sober and inebriated, Drunk Butchers undoubtedly play some of the most exuberant and wonderful Irish folk/punk music around. Although they are currently playing gigs and festivals around Italy, you can find Drunk Butchers’ music on MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube.

Elli de Mon

“...she's channeling the spirits and fiery demons from blues' past, such as Bessie Smith, Fred McDowell, and Son House.”

Elli de Mon Blues is one of the most quintessential genres in American music, so I’m always a little surprised when I realize that people from all over the world are still writing and performing their own blues numbers. One such blues artist hails from the town of Schio, a province of Vicenza, and I doubt anyone in Italy can rock the blues as hard as she does. Elli de Mon is still a young woman, but when she performs, she’s channeling the spirits and fiery demons from blues’ past, such as Bessie Smith, Fred McDowell, and Son House. An impressive multi-instrumentalist, de Mon lists herself as a true One Girl Band: bass, drums, bells, voice, saturated amps, and most importantly, a kick-ass steel-plated guitar (or a resonator guitar if you fancy).


(Schio, Italy)

While she only has one EP, just released this March, every song on the album is worth the weight of three songs. De Mon focuses all her energy into each song, making each track sound like a blues-flavored atomic blast. Her special blend of garage blues definitely has punk influences as well, and why not? Both genres were hugely influential, challenged social conventions and engaged people on a visceral level. De Mon has seamlessly merged the two together, and every song she has is so ridiculously powerful. It’s like if John Lee Hooker and Patti Smith had an Italian baby. If I hadn’t raised your curiosity by now, hopefully that last sentence did.

Dan Riverman After playing for BalconyTV twice and headlining at multiple Portuguese music festivals, 21st century bard Dan Riverman and his indie acoustic band have headed to London to finish recording their first fulllength album. Riverman, whose voice has a vague Tom Waits tone to it, accompanies his band's warm chords to make beautifully sweeping music. "Yellow Flower" a harmonious tune that brings bucolic images to mind while softly lulling you into a deep comfort. "Took Me to War" and "To Live a Dream" grasp listeners and thorny emotional crises with grace and poignance. At first glance the band appears unremarkable, unassuming, once they begin playing everything else falls away. They are mesmerizing-playing softly, almost minimally, behind Riverman’s voice, the entire experience has a gently stripped down feel without losing any musical impact. The acoustic component, if anything, makes their ballards more powerful. “I Just Called to Say ‘I Love You’” might come off as cliche in any other circumstance, but under the powers of Riverman and his band it flows naturally and beautifully. Riverman, backed by Dan Alves (vocals and guitar), Rui Materazzi (bass), Andre Sebastian (piano), and Mike Peixoto (drums), leads listeners through a transformative yet

(Porto, Portugal) Dan Riverman

grounding experience. Lacing their tracks with jazz and rock melodies, the band's backbone remains indieacoustic music that especially showcases Rivermans' voice and Sebastian's piano skills. The four carefully craft each song to bring maximum emotional impact without overdoing anything, an experiment in raw emotion and control. Earlier this summer, the band pulled off a more jazzy collaboration with fellow Porto musician Hot Pink Abuse for the song "Silence Begins." Twas a match made in heaven. Softly and sweetly, Riverman and his boys pull you in with their surprisingly sexy acoustic tunes, playing your heart as deftly as they play their music. It won't be long before London, and the rest of us, fall for Riverman and his band.

“Lacing their tracks with jazz and rock melodies, the band's backbone remains indie-acoustic music...” Dan Riverman

Los Angeles, California w w os-a n gel es

Toronto, Canada www. son i cbi

St. Petersburg, Russia www.era r ta .com

Nashville, Tennessee w w w.ha rd ro ck .co m

Saratov, Russia w w w.welco m u.r u/ ? p a g e_id = 53 1 & l an g =e n

Bogota, Colombia w w w.d ir tyk

Santiago, Chile www. por ta l di

Brighton, UK w w w.a lf iesm m

Dublin, Ireland www.face eMedi a For tress

Brisbane, Australia w w w.ra ceca feo m . au

London, UK www. stage- el ectri k

Totnes, UK w w w.stea m p a cket k

last call


1914 W h a t is t he clientele and at mosph e re l i ke at Cr ys t a l B allroom? It varies from show to show. We’re well known for having a large jam band audience. The company as a whole is very much founded on the love for the Grateful Dead, but we are a rock venue. The Crystal Ballroom has hosted everyone from Trey Anastasio to Anthrax to They Might Be Giants; each show has a very different audience.

W h at m ake s th e C r ys t al B a l l ro o m s t an d ou t am on gs t t h e oth e r m u si c ve n u es i n Por tl an d? The Crystal is truly a historic building. We’re turning 100 in January. The building has deep roots in ballroom dancing and square dancing. There is so much personality in that room. From the quirky murals on the walls to the beautiful chandelier and who doesn’t like the “Floating” Dance floor?! I think it might actually be the last of its kind on the West Coast.

Who has been some of your favorite bands or musicians to take the stage?

What's rocking on your iPod right now?

I’m fairly new to working with the Crystal, so I’ve missed out on a ton of great shows here. One of my first shows at the Crystal was X. I’m originally from L.A. so it was rad to catch a band I grew up with. They rocked it. Most recently, Devendra Banhart and Band of Horses put on amazing shows here. Patty Smith was incredible too.

I’m pretty old school. When I’m hunkering down and focusing on work I throw on some Smiths or The Cure. Some of the new bands that have been making the rounds are Foals and Django Django. I just started watching Orange Is The New Black, and have now become obsessed with Regina Spektor who sings the opening song to the show.

W h o are s om e Por tl an d ban ds we m u st k n ow abou t? I’m really digging Great Wilderness. They have this witchy, kind of indie folk sound. I think the Wild Ones are pretty great too. I just caught them opening up for Flaming Lips at Edgefield. There really are so many! I’ve been trying to get Brainstorm here for a while. I love their sound. Jimmy Eat World performing at Crystal Ballroom


The Dirty Three performing at Crystal Ballroom

Any speciality Please describe.


If there is one thing McMenamins is good at is creative libations. We love creating specials that correspond with shows. Sometimes, we’ll have drinks named after the band or one of their songs. If it’s a honky-tonk band, we’ll make sure to have whiskey specials, etc. The Crystal also has a brewery on the 2nd floor. McMenamins knows drinks.

Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR

Main stage at Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR

1332 W. Bur nside / Por tland, OR / 503-225-0047

Lewis Law Group, LLC Group, LLC Creative Arts and Entertainment Law The Lewis Law Group, LLC was founded in 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina by William Bee Ravenel Lewis - a 16 year lawyer, professional musician and artist. Having a unique understanding of the personal and professional challenges faced by those in the industry, he formed Lewis Law Group to combine his knowledge of, and love for, the creative arts with his many years of legal experience in such other diverse fields as aviation, banking, and general courtroom practice.

Lewis Law Group, LLC Lewis Law Group, LLC combines a lifelong passion for entertainment and creative arts with many years experience representing clients in negotiations and, when needed, in the court room. The Lewis Law Group, LLC is well positioned to provide representation and counseling with integrity and passion with respect to a broad range of matters encompassing the creative arts, including: Band Partnership Agreements Agency Agreements Publishing Agreements Production Agreements Management Agreements Record Company Negotiations Film and Television Internet and Wireless Copyright and Trademark Digital Rights Management Royalty Reclamation Trade Secret Protection Visual Arts Business Formation and Advice General Litigation

William Bee Ravenel Lewis, Esq. Entertainment & Sports Industries Forum (Music and Personal Appearances Committee) - American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law American Bar Association Music Initiative Advisory Board

Lewis Law Group, LLC, 1 Wesley Drive, Charleston, SC 29407 (843) 737 6252 (Licensed only in S.C. and legal services are provided in Charleston, S.C.)


Found: Music Uncovered  
Found: Music Uncovered  

Fall 2013:October 22, 2013