Dear Readers, At New Sound Magazine, our talented staff is dedicated to helping its readers of considerable discerning taste; discover your new favorite artist or band. As we understand some musical behavior is indeed in strong contrast to the listening habits of the CD era. We are looking to attract young minds that are willing to open up. Individuals who can explore the beauty of new music and a new atmosphere it will live in. A unique display of music, we bring to the table. The style of the beats, tunes, and voices will catch you off guard. We offer nothing but the best new sounds, while trying to convey meaning toward a passionate crowd. We want these new artists and bands to influence your lifestyle to help process emotions you are feeling through their music. New Sound magazine is looking to lift your spirit. The truth is- a lot of music you do not deliberately pursue but accidentally run into, and something attracts you. You find a way to connect to something of you within the music. We are seeking an audience to explore their self and others within the variety of music being presented. Today people want to be the first to know about a new band or venue. New Sound will be telling you about it in all of the most interesting ways we possibly can.
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PUBLISHER/CEO PAUL CORACE EXECUTIVE EDITOR JOE D’AMBROSI MANAGING EDITOR: ASHLEY GOLL SENIOR ART DIRECTOR: ADRIANA K. KIJKO GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: LOUIS H QUACH ANTHONY ANASTASIOU XAVIER HUBBARD ADRIANA KIJKO SENIOR VIDEO EDITOR: NICK HERMS VIDEO EDITORS: JOHN CALLEJAS MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: KAYTIE NORMAN DIRECTOR SOCIAL MEDIA: ASHLEY GOLL CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:
SUSAN KONZ KAYTIE NORMAN DESIREE KEEGAN BRITNEY GRASMAN ASHLEY GOLL PHOTOGRAPHERS: MORGAN HARRISON BRIANNA WOODSTOCK KAYTIE NORMAN
New Sound Magazine spotlights both young, talented artists that have the potential to become the next big name in the music industry, and the truly brilliant bands which already have. We’re finding the voice you’ll fall in love with, the song you’ll play over and over, the concert you won’t want to miss.
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NEW SOUND MAGAZINE SPOTLIGHTS BOTH YOUNG, TALENTED ARTISTS THAT HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME THE NEXT BIG NAME IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, AND THE TRULY BRILLIANT BANDS WHICH ALREADY HAVE. WE’RE FINDING THE VOICE YOU’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH, THE SONG YOU’LL PLAY OVER AND OVER, THE CONCERT YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS.
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CONTENTS TABLE OF
S P R I N G
V O L
2 0 1 3
ALBUM REVIEWS PG 8
PG 10 Willow and the Builder PG 12 Youngblood Hawke PG 14 Giants at Large PG 16 Bear Hands
FEATURES PG 20 Jhameel PG 24 Raveena Aurora PG 28 The Royal Concept PG 30 Rebecca Perl PG 34 Miles To Dayton PG 38 Mara And The Bushkas PG 40 Three Legged Fox
VENUE REVIEWS PG 46 Music Hall of Williamsburg
LIVE REVIEWS PG 48 Amber Rubarth PG 50 WHY
CHECK OUT PG 54 Alex Winston PG 55 Little Brave PG 56 Weird Children PG 57 The Red Lights
M ALBU EW REVI
Carousel is a trio comprised of Jack-
son Phillips (synth/vocals), Kevin Friedman (guitar/vocals), and Tyler Cratcha (synth/vocals). Their 2011 EP 26 Allston only contains 5 tracks, but they are all filled with the addictive electro/indie pop blend which makes Carousel a great group to listen to. According to Carousel‘s Facebook page, their only band interest is “making people dance.” Between breathy vocals and amazing use of synthesizers, it’s pretty safe to say that 26 Allston accomplishes this goal. The EP starts off with “Games,” a pulsing electro song which juxtaposes a lighthearted beat with heavy lyrics such as, “I’m tired of guessing,yougotmestressing,whatyou thinking about, you keep we waiting, I feel like trading, you for somebody else.” “Get Up” is the second track on the album, and perhaps their best song. (An official music video can be seen on YouTube.)The electro beat propels the song and is sure to keep crowds moving.“Best Of Me,” on the other hand, really exudes the indie pop side of Carousel.This trackcontinuesthealmostbouncyfeelin the album, incorporating cheery“bops” and the catchy refrain,“There’s no need to rewind.”
By Kaytie Norman Photos Courtesy of Carousel
The EP is finished with “Here Now” and “The Thrill.” The entire collection accomplishes a dreamy, upbeat quality—their sound is comparable to Mike Snow, post-remix. 26 Allston can be downloaded for free from Carousel’s website,“http://carouselmusicpage.com”.
THE WILLOW THE BUILDER AND
M ALBU EW REVI
STORY BY: KELLEY
BLIGH PHOTO COURTESY OF: THE WILLOW AND THE BUILDER
WHATEVER YOU’RE ENVISIONING WHEN YOU HEAR THE WILLOW & THE BUILDER, YOU’RE PROBABLY RIGHT...
hatever you’re envisioning when you hear “The Willow & The Builder,” you’re probably right. So if you haven’t heard their music yet and are conjuring up thoughts of songs about nature and people, trees and sorrow, willow and builders, then they’re exactly what you’re imagining. But way better. The two members of this delightful little band, Richard Miron and Adrian Simon (both on vocals, guitar, and piano, and Simon on drums) create a folk-pop sound on their debut selftitled album with such added instruments as trumpet, oboe, viola, violin, flute, and trombone. Approaching the anniversary of its original release, The Willow & The Builder is still just as much of a treat as it was when it first came out in October of 2011. The eight-song album is full of beautifully crafted lyrics that don’t feel crafted at all, but are completely pure and organic, as if the song could be nothing else than what it is. The album opens with an upbeat folk song and the precious idea of having tea in a treehouse. Though “Teahouse Treehouse” is filled with images of beanbag chairs, playing cards, jelly beans, and candles, it is about much more—like finding the person you were meant to share your teahouse treehouse with. Listening to the folksy guitar, harmonizing voices, and clap-filled chorus will force your foot to tap along, and undoubtedly, a smile will spread across your face. And while the rest of the album is just as charmingly sentimental, most of the songs deal with losing and letting love go, rather than finding it. “Oh Willow! (Why Wallow?)” is once again whimsical, complete with whistling, dance-along music, “dancing at the bottom of the sea” and “humble bumble bees,” but takes a sad turn when the man awakens from his pleasant dreaming. He sings to the willow a song of mourning for his broken heart and lost good memories, dividing the song into two distinct moods and making it quite bittersweet.
It all ends in a lovely climax and conclusion to the album with “Cut It Down,” a soft lament about the fleeting nature of love turning into a swelling crescendo of strings and woodwinds and ending with a peaceful piano decrescendo. With silky, yet brutally honest and totally relatable lyrics like, “We love, we love to build it up. We cry until we’ve had enough. We let love grow and cut it down again,” the song (along with the rest of the album) will become an addictive listen. The album is a peaceful, reflective 28 minutes you can spend being as nostalgic and contentedly sorrowful as the writers themselves. Long story short, The Willow & The Builder is an album born out of the title, the group, and the need to tell the stories it does. If you haven’t listened to it yet, go do so. Now.
The same contradicting feelings are in “A Mansion Man” and “A Vast Emptiness,” and if you’ve ever read The Giving Tree, the storyline of the latter may feel familiar. Its pointed storytelling and sorrowful oboe’s punctuation will leave you contemplating the true meanings of love, friendship, and freedom.
M ALBU EW REVI
Youngblood Hawke is a wildly creative, fun, and musical journey of five friends By Desiree Keegan Photos Cour tesy of YBH
amed after a Herman Wouk novel of the same name, the band was originally formed in Los Angeles by longtime friends Sam Martin and Simon Katz, “over a late night creative musing.” In an interview with The Backstage Artist Lounge in Austin at SXSW 2012, Katz said the novel is about an artist who moved from the mountains of Kentucky to the big city of New York and becomes a successful writer. “I was just really inspired by the book and loved the name,” he said. The band members, formerly of Iglu & Hartly, decided that after two years of touring with their former band, the scene proved to be too stressful with the added commercial pressures. In search of a new, creative outlet where they could share their music with family and friends, Katz’s longtime friend Tasso Smith moved to Los Angeles
from Texas to join the band after he had heard demos. Simon Katz’s wife Alice, who was a key part of the original songwriting sessions, joined as well to sing harmonies. Finally, to round out the lineup they recruited drummer and friend Nik Hughes. The band released its self-titled EP on August 14 off Universal Republic Records, and just in time for summer’s conclusion. The band’s single “We Come Running” quickly became the Single of the Week on iTunes in just two days. The band refers to the song as making you feel “like you’re base jumping after a high speed chase into an alligator filled swimming hole.” Sounds fun, right? Youngblood Hawke’s alternative, up-beat electronic pop-rock sounds similar to that of Passion Pit or fun., and the music is uplifting, energetic, vibrant, and refreshing. With steady guitar riffs, bells, a pulsing bass
drum beat, and melodic, chanting “ohs,” it’s difficult to not crack a smile or feel the urge to dance while listening. Youngblood Hawke said that for them, success is “to keep moving, to keep playing shows and keep writing…To have the ability to keep doing what we love.” Whether sitting out on a summer’s eve, driving with the top down, or dancing in the street, be sure to listen to the reinvention of Martin, Katz, and the rest of the gang on their EP, which includes hit songs like “Rootless” and “Forever,” not to mention their single “We Come Running,” which has taken the radio by storm. As the band says “It is the snapshot of a state of mind where one mountain has been climbed, and there are more in the distance. But for right now, the view is beautiful.”
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M ALBU EW REVI
at Large By: Kristin Cacchioli
Photos Courtesy of Giants at Large
Doubt, the new record by Giants at Large, brings light to the maturation and strong instrumental talent of the young Long Island band. Since forming in 2010, Giants at Large has released two other albums. Doubt, released on August 7, 2012, stands apart from the rest and reveals a new direction in which the band is heading. Themes of time and hope come alive through vocalist Matt Lagattuta, and replace the simple messages of past albums. An upbeat sound and catchy tune provide the album with the positive reaction most will feel when listening for the first time. While this pop-punk band sings about the passage of time and growing up, the instrumentals make it an exciting listen and you can be sure it will stick in your head for hours afterward. The album opens with the track “Timebomb,” which is a perfect reflection of what is to come. It is a quick song about the passage of time, but reminds the listener that it is possible to get through the toughest of circumstances. With a slower tempo, this song could have been lost in the shuffle if not for the band’s wise choice to place it in the first track.
According to Doubt, time flies. This idea of growing up too fast seems to be reflected in the length of the songs—few even reach the three-minute mark. The lyrics and music convey the singer’s anger with the swift passage of time. In “135 Syosset,” the song claims “one day all good things come to an end.” There is anger in Lagattuta’s voice, exemplifying the fact that he does not accept how quickly times passes and how everything must change. The last track, “Let Me Down” has a similar message. The song embodies all the themes of the album, reminiscing on past good times and how everything used to be. With a slow pace that mirrors the opening track, “Let Me Down” is a reflection on life. Addressing that everyone has problems is an additional goal in Doubt. Toward the end of “Anti-Hero,” the singer explains, “We’re so misunderstood/And it hurts more than it ever should.” Giants at Large do not dismiss the fact that there are others trying to find their place in the world and it is a challenging road. Resisting Satan’s temptation to create problems for oneself is the message in
“Devils.” The strong instrumental usage in this track, especially the drums played by CJ Kostaras, is a perfect fit for its theme. “Villain” tells the story of two people who cannot get past their problems, but it concludes with the realization that everyone is struggling to find answers. The loud, aggressive music reflects the frustration that comes with growing up and growing apart from people around you. Brian Thomann, band bassist, showcases his skill along with guitarist Anthony Pasini. The combination of bringing different sounds together creates a lasting effect. The personality of the band members shine through the lyrics and rhythm of the songs. They have a strong, specific sound and know how to make their music catchy with exploding refrains. The emphasis on music over lyrics in Doubt shows off their talent with multiple instrumental solos, especially the unique and exclusively instrumental “Spaghetti.” Giants at Large show promise and growth with their new album and listeners can be assured there are only better things to come.
Songs from Utopia Vol. I.
ALBUM REVIEW From left to right; Bear Hands is Ted Feldman (guitar), TJ Orscher (drums), Dylan Rau (guitar & vocals), Val Loper (Bass)
By Kelley Bligh | Photo Courtesy of Bear Hands
ear Hands is a Brooklyn-based post-punk rock band comprised of Dylan Rau (vocals, guitar), Ted Feldman (guitar), Val Loper (bass), and TJ Orscher (drums). The group released an EP containing three tracks broken down by “parts”: “Part I: What I’ve Learned,” “Part II: Bullshit Saviour Complex,” and “Part III: Disaster Shy.” Available for free on the band’s website since July 4, Bear Hands calls it “a birthday present for America”—but at no cost it could be a little treat for you too. With only three tracks, Songs from Utopia Vol. I has everything you could want in a rock album—pure rock, edgy electronic sounds, and ballad-esque melodies. Though each song is separate and distinct in sound, they are all tied together through common themes and lyrical poems and satire, giving the 11-minute album a very complete feel. Bear Hands calls the songs found on this album “quasi-political,” something born out of “white guilt” and a “pinko elitist liberal arts education.” Knowing this influence before you listen helps the lyrics become just a little more understandable. “What I’ve Learned” dives right into those political undertones with pointed lines like, “It takes a warrior to kill 50 men; it takes a gentleman to apologize” and “I’m in the finest army, I’m a working man, dropping bombs all over northern Vietnam.” This first track is a rock song at heart, and a rebellious one at that. It’s complete with stand out drum beats and bass rifts and the lyrics of a rebel. What it is the singer has learned may not be completely clear, but the chorus ends with “Cambodia, I’ve got a back up plan. This is what I’ve learned from war in Vietnam,” so be careful not to take their satirical lyrics for their literal meaning. The title of the second song in the EP clues the listener in a little better about the satirical nature of the song and album as a whole, calling the need to be a savior a “complex,” and a bullshit one at that. “Bullshit Saviour Complex” tells Africa not to ask “for the shoes off of my feet, my cash, my car” or “for the shirt off of my back.” The white guilt the band credited as being behind this album truly shines through in this song with lines like, “Promising to promise, maybe that’s enough” and “If you hold onto the dream, the hardest part is done.” The song embodies the experimental feel of post-punk rock with its lyrics and with its sound, giving a more electro/synth feel to the music, finished with repetitive chords and lyrics. Though the album ends with a ballad, if you think you’re going to get a sweet love song, think again. Bear Hands does ballads a little differently. “Disaster Shy” follows the theme of the rest of the album, though it may take a little more work to decipher the meaning behind some of its words. The acoustic guitar and opening line, “Driving down to New Orleans,” creates a happy-go-lucky, road tripping feel in the first 15 seconds, but this illusion is quickly shattered. The song paints a picture of New Orleans, a city “so disaster shy,” with people “drifting through the afterlife, buried in the water seven stories high.” The soft ode to the disaster-stricken city ends the album on a bittersweet note. This EP is three songs, 11 minutes long, but Songs from Utopia Vol. I accomplishes more in 11 minutes than many bands do in 11 songs. And since it’s available for free from bearhandsband.com, there really is no reason not to get these thought-provoking and chilling songs on your iPod right now.
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JHAMEEL BY| BRITNEY GRASMAN PHOTO COURTESY OF| JHAMEEL
PRINCE OF POP
| | J HA M E E L
hameel is musically independent and seems to be living his life by the same standards. From his appearance, to his sound, the avant-garde, Cali-based artist is untraditional, far from typical and we can’t take our eyes (or our ears) off of him. With four complete works under his belt, including his ten-track “Human Condition,” and his latest, five-song, “Are You Free,” Jhameel is eclectically paving his own road through music town. It’s hard to describe an artist with so much versatility- although funky, quirky, stylish and cool are a start; He’s often compared to his inspiration, the late Michael Jackson, but modestly admits he
has “a lot of work before [he] can live up that name.“ Understandable. Michael Jackson was, after all, the “King of Pop.” We are definitely seeing the comparison. Jhameel is an all-around entertainer, from his energetic dance moves to his style. He often dons a painted face and a single earing in his music videos and pictures. When asked about the artistry, he explains, “It’s a way to exaggerate the concept behind my image, which is balanced asymmetry. I’m in love with the idea that something can be asymmetrical but sort of symmetrical at the same time through balance and taste. The face paint adds an element to the photography that fulfills that concept.” Um…what?
Let’s break this down. Outwardly, the unusual pairing of earing’s and face-paint is an asymmetrical, or unusual, duo. The delicateness of an earing, however, balances the ruggedness of warrior-inspired face paint, making symmetry through counterbalancing meanings. Ah, got it. Jhameel has also exemplified this balance within his music. Shut Up, from his 2011 “Dance EP,” is electrifying, and dance-worthy. The pop song is fun, yet angry. He screams passionately and he sings gently. A combination of vocals and instrumentals catapulted Shut Up to the top of “The Hype Machine’s” charts. Later in the same year, Waves from the five track series “Waves” also reached #2 on “The Hype Machine’s” charts, and another song from
you have to go beyond accepting the ugly things about yourself and your circumstances. You have to go as far as to find them beautiful...
the same “Waves” was used for a national Droid advertisement. Shut Up also became a distinguished anthem at Forever 21 retail stores across the U.S in 2011. A fitting match, both the store and the artist stray from uniformity. Neither have specific qualities or patterns, and Jhameel seems to like it that way. He is, after all, calling all the shots. Jhameel’s music is truly a product of himself. On being an independent talent, he says, “I’ve got no label. I’ve got a clear vision for my music and my future and I can’t afford to lose any creative control if I’m going to fulfill that.” He has been producing his own music since the young age of 13- when he first recorded a song on his phone. Childhood also introduced Jhameel to a plethora of musical instruments- including the bass, accordion, cello, drums, piano, guitar, violin, and french horn. He studied Arabic at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated summa cum laude. He’s fluent in Spanish and Korean,
with knowledge of Russian, Chinese, and Latin. Jhameel is creative, multilingual, and can play multiple instruments. His capabilities outweigh most, and although he emanates confidence now, he admits to a time once full of insecurities. A few years ago, the musical genius legally changed his name to Jhameel, translating to “beautiful” in Arabic. “I was going through sort of an identity crisis at the time, having just come out of my military experience, a break up, family troubles, and some self-acceptance issues,“ Jhameel says. “It’s to remind me that you have to go beyond accepting the ugly things about yourself and your circumstances. You have to go as far as to find them beautiful.” With a knack for turning negative to positive, Jhameel transformed his ugly experiences into beautiful music. In the process he’s inspired others to do the same. “I find that the struggles in life are usually the most inspiring and the most beautiful. Your mind is most creative when it’s under pressure,” he says. A fan once admitted to Jhameel that How Many
Lovers off of “The Human Condition,” stopped him from committing suicide. And to think, before pursuing a career in music, Jhameel wanted to get into politics. He and his crew did a short tour in Japan this past summer and they’re preparing to hit the U.S. within the next year. He’s also working on his first album since his last two five-song releases which, he says, “will be his best work to date. I’ve experienced to much in the last few years, and this is my chance to be completely honest through it all.” Jhameel’s come a long way from recording songs on his cell as a teen. He understands he’s got a long way to go but is revamping his live shows and improving with each release. So although he’s no MJ (yet), this “Prince of Pop” has certainly got the imagination and the smarts to one day attain the crown.
Upcoming Shows May 18th: Bad Viens @ The Mercury Lounge May 18th: Tom Jones @ The Bowery Ballroom May 19th: The Milk Carton Kids @ The Bowery Ballroom May 20th: Laura Mvula @ The Bowery Ballroom May 22nd: Stones Fest NYC @ The Bowery Ballroom May 28th: The Thermals @ The Bowery Ballroom May 29th: Nightlands @ The Mercury Lounge May 30th: Showden @ The Mercury Lounge
top 10 songs
of the month
“My Body”-Young the Giant
“The Weekenders”—The Hold Steady
“Super Rich Kids”—Frank Ocean
“Murder”—HORSE the Band
“Steel and Blood”—Minus the Bear
“Go Back to New York”—Thick Shakes
“Soeur Sewer”—Zola Jesus
“Let’s Go”—Matt and Kim
N E E V A R
A R O R U A A
Sunshine Through Speakers
By| Britney Grasman
Sunshine Through Speakers
At ten years old, Raveena Aurora revealed her knack for singing in a school talent show during her rendition of Disney Pocahontas’ “Colors of The Wind.” “At that moment, my parents found out I could sing. Before that, they had no idea,” Raveena says. The indie/folk singer-songwriter has been painting with all the colors of the wind since—studying, performing, and ever-evolving.
The Massachusetts-born and Connecticut-raised musician got her start by attending singing lessons, studying classical voice, and participating in theatre from a young age. Her musical education persists; now, a second year student at the Cline Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York’s prestigious New York University, Raveena has made the transition to the Big Apple to pursue her music career and, she jokingly adds, “go to school on the side.” Raveena’s education seems more like a partner to her musical career than a fallback to it; her book smarts can help to fuel her musical engine. She understands the facets to improve, and hopes to play with lighting, set design, and venues that are more personally suited to her folksy sound. Raveena also recognizes the abundance of young repetitive-sounding artists in New York struggling to make it in the music industry. She “would definitely like to broaden [her] live shows into something more defined and make it an experience for the audience, rather than just [be] another singer-songwriter with her guitar, playing another song about heartbreak with arpeggiated chords and well-placed riffs.” Fortunately enough, with an education grounded in performance entrepreneurship, she may have just the right tools to turn the volume up on her career. Her songwriting capacity also gives her notable edge over the dime-a-dozen acoustic artists that permeate the urban playground that is New York. “I like to think of my songs as picture frames from different moments of my life- I try to capture specific details from these pictures and then use them to portray the larger theme or idea at stake,” she
says. “Every word I choose in my songs is carefully picked and placed—the way we weave our words [has] so much power.” Raveena’s birth name exemplifies the weight words oftentimes carry. With a name woven from a combination of her father Ravi and her mother Reena, Raveena beautifully translates to ‘beauty of the sun’ and she uses her purposely chosen lyrics to share this warmth. In essence, her fascination with lyrics seems somewhat destined from birth. Raveena showcases her ability to combine simple words to convey a deeper, more complex meaning. In “Sleep,” off of her four-track EP Fools, Raveena sings, “They say sleeping is a remedy/ For broken hearts/ And broken dreams/ Your pillow is a safety net/ And your armor’s in the sheets,” over the soft plucking of the guitar strings. Proving less is more, in these few lines, Raveena cleverly describes sleep as a place of protection. We all yearn for dreams to come to life and ironically, when they don’t play out as planned in our waking life, we hide under our sheets and run (or sleep) back to the place they were born.
“Raveena” means beauty of the sun and “Aurora” is the goddess of sunrise...
There is nothing unreal about Raveena’s creative process; when she has writers block, she simply doesn’t force it. Her music is also a result of first-hand encounters. “My songs originate from…reflection on mistakes I’ve made and experiences that have impacted me emotionally,” Raveena says. This introspection as well as “first love, grey eyes, sunlight, pennies, broken lighters, and broken hearts,” Raveena says, will be the foundation of her debut album that is set to come out this December. Her sweet sounding vocals resemble Norah Jones, and it’s not far off to envision Raveena playing on stage back at Woodstock. Her music is soothing, warm, and natural— being played in a vast field under the sun would only enhance its true vibe. Since we could see Raveena in the midst of a 1960s music-induced culture, it makes sense that one of her biggest inspirations hails from that time period. Raveena shares that famed folk-duo Simon and Garfunkel is one of her dream collaborations because of their “… fantastic lyrics and fantastic harmonies.” And although solo and unsigned, Raveena doesn’t stand entirely alone. She belongs to “A Mini Tribe Records” based out of Brooklyn- a group of young artists
whom Raveena met in school. These are people with whom Raveena will play music, “and eat Mexican food with at 1 A.M. in dirty dorm rooms, and shape my views on worldly matters and art with. We are artists who collaborate with each other to help one another grow. Our relationship is built on trust, friendship, and mutual affection for each other’s work.” If there’s one thing to take from Raveena, it is her ability to evolve. She knows what she wants, and she is climbing, ever so gracefully, to get there. While her dreams transformed from theatre, acting, and broadcast journalism, Raveena admits, “I think the desire to perform has always been there, but my ambitions just changed as my viewpoint became broader and I realized I had more to say through my means of performance.” She is staying true to herself; it’s all a matter of fine-tuning as she grows and finds out what works for her. It’s not an easy feat to balance college and a budding musical career simultaneously, but Raveena seems to have it all under control. While also getting into cooking and, she says, “indulging in love and the simple joys that brings us,” it’s clear this “beauty of the sun” isn’t sweating it.
Sunshine Through Speakers
UPCOMING ALBUMS Kid Cudi INDICUD
Houses A Quiet Darkness’
Iron & Wine Ghost on Ghost
Javelin Hi Beams
Locust You’ll Be Safe Forever
Brass Beds The Secret Will Keep You
Codeine What About The Lonely
ROYAL CONCEPT Stor y By: K r i s t i n C a c c h i o l i | Photos Courtesy of: T h e R o y a l C o n c e p t
The up and coming Swedish band, The Royal Concept, has no doubts about their ability to succeed in the music industry. All four members are well-educated musicians who share a passion for touring. They formed in April and their progress has been non-stop ever since. Lead Singer David Larson says, “It all happened really fast for us. We started in April last year and now we’re starting our first American tour. Touring is so, so much better than playing in a small basement in Stockholm for just ourselves, but we’d still be doing it if we had to.” David met guitarist Filip Bekik in high school where they studied jazz together. They were both passionate about rock ‘n’ roll, but had to listen in secret so their “cool” jazz friends and teachers wouldn’t find out. They started “The Royal College of Music” in Stockholm where they met their bass player, Magnus Robert. The three musicians-to-be couldn’t wait to start a band, so they left college a year early to pursue their music career. Tired of being educated in something they already knew, they began the journey to find fans, producers, and venues. At the time, drummer Frans Povel was a well known musician and producer. David, Fillip, and Magnus wanted to work with him so they asked him to be their producer. They offered Povel money that none of them had in hopes he would recognize their talent and want to join the band instead of being paid. Their plan worked and from then on they became known as The Royal Concept. “We want our audience to feel like kings and queens,” says David when asked where the name originated. “We’re here to entertain and make every person in the crowd feel royal.” The Royal Concept enjoys writing music that acts as a soundtrack to peoples’ lives. “If people look back in 30 years and have memories, happy or sad, associated with our music, then we scored as a band,” says David. Their goal is to bring melodies, passion, and en-
ergy to the music business. They want to be a part of the great music that is being played today; music better than it has been in years. “The funny thing is, we don’t even practice anymore,” admits David. “We only rehearse together when we really need to. We were music nerds for such a long time, you know, those kind of guys that practiced their instruments six hours a day instead of hanging out with friends.” All that time in the basement has paid off. The Royal Concept recently played at several venues across America: Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Brooklyn, New York. “Every performance we’ve had with this band so far has been absolutely amazing. Every time, something unique and fantastic happens,” says David. He recalls the first time a girl from the audience ripped his shirt off and he says it felt great to have such a huge fan. “It’s the difference and variety between shows that makes this live thing so fantastic,” he continues. At a recent show in Sweden, 14,000 fans were singing along to their music. In Los Angeles, there were 200 people and about half of them there were listening to The Royal Concept for the first time. David describes both shows as “equally great.” The band is currently on a two month tour with Wolf Gang. They are excited to work with other talented musicians and say the members of Wolf Gang seem like great guys. For the future, The Royal Concept wants to work with professionals across all fields: artists, writers, directors, poets, dancers, and anyone else. They are trying to learn as many new things about music as possible and get better at making videos. They have one music video so far, for the song “Gimme Twice.” The single sounds a lot like Phoenix, but their other songs, such as “Goldrushed” and” Knocked Up,” prove that The Royal Concept has their own sound and approach to pop music, with some indie rock mixed in as well. “The hardest part is to make a video that matters and will make a difference- something you can look back on in a couple of years and be proud of,” says David. The lead singer shares how the band has a set of rules they have to follow—a code they created themselves; however, he declines to give any further information, explaining, “It will sound much cooler if people can think of it as a ‘code to success’ when we make it big.” On the journey to “making it big,” the band draws off their diverse range of musical influences. Magnus turns to Led Zeppelin for inspiration while Povel enjoys electronic pioneers like Daft Punk. David prefers classical music and Fillip listens to, what he calls, “chamber pop.” Collectively, the band loves artists who don’t care about genres or what you’re “supposed” to sound like; being unique is key. “Every person and situation around the world is great if you work hard to see it,” believes David. The Royal Concept recently saw a fake poster from Coachella ‘69 with artists such as Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, among other music legends. Even though it was fake, David’s goal for The Royal Concept is to one day be playing in a Coachella line up that comes anywhere close to the one they saw that day. It’s a pretty big goal, but we think they just might have a shot at it.
rebecca perl S I N G E R
"before i fall " BY BRITNEY GRASMAN PHOTOS BY MORGAN HARRISON
andle adorned tables align the perimeter of the dimly lit bar in Manhattan’s East Village as Rebecca Perl walks in. Her casual jeans and simple t-shirt are an icebreaker themselves; She isn’t begging to be the center of attention, but when she takes the stage at the Bowery Electric, she commands it. Rebecca wears her guitar as comfortably as a pair of gym sneakers- and it makes sense, she’s been playing for nearly a decade. The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist released her six-song EP in February- but she’s hardly a newbie. The earlytwenties college grad played her first show on her stomping grounds on Long Island in the 9th grade. “All my friends from school came to support me,” Rebecca remembers, “It was so much fun.” The turnout was more modest on this occasion, but the few family members and a couple of friends watch in adornment. If a smaller crowd hinders her performance, one would never notice. A fitting name, this Perl’s voice envelops all the characteristics of a pearl. It is smooth, natural, elegant, and timeless. After a few songs, Rebecca changes tempo from the sweet and innocent sounds of Sweetest Thing to the bluesy To Deep. An older man in the back corner sways to the sounds of sultry
tune, as if he’s reminiscing of a time when this kind of music proliferated mainstream culture. If Rebecca has any attitude it entwines itself into the lyrics and instrumentals of the song. Her “sidekicks,” Mark Phillip and Tim Caro play the saxophone and bass alongside her. They seem like wings, to the left and right, guiding this song to another genre. The songs genres may slightly differ, from pop to pop-blues, but a common denominator binds them. When asked what inspires her the most, Rebecca admits, “Love inspires me the most. Not just being in love but loving in general. I think it’s the most important thing in the world.” And her songs revolve around and infiltrate the idea of love. Sounding equally as good, or better live, as through a computer or radio is a difficult feat these days. For me, this is the mark of a true musician. In person, Rebecca is authentic. There is also something extraordinarily refreshing about the simplicity of her vocals. They are effortless, and not overreaching. She is a flotation device in a music industry weighed down by autotune and electronic alterations. It couldn’t be more fitting that John Mayor and Dave Mathews Band were two of Rebecca’s greatest musical influences growing
up. She boasts, “They are lyrical geniuses and their musical arrangements always impressed me.” John Mayor and Dave Matthews are famous for their live shows. Rebecca undoubtedly hit the hammer on the head because her live shows are something to rave about. Rebecca completed her degree in graphic design, and is pursuing a career in music fulltime. Now, she can use her education to create her own album covers! In her song Unfateful, Rebecca sings, “If you want it, go get it, and don’t just wait for it…cause fate is a fake way to live.” And from her seasoned list of performed venues, she isn’t waiting around. Rebecca’s played Irving Plaza, Hiro Ballroom, Highline Ballroom and Ollies Point, amongst many others. Her hard work and years of persistence aren’t going unnoticed. To date, the sweet Long Islander has shared the stage with a few notable musicians. They include Aaron Carter, initially famed as a member of the Backstreet Boys in the late 90’s, Indie-rock Tyler Hilton who had a major role in the just ended television series One Tree Hill and Gavin Degraw, who need no introduction.
She hopes to learn the drums and work on her first album and we’re excited to see what this down-to-earth chick has in store for the future. Her powerful energy and raw talent on the Bowery stage outshine the burning wicks surrounding the room. From the looks (and sound) of it, this girl is on fire.
rebecca perl S I N G E R
PHOTOS BY MORGAN HARRISON
By Desiree Keegan
s fans began to fill up the grassy terrain at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson, New York, Miles to Dayton reminisced on how far the band has come. “It started about seven years ago when I came home from college and started playing open mics,” vocalist and guitarist Jon Preddice said. “I met Krista and her brother out at an open mic and we started playing together as a trio doing folky, acoustic music.” Preddice had met Krista and Dave March at a Starbucks in Bohemia, New York when he performed a song he titled “Dayton.” This song is where the band would get its name. “Dayton Preddice was my grandfather, so a lot of people mistake it for Dayton, Ohio. Miles to Dayton is kind of the miles you travel until you see someone again,” he said. “My grandfather passed and during the time, I had written the song to deal with the grief of his passing. It’s kind of the belief in family and the belief in looking forward and keeping positive, knowing that you’ll see your loved ones again.” To each performance, Preddice brings along a black binder with their music. On the front cover between the plastic slips is a picture of himself and his grandfather. As previously mentioned, Preddice had performed the song “Dayton” at the open mic at the Starbucks in Bohemia. “That kind of captured Dave and Krista’s ear,” he said. Later, he adds, they found out that they had gone to the same high school. “We made a CD back in 2005, it was a lot of fun and led to Krista and I having a little relationship we call it, and we’re married now,” he said. On the CD, Preddice plays the guitar while he and his wife sing harmonies, and March plays the bass. Krista Preddice explained that she has been singing since she was a little girl. She said it all started when she watched Annie for the first time. “Then I just never stopped,” she said. “It’s in my family, it’s in my blood, and I think once I started dating Jonny I felt like he brought something out in me. I think I rediscovered music when he came along. I think my confidence and his belief in me brought it out and I think I just learned to pay attention to music in a different way. I mean, I always loved music, I loved listening to different bands and going to concerts but I think when this band became something, it just brought it to a whole new level.” Jonathan Preddice, being the songwriter of the group, says it’s great to have his wife be in the band. “I think it’s easier to get a rehearsal
together, that’s for sure,” he said with a laugh as he smiled in the direction of his wife. “But sometimes we have to remember to go on dates…A lot of the songs I write are about her, and she’s singing them, which is even more beautiful.” A couple of years later Preddice’s sister Leanne Strom moved home from college. She is a classically trained violinist who was studying at SUNY Potsdam. “She started gigging with us and became a full member of the band,” he said. “Then we made our second disk called Rise, which was a collection of rock tunes and folky rock tunes in 2007.” Strom performs with the band as an acoustic and electric violinist, as well as taking part in some of the background vocals and harmonies. “There’s this unspoken chemistry that we have to gether. I think if you were to tell [me] back when I was a kid that Jonny and I were to be in a band together and be this close, I probably would have laughed,” Strom said giggling and making faces at her brother who was sitting next to her. “But I think it’s brought me closer to my brother in a way that has made me feel really fulfilled and happy about being a part of this project as well as obviously with my family within the band. And it’s brought us all to another level and I consider them to be my family. I think it just brings out a whole new dynamic that’s really special and really unique.”
Photos by Desiree Keegan
Following Strom, their final member joined the band just a little over a year ago. Drummer Brian Kroll, a music teacher like Jon and Krista Preddice, was at one of the band’s shows at Pindar Vineyards for its “Rock the Harvest” festival. “Dave loves to tell this story,” Kroll said grinning from ear to ear. “They were playing, I introduced myself, they had gone on stage, I went on their website, I saw that their drummer had left the band, all at the event thanks to my gadgets,” he said. “And apparently I reintroduced myself a couple of hours later unbeknownst to me--but I had had a few glasses, or bottles of wine, so I guess it’s okay. Dave remarks that it’s kind of out of character for Jon, but Jon whimsically decided to hire me to do a fill-in gig and there was really great chemistry and the music was great, and there was some really great feedback, and the rest is history.” “He’s an amazing addition,” Preddice said of Kroll. “Brian’s an amazing singer and an amazing drummer, and added the extra pump and sizzle to our latest project which is called Pass it On, which we released in 2011.”
Photos by Desiree Keegan
Kroll says that it has been very fulfilling, being both a teacher and a performer of music. “What we do is mostly on the weekends, which is conducive to a Monday through Friday gig,” he said. “There’s the old saying ‘Those who can, do—‑those who can’t, teach.’ I think it’s really important to be a teacher who does. My students have been out to see us, a lot of my former students come out to see us, they kind of follow along on Facebook and the web, and they follow us on Twitter and whatnot, and I think it’s important. It sort of gives credence to what I’m doing in the classroom.” So as the spectators continued to pile up inside the confines of the park, they unpacked their blankets, dinner, lawn chairs, and cameras to take in another stellar performance of their favorite “family band.” As the sun began to set on the harbor, the band began their show, which was the last of the “Picnic Supper Concerts” series put on by The Greater Port Jefferson‑ Norther Brookhaven Arts Council. As Miles to Dayton continued to perform songs from their newest collection, hits like “Firefly,” “Pass it On,” and “Great South Bay” got spectators up and dancing in the cool, grassy waterfront park as pink, orange, and yellow hues painted the sky and blur the views behind them.
encompassed the space around them, the band said they were proud and excited to see how their project, this band, turned out. “The project we can all say we’re most proud of is our latest one, which is called Pass It On. We had a big CD release party at the Boulton Center last year, and it’s been really well‑received. We got one of our songs in Oprah Magazine this year, and a lot of really positive, somewhat national and international attention to our songs, so it’s been really exciting,” Preddice said. The group, Preddice said, sings about love, loss, children, life, having a bad day, and having a good day. “I think we pull from our everyday experiences and I think you can hear it in our music and I think others can hear it too,” he said. “And that’s why we tend to get to know the people who come to watch us play. People feel like they know us through our music. It’s kind of like our little journal that we share with the world, and it’s been pretty cool that way to kind of reflect upon it.” His sister, Strom, added, “When you look out in a crowd and you can see that people are singing your words back to you and they connect, and it’s making a positive change in someone’s life, I think there’s nothing better than that, there really isn’t.”
While their folky guitar riffs, classical electric violin sounds, and dulcet harmonies
MARA AND THE
Photo Courtesy of Mara Simpson
Story by Kaytie Norman
ave a look at an e-interview New Sound had with Mara Simpson of Mara and the Bushkas—talking in person would have been a little difficult, since she’s constantly wandering around Europe. Mara’s own website describes her style as a cross between Janis Joplin and Sia Furler, and we have to agree. Get into her head below, and then order her album Live At Bats at maraandthebushkas.com. It seems like you did a lot of traveling before settling on Wellington for a home-base (at least for a while). What fostered the traveling, and what about Wellington made you decide to stay there? I’ve been lucky to have travelled a lot from a young age, my family are from Kenya so when I was growing up we were always travelling between East Africa and Europe. Although it’s hard sometimes knowing where “home” really is, I’m lucky to have had an international upbringing and to be exposed to different ways of life and different ways of thinking. When I travelled to New Zealand I found a very special place in Wellington, it’s a small city but has an eclectic and vibrant music scene. It’s a real melting pot and concentrated enough to be a really nurturing environment for artists of all descriptions. Wellington has definitely become another firm home on the map. Recently I’ve moved to Berlin where I’m now based for my music for the time being, but will be back to New Zealand as much as possible. What do you draw inspiration from when creating your music?
Places and people of course, the little details that hold interesting narratives. Travel and the concept of home. And I’m constantly inspired by other musicians. Have you always known that you wanted to be a musician? What was your earliest experience with music? Pretty much. I can’t really imagine being or doing anything else. It’s always been the energy that has consumed me for as long as I can remember; watching videos of The Rolling Stones and wanting to be Mick Jagger and listening to Janis Joplin and wanting a band like the Big Brother Holding company! How did you and your band members find each other? I first met our drummer Jean Pompey through a singer songwriter night I ran at Wellington’s Southern Cross, we became music soul mates from then on and soon got the band together through people we knew. The music scene in Wellington is very close knit, no doubt you’ll find the majority of session players having a jam in town most nights of the week. What is your favorite song to perform? “Peaceful Woman” and “To the Sea.” Those two songs are especially close to me. But every performance is different and there will be shows in which a particular song has resonated with that audience. It’s all about that connection between the performer and the listener, so depending on which ones they are, those are my favorite songs to perform. What’s next for Mara and the Bushkas? A studio album, a tour in the US? At the moment I’ve just finished a solo European tour, so [I am] getting my head down to finish a new studio album which will be released in New Zealand at the end of this year. Then I’ll be touring from Germany to Australia to New Zealand where I join the band and then back to Berlin for another summer of gigs hopefully. The US is of course a place where I want to perform and a firm goal for the band.
THREE LEGGED FOX
THREE LEGGED FOX DRAWS ATTENTION
WITH THEIR UNIQUE STYLE
STORY BY: MARIEL CARBONE | PHOTOS BY: HANNAH SINGLETON
ans cheered as Three Legged Fox took the stage Friday, September 7 at the Vibe Lounge in Rockville Center New York, where the wrapped up their summer tour.
The band kept a vibrant audience entertained and involved throughout their hour-long set. The music was both mellow and, at times, upbeat, inviting listeners to move along to. Three Legged Fox, a Reggae Rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, shows ambition and determination, saying they are “committed to bringing their live show and message to every city in the United States.” This commitment has certainly not fallen short. The up-andcoming, and quickly growing group has drawn in fans across the country through their original and relatable music. The band made their debut back in April of 2006, but since then the members have shifted into the current five members playing today.
“It was a different line up back then, but that’s when we first started playing and writing our own songs,” said vocalist Kyle Wareham. “We actually entered a ‘Battle of the Bands’ back then at the University of Delaware, so I guess that’s really our conception.” The band now consists of Kyle Wareham on vocals and guitar, Jon Duxbury on the keyboard, Mark Carson on the Bass, Kory Kochersperger on the drums, and Chris Duddy on guitar. So far the band released three albums over the past six years. Their first 11-song album IDEAS was released in 2007. Since, they have produced Not as Far, a 13-song album, and the most recent, Always Anyway, which includes 12 tracks. Although different in style, the three albums are a continued collaboration. “They are all different based on what we were exposed to as we went along,” said drummer Kory Kochersperger. “I liked the first one. I like them all for different reasons, but if
you listen to them you can tell they are a production.” The bands bestselling album, Always Anyway, reached a no. 2 spot on iTunes Reggae. The band attributes their opportunity to tour on the success of this album. Three Legged Fox embarked on their first national tour this past summer, when they took over a two months venturing from the East to the West Coast. The band played venues in California, Colorado, Missouri, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, and more. For most of their fans, it was their first time hearing the band play live. “It was crazy going out there, and the first time ever out there seeing people singing the words, said Jon Duxbury. “It just puts it into perspective.” And, as with most bands, playing for their fans is what is the most rewarding. “Every time we go somewhere and someone is like ‘oh my goodness we’ve been waiting two years to see you guys,’ that’s the best feeling,” said Wareham. The fans are a focal point of this band that really hope to make an impact on their listeners. Three Legged Fox intend for their music to have a positive and uplifting message. “I think our unified thing is to say something that can help someone who is having a really bad day just ingeneralandIthinkyou’llfindthatthemethroughout our music,” said Kochersperger. “We have love songs too, normal content stuff for anyone in their twenties about what they kind of go through, but a lot of our stuff goes back to the message that you’ll be alright.” And the band found the right way to get their message across through the style of their music. Reggae, which according to the band tends to be very uplifting and spiritual music, was a perfect vehicle for them to drive their messages. But, they are not solely reggae. Three Legged Fox has combines reggae and alternative rock to give themselves a very unique style. The band also lets outside influences shape their sound, pulling in other styles as they see fit. “I think were not influenced by a particular genre or a particular band or a particular artist but musically for me it’s a particular song. If I hear something that I really like, I’m like ‘I want to do something like that’,” said Wareham. “It could be techno, reggae, a folk singer orsongwriter.Itdoesn’tmatter.IfIhearsomethingthat I like, that becomes my influence.”
Luckily for the band, they also have a diverse background to help shape their music. “We all have different backgrounds and styles of music. We have people who like jazz music and Southern rock. It’s just a lot of different genres coming together,” said Duxbury. “We have to listen to everyone’s preference and write music that has all those things.” Overallthegroup’smusicproductionisacombined effort, where each member contributes to the final product. “We developed a songwriting style were [Kory] writes the lyrics and a lot of times Kyle outlines the songs,” said Mark Carson. “Then we all come together and put our own touches on it, add what we think serves the song, and so far I think it’s produced music that we can all be proud of.” This method seems to be working for the group, as the band plans to release their fourth album this upcoming spring. With the album in the works,Three Legged Fox hopes to have a few singles released before the end of the year. Asfortheirfuture,ThreeLeggedFoxhasupcoming shows scheduled throughout December in NewYork, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio. Theyplantocontinuetotournationallythroughoutthe upcoming year.
THREE LEGGED FOX NEWSOUNDMAGAZINE.COM
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WATCH IT FOR THE
“ GOOD WILL HUNTING ” (1997) SOUN D T R ACK: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
“Between the Bars” (Orchestral)- Written and Performed by Elliott Smith “As the Rain”- Written and Performed by Jeb Loy Nichols “Angeles”- Written and Performed by Elliot Smith “No Name #3”- Written and Performed by Elliot Smith “Fisherman’s Blues”- Written by Mike Scott and Steve Wickham/ Performed by The Waterboys “Why Do I Lie?”- Written by Jill Cunniff/ Performed by Luscious Jackson “Will Hunting” (Main Titles)- Written and Performed by Danny Elfman “Between the Bars”- Written and Performed by Elliot Smith “Say Yes”- Written and Performed by Elliot Smith “Baker Street”- Written and Performed by Gerry Rafferty “Somebody’s Baby”- Written by Jackson Browne and Danny Kortchmar/ Performed by Andru Donalds “Boys Better”- Written by Courtney Taylor-Taylor (as Courtney Taylor)/ Performed by The Dandy Warhols “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?”- Written by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb/ Performed by Al Green “Miss Misery”- Written and Performed by Elliot Smith “Weepy Donuts”- Written and Performed by Danny Elfman
OTHER TRACKS NOT INCLUDED ON THE SOUNDTRACK:
• • • • • • • • • • • •
“Big Strong Man”- Written by Brian Warfield/ Performed by Wolfe Tones “If I Had the Last Dream in the World”- Written by Joe Liles/ Performed by Northeast Connection “Room”- Written and Performed by Dan Lander “We Still Need More Than Anyone Can Give”- Written by Daniel Goffey, Gareth Coombes and Michael Quinn/ Performed by Supergrass “Runaway”- Written by Del Shannon and Max Crook/ Performed by Del Shannon “Grand Sonata in B Flat Major, Op. 30/D 617”- Written by Franz Schubert/ Performed by Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt “Six Grandes Marches, Op. 40/D 617, No. 5”- Written by Franz Schubert/ Performed by Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt “People”- Written by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill “Handle on My Heart”- Written by Minnie Driver “Tommy Bhetty’s Waltz” Traditional- Arranged by Altan and P.J. Curtis/ Performed by Altan “Heart & Soul”- Written by Ivan Drever and Duncan Chisholm/ Performed by Wolfstone “Afternoon Delight”- Written by Bill Danoff (as William Danoff)/ Performed by Starland Vocal Band NEWSOUNDMAGAZINE.COM
+ STORY BY DESIREE KEEGAN | PHOTOS COURTESY OF GWH
he film Good Will Hunting has a masterfully created soundtrack that reflects and embodies the feelings you get from the film. With its eclectic mix of tracks that reflect the ups and down of the movie, the simple, sincere music gives way to a refreshing soundtrack. This collection, unlike some other films where the songs are not fitting to the tale, bucks the correlation between movies and their accompanying tunes in that each song is in perfect harmony with the film’s theme. The soundtrack was released on December 2, 1997, and film director Gus Van Sant put together the film’s music with the help of film scorist Danny Elfman and indie folk rockstar Elliot Smith as the main composers on the disk. Up until 1997, Elfman had never seemed to be fully accepted by his peers, but has since risen to be one of Hollywood’s most prolific composers. His use of acoustic guitars in his score has been said by the soundtrack’s summation to be “a particularly fresh choice, lending humility and mobility to the sweeping string arrangement,” which is undoubtedly true. In otherwise banal scenes like when the protagonist is looking at the math problem on the chalkboard in the hallway, getting out of jail, or getting picked up by his friends to go to work, these classical tracks add the edge and aching, yearning feeling that relates to the mood and character of Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon). Although Elfman is known for doing more fun and wacky tracks, such as the Flubber soundtrack that he was composing simultaneously, there seemed to be no constraints in the spirit of his compositions. “Doing a drama is interesting because I’ve done less of them,” Elfman said in an interview with Billboard magazine in 1997. “Good Will was more of
a challenge, Flubber was just fun.” His score was nominated for an Oscar, but only two of his cues appeared on the film’s soundtrack. Smith’s pieces also provide an entryway into the janitor-savant character, with several hauntingly beautiful and moody tracks that bring about that melancholy atmosphere. His whispered vocals and quiet, nimble fingerstyle is perfect for the film’s exploration of intimacy and under-ambition. Smith’s “Miss Misery,” played in the film’s closing remarks, was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Original Song,” but lost to “My Heart Will Go On,” from Titanic. Smith had only three independent albums to his name before Van Sant, a Portland native like Smith, chose his songs for the film. His tracks dominate the album with six in total; his themes of love, rejection, and ensuing loneliness are appropriate and well-written, creating a parallel to the film. Pay close attention to Will’s meetings with his therapist Sean, played by Robin Williams, and to the tension that ensues as Will’s relationship with Skylar develops. As Smith’s songs “Between the Bars” and “Angeles” play during these scenes, the lyrics and meanings match up well with Will’s childish paradise being destroyed by reality— take note of his views of good and evil, and his fear of reliving memories of the past abuse and neglect that forever haunt him. The Good Will Hunting soundtrack moves you, just as much as the tale of Will Hunting in his struggle to find his identity. These tracks, as well as the film, open your eyes and your heart into a world of brewing plights and complex interiors that leave you seeking out more from these artists.
VENUE REVIEW VENUE REVIEW
MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG 6666 NNO ORRTTHH 66TTHH SSTTRREEEETT, , NNYY 11211 11211- -33000099 46
S t or y by : Ka ytie N or man | Pho t os by : Hannah S ing le t on
The Music Hall of Williamsburg is unassuming from the outside—being a pale brick building with an industrial marquee and plain metal doors, it is not the most inviting venue. However, venture inside and your point of view will be changed (almost) immediately. The beige lobby is still less than impressive; linoleum floors lead to various staircases, and an almost oddly-placed bar looms to the left in an alcove. A plain folding table to the right is laden with merchandise from the night’s performers, and the walls are bare but for a few posters advertising upcoming shows. But interestingly enough, visitors can go in three directions from this point. Option 1: Go forward. Taking the stairs directly ahead leads up into the main floor, a spacious area that opens directly into the stage. If you’re at the show to dance or be as close as possible to the performers, this is the option for you. There is no barrier between the raised stage and the main
floor, so audience members can shove their way forward and be inches from the action. As per usual, it can get pretty warm and crowded so close to the stage, but there is plenty of the space towards the back of the room (and still a great view) if you need an area to breathe or bust a move. Option 2: Head downstairs. Three main things are housed downstairs: a very large bar, plush leather couches, and bathrooms. The bar prices are actually not so unreasonable for a music venue in New York— drafts range from $5-$7, and a large can of PBR will run you only $4 (still a bit much for PBR, but not bad considering where you are). Water’s free and readily available; patrons are able to serve themselves from a water cooler. There is plenty of seating in this area, so it was the perfect place to sit and take a break between acts, or to mingle with others while awaiting the headlining band. What’s more, the bathrooms are clean, always stocked with soap, and never crowded—you can’t really ask for much more in a music venue. Option 3: Move upstairs. The third tier of The Music Hall of Williamsburg is arguably the nicest—if you time it right. A balcony lined with red lights and filled with small tables and chairs wraps around the second floor, offering the best view to those that arrive early and are fortunate enough to snag a seat. Against the back wall are large steps which serve as stadium seating. This is a great idea in theory, however, there are generally so many people sitting/standing at the balcony that it is difficult to see from these seats. Then again, if you’re content to just listen to the music, this may be the best option for you—this is an excellent position acoustically, and a spacious area to relax if you’ve been standing for too long. Behind the stadium seating is yet another bar area, filled with more couches and decorated with red and black pop-art. Despite the visual appeal to this area, it couldn’t seem to hold a crowd—then again, why stay in the bar area when there’s a band to see a few steps away? Overall, seeing a show at The Music Hall of Williamsburg seems to be well worth it. There is ample room, awesome views, and most importantly, great music. For a full calendar of events, be sure to visit musichallofwilliamsburg.com
AMBER RUBARTH 48
STORY BY ASHLEY GOLL
— Amber Rubarth
mber Rubarth, a Nevada chainsaw artist who crafted animal sculptures and wooden furniture, taught herself guitar, then took her refreshing, original songs and wistful sweetness on tour. Tom Waits picked her song “Washing Day” (co-written with Adam Levy) as winner of the International Songwriting Competition and she’s the latest NewSong contest winner. Now’s the time to discover this rising singer/songwriter, guitarist and pianist on her album of songs celebrating the mysteries in daily life. In the title tune, she claims it’s okay to be uncertain of yourself; just don’t let others define you, because “everybody loves a mystery.” Her voice flies upward; her lyrics bring her down to earth with charming honesty. In “Wish We’d Gotten Drunk,” she nostalgically regrets “carelessly holding your heart,” and then casually whistles. In “Edge Of My Seat,” she observes breathlessly as a romance begins, or does it? She repeats the title with growing intensity. While fitting for this song, it’s a signature motif in her writing; she does the same in “Full Moon in Paris,” as intimately captivating here as in her recent New York shows. A piano piece called “The Stairwell” provides a moody, satisfying finale. She is but one person with one instrument, be it a piano or a guitar, but Amber Rubarth is mesmerizing. Anyone who has heard her records knows that the voice that goes through their speakers is Rubarth’s true sound with little to no alteration, as she hits every note without fail. Not too bad for someone who used to make wooden sculptures with a chainsaw. You would never expect that out of the soft-spoken girl who mumbled between songs, and got so excited about performing that she stood on her tiptoes while playing. Rubarth moved to Carson City, NV after high school to pursue wood sculpting before completely changing directions and learning how to play guitar. Rubarth humbly mentioned this in a break in her set, failing to hide her excitement of winning the prize of working with producer Jacquire King (Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire, Norah Jones) on her new album due out this spring. It was adorable. When Rubarth took to the piano to play “Rough Cut” off her New Green Lines LP, the whole venue was focused on her. Her voice filled the space, which seemed to shock most in attendance who underestimated the tiny, young girl onstage, who comfortably floated from low, alto-range notes to a high, lofty soprano. Feeling the need to justify each song, Rubarth showed her quirkiness, as each one took inspiration from unexpected places. “This Is Real,” for example, was written during a long-distance relationship that ended before she returned back to the city where her ex was based. Though quirky, she was never overly so. Rubarth gave each explanation sheepishly, barely moving her mouth, frequently looking down at her instrument, then started singing, erasing any awkward tension that may have taken place, and making the audience fall in love with her a little more each time.
A few hours before their show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New Sound sat down with Josiah Wolf of WHY?, the “pop-inflected psychedelic folk-hop” group hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio. Josiah plays drums for the band, and is brother to frontman/vocalist/lyricist Yoni (pronounced yo-nee). Together with Seattle-native Doug McDiarmid on guitar, these three men make up the core of WHY?. WHY? is difficult to describe—they combine thought-provoking, masterfully crafted lyrics with some truly unique beats to create some of the most wonderfully weird music you’ll ever have the pleasure to listen to. Whether Yoni is rapping or singing, he captivates the audience completely (and not just with his sick dance moves). WHY?’s songs are artistic, poetic, and oftentimes outrageously comical; they run the gamut from heartbreaking (“Even though I haven’t seen you in years/ Yours is a funeral I’d fly to from anywhere”) to philosophical (“Good and evil’s often neither strength nor flaw/ But sod in the seed of what you are”) to downright absurd (“As hundred bucks worth of wordy blogger thugs/ Come forth forthwith to Four Seasons aflood/ To morbidly orbit your toilet like hornets abuzz/ Forming above like buzzards in love”). Take a look at New Sound’s interview with Josiah Wolf for a peek into his mind (and tour bus).
STORY BY: KAYTIE NORMAN | PHOTOS BY: HANNAH SINGLETON
Take a look at New Sound’s interview with Josiah Wolf for a peek into his mind...
So, how has the tour been so far? It’s been pretty good. I like having this bus. This is a nice bus. Do you always travel with one? No, actually, this is our first time traveling in a tour bus in about 10 years, so it’s pretty nice. So did you always know that you wanted to be a musician? We’ve read that you and Yoni started playing music in your father’s synagogue. Yeah, we did. I always knew that I liked playing music, but I didn’t know that it would be my career. This question may be better suited for Yoni, but we wanted to talk about the really intricate lyrics in your songs. Does writing those come naturally? Yoni does write all of the lyrics…he writes some really crazy lyrics. I think it comes pretty naturally for Yoni, it doesn’t just flow out of him, he definitely labors over his lyrics […] Being his brother, I think I understand where he’s coming from. It’s very interesting, there seems to be a stream-of-consciousness feel to his lyrics, but they are also very complex. He does piece stuff together. So what do you want people to take from your music? I want people to be able to see us, hear us, and hear that what we’re doing is possible. I think...just getting people to think. Who are your favorite bands/artists to listen to? Lately, we haven’t been listening to much. I know, it’s so sad. Our new drummer Ben shows me new music, but I can’t think of the name of anything right now. There was one soundtrack, it was African jazz. I really liked that. I listen to everything. I like all sorts of things, but there’s nothing right now that I’m super focused on. What was your favorite performance? It’s hard to say, it all runs together. On this tour? I need to think. It was a really small town—I don’t remember the name. Let me look it up. You guys have a lot of shoes on this bus. [Laughs] Yes, we do. [Continues searching for name of small town] Ah, Ithaca, New York. A lot of people came out, it was really great. So, you mentioned a new drummer Ben? Yes, we have a new drummer, Ben Sloan. My wife Liz also joined the band, and we have Sarah Winters on keyboards. So we’re six people now. Is it very different for you then, as opposed to playing in a three-person band? There’s something nice about a small band, it’s easier to follow everyone, there’s more room […] The difficult thing about a small band is that we’re all doing too much. I like it best when Yoni just sings. On the last tour I was playing bass and drums, at the same time. People thought it was cool but it was just too much. Do you have a favorite song to perform? Lately, I enjoy “Simeon’s Dilemma,” our newest version of it.
Later on in the evening, WHY? took the stage and put on an incredible show. WHY’s fan-base seems to be small but loyal—almost everyone in the crowd was able to sing along with Yoni, which is certainly no easy feat. The band opened up with “Jonathon’s Hope,” a single off their recent LP Mumps, Etc. The audience responded enthusiastically, and kept up their excitement through “Strawberries” and “These Few Presidents,” the hit off of Alopecia. Between Yoni’s awkwardly jerky dancing and Josiah’s wild drum playing (YouTube “Sod in the Seed” to see what we’re talking about), they and the rest of the band seemed to be having as good of a time as any audience member. The show ended with Yoni splayed on the stage in front of the crowd to take a picture—if their Facebook is any indication, this seems to be a trademark way to end a show. WHY’s tour will continue throughout the US until November 5, so be sure to head over to whywithaquestionmark.com to see whether or not they’re swinging through your state. Afterwards, they’re headed across the Atlantic for a month-long tour—here’s hoping Europe is ready for this.
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Alex Winston Alex Winston, a 24-year-old from Michigan, will surprise and delight you as soon as she opens her mouth. The singer, songwriter, and guitarist (just to name a few musical titles she owns) grew up constantly under musical influences, playing guitar with her father and even training classically in opera singing. With jet black curls and redder than red lipstick worn in all of her videos, her look is as unmistakable as her voice. She can be anything from quirky to eerie to silky when she sings, and her music can be classified as anything from electro to folk to indie to pop. She teamed up with Chris and Drew Peters (who have written with the Black Eyed Peas and produced Ted Nugent albums) in 2007 to create her first EP, By The Roots. Winston then moved to New York City in 2010 to work with The Knocks, an electronic music duo. Then, in June of the same year, she released Basement Covers, an album which includes covers of popular titles including “Play with Fire” by The Rolling Stones and “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons.
Little Brave Stephanie Briggs has been making music since she joined Rodger Wilko with two friends in 2000. She eventually broke away to create music simply as Stephanie Briggs, and now she is Little Brave. With each new title came a new sound, another notch on her musical belt. Under her newest moniker, Briggs (alone with Michael Christmas on drums, Brian Singhas on bass, and K. Phillips on keyboard) puts out music that is a combination of folk, alternative, rock, and indie, with undertones and, more often, overtones of defiance. Wound and Will, the first album released under the Little Brave moniker, also came complete with a musical on the day of its release on March 5, 2011, performed at Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonio, Texas. But it’s not a musical in the typical, Broadway sense of the word. Little Brave used the musical as a vehicle to introduce its new album and perform it for fans. Some songs were simply performed by Little Brave while others featured a ballet interpretation, painted
All sides of Winston are shown in her latest album, King Con, released March of this year, with sounds reminiscent of Florence + The Machine, Of Monsters & Men, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and a voice that comes close to Adele-like when stripped down. “Guts” is hauntingly beautiful, comparatively to others on the album such as “Choice Notes,” an intriguingly fun song (this sentiment is also found in the music video, with Halloween ghosts made of sheets dancing in the background and confetti falling from the sky). “Sister Wife” is all at once confessional, confronting, and threatening, and is a beautiful expression of emotion, hurt, and desperation. “Velvet Elvis,” a song which Winston says is about falling in love with inanimate objects, aims to treat the subject with seriousness rather than mockery. It does so well, as does the music video which is so simply complex that it will have you pressing the replay button over and over again. Alex Winston breathes new life into the singer-songwriter genre, both invigorating and shocking the senses. Check out her videos on alexwinstonofficial.com, or download her songs on iTunes. By || Kelley Bligh
faces, puppets, masks, and/or strobe lights. Many of the songs on this first album are mellow, sing-songwriter-esque with Briggs serenading the listener while strumming a guitar or stroking the keyboard, while the rest of the band stays in the background. We particularly love “Ruin Mine” for being exactly like that and “Mercy” for breaking the trend. Their sophomore album, Wild, released on Sept. 7, is much more upbeat but in a completely dark way and with more inyour-face lyrics. She sings stabbing words in the sweetest voice imaginable: “Let’s let them lie with snakes and dogs. You can only be cordial for so long… They assume we’re stupid, won’t go without their warning, without their say so” and “I want to be a bitch. I want live with all my heart. I want to finish what I started then rip it all apart.” If we could pull it off, we’d shout, “You go, girl!” In fact, we might just do it anyway. By || Kelley Bligh
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Weird Children A band that has more members than songs? That’s what you get with Weird Children. Victoria Sounthavong, Tim Van Horn, Ryan McNamara, Jeremy Cook, and Dale Pittner make up this five-member group, though according to their Twitter, they are “five chicks and a dude”… If you say so. Whatever their gender, the group is just as wonderfully weird as the name promises. (Check out their Facebook page and you’ll see what we mean. We dare you not to laugh.) With Van Horn on drums, McNamara on bass, Pittner and Cook on guitar, and Sounthavong as the lead vocalist, the Brooklyn-born group released its first single, “Megalomelia” back in March. And so far that’s it. But we still love them. Thankfully, the single also includes bonus track “Creepy Meatball.” Watching their videos, you can tell they really love every second of what they’re doing. Plus, Sounthavong will suck you in with her hypnotizing voice and transfixing gaze.
The Red Lights After an exciting Australian tour and recent record deal, The Red Lights is ready to kick their music career into full gear. The Melbourne-based, indie/rock group started playing in 2010 and has solidified an impressive fan base. During that time, two of their demos made it to the Top 20 of Triple J Unearthed “Indie Charts” and Top 100 of the “Overall Charts.” Band members Andrew Miller (guitar/vocals), Lex Lovarde (bass/vocals), Jesse Glen (drums), and Peter Kimmich (lead guitar) released their debut EP album, Not In This Town, in June of 2012 and signed with Gaga Digi (Charlie Parr, Big Scary) soon after. This five track album combines sounds from a range of decades and includes influences from the boys’ favorite bands, such as The Beatles, Radiohead, and Modest Mouse. Not In This Town introduces the young band with a passion for performing. The videos on their Facebook page make it clear that they are genuinely happy to be doing what they
They classify themselves as an “indie garage pop band.” We classify them as talented and hysterical. Listening to Megalomelia you will get a taste of it all. Megalomelia, you may want to know (because we had to look it up too and no, it’s not a made up word), is the medical term for a largeness of one or more limbs. Uh… yeah. The single, though named for a condition so obscure, is an oddly easy listen. “Megalomelia”—the song, not the disease—is perfect for driving with your windows rolled down and stereo turned up. Likewise, “Creepy Meatball” is a dance-along-in-your-seat kind of song. Weird Children are all around feel-good. Not only will their music tastefully combine dance and rock, but Sounthavong’s voice is so pleasant to listen to, you won’t want to stop. Their music and personality will no doubt brighten your day because, as they say in “Creepy Meatball,” “You will never be alone but I, alone, could never be me.” Those may be Weird Children’s only two songs available right now but keep an eye out for more to come from them in the future. If new music from them turns out to be anything like their first single, it will be worth your wait. By || Kelley Bligh
love. No official music videos have been posted yet, but you can listen to them on YouTube, complete with pictures of them sporting collared shirts and skinny jeans in the background. Recent singles include “In A Daze” and “Dancing With Us,” in which they take a more soothing approach to music than most rock bands do. A muffled sound and simple rhythm give The Red Lights an edge which they can work to perfect in future albums. The young Aussie musicians have a long way to go, but an attitude like this can only lead to bigger, better things in the future. There are no immediate plans for a follow-up record, but with Gaga Digi on their side, something will surely develop soon. Although they are based in Australia, we hope the indie rockers will make plans to travel to the states and blow us all away with their incredible energy and love for music. Meanwhile, their songs can be found on iTunes and make sure to check out their Tumblr account in addition to Facebook and YouTube. There is no slowing down The Red Lights and we can be sure to hear more in years to come. By || Kristin Cacchioli
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