Month: January 2008

Chase Thompson – Shoot You Down

Newcomer Chase Thompson proves his talent as a producer, pianist, singer, and songwriter on his debut EP release Shoot You Down. The brief album is comprised of five heartfelt and confessional tracks demonstrating Thompson’s command of both verse and vocal range. Although his sweet melodies and emotional oozing may turn off some listeners with its…

Skope Podcast – January 2008

Happy New Year from Skope! Listen to dub, metal, and blues revival collide. Featuring music from Drug Rug, Slightly Stoopid, The Bastard Fairies and a Special Interview with Pink Steel. Hosted by Skope Staff Writer, Claudia Ward-de León. PLAY NOW [audio:../podcast/jan2008-podcast.mp3]

Breaking News – QTrax Is Here!

  By Michael H Friedman I am beyond excitement right now. Last night a new download service was unleashed at www.qtrax.com. Qtrax is the world’s first free and legal peer-to-peer (P2P) digital music site. Music lovers can discover new music and legally download full-length, high-quality versions of their favorite songs while compensating both the artists…

The Audition – Champions of Pop-Rock

  Champion by The Audition was just released, January 22, 2008.   The Audition were this weeks Myspace music featured artists.   They have a fresh unique sound.   The following is from their biography:   “It is bold and confident”. The record title is a reflection of a band meeting their personal high expectations.…

Khalid Rivera Interview

Stoli  Sits Down with  the Multi-Talented Khalid Rivera Hailing from Queens New York, this Staten Island native began his career at an early age. Stoli was so impressed with Khalid’s background & musical resume he had to see what was up with him. Check out what Khalid has going on in his life! Stoli: You…

It’s Adjustable – January 2008

Northern State, Can I Keep This Pen? The beginning of this CD didn’t impress me too much. It sounds so much like Leslie and Lys, with its silly rhymes, synthesizers and very obvious ironic smirk that I thought I might as well stop. The first four songs aren’t really worth listening to. They’re very derivative…

The Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

Adolesence, as a subject for music, is about as well-mined a vein as there is. It’s not merely because teens are the music industry’s bread and butter — teenage years are simply the most vividly emotional time of a lot of people’s lives, especially to those who happen to write songs. So when one decides…

Mike Mangione – Tenebrae

“Mike Mangione’s first concert was unfortunately the George Michael Faith tour when he was in second grade,” reads his website. In all honesty, the similarities are apparent. Sure, George Michael’s voice always seems to follow a corny and unusually upbeat melody and his pants are just slightly tighter, but with some minor adjustments and facial…

Wine-O I Hear You Talking Behind My Back

Ladies and gentlemen: no need to be alarmed. I Hear You Talking Behind My Back is not a screwed Pimp C LP. The “music” flooding a listener’s headphones at the start of Behind My Back is not in fact the work of a UGK wannabe but that of Houston native Wine-O. Somewhere in the depths…

DRZHIVEGAS – Get Down

DRZHIVEGAS is stuck in a time warp. The St. Louis quartet somehow managed to get trapped inside Sebastian Bach’s closet and rummaged through 80s memorabilia that has been long deplored by today’s mainstream world. But these rebels seem to love the glam era. In fact, that time period has directly influenced their music, their wardrobe…

Jessica Penrose – Words Become Flesh

The first track of Jessica Penrose’s LP Words Become Flesh is actually quite attractive. In fact so attractive that a listener feels like they’ve heard it somewhere before in a hit single, and then it all makes sense, they have. What’s more is that almost word for word, each raspy vocal and guitar chord sounds…

Diana Olson on The Limit

   The Limit is a Rock Trio that includes Mark Daniel on vocals and guitar, Bob Chmiel on drums and Todd Grosberg on bass.   Daniel says his hometown of New Haven, Conn. was the source of inspiration for the band.   He met his band members in high school but it wasn’t until his…

Strings of Consciousness – Our Moon Is Full

Strings of Consciousness admit that they only record stuff for their own amusement. Good thing, because only six people, tops, are ever going to buy Our Moon Is Full, a title that suggests that the nine “musicians” (nearly twice the number of their fans!) who “collaborated” on this “project” are either new-age knot-heads or werewolves,…

Noush Skaugen – Palomino

With a name like Noush Skaugen (pronounced Noosh Ska-ghen) you may be forgiven for thinking this EP is an offering from another Swedish electronica group. But no, Skaugen is a London transplant who delivers a curious blend of Chryssie Hynde and Natalie Merchant. Skaugen’s press release mentions a comparison to Stevie Nicks (and, bizarrely, Mick…

Video of the Day – “For Real” by Okkervil River

Immensely talented,  but still relatively unknown,  the Austin band with that weird name, Okkervil River, bring an ardent majesty to indie rock. “For Real” off of 2005’s Black Sheep Boy is a dark and powerful song.  The video has some great visuals that reinforce the  song’s pensive mood.  Check it out. [youtube JDd4KezAFv8 nolink]

Art Brut – Lighthearted Avant-Garde Rock

The members of avant-garde, indie rock band Art Brut don’t take themselves too seriously. They enjoy making music and expressing themselves freely; they are detached from the scenester trap of pretentious conformity. It is this sincerity that makes them so likeable and magnetic, their success is in large part due to their lighthearted approach. Lead…

Maniacal Plan – Casualty of Sound

Run of the mill. More of the same. Another of the lot. I could go on. Maniacal Plan’s Casualty of Sound is far short of dynamic and much closer to prosaic. In the vein of Saliva, Hinder and the like–but not as vocally powerful–the album is a more or less humdrum collection of ready-made hard…

Diana Olson on The New Congress

The New Congress Ain’t Got Nothing To Do With Politics By Diana Olson The New Congress. It’s no mistake that this band shares in the rich Minnesota sound with its roots of coming up with Prince and other Prince band members. The band mixes turntables with old-school R&B and classifies their music as a blend…

Video of the Day – “O Katrina” by The Black Lips

The Black Lips are a young band from Atlanta with an old rock sound sort of along the lines of the 60’s Rolling Stones. It’s garage-punk fused with elements of blues; rough and raucous, purposefully under produced, it is artfully disheveled. “O Katrina” is, you guessed it, a protest song that rails against the hurricane…

Video of the Day – “Mistaken for Strangers” by The National

The National offer beautifully somber and melancholic music on their  sophomore release The Boxer, lauded as  one of the  best albums of 2007.  It’s a sound that washes over and engulfs you; but  this soundtrack for the  crestfallen uplifts through its  beating drums and emersive warmth. Lead singer Matt Berninger’s deadpan baritone lulls you  into…

Interview with Quietdrive

QUIETDRIVE IS A BAND ON THE BRINK By Diana Olson Quietdrive is a pop punk band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They released their debut album When All That’s Left Is You in 2006. Quietdrive members Justin Bonhiver and Droo Hastings were best friends growing up together. In 9th grade, Brandon Lanier started telling Hastings that he…

Video of the day – “Black Mags” by The Cool Kids

Check this out. The Cool Kids are the breath of fresh air that American hip-hop so sorely needs. The fresh faced members of The Cool Kids are Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish. They bring a fusion of throwback bombastic beats, crisp electronics, and  clever tongue and cheek rhymes.  Check out their video “Black Mags” here:…

John Ralston – Sorry Vampire

John Ralston arrived in 2005 with Needle Bed, which seemed to have a strong Wilco influence and plenty of decent moments. In the two years since he first recorded it, Ralston has clearly grown as a songwriter – the new album, Sorry Vampire, has a richness to it that was barely hinted at on Needle…

A-Sides – Silver Storms

I can’t ever really fault a musical act for trying to stretch its musical boundaries, but there are times when reach exceeds grasp. Back in 2005, Philadelphia’s the A-Sides put out a bouncy pop-punk record, Hello Hello, and when they were signed to the strong indie label Vagrant, hopes were high for what they’d put…