Tuesday, July 31, 2018

“The Hidden Root” by Iuliano – A Song Feature

      With laser-true accuracy, “The Hidden Root” hits the difficult-to-achieve sweet spot of a melody that is both catchy and sophisticatedly elegant and lush. Vocally, the track by Iuliano begins with a single voice that is adept at caressing the falsetto range; then, almost one minute into “The Hidden Root,” the chorus is delivered in a harmony that is somehow both delicate and forceful. It would be easy to argue that the chorus is the highlight of the song, until close attention is paid to the interplay of instruments. Particularly in the final minute, the song is intricately textured.

      The lyrics of “The Hidden Root” are also noteworthy. Iuliano describes the song as being a dive into the core of the disconnection that he feels with another. He structured “The Hidden Root” to synch with the sentiment, including transforming the song “into a funky experimental array of instrumentals to create the feeling that an individual is waxing and waning through a variety of emotions.”

      “The Hidden Root” is the final song on a five-track album with a similar title – “Hidden Roots.” The title is appropriate, since the Bandcamp site indicates that Iuliano is from Paris, his Soundcloud site identifies Bangkok, Thailand, while his bio describes being born in Italy and music educated at Berklee College in Boston.

    His writing process:
  While the guitar is a prominent instrument on “The Hidden Root,” it is not the instrument that Iuliano is most familiar with, but the one he utilizes to write songs. “I try to play until I find something interesting, and then I free style the melodies,” he notes. “I begin with an accessible melody, but then introduce the listener to different scenarios that evolve from the original idea.” While the intricate backing vocals on the project are a study in harmonic sophistication, the lead vocals are rendered in a poignant falsetto. “I use a smaller voice to increase the sense of dynamics and details.”

      “The Hidden Root” by Iuliano 




Lyrics of “The Hidden Root” by Iuliano
 It seemed to be like any other
A lost number in the days of her life
But suddenly she stops
At the station with no station in mind

She's running away

Her head is moving to the lousy damper rhythm
Taking her away from everything she knows
It is cold, it is warm
It is illegible

She's running away
She's running away

It's only when you die you can reborn again
When uncertainty is the future you deep inhale sane
As a foreigner that wanders and always catches the best
The essence, the juice, the hidden root

It would be so easy just to answer to those calls
Would make you eyes red and your heart warm
And all this will disappear as chalk on a blackboard
You'd lost your mind, you'd lost your mind

It's only when you die you can reborn again
When uncertainty is the future you deep inhale sane
As a foreigner that wanders and always catches the best
The essence, the juice, the hidden root

[Experimental bridge]

It's only when you die you can reborn again
When uncertainty is the future you deep inhale sane
As a foreigner that wanders and always catches the best
The essence, the juice, the hidden root

The hidden root

The hidden root



Performed, written, arranged, produced and mixed by: Iuliano
Live Percussion: Ivan Lacagnina
Samples and Keys in the special: Jean Aita

Monday, July 30, 2018

“Good Son” by Bad Wave – A Song Feature


     How does the line go? Someone stole my anti-depressants; I hope he’s happy with himself. Meanwhile, I love “Good Son” by Bad Wave. Mom, I’m trying to be a good son – but I’m failing.

      Bad Waves are songwriter Tucker Tota and producer Patrick Hart. They are based in Los Angeles, but Tucker is originally from Miami and Patrick is from Nashville.

     “Good Son” by Bad Wave 


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Luke Krutzke and the High Tides - Free Friday/Saturday (“FL&R”)

     Free and Legal Downloads? Yes, at least temporarily. Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of their releases.  The end of an offer may be based on the expiration of a set period of time or on a limited number of downloads.  But at least for now, here is a song that qualifies as a Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R) download.
     Finding songs that can be legally downloaded is easy. The difficult task is to find legally downloadable music that we recommend. Our plan is to post at least one FL&R song each Friday/Saturday.

     Luke Krutzke and the High Tides are an indie Rock band based out of Nashville, TN. Their debut single, "Self Esteem" was recorded with J. Brandon Owens at The Planetarium (formerly Silent Planet Studio) and released on July 14th, 2018. The song is a reflection on self-preservation and care, in a fast paced world that doesn't always accommodate.

      “Self Esteem” by Luke Krutzke and The High Tides – Available on a name-your-price basis (tips appreciated).



Friday, July 27, 2018

“Ready For The Harrow” by Joel Porter – A Song Feature

      Like every one of my classmates, I disliked English-class poetry study. Still, like many music-lovers, I am stirred by, enjoy and admire poetry put to melody. Somewhere there is an English teacher who uses the difference to create an appreciation of poetry that will travel with her/his students for the rest of their lives.

    That was our thinking while listening to “Ready For The Harrow” by Joel Porter. He is from Bismarck, North Dakota, but went to Nashville “to find his truth.” He describes himself as being a Tennessee rental. In 2017, with the guidance of producer Eric Hillman (Foreign Fields), he introduced his intimate, ambient-folk solo project with the release of the nature-inspired "Mountain Twin EP." Again in collaboration with Hillman, Joel is set to release his heritage-inspired "Hiraeth EP'" in August 2018.

      He explains “Ready For The Harrow:”
  “In biblical terms, the ‘harrow’ refers to Christ’s decent into hell to free the righteous held captive. I was inspired by that idea…and the act of an intentional release of what is held captive. This song is about finding a peace that we choose after we “till” our inner spaces, break up the clots we’ve formed, reform, and prepare to greet what is next.”

      “Ready For The Harrow” by Joel Porter

Website: http://www.joelportermusic.com/






Lyrics “Ready For The Harrow” by Joel Porter
(Blessed be the days we still have yet)

Up on highland hill
Just beyond the furrow near
Autumn light and harvest lupine
Blend to violet

Witnessing this glimpse
Traces of tomorrow sing
‘Neath the bridge in barren echo
Lay the what has been
Hear the vesper grow
A peaceful call to follow

August in my name
Season for this errand clear
Worry not now little brother
I carry it the same

In this confidence
Dead-ends are untethered here
Shed away the kept and vetted
Ebb the what has been

For peace beyond the hollow carry on
The red-letter Amen
To all my lost
I’m ready for the harrow

I’m ready for the harrow

I’ll miss this simple life
Youth that I have borrowed, dear
Never mine to own, now sits alone
Ready for veneer

I feel the prairie sigh
Bending wheat wave goodbye, dear
Follow now the fleeting silence
Into foreign fields
Peace in all I’ve left
And all I’ve loved
At peace awaiting what is yet to come

Thursday, July 26, 2018

“Better off Without” by Armon Jay – A Song Feature

      Armon Jay generates music you are more likely to hear while watching television than while listening to radio. Sometimes the professionals who select songs for television shows are more aware than the ones who establish playlists for radio stations.

     He is based in Nashville. We were alerted to the talent of Armon Jay will watching the second season of “13 Reasons Why.”

     “Better off Without” by Armon Jay 




Lyrics of “Better off Without” by Armon Jay
So it fell down
Slipped right out of my grip
And it's broken now
I can't seem to fix it

I could tell everyone
But only you would really understand
I was just making excuses
For being a little selfish

So I came back home
To get clean and to clear my head
But there was still a chill in my bones
Even in the ground below it started shaking
Oh, I can't change what already happened
I can only control how I react
I don't know, for all I know
Maybe, maybe, it already happened again

Sometimes I wonder if you're better off
Sometimes I wonder if you're better off
Sometimes I wonder if you're better off
Sometimes I wonder if you're better off
Without me
Without me

Last night I had a dream of our future
And it was far from where this is
Yeah we still had years ahead of us
A messy house and three beautiful children
Yeah we had a dog, even a garage
You had an office and you were your own boss
I think that I was somewhere singing songs
But in a way I kinda hope not

Sometimes I wonder if we're better off
Sometimes I wonder if we're better off
Sometimes I wonder if we're better off
Sometimes I wonder if we're better off
Sometimes I wonder if we're better off
Sometimes I wonder if we're better off

Without this
Without this
Without all this

Just you and I
You and I
You and I
You and I

Just you and I
You and I
Just you and I
You and I
You and I
You and I

Outside Lands Festival – Saturday Preparation

Click to enlarge
For Friday’s schedule, CLICK HERE
For Sunday’s schedule, CLICK HERE

      Drafting a guide for a music festival has the same feel as writing a term paper for a class that is critical to graduation plans – the sense that you have done enough research never arrives. So, eventually you just put the pen to the paper (old-school reference).

      Saturday is the most interesting of the three day of the San Francisco festival. That is unfortunate, since Saturday is almost always the most crowded day. Festival-goers will buy three-day passes knowing that they will miss much of Friday because of work conflicts. And by Sunday, folks who don’t properly pace themselves will skip some or all of of the performances. Saturday is the day with the fewest mispers (missing persons) and with the most early arrivals.

     There are several reasons for proclaiming Saturday as the most interesting of the three days of Outside Lands 2018. The factor that most attendees focus upon is the strength of the large-font performers. At the top of the billing are Florence + the Machine and Future, who have overlapping set times. There are few (or no) similarities between the skills of the two options; this is a choice of genres – Adult Pop or Adult Hip Hop. The Sythpop band CHVRCHES and the Chamber Folk band Bon Iver are also near the top of the festival's promotion poster. Happily, they do not have overlapping set times. CHVRCHES carry an energy that will make their performance a popular one. The frontman of Bon Iver, Justin Vernon, has had his ups and downs, but he is one of the most influential individuals in today’s Indie universe.

     A second reason to get excited about Saturday is that there are small-font bands that draw excitement. From our perspective, the best example is Gang of Youths from Australia. Seeing their Rock performance in San Francisco only a few months ago was not enough.

     A third reason – the diversity of instruments. Starting in 1965, the sitar was introduced to Rock fans. Within a year, the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” and the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” were highly acclaimed. Those days are gone; sitars at Indie performances are now like California condors, they exist, but sightings are rare. Early Saturday, Kikagaku Moyo will bring their sitar (but will conflict with Gang of Youths). Mid-day, Broken Social Scene will bring its horn section. And late Saturday, Florence + the Machine will have its harp.

The Saturday lineup (for times and stages CLICK HERE):
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE // FUTURE // BON IVER // CHVRCHES // JAMIE XX //  ILLENIUM // TYCHO // SOB X RBE // BIG GIGANTIC // DANIEL CAESAR // BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE // GOLDLINK // LIZZO // JESSIE REYEZ // WHETHAN // SMOKEPURPP // POOLSIDE // CUCO // AMEN DUNES // PALE WAVES // GANGS OF YOUTH // FREYA RIDINGS // GOGO PENGUIN // JACK HARLOW // KNOX FORTUNE // KIKAGAKU MOYO

    Below are videos of songs by some of the performers. The selection of videos has a bias toward:
(1) non-headliners, 
(2) bands we look forward to seeing, and 
(3) live performances, since they are more helpful in making the decision to see a band.

     Australian Rockers - Gang of Youths - noon at the Lands End stage
UPDATE - GANG OF YOUTHS CANCELLED THEIR U.S. TOUR FOR PERSONAL REASONS.


       Jessie Reyez – 12:40 at Twin Peaks


      Pale Waves – 1:05 at Lands End


     Lizzo – 2:20 at Lands End (30 minute video, so skip around)


      Canadian Chamber Folk – Broken Social Scene - 3:35 at Lands End 


      CHVRCHES – 4:55 at Lands End (30 minute video, so skip around)


      Tycho – 6:15 at Sutro (a full concert, so jump around)


     Bon Iver – 6:25 at Lands End (another full concert)


      Florence + The Machine - 6:25 at Lands End


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

“(Screw All Of It) Live Our Lives” by Hamster feat. Tosh – A Song Feature

      The song is a “genre-buster” in the sense that blogs that normally don’t feature tracks in the genre jump at the opportunity to make an exception. “(Screw All Of It) Live Our Lives” is outside our area of expertise, but we recognize praiseworthy music.

      The song is from Hamster and features Tosh. It is an anthem wrapped in infectious energy. The accent in the vocals indicate otherwise, but they are both based in Los Angeles. Hamster is an LA-based DJ and music producer, while Tosh is singer/songwriter Tasha Gilbreath. Hamster’s explanation for his moniker – “The name is inspired by the illusion of moving forward rapidly only to discover you’re stuck in the proverbial hamster wheel.”

     “(Screw All Of It) Live Our Lives” by Hamster feat. Tosh 


Facebook – Tosh: www.facebook.com/toshmusic/

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

“I'm Not A Saint” by Billy Raffoul – A Song Feature

      Billy Raffoul has a voice that prevents his music from being background sound – it demands attention. The music is Power Blues. Not yet a  quarter-century old, he is already becoming a force.

     Raffoul released a six-song EP titeled “1975.” Our favorite song from the EP is “I’m Not A Saint,” which was co-written with Julia Michaels. He explained:
“We were talking about things we do or that we shouldn’t do, like swear too much, smoke too much, lie too much, and it just flowed from there.”  

     When not on tour, Raffoul splits time between Nashville and Los Angeles. 

     “I'm Not A Saint” by Billy Raffoul


Lyrics of “I'm Not A Saint” by Billy Raffoul
But I've had one too many cigarettes
burning up my lungs
Had the taste of one too many lips
hanging of my tongue
Hoe, hoe
Hoe, hohm

Sunday morning getting high
drinking here alone
Thinking up a brand new alibi
for not coming home
Hoe, hoem
An hoe, hohm

And I'm sorry I say “Fuck” so much

I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried
Lord knows I've got habits to break
I'm really good at being good at goodbyes
I'm gonna give you fair warning that I
I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried
Lord knows I don't learn from mistakes
And I'm not here unless I'm here by your side
I'm not a saint, but I could be if I

Sober up and settle down
Give a little talk
'Bout how I can't keep from runnin' 'round
Say it's such a fault
Hoe, hoe
Hoe, hohm

And I'm sorry I lie so much

I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried
Lord knows I've got habits to break
I'm really good at being good at goodbyes
I'm gonna give you fair warning that I
I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried
Lord knows I don't learn from mistakes
And I'm not here unless I'm here by your side
I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried

Oh woe, oh woe, oh
Oh woe, oh woe, oh
Oh woe, oh woe, oh

I'm gonna give you fair warning that I
Will be the reason for the tears in your eyes

I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried
Lord knows I've got habits to break
I'm really good at being good at goodbyes
I'm gonna give you fair warning that I
I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried
Lord knows I don't learn from mistakes
And I'm not here unless I'm here by your side
I'm gonna give you fair warning that I
Oh woe, oh woe, oh
Oh woe, oh woe, oh
Oh woe, oh woe, oh

I'm not a saint, but I could be if I tried