Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Picture This – A Band Feature and Concert Opportunity

     During the past two calendar years, Picture This carved its name prominently into the tree that represents European touring power. The Irish band progressed from shows at relatively small venues to performances at O2 Shepherd’s Bush London, SSE Arena Belfast, and a two-night stand at 3Arena in Dublin. Their drawing power to European concerts continues in 2019, as evidenced by an unprecedented 5-night run at 3Arena Dublin, which will occur in the last days of March. The first two nights are already sellouts. The video at the bottom of this post evidences the infectiousness of their performance energy, even in a large venue.

     This year, Picture This extends its concert reach to North America. The tour includes two stops in Canada and fifteen in the U.S. One visit is to Slim’s in San Francisco (for ticket information about the SF show, CLICK HERE.) The full schedule is included in this post.

     The three Soundcloud streams in this post include two from an upcoming album from Picture This. “MDRN LV,” the band’s sophomore album, will arrive on February 15, 2019, via Republic Records. In comparing the debut self-titled album to the early releases from “MDRN LV,” there is a shift. But the sound that characterizes Picture This remains intact. The differences are primarily in the production and mixing. For example, the vocals of “If You Wanna Be Loved” are clearly impacted by an increased emphasis on production effects. Regarding mixing, the percussion now has more influence on the sound, which we find as a positive in view of the skillfulness of the drumming. In talking about “MDRN LV,” the band said:
  "We haven’t changed our style, we haven’t deliberately changed anything about ourselves. It’s progressed exactly how we wanted to progress. There’s a lot of different kinds of songs on the album. It’s a big spectrum of music.”
     The members of Picture This are Ryan Hennessey (lead vocals, guitar), Jimmy Rainsford (percussion, vocals), Owen Cardiff (lead guitar, vocals), and Cliff Deane (bass, vocals). During late 2018, they teamed up with super producer Jayson Dezuzio to record “MDRN LV,” which at least partially explains the differences relative to the band’s first album.

     “Everythingl Or Nothing”

   “If You Wanna Be Loved”

     "When We Were Young”

2019 North American Tour Dates (CLICK HERE for ticket information)
April 22           Toronto, ON              The Velvet Underground
April 23           Montreal, QC            L’Astral
April 24           Cambridge, MA         The Sinclair
April 26           Pittsburgh, PA           The Club @ Stage AE
April 27           Washington, DC        Rock & Roll Hotel
April 30           New York, NY            Irving Plaza
May 1             Philadelphia, PA        The Foundry
May 3             Columbus, OH           The Basement
May 4             Nashville, TN             The Basement
May 5             Chicago, IL                Lincoln Hall
May 7             St. Paul, MN              Amsterdam Bar & Hall
May 10           Denver, CO               Larimer Lounge
May 11           Salt Lake City, UT     Kilby Court
May 14           Los Angeles, CA       Troubadour
May 15           San Francisco, CA    Slim’s
May 17           Portland, OR              Doug Fir Lounge
May 18           Seattle, WA                Columbia City Theater

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

“Glory” by Roy Juno – A Song Review

     “Glory” begins powerfully. The intro is a soft synth crescendo leading to a synched guitar/percussion thunder and then a 1970s sax sound (likely synth produced). The intro ends and “Glory” unpredictably turns into a melodic and lyrical gem. It is an anthem at heart – “I'm trying to bury, bury, the things I cannot carry.”

     The thunder does return at the 1:55 mark, but 20 seconds later, “Glory” seamlessly transitions to a dream state. The song is dynamic. “Glory” is from Roy Juno, a trio in Allston/Boston, Massachusetts. The members are Henri Young (bass, synth), Sayak Das, and Josh Parra (drums, auxiliary sampling).

     “Glory” by Roy Juno

Lyrics of “Glory” by Roy Juno
Oh boy, am I in trouble
Hate to burst your bubble
But isn't honesty so wonderful?

Like talking in a mirror
With a message laced with fear
I drift between my dreams
And the pressing need to disappear

Lucky for me, lucky for you
Hindsight is 20/20
The things I cannot carry

'Cause people me, people like you
Are very different really
You're in the game to play it
I play the game to change it

Drown me in glory
Oh, don't you let anybody know what you want
Cause nothing else matters to those at the top

Lord knows I'm made of rubble
Gold thorns were never subtle
Maybe none of us are fit as king

If you ever get sick of feeling useless
And act impulsively
Watch me live my life
So death can't steal a single thing

Lucky for me, lucky for you
Hindsight is 20/20
I'm trying to bury, bury
The things I cannot carry

Cause people me, people like you
Are very different really
You're in the game to play it
I play the game to change it

Drown me in glory
Oh, don't you let anybody know what you want
Cause nothing else matters to those at the top
You heard me

[Life's too short, but it feels so long]
[Life's too short, but it feels so long]
[Life's too short, but it feels so long]
Life's too short, but it feels so long
And I don't know why I tried
To keep this up when it feels so wrong
This life is too short but it feels so long

Oh, don't you let anybody know what you want
Cause nothing else matters to those at the top
You heard me

Monday, January 14, 2019

“City” in the Band or Song Name

     With a quick scan of our list of blogworthy songs, the word “City” appeared to be a pattern. Here are the three City-related songs from the list. Yes, one is "Citizen," but we see it as part of the theme. We are confident that the band won't object to having their song posted.
     City Victim describe themselves as a post-punk/alternative band. They are based in Galway, Ireland. They plan to release singles while touring in 2019 in preparation of an album release.

      “Out of Sight” by City Victim

     MAUGER is a band in Ostend, Belgium. The members are Matthias Debusschere (bass, backing vocals), Jan Duthoy (keys, guitar, backing vocals), Mauger Mortier (vocals, acoustic guitar), and Jakob Nachtergaele (drums, percussion). Their full-length debut ‘Sunday Competition’ is set to drop in the spring of 2019 on the Kortrijk/Ghent-based label Mayway Records.

     “Come Back to the City” by MAUGER

     Their Bandcamp site states that Citizen Lost releases “melancholy music band from Russia, Moscow.”

     “So Far Away” by Citizen Lost

Lyrics of “So Far Away” by Citizen Lost
 If you feel you’ve lost your way
And it’s going down the drain
All the bridges have been burned
All the secrets left untold

If you think you've had enough
Hold your breath and count to one
Hold your breath and close your eyes
It's too late to run and hide

Sounds so cliché but it’s true
I’m still waiting here for you
There is nothing left to say

So far away
No sense to stay
So far away

Sunday, January 13, 2019

“Woo Hoo” by Castle Pines – A Song Feature

     Castle Pines is the Cirque du Soleil of Indie - the band fearlessly explores different styles, exhibits skill in each, and gains more respect with each exploration. A Cirque du Soleil performance is far better live than recorded. We are confident that the same is true of Castle Pines, and continue to wait semi-patiently for the opportunity to find out.

     Quoting press content:
  “Woo Hoo” is absurdist realism in a conversational lyrical narrative. Relying mostly on the mundane or almost boring and banal, the song moves from the everyday to monumental events in a persons life in a satirical and comical way that is sometimes the best way to combat adversity. Partly inspired by "The Stranger" by Albert Camus, and partly based off of actual events that happened in the singer-lyricists life, the song breathes a sense of fatalistic optimism of not letting the exterior situations have affect on the promise that the sun will continue to rise.
  Musically, the song takes cues from The Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem and The War on Drugs, allowing the straightforward chordal compositions create hypnotic layering that culminate in a cathartic release in the chorus with multiple melody lines layered over each other. Compositionally, the song never rests on a minor chord long enough for it to leave a lingering effect of sadness, but rather it plays between the tonic and dominant to create something that is new but also resoundingly similar to the verse.”

     Castle Pines is an Alt-Rock group from Corona, California. The members are Leandro Barrientos (vocals, guitar), Ricky Garvey (lead guitar, backing vocals), Sterling Fairfield (percussion), and Jesse Briseno (bass).

     “Woo Hoo” by Castle Pines 

Lyrics of “Woo Hoo” by Castle Pines
I met with an old friend the other day
She said she hadn’t seen me in 13 long years
I looked down on the tarmac and I said
I haven't seen you in that long either

We exchanged smiles and heartbreak
And stories by the parked vans with bumper stickers
And without words she said
My husband left me and I’m raising these kids on a minimum,
Three part-time jobs and shit

Well I hope your doing alright with your life
And I’m doing ok with mine, I guess
Well the last time I saw you we were thriving
Well we were doing just fine

Well I hope you’re doing just fine
I hope you’re doing just fine
I hope you’re doing alright
I’m doing just fine too
I guess I’m doing alright myself
Just fine

I haven’t scene my uncle in a shit ton of years
And well you know his heart stopped and he died
And my grandmother, the one on my dads side
I have to remind her who I am every time I see her

But I hope that when his kids have Christmas dinner each year
They remember the way that I look
And I said to things to them like, the fire has a good log on it,
It's burning bright like grandma’s eyes

And I told my mom I like the way she cooks
I hope she likes the way that I cook too
And we have Christmas dinner each year
And we have Christmas dinner each year

And we’re just doing alright
And we’re just doing alright
I hope you’re alright
I hope you’re alright too
I hope you’re alright
I guess I’m doing alright myself

[Instrumental bridge]

That’s right, it’s doing alright
Yes, it’s doing alright
Yah, we’re just doing alright
It’s doing OK
We’re gonna be alright
We’re gonna be alight
It’s gonna be OK

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Revue Takes an Indefinite Hiatus

      Our favorite Indie blog announced that it is on hiatus, indefinitely. We are hopeful that the staff at The Revue ( just needs to refresh themselves. This is the third blog in five years that we considered our “go to” site for Indie discoveries before its “break.” We are more optimistic of The Revue returning than we were the first two, but…

     Pasting the January 3, 2019 announcement:
     We would like to inform you that we will be taking an INDEFINITE HIATUS. While we still greatly enjoy searching and hearing new music from emerging artists, it's time for us to take a break after 5.5 years. This started off as a hobby, but it turned into a non-paying, 7-days-a-week, 50-out-of-52-week job. We do not know how long this hiatus will be, but it could be permanent. We will, however, still be searching for new music, but for our own listening pleasure.
     We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years, frequently visited our site, and sent us comments. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the publicists and record labels who sent us music, and many of whom have become friends.
     And finally, we would like to extend a very special thank you to all the artists and bands who dazzled, amazed, and wowed us; who had us pumping our fists in the middle of a café or on the bus; who made us dance in the kitchen or in the office; and who made us exuberantly exclaim, "F*ck yeah!" Continue to push boundaries and not succumb to the mainstream because there are people listening. We will still be listening.

      Indie Obsessive understands the reasoning. But we hope to see you return. You are missed already.
     Here is an appropriately named track, which The Revue featured on December 13, 2018:
“Don’t Quit” by Pure Mids

Scared by Samurai and Small Houses - Free Saturday (“FL&R”)

     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 Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R)  song each Saturday.
      Scared by Samurai is a collective of musicians based in both the U.S. and Canada (but mostly in Hamilton, Canada). They attempt to capture these anxieties and distor them through layers of mangled vocals and synths. Fronted by Victor Zhang, the core group is rounded out by Jaden Raso and Marco Goldblatt. The three were part of an Indie Rock outfit that dissolved in early 2018. Long distances, which they are now separated by, mean that each of them brings wildly differing perspectives and stories to the art. The message is still tangible, proving that within the youth, while circumstances are varied, the apprehensions are mutual.

      “Revel” is the debut single from the group. It can be downloaded from Bandcamp on a name-your-price basis ("tips" appreciated). 

     Small Houses is an Austin, Texas Indie Folk project featuring the songs and poems of Jeremy Quentin, who is a native of Flint, Michigan. Small Houses specializes in artfully crafted finger-style guitar playing, and softly sung melodies describing the people, love, and homes of Quentin’s life.

     Contributors to “Safe Kill” include Jeremy Quentin (guitar, vocals), David Ramirez (bass), Carson Mchone (vocals), Simon Page (pedal steel), and Sam Kossler (vocals).  

     “Safe Kill” by Small Houses It can be downloaded from Bandcamp on a name-your-price basis ("tips" appreciated).


Lyrics of “Safe Killer” by Small Houses

So, that cuss comes by and everything shakes,
"Ohio", in a hoorayed calm,
so quiet I can barely make it out.

And those same three "O's" in a souvenir bleed,
a buckeye in a violent hum,
just mouthing, "I'm so glad you're here at all".

That door pulls back, that freckle leans in,
in a whole smile, an areola hiss,
that areolied sable, it's the end, the end, the end and it's the end.

But I don't need it, that's the best about me,
a stay's stay to wish I'm gone,
I don't need you, that's the best about me,
a safe kill to hurt me some,
a safe kill to hurt me some.

That metal shine, that telluride flinch,
you kneeling over with the sun behind,
trying hard to see what face I was.

It's best if I don't know what I am,
a catcher catching flesh in rye,
a kinda cuss that holds you up.

Friday, January 11, 2019

“Learn To Let Go” by Welshly Arms - A Song Feature

     There may not be a better band at releasing thoughtful, rousing anthems. In 2017, Welshly Arms dropped “Legendary,” which created the equivalent of a localized “Big Bang” with its effect on the Indie Universe. The band from Cleveland was not an overnight success, since they formed three years earlier. But suddenly their song seemed everywhere – radio, television, sports arenas, and the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award-winning movie “The Hateful Eight.”

      Now comes “Learn To Let Go,” which is less Bluesy, but more insightful than the 2017 hit by Welshly Arms. The lyrics (which are included below) begin by setting the scene. The protagonist is stuck, he’s in his head from the moment he wakes. Later in the lyrics, he declares the solution, “Can't free my soul 'til I…Learn to let go.” Of the new song, frontman Sam Getz says, “As an artist, it’s so easy to get stuck in mental quicksand and overthink everything. ‘Learn To Let Go’ is a reminder to get out of your own head and move on from the past, to open yourself up to the possibilities that might be right in front of you.”

     The songs of Welshly Arms are significantly enriched because their members include two backing vocalists, which seems luxurious among bands who are still in their region of steep trajectory in terms of notoriety, influence and income generation. The six members are Sam Getz (guitar, vocals), Brett Lindemann (keys), Jimmy Weaver (bass), Mikey Gould (drums), and Bri and Jon Bryant (backing vocals). 

     “Learn To Let Go” by Welshly Arms

Lyrics “Learn To Let Go” by Welshly Arms
Wake up
Already in my head
I'm in my head
I'm already in my head

Shakin' hands and my world is changin'
Down on my knees, I'm beggin'
Can't take another day

Is it over? Is it over yet?
Can I let, just let myself forget?
Everything keeps pounding in my head
Can't free my soul 'til I…

Learn to let go
Losin' control
Say it ain't so
Throw my hands up
Learn to let go

Good at goodbyes
Bad at hello
Throw my hands up
Learn to let go

Made up
Millions of reasons
Made up
Million little pieces, yeah
Still seems the skin won't shed

Of holdin' on tight, so tired
I'm tryna make it all alright
When will it be alright?

Is it over, is it over yet?
Why can't I let, just let myself forget?
Everything keeps pounding in my head
Can't free my soul 'til I…

Learn to let go
Losin' control
Say it ain't so
Throw my hands up
Learn to let go

Good at goodbyes
Bad at hello
Throw my hands up
Learn to let go

Learn to let
Learn to let go

I'm tired of being in my head
And I'm tired of being left alone
Can you teach me how to breathe it in?
I can't free my, free my, free my
Free my, free my soul 'til I…

Learn to let go
Good at goodbyes
Bad at hello
Throw my hands up
Learn to let go

(Is it over?)
(Is it over?)
(Is it over?)
Learn to let go
(Is it over, Is it over yet?)
Learn to let
Learn to let go