Wednesday, February 20, 2019

“Give Up The Ghost” by LPX – A Song Feature

      With the release of “Give Up The Ghost,” LPX exposes another layer of delivery sophistication. Between a pulsating start insistent upon hooking the listener and an intelligently crafted tempo-declining ending that conveys finality resides a landing strip for a succession of features that extend beyond “merely” being musically pleasing. The first is a drop in pitch with the delivery of “I’m done” after both of the initial verses. The pitch change is effective in communicating emotional conviction. Later, there is an energizing slow-build crescendo that suddenly accelerates to its crest at 1:55.

     “Give Up The Ghost” was produced by Guy Connelly and mixed by John O’Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem, Metric, Kills). LPX explains the single’s messaging as being “the action, affirmation and reflection of letting go and moving forward. Fresh starts from burnt ends.”

            LPZ is the solo project of Lizzy Plapinger, who first made her Indie presence as the MS in the duo MS MR. When asked about the musical basis of LPX, she articulately stated, “I’m too rock for pop. I’m too pop for rock. I make music for those who don’t care about what box it fits in.”  “Give Up The Ghost” will be on the sophomore EP “Junk of the Heart,” which is scheduled for release in March 2019.

     In addition to her performance skills, Lizzy Plapinger is entrepreneurial. She is co-founder of boutique record label Neon Gold Records (Christine and the Queens, Haim, Charli XCX, MØ, Tove Lo, Marina and the Diamonds). We were fortunate in catching her high-energy opening for Haim at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA. LPX has also toured with MØ and RAC and has had a string of sold out headline shows. [Hey, Outside Lands Festival in SF, we have a suggestion for this year’s lineup!]  

     “Give Up The Ghost” by LPX




Lyrics of “Give Up The Ghost” by LPX
I've been falling fast through the trees
Tripping over the vines and the leaves
I'm done

Feels like we're both choking to breathe
Holdin' tight to a false memory
I'm done

We aim and shoot the breeze
Falsify the common things
Make no bones about it

I wish that we could make a change
Give up the ghost and walk away
Show ourselves that we can do without it

Once you know better, it's hard to retreat
Can't ignore how I feel, now I know what I need
It's you, it's you

Once you know better, it's hard to go back
Rather live in the present than hide in the past
With you, with you

I won't pretend you weren't more than a friend
And I won't ignore how it hurt at the end
I won't pretend you were more than a friend
And I won't ignore how it hurt at the end
I'm done

I'm done

Holding on by the skin of our teeth
Drag our heels in the dust 'til we bleed
I'm done

Nothing left for our egos to prove
Now we know there's too much to lose
I'm done

We'll find a flame within the freeze
Unlock the words, hear what we mean
Make no bones about it

Let's turn and face the strange
Give up the ghost and walk away
Show ourselves we can do without it

Once you know better, it's hard to retreat
Can't ignore how I feel, now I know what I need
It's you, it's you

Once you know better, it's hard to go back
Rather live in the present than hide in the past
With you, with you

I won't pretend you were more than a friend
And I won't ignore how it hurt at the end
I won't pretend you were more than a friend
And I won't ignore how it hurt at the end
I'm done [8 times]

Once you know better, it's hard to retreat
Can't ignore how I feel, now I know what I need
It's you

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

“Speakeasy” by Mark McGowan – A Song Feature

     “Speakeasy” is enjoyable from the perspective of melody and exceptional from the perspective of rhythm. That is, Mark McGowan isn’t afraid to use his voice as a member of the rhythm section. The song is undeniably soulful, but not with “The Motown Sound” emphasis on distinctive melodic and chord structures. Instead, the experiences that shape his music are reflected by the inflections and power of his voice.

      Mark McGowan is a Glasgow-based vocalist/songwriter/storyteller. The acoustic guitar is his instrument of choice, which he uses to blend a folk vibe with the soulfulness of his vocals. In 2018, McGowan signed with NHMM, LLC, a new label out of powerhouse publisher Notting Hill Music. “Speakeasy” is the title track of an EP that was released last November. Quoting a description of the four tracks on the EP:
    “From the subtle sensitivity of 'Betty' and the rousing momentum of 'Bones,' to the emotional storytelling of 'Roles Reversed' and the grizzly vibrance of the title track, 'Speakeasy,' Mark channels a thoughtfulness and depth beyond his years.”

     “Speakeasy” by Mark McGowan

“Speakeasy” formats: https://awal.lnk.to/Speakeasy





Lyrics of “Speakeasy” by Mark McGowan
Speakeasy!

Let me show you
Goes like this
Now I said
First you turn
Then you twist
One more
Time, she said
Tell you how it is
You’re free to leave
But you'll sure be missed

Yah, I'm just hypnotized by your step
Paralyzed by your kiss
And I
Love the way you speakeasy
Tell me, loves at the bottom of your list

Woo-ooo, woo-ooo, woo-ooo, woooooooo
Speakeasy
[Repeating]

Why won’t tell you
Turn off that phone
We both know you're
Not going home
One more time
Tell you how it is
When you leave
Aww, you'll sure be missed

See I’m hypnotized by your step
Paralyzed by your kiss
I love the way you speakeasy
Tell me, loves at the bottom of your list

Speakeasy
Woo-ooo, woo-ooo, woo-ooo, woooooooo
[Repeating]

Hypnotized by your step
Paralyzed by your kiss
I love the way you speakeasy
Tell me, loves at the bottom of your list

Woo-ooo, woo-ooo, woo-ooo, woooooooo
Speakeasy
[Repeating]

Monday, February 18, 2019

“Blood” by Saltwater Sun – A Song Feature

     “Blood” dresses time-softened bereavement in cheery, summer-ready clothing that is intelligently fashioned. The lyrics are personally meaningful and passionate, finding comfort in recognizing that a departed parent continues to live in the values and the goals that are reflected by the next generation (“finding out the ways you taught me wrong from right”).

      The arrangement of the song by Saltwater Sun includes two nods to the lyrical subject matter. The first nod is the somber 16 seconds at the start of “Blood,” while the second is a well-timed “moment of silence” at 3:03. The initial seconds foreshadow the song’s message but not the guitar explosion that immediately follows. “Blood” is a vocals-driven song, with the guitar and rhythm section being equally effective navigators. The guitars turn in attractive hooks and the bass/percussion cooperation is featured during portions of the song that are particularly rhythmically appealing.

     Saltwater Sun is Jen Stearnes (vocals), Joel Neale (guitar), Dan Kingham (guitar), Rob Carter (bass) and Ben Chandler (drums). The band, based in Reading, UK, is preparing to release an EP in April 2019. “Blood” will be one track on “The Great Deceiver.” In explaining the inspiration for the single:
  “Since the death of my father, I’ve come to know joy as sorrow-tinged throughout each altering epoch and mundane happiness in my life," states frontwoman Jen Stearnes on the origins of the track. "With age, I mourn less for my loss and more for his, and so endeavor to carry his memory so that he might live on through me. It’s deeply personal, yet completely universal; Blood is about finding solace in the idea that we might transcend death through lineage.”

     Kicking off 2019 with impressive support slots alongside U.S. Alt-Rockers Jimmy Eat World and fellow Reading risers The Amazons, the fivesome will be celebrating their EP release with a slew of festival appearances, including Live At Leeds and Liverpool Sound City, with more to be announced in the coming months.

     “Blood” by Saltwater Sun 

Stream options: CLICK HERE



Saturday, February 16, 2019

Gleneagle - 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.

     Gleneagle is a Rock band from Vancouver, Canada. They've emerged with a unique style and sound, bringing distorted guitar leads and driving drums and bass akin to the likes of Attack in Black, contrasted with vocal elements reminiscent of early Springsteen.

     The members of Gleneagle are Brandyn Evans (drums, percussion, bass), Oskar Wroz (vocals, bass, guitar), and Jackson J Gardner (vocals, guitar, synthesizer, percussion). The Bandcamp site also identifies Kristopher Ruston (organ, keyboards).

     “Don’t Let You Down” by Gleneagle (available on a name-your-price basis - "tips" are appreciated)


Friday, February 15, 2019

“Sometimes Solitude” by Little Man – A Song Feature

     “Sometimes Solitude” delivers nostalgia to music lovers who have experienced an immersion into the sea of Classic Rock and carries an education for Indieheads without that experience, but who have a respect and appreciation for the roots of today’s music. Better yet, it does so within a vehicle having a polish that reflects modern day sensibilities.

    In “Sometimes Solitude,” Little Man captures the soul of the acoustic classics of Led Zeppelin, such as “Battle of Evermore” and “Going to California.” While the credits for the song don’t identify the mandolin, the late portion of the intro lifts the listener with a blend that has the enchantment of an acoustic guitar/mandolin mix. “Sometimes Solitude” does employ a mellotron, which was a favored instrument in songs from The Kinks, The Zombies, Moody Blues and The Beatles (“Strawberry Fields Forever"). For most of the song, the vocals are pleasing while remaining detached from any specific era. Then, when “Sometimes Solitude” temporarily takes on a Rock edge, the vocals adopt Robert Plant characteristics.

    If asked for our favorite span of the song from Little Man, the easy selection begins at 2:32 and continues to 2:49. That is when “Sometimes Solitude” exits its Rock edge, vocally caresses a poignant thought (I once thought about how sad I'd be, if I never heard the sound within me) in minimal instrumental support, and returns to the song’s acoustic float with a percussion emphasis.

     Little Man is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, having Christopher Perricelli as the frontman. The credits of “Sometimes Solitude” identify:
 Chris Perricelli - Vocals, guitars
 Sean Gilchrist - Drums
 Brian Herb - Bass
 John Fields - Mellotron, synth, percussion

     The song was produced by John Fields (Soul Asylum, Jonas Brothers, Switchfoot, Miley Cyrus). According to Little Man, the release of singles is leading to a full length release this Spring/Summer; song content: introvert, traveling, the moon, light and dark, being by yourself, nature, zen, spiritual.

     “Sometimes Solitude” by Little Man




Lyrics of “Sometimes Solitude” by Little Man
When I think about
All you do for me
Every day of the year

You're everything to me
Nothing more to be
I keep on showing myself

When I'm traveling
To or where or when
I keep on telling myself

Well, sometimes solitude
Comes across as rude
But I feel good when I'm there

Well, when the moonlight sky gives birth to midnight
(Black as night, black as night)
It all begins from here
From the dark to light
(Black as night, black as night)
I once thought about how sad I'd be
If I never heard the sound within me

Early morning rise
Coolness in the air
Heading out on my way

'Cause sometimes solitude
Energizes me
To be alive every day

Thursday, February 14, 2019

“Fruity” by Rubblebucket – A Song Feature

     Rubblebucket is a Brooklyn-based duo with praiseworthy vocal skills and talent on brass instruments. Kalmia Traver handles lead vocals and the baritone saxophone, while Alex Toth is heard on the trumpet and backing vocals. Their single “Fruity” was released in August 2018, but we were reminded of the song by an announcement that Rubblebucket will be touring. The schedule includes two stops in the San Francisco Bay Area – UC Berkeley Theatre and The Catalyst Atrium in Santa Cruz. The full schedule is at the bottom of this post.

     “Fruity” by Rubblebucket 


Lyrics of “Fruity” by Rubblebucket
I've said I'll make it to the party
But I've got a lot going on
The lioness gave a feast for forty of her body
Then slept on the ground till a flower grew out
Yeah

I'd said we'd walk around the city
And catch a cab at exactly dawn
I've promised with my eyes and I know that
A peach tree skipped to you, Fruity
And the next spring dropped her flowers on the ground

La la la la la la la la la la la la
Let's not wait or let's wait
No hurry to fall in love
La la la la la la la la la la la la
Let's not wait or let's wait
No hurry we're all in love

I let you sip from my lemon tree
And bask in the roots and the sunbeams
I let you wrap your body into mine until we're one thing
Until we're one thing
I promised that we'd swim in rivers
On mountains with nobody on em
I gazed at your face for too long until my own was gone
I promised that we'd ride the golden blanket to heaven
I'm sorry, Fruity, I must just find the earth again
Again, again, again

La la la la la la la la la la la la
Let's not wait or let's wait
No hurry to fall in love
La la la la la la la la la la la la
Let's not wait or let's wait
No hurry we're all in love

I've said I'll make it to the party
But I've got a lot going on
The lioness gave a feast for forty of her body
Then slept on the ground till a flower grew out
Yeah

I'd said we'd walk around the city
And catch a cab at exactly dawn
I've promised with my eyes and I know that
A peach tree skipped to you, Fruity
And the next spring dropped her flowers on the ground



TOUR DATES
3/13: Rochester, NY @ Anthology^
3/14: Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern#
3/15: Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme#
3/16: Evanston, IL @ Space#
3/18: St Louis, MO @ Ready Room#
3/20: Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre#
3/21: Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre#
3/23-3/24: Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Fest#
3/26: Reno, NV @ The Saint#
3/27: Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium# -- CLICK HERE for ticket information
3/28: Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre# -- CLICK HERE for ticket information
3/29: Pomona, CA @ The Glass House#
3/30: San Diego, CA @ Music Box#
4/1: Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf#
4/3: Austin, TX @ Barracuda^
4/4: Dallas, TX @ Deep Elum Art Co^
4/5: Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall - Upstairs^
4/6: New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks^
4/9: Tampa, FL @ Crowbar^
4/10: Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre^
4/11: Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle^
4/12: Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry^
   * Diet Cig supports
   # Twain supports

   ^ Mikaela Davis supports