Thursday, May 30, 2019

“Dig” (feat. Stephen James Smith) by Runabay – A Song Feature


       The credits of Runabay’s album “Between the Lines” divide “Dig” into a spoken-word opening and a hymn-like single. But the two should not be separated. The words and voice of the opening belong to Stephen James Smith, a noted Dublin poet. The song that follows is a soundscape behind a vocal gem.

     According to Runabay, “Dig captures a moment in time, and recounts a typical Irish schooling experience full of mischief, truancy, wonder and adventure. The main hook of the track was inspired by the manner in which teachers strived to extract information about misdemeanours. It’s a track filled with nostalgia in a wholly Irish societal setting.”

     The members of Runabay are John McManus (vocals/guitar), Gary Graham (guitar/vocals), Gerard McHugh (vocals/percussion/keyboard), Michael McKinney (bass/double bass), Declan McCartan (cello) and Rory McAuley (drums/percussion). Originally coming from small rural villages in the Glens of Antrim and Belfast, Runabay are six musicians who, through their passion for harmony and melody, have been writing and recording since late December 2013.

  “Dig” (feat. Stephen James Smith) by Runabay 




Lyrics of “Dig” (feat. Stephen James Smith) by Runabay
[Intro: Spoken Word by Stephen James Smith]
We must create to know who we can be
I say this for you, I say this for me
We must create to know who we can be

Early beginnings, heartbeat warmth and you
First breath, eyes open a new point of view
Hands touch, ears hear, clocks ticking
I am who?
We must create to know who we can be

Screaming out from within with a voice here
A note floating on there lulling the fear
Melody all around this atmosphere
We must create to know who we can be

We heard a song sung, it helped ease the pain
We didn't feel so lonesome as we sang the refrain
We forgot that feeling until we heard it again
We must create to know who we can be

Do you remember the time you heard an opening allegro
Or when that beat dropped and how it made your head go?
Some things make no sense unless you're in flow
We must create to know who we can be

You may rise and fall or fall then rise
An arc of a story contains no surprise
But how you tell it therein the art lies

If it's saved you from yourself
And now there's no other way
It doesn't matter how it moved you welcome to the ballet
You've just found the peak of Parnassus, fair play
We must create to know who we can be
I say this for you, I say this for me
We must create to know who we can be

We stood low
By the limestone at the turning of the road
We took shelter, rain was the norm
I placed my arm round to keep your body warm

Threw a hand out to leave in no doubt to commuters and the passers-by
Below the college shirt and shoe polish
Electric lines ran overhead

Arrived at home to an empty room
Where I'd sit down and I’d waste the day away
In all the silence I didn’t understand
When I leave will the sound remain the same

They'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig you ‘til you're worn out, With a face like stone
They'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig you ‘til you're worn out, With a face like stone

And through the afternoon
Twisted metal on a cathode silver screen
Another scratched CD
Breathe it, sleeve it, insert and start again

They'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig you ‘til you're worn out, With a face like stone
They'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig, they'll dig you ‘til you're worn out, With a face like stone

And soon we’re on the rise
Hold fire ‘til you see the whites of their eyes
And soon we’re on the rise
Hold fire ‘til you see the whites of their eyes

And soon they’d all arrive
As the teacher starts asking ‘bout our weekly passions
End of his tether he’d make a threat
And call on his army, then bend and disarm me
And I wonder, was it all worthwhile
Though changes were needed, expressions had fleeted
Back to another fraught long day
The diggin’ll be repeated in your head

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

“Windows Up” by Swimm – A Song Feature


     The lyrics of “Windows Up” reflect the relocation of Swimm from Florida to Los Angeles, while the video show “a man’s struggles with hysteria and helplessness in an expressionistic mental hospital.” Both are interesting. Mom calls to say that LA experienced another earthquake, while the early portion of the video as a "real-life sanity check.”

      “Windows Up” is an up-tempo, more Rock-ready version of “Windows,” a track from the album “Sentimental Porno.” The members of Swimm are Chris Hess, Adam Winn, Hany Zayan, and Marton Bizits.

     “Windows Up” by Swimm 



Lyrics of “Windows Up” by Swimm
My mother calls to tell me there was an earthquake yesterday.
I tell her that the ground here always seems to shake.
And perdition lies just beneath the cracks in the pavement,
But not too worry mom all is ok
All is well in LA.

Of both I have my doubts,
New love is singing proud,
Ego is churning, and neither makes a sound,
Because my windows are up.
Because my windows are up
And my music is playing loud.
Loud
Loud
Loud

Where will I be when there lives no fear inside of me?
On the moon, sailing from the truth,
One step closer to the high and mighty.

And it’s true I stayed up with you all damn night.
Shouting about the past,
Spitting words and wine.
From the highway LA is screaming at us now,
But your windows are up
And your music is playing loud.
Loud
Loud
Loud

And bullshit bullshit, I only live once,
And bullshit bullshit I should do it while I'm young.
Entitlement is spinning its way to the surface,
I know they are your friends but they only make me nervous,
But all their bullshit fails to make a sound,
Cause my windows are up and my music is playing loud.
Loud
Loud
Loud

Where will I be when there lives no fear inside of me?
Where will I be when there lives no fear?
Where will I be when there lives no fear inside of me?
On the moon, sailing from the truth,
One step closer to the high and mighty.

But it’s true I stayed up with you all damn night.
Shouting about the past,
Spitting words and wine.
From the highway LA is screaming at us now,
But your windows are up
And your music is playing loud.
Loud

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Some Favorite Pictures from BottleRock 2019


Flora Cash
Flora Cash
Alec Benjamin


Logic
Gang of Youths


Bishop Briggs


Houses
Lord Huron
Mumford & Sons
Mumford & Sons

“New Comedown” by Plague Vendor – A Song Review


      After a long holiday weekend, guitars and steady percussion rev the motivation engine. Vocal screams chip in. Plague Vendor is not in our genre wheelhouse, but “New Comedown” is a song we enjoy.
     Plague Vendor is scheduled to drop a new album, “By Night,” on June 7, 2019. They are on the Vans Warped Tour, which will make a stop at Shoreline Amphitheatre in July. Plague Vendor is part of the Saturday July 20 portion. The members are Brandon Blaine (vocals), Luke Perine (drums), Michael Perez (bass), and Jay Rogers (guitar). The band is based in Whittier, California.

     “New Comedown” by Plague Vendor 


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Fragile Animals and The Dream Syndicate - 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.

     Fragile Animals are a trio in Brisbane, Australia. The members are Victoria Jenkins (vocals, bass), Daniel Parkinson (guitars, backing vocals), and Kyle Shipton (drums, backing vocals).

     “Come Down” by Fragile Animals - To access the free download, go to the Triple J site and click the download arrow (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/j7946301).


Lyrics of “Come Down” by Fragile Animals
So I came to the grey,
waiting for the storm,
to give up where it came from.

And the noise in my head
makes me feel the same.
So I might never come down.

Save my mind from the calm down.

In the pull. On the take.
Until somebody comes,
to give up what I stayed for.

Save my mind.
Take it somewhere slow.
Take my time,
somewhere it don’t know for the fall out.

And my hands maybe shake,
but I got something straight.
So I might never come round.

Save my mind.
Take it somewhere slow.
Take my time.
Somewhere it don’t know.
The fallout hardly brings me round.
Save my mind from the come down

     “Black Light” was featured in . The update is that the song is available as a free download from the always-informative KEXP site - CLICK HERE.

     While a keyboard establishes and consistently maintains a sensation of momentum, other elements of “Black Light” hover over the movement. There’s an intelligence to contrasting that momentum against guitars that are licensed to purposefully meander. The contrast is best appreciated starting at the 2:10 mark of the single from The Dream Syndicate.

     The Dream Syndicate is based in LA. Its members are Steve Wynn (guitar, vocals), Dennis Duck (drums), Mark Walton (bass), and Jason Victor (guitar).


Friday, May 24, 2019

“This Rest Stop Sucks” by Curious Quail – A Song Feature


     “This Rest Stop Sucks” has a gentle intimacy and contrasting energies. The contrast is the light, bouncy melody against the slight anguish in the lead vocals. That contrast is amplified by the lyrical explanation of circumstances (Rain, sheets of water pourin' through these holes) against the justification for holding on and moving forward:
I know it feels like we have had enough
And all these things are empty to the touch
But we're not alone
No we're not alone
Though we may be fallin' deeper still
I'll hold on if you promise that you will

     The violin in “This Rest Stop Sucks” has an endearing warmth. And while the piano plays a smaller role, the song would be less effective if it were missing.

      The song belongs to Curious Quail, which has members from various locations, but is based in San Jose, California. “This Rest Stop Sucks” is one of twelve beautifully crafted tracks on the album “Twelve Months.” The credits for the album explain that Curious Quail is a project that features:
  Josh Hotlosz on bass, Alan Chen on violin, Abe Myers on lead guitar, Erin Keely on vocals, Delicaye Shirley-Donnelly on vocals, Joey Guthrie on drums, percussion, piano and moral support, and lastly Mike Shirley-Donnelly on vocals, guitars, gameboys, keys and Frankensteining all of these things together from various locations around California and Washington.

     The only time we witnessed a Curious Quail performance was at a Live105 BFD Festival. With their next performance in our area, that will change.

     “This Rest Stop Sucks” by Curious Quail


Lyrics of “This Rest Stop Sucks” by Curious Quail
Tired
Open window stings your tired face
How long's it been since laughter was replaced
All these things just end in our disgrace

No
I won't give up so easily
There may be nothin' as far as we can see

But we're not alone
No we're not alone
I know it feels like we have had enough
And all these things are empty to the touch
But we're not alone
No we're not alone
Though we may be fallin' deeper still
I'll hold on if you promise that you will

Stop
I swear we've already seen that truck
Can I just say this rest stop fuckin' sucks
But we will be safe

Rain
Sheets of water pourin' through these holes
We shoulda fixed 'em weeks ago, I know
Hindsight must be laughin’ I suppose

But no
We won't give up so easily
And though this may be the end of all we see

Well we're not alone
No we're not alone
And though it feels like we have had enough
When everything is empty to the touch
But we're not alone
No we're not alone
Though we may be fallin' deeper still
I'll hold on if you promise that you will



     “You Need Better Friends” by Curious Quail


Thursday, May 23, 2019

“Twin Geeks” by Blisses B – A Song Feature


      Blisses B flexed its keyboard muscle again with the release of “Twin Geeks.” The song begins with the instrument briefly establishing its bearings before settling into an invigorating pulsation that is accompanied by a high-pitch guitar (unless it’s one of Noah Libby’s eight-string instruments). Later, “Twin Geeks” incorporates Rock-tradition guitar distortion. The skillfulness of the musicians and the effort in achieving the proper mixing are best appreciated during the instrumental bridge, which begins at the 2:12 mark.

      Indie Obsessive highly recommends attending a performance by Blisses B. The quartet generates an infectious live energy and excels at almost immediately bridging the divide between concert attendees and the band. They are headed toward a June 21 release of the album "Tell Your Friends You Love Them And Why.” The two singles that are available (“Curtain Call” and “Twin Geeks”) evidence an increased emphasis on keyboards, which should make their performance setlists even more diverse.

      The four members of San Francisco's Blisses B are Noah Libby (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo), Benjamin Keegan (keyboard, guitar, mandolin, vocals), Evan Bautista (drums, percussion), and James Touzel (bass, vocals).

     “Twin Geeks” by Blisses B