Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

We Are Augustines [MUSIC][ALBUM][VIDEO]

In a modern age of electro poppy auto-tuned imperfection (or perfection sadly) in music I find it hard to see where the artists are drawing their inspiration from.  Actually I take that back.  I know exactly where they are drawing from.  They are drawing from bullsh*t easy street topics like partying, college, fashion and more recently days of the week such as Friday.  Seriously if I have to hear crap like that any more you might as well end me.  I understand why crap like that is popular but popular does not necessarily mean good.  I know this is just my opinion, but I’m right so deal with it.  Check out the awesome artists on this very blog.  They are good and we don’t chew over produced bubble gum on this site.  This little rant brings me to We Are Augustines.  You want to hear emotion?  You want to hear pain?  You want to feel the songs and the lyrics as you listen?  This band is the real deal and they have the real life strife to back up raw emotion on their debut record “Rise Ye Sunken Ships.”

Chapel Song – We Are Augustines

Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson are one half of the now defunct band Pela.  With a good size following and opening spots for bands like Sonic Youth, Sleater Kinney, Feist, and the Flaming Lips you would think this band is on the fast track to success.  Marry that success with booze and carelessness and then there is no more band, but there is We Are Augustines, which McCarthy and Sanderson call their own.  Their debut record “Rise Ye Sunken Ships” is an open example of how much pain someone can go through in a life time and still persevere.  With family issues such as addiction and multiple suicides Bill McCarthy used his music to express emotion and let go of family members who were beyond help.  The main themes of this music are rooted in pain, suffering and mourning in honor of McCarthy’s now deceased brother Jim who suffered from many unimaginable issues.

In many ways Rise Ye Sunken Ships is also about reclaiming agency in one’s own life. From beleaguered family histories, from systems that ignore and shut down the individual, be it a record label, the foster care system, the prison system or a psychiatric hospital. The song “Book of James” is, specifically, testament to that struggle. —weareaugustines.com

Book of James – We Are Augustines

There is no sugarcoating or auto tune anywhere near this amazing music.  On top of that these guys have chosen to completely avoid a label to promote these songs.

The record industry had made it clear that there were little incentives for signing with a label other than upfront cash and marketing assistance.  Instead of relying on industry insiders who couldn’t care less about the music, they could work with people from the music community who demonstrated a real appreciation for their work.  —weareaugustines.com

Teaming up with local radio people and local promoters they are choosing the grass roots “stick it to the man” record to get their music out and it’s working.  Having recorded in LA, New York and Canada they draw from these very different cities/ country without forgetting and being true to their heavy folk rock sound.  Here’s a little documentary about the making of “Rise Ye Sunken Ships.”

I know this is heavy stuff.  There’s no getting around it, but besides the adult themes and the pain involved in this record it really does rock.  Over all this record is an awesome listen because it is loud and in your face rock and roll.  Who doesn’t like that?

This band is making noise not because they know how to write a catchy hook/ chorus or tell us what day comes after Saturday, but because they are honest musicians with honest lyrics and raw uncut emotion out there for you to relate.  This is the type of music worth the respect of the masses because the band had respect for the music as they were making it.

They are currently touring with The Boxer Rebellion and dates can be found HERE. They have a free download of Chapel Song on their home page HERE.  As far as I can tell the record isn’t available yet in stores or on iTunes.  To hold you over here’s a video from “Rise Ye Sunken Ships.”

East Los Angeles – We Are Augustines

Long live and music with depth and emotion that people can not only relate to but respect, which I’m pretty sure is the reason music exists in the first place.

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Person L [MUSIC]

The frustration of being pigeonholed can tear a band apart.  It’s easy to forget musicians’ influences are drawn from all kinds of genres, and that their interests tend to spill well outside the group that puts them in the spotlight.  Day in, day out, they beat the pavement to a pulp to try and make (or keep) a name with the same handful of bandmates and songs, playing to crowds who expect – demand, actually – the sound they first fell in love with.

It’s no wonder so many bands splinter into side projects, solo albums and straight out meltdowns.

Person L’s Kenny Vasoli is one of these musicians.  He avoided the meltdown, but after his first band – The Starting Line – dissolved after their album, “Direction,” didn’t do well, he shed his radio-ready skin and exposed a more mature, unpredictable artist than the guy that wrote the pop-punk classic “Best of Me.”  Much like ex-Drive Thru Records label mate Ace Enders (who ended his own group, The Early November, around the same time) there was always a hint that Kenny’s musical mind was functioning on a different plane than his peers’.  Whether it was the surprisingly raw lyrics of “Bedroom Talk,” or the complex layers of “Island,” even The Starting Line’s singles veered away from “standard.”

Here, on his second full length as Person L, “The Positives,” Vasoli dabbles in lyrically light instrumental rock on the opening track “Hole in the Fence,” before pivoting into “Good Days” and “The Positives,” two cuts that take cues from midwestern 90’s emo.  The latter opens with a guitar triplet and noodly organ that sounds like someone chopped and screwed an America Football track.

All this leads to the track that stands as the beating heart of the whole endeavor; the one that burrows in the brain and kicks it straight in the pleasure center: “Goodness Gracious.”  This is the kind of reinvention that most frustrated pop artists can only dream about.  Sure, Vasoli released an album and three tracks worth of great music between the death of The Starting Line and this, but here is where he finds his new voice.  The track makes full use of the unique grit n’ howl in his throat and pairs it with an amazingly dirty riff that calls to mind the exciting, bluesy simplicity of a Hendrix line.  The guitars are gloriously distorted and fuzzy, so much so that they create their own feedback in the opening four count.  There’re horns, shouts, and even some sort of deadened cowbell around 1:25 that adds to the frenetic, danceable energy.

Take a listen:

He follows this up with the sock hop chord progression of “New Sensations,” that sounds like it has a Chuck Berry co-write, and from there the album trails back off into more experimental territory.  While enjoyable, nothing else comes close to the one-two punch of these tracks.

Whether Person L’s next release remains as scattered, or if it will it focus on the blues elements that prove most successful here remains to be seen, but it’s definitely something to listen for.

By: Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @ChriswithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Jus Goodie – Live at Fox Theater in Boulder,CO [Photos]

Jus Goodie Live at The Fox Theater in Boulder, CO

 

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Jus Goodie – “Hands Up”

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Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Operations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Abstract Rude – Live at Fox Theater in Colorado [PHOTOS]

Abstract Rude Live at The Fox Theater in Boulder,CO

 

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Abstract Rude – “Diggin’ It”

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Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Operations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC