Daily Archives: April 11, 2011

Half Past Never Band – “Letters” [AUDIO]

Half Past Never Band is a Finnish band from Helsinki, Finland whose music is a combination of organic sounds, rhythmic beats, cinematic ambiences and eastern flavours. The roots of Half Past Never Band go in to the beginning of the year 2008, when the first Half Past Never recordings were made in order to create soulful and mellow sounds and songs. Basically, all the songs, ideas and sounds are created in jamming sessions with friends. First recordings were totally instrumentals, but during the last years, Half Past Never Band has made cooperation with several vocalists as well.

All in all, trying to define Half Past Never Band’s music precisely is not easy, but music draws influences from several genres including jazz, funk, afro, hip hop, soul, latin and eastern rhythms. In 2008 Half Past Never Band released a self-titled EP containing two instrumental songs. Almost two years after that, in January 2010, the first full length Half Past Never Band album, As it Should be, was released independently. As it Should be introduced eight different pieces of music, six instrumentals and two with vocals. The album received a lot of positive feedback and CD version is now sold out. As it Should be is available for free as a digital format and can be downloaded from here: http://halfpastneverband.bandcamp.com/

New Half Past Never album, Cubicle Coma, introduces even more organic and rhythmic Half Past Never Band. Just like in the previous album, also Cubicle Coma includes both songs with vocals and instrumentals. Co-operation has been made with several musicians from all over the world. Cubicle Coma is a weird mixture of funky, hip hop, jazzy and gypsy style rhythm music combined with various styles of lyricists. — exert taken from http://www.halfpastneverband.com

Check out “Letters” from their latest album. You can become a fan of Half Past Never band at their facebook home or friend them on myspace to find out more.

Kyle C. Stilley | Marketing Strategist | @stillz | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC | kyle@musicwithoutlabels.com

John Brown’s Body Live at Cervantes’ in Denver,CO [Photos]

John Brown’s Body Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO

Click The Pic for More Concert Photos

John Brown’s Body – “Resonate”

John Brown’s Body – “Bread”

Check Them Out!!!!!!

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


Ryan Montbleau Band “Heavy on the Vine” [ALBUM REVIEW]

There are two things you need to know about Ryan Montbleau and Ryan Montbleau Band.  One is they are from my hometown of Boston Massachusetts.  The second is that they are extremely talented and awesome.  Having played roughly 200 or more shows a year since the band started I guess it’s safe to say this is a band of certified road warriors.  Years ago I had the pleasure and honor to tour with this band as their sound guy so I like to think I have an inside scoop on Ryan and his music.  Daily I would hear “get in the van” in reference to joining the band full time which at the time was an amazing and exciting opportunity that I sadly just couldn’t take.  After listening to most recent release “Heavy on the Vine” I knew I had only scratched the surface during my time with the band.  Wether they are performing a reggae song, funk song, blues song, country song, folk song, or rock song as is in the case on “Heavy on the Vine” they are always about the “song” it’s as simple as that.

Songbird – Ryan Montbleau Band

With honest lyrics and an arsenal of styles RMB is a musical force.  They released their first full length record as a band in 2006 to high acclaim even though Ryan has solo releases dating back to ’02.  Last year with their release of “Heavy on the Vine” Ryan and co. got to work with none other than Martin Sexton who is a powerhouse in the singer songwriter realm and beyond.  Not only did Martin produce the record he also took the band on a nationwide tour playing their own shows and also opening for Dave Matthews Band.  Here’s a track called “Love Songs”.  I promise it’s the same band.

Love Songs – Ryan Montbleau Band

Ryan Montbleau Band features Matty Giannaros on upright and electric bass with the Cohen Brothers James and Jason on drums and keys respectively with Yahuba Garcia Torres destroying peoples faces on percussion.  They all destroy peoples faces actually.  Recently the band had a change in the line up.  Laurence Scudder had been a integral part of the band for many years playing viola and now he has gone on to bigger and better things leaving room for Lyle Brewer to step in on guitar filling the void Larry with definitely leave behind.

With a very diverse lineup “Heavy on the Vine” makes its stamp on my musical passport because from song to song the consistency never ceases.  A little instrumental tune like “Hands” carries as much weight as “Carry”, which is arguably Ryan’s best love song since “Boat Song” which appears on their debut release “One Fine Color”.  All the songs not only represent the band in as good a light I have ever seen, but also gives listeners a look into a band that just likes to play music.  Doesn’t matter what style they are playing or listening to or are being inspired by at any given moment they are fans of music, all of it, and it comes through on this record.  This next track is Martin’s favorite on the record and one of my personal favorites.

Carry – Ryan Montbleau Band

I guess I get spoiled sometimes being able to call these guys my friends.  And as you see when you attend their shows across the country wether they are playing to 2000 people in Boston or 200 in god knows where Iowa they are amazing musicians with important music to share.  I honestly want to put the whole record up for you guys to stream, but more importantly want you guys to go out and buy their record HERE and go see them live.

If this band tells you to “get in the van” you better do it even if your mom told you not to get in vans with strangers because what your mom didn’t tell you is that once your in the van you get to hear awesome music.

Ryan Montbleau Band is pretty much always on tour nationwide. Their tour page is HERE and its updated often.

Here’s one last track and video from “Heavy on the Vine.”  It’s Ryan’s favorite…  He might hate me for posting the video, but it starts with a great story of how this tune came about.

More and More and More – Ryan Montbleau Band

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

The Nico Blues – “Living Proof” [VIDEO]

If you don’t recall the release of The Nico Blues latest album on the blog last year I totally suggest you snag the free download and check it out. In December of last year the alternative rock group released a video to their single “Living Proof” off of ‘Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements’. These been recently entered into the MTVu’s ‘The Freshman’ contest for their music video. Please visit here and take a second to vote for them to get the chance to win and have their newest video aired on MTVu and MTV2. (NOTE: Poll is located on the right side-bar)

Katchafire Live at Cervantes’ in Denver,CO [Photos]

Katchafire Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO

Click The Pic for More Concert Shots


Katchafire – “Collie Herb Man”

Check Them Out!!!!

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


The Haunted Continents [MUSIC]

Little known fact: while Weezer was preparing to record “The Blue Album,” they took singing lessons to practice and perfect the harmonies Rivers was writing.  Out of those sessions came a track featured as the Australian B-side for “Undone” – “My Evaline.”  It’s a short a-capella number that features the group doing their best barbershop quartet and showcases a bit of the band’s musical DNA that is usually overlooked in favor of references to the KISS and Metallica strands.

I imagine one of the two members of The Haunted Continents heard that track and wanted to see what Weezer would sound like if they’d ran with the 50s doo-wop/barbershop sound and added fuzz and distortion without any of the metal touches.  The Gaslight Anthem is blowing up with their Springsteen-in-the-50s act, so why not pay Buddy Holly a little more than lip service?

Good news: it works really, really well.  Where The Gaslight Anthem only plays with lyrical and visual touchstones from the 50s, The Haunted Continents take actual musical elements from the era and re-purpose them to create songs in a more modern indie mold.  Vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jason Downes and drummer/percussionist Matt Cascella keep the tunes catchy and sharp throughout their debut The Loudest Year Ever.  Much of the modern feel comes from the clean production and bright mix that keeps all the elements of the band’s sound balanced, but if it weren’t for that, you’d be forgiven for thinking a track like “Acceptance” comes straight out of a different time and place.

What’s particularly awesome about what the band is doing is how it can help someone like myself re-examine and re-contextualize music that was created decades before I was born.  Put tracks like “Way Down” or “Cure for the Blues,” (maybe the album’s best track – listen below) in a mix with Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters and Sam Cooke and note how similar elements of the vocal performances and instrumentation are.  Listening to opener “2nd Street Blues” take old sounds and make them screamingly fresh, makes it easy to imagine – hear, even – what a blast of exciting energy someone like Jerry Lee Lewis must have been in his time.

The album can be purchased on BandCamp here, and while dropping some cash on The Haunted Continents recorded material is well worth it (seriously, it’s the cost of a good sandwich), I’m gonna take a wild guess that they’d absolutely kick your ass at a live show.  It’s hard to listen to the grungy guitar tones of  the aforementioned “2nd Street Blues” and not imagine that thick, bellowing riff blasting off a stage and ripping the paint from the walls of a small bar.  Downes’ voice – warbling in its high register and crooning when lower – is absolutely begging to rip free.

Here’s hoping they come through LA and I can find out if I’m right.

Check out features on the band on Alter the Press and AbsolutePunk.

“Cure For the Blues”:

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

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues [NEW MUSIC]

Montezuma : Album opener,  A song about self absorption, loneliness and selfish notions of immortality.

Bedouin Dress : 2nd Track, “It’s about the idea of taking and not giving anything back, that’s at the heart of a number of songs on the album” – Robin. Almost didnt make it on the final album.

for me the highlight on the album.

Sim Sala Bim : Track 3, Written on a trip  to Big Sur, Heavily influenced by Roy Harper with a 12 string guitar resonant throughout the song.

Battery Kinzie : Track 4, “Its was the last thing we did and done quickly” – Christian. “I Wrote this a couple of years ago and always thought it as more of a solo song. It has a simple Dylanesque melody and i couldnt think of a good band arrangement for it.”

Plains/Bitter Dancer : 5th Track, Described by Robin as “Smile-type studio experiment” starting with layered vocal and simple guitar lick, growing into an epic, ornate and symphonic piece, inspired in part by “Kathy Cruel” a song covered by Bert Jansch. “Its my Grim Reaper song” – Robin.

reminds me in part of recent Midlake. that could just be the flute and layered harmonies. judge for yourself.

Helplessness Blues : 6th Track, The Paul Simon influence comes to the fore in this cut. the second half of the songs was completely re-recorded changing from the mellow vibe of Fleetwood Mac “Albatross” to a much more soaring ending.

The Cascades : 7th track, Instrumental and a reminder of Robin’s love of Morricone.

Lorelai : 8th track, Beach Boys meets Paul Simon combining to make something in the vein of “Norwegian Wood” or “Forth Time Around”. “It’s about friendship, how allegiances change over time. I was thinking of Skye and the summer we were 17. We’ve known each other a long time” – Robin.

Someone You’d Admire : 9th Track One of the newest songs. mostly Robin on Guitar and single vocal. “There’s always two people in you, The Devil and The Angel, Which one will you turn out to be” – Robin

The Shrine/An Argument : Track 10, The albums central piece, 8 minutes of sweeping, tender, mornful and resigned genius. “It describes 4 stages of a break up – Contemplation, anger, frustration and solitude.” – Robin

Blue Spotted Tail : Track 11, “That’s one of the songs on the album that deals with a universal feeling. To me, there’s no reason we’re here. but that doesn’t make it any less incredible and creativity is at least an expression of our humanity. In the face of any thoughts about what we’re actually here for, then our ability to create is the only answer for me” – Robin

Grown Oceans : Album closer, 1st single. Written by Robin as a mellow reflection only to be transformed into somethinf more transcendent by Christian’s vocal arrangement. “It’s like a dream of where you’d like to end up after going through all the turmoil. Somewhere there’s peace  and peace of mind, something you’d like to find at the end of a long journey” – Robin


All quotes taken from recent Uncut interview with Robin and the band.

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC