Daily Archives: May 17, 2011

The Wonder Years – “Melrose Diner” [VIDEO]

Narrative: Backyard wrestler The Lone Wolf must defeat the The Evil Kraag to get his title and his girl back.

Performance: The band plays in the ring.  Singer Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell performs from the audience and in closeup.

Song: Top shelf pop-punk from one of the best bands in the scene.  If you haven’t heard The Upsides, buy it here immediately.  No one’s more relatable, honest or hardworking and the songs are instant classics.

Why You Should Watch It:   The band is amazing and the effort is noteworthy – it’s a great example of applying a record’s themes (never giving up, victory through persistence) to a video concept and having some fun with it.  The video’s just a little too scattered to be a classic.

“Melrose Diner” seems to want to make up for its lack of flash by overloading it with content. The video starts as a wrestling promo, then briefly takes on the feel of a movie trailer before going into the song and Lone Wolf’s battles.  The action is frantic, but moves so fast it’s hard to follow until the final fight.  The video’s flat, unlit look is spiced up with filters throughout, and it works with the back to basics energy of the song but isn’t a highlight.  So why the recommendation?  It’s a perfect example of what friends can do with some perseverance and camaraderie – just like the album itself.  Everyone involved is clearly having the time of their lives, and that goes a long way.

Also, you’ll want to know these guys before they blow up.  They’re readying a new release, “Suburbia, I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing,” that’s shaping to be as much or more of a touchstone than “The Upsides.”  Check out one of the new tracks below:

“Local Man Ruins Everything”

Honest, hooky punk, an album named after a Ginsburg poem, and a Simpson’s reference as a track name?  Sold.

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

Branden Sipes – That Side of Me [Album Review]

There is something about Branden Sipes’ music that is purely authentic and that genuineness cogently manifests in his latest released album, That Side of Me. The talented, Colorado troubadour engages his listeners with a refined, baroque guitar style, accompanied by his soft, affectionate vocals. Quite interestingly, That Side of Me takes us on an acoustic journey, encountering the usual suspects of love and life while challenging us to confront said topics in respect to our own life experiences.

The journey begins brightly upbeat in the form of “Everything’s Right,” an inspiring track that sets the tone for the album while introducing to the audience Sipes’ delicate, yet intricate guitar work, which resonates throughout the album. The title track, “That Side of Me,” (which we featured in March) follows suit delivering catchy guitar riffs and honest melodies.

The journey, then, takes a turn after the opening two numbers, presenting a dark moment in our quest. Similarly to classic literature, the protagonist must fall, or metaphorically die, before rebirth can occur. “Winter’s On its Way,” a soulful ballad, uses clever lyrics conjoined with beautiful musical composition to invoke feelings of desolation and regret; the feeling of fleeting love. However, within this moment of despair and emptiness, reflection emerges in the form of “Searching,” a selection revelatory of the artist’s acceptance of the growth process: “’Cause I am a searching for the reason, for the beating of my heart / and I am finding out the answer, is a long way from the start.”

In “Standing as I am,” we experience a rebirth, a declaration of awareness, and, while incognizant of what future may hold, a fervent renewal of passion for life and love. This rebirth is evident in the lines “When the evening is over and the stars are shining through / I just want to be with you” and “Walk with me into this morning / There’s more of you I’m wanting…to see.” Sipes creatively uses these allusions to bring his audience to a place of enlightenment. “Take Me Over” is a beautiful song which speaks to the yearning for the kind of love that completes us. The bright, poppy guitar licks in the verses lull the listener into a false sense of security before the hook and chorus create a truly captivating moment.

Branden delivers a truly remarkable composition which has thoroughly impressed our staff as well as our readers. That Side of Me plays like a classic novel, taking us the through dynamics of the protagonist’s plight, from trial and tribulation to rebirth and enlightenment. If That Side of Me is any indicator of what is to come from Branden in the future, we are all in for a treat. Keep an eye out for this talented troubadour.

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

Kidofdoom- “Minor Disagreements” [VIDEO]

Post-rock instrumentalists, Kidofdoom, cemented their reputation in 2007 amidst the burgeoning indie-dance scene which took hold of the South Africa that year. Incorporating a wide range of influences and sounds, from punk and electronica, to jazz and classical, their unique confluence of styles and genres, mete out with exact precision,  defies definition and has earned the band immense praise from South African audiences and media. Kidofdoom released their self-titled debut album in 2007, and have played at top festivals and venues around the country since then.  Check out their video of their first release, Minor Disagreements.

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC