Daily Archives: August 17, 2011

Smoke Signals [MUSIC]

 

The art of the song gets lost in modern music’s race for the chorus, the ring-tone, the ad placement.  Too often, the ditties (and real talk: they’re often nothing more than that) that fill 2011’s radio waves and hard drives fall apart when broken down to their component pieces.  Play Ke$ha for me with a tambourine and acoustic guitar.  I dare you.

(UPDATE:  A quick YouTube search demonstrates it’s possible to do this, but at the expense of any kind of sanity or taste.)

Smoke Signals’ new self-titled, independently released album (FREE download – click the album art above) flies in the face of those kinds of songs and instead presents nine tracks broken down into the components that American music as we know it is made from.  The result is a deeply Southern, gospel influenced record bursting with group chants, twangy guitars, and propulsive four-on-the-floor rhythms.   I don’t wanna say the result is pure Americana – the melodies are catchier and more complex and the harmonies more layered than they would have been a hundred years ago, but no one’s arguing for purity here.  It’s the outside influences that make this debut stand out: Elton John in opening piano strains of “House on the Water,” a little spacey Manchester Orchestra falsetto fugue in “Maybe,” and the sparse, broken doo-wop tribute that is “Lonely Hearts Interlude.”

If you just can’t spare the space on your iPod for the whole album (solution: ditch those Creed albums), the must listen highlight here is the stomp-your-feet-and-shout-your-goddamn-lungs-out “Searching” that’ll become the anthem of every socially-lubricated drinking establishment it’s performed for.  Kinda like it does right here:

And if that doesn’t sell ya, the video for lead single “Black Holes” is a loose, doc-style piece that captures the recording process as it was: communal, raw and real.

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

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Big Slim & The Blues Invaders LIve at Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Big Slim & The Blues Invaders LIve at Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub in San Diego, CA

Big Slim & The Blues Invaders– “When We Were Young”

Click the pic for more concert shots!

From BIO:  “Born in Muncie Indiana, John “Big Slim” Anderson started playing music at 9 years old. He played most of the brass instruments and by the age of 16 played the trumpet in his first professional band. Since that time, Big Slim has been in many bands, playing many styles of music. He switched to the bass and has never looked back. Since moving to San Diego, Big Slim has played in several bands as the front man. During this time, he began writing and performing his own music, a mix of blues, rock, and R&B…”

CHECK THEM OUT

Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

O.A.R. “King” [NEW MUSIC]

HOLD ON A SECOND!   I can hear you yelling at me for this post already.  Jeeze louise.  I will cautiously start this post by saying I LOVE THIS BAND so take a hike if you’re a hater.  I always have and they have always held a special place in my heart right near where my 17 year old self lives.  OAR is awesome.   Crazy Game of Poker, Night Shift, Hey Mr. Brown (NOTE:  So the title “Hey Mr. Brown is wrong and I got called out on it.  The song is actually titled “ABOUT Mr. Brown!”  Man I was wayyyyyyy off… And for the record yes I do listen to this band.  Also for the record I hate the word “about” so I changed it to “hey” cuz I can do whatever I want.  Just saying),  Ok now we’re back… City on Down and many many more are songs that we all listened to while drinking our first underaged beers or attending our first concerts (Sprite Liquid Mix Tour!  What! What!)  I honestly don’t know if it’s cool or not to love this band anymore and I don’t care.  I can hear you stripping me of the little/ any indie cred I may or may not have had.  I don’t give a shit.  The boys in OAR have just released a new record and I got to say they are sporting somewhat of a new sound with the same old roots rock vibe they’e always worn on their sleeve.  Their new release is called “King”.  Clocking in at 16 tracks take a listen as we go through this.  You might stay in love with these guys or fall in love all over again., no homo.

King – OAR (feat. Russell Simmons and DJ Logic)

WHAT?  Yea, I know, BOOM!  DJ Logic and Russell Simmons in your face, first track!  See, I told you they were sounding different these days.  As the record moves on they have embraced the pop music they are oh so good at creating and have added more production, samples and goodies.  Moving on.

Heaven – OAR

Horns are just killing it all over this record.  OAR tours with Jerry and his signature sax sound, but I think the addition of a larger horn section on the recordings really supports OAR’s cause.  I think lead singer Marc Roberge has a great voice and with the addition of great backing vocals makes him sound even better.  With Benji on bass and Chris on drums they are just building on a great root sound they have perfected over the last 10 years if not more.  The next track I love has a little island flare and once again features big horns and great vocals by Marc.

Are You Low? – OAR

As I moved through this record.  I’m in love.  Big electric sounds, samples and under it all is the OAR we all know and love.  The sound is bigger, heavier.  The guitars rock and blare like I have never heard from this band.  They are firing reggae infused roots rock on all cylinders.

Gotta Live – OAR

I think I am running out of things to say about this band, but I will say this.  Since “In Between Now and Then” I have been a fan.  Years later, I admit, I have fallen out of love with OAR and moved on to other musical tastes, but after stumbling on to these guys again I immediately remember why I was drawn to them in the first place.  Great songs, melodies and rhythms.  They are just a fun band.  If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing them live you will know ten fold what I’m talking about.  I think I saw them upwards of 10 times in high school and college and those were some of the best shows that defined my earlier years as a music lover.

Almost Easy – OAR

The dudes are currently out with Dave Matthews and their traveling caravan.  They are also wrapping up their tour and are making a stop locally in San Diego on October uno.  Road trip anyone?  Here’s the tour page, hopefully they are coming to a city near you and I’m sure they will announce more dates soon.  Here’s the last tune from OAR’s “KING” as well as a sweet bonus track.  You can buy thier record just about anywhere, even on the internet.  Enjoy the new sounds OAR is making.  I know I am.

Back to One – OAR

World Like That – OAR

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