Category Archives: Independent Music

How To Get Great Kick Drum Sounds [MUSIC HELP]

Kick/Bass drum is what drives rock music. It’s what makes hip hop danceable. It’s how jazz drummers push the band. Such a special drum needs special treatment, especially in the studio!

First and foremost… you need good source material. Sound on Sound interviewed several professional engineers and it was nearly unanimous.

As with recording any instrument, the choice of drum and the manner of its tuning and preparation can make a huge difference to the sound you capture, so this should always be the place to start.

So don’t forget to tune the drums before you record – I wouldn’t recommend the human-ear-sweet-spot positioning method though, unless you want to go deaf. Nile Rodgers goes so far as to say (in the SoS interview)

Even if the band uses one drum kit for the whole record, I want it tuned right for each song. We’ll change the heads or tune it differently, all that kind of stuff. Sometimes we change the beaters… It all depends on how those frequencies are responding to the key of the music, to the pulse of the music. Every record is different, every song is different, every tape is different.

It’s important to note that there are a wide variety of opinions on how to get the best kick drum sound even among sound engineers. These are only some of the possibilities.

Microphone Placement
Joe Chiccarelli likes the two mic approach, which is especially popular in rock music.

“In most situations I tend to use two mics: one inside to gather the impact, and one outside to capture the “tone” – the overall note and picture of the drum.”

If the drummer doesn’t have a hole cut in the front head, or doesn’t want one, you can point a mic at the contact point of the beater on batter head. This will deliver a similar *click* sound to a mic inside the drum. Be careful of sound bleeding into this mic though, since it’s not shielded from the other sounds by the shell of the drum, you’ll need to be wary of phase problems.

Adjusting the distance of the outside mic(s) is the best way to deal with phase problems, but if you don’t have the time to experiment until you have the two mics in phase with each other (maximizing the amount of bass they pick up) you can always add a few ms of delay to one of the mics to get them in phase later on.

Chiccarelli also shares one of his tricks on how to get a processed/low-fi drum sound.

Old cassette decks with built-in limiters can deliver quite a quirky picture of a drum. It instantly sounds like a processed drum loop.

He specifically mentions putting said cassette deck inside the bass drum, to get a squashed sound, as well as putting it in the room to pick up the whole kit.

Equalization
I’m not the first to come up with this, and many other (much more knowledgeable people) have already written up how EQ affects the kick drum sound. Here it is as Laskow states in his Taxi FAQ:

If you need more bottom end, try boosting @ 60 or 100Hz. Try rolling off lower mids (300-700Hz) to get rid of a box-like sound. To add more attack, try boosting in the 1K to 3K range.

For bottom end there is no substitution for running a spectrum analyzer to find the fundamental frequency and boosting that specifically. Believe me it works 100 times better than just randomly boosting some random low frequency.

Also, Boosting between 600-900Hz will give you more punch. If necessary, you can try to reduce bleed from the cymbals by reducing above 3k with a LPF or a High Shelf.

Microphones
Close mics (the ones you put inside the kick, or point at the contact point of the beater) These are for capturing the attack:

For the outside/distance mics, large diaphragm microphones work well to capture the low frequencies:

If you’re only going to use one microphone on the kick, you’re better off using the one that can capture the attack and using a triggering plugin or an exciter to get the low end.

Again, what really matters is that the drums fit the mood/atmosphere of the song, not just “objectively good” drum sounds.

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
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The 1922s – Porcupines & Balloons [VIDEO]

It was always gonna be a challenge for the 1922s to follow up their previous EP “In If It Is” (released under their old name Evil Harrisons). Thankfully The 1922s‘ latest single “Porcupines and Balloons” is proof that the band still effortlessly splice catchy melodies together with intelligent song structures. “Porcupines and Balloons” marks not only the beginning of the band as a potent 5 piece (Nicolas moves to piano with Paul Mallon on bass and Paul Campbell on guitar duties.) but it is also the first taste of their eagerly awaited debut album set for release in September. The bouncy lead single showcases the band’s strengths. From Ronan’s soft poetic melodies, Nick’s fluid piano playing to the creative rhythms of Paul Carolan, The 1922s ooze with confidence and style. Catchy melodies and instrumentation are evident as ever, but in sync with the new line up they have taken an exciting new direction which is merely hinted at in their glorious lead single.
The new name and line up change liberated the band, a first sold out show as the 1922s, previewing the album and announcing the line up, was proof enough of the audience’s demand as well as the quality of the material. The recording process for the bands forthcoming self titled album was a long but fruitful process. With 16 tracks, the album demonstrates the range and scope of the band.

Directed by Eamon Murphy, Cameras by Chris Clarke & David McEneaney & Edited by David McEneaney

 

for more info check out – http://the1922s.com/ 

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

 

 

NERO – “Crush On You” [VIDEO]

nero - welcome reality album cover

Everyone says it’s always about your timing especially when dropping any sort of news and I must say it was pretty damn good right now as NERO just posted their latest video release. The video features the forthcoming single, “Crush On You” which is to be released October 16th 2011. This initially cheerful track takes to chaos as the killer dubstep bass tones take over your ears and the life of the video. Definitely a great one to have stumbledupon at such a perfect moment. Not really much to add here as I was in the middle of some other work but I just had to get this out to you as I was hearing it for the first time!

The New Division – “Shadows” [NEW MUSIC]

The New Division

The New Division began as a college dorm room project for songwriter John Kunkel back in 2005. After moving from Uruguay (where he resided for 18 years) to Southern California. Kunkel began experimenting with synthesizers after being heavily influenced by the sounds of Joy Division, New Order, and Depeche Mode. Originally, the name “New Division” was meant as an artist working title for songs that would never be released. Within a few months Kunkel developed a series of songs that attracted other fellow college students at California Baptist University. By the end of 2007, the one man New Division project had transformed into a four piece.

**My favorite track, Starfield, off their previous E.P**

 

Currently, The New Division is John Kunkel (vocals), Brock Woolsey (guitars), Janzie (synths), and Mark Michaslki (synths). With over 300 songs in their “demo roster,” the band is continually writing new material on a regular basis. “We believe the best way to make good music is to write a lot,” says frontman John Kunkel. “I wake up every day with fresh ideas, and I seek out sources of inspiration. Sometimes, I’ll write three songs in a day if I have the time. It’s what I love doing. It’s therapeutic.”

The New Division - Shadows

While Kunkel focuses on the production and songwriting aspect of the band, the other members play a vital role in developing their live performance and sound. “We used to be crappy live, I won’t lie,” says Janzie. “But we’ve come such a long way from what we used to be. Whereas before we just plugged in an ipod and pressed play for certain tracks, we’re now doing basically what Deadmau5 does with Ableton. The only difference is that we’re a four piece, we’re new wavish, and we sometimes use a live drummer [Kenny Wells].” This may be the brightest year for the band to date. Already receiving critical acclaim for “The Rookie” EP, the band has big plans and just released their first full length album – Shadows.  The retro 80’s-esque vibe floats in an ambient haze with no ending in sight.  I highly recommend checking out this Riverside, California band’s new-wave  album – you won’t regret it!

 

 

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

The Skin We’re In – Silhouette [NEW MUSIC]

 

 

Hailing from Newry, Co Down, The Skin We’re In was formed in late Jan 07 when singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Chris “Cricky” Markey wrote and recorded 15 tracks in a 10 day period. He has been writing and recording since and has well over one hundred songs written and recorded. His music is contemporary rock infused with soul, jazz and funk licks drawing from diverse influences from Tom Waits to Prince.

 

To date, the single ‘Something To Prove’ has featured on several nationwide radio stations including Phantom FM, U105 FM, WLRFM and BBC Radio Ulster. The song has also received airplay on XFM London, which led to The Skin We’re In being named one of XFM’s Uploaded winners.

In 2009 The Skin We’re In released their debut EP in 2009 which is now on digital release via iTunes, Napster, Amazon etc. The EP was engineered and co-produced by Tony Perrey and recorded at Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin. In  support of the EP release a live band was set up and the band performed several gigs including support to CODES in Crawdaddy, a slot at the Ruby Sessions and a headlining hometown gig with support from Television Room and We Should Be Dead.


In the past year, Cricky has been writing and recording at his home studio in Newry. When not writing for his own act, he has been writing pop/R&B songs for other artists to record. He is currently putting the finishing touches to his new double album scheduled for release in the new year. A few live nationwide dates have been pencilled in for early 2012.

 

 

 

The lead single from the new album, which has the working title ‘In Minority’, is called ‘Silhouette‘ and will be released in Jan 2012. In the run up to the release, a new non-album track is released for free download @http://soundcloud.com/the-skin-were-in/abandoned. All music by The Skin We’re In is written, arranged, produced and performed by Cricky Markey.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Taxi at Live on the Green in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

It’s gotta be a good night when your band gets to open up for Robert Randolf and the Family Band.  That was the case last Thursday night for Moon Taxi when they played at Live on the Green in Nashville, TN.  As a new listener and one of many people there to see the best pedal steel player in the world, I couldn’t help taking an immediate interest to Moon Taxi.  This is a phenomenal rock band with an incredible musician on every instrument, and they can’t help it that they play awesome music.  If you like Music Without Labels, check out this “music without borders” that is Moon Taxi.  Here’s a live video of Moon Taxi opening up for Matisyahu at the Fillmore two years ago.

This video was shot just months after the release of Moon Taxi’s Live album called Live Ride that they recorded in their hometown of Nashville, TN.   Dirty bass lines, tight drum grooves, killer guitar riffs, and slick organ sounds seem to provide the perfect foundation for great vocals and memorable lyrics.  Moon Taxi’s sound has since developed with a couple years of touring, and they are sounding better than ever.  Their feel reminded me of Rush with their synced riffs and occasional odd meter grooves, but they have made those concepts their own.  Their music somehow combines qualities of many different bands and artists.  However, Moon Taxi is their own element, and have completely developed their own incredible distinct sound.  Here’s a video of Moon Taxi playing one of their songs called All the Rage.

Moon Taxi toured last year with Matisyahu, which has opened up bigger opportunities for the band and their music.  They have also opened for acts such as Umphrey’s Mcgee, Gov’t Mule, the New Mastersounds, and DJ Logic.  Moon Taxi has played at a number of music festivals including the 10,000 Lakes Festival, Moe’s Summer Camp, Birmingham’s City Stages, the Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival, and Huntsville’s Big Spring Jam.  Moon Taxi will be playing Southern Ground Music Fest with Zac Brown Band and My Morning Jacket in Charleston, SC next month as part of their nationwide headlining tour!

Their show on Thursday was awesome, and I got way more than what I expected.  Moon Taxi is a modern-day version of the classic jam band, which is why they are such a great band to see live.  They have combined valuable musical assets of their influences and created something fresh.  This is why they have been described as a band interested in “music without borders.”  Their music is undoubtedly progressive, but they stay true to their musical niche.  But wait! There’s more!  Moon Taxi is getting ready to release new music, so check out this video and listen to this sick new track called “Cabaret” from their new album.

To stay up to date on new music and tour dates from Moon Taxi, check out their website ridethemoontaxi.com.

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play, Music Without Labels, LLC

Midnite Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO [Photos]

Midnite Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO

Midnite – “Propaganda”

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Midnite

Click The Pic for More Concert Shots!!!!

Check Out Midnite!!!

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

Scott Bartenhagen [Interview] [Free Download]

There’s a lot to like about Scott Bartenhagen, a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Lathrop, California.  He’s not your typical singer/songwriter: he’s 6’7” for starters, loves Sci-Fi and draws inspiration from movie soundtracks and 20th century classical music.  A friend of mine suggested I watch a video of his song Delta Fog, and I am forever grateful that I did.  Scott’s jazz-influenced guitar playing along with his beautifully deep, soul shaking voice make for an astounding combination.  When I met Scott I was immediately drawn to his warm and quirky personality and quiet demeanor.  It was a privilege to interview such a young talent, and it’s my pleasure to help spread the word about this rising star.  Check out the video of Delta Fog below, courtesy of YouTube, and if you liked what you hear (which I know you will) you can download the song for free via the player below.

 

MF: When I first saw your video for Delta Fog I was immediately awe struck and completely blown away by the hauntingly deep and poetic sound of your voice.  I feel that you have one of the best voices of our generation, I know bold statement, but every time I listen to your songs I am instantly inspired, and amazed.  When did you start your singing career?

Scott:  Pretty freaking bold statement man, and thank you so much.  I sang “Great Balls of Fire” my junior year of high school for a 70’s school dance that the high school band put on.  Then I started writing songs, so I’ve been singing for I guess that would be about five years now, I didn’t ever sing before that I was always too afraid.

MF: Have you ever had singing lessons?

Scott:  No, I’ve never taking formal singing lessons, but I’ve had good guidance from friends that were great singers that really helped me out. 

MF:  Like I said, I feel like you have an incredible voice.  I remember the first time I watched Delta Fog, your voice gave me chills.  It was almost hard for me to believe that that voice was coming from you, it really blew me away.

Scott:  Wow man, thank you I really appreciate it that’s awesome.

MF:  I feel that writing lyrics is the hardest part of creating great songs, and you nail it on every song. Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?

Scott:  I get the inspiration from my lyrics from personal experience, or nerding out on something.  It also comes from my general love of storytelling.  My lyrics have to sound good coming out before anything else.  That’s kind of the David Byrne theory of lyric writing.  I find words that I think sound great then I use my imagination to put them into situations that make sense when they are spoken aloud.  So it comes melody first, then how the words sound, then what kind of words can I fit around those syllables that still makes a great song, and that’s why its kind of a bigger puzzle than if you were just writing lyrics. 

MF:  In my personal experience with writing songs, I feel that lyrics are the toughest part of writing any song.  If you don’t have solid lyrics then it’s going to be harder for the listener to connect to you.

Scott:  Oh yeah.  I could write like a dozen songs a day, but it takes me a week to write the words for the songs sometimes.

MF:  Yeah, that’s understandable I think it’s very hard to write solid lyrics and you do a great job writing great lyrics.

Scott:  Thanks man, As long as they’re not too contrived, or as long as they’re honest enough, even if they’re not true if they’re honest and they’re not contrived and trying to sound cool, I like it.

 

MF: What are your musical influences, and what artists inspire you to create your music?

Scott: Um, my musical influences would be, movie soundtracks, Joni Mitchell, and Jazz.  Those are the big three, but I also like singer-songwriters that influence me a lot, like my good friend Travis Vick, a local Sacramento artist. His music has a big effect on me. Also, Bluegrass players and anybody who excels at their instruments inspire me as well. That’s a tough question, because I have a whole lot of influences from a lot of different things.  Movie soundtracks are a big one.  As well as orchestral music, and 20th Century classical music is where I get a lot of my melodies.  So that’s a little bit of an idea of how I get inspired.

MF:  As far as movie soundtracks do you have a favorite composer?

Scott:  I like uh, I really like Joe Hisaishi, Hans Zimmer’s pretty cool, he’s kind of a hack, and I like John Williams as well.  Anyone who puts music to motion, I admire, because it’s all about the emotion other than the notes, it’s about evoking a feeling, which I’m a big fan of.

MF:  Is there anything outside of music that inspires you to write your songs?

Scott:  Yeah definitely. Various novels, stories that my dad tells me, great Science Fiction, um, trying to get a handle on politics.  Not that my songs are too political.  I’m not too crazy politically but politics definitely make me angry, and anger definitely inspires me.

MF:  As far as Science Fiction is concerned what specifically about Sci-Fi inspires you?

Scott:  I like all types of science fiction, usually get inspired by near future science fiction, like Blade Runner, or people like William Gibson who write Cyber Punk. It really gets my mind racing, I really enjoy it. I’ve written some songs based off of stuff like that.  A decent amount of my songs have a Sci-Fi twist on them. 


 

MF: You are a phenomenal guitar player, how long have you been playing the guitar, and what inspired you to start playing?

Scott:  I’ve been playing the guitar since about, eighth grade, probably a little bit before that.  Probably ten years.  My mom is a great guitar player so I listened to her a lot and got inspired.  Also, I think a friend of mine got a guitar down the street, and that made me really want one.  I was already playing trumpet in a band, so I figured I could move onto guitar from there.  I didn’t really get into songwriting for a long time, but learning jazz guitar definitely helped keep the fire and passion for the instrument.

MF: Have you had any professional training?

Scott:  I was a music major at Sac State, before I left.  I took three years of schooling as a jazz studies major.  I am a big proponent of taking lessons and learning as much as you possibly can, shedding ego as a guitar player and just wanting to learn.  I took lessons from a really great jazz guitar player, and I learned to play with other people in groups for a long time as well. 

MF:  Also, you mentioned you played trumpet, do you play any other instruments?

Scott:  Yeah, trumpet and tuba were my first instruments and then I moved onto the piano and guitar.  Those are the main instruments that I can play. 

MF:  I notice you have a lot of songs ready to go, are you coming out with an EP or a new album in the near future, and if so will Delta Fog be included?

Scott:  No.  I’m over the idea of albums.  Like every year you make your one album, and then you put an EP out and then you make an album that has twelve songs on it or something and then a whole year passes.  That whole cycle is formulaic and I don’t think it works any more with the way people buy albums.  So I’m kind of into smaller releases but more often.  I think that’s a pretty cool idea.  I have a few releases coming up, I have a five song project that I’m working on called Speeches, that I’m working on at the moment, still recording.  It should be done in the next couple weeks.  Then I have another small project on the way that should come out within a couple weeks as well.  So within this month I’m hopefully going to have a bunch of new stuff done for the world to see.

And I have a new group as well, with three girls from Sac State, a drummer and a bassist. The three girls are singing three part harmonies as well as playing the violin.  I’ve added six people to my group.

MF:  Wow, that’s exciting I can’t wait to hear you play with the new band.

Scott:  Yeah, I’ve already got to play some shows with this new band and they are really freaking good man, they’re really tight.  These two girls sing some amazing harmonies, and we have this bitching violin player who’s incredible, it’s tight man. I can’t wait to play some shows in Los Angeles so you guys can hear it.

MF:  What are you thoughts on the current state of the music industry, and where do you see it going?

Scott:  I think that there’s a lot of music out there. I think the music industry is pretty oversaturated with the Internet now and I think it’s high time for bands to get more creative with the way they do things and how we get music out there, and what it means to have art.  I think there are a lot of creative ways to distribute music, play shows and collaborate.  I think it’s a good thing and I think it’s going the right direction. I just need people to start giving a crap, but I guess we need to make them start giving a crap. 

MF:  As an independent artist, do you find it difficult to accumulate new fans and to be heard amidst the overwhelming amount of music that is out there?

Scott:  I do feel it’s really hard to be heard.  I feel there are so many different avenues for me to put my music out that nobody bites.  I get a good response when I play shows, but it’s hard playing venues when you don’t have a fan base.  Promoters don’t promote anymore, venues don’t want to get people in the door themselves, it all falls on the shoulders of the bands, which is I think criminal.  Live performance is not geared to help bands.  It’s hard finding fans, and it’s hard finding places that want to help musicians get fans instead of just wanting to take their money.

MF:  So which one do you think is more difficult?  Trying to accumulate new fans, or to be heard?

Scott:  I think they’re pretty much the same thing. I would like to hope/think if someone hears my music they’d become a fan.  I can’t force them to become a fan. I would say it’s harder to show my music to people in the right context.  It’s hard for people to find my music and want to listen to it, as opposed to they have to either actually search for it or they find it on some obscure online radio station that never actually works.  So I think they’re both related: it’s hard to find fans and it’s hard to try to get the people who aren’t fans yet to listen to your music to become fans. 

MF:  I absolutely agree.  It was really great to learn more about you as a musician as well as a person.  I enjoyed talking about your music, what you’re working on, and the thoughts you have about being an independent artist, as well as your thoughts as the current state of the music industry.  I am looking forward to your upcoming projects and attending your shows with your new band.

Scott:  Thanks man, I really enjoyed it as well, and I will keep you updated with the projects I am currently working on.  Great talking with you, and I will talk to you soon.

By: Mason Frank|L.A. Ambassador|MasonFrankMWL|Beat-Play & Music Without Labels LLC

 

The Barr Brothers “The Barr Brothers” [NEW MUSIC]

I’m going to start this blog off by saying I love music. I love the sounds I love being a part of thriving music scene here in LA, seeing shows and being a small part of the creativity.  Back in the day in college I went the standard college radio station route to put myself right smack frickin dab in the middle of arguably one of the most diverse and ever changing music scenes in the country, Boston Massachusetts.  Little WERS 88.9 fm has literally made me the music fan I am today and my dad, can’t forget him either.  I have been to hundreds of shows and in those early years where I discovered it’s always better in a small club rather than a giant arena I got a glimpse of amazing real talent.  This band I’m about to introduce you to is one of those groups whose members bring music and love of music full circle on a personal level.  They are the Barr Brothers and their new record is something that I honestly don’t want to share with anyone and keep all to myself, but we all know I can’t keep a secret to save my life.

Beggar In The Morning – The Barr Brothers

Brad and Andrew Barr are from Boston Massachusetts.  They live in Canada now.  They have a band which are called The Slip they share with bassist Marc Friedman and now they are The Barr Brother which the share with harpist and neighbor Sarah Page and Andres Vial who fills the void by playing bass, keys and percussion.  My first introduction to these gentlemen was when they were part of The Slip when they were touring behind their amazing album Eisenhower.  I remember doing two in studio mixes with the guys one was fully plugged in and the other was acoustic.  The first mix was all material from Eisenhower, but the second they shared with me a couple new songs and I gave them my mixes to use as demos to make a new record with.  This was about 5 years ago.

I have a amazing treat for this blog.  One of the demos I recorded back in the day made it on the Barr Brothers newest release.  To clarify my version didn’t make it on, but the song did.  I’m going to post both of them.  The first version of the song was recorded with Brad playing his acoustic guitar and Andrew playing the studios Steinway grand piano.  The second is the second track off the Barr Brother’s self titled release.  Same song, years apart.

O0h, Belle (Live at WERS) – The Barr Brothers

Ooh, Belle – The Barr Brothers

Pretty cool huh?  I don’t know how to play music very well but I’m pretty sure they changed the key.  I’d love to know what you guys think in the comments section below.  This is one of my favorite songs I was given the opportunity to record during my stay at WERS and as far as the record the music on this release is diverse and something that I could only see coming from the musicians that made it.  I think it is truly listeners music.  The nuances in it and the light additions of keys and the harp just bring light to the whole thing.  Not every song is as light a lullaby as Ooh, Belle after all they were in an experimental rock/ jazz outfit for many years.  Try this one on for size.

Give The Devil Back His Heart – The Barr Brothers

They still have the rock in them.  I love the guitar and vocal pairing on this song.  Brad Barr is an amazing guitar player and with the effects used on his vocals with his style of singing on this song it’s a little bit of a wake up and just shows how diverse these musicians really are.

There is a little blues element a little middle eastern rhythm and of course a jazzy element to this tune that really grabbed me and is definitely the standout on a record of standouts.  I think tune will drive all the points I just made home.  The next two tracks after Give The Devil Back His Heart are quiet acoustic songs, amazing, but then  we get to the 7th track on the record called Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’.  Welcome to the delta…

Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’ – The Barr Brothers

I can’t boast about these guys enough.  They are amazing musicians and from my limited interaction with them over the years, they are amazing people always generous to share new music and try new things.  I think this record is a testament to their efforts to try new styles of music and play the music that inspires them.  From the quietest notes of Ooh Belle to the loudest grittiest notes of Lord I Just Can’t… the dynamic range on this record is really one to be admired.  As a music fan I think I can recommend this band and this music to just about any one.

Deacons Son – The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers are currently touring on their new self titled release and will be making stops in Los Angeles on November 2nd at the Hotel Cafe.  Do your selves 2 favors.  Get your hands on this record.  It is available on Amazon and iTunes.  It is also available to listen to on Spotify.  Here is the last track from The Barr Brother’s self titled release.  Next time I’m going to write about the Muppets, yes the Muppets.

Let There Be Horses – The Barr Brothers

The Republic Tigers – “No Man’s Land” [NEW MUSIC]

the republic tigers

The Kansas City-based quintet’s Chop Shop Records debut featured an array of styles – spanning future folk, high-spirited rock, and candy-colored pop – melded into a truly original and ingenious sound. “It’s a sound that’s half organic and half synthetic, kind of like how all our lives are now,” says singer/multi-instrumentalist Kenn Jankowski. “It’s the common theme throughout all of the songs and we tried to approach it audibly as well.”  The band started to come together in 2006 after Jankowski’s former band, the Golden Republic, split and he exchanged demos with fellow musician friend Adam McGill. “‘The Republic Tiger’ was my high-school mascot,” Jankowski says of the moniker, “and the name always rang to me in a nice way. I don’t like band names very much and I don’t like thinking about them either, so I just took something that I knew was timeless to me, and big enough that we could color it with our music and create its meaning with our songs.”  The line-up quickly expanded over the following months, with guitarist/pianist Ryan Pinkston, bassist Marc Pepperman, and drummer Justin Tricomi each bringing a new color to the paintbox. “It was what we’d all always dreamed of,” Jankowski says, “which was to work with other people kind of like us.”

The Republic Tigers SXSW

Over the next year, The Republic Tigers recorded a series of demos, with each member working individually on home-recordings which were then enmeshed into a single unified whole. The goal from the start was to incorporate elements of indie, electronica, pop, and even classical music into something distinctive and idiosyncratically their own. Jankowski was determined to bring “a different approach to each song. I wanted each song to be a story in its own world, like a little book.”  The band self-released an EP in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2008 when The Republic Tigers released the Keep Color album that they finally started to emerge on the music scene.

While Keep Color was born of The Republic Tigers’ passion for inventive recording, the band followed it by making their bones as an inventive and resourceful live band. They spent much of 2008 and 2009 on the road, both headlining and sharing stages with Travis, Weezer, and Nada Surf. What’s more, the band performed on such high-profile programs as CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman and The WB.com’s Rockville CA, with their songs featured on an array of shows including Gossip Girl, Chuck, Grey’s Anatomy, and Supernatural.  No Land’s Man heralds the upcoming release of The Republic Tigers’ much-anticipated, as-yet-untitled second album. While reluctant to give away too many of its secrets, Jankowski confirms that he and his fellow musical explorers remain on their own idiosyncratic path, fervently committed to the creation of The Republic Tigers’ singular sonic magic.

 

 

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