Category Archives: Music Help

J. Roddy Walston and the Business [NEW MUSIC]

You ever go to a bar, walk in, musics blaring and sadly its just a crappy cover band bangin’ away in the corner and like 20 drunk local- yokels destroying pints over in the other corner nodding along to the bands fifth time playing a slurred “Proud Mary” with one extremely unattractive -poor excuse for a truck drivers wife- dancing alone in the middle of the floor?  Then you punch yourself in the face for paying Cletus a pointless 5 dollar cover at the door and just take the loss and walk out?  Well that doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s just the complete and utter worst thing in the whole world.  I don’t mean to go all “Martin Luther King Jr.” on you but, I have a dream.  I have a dream that one day I will walk into the shadyest of dive bars, pay 5 dollar cover to Cletus and right before I punch my self in the face I will hear sweet sounds J. Roddy Walston and the Business.  Get after it.

Used to Did – J. Roddy Walston and the Business

With that said Baltimore’s J. Roddy Walston and the Business are the real deal.  They are loud and in your face.  Great piano, great guitars and J. Roddy himself has an awesomely distinct voice.  That first track I posted for you is the third track on their self titled release which came out about a year ago.  The next track I’m going to post is how the record opens.  It’s arguably one of my favorite songs in existence at the moment.  It’s called “Don’t Break The Needle” and if this doesn’t make you want to hear more you’re not human.

Don’t Break The Needle – J. Roddy Walston and the Business

J. Roddy Walston is backed by Billy C. Gordon on guitar with Steve “The Sleeve” Colmus (Drums) and Logan Davis (Bass) holding it down in the rhythm section.  They play rock and roll, simple as that.  This record is really outstanding.  Song after song I find myself not only getting lost in the music but nodding along the whole way.  As I said before J. Roddy has a distinct voice.  I think his voice completely makes this record.

His high energy matches the high octane of the band.  The rhythms are relentless and catchy.  If you like rock and roll and you need some music to throw on to keep a dying party going at say 3am I think you might find refuge in this record.

Full Growing Man – J. Roddy Walston and The Business

J. Roddy is playing The Satellite in Silverlake tomorrow night in LA.  I’ll be going.  I’ll be the guy right up front dancing my ass off.  If you want to dance come find me I’ll be hard to miss.  I’ll be dancing hardest to this song.

Brave Man’s Death – J. Roddy Walston and The Business

The band is currently in the middle of a US tour which looks like it stops at Austin City Limits.  Their tour page is HERE.  You can buy their self titled release HERE.  It’s only 7 bucks.  If you don’t buy it you are a stupid.

Next time you walk into a bar after paying a cover you regret and you’re about to punch yourself in the face.  Pull your iProduct out of your pocket and crank ‘J. Roddy Walston and The Business’ and pretend the poor excuse for a band is as good as them, which is impossible.  This band is going to be huge.  MARK MY WORDS.  Here’s the last track and a video.  And oh yea, a cover of my favorite Queen song, “Fat Bottomed Girls.” with a drunk guy singing in the background.  Boom.

Use Your Language – J. Roddy Walston and The Business

Qualities not terribly amazing, but you get the point.  Enjoy

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

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Left Lane Cruiser “Junkyard Speed Ball” [NEW MUSIC]

So I was at the liquor store today buying myself some delicious treats.  I sauntered though the whiskey and bourbon aisle perusing the selection.  Wasn’t in the mood.  Last night wasn’t supposed to be one of those “what the hell happened and why do I have a tattoo of a ninja turtle on my rear end” kind of nights.  I got home and saw a text that read “Left Lane Cruiser, get after it.”  Checked my e-mail and there was a zip file with the same title.  I listened, without a word walked across the street, bought every single bottle of whiskey they had in stock and yelled “Cowabunga!” while a man named “Sneaky Dave” drew a terrible rendition of Michaelanglo on my ass just because I already knew where this night was going.  This is the blues, this is loud, this is Left Lane Cruiser.

Set Me Down – Left Lane Cruiser

Am I right or am I right?

This whiskey fueled two-man frenzy of blues-driven rock’n’roll noise straight from Fort Wayne, Indiana promise to hit you like a shock wave and show you a foot-stompin’ good time.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  With Freddie J IV completely shredding on guitar and Brenn “Sausage Paw” Beck on “drums, trash and hollering” this two man duo is a machine that will chew you up and spit you out without hesitation or effort.  They have released 4 records and their most recent record “Junkyard Speedball” is a complete monster.  If your going to call a record “Junkyard Speed Ball” it better be fast, it better have raw emotion, it better have grit and it better have… well I’ll just let them show you.  They would have punched me in the face for talking to much already anyway.

Justify – Left Lane Cruiser

There’s not much I have to say that the band hasn’t already said.  The gritty vocals, the DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY guitar, the pounding drums and the trash just come together and make me cross-eyed with pleasure.  The volume is awesome, this is good mood blues at 100 miles per hour.

I’d definitely compare these guys to the likes of ‘The Black Keys’ because they have that same two man dynamic with no bass guitar.  I would ‘un-compare’ them to ‘The Black Keys’ because I hate having to make comparisons in the first place and these guys are just different.  Yes the instrumentation is the same.  Left Lane Cruiser is fast, faster than everyone else.  They have a certain whiskey fueled anger to their music.  They site the North Mississippi Hill Country Blues as an influence.  I’m already familiar with the Dickinson Family and the North Mississippi All Stars (you should be too) and man does that just click and make sense.  This song is called “Big Momma.”  Time for 5 more shots.

Big Momma – Left Lane Cruiser

So basically all I have to say is, you’re welcome.  If you like rock and you like the blues Left Lane Cruiser is for you.  Honestly I haven’t been this excited about a band in a while.  Go out and buy their music.  They are on iTunes HERE.  I received the “Junkyard Speed Ball” from a friend, but I definitely coughed up a couple bucks to hear what else these guys have to say and trust me its worth it.  They are currently bar hoping and playing a bunch of smaller festivals in the Mid West.  Tour page is HERE.   If you live there I envy you like I have never envied anything before.  This band will give you a hangover.  This band is heavy.  Enjoy.

Heavy – Left Lane Cruiser

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

Hey Champ “Star” [NEW MUSIC]

OK dudes and lady dudes.  Get your dancing shoes on throw some glitter in your hair.  Hey Champ hails from Chicago, IL and they blend house, indie rock and disco into their amped synthtastic sounds.  Yes I know, I’m sweating just thinking about it.  Let’s get into their most recent full length release ‘Star’.

Shake – Hey Champ

As you can see these guys are a party.  With a primary emphasis on all things synthesizer, sweet beats and raging guitar this music is just plain fun to listen to.  They site “The 80’s” as an influence on their facbook page and as you can hear from the opening chords of the first tune “Shake” they aren’t holding anything back.  Dance pop/ rock at its finest.

“Hey Champ’s roots can be traced outside of Chicago in nearby Rockford, where band members Saam Hagshenas (Vocals, Guitar) and Jonathan Marks (Vocals & Drums) discovered their love of music at a young age. After Saam’s graduation from law school, Jon’s fellow Princeton Pete Dougherty (Synths) moved to Chicago, cementing the lineup of the group.”

One of my favorite songs is called ‘Cold Dust Girl’.  An upbeat summer anthem ‘Cold Dust Girl’ is a great example of the simplicity in the song writing and the bands ability to create catchy hook on top of catchy melody.  Now who wants to watch hot hipster chicks dance in extreme slow motion and make out with each other?

Cold Dust Girl – Hey Champ

I said it once and I’ll say it again.  ‘Hey Champ’ is freakin’ fun.  As far as I can tell they don’t take themselves too seriously.  Which comes through in the music not because it’s sloppy or anything like that, but because these guys are trying just have a good time playing loud and making people dance.

After listening to this record I can only imagine what a live show would be like, but I’d put a weeks pay that I walk out of there a sweaty mess.  They state on their facebook page that their band influences are Crochet, Pottery, Antiquing.  I just really glad we have something in common.  BOOM!  Title Track.

Star – Hey Champ

“Hey Champ” has ZERO tour dates listed and I’m pissed.  Hopefully they get some dates up there soon/ just play shows in my house or LA forever.  They just released an EP called ‘Anything At All EP.’ that and their full length offering ‘Star’ are AVAILABLE HERE FOR CHEAP.  At 4 bucks for the EP and 6 bucks for the record you are literally stealing from this band so I suggest you buy it before they catch on.  Here’s the last track from ‘Star’ and a video for another awesome song called “Neverest”.

Steampunk Camelot – Hey Champ

Can’t wait for this band to get back on the road and play some shows. Ummm, Synth pop rules.  (I had a harder time than I thought I would trying to end this blog… deal with it.)

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

Anvil “Juggernaut Of Justice” [NEW MUSIC]

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today.  I looked back on a couple old blogs I have written and I was reading the other awesome stuff on this site when it finally hit me.  There is NOT ENOUGH METAL on this blog!  Now I am not a metal-head by any means, but who doesn’t like to turn it to 11 and destroy shit?  There’s only one metal band in my opinion that continues to embody the spirit of what Beatplay is all about.  They are called Anvil and they have just dropped a gem called “Juggernaut of Justice.”  Do me and your neighbors a favor and TURN. IT. UP.

Turn It Up – Anvil

Anvil has come back from Metal oblivion (although with 17 full length releases I believe they have never gone away) with an amazing documentary released last year covering all things Anvil and the difficulties of relentless touring and the ideas of “what could have been” taunting a band still trying to make it huge after 20+ years and being considered one of the best in the business with out the cash to show for it.  Anvil is one of the originals, simple as that.

They have been playing fast, loud and crazy music for decades.  This most recent release dominates.  It’s non stop and in your face.

Fuken Eh! – Anvil

It’s hard to review this record.  Problem #1: my hands literally won’t stop playing air guitar and air drums.  Problem #2:  I just threw my desk across my apartment and my computer was on top of it.  Problem #3:  My elderly (expletive) of a neighbor just came up and told me to turn it down to which I said nothing and awkwardly/ slowly closed the door in her wrinkled face.  All great problems to have and my luckily indestructible computer survived so I can continue.  But first…

When Hell Breaks Loose – Anvil

Hell has broken loose.  It’s time to stand up and give these guys the respect the have deserved for years.  They have great lyrics and great hooks.

Lips is the lead singer/ guitar player.  His voice is like razor blades ripping through a wall of guitar and drums.  This band embodies metal.  They live it.  From the start of this record, title track “Juggernaut of Justice” though the final punch in the face “Tonight is Coming” Anvil just doesn’t stop.  ALL the songs are heavy.  ALL the songs are fast.  ALL of my brain cells have turned to mush.  I feel bad I wasn’t a fan/ didn’t know about this band earlier in my life.  Granted they have been around since before I was a fetus.  Who knows?  I may have just become a metal-head from the start.  Here’s the last track from “Juggernaut of Justice.”

Tonight is Coming – Anvil

Anvil currently has a couple US dates on their TOUR PAGE and are touring heavily in Europe.  “Juggernaut of Justice” was released back in May so go buy it right now.  It was recorded not to far from my house at Dave Grohl’s Studio up in Northridge, CA, which makes it even cooler in my book.  So throw the devil horns up and repeat after me.  Long Live Metal but most of all  LONG LIVE ANVIL.

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

Danielson “Best of Gloucester County” [NEW MUSIC]

I bought a pair of wooden sunglasses today.  I also heard a band called ‘Danielson’.  Both happenings made my day.  ‘Danielson’ has a great, fresh sound.  One part loud perfect imperfections  and the other part pretty rockin’ for a folky acoustic outfit.  Danielson is weirdly religious.  I am not however, so this blog with be pure music…

Grow Up – Danielson

Daniel Christopher Smith is ‘Daneilson’.  He has an ever revolving family of musicians he plays with.

“Danielson has, during the five years, let go (reluctantly, perhaps) of some family collaborators—namely his brothers Andrew and David, the percussionists, and childhood friends Chris and Ted, on keys and bass/guitar respectively. While sisters Megan and Rachel and Daniel’s wife Elin, the essential chorus for many a Danielson Famile song, still appear, the bulk ofBest of Gloucester County revolves around a completely new “team.”

His new band consists of musicians from in and around Gloucester County in New Jersey.  Evan Mazunik plays piano and organ while Joshua Stamper holds it down on bass with Patrick Berkery rounding out the rhythm section on drums.  Andrew Wilson plays electric guitar and the one and only Sufjan Stevens plays banjo which is pretty incredible.  Pretty awesome instrumentation and extremely talented musicians support Danielson making this record really professional, fun and exciting to listen to.

Lil Norge – Danielson

I like the “obla-di-obla-da”-ness of the tune ‘Lil Norge’.  It’s a fun bouncy little tune complimenting the heavy hand of “Grow Up,” which come before it on the record.  One awesome thing among many on this record is that the songs individually are completely unique.  I think thats what drew me in.  I listened to the first couple tracks because they were loud and in my face.  As I continued into the guts of “Best Of Gloucester County” I got completely swept away.  Each song was different in its own awesome unique way (I know I already used it once, but it’s true so deal).  The guitar definitely drives this record.

Danielson’s sometimes piercing vocals actually work with the guitars and the choppiness of the music.  A good example of this is the song ironically is called “But I Don’t Wanna Sing About Guitars.”

But I Don’t Wanna Sing About Guitars – Danielson

As the record continues it get a little quieter and quieter.  Songs like ‘You Sleep Good Now’ and ‘Denominator Bluise’ are quiet simple as that.  I don’t really know why the track list isn’t mixed a little bit better, but there’s obviously a reason in ‘Daneilson’s’ head.  Artists intuition I guess.  It’s not bad, but I just expected the end of the record to be a little bit like the beginng.  All in all it’s a solid effort straight though.  The song writing is fantastic and with musicians like Sufjan Stevens playing banjo on your record ‘Danielson’ holds his music to a very high standard.  This is the bands fifth release and although I can’t speak for their prior releases I will say that “Best of Gloucester County” is worth while feel good music to listen to.  With that said I’ll leave you with a soft end to the record, “Hosanna in the Forest”

Hosanna in The Forest – Danielson

Check out Danielson’s tour page for more info on that although it doesn’t look like they have anything coming up too soon.  Do yourself a favor and download “Best of Gloucester County” HERE.  I guess it must be the old punch your listener in the face and then play quiet nice music to relax them and get them to forgive you method.  For me it’s working.  I forgive you.

PS.  I got to include this video of “Did I Step On Your Trumpet”.  It’s so wierd.

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

10 Pitfalls Of Amatuer Recordings [Music Help]

We’ve all experienced it: 3 seconds into a track you’ve never heard, you know instinctively that it was recorded and mixed in someone’s bedroom.

Amateur recordings often sound “amateur.” But what differentiates these hometracked opuses from professional recordings? It’s not just fidelity or sonic quality: Many competent engineers produce lo-fi or distorted mixes on purpose, when it suits the song. Rather, amateur recordings tend to share some key traits, telltale signs that the mixing and recording are the work of a novice.

You can learn to recognize and address these traits in your own recordings, and produce more polished, professional mixes:

Too much bass: Nothing says amateur mix like a boomy, overpowering bottom-end. Novice engineers often monitor and mix through headphones or small speakers which under-represent low frequencies. It’s natural to compensate by boosting the bass instruments, but this in turn yields muddy, indistinct mixes. If you find your mixes sound boomy on other systems, try checking everything you do against a commercial reference CDto better gauge the appropriate bass levels.

Poor drum levels: For great drum tracks, everything in the recording chain matters: The room, the drums, the microphones (and of course the drummer.) So before recording a band, professional engineers spend days or weeks tweaking each element in the chain for the best drum sound, and to ensure that no single drum overpowers or vanishes in the mix. In fact, drums are arguably the hardest instrument to record. A large kit can require 10 or more microphones, so it’s little wonder the drums in amateur recordings often come up short.

    • But even if we don’t have a $50,000 mic collection to capture big studio sound, we amateurs can still at least get good levels. If you have difficulty getting your drums mixed right, try this: Listen to a modern recording that’s sonically similar to the track you’re mixing, and slowly lower the volume. Notice, as the level approaches 0, which elements of the mix are the last to disappear. In contemporary music, it’s usually the kick drum, snare drum, and lead vocal. Now, try to replicate this in your own mixes.

 

Clashing instruments: This is an issue with arrangement as much as production. A song’s parts can lack distinction because the individual instruments don’t have their own space within the song’s arrangement. It’s a tell-tale sign of an amateur mix because many of us write as we record, progressively adding new layers to a song, rather than arranging ahead of time and recording only what’s needed. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, per se, but it clearly separates the amateurs from the pros: A professional producer refines the arrangement before setting foot in the studio.

    • If you find your instrumentation lacks distinction, consider revising the arrangement to add some space. Let your tracks breathe.

 

Uneven vocals: The biggest difference between superstar singers and us wannabes isn’t pitch or tone or vibrato. (Let’s face it: Some of the best selling artists are terrible singers, at least in the classical sense.) Rather, what separates good from great, most often, is dynamics. A great singer knows how to control the volume of her voice, and more importantly, whento change her volume. And this has as much to do with the singer’s skill in front of a microphone as it does with her voice. When we hear uneven vocals, we hear a bad bar band with the singer mumbling 2 feet back from the microphone, or half-swallowing the mic and screaming. In other words, an amateur.

    • Recording vocals more evenly isn’t hard. First and foremost, the singer must practice! Before you hit record, ensure the singer knows every change in the song, and even when it’s best to inhale throughout the song for optimum breath control.

      And take note of this simple reminder:    near … far … near … far

 

Overused reverb: When used to add ambience or depth, reverb is best applied sparingly. Beginners often miss this, opting for the “some is good, more is better” approach (which is understandable: Remember how lush and important your voice sounded the first time you heard it through a “Carnegie Hall” reverb preset?) But in modern commercial recordings, reverb, unless it’s used as an obvious effect, is usually inaudible, adding texture to the sound without actually being perceptible. Best advice: Raise the reverb level until it’s just present, then back off a notch. And resist the urge to soak your vocals in deep chamber and hall reverb effects.

 

Cheap reverb: Even an untrained ear can hear the difference between a $3000 Lexicon unit and the free reverb built into your multitrack recorder. Cheap reverbs sound, basically, cheap. Especially on lead vocals. If you don’t have access to a decent plugin (though SIR, considered one of the best, is free,) consider avoiding reverb altogether. Or at least, per the point above, avoid obvious reverb.

 

“Fake” drums: More specifically, obviously programmed drums attempting to pass as live drums. This isn’t an issue in electronic and dance music, where listeners expect to hear steady quantized beats from drum machines. But pop and rock music have dynamic rhythm requirements, and listeners are conditioned to expect a more natural, nuanced sound from the drum track.

    • The ride cymbal and snare drum are the most obvious amateur giveaways. A snare drum’s tone depends on where, and how hard, the stick hits the head, and this goes double for the ride cymbal, especially near the bell. So when a drum track features 32 bars of 8th notes using the same ride cymbal sample at the same volume, listeners always sense something’s not right.

      If you don’t have access to a drummer and drum kit, you can still create believable programmed drum tracks with a little effort. This article from Sound On Sound has some great tips on humanizing for more realistic drum beats.

 

Muddy, indistinct vocals: If a song has lyrics, listeners should be able to hear those lyrics. That might sound obvious, but it’s an important point lost on many novice recordists. Several things contribute to indistinct vocals:

    • The proximity effect on a directional microphone. Most vocal mics boost the low frequencies of close-miked sound sources, so back off the mic a few inches for a clearer sound.

      Singing without a pop filter. Plosives produce a blast of air that sounds careless and lazy. If you don’t have a pop screen, you can easily make your own.

      Poor or inappropriate EQ. Novices often attempt to clean up a vocal track by boosting high frequencies, hoping to add definition. However, this usually has the opposite effect, increasing sibilance and giving the vocal a sharp, edgy sound without improving the clarity. It’s far more effective to clean a track with a low-frequency cut, and you can safely remove everything below 100Hz from vocals. In fact, your microphone might even feature a low-frequency roll off switch for this purpose.

      Your mix sells the vocal performance. So make sure the lyrics can be heard.

 

Too much bad room sound: Unless you have a well-treated space, or record in a very large room, your room probably doesn’t flatter your recordings. (See The Portable Vocal Booth for details.) However, a bad room doesn’t automatically equal bad recordings. Many classic albums were recorded in less-than-perfect environments by engineers wise enough to limit the room’s presence on the recording.

    • Strive to minimize the room sound in your recordings by close-miking whenever possible, and choosing microphones with polar patterns that reduce the capture of extra room noise.

Timing problems: Professional musicians practice a song for weeks or months before recording it. But as noted above, many amateurs write while they record, essentially eliminating practice from the process. Additionally, whether through impatience or inexperience, beginners tend to approach recording with a “fix it in the mix” mentality, which naturally leads to sloppy takes. You don’t need to aim for perfection to sound like a pro. But you do need your “keeper” takes to be free of obvious timing errors. A single snare drum hit lagging by a 16th of a beat is enough to make your whole track sound amateur.

  • Worded another way: Good bands are tight, so when you don’t sound tight people assume you’re not good. Spend some more time practicing your new song before hitting record, and you’ll capture better performances. And sound more professional as a result.
 
 
 
By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Guillemots “Walk The River” [NEW MUSIC]

When I first took interest in recording music in college, there were a few bands initially I had a chance to work with and Guillemots was one of them.  A British band making small waves in the US, but they were at least making waves none the less, which was good enough for a young aspiring music producer/ engineer.  They taught me two things.  One was there’s WAY better music out there than top 40 and jam bands (which I was VERY into at the time…I know) and the second was that you could put a pickup in a typewriter and use it as an instrument.  My mind was blown.  This is what we came up with.

Who Left The Lights Off Baby – Guillemots (Live At WERS 88.9fm Boston)

Fyfe Dangerfield formed Guillemots in 2004.  That last track was from the EP “From The Cliffs” released in 2006.  They released a great record called “Red” in 2008 and three years later I am so stoked they are releasing new music.  Their new record is called “Walk The River,” and I think will probably splash a little louder than they did years ago.

The Basket – Guillemots

There is only one way to describe Guillemot’s sound… BIG.  Huge vocals, massive guitars/ drums, vast effects that create a completely huge listening spectrum.  From a recording standpoint this band is just plain fun to listen to and from a music fans perspective, what’s not to love?

Vermillion – Guillemots

With “Walk the River” I think we are listening to a matured Guillemots.  This record has a very specific sound fixated on the melodies not just the driving drums and ethereal effects that are integral in past recordings.  For those who have listened to this band before or after reading this plan to look into them further I’ll think you’ll see those elements as a distinct link throughout all the music, but I also think you’ll hear their best work yet as all the songs on this record form a cohesive listening experience.

Walk The River – Guillemots

Yes this band can rock but as I saw many years ago there is a very thoughtful and beautiful side to the music as well.  Gorgeous ballads such as “Dancing in the Devil’s Shoes” have such vivid imagery of someone fighting inner demons.  With heavy industrial rhythms set back in the mix Fyfe Dangerfield’s voice soars above all.  Backed by Aristazabal Hawkes on bass and percussion, Greig Stewart on Drums and MC Lord Magrão on just about everything else (guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, accordion, xylophone, theremin, synth, bass, typewriter, musical saw, electric drill,melodica, melodeon) Guillemots is bound for a comeback although in my opinion they have never left.  Recently anticipating the release of “Walk the River” Guillemots played a pair of local sold out secret shows in the UK.  Since its release in April it has been well received and they are currently touring making appearances all over the UK.  Their tour page is HERE.

Dancing in the Devil’s Shoes – Guillemots

Do yourself a favor and grab “Walk The River.” It’s available through the bands website HERE.

This band was one of the best bands I have had the pleasure to work with and thankfully they continue to experiment and release great new music for my (and your) ear drums.  Hopefully with the success of their most recent release we’ll see a state side tour, which I’m sure will destroy every single club it stops at.  As usual here’s the last track from Guillemots “Walk The River”.

Yesterday Is Dead – Guillemots

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

Milo Greene “The Hello Sessions” [NEW MUSIC]

Early on in my concert going career I found myself saying “yea, they won’t go on until 9.  We can skip the opener.  Blah, blah blah…”  Nowadays I say “I have to get out of work early so I can get down to the club and see the opener.”  In this case the club was LA’s Troubadour and the opening band was Milo Greene.  I was there to see Lord Huron who I have the biggest musical hard on for right about now so I was already amped for the show, but Milo Greene impressed me beyond belief.

1957 – Milo Greene

For those wondering this is how the band got together:

andrew knew marlana; he met robbie and curtis in school, and was introduced to graham at the greene house. andrew is milo greene.

marlana knew andrew; she was introduced to curtis, doesn’t remember how she met robbie, and welcomed graham into the greene house. marlana is milo greene.

graham met robbie over sushi; he was introduced to marlana, curtis  and andrew at the greene house. graham is milo greene.

curtis and robbie and andrew were school friends; robbie introduced graham to curtis, and andrew introduced curtis to marlana. curtis is milo greene

robbie met andrew and curtis at school; robbie introduced graham to marlana, curtis and andrew at the greenehouse. robbie is milo greene

who is milo greene?

Milo Greene is kinda like Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish.  He doesn’t actually exist, but he makes for a really cool band name.  This band is very young but the fact they came together in such an organic fashion is interesting and it definitely shows in their music and live shows.  They have only released two songs.  One of which is “1957” and the other is “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” which I will post below.  Right off the bat I hear the influences of today’s LA music scene.  A little bit of Local Natives (o.k. fine a lot-a-bit) and maybe a little Edward Sharpe (o.k. fine not really a lot at all) brewing together creating fantastic harmonies and a light pleasant listening experience.  These two songs are driven by  poppy drums/ rim shots (gotta love those rim shots) and the airy guitars that support the out standing vocal efforts.  When I saw them live I was pretty blown away by the harmonies.  It drew me closer to the stage and I guess if they can do that with just their voices imagine what they will do when they put out a full length release.

Don’t You Give Up On Me – Milo Greene

I’m excited about this band.  They are playing a couple local LA shows, most of which are FREE.  Their tour page is HERE and you can download those two tracks for FREE HERE.

Do yourself a favor and try to get there for the opener.  You never know what you’ll stumble upon.  I can guarentee one thing.  I won’t be missing many openeres especially if they happen to be named Milo Grenne.

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

Gayngs “Relayted” [MUSIC][ALBUM][VIDEO]

If you attended this little festival called Coachella this past weekend you probably have hearing loss and you probably heard about Gayngs.  This 25 member collective headed up by Solid Gold members Zack Coulter and Adam Hurlburt with Ryan Olson features members from a plethora (I love that word) of bands and styles of music.  The initial demo of the first track “The Gaudy Side Of Town” from the debut album “Relayted” is one of those songs where, as a musician, you know what your listening to is new and fresh and you need to play on it somehow so they did… everyone did.

The Gaudy Side of Town – Gayngs

The first people to join the cause were North Carolina’s Megafaun (Joe Westerlund, Brad Cook, Phil Cook), and with them came Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds), and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Mike Noyce. By mid-2009 the studio sessions were becoming more and more frequent, bouncing back and forth between April Base and Olson’s bedroom. In Minneapolis, Olson brought in Rhymesayers rapper P.O.S and his fellow Doomtree artist Dessa, psych-rockers Jake Luck and Nick Ryan (Leisure Birds), song-birds Channy Moon-Casselle and Katy Morley, jazz-saxophonist Michael Lewis (Happy Apple, Andrew Bird), retro-pop duo Maggie Morrison and Grant Cutler (Lookbook), and slide-guitarist Shön Troth (Solid Gold).  — jagjaguar.com

Photo by, Leslie Plesser

It’s bands like this that make me want to stand out in 100 degree heat braving massive crowds and drunk asses.  Mellow in mood and flow “Relayted” is very clean and atmospheric.  Soaring harmonies with precisely placed strings and piano gives the music a familiar feeling while being true to its originality.  With all the different musical tastes and tendencies it doesn’t surprise me this record took years to make.

 The result however must be worth it for these guys, because it was for me and I just heard of them.  The slow moods of RnB tracks such as “No Sweat” stand up next to tracks such as the free form jazzy and electronically experimental sounding “False Bottom.”  The two tracks sound like completely different bands and in this case they probably are, which I find hilarious and delightfully intriguing.

No Sweat – Gayings

False Bottom – Gayngs

This record is a great listen and comes highly recommended by yours truly.  Gayngs has a couple shows HERE on their myspace page and their record “Relayted” is available HERE.

Here’s the last track from “Relayted”

The Last Prom on Earth  –  Gayngs

http://vimeo.com/15024988

For those who made it out to Coachella my hats off to you and for those who weren’t able to make it out I hope this makes you jealous you weren’t there.

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

The Tallest Man On Earth [MUSIC][VIDEO]

Kristian Matsson is the tallest man on earth.  I was introduced to this amazing artist by a coworker of mine. I went to the show that evening after listening to a few tunes and was completely blown away.  A mid twenties kid like myself came out on stage and immediately commanded the audiences attention.  The intensity in his voice with unbelievable guitar work kept the audiences full attention warranting almost complete silence while he was playing for over an hour.  I was/ am still blown away.
The Wild Hunt – Tallest Man On Earth
OK I know what your thinking.  He sounds like a young Bob Dylan right?  Wrong, well o.k. maybe the grit in his voice is reminiscent of Dylan, but his guitar work is far superior/ different.  His lyrics tend to lean on nature and his own life.  He said “I don’t think I could write a song without mentioning birds,” with a grin at his show.
King of Spain – Tallest Man On Earth
Tallest Man released a self titled EP in 2007 and followed it up with a full length offering called “Shallow Grave” in 2008 and “The Wild Hunt” more recently in 2010.  My favorite track is called “Burden of Tomorrow” from “The Wild Hunt”.
Burden of Tomorrow – Tallest Man on Earth
He is currently on tour with Mumford and Sons with a slot at the upcoming Coachella Festival in Indio, CA.
If you ever get a chance to see Tallest Man do yourself a favor and check him out.  His music is original.  His guitar playing is unreal and you definitely will feel compelled to listen with every ounce of attention you can muster, I know I did.
Tour Dates are HERE.
You can buy his records HERE. (iTunes)
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC