Tag Archives: Pa

Alex Brubaker – Deconstructing The Temporal Lobe [NEW MUSIC]

What would rock music be without the guitar?  What would most music today be without the guitar?  It’s difficult to imagine, and nearly impossible to really think about.  We wouldn’t have Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and other legends that have directly influenced much of today’s music.  Fortunately, we can all relax because the guitar exists.  However, for Alex Brubaker, the guitar is not just a guitar.  It’s a rhythm section and an entire musical ensemble that can be looped, distorted, delayed, scratched, hit, tapped, and transformed into new musical opportunities.  With influences ranging from Dream Theater to Trace Bundy, you might expect that his style would reflect progressive experimentation with this age-old instrument.  You would be close to correct, but listen for yourself to one of his songs called “Ice Mountain.”

After starting on prog rock and metal in high school, Brubaker transformed his style by applying the same ideas and techniques to the acoustic guitar, but that’s not all.  He has incorporated looping, tapping, alternate tuning, and using two guitars.  His creativity is refreshing and his ideas are unique.  Brubaker released his debut album called Deconstructing the Temporal Lobe in September 2009 after only two years of experimenting with percussive fingerstyle guitar.  You’ve got to give it another listen if you are the least bit interested in the guitar or if you just like music!  In this next song, Alex incorporates both acoustic and electric guitar to create a pretty dope riff.  It’s called “Phoenix.” Check it out.

Slightly different than your typical I IV V, huh?  In today’s music industry, we get sucked into songs with the same progressions, forms, rhythms, and bass lines.  It’s like walking through an art gallery with paintings, sculptures, and art forms that are just modern copies of what’s been done before.  They’re good, but they are just communicating what’s been said in earlier paintings without any creative change.  It’s not only rare to try to be an innovative artist, but it’s also difficult.  Similar to the rise of street art in recent years, the rise of new independent music has seemed to explode through channels like youtube and social media.  It’s easier now than ever to go searching for new artists and music because of technology.

Alex Brubaker likes to challenge music.  What new sounds can I make using this instrument, and what obscure pattern of rhythms can I fit here?  These are common questions for Alex.  His debut album Deconstructing the Temporal Lobe features sounds and feelings created by using the guitar in a variety of ways.  With electric and acoustic, distorted and clean, Alex displays a mixture of experimentation on the guitar that makes for great listening anytime.  Songs like “Phoenix” display powerful riffs with creative loops and textures, while songs like “Debris of a Brainstorm” take you from one melodic idea to another.  When you listen to Alex Brubaker’s songs, they allow your mind to relax and just listen, because each guitar medley paints an incredible picture.  Check out more of his music and purchase Deconstructing the Temporal Lobe at alexbrubakerguitar.com.

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

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Roundhand Rowan live at The Hardscuffle (CMC) in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

When I moved into my new house in Nashville a couple days ago, I had a decision to make.  Should I stay at home and keep unpacking or put it off to go see some friends at a hardcore show?  Well, I’m glad I went with the later because I got to see Roundhand Rowan take the stage with full production.  I’ll be honest.  I don’t get out to too many hardcore shows, but these guys had some fresh ideas and killer stage presence.  Their creativity was reflected the most in their breakdown sections with different time signatures and various intricate combinations of rhythms and melodies.  I’m sure glad that I brought my -15db earplugs because like most hardcore rock shows, it was loud.  Here’s a photo from the show with sweet production.  (I did what I could without the luxury of an SLR)

Roundhand Rowan, aka RHR, is a melodic-hardcore band from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and last night was the last out-of-state stop on their summer tour.  The band is composed of Jesse (vocals, guitar, synth), Cody (guitar, synth, vocals), David (drums, vocals), and Derek (guitar, synth, screams).  They started playing together two years ago, and have really started to develop within the last year.  RHR has shared the stage with The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria, Gwen Stacy, For Today, and many more.  Check out their music video for one of their songs called “They Hunt the Defeated.”

One of my favorite things about Roundhand Rowan (besides the gut-wrenching screams from Derek) is their message.  A lot of hardcore, screamo, or metal bands out there don’t relay a very positive message in their music.  Roundhand Rowan has made it a point to “spread love and positivity to those they entertain.”  Even though their music is hard, loud, and one of the furthest things from Jack Johnson or Colbie Caillat, RHR strives to “lift up others to rise over the negativity perpetuated in this world.”  These aren’t your typical cookie-cutter straight edge rockers, but they certainly long to express a positive lifestyle through their music.

I talked with a couple members from the band for a while after the show.  Having toured with a band myself, I know from experience that the road can take a toll on a person physically and emotionally.  Despite a busted van and trailer, the guys seemed to be in good spirits coming into the last leg of their travels.  Touring with little to no budget is a huge test for any independent band.  The financial struggles alone can cause doubt and frustration to set in.  RHR might have been tired, but their spirits were high and they put on a good show.  For more information on Roundhand Rowan, check out their Facebook page or Myspace.

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

New Video Released by 1,2,3 to Single, “Work.”

1,2,3 is the brainchild of Nic Snyder and Josh Sickels, two friends from Pittsburgh, PA, who recently released there debut full-length album entitled New Haven in June. Aside from the logistical nightmare that is attempting to Google search “1,2,3,” my first experience with this group was extremely positive. After listening to samples that are posted on their myspace page, I became more enamored with their creativity and their ability to create so many different sounds, often within the framework of a single song. One benefit of this creativity is that the listener is never truly able to stereotype this band and any attempts to pigeonhole 1,2,3 into a specific category or compare them to others is quickly defeated when the next track plays.

Set in the quintessential blue-collar city of Pittsburgh, PA, “Work” is somewhat of a laborer’s anthem. Check out the video below and head over to their myspace page to hear more samples. As aforementioned, New Haven, their latest album hit the markets in June and its one of my favorite of the year thus far.

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

Amma Johnson Performs Live – Amazing Voice!

I love Amma Johnson. She is one of my favorite independent artists, especially because of the message she carries in each of her songs.

This video is particularly inspiring, as she dedicates her song “Finally Free” to her 2 friends who have been clean and off drugs for several years. It’s a very emotional video, in a great way, and Amma’s voice is AMAZING. Hope you enjoyed!

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