Tag Archives: Pop

Youth Lagoon – “Cannons” [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Trevor Powers is the genius behind the recent independent electro-pop sensation Youth Lagoon. The more recent hit “Cannons” is nothing short of the word, ‘genius’, as he quickly captures you with a familiarly beautiful keyboard riff. Having released this track about 3 months ago it is hardly new this age of music, but it’s definitely new to me and I’m sure many more. Currently Trevor hosts the Youth Lagoon name on a number of music and social networks for his fans to interact and share his growing music catalogue.

Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

youth lagoonThis Boise, Idaho native has made his mark in the European circuit, and with that growing fan base he has sparked the interest of Youth Lagoon’s current independent label Fat Possum Records. With only 3 tracks on soundcloud, it is only the beginning for this modern day composer, with a sure-to-be bright future in store for Youth Lagoon and Trevor Powers altogether. As I’m sure you noticed the “Free Download” mention at the top, simply visit Youth Lagoon’s bandcamp site for 2 free downloads including “Cannons”.

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Trevor Menear “Some Kind Of Sunshine” [NEW MUSIC]

It’s been just over a week since my last blog post.  Sorry.  Had to go visit the lady in North Carolina.  Thought I’d use my trip to discover some cool local bands out there, but instead I found hippie jam band drum circles and people playing homemade instruments (the terrible sounding kind) in the street.  Kinda cool if your deaf, but not really my cup of tea.  There is a time and place for hippie jam band drum circles and a romantic evening with the lady you haven’t seen in a couple months is not the time and in my ear drums wasn’t the place.  Instead I stumbled upon this awesome new artist named Trevor Menear.  I signed up for his mailing list at The Satellite Lounge in LA right before I left and he gave me his CD for free.  I listened to it on the plane ride back to LA and I wish I knew it was this good because honestly would have paid 20 bones.

River Blues – Trevor Menear

Chicago native Menear is a blues man.  His most recent and second full length offering “Some Kid Of Sunshine” he features the blues with a small hint of pop mixed in just for fun.  Two things hit me right off the bat.  His guitar work and the originality and distinctness of Trevor’s voice.  Both are the stars of the show on this record.  His take on the blues is fresh and his acoustic picking is just awesome.  This record has a good mix of heavy and light.  A good example to contrast that first track “River Blues” is the track “Better On The Way”.

Better On The Way – Trevor Menear

It’s pretty awesome when you stumble on an artist with this kind of range.  He keeps the same general tone throughout the record, but each song is very different and the mix between his acoustic picking and the electric guitar is awesome to listen to.  All that acoustic light stuff is nice, but lets be serious this guy can wail so lets hear some more.  Here’s an original off the record and a video of Trevor and band covering “Champagne and Reefer” by the legendary Muddy Waters.

Make Me Howl- Trevor Menear

That’s my favorite song on this record.  Come to think of it maybe “Blues River” is.  Eh, whatever they are both awesome tunes and as the starting two tracks on this record needless to say my attention was grabbed in a big way.  There are other little gems on this record as well.  One tune in particular is the track “Giver Her a Name” It’s kind if buried near the end of the record, but the haunting melodies and the strings are really cool especially after the heavy distortion of the guitar on the previous tracks.

Give Her a Name – Trevor Menear

Now for the good part.  Here’s where I get to tell you that Trevor lives locally in LA and has played and is playing a bunch of local free shows namely the Venice Beach Music Festival on August 13th.  I guess it’s really only good for me and the rest of the Californians, sorry.  His tour page is here and he’s playing The Foundry on Melrose tomorrow night from 8:30 to 11:30 for FREE.  I’ll see you there.

Now for the second good part.  On his website Trevor’s new record “Some Kind Of Sunshine” is available in the “pay what you want” format.  Do yourself a favor and throw him a 5 or a 10, whatever you can afford.  You won’t be disappointed
and you’ll get to hear the rest of the tracks I wasn’t able to fit above.

Here’s the last track as usual.  There are 13 tracks on this record.  Seriously buy it, I honestly think its worth a 20…

November (a long way from here) – Trevor Menear

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

Sherwood – “You Are” [VIDEO]

Narrative: The band participates in an experiment involving dozens of helium balloons.  It goes awry.

Performance: During an experiment in an open field.

Song: Ridiculously feel-good pop.  A Third Eye Blind melody stuffed with Beach Boy harmonies.

Why You Should Watch It: As all good bands with a sense of self-promotion would, these guys approached me at Warped Tour ’04 (God, I’m old…) with an album and a plea: “Please, check this out.  Even if you don’t like it, it’ll brighten your day.”  I paraphrase, but they were spreading some serious love around.  Unenthused (I was a surly teenager at Warped Tour, pretty much incapable of any thuse at all), I brushed it aside and moved on.  I think a bought a crappy book from some forward thinking religious group instead.  Anyway, it was a mistake and I’m proud to say I now own almost every track this band has released – including the album I originally turned down.  They’ve been struck with bad luck and bad timing, getting signed to the debacle that was MySpace Records – and have constantly been stuck trying to sell that sunny demeanor that struck such a boring chord with me to a generally dour scene.  With their third full-length “QU,” the record this cut is from, they seemed to realize that they’ll probably always be a little more mature than their target audience, and the result is wonderfully complex, mature pop that sees only this track really return to their more straightforward days.

For a perfect summer track, try “Song In My Head” from their MySpace Records debut, “A Different Light.”  There’s a low-budget cleverness that runs through both these videos, and while the one above is definitely prettier, this one had a concept that stuck with me for a while…

If these tracks perk your ears, hit up YouTube and check out tracks more tracks from “A Different Light,” and “QU.”

In the words of the band: “Try it.  Even if you don’t like it…”

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

Steel Train – “Bullet” [VIDEO]

Narrative: A day in the life of a group of friends as they hang out and go to a show.

Performance: Surrounded by fans in the basement of  VFW hall.  As it should be.

Song: Yes.  A churning, stomping four minute seventeen second injection of YES.

Why You Should Watch It:  Steel Train’s a band you need to know.  They write the kind of music that should be the gold standard in rock: jangly, full-steam-ahead guitars and wild, wailing melodies that come barreling out of frontman Jack Antonoff’s throat.  Being from Jersey, a pinch of young Springsteen is inescapable, and they’ve embraced it.

Here, they further flaunt their Jersey roots by producing a “day in the life” piece that wraps itself in nostalgia for the simple days of goofing off and hanging out.  It’s simple but eye catching and some of the photography is striking.   The performance here is the capstone.  Dark, intense reds, oranges and yellows illuminate the basement where the band is playing.  Beers and cheers and rock fists are raised high, chests are pounded and sweat drips off the faces of all involved.  It feels like the best show you’ve ever been to.

 Highlight of the whole thing?  When Jack shouts “And I wouldn’t mind if/Together we died alone,” the whole crowd shouts it with him, and it feels like watching the statement of a generation being born.

BONUS: Scarlett Johansson covered this song!  Chill and moody.

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

Top Cast RUNDOWN (6/06-6/13) [CHARTS]

musicwithoutlabels topcastThis weeks RUNDOWN is personally my favorite so far. So many great posts from last week it was a close call for who made it. These are the viewers favorite posts, with sounds from all sorts of genres. Enjoy the TopCast.

Behind The Board : Mick Cronin [Interview]

Q01 Who are you, What do you do & where are you based?

Mick Cronin. Producer, engineer, drummer. Transmission Studios, Drumlish, Ireland.

Q02 What album,track,gig or producer inspired you to end up behind a mixing board?

I was always intrigued at how sounds were made, Strawberry Fields was a real big one for me as a child.

Q03 Where did you study your trade?

I’m basically self taught. I have picked up some great tips and tricks from some of the people I have worked with. The likes of Phil Vinall, Karl Odlum and Richard Formby taught Me alot. I was never one of those musicians who left or started playing computer games as soon as they had finished their parts, I always stuck around and asked questions.

Q04 What advice do you have for any budding engineers out there?

Just do it, record on anything you have from a 4 track to an mbox. The more you do the more you learn.

Q05 What people in the biz do you look up to or aspire to be like?

There are plenty. Ger McDonnall who my band The Aftermath is a great inspiration at the mo. His jobs are so varied from classical things with The Priests to The Manic Street Preachers new stuff. His approach to sound is always get the best out of the song.

Q06 Analog or Digital? Tape or DAW? Outboard or Plugin?

I don’t think it matters anymore. The most important thing in any recording is performance.

Q07 What 3 pieces of gear could you not live without?

At the minute my new focasrite isa 828 pres. The old SE R1 Ribbon mics and a 57.

Q08 What do you think is the best mixed record of all time?

I think the first side of Van Morrison’s Moondance is absolute sonic perfection but most of that is down to the songs/performance.

Q09 What do you do on your downtime from Studio/Live?

At the moment not a lot but I do like  exploring exotic city’s.

Q10 If you werent an enginneer, what would you be doing instead?

I have no idea, I’d probably be on the building site.

Q11 What was your 1st professional album,mix/master job?

Hard to say as I worked on a lot of bits and pieces of albums but from start to finish tracking and mixing would be “Crimson’s Untamed Underground Unwell

Q12 What is some of the recent works you’ve been part of?

A lot going on new album by Matt McManamon from the Dead 60s. Really enjoying work with Shayne Thomas Byrne. Duncan Patterson album tracking just finished and I’m also due to do some recording the actor Patrick Bergin in a few weeks.

you can keep up to date with Mick on Facebook

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

The Swellers [NEW MUSIC] [MUSIC VIDEO]

Just a quick heads up to fellow pop-punk fans: head here to stream what’s set to be one of the best releases in the genre this year, and check out the video below.

Narrative: A kid grows up and gets ready to leave home.

Performance: In a garage.  Perfection.

Song: One of the catchiest celebrations of nostalgia since “Good Riddance.”

Why You Should Watch It:  This one’ll either hit you right in the chest, or it won’t.  It’s a simple look back on a dude’s life as he gets ready to move away.  Nothing spectacular about the photography or concept – in fact, Saves the Day tackled similar material with the classic video for At Your Funeral”:

Much like the beefy, down-to-earth pop punk they play though, whatever The Swellers’ video lacks in flash, they make up for in heart.  If you’ve ever lived in a small town, had band practice in a garage, or had trouble saying goodbye, you’ll instantly connect with this.   You might even have a few hairs stand on the back of your neck at some point.

Either way, good luck getting the song out of your head.

“I miss it, too…”

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

UNKLE – Money & Run [Video]

 

James Lavelle’s longtime project UNKLE teamed up with a few different vocalists for an upcoming five-song EP,Only The Lonely. Nick Cave handles the mic on the raucous opener “Money And Run.” As with most things Cave touches, he owns it

 

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

The Middle East – I Want That You Are Always Happy [NEW MUSIC]

File:The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy.jpg

The Middle East are a musical collective based in Townsville in Queensland, Australia. Forming in 2005, the group played locally and completed several East Coast tours of mainly Christian festivals throughout Australia. In early 2008 they released an album called The Recordings of The Middle East before splitting up. Eight months after this decision was made, the band reconvened and later re-released an abridged version of the debut album, The Recordings of the Middle East as an EP in May 2009 through Spunk Records (AU). This EP was released in North America on the 27th of October, 2009. Their first full album, I Want That You Are Always Happy was released in Australia and New Zealand on 8 April 2011.

photo by: Lauren Farmer

The genre of the band themselves is difficult to specify. Whilst their MySpace profile lists the band as “indie”, elements of folk, pop, post rock, country and ambience can be found throughout their music. Instruments used include guitar— both electricand acoustic, drums, hand percussion, piano, glockenspiel and trumpet. Another distinguishing feature of the band’s music is the use of vocal harmony—in particular close harmony performed at times by several members.

The band have gone on to receive national radio airplay on Triple J and slots on several major Australian festivals such as Splendour in the Grass, the Big Day Out, Big Sound, Homebake, and the Woodford Folk Festival. As well as this, the band have toured with international bands such as British group Doves and have also achieved minor, developing interest in the United States, where The Recordings of The Middle East was released on October 27. Much of the interest surrounding the band can be related back to the blogosphere, with indie blog I Guess I’m Floating introducing the band stateside in May 2009. Thereafter The Middle East had over one hundred blog entries from around the world writing about the band. Recently,Pitchfork Media offered a free download of the song “The Darkest Side” as a part of their weekly Forkcast; describing the song as “a simple, finger-plucked acoustic affair with alternating and harmonizing vocals that lend the hushed track a sense of beleaguered hope”. They also were nominated and won the Triple J 2009 ‘Unearthed’ Award.

In October 2009, it was announced that the band would be opening for US band Grizzly Bear in their Melbourne shows. They were also announced as the support act for one of the band’s Sydney Festival shows. On November 11, 2009, it was announced that the band would be part of the festival Big Day Out, announced as part of the second line up, in East Coast areas.

Their songs “The Darkest Side” and “Blood” came in at number 87 and 64 respectively on the Australian Triple J Hottest 100 in 2009.

Their song ‘Blood’ is also featured in the films Accidents Happen and It’s Kind of a Funny Story as well as an episode of the Australian television comedy-drama series Offspring and a TV commercial for the European bank BNP Paribas.

check out more from them at their Facebook or Myspace

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

 

 

 

Gavin Glass – New Studio Demos [Video]

Gavin Glass is a multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter from Stillorgan, Dublin, Ireland.

His first album “I’d like the world to teach me to sing” 2004 was a lo-fi home recording which saw the musician trying to find his feet as a solo artist.
Prior to this, Gavin, had played guitar with various unsuccessful Dublin rock bands.
Having returned from Germany after his band Gramophone’s label went bust (weeks before the album’s scheduled release), Glass began writing and recording songs at his home studio in the sleepy suburbs of Killiney in Dublin.
The album showed promise but it wasn’t until his second release “Gavin Glass & The Holy Shakers” (2007) that Glass began to find his own voice.

Gavin Glass :: Better left alone from Steve Mogerley on Vimeo.

The “Shakers” record had an unashamed old-school feel and was steeped in traditional country, soul & gospel flavours all augmented by Glass melodic sensibilities and delivered by a very seasoned band of accomplished musicians.
The album was critically acclaimed by the Irish press and provided Glass with a strong late night radio following along with some very high profile fans such as Clarence Clemons of the E-Street Band & Garth Hudson of Glass’s musical heroes, “the Band”.

In 2008 Glass joined Lisa Hannigan’s band as a multi-instrumentalist and spend most of 2008 & 2009 touring North America & the UK.
It was after Hannigan’s performance at SXSW 2008 that Glass headed to Nashville to record his third album “Myna Birds” which was released last May, 2010.

An introduction to Steve Gorman of the Black Crowes after a show in Boston led to an invitation to record in Nashville. Gorman made some calls and put together an all-star dream band that featured a rather impressive array of fine luminaries: Audley Freed (Black Crowes, Train, Dixie Chicks), Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) and Jen Gunderman (Jayhawks).
Gavin set-up camp in Nashville’s Eastwood Studios and recorded the album on the endangered format of analogue tape over an intensive two-weeks in March of last year.
The album was then completed with the help of friends back in Dublin in between Hannigan’s hectic touring schedule.

Glass continues to run his own studio and in 2010 produced albums by Our Little Secrets, Gallie, Emma Jane Leeson, Steve Young & The Union.

catch more info here @ his Facebook & Twitter sites

Gavin Glass :: Good Fortune from Steve Mogerley on Vimeo.

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