Monday, March 23, 2015

FREE The Golden Hippie - Flowers On The Sun EP

Groovy, pop! fantastic vocals, dancing bears on cosmic notes, bending bolts of flashing lights.
On The Golden Hippie’s 'Flower On The Sun' EP, she sings of relationship strife and the struggle to be free and true to yourself. Born in Phoenix, Arizona as Marissa Jack, she is best known for collaborating with Prince on his song 'Art Official Cage' from his Art Official Age album.

Friday, March 13, 2015

STREAM: Charles Howl - Debut LP Sir Vices

Comprised of members of Let's Wrestle, Talons, and The Proper Ornaments, with a britpop upbringing and a flare for psychedelia and surf-rock, Charles Howl ride waves of groovy riffs, rump shakin' rhythms, and blended harmonies like The Ventures on a Merry Pranksters bus tour.

The debut LP 'Sir Vices' release date is March 16th on Ample Play Records pre-order here available on Vinyl also as it should be!

STREAM: Singer-songwriter Heidi Lynne Gluck shares NEW song, "The Only Girl In The Room"

Debut EP Out April 28 via Lotuspool Records 
Singer-songwriter Heidi Lynne Gluck shares the first track, "The Only Girl In The Room" (stream), from her debut solo EP of the same name (out April 28th via Lotuspool Records).
Of the single Heidi says, "On a direct level, co-writer Kenny Childers and I wanted to celebrate the fun and pain of being "one of the guys," but on a universal level, "The Only Girl In The Room" was written for all of the people who, despite being surrounded by their friends, loved ones, or fans, face that ache of feeling alone in the world. In the studio, the song morphed nicely into a jaunty, sunny-sad number inspired by Laura Nyro's 1970s piano pop feel."

Heidi was raised in a farm town in Manitoba (population 200), spent some time in North Dakota and eventually ended up in Indiana, where she soon became a highly sought-after session musician. After collaborations with Juliana Hatfield & Some Girls, and playing a key role on records with Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos, and Lily & Madeleine, Heidi is starting her solo career with the release of her debut EP, The Only Girl In The Room, on April 28th.

The Only Girl In The Room
Target Practice
One Of Us Should Go
Where Will They Bury Me

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Purple Hill - Top 40 Radio Memory Dream (Oh Yeah​!​)

Purple Hill  is steeped with an 80's R&R sound though not bound by it. adding a flare for country and punk energy to their sound they chart a path directly to uninhibited abandonment and good times.
At times, frontman, Owen Marchildon channels Springsteen, Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople and Lou Reed in his vocals and adds spurts of harmonica like Whammer Jammer Richard "Magic Dick" Salwitz while hard driving beats and rhythms swirl around him from the rambunctious lineup of, Jordan Bruce (drums, keyboard), Brent Hough (guitar, keyboard, backup vocals) and Dan Snyder (bass).

Their latest album Top 40 Radio Memory Dream (Oh Yeah!) was recorded live off the floor at 6 Nassau Studios with Toronto Indie Rock recording legend, Jeff McMurrich. The ten tracks will have you wagging your finger like Jagger and strutting Berry.

Owen Marchildon - vocals, guitars, harmonica.
Jordan Bruce - drums, keyboards.
Brent Hough- guitars, keyboards, back up vocals.
Dan Snyder - bass.

Interview: Tough Old Bird - The Barn Sessions

Tough Old Bird, is a folk and blues duo formed in the small community of Fillmore, New York by songwriting brothers Matt and Nathan Corrigan their latest release, The Barn Sessions is a follow-up to their 2014 debut, Never To Return, and it was recorded live over the course of one afternoon in December 2014 in a barn in the small town of Hume NY
Authentic folk and blues is the game here and the brothers sound of old souls incarnate bring fresh ears and interpretation to our American musical heritage.
I had an awesome chat with these amazing young talents, Listen and or Download (free) while you read along below
From its formation in early 2013, Tough Old Bird rose quickly from open mic nights and campfire circles to opening and headlining gigs at bars, festivals and music clubs across New York State and beyond. Tough Old Bird’s debut album, entitled Never to Return, was released on April 29th 2014, and there may be more than a touch of irony to the record’s title – Tough Old Bird is here to stay.

The core of Tough Old Bird’s sound comes from Matt Corrigan’s intricate acoustic guitar work, and from the voice and nimble harmonica playing of Nathan Corrigan, who holds a degree in literature and brings a poetic sensibility to the duo’s lyrics. Accents of accordion and waves of electric guitar give Tough Old Bird a sound that is at once modern and ancient.

NC for (Nathan Corrigan) and MC for (Matt Corrigan)

Popa: Name of the band and how’d you came up with it?

NC: That’s something our dad used to say about our grandma - “She’s a tough old bird.” We always liked that phrase.

Popa: Who’s in the band?

MC: I’m Matt Corrigan. I play the guitar, sing some of our songs and dabble in accordion.

NC: Nathan Corrigan, I sing, play harmonica and pick up a guitar when Matt’s not looking.

Popa: What advantages/disadvantages of being siblings working together have?

NC: We pretty much know all each others tricks. Not sure if that’s an advantage or a disadvantage.

Popa: Where do you live and what’s great about it?

NC: We’re from Fillmore, a little town in Allegany County in western New York. It’s really in the middle of nowhere. There’s lots of room to run around, so you can pretty much walk off into the woods or go jump in the river whenever you want. Allegany County has some pretty dark, weird little corners too, so a lot of that atmosphere ends up in our songs.

MC: It's refreshing to be able to step out the back door into solitude from time to time.

Popa: Tell us about your latest release?

NC: We just released an EP called “The Barn Sessions,” which we recorded live this past winter and decided to give away for free to anybody that wants it. It’s got some new original songs on it, plus a couple of old traditional songs we’ve been playing live for a long time and really love, “I Wish I Was a Mole In the Ground” and “St. James Infirmary.”

Popa: How did this project/release come about?

NC: We’ve been working on a lot of songs for our next full-length album, but we wanted to have something that people could listen to in the meantime, so we picked out a few songs that felt like they fit together and basically just hammered them out live one afternoon. Some friends of ours own Sea Leg Studios, which is this really cool little studio set up in a barn down near where we grew up, so they let us come in and helped us record it.

MC: It made sense to record it live because we are so comfortable in that dynamic. We both play better when we can see the other sitting across from us. I think all but one of the tracks on the EP were first takes.

Popa: What's one thing about you/band that very few people know?

NC: That we exist.

MC: We’re working on filling more people in on that one.

Popa: When did you start making music?

NC: Around five years ago, something like that. We started out playing open mics and that kind of thing. Actually we still play open mics. Open mics are great.

Popa: Who are some that have/had an influence on you?

NC: Oh man, lots of things. A lot of the old folk and blues singers like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie McTell, Doc Watson. We really love a lot of the newer artists that are in that same kind of tradition too like Gillian Welch, the Felice Brothers, Justin Townes Earle.

MC: There's an honesty and simplicity in older music that is something I strive for. I think the way that the tradition of folk and blues music fits in with American culture, history, and mythology is fascinating. I try to draw from that and combine it with personal, modern experience as much as possible.

Popa: What are some of the challenges, obstacles you've dealt with?

NC: Well, getting people interested and invested in your band and your music, that’s a tough thing when you’re starting out no matter what kind of band you are. It’s really gratifying to be able to see that start to happen though, even on a very small level. When we play a show and have even a single person come up to us afterward and tell us they really enjoyed it, that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Popa: What was the first record you bought?

NC: This is a little embarrassing, but I was really into country music when I was a kid, so it was probably Clint Black or something like that. It was also definitely on cassette.

MC: I remember getting George Strait's "Carrying Your Love With Me" for my birthday when I was really little. I played it to death.

Popa: What was the last record you bought?

NC: “Josephine” by the Magnolia Electric Company. I just recently discovered Jason Molina’s music and I’ve just been devouring all of it I can get my hands on.

MC: We saw Jeremy Quentin of Small Houses live a couple weeks ago and I picked up his great new record "Still Talk; Second City." Before that I found Odetta's "Live At The Gate of Horn" at a local record shop.

Popa: If you could record with any one artist who would it be and why?

NC: Tom Waits, and I don’t even know how to describe why. There's nothing I don't like about that guy.

MC: If Tom Waits wasn't available I'd settle for Dave Rawlings, he blows my mind on a daily basis.

Popa: Who are you listening to lately?

NC: James McMurtry just put out a new album that I’m really getting into. He’s got such a great way of creating characters and telling stories, it just pulls you right into their world.

MC: I've been listening to Iron & Wine's new collection of home recordings from the time of his first album. Also, I've been getting into a lot of Alan Lomax field recordings of prison work songs, gospel, and field hollers. Bessie Jones, The Georgia Sea Island Singers, people like that. There's an almost otherworldy power in some of that music that doesn't exist anywhere else.

Popa: Vinyl, CD or digital?

NC: I love vinyl, but I get that MP3s are convenient. They also make it a lot easier to get your music out to people, and I like that. As far as CDs go, I think we’ve gotten to a point where they're pretty pointless.

MC: I buy everything pretty exclusively on vinyl, though I'm still hoping for a comeback for Wax Cylinders. I also have a thing for spending hours at antique shops looking through stacks of 78s.

Popa: What films have had a lasting impact on you?

NC: Jurassic Park blew my tiny little mind when I was 5 years old. Shawshank Redemption is great every time I watch it. Also Disney’s Robin Hood, you know the one where Robin Hood is a fox and Roger Miller does the voice of the rooster who narrates it? It's so good. There are some great songs in that movie too.

MC: Lonesome Dove is probably the greatest thing ever put to film.

Popa: Purple or red?

NC: I can’t honestly say I have strong feelings for either.

MC: Brown.

Popa: Plaid or Stripes?

NC: I don’t think either of us  own a single shirt that isn’t plaid.

Popa: Whiskey or Beer?

NC: Beer.

MC: Whiskey.

Popa: Favorite road food?

NC: Breakfast at a diner the morning after a show is about as good as it gets. Diner breakfasts will be the death of me.

Popa: What's next on the horizon?

NC: We’ve got lots of shows coming up this summer. We’re playing in NYC for the first time, plus lots of other places in our native upstate New York. We’re heading out to Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia this summer too, none of which we’ve ever played before, so that’s exciting.

MC: We're both writing all the time, and I think we're writing the best stuff that we ever have. I'm excited for people to hear it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Show Ponies - Run For Your Life

The Show Ponies Run For Your Life EP released 23 October 2014 a new video for the title track premiered on Pop Matters. Lead vocalist and bassist Clayton Chaney tells PopMatters:
“The ‘Run For Your Life’ music video is a continuation on the theme of our previous record, We’re Not Lost. It’s about persisting with passion through unconventional and inconvenient means all the while enjoying the pursuit. aIt was directed by Andrew Fisher and shot by Ben Winchell.  We shot everything in one really long day on a back road in Castaic, CA and house North Hollywood. The whole thing was made possible by a lot of favors and a group of fans and friends who came out to help.”
The old-timey LA based Folksters, Kevin Brown, Andi Carder, Clayton Chaney, Phil Glenn and Jason Harris play the strings like possessed dervishes creating whirlwinds of bluesy Appalachian barn raisers. With great vocals and harmony's The Show Ponies deliver a hoot and a holler of a good time.
Besides the new EP, and Video they've got a Noisetrade Sampler The Indiegrass EP

Nick Shaheen New Album, Sauvignon

Chicago singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Shaheen’s new album, 'Sauvignon' is a brilliant interpretation of Americana, a mix of Rock and Roll, Bluegrass, Folk and Country that incorporates everything from Horns to a Wurlitzer for a distinctive sound rich in varied traditions. From the first two songs, the hook-filled 'State Song' and the boogie-woogie "Big Hippo" the album is an instant classic that will have you doing multiple repeats.

The Musicans: Nick Shaheen Vocals, Banjo, Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Harmonica, Organ, Percussion, Piano,  Chris Crisman Bass, Bass (Upright), Nathan Mark Drums, Marty Kondziolka Drums, Johnny Iguana Piano, Eric Frantz Cajon, Composer, Harmonica, Russel Gillespie Composer, Guitar (Electric), Piano, Wurlitzer, Cisco Rodriguez Congas, Horn, Percussion, Vocals, Stephen Shirk Engineer, Guitar (Electric), Mixing, Musician, Percussion, Producer, Vocals

Via Press Release:
A Major in Finance and Marketing at the University of Michigan, Shaheen toyed with music a bit in his teens and early 20's but admits to not committing to songwriting until 2009, when he crafted a tune rather out of the blue that he couldn't shake.
"The song came out so fast and afterwards, it was something I could look at and I felt like it stood on its own and didn't need me to validate it or anything," he recalls. "I always felt connected to music and knew I'd be doing something with it, but I never really wrote anything (before that)... so it seemed kind of strange. But when it all started to happen, it just sort of unfolded for me and I felt very connected to the whole thing."
After relocating to Chicago to continue work in finance, Shaheen met up with those that would make up his backing band through open mic performances and connections at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. It seems like fate that these members, most of which being from Michigan as well, also sport not-so-typical work histories: Shaheen is backed by a lawyer, an Apple Genius, a mechanical engineer, a brand strategist and a district manager of a hardware store chain. All of which should be able to quit their day jobs if this album gets the attention it deserves.

Shaheen's journeys throughout the album aren't just by foot or automobile, but deep within the recesses of the mind. In the fever-dream chaos of "Flashbulbs," one of the album's many lively highlights, he struggles with being framed and eventually exonerated for murder, a scenario that developed from a real-life panic:
"I was in the kitchen cooking dinner,” prefaces Shaheen. “I remember I was chopping up potatoes when this violent vision completely overtook me. Everything was so vivid. I had a full-on panic attack right there.” Even two weeks later, he was actively dealing with guilt he had no control over. “I couldn’t hold a knife for weeks. ‘What the hell was that? How could you even think that? You’re going crazy.’ I read all about it online, like I'm a psychiatrist trying to diagnose myself and find the cure all at once. I found these message boards where people were dealing with stuff like this for years. It made me more nervous, but at the same time gave me hope. After I had some time to reflect, I started to write down the scene as it came to me and a song started to take shape. The idea was to lay it all out and triumph over it.”
Listening to Sauvignon all the way through, one takes these trips with Shaheen and the band, and comes out the other end like they've actually traveled some distance, despite camping out in front of their stereo. Just as the album's opening cut "State Song" begins the journey (with landmarks and names of locations adding to the personal nature of the track), Sauvignon wraps up with "Younger Years," where Shaheen suggests his sweetheart fetch a bottle of wine while he slips an LP on the turntable. It's a fitting final chapter to an album full of carnal instincts, wild dreams and a sense of adventure for the ears, eyes and soul.

Within those final few minutes, Shaheen admits he's "having trouble realizing that I'm not that important / It's a good lesson, I suppose." And while he's reflecting about the loss of those days within "Younger Years," there's a sense that we should all be thankful for that id inside all of us; that mythical sense of self that drives us to create, dream, drive or scream. Without it, we don't have much to remember or look forward to, and game-changing albums like Sauvignon - and the experiences that shape them - wouldn't exist.

Bear Medicine - The Moon Has Been All My Life

Joshua Wright – Guitar/Vocals
Seth Murphy – Cello/Bass
Severn Edmonson – Drums/Vocals
Kim Smith – Flute/Keys/Vocals

Lexington, Kentucky indie-folk band Bear Medicine's debut album, The Moon Has Been All My Life was released on October 14th, 2014 and is now out on vinyl.

We all tend to have hibernation periods in our mind, lost in deep thought and contemplation, with the combination of soothing lead vocals and harmonies, acoustic guitar, cello, brushed drums, and flute,  'The Moon Has Been All My Life,' evoke the moments we stir from our inner thoughts, rub our eyes and look at the world anew.

Shaker Steps Session - "Rigor Mortis Dear"

Friday, March 6, 2015

#FREEBEE Friday> Tipi Valley NEW EP Dust

A long time favorite here at Popa's headquarters, Swansea's  Ed Toft aka Tipi Valley always delivers a tasty mix of genres in his music, his main influences of Garage-rock, Blues, British Shoegaze and German rock plus the independence of being a DIYer gives him the freedom to be experimental with his music.  On his latest release 'Dust' he collaborates with his Dust Mice bandmates on the poignant and melodious Floydish opening track 'Walked to You' which we hope means perhaps a release from Dust Mice is in the future. The second track 'Turn Me On' featuring Jeremy Little laying down the bass grooves is pure sixties inspired garage psych that Tipi does so well, 'Deeper Underground' is an improvised acoustic swampy blues jammer reminiscent of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. 'Laid Back Henry (part 3 - return to earth)' is an ambient instrumental that leads perfectly into the British shoegaze last track, 'Silent Breather' inspired by British band Chapterhouse.
Dust is available as a freebee on bandcamp.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Holy Gasp - The Last Generation of Love (LP)

Photo by Decipher Images

They are too far and few between, the envelope pushers, stretching genres, laying down new trails in the wilderness of modern music. While they may not appeal to all they're the kind of band moving things ever forward and influencing others to follow, And when they come along they should be embraced and rejoiced.
The Holy Gasp incorporate's a tasty stew of punk, jazz, gypsy noir, and folk protest seasoned with funky rock presented with nonconformist uninhibited bravado and gusto that dares you jump in the padded wagon with them.

As for myself, I get it, I dig it, after all, I'm just an eye twitch away from madness myself.

With a beatnik's groove, a Hunter S. Thompson attitude and an Allen Ginsbergesque frontman, Benjamin Hackman, Toronto's The Holy Gasp are fierce, edgy, focused and relevantly rousing with heavy political overtones, The Last Generation of Love has something to say and a mad hatter's way of saying it with battle cry's like 'The Man Ain't Groovy' leading the unwashed hordes to battle and the sitting on the flotsam and jetsam gloating of 'Stomp Out The Man'
A couple fun numbers, the twangy honky-tonking 'A Boy And His Pony' is as good a lulla-bye as Dino's "My Rifle, My Pony And Me" and 'A Daily Affirmation' should get you moving and grooving and make any day better. 'All The Animals' 'How I get Down' and 'The Last Generation Of Love' are the meat in this stew musically and promulgating wise. 'Bedbugs' is the vehicle for the band to jump completely into madness.

Members: Benjamin Hackman (vocals, percussion), Daveyoso (drums, percussion), Sebastian Shinwell (electric guitar, vocals), Christopher Weatherstone (alto saxophone, flute, vocals), James McEleney (upright bass, vocals)

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