Sunday, November 10, 2013

Long Absence, slow posts.. more 8tracks : Space Disco & Psychedelic Soul

Hey all,

I have had a whirlwind of a year. Between my father passing away, getting into graduate school, and the subsequent work involved with working while going to school... this blog has been neglected. However, it still gets a fair amount of hits everyday and I believe that I should at least post some of the mixes I have been making on 8tracks. 

For those of you that are Daft Punk fans:
 If you want to see where their inspiration came from look no further than Italian Space Disco. It's a time when the moog and electronic music came together to create something awesome. Please do not get turned off by the title disco. This is by no means Saturday Night Fever in space, this is rather a collection of really talented composers fully embracing the sounds and captivations of space. Its really ahead of its time and you can see obvious comparisons to modern electronica. 

Here is Space Disco Part 1 & 2.  More about the tracks on the website- I do not think liner notes are shown in the small player. 

Another period mix, in the 1970s Psychedelic Funk broke through and the crunchy guitars and soulful vocals got their fair share of Acid infusion. Psychedelic Funk was the baby gem that help perpetuate to the movement towards hard blackspliotation era funk and soul. Great tracks, some with electronic and weird sounds sprinkled through give a nice backdrop to a unique time period in soul & funk. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Concert Etiquette: Unspoken Rules

We have all been there, pushing up front to get a prime spot to see a band perform. There are a few unspoken rules to attending a concert and it seems like there is always one guy or girl that significantly destroys a concert experience for either the attendees or the performer.

Instead of whining and complaining about it here are a few of the unspoken rules. Just so that we are on the same page:

1.) Requests 

There is a time and a place for requests at a concert. In fact requests can be a cool way to let the performer know that you hope they play a specific song. But hold fast drunken frat boy, it is never ok to request a song DURING a song / solo or in the middle of an important speech. Also, if the performer acknowledges your drunken stupor and politely says no or shakes their head, that is your cue to shut up.  Also shouting "Free Bird" and more recently"Wagon Wheel" is dumb. As a remarkably smart man once said, Don't Be Dumb.

2.) Pictures

Pictures are awesome and a great way to document the unique live experience! However there is a right way and a wrong way to take pictures at concerts. I have no qualms with people taking pictures, in fact I love pictures, but maybe your self-ies with your bff or boyfriend in the front row kissing while the band is playing probably isn't a great way to document the night. Especially, if its during a really personsal song.

3.) Talking

"OMG did you hear about Kristen and her ex? He is such a creeper right" - if you are talking about nothing related to the band throughout an entire concert and you are in the front row... You are doing it wrong. It's disrespectful to people around you and the artist. If you want to talk and listen to the band in the background then by all means do so, but in the back.  Also, if you are turned away from the stage for a majority of the time its kinda awkward and distracting. I came here to see the band, not watch you talk to your friend about what mixer is happening on friday.

4.) "The Train"

Your friend is up front and you want to push your way up to meet them. We have all been there, it is acceptable to let someone through to meet up with your friends or if you are returning from the bathroom/bar/etc. However, please don't have a train of people behind you. I have seen this happen with 15 people in tow. Not Cool.

5.) Drinks

Drink up. Don't put an open drink on the ground for later. It will end all over the floor and on peoples shoes. Your loss really. Don't waste your money.

6.) Intoxication

It is expected at concerts, thats fine by me. But if someone asks you to do something reasonable like get off the floor, or stop shouting "Free Bird", or stop talking... DO NOT BE ANNOYING.

So there you have it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back on Air

After a near two-month hiatus, my radio show, Sirens on the Rocks, is back on the air at WZBC Newton. To those in the Boston area, tune into 90.3 from 7-10 a.m. on Tuesdays. The concert report, which is read periodically throughout the day (8:30 during my time slot), is of particular interest to the showgoers and moviegoers in the immediate area. Free tickets are given out to some of the best venues around, including the Middle East Lounge, Great Scott, and the Coolidge Corner Cinema.

If you hail from outside the hub, check out the show as well as other programs put on by WZBC at the stations website.

Requests are welcome! Give a shout to the on air DJ's at 617 552 4686.

For now, here's a tune for your listening pleasure. It's by the South Carolina outfit Coma Cinema, who are kind enough to put up all their songs for free on their website.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mixtape Mondays: A Touch of Brian

The Mixtape continues...

After reconstructing half of my music collection, I have re-categorized some of my musical collection based on production styles. This mix titled "A Touch Of Brian: Brian Wilson Productions" is a nice little nugget of the sounds and production style of Beach Boy genius Brian Wilson. It is pretty easy to see the influence of Phil Spector on Wilson's production style. Some of these tracks like "Pamela Jean" feature Brian as a back up vocal, while others like "After the Game" could easily be a discarded instrumental around the Pet Sounds era.  Sit back and enjoy these rarities and gems that sit neatly between the Ronnettes and Beach Boys.


  1. The Survivors - Pamela Jean
  2. Paul Petersen - She Rides For Me
  3. American Spring - Fallin' in Love
  4. Sharon Marie - Story of My Life
  5. The Honeys - Pray for Surf
  6. Glen Campbell - Guess I'm Dumb
  7. Sharon Marie - Run-Around Lover
  8. The Survivors - After the Game
  9. American Spring - Shyin' Away
  10. The Honeys - The One You Can't Have
  11. Rachel and The Revolvers - Number One

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Great Night for Local Music: The Love Language and Archers of Loaf 1/15/11

The Love Language / Archers of Loaf

What a great night for local music.

After seeing Stu McLamb’s amazing vocal performance at the Big Star Third Show, I decided that I would check out his band the Love Language at the cradle. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to purchase tickets the band had sold out due to the buzz around a special guest performance. I started searching the Internet forums and craigslist listings for a ticket and eventually ended up having to purchase a ticket at over three times the face value. However, the show was well worth the thirty-five dollars I reluctantly shelled out because the hype around the secret performance turned out to be one hundred percent true.

The cradle was packed with two distinct groups, a fresh young crowd and seasoned veterans of the local 90s music scene. The excitement in the room steadily grew as rumors and stories about the secret band were exchanged between the two different groups. A Dj from Winston Salem took the place of the usual house music and spun old school funk gems like the Communicators, occasionally taking up a tambourine and demanding attention from a crowd that was preoccupied with the rumored special guests.

The stage lights dimmed and all the fans that were “in the know” exploded with joy. The rumors were true; Archers of Loaf took the stage for the first time in thirteen years. The local band, which had formed in 1990 had disbanded due to one of the members onset of carpel tunnel. If you are unfamiliar with Archers Of Loaf, think of them as an edgier, more punk rock version of Superchunk. Some of the audience members had informed me that they had driven all the way from New Jersey just to possibly get the chance to see Archers of Loaf. 

Archers burst the Cradle wide open with Eric Johnson’s beat up Gretsch guitar and a flawless, high energy “Audio Whore”.  I was utterly amazed, they sounded as if they had never stopped playing. I felt nostalgic, as the sounds that were permeating from the stage were reminiscent of the Chapel Hill scene in the mid nineties. After “Audio Whore” started winding down thousands of marshmallows were thrown on stage during “Harnessed in the Slums”.

Photo By Lydia
Bassist, Matt Gentling, was truly a sight to see as he was thrashing his bass around the stage all while marshmallows were flying from every direction. Later in the night after the sticky mashed mess onstage kept catching the chord Matt joking said, “ I regret having the marshmallow emporium”.  Stickiness aside, the band continued their twelve song set with out any foreseeable flaws. They played mostly key tracks from Icky Mettle and Vs The Greatest of All Time, topping off the set with hits like “Web In Front” and “Wrong” and finally “Slow Worm”.

By the time “Wrong” was performed it was pretty clear that Archers of Loaf had gained a fair amount of fresh new fans, as the entire crowd was reflecting the high energy and enthusiasm that Archers had given them. Archers of Loaf finished their set and thanked the crowd as one man that was just introduced to the band screamed ,“You Fucking Changed My Life! . The crowd demanded and screamed for an encore that never came, three die-hard fans rushed the stage to get their hands on the first Archers of Loaf set list in thirteen years. 

Archers of Loaf set list
Harnessed in Slums
Lowest Part Is Free
Freezing Point
Greatest of All Time
You and Me
Web In Front
Slow Worm

Hardly able to comprehend the greatness of Archers of Loaf, I thought to myself “I really would hate to have to follow that act”. The few remaining marshmallows that were not stuck to the audience members’ shoes were swept up as an illuminated heart made out of Christmas lights dawned the stage.  The crew prepared the stage for the Love Language by appropriately giving a shot or two of scotch where each band member would be sitting along with PBRs and the occasional Miller Lite.

Stu Mclamb and company walked onto the stage and remarkably kept the same high energy that Archers had left the awaiting crowd with. The Love Langauge eased into “Blue Angel” with an incredibly full rich sound that completely blew me out of the water.  “Blue Angel” sounded as if Beach House had grown a spine and listened to sixties garage surf rock growing up.  Without wasting any time, The Love Language blasted through their freshman single “Lalita”.

It was pretty apparent that this was a different sounding Love Language than we have seen at previous shows. The Love Language has fostered an incredibly full sound and have perfected their live show since the Libraries record release show last year. At some points The Love Language sounded like early Dr. Dog and at other times the Love Language sounded more like early but refined garage rock of the 60s.  All in all the Love Language were intoxicating.

photo by Kevin Norris
The heart wrenching instrumentation and emotion in “Nocturne” better prepared the audience and myself for a very emotionally powerful concert. The set list brought the crowd through the ups and downs of life with a mix between the Love Languages new album Libraries and the older heavier self-titled release. 
Stu Mclamb addressed the crowd of brand new and old fans, “I am still trying to wake up from this…but its fucking happening”. Stu… if this is a dream, please do not wake up for all of our sakes. The Love Language has surpassed all of my expectations.

The Love Language also performed a brand new song that fit quite nicely with their new playing style. The new song was then followed by “Strychnine”, an amazing Sonics cover that provided so much energy that even the sound guys were dancing along. 

I was completely blown away at the new professionalism of the band, even with the technical errors that were present during the encore; the band played a pretty solid set. When commenting about the lack of sound coming from the guitar, Stu said, “Shit happens… but that’s what our songs are all about”.

If you missed your chance to see the Love Language last Saturday, don’t fret. The local heroes will be playing a rescheduled show at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro on February 4th.  Following the Blind Tiger show, the Love Language will be going on tour with Telekinesis.

The Love Language set list
Blue Angel
Two Rabbits (1st song ever written for Love Language)
Heart To Tell
This Room
(new song)
(Strychnine Sonics cover)
This Blood is Our Own
Brittany's Back

Watch VIDEO from concert!!! 

Archers of Love - Wrong Live at Cats Cradle 

Love Language-  Brittany's Back Live at Cats Cradle
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