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Tag: "Roots Rock"

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Bronze Radio Return Celebrate Summer With “Down There” Video

Pool parties, cold drinks and good looking people in bathing suits…if our summer is half as fun as this new Bronze Radio Return video, we’ll be happy. The Connecticut sextet is an OurStage staple, and “Down There” happens to be one of our favorite songs off their album, Shake! Shake! Shake! BRR have had an exciting year so far, with several television and film placements and a performance at the OurStage Panel finale at SXSW. We look forward to seeing more great things from them in the future!

Purchase Shake! Shake! Shake! on iTunes here.

The Lone Wolf

Michael Tolcher

Michael Tolcher’s music career had an inauspicious start: busking on Atlanta’s Peachtree Street and hawking tapes recorded on a jambox in his bathroom. Years later, Tolcher’s upgraded his game just a little. After a five-year relationship with A&M/Octone Records, the singer-songwriter is now free to fully explore his art. His music is a reflection of these broadened horizons, and ranges from rootsy rock to synth-driven pop. “Fine” layers synths and drums for a mid-tempo groove that’s got hooks to spare. On “Give Me Your Hand” Tolcher slows things down for an acoustic, soulful love-song, made for slow dancing. Likewise, “Wishing Well” is sweet, maybe even saccharine, acoustic balladry. Tolcher can keep his songs sparse, but he also knows how to flesh them out. On “Sooner or Later” he brings in organ, guitar and drums for a syncopated rocker. Tolcher’s doing it his way, and the results are one-of-a-kind. But we’d still like to see the jambox make a comeback.

Raising Kane

Not every musician can hack his or her way through the overgrowth of bands here in the US to bask in the spotlight of stardom. Then again, not every musician wants to. When LA native Jimmy Kane decided to pursue his career, he hopped the pond over to London. There are certainly whiffs of anglophilia in Kane’s music—a little Beatles here, a little Oasis there. But there’s also a rootsy, homespun element that shows he was born in the USA. “The Road to Jericho” is an anthem for nights out at the tavern. Meaty electric guitar solos, stomping drums and acoustic strumming will have you raising your tankard in no time. From the mercurial shimmer of “Four Leaf Clover” to the ramshackle shuffle of “Better Days,” Kane combines California breeziness with airborne Brit-pop harmonies to create songs that are a little scruffy, a little loose, but full of beauty. Expatriation never sounded so good.

Riffs, Rants & Rumors: The Mekons Rewrite History on ‘Ancient & Modern’

The Mekons have been around long enough to have a sense of history that matches their perspective as first-generation punks—Jon Langford and Tom Greenhalgh co-founded the band during punk’s 1977 Summer of Hate and are still sparking the Mekons’ mix of arty lyrics, provocative politics and punky attitude today. But even for a band with thirty-four years in the rearview mirror, the suffix of the title Ancient & Modern: 1911-2011—the Mekon’s latest album—sounds a bit ambitious in its scope. Since the ‘80s, the band has increasingly filtered its own punk-poet roots through traditional, rootsy influences like folk and country, and that sensibility serves them well as they cast their artistic eye to an era well before their own individual lifetimes.

According to drummer Steve Goulding, who has been manning the Mekons’ throne for over a quarter-century now, Ancient & Modern is concerned with “that last fading of one kind of way of life, and that descent into war…the end of the ninteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the whole Edwardian era. It’s supposed to convey that kind of atmosphere. Pretty much everything in all the songs is concerned with that era. It’s an era of prosperity and ease of living that was fading away and descending into chaos. The trade unions are rising and there’s war all over the world, all the old certainties are slipping away.” He adds laughingly of the band members, who are now in their 50s, “In our case, all the old chords are slipping away too.”

Continue reading ‘Riffs, Rants & Rumors: The Mekons Rewrite History on ‘Ancient & Modern’’

Under Covers 9: Social Commentary Collaboration

OSBlog02_UnderCovers_MASTER1There’s no denying that musicians today are far less outspoken about political affairs than they were during the 60s. Maybe this wouldn’t be so alarming if we lived in a state of eternal peace, but we don’t. Far from it. Among the handful of musicians still giving the political scene its due publicity is roots rock band State Radio. Straight out of Boston, the group sings social commentary covering everything from Guantanamo Bay to the American government’s treatment of Native Americans. Led by front man Chad Urmston (formerly of Dispatch), the group just released their fourth album —1/3 studio recording, 2/3 live acoustic takes. With 41 songs in total, there’s plenty of protest to go around, and Mr. Urmston’s voice never losing any hint of passion throughout all of his devoted storytelling. Given the state of heated political affairs and debates in the recent weeks, we thought it would be cool to catch up with Chad and ask him a few questions about who he would have cover his material if it could be anyone in the world. Keep reading to find out what he said! Continue reading ‘Under Covers 9: Social Commentary Collaboration’

 


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