New Music Monday: Moby

It is too late on Monday evening for me to start a post about Moby. When it comes to music and my life there has been one artist that has been with me the longest (of my own choosing). That person is Mr. Richard Mellville Hall better known as Moby (who is in fact related to Moby Dick author Richard Mellville).

Moby is known as an electronic music pioneer. He delved into the scene in the late 1980’s after being in the Vatican Commandos, a hardcore punk band. His electronic styles have changed, evolved and have been revisited throughout his career.

After releasing his two most well-known records in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s (Play & 18), moby has continued to push the boundaries of electronic music and the actual production of music. While being outspoken is not new to this man, the last decade has seen Moby come to more prominence based upon his personal beliefs and values than his music. A devoted Vegan, he has spoken out about animal welfare for years, and even titled is 1996 punk record Animal Rights. He is also a proponent of Net Neutrality and argues for the disbanding of the RIAA.

His next record Innocents will be released in October. The first single, A Case for Shame was released last week. According to his Facebook Page, he will be releasing a self-made video for the song. In the meantime, you can enjoy the song without any stunning visuals (edit: I’ve added the official video shot and directed by Moby):

I could write a book on Moby, but I will have  to save that for another time.

TBT: The Giving Tree Band @ George’s, 2010

This is the first show I saw of the Giving Tree Band, after a long weekend at my first Wakarusa Festival. Enjoy:

The Giving Tree Band @ George's
Words by B “Cafe con Leche” Gutierrez. Photos by Nicole Riley.

After coming back from Wakarusa I thought I’d be OK to go without live music for a while, but after I got an update from @georgesmajestic about a no-cover Wakarusa Post-Party featuring The Giving Tree Band, I was all over it! So I called a couple of friends and headed over to George’s Majestic Lounge. I left my camera at home after being glued to it for four days straight at the festival, and keeping in mind with the 1500+ photos I had to look through and edit. So I decided to take it easy and just go for the music.

You see, that night I thought I was doing my soul a favor by not taking my camera. But I was so wrong. About two songs into their set, I knew I liked The Giving Tree Band. Two songs later, I realized I had to write a review. It all came together when I saw someone taking photos of the show, after talking to her, Nicole agreed to showcase her photos on BOT. So this is my shout-out to Nicole Riley!

The Giving Tree Band @ George's
The Giving Tree Band was one of Waka Winter Classic winner bands. They got their spot (two sets) at Wakarusa at the WWC at Kinetic Playground in Chicago. I didn’t catch them at the festival, but I heard of them and their great music. I also heard it was a big band. They all fit on the lounge stage at George’s, but barely. There are currently eight band members: Todd Fink (Banjo), Eric Fink (Guitar), Andy Goss (Guitar), Phil Roach (Violin), Erik Norman (Mandolin), Scott Woods (Slide), Justin Forsythe (Drums), and Patrick Burke (Upright Bass). All of them sing, at least that’s what I remember. There were a couple of songs where all their voices would come together to form beatlesque harmonies, and I’m thinking of “Peace on the Mountain” and “Circles” when I say this.
Continue reading

Pink’s “True Love” music video


On June 30th, Pink released her latest music video. It’s fun and colorful, it has catchy lyrics, and a bike. He calls her husband an asshole… That IS true love, yo! I really like the video, so I thought I’d go all mainstream and share it here. Plus, it features Lily Allen. I think @DocMurda will approve, after all, he is on that British musical kick 😀

“True Love” is part of Pink’s latest album, The Truth About Love, which was released in September 2012. I hadn’t heard this song before. I like most of the songs I hear from Pink, but I never go out of my way to listen to them. Maybe I need to give the full album a chance.

TBT: First Annual Fayetteville Roots Festival

For Throw Back Thursday you get the review I posted at the other music blog in 2010 after the first Fayetteville Roots Festival. The fest has only gotten bigger and better. It’s so awesome. I’m sure @DocMurda would LOVE it. Enjoy:

FRF Final Jam
The First Annual Fayetteville Roots Festival on August 29th was set to take place at Greenhouse Grille, but after a water main broke at Greenhouse Grille the festival was moved to George’s Majestic Lounge. Hats off to the festival organizers and to George’s management and staff, because the evening ran smoothly, as if everything that happened was part of the plan.

The music-filled evening went better than I expected. I left George’s that night with a couple of new albums for my collection, after being blown away by some of the performances. I know I’m not alone when I say that this festival definitely has all the right components to become a Fayetteville classic; from the award-winning artists, to the welcoming audience, and a community coming together in case there’s a water main that breaks at the very last minute.
Continue reading

Imagine Dragons (and more) @ Starlight Theater in KC

20130710-152750.jpg
Let me hurry up and tell you about this show, before it hits the two-week mark.

A few days after the weekend festival Kanrocksas was cancelled due to low ticket sales, a date was added to Imagine Dragons’ tour calendar. A sort of mini-festival was put together at the Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO on June 28th.

I had never been to the Starlight Theater. And, buddy, it is nice. The prices at concession stands make you feel like you are, as my friend put it, at the Disneyland of Concert Venues; but it’s a beautiful venue nonetheless.

The bands that played that night, in order of appearance, were Churchill, Family of The Year, Twenty One Pilots, Capital Cities, and Imagine Dragons. I did some research in all bands before the show, because I was only familiar with ID, but after looking them up, I found a couple of songs I had heard somewhere before (Radio? Last.fm? Pandora? Spotify? Does anybody know where they hear songs for the first time anymore?)

My friend and I made a point to get on the road super early, just because I wanted to make sure to catch Churchill (remember?), and they were set to play first, right at 5:30pm. We were just getting into the gates when I heard one of the band members introducing the band. The second song they played was “Lock Your Heart Down,” which has been on heavy rotation in my Summer playlist. I recognized the song right away and sang along all the way until we reached our seats. Churchill formed around 2008/2009 in Denver, but they seem to be a young band on stage. I really enjoyed their set, it was a bummer that most of the people that got there early (I’d say about 1/3 of total attendance) didn’t seem to be listening to these guys. C’mon, son! Am I wrong to expect a lot of enthusiasm from people that paid to come hear music?

Next up came Family of The Year, which were great! I loved these guys. I don’t know why they didn’t stand out more when I was doing my research prior to the show, because I went back to check their albums and I really like them. Now, I’m really bad at nailing music genres, but I would describe these guys and gal as Indie Folk. They started playing and dancing around the stage, with their really sweet harmonies. It makes me think of a whole bunch of friends singing along during a road trip (I may have a whole music video with their song “The Stairs” playing in my head right now). You have to check them out. Specially you, @DocMurda. You will like them. They have two full albums out, Songbook and Loma Vista.

Twenty One Pilots was the act of the night that just took me by surprise. The Ohio duo started their set with a really heavy song that made me question the meaning of life. I really didn’t know what was happening. People were stoked, which told me they have a big of a big following. They mix electronic and hip-hop, in case you haven’t heard them before. I haven’t been able to figure out what that first song was. Revisiting their music, it sounds like it was “Ode To Sleep” and maybe it was just a lot more intense hearing it live. The set totally got better. These guys, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, have a lot of energy. A LOT of energy. The set included jumps, backflips, climbing giant speaker towers, and going up the balconies above the stage. These guys either have some gymnastics experience or had taken some redbull/5-hr-energy cocktail. My favorite part of the set was when Tyler got his ukulele and played “House Of Gold,” a song he wrote for his mom (Awww.) Their latest album is Vessel, released last year.

I didn’t enjoy Capital Cities as much as everyone else in the crowd. Their music just didn’t click with me. Their set was a bit longer than the rest. Churchill and Family of The Year both had 30-minute sets, while Capital Cities went on for about 1 hour. They were OK, I just wouldn’t have paid to see them on their own. I did enjoy their hit “Safe and Sound.” But overall, I was not impressed with the music or anything else. Not even with the silver matching jackets the whole band wore (They could have been white… Forgettable, as you can see).

The headliners of the night were Imagine Dragons. A band I’ve considered rockstar material since the first time I saw them live at a small auditorium at a casino outside the Las Vegas strip. I couldn’t believe a label hadn’t snatched them up, yet. But it happened a couple of months after that first time I saw them, to no one’s surprise. @DocMurda went to their first show of the Night Visions tour and sent me a text that fueled me to drive to KC for this show. That text said something along the lines of “Holy shit. Radioactive live!” So I couldn’t wait to experience it myself. “Radioactive” came towards the end of their set, and it was all I had imagined. @DocMurda was right!

As an introduction to “Demons,” Dan Reynolds, ID’s front man, noted that it is a song about his struggle with depression. It’s one of my favorite songs, maybe because it’s so haunting. But after the confession and the song, I needed something light and playful, so I’m glad they followed it with “Rocks.” The set also included “Tip Toe,” “Round and Round,” “Amsterdam,” “On Top Of The World,” “Hear Me” and “It’s Time.”

Dan got Missouri mixed up with Kansas at the beginning, but later apologized. I thought it was funny, and I bet it happens all the time.

I sported a sign for #OperationTokyo that I tried to flash only when any of the band members were looking my way. I didn’t want the people behind me to get too mad at me. I think new ID fans would so much appreciate their pre-Night Visions music. It would also help understand whey they come from. Too bad it’s no longer available anywhere. Why, Interscope Records, why?

The Dragons are still pretty much in awe of their success in the last year or so. In a way, it seemed like they were just a couple of steps ahead of Family of The Year and Churchill.

The almost 4 hours I drove to Kansas City, MO and back (I got back at 3:10am!) were worth it. Shout out to my friend Stephen for coming along! It appears I did a poor job of informing him of what was in store, because he look at bit surprised to see there were four “opening bands”… Can we even call them that? I don’t think so. Although I also don’t think it was a mini-music festival either. A festival is a musical smorgasbord, this was more of a musical banquet. All in all, it was so much fun. Check out the bands that played and if Imagine Dragons get close to you, go see them!

I made you a Spotify playlist. You are welcome!

And on a semi-related note, check out ID’s performance in Good Morning America:

New Music Monday: Manic Street Preachers

Much like last week’s new music from the band Travis, the Manic Street Preachers have been with me for a very long time. I was first introduced to the Manics in the mid 90’s by a friend who is responsible for introducing me to BritPop. This friend knew my political philosophy at the time, and thought that MSP might just be a band that I could get behind musically and philosophically. He was correct.

The Manic Street Preachers or more affectionately known as the Manics are a rock band who is originally from Blackwood, Wales. They are currently a 3 piece band after having their primary lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards disappear in 1995. Their 1996 release (and my first exposure to the band) was “Everything Must Go”.

The new song, which will be off of their upcoming release of the same name “Rewind the Film” features prominent Brit Pop vocalist Richard Hawley, and is a bit more atmospheric than much of their previous work. The band has stated that this album will not have their usual electric guitars and will be a bit more subdued in regards to the music. I personally enjoy their different styles and look forward to the new release coming out September 16th.

On my music bucket list, seeing this band perform live shares the top spot with seeing a reunited Oasis perform live. They travel to the US very infrequently, so I believe I will have to travel significant distance to see them perform live and that would be a hell of an experience.

Here is “Rewind the Film ft. Richard Hawley”

And a classic, “You Love Us” from Generation Terrorists

Local Music: Avalon Landing

Being over 30, and wanting to get 8 hours of sleep has really prevented me from discovering more local Vegas music. However, I’ve been out and about enough to hear my favorite local band (not including the Killers or Imagine Dragons), Avalon Landing.  They are not Vegas natives, rather they are originally from Buffalo, NY.

I was already sold on the band because they are named for the novel that plays a prominent role in one of my favorite movies, Finding Forrester. However, I first heard them when I was preparing for a show when they were opening for Imagine Dragons when ID released their Continued Silence EP. I purchased their first full length: Demos, Dead Ends and Do Overs, and listened to it religiously until the show. They play Las Vegas pretty frequently, but have only ever seen them one other time when they again opened for Imagine Dragons.

Their sound is reminiscent of The Fray, but their lyrics are a lot less “Jesusy” than the Fray. They pack a lot of energy into their live shows, and they are big supporters of the local music venues here in Las Vegas. They have been recording their next record, and I am excited to see what it has to offer.

Here is “Old Phone Books”

And “Erie County Welcomes You Back”

LouFest Spotlight: Trampled By Turtles

@begt and I are only two months away from LouFest and while I am not fully prepared in regards to travel arrangements or time off, I am prepared when it comes to the bands that I will be enjoying. One of those bands is Trampled By Turtles. TBT are a not quite bluegrass indie folk band from the great white north of Duluth, MN. I cannot be sure when and where I first heard of TBT (lets be real, probably Spotify) but the first song I heard from them was “Wait So Long” (see video below). I was just starting my most recent folk/bluegrass kick and instantly loved the song. I started discovering their other work, and built a strong appreciation for the music they make (or sometimes cover like the Pixies tune “Where is my mind?”).

I would say they are probably the most “bluegrassy” of the bands in the LouFest lineup, and as a recent student of the mandolin, I can tell you that I am very excited to see them perform and to watch the mandolin being played live.

Please enjoy “Walt Whitman” (as seen on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim)

and “Wait So Long”.

They are on tour this summer, so if they are coming to a nearby town, you owe it to yourself to see them in action.

TBT: Imagine Dragons – Continued Silence EP, February 2012

The second Throwback Thursday post today is the review I wrote for Imagine Dragons first release after signing for Interscope Records. Here it is:

Do you remember I told you about Imagine Dragons last year? They turned out to be my #1 music discovery of 2011.

They signed to Interscope Records at the end of 2011 and started recording new material right away. And as an awesome Valentine’s present, their new EP was released yesterday. Continued Silence EP is, in one word, epic. You have to listen to it. It contains a re-release of “It’s Time” and five new songs. I got it last night and it had me hooked after the first full-listen.

There is something about Imagine Dragons’ poetic lyrics in combination with their anthemic melodies, that make songs like “Demons” raise all the hairs in your arms. It’s hard to pick favorites from the new songs. So far, I’ve five-stared three out of the five. The other two have four stars. There’s not even a good place to start to listen to them, just hit play.

The first notes of “Radioactive” will probably give you that feeling you get when you’re about to experience something incredible. When I listened to the iTunes preview of that song, I thought it was a bit too on the electronic side for my taste. But the first full listen of the song erased that lame preview impression. You see, Imagine Dragons create complex songs. There are layers to their songs, there are intros and high points, there are resolutions, there are story lines, there are waves of melodies and vocals that hit you from different directions. This is all good. No, not good. It’s great. It’s what keeps their fans loyal. I first noticed this quality when I heard “Cover Up” for the first time (from their Imagine Dragons EP).

When I heard they’ll play at SXSW in March, I knew this was it. They will most likely explode in the music world after that performance. And it’s about time, because they have all the right elements to make it happen. Their stage presence is powerful, their lyrics are catchy and poetic, the music makes you want to move around and it makes your soul want to pop out of your body. If you think I’m exaggerating, just go catch their live performance.

Just do me a favor. If you’re at work, wait until you get home to your quality speakers before you listen to them. Laptop or PC speakers just won’t do it. Also, if you have never listened to Imagine Dragons before, start with their new EP. Don’t try to listen to all their music at once, because it might cause some kind of awesome-induced attack and I don’t want to be responsible for anything like that.

TBT: Imagine Dragons @ Club Madrid, September 2011

Happy birthday, America! For today’s edition of Throwback Thursday I bring you a couple of Imagine Dragons post I published in the last couple of years. I’m still high on awesomeness from the ID show I attended last week (and still owe you that write up) so I thought these posts were appropriate for today. This post was originally posted in September 2011 after a show in Las Vegas. Look, Dan with no mohawk-mullet! Enjoy:

Imagine Dragons @ Club Madrid
All photos by B “Café con Leche” Gutierrez

On Friday, Sept. 16, Imagine Dragons played a show at Club Madrid at Sunset Station in Las Vegas. The show was part of the afterparty for the 107.9FM listeners appreciation show that featured Lit. The Dragons were at home in Vegas, and looking around the crowd, it was clear that Club Madrid was full of fans and friends and not tourists. Everybody knew the songs and sang along, clapped at the right times, jumped and danced through the whole show.

Imagine Dragons @ Club Madrid
Continue reading