Record Highlight — Toadies

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Available now from Kirtland Records, Toadies: Heretics features new songs and classic Toadies tracks deconstructed, re-arranged and re-imagined with acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric piano, bass & drums.

 

Record Highlight — Super Secret Records

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Super Secret Records is an independent record label based in Austin, TX that focuses on the local punk and underground music scene.

JWC_GreatestHits

John Wesley Coleman’s Greatest Hits is now available on vinyl through via Revolver, Goner Records, Burger Records, local record shops and by mail-order directly from Super Secret Records.  Nameless Frames‘ self-titled record is the label’s next release — pre-orders will be shipping soon, and if in Austin, you can catch the record release show on Feb 20.

 

Record Highlight — Lucinda Williams

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

We’ve all heard about the iconic vibe of Route 66, the neon lights on Broadway and the ocean air of the Pacific Coast Highway. But there are untold stories emanating from countless blue highways across the land – like Interstate 20, which cuts a 1500-mile swath from South Carolina to Texas, and cuts deep into the spirit of those who’ve spent their lives traversing it. Lucinda Williams is one of those people, and with the expansive, enveloping The Ghosts of Highway 20, she brings those stories to life – and gives listeners a remarkably vivid look at how the highway has been a literal and figurative backdrop throughout her entire life. The intensely involving 14-song collection may be the most deeply felt, deeply affecting work of Lucinda Williams’ illustrious 35-plus-year career, a career that has been established on a foundation of remarkably personal songs.  Pre-order the vinyl now.

 

Record Highlight — Rock Eupora

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Clayton Waller, the Mississippi music artist known as Rock Eupora, started taking piano lessons at the age of 5. He quickly discovered his love for songwriting and performing and took advantage of nearly every opportunity to play music. In college, he helped form a rock-n-roll power trio called Wolf Cove. Wolf Cove started dissolving as graduation approached, and Waller began writing solo. These songs eventually became Rock Eupora and took form as the first album, Blanks.

While in grad school in Nashville, TN, Waller wrote and recorded Rock Eupora’s second full-length album in his apartment-converted basement. In Soon the Sun Will Come (available in February 2016), Waller uses galactic hooks and melodies and a unique blend of gritty rock and shimmering pop to address the power of time, the reality of love, and the importance of faith as he experiences a transitional stage of life. Waller and the Rock Eupora band currently reside in Nashville and frequently tour across the Southeast.

Record Highlight — Aubrie Sellers

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

“I prefer to create friction,” post-Country chanteuse Aubrie Sellers offers. “Because if you’re not pushing buttons, you’re just making something pleasant, it’s probably been done before… and it’s not making anyone feel anything.”

In this world of pretty little girls who are seen and not heard and reality stars who are famous for nothing, the 24 year old songwriter ain’t buying in. Laughing, she continues, “I’d rather my music be polarizing than everyone like it, because they rarely do. I think passion is a lot deeper than that. I want to go deeper, and be honest that life isn’t just some party and going out. I mean, don’t people feel anything?”

Not that New City Blues is some kind of morbid, maudlin affair. From the cutlery in the blender indictment of surface beauty “Paper Doll” to the lone star drive of “Just To Be With You” and the tumbledown melody of “Sit Here And Cry,” this is a high energy box cutter of emotion: 14 songs marked by the bite and punch of smart girls who know there’s more to life than a cold beer and cut-Offs.

Record Highlight — Hanami Quartet

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Hanami Quartet

Hanami was formed originally in the spirit of raising funds to aid Japanese victims of a recent tsunami.  This quartet of guitarist Andrew Trim, drummer Charles Rumback, multi-reedist Mai Sugimoto and bass clarinetist Jason Stein enjoyed their project enough to eventually put together a studio recording.  The group’s sophomore effor – The Only Way To Float Free, features a unique melding of instruments in electric guitar, saxophone/clarinet, bass clarinet, and drums, Hanami paints dynamic sonic landscapes on a bass-less canvas. The chamber like qualities of the instrumentation combined exploratory improvisations, both oblique and consonant, give way to their new album of artfully composed original compositions born out of their atypical take on the tradition of the jazz quartet and a deep connection with the country of Japan.

 

Record Highlight — Matthew Logan Vasquez

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

2015 (The Year of The Ram) has been a year of major change for Matthew Logan Vasquez. He moved with his wife, Marthe, from Brooklyn to Austin, he saw the birth of his first child Thor, and after a decade since founding his critically acclaimed band, Delta Spirit, he’s finally decided to go it alone FOR THE FIRST TIME, with his solo debut, The Austin EP, to be released November, 2015 , and a full length LP, Solicitor Returns, to shortly follow in early 2016 (it just shipped out from GGR this week).

Matt went solo for simple reasons– to return to the style of rock he loves. And when he went solo he REALLY went solo. He plays every instrument on the record, except for two drum tracks and one guitar track. Delta Spirit undoubtedly will be back but he wanted to make a collection of music without the influence of his beloved brethren (it’s only natural for a frontman to feel the need to let loose from time to time). You will hear his new material and you will hear Iggy Pop. Neil Young. Kurt Cobain. Gram Parsons. But ultimately, you’re hearing Matthew Logan Vasquez.

 

Record Highlight — Danen Kane

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

A tender, finger-picked acoustic guitar chimes seven notes, descending a scale like a waterfall. Six notes follow, down again but then back up to a hopeful and bright rest. Then, Danen Kane’s expressive voice declares the omnipresence of the Author of music: “He’s in the breath inside you / He’s in the falling rain / He’s in the light that shines on / every morning day.” A subtle, atmospheric electric guitar undergirds the melody with a double-time pulse, lending dimension and gradually moving the listener from reflection to response.

So begins “The Song that Set Us Free”, the standout opening track from Kane’s latest album Flesh and Soul. For the uninitiated, it’s a fine introduction to Danen Kane’s songcraft. His music leads the listener on the sort of journey that makes you look back in wonder and say,how did I get here? Two minutes into “The Song,” and without realizing that Kane has gradually increased the tempo by one beat per minute every 30 seconds, you’ve collected potential energy and you’re eager for something to happen. Then, at 2:15, Kane breaks all convention and lets the song explode. Cymbals crash, lyrical laughter bursts, and celebration ensues.

Danen Kane has never been afraid to break convention in his music, but he has a remarkable ability to maintain accessibility and consistency of voice while creating eclectic and sometimes surprising tunes. Part of that ability comes from his unconventional path to music ministry. Kane’s first love was not piano or guitar, it was basketball. In fact, he didn’t do anything musical until he was 20 years old, when he felt a strong call from God to lay down the hours invested in his sport and focus on pursuing his faith.

 

Record Highlight — Hypofixx

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Lashdigit Records is an independent, out-of-pocket record label that was created to release projects by Carlos Marzano.

The label was originally formed in the Bay Area in 1997 as The House of Fixx Records and was used to release demo recordings by Adverse Side-FX, a San Jose, CA based band that Carlos played drums for. The label name was later shortened to HOF Records and the first official release, “Corporate Life,” was pressed in 1998. A full-length album, “A Tale of Lunatic Daring,” was later released in 1999 as well as “The Maggot EP” shortly thereafter.

In March 2000, Carlos moved to New York City and began his solo project HypoFixx. Several singles, albums, and videos were released, giving him a humble amount of local and international success. In 2004, HOF Records was renamed to Lashdigit Records because of a dispute with another entity using the same name. Both HOF Records are now dissolved.

Hypofixx – Postmechanical: Retrospective is a collection of work spanning 10 years, including three albums and two remix EPs, and is being released on vinyl for the first time.

 

Record Highlight — Shirlette Ammons

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Durham, NC based poet and songwriter Shirlette Ammons will be releasing her sophomore album, Language Barrier on Churchkey and SugarQube Records on February 5th, 2016.

The first single, “Earth Intro”, features a guest appearance by Grammy Award-winning duo The Indigo Girls. Other guests on the album include Meshell Ndegeocello, Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso), Hiss Golden Messenger, German rapper sookee, Heather McEntire (Mount Moriah), Median (Foreign Exchange Music Group), Joceyln Ellis, and Phil Cook (Megafaun). All of the music was composed by Daniel Hart whose credits include St. Vincent and Broken Social Scene amongst others. shirlette worked with a broad and talented roster of award-winning guests to create a record that blends and bends genres.