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alt-rock alternative flashback Flashback Artists New Jersey rock The Smithereens videos

Friday Flashback :: Smithereens


Arguably, one of the most underrated alt-rock bands of the 80’s & 90’s, The Smithereens, to this day goes down as one of my all-time favs as I quite literally have every album and know most every song, even the deep tracks, by heart.  So, naturally, when they came to the Northern Virginia’s State Theatre a while back I just had to go.  Some may say that the band has long since passed their prime…and they’d be right.  However, these cats still rock out loud.  They are not even the least bit pretentious.  In fact, they are far from it.  While most of the alt-rock veterans would rather play their “brand new” stuff (that nobody cares about) the Smithereens plastered the filled to capacity crowd with their most notable tracks from every album in their arsenal.  It was epic.
I was fortunate enough to actually meet and hang out with the band a little bit after the show (that’s me with drummer Dennis Diken) and they were the epitome of cool.  In fact, I talked with bassist Severo “The Thrilla” Jornacion about playing the bass line to “Blood and Roses” featured above.  His response? “The first time I played it I thought I my fingers would bleed…it is such an honor to play that song.”  With all the nit-picking in the music industry today it’s somewhat refreshing to hear someone give deference to their predecessor, in this case, former bassist Mike Mesaros.
We could have picked any number of tunes from The Smithereens catalog…“A Girl Like You” or “Only A Memory” would have been the more than obvious choices…but “Blood and Roses” was one of the tunes that was instrumental in my alt-rock conversion.  Thusly, I pay homage to the song and the band today on the Friday Flashback.  Enjoy my friends
Check out all the stuff by The Smithereens on [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-smithereens/id529246?uo=4″ title=”Smithereens on iTunes”] !

– Drago

 

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825 Records alternative Brooklyn featured artists folk indie pop new release New York reviews The Lovegoods

The Lovegoods

The Lovegoodsartist: The Lovegoods
album: The Lovegoods EP
genre: folk/indie pop
label: 825 Records

listen on spotify
The Lovegoods :: North Tide
The Lovegoods :: Snowing In My Veins

The Lovegoods

Let me first tell you a little something about this outfit called 825 Records. I don’t know a ton, so if anything is wrong please correct me. 825 Records is owned and led by the talented Matty Amendola, Instagram’s Matty Amendola best afro as you can see. From what I can tell, Matty is a bit of musical savant who has directed his gift into developing, mentoring and promoting the musical talent in others. He’s a master in the producer’s chair, perhaps fueled by his talent, his passion for music, but also what seems to be a genuine desire to help the artist in front of him succeed. Now, of course I don’t really know Matty…so maybe he’s actually a grade-A jerk, but c’mon, with hair like that he’s got to be a cool cat. But really I’m digressing. This was all meant just to be a lead-in for introducing one of his relatively recent projects, The Lovegoods.

I’m going to start with the sad news. The Lovegoods came to an abrupt end when one half of the duo, J.J. Gluckman, passed away late last year. Lois Burnett, the other half of the partnership, eloquently describes their music and the passing…

“A very unique and intimate friendship occurs when you begin to write songs together,” says Burnett. “You have to be so open with each other – so vulnerable to one another. We put our hearts in each other’s hands and trusted that the other would do it justice. When you do that, you put a faith into someone that can never be broken. I still feel the weight of J.J.’s heart in my hands and that weight will not be lifted until I have fulfilled his dreams – the dreams that we had intended to conquer together.”

The good news is, although it does feel shallow, the EP J.J and Lois were working on is available. From the opening lyrics of “North Tide” it becomes immediately apparent the connection between artists that Lois was talking about. The perfect blend of voice is just the first hint at the chemistry between them. But listen to the words, and we can share just a bit in their vulnerabilities as well. “Snowing In My Veins” successfully achieves one of my favorite twists found in music: upbeat music with lyrics addressing the sad or dark. Your head starts nodding, your foot finds the beat, then the words burst from your mouth to join in on the chorus “it’s snowing in my veins tonight”, and then it hits you… what is this song about?? Oh wait, this is sad. J.J.’s heartfelt plea towards the beginning of the song “how long will it take for you to see that I’m not clean?” completely passed by me on my first listen. For me, the whole song becomes a metaphor. How many of us package ourselves into a happy, up-beat facade? But if anyone was really listening they’d hear us begging for help.

– DMitch

 

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alt-rock alternative featured artists indie pop new release Out Like Pluto pop-punk punk reviews Seattle The James Polk Shuffle Music videos Washington

Pop-Punk :: Oxymoron or Out Like Pluto?

artist: Out Like Pluto | album: Take Cover | genre: pop-punk, alt-rock | label: The James Polk Shuffle Music

Out Like PlutoThe very first line from the bio on their own web sites goes, “Out Like Pluto is not here to revolutionize music, but they do want to make you dance.” And to that I say, “Thank you!” We all know fun music when we hear it. We want to sing along to our music. We want to tap our feet. We DO NOT want to have to think about it to appreciate it. With a couple years of writing music reviews under my belt, I’ve decided that whenever somebody describes their music as “experimental” what they mean to say is, “Here is some crap for you to waste five minutes of your life listening to.” No thank you! Out Like Pluto is NOT experimental. As they self-describe themselves, they deliver on the tried-and-true. It’s foot-tapping, catchy, but super strong alt-rock. From watching some clips on YouTube of them performing live, you can tell they are just having fun, and it’s contagious. And there is nothing wrong with music just being fun. In fact, it’s what makes me like these guys so much.

The latest album Take Cover came out last January from this Seattle five-piece. First formed by Andy (drums) and Kari (vox), the Out Like Pluto lineup is flushed out with Mike and Ben (guitar) and Jeremy (bass). The first single off the album, “Bridge”, is featured in the video above. My other favorites include “Placebo (Turn Me On)” and “Starring John Stamos”. “Papercut” also stands out as it showcases a softer side of Kari’s voice accompanied by strings, and in the process shows just how strong her singing really is. Every track on the album will make you feel good though. So, yeah, it’s nothing earth-shattering, and it’s very nostalgic of alt-rock from the 90’s…. but we all love the alt-rock from the 90’s, and besides, feeling good is exactly what I want in 2012.

Take Cover - Out Like Pluto

– DMitch