Maybe it’s nostalgia, but I love watching the legendary Soul Train dance line. Those guys were avant-garde trendsetting pre-hipster hipsters and utter fashion freak show train wrecks all at the same time. And now the line has a new soundtrack thanks to MoonShoes (aka Gilles Paulet). Frenchman Gilles Paulet truly is the author and finisher of this funky disco soul hymn entitled “Boogieland” acting as producer, composer, arranger, performer and mixer. So pull out your platform shoes, strut your bell-bottomed trousers and don your clashing-patterned top and get your groove on as you take a ride back to the ’70s to find your inner funk.
Ever since our inception, Froglix has been mightily impressed by the quality of independent music emanating from the land Down Under and the city of Brisbane, in particular, has the very real potential of becoming the next big thing in music. What? Brisbane? Drago, surely you jest. Nay my friends, nay. Don’t believe me? Then check out the latest digital sampler from Sounds Like Brisbane. This incredible collaboration compiles tracks from (18) different artists and their respective labels to create one mega Australian indie collective. Genres include everything from jazz, to hip hop (that’s right Australian hip hop), country, alt-rock and…well…you get the picture. It’s a smattering of just about everything and here is the best part. You can download all (18) songs at once or listen to them one by one and download your favs…all for free! Just go to www.soundslikebrisbane.com and have at it!
Aside from the music, what I find most intriguing about the SLB project is that it’s genesis sprung from the labels themselves. Stephen Green from SGC New Media Marketing explains. “There were a few meetings and some of the labels were already helping each other out, so they thought they’d get together and make it official and start the SLB website. They figured that there’s so much good stuff going on that it made sense to pool their fans and let everyone sample what everyone else is doing.” It’s a brilliant idea but will it work? Oh, I’d say so. If memory serves me, I believe Dischord Records in DC made quite splash by unifying the DC punk scene, paving the way for a number influential bands back in the 80’s. Then in the the 90s, it was bands like Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Soundgarden and the like working together and supporting each other that set the stage not only for the “Seattle Sound” but entire grunge genre. Given that track record, I’d say that the labels tying into the SLB know exactly what they are doing and we at Froglix applaud them for pushing the indie envelope and doing their part to get more great music out of the shadows and onto the world’s stage.
Take a listen to “Spoke Too Loud,” the title track to Sheila Sondergard’s most recent CD, and if you don’t think it’s one of the grooviest songs you’ve ever heard…then you need groovy lessons. The verses offer a jazzy/Krieger-esque guitar sound before jumping into a stellar indie-pop chorus. Throw in some syncopated latin style riddims, a buttery bass line to hold it all together and top it off with sassy vocals from Miss Sheila and you’ve got it…grooviness times ten. On the flip side, “Same Ol Bend” is awash with indie attitude. Sparkly guitars give way to an unbridled edginess and siren like vocals.
Ah…The Breathing from Seoul, Korea. This a band that has been on our radar for a little while now and once you hear them you’ll know why. Sunny Kang (vox), Mitch Auvenshine (guitar), Andi Roselund (bass), Won Shik Lee (drums), Michael Richardson (piano), and Johnny Song (electronics) have melded their rock, pop and jazz roots and transformed them into a contemporary indie sound that is pleasing to the ears and warms the soul. Vibrant, creative and full of divine resonance.
One of the many cool things about the indie music “world” is that it provides a safe haven where artists from different musical backgrounds can find commonality. It is a place that lies beyond the reach of the long arm of corporate radio. A place where lads and lasses can truly express themselves and create some incredible music. Where else but the indie world would a band consisting of a drummer with jam band roots, a guitarist with an affinity for British rock and jazz, a bass player that likes to get his groove on, and a vocalist with more influences than Tiger has mistresses be able to pool their collective talents? While the aforementioned may sound like the cast from the Land of Misfit Toys, they most certainly are not. The band of which I opine is Arlington, VA’s Tieweb and their latest studio offering, Indier Than Thou, is a true indie gem. Justin Fazzari (vox/guitar), Eric Bayles (lead guitar), Steve Quesenberry (drums), and Chris Aylward (bass) successfully channel their collective talents enroute to crafting a unique indie rock experience that hearkens back to the glory days of REM, Grapes of Wrath, and the like, coupled with an air of contemporary relevance. Dig it.
The Autonomous Region from San Francisco, CA makes their Froglix debut with tracks from their 2008 release Forbidden City. Rock, blues and jazz all coalesce to create an eclectic sound with an unmistakable West Coast vibe. We’ve selected a couple of tracks that shine a light on the band’s soulful side for the broadcast. Make no mistake, they can lay down the dirt and rock out with the best of them but for our money “Took My Breath Away” and “What Can I Do for You” are the jazziest grooves on the album and have quickly become our faves. We think you’ll dig ‘em too!
From the West Coast we travel back east on the wings of a hawk…Andy Hawkand the Train Wreck Endings to be exact. I was recently introduced to this talented songwriter and musician just a few short weeks ago via a mutual friend who had been bugging me incessantly to check out his music. Apparently, Andy had sent Froglix a bevy of mp3’s for us to listen to back in July…unbeknownst to us as we had a slight problem with our email and didn’t receive them until just recently (sorry ‘bout that Andy!). Our email challenges remedied, we quickly began combing through and listening to all of the great music that Andy had sent us. Thinning the herd to select a few songs for the broadcast was indeed a chore but we have pulled out some gems that we think will give our listeners a true sense of what the Hawk is all about–great song writing, excellent music and meaningful lyrics. We are jacked to be featuring songs from of some Andy’s (2) most recent albums Tin Can Town and Here It Is. With a style that is reminiscent of Petty and Dylan, Hawk delivers an original sound that is a true American classic.