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

 

Flashback :: NYC’s Urban Blight

It was a Saturday, many moons ago.  I remember sitting at home and, after counting all of the ceiling tiles in the family room, quickly determined that I was bored out of my skull.  It got the point where even hard labour was starting to sound appealing. Was anyone going to call?  Finally, there it was.  Ring…Ring. I was saved! With my feet barely touching the ground I sprinted into the kitchen and anxiously picked up the receiver.  To my chagrin, it was one of my college buddies from Baltimore, MD. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Nothing, I’m bored out of my mellon,” was my reply. “How’s that working out for you?” he chided.  “There better be an invitation coming jackass or I’m going to reach through the phone and rip out your larynx.” Thankfully (and luckily for him) there was indeed an invitation.   It was to join he and some other compadres at the 8×10 Club in Baltimore that evening to see a band from NYC called Urban Blight. Who?  Never heard of them…but heck anything was better than doing nothing.

What I remember most was that as soon as those cats hit the stage the air was suddenly electric.  It was like everyone knew what was coming.  The drummer set the tone immediately with a phat groove that became the foundation for  “Knock You Out” and I became insta-fan.  Loved it.  The mix of funk, ska and new jack swing was simply phenomenal and while “Love Bites” remains my absolute fav, the song featured in the video above, “Get Closer”, was a close 2nd.

Happy Friday my friends…now let’s get funky.

– Drago

Reminiscing about Elkland and Discovering The Drums

artist: The Drums | genre: indie pop | label: unsigned | [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-drums/id313290516?uo=4″ title=”The Drums”]

I just had a bit of a “where are they now” moment. Back in 2005 I went to see Erasure at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. A band called Elkland opened the show and it turned out to be one of the most entertaining opening acts I’ve ever seen. I’ve never personally witnessed a stage presence quite like lead singer Jonny Pierce’s before or since. I went home and got their album, enjoyed listening to it, always smiling as I thought about that show.

Fast forward almost 6 years… about a week ago I was out driving one evening and I put my iPod on random and up pops Elkland. I immediately remembered that concert and smiled. I got home and I searched to see what they were doing now only to find out that Elkland fizzled away shortly after that 2005 tour. But out of those ashes came The Drums. The Jonny Pierce sound is distinct and you instantly recognize it in both bands; but, while Elkland was quite keyboard-laden electro-pop, The Drums are just guitar (Jacob Graham and Tom Haslow), drums (Connor Hanwick) and vox (Jonny Pierce). And although both have a very 80’s feel to them, The Drums pull off a much more fresh and current sound. So if you ever heard Elkland (or Goat Explosion, an even earlier incarnation), then you need to check out The Drums. In fact, you should check out The Drums regardless.

OK… yes I know… I’m 5 years late to the show.

– DMitch

The Perfect Day

artist: The Canon Logic | genre: alternative, rock | label: unsigned

Hearing “Avenue of Criminals,” the free single download from The Canon Logic, reminds me of those perfect days in life.  You wake up, get dressed for work and remember it’s Saturday, so you head back to bed for another three hours.  Later, you head to the store for some grub and get the last glazed donut and the coffee’s fresh.  The cashier you’ve been secretly lusting after for months finally smiles and says hello and when you rummage for the $5 you left the house with, you find a washed and tightly folded $20 in your back pocket.

How great would any one of those be?  But all of them, in one day?  Yes, yes, yes, and YES.  If every day was like that, I’d have to start a blog and take pictures, because no one would believe me.

But believe me now when I say “Avenue of Criminals” is worth your time.  It has a chorus The Killers would, uh, kill for, and it breezes along with sweet interplay between guitar and piano.  I love how the guitar falls away at the 2:20 mark, leaving the piano and the drums and singer Tim Kiely’s voice.  There’s an urgency and a passion in its structure and, at less than four minutes, it leaves me wanting more.

I’ve had it on repeat for an hour and I must say, I’m feeling good about the rest of my day.

Thanks, The Canon Logic, it’s just what I needed.

– Thurdeen

Dead Man at the Arcade

artist: The Canon Logic  |  genre: alt-rock  |  label: unsigned

Just a bit of a teaser vid from The Canon Logic’s newest release FM Arcade.  Look for a full album review from Thurdeen coming soon.  Until then…enjoy the sights and sound of “Dead Man.”

– Drago

The Quest of Zion Judah

artist: Zion Judah
genre: roots | reggae
label: Mt. Zion Records

listen now
Create Your Own Reality :: Give Thanks For Life :: Higher Conciousness

NYC’s  Zion Judah may call the Big Apple home today, but his roots are in reggae.  With his latest release entitled Quest, Zee delivers a modern musical vibe that  lies somewhere between the (2) Marleys…that would be Bob and son Damian.

As the urban back beat begins on “Create Your Own Realty” listeners get just a hint of  Junior Gong flava.  While “Give Thanks For Life” moves magically to the middle where a dancehall-esque (I just love making up words!) motif meets an unmistakable roots melody.  My favourite track, however, would be “Higher Consciousness”.  A bouncy bass line, pulsating keys, sparkling guitar and smooth vocals that would bring a tear to Tuff Gong’s eye…how can you improve on that? What can I say?  When it comes to reggae I’m a purist and this is a solid tune all they way around.

Listening to Zion Judah brings down your stress level and, more importantly, reminds us that there is still plenty of good in the world and that, my friends is what I call a win-win.  Much bless…

– Drago