Delicate and crisp -- balancing electric guitar with banjo, cello and more eclectic instruments -- everything about The Mitchells' self-titled debut album says indie-pop. The music is light and drifting and would play perfectly as the soundtrack to the next Marc Webb film. It is hard to listen to this album and not imagine yourself leaning out the car window and letting the wind push firmly against your outstretched palm.
I have a message for those who enjoy listening to live music of any kind - and for those who book the venues that host such events - get to know Elk Creek. They are a group of very talented musicians that make some exciting new music and they sound really, really good together.
The story of Elk Creek is one of reunion. Aaron Price [vocals], Jeremy Brown [harmonica], and Brad Smith [guitar] all grew up together and used to play in band called Hector who had a practice space in Trenton, Ohio located on Elk Creek Road. Two years ago when they 'got the band back together' they added Travis Estellon drums and Nick Whittenburg on bass. They quickly noticed that their sound, style and songwriting had all matured. The end result of this reunion is the 7-song EP entitled Greenfield Project.
Do you remember Carnivàle - the creepy and surreal, yet sensual HBO series about a roving band of sideshow performers in the American dustbowl? Imagine that that show was made into a Broadway musical. Now, imagine that Jack White, David Lynch, Jello Biafra, Crispin Glover and Tim Burton all collaborated to write the score for this play, based on the writings of Syd Barrett. That will give you a rough idea of my first impression of Pop Goes the Evil's new album Love Stained Heart.
To put it another way - I have absolutely no idea where to begin with this review. There is so much going on in this album that it's like trying to nail green Jell-O to a tree.
Mangrenadeis the type of band that can spit a mouthful of the angriest venom in your face and make you smile about it. Their music assaults you with a 'Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse' attitude.
Severed Part One, their just-released project on Red Moth Records, is a pretty drastic and heavier departure from their 2013 EP, Lions in the Parking Lot, which was far smoother and groovier. Severed is much more ferocious and propelled by head-banging power and fist-pumping energy. This 'new sound' for Mangrenade can easily be likened to late 1980's West Coast heavy metal.
With Father's Day approaching, as a dad myself, I know that it is a title of honor that is not granted by the simple biological act of reproducing one's genetic code. I also know that it is a laurel that requires great humility to wear. Not only are all father's judged according to their offspring, but by a standard set by every father before them. To paraphrase from a bumper-sticker: most any male can be a father, but it takes special character to be a dad. All dads want to be great, but only truly great dads acknowledge that they often fail more than they succeed. Dad-hood requires many choices. Dad-hood itself can be a choice.