Interview – Tristyn Elizabeth, a rising star in Austin

Deep in the heart of Texas is a town known for live music, cowboys, and the blues.  When I think of Austin, Texas, I really don’t think of pop music… until now.  Allow me to introduce you to Tristyn Elizabeth.  After a couple of years of paying her dues as a singer-songwriter at many of the open mic events in Austin, she has emerged from the studio with her first real studio effort, an EP entitled Kiss Me in the Rain.  Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, she has used her time in the studio to transform herself from a singer-songwriter into a more polished pop artist, without abandoning her roots.  I actually know Tristyn, after being in her ward for a couple of years in Georgia.  I recently connected with 21-year-old Tristyn to hear her story about her development as an artist.

 

How did you get started in music?

My dad is a songwriter/producer type as well and he’d always be writing or playing or talking music all the time. That was a huge influence all my life. I remember when Britney Spears and N’sync and Backstreet boys were  huge, I’d blast it in the living room and sing and dance to it with my siblings and imagine growing up to be a singer. I started writing sometime in high school. It started when I would listen to songs on the radio and it didn’t fit how I felt. There wasn’t a song I could sing from my soul I guess, I was in high school and I was dramatic. So I started writing music on my guitar.  All the songs I wrote were kinda bad and embarrassing. Over time they got better with re-writes and new life experiences. I wrote better ones when I went off to college. Also, when I was in high school  my dad would need vocals for various projects and songs and I’d record on those. That’s basically where it started. Continue reading “Interview – Tristyn Elizabeth, a rising star in Austin”

Interview – Tristyn Elizabeth, a rising star in Austin

An Interview With Myself – Matt Mylroie

Matt MylroieUpon hearing rumors that I had been working hard to wrap up an album project for December release, I decided to sit down with myself for an interview. Here are all the facts for our loyal Linescratchers readers.

 

Does your album project have a general theme?

To me, these are guitar-driven songs about life. They are real, they are raw, and they are relevant.  That’s pretty much the theme of the project.

Continue reading “An Interview With Myself – Matt Mylroie”

An Interview With Myself – Matt Mylroie

Interview – Church Williams

I can’t tell you how unsurprised I was to learn that Church Williams was a musician. Sharp-looking guy, snappy dresser, coolest spectacles I’d seen in some time. Of course he’s a musician. The only thing that could have made me more certain was if he’d been an utter slob.

Well, no. I’m listening to his album Touch the Sun as I type this, preparing to send you on to the interview, and realizing that “slob” is not an option for Church.

My recommendation? Pop that link open and take a listen while you check out this interview.

Continue reading “Interview – Church Williams”

Interview – Church Williams

Interview – Brandon Kitterman of Fictionist

Linescratchers contributor Joseph Mecham recently interviewed Brandon Kitterman (guitar aficionado of Utah’s indie rock band Fictionist) for GuitarJunkie.net. Linescratchers gets to join in on the fun.

Brace yourself, dear reader, for a lesson in being awesome. Brandon Kitterman is what I would call a sonic knitting artist. You know those really ugly knitted blankets you always try to warm up with at your Grandparents house, and they’re so riddled with holes they have a 10% heat retention rating? Then you end up freezing to death on their couch while developing terminal asthma because they have 40 years of dust collected in the couch cushions? Well yeah… that sucks, and I share your pain. However, if Brandon were to knit for you a blanket with his sonic textures and tones, it would be made of silk, be your favorite color, smell like vanilla, have a 99% heat retention rating, and it would wrap you like an Egyptian mummy. Yep… he’s that good. Read on for everything you wanted to know about Brandon Kitterman’s guitar set-up and technique.
Continue reading “Interview – Brandon Kitterman of Fictionist”

Interview – Brandon Kitterman of Fictionist

Album Review – ELiZA WREN Returns to Oz

When I review an album, I listen with pen and paper. I take notes song-by-song, recording the vibe and mood of each song, how each flows, and how they work together to make a complete album.  While listening to ELiZA WREN’s Returns to Oz, I wasn’t able to do that, and I could not be more delighted.

This double album of 110 minutes of music is set to the movie Return to Oz, one of my childhood favorites.  If you are not familiar with Return to Oz, watch it right this minute. Otherwise, here’s a three sentence synopsis:  It’s a very dark, somewhat creepy non-musical 80’s sequel to the 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz in which an inexplicably younger Dorothy, played by Fairuza Balk (who I had a crush on as a kid and again later after watching The Craft), gets sent to an asylum by her loving aunt and uncle to get electroshock therapy to rid her mind of the Oz mumbojumbo that she won’t shut up about. Whilst escaping the asylum, she falls asleep and wakes up in Oz, only to find it has been ruined by the creepy wheelers (imagine less cool flying monkeys on rollerblades), a gnome king who is sporting the ruby slippers, and a headless witch who has a varied collection of heads she can swap.  Oz can only be returned to its former glory by stopping these evil characters, and the only ones who can stop them are Dorothy and her verbose chicken, along with the help of a robot soldier, a jack-o-lantern headed dude, and a flying couch with a talking moose head.

If that amazing preview didn’t immediately compel you to watch Return to Oz, I have yet another excellent reason: EliZA WREN’s album Returns to Oz.  Much like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz (the syncing of which is commonly known as Dark Side of the Rainbow), ELiZA WREN’s album can be synced with the film Return to Oz.  However, when playing Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz, coincidences are few and you really have to be generous in accepting things that seem moderately in sync. With Returns to Oz, the songs are purposefully and amazingly crafted to accompany the movie, and they do a fantastic job of enhancing each other.  The moods of the songs fit perfectly, and the lyrics are usually, though cryptically, describing what is happening in the movie.  I can’t quite describe the audio/visual aspect of the whole experience, all I can do is recommend you try it (start by watching the trailer).

Apart from the visual, the music definitely holds on it’s own.  The album uses ongoing motifs and recurring song themes that range from old timey bluegrass and folk music to indie rock to piano-based spacey tunes that would fit very well on a Pink Floyd record.  Whether you experience the album on its own or accompanied by a delightfully creepy Disney movie, I highly recommend giving it a watch and/or listen!

Album Review – ELiZA WREN Returns to Oz

Interview – Jim Harker of Coastal

Coastal

I went to a couple shows at this wonderful place called the Dojo while attending BYU.  Its spacious interior was well-furnished with comfy couches and plenty of floor space; ideal for hosting mellow concerts.  (I believe the building was recently renovated as an entrepreneurial office space. You can read about it here. If I’m wrong, someone tell me. Otherwise, I’m thrilled to see this place back in operation, even for a different purpose).

Around November 2000, I went to the Dojo to hear this band I had read about in the Daily Universe called Infrared.  They were reputed to sound very different from what was typical in Provo. Infrared was described as “sedate, even reverent.”   I was intrigued.  Soon after I read about Infrared, they changed their name to Coastal to avoid name conflict with another band (I think they actually announced this at the show I was at).  Their melancholy sound was a good fit for my final days in college.  It launched a psychic process whereby I have sought out recordings by other slowcore and shoegaze bands and grafted them into my college memories.  (I don’t know how I missed their later show with Low – good grief!)

Later, I found out that Coastal’s drummer, Jim Harker, married the sister of a childhood friend of mine in Minnesota.  Just recently, I found out that Jim is related to a distant cousin-in-law, not to mention my own wife!  Oh, small Mormon world!  Jim agreed to share his perspective on Coastal and what he has been up to lately. Continue reading “Interview – Jim Harker of Coastal”

Interview – Jim Harker of Coastal

Video – “Especially Me” by Low

Here’s a new official video for “Especially Me” off Low’s latest album, C’mon.  It’s my favorite song off the album, and it was by far the highlight of their live show when I saw then a couple months ago.  The video is really well-directed, and I love the city-scapes, but unfortunately, the best part of the song was the very cool string climax before the final chorus, and they surgically removed it in the radio edit.  Too bad.  Still a cool video though.  Enjoy!

Video – “Especially Me” by Low

Haun’s Mill: The handsewn CD

When Syphax first emailed the Linescratchers’ author list about Haun’s Mill, I was instantly intrigued:

… an awesome group from Texas called Haun’s Mill (formerly Haun’s Mill Massacre). They do old-timey music but it’s more of a Southern Gothic-type thing, and their stage show includes weird and admittedly creepy projector movies. A lot of their lyrics deal with old dark times, like the Spanish Influenza epidemic or the Great Depression, etc.

I immediately replied that they sounded awesome—like someone had tapped into my id and found the music it secretly wanted. An hour and fifteen minutes later, he wrote back to say he might be able to get an album sent to me. It was too late because I had already bought it. My id would not be denied!

I knew this could go either way. It could be my fate to love this band because, really, how could I not like a gothfolkMormoncreepoöldtimey band? Or it could be that, with my expectations running so high, even the greatest gothfolkMormoncreepoöldtimey band ever to play Kolob could not live up to what I envisioned.

Continue reading “Haun’s Mill: The handsewn CD”

Haun’s Mill: The handsewn CD