Michael Dowdle’s bio is the musical equivalent of the resume of a CEO. He has played rock, jazz, classical, country, and everything in-between. On my mission, we were only allowed to listen to hymns or the Tabernacle Choir. His album 50 Favorite Hymns was a lifesaver. Adding to his vast musical repertoire, Michael is releasing a new rock/fusion album called Convergence.
1. (of several people or things) Come together from different directions so as eventually to meet.
These are the questions the guitar geek in me wanted to ask Michael. Continue reading “Interview – Michael Dowdle”
A transplant from Houston, Texas, to Utah, Michelle Kennedy has a lot on her hands. Not only is she a law student, she also is a singer, composer, and performer otherwise known as Calm Paradox, and releases music on her own music label. Inspired by classical as well as indie music, philosophy, and literature, Michelle has gained as much of a reputation for her raw, honest lyrics as she has from her intuitive tonal style. Juggling songwriting and performing with other pursuits can take a toll on a musician, but Michelle has not let that stop her from releasing an album of music called How to Mind, which is now available for purchase in several outlets. In this interview, Michelle tells us about her songwriting influences, her lyrical style, and her unique approach on How to Mind.
So Michelle, since you have a degree in philosophy, tell us what you think of William James’ Pragmatism. Don’t hold back.
A: William James and the Pragmatists are quite interesting, but that is all I have to share on the subject. Philosophy is a very personal pursuit of mine, and thus one of the few things that I’ve learned to keep for myself. Continue reading “Interview – Calm Paradox”
For a few weeks now, I’ve been listening to the latest effort from the Aquabats, and contemplating my critique. Having done a number of reviews and critiques over the years, this one has been the hardest, because it is such a unique project. I have heard of the Aquabats but had never heard their music until now. So, rather than review this by comparing and contrasting it with past works, I am simply going to focus on this particular body of work.
So, to point out the obvious… this is not your “typical” band. With their spandex “rash guard” super hero shirts and their anti-negativity helmets, they not only deliver everything you would want from a world famous rock band, but they also travel the planet in their highly customized Winnebego fighting crime, including notorious bad guys like Gasface and Kitty Litter.
Or at least that’s what I hear.
So, on to the music… It’s juvenile, cheesier than cheetos in nacho sauce, completely over-the-top, borderline ridiculous, and… FUN! It’s actually refreshing to have something on my iPod that is fun, light-hearted, energetic, and full of satire. Continue reading “The Aquabats – “Hi-Five Soup” Review”
For your consideration, a two step formula for judging art: 1. Identify what the artist attempted to accomplish 2. Assess whether the artist accomplished it.
Low is never as monolithic as you remember them being. One word summaries (slowcore) hide the most important and interesting part of Low–their focus on relationship. Dynamics are Low’s secret: within a harmony, a song, an album, and increasingly, a discography. Like the Beatles, like Nirvana, revisiting the back catalog is always a pleasant surprise because the precious space we have in our brains to categorize popular music doesn’t let us retain the exceptions to our heuristics. And it’s the exceptions that make those bands stand the test of time.
Launch Point started in the summer of 2006 after the band Chevallier had decided to move from Vegas to Austin to pursue their efforts the live music capital. With members not following through with the plan, and others pursing other venues of creativity it was time for a new direction. Jon ‘Evs’ Evans, the drummer from Chevalier, decided that, rather than waiting for everyone else to make a decision on whether it was worth making music together, to keep moving forward.
“Creating an album 100% on your own can be empowering and therapeutic.” – Jon Evans Continue reading “Launch Point – From Where to There review”
Just before Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to listen to the Vestiges EP from Arson Car. In the madness around the holidays, it should have been easy to just forget this completely… but I didn’t. There is something both catchy and calming about their music, and it stuck in my head.
Vestiges is not your typical gigging band. They are comprised of 4 members, 3 “thirty-somethings” and a “twenty-something”. They haven’t played live in 7 years and they have a fragmented existence as a band due to the challenges of balancing families, jobs, and school with their music. The Vestiges EP was a project 5 years in the making, with tracking starting in 2004 and being finished in 2009. Continue reading “Arson Car – Vestiges EP review”
In the fertile fields of the San Diego music scene, one energetic rock band has continued to grow in popularity and strength, playing shows to a growing and intense fan base. This band is Good Morning Milo, and they know what it’s like to struggle balancing faith, jobs, and rock, while still managing to play at Youth Conference. However, they believe that the Spirit has inspired their rock journey. Good Morning Milo released their first album, Through the Chaos and Clatter, in 2009, and an EP called Pushing the Envelope in 2008, and have developed their chops through relentless live performances since they got together. Good Morning Milo represents everything good about Latter-day Saints in music (whose adrenalized rock is like an awesome kick in the face), and they are now a featured artist at Linescratchers, agreeing to an interview. They rock essentially and have some depth to them, too. Continue reading “Good Morning Milo”
Album: This Wildfire Magic
Recommended if you like: Spoon, Phoenix, Tokyo Police Club, Futureheads
I first heard Bearcats on Facebook some time ago while dorking around between classes and was instantly amused with what I found. Since the release of their recent album, my initial response panned out to be much more than my usual affection towards local band. Bringing a chilled out Pixies-esk tone to the table with a big dose of British indie drive and hook, Bearcats show some real maturity for their first venture as a band. Formerly called Alt Alt, the group itself currently calls Provo home, but hails from Brigham City in Northern Utah. The three-piece stems from high school friendships (which by my judgment wasn’t that long ago) and have since found great cohesion musically. Continue reading “Bearcats – This Wildfire Magic review”
Written as high school sophomores, and recorded while juniors, Voices of Vendetta by Kearns Utah-based band, The Reprints, is an exciting first release from a young band, filled with potential. The songs range from youth-energy fueled punk and grunge to psychedelic era Beatles, from ’70s rock to early ’60s ballads, in addition to one particular track that I believe shows what it to come (more on that in just a bit). Despite four decades of influence all being very apparent in the songs, the album is congealed in fun, upbeat listening.
The Reprints center around lead guitar/vocalist Zakk Burdick and bass/guitar/vocalist Cameron Singer. The album Voices Of Vendetta was mostly recorded by Zakk and Cameron, with the help of musician friends, though they have since added Jake Conover on drums, and Scott Sandberg on rhythm guitar. The album features both Burdick and Singer as lead vocalists, and is heavy with back up vocals and harmonies. It also features extremely capable guitar and bass playing, and VERY solid lead guitar playing by Burdick, who clearly knows his way around the fretboard. Continue reading “The Reprints – Voices of Vendetta review”