Interview – Michael Dowdle

ConvergenceMichael 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.

con·verge/kənˈvərj/Verb
1. (of several people or things) Come together from different directions so as eventually to meet.

His album represents the Convergence of thirty-one years of experience into 49 minutes of pure guitar pleasure. This isn’t a record filled with mindless runs and flashy guitar licks. Each track has its own unique sound and yet all are brilliantly cohesive and melodic tunes. Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of lightning-fast playing to satisfy your inner shredder, but all is woven into the fabric of some very tasteful compositions.

These are the questions the guitar geek in me wanted to ask Michael. Continue reading “Interview – Michael Dowdle”

Interview – Michael Dowdle

Interview – Calm Paradox

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”

Interview – Calm Paradox

The Aquabats – “Hi-Five Soup” Review

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”

The Aquabats – “Hi-Five Soup” Review

Test Marketing Low’s C’mon

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.

Continue reading “Test Marketing Low’s C’mon”

Test Marketing Low’s C’mon

Launch Point – From Where to There review

Webpages: launchpointmusic.com
www.myspace.com/launchpointmusic
Album: From Where to There

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”

Launch Point – From Where to There review

Arson Car – Vestiges EP 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”

Arson Car – Vestiges EP review

Good Morning Milo

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”

Good Morning Milo

Bearcats – This Wildfire Magic review

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Band: Bearcats

Album: This Wildfire Magic

Recommended if you like: Spoon, Phoenix, Tokyo Police Club, Futureheads

Websitehttp://www.facebook.com/wearebearcats

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”

Bearcats – This Wildfire Magic review

The Reprints – Voices of Vendetta review

Recommended if you like: Psychedelic rock, punk, grunge
Recommended tracks: “Wandering”

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”

The Reprints – Voices of Vendetta review