Sunday, July 27, 2014

Red Oblivion

Heavy alternative rock trio Red Oblivion found their recipe for rock 'n roll in Boston, MA in 2011 were Zach Adams (vocals/bas), Emma Torres (guitar, background vocals), and Carson Groenewold (drums) were students at the Berklee College of Music. Intertwining their knack for songwriting, composition and affinity for rock's edgy and seductive properties, the three took their craft beyond the classroom and Boston, making the move to New York City in 2013.

Brought together by Paul Kolderie (Radioheads "Pablo Honey", The Pixies, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones) and Jeff Dorenfeld (managed Ozzy Osbourne with Randy Rhodes, Boston, and Sammy Hagar) Red Oblivion recorded their debut 2012 EP Simple. With the release of the EP, Red Oblivion was selected to represent Berklee College of Music at Lollapalooza in Chicago 2012. The following year, Red Oblivion continued to spread their rock 'n roll attitude internationally and garnered attention and multiple invitations from large festivals, such as SXSW, Lollapalooza Chile, Lollapalooza Brazil, and Yive Latino. In 2013, the band convened to record their forthcoming EP My Friend Fear, due out September 16, 2014. Already making waves across two continents, Red Oblivion is poised to make a powerful impact in 2014 and beyond.

To hear and learn more about Red Oblivion go to:
Red Oblivion

Chad Hollister

Chad Hollister Band hails from Vermont. They have been evolving and touring the country for over 15 years. Chad has opened for Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Tom Petty and has shared with stage with every PHISH member, Merl Saunders, Warren Haynes and Blues Traveller. His music is a voice for the Positive and reminds you that life is truly a gift as is the ability to share it through music.

With 6 self-produced albums under his belt, tours spanning across the nation, and fifteen years of experience, Vermont based Chad Hollister has established himself as a mature and impressive musician crafting infectious rhythmic sounds that are reminiscent of influential artist such as Jack Johnson & Dave Johnson and Dave Matthews Band.

Hollister's ultimate goal is to share his vision of life, positivity, and uplifting music world. His take on rock and roll music has evolved over the years into complex tracks with inspirational messages. being a family man and father has influenced and shaped his performances to create a diverse musical experience for his fans. Simply put, Hollister has perfected his craft and offers the crowd a moving experience that can make you want to simultaneously dance, sing, cry and laugh. His shows vary from Intimate solo shows, to gigs with his main 5 piece band, and even expansive performance with a 9 piece ensemble.

Building off the success his previous albums, Chad Hollister released a self-titled LP in 2010 featuring groove oriented tracks such as "Grow" and the "The Answer,"a song co-written by Chad and producer Anthony J. Resta. Now Chad Hollister has released the new single, "Breathe."a beautiful and melodic track gently encouraging listeners to overcome obstacles and preserver. Available for download HERE.

To hear and learn more about Chad Hollister go to:
Chad Hollister

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beautiful Small Machines

NYC based 'electro twang' duo, Beautiful Small Machines, release the second single off of the recently released LP The DJ Stayed Home, dropped July 8th. "The Girls Are Here" was written by Bree Sharp and exemplifies feeling invincible before a night out on the town by getting dressed like you're getting ready to go into battle. In this follow-up release to the band's debut EP, Robots in Love, their Blondie-meets-Arcade Fire sound connects with what Collected Sounds Blog describes as "a bit like Grandaddy, The Postal Service and The Tings Tings forming a super band." Other notable influences include: Duran Duran, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, Wilco, The Rolling Stones and 80s pop music.

Beautiful Small Machines was formed in 2009 by Bree Sharp and Don DiLego in New York City. Sharp is the lead vocalist and lyricist and DiLego is the producer. He also plays almost all of the instruments on record, including electric guitar, bass, piano, drums, harmonica, cowbell and other nifty things he finds lying around. They both play acoustic guitar and share songwriting duties. Prior to Beautiful Small Machines, Sharp began her solo career with her cult hit, "David Duchovny (Why Won't You Love Me)," which was the first single from her debut album, A Cheap and Evil Girl (Trauma Records). The star-studded, underground video for the track garnered Sharp national attention with it's cameos from super stars like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, KISS, Charles Nelson Reilly and more.

Since forming Beautiful Small Machines, they've performed all over the NYC scene, including shows at Bowery Electric, Rockwood Music Hall and the Bowery Ballroom. Sharp and Dilego have also licensed their music to Intel, MasterCard and Victoria Secret and collaborated with Duran Duran's frontman Simon Le Bon, for a Blade Runner inspired duet. Their live show has been known to make their audience dance, giggle and appreciate great pip minus "all-hipster" crowd.

"The Girls Are Here" is the second track from their recently released full length album The DJ Stayed Home.

To hear and learn more about Beautiful Small Machines go to:
Beautiful Small Machines

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Oh, Jeremiah

Photo: Laura Meek
Oh, Jeremiah, is the musical cocktail of the musing and tall tales of singer/songwriter Jeremiah Stricklin. Each of his songs is filled with the distinct characteristics of the Deep Southern culture that he's called home for so long. The familiar people and places that he has always known are now the invisible forces that populate his songs simultaneously uplifting and haunting his person musically. His pace, his love of face-to-face conversation, and his enjoyment of wasting an afternoon sitting on a front porch have all given him and his music a flavor worth savoring. In short, he can be considered the 21st Century Tom Sawyer, the friend you would be willing to paint for or take a leap of faith with if you had a leap of faith with if you had to run away from the real world.

Taking his cues from great songwriters like John Ritter, Ryan Adams, Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) and countless others, Stricklin is embarking on an entirely new adventure with a full band in tow. Demonstrating vulnerability and intimacy, Oh Jeremiah creates a genuine connection with audience, both lyrically and in live performances. Consistently touring and telling deep personal anecdotes and stories with unflinching honesty, Stricklin brings audiences together through a shared experience transporting individuals into his songs to become part of something bigger than themselves.

In 2013 Oh, Jeremiah released their first EP, Tall Tales and Tiny Fables. In that year alone Oh, Jeremiah toured from Austin, TX to New York City. In April of 2014 the second album Our Very Own Kingdom sprung onto the top 20 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. Since then, Oh, Jeremiah has opened for notable acts such as The Lobe Bellow, Jake Shimabukuro, and David Dondero.

Now, The band is preparing to release the video for "Beautiful Monster," the second single from Our Very Own Kingdom is available on iTunes HERE

Upcoming Shows
08/08 Ole Tavern - Jackson, MS
08/09 Callaghan's - Mobile, AL
08/15 Sound + Page - Birmingham, AL
08/16 Music on Main - Lilburn, GA
08/22  House Show - Knoxville, TN
08/30 House Show - Chattanooga, TN

To hear and learn more about Oh, Jeremiah go to:
Oh, Jeremiah

Sunday, July 20, 2014

True Rivals

True Rivals, a four piece punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, will release their debut full-length album. The debut album is a mix of Rancid-style dual vocals (led by bassist Derik Envy and guitarist Kevin Besignano) along with familiar sound of hard rock riffs and beats by drummer Nate Walker and guitarist Trevor Jackson; reminiscent of artist such as The Clash, The Specials and Social Distortion.

Created by a group of friends, the group consist of past and present members of Bullets and Octane, Unwritten Law, Lit, The exposed, Longway, Rufio and more. Individually the members have toured the world and have spent time performing on stages at some of music's largest festivals including Warped Tour, SoundWave, etc. and have toured alongside bands such as the Buzzcocks. Suicidal Tendencies, Sugar Ray, Zebrahead, Alkaline Trio, Horrorpops, Bad Religion, and The Flatliners. Together, they bring an old familiarity that is missing in today's music industry and prove once and for all that Rock and Roll, in fact, NOT dead.  R360 caught up with the lads direct from LA to chat with them about their newly released album.

R. Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us here at R360. Your first full length album is about to explode on June 17th and no doubt with make a lot of noise. Tell us a little about the making of the album from a lyrical and production perspective. What can the audience expect to hear?
Derik. I think from both a production and musical stand point what you hear is what you get. There's no trickery or auto tune on our record. If we couldn't play it or sing it you won't hear it. I like to write about what I know. I sing about life and experiences, I feel there's something on the record for everyone.
Trevor. Making this record was about as easy as I think any of us could ask for!  We really just got in a room and started to sort through song ideas.  We had no preconceived idea of what this band should sound like so we just started playing and we found a good groove.  
Kevin. Its definitely a fast paced punk rock record that keeps things pretty simple and straight forward. We just tried to write songs that made each other happy, doing all we could lyrically and musically until we all felt satisfied.

R. When it comes to recording music, do you consider yourselves to be ritualist? Do you feel a certain way when you are about to begin a project?
Derik. I feel like I always start the process super pumped and excited. Then somewhere in the middle I doubt everything and am over it. But I know I'm gonna be very proud and excited at the end. As the guys... I like recording but mixing and all that just isn't for me haha.
Trevor. Besides excited, no not really.  Every time we go into something I think we leave it open to what ever the song calls for. I think the biggest thing for us is that we gave our selves time to do proper pre-production on the songs. We sat with them and made sure we were happy with them before we started recording. 
Kevin. I think every song was a different experience for us as we were still learning how we would all come together. I think in the future we will develop habits and methods, but as far as this record we were all still learning to work with each other. 

R. PUNK music has evolved and changed over the decades. What's your view on where it stands today? Do you think its as revolutionary as it was in the past?
Derik. Punk or pop punk is always changing. People will always say it's dead However from what I see at shows it's all alive and well. Revolutionary? Probably not but I'd love to be proven wrong. Punk music is definitely getting stronger again.

Trevor. I don't know where it stands but it feels like it is more divided today than ever. Punk saw such a huge commercialization that I think it pushed it in a box.  People started making it an elitist movement and totally cut it off from other people. Then everyone bitches that there is no scene anymore and complains that it isn't as good as it once was. At the same time doing nothing to create a scene or support each other.  The younger generation likes different music. Its not because they won't like punk music but more because that is what labels and magazines are giving them. This type of music still moves people and still inspires people.  I think we just need to stop being afraid of, and counting out these younger kids that have Black Veil Brides shirts on and put the music back in front of them and let them decide. I think you would be surprised how many of them would be blown away. Give them a reason to support punk again and let them feel like they can be a part of something and they will come running!  

Kevin. I see no sense in comparing one time in the past to the present, things are obviously different because that's what happens over time, things change and evolve. While "punk" as a scene and movement might not be nearly as strong as it once was, the vibe and energy in "punk" as a sound and genre I think has only grown. I think its important to always remember the roots but to put out something that represents your take on it and the way you hear things. Theres no excitement in purposefully putting out a complete rip off record just to fit a mold. Bottom line, its all rock and roll and good songs bring people together, I think that's where it all lives.

R. Dead Weight is the first official lyric video from the upcoming album. Tell us a little about the song and the message behind it? 
Derik. The short of it is a story I've seen all to often when a city can chew up and spit a person out without even missing a beat. We live In LA, everyone's a 'model' and comes chasing something. There are more than enough bad decisions on the streets waiting and ready to deter your 'plan'. 

R. You lads have toured extensively in the last year. Any additional plans to tour this summer?
Trevor. We're doing everything in our power to get this show on the road. With the record "The Revenant" out on June 17th we wanna go out and play it for whoever will listen. Touring for a small independent band is harder today then when we all started touring. There's little to no money but since we're independent every dollar helps. If fans will buy our record and come to the shows we'll find a way to get to your city.

R. How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen seen you before? 
Derik. Roots rock n roll. We're a punk rock band. Lots of energy and no stupid gimmicks. We're not here to reinvent the wheel we just want to do all we can to keep it rolling and show a new generation the sound that we love. It is going to be loud and full of energy. You will see a group of guys that really love what they do. Hopefully it will be a good time for everyone!

R. What do you you think your "biggest break" or "greatest opportunity" has been so far in your musical career? 
Derik. Just as in any part of life the best is yet to come. Since that is too cliche of an answer I'll say getting to go to Australia multiple time. I love it there and the people are rad. We're definitely getting True Rivals to OZ as soon as we can. They love punk rock, it's inspiring to see.

Last but not least...

R. Just for fun... fill in the blanks!
Without music, we would be... Janitors, waiters, light guys.
Music is... Life.
Our music makes us feel... United.
We write the songs because... It's therapy.
Support music because... You believe in it.

True Rivals new album "The Revenant"is out now and available HERE

To hear and learn more about True Rivals go to:
True Rivals
True Rivals album

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Matt Jaffe & The Distractions

Review: Moving beyond New York City and their home base in Northern California, Matt Jaffe brought his high energy rock band The Distractions to North Hollywood's Federal last night, energizing a respectable audience and demonstrating that he can play in larger venues. This was a return trip for the young new wave band, having previously opened for bands at LA's The Central and The Mint, after gigs in new York City at Tammany Hall, The Living Room, and festivals in Times Square.
The young (he just finished his first year at Yale) Northern California - raised guitarist and his band mates drummer Alex Coltharp and bassist Sammie Fischer have mastered the high-spirited sound that he shifted to when he exchanged the acoustic music of his high school days for an electric guitar. With songwriting that shimmers with the best of the hard rock groups in the Southland clubs these days, Matt led his bandmates in nine new songs that showed how he has moved far beyond the slick blend-into-the-background pop music that surrounds us. And his lyrics always gives us something to think about.

I suspect the audience would have been much larger if the Federal had been an all-ages club no one Matt's age was allowed in, although some tried. The set was more  geared to a young audience, almost exclusively featuring high energy new wave rock and rambunctious stage dancing, leaving out some of the group's more complex songs and the exquisite guitar solos a that Matt is capable of.

However, the major appeal of The Distractions may be Matt himself: "he's so cute!" exclaimed a barely 21-year old tattooed Latina sitting with her head-bobbing friends in a booth as the group rocked through "Overboard". But his charm is far more than cute; his voice is distinctive - there is nothing like it in the hard rock world. And his guitar - playing is superb - grounded in years of classical training that makes the instruments an extension of his body and his mind. That was evident to ex- talking Head member Jerry Harrison who was so impressed with Jaffe's guitar playing and over-all talent at a local open mic evening that he offered to produce Matt's music.

Matt's set list at The Federal was a wise choice  - new songs. While regular fans may have missed his standards "Backs of our eyelids", "Armistice Day" and "New Continent", he chose to play his latest works. He was likely testing them before going into the studio in Berkeley next week with Jerry Harrison who has drafted Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty) on drums and Nathan East on bass to produce Matt's first full album. Although new, each song was tight, from the kick off songs like "Write and Song" and Summer" to the wrap up tunes "No Hesitation" and "Chore". Each was structured around Matt's penetrating song writing and the impressive choreography of the band - never missing  a beat either in the music or inner stage presence.

While the family home is Marin county, north of Gold Gate, and Matt is currently based at Yale University where he juggles studies and music - with being his self proclaimed first priority. He is wise to build an audience in Southern California where clubs proliferate and opportunities to grow abound. This will serve him well when he releases his debut album - as yet untitled. What else will serve his well is the large inventory of songs he has built up in the few short years he has been playing rock. last night we heard nine news songs enough for an album if he wanted to stop there. But he won't. In addition to the songs in his inventory like "Stoned on Easter", "England Prevails",  "My Avalanche" and of course "Backs of Our Eyelids", which have helped build his career, Matt Jaffe has an arsenal of tunes to choose from the album and the strategic smarts to carefully ration out the best so we will want more. And we will....

You can download all the music HERE

To hear and learn more about Matt Jaffe & The Distractions go to:
Matt Jaffe

LA. Correspondent
Patrick O'Heffernan

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ívar Páll Jónsson

Home to some of the world's greatest musical luminaries, including Bjork, Sigur Ros, and Of Monsters and Men, Icleand's explosive cultural scene has produced a new champion - composer Ìvar Pàll Jònsson. His ambitious new concept album, Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter , features Liam Mccormick (The Family Crest) along with Jònsson's Revolutionary Cellular Orchestra and an all - star lineup of Icelands's top singers (among them, Stefan Orn Gunnlaugsson of IKORNI and Hjalti porkelesson of Mùgsefin).

A homage to the absurdity and grandeur of classic rock at it's most epic (think The Who's Tommy or Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust) and with with influences including Radiohead, Grizzy Bear, and Sufjan Stevens, the album weaves a tale of love, war, and brotherhood that that all takes place within the microcosm of an oblivious man's elbow. With the added dimension of an off-Broadway theater production of the same starring Tony winner Cady Huffman and former Miss America Kate Shindle, the album's "alternation between elegiac grace, alternative pop current, and Bacharach hints" (The Big Takeover) makes it the perfect metaphor for big things happening in small places. So off we went to chat with Jònsson to discuss his strange yet wonderful concept album.

R. Before we get started, we wanted to let you know that we have been practicing our Icelandic language. Lets first start with "Hallò" (ha-loh), and thank you for taking the time to chat with R360. It's been a while since I've listened to a concept album. My early memories of concept albums go way back when the great iconic legends took music to a whole new level and shifted the entire spectrum of music and sound. What was the motivation behind this album and how did it all come about?
IJ. That's a very respectable attempt at Icelandic! Well, my objective with this record was twofold. I want to tell a story, and I wanted to make the best damn music I was capable of. Something I'd listen to myself. I was lucky enough enough to find Stefan Orn Gunnlaugsson, who then became my producer and helped me in my quest to make to make the album possible. 

R. Perhaps the most obvious question would be to ask. Who is Ragnar Agnarsson? What about Furniture Painter? Revolution in the Elbow? please explain?  Are you anywhere inside this microcosm fantasy? 
IJ. Ragnar Agnarsson is a middle-aged man, rather scruffy and untidy. He is in a way irrelevant to the story. He is absolutely oblivious to the fact that there is a tiny village inside his elbow. His profession, painting, is quite new. In fact, I don't thing it even exists. Revolution tells the story of three brothers, two of whom fall in love with the same woman. one of them leaves town, while the other one gets the girl and invents a Prosperity machine. Things blossom in new-found prosperity, until reality knock son the floor. I myself am not anywhere inside the elbow of Ragnar, but Ragnar lives inside my brain and Elbowville lives inside Ragnar.

R. The first track of the album The Legacy of Elbowville is atmospheric in sound, seductive with industrial undertones and hidden classical notes. I did very much enjoy! Who does the over-all writing/art/literature?(Discuss the songwriting and production process in detail.)
IJ. Thank you! I write the whole thing. I usually come up wit a chord progression and melody, singing some gibberish. If the song is up to my standards, I write a new lyric and re-record. Stefan Orn, my producer, then arranges the song and records it. That's how Legacy was done. 

Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter will open as a theatre production in New York's City's West Village in August 2014

R. If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit? (name up to three)
IJ. It's hard for me to put my music in a box, although I understand the need for people to understand what is being talked about, I guess indie rock would be the closet genre, but I like the genre Ìvar Pàll Jònsson. 

R. What can people expect to see at your live performance? Are you planning any tours over the summer?
IJ. People can expect an emotive, anthemic and powerful performance. We - The Revolutionary Cellular Orchestra  - will be playing a release concert this Tuesday, the 15th of July, at Rockwood Music Hall. There are some other gigs coming up, including one at Joe's Pub on September 14th. 

R. Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?
IJ. I have lots of influences, I guess the biggest one would be Ludwig van Beethoven. I'm a big Bowie fan, I love Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age, Of Montreal, Frank Black, Wilco and on and on and on.  

R. Which is the greatest concept album ever written?
IJ. Tommy by The Who is great. Sgt. Pepper is good and Jesus Christ Superstar also. 

Last but not least...

R. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
IJ. That I exist. I don't think many people have heard of me. 

Revolution in the Elbow Room of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter is available HERE

To hear and learn more about Ìvar Pàll Jònsson go to:
Ivar Pall Jonsson
Revolution Elbow