Portland-based Frazier has quite the musical pedigree. He has spent time singing gospel music in his father’s Baptist church, touring the country as front-man for a soulful rock band and performing as part of David Byrne’s band.
While the eclectic background informs the music of his solo career, it doesn’t define it. Blood in the Water is a rocking R&B record, pure and simple. Six tracks of taut soul that is rooted in the 1970’s funkified tradition yet has plenty of contemporary flourishes.
I’m not sure if Stevie Wonder has had the pleasure of listening to this release, but I expect he’d break out into a big ol’ grin if he did.
Here at KXSU we like to profile local bands we’ve discovered and really, really like, just for you. A three-piece band from Seattle, Stubborn Son consists of singer/guitarist Garrett Lamp, bassist Andrew Knapp and drummer Blair Daly. Their debut album, Birthright (available right here on Amazon and iTunes) shimmers with uninhibited, raw energy, emulating vocals with that bluesy moodiness infused with the grating discord of unadulterated rock-and-roll. It’s hard to believe the group only came together in early 2014.
Just last week, Stubborn Son performed at Neumos for “Love Seattle Vol 2.” as part of a stunning local lineup featuring KXSU regulars Fauna Shade, along with Charms, P.S., Bod, Sunder Heed, Uh Oh Eskimo, Colorworks, The Spider Ferns, and Alec Shaw with all proceeds going to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital.
To set the scene: All questions were answered by all of Stubborn Son, sitting around crowded over Garrett’s iPhone. Garrett is squatting, Blair is cris-cross-applesauce style and Andrew is taking the pose of one well-known drunken sea captain.BP: Are you stoked for Neumos tonight?! Are you guys tight with any of other local bands playing?
SS: Hell yeah! It was one of our goals for the new year to play Neumos’ stage. Not to mention this show is for a fantastic cause [Seattle Children’s Hospital]. We’ve gotten to know the Acid Tounge guys and Scotty from Fauna Shade over this last year and they make some fantastic tunes!
BP: It says on your site that you’re going to be announcing a tour sometime soon! Can you give us any hints as to where you’re heading?
SS: We are working on a few things right now, including Portland, San Fran and Boise. But we’re still getting things nailed down.
BP: What’s your personal favorite song off your album? Mine are Vixen and Make Your Heart Stop. I’ve had them on repeat all afternoon!
SS: Wow, thanks, we’re glad you dig them! We really dig “The Broken Heart Proof “(which can be downloaded for free on our Soundcloud page). We also go between a few tracks and digging different things. “Voices” is one of our favorite tracks and “Make Your Heart Stop” is always a damn good time to play live!
BP:Who are your musical influences? Which musicians do you admire?
SS: Depends on what day you ask us. We’ve recently been going back through the Jack Whitecatalogue, digging the Arcs record, and Father John Misty. That being said there is always some Beatles and Stones thrown in between all of those.
BP:Have you guys ever wanted to something else besides music?
SS: We all thought about being Blue Angel pilots once. But other than that, no. We all really love writing, playing, recording and performing music.
BP: What’s your writing process like? Is it hard? Do you write every day? Like, do you write the lyrics first then the music or the other way around?
SS: Typically our writing process starts with lyrics or a hook. Garrett or Andrew will bring a sort of skeleton version of a song to the group and then we’ll all sort of bite into it, chew it up, mull it over and then get to work on it. Andrew and Blair are some fantastic arrangers where Garrett is more of the lyricist. We try to write as much as we can, a lot of songs don’t make the cut and are filed away for some other use or repurpose. Typically though, our process is lyrics/melody, then guitar & bass work, then we work on the rhythms and then put the song back through the ringer again.
BP: Have you played at any local Seattle venues before? Which was your favorite? If not, where would you like to play? Or what’s your favorite venue to play at?
SS: Yes, we have played a number of venues here in town. We released Birthright at the Tractor Tavern last summer, we have played the Sunset, the Columbia City Theatre, the Conor Byrne, the old Comet Tavern and a few others too. We really love the Tractor, but there are so many good places to play here in town.
BP: At what point in your career do you think you’ll say “we made it”? What’s your ultimate dream/goal as a band?
SS: Not sure. We want to play music and share experiences with people. We really love the opportunity to do that and hope that we can continue to do so till we’re too old.
BP: Okay. Best place to eat in Seattle?
SS: Bitterroot BBQ. Hands down the best BBQ we’ve been to. ! Late night happy hour after a show…that’s hard to beat.
BP: If you could come up with your own Lays flavor, what would it be?
SS: Lays Whiskey Chips. Actually, that might be a good hangover cure…like hair of the dog, but different.
BP: Anything else you’d like to say?
SS: Next time we see each other, let’s dance.
IN NOTES FROM LEFT OF THE DIAL THIS WEEK, NOOGA.COM SPENDS SOME TIME WITH NEW MUSIC FROM CÂLISSE
Câlisse, "Stay"It began, as many things do, with an introduction. Musicians James Collette and Morganfield Riley were both soundtracking different filmswhen they were introduced by a filmmaker friend. By the next Halloween, they were performing together. Drawing together some musical friends, Collette and Riley organized a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," and these sessions went so well that when Collette announced he was recording a solo album, Riley volunteered to produce one of the songs. Their collaboration blossomed and grew to include other musicians, becoming the foundation for Câlisse. The group will release their debut record, "Farewell Black Sheep" on April 15.
On their new single, "Stay," the band creates a sound that feels drenched in the classic indie rock years of the early '90s but still manages to sound timely and timeless. The guitars are thick and sticky and are filled with ragged distortion and a fuzzed-out attitude. Buried beneath all the hiss and grit, though, is a churning melody that sticks to your brain and anchors the track while also lifting high into the upper atmosphere. It's catchy and hits you like a fist to the chest. It's rare that a band understands this contrast between loudness and melody so well, but Câlisse make this awareness seem nothing more than the next logical step. If "Stay" is any indication of what we're to expect from "Farewell Black Sheep," then April can't get here soon enough.
Portland has changed so much in the past 5 years, it’s practically unrecognizable. High rises and apartment complexes are springing up all around town, while people who’ve lived here for generations are pushed out into the margins of the suburbs and beyond.
It’s a time-honored tale of gentrification and urban development – not exactly a newsflash. With things changing so much, on top of so many expectations and stereotypes, it can be hard to find the REAL Portland, or to recognize it when you do.
Portland’s RedRay Frazier is correcting that with “Blood In The Water”, a first person GoPro tour through a day in the life of a working musician in Bridgetown.
“Blood In The Water” came about organically, coming from a desire for Frazier to work with longtime friend Novosti Luke, who directed the video. Frazier knew he wanted to feature a sweet new white electric Reverend guitar, along with DJ Klavical’s also-sweet 1967 AMC Ambassador, and a plan was born.
Frazier & Luke settled on a simple GoPro setup, to counter the technical limitations, and we are left with a personal, intimate glimpse of what life is REALLY like in Portland, and why some of us love it so much!
Following Frazier getting showered and dressed, Frazier takes us on a guided tour of 3/4 of Portland’s quadrants.
Some Recognizable Sites And Sounds From “Blood In The Water”:
Frazier’s Portland oddyssey concludes with a raging house show/party, as the band works the crowd into a froth with their low down slinky soul.
Some takeaways from RedRay Frazier’s “Blood In The Water” video:
- Sizzle Pie’s so good! Why does it have to be so expensive!
- This may be your last chance to remember what Portland sun looks like for a while.
- House shows are where it’s at in this city. We need more house shows!
- Piano and turntables sound awesome together! More people need to explore this combo.
As everybody wails and gnashes their teeth over the changing face of PDX, RedRay Frazier reminds us to look around and appreciate what we DO have. After all, the only way our culture will survive and thrive is through support, appreciation, and involvement.
You heard it hear first. Get hipped to RedRay Frazier and get involved! This time next year, he’s going to be bouncing the Crystal Ballroom’s dancefloor.
Is it too early early for holiday music? We have our annual FREE holiday comp featuring 9 xo bands (all genres and from everywhere)
This is the 8th year in a row we have done this it’s free and its dang good! Hope you can share it. Tis the season! And these comps are a way better listen then Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber….
Stephen Jordan (artwork)
-Artwork is a combination of digital and freehand drawings with ink.
-Lot of weave type drawing designs to allude to the idea of coming together for the holidays.
-Each side of the crescent shaped design is symmetrical in terms of drawing patterns yet the bottom center portion is not as symmetrical. This was designed to symbolize diversity and culture coming together despite potential differences.
1. Snowed In - STUBBORN SON (Seattle, WA)
2. Rootin Tootin Santa Clause - PINEY GIR (London, UK)
3. Mas X - WINTER SOUNDS (Nashville, TN)
4. Winter wAnderland – ARTPEACE (Los Angles, CA)
5. Celebrating Every Day - JOSEPH DEMAREE (Makawao, HI)
6. Not A Holiday Song – CALISSE (Portland, OR)
7. Hazy Shade Of Winter – MAGNUSON (Los Angeles, CA)
8. Merry Christmas Baby - ALEJANDRA O'LEARY (Portland, ME)
9. White Christmas - REVOLT REVOLT (Boise, ID)
grab the free zip here: zip to whole album
check out the previous 7 here: http://xopublicity.com/xo-holiday-compilations-2
I have to admit that the cover of EagleWolfSnake's new CD looks like something you might find in a middle school art class, a rather generic wilderness portrait of the three eponymous creatures, apparently penned with a black Sharpie, against a white background. I try not to judge CDs or LPs by their covers, but this minimalist approach to marketing seems to suggest a trio of adolescents who have spent too much time in a garage pissing off the neighbors with folk metal. It's a genuine surprise that when you actually load ZANG! into your CD player, you hear something quite different than you expect, catchy and exuberant power pop that will remind you of Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys or even a touch of The Jam in their later years.
EagleWolfSnake turns out to be one of those trios that sound bigger than they are, much in the vein of The Police, with Nick Bray's layered and anthemic guitar sound, Eli Meyskens' solid and steady bass and Ryan Malley's super-energetic and dense drumming complementing the dense vocal harmonies from all three. (For the record, Malley is responsible for the cover drawing which really isn't that bad, although it might have been transferred from a cocktail napkin.) As a whole the band captures an early-to-mid-'80s sound that's wet with reverb and earnestness without scratching too deeply into the sheer angst of the indie rock that would dominate the scene over the next twenty years.
All eight tracks on ZANG!are, in the best pop tradition, exciting and brief and chock full of the energy that you might see during one of this San Francisco-based band's live performances. Only the closer, "Olivia," slows the proceedings down despite all the cheerful handclaps and playful guitar riffs. While there is a hidden layer to EWS' delivery, prompted perhaps by their previous incarnation as a soul quartet called Music for Animals, EWS is content to be danceable and singable. When your songs have titles like "We Are What We Are," "Whatever You Say," and "Do What You Want," it's best not to be too ponderous. ZANG! is light and fleeting, infused with a feeling that everything's gonna be okay.
If you actually dig the cover of ZANG!, here's some good news: you can buy a T-shirt from the band that immortalizes said image. It's all about the irony, I know. Forget about the cover, however, stick this CD in your car player and head on down the road. You'll come back home with a big, friendly smile on your face.http://thevinylanachronist.blogspot.com/2015/10/eaglewolfsnakes-zang-on-cd.html
Video Premiere: Carry Illinois, “Smoke and Medicine”
There are some childhood memories that stick with us forever. For Carry Illinois’ Lizzy Lehman, an incident with her brother became one such memory, one that inspired her to write the confessional tune “Smoke and Medicine.” The Austin-by-way-of-Evanston songwriter has a knack for channeling small moments into meaningful tunes, as evinced by the band’s debut album Alabaster, which counts its influences as spanning from Laurel Canyon to Smiths hometown Manchester, England.
“I simply didn’t want to hide anymore. ‘Smoke and Medicine’ reveals my imperfections, my secrets, my truths, and my need to express that, like most people, at times I need to quell my fears, anxieties, and sadness through a less than accepted vice,” Lehman tells AS. “When I was in high school, I told on my brother for smoking pot in the garage solely because I was not a fan of the kids he was hanging out with. A few years later, I found myself hiding away, just the same, partaking in order to feel just a little bit better. I needed to apologize for what I had done and own up to my own hypocrisy. I needed to say that I wasn’t always the perfect child, that I did things wrong time and again, and that I needed to decompress from life. I wanted to tell the world that I wasn’t doing anything wrong even though so many believe otherwise. We shove legal chemical cocktails into our throats every day and still become unhinged. It seems that the universal mentality about drugs is backwards, and I want people to know that that is truly how I feel. Clearly, as we have seen over the past few years, the times are changing, laws are changing, and minds are changing. People are beginning to see light and it should be discussed.
When deciding how the song should be portrayed visually, I wanted the movements to express physical and mental struggle as well as growth, change, and freedom. I wanted the video to be simple yet strong. I wanted it to express the trials and tribulations of youth that every young person deals with on a daily basis. Toronto based video director Sammy Rawal did an excellent job bringing my visions to life. The video was filmed in black and white with hand colored red shadows behind Toronto based dancer Ila Kavanagh as she moved. The red shadows emphasize the very difficult dance we go through when navigating the ups and downs of life. It is tough to grow up and get through it all, but if we work together, support one another, and stand up tall, we will be able to breathe through it and take on another day.”
Check out the premiere of Carry Illinois’ “Smoke and Medicine” video below, and get Alabasterhere.http://www.americansongwriter.com/2015/08/video-premiere-carry-illinois-smoke-medicine/