Video Premiere: Carry Illinois, “Smoke and Medicine”

    Written by  
    Photo by Pooneh Ghana

    Photo by Pooneh Ghana

    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.

  • LA's Folk&B Ladies ArtPeace Announce Release Date For "Free Music" And Video Teaser!

    Website:  http://www.weareartpeace.com


    And here is the video teaser for single "Hi:)" which is out Sept 18th

    On one lazy yet fateful Saturday afternoon, Birmingham, Alabama born and Oakland, California raised, singer/songwriter Taura Stinson googled "Serape Headboard". Feeling unimpressed with initial results, she headed over to Craigslist in hopes of finding a local designer willing to make her Serape dreams come true. She came across Chrissy Depauw's "Love Shack Designs" and the two began discussing specs for Taura's new art piece(pun highly intended). As the conversation came to a close, Taura felt a cosmic nudge deep in her soul and asked Chrissy if she'd consider bartering for the headboard. "Sure, what do you do? ". "I'm a songwriter", Taura responded.

    Now Taura could have listed her many accolades, being a Grammy nominated, multi-platinum songwriter who has written for/with artists including but not limited to long-time writing partner Raphael Saadiq, Steven Tyler, Andre 3000, Kanye West, Destiny's Child, Kelly Rowland, Paloma Faith, Jennifer Hudson, Solange Knowles and even Earth Wind & Fire, but being humble she didn't. Instead, Chrissy (an accomplished Singer/Songwriter herself) visited Taura's website and jumped at the chance to seal the deal. Chrissy would handcraft a custom Serape headboard for Taura in exchange for a song. Feeling energized by this quirky coincidence, in less than a week Chrissy had completed the most amazing headboard that Taura had ever seen and they quickly arranged their first writing session.

    The stars aligned perfectly as Taura and Chrissy connected on a level only understood by fellow Artists completely committed to their craft. They discussed the highs and lows of their journeys during that magical session and their shared view of the state of the music industry, coupled with infectious melodies and a relentless guitar loop... their first song was born.

    Chrissy's journey had been the antithesis of Taura's. The San Diego native became a staple at the Santa Monica promenade years ago and her angelic voice would cut through crowds like wild fire. During her tenure she'd sold over 30,000 copies of her independently released self - titled acoustic cd. She has also shared the stage/worked with many artists including Andy Grammer, Capital Cities, Colbie Caillat and Javier Colon.

    Both Taura and Chrissy contributed their talents to film. Chrissy served as co-writer and performer of "Set it on Fire" and "Dream" on the Honey 2 soundtrack, while Taura has co-written songs for various films including but not limited to the certified Diamond soundtrack for Men in Black (Will Smith), The Sitter (Jonah Hill), Epic (Beyonce'), Black Nativity (Forrest Whitaker & Angela Bassett) and Rio 2 (Jamie Foxx & Anne Hathaway), but the 2014 Gina Price-Bythewood film "Beyond the Lights" is where their collaborative journey officially began. Their song "Airplay" was featured in the film and was performed by Chrissy.

    Both Taura and Chrissy felt their serendipitous union was not destined to end with one song and so they embarked on an musical journey, with Chrissy encouraging Taura to rise from the anonymous background she'd grown accustomed to and join her in splitting vocal duties.

    One night Taura had a vision of herself standing alongside Chrissy with the name "ArtPeace" scrolling behind them. "Me, an artist?" She asked herself. Her soul replied, "Hell, yeah".

    Immediately they began work on their soon to be released debut album entitled "Free Music". It includes the haunting single "High", co-written and produced by Darien Dorsey who also serves as co-executive producer. Darien's formal training at the Berklee College of Music coupled with Chrissy's undying love of 90's R&B and Taura's eclectic sensibility rendered a pervasive collection of music that bursts through the rigid and confined walls of "genre". ArtPeace describes their sound as "FOLK&B" which marries the organic sound of Folk music with rich lyrics and instrumentation that bleeds like the blues.

    In addition to Darien, ArtPeace collaborated with Raphael Saadiq on the Southern hinged backyard song, "Son of A Gun". Saadiq also duets with the ladies on "Heaven Down Here" which is the sonic equivalent of licking batter dipped beaters of Grandmas best kept secret recipe.
  • The Stranger: Clorox Girls, Murmurs, Nervous Talk, Clocks!, and Guests

    Clorox Girls, Murmurs, Nervous Talk, Clocks!, and Guests

    J’aime Les Filles did just that. From the recording to the guitar tones to the short, intensely poppy melodies and rich harmonies, it was like the best of the Buzzcocks redux (albeit in 2007). I had never even heard of the Clorox Girls at the time, even though these lads were originally from my hometown, Oakland (though by then they had moved to Portland). Unfortunately, the band’s longtime fans didn’t appreciate the album as much as I did (although always poppy in the late-’70s/early-’80s sense, the band had a harder edge on previous releases), and the Clorox Girls got bummed out and went on hiatus for a while. But now they’retheoretically less bummed, and back with an original lineup (they’ve gone through several bass players) and a brief West Coast tour. I have no idea what they sound like these days, but here’s hoping they’re still catchy as fuck. KATHLEEN RICHARDS
  • Willamette Week: Primer, The Clorox Girls

    Formed: 2003 in Oakland, Calif. 

    Sounds like: Simple, timeless, tuneful punk, with a mischievous undercurrent. 

    For fans of: The Buzzcocks, the Boys, the Nerves, Exploding Hearts. 

    Latest release: 2007’s J’Aime Les Filles, the band’s debut for seminal L.A. label BYO Records, on which the Girls refined and perfected their snarling, good-humored pop punk…and then disappeared. 

    Why you care: In the mid-aughts, the Clorox Girls were Portland’s great punk hope. One year after a van accident tragically snuffed the promise of the dearly missed Exploding Hearts in 2003, the band—made up of three transplants from Northern California, all decidedly male—released its self-titled full-length and instantly renewed the city’s faith in hooky, three-chord, smash-and-grab punk rock. Although the group met in classic punk fashion (crashing together in an Oakland squat), singer-guitarist Justin Maurer had no interest in the nihilism of the crusty guttersnipes around him, preferring the catchy, effusive energy of the Buzzcocks and Redd Kross. Relocating to the Rose City, the Girls earned a reputation as a fun and furious live act. After three albums and a tour that took the trio around the world, the group seemed poised for a breakthrough. Instead, it just faded away. Deep in debt, Maurer moved to Europe for three years, then back to California. In 2010, however, things started to rumble again. Maurer reconnected with drummer Richie Cardenas and recorded a new 7-inch. Now the original Clorox Girls lineup—Maurer, bassist Colin Grigson and drummer Clay Silva—is getting back together, proving sometimes even punks can go home again.


  • The Oregonian: After a long hiatus, punk-pop band Clorox Girls returns to Portland

    In 2007, Clorox Girls went on tour and never came back. For eight months straight, the (all male) punk pop trio played virtually every city in the Western world. From Brazil to Berlin, they got great reviews doing just what had earned them a strong local following since moving to Portland from Oakland in 2004: playing fun, interactive shows that can get a song stuck in your head in less than 90 seconds.

    But travel disasters and delays with the international release of their hilarious harmony-driven, pianoed third album "J'aime Les Filles" (BYO Records), left Clorox Girls thousands of dollars in debt after their journey. So frontman Justin Maurer simply stayed in Europe for the next three years, and the band disappeared.

    Now Maurer works as an interpreter and sells dental supplies in Los Angeles. He and drummer Richie Cardenas have reformed Clorox Girls in California, and on Friday they will return to Portland to perform at Slabtown. Fans will hear material from an upcoming vinyl release. The new songs represent a return to the Ramones-style stripped-down punk of the band's first two albums.

    "When we started, we had all that pent-up aggression of youth," says Maurer, 27. "Now, it's the pent-up aggression of working 60 hours a week."

    9 p.m. Friday, Slabtown, 1033 N.W. 16th Ave., 503-223-0099; $7; also appearing: Mean Jeans, Chemicals, Bill Collectors, Therapists; Clorox Girls

    -- Jason Simms


  • The Portland Mercury Preview of CLOROX GIRLS

    (Star Bar, 639 SE Morrison) It's not often that an album immediately catches my attention, but J'aime Les Filles did just that. From the recording to the guitar tones to the short, intensely poppy melodies and rich harmonies, it was like the best of the Buzzcocks redux (albeit in 2007). I had never even heard of the Clorox Girls at the time, even though these lads were originally from my hometown, Oakland (though by then they had moved to Portland). Unfortunately, the band's longtime fans didn't appreciate the album as much as I did (although always poppy in the late-'70s/early-'80s sense, the band had a harder edge on previous releases), and the Clorox Girls got bummed out and went on hiatus for a while. But now they're theoretically less bummed, and back with an original lineup (they've gone through several bass players) and a brief West Coast tour. I have no idea what they sound like these days, but here's hoping they're still catchy as fuck. KATHLEEN RICHARDS


  • Sea of Tranquility review of REVOLT REVOLT

    RevoltRevolt: Wild Unraveling

    Hailing from Boise, Idaho, RevoltRevolt was formed in 2007 by Chris Bock (electric and acoustic guitars, micro Korg, vocals) and is joined by Ben Wieland (drums, percussion, micro Korg), Jacob Fredrickson (bass guitar) and Mike Muir (electric guitar).

    The band has released two albums prior to their latest EP Wild Unraveling.
    The music combines drone, noise and '60s flavoured rock with a modern twist that is always highly listenable with some great melodies etched into the soundscape. The guitar work dominates the disc and really adds some cool effects and trippy meanderings. The lead vocals of Bock are laid back and catchy and are a nice fit for the band's mid-tempo grooves.

    "Catch The Light" begins the disc with a somewhat dreamy feel and very much hearkens back to the sound of The Velvet Underground. "Wilderness" starts mellow before heavier garage style guitar workouts take hold. The guitar noise offers a spacier vibe at times. "Hold On Let's Let Go" features a pretty melody before the guitar gets more wild and intense. The time signature change is pretty cool leading to more guitar noise and dirtier riffs.

    The most adventurous track has to be the album ending "Never Fade". A calming bass groove and droning guitar effects offer a slow build, like waves returning to the shore, slowly adding to the sound collage. In the background, underneath the noise, you can barely make out the operatic vocals of Emma Doupé. Then, much to my chagrin, we have one minute of silence. I never understood why bands do this, but alas, at least the music returns with some very trippy and spacey guitar sounds. This is certainly one of the best tracks on the disc.

    These guys certainly have a ton of potential. I really look forward to hear what they do on a full length release.

    Track Listing
    1. Catch The Light 
    2. Wilderness 
    3. Hold On Let's Let Go 
    4. Every Day Youth 
    5. Never Fade

    Added: July 2nd 2015
    Reviewer: Jon Neudorf

    Related Link: Band's Official Site

  • Revolt Revolt race forward with dynamic restraint

    Step forward, pull back

    Revolt Revolt play Olympia’s Le Voyeur Tuesday night. Photo credit: Jason Sievers 

    Remaining stagnant as an artist is a fear that seemingly everyone besides Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay has. To come back, release after release, with the same sound and vision is death even to superstars like Katy Perry. Reinvention comes, part and parcel, with being a creative person. Even still, there's a worse fear that can arise in the hearts of artists: straying from formula to deafening silence. To use a recent example, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah burst onto the scene with an inscrutable debut, only to fall prey to the indulgences and overreaching that defines the so-called "sophomore slump."

    Where is the line between artistic advancement and the misguided reinvention that fundamentally shakes the ground beneath a band's feet? Chris Bock has spent years in various bands, honing his taste for noise-rock and navel-gazing drone. In 2007, he formed Revolt Revolt as an outlet for material he had been preparing as a solo artist. His predilections for post-punk drive firmly in place, the newly christened Revolt Revolt took off for a marathon round of touring and refining what made this band this band.

    "I decided I could get different members, if need be, but I just wanted something full on, that I could tour," says Bock from on tour in Santa Cruz. "I really like the people I have now. We just finished up a record that comes out on August 7th, and it was pretty effortless."

    Revolt Revolt put out two albums since their formation in 2007, both of which mostly came from the writings of Chris Bock, but the band eventually settled down with Mike Muir (guitar), Jake Fredrickson (bass), and Ben Wieland (drums). On their forthcoming EP, the band comes together to make a truly collaborative record. Wild Unraveling is a remarkably compelling album that truly feels like the work of a group of artists working together to create something of a forward step from what Revolt Revolt has done before.

    While the post-punk and noise-rock leanings still exist, Wild Unraveling unveils a new side of the band that doesn't quite stand in opposition to their previous work, but rather indicates a surge forward in emotion and feeling, not to mention the extraordinary texture and novelty provided by opera singer Emma Doupe, as well as Built to Spill's Doug Martsch providing idiosyncratic guitar on several tracks. Bock's trademark rasping whisper is accompanied by a surprisingly complex bed of instrumentation.

    "Our earlier stuff was a little more punk-influenced, a little more rocking out, which is cool and all," says Bock. "There is still some of that, even in the stuff we're doing now, but my guys and I are taking a few more chances. We brought in some different instrumentation, like this steel guitar player that I just happened to meet by chance. He came on and played some really cool stuff. We brought an opera singer in, because I heard this melody in my head, and I found a girl to do it. Doug Martsch happened to be in town, and he's known us for a long time. ... We've dynamically enhanced (our music,) I guess. That's a good way to put it."

    Where Revolt Revolt find themselves is in a place where they break new ground through the ingenious use of restraint. Instead of sounding like a band backing down, Revolt Revolt sound more assured than ever. This is all not to say that Wild Unraveling is sparse; on the contrary, it teems with details and fun diversions to create a tapestry that shows a band in transition. Rather than rotting in stagnation, or finding themselves neck-deep in preposterous reinvention, Revolt Revolt are a band racing forward.

    LE VOYEUR, w/ Mindrips, guests, May 19, 10 p.m., No cover, 404 E. 4th Ave., Olympia, 360.943.571