• RazorCake: Date Night With Brian Review

    Given that my father and uncle are both named Brian and it is my middle name, I convinced myself that I was destined to have an affinity to this band before I knew any more than its title. Then I discovered that one-third of one of my favourite bands, Sicko, was also one-third of DNWB. That person being Ean Hernandez, whose label is also responsible for releasing this record. I was sold from there. The bass-less trio’s songs have a quirky garage pop feel, which manages to offer up hints of Sicko through some of the guitar work and Hernandez’s vocals. Drummer Reba Cowen—who was in Tales From The Birdbath with Hernandez—provides main vocals on the final of the five songs, “Drink the Kool-Aid,” to end on the highest of notes. My attraction is now firmly cemented. –Rich Cocksedge


  • CD REVIEW: Logan Lynn "Adieu"

    CD REVIEW: Logan Lynn "Adieu"



    Former electronic artist, Dandy Warhols protege,

    LGBT activist and human being with many other

    attached labels and titles, Logan Lynn, drops an

    epic album of danceable Electro-Rock Pop gems.

    You’ll find yourself dancing and twirling through

    the house, lip syncing into your hairbrush to his

    bare-bones, no holds barred truth before you even

    have a chance to process the lyrical content. Like a

    pride-parade rock band fronted by a former Christian

    fundie superhero schooled in the finer points

    of Brian Wilson and the aforementioned Dandys

    who has the power-pop potential to become

    something resembling an Indie/Glam Macklemore/

    Owl City hybrid. I can’t stop listening to this. (selfreleased)

    by Chad Wells


  • SEATTLE WEEKLY : Violin Virtuoso Andrew Joslyn’s Serene Debut LP Was Born of Chaos

    Through a fire, ‘At the Bottom of the Ocean.’


    eattle-based violinist/composer Andrew Joslyn has toured the world on the strength of his playing. He is most definitely a musician. But the prolific artist could easily have been the world’s most accomplished juggler.

    Sitting across a table from him in West Seattle’s cozy Uptown Espresso, plans, words, and ideas tumble out of his mouth at an amazing rate—objectives he seems to keep afloat, bouncing in midair—but they aren’t just wishes, they’re descriptions of the many actual projects he has his hands on.

    Joslyn, who will debut his first full-length record, Awake at the Bottom of the Ocean, on Friday and celebrate it with a concert in conjunction with Seattle Secret Shows on Sat., Feb. 18, also just finished scoring his first feature film, American Violence, starring Bruce Dern and NFL player Rob Gronkowski. “It was such intense work that I got tendinitis in both hands,” says Joslyn, who is also getting married to his fiancée in August. “I was putting in 14- to 16-hour workdays to pull it off. Some parts I had to record 80 times each for the big sound the director was looking for.”

    For many, these professional accomplishments would be enough. But not for Joslyn. He has to keep working, collaborating—hustling the chaos of his life into laser-focused songs, some of which are so packed with swells and sways they almost feel unreal. “I’m a workaholic,” he says, “I’m only happy when I’m working.”

    As a working artist, stress is always part of the job. But stress, confusion, and loss found Joslyn in his private life, too. About two years ago, an apartment fire took almost everything he and his then-girlfriend, singer Suzy Sun, owned—even their cat. “When it rains, it pours,” he says, shaking his head. And after the fire—and subsequent insurance claims and attempts to re-collect their lives—Joslyn and Sun ended their relationship, strained in part by Joslyn’s constant touring with the likes of Macklemore and Dave Bazan.

    But now, perhaps, all this struggle is paying off in terms of clarity and direction—thanks in large part to Awake. “I’ve always been beholden to someone else’s schedule,” says Joslyn of his musical collaborations. “But I owe so much to this record. I don’t know if people are going to like it or not, but during these past few years, I just needed to make it.”

    Awake recalls the virtuosity of baroque pop violinist Andrew Bird and the springs and dives of a Mozart concerto, and brings a curious, self-investigative quality unique to Joslyn. This is evident immediately in the record’s first song, featuring vocalist Will Jordan—one of the many exquisite guest singers, including Adra Boo and Shelby Earl. Jordan sings, raspy and wondering, “We’re all living for that royal grace, that special place, that plastic heaven.” The standout track, though, might be “I Should Have Said Goodbye Before I Met You,” an emotionally remorseful song featuring Sun’s lamenting vocals.

    And while the release of Awake is a point of excitement for Joslyn, his focus, as always, remains on the next ball in the air. “I want to write a new record and have my wedding be the release party,” he grins. “Almost like a music festival where we’ll give the album out to all our attendees. I really want to do that, to make something beautiful.” Out Fri., Feb. 10 via soundcloud.com/Andrew-joslyn-music

    SEATTLE WEEKLY whole article


    Plastic Heaven (Budo Remix)” is a revisit from Andrew Joslyn, having previously worked with Budo on the original beat for “Plastic Heaven”. Directed by Garrett Gibbons, and filmed along the Salton Sea in Southern California, the video is all about the plastic lifestyle that used to be. Now a bleak symbol of a once-opulent, destination resort, complete abandon, and rotting carcasses are the new residents.

    Other than Chris Kattan of SNL, that is, having a central feature in the music video. Channeling an ‘Inception’ like the storyline, Chris Kattan is taking in “Plastic Heaven” in the most detached, unconcerned manner possible. That robe really ties that desert together, Chris.

    Andrew Joslyn can be found on Facebook and Twitter, and his full-length album drops worldwide in February.


  • Blue Skies for Black Hearts does X-Mas


    Now that December is just a few hours away, let's break out the Jesus birthday jams. Now in it's 9th volume, XO for the Holidays is a compilation put out by Portland and Detroit based PR firm XO Publicity. This year, XO for the Holidays presents the rocking power pop of Blue Skies for Black Hearts doing a Christmas classic.

    We all miss David Bowie terribly and Bing Crosby's influence is undeniable, so hearing Blue Skies for Black Hearts taking on their 1977 holiday hit "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" brings about a true sense of joy. 

    Frontman Pat Kearns's vocals fittingly encapsulate much of what Bowie and Crosby were serving in their original rendition, but with his own twist of course. His recently released solo record, So Long City, showcases his vocal talents further.

    Listen to all of XO for the Holidays here, and give Blue Skies For Black Hearts' take on "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" below.


  • Blinded by Sound: We the Wild album review

    "Where do we draw the line, between feeding a habit and having a good time?" ask We the Wild, a young band from Portland. The line is from a song titled "Terrible, Terrible" and it is one of ten tracks on their debut album From the Cities We Fled. The rainy streets of Portland are as hostile to youth as anyplace else, and it is those types of struggles that their lyrics chronicle. But it is the music that makes this self-released disc such a gem. We the Wild have a hardcore background, but they mix in all sorts of other flavors: rock, punk, jazz, mathlete guitars, Cookie Monster vocals, classical piano, everything under the sun you might say. Unlike a lot of other bands, none of this feels gratuitous, everything fits, and everything has its place.

    When I heard that WtW were coming to town recently, I was ready. And so were the touring gremlins, as it turned out. Mechanical problems with their van drastically reduced the tour, but thankfully they made it to Seattle. It was a great show, although being on a bill with three other groups meant a shortened set. And for all the fabled history of Seattle's Central Tavern, the place has never been known for great sound. One of the things I have thought from the beginning about this band is how broad their appeal would be if they were exposed to a wide audience. In a one-person testimonial to this theory, my date (who tends towards classic rock) instantly "got" We the Wild.

    The members of the quintet are: Benjamin Cline - (vocals) Joe Lawson - (drums, vocals), Miles Davenport - (guitar, vocals), Elliot Sikes - (guitar), and Julian Rossetti - (bass). They graciously answered a few questions before the show began, and the first thing I wondered about is how they would describe their music. "We use the term 'post-hardcore' to describe ourselves," answered Miles. It seemed like that was a question he has been asked before, because he soon amended his response, "Actually I should say that we have a very good chord library," he concluded.

    While their roots are hardcore, where WtW really shine is in writing melodies and pop hooks. Their songs are incredibly catchy. This is a group who have refined their music to a point where there is nobody else like them. Even those who profess to hate punk or hardcore should hear From the Cities We Fled, because the contrast between the "abrasive" vocals and guitars with the amazing hooks and riffs they churn out make for a marvelous payoff.

    The songs are about drugs, prostitutes, losing old friends, the clampdown on clubs...you know, the fun stuff. What I did not know until we spoke was that to make this very urban NW album they "got away from it all." They basically went to a cabin in the woods and wrote and rehearsed and wrote and rehearsed until they had it down cold.

    Armed with this knowledge I listened to the disc again and realized that the opening "Still Asunder" actually works as a thumbnail sketch of the entire album. The song opens with the soft sound of raindrops, which harden into the sound of a good old-fashioned typewriter. Then the rhythmic typing is replaced with Lawson's drums as the music gets underway. The woodshedding they did in the cabin is addressed with the raindrops and typewriter, while the "heavy" vocals and guitars are met with equally "friendly" pop hooks at every turn.

    "Exodus and Decay" was the first single, and the following excerpted quote from The Deli Magazine was WtW's way of introducing it: "Exodus and Decay' was written about the alarming state of Portland's local hardcore scene, and the attitude of apathy that locals have taken to our passion for the music we create"

    The very next tune "Ol Boy" is the second single, and this excerpted WtW quote comes from Performer Magazine, "The core message in "Ol' Boy" is about independence and self-worth. People are constantly changing, and not always for the better."

    The record-biz term for opening your CD with your strongest songs is called "front-loading," but that is only if you have a bunch of crap after the first two or three. While the singles are two pretty great tunes, they are not even my favorites. "Roxy, the Cops are Here" is (for now at least). Tied to an irresistible melody, the line "Nothing ever looked so pretty, and nothing ever felt so wrong" has been in my head for a long time. The video for "Roxy" is a low-budget riot, with a mustachioed hooker, some cops, and a couple of Mormons on bicycles - all tangled up in an industrial backlot somewhere. While the video is hilarious, the subject of a prostitute's OD is pretty grim. This type of contrast is a fundamental element of WtW, a constant reminder that they are anything but one-dimensional.

    "Roxy" is an older tune that is rarely played live these days, but they did play my second favorite song, "Terrible, Terrible" (previously quoted). I loved their dead-pan introduction of it at The Central: "Here's another song about drugs." Yes, it is another song about drugs all right, but one with a message that resonates.

    I have listened to From the Cities We Fled many times, and there is one track that I kept skipping because it made me cringe. When I knew that I would be writing about them, I quit skipping "King of Wounds," and finally understood how essential it is. This is their "confessional," for God's sake! Ever since Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," the self-absorbed "narcissistic" ballad is required. And as much as I want to make fun of those songs, or think they are self-serving, I can't. It is youth. It is what you do. From the Cities We Fled would not be the genuine article without "King of Wounds" and that's all there is to it.

    I didn't know what to make of "Hold" the first time I heard it either. It is a solo, acoustic piano piece that seemed almost laughably out of place until I put away my preconceived notions. It is a beautiful interlude, and serves as an excellent introduction to the apocalyptic finale "2001" This song is one of those "all in" songs, with just everything but the proverbial kitchen sink and it is indescribably amazing. Throw in the four horsemen, and you have it all.

    And then it is over. Ten songs in a little over 49 minutes that pulled me out of a really difficult time in my life. The abundance of creativity, and the honesty of the lyrics spoke to a sense of purpose that I had nearly forgotten. This is more an impression than a statement, but in thinking about what a crass and ugly year 2016 was, and comparing that to the feeling I get in listening to We the Wild, these words came to mind: The soul of a true musician never changes hands.


  • Bluetint Magazine: KP and the Boom Booms and "The Brave"

    Immediately as I began to peruse the works of KP and the Boom Boom, I was lifted from my reality and taken on a “musical odyssey of love and magic”. The band’s first full-length album, The Brave, is an eclectic collection of emotion, excitement, and erotic enticement. Redefining the barriers of genre classification, this Austin based– band provides listeners with an innovative fusion of sound. It was my honor to chat with the band’s lead singer, Kate Priestley, and gain some insight on this dynamic group.

    You were born in the U.K., but your band is based out of Austin. How’d you end up in Texas?

    I was backpacking around Guatemala, and I signed up for an open mic night, this was in 2009, and there were two Americans that were in the audience and they were like “we have to start a band with you”. So I stayed with them for about a month and made music and hung out. Then we went our separate ways, I went back to England. Then the following year they invited me to Austin to make music while they had some time away from work, and that’s where I actually met the band that I’m with now, through those guys. It was just a real serendipitous meeting.

    So the band that you’re with now, did they play together before you met them, or did people sort of join in sporadically?

    They came sporadically, except for three of them. Those three played in a band together beforehand but they were playing very different music than we play now, I think it was kind of like Indie Rock, and they played with different people. It wasn’t too serious of a project, so when they joined in with KP and the Boom Boom that became of the main focus for them.

    Looking at videos and pictures that I’ve seen of the band, it looks like there are eight of you altogether. Is that correct?

    Yeah, so at the core there are five of us. Then outside of that, the smallest we’ll play is either five or six of us, and then when we play a bigger show it gets up to seven of us.

    Do you feel that the bigger size of your band has allowed for more experimentation with sound?

    Yeah it definitely has done that. I think the difficult thing with a bigger band in this day and age with music is making an income. I’ve noticed now with where the music business is going that it is much better financially to have less members in a band. When we went on tour, there were six of us, so it’s been great having additional members and the different sounds that brings. But it’s also difficult when everyone has a different view and trying to work out those differences together. I think we’ve done a really good job though, finding a happy medium, and coming together for the album.

    Where did you go on tour?

    This August we went up the east coast and back. From here we hit Dallas, New Orleans, Lafayette, Atlanta, then we went all the way up to Brooklyn, and hit certain towns and cities on the way back as well. It was a wonderful experience. I think our favorite show actually was in Brooklyn.

    Do you think that was the show that the crowd reacted the best to your performance?

    For sure. We actually opened for a really great band that night, Madame West, and it was interesting, she said to us, “Wow you guys, they really like you, and they don’t have to do that here. If they’re not into it they’ll let you know.” So it was just very surprising and wonderful that we had that experience.

    Have you ever played a show where you’ve had a difficult time getting the crowd into your music?

    Occasionally, I mean there have been the odd times where we’ve been booked out of context, and if you put us in a small town in Texas people just don’t understand at all. They’re used to their country music, and we’re this neo-soul band, so they just really don’t know how to take us. We know now not to take those gigs; those happened more when we first started. Sometimes I feel like people can still be a little confused by us, but that’s because you can’t “box” us. We’re not just a soul band; we’re not just a funk band. But I’ve noticed with eclectic sound, people take certain elements that they really like, and by the middle of the set they’re starting to get really into it.

    You just began to touch upon the point of your music being a multi-genre fusion; do you feel that the music industry tends to categorize bands too strictly when maybe everyone should address their accumulative influences?

    Only if you want that, I think if you’re set on only being a funk band or a soul band, than that’s what you should do if that’s your kind of music. But I have found recently that many bands are coming out with this kind of fusion of sound, and I love that. To me that is something exciting to hear as a musician, people taking all these influences from all these different genres and elements of music, and creating that one sound with it. I would rather be on the cusp of creating a new kind of sound than just repeating the sound of someone else.

    I would like to talk a bit about your album The Brave. On your website it is described as “an epic next-generation neo-soul album of universal sound seduction”. Which is an incredible description by the way. And after listening to it myself I couldn’t agree more. Do you feel that including this sort of “energetic sensuality” helps to engage listeners?

    For sure yeah, we’ve found that our audience really loves that type of energy. I think people definitely want to kind of be swept away and almost “high” when they listen to our music. We do have a serious side to the album too though.

    How long have you and the band been working on this album?

    We’ve been working on this album for two years. You always think the process is going to take less time. I think though if we had loads of money and the ability to all only make music and focus on this full time, then we could probably do that. But at this point, some of us are still teaching music, or working other day jobs, so that just isn’t possible yet.

    Do you have an official release date set?

    Yes, it’s going to be released on November 18th.  We actually finished the album in February, but then we started working with a publicist so we really wanted to wait those months and really ramp up publicity instead of just releasing it ourselves this time.

    Do you have plans to go on tour again after the release of the album?  

    We’ve not discussed doing that yet, but I don’t think that would happen by the end of this year. But I think next year we’ll start talking about it again. We had such a great time in August, and I know people have been asking if we’re coming back to the places we played on that tour.

    One final question I have to ask, what was it like opening for Snoop Dogg?

    Oh man, it was amazing, you know that was a very surreal experience. It was the biggest opportunity we had been given at that point as a band, so it was amazing to be a part of that, and be backstage, and to sing on a stage that size in front of so many people (The Moody Theatre in Austin). I got to meet Snoop Dogg very briefly at the end when he was walking out. We tried to have an official meeting with him but security was not feeling it. I think there were a lot of people backstage that night, so I think security was unsure of who was supposed to be there and who wasn’t. But I kind of bust past them at the end and introduced myself. I just wanted to say who I was and thank him, and he was a super nice guy, he was really chill and gave me a hug, I got good vibes from him.


  • Stubby's House of Christmas review of the holiday comp!