Monday, October 25, 2010
I was astonished to read a biography about Jimi Hendrix to learn
that the man was much, much more than Foxy Lady. I read about how
he used to wait until closing time at a neighborhood hamburger
stand where his friends worked to get the extra food they would
have otherwise thrown away, poor and no different than an alley cat.
I learned how he was never even given the opportunity to see his
mother after she passed away- his own father prevented him from
attending his mother's funeral. This sadness he may have carried
around surely gives the song Angel ("Fly on..sweet angel") depth
I had not anticipated on first listen, as I am now convinced he
was singing, in a way, a lullaby to his mother's spirit.
It is this writing about Mister Hendrix that made me see both him
and his music in a new light. It gave me an appreciation for the music
and I welcomed it. However, behind it came a strange wind at the door.
It was a bittersweet recognition of the forces that water down and
simplify music into consumer soundbites where celebrity eclipses the
real life of musicians.
This is not to say I don't write hype. The music industry needs it to live,
it's like that. Trust me, I make sure everybody cleans up good. That's my job
to put the best foot forward. But on my best days, I want to bring out
the life of the musician.
I have a journalism background but realized that I don't have an interest in
reporting fires or school PTA meetings. To be a journalist you need
years and years of life experience, as well as a deep understanding of society
and its dynamics. As a guitar player and poet of sorts, I find the energy required
to understand "current events" depressing. Let's live a little. Let's make our own
reality. I want to write about it. I always learn something. I hope you do, too.
On Axis Music
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Include "MUSIC" in the subject line.
Album Review: The Things Themselves
Have you ever looked at the back of a playing card and marveled at the intricacy of the designs? What about the surface of the moon on a clear night, or the line art on a dollar bill? Any of these might tip you off to the sonic layers, the lush bag of sounds that work together so that the listening experience seems as vast as the ocean when swimming in The Things Themselves. The beats seem to float...yet are held in place by gravity, except it's gravity on the moon. Such is the world of The Things Themselves, which references angles, being “topsy turvey” or escaping in to space, all while being conscious of the results of life experience that are shared by all of us- universal yet completely individual. It's an album that is very easy to “think” to.
It's also one of the most embracing efforts of recording technology and the marriage of electronic music making and more 'traditional' or organic music with acoustic instruments made in 2010. The delicate combination is completely seamless and the “digital” sound will make sense, now and in years to come, as it is played to a population that uses electronic devices daily more than any other population in history. As our lives become more influenced by digital technology, perhaps music that is at home with the future, as well as the present, will be something that makes us look at our own habits, and the way we use technology, and consciously be aware of the role of technology in our lives and our future. Or, we might just enjoy The Things Themselves because it has awesome sounds...(read more)
EPK: Centaurus (Instrumental Rock)
If metal is your religion, Centaurus is your instrumental church. Built on the foundation of guitar riffs, the pillars stretch to the sky and overtake all that lies ahead with inhumanly fast drum beats and an eclectic mix of music influences that almost sound like world music one minute, with traces of melodic metal as fun to listen to as pop, as well as tracks from tried and true heavy, progressive music. You could almost say it sounds like metal music- except on steroids with a cork bat.
It is everything imagination deems allowable- it's dark, heavy, melodic and live shows with the band are like sitting down to a giant table of your favorite foods- there is literally a feast of sounds and musicianship. The detailed tapestry of sound is a mix of heavy creative rock, influenced by artists that push the envelope and niche music that appeals to our dark, energetic side.
Hear samples from "Pulse" at: www.myspace.com/centaurusofficial
Artist Review: Zach Pietrini and the Broken Bones (Indie/Various)
Clearly an artist of significant originality, the broken bones in this band must come from attacking music from so many different angles. Drum set rhythms, chunky guitars, soothing country and finger-snapping rock join forces. These elements all create the blanket that wraps you in this music, which at its core is alternative pop music. Zach Pietrini and band mates creates an upbeat, identifiable sound that is radio-friendly and echoes with fans of indie rock, country and folk.
Bio: Richie Rocket (Hip Hop/R&B)
Richie Rocket is a new-age rapper creating the world as he sees it- and that could be anything you dream it could be. The Chicago Alternative R&B and hip-hop artist is cutting his teeth on his first song “Slow Down” – an impressive first effort tracked at a Chicago studio and showcasing the first steps of Richie Rocket as he creates a brand around his music.
Richie Rocket clearly has a feel for hooks, head-grooving beats, and a catchy turn of phrase with lyrics that are creative, fun and observe the lifestyle of rock stars, music lovers and average people. As a kid, he watched street life from the handlebars of his big wheel, and as an adult he is using his creative ability to make music. Richie says, “I don't want anyone to think they have to be a tough gangster to 'be something' or to be somebody."
Interview & Article: Sincerely, Iris (Folk/Rock/Swing)
Todd Murray, a Chicago singer-songwriter, is not the first to be inspired by Jeff Buckley — but he may well be the first to relate that inspiration to sensitivity and balance. His stage moniker, Sincerely, Iris, came about as a reflection of these views on music. "[Iris] is sort of feminine, I kind of like that aspect. I really like girl singers like Billie Holiday and I like Jeff Buckley and how he had that feminine aspect to his voice. That's what music is to me — the harder stuff and the more sensitive stuff all in one."
Murray’s most recent collection, Headlight Sonata, stands out among the acoustic masses thanks to a full-house hand of solid folk-pop songwriting and a shim of shoulder-shakin’ blues...(read more)
On Axis Music is always looking for new artists to listen to. Please send us your link or a sample of your music and we'll take a listen! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org