Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Have A Good Season Have A New Single. They Play the AP Boardwalk Tonight, 8/16, w/ Yawn Mower.


The first time I saw Have A Good Season at Asbury Lanes, one of the members was wearing a Dinosaur Jr. t-shirt; and the band covered "The Lung." I immediately knew that we were kindred spirits. Last week, they released a gem of a single in the form of "Gum."

The track features the swaying influence of lots of classic, guitar-based indie rock like Built To Spill or Pavement. It leans more heavily on a power pop sound than the fuzzed-out freak outs of Dinosaur Jr., but even J. Mascis has some catchy pop hooks buried beneath all the noise. The lyrics describe the feeling of getting to know someone early on as well as the desire to recapture that once it's gone.

Have a listen to "Gum," then head out to the Asbury Park boardwalk tonight. Have A Good Season will be playing this week's installment of Asbury Park Live, right next to Mogo on the boards, with our good buddies in Yawn Mower.

New Video from The RockNRoll HiFives

"Glass Towns"

The RockNRoll HiFives are preparing to head out on their 2017 summer tourcation; and, just in time, they've given us the video for The Beat, The Sound, The Dragon's Roar single "Glass Towns."

The clip gives us a glimpse into the family band's life on the road, which includes rocking out and just, generally, having a great time. They'll be bringing their message of love and positivity throughout the Southeast in the coming weeks; and, if you're anywhere near one of their tour stops, you need to make it a point to go out and rock with them.

Check out the video and smile for the next 3+ minutes.

And don't forget to watch my recent interview with the band and give them a like on Facebook. They'll post a trivia question from the interview on their Facebook page while they're out on tour, and some eagle-eyed viewer will win free tickets to see The RockNRoll HiFives open for Austin's A Giant Dog on September 8th at Jersey City's Monty Hall.

The RockNRoll HiFives on tour:

August 19th -- Reggies, Wilmington, NC
August 20th -- Heyday Guitars, Winston-Salem, NC
August 25th -- Skippers Smokehouse, Tampa, FL
August 27th -- Whiskey Park, Naples, FL
August 31st -- Lunchbox Records - Charlotte, NC
Sept 2nd -- Asbury Park Yacht Club, Asbury Park, NJ
Sept 8th -- Monty Hall,  Jersey City, NJ

Monday, August 14, 2017

Looms, How It Has to Be, 2017

Album Review

I'm very lazy when it comes to writing about music. Always lots of comparisons and categorizations. Lots of making up genres so that I can place bands in them. I've tried to get better about it, but I just don't think I possess the writing chops to talk about music without making comparisons to things I've heard before.

Looms' latest release, How It Has to Be, presents me with a good opportunity for trying to get out of that rut. The four-piece of Sharif Mekawy (vocals / keys / guitar), Louis Cozza (drums), A. Hammond Murray (bass), and Harry Morris, Jr. (guitar) combine influences into a sound that's atmospheric, immersive, intricate, and accessible. I listened to How It Has to Be a great deal on my recent long road trip with CoolDaughter 1, and the songs provided a welcome sense of space to the cockpit of the car.

Opener "Cages" is like lift-off for the whole record. The song builds to its cruising speed as the guitars and keys push everything forward. The bendy, dreamy guitars in the chorus are some of my favorite little moments on the album.

I shared "Tomorrow" here about a month ago, and it's one of the most hopeful songs on the album. It's got a bit of a 70s AM radio vibe. Sounds like that always take me back to being driven around in the summer in my parents' 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger.

On "Floodlines," Mekawy sings of being "on the other side now," maybe feeling a little bit of empathy for someone he left behind in the past. And "Winter Here," another early single, floats on synths and some intricate guitar as Mekawy pines for someone who couldn't stick it out with him for another winter in New York. There's a song called "New York" which makes it clear that Mekawy would find it difficult to leave the city permanently himself. It grooves while painting a picture of a slower, civilized Mediterranean lifestyle that still can't take his mind off of what waits for him back home.

OK. Remember that thing I said about trying to avoid comparisons and all that? Well, I can't let "Untitled" go by without mentioning how much it reminds me of Wilco. And, here anyway, calling a song "Untitled" makes perfect sense with lyrics like, "What the hell am I trying to say? What is it I'm playing for?"

Album closer "Only One" -- about how time can slow down when you're down -- has its quiet verses separated by an epic swell before going out on what sounds like a field recording of crickets. The matter-of-fact delivery on the lyric, "I just miss you..." is one of those little things here that is just done so well.

Small, impressive details are everywhere on How It Has to Be. Looms call on an obviously deep musical knowledge to piece together whatever sounds or styles are right for a particular story, and they're excellent craftspeople.

How It Has to Be is available now from Little Dickman Records.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Spotify Playlist: Local Favorites from The Paper Jets

The Paper Jets at House of Independents

Locally Sourced

By Bill Greenwood

Growing up in New Jersey, you're often defined by your response to a simple question: "Bruce or Bon Jovi?" It’s a false equivalency. There's plenty of people here who like both, neither, or are just kind of meh on the whole thing. But the deeper issue is that the question assumes there's no other music coming from the Jersey area, which couldn't be further from the truth.

I’ve been working with The Paper Jets for going on seven years, and in that time, we've been lucky enough to meet some truly amazing musicians who have also become great friends. And while we've toured up and down the East Coast, we haven't found anywhere that can match the sheer talent we've found within an hour's drive of our Princeton, NJ, homebase. From John & Peter's in New Hope, to the basements and Court Tavern in New Brunswick, to the enormous Asbury Park scene and its Brooklyn offshoots, the tri-state area is home to not only rock but also folk, punk, old-school R&B, surf music, and much more. It's this eclecticism that inspires us, and so we decided to dedicate The Paper Jets' first Artist Playlist on Spotify to the incredible bands we have the honor of playing with each week.

So give it a listen below, and the next time someone asks you, "Bruce or Bon Jovi?," look them dead in the eyes and say, "Lowlight."

Direct link –

Track List & Band Links:
1.) We’re Ghosts Now – Haunt Me
2.) YJY – Passport Photograph
3.) The Paper Jets – Father’s War
4.) The Vaughns – Santa Cruz
5.) Sharkmuffin – Chartreuse
6.) The Production – Good Ol’ Fashioned Bloodletting
7.) Yawn Mower – Shed Is Old
8.) Gay Guy/Straight Guy – Nashville
9.) Roy Orbitron – Copacetic
10.) Lowlight – Motel Chronicles
11.) Fun While You Wait – Target
12.) Casino Sundae – Blame It on the Summertime
13.) dollys – Friendly
14.) The Shady Street Show Band – Don’t Be Fooled by the Rain
15.) Matt Cook Seventy-Five – Glutton
16.) Dentist – Meet You There (in Delaware)
17.) The Rock ’n’ Roll Hi-Fives – You Got Me (Tongue Tied)
18.) Ruby Bones – You I Want
19.) Centennials – Castles in Spain
20.) Dust of Days – Analog Mind Bender
21.) Rebecca Emont – Animal
22.) Quality Living – Oh No
23.) The Clydes – Hiding from the Summer
24.) Cold Weather Company – Wide-Eyed
25.) Rose Boulevard – Sun Comes Out
26.) Levy and the Oaks – Slowly in the Water
27.) Dan Whitley – Take My Life
28.) Jesse Elliot – I Gave You My All
29.) Tara Dente – Never Going Home
30.) American Trappist – Heaven
31.) A Bird – Polluto
32.) The VanSaders – Sunrise
33.) Well Wisher – I’ll Go
34.) Avery Mandeville – A Quarter to Four
35.) Kate Dressed Up – Spirit Bird