Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Vansaders Release a New Lyric Video

The Vansaders at Wonder Bar back in February

"Red and Blue"

Back on Leap Day 2020, before the era of social distancing and shelter-in-place, The Vansaders celebrated the release of Quixote x Broken Bird, their 7" split with latewaves, with a show at Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. Today, The Vansaders are sharing the lyric video for one of the songs from that split, "Red and Blue."

Our relationship here with Doug Zambon and The Vansaders goes way back. I first caught the band back in, probably, 2013 when I stumbled into The Saint just as they were hitting the stage. The lineup was different from the current one, but the songs were there. At the end of 2014, Doug performed at the first-ever CoolDad Music-presented show when we joined forces with Little Dickman Records for our first holiday benefit. Since then, The Vansaders have shown themselves to be one of the crown jewels of the Asbury Park music scene, fusing fist-pumping, punk energy with a knack for crafting crowd-pleasing, shout-along anthems. I'm grateful for our connection with The Vansaders, and I'm always honored when we get to showcase one of those anthems here. "Red and Blue" delivers on everything we've come to love about The Vansaders.

Maybe you missed that show at Wonder Bar or maybe you were looking forward to another Vansaders gig that got canceled. I won't speculate as to when you'll be able to see the band live again. I'll only say that, when you get the chance, make sure you take advantage of it if you're able. In the meantime, shout along with "Red and Blue." Pump your fist in the air and look forward to the time when we'll all be able to do that together again.

Stay safe and sane.

Quixote x Broken Bird is out now. You can stream "Red and Blue" wherever you like to stream stuff or grab it from The Vansaders' Bandcamp page.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Demitasse, Perfect Life, 2020

Album Review

By Henry Lipput

What would you call a musical side project that's more active than the main unit?

You might call it Demitasse.

Demitasse are Joe Reyes and Erik Sanden who are also the driving force behind the San Antonio, TX, rock and roll band Buttercup. Demitasse have released three albums since 2014 and Buttercup's terrific 2017 album Battle of Flowers was the band's first in eight years.

These differences aside, there are some things -- especially how Reyes and Sanden make their albums -- that are similar. All of the parts on Battle of Flowers were performed and recorded live. The new Demitasse album Perfect Life uses early live takes, few overdubs, and tight vocal harmonies.

Perfect Life has a lovely, loose vibe with acoustic guitars being the primary instrument and hushed vocals from Reyes and Sanden. Many of the songs, despite the album's title, are about breakups or relationships that never happen which, for some people, could make for a less than perfect life.

For example, the opening track "Flamenco" is less about a Spanish dancer than thoughts of a departing lover (who may in fact be nicknamed Flamenco): "You and I / were good in our time" and it's suggested that she "Dance your way through the hurt." There are moments in the song that are reminiscent of McCartney's "Junk," and there's a paraphrase of a Leonard Cohen lyric from "Ring The Bells:" "The crack in the cup / Lets the dim light through."

"Always Good" is one of the songs on Perfect Life that has wonderful melodies and less-than-hopeful lyrics. This song shuts out the world to deal with a problem and could be a prelude to Lennon's "I'm Only Sleeping." "I just crawled back to bed today / My girl has my heart / But she's gone for good." It's a small thing, but I really like that they didn't use the rhyme "back to bed today" and "she's gone away." It would have been too easy, and it reinforces the idea that even a perfect life is never easy.

"Coming Out Wrong Again" is another stellar tune with lyrics that ask why someone showed up in a life but wasn't going to be part of it: "Why'd you have to cross my path / How'd you know I would react?" "You don't know I exist" hits like a punch to the gut.

"I Found You" is one of the few songs on the album that has more of a band feel and shows that there is hope on the other side of heartbreak. When you're in love, you see that person in everyone you come across: "I met a boy / He looks like you / I couldn't avoid his eyes" and "I met a girl / Her voice sounds just like yours / I love that she turns it down / All the way down." Later in the song: "I met a boy / I met a girl / I found you."

Perfect Life is out now on Bedlamb Records.

Friday, March 20, 2020

NPR Tiny Desk Submission from Wetbrain

"Two-Way Mirror"

It's that time of year again: time for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest. Yesterday, Rudy Meier of Wetbrain shared a solo contribution. Filmed at Lampshade Studios by Kris Khunachak with audio handled by Connor Hanson, the video showcases Meier's virtuosity and the level of complexity it's possible to achieve with just one person and an acoustic guitar.

Check out "Two-Way Mirror." As a reminder, Bandcamp are waiving their fees for all artists today, March 20th; so it's a great day to purchase some of Wetbrain's (or any other band's) music over there.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Running LiveStream Post

Snail Mail kicks off Uncancelled Fest today at 4pm EDT.

Socialize Distantly

UPDATE: This is getting really difficult. Sessions seem to get announced every few hours or just happen spontaneously. While I am shut in like the rest of you, I can't sit here and update this list minute by minute. I really don't want anyone to think I'm ignoring their post, so a good way to keep up on things is to check out groups like Share Your Streaming Shows on Facebook. I'll still stop in here once or twice a day to update the list with stuff that seems interesting, but know that there is always a ton more going on than I'm able to cover. Stay safe.

There aren't going to be any shows for a while, but several artists are hosting livestreams on various platforms. Please send me whatever you've got, and I'll try to keep this updated as best I can with the caveat that it's just me here.

If there's an opportunity to tip any of these artists or buy their merch, that would be a great way to say thanks to them for spending time with you.

Saturday, 4/4

Uncancelled Music Festival w Snail Mail / Waxahatchee / Brian Fallon / more, 4pm EDT

Alone Together 2 w Hazel English / Reptaliens / Stef Chura / Milly / more, 5pm EDT

Corona Classic Concert Series: Gayle Skidmore, 5pm EDT

Downtown Boys, 5:30pm EDT

Low Cut Connie, 6pm EDT

Ben Folds, 7pm EDT

The Frights, 7pm EDT

Weakened Friends, 7pm EDT

Deal Casino / Well Wisher, 7:30pm EDT

Rachel Ana Dobken / Jackson Pines, 8pm EDT

Corona Classic Concert Series: Petty Chavez, 9pm EDT