Warning – The material reviewed below has explicit language and subject material most would consider not safe for work. If this type of material offends you please respect the artist’s right to freedom of expression and exercise your right to freedom of choice and read another review at Indie Nation.
As usual, I have far more material in my inbox than time to review it all. However, I shall get to it all, in order, as rapidly as possible. I shall keep my pledge to “listen to the bad music so you don’t have to”. If you are a musician awaiting a response either I didn’t like your material or I just haven’t gotten to you yet. Be patient, sooner or later you will know.
I shall also continue to write positive-only reviews for the material that I happen on and like. Today, I would like to thank Undefined 901 or “U901” for giving me something to rave about. I don’t know much about the band other than they are from Memphis Tennesee.
Louise Aubrie Late44
This artist splits her time between London and New York. Louise Aubrie pumps out powerful pop with a healthy dose of rock and punk. Her latest release, Late 44 is an excellent ten-track release. Every song entertains from start to finish. Produced at Abbey Road Studio, the producers and the musicians totally clicked to create an amazing sounding work… Superbly done! I honestly can find nothing bad to say about this release. I love it!
The music is packed with powerful guitar and vocals. While all the musicians performed awesome on this album, moving perfectly as one, I was drawn to the guitar work and vocals. They are superb. Check out how well she uses her dynamic and powerful voice, like an extra instrument at times, on Next to Nothing. The punkish guitar riffs on Winter Dolour. The nice crunchy guitar on Tearjerker. Seriously folks, every track on this release is a treat.
Steve Benjamins – Sightlines
Steve Benjamins is a musician from Toronto. His latest release Sightlines is an ear pleasing collection of downtempo and indie pop. While his music does have the sound of these genres, this work is eclectic, unique and fresh. His voice is both powerful and soothing. His compositions leave the listener wishing to hear more. In my opinion, this six track EP, his third release, is his best… I mean that, on discovery of Steve, I listened to everything I could find by him on the web.
Steve’s combination of vocal and musical styles keep it mellow while maintaining steady movement and energy. He keeps it interesting, you won’t want to stop listening.
There are tracks that flow very much like a Philip Glass work with simple almost monophonic repetitive melodies, others layered for an orchestral feel, at times reminiscent of Mike and the Mechanics, even very unique tracks with a discordant battle going on between the instruments and, best of all, doing it all by creating distinct sound of his own.
The Bad Years – Common Mistake
What follows is a video of Common Mistake from the band, The Bad Years. Quoting their introduction email:
“The Bad Years members are Sami Akbari (aka Sami The Great) and Aaron Mort (formerly The Stone Foxes) and are based in the Thai Town neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. The Video was directed by Jacob Arden McClure.
Sami Akbari on the meaning of ‘Common Mistake’:
‘For us it’s about being hopelessly in love but going through a period of frustration and doubt. You crave change but you’re just not feeling satisfied with the time it’s taking to get there, feelings of anxiousness, fear, and love combining…the eternal relationship struggle.'”
I am always leery of presenting only one track by an artist. It can fall short of showing exactly who the artist is. That said, in the unlikely chance you don’t like this track, please continue to read on after the video…
Elessar Thiessen – A Rainy Week in Paradise
Elessar Thiessen is a Winnipeg singer/songwriter. His “day job” is a producer. However, he is certainly not a musician who “shouldn’t give up his day job”. He has more than enough talent to give up producing and just play. According to his bio, he got his first guitar at age 8 and has played ever since. It also said that the Canadian weather kept the young musician indoors. One thing for sure, whether due to weather or just talent, his latest work shows off not only his production skills but also his talent for composing and playing.
While he does get some help from other artists on some tracks, he is basically the musician on this album. (And, naturally, the producer.) His latest work is a showcase of how many things he can do well, very well or exceptionally well. His voice is excellent. He uses it well, capitalizing on rhythm, tone, and amplitude to powerfully and emotionally deliver the song. The lyrics and their delivery add more, he knows when to simply repeat lines for emphasis, pump it out with more soul, slide it off his tongue in smooth jazzy style and,use expression and words to paint a picture in the listener’s mind’s eye.
Micheal Cullen Releases True Believer
Michael Cullen is an Australian singer song writer. He plays old semi-acoustic guitars, records on tape, uses tube microphones and other analog equipment. Michael has been performing in bands for the past two decades and his experience really shows on this 9 song release. He has a distinct baritone voice and a musical style that is truly his own. While his bio indicates that he has much experience in the punk genre, he is much more diverse than a single genre.
Dan the Bard
Dan Marcotte is a well-rounded bard. According to his Bio Page:
What can I say? I’m a Bard! I walk the land, singing songs, telling tales, and doing good deeds! I play all sorts of instruments like the Renaissance Lute, the Egyptian Oud, Elizabethan Cittern, Turkish Laouta, German Lautenguitar, Medieval Gittern, Puerto Rican Cuatro, Mandolin, Penny Whistle, Bodhran, and of course Trumpet. I perform at small and large Sci-Fi/Fantasy Conventions like GENCON INDY, GARYCON, WINDYCON, 3CON, DUCKCON, CODCON, ACEN, and C2E2. I’m the Music Director of the Bristol Renaissance Faire where I perform all summer. Yes, I do birthdays and weddings.
I also do a lot of mainstream music and storytelling in schools and libraries with my partner Judith Heineman. And I’m a founding member of The Whiskey Brothers Irish Band! I grew up in Schaumburg, IL, and was (and still am) a Dungeons and Dragons playing Band Geek.. I went to Illinois Wesleyan University for my undergrad, with the intent on being a band director. Somewhere during that time, I got it into my head that I wanted to be a bard, but I didn’t know how to start. So I got my Masters Degree in Renaissance and Medieval Music from Florida State University. Upon completion of the degree and my thesis, The Ap Huw Manuscript and the Welsh Bardic Tradition, I announced that from that day forth I would walk the land, singing songs, telling tales, and doing good deeds.
He was kind to give us some time at Gen Con 2014. Listen in as we talk about:
- What led him to the bard’s life
- The instruments he plays
- D&D is, of course mentioned
- How long he has done this and music in general
- His inspirations and influences
- How he created his unique niche
- His thoughts on the new media order
- How many Cons he does
- We digress to Jonathan Coulton for a bit
You can find Dan the Bard on the web at:
She has Kittens and is not Afraid to Use Them
An Interview with Sarah Donner
If the musicians at Gen Con have anything in common, it could only be that they are all unique. Sarah Donner is one fine example of such, having her own special feline, geek, funny personal style, twist and brand. Not only does she do songs about cats, but specifically about Schrödinger’s and, check out her latest video at the end of the interview notes, which is Tesla themed. Seriously how could geeks like us not love this stuff?
Not only did we manage to catch up with Sarah Donner for an interview but she was also nice enough to let us record her live. Keep it tuned here for when we release all the Gen Con stuff. Also, if you ever get word that she is playing near you, be sure and go see her as you will not be disappointed. I was lucky enough to catch up with Sarah at a coffee shop across the street from the con. Listen it to as we talk and hit on the following and more?
Join us as she tells us about:
- When she started playing
- “Angsty female songs”
- How she uses comedy
- of course, cats, science, geek and other inspirations and influences
- The Anatomy Coloring Book
- How many albums so far
- Being on the road
- Her thoughts on the new media order
- What would she call her genre
- Who does she think she sounds like
- Our thoughts on genre
- Her advice to those who desire to do what she does
You can find out more about Sarah at:
- Ever Wonder What Schrödinger’s Cat May Have Thought? (pascophronesis.wordpress.com)
- Ask a Cat Lady, Sarah Donner Answers Cat Questions in Song (laughingsquid.com)
- Help Pave The Way To A Tesla Museum (pascophronesis.wordpress.com)
The Hush Now – Things Fall Down
The Hush Now shared the acoustic version of Things Fall Down. A few years past, Lumpy was lucky enough to catch up with some of the band when they played The Roc Bar in Cleveland, Ohio. They also let him record them live. He turned it into a concert and interview podcast. The Boston based band consists of Noel Kelly (vocals/guitar), Adam Quane (lead guitar), Barry Marino (drums), Pat MacDonald (bass) and, the latest addition, John Millar (keyboards). Check out the list of links to find these guys at and the video after the break.
The Hush Now – Things Fall Down
Be sure and watch for their coming realease, Sparkle Drive, due out 19 October, 2014.
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
Thank you for listening. We welcome your feedback and comments. There is contact information below. We would love for you to join us when we stream the show live. You can join us in chat either by going to geekshed.net with your client and join #indienation or use our flash client on our Listen Page. We stream the shows live almost every Monday night from 8-10 PM DST. Not only can you join us in chat but you may even be able to join the actual conversation. Hail us in chat for details.
2014.09.22 – Tech Net News and Opinion
We opened this week’s show with Titanic and Cape Cod Girls from the album Choice Cuts by Water Street Bridge. You can find out more about this band by listening to the interview at the end of the newscast or by checking out the individual posting of the interview on Indie Nation. Join Brian and Lumpy as they discuss some Walking Dead spoilers and rumors, Google news in general, drones vs Star Wars and more in tech and science news. We would also like to remind the listeners that we encourage listener participation through chat, comments and you are welcome to actually join us on the air. To find out how to join us on the air, contact us via our chat room on the Listen Page.
- First off, the season premier is 12 October
- Season 5 Episode 2 – Another character from the comic, Father Gabriel.
- Carol is supposedly back at the end of the premier
- FYI – Lumpy did check, Walking Dead Season Marathon begins on 6 October
- The Air Herald reports that there will be a spin off
- There is talk about Beth, it seem that a trailer gave that and a few other things away
- Washington D.C. is in the storyline
- Beth has been in some of the teasers, possibly in a safe place
- It doesn’t look like Glenn dies by episode two
- The best cities for Internet (based on speed and/or price)
- Be kewl by looking the fool, strap your iPhone to your face
- Audible security loophole exploited
- A fewregarding Apple:
- Comcast denies TOR statements from customer
- Star Wars set needs a drone shield
- An analysis of the 5 million leaked gMail passwords
- Native Netflix support for Linux
We closed with a few more tracks from Water Street Bridge:
- Pay Me/Iko
- Zombie Jamboree
- Lumpy’s Interview with them at Gen Con 2014
Powerful and Moving – Speak to Me by On the Run
This band contacted us some time ago. However, due to having the best problem any music reviewer could have, that being too many submissions and not enough listening time, I am just now digging them out of my inbox. On the Run is an alternative rock/rock band from East Freedom, Pennsylvania. The quintet has a very powerful and engaging sound. I won’t say much about them because I am sure you will decide to like them if you only give them a listen. I will say they crank out some great work on the guitars. The members are:
- John Ross Green – Vocals/Guitar
- Ryan Weaver – Guitar/Vocals
- Paul Johnson – Guitar
- Tyler Miller – Bass
- Brian Fisher – Drums