National Science Fiction Day – Jeff Ronay – Open the Pod Door HAL
Happy 2016 listeners and welcome to the first “Pick of the Day” for 2016. Today is National Science Fiction Day. The second of January has been because it also the birthdate of Isaac Asimov. I will let you know more about today’s artist, Jeff Ronay, after the break and some trivia fact about today.
The Beatles on HD and Streaming Services
I am a Beatles fan. I have been since I was a small child. I actually remember the day Abbey Road was released. I was six years old. What was big news then is now history.
In case you missed it, they made what I believe will be, perhaps not historic, but at the least a milestone release on Christmas Eve. In the video below, a short 35-second mix of various Fab Four hits, announces that The Beatles are now available on nine streaming music services. (Source)
The Beatles are now streamable at:
- Apple Music
- Google Play
- Amazon Prime Music
- Microsoft Groove
- Slacker Radio
In case you noticed that Pandora and iHeart are not on the list, it is because The Beatles have always been available on those services. Tech Times has more details about why.
I think this is pretty awesome news. I also discovered that they have released many HD videos as well. I am going to share one of my favorites below and there will be a link to the Open Culture article which has many more videos at the bottom of this post.
The article at Open Culture also goes into how John, Paul, George and Ringo were ahead of their time. Obviously, these videos were not made any time recent. While a few other bands in that era did movies and videos, The Beatles and The Monkees were likely the most progressive regarding what we now call “music videos”. Most other videos of the time were more like documentaries or simply concert videos. Hopefully, more and more “main-stream” artist will get with the new media order and embrace what the listeners want and not treat new technology like a mobster.
The Beatles – Revolution
Here Are a Few Places to Find Christmas Music
Merry Christmas All,
While many of my fellow Americans are enjoying our usually warm December weather, it is not for me. I want the ground white, especially on Christmas. I am doing what I can to get myself in the spirit. I already pulled out my CD of Bing’s White Christmas and am now listening to The Celtic Music Podcast. It is working and I thought I would share some of the places I find Christmas music. The links I am about to share should give you more than enough music to get you though both the eve and the day.
- If you like Marc Gunn’s Irish and Celtic Podcast, he has all his Celtic Christmas Music.
- For you podsafe buff, Uwe Herman has a great list of podsafe Christmas music.
- Openculture.com alos has a great list of Christmas music, 22 hours of it in total.
I also found this Scott Weiland Winter Wonderland video over at Open Culture and thought I would share it here.
We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season and new year.
Thanks for listening and reading. Feel free to comment and please remember to support the indie artists by buying their merchandise, seeing them live and/or simply spreading the word.
Kick Ass Rock n’ Roll – Reserved For Rondee – Back In Velvet
I always dig through all submissions to find the gems. Reserved For Rondee contact me a long time ago asking that I review Back in Velvet. While it took me way too long to get to it, excellent music is timeless. Rock n’ Roll, kick ass and awesome were my first thoughts on the LP. In my opinion, this ten track LP belongs in the library of anyone who likes superb rock music.
I will share my thoughts on the album in one moment, first let us hear what the band has to say about themselves:
“A melting pot of the NYC indy rock scene, Reserved For Rondee draws inspiration from classic artists like Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, U2 and contemporaries like the White Stripes, the Black Keys and Arcade Fire, blending imagination and style into a mystic rock journey. On the strength of their live performances and their debut EP RFR, released in February, 2012, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary for the recording of their debut album Back In Velvet. Receiving support from an international audience, the band quickly met and exceeded its targeted goal. Recorded in Brooklyn, NY and released in August 2013, Back In Velvet captures the vibrant sound of a band reflecting the energy that can only be found in New York, the greatest city in the world.”
The Band Members are:
- Trevor Vaughn – vocals
- Billy Magnussen – guitar
- Nick Fokas – guitars
- Tom Degnan – bass
- Warren Hemmenway – drums
Victory Kicks – The Young Flood and More!
A long time ago, in an inbox overstuffed, I was contacted by Victory Kicks. Originally, I was asked to review two tracks which were released back in February. While I enjoyed Smoke and Last Night, it merely served as an enticement to listen to more of their excellent alternative music.
First let us hear what the band says about themselves:
Victory Kicks are an alternative rock band from the Isle of Wight and now based in London. Formed originally as a home recording project by singer/songwriter John Sibley, the band continues to produce and release all its records independently on its own label, Unmanned Aerial Vinyl.
This band has been around for a while and, hopefully, they stay around even longer. Originally a solo project, their Facebook bio states they are now a quartet. A really, really good quartet. Once I listened to the two tracks they requested me to review, I was simply thirsty for more and spent hours doubling back and listening to everything they have released. I don’t often binge listen to a band but this talent is a worthy exception. It was time well spent and I am certain I will be looking for more from them in the future. They now have 7 releases. They also offer their entire discography at 50% off at bandcamp.
The Black Satellites – Don’t Forget My Name
If you like driving get-jam-on rock and roll, you will love the four track release, Don’t Forget My Name, from the New York City-based group, Black Satellite. It is driving, hard-hitting, fantastically energetic, and leaves one wanting more.
As I almost always do, let me have the band speak for themselves. According to their bio:
“Delivering a fusion of hearty blues, hard rock with a pop undercurrent that doesn’t undermine its complexity and originality. Melodic, fragile, authentic, built with emotion and groove before giving way to powerhouse vocals and screaming guitars. In a nutshell a sound with every song to make your heart beat a little bit harder”
Bitter’s Kiss – A Young and Rising Talent
Bitter’s Kiss is an indie pop artist from Weehawken, New Jersey. It is the work of Chloe Baker. She has a pleasing voice, writes great lyrics, uses her voice to deliver them beautifully, backs it with music with a nice touch of variety and is something worth listening to.
I will elaborate further on why I like this young talent soon but, for now, let us hear what she has to say about her work, from the artist’s About Page:
bitter’s kiss, current project of New Jersey-based singer/songwriter Chloe Baker, invites the listener into a world of joy, pain, sorrow and redemption that reflects the humanity in all of us. With a voice that is melodic, delicate and at times haunting, Chloe explores a range of styles as she describes her own observations and experience through music and words.”
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 Band Avon Dale – Rocky, Bluesy and Jamin’ in Memphis
Warning: Some may consider this material may not safe for work and has some profanities. If that bothers you, please exercise your freedom of choice by going to another post as we exercise our freedom of speech.
The Band Avon Dale is a Memphis-based band. I will give you my take on them in a short minute. However, I think they do a great job of describing themselves, from their About Page:
“Avon Dale is a Memphis-based, rootsy rock band with a touch of soul. A four piece band featuring a dynamic rhythm section, the elemental sounds of an acoustic guitar, blues inspired electric guitar riffs, and soulful vocals, that range from tender and plaintive, to gritty and beseeching. A powerful live act, Avon Dale meshes concise rock ballads with lengthy improvisational jams. With a raw energetic presence, the band is quickly gaining followers in rock and jam band circles alike and becoming a Memphis must see act.”
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.