Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Grip Weeds - Strange Change Machine

We've officially reached the point (if we hadnt already) where we need to stop comparing The Grip Weeds with who they may or may not sound like and how their take on their brand of rock and THEIR take.

If any of their previous records didnt do it, Strange Change Machine does it.

I'm actually tired of looking for the right words to describe the sound that The Grip Weeds have. When I listen to them, I'm transported back to the 1970s when I was a kid and when I was a college student heavily into music from the 60s and 70s like: The WHO, The BYRDS, The Beatles, The Doors, etc... And those are just a few of the influences of The Grip Weeds and more.

Those are all bands I dig and there's obviously more bands, I just hit on a few of them.

So let's STOP trying to compare The Grip Weeds with these great bands from the past and focus on the present and what The Grip Weeds provide us, the listener.


All you have to do to get 8 free tracks from their latest record - Strange Change Machine - is to sign up for and be on their email list. I know!!!! But, jeeeez, joining a mailing list for a great rock and roll band and you get 8 free songs? COME ON! Suck it up! Go to their website at:

Strange Change Machine Review: HELL YEH!

Check out this video of their song 'Speed of Life"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Swell Season - Baltimore

Last night I went to see the swell season. WOW.
Now Adam Levy has said, "GO OUT AND LISTEN TO MUSIC" as a way to become a better musician. And, for me, he doesnt need to say THAT twice. :)

Glen Hansard was en fuego. The whole band was actually.
At one point, Hansard mentioned how Ramshead Live looks like a jail and then, within a couple of seconds he was grabbing the chords in his head for Jailhouse Rock and then he's goin nuts on stage singin jailhouse rock for 2 minutes along with band. And, one thing I did notice was that when he launched into this raucously fun time, Pianist, Marketa Irglova sat back, "letting the boys have their fun" and then they picked up where they left off with their set.
Being about Hansard's age, I caught the jailhouse rock and he also added a couple of other gems (references) during the music interludes of their songs with - CALL ME (Blondie) and LOVE REIGN O'ER ME (The WHO) which had everyone laughing. (Is it me or does this foto kinda make you feel like you need the movie 28 days later to come out with a 3rd installment :)
The kinda things that bring down an experience of a live show are "the talkers" - they ramble on during the opening act and he just ran thru his set list. I mean literally. It was sad - he didnt stop between songs unless he needed to change guitars and each song just melted into the other without distinction...just chuggin through like an express train...sure the stops are there...and the people look at the train going thru....and they wonder why isnt it stopping. Is this how opening acts are in large venues (~500-600 folks)
So, the opener plays for about an hour and then we waited for the swell season to come onstage for about 35 the venue time to get people to buy more fluids....and then, when they arrive, they rush onto the stage and go right into a song to get things started.

Being around great live music is important to my soul and the $35 ticket + $10 for fees and other crap (like the ability to print my own ticket on my own printer- SHEEEESH!) was worth the price of admission...especially when you figure that other shows for this band, the tickets are twice as much or more.

The critic in me says that Mar may be a little stiff on stage and quiet personality wise on stage, but the poignant, emotionally driven songs between she and Hansard would seriously lack what drives them without her. And, kudos for having her front and center for a few songs as well as during the encore.
And here's a token full band shot...sorry for the 2 backs, but that was my vantage point for the show.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jamie Hoover and Steve Stoeckel - 1st IN THE GRAIN PERFORMANCE

In April, 2010, Jamie and Steve met up with Mike and John from Independents Uncovered and recorded this very special and VERY FIRST Podcast of our program "IN THE GRAIN."

Some quick hitting comments about this podcast
- Amazing harmonies
- Incredible how they play together
- Great Songs "Emily's Ghost sets the tone"
- You have to hear the banter between Jamie and Steve

My experience with Jamie and Steve...I can only say that these guys are smart, as enthusiastic about their music as ever, and 2 super-nice people. So awesome were they that Mike and I went to the Chad and Jeremy show and met up with them. Just class acts who put a premium on great music and making sure that the music they put out is great.

If you're serious about music as a listener or a performer, you absolutely need to listen to this.

AND, thanks to Jamie and Steve for making this podcast available for free download. All copyrights to the songs belong to Jamie and Steve.

Link up with Jamie and Steve at their facebook page and thank them for making the podcast available to all of us:

To download the podcast, click here and you'll be redirected to the DIVSHARE Website to download the podcast.

To just play the interview, click here.