Single Review: 1st Base Runner - "All Thoughts"

1st Base Runner offers a moody debut single with "All Thoughts".
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The debut single from 1st Base Runner, "All Thoughts," is an intriguing, moody piece with droning vocals, driving bass and massive keyboards. 1st Base Runner is Tim Husmann from Austin, TX, who plays all the instruments and delivers all the vocals. His voice is at once edgy and melodic, with a bit of grit to it. Husmann's voice and instrumentation make for a hypnotic track. The video is equally dark, yet compelling. Shot in black and white, and made to look as if it were shot on a cell phone, it showcases strange images of player pianos, people in masks,

Single Review: Oneo Fakind - "The Coniologist"

Oneo Fakind offer a potent new single and video with "The Coniologist".
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New from Toronto electronic duo Oneo Fakind is "The Coniologist," the lead single and video from their new album, The Start of Something. The track starts out with an ominous spoken word interlude, which is soon interrupted by booming bass sounds and melodic keyboards. Building in intensity throughout, the song features lush keyboard swells against more dissonant, almost video game sounding noises and what seems like a trace of steel drums hidden in the background. As quickly as it begins, the song ends with some eerie single piano notes. The song's video is equally intense, opening with space scenes and

DVD Review: The Go-Go's

The Go-Go's is a well-made look at this influential band.
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From director Alison Ellwood comes The Go-Go's, a film about the legendary all-female group. The documentary includes interviews with every member of the group, as well as former band members and their former manager and documents their rise from an LA punk band that could barely play their instruments to becoming the first (and only) all-female group to write their own songs and play their own instruments to score a number one album to their messy breakup and subsequent reunions. The group, which just received a nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, continues to write new music

EP Review: David Thompson - The Wall

David Thompson returns with a strong synth pop EP.
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For David Thompson's second release as a solo artist, The Wall, Covid had an influence on his backing band. With everyone in quarantine, Thompson decided to play all the instruments on the album (save for two songs featuring guitar work by Howe Pearson) and self produce it as well. The result is an EP chock full of 1980s-influened electronic pop that showcase Thompson's strong songwriting skills and pop sensibilities. The EP leads off with "Time," a track that blends eerie sounding keyboards and reverb drenched vocals. The track is an ode to early 80s New Wave and its black and

Video Review: Nick Campbell Destroys - "Goodbye Moonmen"

Nick Campbell releases a trippy video for "Goodbye Moonmen."
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Nick Campbell used the pandemic to release an EP of covers, Low-Fi Bass Music For Quarantine, earlier this year under his group name Nick Campbell Destroys. Now he is back with a video for "Goodbye Moonmen," a track from the EP and a cover of a song from Campbell's favorite TV show, Rick and Morty. The song is a trippy affair, with almost spoken-word verses and a heavenly, near Beach Boys harmony chorus courtesy of vocalist Michael Mayo of Herbie Hancock fame (among others). The video has Campbell standing in outer space, with words from the lyrics appearing in the

EP Review: Lord Sonny The Unifier - All New Information

Lord Sonny The Unifier return with a diverse new EP.
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Following the release of their psychedelic-infused single, "(All My Friends) Live Underground," Lord Sonny The Unifier returns with a four-track EP, All New Information. The EP includes the aforementioned track, plus three additional cuts, "Knockout," "Pay The Man (When You Leave)," and "I Love You World." All four songs show a great deal of diversity and a willingness to experiment musically. "Knockout" leads things off and showcases a melodic, danceable groove with edgy vocals and a memorable chorus. Rock guitars and heavy effects mix with a healthy dose of bass on this standout track. The video shows multiple clips of

Single Review: Erich Mrak - "No Ways"

Erich Mrak combines genres in his smooth new single.
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Erich Mrak's latest single, "No Ways," started out as a country/pop song before he did some radical rearranging to the track. Now the track boasts heavily chorused guitars over a modern R&B beat with electronic music elements and autotune creeping in. The changes work and, arguably, make the song more interesting. Mrak's vocals alternate between falsetto and his regular voice in this laid back number about a friend expressing his or her romantic feelings when they have maybe had too much to drink for the night. The song is melodic and laid back, in spite of its heavy subject matter,

Single Review: Lord Sonny The Unifier - "(All My Friends) Live Underground"

Lord Sonny The Unifier delivers a rocking new single with "(All My Friends) Live Underground"
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Distorted guitars and psychedelic production colors the new single from New York rockers Lord Sonny The Unifier "(All My Friends) Live Underground." The song, which is from the group's EP All New Information, mixes heavy guitars and distorted, electronic noises and vocals with a melodic, psychedelic-influenced chorus. Vocalist Greg Jiritano delivers a gritty, edgy vocal and strong killer lead guitar playing in an era where there sadly is not much of that anymore. Jiritano adds some trippy keyboards for good measure and is joined on backing vocals by Amy Gordon. The song, which is about the misfits of the world

CD Review: Def Leppard - Hysteria At The O2, Hits Vegas

Previously available as part of a box set, Def Leppard have released standalone versions of two great concerts.
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Earlier this year, Def Leppard released a killer live box set, London To Vegas, that documented two fantastic shows -- one at London's O2 area where the band played their iconic Hysteria album in its entirety and the other in Las Vegas, where the group delivered a 28-song show filled with hits and seldom-played cuts. Now the shows are being released as limited edition standalone audio versions -- Hysteria at the O2 and Hits Vegas, Live at Planet Hollywood. Both releases will be available on CD and LP (in limited edition transparent blue vinyl no less). Digital audio files were

CD Review: Ricky Byrd - Sobering Times

Ricky Byrd offers hope to those struggling with addiction, and a killer set of songs, on Sobering Times.
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Three years ago, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Ricky Byrd released his acclaimed album, Clean Getaway, a record aimed at helping people struggling with addiction as he once did. The former Joan Jett and the Blackhearts guitarist has been sober for over 30 years and dedicates much of his time working as a recovery coach for other addicts. The response was so positive to Clean Getaway that Byrd decided to have a go at it again with his new release, Sobering Times, an album rich in classic rock hooks but, more importantly, rich with a message of hope

DVD Review: The Rolling Stones - Steel Wheels Live

The Rolling Stones deliver a killer concert from 1989 with some very special guests.
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In 1989, The Rolling Stones took to the road for their first tour since their widely successful Still Life tour of 1981-82. While the band had released two studio albums in the interim -- 1983's Undercover and 1986's Dirty Work-- they did not tour for either, instead focusing on solo works from singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. These solo projects led to squabbling between the so-called Glimmer Twins and left the future of The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band up in the air, so when the group announced not only a new album in Steel Wheels, but

Single Review: Shawna Virago - "Heaven Sent Delinquent"

Shawna Virago returns with a rocking new single.
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Transgender singer-songwriter, Shawna Virago, is back with a new single, an electric version of her song "Heaven Sent Delinquent." Virago is something of a pioneer. While transgender people are typically more accepted today, she has been an "out" performer since the early 1990s, long before social media and celebrities made it "cool." The song deals with some of the struggles she faced coming from an oppressive town. While Virago has been called anti-folk and punk, this song has more of a mid-tempo, almost Rolling Stones vibe to it, with its laid-back vocal and Keith Richards-esque chord changes. The video is

Album Review: Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - American Bardo

Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz have crafted a fine new album in American Bardo.
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For their third full-length album, American Bardo, singer-songwriter duo, Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz found inspiration in Greg Saunders' award winning novel, Lincoln In The Bardo. Each song in the 12-song collection, or "readers", as vocalist Anders refers to them, is about one or more characters in the story. The resulting album is a collection of warm, often haunting, well-written songs filled with strong lyrics, vocals, and musicianship. The album leads off with the swampy guitar and electronic drums of "Matterbloomlight." Drenched in echo, the song is at once melodic and melancholy, with a fine guitar solo courtesy of "O'Bitz.

Album Review: Mark Vickness - Interconnected

Mark Vickness takes acoustic fusion to the next level on Interconnected.
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Three years after releasing his debut solo album, Places, Mark Vickness is back with Interconnected, an instrumental album that best can be described as acoustic fusion. Four of the album's eight tracks are in a modern, finger picked style, while the other four feature Vickness' talented group, which includes two-time Grammy Award winning Mads Tolling on violin, Joseph Hebert on cello, Dan Feiszli on both upright and electric bass and Ty Burhoe on tabla. Heavy with rhythmic elements, the music blends elements of folk, jazz, classical, and world music, making for a unique sound that is at once familiar and

EP Review: Vast Caldera - Vast Caldera 1

Vast Caldera combines the best of electronic music and classic rock on their debut EP
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When Justin Weiss was growing up, he and his family went on a road trip. It was there he discovered, via his father's iPod, a love for classic rock music - music he spent years practicing on guitar. When Weiss was in college, he discovered electronic music and quickly wanted to absorb that the same way he did with classic rock all those years ago. Finally, he decided, "Why not do both?" Weiss has done just that with Vast Caldera 1, the debut EP from his group, Vast Caldera. Produced by Abe Duque, the five instrumental tracks mix elements of

Single Review: Cosmopolis - "Sécheresse"

Cosmopolis drops a strong new single.
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Cosmopolis, a new band with members hailing from Brisbane, Australia; Brussels, Belgium; and Canterbury, England; have released a strong set of new tracks -- "Sécheresse" and "God Hotel." The tracks are modern sounding, with elements that would make fans of Radiohead, David Bowie, and even U2 happy, but not derivative. The group has channeled these influences into something new and exciting. "Sécheresse" mixes ominous keyboards with an edgy, monotonous vocal. The song gives a real sense of paranoia with a bit of a Bowie vibe in the vocals. The guitars swell, giving way to a spacey sound with potent drums.

Single Review: Grapefruit Sound Lab And Amuka - "Love Cards"

Grapefruit Sound Lab drops another killer preview of their forthcoming full-length release
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New York Native Robert Cotnoir has parlayed his success as a Hollywood movie music editor into a musical project. Grapefruit Sound Lab is his blend of freestyle, electro, house, and classic rock, among other genres. Working with a number of collaborators, including vocalist Amuka (who has worked with artists as diverse as George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, John Mellencamp, and Rick James), the group is set to release their first album, and their new single, "Love Cards," is a potent preview of things to come. Beginning with an eerie, almost flute sounding keyboard, the track soon gives way to Amuka's powerful

Album Review: Les Techno - Flowers For Dystopia

Les Techno molds sounds of the past and present for an exciting debut album.
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After winning favor with critics on a number of singles, New York musician Les Techno has dropped his debut album, Flowers For Dystopia. The record is an edgy, often cynical, often satirical look at the world we live in today and mixes sounds new and old to bring a sound at once familiar and fresh. Imagine guitar rock, but in a nontraditional way. There are flourishes here and there, but also dissonant stabs over melodic keyboards. Add in some hip-hop rhythms and a healthy dose of 1980s keyboards and one might have a good idea of what Flowers sounds like.

Single Review: Patrick Ames - "You Make Me Scream"

Patrick Ames finds his groove on his danceable new single.
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Patrick Ames had spent the past year writing about serious issues, politics, and the state of the country. That, combined with pandemic, understandably got him down. His solution was to use his music for less serious pursuits -- in short, he wanted to dance, and his latest single, "You Make Me Scream," is certainly conducive to that. Beginning with a descending organ and bass lick that sounds like a bomb dropping, the song moves into a slinky, Stones-inspired riff with a funky bass line from producer Jon Ireson, who also played lead guitar on the track. Ames gives a gritty

Album Review - Lara Taubman - Revelation

Lara Taubman evokes music of the past, while embracing the present on her strong debut.
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When Lara Taubman was growing up, she had a serious interest in art -- painting to be specific -- and, envisioning a career in visual arts, went to college to pursue that dream. She eventually became an art critic and curator and studied cultural theory in graduate school, but she heard a call when she was cleaning of all things that said, "If you don't have children, you will probably be OK with that, but if you don't sing in a serious, committed way, you will regret it on your deathbed." Taubman heeded the call. Music had always been a

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