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Monday, May 31st, 2010 09:49 pm
So. Meet Battleme.


(Pictured: Blurry dude on the diagonal.)


They sing one of my favourite songs, a lovely, mellow little track called Burn This Town. Chances are that you haven't heard of them. They're on an indie label called Bad Mouth Records, but they don't have a debut album out yet. That should come later this spring and should be between 9-12 songs.

This is Battleme in their own words:

Battleme is the lost noise project of Matt D from Lions (Austin, TX). It surrounds itself with heroes and losers.

-Source


Burn This Town was featured in an episode of Sons of Anarchy, and can be found on the Sons of Anarchy: Shelter EP (i.e., the EP soundtrack for season 2).



I hope to hear more from them because Matt D's other band, Lions, is one of the "house bands" for the show, since SOA primarily uses cover versions of famous songs to keep costs down. I love hearing awesome songs in TV shows or movies. I'm not going to lie - it gives me a little thrill.

The band has an interesting sound. While it's not exactly groundbreaking, there's definitely enough room on my iPod for it.

Lyrics )







Links:

- ReverbNation
- Facebook
- MySpace
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 12:37 pm
This lovely man is Anthony Green. (He's also in my icon.)



He sings in a band called Circa Survive. He also supports breast cancer research, and foundations like Keep-A-Breast. Here he is, making a plaster cast of his rack. Or rather, of the rack he no doubt wishes he had.



Anthony's side project is the whole reason I pushed for this week's theme. In 2008, he put out a solo album called Avalon. I heard about it via an e-mail update from My Chemical Romance and I kind of scoffed. Why the hell would I go and buy your friend's album? Also, it's pretty lame to use your fan base like that. Well, I was a fucking idiot because the love I have for this man knows no bounds.

I don't even remember how I ended up hearing a song from Avalon, but I suspect that I came to Circa Survive first. I'm pretty attached to Act Appalled (Juturna) and The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is the Dose (On Letting Go). Chiodos was playing Warped Tour the last time I went and since I'd gotten a magazine with both Craig Owens and Anthony Green on the cover, I decided to check out some of his stuff, too. I like Circa Survive well enough, but Anthony's solo stuff is golden, in my opinion.

His voice isn't for everyone, which is something that drives me nuts because people are way too quick to brush him off. If you give him a chance, you'll probably really enjoy his music. While Circa Survive is pretty loud, Avalon is full of slower, calmer, songs - though that's not to say that it's all a bunch of ballads. It really isn't. I can't really compare it (or him) to anyone in particular because I have no clue who he might sound like. Now that I've said that, someone will no doubt school me with a list as long as I am tall, but I don't really care.

To record the album (and later to support it), he played with Good Old War, another favourite of mine. (He later returned the favour on Weak Man, off GOW's Only Way to Be Alone.)

The best song on Avalon also happens to be the shortest. Slowing Down (Long Time Coming) clocks in at 1:44, but it's an amazing little song.





It also has lovely lyrics. ).

Along with Avalon, you get the High and Driving EP, which includes several demos of Avalon songs. It's always interesting to see how songs may have changed from that starting point. Between the demo and the album versions, I've listened to Slowing Down (Long Time Coming) 150 times. I'm still not bored of it. I'm still not 100% sold on the Colin Frangicetto remix album, particularly on my favourite song, but I'll give him another listen and try to be objective.

There's another Circa Survive album coming soon, but after that Anthony plans to work on his next solo effort, Beautiful Things. I'm pretty excited for that.

Links:
- Last FM (with performance video)
- MySpace (LOL, username used to be moshtradamus)
- Twitter
- Facebook
Saturday, May 15th, 2010 03:16 pm
Cassidy Haley, photo by Dave Murffy


This is Cassidy Haley / @cassidyhaley. I'll give you a minute to recover. ;)

In all seriousness, he's not just a really hot and beautiful queer dude. He's also insanely fucking talented. The first song I heard of his was Whiskey in Churches, and actually I watched the video for it. That was really good for me on a lot of levels.

But what really sold me on Cassidy's music was the song Fly. I heard it again via video on his YouTube Channel. He has done several acoustic versions of his songs. He usually begins each recording by talking a little bit to the camera, giving us some background on the song which I personally appreciate a great deal. So the video for Fly starts that way, with about 2 minutes of background and then at 2:25 he starts singing. It's fucking breathtaking. I mean, so powerful and inspiring. Just really moved me.

Both of these songs, along with four others, are on Cassidy's EP Little Boys and Dinosaurs(iTunes link). You can preview the entire EP here on his site. You can also buy the physical cd from his site.

His most recent video is for Daylight Breaks, it's beautiful and haunting and just so full of emotion. I highly recommend it.

Cassidy used to design clothes at Skingraft Designs but has since dedicated himself full time to music. He does still design for friends (many of whom are in the entertainment industry) and for his fans.

I love his design aesthetic, his theatre and drama, and (of course) his music.

I very much recommend him to all of you.

Links:
Official Site
Twitter
Facebook
MySpace
iTunes
Saturday, May 15th, 2010 03:30 pm


So, last week I mentioned that on occasion, iTunes Canada actually does give us a fucking awesome song for free. This is one of those times.

Sam Sparro is an Australian singer-songwriter born in 1982. He's best known for this song - Black & Gold. His self-titled album came out in June 2008. Of the 13 songs, Black & Gold (Marcussen Album Version) is the strongest (and, unfortunately, the only song worth keeping, IMHO). His work ranges from R&B to funk to electronica, to classic Prince to Scissor Sisters, to everything in between. If that sounds like it's your cup of tea, then he's definitely an act worth checking out.

Back to Black & Gold, though. This song has proven to be extremely popular, which was a huge surprise to me because I haven't heard it anywhere. Apparently it's been used in soundtracks, commercials, tv promos, and video games. You'd think I'd at least have heard about that, but apparently not. It's entirely possible that I live under a rock.

There's been a few cover versions of this song (most notably Adele, Ellie Goulding, Alphabeat, and Katy Perry) but like usual, the original is always best. There's something to be said for Sam Sparro's voice and the way he sings the lyrics. Also, a bad cover version of any song is a sin that should banish you to the depths of hell.*

*Okay, okay, we'll reserve that solely for butchers ofHallelujah. DNW anyone other than Jeff Buckley, kthnx.

Here, have a streaming file from Grooveshark:



The song has a video, but Sam's record label, Island Records (UK), has had embedding disabled at YouTube. It's so camp and I laughed, but everyone needs a little camp in their day now and then. Click here to see it. It's boys in tuxedos and top hats. Carrying walking sticks and feeling up a limo. No, I'm not just saying that. There's also a fast food drink cup but that might be for a rousing game of One of these things is not like the other....

Links:
- Facebook
- MySpace
- Twitter
Saturday, May 8th, 2010 12:48 pm


This is Imagine Dragons. I have waxed poetically about them in my personal journal a few times before, but I really, really want more people to find them and love them too. :D

Imagine Dragons is an unsigned band located in Las Vegas, Nevada. I found them thanks to a Google Alert for Panic! at the Disco (who they sound nothing like really). So far they've recorded two EPs. The first one is available on iTunes: Imagine Dragons - EP. The second one, Hell and Silence, is now (as of 6/5) available on iTunes.

You can preview pretty much all of their music on their ReverbNation page, but I've included the player behind the cut-tag:
hear it, love it )

One thing that impresses me about Imagine Dragons is how polished they sound. The songs sound just like they were recorded by a major studio, not rough at all. They have a synth-rock sort of sound and a manic energy for most songs, but they can do lilting ballad types as well. Good range.

They are the "go to" band for out of town bands who want a local opening band in Vegas. They mostly tour right around Nevada and California, but they also performed at South by Southwest this year.

Here's an interview with them by a local Vegas music vlog. And here is some video from their performance at the Neon Reverb Music Festival where they just fucking slayed it.

You can get two of their songs for free by joining their mailing list which is VERY low traffic. In fact, I think the only thing I got so far was an email from them offering me another free song. So it's no hardship.

sign-up for free music! )

They've got a retro flair to their style, but updated and made fresh. A nice balance between what was and what is. Though the main vocalist is male, their female keyboardist provides backing and it really fills out the sound nicely.

Links:
MySpace
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Fan Club (lots of good info there)