Archive for the ‘Music Review’ Category

Yes it’s true I like working out to Katy Perry blaring in the background.  The gym itself is one of the most homoerotic places guys can go where men openly complement each other on their bodies, get behind one another to help with “form” while doing squats, and put their balls in each others faces while spotting on bench press so if you think about it, doing push ups in my apartment by myself and listening to KP is really less gay than your average gym experience.  Regardless, I do have at least some justification for my musical selection so hear me out while my public masculinity waits in limbo.

First of all the girls relatable, I mean we both like to kiss girls and talk about it.  Second, although the musics so pop I don’t even think my Ex-girlfriend listens to it, its catchy and it up beat.  Third, although normally it induces the same response in straight men as cold water, I’m working out so my testosterone boost completely cancels out the mad dose of estrogen flowing through the speakers making a happy medium and great workout.  And last, I’m a lazy guy.  Sitting on my couch drinking a Budweiser to football is a lot more appealing to me than getting off my ass and actually putting forth the effort to exorcise but Kate Perry has a sexy voice, so it keeps me motivated and my eye on the prize because lets be honest, the only reasons guys like me work out is to get better looking women, not to be healthy.

Say what you will about KP and me ladies, but in 2 months when I’m looking good AND can tolerate your music while driving in the car, your going to thank me!

From Where They Run Interview

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Music Review

Nnothing that better describes being in The Right Place at The Right Time than drinking a beer in the audience of a From Where They Run show.  This five-piece band started in Austin and has become a fast growing success as their music continues to evolve and become more direct and refined.  The band consists of three brothers, Pat, Tyler, and Nolan Wheeler, along with their college buddy from LSU Danny Mathews and the newest member A.J. Molyneaux who joined the group this summer.  Recently I sat down with the lead singer and guitarist Nolan Wheeler to talk music and gain insights into their recent success.

Mr. Wheeler began talking about his early influences growing up listening to classic rock mainly handed down from his father.  This, he explains, that this gave him a solid foundation and musical since of rhythm that has been a trade mark of the band and the underlining backbone to all their music.  “Bands like The Rolling Stones, or Johnny Cash, have an old blues since of time and rhythm to their music that more experimental bands of our generation like Radiohead don’t seem possess.” He also took this time to vent a little bit about the emerging DJ scene with bands like Pretty Lights and Deadmau5 as prime examples saying although its slightly innovative, the traditional instrumental bands will always be better, more talented and better respected.

He went on to define their style as a sort of southern folk, indie rock bread that is still developing, noting the fact that the band is not even a year old.  One thing I had always wondered was what it felt like to be on stage singing and jamming out in front of a huge crowd and Mr. Wheeler seemed to wince a bit at the thought of their early shows saying “at first of course I was nervous, I just hoped the audience wouldn’t see my legs shaking but then after a while I realized that we play some damn good drinking music and have great fans so then it just turned into a big party instead of a performance which made it easier on me.”

Last I wanted to question him about their first and upcoming album that is due for release in spring of 2011.  He said it’s probably going to contain around 10 to 13 songs and most of the recording is already done but the title of the album is still up in the air.  All the recording was done at the bands house in Austin where they turned a basement room into a workable studio.  “One thing that’s cool about our band is that we all live together so that makes the process of producing an album independently more fluid if you will.”

I personally have known many of the band members for years now so it is interesting from my perspective to see this new collaboration that they have developed into From Where They Run.  The last show I saw was about two weeks ago when they played at the Independence Brewery’s sixth anniversary party and I was extremely impressed with many of their new songs I had never heard before.  At the beginning it was obvious that all the members of the band were musically gifted but in my opinion they were still finding their unique and personal direction (as most bands starting out go through I’m sure).  With this last show however it was evident that something had changed and that spark of authenticity that makes great musicians and bands alike stand out from all the others seemed to finally have been kindled.

Today’s guilty pleasure is the song Desert Rose by Sting!  Unless you’re a homosexual art student, a wine critic wearing a bow tie, or a woman going through menopause, if you listen to Sting on a regular basis it’s definitely a guilty pleasure.  As men of our generation drool over sexy celebrities like Megan Fox or Keira Knightley, most women over forty fantasize about Mel Gibson (before he became an one of the most hated figures in Hollywood) and Sting.  Whether it’s the sensitivity of his voice or his outdated bleached blond hair, this often leather clad rock star serenades audiences from around the world with annoying vocals and his love for stereotypical liberal activist causes.

Desert Rose: Sting’s song Desert Rose is a rare insight into this Brit’s solo career.  Released in 1999 off his album Brand New Day, this song entrances audiences with wierd middle eastern style yelling and hypnotic background music that makes you feel like you are truly in the deserts  of some Arabian country.  It would be interesting to see Sting try and preform this song in that part of the world where he would most certainly be subject to some form of stoning or other biblical punishment for violating sound ordinances in the middle of the desert.  It is however quite catchy, which adds to its appeal as a guilty pleasure with a unique quality that seems almost transcending when your singing along in the shower engaging in escapist fantasies because you’re going through a divorce and you hate your job.  This song strokes Americans right where they like it because it makes them feel like they are engaging in some sort of cultural experience which, besides this the local Chinese diner down the street, may be their only glimpse into another culture.

Like a male version of Ellen Degeneres, Sting has been bringing a passion for equal rights for all people and a unique incite into the the world of prostitution (like in his classic Roxanne) to numbed down audiences for years.  If your not getting off on some of his early “classics” like “De Doo Doo Doo De Da Da Da” (whose lyrics resonate with a Kindergarten classes and 80’s music lovers alike) check out some of his solo work that can make you feel like you’re actually getting out there and experiencing the world without ever having to leave your cubical.  So if you are not too busy listening to U2 or any other 80’s sensation that should have stopped producing music when they heard Nirvana for the first time, check out Desert Rose by Sting!

Well you can’t live in Austin and have an entertainment blog without mentioning Austin City Limits (ACL).  Yes my friends its that time of year again where locals and out-of-town-folk get together to celebrate live at its best in Austin’s famous Zilker Park.  Going on its eighth year now, it has been more than interesting to see this festival evolve so quick to become one of Americas biggest and most successful attractions.

Bands to see:

Friday- The morning starts early with a hard choice between Austin’s own Asleep at the Wheel (a band thats been around for ever and plays a country style southern rock) and JJ Grey & Mofro (another southern rock band that will set the mood for the entire weekend) both playing at noon.  Then it’s an obvious pick when Blues Traveler goes on at 2:00 followed by Miike Snow at 3:00.  The Black Keys go on at 4:00 followed by a nice one hour beer break before Spoon takes the stage at 6:00.  After Spoon I recommend catching the first 15 minutes of Vampire Weekend before running to Robert Randolph & the Family Band at 7:15.  I will probably have to miss both shows because I will definitely be getting to Phish at least 2 or 3 hours early for a front row seat.  At 8:00 you have the option of not only two great bands but two totally different scenes.  For those who like decent rock songs with gritty vocals and a more hipster scene go check out the strokes, but if you’re in the mood to move your body underneath a hail of glow sticks and psychedelic drugs GO SEE PHISH!

Saturday- Although not quite as comprehensive as Friday’s line up, there are three bands who top my list for this day.  Broken Bells is a new-age electronic sounding band with vocals that play at 4:30 at the AMD stage.  Next I would recommend LCD Sound System who I really only have limited knowledge of but I keep hearing great things so I’ll definitely be checking them out to hopefully discover something new and exciting.  Last in my Saturdays line up is Muse who many have cited as a more stable and rocking version of Radiohead.  Muse goes on at 8:30 and based on their previous appearance at ACL in 2007, they will leave audiences blown away with their energy and creativity on stage.

Sunday- Sunday’s line up also has only a handful of bands I’m interested in seeing but it begins with a terrible decision one has to make between Band of Horses and The Flaming Lips.  Both go on stage at 6:00 and only have an hour slot which I find to be pretty ridiculous but both are completely different acts.  Band of Horses is rather subdued music that reminds me a little of Iron and Wine with a very distinct singer song writer quality about it that is pleasant and complex.  The Flaming Lips are just a classic almost must see if you’ve never seen them before.  Their stage performances are always incredibly theatrical and way over the top with trippy background music that turn the show itself into more of an experience than an actual concert.  Last of course isthe closing act (which I find the lamest and weakest part of the festival) and this year the Eagles are playing.  With few surviving member of the group serving up memorable songs that are undeniably rock’n roll classics, The Eagles for me will be more ceremonial than solid.  It is however the last act of the festival and the last chance you’ll get to drink a beer with your shirt off while listening to great music as the sun slowly sets over the city, before you start work again on Monday and have to get back to a life of routine and reality.