Friday, December 14, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 42

It’s our live episode! We dig into Christmas shopping for children, meeting the parents, the merits of Taco Bell, and the state of the tunes in 2018 (forthcoming.)
  1. Jason Berndt & The Orphans - “Long As I Have You” (When I Was Growing Up)” (Life, Love & Loss)
  2. Kaia Kater - “New Colossus” (Grenades)
  3. Faceless Bandits - “Black Hat Blues” (Women, Whiskey & War)
  4. Trapper Schoepp (feat. Nicole Atkins) - “What You Do To Her” (Primetime Illusion)
  5. Timber - “Burying Ground” (The Family)
  6. Benjamin Folke Thomas - “Dead Horizon” (Modern Man)
  7. Lauren Morrow - “I Don’t Think About You At All” (Lauren Morrow)
  8. Stephen Kellogg - “Irish Goodbye” (Objects In The Mirror)
Rachel wrote a comic! Check it out here! Send us music via SubmitHub. Send us money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Contact Von via linktr.ee/vonreviews and say hi to Rachel on Twitter @adobeteardrops

Friday, December 7, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 41

Did you ever wonder what the difference between a trilby and a fedora is? How about a dobro and a resonator? We’ve got answers! And music!

  1.  Wildeyes - “Tennessee is Alive” (Wildeyes)
  2. Larkin Poe - “Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues” (Venom & Faith)
  3. Old Crow Medicine Show - “A World Away” (Volunteer)
  4. Katy Hurt - “Natchez” (Single)
  5. Skinny Lister - “Thing Like That” (Single)
  6. Dirty Streets - “Distractions” (Distractions)
  7. Felix Hagan & The Family - “Attention Seeker” (Attention Seeker)
  8. Yola Carter - “Dead and Gone” (Orphan Offering)
  9. Elle King - “Talk Of The Town” (Shake The Spirit)




Rachel wrote a comic! Check it out here! Send us music via SubmitHub. Send us money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Contact Von via linktr.ee/vonreviews and say hi to Rachel on Twitter @adobeteardrops

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

frog -- Whatever We Probably Already Had It

This was the album I most eagerly anticipated of 2018 without even realizing it. That's because I didn't know frog was back in the studio; but every time I listened to their 2015 masterpiece Kind of Blah I wondered what they were up to. Not like I had to dig too deep -- by a strange coincidence it turned out they work at the same tech company as one of my good friends. I'm happy to say that Whatever is more of the same: sweeping songs with lyrics that feel off-the-cuff and otherworldy -- but with just enough detail to keep you grounded to the bleak concrete of New York City and its sterile suburban environs.


Take, for example, "God Once Loved a Woman," -- a killer phrase in and of itself.

God once loved a woman
Her features soft and German
And one day after sermon
God followed her home across the George Washington
Where her blouse caught the sun and her eyes lit up like she recognized someone 

Her son ran past the window
He reached through the thin smoke and touched the yellow glass 

...
So when it started snowing
God spoke to her from
...
The Path train platform
The ground it shook rats ran in swarms
And scratched and clawed and through the fog there rose a form
He said you are the most beautiful thing that I made
And he watched her face twist and melt towards the shade
Now all the boneyards tremble with her name
Something’s there you don’t care its unfair it’s a drain still clogged up with her hair  


It was hard not to just put the full lyrics in there -- but I felt it was important to see the way frog plays with huge ideas before hyperfixating on the most minute details of life. It's that sense of an omniscient, restless narrator that makes this band more than an extremely anti-social version of Weezer (though those influences are quite clear.)

Nostalgia is an important theme in frog's work. In "Bones," I begin to understand the seeds of that yearning:

Bones, we watched bones through the laundromat’s fumes in the cold
There’s a VA hospital that you and I’d walk by on our way to diners and 

Beggars in Popeye’s and now 
Did you know that you are the guardian of a part of my life that I had forgotten?

It isn't so much the good old days as anticipating when even the worst sludge of daily life today becomes precious. It takes a little digging, but that seems to be the biggest lesson from frog's seemingly blase attitude -- one that's belied by their careful attention to detail in their lyrics and in the way they move through the world.


frog -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

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Friday, November 30, 2018

VIDEO: Katie Barbato -- "Magical Ending"

Katie Barbato works some 90s movie magic in her newest video "Magical Ending." The song is also reminscent of the best of 90s singer-songwriters -- a melody you can sink your teeth into with a heavy beat and defiant harmonies.


Director Max Marguiles stays on-theme with fractious images and some low-fi green-screen to give us a sense of mystery and confusion -- as Barbato vents her frustration with failed relationships, we also feel hope for whatever (or whoever) is around the corner.

Katie Barbato -- Official, Facebook

Rachel wrote a comic! Check it out here! Send us music via SubmitHub. Send us money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Contact Von via linktr.ee/vonreviews and say hi to Rachel on Twitter @adobeteardrops. You can subscribe to the Adobe & Teardrops podcast on your favorite app!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 40

Von is back! Elon Musk discourse. When is a song too long? And, of course, a moment for Stan Lee.

  1. Gospel Whiskey Runners - “Keep On Tryin” (Singles)
  2. Bill Mallonee “In the New Dark Age (The Best Thing You Can Do is Fall in Love)” (Forest Full of Wolves)
  3. The Dirty River Boys - “Hopeful Loser” (Mesa Starlight)
  4. Michot’s Melody Makers “Two-Step de ste Marie” (Blood Moon)
  5. Them Vibes - “Nothing Better Than You” (Single)
  6. Alfredo Rodriguez “The Little Dream” (The Little Dream)
  7. Bradley Cooper - “Black Eyes” (A Star Is Born Soundtrack)
  8. Mitch Bradford - “Everybody’s Got Someone to Love (‘Cept You and Me)” (Love Is Kind)
  9. The Regrettes - “Helpless” (Single)
  10. Arrogant Afterglow - “Admission” (Single) 

Rachel wrote a comic! Check it out here! Send us music via SubmitHub. Send us money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Contact Von via linktr.ee/vonreviews and say hi to Rachel on Twitter @adobeteardrops

Friday, November 16, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 39

Rachel is flying solo this week and she has some choice words for tomato-gate architect Keith Hill.
CORRECTION: Rachel called one of the St Beauty songs “Beauty.” Actually, it’s called “Borders!” 
  1. Eden Iris - “Dangerous Mind” (Demons)
  2. Young Readers - “Dancing” (Migrator) SH
  3. The Rizzos - “90s Song” (Split 7”)
  4. Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys - “We Used to Be Birds” (Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys)
  5. Todd Burge -- “Comic Book Sleeve” (Your Reflection Will Kill You)
  6. Amy Darling -- “Jamie” (Rock’n’Roll Woman)
  7. Sarah VDB - “The Moon” (The Moon) (SH)
  8. Oginalii - “Further In/Out” (Cause and Affection)
  9. St Beauty - “Borders” (Rising to the Sun)
  10. Copper Viper - “Hung Up Alone” (Single)


Rachel wrote a comic! Check it out here! Send us music via SubmitHub. Send us money via Ko-fi or Patreon. Contact Von via linktr.ee/vonreviews and say hi to Rachel on Twitter @adobeteardrops

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers -- Bought to Rot

I'll admit that I was a bit thrown off by Laura Jane Grace's new album, Bought to Rot. Since it was put out by Bloodshot Records -- an alt-country and Chicago institution -- I was hoping that this album would be Grace's pivot to Americana. (Which would also cement my working theory about queers and Americana -- ie, that we're drawn to it like moths to a flame.) It wasn't a vain hope; that's the trajectory of many of Bloodshot's artists, including label-mate Cory Branan, whose album Grace appeared on.


I've given the album a number of listens now and I'm still trying to tease it apart. That's not a complaint -- instead I think it's a testament to Grace's talents as both a songwriter and producer. (Whether or not you care about Laura Jane Grace or Against Me!, you probably care about music and this article where Grace ranks her own albums is fascinating.) Sonically, the albums feels very similar to Against Me!'s previous album, Shape Shift With Me. I was particularly disenchanted with one of the songs on the album, so I didn't write about it here. However, the music on both albums have a more aggressive thrust and muddier over-all vibe than the strong pop structures and trans power anthems of Transgender Dysphoria Blues. And that makes sense, too, considering the production hell that album was caught up in.



I think what makes Bought to Rot challenging is that each song stands alone. The opening, "China Beach," hearkens back to older Against Me! songs, while "Born In Black" has an exaggerated, epic sensibility that calls to mind 80s cock rock. I certainly empathize with "I Hate Chicago," where I was essentially assaulted by a cis white gay man in the heart of Chicago's gayborhood. These songs capture a sense of unmooring -- living in a new town (Chicago), recently divorced, and navigating dating, we're seeing Grace continue to figure herself out. The album isn't without humor -- "The Friendship Song" and "The Acid Test Song" gleefully recount misadventures with a charming snarl. "Apocalypse Now (& Later)" pretty much says what we're all thinking. And, of course, "Reality Bites" is the energizing empowerment I was hoping to get a good dose of given everything that's been going on.

For me, the album has a much stronger finish as Grace slows things down. "Dreamy Screamy" begins as a lullaby and -- well, it says it in the song. We also see Grace explore a new direction -- in the last few songs she warms to an agile 70s-style art rock that reminds me a bit of Lou Reed, but with Grace's piercing arrangements. Overall, the album feels like a mixtape, but it also feels honest: it's a snapshot of a life in transition.

Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers -- Purchase from Bloodshot Records