Friday, October 19, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 35

Von had a near-death experience and Rachel was given SO MUCH life! The intrepid duo once again endeavor to pronounce names. Also, hi W.B. Walker!
  1. Thomasin and the Hot Dog Swarm -- “What a Time To Be Alive”
  2. The High Divers - “Fall In Love So Fast” (Chicora)
  3. Linda Mizzi, “Holy Moly”(Real People)
  4. Lilly Hiatt - “I Wanna Go Home” (Trinity Lane)
  5. National Park Radio - “Mighty Mountains” (Old Forests)
  6. Sara Rachele - “Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye” (Single)
  7. Railway Gamblers - “Closer” (Lover)
  8. Gasoline Lollipops - “Mustangs” (Soul Mine)
  9. Porchlight Apothecary, “Lost In You” (Weight of the Heart)


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

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Music Roundup!

Hello! It got super cold real quick over here in New York City! Warm up with some contemplative Americana and country music!

Real Ponchos -- "Whatever You Do"



If you wish James Taylor had a sense of fatalism, have I got a song for you. Real Ponchos have a flair for the dramatic and a talent for playing in the pocket. Lead singer Ben's voice has a warmth to it reminiscent of the folk singer, but the band's witty instrumentation solidly plants them in 2018.

Katie Barbato -- "The Art of Falling"


"To me," writes Philadelphia singer-songwriter Katie Barbato, "‘The Art of Falling’ concept came from the desire to go through difficult times with grace and stamina. It is not about coming out on the other side the same as you were," says Barbato. "After a fall, you are somewhere distantly familiar but full of possibility. Let the grief and sadness move through you, honor it, and stand up tall." The song's repetition gradually grows insistent, a gentle reminder that sometimes you need to make the same mistake over and over again until you can finally learn from it.

Ricky Lorimer -- "No Worry"

 

What can I say -- I'm a sucker for a cigarette-dusted voice and a strong melody. Northern Irish singer-songwriter Ricky Lorimer's voice is like catnip to me. Combine that with a passionate performance and lyrics that are just good common sense and you've got a song that's pretty much designed to woo me. I imagine it'll do the same for you.

Dylan Cooper -- "Soon"

 

Probably the only thing that would make me love Ricky Lorimer more is if he were somehow froam Saskatoon. I don't understand what it is about country singers from Saskatoon and Alberta, but I am very much on a wavelength with them. Dunno what the bustle of New York City has to do with those open plains, but I do know that Dylan Cooper and I share a disenchanted, off-kilter sensibility. "Soon" is a pretty classic road sing that opens up with an arresting harmony and somehow lands on a classic country vibe. Cooper's played drums with other Saskatoon-based acts like In With the Old,  Ellen Froese and the Hot Toddies,and  singer and drummer for Von Jumbo. This is his first solo album and it's sure to leave a mark.

Suzy Callahan -- "Georgia O'Keefe"

 

Last but absolutely not least, Suzy Callahan's "Georgia O'Keefe" sounds like it's just a split second short of going off the rails. That's what makes it so captivating. While the song calls on familiar indie rock tropes, Callahan stretches them to their breaking point with a non-traditional time signature and harmonies unlike anything I've heard. There is some serious musicianship happening on this seemingly humble song -- strap yourself in.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Becky Warren -- Undesirable

Becky Warren seems to be building a career on stories nobody else wants to tell. Her debut album, 2016’s War Surplus, was a devastating album about the romance -- from courtship to dissolution -- of an Iraq war veteran and his girlfriend. The album was based in part on Warren’s own experience as she and her partnered struggled to maintain their relationship in the face of his PTSD. War Surplus (one of my Top 10 of 2016) didn’t dwell on the usual tropes, giving dignity to all of the people involved in the story. The songs had a rock’n’roll edge but tended to be more somber, giving way to Warren’s diamond-sharp singing.


On this outing, Warren is focusing on the lives of the “motel homeless” -- people who are able to make enough money to live in hotels but cannot otherwise provide for their basic needs. Undesirable draws from Warren’s relationships with the residents of the Drake Motel in Nashville. They are a collective of people who sell a newspaper, The Contributor, which is self-published with the aid of a local non-profit. The newspaper is intended to generate income for its vendors and writers while educating the general public about their lives. Each song on Undesirable draws from Warren’s conversations with many of these vendors, but you’ll see that homelessness and poverty are not the main focus of these songs: instead, Warren shows that we all have more in common than we think, as long as we can fully appreciate each other’s humanity.


While that may sound sentimental, don’t be fooled -- Undesirable is much more hard-hitting musically than War Surplus, as we can see in the lead-off single “We’re All We’ve Got,” which features the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray. Warren’s got a gift for getting at the tough stuff and creating music that’s a call to action -- not with grand pronouncements, but by reminding us of the nitty-gritty details of life we all confront. "Valentine," one of my other favorites on the album, is just beautiful stuff from start to finish: the kind of character study and symbolism that will turn seasoned songwriters green with envy.

Becky Warren -- Official, Facebook, iTunes, Amazon

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 34

Watch out: Rachel’s on the road! Also, we mourn the death of Wide Open Country and get into the foundations of the patriarchy. Oddly enough, we also play a supermajority of women on this episode.
  1. Larry And His Flask “This Remedy” (This Remedy)
  2. Super Doppler - “Edge Off” (Super Secret Singles Club)
  3. The National Reserve- “No More” (Motel La Grange)
  4. Ever More Nest -- “So Low ” (The Place That You Call Home)
  5. Atlantis Aquarius - “Full Moon” (Niberian Sun EP)
  6. Catherine the Great -- “prefabricated” (personhood)
  7. Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters - “Diamond In The Rough” (Self Titled)
  8. Whitney Shay - “Ain’t No Weak Woman” (A Woman Rules the World)
  9. CBDB - “Patterns” (Out Of Line)



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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Songs of the Week!

I've got too much music to fit on the podcast and more time to write about it now that I'm not longer doing the Wide Open Country thing. So let's dig in to some tasty Americana, folk, and punk snacks!

Mia and Jonah -- "Sugarbones


Let's kick it off with something a little out of our wheelhouse. Mia and Jonah's "Sugarbones" definitely has that Americana something, though I appreciate the trippy spaciness that is surely inspired by the band's San Francisco stomping grounds. The band's new album Spin as One reflects the birth of Mia Matari and Jonah Blumstein's first child. "Sugarbones" feels like a lullaby and an invitation to take part in all the exciting things the world has to offer.

S.K. Wellington -- "Moment's Bliss"



Canadian singer Sarah Wellington (formerly of the Wellington Folk) has struck out on her own with her new LP. "Moment's Bliss" has that kind of desperate punk sound that makes my heart sing. "Moment's Bliss" contemplates happiness but isn't complacent -- a rare feat.

Grover Anderson -- "The Good"


 

 Grover Anderson has gotten some love on here before, and I was very excited to see more of his music land on my inbox. Grover's the kind of person with a relentless sense of optimism (hence the title of his 2014 album) who also has his shoes on the ground. "The Good" is a witty reminder to remember that even when things are at their toughest, there's reprieve around the corner.


Rare Americans -- "I Vs. I"



Canadian punk band Rare Americans (huh) brings a ton of energy to "I Vs I," a thrasher of a song that seems to be about the fear of becoming intimate with another person. The band describes themselves as "Crooked in the sense that we see the world a little crooked." That's certainly true of this song -- and it's also definitely catchy as heck.

Edward and Jane 


 

I thought I'd send us out on Edward and Jane , a six-piece"folkicana" band from Chattanooga, TN led by husband-and-wife duo Timothy Edward Carpenter (guitar/vocals) and Emilie Jane Carpenter (mandolin/vocals). "Hold Your Own" is redolent with gorgeous harmonies and anthemic hooks that all of our heavy hearts could use right now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Little Miss -- American Dream

When you've got a voice like Hayley Johnson's, you had better do something with it. I don't mean pursue a singing career; I mean pursue a career that counts. Thompson, performing under the name The Little Miss, is doing just that. On her new EP American Dream (released in August), The Little Miss interrogates the mythos that surrounds Americana.



The Little Miss' singing invokes power pop singers like Florence Welch but the earthy acoustic guitars and lonesome whistling keep us tethered to this mortal plane. The title track, "American Dream," sets the tone. The Little Miss invokes common symbols of American culture -- blue jeans, cherry pie -- to list all of the things we love but concludes that list with the thing we need: freedom. This sensibility carries through in "A Ride Along the Mountain Valley" and "Red, White, & True": the music invokes simpler times, but it also questions if those times were truly so simple. American Dream is a reminder that political music doesn't have to be angry or pointed: it just needs to hit home by being as direct as possible. Above all else, American Dream, is a beautiful album with important songwriting -- and the Little Miss is only going to fly higher.

The Little Miss -- Official, Facebook, Purchase on iTunes

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 33

It’s another live episode! Rachel is great at weddings, but Von skips them and cuts straight to the party. Also, Rachel divulges some family secrets. Von spills a few secrets, too -- about the Power Rangers. Also, Is Von drunk?! Short answer - no*.
*Long answer - Von is slurring his speech because he keeps getting his own audio delayed in his headphones during this live recording. Even though he could have been drinking as well.
  1. The Hold Steady - “Eureka” (Eureka w/Esther)
  2. Juliana Strangelove, “Far From Moscow (Single)
  3. Town Mountain - “Life And Debt” (New Freedom Blues)
  4. Perry Serpa, “Dirty Dishes” (w. Laura Cantrell) (Wherefore Art Thou?)
  5. Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room - “My Human Being” (Party Adjacent)
  6. Tender Glue, “Rudy” (Closet Leftovers)
  7. William Elliott Whitmore - “Don’t Pray On Me [Bad Religion cover] (Kilonova)
  8. JP Harris “Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing” (Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing)
  9. Joe McMahon - “It All Went Black” (Another Life)
  10. Marcus: The Apex Predator!, “What Say You?” (The Fury of Almost)

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