Friday, May 26, 2006

Pilot Episode.....

A friend sent me an email the other and suggested I start a blog in which I mention under-the-radar bands that people do not know, and I thought that sounded like a pretty good idea. When it comes to my music though it's hard to discern which artists people know and do not know. For instance, I know plenty of people who haven't heard of Copeland, yet to me Copeland is a known band. So it's hard to draw the line. With that being said, this first blog is not going to endorse Copeland. Instead this will focus mostly on singer/songwriters and very indie/under the radar/ DIY (do it yourself) bands. Many of these musicians are featured on my iPod and play while I'm at work. My reason for logging all this down is I just feel like more than just myself should be listening to this music. As of now it's starting off with 15 artists. Please let me know your thoughts. I'm pretty sure feedback is going to be essential to keep this thing afloat. How will I know you've listened if you don't comment.

Alas, here is the first installment of They've Never Heard of You Either.

Bartley Fritzsche. This is straight up power pop from the Windy City. Very aggressive guitars, and hooky choruses. One crazed fan has said "If John Mayer and Blink 182 had a child, Bartley Fritzsche would be it." While I don't exactly agree with that, I do think Bartley is making music that should be listened to. Why he isn't on radio is anybody's guess? His CD Gardens and Armies really is worth a listen.

21 Reasons. This band is good solely on the fact that their vocalist is classically trained and knows how to throw his voice around. It's like the male voices on American Idol. It demands to be listened to. I'm a sucker for their lyrics and I like the music they present. They're from Kansas City, and while they seem to be low-budget (their website and CD design aren't exactly eye candy) they could go places if enough people gave them a listen.

Shane Hines and The Trance. This is another singer whose voice just grabs you. It's probably one of the moreunique vocal sounds you'll hear, and because of that it may turn you off immediately. Live he is probably the best non-big name guitar player I have seen. He has shredding solos that make your jaw drop. He also can write introspective gentle ballads, and loud soaring rock numbers. He's a big deal in Washington DC and a few places
up and down the Eastern seaboard but other than that he's a no name. They are as real as you can get.

Tom Freund. Well this is a longshot. His music is country and folkish. Like something out of the '60's and 70's.I don't think you'll ever hear him on radio, except for maybe AAA formats or college radio. His lyrics though read like a book and he has beautiful arrangements. I think this is one of those mature, acquired sounds. Definitely more for the Bob Dylan fan inside all of us.

James Michael. Wellll, this is a risk. His voice is overly whiny and grating so he could alienate you on the first listen. He's big in LA though and has written and produced with many radio friendly acts. Saliva is the first thing that comes to mind. His CD Inhale is a pretty good mix of pop-rock if you enjoy his voice. If you don't, you might want to move on.

Dropline. A flash in the pan that I have no idea what they are doing these days. Paul Ebersold produced their CD and his past credits include 3 Doors Down and Sister Hazel. If you like either of those bands I'm pretty sure you're going to like Dropline. They released a CD entitled You Were Here. The only time I've ever heard it played outside of my own presence was in the college bookstore at Elon a few years ago. Apparently Elon radio dug it enough. Steve Sulikowski is their lead singer and I'd love to know what he's doing with his life. Hopefully making more records.

The Foxymorons. Gosh, what a great name. This music is kinda funky, but it's a lot of fun. They don't seemto take themselves too seriously so that's a huge advantage. If you're in the mood for something light and fun with a bit of a beach boys edge, then definitely check them out.

The Color Bars. This is kinda similar to the above band. However, it's a bit different. The Color Bars are a bit more ambient, a bit more spacey, a bit more daring. I don't think you can compare it to anything. Their song All Your Kitchen Ghosts, is a good indicator of what you're in for. If you like this song, you'll enjoy the Color Bars, if you're not keen on it, maybe it's not your thing.

Divine Magees: Folky chick rock. It has a mature sound to it. These girls aren't 20 somethings with light, simple pop songs. This is a much older sound. You really have to be into it to dig it. Of all the bands listed today, I think they're the one that might not go over so well.

Kim Taylor. I think she is remarkable. Her song Telephone still grabs me everytime I listen to it. It's so haunting. I think I've listened to it 20 to 30 times, and it's still grabbing me. That's a good song. I think she has the potential to be huge. I just think she needs to be heard by the right people.

Abdel Wright: He should be big already but I don't think he'll ever get his due. This is reggae-ish folk-rock with a lot to say. Abdel Wright sings with a point and something to prove. His biography is enough for a screenplay. Definitely something different, but definitely something that should at least be heard. His song Quicksand is his pop hit, but I like the whole album.

Michael Flynn. This guy is a popstar. His music is not for everyone, but I think he could sing just about anything.Prince, Joe Cocker, Elvis, The Beatles I think this guy is just a virtuoso. I haven't heard a song I don't like by him.

The Fruit Bats. This is a lot like the Color Bars and the Foxymorons. If you're not into them, you won't be into

Brindley Brothers: A brother duo that used to own a very popular music venue in New Jersey that moved to DC to open up another music venue and also put out a record. This is light, gentle pop. Not very loud, but very listenable. I don’t think you’ll fall in love with every song, but I think you’ll like enough to want to see them live. Crazy One is my personal favorite. I absolutely love that song.

The Nadas: Former frat boys from Iowa that have quite a big following in the Midwest. Indie publications are picking up on them, and Paste Magazine in Atlanta is definitely high on them. An awesome live band that used to be folk-rock but has now moved into the pop-rock domain. They’ll never make the Top 40, but that shouldn’t matter. Listen and enjoy. The Nadas are anything but nada.


Dougalfield said...

Pretty sweet that you're doing something like this. With all of the music I have, I should do something like this too but I, for one, don't have the time and secondly, couldn't do as good a job as you. Good stuff indeed. Who was your movitation to do this? And where's the band, Weather?

Char said...

I'm curious why do not seem to like the maggees so much -- I've seen them tear it up at a festival for all kinds of people who loved their show...