Category Archives: 2015

Gold-Bears (Atlanta, GA)

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Photo by Sara Rachele.

Gold-Bears — For You

“The personality that shines through on the band’s songs has helped them carve out a comfortable niche somewhere between bright pop and aggressive, noisy rock.”

— Paste Magazine

Gold-Bears’ second full-length, Dalliance, is a record about regret. It reminds you of that time you lied to your friend when you said you were too busy to hang out, but instead went to the bar alone. Or when you sent that really shitty email to your brother about something that really has no bearing anymore, because you were too caught up in the moment to think clearly. It also reminds you of the time you got divorced… from whatever or whomever.

In the past two years since Gold-Bears released their debut album Are You Falling in Love?, main Bear Jeremy Underwood gathered a new crop of friends to carry out his fuzz-filled visions. Dalliance is more focused and abrasive than that 2011 debut, combining their noise-pop influences from forebears like Boyracer and The Wedding Present with shades of the post-hardcore, emo and post-punk on which the band all cut their musical teeth. This is not to say that Gold-Bears gave up impossibly catchy song-writing, just that their signature indie punk anthems are now even sharper, the guitars even more slashing, and the songs even more harrowing and heartfelt than ever.

Dalliance opens with the anthemic “Yeah, Tonight,” a proper pop song featuring a duet between Underwood and Emma Kupa (of the defunct London indiepop band Standard Fare) that sets the agenda right away — sharp melodies and even sharper guitars, all whizzing by in less than three minutes. “Chest” rushes in almost immediately after, barely two and a half minutes of punk energy and fizzing feedback.

The stomping “From Gainesville to Tallahassee” features a gnarly feedback guitar solo and backing vocals from Black Tambourine’s Pam Berry. “Punk Song No. 15″ is as described, a blazing flash that condenses the history of UK noisy pop into just over one minute. “I Hope They’re Right” and the lovely, jangling “Hey, Sophie” show how much the band have expanded their range, slowing the pace, turning up the jangle and taking on the big subjects.

Gold-Bears cover a lot of territory, musical and lyrical, in Dalliance’s 32 minutes and by the time that we reach the miniature epic of closer “Fathers And Daughters” we realize that we’re watching a band and a song-writer hit their stride, turning in an album that’s exciting, thoughtful and infectious.

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Ryan Schaefer (of Royal Bangs) (Knoxville, TN)

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Photo by Sean Molin.

The Royal Bangs — Dim Chamber

Ryan Schaefer is the singer/songwriter for the band Royal Bangs. As a member of that band, he made appearances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and numerous festivals throughout the US and Europe, as well as a performance on Late Night with David Letterman.

Backed by an array of percussion and synth loops, as well as a homemade light rig, his new solo material retains some recognizable characteristics from his work with the band, but moves in a decidedly more electronic, experimental direction.

Buke and Gase (Hudson, NY)

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Buke & Gase — Hard Times

“On each of their releases to date, Buke & Gase have never been anything less than absolutely thrilling.”

— Pitchfork

Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez perform genuine, contradictory, rhythmically dense, melodically driven sonic ear candy with gingerly handled instruments of disproportionate focus onto so for with which one might exclaim “That’s only two people?!” to which the e-cig off-gassing suspicious fumes from the tender edge of another’s lip replies “…Perhaps”. Always accounting for self-sufficiency, they aim to perform each sound live, utilizing multiple limbs to manipulate their sonic space. The self designed instruments referred to in their nom de plume are filtered through some stuff, transforming what was once a regular boring sound into pure Zing, the flavor. The girl sings her heart out; medics will siren their arrival shortly after the final note to replace her throbbing meat-ball with scotch tape and pliers.

Buke And Gase have performed festivals and stages throughout North America and Europe with: Animal Collective, Deerhoof, Death Grips, Flying Lotus, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Owen Pallett, Tinariwen, Extra Life, Daniel Higgs, Tune Yards, Reggie Watts, The National, Mission of Burma, Tomahawk, Talk Normal, The Ex. Festivals: All Tomorrow?s Parties, Moogfest, Big Ears, Bang On A Can, Pop Montreal, Cross-Linx, Fusion Fest and more.

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The Kernal and The New Strangers (Jackson, TN)

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The Kernal and The New Strangers — Tenn Sun

“The Kernal fills his music with mid-century twang evoking Porter Wagoner one minute and Gram Parsons the next. He even rasps his way through the rapid-fire verses of “Green Green Sky” like Bob Dylan… which is appropriate, since one of Dylan’s former engineer/producers, Jeff Powell, produced the tune.”

— American Songwriter

Based in Jackson, TN, The Kernal & His New Strangers call the Downtown Tavern home and from that halfway point between two Tennessee music mecca’s, tour the country with their home­grown brand of Southern mystique. Tied deeply to the legacy of the wandering musician and the historic Grand Ole Opry, the Kernal, a southern gentleman with an old soul and youthful ambition, found his sound and showmanship in the greats of the classic Country music scene like Del Reeves. “My dad,” The Kernal reminisces, explaining the impetus of the band, “met Sleepy LaBeef at Limebaugh’s Restaurant in Nashville. Lonzo & Oscar were looking for a drummer and he asked my dad if he could play a shuffle beat on the table. He did and he left for a 10­day run the next day. It worked out because soon he was playing with Sleepy.” From there, his father found his way to The Kendalls, and eventually to the legendary Del Reeves, with whom he would play until Reeves’ death in 2007. His father died in September of the same year and the seed was planted.

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Bo White Y Su Orquesta (Charlotte, NC)

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Bo White Y Su Orquesta — National Love And Other Tyrants

A bass, percussion, and saxophone driven romp through the mind of songwriter Bo White. The results lie somewhere between Paul Simon and Sun Ra.

Waking Astronomer (Atlanta, GA)

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Waking Astronomer — Br'er Rabbit

Waking Astronomer is the group venture of solo artists Afua Richardson (vocals/flute/effects), Alexa Lima (keys/synthesizers/sounds), and Deku (production/drums/bass). Amongst other influences, the band combines experimental beats with electronic and jazz instrumentation.

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Eugenius Neutron (Birmingham, AL)

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Eugenius Neutron — Jazzy Belle

“…Eugenius Neutron is the perfect blend of dope storytelling and well thought out rhyme schemes… Many rappers talk about similar subjects but Eugenics sets himself apart from the pack with clever lines… a well deserved 5 stars.”

— Concrete Magazine

Eugenius has been sharing his hip hop doctrine from the tender age of nine. The tone of his music began to change once he began high school and started venturing into the city. Eager to flood the streets with his music and taking a note from MP, a legend in Birmingham who created a street buzz with his self-marketing techniques, Eugenius released multiple mixtapes and flooded the streets selling his CD’s and performed all throughout the Birmingham metroplex.

With money saved from working at nightclubs and profit from his CD’s, Eugenius put himself in college at Alabama A&M in Huntsville. Without a booming hip hop community in the college town, he joined the poetry society and began creating music that was less mainstream, more conscious and relatable. The BET Black College Tour gave him an outlet to showcase his incredible wordplay through their annual freestyle battle that Eugene won two years in a row. During the time, he began collaborating with his good friend and producer B-Flat Trax. Their song “Pass Me By” expanded his fan-base and became popular in the city of Huntsville.

“I stopped wanting to be like the artists who I looked up to while I was in high school and wanted to be myself and find my own voice,” remembers Eugenius. “The atmosphere in Huntsville was much more productive. I was able to be more creative. Birmingham is a tough place to live and develop. Huntsville gave me that space and opportunity.”

After mastering mixtapes, in 2011 Eugenius decided to release his first studio recording with all original music. “The Brainstorm”, spawned two singles, “Pass Me By” and “Searching for my Zen”. The project was sold on iTunes but was available for a free download on sites such as Datpiff and Bandcamp. The following year, he released the mixtape “Million Dollar Dreams”, which was given a five star rating by Concrete Magazine. In the following year, expanding his musical boundaries Eugenius elected to offer his fans a jazz influenced project. He documented his past experiences and interactions with the nightlife he was accustomed to in “The Roaring 2000’s: Beauties and the Beast”. The collection showcased a tale of a modern day bachelor and gentleman. Four of the songs were regularly featured in the Alabama Now segment on 95.7 Jamz in Birmingham.

His upcoming release “Euniversal Understanding” is an evolution of a young kid who dedicated his life to music for the love of hip hop. His story is a coming of age tale that shows the impact of music on a young man destined to share his stories and enlighten the world through song.

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Dalmatian (Macon, GA)

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Dalmatian — Hickies

“While so many indie folk groups try to chase the success of Mumford & Sons, Dalmatian plays great old-school folk rock with enough soul to remind you that their hometown of Macon was the home of Otis Redding. ”

— Josh Jackson, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Paste Magazine

In search of the ever-elusive Song of the South one need not look in the back of a mud-splattered pickup truck or hike the hills in search of pickers and fiddlers, for the tune that emanates from the heart of Dixie can be heard echoing from the basement of the Macon, Georgia home occupied by the quartet of twenty-somethings that make up the adaptable musical collective known as Dalmatian. Dalmatian seeks to provide an experience not unlike eating a damn good slice of pie. Their jaunty tunes are an offering of a fleeting presence of savory indulgence that will probably make you shake your booty Gathered and raised in bars on the arboreally-labeled, spacious streets of Poplar and Cherry in the geographically-true Heart of Georgia, these penmen of buoyant melody aim, with a sincere sense of humble honesty, to gratify. Dalmatian has released two EPs: Dances with Dalmatian and Obscure Discoteca.

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The Sheiks (Memphis, TN)

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Photo by Don Perry.

The Sheiks — She Said All These Things

“Lead singer Frank McLallen sounding a lot like Mick Jagger while he howls over impressive guitar solos drenched with reverb and distortion.”

— Chris Shaw, Memphis Flyer

This Memphis garage rock three-piece has connections all over the current Memphis scene. Frank McLallen also plays bass with Memphis punks Ex-Cult, Keith Cooper’s home studio just finished recording a new single for another Goner artist Nots, and drummer Graham Winchester recently released his first solo album. The band also backs Jack Oblivian.

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PRECUBED (Pensacola, FL)

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PRECUBED — Corners

PRECUBED is the solo project of Aaron Finlay. He has been recording as PRECUBED since 2009 and has released a new EP titled “Voices.” Finlay enlisted some of Pensacola’s finest musicians to perform his compositions live, featuring members of Holopaw, Isle and Imaginary Air Show.

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