Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

2011: The Hangover

January 2, 2012

So, the next few days we’ll be tying up some loose ends from 2011.

Rusty G’s sent over a Soundcloud link to their Led Zep-esque tunes; if you’re into old-school riffage, this is your band. “On Repeat” and “Losing You” both have mega lead guitar action, while “Lost Words” forefronts enthusiastic vocals over heavy bass and some chunky chords. Rusty G’s is definitely a band to watch in 2012 – has anyone told NME about these Brits yet?

The Nghiems released a very indie-pop Christmas tune called “Holiday in the OK.” Yes, I am behind. It’s still a good song. Their strong control of mood makes this tune into a winner. If you’ve got snow on the ground (or melancholy in your heart), the mood still works, so pick it up.

Indie-appropriating rapper G-Eazy’s “All I Could Do” is a tour video that I enjoy, because it doesn’t go on too long at just under two minutes.

Happy 2012!

A large amount of odds and ends that mostly have to do with Josh Caress

October 4, 2011

So, Josh Caress and his new band Come On, Pilgrim! are making a record, and they’re funding it with a Kickstarter campaign. If you love Caress’s work as much as I do, you’ll want more tracks that sound as incredible as “The Region of the Summer Stars.” If you read this blog consistently and don’t love Josh Caress’s work yet, I have utterly failed at one of my primary goals. Support Caress and correctly-punctuated band names everywhere by contributing some dollarz.

In other Josh Caress-related news, I heard from his brother Adam (whose old band I reviewed a very long time ago, and who co-runs the blog Mule Variations) that they have TWO MORE musical siblings, who are in this band Ponychase. The song sounds like it could have been lifted from (still) my favorite Josh Caress album, Letting Go of a Dream, which means it’s been chilling in the back of my consciousness since I first heard it. Do yourself a favor and jump on this dreamy wonder.

I rep Norman, Okla., proudly and often. But even if I wasn’t from the same town as The Nghiems, I would still love this video. If you ever played side-scrolling multi-player beat-’em-up arcade games (You know you loved X-men in the arcade), this indie-pop saga will make your heart swoon.

In still further related Caress news, Adam Caress just did an interview on MV with Red Wanting Blue’s songwriter Scott Terry. Red Wanting Blue has been covered here before, and their new album From The Vanishing Point comes out in January. But because they’re awesome, they’re streaming the album, one song at a time, until it’s all up and out in the universe. If you like good ’90s pop, you’ll love this.

And, finally, it’s October, which means Chris Lawhorn of RunHundred sent over the top running tracks of September from his website. I usually let the data stand, but his commentary (below) is quite interesting. —Stephen Carradini

This month’s list brings two questions to mind:

#1. For how many consecutive months will David Guetta turn up in these top 10 lists? (His new track with Usher made the cut–and he just barely missed making it again with his recent Nicki Minaj collaboration.)

#2. Will Calvin Harris, Benny Benassi or Afrojack be the one that unseats him? (All three are making their second appearances on the charts this month. And, like Guetta, each has begun being billed as the artist on his tracks—rather than being credited as the producer/remixer, which was the case a couple years ago.)

This month’s top 10 is rounded out by a new track from LMFAO, a Britney remix, and a song by Young The Giant—brought most folks’ attention by the band’s surprise inclusion on this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at RunHundred.com–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

Rihanna & Calvin Harris – “We Found Love”
Dev – “In The Dark”
Afrojack & Eva Simons – “Take Over Control”
LMFAO – “Sexy And I Know It”
Chris Brown & Benny Benassi – “Beautiful People”
Shortee & Faust – “Friday Night Special”
Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne – “Motivation (Rebel Rock Remix)”
Britney Spears – “I Wanna Go (Oliver Remix)”
Young The Giant – “My Body”
David Guetta & Usher – “Without You”
—Chris Lawhorn

Brine Webb's morose yet beautiful music captivates

May 11, 2011

Sometimes an album invades my consciousness and takes up residence. It pushes all other music out. It becomes the only thing I want to listen to. It puts me behind on listening to and reviewing other music. Most recently, that album has been Brine Webb‘s O You, Stone Changeling.

Webb’s album is based in the acoustic guitar, but his compositions are so intricate and yet expansive that they transcend genres. The tunes are all, however, completely devastating. From the distressed lyrics to the downtrodden tone of the songs to the artwork, this whole album is under the weather.

But it is morose in the most beautiful way; tunes like “Rrose Hips,” “Paper and Bone” and “Cigarette Tree” impact me in a way few songs are able to. Not only am I able relate to the lyrics and feel the emotion laden in the tunes, the songs hit so close to home that I have to examine myself. Rare is the album that turns the microscope on the listener.

Webb does this by turning an unsparing lens on himself. The themes here of remorse, memory, apathy and even death make other “confessional” artists seem like they’re going through the motions to grab attention. You wanna get really raw? Try writing “Ghost Family.” Try performing “Ghost Family.” Wow.

The elegant acoustic rumination “Rrose Hips” is on my best songs of the year list, as well as the haunting piano tune “Paper and Bone.” I don’t put many songs on the list, but Brine has done it twice. The album itself is definitely on my list, as you can’t have this many good songs and not be there. It’s an album that will grab and hold you. Listen to the whole thing here. And do yourself a favor and listen to the whole thing. It’s worth it.

Check the album release party this Friday at Pepe Delgado’s on Campus Corner in Norman. The Nghiems will open, and they’re also releasing a CD. Bonus!

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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