Tag: Dallas TX

New Video: Watch Acclaimed Indie Rock Act Night Beats Take on The Sonics

Deriving its name from Sam Cooke’s Night Beat album, the Seattle, WA-based psych rock/garage rock act Night Beats was formed by its Dallas, TX-born, Seattle, WA-based founding member and creative mastermind Danny “Lee Blackwell” Rajan Billingsley back in 2009 when Billingsley relocated to Seattle to study comparative religion at the University of Washington. That same year, Billingsley self-recorded the Night Beats debut EP, Street (Atomic), which was released through Holy Twist Records. 

After trying out a couple of different lineups, Billingsley recruited his high school friend and former B.B. Mercy drummer James Traeger to join the band. Traeger relocated from Austin, TX, where he was studying at the time to join Billingsley. The band played for a while as a duo before recruiting Tacoma, WA-born Tarek Wegner (bass), who once played with The Drug Purse and Paris Spleen to join the band. Early in their history, the band toured across North America extensively — and within weeks of releasing the H-Bomb EP the band was signed by Chicago-based label Trouble in Mind Records, who re-released the album in the fall of 2010. The re-released EP wound up topping several college radio while helping the band develop a reputation for a sound that incorporates elements of early R&B, psych rock, blues rock, funk and soul. (Unsurprisingly, the band has toured with the likes of The Black Angels, Roky Erickson, The Zombies, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Strange Boys, Black Lips, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Growlers.) 

The following year, the band released a split EP with The UFO Club through Austin-based label The Reverberation Appreciation Society, which they followed up with their self-titled debut album. They also released a 2012 split single with TRMRS, which was released through Volcom Vinyl Club. 2013 saw the release of their sophomore album Sonic Bloom through The Reverberation Appreciation Society. The band supported the album with touring across North America, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia. 

2014 saw the band go through the first of a series of lineup changes. Tarek Wegner left the band and eventually released an EP What Colors Last, as well as a full-length effort Soul Fuckers, which was supported by a West Coast tour with Tomorrow’s Tulips. Meanwhile, Night Beats signed to London-based label Heavenly Recordings, who released the band’s acclaimed Robert Levon Been co-produced third album Who Sold My Generation in 2016. The album also featured Been, who’s best known for his work with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club contributing bass. Jakob Bowden was recruited to tour in support of the album. 

The last half of 2016 saw the band go on an UK and European Union tour without James Traeger. Throughout 2017, Evan Synder toured with the band. During a 2018 US tour opening for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jonah Swilley sat in on drums with the band. Last May saw the band touring Spain with Evan Synder playing drums. Bowden wasn’t with the band either. 

This year has been a rather busy year for Billingsley. Night Beats’ Dan Auerbach-produced Myth Of A Man was released in January — and the album found the band’s founder playing with a backing band of session musicians, who had worked with the likes of Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin. Perhaps as a way of explaining Traeger’s and Bowden’s absence from the album, the official press release simply said that the album was “written during a particularly destructive period of the band.” Additionally, Billingsley along with an all-star backing cast featuring The Mystery Lights’ Mike Brandon, Black Lips’ Cole Alexander and Warbly Jets’ Julien O’neil recorded and released a Record Store Day album, Night Beats Perform The Sonics’ Boom, an exact track-by-track over of The Sonics classic (and beloved) 1966 album Boom. 

Night Beats Perform The Sonics’ Boom finds Billingsley and an indie rock All-Star backing band treading a line between faithful cover meant to keep the legacy of The Sonics’ classic album alive for contemporary listeners while imbuing the material with a fuzzy  and soulful take. Album single “Let The Good Times Roll” manages to sound almost like it were released sometime between 1966-1968 but with a gritty, mod rock vibe reminiscent of The Who Sings My Generation-era The Who. 

Directed, shot, and edited by James Oswald on what looks like grainy Super 8mm film, the recently released video follows Billingsley and his backing band on tour, split between the yellow and white lines of endless blacktop, the band playing sweaty and passionate  shows in front of rapturous fans, and intimate backstage footage featuring the band getting themselves together before playing. As someone, who has covered and seen thousands of shows, the video captures the spirit and soul of a show in a way that feels warmly familiar. 

   

New Video: The Rocket Summer Releases a Slick and Symbolic Visual for Breezy Summer Anthem “Peace Signs”

Bryce Avary is a Dallas, TX-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer, who’s the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed solo indie rock/indie pop project The Rocket Summer. His growing catalog includes six previously released full-length albums and a couple of EPs — including 2010’s Of Men and Angels, which landed at #1 on the Top Album spot on iTunes and 2012’s Life Will Write the Words, which landed at #58 on the Billboard 200 and #12 on the Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums Chart, as well as #12 on the Top Independent Albums Charts.  

Avary’s forthcoming Rocket Summer album Sweet Shivers is slated for an August 2, 2019 release and the album’s third and latest single is the anthemic “Peace Signs.” Centered around a breezy and summery groove, and an enormous Silversun Pickups-like hook, the song is one part ardent plea for peace and one part ironically detached satire, meant to play loudly while cruising in your car. 

Directed by Dillon Slack and Ben Busch, the recently released, slickly shot video follows Avary in a white convertible, wearing oversized, burnt-orange sunglasses, hair blowing in the wind and driving towards the beach — with two masked figures as passengers, who represent contrasting emotions.  

Live Footage: Alice Merton Performs Viral Hit “No Roots” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Alice Merton is a Canadian-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and pop artist, who has lived a rather nomadic life, as she was raised in Canada, finished high school in Germany and then with the rest of her family, relocated to England. Of course, music was a major part of her life, no matter where on Earth she was; she started taking classical piano lessons when she was five and by the time she was nine, she was introduced to vocal training. As the story goes, after spending the better part of a decade being classically trained, Merton discovered contemporary songwriting during one of her high school courses in Germany. And from that point forward, she went on to study songwriting and began pursuing her dream of becoming a professional singer/songwriter.

Naturally, while in school Merton would up working with a number or producers on projects and as you can imagine, finding the right producer, who can both compliment and challenge a singer/songwriter as a true collaborator is a rarity. And when she met Berlin-based producer Nicolas Rebscher, Merton quickly recognized that she finally found her musical match; in fact, the duo have managed to specialize in an anachronistic  sound that features Merton’s soulful pop belter vocals over a slick production consisting of analog synths, classic soul music-inspired instrumentation paired with hook driven, contemporary songwriting. 

Merton’s swaggering and bluesy debut single “No Roots,” features Merton’s self-assured and soulful pop belter vocals paired with a Rebscher production that features enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line, brief blasts of funk guitar, squiggly blasts of synths and a rousingly anthemic hook that nods at Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Taylor Swift and others but while managing to feature a narrator that simultaneously expresses a wizened and resilient spirit; but just underneath there’s a visceral ache over a life frequently thrown in disarray with sudden moves before the narrator could get adjusted to a new place, and the realization that she’s never quite belonged. 

Already “No Roots” has won the up-and-coming Merton an immense amount of attention across the European Union, Stateside and elsewhere, as the song has already seen millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube, and has recently been added to the playlists of several Stateside Adult Alternative Album radio stations, including stations in Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, San Francisco, Minneapolis, the NYC area, as well as Sirius Alt Nation. Adding to a growing profile, thanks in part to the success of her debut single, Merton recently signed to renowned indie label Mom + Pop Music. Recently Merton, along with her backing band recently made their national television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she performed her viral hit. 

Alice Merton is a Canadian-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and pop artist, who has lived a rather nomadic life, as she was raised in Canada, finished high school in Germany and then with the rest of her family, relocated to England. Of course, music was a major part of her life, no matter where on earth she was — she started taking classical piano lessons when she was five and by the time she was nine, she was introduced to vocal training. As the story goes, after spending the better part of a decade under classical training, Merton discovered songwriting through one of her high school courses while in Germany. And from that point forward, she went on to study songwriting and began pursuing her dream of becoming a professional singer/songwriter.

Naturally, during her studies Merton worked with a number of producers and finding the right producer who both compliments and challenges a singer/songwriter in the way that a true collaborator — and in turn, a great producer — should do, is a rarity, and when she met Berlin-based producer Nicolas Rebscher, Merton quickly recognized that she found her musical match; in fact, the collaborative duo have specialized in pairing vintage, analog synthesizers with organic arrangements based around propulsive drum and bass. Unsurprisingly then, on Merton’s swaggering and (somewhat) bluesy debut single “No Roots,” Merton’s self-assured and soulful pop belter vocals are paired with a Rebscher production that features enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line, brief blasts of funk guitar, squiggly blasts of synths and a rousingly anthemic hook. And in some way, the song is a slick meshing of both the familiar and the unfamiliar, as the song sonically nods (a little bit) at Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Taylor Swift and a lengthy list of major pop star contemporaries; however, the song has a visceral ache, as it based on her own personal experiences, recognizing that her life was frequently thrown in disarray, she’s never been able to claim one place as a home.

Already “No Roots” has won the up-and-coming Merton an immense amount of attention both across the European Union and the States and elsewhere, as the song has already seen millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube, and has recently been added to the playlists of several Stateside Adult Alternative Album radio stations, including stations in Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, San Francisco, Minneapolis, the NYC area, as well as Sirius Alt Nation. And as a result of the action the single has seen, merton recently signed with Mom + Pop Music; but along with that, I suspect that over the next few months that we’ll be hearing this single quite a bit, and more from Merton, who seems destined to be a pop star.

 

 

Merton has a series of live dates across Germany throughout the end of August and the fall, and is planning stops across North America and elsewhere so be on the lookout; in the meantime, European friends, check out the live dates below.
TOUR DATES:

 

08/25 Gamescon – Cologne, Germany

08/26 Laternenfest – Halle, Germany

09/9 Rennbahn Berlin Hoppegarten – Berlin, Germany

09/10 Lollapalooza Berlin – Berlin, Germany

09/14 SWR3 New Pop Festival – Baden Baden, Germany

09/15 NDR 2 Soundcheck Festival – Göttingen, Germany

9/20-23 Reeperbahn Festival – Hamburg, Germany

11/17 New Fall Festival – Düsseldorf, Germany

 

 

Last month, I wrote about  Denton, TX-based psych rock/prog rock quartet Pearl Earl, an act that can trace its origins to 2014, when its founding members Ariel Hartley, Bailey K. Chapman and Stefanie Lazcano started the band as a way to jam, party and fuck around — that is until, the the band became a serious project; and in fact, by the following year, the Denton-based band began touring regionally and nationally to support their debut EP Karaoke Superstar, a wild, kaleidoscopic meshing of psych rock, glam rock, prog rock, punk rock and synth pop.

Building upon their rapidly growing profile, the band’s founding trio spent last year writing and then recording their self-titled debut effort at Dallas’ Elmwood Recording — with the band recruiting Chelsey Danielle, after the album’s completion. And although Hartley may be the band’s principle songwriting, reportedly each song is its own living, breathing animal. Album single “Star in the Sky” featured tribal-inspired percussion, shimmering and futuristic synths and bombastic power chords in a mind-bending and ambitious song structure that bears an uncanny resemblance to 2112-era Rush, thanks to a retro-futuristic vibe. The album’s latest single “Captain Howdy” continues the lysergic vibe, as it features shimmering, arpeggio synths, a propulsive rhythm section and heavily pedal effected guitars in an prog rock-leaning song structure that quickly switches from trippy synths to a lengthy, power chord guitar driven coda — and the amazing thing about the song is that they manage to do that within a 3 minute and change runtime.

The band is currently in the middle of an extensive Midwest and Southwest tour. Check out the remaining tour dates below.

 

Summer Tour Dates
07.04•High Dive (Milwaukee, WI)
07.08•Trees w/ Spoonfed Tribe (Dallas, TX)
07.15•Dan’s Silverleaf w/ Mother Tongues (Denton, TX —- Album Release)
07.18•Club Dada w/ Post Animal (Dallas, TX)
07.22•Mass (Ft. Worth, TX —- Album Release)
07.29•Taps N Caps w/ MyDolls (Denton, TX)
08.07•Andy’s Bar w/ Sailor Poon, Sunbuzzed, Thin Skin, Flesh Narc (Denton, TX)

 

New Video: Goof Off with The Texas Gentleman in the Visuals for Their Funky Single “Habbie Doobie”

Currently comprised of core group of bandleader and founding member Beau Bedford, Nik Lee, Daniel Creamer, Matt McDonald, Ryan Ake and a constantly evolving and rotating cast of collaborators and friends, The Texas Gentlemen were initially assembled as an all-purpose backing band for an eclectic array of singer/songwriters including Leon Bridges, Nikki Lane, Shakey Graves, Delta Spirit’s Matthew Logan Vasquez, Jack Ingram, Terry Allen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ray Benson, Joe Ely and many others, and in a similar fashion to The Wrecking Crew, The Muscle Shoals Swampers (who once backed Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and lengthy list of soul legends), Booker T. and The M.G.’s and The Band. Last year, the members of The Texas Gentlemen backed the legendary Kris Kristofferson at this first Newport Folk Festival appearance in more than 45 years, and the set lead to a series of critically applauded shows across Texas. 

Building on their growing reputation as a go-to backing band, the band signed to New West Records, who will release their full-length debut effort TX Jelly on September 15, 2017. Recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, the album, which was produced by the band’s Bedford was recorded live to tape over four days in a raucous recording session and features material that touches on the blues, soul, folk, country rock, gospel and Southern rock. As Bedford described the recording sessions to the  folks at Paste, “We set up our own version of Rock ‘n’ Roll Summer camp and invited our friends down to FAME studios. We figured at worst, we would have a great time as friends hanging out in one of the most historic studios in America. There was so much mojo once we turned all of the gear on, sounds just started popping out of the speakers, and the songwriters couldn’t help but feed off the energy. TX Jelly is the fruition of years of kinship and a deep hunger by our collective group for American roots music.”

“Habbie Doobie,” TX Jelly’s first single is a sweaty, funky and hook driven bit of down home, Southern rock that sounds as though it draws from The Allman Brothers, The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Black Crowes but with the free-flowing improvised feel of a bunch of old friends jamming and hitting upon a groove, with each individual musician knowing where the other was going next. And while easily displaying the cool, self-assuredness of old pros, the song is a decidedly bold introduction to the band as an individual unit.In fact, interestingly enough the recently released video for “Habbie Doobie” features the members of The Texas Gentlemen jamming and goofing off in their Dallas, TX-based Modern Electric Sound Recorders Studio in a way that you’d almost expect them to do. 

Comprised of founding members Ariel Hartley, Bailey K. Chapman and Stefanie Lazcano with newest member, Chelsey Danielle, the Denton, TX-based psych rock/prog rock quartet Pearl Earl can trace its origins to when its founding members started the band in 2014 as a way to jam, party and fuck around, but quickly became a serious band; in fact, by the following year, the Denton-based band began touring both regionally and nationally to support their debut EP Karaoke Superstar, an effort which revealed their sound to be a wild and psychedelic and kaleidoscopic mix of glam rock, prog rock, punk and synth pop.

Building on their rapidly growing regional and national profile, the band’s founding trio spent the better part of 2016 writing and then recording their self-titled debut effort at DallasElmwood Recording by Alex Bhore and Brack Cantrell. The band expanded into a quartet with the addition of Danielle, who joined the band after the album’s completion. And while Hartley may be the band’s principle songwriter, each song reportedly is its own animal; in fact the band’s latest single “Star in the Sky” features tribal-inspired percussion, shimmering and futuristic synths, and bombastic power chords in an mind-meltingly expansive and ambitious song structure with explosive, twist and turns that seem excitingly sudden and unexpected. On some level, the song bears an uncanny resemblance to 2112-era Rush, thanks in part to forcefully anthemic hooks, and a retro-futuristic feel; however, if it wasn’t for the subtly yet modern production sheen, you’d be fooled into thinking the song was a lysergic-fueled vision of the future, directly from 1967.

The band will be embarking on a Midwest and Southwest tour throughout June, July and August of this year. Check out tour dates below.

Summer Tour Dates

06.16•The Electric Church w/ Big Bill (Austin, TX)
06.17•The Yeti (Barnacle Banger Fest) (Tulsa, OK)
06.17•Spinster Records (Tulsa, OK)
06.18•Club Dada w/ Girl Pool and Snail Mail (Dallas, TX)
06.28•The Deli w/ Helen Kelter Skelter (Norman, OK)
06.29•Outland Ballroom w/ The Coax (Springfield, MO)
06.30•The Sinkhole w/ Babe Loards (St. Louis, MO)
07.02•The Empty Bottle w/ The Winstons (Chicago, IL)
07.04•High Dive (Milwaukee, WI)
07.08•Trees w/ Spoonfed Tribe (Dallas, TX)
07.15•Dan’s Silverleaf w/ Mother Tongues (Denton, TX —- Album Release)
07.18•Club Dada w/ Post Animal (Dallas, TX)
07.22•Mass (Ft. Worth, TX —- Album Release)
07.29•Taps N Caps w/ MyDolls (Denton, TX)
08.07•Andy’s Bar w/ Sailor Poon, Sunbuzzed, Thin Skin, Flesh Narc (Denton, TX)

New Video: The Headbangers Ball-Inspired Sounds and Visuals of Power Trip’s “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)”

Comprised of Riley Gale, Blake Ibanez, Chris Ulsh, Nick Stewart and Chris Whetzel, the Dallas, TX-based metal quintet Power Trip have developed a reputation for a bruising sound that draws heavily from 80s and 90s heavy metal; in fact, “Firing Squad,” off their recently released Nightmare Logic is reminiscent of Slayer, Metallica Iron Maiden and even Motorhead; but with a subtly modern production sheen. And the album’s latest single, “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” continues on a similar, punishing vein as blistering cascades of power chords, propulsive and thundering drumming, howled lyrics and an emphasis on rousingly anthemic, mosh pit-friendly hooks.

Directed by Andy Capper, the recently released music video for the bruising “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” uses footage from a rowdy hometown show and cuts clips of warfare — including soldiers firing machine guns, bombs blowing up tanks, cars and other things, nuclear bomb tests and the stupid, orange-skinned face of blind, swaggering, Mussolini-like, new fascism. Reportedly, the visuals emphasize Gale’s furious lyrics, which focus on devaluation of human life by those who’ve gained immense power through money and politics, and while visually being reminiscent of the sorts of videos you’d see on Headbanger’s Ball.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Goldfrapp Return with a Buzzing, Dance-Floor Friendly, New Single

With 2013’s Tales of Us, Goldfrapp — comprised of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory — released what may have arguably been one of their hauntingly gorgeous and lushly atmospheric efforts they had ever released as the album’s material leaned more towards compositions featuring piano, stunning string arrangements, classically strummed guitar paired with Alison Goldfrapp’s equally gorgeous and arresting vocals. The duo’s much anticipated follow up to Tales of Us, Silver Eye is slated for a March 31, 2017 release though Mute Records, and the forthcoming album’s first single “Anymore” reveals a radical change in sonic direction with the duo’s sound as the single features enormous, thumping 808-like beats, layers of buzzing and undulating synths paired with Goldfrapp’s sultry vocals — and while bearing a resemblance to Version 2.0-era Garbage, the song possesses a tense impatience and longing at its core.