The Romantic Comedy-Let’s Be Sad Together

  Sometimes bands don’t make it. Even the really good ones have a hard time breaking through and getting heard. So it always warms my musical heart when someone who didn’t make it decides to give it another go. From the ashes of The Great American Novel came the band Lame (based for a short time in LA), now (in NYC) known as The Romantic … Continue reading The Romantic Comedy-Let’s Be Sad Together

Q and A With Guitarist Doug Gillard of Guided By Voices

When I was offered the opportunity to interview a member of Bob Pollard’s Guided By Voices, I knew I wasn’t the person to do it. I have a very basic knowledge of the band, so my questions would be stupid softball questions you hear on shows like “Good Morning America” during their fluff pieces about dogs that can dial a telephone or something of that … Continue reading Q and A With Guitarist Doug Gillard of Guided By Voices

On a personal note…with Layne Montgomery

   Oasis – “Don’t Look Back In Anger”  You know how in every high school movie there’s a kid with long hair that exclusively wears classic rock band tees and is probably hilariously stoned? That was me, but it was middle school and I was aggressively straight edge. I don’t even think I knew what pot was. Every day, I proudly wore Led Zeppelin and … Continue reading On a personal note…with Layne Montgomery

Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 3

One thing I love about DIY music is that it comes at you from every direction at any time. You always have to be looking, or you’ll miss 99% of it. The bands don’t have to adhere to a release schedule, so they just drop a single or album whenever they want. That’s what happened this week, as Oliver Ignatius let loose another collection of … Continue reading Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 3

Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 2

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Last October Oliver Ignatius released Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen-Section 1. Not so much a greatest hits compilation as a sampler of the artists that had been recording in his studio. Just nine months later we’ve received Section 2-a selection of 12 songs that represent the past year in Mama Coco’s history. A few of these bands have been featured here before, so I’ll get those out of the way first.

It’s been a pretty great year so far for Ignatius and company. Of the releases through today, four of them have tracks on my top 25 songs of the year so far. Also, albums by Oh! My Blackbird and The All-About find themselves on my top 25 albums. Not too shabby. The songs on this new compilation that also show up on my songs list are The Great American Novel’s “Layne Montgomery Is No Good At Girls” and “The Stick Song” by Oh! My Blackbird. Both fantastic songs and great albums. Check them out!

The lead track for Section 2 is “Sadie Hawkins,” the new single from The All-About. It seems like a continuation from their album Winterpop, with a bit more influence from The Killers. All the tunes by Zac Coe have an upbeat surface that’s constantly battling the darkness trying to bubble over. He has a great summery atmosphere around his music that makes his songs the most accessible to mainstream audiences (for better or worse).

One of my favorites of the bands I was not familiar with going in is Dr Skinnybones. Their song “Bad Education” is lyrically clever and musically compelling. Dynamics change from surf pop and punk to soul and country while Jake Williams sings about acceptance in American society. The lines “As we walk the streets I always knew, I will sing the songs that I usually do. Darlin don’t you ever think that I’m too dumb for you? I’m not good for you,” are delivered with equal parts anger and humility. That makes this one go from a merely well put together song to a great one. Continue reading “Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 2”