Emptying My Inbox, part 1

I get a lot of music submissions every week, and I’m grateful that bands and artists are seeing out my opinion (and the little exposure that provides). I really like listening to everything and getting to know the bands that send me stuff. One thing I don’t really dig is reviewing singles. I’ve mentioned this before, but anyone can strike gold once. I want to … Continue reading Emptying My Inbox, part 1

Goodman-What We Want

What We Want is the second major release by Goodman, and the first full-length record. Michael Goodman wrote all the music and lyrics for the record, and then surrounded himself with the Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen All-Stars to play along with him: Zac Coe of The All-About on drums, Oliver Ignatius on bass and harmonium (as well as behind the board producing), and Josh Aubin … Continue reading Goodman-What We Want

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”

The All-About: Winterpop

There’s something thrilling about hearing pop music perfectly performed. The style has been done to death, and in the last twenty years or so, it’s been pretty bad. But when it’s done right, pop music can still be magical, as it is on The All-About’s Winterpop. Zac Coe has somehow managed to pen eleven songs that work together or alone equally well. Lifting any one … Continue reading The All-About: Winterpop