Friday, June 7, 2013

We must believe in magic.

Lately I've been getting into all sorts of trippy stuff. Learning about the nature of things. How to change the world around you and how to live your life. Reading about love, religion,and magic. It's actually quite serendipitous that I've happened onto Crystal Gale's "We Must Believe In Magic". At it's heart, the song is about learning to accept that not everyone knows where they're going, but, if you believe in magic, in destiny, in God (if you like), in some sort of guiding force in this universe (or multiverse, if you like), you can control your own destiny.


We must be out of our minds. 
Still, we are shipmates bound for tomorrow and everyone here's flying blind. 
Oh, we must believe in magic. 
We must believe in the guiding hand. 
If you believe in magic, you'll have the universe at your command.

Gale performed the song on The Muppet Show in 1977. The Muppets were always spouting off little nuggets about love and life and whatnot. And that's because Jim Henson really believed in the power of magic and laughter. If you remember, in the original Muppet Movie, the finale song is all about reaching your aspirations and really believing in yourself:

Life's like a movie, write your own ending.
Keep believing, keep pretending.

To finish this little thing, everyone should listen to Johnny Cash's cover of "We Must Believe In Magic", from his Adventure of Johnny Cash album. It adds depth and poignancy to the already great song.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Introducing: Jackson Breit

I went through a phase with post-R&B where I would scour websites looking for stuff that sounded like smoke, sex, and horns. Too bad I never found Jackson Breit during that phase. I did find him last week though, after seeing a post about him on The Burning Ear. The post was about his new song "It's On Tonight", which wouldn't really be out of place on JT's 20/20 Experience or any Robin Thicke album.

All of Breit's stuff is available for F-R-E-E on his Soundcloud. Some of his tunes lean even more towards alt-R&B, with remixed versions of other artists going underneath his voice, and others still have a more classic soul feel. Him being from New Orleans puts him in an outstanding creative community and allows for him to draw influence from his life for songs like "Sunny Days & Hurricanes". My personal favorite original is "Pistol Girl."

Look into Jackson Breit. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Introducing: Houndmouth

Houndmouth has roots in Kentucky and Indiana and, man, do they show. They've managed to perfect a kind of recession rock that's reminiscent of Alabama Shakes, but isn't as bluesy. You'll easily fall in love with these guys if you're a fan of bands like Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, or The Head And The Heart.
Their debut LP "From The Hills Below The City" just dropped yesterday and I picked it up from my local music shop for a test drive around Lexington. It was amazing. An album chock-full of harmony, guitar licks, and americana.
The opening track (and first single released from the album) "On The Road" is easily one of the catchiest tunes on the album and serves well as an introduction for a band that's quickly headed in the right direction.

My favorite song on the album, though, was "Ludlow".

Hop on the Houndmouth train before it's too late. These peeps will be playing a ton of festivals this summer, including Kentucky's own Forecastle Festival. I personally plan to see them play the Belle Of Louisville late night show.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

If You're Looking Back, You'll Never Move Your Feet

I've been a fan of Hey Marseilles since their first album To Travels & Trunks dropped in 2009. Ever since then, I've wanted to see them perform their string-powered folk/pop live...and I would have had that opportunity in Cincinnati on June 25th. Except that that's the same day as Fall Out Boy's St. Louis show. And there's no way I'm missing the comeback tour. Anyways, for the newcomer to Hey Marseilles, you should listen to "Rio". The stand-out track off their first full-length.

And also be sure to check out their second album, Lines We Trace, to see how much they've matured. My personal favorite track is "Looking Back", whose lyrics are featured in the post title.


That particular version of "Looking Back" was recorded at Fuel/Friends Chapel Session in Denver, Colorado. Fuel/Friends is run by the great Heather Browne, who is awesome enough to curate these sessions and then put them up for a free download, the link to which I've provided below. To Download Hey Marseilles' Fuel/Friends Chapel Session, click HERE!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Introducing: X Ambassadors

Sometimes they remind me of Imagine Dragons (who they're currently on tour opening for), sometimes they remind me of Matchbox Twenty, and, whenever Sam Harris hits his falsetto, they remind me of City And Colour. X Ambassadors crafts emotionally complex alt-rock and they make it well.

My first taste of these guys was from this House Of Creatives video they filmed earlier this year.

For some reason, after I saw that video, I forgot to bookmark them or something and they got lost in the shuffle. But, I did like their Facebook page. So when they dropped the "Love Songs Drug Songs" - EP I was all over that thing. It's 6 songs for $4 and, oh my god, is it ever worth it.

While "Litost" was my favorite song the first couple listens, I eventually grew to love "Brother" the most.

These dudes are worth investing in. So buy that EP. And if you're too cheap for that, they're giving away their song "Unconsolable" on their website. Maybe that will convince you.