Pool parties, cold drinks and good looking people in bathing suits…if our summer is half as fun as this new Bronze Radio Return video, we’ll be happy. The Connecticut sextet is an OurStage staple, and “Down There” happens to be one of our favorite songs off their album, Shake! Shake! Shake! BRR have had an exciting year so far, with several television and film placements and a performance at the OurStage Panel finale at SXSW. We look forward to seeing more great things from them in the future!
Purchase Shake! Shake! Shake! on iTunes here.
Michael Tolcher‘s music career had an inauspicious start: busking on Atlanta’s Peachtree Street and hawking tapes recorded on a jambox in his bathroom. Years later, Tolcher’s upgraded his game just a little. After a five-year relationship with A&M/Octone Records, the singer-songwriter is now free to fully explore his art. His music is a reflection of these broadened horizons, and ranges from rootsy rock to synth-driven pop. Fine layers synths and drums for a mid-tempo groove that’s got hooks to spare. On Give Me Your Hand Tolcher slows things down for an acoustic, soulful love-song, made for slow dancing. Likewise, Wishing Well is sweet, maybe even saccharine, acoustic balladry. Tolcher can keep his songs sparse, but he also knows how to flesh them out. On Sooner or Later he brings in organ, guitar and drums for a syncopated rocker. Tolcher’s doing it his way, and the results are one-of-a-kind. But we’d still like to see the jambox make a comeback.
Not every musician can hack his or her way through the overgrowth of bands here in the US to bask in the spotlight of stardom. Then again, not every musician wants to. When LA native Jimmy Kane decided to pursue his career, he hopped the pond over to London. There are certainly whiffs of anglophilia in Kane’s music”a little Beatles here, a little Oasis there. But there’s also a rootsy, homespun element that shows he was born in the USA. The Road to Jericho is an anthem for nights out at the tavern. Meaty electric guitar solos, stomping drums and acoustic strumming will have you raising your tankard in no time. From the mercurial shimmer of Four Leaf Clover to the ramshackle shuffle of Better Days, Kane combines California breeziness with airborne Brit-pop harmonies to create songs that are a little scruffy, a little loose, but full of beauty. Expatriation never sounded so good.
The Mekons have been around long enough to have a sense of history that matches their perspective as first-generation punks”Jon Langford and Tom Greenhalgh co-founded the band during punk’s 1977 Summer of Hate and are still sparking the Mekons’ mix of arty lyrics, provocative politics and punky attitude today. But even for a band with thirty-four years in the rearview mirror, the suffix of the title Ancient & Modern: 1911-2011”the Mekon’s latest album”sounds a bit ambitious in its scope. Since the ˜80s, the band has increasingly filtered its own punk-poet roots through traditional, rootsy influences like folk and country, and that sensibility serves them well as they cast their artistic eye to an era well before their own individual lifetimes.
According to drummer Steve Goulding, who has been manning the Mekons’ throne for over a quarter-century now, Ancient & Modern is concerned with that last fading of one kind of way of life, and that descent into war¦the end of the ninteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the whole Edwardian era. It’s supposed to convey that kind of atmosphere. Pretty much everything in all the songs is concerned with that era. It’s an era of prosperity and ease of living that was fading away and descending into chaos. The trade unions are rising and there’s war all over the world, all the old certainties are slipping away. He adds laughingly of the band members, who are now in their 50s, In our case, all the old chords are slipping away too.