Wow That’s Neat

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to host a phone interview with Neat—a lo-fi, shred-happy, punk band starting to make a name for themselves down in Southern Louisiana. Neat’s unrelenting fuzzy sound and rich guitar harmonies bring us back to a time when bands like Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, and Sonic Youth were redefining rock music back in the early ‘90s. However, don’t let the fuzz and feedback fool you, because underneath the grungy soundscape are some really catchy and creative melodies. As you can see from the music video for “I Don’t Want to be Your Dad”, the affable and easy-going nature of the music is just a reflection of the band members themselves, which makes for a very fun and genuine listening experience. Check out the interview below for an in-depth conversation on lyricism, future touring plans, and Tony Hawk Pro-Skater 4.

I Hope I Age Like Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder kept Bridgestone rocking past midnight last night.
Stevie Wonder kept Bridgestone rocking past midnight last night.

When my mom found out Stevie Wonder was coming to Nashville, she wanted me to go so badly that she helped me pay for the tickets.  Not that I wouldn’t have tried to go anyways.  Stevie is 64 years old, so who knows how long he’ll be touring?  And word was that he would be playing his seminal 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life in full.

From the moment I found my seat at Bridgestone Arena I knew the show was going to be an extravagant production.  On the stage sat two drum kits, two percussion arrays, seats for a ten-piece string ensemble and six-piece brass section, risers for a horde of backing vocalists, several keyboards and guitars waiting to be played, and of course Stevie’s setup front and center: his signature Hohner Clavinet and a Yamaha electric grand piano.

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What’s Grunge?

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There’s been a lot of talk about grunge since Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994. According to mass media and popular modernized sentiment, the grunge scene put Seattle on the map and revitalized rock music. Bands like Nirvana, those based in the Northwest and perpetuating this innovative sound, are said to have unleashed a new form of culture – grunge – that still carries remnants today.

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Top 6 Deep House Tracks

“Deep house” is kind of a catchall term for laid-back, slower-paced house music using live-sounding instruments. The genre is a contrast to electronic dance music characterized by manipulation, distortion, and “bass”, and features jazz solos, string loops, tropical drums, alongside other sounds plausibly produced by physical objects. This list is about some of the memorable instruments that pop up in deep house tracks, and also serves as a countdown of my personal favorite tracks related to the genre.

6) Omar-S — “The Shit Baby” (2013)
Omar S
Omar S

Instrument Featured: Piano

In the middle of Omar S’ modest 2013 album Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself comes the unexpectedly fun piano jam-out “The Shit Baby”. For the uninitiated deep house fan this track is a great place to start: it starts with hi-hat/hand-clap triplets and a standard background bass kick, before someone hops on the keys for an impromptu crowd-pleaser.

RIYL: “Plastic Dreams”, pre-programmed keyboard beats + mad keys playin’ skills

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