Jim Nelson http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/rss Turn Me On: St. Paul and the Broken Bones http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-st.-paul-and-the-broken-bones/ <p>If this was the early 1970s, Birmingham, Alabama’s <strong>St. Paul And The Broken Bones</strong> — with their stylish, horn-powered, Otis Redding-cum-Al Green-meets-early-Chicago, can’t-get-it-outta-your-head soul music — would own the airwaves and we’d all know their name.</p> <div align="center"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-59104" src="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/st.-paul-broken-bones.jpg" width="475" height="297"></div> <p> </p> <p>Now two albums and two EPs into their career, St. Paul And The Broken Bones have hit the Top 60 on <em>Billboard</em>’s album chart (with their 2014 debut, <em>Half The City</em>), opened for The Rolling Stones (“He’s a cat who can do an Otis Redding — he’s very interesting to watch,” Keith Richards said of frontman Paul Janeway in <em>Rolling Stone</em> in 2015), and they’ve toured internationally. Sounds like a very nice beginning to a career.</p> <p>As with every good story there’s usually an ironic twist, and in this case if not for a pastor’s runaway comment and a last hurrah of a recording session, St. Paul And The Broken Bones never would have happened.</p> <p>Janeway — nicknamed “St. Paul” by his bandmates for his teetotaling, non-smoking ways — was going to become man of the cloth until his then-pastor made the mistake of telling him that Gandhi was probably burning in hell. Eyes thus opened, Janeway turned to accounting. As he studied tax codes and bottom lines, St. Paul sang in a mid-2000s blues-rock group in Birmingham that included bassist Jesse Phillips. When that band floundered, Janeway opted for the certainty of school while continuing his bank teller job.</p> <p><span> </span></p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WhJaASQ19X0?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p> </p> <p>Then something happened that changed the course of history; Phillips and Janeway began to write around Janeway’s voice, and when they came up with the sound of a song called “Broken Bones And Pocket Change” they knew they were on to something.</p> <p>The puzzle was completed in 2012 when a friend invited Janeway and Phillips into his studio to record a song, a “last hurrah,” as it were, according to Janeway. Instead of the end of something, that song turned into the beginning of St. Paul And The Broken Bones.</p> <p><em>Sea Of Noise, </em>their fall 2016 sophomore CD that made my year-end Top-10 list, features several new St. Paul And The Broken Bones gems, including “Flow With It,” “All I Ever Wonder,” “Sanctify,” and “I’ll Be Your Woman.”</p> <p>Keep in tune with the band by <a href="http://www.stpaulandthebrokenbones.com/" target="_blank">visiting their official site</a>.</p> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> </div> </div> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 13:49:56 -0800 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-st.-paul-and-the-broken-bones/ Turn Me On: Mondo Cozmo http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-mondo-cozmo/ <p>It’s always great to hear new music that shakes you, that sorta knocks you off center a little, and makes the hair stand up on your goosebumps.</p> <p>The first 63,000 times I listened to <strong>Mondo Cozmo</strong>’s “Shine” I didn’t notice the words. Rather, I was swept up in the flood of good tidings as the song soared and propelled me into the ionosphere. That may seem overly hyperbolic, but it accurately sums up the emotions swirling around in me as I listened to—make that <em>experienced</em>—“Shine.”</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mmZ1YI5vmD8?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p><span>And then I heard it. The call to Jesus for redemption, the reference to “let ’em get high, let ’em get stoned,” and the moment-of-Zen line, “Everything will be alright if you let it go.” Intriguing, dichotomic imagery, to be sure.</span></p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cPXnIkjAfyE?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p><span>The man behind this song, and other new Mondo Cozmo gems such as “Plastic Soul” and “Hold On To Me,” is Philadelphia-born, LA-based Josh Ostrander—aka Mondo Cozmo. The onetime frontman for Eastern Conference Champions’ three albums, Ostrander has also produced Voxhaul Broadcast and ex-Happy Mondays member Kavin Sandhu, and worked on various projects with noteworthy producers like Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen), Owen Morris (Oasis, The Verve), and Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins).</span></p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_InH0i_2gmg?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"><span>If “Shine,” “Plastic Soul” and “Hold On To Me” are good examples of what to expect from Mondo Cozmo moving forward, we might all be well-advised to buckle up and hold on because this could be a helluva ride.</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p> </p> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p> <a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> </div> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:34:01 -0800 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-mondo-cozmo/ Turn Me On: Passenger http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-passenger/ <p>You know Mike Rosenberg gets asked every day. Every single day. <em>Todos los días</em>. <em>In die una</em>.</p> <p>Every day the affable singer/songwriter from Brighton, England, gets asked why he records under the name <strong>Passenger</strong>. And every day he cheerfully explains that he used to be the singer of a full-on band named Passenger, but when they broke up in 2009 he was left with the name so he kept it. Or, you know, words to that effect.</p> <p>Okay, that’s out of the way so let’s pull the curtain back a little on this Rosenberg guy, this Passenger. First off, if your ear tends to gravitate to the sound made by folks like Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, David Gray, and/or Bruce Cockburn, then you’d wanna be all over Passenger. And if you’re the type who enjoys being surprised by yet another layer of delicious lyrics on your 37th time listening to a particular song, then you’d wanna be all over Passenger.</p> <p><span> </span></p> <div align="center"> <p><iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:6pVz4S22k49D5hPxwBceU0" width="300" height="380" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> </div> <p> </p> <p>Rosenberg knew back in school that music was his calling, and he sorta called his shot by avoiding good grades like anathema before he ultimately dropped out at age 16 to busk across England and Australia. It was on those streets in the UK and Down Under, strumming and singing his songs for whoever stopped to listen, where, as a solo artist named Passenger, he learned how to truly connect with an audience.</p> <p>And that might be his finest trait.</p> <div align="center"> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-58152" src="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/passenger-young-as-the-morning-album-art.jpg" alt="passenger-young-as-the-morning-album-art" width="400" height="400"></p> </div> <p> </p> <p>Never mind that among his revealing acoustic pop, his tunes laced with humor and hope, demonstrating a keen eye for observation and an ease of vulnerability, there are no fillers, no songs that reek of Passenger giving any less than precisely 100% to every detail. The elegance he brings to songs like “Let Her Go,” “Somebody’s Love,” and “Riding to New York,” the naked honesty of “27,” the sociopolitical bent of “Scare Away the Dark,” and crowd faves “I Hate” and “Holes,” all exhibit a master’s skill at song crafting, but even more impressive in Passenger’s arsenal is the way he can walk out in front of 1,800 theatergoers armed with only his guitar, his wit, his confidence, and his songs, and spend the next hour and a half having a one-on-one connection with each and every person there.</p> <p><span> </span></p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RBumgq5yVrA?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p><span> </span></p> <p><em>As Young as the Morning as Old as the Sea</em>, Passenger’s eighth album since 2007, arrived in September 2016 and brought with it great promise. Promise that a young singer/songwriter who’s been #1 in 20 difference countries and received 1 billion YouTube views (both with “Let Her Go”), who is writing one standout song after another (including the latest CD’s “Somebody’s Love,” “Anywhere,” “Fool’s Gold,” “Home,” and “The Long Road”), who owns crowds the way Springsteen and Bono own crowds, will finally become a household name.</p> <p>That name is Passenger. Or Mike Rosenberg, he’s good with it either way.</p> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> </div> </div> Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:20:42 -0800 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-passenger/ Turn Me On: Dawes http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-dawes/ <p>We’re all gonna die. Deal with it.</p> <p>It’s easy enough to infer a certain harshness from the title of <a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/?s=dawes&amp;x=0&amp;y=0" target="_blank"><strong>Dawes</strong></a>’ fifth and latest CD, <em>We’re All Gonna Die</em>. But frontman/songwriter Taylor Goldsmith has said of this CD, “Pretty much every song on this record explores a difficult situation and tries to find a way to find the good in it, or at least remind yourself that it’s not always that big of a deal. After all, as scary as it is, we are all going to die.”</p> <p>Read between the lines of what Goldsmith is saying there, and now it seems like the album title is much softer, more optimistic: “We’re all going to die, so why not make the best of it while we’re here.”</p> <div align="center"> <p><img class="alignleft wp-image-57348 size-medium" src="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/dawes-were-all-gonna-die-300x300.jpg" alt="dawes we're all gonna die" width="300" height="300"></p> </div> <p>Dawes has been consistently upping their fan base since their 2009 debut album, <em>North Hills</em>.</p> <p>Rising from the ashes of Malibu, California-based Simon Dawes, a band that had issued one album and toured with The Walkmen, Maroon 5, Band of Horses, Phantom Planet, and others, Dawes hit the scene armed with some of that Simon Dawes equity and the masterful storytelling of Taylor Goldsmith.</p> <p>Studying at the storytelling altar of Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and John Lennon, Goldsmith has proven to be an apt student. His character studies of everyday folks facing everyday challenges have frequently ventured into <em>epic</em> territory (“A Little Bit of Everything,” from their 2011 <em>Nothing is Wrong </em>CD, and “Just Beneath the Surface,” from 2013’s <em>Stories Don’t End</em>, are excellent examples).</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Nku2DZV7eYE?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p>Through their first four releases, which also includes 2015’s <em>All Your Favorite Bands</em>, Dawes—rounded out by Taylor’s brother Griffin on drums, Wylie Gelber on bass, and Lee Pardini on keys—supported Goldsmith’s stories with a sound that generally subscribed to the ’70s California Sound.</p> <p>On <em>We’re All Gonna Die</em>, they blew that model to smithereens.</p> <p>Reconvening with ex-Simon Dawes guitarist Blake Mills, now a Grammy-nominated producer (Alabama Shakes, Sara Watkins, Conor Oberst, Fiona Apple), Dawes used the studio to create an unfamiliar musical bed for Goldsmith’s familiar stories and melodies. The result is a collection of songs that sound exactly like—and nothing like—Dawes. In the lead single, “When the Tequila Runs Out,” for instance, the instrument credits say they used guitars and bass and drums, per usual, but the main sound you hear sounds nothing like any of those instruments.</p> </div> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D3_PMOwK3Zo?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p><em>We’re All Gonna Die</em> is riddled with examples like this, where you can’t really tell for sure what instrument is making the sound that you’re hearing, making for an intriguing, discordant combination of familiar and unfamiliar from one of the finest rock bands on the scene the past few years.</p> <p>And why not? If we’re all gonna die there’s every reason to feel good about pushing the envelope into places we’ve never been before.</p> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> </div> </div> Wed, 02 Nov 2016 12:56:13 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-dawes/ Turn Me On: The Lemon Twigs http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-lemon-twigs/ <p>As I sit here listening to and writing about this intriguing new band from Long Island, New York, <strong>The Lemon Twigs</strong>, I’m not really sure how to describe what I hear.</p> <div align="center"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-57735" src="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/lemon-twigs-band-dudes.jpg" alt="lemon-twigs-band-dudes" width="400" height="400"></div> <p>Others in my position have used words like pop/rock, soft rock, baroque rock, melodic, harmony-rich, underground cool, theatrical, lo-fi, lush, modern-day, retro-leaning, divine, startlingly sophisticated, ornate and complex, and they’ve referenced <strong>The </strong><strong>Beatles</strong>, <strong>The </strong><strong>Beach Boys</strong>, <strong>The Kinks</strong>, and <strong>The 5th Dimension</strong>.</p> <p>When he first heard The Lemon Twigs, <strong>NPR</strong>’s <strong>Bob Boilen</strong> felt like he was listening to “music from a time that never was.”</p> <p>To all those words I think I’d add more words, like epic, bold, adventurous, ’70s-TV-theme, weird, indulgent, brilliant, and precocious, and I’d also reference <strong>Queen</strong> and silent movies.</p> <p>And even with all those words, I don’t feel like we’re any closer to knowing what The Lemon Twigs sound like.</p> <p>So, the thing is, you need to listen to The Lemon Twigs.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LncJE2otRVA?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p>Start with <em>These Words</em>, one of two songs released ahead of their debut CD, <em>Do Hollywood</em>. Brothers <strong>Brian</strong> (guitar, keys, vocals, drums, horns, strings) and <strong>Michael D’Addario</strong> (guitar, keys, vocals, drums) wrote it when they were 17 and 15, respectively. Recording as a duo in Los Angeles before either of the brothers had vacated his teens, Brian and Michael laid down all the basic tracks in two weeks, with <strong>Foxygen</strong>’s <strong>Jonathon Rado</strong> producing, before they hunkered down for six months to attend to rest of the details.</p> <div align="center"> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-57736" src="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/the-lemon-twigs-do-hollywood.jpg" alt="the-lemon-twigs-do-hollywood" width="400" height="400"></p> </div> <p>These brothers, these Lemon Twigs, learned a great deal about how to write and perform this music from their dad, <strong>Ronnie D’Addario</strong>, who played everything and produced a few <strong>Badfinger</strong>-meets-The Beach Boys records in the late-’70s.</p> <p>Their debut LP, <em>Do Hollywood</em>, was released earlier this month:</p> </div> <div align="center"> <p><iframe src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3L32usNqJql7Thi6uK13d6" width="300" height="380" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: left;">So now you’ve read a whole bunch of words about The Lemon Twigs, but the thing is you need to listen to them. Now would be a good time to do that.</span></p> </div> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TJFCc_ijwH0?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p> </p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> </div> Tue, 04 Oct 2016 12:05:02 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-lemon-twigs/ Turn Me On: The Shelters http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-shelters/ <p>Can you imagine? You’re a young band, playing a hometown gig and you look out from the stage to see seven, maybe eight faces looking back at you. There’s your girlfriend, your girlfriend’s mom, your girlfriend’s little brother, your next door neighbor, <strong>Tom Petty</strong>, your next door neighbor’s mom, the drummer’s girlfriend….</p> <p>Wait. What? Back up a sec.</p> <p>Seriously, your girlfriend brought her <em>mom</em>? And what’s Tom Petty doing here?</p> <p>No one’s saying that’s exactly how it went down for <strong>The Shelters</strong>—we were just imagining, remember—but it could have. Because one night the guy who fronts<strong> The Heartbreakers</strong> and <strong>Mudcrutch</strong> showed up to a show, and rather than skip out before anyone noticed him, Petty instead invited the guys over to his place to make some music. Going back to the sessions for The Heartbreakers’ 2014 <em>Hypnotic </em><em>Eye</em> CD, on which Shelters co-frontmen <strong>Chase Simpson</strong> and <strong>Josh Jove</strong> were assistant engineers (Jove also played a little fuzz guitar on <em>Forgotten Man</em>), Petty has really taken The Shelters under his considerable wing.</p> <p>So the CliffsNotes on these guys is that Simpson, Jove, and drummer <strong>Sebastian Harris</strong> all previously played together in Los Angeles-based <strong>Automatik Slim</strong> before putting The Shelters together in 2014 (or 2015, depending on who you ask). Sooner than later they added bassist <strong>Jacob Pillot</strong>, and before you could say Bob’s your uncle they’d issued a single and self-titled, Petty-co-produced EP by October of 2015. <strong>Little Steven</strong> heard it and named their song <em>Fortune Teller</em> the Coolest Song in the World This Week on his Underground Garage radio show in February 2016.</p> <p>Buoyed by the songs of Simpson and Jove, The Shelters’ self-titled debut LP, also co-produced by Petty, landed in June of 2016 and seemingly overnight had rock music writers comparing its sound to <a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-black-keys-mn0000755918"><strong>The Black Keys</strong></a><strong>, </strong><a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jack-white-mn0000128873"><strong>Jack White</strong></a><strong>, Fleetwood Mac, </strong><a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/kaleo-mn0003393991"><strong>Kaleo</strong></a><strong>, </strong><a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-strokes-mn0000568137"><strong>The Strokes</strong></a><strong>, Tom Petty, The Beatles, </strong><a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/black-rebel-motorcycle-club-mn0000771388"><strong>Black Rebel Motorcycle Club</strong></a><strong>, The Byrds, </strong><a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/cage-the-elephant-mn0001061166"><strong>Cage The Elephant</strong></a><strong>, Cream,  </strong><a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-vines-mn0000582463"><strong>The Vines</strong></a><strong>, </strong><strong>Steppenwolf, The Replacements, The Velvet Crush, The Allman Brothers Band</strong>, and <strong>The Rolling Stones</strong>.</p> <p>So that should have you pretty well caught up on what they sound like.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w1G_5cDlWeM?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p>They’ve done a great job of giving each of the dozen songs on their CD (including the ridiculously catchy single Rebel Heart and a cover of The Kinks’ 1965 album cut Nothin’ In The World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ’Bout That Girl) a sound unto itself, but the unifying theme here is retro rock, with perhaps a hint of mid-’60s British Invasion taking the pole position.</p> </div> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Glkzyqnbd00?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p>Oh, and those imaginary early sets where The Shelters were only drawing their families and Tom Petty have given way to some major shows, as they’ve already toured with Gary Clark Jr., The Kooks, The Wild Feathers, Atlas Genius, and The Struts, and made major festival appearances across the country.</p> </div> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gbUw5GnEkQ0?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p>And the icing on the cake: The Shelters opened for <a href="https://www.pastemagazine.com/tag/Tom+Petty">Petty</a>’s band Mudcrutch on their spring 2016 national tour.</p> <p>So if you’re an up-and-coming rock band, keep your eye on the audience for Tom Petty. It looks to be a good thing when he shows up.</p> </div> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Fri, 02 Sep 2016 14:40:55 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-shelters/ Turn Me On: Blind Pilot http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-blind-pilot/ <div align="center"> <p><img class="aligncenter wp-image-57506" src="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/blind-pilot-band.jpg" alt="blind-pilot-band" width="475" height="317"></p> </div> <p>What’s that old Yiddish proverb? Man plans, God laughs? Or as Woody Allen put it, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Life certainly does have a way of letting us know that our own plans pale compared with the bigger picture, as <strong>Blind Pilot</strong> songwriter <strong>Israel Nebeker</strong> rudely discovered in 2013.</p> <p>Just when he was beginning to write for what would become the Portland, Oregon, folk-pop band’s third full-length CD, his own footing crumbled from the onslaught of rapid-fire losses of his closest friends and his relationship of 13 years, followed quickly by his father being diagnosed with life-ending cancer. Plans for the album were understandably put on hold for a couple of years.</p> <p>It was in 2007 when singer/guitarist Nebeker and drummer <strong>Ryan Dobrowski</strong> began playing together in college, and later around northwestern Oregon. Soon they’d conned themselves into biking hundreds of miles down and back up the West Coast, instruments in tow on homemade bicycle trailers, while making a couple of dozen stops to play shows and sell EPs. Back in Portland they made <em>3 Rounds and a Sound</em>, an indie CD that came out in the summer of 2008.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L8HsjvVs5rI?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p> </p> <p>A few months later Nebeker and Dobrowski grew Blind Pilot into a sextet by adding <strong>Luke Ydstie</strong> on bass and backing vocals; multi-instrumentalist/singer <strong>Kati Claborn</strong>; <strong>Dave Jorgensen</strong> on trumpet and keys; and vibraphonist/percussionist <strong>Ian Krist</strong>.</p> <p>AllMusic.com wrote that the additional members “add bigger, brighter colors to the mix” in a 4.5-out-of-5-star review of <em>We Are the Tide</em>, their 2011 sophomore CD.</p> <p>By this point, Blind Pilot had performed at the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza, and shared stages with <strong>The Shins</strong>, <strong>Local Natives</strong>, <strong>Andrew Bird</strong>, <strong>Calexico</strong>, and more, and their elegant songs had been heard on many TV shows, including<em> Californication</em> and <em>Private Practice</em>.</p> <p>Things were going according to schedule.</p> <div align="center"> <p><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-57507" src="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/blind-pilot-and-then-like-lions-300x300.jpg" alt="blind-pilot-and-then-like-lions" width="300" height="300"></p> </div> <p>And that’s when the wheels fell off Nebeker’s plans.</p> <p>Given the time to process the emotional upheaval from 2013, Nebeker wrote the songs for Blind Pilot’s third CD, <em>And Then Like Lions</em>, and produced the album with <strong>Tucker Martine</strong> (<strong>The Decemberists</strong>,<strong> Neko Case</strong>,<strong> My Morning Jacket</strong>).</p> <p>When it was issued in August 2016, <em>And Then Like Lions</em> showed the band to have built upon the style and charm of their <em>We Are the Tide</em>, with lyrics that, at times, touch on the trauma that Nebeker endured.</p> </div> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Am3qJ6fMYr4?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"><span>The vulnerable and soaring </span><em>Umpqua Rushing</em><span> hints at his now-ended lengthy romantic relationship—“Are you over me? Are you? Are? You are/I will not hold you. I will not feel your sway/I will not miss you”—while </span><em>Don’t Doubt</em><span> takes on the broad topic of courage in the face of overwhelming sadness—“Don’t you doubt/Everybody’s seen the winter/Don’t you take the dark way out.” The triumphant album-closer, </span><em>Like Lions</em><span>, stands as a final fist-in-the-air paean to personal strength against all odds.</span></div> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1QPWz64bnuc?ecver=1" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div style="text-align: left;" align="center"> <p> </p> <p>“Avoiding suffering, is avoiding real happiness too. My reason to tell this story,” Nebeker says of his own anguish, “isn’t because it broke me and pinned me breathless. There was suffering, but those two years, as I moved to my hometown to help my parents through my dad’s sickness and eventually his death, also brought me true closeness, a deeper will to care and hope, and many moments of beauty I can barely describe.”</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a><a class="bit-widget-initializer"></a></p> </div> Sun, 07 Aug 2016 12:05:08 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-blind-pilot/ Turn Me On: Catfish & The Bottlemen http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-catfish/ <p>Somewhere in Sydney, Australia, there’s a busker who directly impacted the name of a rock band from a small Welsh seaside resort town. Years after the fact. This busker from Down Under, dubbed Catfish the Bottleman for the liquid-filled bottles that he used as an instrument, was pretty much the first musical memory of a very young Ryan Evan “Van” McCann, whose family had briefly travelled to Australia.</p> <p>Back home in Llandudno, Wales, in 2007, a teenage McCann started playing guitar with Billy Bibby, his friend’s older brother, and when their duo became a band in need of a name, McCann remembered this long ago busker and named the quartet <strong>Catfish and the Bottlemen</strong>.</p> <p>That answers everybody’s first question.</p> <p>For six years the lads played wherever, including “closing” bigger bands’ shows by setting up in the parking lot post-gig, and it paid off with a 2013 Communion Records deal that netted them four singles. One of those singles, "Kathleen", hit #1 on MTV’s hottest tracks in April 2014 and within a year Catfish and the Bottlemen had seen their debut album, <em>The Balcony</em>, go to #10 on the UK Albums Chart, they had their first BBC Music Award.</p> <p>Catfish and the Bottlemen hit US shores with <em>The Balcony</em> in January 2015, and the very next day the Welshmen performed the energetic pop rock confection "Kathleen" on <em>The Late Show with David Letterman</em>. As the song was climbing steadfastly into the Top 20 on the US Alternative rock charts, the band was diligently collecting comparisons from Yankee scribes to Johnny Marr, The Kooks, and, notes McCann, “Oasis, but with better manners.” You could add that their crunchy, guitar-driven tunes spew bits of British Invasion-inspired Ramones affability and everything that made hits of those early three-minute punk pop burners by Elvis Costello.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xrrcVxnjJO8?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>With "Kathleen" leading the way, Catfish and the Bottlemen toured in the UK, Europe, North America, Japan, and Australia, and they played a number of festivals including New York’s Governors Ball, and Bonnaroo.</p> <p>Early in 2016 the guys (now McCann, original member and bassist Benjamin “Benji” Blakeway, and later arrivals drummer Bob Hall and guitarist Johnny “Bondy” Bond) won their first Brit Award for British Breakthrough Act. When their second album, <em>The Ride</em>, was issued it hit #1 on the UK Charts and, so far, Top 30 here.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9mLD8FL28Nk?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>Just as The Ride was coming out in the spring of 2016, and with the delightful new garagey single Soundcheck already on the airwaves to herald the show, Catfish and the Bottlemen played to a standing-room-only crowd at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a crowd that exuberantly and confidently sang every song—even the brand-new ones.</p> <p>And somewhere in Sydney, Australia, there’s a busker who’s proud.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Tue, 02 Aug 2016 14:25:09 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-catfish/ Turn Me On: The Saint Johns http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-saint-johns/ <p>At last, even vegetarians have a reason to celebrate Taco Tuesdays. Or at least one particular Taco Tuesday.</p> <p>If you were at this particular Taco Tuesday Party in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2008 you would have been in one of the rooms hooking up so you would not have noticed the moment when Jordan Meredith of St. Augustine and Louis Johnson from 250 miles away in West Palm Beach found themselves the last two at the party not partnered up, the moment when they began to share Jordan’s guitar, by turns playing each other song after song, that elusive moment when—if the stars align and the wind is blowing just right—two voices can find each other near the taco fixings and become one voice. In that moment, Jordan and Louis laid the foundation for The Saint Johns.</p> <p>And since this is the point in the story where everyone assumes the rest of the story, maybe now is a good time to clear that up: They don’t date. Never have.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V9QOylF41uk?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>Jordan and Louis named their duo after the nearby Saint Johns River, and soon their blended voices were blowing minds in original Americana songs that rate comparison with fellow vocal bands Fleetwood Mac, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, Delta Rae, and The Lone Bellow (with whom they’ve toured). After a yearlong hiccup in New York City they headed west for Nashville, where they’ve been a part of the scene since 2012; that same year, their free introductory EP/videos, Live Sessions, and their song Your Head and Your Heart on the Nashville Indie Spotlight compilation began to spread The Saint Johns beyond their neck of the woods.</p> <p>A year after landing in Nashville The Saint Johns officially went national with an indie EP, Open Water, followed by a record deal with Sony imprint Kemosabe Records and a shot on David “Normally My Policy Is No Beginners, But These Kids Are So Good We Had To Have Them On The Show” Letterman.</p> <p>A debut full-length CD, Dead of Night, complemented the EPs in 2016. Produced by Grammy-winner David Kahne, Dead of Night has the songs—Lost The Feeling, Coming Home, Falling, and Little Bit could all be hits—the expert performances, and the honest vulnerability—What Are You Doing Now, Shadowplay, and The Way You Did are all drowning in universal ache—to make Jordan Meredith and Louis Johnson two of this year’s more noteworthy singers and songwriters, and certain first-ballot Got Their Start on Taco Tuesday Hall of Famers.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 12:15:02 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-saint-johns/ Turn Me On: Darlingside http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-darlingside/ <p><strong>Darlingside</strong> used to have a drummer. But he sort of got in the way. Not in the spatial sense of “got in the way”; rather, in the aural sense. Basically you had these crisp, air-tight, laser-locked voices—four of them, pretending to be one—struggling to appropriately comingle with the drums. No need for a caucus to tabulate that four voices beat a lone drummer every time, so after a 2012 self-released CD the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based band reduced its number by one.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MZo-xK4Dens?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Now, whenever these Williams College grads sing together onstage or in the studio you’ll find multi-instrumentalists Dave Senft, Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, and Harris Paseltiner huddled in a semi-circle ’round a shared microphone; every song is written by all four of them, so singing in unison is an extension of the way they write. With hues of ’60s folk, chamber pop, bluegrass, and even classical, organically played on rootsy instruments led by acoustic and 12-string electric guitars, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, cello, and bass, and colored with Wurlitzer, auto-chord organ, piano, and harmonium, Darlingside’s music resides not in the here and now, but smack dab in ’60s and ’70s Laurel Canyon.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WCLkOAQxumI?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>For their sophomore release, Birds Say, Darlingside holed up in a Boston studio and together with engineer/co-producer Dan Cardinal created a 13-song treasure that boasts oodles of grace and style, and a maturity rare in a recording career so young. Written, Mitchell says, as they reflected on their “childhoods, our transition into adulthood together, and the complexities of life that we all have to grapple with now,” Birds Say mostly belies the clever and witty personalities these guys effortlessly present onstage; for a peek into that cleverness, look at their name, Darlingside. What is that? It’ll hit you when you blend the suffix cide, meaning killer or the act of killing in words like pesticide and insecticide, with the “kill your darlings” advice given to fledgling writers—i.e., if you fall in love with a word or line that you’ve written, kill it to prevent overuse. Darlingside, then, is shrewdly a softer spelling of Darlingcide.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Fri, 27 May 2016 11:43:37 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-darlingside/ Turn Me On: Kaleo http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-kaleo/ <p>We was fooled by <strong>Kaleo</strong>. Set up the way a pool shark tones it down before mercilessly blindsiding you with mad skills. When the four-piece Icelandic band snuck into the U.S. consciousness late in 2014 with “All the Pretty Girls,” a gentle acoustic lament on romantic loneliness, the set-up was under way.</p> <p>In 2015, “Way down We Go” took the moodiness and intensity up a notch from “All the Pretty Girls” so we probably should have seen the surprise coming. And then Kaleo relocated to the musical hotbed of Austin and started playing concerts in America, and Bam! That’s when we knew we’d been had. This unknown from a faraway land, this Kaleo, was a force so much more epic than anticipated. We were slapped upside the head by this masterfully performed explosion of blues and rock and twin guitar attacks and sheer mass of sound, the heavy dark side balanced with occasional whimsy and whispery softness.</p> <p>So yeah, we was fooled by Kaleo. Snookered. Lured right into their trap. And it was transcendent.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9WIU5NN1Q0g?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Kaleo—it’s Hawaiian for the voice or the sound—was started by three friends from grade school in Mosfellsbaer, a small town in southwest Iceland commonly known as “the green town.” Singer/guitarist JJ Juliusson, drummer David Antonsson Crivello, and bassist Danny Jones were 17 at the time, and after a few years of gigging in nearby Reykjavik they added guitarist Rubin Pollock in 2012.</p> <p>By early 2013 they were getting a little love from radio and the press back home, and by the end of that year they’d had a #1 single and signed to the nation’s largest record label. Before you could say Bob is Bob spelled backwards, they’d soared to phenomenon status in their homeland, propelled by five #1 singles. It was time for America.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FNwgOkl5nRY?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Kaleo expects to have their still-in-progress first US full-length release out later in 2016, to join the All the Pretty Girls EP and a pair of singles already available in the states. On it, Kaleo will exhibit the depth and chops on display in the disparate styles of songs like the probably-recorded-at-the-crossroads guitar workout “No Good” (from the HBO series Vinyl) and the frolicking, California-centric “Automobile,” which would just kill as an otherworldly singalong with Kaleo, Louis Armstrong, Roger Miller, and Lou Rawls.</p> <p>Let the anticipation begin.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Mon, 23 May 2016 11:51:29 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-kaleo/