Video of the Day: Dave Paulson “Don’t Let It Get You Down” – Sandusky, Ohio

What? Was I not going to share a video that uses snippets of Tommy Boy? It turns out the whole album, Sandusky, Ohio is based around Tommy Boy. No, seriously. And it’s very good. When pressed on it, Dave says: “It is a sincere and earnest album, not a joke in the slightest.” And really, at it’s core, there is a lot of emotional depth to Tommy Boy. Yes, it’s a silly movie, but at it’s core it’s an exploration of relationships, fathers and sons, transfers of power, and a lot of other more serious themes that when looked at through a certain lens can become a lot more powerful than first glance.

This particular track is described as: “Tommy and Richard hit the road to try to sell enough brake pads to save the company, and have to stay optimistic through numerous rejections” And each track has a brief synopsis on Dave’s website: sanduskyoh.co 

This is a trend I’d love to see get started. Taking projects that on the surface don’t seem like a serious exploration, and then just making amazing art with it anyway.

-Caleb

 

 

TOTD: lennard rubra – “Pina Bausch”

 

I don’t know what your day is like, but it is rainy and slow here in Providence, and this song is a perfect soundtrack to this sort of day. The lo-fi vocals allow you to fill in some gaps yourself on what it might be saying, and the guitar/bass line work is a nice mixture of chill and melancholy.

Hailing from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, lennard rubra reminds me of a mixture of Tame Impala and Youth Lagoon. His EP, named “Escapismo Primaverile” translates to “Spring Escapism” in English. I would say, even without knowing all the lyrics, the song certainly feels like spring escapism.

-Caleb

 

The Flock: Folk and Singer Songwriter – Jeremy Voltz, I Am Soyuz, Kelsi Walker, Bad Flamingo, Gina Cimmelli, Sam Shaky, Lena Fjortoft, Mike O’Malley + Beastie Band

*This first paragraph is a copy of a previously written synopsis of the point behind the new section, The Flock.*

We have two goals here with our blog and our podcast; we want to help you find a bunch of new artists that you love, and we also want to support those artists. We came up with a new idea for a post where we take a genre, and give you a few artists within that genre. That way, it helps everyone. If you come here because you love one artist, you’ve got five more that you’re probably going to love now. That helps you load up your playlist with tracks that will impress your friends, and it also helps the artists hit untapped markets and possibly network with likeminded artists they didn’t know existed. Without further ado, I present “The Flock.”

ARTISTS LOOK HERE: Caleb and I have started a Facebook group that we want to turn into a place for artists from around the country to find likeminded bands to fill shows out, find shows, and really just a community made by artists to talk about the industry. If you’re interested in joining that, CLICK HERE.

Jeremy Voltz – First

We are starting off this edition of The Flock with an absolute stunner. This is Jeremy Voltz’s debut single, and it is really incredible stuff. There are times where you get to hear an artist from the very beginning, and you think to yourself, “This is about to happen for them.” With emotive and honest vocals, First has a simple and thought provoking message; ask for help if you need it and help when you can give it. With a vocal range similar to chart-toppers like Hozier and James Bay, I can pretty much guarantee this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Jeremy.

I Am Soyuz – Alone

With the second track, we get into Swedish artist, I Am Soyuz, and her song that is essentially the antithesis of the above track. The chorus makes the song seem like Felicia, the person behind I Am Soyuz, would rather deal with stuff on her own, not really looking to the outside world for help.

Don’t talk to me stranger
Just do me a favor

Don’t share your joy or sorrow

As an extrovert to the nth degree, I have a feeling that Felicia and I may not be the best of friends, but I’m absolutely in love with her music.

Kelsi Walker – Breathe

I swear I thought this was a deep cut track from Julien Baker. With similar vulnerability, but a timbre that’s all her own once she gets to the buildup, Kelsi Walker pulls back the top on depression and heartache, letting listeners know that there is a light. I was actually talking to a close friend earlier tonight about this exact sentiment. We may not know the right words to say to people, but the important thing is that we say something. We let them know we are there. Depression feels like you’re brain is exhausted from yelling into a vacuum where nobody cares or listens. The important thing is to start a dialogue. This song gives you that starting point.

Bad Flamingo – Lord Knows I Tried

Give a man a mask, and he will tell you the truth. -Oscar Wilde

Masked banditos, person on the left and person on the right (no, seriously. Check their website bio.), are the truth we all need right now. With a rambling melody and honest lyrics, Lord Knows I tried is a track that is made for riding horses into sunsets. Or the scene where the protagonist tries to deliver on promises they haven’t kept. Or scenes where the protagonist realizes that their fight is futile in the face of change. Really, this song belongs anywhere in gritty dramas. Speak of the devil, their music will actually be in an upcoming tv series called Yellowstone that will have all of the aforementioned scenarios throughout the series. Bad Flamingo is already finding a foothold in a major market television series, so get on now so you can be the one to tell your friends about our new masked friends.

Gina Cimmelli – midnight

“i just want to leave the earth
and all its gravity
find new friends in the stars
and sleep for eternity, all eternity

i’m not the strong one
not when it’s said and done
ruined our lives
shouldn’t come as a surprise”

Such a beautiful and haunting sentiment with this one. The vocal stylings of Gina Cimelli are so airy and spacey, which makes “midnight” a perfect track for me. The lyrics fit, but it’s also the entire atmosphere that makes you feel both the magic and loneliness involved in being up late at night, whether you are with someone else or not.

 

 

Sam Shaky – Ghost

Sam Shaky has a voice that feels ethereal but tangible at the same time. His track, Ghost, is a well-written track that could be about anything from an unforgiving breakup to losing a loved one, and if you have been reading the blog for any length of time, you know that we love ambiguity in lyrics. The song leaves the meaning open to interpretation, and uses Sam as a vessel to guide you to your own conclusions.

Lena Fjortoft – Mr. Snow

Besides having perfect album art, Lena also has an incredible voice that is equal parts moving vibrato and steadfast pitch. She straddles that line between folk and crooning country, dipping into both throughout the track. Mr. Snow is a love song… well… it’s about love. And death. Mostly about love though, right Lena? Definitely.

Who am I kidding? We love dark songs here at B-Side Guys, and this track is right up our alley! Bring us all of your death songs, Lena.

Mike O’Malley + Beastie Band – Goblin

I love concept albums. Growlers is that, but takes it a step further. Most concept albums have the lyrics or the instrumentation focus on a specific theme or element. Growlers is something really interesting, and it’s probably unlike anything you’ve heard before. In the words of Mike O’Malley, Growlers is “four songs written on the mandocello on the theme of bad masculinity, patterned on the theory of the four humors. Orchestrated in mosaic – a billion tiny instruments playing tiny parts, like debris underfoot in an awful little room.”

With tight harmonies and honest leads, the vocals work harmoniously with the instrumentals, forming a composition that floats into a new genre that may only be occupied by Mike O’Malley +Beastie Band: orchestral folk.

 

-Seth and Caleb

While you’re here, feel free to poke around the blog. I recommend checking out the podcast and daily features first.

The Bottom Line: High Sierra Music Festival

Hey guys, we are back with our Festival drafts! The ideal for this is for us (and by extension you) to find some artists near the bottom of the lineups (along with 1 or 2 we already know and love from the top) that are must sees at various music festivals. This installment focuses on the High Sierra Music Festival.

High Sierra is a music festival held in Quincy, CA from July 5-8, 2018. It features an eclectic lineup that is sure to hit on several of your favorite genres. Something that is really cool to me is they hold a contest each year where they pick 5 bands to play at the festival. (One of my picks Wordsauce is one of the 5 this year) They also have a huge lineup of food vendors, and even a section that focuses on “body, mind and spirit”, which includes daily yoga, meditation, hoopdancing, etc. All and All if you are anywhere near the Quincy area, it is a can’t miss festival.

Now, let’s get to the draft. Our only rule were you can’t pick more than 2 bands you have previously heard of.

Round 1

Caleb: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

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This is the only band on my list that I’ve seen in person thus far, though I want to see them all very soon. When they walk out on stage in pajama pants or kimonos, or whatever zany outfit they choose to wear in California, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with their energy after the first riff. Don’t believe me? Check out this song first:

I wouldn’t even call “F.U.” my favorite song by them, that title probably belongs to “Julia” but Pigeons are the definition of what I look for in live music. They bring a raw energy and excitement that makes sure everyone in the crowd feels like they got invited to the world’s biggest party. It’s perfect for a festival atmosphere.

Seth: The Family Crest

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You guys don’t understand just how excited I got when I saw that they were going to be at the festival. I’m drafting a lineup of artists to see at a festival clear across the country that I have no hopes of attending, and I lit up when I saw their name. I was first exposed to The Family Crest when I heard Love Don’t Go on a playlist that I followed, and when those trombones came in to start the track, I immediately became enamored. With tight harmonies and lead vocals from a guy with a range you can only dream about, The Family Crest is the perfect festival band. Their performances are complex, structurally tight, and a lot of fun. These guys use every inch of the stage during performances, so there’s not a bad seat (or standing area) in the whole festival grounds.

Round 2

Caleb: Hippo Campus

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Maybe you’ve heard of this band before. They have millions of plays on Spotify, but I would feel remiss if I left them off the list because of how much I want to see them live myself. My favorite song from them is probably “South”, which you should check out for sure, but I’m going to post one a little more upbeat here because I think it would be more appropriate for a festival setting with a lot of energy (even though the song is about suicide).

If that bass line doesn’t make you want to sway and dance in a festival crowd, what the hell are you doing at a festival in the first place? Get there early, get into the meat of the crowd, and dance ironically.

Seth: Mt Joy

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Wow. I just went through a couple of their music videos, and you need to check them both out. They are the most important music videos you will watch this week. If they can convey half of the emotion in a live performance that they can in their recorded tracks, they would have me an absolute mess during their set. Astrovan makes almost every single playlist I make these days, but I honestly didn’t know too much about them past that song. This band has so many layers that a full set from them is bound to be one of the best rollercoasters the festival has to offer.

Round 3

Caleb: Wordsauce

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Alright, let’s start to dig a little deeper. That’s what you’re really here for? To be able to impress your friends with some deep cuts that go on at noon? Wordsauce is a live funk/hip-hop band. Basically it’s a hip hop show where you aren’t just focused on the one guy dancing around with a backing track playing (not hating, I love those shows). But here there is a full band playing the backing beats and melodies while socially/emotionally conscious hip hop is spoken with a raw energy that dares you to ignore it. Don’t believe me? Check out this video:

That video is kind of a deep cut. It is from 2014 and had 3 views, but I thought it orchestrate what live show might be like. Seems like a can’t miss show to me. I want to hear some reports back from you guys.

Seth: Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio

This is the point in the lineup where I find bands that I didn’t know I had actually heard before. The Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, or Dlo3, is a band that I have never seen perform a set, but I have seen them warmup before. If their sets are anything like their warmups, they’re going to be an absolute blast. I also love that this band came on the fringes of many projects that fell apart, and Delvon’s wife and manager, Amy Novo, is the one who put the band together. That kind of support in a marriage is incredibly rare. The talent that you’ll find in this band is incredibly rare too. Usually in a band, you can target the leads and then you can see a person or two who is there to blend and make the others look good. That’s not the case at all with this band. They are the definition of a cohesive unit, and they all carry their own weight.

Round 4

Caleb: Magic in the Other

Magic in the Other are a 3 piece avant- garde group that I immediately fell in love with. Usually when I read avant-garde, I assume it’s going to be so experimental it is unlistenable, but that is definitely not the case with this group. It was somewhat difficult to find many videos of Magic in the Other, and one that was really indicative of their sound was on Vimeo, which doesn’t love to embed here. So instead, follow this link to see that one: https://vimeo.com/229170418.

And in the meantime, I have a treat for you Beatles fans (which is basically everyone right?):

You absolutely can’t miss Magic in the Other this year.

Seth: Billy Strings

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I think a lot of people make the mistake of trying to qualify a younger generation that makes bluegrass music in the newgrass category, but that’s not really the root of what defines bluegrass and newgrass at all. Billy Strings is very much a bluegrass artist at his core, and he and his band are absolutely masters of their craft. This is the type of music that will have you sweating out all the booze from last night as you dance through a new case throughout their set. Stick around for the solo(s) that basically take up the back half of this live recording. There were multiple times where I swear I saw smoke coming from their strings.

Round 5

Caleb: Jupiter & Okwess

This will be a truly unique experience for most of you. Mixing elements of funk and jazz with traditional African chanting and percussion, Jupiter & Okwess are like nothing else I’ve ever heard. The two songs I would start with are “Bapasi” and “Magerita” to get a sense of the breadth of their sound. Don’t want to look those up? Good thing I already did for you.

Seth: John Craigie

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I’ll be honest, what drew me to John Craigie was the description of the video below: “John Craigie performs ‘I Am California’ live at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR.” Is there a description on all of YouTube that uses more states in as few words as this one? Then, once I got to listening to the actual song, I was blown away by the vulnerability of John’s voice. An oft attempted but rarely successful timbre to his voice, John drips the words of his song from his pores, and wears his passion on his sleeve. This is the perfect artist to check out as you roll into your day of music. He also has the absolute best song about the current political status of our country. Watch the second video if you’re interested in that.

(I couldn’t help myself. This video was too good.)

Hey, while you’re here, if you’re a music fan you should stay a while. We have daily posts from every genre imaginable, and we also run a music podcast. We also have a monthly Spotify playlist.Don’t forget to follow us on social media (there are links on the right side) to keep up with the best music you’ve never heard before.