New Music Tuesday: The Midnight Vein – The Midnight Vein [Album] (by Phil The Tremolo King)

Photo by Mark Duggar Photography

Psychedelica is an often maligned genre that holds a lot of unexpected charms and hidden gems for the open-minded.  At first listen “Midnight Vein” sounds like a long forgotten psychedelic recording from 1968. A solo project by Buffalo musician John Toohill,  this release has all the enthusiasm and pure creative joy of any bedroom musician filling up 4 track cassettes with creative outpourings ( although more likely, the medium was garageband or one of those other new-fangled computer thingamajigs kids love so much these days) .

With chiming acoustic guitars, buzzy multi-layered vocals, twangy electric guitars, and especially, lots of tambourine, the first comparison that comes to mind is of course Syd Barrett. Barret is the genius madcap and original member of Pink Floyd who’s influenced countless musicians, and a good thing it is too. With simple and effective instrumentation, some creative recording tricks, and strong songwriting, this cassette is a charmer and a fun listen. Break out the lava lamp and incense!

Opener ‘When Palm Readers Lie to Fools” does not only have a great title, it also boldly declares its stubborn quirkiness in starting off a record with droning vocal harmonies and not much else.

“Thieves of Youth and Love” is a neo-psychedelic gem, all acoustic guitars and shakers and a ridiculously catchy melody that just won’t quit.

“The Likes of We” is a favorite, built around a simple strutting guitar figure.

“Bless your Souls” is a welcome ballad, based on acoustic guitar like most of the tracks and featuring more warbly vocals and hissy percussion.

“A Wave of Ghosts” ventures into indie pop territory as layered guitars jangle their way through a robust chord progression, topped off by an excellent guitar solo. The latter is not surprising from a guy who is a very active player in the Buffalo music scene.

Midnight Vein” is a decidedly lo fi affair but it works quite well in this context. Maybe “lo fi acoustic psychedelica” would be a good description for this release, but I’ll leave it up to the listener to come up with his own. One thing this release is not, is boring. It’s more like the inspired ramblings of a slightly unhinged madcap sort-of-genius. Kind of like, well, you know who.

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New Music Tuesday: A Flock of Seagulls with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra – Ascension [Album]

 

I will be the first to admit that I was mostly unaware of the actual work of A Flock of Seagulls. I knew the name. I knew “I Ran”. And I knew the haircuts. I remember the references in The Wedding Singer, and knew that my dad probably hated these guys when he was in high school in the 80’s. Or he probably actually loved them, but tried to hide his love for them under a Def Leppard t-shirt and acid washed denim jeans. But beyond that, I couldn’t rightfully call myself a fan of this legendary band.

But dammit, I will say that I am a fan now! I guess it just took a 34 year hiatus and The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra to key me in to their wonderful tunes! Not only have A Flock of Seagulls managed to pull together to bring back some of their legendary cuts to the world, they have managed to reinvent their classics in a truly original and stellar fashion.

 

Ascension is a wonderful collection of the songs that AFOS fans already know and love, but done so masterfully with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. If you are a casual listener of the band before checking this out, “I Ran” is definitely on there and is definitely great. But, while you are revisiting this fabulous group, so much of this tracklist is inevitably something you knew, but didn’t know that you loved! The highlights of the album come right around the middle of the album for me, with the title track being amazing and “Wishing (I Had A Photograph of You)” just rocking my damn world!

Seriously Folks, A Flock of Seagulls has done something truly magnificent here, and you have to check it out. Ascension is not only a beautiful comeback album for the band, it may very well be one of the best albums of 2018. Prepare to hear a band you either didn’t know, thought you knew, or have always loved and now get to pull the “I told you so!” comment of the shelf. No matter how you want to listen to this album, or for what purpose, this is an absolutely delightful record!

Ascension is available now wherever you buy music. Check out this amazing video for ‘Space Age Love Song” right NOW:

New Music Tuesday: A Stream of Comedy! [Albums]

 

Welcome to our first edition of New Music Tuesday in our stand up comedy showcase! And keeping with the theme that we tried to do last Sunday when we shamelessly told you what to watch on Netflix because we are all creatures of habit at time…we want to talk comedy albums! And even more, these are comedy albums that you definitely should purchase, preferably in the lobby of the comedy club in which you just watched them for an hour or so. But, we are not so ignorant to think that this is always going to happen.

So, with that in mind, I decided to search from Apple Music and see if some of my favorite comedy albums happen to be streamable. And I was not surprised to find out that a great deal of them are indeed just out there for either free of charge, or for the monthly subscription you probably already have. And just to throw this note out there, I am only assuming that if an album is available on Apple Music, it’s probably on Spotify, or other music streaming services. I make this assumption with absolutely no knowledge or fact checking whatsoever. I would like to reiterate, as a music blogger for over a decade, that streaming music is all good and fine…but if you do feel oh so compelled to support artists, stream them first and then go out and actually buy their work. Alright, enough preaching about that.

I also need to reiterate….THIS IS NOT A BEST OF LIST!!! There is no order here, this is simply a list of some extremely hilarious stand up comedy albums that I personally (Ron Trembath) enjoy so damn much. Again, the collection listed below does not reflect even the opinion of anyone who has contributed to Trainwreck’d Society in any way. This is just me. I like to think I know about good comedy, but I am not confident enough to state that this is the definitive list of hilarious comedy albums. I do feel confident enough to tell you that each and every one of these are so fucking funny, and you should at the very least…give them a stream.

You may also notice that some of these albums have been out for a while. The artist mentioned may even have a more recent album out, but I for whatever reason feel attracted to the release that was featured. But, as we all know comedians are always progressing (hopefully) in their craft, and may have gotten even better. So please be sure to give these a listen, and then follow up with more recent releases! Furthermore, some of these albums may simply be the audio of a live special you can also use your eyeholes to enjoy as well. So find that too!

So here we go Folks! If you logged in to our Netflix Is A Joke feature, you’re probably going to see some repeats, but there are also some new faces up in here! I have also included the label that the album was released on, and a link to where you can purchase the album after giving it a stream. Which is how this should work. Enjoy!

 

Amy Miller: Solid Gold (2016)

Label: Kill Rockstars

Website: amymillercomedy.com

 

Dave Anthony: Hot Head (2017)

Label: All Things Comedy

Website: daveanthonycomedy.com

 

 

 

Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher: Back To Back (2017)

Label: Aspecialthing

Website: rheabutcher.com  /  cameronesposite.com

 

 

Solomon Georgio: Homonegro Superior (2017)

Label: Comedy Central

Website: solomongeorgio.com

 

 

Sean Patton: Standard Operating Procedure (2012)

Label: Aspecialthing

Website: meseanpatton.com

 

 

Matt Braunger: Shovel Fighter (2012)

Label: Comedy Central

Website: mattbraunger.com

 

 

Liza Trigger: Glitter Cheese (2015)

Label: Comedy Central

Website: glittercheese.com

 

 

Laurie Kilmartin: 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad (2017)

Label: Aspecialthing

Website: kilmartin.com

 

 

 

Emma Arnold: Shut Up Calvin (2017)

Label: Rooftop Comedy

Website: emmarnold.com

 

 

Sklar Brothers: Hipster Ghosts (2018)

Label: Rooftop Comedy

Website: superstars.com

 

 

Shane Torres: Established 1981 (2017)

Label: Comedy Central

Website: shaneisacomedian.com

 

 

Lachlan Patterson: Jokes To Make Love To (2010)

Label: Rooftop Comedy

Website: lachlanpatterson.com

 

 

Pat Brown: The Pat Brown Sex Tape (2016)

Label: Self-Released

Website: comedianpatbrown.com

 

 

 

Joe List: Are You Mad At Me? (2016)

Label: Comedy Central

Website: comedianjoelist.com

 

 

Ian Karmel: 9.2 On Pitchfork (2015)

Label: Kill Rockstars

Website: iankarmel.com

 

 

Geoff Tate: People Are What People Make ‘Em (2018)

Label: Blonde Medicine

Website: geofftate.com

 

 

Ron Funches: The Funches of Us (2015)

Label: Comedy Dynamics

Website: ronfunches.com

 

 

Mark Normand: Don’t Be Yourself (2017)

Label: Comedy Central

Website: marknormandcomedy.com

New Music Tuesday: Ezra Bell – Ezra Bell [Album]

 

Regular readers of Trainwreck’d Society may notice that we have been a bit too far out of the music coverage game, but lately we have been trying to work our way back into the scene. Maybe stop ignoring the plethora of press releases that pass through the old inbox. Maybe wise up and listen. Maybe get that old feeling of joy that music used to give yours truly? But the chaos of the world has somewhat diminished this possibility and my ability to focus on just about anything has weakened.

But, sometimes, just sometimes….I hear something. Something special. Something that brings me back. And that something this go around is the amazingly original and extremely entertaining group I have recently learned is named Ezra Bell. And god dammit, if Ezra Bell isn’t throwing me back to the days when I would watch my favorite indie folk acts perform share a cramped stage with a pinball machine at a vegan burrito joint in the Northwest. While I would never wish to be 25 again, I am so happy to feel even a small bit of that ecstasy that music once made me feel, as I am now old and bitter and alone in an empty room in Nowhere, Poland.

Yes, Ezra Bell is everything I used to love to listen to when I cared. And hearing the sweet and sort of funky jams that these delightful hipsters are giving me has made me wonder why I ever stopped caring. The elements are varied, the swagger is evident, and the storytelling is as strong as you could ever imagine. And some if it has to be pretty damn catchy, as I just caught myself tapping on “Tourists” on this press page for what may be my 7th listen in a row. Much ike certain citizens of Utah we all know and love, I would never outright say that “Tourists” is my favorite wife on this album, but deep down I know it to be true. But dammit, then I move on down the track list and the cycle just continues. It is as though I can smell the PBR induced sweat that I can only imagine would be very evident at an Ezra Bell show, and it really does bring me back home.

While I may have confessed my love for one singular track thus far, it behooves me to let you fine readers know that “Go with God” is slowly creeping up into my psyche and trying to steal my love away. And I can think of no better way to describe Ezra Bell themselves actually. They are out to steal your love, with their incredible talents, perfect musicianship, and a staggering ability to make you forget about the chaos of the world, and remember a time when we weren’t afraid to die. Yeah, I think that will do it.

 

Ezra Bell’s self titled debut full-length album is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, all of those places you go to get music. So go get it.

 

Check out this recorded performance of “Tourists” courtesy of Killingsworth House:

New Music Tuesday: Rocket 3: What’s the Frequency [Album]

 

Oh, where is the time going? Has it really been four years since we last visited the world of the indie-pop sensation that is Rocket 3? It is certainly a tough task to imagine such a possibility when I think about the fact that their debut album, Burn, is still in regularly rotation in my life. I couldn’t imagine going too long without hearing the wonderful front woman, Ramune Nagisetty, singing every so sweetly about ever so wonderful things. But alas, time has moved on, and with that move has come an all new record from our favorite feel-good and empowering trio.

On their sophomore release, What’s the Frequency, Rocket 3 brings us a whole new batch of amazing tracks featuring their classic pop-sensibilities with a noticeable, and well deserved, since of accomplishment for what they have already given to the world. They know what they are capable of, and they continue to prove it by perfecting the brilliant sound they have already manufactured so wonderfully. Because, with this release, they have a bit of a secret weapon to add to the mix….the saxophone!

Yes, the brilliant saxophonist Gavin Duffy has been thrown in the mix, and has only added to the brilliance that is Rocket 3. This is clearly evident in what may be the album’s best, and definitely catchiest, track “Hip Shot” that I could (and have) seriously put on repeat for an unprecedented amount of play throughs, and you know, just walk around and breath! Within this singular track we even get a perfect sax solo from Duffy, which I’ve always said we could totally use more of in this world!

From beginning to end, What’s the Frequency is an overall perfect album. From the jingle-jangely opening track “I Choose Love”, right down to the closing track that is all about goodbyes known as “Evershine”, Rocket 3 has only continued to prove why they are a mainstay in the world of indie-pop and they are going to be around giving way good vibes for quite some time. And we should be damn thankful that they are willing to do so!

Rocket 3’s What’s The Frequency will be available wherever you get your music on July 28th. Check out the band’s website for details!

New Music Tuesday: Maniac – Dead Dance Club [Album]

I will admit, I truly have not only been listening to enough music lately, let alone enjoying just about any of it. I have definitely be voiding myself of anything that sounds remotely “fun” or somewhat “enlightening”. But, every once in a great while I try my hand at feeling well once again, and sometimes I am very fortunate in that a brilliant band like Maniac may come across my digital desk. And all feels right with the world once again! I’m not saying it happens often, but it has for sure happen on my latest road to “wellness” through music.

Maniac is a L.A. based & light-hearted punk rock that blends beautiful vocal hooks with hard hitting guitar riffs that ripple through your ear lobes like a discarded Pringles can pushing through the ocean waves. Their sophomore album Dead Dance Club is one of those rare gems of an album that can be listened through in its entirety without a single second of boredom or yearning to move on from their sound. Each track on the album seems to embody its own spirit, its own personality, yet each one has a familiar feel to the last. I’ve found it pretty rare to come across a band like Maniac, who seem to know exactly what they are doing, and what they want to convey, but at the same time are not afraid to take some chances and have a fucking field day whilst blending old school go-go-go punk with a modern freak pop sensibility.

I’d be hard pressed to choose a stand up track on this album, but gun to a labrador puppy’s head, I’d have to say that I have some kind of special affection for “Children of the Dirt”. I’ve found this short but exciting track that really exemplifies just what Maniac is all about, and what they are trying to convey with Dead Dance Club. It has a simple chorus, a deep-throated bass line, and even a nice little guitar solo. Seriously, a chorus as simple as “Children of the sun/children of the moon/children of the dirt” says so damn much even if it really says so little. I can’t help but love it. “Living In Stereo” has a similar vibe as well, I must add. Shit, I could really go on and on about each track individually. But for your sake, I shall not.

Yeah, I have to say that I really needed to hear a band like Maniac these days. I could ramble off a laundry list of other bands that they somewhat sound like, but I have the distinct feeling that I would instantly regret doing so, and would most likely be entirely wrong. Let’s just call Dead Dance Club a fantastic album that I am certain to continue enjoying for quite some time. Maniac has created one of the finest albums of 2018 thus far, and I will be eternally grateful to this creative masterminds for making my year!

Photo by Zach Mcaffree

Dead Dance Club is available now Hovercraft/Dirt Nap Records. Check it out HERE.

And if you are reading this from the west coast, be sure to catch Maniac at one of these (probably) fine establishments:

06.14.18 – San Francisco, CA @ Light Rail Studios

06.15.18 – Corvallis, OR @ Bombs Away

06.16.18 – Portland, OR @ Green Noise Records (6 pm) AND Lay Low Tavern 

06.17.18 – Tacoma, WA @ The Valley

06.18.18 – Bellingham, WA @ Boscoe’s Tavern

06.19.18 – Vancouver, BC @ The Astoria

06.20.18 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon

06.21.18 – Portland, OR @ Blackwater

06.22.18 – Eureka, CA @ Siren’s Song Tavern

06.23.18 – Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull

 

New Music Tuesday: Justin Nozuka: Run To Waters [Album]

It has finally happened folks! We are not even half way through the year, and the most perfect album of 2018 is already upon is. I am actually surprised by how not surprised I am that it is our new friend Justin Nozuka who would grab the title. We already spoke pretty highly about one of his recent E.P.’s, Low Tide, which is merely 3 tracks of Run To Waters. 3 other tracks comprised his other E.P., High Tide, and throw in 5 new cuts, you have Run To Waters which is not only one of the most beautifully written albums I have ever heard, it also has a sound so crisp and spiritual in a way that so many others have tried to give to us in the past, but never truly hit the mark. But, I am here today to say this…..Justin Nozuka’s Run To Waters is that absolutely perfect soul-infused, singer/songwriter album that you have been looking for over the last couple of decades at least. This is album is an emotional rollercoaster brilliantly cut into 11 parts to enjoy at your own pace.

In the months passed, I have heavily confessed my admiration for Run To Waters’s highlight track, “Warm Under the Light”, but I feel like I have to reiterate this message….this is an absolutely perfect song. The entire playlist of this album is a highlight in its own right, but I simply have not gotten over just how much I adore this track. And the beautiful simplicity of the sun soaked “No Place In Mind” simply cannot be denied. It holds the same brilliant tone of being a wonderfully written track placed within a perfect pop sensibility that is impressive and enlightening. Same goes for “All I Need” and….well, each and every track could get its own paragraph. Let’s just commence to the fact that this is an absolutely perfect able. I simply cannot find a fault in this playlist, and I can’t imagine how anyone really could.

The way that Justin Nozuka uses his voice as what feels like just another beautiful instrument to an amazingly memorable melody is absolutely mesmerizing and just a full on delight to have penetrate your heart through your ear canals. I have been aware of this man’s gift for over a decade, but I am still so compelled by the absolutely incredible growth that he has shown since I was fortunate enough to revisit his work. Just Nozuka will surely go down in history as one of the finest singer/songwriter’s of this era. And Run To Waters will definitely be a signature highlight of a career done absolutely right.

Run To Waters will be available wherever you purchase music on May 18th, 2018. Pre-order your own copy right HERE, and trust me, you are going to want to get on this!

And because I adore it so damn much, here is another look at the official video for the incredible track “Warm Under the Light”: