Guest Post Written By: Pete Tremblay

Released on fledgling Orlando record label, Glowmobile in June 2010 – Sly and the Family Stallone by Alias Punch brings about the same sensibilities you’d expect from any group of small town fellas’ that use cheeky back woods stage names, watch German Expressionist snuff films from the 70’s, and worship Frank Zappa and surf rock : Honesty, style, and subtlety mixed with a ferocity and psychedelic (in thought not sound) state of consciousness sans-pretense. Confused? Intrigued? Strangely Obsessed? Exactly.

From the opening bass strike and bell smash on the premier track, ‘Wine to Jive’ to the last, collective agonized and pleading screech on ‘She Won’t Shut Up,’ Alias Punch has created an intelligently cohesive, conceptually realized, and otherwise eye opening (and head scratching) sonic experience with Sly and the Family Stallone, that leaves you wondering who spiked your drink, where can you get more of it, and wondering, did he just say that?

“Wine to Jive,” the opening track of the E.P, creeps up slowly like an inmate escaping the big house during a Keystone Cops film at the moment he is caught by the spotlight – Vocalist/Bass Player Dusty Mondy unabashedly sets the tone, mindset and setting for the record to come. With all of the wit, conciseness and vocal control that’s been missing from the last decade of indie rock, Mondy proclaims, “Well it’s 3 o’clock here in the morning, and it’s a witching hour, some say… Well if that’s so, with all this cleaning and sweeping I’ve been doing, you’d think this broom here would help me fly away…” Moments later, the core and energy of Alias Punch blasts through the door in the form of a drum roll and surf rock guitar as Arkie Jay Caulkins, and Jasper Bleu, the rhythm section of the group, introduce themselves in the best way possible – a blast of beat and melody that turns it up to 11 without sacrificing taste for power – no cheap gimmicks here either – The recording was done simultaneously with only a few overdubs. They boys gravitate toward the difficult musical choices that would make their idols smile and reconsider their own music – and that’s just in the first 3 minutes.

The Genius of this record comes to fruition on “Gorilla, Gorilla”, the break out single from the EP. Flourishing and intelligent, the Punchers serve up the elements of their focused and unique sound with a polyrhythmic introduction that you can’t help but dance to. Scathing and pointed, Mondy’s lyrics are a stake through the hearts of the pretentious with metaphorical weaponry, while still being tongue in cheek enough to know they aren’t that serious… or are they?

The thing that makes Sly and the Family Stallone so brilliant is the fact that every single decision the band makes in the song writing process is done so with elegant elaboration and a no holds bar brutality AT THE SAME TIME, all while not taking itself too seriously. The feeling, movement and concept evolve differently from song to song, yet still retain the same idea rooted sonically in the soaring and intricate guitar work melded seamlessly into the melodically appropriate bass lines, all settled up on a framework of a schizophrenically intricate percussive rhythms provided by Calkins. Often times the melody is almost creepy and daunting led heavily by Mondy’s bass as the melodic director of the action. Lyrical content and vocal performance get along famously through Mondy’s elaborate vocal manipulation and tone twisting control that lends itself at times as another melodic element in the mix. Each song is as potent and short as a ¼ stick of dynamite, not lasting more than 4 minutes and change – a very good thing when considering that’s all the time they need to get the point across. The relatively lo-fi recording structure (which I generally am not a fan of) is a brilliant medium for the music to be presented in due to its no-frills simplicity that is indicative of the Puncher’s concept. This EP is as solid as they come – free of wondering and unnecessary musical elements. Every solo, flourish, intricacy and elaboration is necessary to the song and in good taste.

As far as the musicianship is concerned, Alias Punch is as good, or better than most of their contemporaries. Drummer Arkie-Jay Calkins has found a way to be explosive and intense yet precise, and tasteful. Jasper Bleu’s Guitar work transcends generational influence, musical knowledge, and tone exploration and Dusty Mondy’s Bass melodies provide the color and movement that the band is so meticulously built upon.

All in All – Sly and the Family Stallone is as sonically and lyrically witty, interesting and brilliantly ridiculous as the name would imply – don’t take it too seriously… or should you?

Purchase The Alias Punch EP

Download The Alias Punch EP For Free

Oli & Stomp

Posted: July 8, 2010 by jess in Uncategorized

Who are they? Two friends, united by the love of music and creation. It all started in the beginning of the 90’s with a few modern ideas that were keeping them awake at night.  Oli&Stomp started to create catchy pop songs but that wasn’t enough, and very ahead of their time, they started to make their own kind of music by creating a very unique morphing of musical genres including rap, metal, french songs and always, always experimenting.

Raising the bar with each track, they began to understand the dynamics of music.

So, very soon, they were proposed to contribute their talent to movies. Always having side projects, they were experimenting on the spiritual level of music and they’ve gone places where no other pop musicians had gone to ever before.

As the new century arrived, they knew they were ready to share their discoveries and reveal the full scale of their potential.

So began a new era of music. Famous people started to ask for their special remixes, Radios were intrigued by their incredible tone and wanted their difference…

And as they approached 2010, they were ready to bite the apple of success as they opened up their jar of songs, flooding the internet now with their catchy tunes and upbeats

For more information on Oli & Stomp visit their website – http://www.olistomp.bandcamp.com/



Introducing The Kopecky Family Band

Posted: June 30, 2010 by jess in Uncategorized

Like all families, Kopecky Family Band beats with the same heart and writes in the same blood. The Family began creating together in Nashville, Tennessee in the Fall of 2007. What started as late night talks about life and dreams gradually flowed into eccentric and beautiful music that has propelled this band into the forefront of the fast-moving Nashville music scene.

Leading the family are singers Gabe and Kelsey, along with Steven (lead guitar), Corey (bass), Markus (cello), Benjamin (violin), and David (drums). The emotion of their music is raw and vulnerable while it maintains an unmistakable power and presence. The sounds created by the booming and orchestral-like septet challenge the listener’s ear while still offering simply singable melodies.

The family has a timeline with many notable events including their 2008 CD release party for the “Embraces EP.” This release was the talk of the town with its theatrical décor, black tie dress code, and opening act of a string quartet. Excitement continued to garner into the fall of 2009 when the Kopecky family’s performance took the Next Big Nashville Music Festival by surprise. In the spring of 2010, it was time for the family to pack into their 15-passenger van (of which they call “The War Wagon”) and head to Austin, TX for their showcase at South by Southwest Music Festival as one of ASCAP’s notable bands to watch. In the studio with Partners in Crime, Russ Long and Chris Grainger (Wilco, Sixpence None the Richer), Kopecky has garnered national attention for their August 3rd 2010 release of their record entitled “The Disaster.” Anyone who encounters the Kopeckys will testify there is never a dull moment in this family of 7. Kopecky Family Band has shown that they are more than just a band to watch, but a band to grow with.

For more information and to listen to their music check out their website: Kopecky Family Band

Not A Thing To Believe In

Posted: June 28, 2010 by dillion in Uncategorized

Not a Thing to Believe In started in 2006 while I was attending Fulton Montgomery Community College in upstate New York for Multimedia. I originally conceived this project because I was recording found sounds on a Canon digital camera microphone and transferring them to an Acid Music program and turning them into sound collages. I would record all the instrumentation, vocals, and sound on that low-quality microphone. I recorded this way until 2009 when I got a hold of a synthesizer and an 8-track. I recorded a 20+ minute long song that was going to be the new style of this project. I showed my family, and friends but it never got out of my living room.

After that I moved to Gloversville, New York and started recording songs on a Mac book. I made quite a few demos before anything was worth trying to get out there, and a lot of them have been lost over time. Then I recorded my debut solo EP “I Can Never Do Anything Passionate for the People I Care Most About” which was written for my best friend who took his own life in his jail cell. This was a very emotional time for me, and recording this collection of songs helped me resolve a lot of thoughts I had about the situation at hand. I have never tried to release this EP because it was more of a means of releasing my emotions positively through sound, and it helped me remember a lot of the great times we had shared. After that, I started recording these two songs, the first being “Six Months” which is based around a time period of feeling disconnected with the world around us. The second being “Bugs Bunny” which is about a vision I had of a woman lying on her bed watching cartoons over and over on her free time. Though many people found this childish, her boyfriend understood her and knows that watching cartoons is merely what she loved to do. I wanted to make these songs have the power to be played over and over and not get old fast, so I did not want to want to do too much with them. I recorded overdubs to find out that the songs were much more powerful without them. These are the first songs I have ever tried to get out there (not just to my friends and family.) I feel very good about the way these songs make me feel, and I hope that they give me the chance to connect to others through my music.

For More Information And To Hear The Authors Music Check Out His MySpace Page – Not A Thing To Believe In

About The Author: Hello! My name is Erik Hidde and I live in upstate NY. Here are two new songs I’ve made for my solo project ‘Not a Thing to Believe In’ I feel very strongly about these songs, and I wanted to get them out there to every blog I could remember that I’ve enjoyed over the years, so that you could help me reach a wider audience.

WHY DON’T SUPERHEROES DATE SEXY CHICKS?

Posted: June 11, 2010 by dillion in Uncategorized

Let’s look at the best superhero films ever. Who were the female love interests/central female characters? Batman had Katie Holmes and then Maggie Gyllenhaal. Superman had Margot Kidder and then Kate Bosworth, and as a boy he’s got Kristen Kreuk. In his teen years, he isn’t dating Lois and the actress playing Lane is perhaps the hottest woman ever to cross a caped crusader’s path. Hulk had Jennifer Connelly in the Ang Lee film. Iron Man had Paltrow. Spidey had Dunst. All of these women are good looking, to be sure. (There are no truly ugly chicks in Hollywood, unless they’re supposed to be ugly, and then they end up being over-the-top fatties or horsefaces.) But also, none of these women reek eroticism. They don’t have fire, they don’t have sexual energy, like Angelina Jolie, Naomi Watts, Eva Mendes, Jessica Beihl, or even Lindsay “I’m out of control with drugs and can’t stop flashing my snatch” Lohan. The women who star in superfilms look and act like the kind of girl you would take home to mother.

Adam West’s Batman, who flirted with Lee Merriwether’s Catwoman back in 1966, is not an exception to this rule, for two reasons:

First, Catwoman was hardly a female lead–as far as I can remember, she and Bats only went on one date, in their respective secret I.D.s. And Bruce’s fling with Miss Kitka didn’t exactly end well, especially because the guys who set up the blind date were Joker, Penguin, and Riddler. For another thing, it seemed as if Batman’s heart truly belonged to the boy wonder. (Note: Julie Newmar, an even hotter Catwoman, flirted with Batman on the TV series. Still not an exception to my thesis, but just look at this buttshot: Mee-OW.)

The only other exception I came up with is Liv Tyler, who played Betsy Ross in this summer’s Incredible Hulk film. But even that’s stretching it a bit–Liv isn’t really my type, and she spends most of the film looking mopey and sad. I guess a chick can be a little hotter if she’s tortured for it. I’m reminded of a similar horror-film rule: The first girl to show her boobies is the first girl to end up with her belly cut open and her guts strewn across the screen.

Truth to tell, the last time I remember geek-film-freaks being given a truly sexy, sexually active pin-up girl as a lead, she was a cartoon.

You could argue that Jessica Alba of Fantastic Four, or even Hallie in Catwoman/X-Men or Garner in Elektra, are exceptions to this rule, but they aren’t. Because they were superheroines. And the same is kind of true for them, in reverse. Alba dated Reed “king geek” Richards, known for being completely sexually oblivious. Hallie got a hottie in Catwoman (Ben Bratt), but in X-Men she dates nobody and fellow seXy-woMEN Famke and Rebecca Romijn dated ubergeek Cyclops and old lech Magneto, respectively.

The next question is, why are our heroes denied a really hot and heavy sexual dynamo? Cops in the movies get them all the time. So do firemen and mobsters. Senator Charlie Wilson scored Julia Roberts, for chrissake, and two of the ugliest guys in Hollywood recently got two bodacious babes who couldn’t keep their hands off their men: Hoffman married Tomei (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) and Paul Giamatti got Laura Linny (John Adams, HBO). Hell, fat white guys on TV have hot sex kittens dripping off their man-tits. (Tony Soprano had a new one each week.)

So what gives?

There are several possible reasons:

1. Hollywood thinks comic-book fans will be sexually threatened by a libidinous female. The problem with this theory is that ubergeeks buy DVDs, upload scene- and screen-catches, and endlessly compile lists of things like hot chicks (and lists of reasons for a dearth of hot chicks). I mean, after Spider Man came out I can’t tell you how many super-bloggers were analyzing at that first kiss, frame by frame. Think of the fun they’d have had if the other pair of lips in Spider-Man’s upside-down rain kiss had been on top of a wet-white-T-shirted Carmen Elektra?

Compare this:

To this:

.

.

..

To say that this type of film watcher doesn’t want to see sex is to say that the internet is not primarily a tool for masturbation. Let’s get real.

2. They don’t want the sexy to override the super. Maybe it’s the directors’ faults. Maybe they don’t think they can get people to focus on the hero if there’s a big pair of tits pointing at the screen. This suggests that the directors, not the heroes, are the ones who are sexually threatened. But this theory, too, is flawed. For one thing, have you seen the comics these heroes are based on? Lois Lane has the proportions of Barbie, and Mary Jane is supposed to be a fashion model! Kirsten Dunst is certainly pretty, but a model? She’s way too short and her hips are boxy. If standing next to a brick house doesn’t detract from the ink-and-newsprints heroes, it shouldn’t detract from the celluloid ones. It being the directors’ faults seems to make sense because the most courageous and inventive superdirector of all time cast the hottest female superlead of all time: Kim Basinger in Batman (1989), and Burton has a history of knowing how to create sexual chemistry between bizarre characters (see: Edward Scissorhands, e.g.).

3. Geek writers can’t write sexy. This is similar to reason #2, above, and my answer is the same: As a boy reading The Amazing Spider Man #220-280, Mary Jane could lively up my loins with a single word: “Tiger.” And Lana Lang in the Superboy books was always in a hurry to hold hands and kiss. Ditto Betty Ross, the hottest scientist in history. So if the funnybook writers can do it, the screenwriters should be able to, too.

4. Superheroes are portrayed as sexually weak. This is perhaps the best theory. In all big-screen iterations, superheroes are sexually unsophisticated. Whether he’s the conflicted, self-tortured soul of the Tim Burton Batman films or the immature lothario of Batman Begins/The Dark Knight, or the naive and virginal Christopher Reeves, or the reclusive misfit Tony Stark. I suspect that this is because the writers/directors/and maybe even the actors are themselves insecure men who cannot imagine how kinky it would be to have x-ray vision, super agility, or the ability to stretch. Can you imagine someone with powers like that not being the first one to get invited behind the velvet rope? A defense could be that in their secret I.D.s, superheroes play down their talents and confidence, so as not to draw attention, but that’s not always true, either. Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, for example, are flamboyant playboys who get laid by models all the time. So why do they fall for Gwennyth and Maggie? And don’t tell me there’s no smart and sexy chicks out there, and these guys are falling for the brains so they let go of the need for bodacious tatas. First of all, there are plenty of smart and sexy women in the real world (visit any major metropolitan public library, law school, or medical residency program, if you doubt me). And second, we’re not talking about the real world. We’re talking about casting in superfilms. And for that matter, there are plenty of sexually vibrant, intelligent Hollywood character actors, too. See: Marisa Tomei, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Christina Ricci, e.g.

5. It’s just being true to the character. For example, in the new Batman films, Kaggie Hollenhaal’s character is supposed to be, literally, the girl next door from his childhood. I’m calling bullshit on this reason, too. I’m sure Bruce Wayne grew up next to more than one girl, yet this is the one he remembers. And the girl who grew up next door to Peter Parker grew up to be a model! I’ve read studies that show that men who have professions that involve the justice system, in particular trial attorneys and cops, have significantly higher hormone levels than men in less dramatic fields. In general, people who are physically healthy tend to be more amorous. And if the gamma rays made Bruce Banner more excitable, and Peter Parker more physically fit, wouldn’t they have a similar effect on their sex drives? Adrenaline is an aphrodisiac, after all. So why wouldn’t these heroes seek women who could keep up with them? The answer is, they would.

So, what does this all mean? It means that it’s a man’s world for Kevin James and Jim Belushi, but Christian Bale and Tobey McGuire are gonna have to settle for hormonally challenged love interests until someone in Hollywood grows a pair and realizes that superflicks can also be sexy flicks.

What do you all think?

THE TOP 10 LADIES OF INDIE ROCK

Posted: May 28, 2010 by dillion in Uncategorized

Okay, so before I even begin I want to say: I’m gunshy about lists now. I love (most of) my readers, but some of y’all are BRUTAL. You can see for yourself the comments on the 25 Best Indie Rock Albums post, and that’s not even counting the e-mailed death threats (yeah, actual death threats) because “I” didn’t include Yo La Tengo/Mars Volta. Listen, guys, I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, but this time I’ll do it with numbered paragraphs for improved readability:

1. My readers voted and these are the results, I didn’t pick these myself.

2. It’s music. If you like it, buy it. If you don’t, don’t.

3. This is not MY list.

4. This is not MY list.

5. This is all supposed to be fun, guys.

6. Just because you’re on the internet, doesn’t give you the right to be an anonymous shit. Pretend I’m in the room with you. If you wanna be rude, then pretend I’m in the room with you naked. Fucking your girlfriend.

7. This is not MY list.

8. Let’s keep it positive.

9. You all voted for these ladies, it’s not my list.

10. Got it?

All right. Even having said that, I’ll bet one of the first three comments I get on this tells me I’m dumb for not including Great Girl Who Is Better Than All Of These Girls Combined.

I got just under a hundred votes–far fewer than I got for my top 25 indie rock albums–so this is an even less representative sample. Here’s the results.

10. Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Hyperballad (Bjork cover) (live, acoustic version) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Kelly Clarkson vs. Karen O (Aggro mash up). This is perhaps my favorite mash up ever.

Maps (acoustic version)-Yeah Yeah Yeahs

9. PJ Harvey.

Sadly, all I own of Ms. Harvey is RIAA released material. But here’s Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talking about PJ Harvey.

8. Sleater Kinney.

Most of the votes for Sleater Kinney were for the band, by name, which consists of 3 gals, but Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein also got votes individually. The Washington power trio got started on Chainsaw Records but has since been signed to Sub Pop.

You’re No Rock and Roll Fun

Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover)-Pearl Jam and Sleater Kinney

One Beat (live)

Words and Guitar

7. Imogen Heap

I was surprised to see this grammy-nominated Essex-born singer/songwriter here on this list. First off, most of her work (solo and with Frou Frou) has been on major labels. Second, I just had no idea trip hop was so popular.

Have You Got It In You-Imogen Heap

6. Neko Case.

I’m a big fan of the This, and, of course, her solo and Sadies work is hot, too. She’s being sold at Starbucks now, but don’t hold that against her.

The Laws Have Changed-New Pornographers (video)

Furnace Room Lullaby-Neko Case (video)

Stay A Little Longer-Jon Langford and Neko Case

Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis (tom Waits cover)-Neko Case

5. Emily Haines (The Metric).

Emily Haines definitely made my top 10 list, based solely on her work with The Metric, but her new material with Soft Skeleton is pretty hot, too. Not to mention the fact that she’s a Broken Social Scene contributor.

Expecting to Fly-Emily Haines (Neil Young cover)

Pink-Emily Haines. From her rare, out-of-print solo album.

Combat Baby-Metric. One of the most perfect pop songs ever crafted.

4. Leslie Feist.

Yes, another Broken Social Scene member. But on her own, she’s so much more. She just released her major-label debut and guess what? It’s pretty lame. Her indie stuff is much better. Go buy some of it!

L’Amour Ne Dure Pas Toujours-Feist

Major Label Debut (live version)-Feist (BSS)

3 and 2. Kim Deal and Cat Power/Chan Marshall. (tie)

Cat Power.

Cat Power, real name Charlyn “Chan” Marshall, is a Georgia-born singer/songwriter who plays both piano and guitar. She’s been an indie fave for a long time, with her last release, The Greatest, topping “best of” lists for 2006. She’s on Matador.

Where Is My Love (video)

Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)-Cat Power

The Greatest-Cat Power

Nude as the News (video)

Baby Doll-Cat Power

Cross Bones Style-Cat Power (remix)

I Found a Reason-Cat Power

Kim Deal.

To tally the votes for Kim Deal, I included all votes for her various bands. And she’s been in a lot. She started out in The Pixies, before forming The Breeders with Tanya Donnelly (who also got quite a few votes, but not enough to crack this list). Her time with The Breeders led to a few alternative radio hits, like Cannonball and The Last Splash, as well as a great group of albums. She couldn’t stand success, though, it seems, so she quit and formed The Amps, whose “Pacer” album wasn’t too popular but was as good as anything she’d done with The Breeders. In 2002 the Breeders reformed, releasing Title TK. I don’t know what she’s been up to since then.

A few tracks from an ’03 Breeders show:

The Theme From Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Trouper (Iron Maiden cover) (sung by audience)

I Just Wanna Get Along

I Don’t Care About You (Fear cover)

Happiness is a Warm Gun (Beatles cover)

1. Kim Gordon.

Of Sonic Youth. One person wrote that Kim is clearly the “most influential” of all indie rock chicks. Again, depending on your definition of “Indie Rock” you might agree. I do.

Mary Christ-Sonic Youth (live)-Sonic Youth

Free City Rhymes theme-Sonic Youth

Dirty Boots (live)-Sonic Youth

Made in the U.S.A. (1986 outtake)-Sonic Youth

Honorable Mentions:

These folks got quite a few votes, but not enough . . .

Nico, Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), Liz Phair, Patti Smith, Regina Spektor, Meg White . . .

10 REASONS MY BLOG LIKES OTHER BLOGS

Posted: May 7, 2010 by dillion in Uncategorized

1. Captains Dead offers a great Husker Du concert from 1984, which includes their great tunes “8 Miles High” and “What’s Going On?”

2. Grammar humor. Gotta love, it.

3. An oldie but a goodie. Phantom Broadcast-The Go! Team. Get the entire Help! benefit album from emusic.

4. Smidgen of Ashen Fluff has a recent M.I.A. in-studio set, doing stuff from Kala. I must say, what I’ve heard from that album doesn’t knock me out at all. I liked Arular, but not a lot. This one doesn’t even appear to have a catchy single, like her first one did.

5. So Much Silence is a great blog that has been doing a series called, “I Used to Love H.E.R.” in which artists and bloggers write about their favorite hip hop album. Such a great idea. You should go check out Passion of the Weiss’ entry about GZA’s Liquid Swords, a true classic. If I were asked (which I’m sure I won’t be), I can’t imagine what album I’d pick. Maybe Public Enemy’s Nation of Millions, which was playing when I realized how compatible me and my wife were. (She knew all the words to the Flavor Flav jam on the record. Flav, you now officially suck wet farts out of rotting dead baby asses.) Or I might pick U.T.F.O.’s Roxanne Roxanne, ’cause I played it over and over while learning the fine art of wild style tagging. So many to choose from.

6. The great (Boot)log has a Weeping Tiles performance that includes their covers of Hey Ya! (OutKast) and Just What I Needed (The Cars).

7. XTina likes to be mashed by mashuppers.

DJBC’s Gaye Boyz (Marvin Gaye- I Heard It Through The Grapevine vs. 69 Boyz- How We Roll vs. Christina Aguilera- Ain’t No Other Man vs. Bubba Sparxxx feat. Yin Yang Twins- Miss New Booty vs. Chingy- Hands Up

DJ Ayr’s Sniff N’ The Tears – Driver’s Seat vs. Christina Aguilera – Ain’t No Other Man

8. And lucky us, she also likes being nekkid.

9. Y’all should check out BBC America’s Jekyll show. It’s hot.

10. Ryan posted a neat little tidbit about album leaks, which give all us honest bloggers a band name.