Tag Archives: nixbeat

Twilite Lounge Nights: Music that Fits the Mood

Every Wednesday and Sunday night starting at 9pm, Twilite Lounge is home to live music hosted by David Payne of The Red Bennies. Wednesday typically features musicians playing traditional instruments such as guitar, keys and bass. Sundays is geared toward creative electronica and DJs Lord British, Falchion B and Twin Bee. During these respective nights, Payne hosts through his group Jazz Jaguars and his alter-ego, Lord British. Payne says, “We play ´Doom Lounge´ music—lounge defined as music that is beautiful, engaging as possible, but soft enough to encourage conversation amongst the people there. It’s called Doom because of our generally slow tempos.”

Check out the full article published by Utah Stories!!

Fashionism – Smash Singles LP

Fashionism
Smash Singles LP
Sorry State Records
Released: April 20, 2018

Fashionisms Smash Singles LP is an essential collection of recordings for the lovers of not only power pop, but also clever and intelligent lyricism. This record boasts material from the first four Fashionism singles, which are now hard to come by, with the addition of a couple previously unreleased tracks. Fans of Fashionism will find this record treads mostly familiar territory. For first timers, the Smash Singles LP is a good way to be introduced to one of the more interesting bands of the last decade.

The songs found within the grooves of the Smash Singles LP celebrate the clever nature could have been heard by The Boys or even by the sharp wit of The Adverts. This is largely thanks to vocalist Jeffery McCloy masterful weaving of punchy lyrics that tell a story with a sound that combines the infectious nature of Bay City Rollers like glam rock meeting the sensibilities of The Purple Hearts.

This hybrid style effortlessly combines the intense energy of punk with intelligent social criticism largely lost by the chorus of grunts and growls of the spikey studded cast. While their songs are very socially aware, Fashionism do not deliver their messages as a blow to the head. Rather, they do so via bubblegum styled tunes to bounce about with and be subtly influenced by.

Many of Fashionism’s songs defiantly beg for the nostalgia of times long past. Songs like “Subculture Suicide” lament the painful and frustrating demise of traditional subcultural identity. While others like the new track “Weekend” remains steadfast in the Fashionism tradition of being unapologetically socially critical of shameless social media inspired vanity.

Others hits on this record include my personal favorite “Where Have All The Rock n’ Roll Girls Gone.” This one pays homage to New Town  Animals hit “Rock N Roll Scene.” Another is “Stop, Drop, Rock n’ Roll.” It’s a song that demands dance while McCoy rapidly name drops pop culture references from the McCoys “Hang on Sloopy” to ? and The Mysterians “96 Tears.” Fashionism also have a silly side with tracks like “One Shot.” It’s a song about being delightfully addicted to coffee. This one is fast and melodically furious– not to mention catchy as hell.

This record is well worth getting, particularly, if the Fashionism singles have eluded your capture. This super-group is made of members of The Tranzmitors, The Jolt, The Orange Kyte and New Town Animals. Their sound is deviously infectious and upbeat. It’s good for those familiar and for newcomers alike. Above all, it’s a gem, so go get it.

For More Fashionism, check out their Bandcamp!

Soul and Funk Night at Salt Lake’s Bar X

The strictly vinyl night at Bar X is the creation of DJ Godina (second from the right) and draws an eclectic mix of other local DJs.

The groovy sounds of funk and soul records can be heard on any Monday night within the dimly lit Bar X. This strictly vinyl night is the creation of DJ Godina (Justin Godina). Godina is a well-known DJ in Salt Lake City who, apart from hosting nights at bars like Gracies, Chakra Lounge, and Undercurrent, was voted top DJ in City Weekly’s Best Of in 2015.

Godina has always had a passion for records. “When I was 5 or 6-years-old, I used to flip records in the dancing room (the living room at my dad’s parents’ house) with my aunts and uncles,” he said. Years later, he discovered his uncle’s immense collection, which included early hip hop and new Chakra Lounge wave by artists such as AC/DC, Prince, and The B 52’s. Godina adds, “In and shortly after high school, I would throw parties and was always the guy sitting in front of the CD player monopolizing the stereo. So I bought some turntables from thrift stores and my first mixer and started DJing our parties.”

Dig the full article published by Utah Stories!!

Rebel Rebel — The Gospel Truth

Rebel Rebel
The Gospel Truth
Self-Released
Street: 07.24.2017

At last Rebel Rebel have released their EP The Gospel Truth. This record superbly reveals a sound that infuses the infectious, yet, bubbly nature of indie rock with the attitude of ’70s CBGB punk inspired glam. In other words, think of Rebel Rebel channeling Franz Ferdinand taking cues from Lou Reed who in turn just watched a set played by Talking Heads or The Revelons.

Rebel Rebel are unique act to catch. They don’t boast a heavily overused punk style, but rather come into their own without relying on clichés. Furthermore, these cats they have always remained sincere and humble and it shows with this record.

Their EP is good and has some killer tracks. Most notable are the “The Gospel Truth” and “Jen Puked.” “The Gospel Truth” is fast and punchy. After immediately switching this on and I’m hooked by the in-your face sound. It’s a whirlwind of a song that makes me want to jump about like an idiot who recently discovered the dealing power of sugar and caffeine.

“Jen Puked” follows in this vein. It’s a track with a killer drum beat building up into a wild punky tune that is vibrant with electric energy. This song shows off a defiant passion lead by vocalist Mason Keller Comstock and it perfectly blends punk and indie into a fast and snotty wallop.

I recommend checking this EP out. The Gospel Truth is a fun listen that highlights Rebel Rebel’s maturing sound. I’m interested to see where they go from here and if this record reveals anything, I’m sure what they have next will be worth a listen. So pay attention.

For more about Salt Lake City’s Rebel Rebel, check out their bandcamp and give their Facebook Page a like. 

Radio Hearts — Daytime Man EP

Radio Hearts
Daytime Man EP
Wanda Records
Release: 04.28.2017

Imagine if The Undertones sang about middle age crisis and responsibility, but were still catchy with an infectiously youthful sound. If you can, then Radio Hearts’ Daytime EP is exactly that. Radio Hearts come from Long Beach, California. Although they formed in 2012, these cats sound like they were cruising around between 1977 and 1979. Radio Hearts have an impressive style about them. It’s punky power pop at it’s vintage yet contemporary’s finest. They channel the poppy fury of The Buzzcocks infused with The Boys into a sound that is addictively familiar.

While their heroes sang about teenage kicks, the Daytime Man EP is 5 tracks that are reflective and meant for lives with some actual experience. The opener, “Alright,” talks about making marriage work through working together with one’s partner. It’s got razer riffs and solid beats making it a solid power pop bopper.

The second track, “Day Time Man,” is an anthem for the mature weekender who longingly looks at their forever-young past with a certain fondness. Clocking at 2 minutes and 9 seconds, this track boasts enough bouncing riffs and hand claps to you moving about and wear you out.

My personal favorite is “Know That Song.” It’s a track that suggests a nostalgic look for a particular sound. Personally, I identify with being a bit stuck in my own way when it comes to music- aka knowing what I like. So this one hits home for me.

Radio Hearts have something timely and special going on. With this Daytime Man EP release, they show an ability to pay homage to the punk of the past while also being it’s offspring. This stuff is good, fast and fun—and like a fine wine, is somewhat aged. So check it out.

 

For more Radio Hearts check out their Bandcamp and their Facebook.

Suicide Helpline — Pink Jazz

Suicide Helpline
Pink Jazz
Self-Released
Street: April 25, 2017

Suicide Helpline’s Pink Jazz is all too appropriate for this day and age. This album’s socially aware themes harken on the vast insecurities plaguing the millennial generation’s anxiety toward an uncertain future. Suicide Helpline brilliantly do this with a volatile concoction of Clash meets the Adverts style of punk discontent with post punk sensibilities. This album boasts uniquely intelligent lyrics and within these grooves, I hear the echoes of Joe Strummer’s and TV Smith’s poetic notions of rebellion.

It’s hard to just pick a few songs to showcase, but the opening number is not a bad place to start.  “Living Is A Curse” sets the tone for Pink Jazz.  It’s is a real attention grabber with a strong beat and bouncing guitar riffs.

My favorite is “Welcome To The Rest Of Your Life.” This is the foreboding song that profoundly describes a privileged  monotonous life. Its lyrical commentary satirizes the seemingly aimless existence of the silent majority just going through the motions. It has a sort of Newtown Neurotics unapologetic directness quality to it, but invokes the eeriness of a Hugh Cornwall like Stranglers tune.

“X Youth” is a song that describes the desperation of the X generation. It rings of the frustration invoked by the Dead Kennedys “Kill The Poor,” and maintains an early hardcore edge but with a distinctly post punk feeling. This is the much needed foreboding anthem for what appears to a generation of the soon-to- be-damned. Plus, the chorus is catchy as hell.

“No Wars, Only Battles” is an up-tempo tune to bounce to. With a strong build up curtesy of electro-punk guitar riffs and provoking lyrics, this is a solid tune. Lyrically it exemplifies the pointlessness of the 21st century western imperialism. Play this loud and pogo while decrying the inflammable legacy left by inept political leadership.

If there is a band that  matters, it is Suicide Helpine.  Pink Jazz is absolutely stunning and it demonstrates that punk is music that still actually has something say.  So, be sure to grab this album wherever available.

TINARIWEN, DENGUE FEVER @ THE STATE ROOM 04.07

Tinariwen with the support of Dengue Fever was not a show to be missed. Both groups capture the aspects of music that require no translation. They perform with humility and with grace. Ideally, this is music for all types who show interest in something unique, and at The State Room, with its splendid seating arrangement and equally superior sound and light system, they attracted a wide array of Salt Lake’s keen showgoers. Many, I’d assume, are attending with an energetic curiosity as to what groups like these have to offer, but with a mid-range ticket price, it’d be a fair suggestion that those here appreciate musical diversity in an otherwise white-bread culture….

Read the full article about the Tinariwen and Dengue Fever show published at SLUG Magazine.

NEWTOWN NEUROTICS – PISSED AS A NEWT

NEWTOWN NEUROTICS
PISSED AS A NEWT
No Plan Records
Street: 03.11
Newtown Neurotics = The Clash + Joe Hill

Newtown Neurotics have re-released a gem from the ‘80s. Pissed As A Newt was the first release from this highly underrated and increasingly important band. This album was recorded live at various locations in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Locations included The Music Machine, London, Dane End Village Hall, Herts (August 1979), Harlow Town Park (June 1980)—among others. Originally a cassette, Pissed As A Newt finally sees the light of day as remastered vinyl by Nick Robbins…..

Read the full album review, published by SLUG Magazine!

NEWTOWN NEUROTICS:  Mindless Violence

Fashionism — Back In The Day / One Shot 7″

Fashionism
Back In The Day / One Shot 7 “
Neon Taste
Released: 02.14.2017

For this reviewer it’s no surprise that Fashionism’s Back In The Day / One Shot 7” continues in the same vein as previous releases lamenting a nostalgia for the days when music was actually good. Of course like their other singles, this is done with infectious hi-energy punky power pop that makes you shake and shout. With this in mind, one can be sure then this single is not to be passed up.

Although this theme of nostalgia is indeed familiar, Fashionism’s approach is refreshing and addictively energetic, and this particularly found within the grooves of the A-side’s “Back in the Day.” Much like with their previous singles, Fashionsim demands something more from today’s rock n’ roll, while maintaining a defiant look toward the past. It’s a clever glance for inspiration that masks itself in romantic idealism with a powerfully catchy kick.

The B-side “ One Shot” is easily delightful. It’s a song about espresso and god damn has it got a good hook. At last the worlds coffee lovers have a power pop anthem that truly speaks to them and their caffeinated addiction. This is a track to bop to, while spazzing out to fits of the shimmy shimmy. In other words, it’s a musical version of a coffee inspired seizure meets the lustful nonsense of a love song.

The Fashionism Back In The Day / One Shot 7 “ the first release off of the label Neon Taste. This new record label is run by Fashionism’s own Josh Nickel. Neon Taste is also distributing the 1979 San Diego repress of Xterminators “Microwave Radiation” from Death Vault Records. So, be sure to watch this space for more Fashionism and other cool releases. While you’re doing that, dig this single by cranking the volume and annoying your neighbors since that’s quite the sensible thing to do.

Dig more Fashionism at their Bandcamp: https://fashionism.bandcamp.com/album/back-in-the-day-7

The Explosion Of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance And Social Revolution In San Francisco, 1965 —1975

The Explosion Of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance And Social Revolution In San Francisco, 1965 —1975
By Mat Callahan
PM Press
Street: 01, 01, 2017

The Explosion Of Deferred Dreams is an essential book that explores the powerful relationship between music and politics. Author Mat Callahan highlights the struggles that defined the 1960s and although it is a subject well covered, he shows that this era was fresh with sounds that made one move, and groove in a way that was totally revolutionary. This culturally and revolutionary period was far from perfect and could not be boiled down to the popular idea of simply having flowers in one’s hair. In his study, Callahan uses the San Francisco as his model to understand a deep political history that coincides with the cultural renaissance of the 60’s. To do this, Callahan explores a history of the civil rights, labor struggles and the emergence of feminism.

To understand the complex relationship between music and politics, Callahan first shows that the sounds that came out of the era defied traditional modes of authority because it was a form of expression that was beyond the ability to control. Music was and still is an expression of feeling. Callahan shows this by highlighting the power of performance as a way to channel revolutionary sentiment and even action. Callahan does not shy away from this medium’s controversial pitfalls or its limitations. For example, Callahan explores the capitalist motivations of people who worked behind the scenes and the fans/ musicians flirtations with the intoxicating effects of substances for inspiration. This being said, The Explosion Of Deferred Dreams is very much about the relationship that music plays with politics, for good or bad.

This is fascinating particularly because of the raw nature of sounds that came from folk, rock n’ roll or soul to evoke feeling—a notion not truly understood then by the powers that be. However, as Callahan cites this as an impressive and powerful feat, this revolution did not last. The raw feeling that largely defined the revolutionary aspects of the sounds that came out of the ‘60s were eventually co-opted and filtered into family friendly or acceptable means. Although this resulted in a certain potency being lost, Callahan does show that was to a large degree regained by the punk movement in the late ‘70s.

While Callahan’s look at music as ungovernable medium is above all fascinating, his explorations of topics like feminism, labor struggles and civil rights are intriguing and are important to understand the times. Callahan’s explorations of feminism are of particular note as a philosophy of brutal honesty. As a movement it challenged all things from the fundamentals of the revolutionary movements to societal relationships. Not only that, but Callahan shows that women’s part to play in musical growth is fundamental it’s evolution. Although, he does take care to point out women’s exclusion from the machinations of the music industry.

The Explosion Of Deferred Dreams is an important read to understand the power that music has in the realms of political change. The feelings invoked by rock n roll, soul, folk or other forms were exciting and raw—and arguably they still are. To couple music with forms of resistance was not a new idea, but for the turbulence of the ‘60s, it was truly revolutionary and considered a plausible threat to the establishment. No doubt music still plays a key role in expression, both politically and recreationally. Given the uncertainty of modern times and arguably our collective future, The Explosion Of Deferred Dreams may not only be an interesting read, but an essential one to explore what made music a definitive power of resistance and what were the shortcomings of it. —Nick Kuzmack