Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WHY Unplugged

Something incredible has just happened in the world of independent music. Once in a great while, a band or artist with a voice loud and powerful enough comes along with the ability to reshape our cultural landscape. For this generation, that band is Winnipeg, Manitoba's very own WHY.

Recently, Brian Cook and Eric Nordquist performed an acoustic gig that was released in all of its glory today on YouTube by the band. There's nothing like unplugging the amps to let an artists true artistry shine, which is exactly what Brian and Eric do in this video. Mr. Cook, you have an incredibly powerful voice, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. You have a message to share with the world, "...Never say you're bound by fear. Never let your dreams drown in forgotten years. Hold out for the chance, for the chance to be brave. Time is the essence, from the cradle to the grave..." You give me the courage to continue to be a voice for the independent artist, and for that and for your immense talents that you and WHY continue to share with us, I want to publicly thank you. To those of you reading these words or listening to the music, use your voice to make a difference. The world needs to know of WHY and their message. Let's make sure they hear it.

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.

The Mars Patrol

When I started this blog a little over three years ago, one of my first posts was about a renaissance of sorts that was taking place in the world of independent music. It was, and is, being spearheaded by a group of artists out of England that were turning my world upside down with some of the best music anywhere in the world. That renaissance continues, with more and more bands/artists joining in. Tonight, I bring you one of the brightest of them. Meet The Mars Patrol...

Edinburgh Scotland and London, England are responsible for my latest obsession, The Mars Patrol. The Mars Patrol are Davina Divine, vocals ; Ross Nelson, guitar; Stephen Parker, bass; Mat Baker, keys; JamescWilliamson, guitar and Lewis Searle, drums. One of the hottest bands on the indie scene, their highly anticipated debut album, Human Condition, is on the horizon. I've heard it. I've listened to it non-stop. I've hit replay several times on several tracks. I've fallen madly in love with every single thing about this band.

The lead single off of Condition, Girl I Used To Know, is slated for an October 19th release. But of course, the band has a bit of a teaser floating around out there that I'll share with you here.

From the moment that I first started to stalk their music, there was an instant familiarity to The Mars Patrol. They remind me of quite a few bands from the late 80s and early 90s, but at the same time, this is a distinct sound unlike anything else on the radio today. Human Condition is honestly the exact type of debut album that can immediately put an artist on the map in a really big way. Coming in at 11 songs, there is no let down from start to end.  I can honestly say that I have no idea how they managed to pick Girl as the lead single There are 11 tracks on this album that I would love to hear playing on satellite radio or our local Top 40 and adult contemporary over the air (traditional FM radio) stations. Be on the listen for standout tracks Stop Pushing You Away, Promise, I Wonder and Forever. And when you finish listening to Human Condition the first time, I dare you to try to get Davina's voice out of your soul.

Head over to the official The Mars Patrol website and make sure that you signup for their mailing list. Trust me when I say this, this band is going to be HUGE. Follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. And as always, check back with me here on MY Indie Music Blog for all things The Mars Patrol.

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.

Jesse W Johnson - Primal Scream

It's hard to believe that it's been almost three years since I got an email from one Jesse W. Johnson regarding his band Jet W Lee. He found me via this blog and reached out in hopes of getting a mention. Since then, I can't imagine this journey not including either Jet W Lee or Jesse W. Johnson!

I heard from Springfield, Illinois, USA native Johnson again recently and was given an advanced listen to his latest EP, Primal Scream, ahead of its October 17th release date. Let me say this about Primal Scream... damn! Following the tried and true blueprint from his 2014 release Cannon Rows, Johnson brings more of his darkly melodic blend of Americana, folk and indie rock front and center with Primal Scream.

The lead single and title track, Primal Scream, is one hell of an indicator as to what's in store for you. At only 5 songs, Johnson manages to pack quite a bit into a small package. He runs the gambit from rock to folk to Americana and back again, and never skips a beat. Song after song flows by and before you realize it, you've been listening for an hour or so on repeat. That's an hour or so well spent.  

"There's something sleeping inside of me and I've been waiting for it to wake up..." My pick for standout track on this EP easily goes to Fucked Up First, a rocking little ditty that gets inside of your head and stays there. I absolutely love every single thing about this song, and I for one and glad that that little something inside of Jesse W. Johnson woke up!

If you're in the greater Chicago area, make sure you head out to Cafe Mustache on Saturday, October 17th for the Primal Scream release show. If you see Jesse, tell him I said hello and buy him a beer for me!

Head over to the official Jesse W. Johnson website now. Follow Jesse on Twitter, like him on Facebook and head over to his Bandcamp page to download some (or, preferably all) of his previous tunes. And as always, follow along here at MY Indie Music Blog for all thing Jesse W. Johnson as they happen!

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mile Marker Zero

Hey there! We're back at this weekend and we've got some AMAZING music to bring to you from all over the world here on MY Indie Music Blog. And what better place to start than in our own (almost) backyard... New Haven, Connecticut, USA!

A couple of months ago, I was down in Connecticut for a Chaser Eight re-release show of their latest EP. On the bill that night was New Haven progressive rock quintet Mile Marker Zero. Featuring vocalist Dave Alley, John Tuohy on guitar, Mark Focarile on keyboard, bassist Tim Rykoski and drummer Doug Alle, MMZ did nothing less than blow me away that night. Having never heard of them before, I was able to go to the show with an open mind. No expectations, just a chance to check out a "local" New England band and enjoy some good music.

Saying I was blown away by this band that night would be a bit of an understatement. What started out as a smooth, low-key melodic rock intro quickly exploded into a rousing rock n roll explosion in my earholes that didn't let up for the next 20 minutes. The only thing that disappointed me about their set was that it ended. MMZ is everything that today's modern rock radio fails to be. There's no cookie cutter pretense to their sound. Going back and listening to their catalog, you know that what they started out as is exactly what they intend to be, 100% pure rock.

Now I'm left scratching me head and wondering, why the hell haven't more people heard of Mile Marker Zero??? New Englanders, no distance is too great to travel to support great regional talent, and the same goes for you wherever you are reading this. Trust me, I know. My borders have expanded in the last few years. If I can drive a few hundred miles to see a band, why can't you? It beats the hell out of over paying to see the latest mainstream darling prove that great studio engineers can get you far.

Head over to the official Mile Marker Zero website. Follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. For all of you Mile Marker Zero one stop music shopping, head over to the MMZ music hub. And as always, check back here on MY Indie Music Blog for all things Mile Marker Zero.

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Broken Romeo - Side One

This is just a quick stop in to right a wrong here on MY Indie Music Blog...

During my unplanned hiatus, Broken Romeo has been hard at work completing song after song for their new album, Side One.

Regular readers of this blog, as well as those who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, know what a mark I am for Tuscon, Arizona's Broken Romeo. It's no coincidence that they came into my life about the time that I undertook this journey of music discovery. I like to think of it as divine intervention by the music gods. I happened upon one so called critic's review of their album Desperation Daze and knew that I had to do what I could, whenever I could, to make sure these guys were properly appreciated for what they give us, which is in-your-face-unapologetic-rock-n-fucking-roll. Period. Since they released Desperation Daze and while they've been working hard on Side One, the guys have gone back through their impressive catalog and remastered and reissued four other albums for our indie music loving listening pleasure: Retribution, Mother Mercury, Bleed and Temptation. This represents one of the baddest ass catalogs of music available today, indie or mainstream (and quite frankly, ten times better than ANY mainstream artist's renderings today). Now, with the near completion of Side One, it's all coming full circle for the guys.

Seven songs down and three to go... but man, what a seven song intro this has been. I may have been away for a while, but I damn sure haven't missed a single one of these being released! Get your asses over to their Bandcamp page now and download the first seven tunes from Side One as well as their other albums. Then make sure you follow the band on Twitter and like them on Facebook and pay their official website a visit so that you don't miss out on ANY of these releases. And just so you know, this is an early front-runner for my top indie album of the year!

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Chaser Eight: Naked

It's not everyday that one of the greatest rock n roll bands on the planet turns off the amps and strips themselves down for our listening pleasure. But when they do, damn it's something special.

New Haven, Connecticut's own Chaser Eight is at it again. This time, they've managed to one up themselves with their latest EP release, Chaser Eight: Naked. When I first heard of their plans to release an acoustic EP, I wondered how in the world one of the most energetic stage bands could possible turn it down quite a few notches and pull off an unplugged set. For starters, how could they possibly pick just a few songs from their impressive repertoire to re-record for an acoustic album? Having seen them live twice, I couldn't wait to see how they where going to pull this off (of course, I had no doubt that they could and would). Well, this my friends, is as close to musical nirvana as you're likely to get.

Hearing a reserved *AUDRA* does wonders for your soul. On the standout track, To Find Him, you can hear a vulnerability in her voice that's a surprising change from the power we've become accustomed to. Don't worry though, her vocals are on full display in Moving On, mixed with just the right amount of restraint to draw you in to her world as she says goodbye to a love as she moves on.

If I have one complaint about the EP, it's that Major and Minor didn't make the cut. But then, that's just me be greedy :) At least I got to hear a stripped down version in their recent StageIt show.

Make sure you visit the official Chaser Eight website. Follow the band on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Then head over to iTunes to download your copy of Chaser Eight: Naked as well as all of their previous releases. Trust me, your earholes will thank you!

And as always, follow along right here on MY Indie Music Blog for all things Chaser Eight as they happen!

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Alisa Sharp- Say What You Want

Yes, I'm back at it again! I don't know about you, but I'm glad this bout of writer's block is finally gone!

Something that I'm going to attempt in the coming days, weeks and months is to broaden my musical horizons, so to speak, and begin to bring you a more eclectic mix of music here on MY Indie Music Blog. I'll never turn my back on the rock and roll, don't get me wrong, but there is so much more out there that deserves to be heard. I can't tell you how excited I am for what's coming up!

Case in point, tonight's feature artist.

Los Angeles, California based indie pop singer Alisa Sharp released her latest single Say What You Want back in July. A social media firestorm erupted as she Tweeted and posted to everyone and anyone who would give her song a listen. I happened to have been one of the lucky recipients of said Tweets. Admittedly, I wasn't immediately a fan of the song itself. Don't get me wrong, I've been a fan of Alisa's for some time now, but her particular style of music isn't necessarily what I prefer these days. She is what you might expect to hear on your local Top 40 radio station. This particular blog is the exact opposite of that, and for good reason. In no way, shape or form do I slight Alisa for her style of music. As I've stated before, I force myself to listen to my local Top 40 station for at least 15 minutes a day. It gives me a different perspective for what I hope to accomplish with this blog. But sometimes, I am my own worst enemy because I often find that I've overlooked someone who is the perfect fit for this blog. That's what I've found in Alisa Sharp and Say What You Want.

What Alisa does, she does extremely well. She has a huge voice that's full of emotion. Her visible scars, which she wears proudly, do not define who she is. It's that voice, which makes Say What You Want the type of song that reaches down into your soul and grabs a hold of it and refuses to let go. No words that I type here can do this song or this artist the justice that they deserve. I've told Alisa this and I'll repeat it here: SHE made me a fan of this song. "...I'll be your haven just say what you want, so say what you want...". Alisa Sharp, thank YOU for having the voice to say what you want. I can not wait for the album to come out!

Make sure you check out the official Alisa Sharp website. Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook. Head over to Bandcamp, Reverbnation and Soundcloud to download Say What You Want. And as always, follow along here on MY Indie Music Blog for everything Alisa Sharp as it happens.

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Welcome back to MY Indie Music Blog!

I know we celebrated our third anniversary some time ago, but then a funny thing called life got in the way of all the music I had planned to share with you. Good thing life had a way of working things out so that we could happily co-exist. Now I can get back to what matters to us here at MY Indie Music Blog- the music!

The journey of an independent music blogger is filled with wide open highways as well as winding back roads that take us all over the musical spectrum. Fortunately for me, that means that I'm exposed to so much more music than your average mainstream radio listener. Sure, this blog has often been accused of favoritism with one style of music over another. While it's never been my intention to alienate certain types of music, this blog is more or less dependent on whatever my musical taste happens to be at any given time. It just so happens that my indie music loving soul tends to favor my rock n roll side more than most others! That is until now. This certain electro-pop duo from Canada reached out to me to take a listen to their upcoming EP and I was instantly blown away. So let's see what we've got in store for you as we officially kick off our third year of bringing you the very best in independent music from all over the world!

FEATURETTE is an electro-pop duo from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Made up of Lexie Jay (vocals) and Jon Fedorsen (drums/production). I can honestly say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I agreed to take a listen to their upcoming release Crave. I haven't been into the electro sound since the new wave days of the 80's (yes, I just dated myself) and the alternative sounds of the late 80's and early 90's. Admittedly, my musical preference leans towards rock and metal. It's amazing what happens to you when you break down some of your own barriers and just let the music take over your soul, which is exactly what happened when I pressed play on Crave.

Playing in two distinct volumes, Crave is best described by Lexie as "(a) ‘featurette’ - like a mini movie - so we’ve written the songs to express that story and really help the listener feel what the girl is going through. The first vol. is rather dark (craving passion, lust, destruction - the wild side), and then the second is the resolution (craving love, respect, resolution, self acceptance)..."

I found that it's nearly impossible to get the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Lexie Jay out of my head. I've found myself, on more than one occasion in the past few weeks, getting lost in the album for hours at a time, just listening to it on repeat. I've gotten tangled up in the web that they've weaved in this girls journey for love. I can feel her passion unfolding as she slips down that slippery slope of self-destruction before ultimately finding that self acceptance she craved from the beginning. A standout track on the album is Sticks and Stones, where she begs her love over and over "...I love you, I love you, don't leave me on my own." My heart literally ached the first time I heard this track. The passion and emotion in the vocals are about as real as they come. It's as if Lexie Jay has experienced this emotion in her real life (and how do we know that she hasn't?). What FEATURETTE has done is trumped any artist on mainstream radio. They've written a cohesively perfect album that brings back storytelling. There's depth and meaning to every word being sung. It flows perfectly from track to track to tell the story from the dark beginnings of Broken to the resolute finisher Procession "... somebody's gonna take over the world tonight. Somebody's gonna fall. Somebody stands tall... and that could be, I could be that girl. And she could be me..."

Well played FEATURETTE, well played. I'm hooked.

Mark October 15th on your calendar now. That's the official release date for Crave. I've heard it in its entirety. I'm obsessed. You'll find out why for yourself. And you'll thank Lexie and Jon as I am now. 

Follow FEATURETTE on Twitter. Like them on Facebook. And heard over to their official website now to pre-order Crave.

And as always, follow along right here on MY Indie Music Blog for all things FEATURETTE as they happen.

Support independent artists. Give indie music a chance.