Vice Count is a New York based Alt-Rock band with heavy Blues and Classic Rock sensibilities. If you like your rock, to actually ummmm ROCK, then you’ll appreciate their riff-centric approach. Formerly known as The Viscounts, until further research revealed conflict with the name, the band has been hard at work in the studio writing and recording new material. From the sounds of the first song released, “Peripheral Vision”, the band is ready to continue their conquest of the city. The melody flows smoothly from guitar to vocals and back again, never ceasing and keeping your interest from beat one. Give a listen below, and make sure to catch their upcoming show at Tammany Hall on Thursday, August 2nd.
Posts tagged ‘studio’
So, I’ve been absent for about two weeks now, and I really feel like I need to share this really well done collaboration that happened last Saturday night out in San Rafael, CA. The following concert was held at TRI Studios. TRI Studios is a state-of-the-art performance studio for broadcasting live HD video and audio streams directly to the Internet. The Bridge Session was presented by HeadCount. HeadCount is a nonpartisan organization that works with musicians to promote participation in democracy in the United States. It is best known for registering voters at concerts.
In between sets of the musical performance, political figures and activists weighed in on topics such as getting money out of politics, protecting the First Amendment and the 2012 Presidential election. Panelists included independent Presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, No Labels cofounder Mark McKinnon (a former media advisor to George W. Bush, John McCain, Bono and Lance Armstrong), climate change activist Jessy Tolkan, and Grateful Dead lyricist and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) cofounder John Perry Barlow.
More importantly to me is how the concert aimed to bridge the gap between Jam music and Indie Rock. Bob Weir was backed by an ensemble that included The National’s Scott and Bryan Devendorf and their bandmate Aaron Dessner, along with many longtime friends from Brooklyn’s vibrant independent music scene: Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett and Kyle Resnick, both frequent collaborators of The National, Walt Martin of The Walkmen, Conrad Doucette of Takka Takka, and Sam Cohen and Josh Kaufman of the Yellowbirds. Kaufman was also the event’s musical director.
So from melody driven bands carrying the essence of psychedelia and the spirit of California, we will shift gears to bands whose psychedelia is more overt, heavier and darker. The first time I posted about Sleepy Sun, the song was one of their lighter, more acoustic based tunes, that definitely draws from the same vibe as Devendra Banhart’s freak-folk. Unlike Banhart, who primarily stays in that zone, Sleepy Sun leans more on rock, yet it differs from Howlin’ Rain, Blitzen Trapper and The Mother Hips as it’s ties to blues and other roots styles is much less direct. The sound is obscured by more stylistic use of effects and darker tones.
Below is a trailer that shows the band hard at work in a studio in the iconic desert near Joshua Tree. They are gearing up to release their third studio album, Spine Hits, on Tuesday, April 10th. I heard about this first from the nice folks over at Relix. From what we hear in this brief clip, it sounds as if the band is pushing their sound in slightly different direction. It will be really interesting to see if it retains enough of their core, while incorporating enough new ground to be a success.
The band will be touring the country in anticipation and support of the new album. Here are some dates in the Northeast:
- Apr 08 : Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
- Apr 09 : Glasslands Gallery – Brooklyn, NY
- Apr 10 : Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
- Apr 11 : North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
- Apr 12 : Church of Boston – Boston, MA
- Apr 13 : Monkey House – Burlington, VT
The complete tour list can be found here.
The Mother Hips are a Bay Area band that has been creating their brand of freewheeling, alternative Roots Rock for more than 20 years. Tapping in to the same sentiments and experiences as Howlin’ Rain and Blitzen Trapper from my earlier posts this week, The Mother Hips may actually be the origin of this California revival style, which is significantly indebted to the great Neil Young. The band has been a coalescing point for other like minded acts, including Jackie Greene and the recent mainstream breakthrough from L.A., Dawes. They have some really interesting fans, including Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, and Rick Rubin who produced their major label debut, Part-Timer Goes Full back in 1995. Rubin also produced the new Howlin’ Rain album, The Russian Wilds, which was released yesterday (2/14/12). “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear” was the lead single of their critically acclaimed 2007 release, Kiss the Crystal Flake. Watch the video of the band recording it in the studio below.
We’re going to shift gears and get back to some music with classic sensibilities for a while. The burgeoning psychedelic revival happening on the West Coast has spawned two main strains and Ethan Miller of Oakland based Howlin’ Rain has created art in both. Up until 2006 he offered psych rock of a heavy, dark and noisy bent with Comets On Fire, but since then he has explored the other side of psychedelic music that leans more on the blues, roots music and classic soul. Almost more of a singer/songwriter approach, stressing melody over atmosphere. Below you can check out a short documentary, courtesy of Relix, that catches the band in the studio, on the road and on stage. The most poignant parts come when Miller is being interviewed and speaks candidly about the process and struggle of being in a band these days. At least he has the magic touch of legendary producer Rick Rubin to aid with the band’s latest release, The Russian Wilds, which is scheduled for release this Tuesday, February 14th. You will get a sample of the sound Miller is achieving, which has been linked directly to his upbringing in the pristine Northern California enclave of Humboldt County amid the majestic Redwoods.
Just to close out this week’s theme, is a disco-punk staple from the UK juggernaut Friendly Fires. They are a prime example of how much cooler dance music is when performed by an actual band. Having seen them live, they also prove that live music trumps a polished studio cut just about every time. With a little time and space to breathe the band offers some extended breaks in choice songs to give the effect of a DJ spinning in a packed dance club where the crowd is truly entranced by the beats being served. Watch the video for “Skeleton Boy” below, and try to tell me you’re not ready for the floor now.