The Vaccines

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Introducing: Madeline Mondrala


The Introducing section is starting to fill up nicely here on my blog. Over the last few days I’ve received some albums and EP’s from a number of exciting Irish and International artists who I will be featuring in the coming weeks. But first, here’s something I was sent last month.

Singer, Songwriter, Pianist and Composer, Madeline Mondrala, grew up in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.  She has been writing songs since she was a child and recently released her debut EP, Cloud. Recorded and produced at SUNY Purchase College, New York, with a team of fifteen musicians it’s fair to say that Cloud is an ambitious experiment, especially as a debut. The use of organic samples from original instruments is refreshing and provides a distinctive edge to the overall sound of the EP. From the self styled hip-hop sounding ‘Blood Brother’ to the subtle frailty of ‘Busy’ it is clear that Cloud is book-ended by individuality.

As a demo tape Cloud works exceptionally well, effortlessly showcasing  the multi-faceted talents of Mondrala and co. But as a record it is rather disjointed and unsure of itself. Each track, though expertly polished, differs and bears no relation to the others. For the future perhaps Mondrala may have to focus on one particular style or at least find a better way of amalgamating the current mix. Either way I have no doubt that we will be hearing more from Madeline Mondrala in the not so distant future.

Cloud can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp, or streamed below.

Musicians of the World, Lend me your Ears…and your EP’s

I am always looking for new bands, artists, musicians, DJ’s, Orators or even Avant-garde spoon players to feature on my blog. If you know such a person or happen to be such a person then please do not hesitate and get in touch. Submissions can now be made directly through my soundcloud dropbox, the link to which is situated on the right sidebar of my blog under the title ‘Submit Your Music’. Sounds simple enough.

At this point I must stress that I am extremely busy and so may not be able to get back to you right away. But please don’t let that stop you from sending in tracks. I will try my best to get back to everyone, I promise!!

But of course if you prefer email, or have press releases to send then be sure to use the contact form here.

Here are some of the bands I’ve featured in the past

Cold Blood – Hannes Fischer Edit

hannes-fischerI stumbled across this back in November and it’s  been stuck in my head ever since. And so to answer the two questions that nobody is asking. What is this mysterious track that has taken up permanent residence in your head? and Why have you waited this long to post it on your blog? Both are very fine questions but I’ll start with the what.

I know very little about this tune or its background bar the fact that it is a remixed version of the theme music from a German film called ‘Cold Blood’. The mix is by the Berlin based DJ Hannes Fischer and contains samples from country music as well as the original ‘Cold Blood’ tune.

And now for the why, which is slightly easier to explain. For those of you familiar with my blog you will know that there has never really been a place for electronic music. So I felt that if I posted this tune it would stick out like a sore thumb. But now I realise that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve always claimed to have an open ears policy when it come to music and so without further rambling…

  • Hannes Fischer – Cold Blood

Golden B.C. Interview (Part 2)

What’s more important to you at the moment, Live gigs or studio sessions?
Right now, live appearances.  I’ve written music for years without ever intending to try and recreate anything live.  Now that I’m doing just that, I realise how incredibly fun it can be once you get over the whole “nervous shakes” thing.  But recording music will always be my first and most abusive love.

Do you enjoy playing live gigs?
I love them when they go well.  I’ve gone to a lot of concerts so I know what has connected with me when I see someone playing an acoustic show.  It supposed to be personal, yet not put you above the audience even though you’re up on stage.  It’s a tricky line to walk, but I’m figuring it out.

Do you find it a solitary experience playing as a solo artist?
It does get lonely up there sometimes.  I’m enjoying playing the songs in a stripped down fashion but I’m starting to realize that they’re meant to be powerful.  I’ve been considering getting some other musicians together to help me present the album in the way it was intended: really loud

How do you manage to ‘fill the stage’?
I usually get models to stand around me, ala Robert Palmer, and they mime playing instruments and just generally look pretty.  But with an acoustic show, moving around the stage while playing is difficult because if you screw up something you look a lot less like David Lee Roth and a lot more like an asshole that can’t play.  I just try to give the songs the right amount of emotion in my singing and playing so that people will hopefully be moved enough to ignore their waitresses.  Sorry, waitresses.

What scale is your recording operation? (Home Studio, Production team etc)
A couple of Shure mics, a stereo mic, a mac and instruments all set up in my home office.  I booked time in a real studio once, but realised quickly that if you’re going to experiment with songs while there, you better have some serious cash.  It’s just so easy to set up a home studio now that it’s kind of crazy to pay to use someone else’. I MacGyver’d a studio and I’m happy with that.

Does this add/subtract to Golden BC’s overall sound?
I think that it adds infinitely.  While I understand that engineers and producers have years of knowledge that can really add to a recording, I know what I want to hear coming out of those speakers and it may take longer at times, but I’ll get it.  Experimenting with sounds while recording the new record would never have been possible for me if I had used a studio outside of the one I built.

Do you have any experience in the area of music production and recording?
Besides my own work, no.  I started recording with Audacity, then Garageband, now Logic Express and have taught myself the whole way.  I’m not exactly going to produce someone else’s record, but I’m getting better at perfecting my processes as you can tell in the difference between “The Truth in the Facts” and “Just Take It”.

Does your skill level hinder your ability to truly express yourself?
What are you trying to say? J

Sometimes, but I think that’s the case with most musicians, even the amazingly talented ones.  To me, music is always the best when it’s simple in structure, lush in sound.  So you could have a song like “Get Rid of It” where there is so much shit going on in the song but the whole thing comes from two chords that play the whole time.  So skill is kind of irrelevant when it comes to expressing myself, I’m just going to start playing the guitar like a percussion instrument and sing to that if I can’t come up with something better.

What do you aim to achieve with your music?
I want to have a truckload of Junos dumped on my lawn.  Otherwise, I think the biggest aim of my music is simply to get people to listen to it and buy it.  I know that sounds kind of shitty to say, but honestly, the money all goes back into making and releasing more music.  I see it as an encouragement to create more music, and an investment from a fan that I will repay tenfold.

How close are you to satisfying these goals?
No Junos yet, but if Celine Dion doesn’t put out an album this year it could be a possibility.

So you released an album last year, Just Take It. Are you happy with how it turned out?
For the most part.  There will always be things that I’ll wish I had done differently but once it’s out, I’m not about to George Lucas anything.  But really, its my most fully-formed record and I’m very proud of it.

How did you find the overall process of creating an album?
Tedious at times.  This was the first time I had attempted to have an ongoing theme through an entire album and sometimes getting the pieces to fit took a little smashing.  “The Idiots” was rewritten about 4 times before it ended up as what you hear on the record.  It was a folk song, then it was very ambient sounding, then I ripped apart everything and made the final version.

How has it been received?
Pretty well so far, its kind of strange record to review because it can be all over the place from song to song.  But I’m hoping people will give it a few chances to grow on them because, (and I’m not biased at all) it’s a pretty great record.

So finally, what do you have planned for 2013? Any new projects on the horizon?
After taking 2 years to make one record, 2013 is going to be hyper productive.  I have a plan to write, record, and release 40 songs this year.  There may be a full length album here or there, or maybe just a lot of EPs, I haven’t really decided how to divide it up yet.  But yeah, there’s going to be tons of new Golden B.C. stuff this year as well as some live appearances, maybe even with a full band.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Thank You For A Great 2012

This is just a quick post to thank each and every one of my readers for making 2012 a special year for me and my blog. Seeing as I started out back in October 2011, last year was my first full calendar year and with almost 34,000 views and 1375 followers it’s fair to say that it has been a successful one. Thanks for all your comments and likes. They have added new dimensions to all my posts and above all else they proved that someone was actually reading them.

As for 2013 plans, it really is too early to say. But for those of you familiar with my blog you’ll know that my New Year doesn’t start till February. And for those of you asking why, perhaps you should read this post.

Coming up in the next few weeks I will be interviewing the talented Brian Offredi a.k.a. Golden BC as well as bringing you a diverse host of up and coming bands and artists.

But for now, let’s get the ball rolling with an Irish band called Little Green Cars. I already featured one of their songs ‘The John Wayne’ in my Top Tracks of 2012 List. With their highly anticipated debut album soon to be released and heavy backing from RTE 2FM (Ireland’s National Broadcaster) It’s fair to say that they are the band to watch in the coming year. Now whilst I might have some issues with Little Green Cars such as their style of music and the fact that they have already began to mold themselves to suit the American market. But there is no denying their talents and any song that contains the line  ‘I put mice in the kitchen to see if you’d kill them’ is good enough for me.

Which brings me on to their new single, Harper Lee. You can watch them perform it live at the Ruby Sessions below or head over to spotify to listen to the studio version.

Delorentos Live @ INEC Killarney

delorentosAfter what’s been the undoubted best year of their career, there’s a strange irony in Delorentos finishing 2012 in the slightly chaotic circumstances of the INEC. With last minute schedule changes seeing the gig move from the intimate confines of the Acoustic Club to the Ballroom next door, everyone involved has to reassess their approach to the evening. Playful appeals for the crowd to get up on their feet soon turned to desperate pleas. The band even stage a mock protest and refused to continue the gig unless the crowd get up off their chairs. The sound system sympathetically joins the protest by self-destructing in the strangest feat of theatrical coincidence. With no sound and the distinct possibility of the night ending early, front-men Kieran McGuinness and Rónan Yourell salvage the situation. Their impromptu acoustic and quite literally unplugged version of ‘Little Sparks’ rescues the moment and even manages to get some people on their feet.

The gig reverts back to normality in no time which unfortunately includes the crowd returning to their tables. But this does not quell the Delorentos spirit. Newer songs such as ‘The Stream’ and ‘Petardu’ show deeper and more mature levels of the band’s performance it is the old reliables that inevitably steal the show. In the end the paring of ‘S.E.C.R.E.T.’ and ‘STOP’ finally get the crowd up and they are only getting started when the aptly titled ‘Did We Ever Really Try’ brings things to a close.

While the night may not include all the trademarks of a conventional Delorentos gig, it does provide an alternative viewpoint to observe the band’s musical talents. Their performance on the night is note perfect and, while others may have withdrawn and sulked their way through proceedings, the Dubliners never give up. In many ways, perhaps a fitting conclusion to the year after all.

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