Midge Ure, lead singer of Ultravox and solo artist came to Austin for a solo acoustic show at 3Ten Austin City Limits Live in downtown Austin. The weather was great, not too much traffic and away I went to the show.
I did miss the opening act; Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather, but I was really excited to see Ure who I have been a fan of since the early ’80s. The venue is small, intimate and was perfect for this show. Dark atmosphere, cool air blowing on me from the air conditioning system and my growing excitement all made it thrilling and made the hair stand up on my arms when Ure came on stage. With a perfect amount of story-telling, jokes and some aw-shucks moments, Ure thrilled the crowd with songs from Ultravox and his solo career. as well as a beautiful rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Man Of The World.” Ure told the crowd about listening to the song on the radio when he was small back when the UK had one radio station and how much he loved this song. He asked for people to help him sing-along with “The Voice,” but said that if you didn’t know it, please don’t do it, which got a large laugh from the crowd. With his mix of songs, he wove a set of beauty and heartfelt singing that was a pleasure to witness. “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” actually had some tears in my eyes since the raw emotion that Ure gave to the performance was striking. It was actually supposed to be the last song, but he got caught up in it and admitted that he forgot to leave the stage. After a lot of laughter, we were treated to the final song, “One Small Day,” and a standing ovation later, it was sadly all over…except for the buying of the souvenir t-shirt of course.
Having never seen Ultravox live, nor been able to see any of Ure’s previous solo shows, this was a delight and is something that I will never forget. The perfect venue, perfect sound, and perfect performance…what more could you ask for?
Sam Levin just released his new single, “First World Problems” from his upcoming full-length album, I Am. When he was five years old, Levin began playing the guitar, a Fender Mini Strat, and at age 12, he dropped his debut EP, I’m In Here. His music style is a mixture of Indie, acoustic, and a little rock.
Sounding both retro ‘90s and modern at the same time, he infuses a slick sound with fun, relate-able lyrics that make for a track that stands up to repeated listens. The song is super catchy and will get you singing along after the first listen.
If this is any indication of the songs on his upcoming album, then we have a killer set to listen to and play over and over. His talent is well beyond his years and that’s an awesome thing to hear.
Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/03/sam-levin-first-world-problems.html
Nocturnal Poisoning is Scott Conner; who formerly was the sole member of the highly influential black metal project Xasthur. In 2010 Conner dissolved Xasthur to move on to this project and using bluegrass guitar playing and American folk music as a starting point, he creates dark, complicated songs. The vocals are from Robert Nesslin, adding a layer of despair to the sometimes dissonant mixture of sound created by Conner.
The mixture of the instrumental and vocal songs works really well together and doesn’t weigh down the flow of the album. The songs have great textures and it feels more like you are there with them in the same room that they are in, not a dry, sterile environment and it really gives the album a warm sound. I’m not familiar with his previous music, but this really stands up on its own, no need to try to look for black metal, instead enjoy it for the pleasant guitar picking and personal feeling that is present on this release.
A very cool album that stands out from a lot of mediocre solo albums from other artists that hold things so precious and pretentious that you want to puke. This makes for a relaxing listen and an album that will surprise a lot of people who think that once you do a certain style of music, you are stuck in that style forever.
This is Travis Stever, the guitarist from COHEED & CAMBRIA’s solo project and their sophomore album using the name DAVENPORT CABINET, they were previously known as THE ENGLISH PANTHER, but changed their name after The Davenport Brothers, a pair of 19th-century magicians whose famous illusion involved a large cabinet filled with instruments which seemed to play themselves.
Starting the album was the instrumental “Night Climb” which was a very gentle way to begin the album, “Sister Servent” was captivating with the guitar playing and the drumming, “Black Dirt Burden” had a nice rock sound that grabbed me and “Our Machine” was a fun acoustic song that had great banjo playing on it. These were just a few of the songs that grabbed me on this album. This album goes from gentle folk to some all out rockin’ tunes and takes you along for the exciting ride. There is a lot of emotion in the song lyrics and the playing that really drew me into the album and keeps my interest all the way through to the end. The heartfelt singing and the playing just took me away to a different place and the dreaminess just washed over me and made this an album that left a very good feeling in me.
With the acoustic and the electric songs on here, it was a very diverse and enjoyable album. Go out and grab it and let it take you away from the mundane, everyday existence.
ZACHARIAH TAZEWELL is the vocalist and rhythm guitarist for punk band ANOTHER BROKEN STRING from Newcastle, Australia and this is his solo acoustic EP.
“I Don’t Want To Go Home” is the lead off track from his EP and it has nice raspy vocals and very melodic guitar playing, and the song is about living in a small country town and escaping. “Where’s The Revolution?” asks the obvious question that no one seems to know the answer to, “Love Lust And Everything Inbetween” is a song for anyone that’s ever broken a heart or had theirs broken by someone, “Changing Or staying The Same” is quite obvious, and the final song “When Will It Be Worth It” is a song about tearing himself apart when his father died. The punk feel is alive on this EP with his vocals, the exceptional lyrics and the powerful guitar playing.
As you can see, this is a very personal collection of songs done with emotion wringing from his voice and his guitar giving him some sense of solace with its non judgemental partnership with him. This was a very deep and fantastic collection of songs and Tazewell did an excellent job getting everything across to the listener.
https://www.facebook.com/zachariah.tazewell https://www.facebook.com/pages/Another-Broken-String/177043278991157 http://anotherbrokenstring2009.bandcamp.com/
Niels H. Sörensen basically is STOJ SNAK since he does vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, bass guitar, organ, harmonica, toy xylophone, melodica, rhythm apple, hand claps, tambourine, cabasa, programming, song writing, recording, producing, mixing and artwork. Talk about a busy guy.
There are some really good lyrics on here that make you think, which is always a big plus. This is all acoustic and really shows the emotion and power of Sörensen’s lyrics and voice. Some of the vocals are shouted, but it’s mostly sung very energetic and upbeat and makes you sing along with him. Some songs that I really liked were “State of Mine”, “No Refund” and “Great Ideas Need Landing Gear”. The playing is really good, you would think that he had a whole band with him the way it all flows together so well.
This was a very cool EP that I had no idea if I was going to like it or not, and know I end up playing this all of the time, my wife even liked it and she’s picky about what she likes. This is available on orange vinyl and there are 250 copies out there, get it soon.
https://www.facebook.com/StojSnak http://stojsnak.bandcamp.com/ http://www.stojsnak.com/ http://www.tnsrecords.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/TNSrecords http://www.5feetunder.com/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/5FeetUnder-Records/302601933208
Formed ten years ago as a more acoustic band, OCTOBER FALLS has developed a harsher, heavier take on acoustic music mixed with black metal to create a unique sound that suits them well.
The heavy elements are here, but the acoustic guitar is still a part of the band and is used well within the darker elements on this album. The title song has a nice mellower feel with quieter, but still heavy music with guest vocalist Tomi Jousten adding his clean clear vocals to create an atmospheric, classic metal sounding track, he returns on “Boiling Heart Of The North” along with Ville Metsola on acoustic guitar to create another great slower song with both having excellent playing across the board. The drums are nicely handled with a soft touch when needed and heavy when called upon, the bass has a nice sound to it, very deep and of course the guitar on the album is played with flair and such technique that it is a definite star on the album. The vocals are very low, and gruff with a dirty, gritty feel to them which suits the intensity of the album.
These guys really did a great job, the last half of the album is a lot mellower than the first half, but the power is still there and made for a great listening experience.
https://www.facebook.com/octoberfalls https://www.facebook.com/debemurmorti http://dmp666.bandcamp.com/ http://www.debemur-morti.com/
Seventeen songs saying screw you for Christmas, what more needs to be said? This is a great antidote to all of those syrupy albums and songs that you hear over and over again at the most greedy time of the year.
There are punk songs, oi! songs, and even an acoustic song, but none are traditional tunes that mom would be singing along with, unless she’s super cool. I had a great time listening to this and laughed out loud at some of the songs, perfect for getting the cheer going, not that a pint or three wouldn’t hurt to have while listening to this. There are newer bands on here and even old guys like Splodgenessabounds to make your holidays happy. This LP comes in a full color gatefold jacket, has a red vinyl A-Side and a green vinyl B-Side, and includes a bonus CD version of the album, so you take it to your friend’s house and scare his neighbors too.
Cover painting by the always amazing Richard Stone, who has done covers for Anti Nowhere League, The Gonads, Guitar Gangsters, The Lurkers, Splodgenessabounds and more, but watch out, there are boobies on the cover. This was a treat from start to finish, I’m going to listen to this every year and you should too.
https://www.facebook.com/blackholerecs http://blackholerecs.com/ http://blackholerecs.bandcamp.com/
ALEX SAUER is one of the vocalists in the hardcore band HIS STATUE FALLS and has just put out a three song acoustic EP on Acuity.
He was missing the guitar in his band and wanted to get back to the feeling of just playing it again and it helped bring out the songwriter in him. He went and put his feelings and thoughts down and went and decided that a solo EP was the way to go for him. These three quiet, slow acoustic songs show a lot of depth in his lyrics and his skill as a guitar player with the gentle strumming and relaxed vocals. No punk or hardcore or anything else heavy or angry, just some nice songs to throw on and unwind to.
If this is his new outlet for his creativity, he couldn’t have done a better job. I’m not a huge fan of the singer songwriter genre, but SAUER carries this off really well and I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more from him.
http://www.facebook.com/alexsauerofficial?group_id=0 http://www.facebook.com/acuitymusic?ref=stream http://www.acuitymusic.com/