Wednesday, November 19, 2014

OK Go Hungry Ghosts...The Perfect Break-Up Album????

Discovering Pledge Music has been a pretty good source of new music lately.  I initially found the site not too long ago through following The Zombies on Twitter.  After buying their new album, I perused the Pledge Music site to see what other goodies might be available.  After a little bit of searching I stumbled upon OK Go and their new album Hungry Ghosts.  Now I’m not the biggest fan of OK Go out there, (Not in a bad way, it’s not like I think they’re Nickelback or something) I’ve just never taken the time to get into their music apart from watching their ridiculously amazing videos on YouTube and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to dive in head first.

With any album I review, I try to play the hell out of it without headphones for a while so that I can get a good feel for it before I sit down and write.  What I noticed right off the bat (and liked very much) is how they tastefully weave the use of synthesizers into their brand of rock.  With my attention grabbed from the synth work, I was pretty excited to dive into the rest of the album.

Saturday, November 8, 2014 Interview Featuring Jason Falkner of Power Pop Supergroup TV Eyes

I had the honor and pleasure to interview Jason Falkner about the TV Eyes project last week.  Jason and I talked for well over an hour - and the interview covered almost every aspect of the project.  The whole interview runs over an hour, so I've uploaded it to the The Soli Lama YouTube channel in two different ways:

1) Full length / uninterrupted

2) Broken down into 8 parts that are about 10 minutes a piece.

Jason was very candid throughout the interview and really added a lot of humor, which makes it really enjoyable to listen to.  The guy is a musical wealth of knowledge and I've annotated the videos (The ones that were broken down into parts) so that it's easier to look up some of the artists he was talking about.  On a humorous note - I may have lost all of my "street cred" when he mentioned two artists (back-to-back I might add) that I wasn't familiar with...but hopefully he'll give me a pass!

This is BY FAR the most comprehensive interview about the new wave, synthpop inspired project known as TV Eyes.  Even if you're not a fan of the band or have never heard of them, I think you'll enjoy the interview anyway because it's very informative and as I said before, Jason talks from the heart about this project and injects some really funny moments as well.

You can read the review of TV Eyes' self titled debut album here before you watch the video if you want.  I can't say enough about this record - and really recommend that you take a moment and check it the very least listen to "She's A Study"!  It's safe to say though, that once you hear that song - you'll be sucked in and want to devour the rest of the album.

The Video: TV Eyes member Jason Falkner Talks With The Soli Lama (Full Interview)

If you enjoy the videos, please "Like" them and comment on them so we can get some discussion going about this insanely talented band!

If you're pressed for time and are wondering which video to watch, here's my quick "Clarence Update" for all of the videos to help you find what you may be most interested in watching:

Part 1

In this video we discuss the birth of TV Eyes, Logan's Sanctuary, the theme of the album, the original name of the band and where the current name came from.

Part 2

In this video we talk about recording the album, changing the instrumentation of the album (particularly the drums - from real ones to vintage drum machines), the French Band, Air, the song Time's Up, and whether TV Eyes was always going to be a trio.

Part 3

In this video we go into musical influences, the song "Fascinating", the synthesizers used on the album - including a Polymoog, Multimoog, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, 10, Pro-1, Oberheim 2 voice, the Gleeman Pentaphonic, Eddie Jobson and his EMS, and how music transcends from the audio to the physical.

Part 4

In this video talk about authenticity, Neil Young's Pono Player (Jason does an amazing/hilarious impression of Neil), songwriting, the process of songwriting, how the members are all multi-instrumentalists, the song "Love To Need", and Jason's character voice.

Part 5

We continue the interview discussing the song "Mission Submission", Tom Petty's video "You Got Lucky", the artistic aspect of the 70's, the Monochrome Set, a band from the 70's, how film influenced the album, the colors of the album art and how this album was ahead of its time.

Part 6

In this video we talk about how the synthpop sound started to come in vogue and the frustrations of not having the album out as the sound started to catch on, how the album is still relevant today, how artists are perceived if they are moody, ripping off past artists, what Jason hoped to happen with the music when it was released almost 10 years ago.

Part 7

In this video we discuss whether working with Roger Joseph Manning Jr. again is a possibility, a possible new supergroup with Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Joey Waronker, and Beck Hansen that would make music in the style of the LA Punk scene of the 70s, and Jason's new album.

Part 8

This video ends the interview and in it we discuss R Stevie Moore, Emitt Rhodes, Lo-Fi music, the Omnivore Recordings record company, Jason reissuing his first two solo records on Omnivore and how the TV Eyes reissue came to be.

As with any interview, there are always questions that you wish you had time to ask.  So if you still have questions about any particular subject, let me know and I'll try to get them answered for you!

You can purchase the album at Omnivore Recordings on CD or vinyl.  Also, be on the lookout for another version of the album with Jason's original mixes coming soon (Hopefully)!!

One more thing...if you're interested in getting updates about when new entries are posted on the blog and new videos are uploaded to our YouTube channel, you can subscribe to our mailing list HERE.

Thanks for reading

- The Soli Lama

Monday, November 3, 2014

TV EYES Interview

The TV EYES interview is in the can and I'm working on it in post right now!  Should have it up by mid week!!

I have over an hour of audio for this phone interview!  Jason Falkner and I left no stone unturned, I think you'll really enjoy it.

Check back soon.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Interview Announcement

I've got a great interview lined up for this week!  Should be up by the end of the week on the blog and on the YouTube channel...

Stay tuned!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TV Eyes Omnivore Release Review

Great songwriting, production, and the ability for an album to feel as relevant and fresh now, as it did when it was released are the foundations of what make an album great.  Obviously that’s a condensed description and there are other factors that go into it as well…but for all intents and purposes that pretty much sums it up for me.

When it comes to the reissue of the self-titled offering from TV Eyes, if we ask the question, “Is this a great album?” the answer is a resounding YES.   Whether it be the relevant Orwellian theme (which we seem to be faced with now more than ever), or the meticulous effort put into the detail of the arrangement of the songs, or just the impeccable songwriting, the lone release from TV Eyes is one hell of an effort that begs to be considered in the great album category.   It’s a crying shame there is only one album from this power pop super group consisting of Jason Falkner, Roger Manning, and Brian Reitzell.  These guys were way ahead of their time when they conceived this project yet sadly, missed the 80’s revival train when the album finally came out in 2006 as a Japanese import.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chromeo Frequent Flyer Tour Review

Chromeo’s Frequent Flyer tour landed in Asheville, NC on October 2nd 2014, bestowing a heavy dose of FUNK on all that were there.  The Funkloardz came out in full force and left the Orange Peel scorched from their blistering performance.  I’ve watched a lot of Chromeo performances on YouTube so I was coming in with high expectations, but I had no idea how mind-blowing the performance would be.  All I can say is that I left with a crater between my shoulders. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beck Concert Review 2014

As Beck’s tour comes to a close I wanted to post a review of the shows I saw in Charlotte and Asheville, NC on July 11th and 12th.  Before this concert, the only albums that I had of Beck’s were Mutations, Odelay, and Midnight Vultures.  I played the hell out of the Midnight Vultures album and thought it was amazing, but I never ventured to buy anything else. 

I originally went to the concert to see the keyboard player, Roger Manning, because the opportunity doesn’t come around that often to see him live.  (Come on - admit it, you’ve gone to a show not for the headline name before)  Even though I wasn’t necessarily going to see Beck, I knew I would be entertained because I enjoy Mr. Hansen’s music and I knew his supporting cast was amazing in their own right…what I didn’t know was just how great it would be. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The GOASTT Long Gone Review

To my delight, The GOASTT released a new EP on Spotify a little over a week ago.  The tracks on the EP feel very much like they belong on Midnight Sun, a natural extension to the album if you will.  To say that The GOASTT wears their influences on their sleeve would be tired and lame.  To say that The GOASTT draws from their influences and then goes to 11...well, that would be more accurate. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chromeo White Women Review

I know, I know - I’m fashionably late to the party on this one, but better late than never.  With the upcoming Chromeo concert near home base soon, I wanted to get this review in before I reviewed the concert in October. 

Within the first few seconds of hitting play, you know you’re in for a good time while listening to Chromeo’s new album.  I’ve read all the reviews I could find on this album and I feel that most have missed a lot of the subtleties that really make this an outstanding effort from the Canadian duo.  One of the most enjoyable parts of this record is the attention to detail with the ordering of the songs.  With the advent of iTunes giving the consumer the ability to buy single songs instead of the whole album, the art of making a complete album has gotten lost in the technology.  For good or for bad this is where the commercial end of the business has led us, so when artists put forth the effort and take time to think about how the song order will effect the listener – it shines.  The album jumps at you and screams for attention as a whole adding another layer of depth that is missed by so many today.  I really believe this added so much to the album, yet it’s such a subtle thing…and when done right it’s just powerful, plain and simple. 

About the Soli Lama

Things have changed so much in the last few years.  One no longer needs a publishing house to publish a book and recording studios can be made in one's own home.  Basically the barrier to entry into many different areas has been torn down and there is no one there to tell you NO anymore.  Have an idea for a book?  Publish it yourself.  Want to record an album?  Do it yourself on your computer.  Idea for a film? Make it yourself.  Want to be a photographer?  Shoot something and put it up on your own site.  Have something to say?  Start a blog.  Gatekeepers are becoming increasingly irrelevant and have lost their ability to keep you from what you love because you don't meet their standards.  With the right creative (and quality) content and a little marketing know how, you can pretty much do what you want in any arena.  What's more is that you can do it on your own terms.  You'll know whether you are right or wrong if people keep coming back, which I believe makes for a more interesting playing field.

What right do I have to review music, instruments, devices, sound systems, etc?  Well...none I suppose, but at the same time who's to tell me I can't?