Saturday, September 22, 2018

10 Questions with S. Reidy; Announces 'And Here With You, I Am' EP

Hailing from Norman, OK S. Reidy will release his latest EP And Here With You, I Am on October 5th, 2018.  The EP will be available on Spotify, iTunes, and is currently available for pre-order on BandCamp.

About the EP --
Following up his 2017 full length album, Until the Darkness Comes. S. Reidy is striking while the iron is hot, and just a little over a year later will release his new EP And Here With You, I Am.
The EP will contain 5 new songs that continue the narrative of Until the Darkness Comes, one of which “Dustin’s Mustache” was released along with a music video in June of this year.
The EP was written, produced, mixed, and mastered all entirely by Reidy himself. The new release will also feature a guest appearance from Signor Benedict the Moor, Death Bomb Arc signee from Sacramento, CA. As well as a guest verse from Oklahoma’s own Huckwheat.
This new release features S. Reidy at the sharpest his song writing has ever been, all while maintaining his Indie Rap spirit we’ve come to know. 

Tracklist --
1. Fall
2. Lost Kite Theory (Feat. Signor Benedict the Moor)
3. Dustin’s Mustache
4. The Letdown Machine
5. Mangled (Feat. Huckwheat)

This interview was conducted via email September 18-22, 2018.

For more information  check out S. Reidy on Twitter, InstagramBandCamp, SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify.

Dave:  When did you first start playing and writing music?

S. Reidy:  Oh you know, honestly it's a super typical story of boy in the 7th grade attempts to learn how to play guitar to win over cute girls. When I was 12 I asked for an acoustic guitar for my Christmas, and once I had one in my possession I spent a majority of my days learning how to play songs off Enema of the State by blink-182. I wrote a song when I was 13 for a girl and I played it for her at the talent show. She was less than impressed from what I remember, haha.

Dave:  On your BandCamp page you describe your music as "I make rap songs for the sleepy."  How is your music different from tradition/mainstream rap?

S. Reidy:  Well it absolutely is sleepy music, and so much radio rap seems so mad and screamy and mad now haha. I don't have any issues with mainstream rap I like a lot of it. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, and Juice WRLD all inspire me a lot. But for some reason ever since I was young I've always been the type of person to equalize whatever is going on in the room. When people were loud, I was quite. When people were calm, I was the one being rowdy. So that never really changed when it came to trying to make a sound that was unique to myself. But I enjoy music most when I blend all of the influences I have in ways I rarely hear.

Dave:  You have a new EP coming out October 5th called And Here With You, I Am.  What the story behind the record?

S. Reidy:  I knew when I finished my first album "Until the Darkness Comes" that the narrative I had in mind for the album wasn't quite finished. If anything it was the first chapter of what I envisioned. This EP continues the stories and ideals of the album, and while the narrative I have in mind is STILL not quite done, this EP puts a cap on the 1st act I would say.

Dave:  Do you have any plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?

S. Reidy:  Oh yes, I'll for sure be hitting the road to support this release come winter. At the very least me and my partner in crime Lonemoon are going to do a west coast tour spanning over a week or so. Lonemoon has a super good record coming out October 19th too, so well probably do a double headline tour situation. I've loved playing in LA, and I'm super excited to be back there. But I really enjoyed playing in Chicago a few weeks back, so I'm hoping to get back out there by spring time as well!

Dave:  Looking over your catalog (via BandCamp), it looks like you have taken a very do-it-yourself route to producing and releasing music.  What made you decide to follow this path over working with a traditional record label?  Subsequently, what are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry?

S. Reidy:  When I first started rapping, I was hitting up record labels all the time. But once I had a few releases under my belt I just lost all interested. I've talked to a ton of record labels since, and I'm still open to the idea if it feels right, but it just doesn't right now. Especially growing up idolizing people like Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye for helping me understand that things don't have to be glossy and well polished to be intriguing and captivating art. But growing up going to shows at the Opolis in Norman, and having Norman Music Festival ever year since I was 12, I grew up in super positive artistic space.     

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

S. Reidy:  Man, I used too. My "process" is super all over the place at this point. But it makes since because the lyrics I write are just bits and pieces of ponderings and claims that come into my head throughout the day. But if I have any process it would be taking those ponderings and claims together in a cohesive story.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

S. Reidy:  Its great. There are so many great acts Limp Wizurdz, Annie Oakley, Planet What, Lonemoon, GWIZ, Young Readers, Sativa Prophets, Abbigale Dawn, The Big News, Dresden Bombers. All those bands have their own sound and represent Oklahoma so well and that's just the tip of the iceberg. But I could go on for hours. haha.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

S. Reidy:  I will be 100% honest I really can only do this with bands and albums haha.

1. Neutral Milk Hotel
2. blink-182
3. Lucero
4. Pedro the Lion
5. Minor Threat

1. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
2. The Money Store by Death Grips
3. Nobody's Darlings by Lucero
4. Control by Pedro the Lion
5. Dark Comedy by Open Mike Eagle

(These answers literally change every day so don't hold me to this. Haha.)

But I do love shows like Regular Show, Spongebob, and We Bare Bears. I love Nightmare Before Christmas and Spirited Away. And honestly Ive read about 2 books in my whole life. Basically I'm a 9 year old child, Haha.

Dave:  What’s next for you?

S. Reidy:  I would love to tell you, but unfortunately it's a secret. Kind of a surprise of sorts.  What I can tell you is that this EP will be the last release of it's kind for me..

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

S. Reidy:  Everyone reading please come to my EP release party October 19th at The Resonator in Norman!! Young Readers and Sativa Prophets are performing along with me and there will be free coffee and tea, as well as guest appearances! Thank you so much for helping me announce my new EP and I hope this isn't the last time we talk like this!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Album Review: 'Fixed Ideals' by Muncie Girls

Title:  Fixed Ideals (Official, Specialist Subject Records, Buzz RecordsBandCamp [Muncie Girls], BandCamp [Specialist Subject], Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)
Artist:  Muncie Girls (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, BandCamp, Spotify, Wikipedia)

Muncie Girl's return with the follow-up to 2016's brilliant From Caplan to Belsize withe the equally fierce and powerful Fixed Ideals.  While Fixed Ideals does pick up where From Caplan to Belsize left off, it is its own record that displays growth, change, and stylistic expansion resulting in a distinct piece that at the same time feels like it is part of the same whole.  In a lot of ways, Fixed Ideals is to From Caplan to Belsize what Wig Out at Denkos was to Dag Nasty's debut Can I Say?.  In both cases the follow up record sounds very much like the band in question, while at the same time exploring new ground.  And with each record, the opening tracks set the stage, letting the listener know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that things have changed.  In the case of Fixed Ideals, the record opens with the mid-tempo indie rocker "Jeremy," a devastatingly personal and angry song directed at guitarist/vocalist Lande Hekt's father.  from the the record kicks into gear with the ridiculously catchy first single "Picture of Health."  Continuing with the Dag Nasty comparison, the second song on Wig Out at Denko's "Trying" is classic Dag Nasty and sounds like it would have fit perfectly on Can I Say?; the same can be said for "Picture of Health" with its punchy and poppy indie punk infectious nature.  The rest of the album takes the indie punk genre and pushes its boundaries adding elements of indie pop ("Bubble Bath"), Manchester/baggy ("Isn't Life Funny"), and hints of post punk throughout.  The result is a record that sounds like a musical love song to all the great things that the British underground/punk scenes have had to offer for the last 40+ years.  And that's just the music!  Herkt's lyrics are filled with a palpable anger and frustration but never fall into despair.  In fact there is a hopeful tone to these songs, propelled by Herkt's distinctive vocals, that keeps the record from being a complete downer.  What makes Fixed Ideals such a great record is that it gets better with each and ever spin.  The record demands multiple listens and never disappoints. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Currently Listening

I am so far behind on reviews but there are a slew of great new records that have come out this year.  Some recent excellent new releases include Makes Good Choices by The 1984 Draft (which I did review), Daytime / Nighttime by Fresh, Proto Retro by Dot Dash, Seatbelts for Aeroplanes by Brand New Friend, and All In by Down By Law.  On top of that though, Aree & the Pure Heart, Swingin' Utters, and Mercy Union have all dropped great new tracks in preparation for upcoming releases.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

A lot of times I simply can't keep up with everything that's coming out.  One of the ways that I try to make up for my lack of reviews is with these Currently Listening playlists.  All of these records and artists are worth checking out and I highly recommend that you do so.

1.  "When I'm with You" by Tiny Stills (from Laughing into the Void)
2.  "Gasoline Heart" by Aree & the Pure Heart (from Gasoline Heart)
3.  "Jan Kowalski" by The 1984 Draft (from Makes Good Choices)
4.  "Nighttime" by Fresh (from Daytime / Nighttime)
5.  "Roman Cars" by Buffalo Tom (from Quiet and Peace)
6.  "Come One, Come All" by Somerset Thrower (from Godspeed)
7.  "Take a Piece of All That's Good" by Ogikubo Station (from We Can Pretend Like)
8.  "Little Lump of Coal" by Smoking Popes (from Little Lump of Coal)
9.  "Don't Wake Me Up" by The Pauses (from Unbuilding)
10.  "Nonbeliever" by Restorations (from Nonbeliever)
11.  "Around You" by Free Cake For Every Creature (from The Bluest Star)
12.  "Stall All Night" by Beach Rats (from Wasted Time)
13.  "Parachute Powerline" by Dot Dash (Proto Retro)
14.  "The Creek" by American Television (from Death Defier)
15.  "Something to Talk About" by Proud Parents (from Proud Parents)
16.  "Undertaker, Undertake" by Swingin' Utters (from Undertaker, Undertake)
17.  "Girl" by Brand New Friend (from Seatbelts For Aeroplanes)
18.  "Rebrand It" by Down By Law (from All In)
19.  "Chips and Vics" by Mercy Union (from Chips and Vics)
20.  "Bottom Of The Hill" by Lone Wolf (from Bottom Of The Hill)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Top 10 Records of 1998

Twenty years ago, I was neck deep in the burgeoning street punk scene of the late '90s.  Bands like Swingin' Utters and Those Unknown had set the stage a few years earlier with seminal and classic albums (see The Streets of San Francisco and Those Unknown respectfully) which helped launch renewed interest in the oi and '77 style punk bands of the '70s and '80s.  This style spoke to me with its simplicity and basic rock 'n' roll nature and I immersed myself in this sub-genre for a number of years.  1998 also saw a number of great pop punk records released, a swing revival, the Goo Goo Dolls moving away from the influence of The Replacements, R.E.M. releasing their first album without Bill Berry on drums, and Refused changing the game. 

This list was one of the harder ones for me to put together.  There were records that were obviously going to make the list, but when it came right down to it, there weren't enough releases for a Top 20 and to make it a Top 15 I'd have to include stuff that otherwise make the honorable mentions.  So I cut the list at 10 and called it a day. 

Anymore, I like to create a playlist on Spotify to accompany these posts, but as with my 1997 list, a lot of these records are woefully out of print and thus not on my favorite streaming service.  So instead I've created a playlist on YouTube to highlight this list. 

10.  Life Won't Wait by Rancid
9.  Veni Vidi Vici by The Forgotten
8.  Curse Of A Fallen Soul by Dropkick Murphys
7.  American Teenage Rock 'n' Roll Machine by The Donnas
6.  Five Lessons Learned by Swingin' Utters
5.  Mass Nerder by ALL
4.  Scary Picture Show by Riot Squad
3.  Dead End Stories by One Man Army
2.  Over the James by Avail
1.  Do or Die by Dropkick Murphys

Honorable Mentions --
Hagfish by Hagfish
Don't Look Back by The Truents
Smitten by Buffalo Tom
The Dirty Boogie by The Brian Setzer Orchestra
The Bodies by The Bodies
Celebrity Skin by Hole
Midwestern Songs of the Americas by Dillinger Four
The Shape of Punk to Come by Refused
Dizzy Up The Girl by Goo Goo Dolls
Up by R.E.M.
A Long Way Home by Dwight Yoakam
All Fall Down by Against All Authority
Goddamnit by Alkaline Trio
Munki by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Wide Open Spaces by Dixie Chicks
Dark Days by The Ducky Boys

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Currently Listening

1.  "Believe Me Never" by Fastbacks (from Zucker)
2.  "Locked Up" by Muncie Girls (from Locked Up)
3.  "Start Me Over" by Gameface (from Three To Get Ready)
4.  "Syndicate" by Squarecrow (from Before the Sun Catches Us All)
5.  "Song of the Year" by The Nixons (from Song of the Year)
6.  "Rebrand It" by Down By Law (from All In)
7.  "Chemical Imbalance" by The Kimberly Steaks (from Chemical Imbalance)
8.  "Year of the Dog" by Barely Civil (from Barely Civil / Barely March)
9.  "Around You" by Free Cake For Every Creature (from The Bluest Star)
10.  "Down Love" by Paul Westerberg (from 14 Songs)
11.  "Lighthouse" by Katie Ellen (from Still Life)
12.  "Goin' Through Your Purse" by Material Issue (from Freak City Soundtrack)
13.  "Girl" by Brand New Friend (from Seatbelts For Aeroplanes)
14.  "The Will The Message" by Bombshell Rocks (from Street Art Gallery)
15.  "Death Defier" by American Television (from Death Defier)
16.  "I'll Be Right Here" by The Slow Death (from I'll Be Right Here / Factory)
17.  "Slumbers" by The Stayawakes (from Dogs and Cats / Living Together)
18.  "American Love" by Aree & the Pure Heart (from Heartsongs)
19.  "Wages" by Re-Volts (from Wages)
20.  "Good Things" by Sebadoh (from Smash Your Head On The Punk Rock)
21.  "Unfair Weather" by Dot Dash (from Proto Retro)
22.  "The Brothels" by Rancid (from Give 'Em The Boot)
23.  "Sleep" by Mixtapes Saints (from Everything We Used To Be)
24.  "Silence" by ALL (from Mass Nerder)
25.  "Something Awful" by Bam!Bam! (from Golden Haze 2 EP)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Album Review: 'Makes Good Choices' by The 1984 Draft

Title:  Makes Good Choices (Poptek Records)
Artist:  The 1984 Draft (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Bandsintown, BandCamp, Spotify)

There are some records that just hit you.  They have a sound that immediately grabs you on the first listen and from that moment on you know you've found something that you are going to love.  That's what happened to me the first time I listened to The 1984 Draft's new album Makes Good Choices.  The band's sound is this perfect blending of '80s college rock, '90s punk and indie rock, and modern bands that mix elements of the above with classic rock and Americana sensibilities, with a dash of post punk atmosphere for good measure.  The result is a sound that is compelling and catchy, melodic and hooky, while feeling familiar, nostalgic, modern, and new all at the same time.  The band is the brainchild of primary singer/songwriter Joe Anderl, a 20+ year veteran of the Dayton, OH music scene and it's that experience that shines through on Makes Good Choices.  In fact, this record is dripping with the essence of Generation X (the actual generation, not the band but I'd love to hear these guys take a crack at "Kiss Me Deadly") least those of us who spent the '80s listening to The Replacements and (early) R.E.M., the '90s listening to Sugar and Buffalo Tom, the '00s listening to The Gaslight Anthem and The Hold Steady, and the 2010s listening to Beach Slang and Japandroids.  At 10 songs and clocking in at about 30 minutes, Makes Good Choices is a nearly perfect indie punk rock record that draws you in with its familiarity and hooks and keeps you in with its intimacy and depth.  There's so much going on here that it is nearly impossible to sum up in a review.  The bottom line: this is an outstanding record that deserves, if not demands, multiple listens to fully absorb and enjoy.  And this is a very, very good thing. 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Currently Listening

1.  "When I'm with You" by Tiny Stills (from Laughing into the Void)
2.  "Ugly Veg" by Peaness (from Ugly Veg)
3.  "Friend of Mine" by Big Drill Car (from No Worse for the Wear)
4.  "Falling Down" by Muncie Girls (from Falling Down)
5.  "Rebrand It" by Down By Law (from Rebrand It)
6.  "Slumbers" by The Stayawakes (from Dog and Cats / Living Together)
7.  "Little Changes (Acoustic)" by Frank Turner (from Little Changes [Acoustic])
8.  "Break Down Your Walls" by Nelson Can (from EP3)
9.  "Double Denim" by Helen Love (from Double Denim)
10.  "I'm Over It" by Blushh (from Thx 4 Asking)
11.  "Bay Dream" by Culture Abuse (from Bay Dream)
12.  "Cross Your Heart" by Lauren Strange (from Shake)
13.  "The Red Door" by Restorations (from The Red Door)
14.  "Loud Noises for Terrible Times" by Resistors (from Loud Noises for Terrible Times)
15.  "(You're Better) Than Ever" by illuminati hotties (from Kiss Yr Frenemies)
16.  "Sometimes Dead Is Better" by Harker (from No Discordance)
17.  "I Love Rock N Roll" by The Jesus & Mary Chain (from Munki)
18.  "Fade Away" by Mobina Galore (from Fade Away)
19.  "Maria" by Blondie (from Greatest Hits)
20.  "Take a Piece of All That's Good" by Ogikubo Station (Take a Piece of All That's Good)
21.  "Golden Haze 2" by Bam!Bam! (from Golden Haze 2 EP)
22.  "Pull Shapes" by The Pipettes (from We Are The Pipettes)
23.  "What a Time to Be Alive" by Superchunk (from What a Time to Be Alive)
24.  "Least That We Can Do" by Buffalo Tom (from Quiet and Peace)
25.  "I Can't Lie" by Supercrush (from I Can't Lie / Walking Backwards)