Los Angeles’ Vincent Minor (known as Michael Mangia in a previous life) channels the Great American Songbook via Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building in his catchy pop tunes. Case in point is the rather ironically titled piano-driven “Heavy Metal Lover” that PopMatters is premiering today, which will appear on Minor’s upcoming self-titled debut album this September from Social Science Recordings. One hears a bit of Burt Bacharach on this tune too, which is always a good thing. Minor is also a budding entrepreneur, having co-founded the gay speed dating group LA Lords. Along each stop on his upcoming tour, he’ll organize gay speed dating nights to help fund the tour itself. Now, that’s a clever and creative way to try to actually make money during these trying economic times for musical artists.
08/25 - DENVER, CO - Cervantes Masterpiece
09/02 - CHICAGO, IL - The Darkroom
09/10 - BOSTON, MA - PA’s Lounge
09/23 - NEW YORK, NY - Pianos
Minneapolis’ Gasoline Silver are a rawk band drawing influences from ‘70s American punk and a bit of British blues rock. Being a traditional power trio, they like to rock hard and this live clip today gives you a great idea of their overall aesthetic. Frontman Ron Franklin has three prior solo albums to his credit and for his latest endeavor, he’s teamed with Andy Hertel on drums and Josh Misner on synthesizers. Pulling the bass sounds from keyboards instead of a guitar immediately brings to mind the soul sounds of Stax, but also draws on British ‘60s beat like the Small Faces. Gasoline Silver’s self-titled debut will release 7 September via Victorian Pictures.
The quirky multi-talented duo Mates of States just released an all covers record entitled Crushes (The Covers Mixtape). To celebrate they recorded a live cover of the Replacements’ classic “I Will Dare” as part of the A.V. Club’s Undercover series. Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel recruited some help on drums, guitar and even trumpet.
Ann Arbor “dancethink” practitioners My Dear Disco have given PopMatters the honor of introducing their new single, “It Could Be”, to the world. It’s a groovy little number that could work equally well as an Ibiza dancefloor-filler or as the soundtrack to your after party. Give it a listen below:
And as if that wasn’t enough, stay tuned for an upcoming remix by Mogi Grumbles.
Also, don’t forget to check out PopMatters’ behind-the-scenes piece today on this year’s Lollapalooza 2010, during which we follow My Dear Disco on the road to their set at 3pm, Aug. 6th on Lollapalooza’s BMI Stage.
Bad Religion—the so-called “Grandfathers” of the Southern California punk rock scene—recently released a preview track from their upcoming album The Dissent of Man. The song, titled “The Devil un Stitches”, is available for streaming via Epitaph Records’ website or right here.
Over the course of their 30-year career, Bad Religion has released 14 studio albums and have influenced generations of bored suburban teenagers with their infectious blend of high-tempo punk rock overlaid with intelligent lyrics sung with the band’s trademark “oozin’ ahhs” vocals. Moreso than any of their peers or their followers, Bad Religion makes songs that one cannot help but sing along to, regardless of whether it’s about politics, religion, science, or just life in general. And, since guitarist and co-songwriter Brett Gurewitz’s return on 2002’s The Process of Belief the band has defied critics and even time itself, continuing to get better and better as the years go on.
Most musicians want to grow, evolve, and experiment over the courses of their careers—as well they should. However, as fans we tend to remember the instances where that experimentation has (in our humble opinions) gone wrong more often than the times when it has gone right. On the other hand, we’ll also criticize other artists who produce record after record with the same overall sound and feel, saying that they’re stuck in a rut or not being creative. Bad Religion is a band who has received criticism from both points-of-view—too much experimentation on 1982’s Into The Unknown and not enough experimentation on everything else.
However, as the old saying goes ”…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…”. While the band doesn’t stray from their tried-and-true sound or the theme of their music, they do it today with as much energy and spirit as they always have, and still manage to create something that sounds current and relevant using the same tools that they did 30 years ago. If “The Devil in Stitches” is any indication, we’re in for another great album with The Dissent of Man.