Anton Fig has had as cool a musical career as you can imagine. A session drummer extraordinaire, he played on the best KISS solo album, and provided the beat to one of the best singles of the disco/rock crossover era. A member of David Letterman’s house band since 1986, he’s played with every upper-tier musician imaginable, and even ate a canary on television. No, not a real canary, but it was comedy gold.
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With a sound that’s indebted to Bruce Springsteen and his post-millennial disciples the Gaslight Anthem and the Killers, Cleveland band the Modern Electric combine blue-collar themes from Middle America with smart pop arrangements on their new album Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The contagious latest single “Same Old Haunts” is a fine example, going for that big, cinematic sweep of the E Street Band, but with vocals that opt for sensitivity rather than boisterousness.
Led by husband and wife duo Chris and Rebekah Bartels, Bora York bridges the more pop-centric side of late ‘80s dream pop with mid-‘80s synth pop, with heavy emphasis on the joyous side of R&B from that era. Toss in a little M83 and Stars here and there, with the two charmingly swapping lead vocals, and you’ve got something very appealing. Breezy and wistful at the same time, it’s a wonderful little hybrid, and their second album Secret Youth burst with hooks and energy.
With a total of six releases in less than five years, singer-songwriter Ryan Hutchens can certainly been deemed “prolific”, and his newest work, the full-length album 46 and Raleigh just might generate even more flattering words once folks hear it. His new single “Education” is a gorgeous little amalgam of the candor and haunting tones of Father John Misty and the more country-derived sounds of Americana.
When they decided to tweak their sound on their second EP, Rochester, New York duo Roses & Revolutions had to have known they were on to something awfully good. Rooted in confessional singer-songwriter fare, guitarist Matt Merritt and singer Alyssa Coco have ventured further into pop on Torch, the sound broad enough to appeal to fans of alternative, mainstream country, and even R&B. Well-rounded and bolstered by tremendous hooks from start to finish, this is a record that deserves to be noticed.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article