Martha- Love Keeps Kicking (2019)

Posted by KB on 5/15/2019 to Opinions & Thoughts
There are never any real surprises from north England's Martha. There is always high energy melodic punk-pop with upper range, bordering yelping, vocals about relationships and Gen Y/Z life problems. But they do it so well. Some bands sound stale when they stick to a formula and luckily Martha is not one of them. "Loves Keeps Kicking" clocks in at 38 minutes packing 11 frenetic songs with strong hooks and build-ups so there is little time to lose interest, but who could. If there is any deviation from the past it is that there appears to more guitar solo parts- other than that it is another banging solid release from Martha.

Favorite Songs: Into This, Mini Was A Preteen Arsonist Love Keeps Kicking

love keeps kicking

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Music Trend Gripes (Part 1)

Posted by KB on 5/8/2019 to Opinions & Thoughts
Lately there have been 'trends' eating at me in regards to the music industry. From recording, managing, marketing and the business that is the music industry. These 'trends' may or may not strike a nerve with anyone else but to me they are worth considering and in no way comprehensive. My Part 1 deals with the actual recording, engineering, mixing ...etc of an album. Note: not all bands and artists do the below but I've notice that these are poking their heads out more frequently. Curious if any other agree or disagree or have other gripes (Part 2 to come)... click read more below to continue

Genres Useful or Stifling?

Posted by KB on 1/10/2019 to Opinions & Thoughts
Had a discussion with my son in regards to music genres. He felt that genres were constricting. That once an artist was dubbed a certain style it was hard for them to shake it. Once trip hop always trip hop. I tend to agree and would go a step further saying that there are way too many genre striations for our own good and everyone's definition of each is personal. If you like Punk, do you like Post-Punk, Neo-Core, Straight Edge, Hardcore, Anarcho... maybe? So do we just accept it or is there a way to make it better for the consumer and artist?

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Other Considerations for 2018

Posted by KB on 12/28/2018 to Reviews In Brief
My top 20 is solely determined by my taste. Lists from other critics or publications are not considered. I am not looking for what's hot, trendy nor do I care if I am ahead of the curve. I listen to quite a bit of music over the year and what I listen to the most tends to make my list. Simple.  I still feel that many lists aren't totally genuine and have ulterior motives. Many try to be obscure for coolness, jump on bandwagon to keep up with others, follow hype to not fall behind, stick with whats the genre of the year or play catch up for missing a band's earlier release. There is little emotional connection.

I would prefer to see a list from a person, or group, where you know what their sweet spot is. A group of Folk fans may not provide a list with any EDM on it for example. So if I'm an EDM fan this list is probably useless to me. But a Folk fan would benefit from this list AND, if it did indeed had an EDM release on on they may check it out since "their" people suggested it.

Anyway.... my list is just what I like based on this year solely. I've provided 16 so far with the last four coming in the next three days. Click Read More below for some releases that just didn't have enough to crack my top 20, but are worthy of listen because YOU may disagree with me and think they deserve more love.

Music Festival Musings: Attending to See or Be Seen

Posted by KB on 6/4/2018 to Opinions & Thoughts
Recently I attended Boston Calling music festival. I normally don't go out of my way to go to music festivals but Boston Calling this year had 13 bands that I wanted to see and who were not going to be in my area live on their own. So, even knowing that I wouldn't see true full sets, I ponied up at went for 2 of the 3 days. Boston Calling was very organized, the spectators well behaved, excellent food and beverage options at reasonable pricing. All the acts started as scheduled and ended with enough time to venture to other acts (most of the time). It was exhausting (in a good way) and I'm glad I went and I will do it again.That said there were some observations I had about the festival scene. We've all seen the photos and videos of the major festivals and I am including that with my personal experience.

End of Year Review Lists

Posted by KB on 12/12/2017 to Opinions & Thoughts
So we are at the time of the year of all the best of album lists. I, and my circle, all do ours (starting December 17th) for the 4 people who care to hear our opinions. Over the years I have noticed some idiosyncrasies with some of lists that I'm not sure if the casual music nerd catches on to.

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Enough on Grammy Bias

Posted by KB on 2/17/2017 to Opinions & Thoughts
We've now had time to digest the Grammys. The winners, losers, the clothes, the supposed "wow" moment, the tributes...etc... Full disclosure: I haven't watched the Grammy show in years. I read up on it afterward, YouTube the highlights and then groan. There is little in the form of substance for the real music fan (yep that's pretentious). Us music folk who search, find and listen to what we like but are constantly looking for something beyond what is shoved down our throats or who we are told is "cool" because they are on Entertainment Tonight every night. I won't dwell on the countless errors the The Grammys have perpetrated over the years. That's for another rant. Okay, now that is out of the way.

Getting Off Our Heroes' Wagon

Posted by KB on 1/31/2017 to Opinions & Thoughts
Full disclosure; Bob Dylan and Neil Young are, and will always be, in my Pantheon. I'm not a completist but I have a pretty full inventory of both artists that are in my regular rotation. With that said, it's time for me to debark from the Dylan train as I have from the Young train prior.

When it comes to our music gods aging it gets tough deciphering our feelings about their later recordings. Do we like the new material just because it's from our gods? Do we dislike it if its different from when started our love affair with them? Do we disdain it because it doesn't hold up to past greatness in our minds? Are we left scratching our heads thinking why? There are other reasons too. But for me with Dylan it's the last one.

My 2017 Wish List

Posted by KB on 1/4/2017 to Opinions & Thoughts

With the new year 4 days old, it got me pondering; what would I like to see musically in 2017? Most of my wishes are esoteric. Attitude adjusters. Getting the masses to alter their thought process oh so slightly which will benefit all of our musical enjoyment. If I can sway just one person on one wish I will feel smugly successful. Maybe you’ll agree with some of these, maybe you won’t. In any case feel free to comment and/or add your own wishes.