"I got my body and my mind on the same page
and honey now
happiness is all the rage"

The opening lyrics to the Promise Ring album I have hate listened to for nearly 15 years now...  I purchased this record the day it was released.  I would be lying if I said it didn't disappoint me upon my early listens... 

It was indescribably different from their earlier stuff.  I mean, the Promise Ring always had a pop-sensibility to them, but this felt formulaic tho'.   I don't know if this was their attempt to gain "mainstream" interest or if the band was genuinely looking to unload a number of songs that had a bubblegum feel to them.

A number of these songs are amazing to hear live.  Take for example the Deep South.  Not only is it one of the albums best songs, but its possibly one of the best songs that the band every penned.

I just recall feeling a certain level of excitement after listening to the Boys + Girls Ep - right before this album dropped and I genuinely felt like they were going to be the R.E.M. of my 20's.   They've always sorta been in my little mind and heart... they just didn't exactly knock it out of the park.

This album has a number of infectious songs tho'.   

Artists: The Promise Ring
Album: Very Emergency
Producer: J. Robbins
Label: Jade Tree
Recorded: Inner Ear Studios

Posted
AuthorRollie Agado

Depeche Mode came up in conversation on Sunday, so I decided to listen to MUSIC FOR THE MASSES while getting ready for work today.

I can't remember the last time I listened to this record from beginning to end, but I'm pretty sure I was in college.   Music for the Masses has always been referenced as a "favorite" album by a number of my friends, but I have a stronger affection for Black Celebration and Violator.   Albums that were released before/after Music for the Masses respectfully.

The album is one of my favorite albums to listen to with headphones on.   It's not heavily layered... but every track has a number of samples that sorta interlock atop one another perfectly to produce a number of very memorable tracks.  Example: Strangelove

I didn't recall the album being so dark until I head it again this morning.  Especially the second half of the album...   If you've never heard this album, but have an interest in listening to Depeche Mode - I would recommend starting with another record.  This is a little more rewarding for those who want to revel in deep cuts.

Stand out tracks:

Artists: Depeche Mode
Album: Music for the Masses
Producer: Depeche Mode, David Bascombe
Label: MUTE
Recorded: Studio Guilaume Tell

In roughly 24 hours, I will have the privilege of catching Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band again. The show is in Austin and I'll also get a chance to see the new Emos.  Well, new to me at least.... 

I wish this were available on a physical format

I haven't really listened to this EP in a while.  It was a staple of sorts last year when I was listening to a lot of KD...  but when 2014 rolled around, I went out of my way to avoid it in fear that I might burn out on the EP.

In my opinion its possibly their best collection of material.  It's a pretty good collection of KD's work, but a little more "electric".   I can't say enough about how these guys sound live.  This was recorded as a "live" take so it gives you an idea of what they sound like live.

Shame this isn't available outside of a digital format.

Stand out tracks: The Entire Album 

Artists: Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band
Album: Matter of Time: KD & GDB Tour Ep 2012
Producer: ?
Label: ?
Recorded: ?

Posted
AuthorRollie Agado

Of all the new bands I've discovered in recent months, I am really falling hard for a California band called Seahaven.   A dreamy-indie-pop record that is really great to listen to on rainy grey days... 

I have a tendency to try and find a bands earlier material when I discover a recent release, but I've opted to focus (obsess) on this album instead.   I just confirmed this morning that they're going to be coming to San Antonio at the end of May.  Looking incredibly forward to seeing them live and not have to drive out to Austin to do so.

It's really hard to describe this album because I haven't fully charted my emotions on the record just yet.  There's a number of very soft numbers on the album all lasting under 2:00 minutes that sorta weave the record in and out as if you were listening to a Doves album, without really having a "DOVES" sound?

I kinda liken the listening experience to floating on your back in a secluded pool of water.   You're not exactly alone with your thoughts long enough because you're kinda focusing on breathing right to not down - but you're totally calm at the same time?   

Stand out tracks:

Artists: Seahaven
Album: Reverie Lagoon: Music for Escapism Only
Producer: Kyle Soto
Label: Run For Cover Records
Recorded: ARC Studio