Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Get Ahead offers strutting neo-soul with a Northern attitude


The Get Ahead's Volcano is available now.

B
Portland, Oregon may be known as a hipster burb (see “Portlandia”), but it also has a vibrant, many-sided independent music scene. The town boasts indie rockers, first-class jazz players, an Americana/roots music community, and with the five-piece the Get Ahead, one heck of a neo-soul band. On the group’s first full-length album, the 40-minute, self-released Volcano, the Get Ahead showcases a soulful, party vibe dripping with passion, RnB and slowly-simmering rock. On most of the 11 tracks, singer Juliet Howard and guitarist Nathan Earle trade vocals while they sing about couples stumbling into mutual attraction, women rushing into infatuation and kicking out cheating lovers.
During the pumping, sax-soaked “Little Devil” the Get Ahead manages to echo the sizzle and strut of Sharon Dap and the Daptones while maintaining their own individual style. Urban blues burnishes through the striding “Take a Shine,” where a plea for togetherness turns into a sweaty workout for Steve Johnson’s searing and deep baritone sax, Howard’s stinging guitar licks and a tight rhythm section which mirrors the Rolling Stones’ historic Bill Wyman/Charlie Watts rhythm team. With “Earn It,” the band echoes the early rock-and-soul work of the Bellrays via a wicked, wah-wah guitar intro, a four-on-the-floor drumbeat and Howard’s hard-hitting vocals.
While most tunes aren’t moody or restrained, the band effectively ebbs down to a muted smolder on the late-night number, “Moonstricken,” where Howard and Earle sing about how desire can make anyone get a bit crazy. But by the record’s conclusion, the Get Ahead put their forceful energy where it counts, with the commanding “Dollars to Doughnuts,” a modern rock/soul treatment reminiscent of Black Joe Lewis. While the Get Ahead is probably best experienced in a live setting, Volcano is the next best thing to a sweaty Saturday night of grooving, dancing and throwing back some of your favorite drinks.

The Get Ahead's Volcano is available now.
Grade: B+

DOUG SIMPSON

- See more at: http://www.campuscircle.com/review.cfm?r=21306&h=The-Get-Ahead-offers-strutting-neo-soul-with-a-Northern-attitude#sthash.AoeDTkoE.dpuf


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

REVIEW: ROCKET 3 – BURN



Rocket 3
Burn
Self-Released
Street: 11.04.14
Rocket 3 = Karen O + 
The Dum Dum Girls
Burn is a sweet, sassy pop rock album that has the capacity to make your heart flutter. Using simple, resonating bass and guitar lines as the core of their tracks, Rocket 3 layer subtle synths, lively keys and drums, and daydreamy vocals to create a compelling soundscape. “Good Enough” kills it both with spunky musical composition and adorable lyricism: “You are better than good enough.” Burn features a few covers of classic rock songs, including The Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” which they make their own with groovy bass and a cheery tempo. Rocket 3 have got dynamics of sugar, spice and everything nice dialed in. –Kia McGinnis 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PopMatters - Kool Stuff Katie - "Cars" (Premiere)

The beautiful and hip environs of Portland, Oregon, a catchy tune, and a duo with real chemistry... Kool Stuff Katie's "Cars" has it all. 
And who says Craiglist has to be completely sketchy? It certainly wasn’t in the case of the Portland, Oregon garage rock/pop duo Kool Stuff Katie, helmed by Shane Blem and Saren Oliver. The two met over the website, and have since then forged a creative union that’s as playful and quirky as the city in which they live. With a few curveballs added, the music video to the track “Cars”, taken from the duo’s self-titled debut, could be a Portlandia sketch in the waits. But, alas, the video chooses (wisely) to focus on the rapport between Blem and Oliver—and their pretty sweet ride, too.
 
This video finds the pair attempting to escape the crowded, frustrating noise of the city in order to find a serene setting away from it all.  Fitting for “Cars”, the majority of the video’s attention is on what they are driving: a ’66 Lotus Cortina, which should have fans of vintage autos salivating in jealousy.

The duo tells PopMatters this about the video: “Working on this video was a blast. How often do you get to cruise around in a Cortina for three days and call it work? We definitely got a lot of stares, honks, and people who stopped to ask us about our ride. At one point, we stopped traffic on the St. John’s Bridge in Portland with a ‘breakdown’ in order to clear cars out and get the shot of us going over. Bryson, one of the directors, hung out of the back of a van while driving through tunnels, and we all braved freezing cold wind at points—everyone working on this video was dedicated to do whatever it took to get the shot, which left us with some pretty funny stories. Overall, it was an awesome experience.”



Kool Stuff Katie is out now.


the deli - Video Premier: Kool Stuff Katie's "Cars"




 

Video Premier: Kool Stuff Katie's "Cars"


Like most textbook romances, garage pop duo Kool Stuff Katie formed when Shane Blem and Saren Oliver met over Craigslist. The rest is history. Well, history in the making for now I suppose. The duo's debut self-titled album released this past October doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel per se, but they create an infectious blend of pop infused primitive rockers, reminiscent to the White Stripes. 
Today, we're proud to present the world with Kool Stuff Katie's brand new music video for the track "Cars." Get a load of the car they're noodling around in! It's a Ford / Lotus collaboration that was 1 of 200 ever sold in the US. The specific car in the video was was actually purchased and restored on the tv show Fast N Loud and then sold for $115,000 - how KSK lined up borrowing the rig for this shoot is completely beyond me, but totally awesome. At any rate, enjoy their tune and the cool footage of the duo driving around various landmarks of Portland and the surrounding areas. 
Written by Travis Leipzig
Photo by Jon Currier

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