Dawes: Truth Back Under the Knife

On paper, there’s no reason I should like Dawes. They have A) a strong vein of Southern rock/Laurel Canyon sound running through their songs and B) a very earnest songwriter. But music doesn’t take place on paper, and Dawes’ music just works. A key element to the succes of Dawes’ sound is Taylor Goldsmith’s strong, open voice that bursts with heart. And while serving the lyrics, the music itself does not sacrifice melody or rhythm to do so.

I’m hoping to see Dawes when they come to Cleveland in support of Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons on February, 18. They’ll be playing the Tavern inside the Beacland Ballroom.

Dawes – When My Time Comes (Daytrotter session)

Dawes – Love Is All I Am (Daytrotter session)

Dawes on MySpace

Continue reading

Simone Felice: Long May You Run

Simone Felice is a wonder. In 33 years, he seems to have experienced enough highs and lows to fill a few lifetimes, and he still manages to radiate the kind of sunny, loving air one would expect only from someone who has remained innocent of the depth and variety of pain the world has to offer. He came to prominence on the music scene as the drummer and rabble-rouser of the Felice Brothers (“prominence” being a term used loosely here as there are some still ignorant of the glory of the Brothers), given to off-kilter rhythms, whiskey-fueled antics and declarations such as “All ya’ll didn’t think there was any more churches left in New York City, did ya? This is the Felice Brothers Scumbag Church where you can fuck your cousin in the bathroom.” But even in the midst of the backwoods anarchy of the Brothers, the softer light in Simone still came shining through when he’d take the helm on songs like “Your Belly in My Arms” and “Mercy”.

When tragedy struck, not for the first time in Felice’s life, in the form of the still-birth of his daughter in the winter of 2008, instead of becoming hardened by … Continue reading

Andrew Bird: Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire

I’ll admit it: I like Andrew Bird himself and find his creativity and talent inspiring, but I’ve had a hard time getting into Andrew Bird’s music. When I tried to just listen to him, I found myself liking “Imitosis”, “Heretics”… and that was about it. When I actually watched him play, by way of videos of live performances, I fell in love with a few more songs, like “Anonanimal” and the marvellously ungainly-titled “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left”. While all the songs weren’t clicking with me, the ones that did click, clicked hard.

I previewed samples from a few of his albums and just wasn’t finding a whole album I felt like dropping a dime on… until I hit those first two Bowl of Fire albums – Thrills and Oh! The Grandeur – then it was Hot, damn! (On the third and final Bowl of Fire album, The Swimming Hour, switched gears, delving into a variety of pop styles. Bird refers to it as his “jukebox album”. ) If, like me just a week or so ago, you … Continue reading

Nicholas Megalis: 216 Reasons to Live

Two words come to mind when thinking how to describe Cleveland/NYC artist Nicholas Megalis: sassy and sexy. Some of his songs carry a mad carinval air, some are enveloped in warm industrial fuzz, but most of them will make you rotate your hips in an unseemly manner.


I discovered Megalis, or rather, he discovered me when he began following my personal account on Twitter a while back, perfectly illustrating how the internet has changed the whole game for music.

Continue reading