Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's been very busy previewing new CDs circulating the local music scene near and far. And more are expected to arrive to her desk soon as bands release new material during the long hot summer months. She highly recommends checking out the artists/bands mentioned in this review.
Lake Street Dive (NY)
This self-titled CD features 13 tracks (plus an extra hidden bonus one) of soulfully vibrant jazz-tone music wrapped inside a lively pop/alternative sound and danceable rhythms. Also, there's plenty of R&B as well as a hint of country rock (heard in track 7 - Elijah which boasts a gospel feel off the lyrics) and even Brit invasion sound (think early Beatles when listening to track 3 - Henriette). Lake Street's CD rocks the ears with dynamic vocal power by Rachael in which SouthSide suggests listening to track 6 - Miss Disregard (fiery feminine angst within a downtempo groove) and track 10 - Got Me Fooled (a good example of how emotionally charged her vocals can get amidst lively organ rhythms in this version however the live Elbo Room version rocked out the stage). Also SouthSide suggests listening to her favorite song, track 9 - Neighbor Song - based on actual events about noisy but amorous neighbors that the person wishes she had the same kind of relationship herself.
Eric Matern (Brazil)
Nothing is missing from this electrifying rockin' instrumental guitar rock with some electronic (keyboard) rhythms by Eric Matern. This multi-talented artist/songwriter had this reviewer reeling from the dazzling riffs and shredded chords ripping between her ears. She thoroughly enjoyed listening to Eric's emotionally charged "vocals" off the furious yet ferocious played music - perfect for headbanging metalheads. His mastery is quite phenominal, blogspot readers, especially since he plays each and every instruments throughout this CD. Eric adds depth as well as definition to every of his songs ...sometimes there's the tenderest of feelings in a ballad (listen to track 3 - Paper Thin Hearts) ...vivid imagery from his creative mind (listen to track 4 - Daydreams) ...or hardcore angst and frustration (listen to track 2 - Wanna Bet? or track 5 - Knock It Off!). Each track flows right into the next without losing a single moment of hearing his energetically vibrant momentum while enjoying this particular CD.
A Thousand Novels
Paper Thick Walls
The Americana/folk genre and scene is definitely alive and very well full of rockin' sound and lively tempo (sometimes with an organic feel) by local rockers, Paper Thick Walls. While listening to this CD, this reviewer did get the sense she was actually "reading" a compilation of stories ...some happy or sad while others quite romantic as well as personal from the dynamic vocal duo - Eric and Kate. Whether singer together as lead or backing each other, his deep falsetto and her melodic alto wonderfully compliment each other especially during track 1 - Old Weathered Wooden Dock and track 3 - Orange Tree (a Bonnie-Clyde type of story under danceable rhythms). Yet take a listen at Paper's darker-tone songs like track 6 - Desolate Place (a ghostly yet haunting tale with gentle lullaby sounds) and track 10 - Infinite (almost angelically sound for a song about losing a love). SouthSide also recommends listening to the title track for its catchy rhythmic hooks and melodic vibe within the central tale of the entire CD and track 8 - Masters of the Sea for its "Old Man and The Sea" like theme in which one can actually feel the crashing waves within this haunting tale.
As an added bonus, SouthSide's good friend, August Forte of Novo Arts, Inc. asked her to check out this 20-track CD of progressive/electro pop by local rocker (and Chicago Bagel Auhority owner), Greg Gibbs. This singer/songwriter rocked SouthSide's ears with an eclectic collection of tales and personal experiences as well as a blended mix of instrumentally melodic tracks. Picking a song to highlight, blogspot readers, was no easy task since she enjoyed Greg's lyrical wit and seriousness (sometimes) found within this artist's songs. For example, check out track 7 - Come Undone and receive some doctorly advice on how to live a healthy and moral life or track 9 - The Universe Is Fine - that's the message according the "alien" visitor to the inhabitants of this big blue marble. SouthSide also recommends listening to Greg's food themed songs like track 13 - Target Sauce (a short and sweet-n-spicy intrumental song) and track 15 - Food Tastes Fine (a humorous look at people who have interesting dietary restrictions/preferences). SouthSide also recommends listening to track 3 - Wasted Plans (might remind you of that famous lyrical line from Pink Floyd's Time), track 4 - Slow Down (instead of The Eagles' Life in the Fast Lane, this is life on the slow yet spontaneous lane) and track 8 - Most Guitars Are Made of Trees.
Seth Adam (CT)
Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide recommends checking out this 10-track CD of electric/country folk rock that rocks by Seth Adam and his band (featuring Gerry on electric and lapsteel, Anthony on drums and Gerard on bass)! She enjoyed the energy felt as well as heard especially during track 1 - Suicide War while fooling her ears into thinking she was hearing a young Tom Petty on vocals. Hailing from CT, this singer/songwriter truly captures the electric side of his songs after having recently reviewing his acoustic show at Elbo Room. Blogspot readers will notice how Seth's natural vocal style perfectly embodies the essence of his lyrics thus popping the words to vivid life as heard in track 3 - Apologize and track 4 - Not Sad To See You Leave (in which Seth's vocals seriously became so emotionally charged you do feel the tempered heat of his frustration especially when singing "...not sad to see you leave ...goodbye..." Yet if you want to hear the "softer" side to Seth's music, this reviewer suggests listening to track 5 - The Last One (sentimental amidst a downtempo folk sound). Also recommended for listening is track 9 - Stealing in which Seth and the guys get a little soulfully funkyy under an R&B sound. Perhaps, it's a tiny preview of what might be featured in his next album, blogspot readers.
Until next time, support your local scene,