Monday, February 27, 2017

Race To Neptune - Rockwired Radio Profiles #688

All of the action of late seems to happening due North of where we are in Albuquerque.  Clearly when a State legalizes the use of recreational marijuana fin and exciting things happen. RACE TO NEPTUNE is not the first band from the Centennial State that we've profiled since the new year began which gives us reason to believe that there is something other than pot smoking going on just North of us. Of course our fondness for the band is due to the release of their gritty debut opus  OH CONTRAIRE and coming from folk who favor big riffs, interesting chord changes and  rhythms that change at a moments notice, we can safely say this is one of our favorite releases in this turbulent new year. It's hard to believe that this is only a debut and that speaks volumes of the musicality of this band. Whether they are re-living the alternative rock guitar glory days of bands like SMASHING PUMPKINS (IRON SATIRE), riding the killer wave of a surf rock riff (CONSTANT COLLAPSE) or kicking out the sort of souped up reggae-fied jams that made THE POLICE famous (CIGARS AND CELEBRATIONS), this band has it all covered.

Daphne Willis - Rockwired Radio Profiles #687

The title track of singer-songwriter DAPHNE WILLIS' forthcoming EP FREAK LIKES ME is built on a steady and confident soulful groove and WILLIS' vocal strut above the groove playfully and knowingly. Not only is  this song effortlessly catchy, it  serves as almost a response to the political upheaval that has taken place since you-know-who has assumed the highest of this Nation. It's practically a rallying call for those living on the outskirts who either go unnoticed or don't get noticed enough. Of course this is only a guess on our part. It could mean something else entirely but our interpretation has led us to believe that WILLIS' FREAKS LIKE ME is one of the most satisfying listens that we've come across so far this year. A professional songwriter based in Nashville, there's no doubt that WILLIS knows what it takes to create a song that will stand out but when you combine that sort of know-how with a need to express inner turmoil, then you've really got something and WILLIS has tons to say despite this newest effort being an EP. In addition, the songs DOPAMINE (about a different kind of drug entirely) and the haunting SOMEBODY'S SOMEONE are bound to find that wider audience.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Edge of Paradise - Rockwired Radio Profiles #686

THE EDGE OF PARADISE is one of those bands where we can truly say "we knew them when". We've always had a soft spot for this band as they were one of the first bands to make the cover and the contents of the premiere issue of ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE back in May of 2012. Founded by guitarist DAVE BATES, the band made no secret of their desire to go big or go home with their Wagnerian debut album MASK featuring dynamic range and vocal prowess of the band's lead singer MARGARITA MONET. Since that time EDGE OF PARADISE has taken their larger-than-life sound to the internet and the road and lead singer MONET has come into her own as a captivating front woman with vocal know-how and stage presence to spare. Now the band is on the eve of releasing a brand new album titled ALIVE (due out March 10) and it finds these metal torchbearers taking on a more industrial sound as one can hear and feel on their brand new single. Knowing these guys as well as we do we've got a feeling this this bold new direction will pay off big time. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

District Avenue - Rock Is Red #28

The music industry is full of makeovers. The practice is all too often necessary for that band or artist that needs to prove to the world that they are a brand to be taken seriously. From my own perspective the band formerly known as KICKIN KROTCH was a band I always took seriously due tot heir embrace of the kind of balls-to-the-wall rock n roll onslaught that gets pushed aside for plaintive indie rock or the bragadociousness of today's hip hop. Yes, there was no thinking on our end that these guys lacked sincerity even if the band's moniker sounded like a bad case of epididymitis but what's in a name? Apparently quite a bit if this band of merry Maliseet rockers felt the need to change it and perhaps that was was the smart thing to do in these image conscious times. The new name DISTRICT AVENUE rolls off the tongue effortlessly with out the need to guard your groin area but more importantly this band is back with an exciting new album and an even more exciting single and music video. Their new album EPOCH is a thick slice of active rock heaven recorded at IGUANA STUDIOS and produced by VICTOR BRANCO. The albums first single - the aptly titled REVIVAL - sums up the band's musical agenda - blistering rock n roll with a sense of uplift. And don't get us started on the single's amazing CGI music video painstakingly directed by JAY MARKS. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2017 Indigenous Music Awards - Rock Is Red #27

Funny that ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE should be singing the praises of another industry awards proceeding so soon after we wrapped up the proceedings for our reader's poll  but MANITO AHBEE's annual INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS means something to us as a publication. For years, the INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS (formerly known as the ABORIGINAL PEOPLE'S CHOICE MUSIC AWARDS)  has done it up proper in terms of celebrating indigenous music makers on both sides of the Canadian border and this year it returns after a one year absence. In the latest edition of the ROCK IS RED podcast we speak with JACQUIE BLACK  of the INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS and spin some tunes from first nations rockers DISTRICT AVENUE and RELIC KINGS but we would also like to use this opportunity to give American Indian and First Nations music artists the opportunity to submit their work for the chance to be nominated in the 2017 INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS which will be taking place MAY 19, 2017. All one has to do is click the link below and start submitting their work. Submissions will close FEBRUARY 16, 2017 so act fast. 


Mayve - Rockwired Radio Profiles #685

Just check out any music video from the 1980's on YOUTUBE and if you turn your attention to the comments section you will find raw, unrestrained and unrequited longing for the music that made the REAGAN era such over-the-top fun despite IRAN-CONTRA and trickle down economics. Hell, we've even got youngsters longing for a time that was "simpler" even though I doubt they could function in a time and space without the internet or i-phones. The Long Island, New York based band MAYVE brandish a sophisticated synth pop sound reminiscent of the new romantic fair that was all the rage in the early eighties from such acts as SPANDAU BALLET, DURAN DURAN and ROXY MUSIC's glossier output. In my interview with MAYVE's front man NICK MICHELINE, I probably should've asked what the draw was for him to create this melodic synth sound that brings to mind a giddy sense of familiarity for a guy my age but why look a gift horse in the mouth? MAYVE's new EP MOTION proudly shows what these electro-pop torch-bearers are capable of in the studio with such ambitious tracks as 1924 and the pulsating CRUEL INTENTIONS. With all of the embrace of synths and guitars, don't expect mere nostalgia on this fine release. 


Mark Reitenga - Rockwired Radio Profiles #684

We've stated before that we have a gentler side at ROCKWIRED and we don't mind letting people know about it when we come across an artist that ain't exactly one inspired by the heavier sounds of bands like BOBAFLEX or ZEROKING. Michigan-based singer-songwriter MARK REITENGA showcases a kinder, gentler and genteel style of of delivery and performance on his brand new EP UNSUNG but in no way does that mean that his music is benign. The opening bluesy, acoustic song DETROIT CITY BLUES speaks of a city in decay that deserves way more than the buzzard luck that it's been suffering in the past decade. ARE YOU WAITING is a whimsical ballad with a longing, yearning and anticipation that can be heard in every single note and ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME is probably one of the most joyous songs on the subject of divine intervention that we've heard since EURYTHMIC's THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL (PLAYING WITH MY HEART) without all of the cloying sweetness or a bunch studio wizardry. UNSUNG is pure and simple in a time when everything is crass and complicated and it's a welcome surprise. If you hear this guy in a coffee shop you're going to want to stick around and listen.