Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for Warpaint



This group’s style has several classifications, including the aptly termed dream pop. I find that so fitting because Beck’s “Dreams” has a similar sound to Warpaint’s “New Song”. WNKU tends to play blocks of loosely themed music and has played these literally dreamy sounding numbers back to back.


I’m going to make up a group named Waking Up Dead. They have a sound that harkens to Marilyn Manson’s androgynous “Mechanical Animals” era.

WARNING: The following video may be considered shocking and may be NOT SAFE FOR WORK.


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for Kurt Vile



I have to be honest and say that “Life Like This” is not a song of which I’m particularly fond. It kind of drags for my taste. But V is a tough letter and I do appreciate the musicianship.



For the letter V my pretend performers are called Victory. Their music hearkens to The Bravery, whose lyrics can be rife with delicious melancholy.



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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for U2



Alas, I could not find a lesser known group that WNKU airs. You are probably aware that U2 plans a tour performing their album “The Joshua Tree” in entirety. Has it really been thirty years since its release? Wow. Good music, too.


Folk artist Uncle Frank is today’s made up entertainer. He has a sound not unlike David Lindley.


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for 2Cellos



Yeah, their name starts with a number, but I just had to write about these amazing Croatian cellists. I’m breaking another self imposed technicality, too, because I didn’t hear their music on WNKU. Instead I heard the DJ announce their upcoming show in Cincinnati. The way these two manipulate pop music through their unconventional instrumentation astounds me no end. And they are performers through and through.


For today’s fake group, I am picturing someone like the Gorillaz with animated characters posing as its members. I’ll call them Two Fish, with their animation being a nod to Dr. Suess.


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Blogging Epiphany (an Update)



For this April’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, fellow participant Mary Burris (who hosts Jingle JangleJungle) inspired me to insert video. I managed to figure out how to do that via Youtube after struggling with my tendency to get overwhelmed by too much information.

It’s so obvious now. As she said you click 'share', then 'embed'. ~sigh~ At least I have that technique down.

Formatting text became my next challenge. For some reason, video insertion changed what all ready satisfied me in former previews.

Then I realized that I could probably insert video HTML code within text entered into Blogger’s ‘compose’ mode. I went to my original MSWord document containing my post and typed the words INSERT VIDEO HERE in each spot intended for video.

No, I don’t mean to virtually shout. I put the words in all caps so as to more easily find them within the HTML code. And voila! It worked. What a relief.

Have you found any convenient fixes for plaguing little issues? Don’t you wish you figured it out earlier?

To celebrate, I’m going to share a bonus video. Enjoy.



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Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for Saint Motel



The first time I heard “Move” off the album Saintmotelevision I nearly jumped out from behind the wheel of my car wanting to dance. It sounds like Saint Motel has a fabulous fat horn section backing up their catchy lyrics. Oddly, only one song on each of their releases has that sound I crave.


Today’s faux group performs and records under the name Surviving Entropy. These three brothers and their sister hail from Seattle and have a sound similar to Blur.


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for Rag’n’Bone Man



Don’t you just love Rory Graham’s stage name? Listening to “Human” I would have never guessed in a million years that he hails from East Sussex, England. He really captures the soul of Mississippi Delta blues and I wish Rag’n’Bone Man much success.


Today’s faux artist goes by the name Robosexual, the term for a humanoid robot fetish I encountered via the British comic “2000 AD” character Lobster Random. Unlike the cranky, genetically modified cartoon torturer, the singer/songwriter/performance artist plays well with others. I liken his sound to Celldweller, who collaborated with Criss Angel (the magician singing in this video).


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q is for Queen


I tried to find another band for Q, going so far as to reach out to WNKU. But nobody responded (probably because the radio station folks are mostly volunteers, no doubt with busy lives). So I couldn’t find a lesser known band to tout. At least I stuck to my biggest rule for this challenge because the college station does play Queen.



My phony band for Q is Quiver. They play music like Queensryche. “Silent Lucidity” is sort of my ongoing lullaby. My partner downloaded the video to our DVR and I watch it before going to bed. ~grin~ Enjoy.


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P is for Phantogram


Listening to the song “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”, I would never have guessed this group to be a duo project. It’s fitting that Phantogram is also the name of an optical illusion. And some of the elements of “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” remind me of Celldweller, Klayton’s latest solo project. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter make amazing music together.



Love Stinks is my fake band honoring the J. Geils Band. My beloved older brother actually attained the nickname ‘Jay’ for reasons I won’t disclose. I lament the singer’s loss. The second tune is the whimsical B-side of “Love Stinks”.



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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

O is for Frank Ocean


Never having developed a taste for R&B, I find “Pink + White” extraordinary. Rock and roll at its most cliché is about drugs, sex, and rock and roll. Frank Ocean’s “Pink + White” turns this inside out and back again, lamenting lost love and drug addiction in a most wrenchingly soulful manner. If you're interested, there is a great article at Bustle.com:

 Bustle



For fun after that heavy blurb, let’s hear from my little creation Otter Parade. This young quintet aspires to follow in the footsteps of the Violent Femmes. I really adore “Blister in the Sun”.


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Monday, April 17, 2017

N is for The New Pornographers


I found myself trying to sing to The New Pornographers song “High Ticket Attractions” the moment the tune first played over my car speakers. The female vocalist echoing her male counterpart just flat-out hooked me. I feel the lyrics allude to the mystical, though the video is far removed. The theme is violent, but with humorous elements as a minor feud becomes the all-out destruction of a high school.


My phony band for today is Neon Dark. Thanks to kindly and talented blogger Nick Wilford's introduction I compare them to great Scottish indie band Idlewild.

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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Need Professional Help



I am not tech savvy. It’s not a secret. My forte is writing fiction. It’s my passion and calling.

That said, I enjoy blogging as a way to connect with folks. And thank you to the many people who patiently tutor me on learning related computer processes. I don’t have the will or patience to take courses, even online.

But can someone please explain to me why the formatting is so difficult with Blogger? I thought I had everything down pat, then I go into preview mode and the text formatting is all wrong.

So I copy and past the proper HTML to correct that and find video missing. I swear I feel my blood pressure rise every time. Am I the only one?

Maybe I should use a different blogging platform. What do you think?

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

M is for Mad Anthony


Mad Anthony’s “Sad Songs” does not have particularly compelling lyrics. However, I really appreciate the overall sound. Interestingly, I don’t understand how this tune fits the groups proclaimed genre mix of stoner rock, grunge, and punk.

Today’s sham is named Monkey Funk. My imaginary critics liken their sound to Blink 182.


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Friday, April 14, 2017

L is for Ray LaMontagne


“Part One – Hey, No Pressure” was my introduction to Mr. LaMontagne and one of the first tunes I heard on WNKU. His sensual crooning and the song’s uplifting message make it an ongoing favorite. I really need to look into his six studio albums and find out if I should put them on a wish list.





For L, I’m going to create Lost Left Socks. Like with the letter D’s phony Dimensional Drift, the name was inspired by an old cartoon. In this case it’s “Ren and Stimpy” and these three irreverent musicians tend to spoof other artists like the hugely successful Weird Al Yankovic.

I know Mr. Yankovic has an extensive new catalog but I just adore "Fat".


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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

K is for Michael Kiwanuka


“Love & Hate” is a fantastic song. Mr. Kiwanuka really moves me with these lyrics. And the quietly soaring guitar toward the end raises the hair on my arms. If you play the video, be warned that the sound gets muffled when the point of view shifts behind the sound booth (there is nothing wrong with your speakers).



For K, I’m going to make up Knotty Pine, my ode to the final episode of “American Horror Story: Coven”. Hearing Jessica Lang’s evil character howl upon recognizing her eternal afterlife always makes me grin. My fake Knotty Pine foursome, however, plays old school country and western. One of the guys plays a wicked banjo.
I can’t resist sharing the great Johnny Cash covering Trent Reznor’s “Hurt”. 




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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for Joseph


These three sisters from Portland, Oregon once again bring female representation to the challenge. I had the immense pleasure of hearing a live performance of “White Flag” early one Sunday morning and knew they had to be included in this. Their harmonizing blew me away. Also of note, Joseph isn’t the only folk act making an appearance (See Dawg Yawp under D). Am I mellowing as I age? Maybe a little, but I still listen to Marilyn Manson on a regular basis.




My fake band Jam Joy changed their name from Joy Jam as a self deprecating joke. The original salacious pun got switched when fifteen years at small venues failed to produce any studio interest. These aging artists insist they will continue to jam live for their loyal fans as long as they are able to stand upright and play. They sound a little like Cute Is What We Aim For.

WARNING: Not safe for work due to sexual content.




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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit


I must confess to having some difficulty finding a band for the letter I. So I did a search through the WNKU playlist. Hopefully, ‘the 400 Unit’ following his name doesn’t technically make this for the letter J. I all ready had one for that letter! But this rock flavored country sound had me bobbing my head. I hope you enjoy the tune with its bittersweet message.



My artificial group today goes by the name Invisible. They play music much like classic Skid Row, complete with power ballads.
 



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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Monday, April 10, 2017

H is for The Heavy



I am listening to “How You Like Me Now” while typing this.  The Heavy is a British band, a fact that stunned me.  I pictured them hailing from the southern United States, maybe Louisiana. Apparently the tune has been sampled in the media numerous times. Somehow I missed out hearing the funk rock tune until more than six years after its 2010 release.


WARNING: this might not be safe for work. There is some nudity, though it’s cartoonish (!). I had a blast watching this one.




For a phony music group, I’d like to introduce you to Heartfelt.  Two female cousins started a tribute band honoring sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart.  They have been playing small venues nearly as long as their heroines.



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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Warming My Sci Fi Heart



My partner earned a lot of points the other night. I wanted to watch a movie but nothing came to mind. Enter a moment of evil genius.

“How about Mystery Science Theater riffing ‘Manos, the Hands of Fate’?”

“But you never watch MST3K,” said I.

“Maybe I should start.”

Yeah. Cool. But start with possibly the worst movie the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew ever riff-tracked? It warmed my heart.

DVD Set Includes Mini Movie Poster Featuring
Robots Tom Servo and Crow


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Saturday, April 8, 2017

G is for Al Green

I have to give a shout out to The Reverend Al Green, so nicknamed because – why not? The man needs some sort of title with all that talent. “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” came out at the end of 1973. Wrongfully, I believe, that was his last album to be certified gold. The man’s music is not in my collection, something I ought to rectify.



Today’s manufactured band is called Ground Zero. Born in the Cold War era, they continue touring on material from a single album. And that can happen. Just check out the Skatenigs (WARNING: the video below has mature language and is definitely NOT safe for work).



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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Friday, April 7, 2017

F is for Fitz & the Tantrums


I have heard Fitz and the Tantrums on other stations, but not their song “HandClap”. Their neo pop and indie soul stylings shine in the 2016 single. It makes me want to dance like crazy. I am reminded of the fabulous “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.

 

My phony group? Falling Faster. This five piece group performs post punk revival alternative tunes much like She Wants Revenge. The lyrics are heavily romantic yet fatalistic, their name implying a tendency to fall in love ever more quickly with each failed relationship.

 

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As previously mentioned, all the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. Anyone interested can find the website here. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for Eclipse Movement


I am not a huge fan of rap music but the fat horns in Eclipse Movement's “Blind” really hooked me. They don’t have a Wikipedia page, I was sorry to learn, but they are Cincinnati natives.

 

Today’s made up band is Everready. The battery company’s iconic wind-up rabbit featured on the cover of their first album until said corporation sued. Their sound harkens back to Radio Werewolf, which totally didn’t fit the album cover anyway. ~grin~ Their self titled freshman release ended up featuring the band in zombie makeup.

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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Courtney Barnett - Part II for the Letter B



Here is the video I should have shared before. ~blush~ Thanks again, Mary Burris, for the kind nudge and to all my kind readers (however humble my numbers). Happy viewing!



D is for Dawg Yawp


Cincinnati’s music scene is definitely richer for the talented Dawg Yawp. Their latest single “Lost at Sea” has reportedly gained them wider acclaim. That makes me very happy. “I Wanna Be a Dog” is probably my favorite among their folksy tunes. The group’s use of a sitar really sets their sound apart.  The artists look like they walked off the set of 1974’s science fiction comedy “Dark Star”. Gotta love that…



My fake artist for the letter D is Dimensional Drift. I imagine this foursome performing bluesy acid rock much like The Doors. The name is blatantly stolen from the sci fi comedy cartoon “Futurama”. My partner and I have been watching old episodes obsessively of late.

 

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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Revisiting the Letter A with Video

The Avett Brothers - True Sadness (Live on 89.3 The Current). Thanks, Mary Burris, for the friendly prod. I am pleased to have learned a new trick.

Barns Courtney - Fire, Part II for the Letter C







Thank you, Mary Burris, for inspiring me to try again to post video. I'll work on my remaining posts. I don't know why I tend to make things so difficult. ~grin~ Enjoy!

C is for Barns Courtney


It’s amusing to me that Barns Courtney follows Courtney Barnett. What can I say? He is equally fantastic. It’s hard to believe that smoky voice comes out of a twenty-six year old. I totally adore the song “Fire” with its spaghetti western elements. While the single fittingly featured in the movie “Burnt”, the lyrics reflect Barnaby Courtney’s career struggles and ensuing frustration. I can’t get enough of this gritty tune and wish him all the best.

Crap is today’s phony band. They play unadulterated, unapologetic thrash metal. The four members of Crap credit early Anthrax and Slayer releases as direct inspiration.

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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Monday, April 3, 2017

B is for Courtney Barnett

Ms. Barnett’s “Three Packs a Day” deserves a mention for not only being catchy but also hilarious. The lyrics are not about cigarettes as one would expect. Instead she sings about a ramen noodle habit (!). Gotta love that Aussie wit. And I’m going to note early that my taste for female crooners has grown a lot in the last year or so. Expect to find more women lauded by my humble blog than last year.

Today’s fake singer performs under the name Brianna. Last year I wrote about the XX, a London based trio featured on a compilation album given me by a good friend. I imagine Brianna performing something similar to the sexy XX tune “On Hold”.

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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Change in Plans

Having irritated an old wrist sprain, I’m working on edits when I wanted to write fresh for the Camp NaNo novel writing challenge. ~sigh~ It still feels good to work on something.

And here’s an example. The original:

Nickolas stood abruptly, tearing the robe off in a violent gesture. It took an eternity to float to the floor. I barely breathed.

New and improved:

Nickolas bounded upright, tearing the robe off his arms. It took an eternity to float to the floor. I barely breathed.

What do you think? Better?
 
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Saturday, April 1, 2017

A is for The Avett Brothers



When I first heard “True Sadness” by The Avett Brothers the song’s soulful angst blew me away. Not knowing how to describe the sound, I’m going to cheat here and share a direct quote out of Wikipedia: Following on from Seth and Scott's former rock band Nemo, the Avett Brothers combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, indie rock, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a novel sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones.” ‘Nuff said.

Since I got a kick out of making up band names last April, I’m going to do that again as well. For A let’s hear from Abalone. Unlike the gentle marine snail, this trio tears through their sets with pure punk sensibility. Like Henry Rollins of Black Flag, they find inspiration through the likes of great forefathers the Stooges and the Ramones.

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All the real tunes air on member supported WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

Friday, March 31, 2017

April 2017 Blog Challenge



Wow! It’s almost time for the A-Z April Blog Challenge again. It will be fun finding blogs new to me. And expanding my list of online friends is always a good thing.

I had so much fun writing about musical acts (factual and fake) last April that I decided to do it again. Only this time it’s not music I own (at least not at the time of writing these posts). Instead these artists’ tunes receive airplay on WNKU out of the University of Northern Kentucky. This member supported station plays all sorts of music including hourly inclusion of local natives. Few of them are featured on any of the area’s commercial stations. And if they do get commercial airplay, WNKU tends to pick lesser known tunes.

Anyone interested can find WNKU’s website here. The web page features the current playlist and live streaming.

I hope to “see” you throughout the month. Happy blogging!

PS Interestingly, this year the final day falls on a Sunday, which normally is a day of blogging rest. If you are joining the challenge, will you post Z on Sunday or a day early/late?

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Behind the Curve


Technology and I are uneasy partners at best. Sometimes it works to my advantage. While I watch fellow writers check their social media or struggle with streaming music I am happily writing with my iPod.

At home I prefer to use iTunes directly with my low-tech but awesome sounding USB speakers. That way my ears don’t get sore with headphones compressing the earpieces of my reading glasses for hours at a time.

I struggled with iTunes for a long while, unable to figure out how to play soundtracks. You see, I turned off compilations within the options to make integrating content between the software and my old scroll wheel iPod easier.

Yeah, I refuse to even buy a touch screen iPod. A local Apple repairman lauded me. He said these iPod Classics are built like banks. I’m down to the last of the three purchased, however, the first having run out of space and the second actually suffering a fatal hard drive failure.

At any rate, I finally figured out what may be obvious to others. The best way to manage my ITunes playlists is by using the song title mode. That way I can easily show my catalog by either that, artist, or album title.

Problem solved. What a joy!

I’m listening to “The Lost Boys” soundtrack as I type this. ~grin~ But I do like more modern stuff. Tune in during April’s A to Z Blog Challenge and you’ll know what I mean.

So, dear reader, how are you with today’s technology? Are you rather a (nondestructive) luddite like me?

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Proper (Legal) Use of Hazard Lights in the United States



Writing about a tour bus breaking down on my fictional band, I couldn’t think for a moment the name for hazard lights. It occurred to me just as I prepared to ask Google. My fingers finished typing before I could stop them.

As a result I found an informative article. In the United States, not every region treats driving with hazard lights the same. I lucked out in Ohio, my instincts proving correct. Here it is legal to turn them on when driving in bad weather or through an emergency situation (i.e. you spot debris on the road).

For other in the USA, here is the article if you want to reference a quick guide to state laws (be aware the information was last updated in 2013):


Do you ever find yourself needing hazard lights? Is it legal where you live, in the USA or elsewhere?

Drive safely!

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