Monday, August 31, 2009
After a long drive home this morning it's good to be able to sit in my own chair and just be home.
But, this song would've been good on my sleepy drive back home. T.H. White's "Fantasy Pictures" is some nice mid-tempo electronica to keep you movin' and your head bobbin'. A little bit of club element, some nice downtempo stuff.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Today we have an interview with Colorado electronica producer, Pretty Lights. From his beginning as a bass player in rock bands, he turned his teenage rebellion into the beginnings of a successful musical career. Look for him 11/9 at the Granada and check out his song "Cold Feeling" at the bottom of the interview.
Bona Fide Darling: There are a lot of what sound like old soul and blues vocal samples on your album--are you a crate digger?
Pretty Lights: Very much so. Nothing sounds more fun to me than 7 hours in a big ass used vinyl store with a battery powered portable record player.
BFD: I compared Filling Up The Skies With Lights to DJ Shadow's Entroducing..., do you get that a lot? Is he an influence of yours?
PL: That record was in my cd player/alarm clock for most of high school. It's safe to say that it had a major impact on my musical vision.
BFD: Is that a Big Boi vocal sample on "Hot Like Sauce?"
PL: No it's not a Big Boi sample.
BFD: How did you get your start?
PL: Well my mom forced me into a religious private school in 7th grade, which pushed me to be a very upset young teenager. I then rebelled and eventually found a connection in punk and grunge, then later hiphop and electronica. It was a foolish adolescent dream at first... even selfish. I just wanted to be the guy on stage, or on the radio... so all the people that wouldn’t sit with me at lunch could see... that I really was something special.
Lucky for me, that urge was enough to get me to buy a bass guitar..... and that was the catalyst that sent me on a journey through musical styles and bands until I discovered the music that I wanted to make. After that point, all it took was not giving up.
BFD: What made you want to use a live drummer in your live shows?
PL: I just think it's a little more exciting for some of the audience with a drummer. It was something that I thought would be cool at the beginning and its sort of just stuck. I am looking into expanding into having a lot of other instruments in the live setting. I play flute, bass, and keys... so when I have the ability to bring that sort of thing on the road with me, I will.
BFD: The sound of your newest album is pretty broad: soul, electro, a little rock, hip-hop--what, or who, are your influences stylistically?
PL: Influences, I would say are pretty broad. I appreciate electronic artists who push the envelope of sound design and production techniques. I appreciate any artist that can make me really feel something the first time I hear their music. I've been influenced by certain lyricists in the sense that their styles have shaped my taste when searching for and choosing vocal phrases & samples to use in my production.
BFD: How did you settle on the moniker Pretty Lights?
PL: In a phase of really loving Dark Side of The Moon I came across an old Pink Floyd poster that said "Come and see the pretty lights," It almost sounded like the name of the opening band, which I would have loved to be a part of. It got me thinking. To me, that name represented a lot more than its literal definition. It represents the experiences that we all have in our lives, mostly unexpected and random, when we come across something beautiful...or inspirational... or even disturbing... something that makes us think, or reflect, or imagine.
From the way a red traffic light reflects off the rain drops dripping down a wind shield, or the way sunshine peeks thru mini blinds and slices the smoke in half as you exhale, or the way the city skyline looks when I take my contacts out... those are all beautiful experiences of the mundane... brief moments in time, that when caught from the right angle can spark a feeling or change a mood....and serve as a microcosm, at least in my mind, for why art is worth creating and even more, why life is worth living.
BFD: Your style is vastly different from what you hear on the radio. How did you get into making the music you are making now? Was there a specific point where you realized this is the sound you were going for?
PL: There was no specific point. The sound and style that I am going for has been developing and evolving since the first time I produced a piece of music and it continues to with every new track as well. That is one thing that really excites me about music, the continual evolution of creativity in individuals and in the collective of all artists.
BFD: With the state of the music industry today, what made you decide to give away your albums for free? Do you see them as just a promotional piece while you make your living on the road?
PL: My intention was to get as many people to hear and hopefully enjoy my music as possible, I had no idea that it would actually create a means for me to make a living off of my music thru touring. I continue to give my albums away for free because I want to make an impact on the transformation of the music industry and hopefully discover a new model for lasting success and longevity as an independent musician.
BFD: You have toured with STS9 and I've seen you listed on Jam Base, do you think of yourself as a type of electronic jam band producer? Or is it just a by product of who you've toured with.
PL: Its definitely just a product of who I've performed with. I started producing as a hip-hop producer.. beats to rhyme on. It evolved into me wanting to use that medium to create sophisticated, interesting, and high energy music that stands alone without a singer or a rapper. Music that has the potential to channel emotion in the listener and also make them want to move.
BFD: What was the first album you ever bought that completely blew your mind?
PL: Nirvana- Nevermind
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Yep, I'm a little late on this one, but, it's better late than never, right? At the pre-party last week at the Granada while I was talking to Cory (and his sweet 'stache) from SubEx RTB2 were the band playing when I walked into the place. I was immediately enthralled by their crunchy take on rock. They have the raw energy of Deadboy and The Elephantmen that will punch you in the gut and enough energy to give The Black Keys a run for their money, and they have the loud-quiet-loud thing down to where Frank Black would put down his sandwich long enough to take notice.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tomorrow my brother is heading the Golden State to hang out with all those California kids at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. Sure, it's a trip to the bay, but, Pearl Jam are headlining. I know, I KNOW... how much Pearl Jam can I talk about? A lot.
But, their newest track, "Supersonic," has hit the internets, so, have a listen. Oh, and enjoy.
Oh, and if you see this guy tell him hello, he's a nice guy.
Danish collective Choir of Young Believers make a little bit of dreamy, orchestral pop that makes my ears swoon. Their sound borrows from The Beach Boys as much as it does UK band Delays.
While "Action/Reaction" doesn't come off as choir song, it is a nice song to pop up on your iPod while on a drive. Relaxing, soothing... just good music, man.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I think we all know that here at BFD we're decidedly steadfast in our undying love of the thunder from the great Northwest that is Pearl Jam.
Their old sentimental friend Cameron Crowe directed their video for "The Fixer" from the upcoming Backspacer. I'm excited to hear the new material, because, believe it or not, the songs I've heard from the new album don't sound like what they've done before. It's fresh sound from the last great band of my era.
Friday night I got to meet up with some of our fine local music bloggers and musicians at the Slobberbone/Granada 5th Anniversary party. Due to prior plans I could only stay long enough to catch Danny Balis' set... and it did not disappoint. For those of us who like to sit on the patio, drink beer and listen to old time classic country tunes Balis should fit right into your rotation. He does not disappoint.
MP3: Danny Balis - Teathered (via SubEx)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The newest single from Hope Sandoval graced me yesterday. It sounds like, to me, Southwestern Hope. She is touring for her new album... but, not here... or anywhere near here. But, there are suppose to be more dates added to her tour, so...
As I popped in Mount Pelee I had already decided I was not going to like this album. I once met Trey Johnson at The Barley House and made the mistake of going up to talk to him. Needless to say, it was one of those moments fans of a band fear most... members of the band are dicks. And that night, is exactly what Johnson was, it soured me on Sorta for a long time.
However, in my steadfast belief that I would not like this album, I like it from the first note of "Old Reactions."
After the death of bandmate I expected Mount Pelee to be a collection of somber, introspective songs lamenting the death of a friend and reflections of life. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the pop-rock that runs throughout the record. "Bottle of Rum" channels a mainland version of Jimmy Buffett so much that you can almost hear waves crashing in the background. The closest song coming to what I was expecting is "Struggle To Find," it's the introspective ballad I was expecting and it's not disappointing. Touching on the things in life that are worth living for, it makes sense that it was included on this album.
Honestly, from beginning to end this is a fantastic record and I feel fine saying it.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Last month Jim James of My Morning Jacket released an EP of George Harrison covers under the guise of "Yim Yames." Since I've never been a fan of The Beatles or George Harrison per se, I wasn't really interested. However, after hearing his take on "My Sweet Lord" this morning was aghast. It's completely enchanting, uplifting and mesmerizing and totally sweet pickles.
As you can see Slobberbone will be playing the ol' Granada on Friday. However, I'm pretty pumped to see Danny Balis and hear him channel the greatness Don Williams. Our friends over at Subservient Experiment have a nice write up of Balis' album, check it.
It's been a little over a year since the Grand Archives released their eponymous Sub Pop debut and the Seattle boys already have a follow-up ready to hit the street with Keep In Mind Frankenstein.
Not much has changed from their debut, hushed vocals and instrumentation dominate "Oslo Novelist." If it's even possible, Grand Archives may be even more laid back than their Band of Horses brethren.
Keep In Mind Frankenstein is out 9/15 via Sub Pop.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Finally, the new Ian Brown video has hit the streets and it's... really good. While we still have a while to wait for the new album to come out, the Stellify EP is out now... somewhere. If this is a peek into what the album is like, I think it will rank up there with Golden Greats and Solarized. Gotta love Ian and his studio magic voice.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Apparently the new album is going to be a change of pace from the Champaign, Il group because of infighting. However, you wouldn't be able to tell it from their new song "Get Going." It's not a pop-rocker by any stretch, but, it's also not mired in glum. It's actually delightfully upbeat.
Their new album Wildlife is out soon via Polyvinyl. You can download the new single "Get Going" here and listen to it below.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Mad Men season three starts on Sunday and I couldn't be more excited. Other than Lost and Damages, Mad Men is in my top three edge-of-your-seat dramas. This season I want to know if Joan will go all women's lib, will more of Don's secrets be revealed to his Sterling-Cooper bosses and will Peggy continue to move up the ladder? But really, I want to see Joan again. Ahhhhhhh...
As you can see from the season three promo image above, don't is sinking (?). As he said on Fallon the other night, it's a "metaphor."
MP3: RJD2 - Beautiful Mine (Mad Men theme song)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The ballots are up for the '09 "Best of Dallas" poll on The Dallas Observer's web site and there is a "Best Local Blog" category. Now folks, I'm not above begging. Maybe strongly asking for you to vote Bona Fide Darling as the best local blog. I would like to think I serve the people who are daily readers and I would hope you would vote for me.
You see, ever since I was a young boy my dream has been to one day win the "Best Local Blog" in the "Best of Dallas '09" poll. Not unlike Tiger Woods, I too had a hand written note of future accomplishments tacked up on my wall... and this award was one of them. Sure, blogging wasn't popular then and hardly anyone had the internet. But, you see, even then I was a visionary.
So, all of that being said VOTE FOR ME here.
I told you a while back about Kitty, Daisy & Lewis and their throwback sound. They were on the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night. That's right, Jeremy... I'm talkin' to you. I'm not sure if it's Kitty or Daisy who plays the ol' mouth harp, but, she can blow a mean one. Check out their rendition of Canned Heat's "Goin' Up The Country." Oh, and get the song below the video iffin you want.
I have to say I'm really digging a lot of the DC-9 in Space weekly installments. The one for this week is Robert Gomez...and I'm diggin' it. Like most of these installments it's shot very well and edited very well and the bands always sound great. Plus, it's the best use of an old typewriter as percussion I've ever witnessed.
So, today I'm prepping for an interview with Bjorn of Peter, Bjorn & John fame when I came across a new remix of "Nothing" in my inbox. No, not my box. I'm still thinking the LehtMoJoe remix is superior to this one. Although, this one isn't bad... why always so negative?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So, first things first--Baltimore's Wye Oak got the remix treatment from Baltimore producer Mickey Free. It's a nice re-imagining of "That I Do," it gives it a bit of a darker electronic element to it. You can find it below.
Also, they are coming to town with Cotton Jones at The Cavern on October 2. Should be a great show... in a small intimate setting.
Looks like the King Monkey, Ian Brown, has a new EP out exclusively on iTunes. But, if you actually looked for his new Stellify EP on iTunes it's not actually there. What gives? It's not on Imeen either, so, not sure what's up with that. However, you can hear a snippet of "Stellify" on his Myspace page... and it sounds pretty promising. No mariachi horns like Solarized, but, plenty of piano.
Monday, August 10, 2009
These guys were all over the blogosphere last week and after finally hearing them this weekend I can see why. Philly's Brown Recluse combine a bit of chamber pop with their indie pop and create a sound worth listening to. A little bit of Belle and Sebastian, a little bit of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin all rolled up into a ball of awesomeness.
Friday, August 7, 2009
As I came home from a long day of swimming with the extended family, the sun finally setting behind the trees this song came up on my iPod. I found it fitting since summer is fading and kids of all kinds are going back to school and it reminded me of being young and not wanting the summer to end.
Youth Group will be playing the Granada with emo royalty The Get Up Kids on September 30.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Here the new cover for The Raveonettes album, In And Out Of Control, and their first single "Suicide." Despite the ominous title it's actually quite upbeat... has a very 1960's pop feel to it. The beginning actually reminds me of "Bustin' Surfboards" by The Tornadoes.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Pretty Lights is bringing his second coming of DJ Shadow sound to Dallas when he hits up the Granada on November 10. The Colorado Springs producer will bring his touring drummer along with him as well to add to the live performance. But, if you think it's just going to be a boring show with a producer pushing buttons on a sequencer while his drummer lays down the beat--think again. His performance will be a full on AV experience including video and a full-blown lighting rig that will produce... pretty lights.