Friday, October 12, 2018

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: THE BOTTLE ROCKETS/BIT LOGIC



THE BOTTLE ROCKETS
BIT LOGIC
(Bloodshot Records)

10.12.18

So, what do you do if you create music that is completely in step with what should be popular but is apparently out of step with what is actually popular? Playing great music that reaches a specific audience is definitely admirable but it can be frustrating – for the band and their fans – if a talented act continually releases outstanding albums that don’t immediately race to the top of the charts. Sadly, this type of situation is quite common. For example, for nearly 30 years, St. Louis’ The Bottle Rockets have released a series of albums that embrace the heart of American music while reinterpreting it in fresh, new ways. BIT LOGIC is their 13th album and might be the album that finally connects them with a larger audience.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

TOKYO POLICE CLUB: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A!


READY TO WIN:
An EXCLUSIVE Q&A 
with
 TOKYO POLICE CLUB’s 
David Monks

STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: TPC is just about to be released.  How are you feeling about how the album turned out and the reaction to it so far?
DAVID MONKS: I'm only just beginning to get perspective on it now and it's been done since May. As always, things turn out differently than you expect but I still like it. The fact that we made it was really a turning point for our band and it kinda already feels like a success in that respect. The reaction has been good, it's my parents’ fave Tokyo album!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: J.P. HARRIS/SOMETIMES DOGS BARK AT NOTHING


J.P. HARRIS
SOMETIMES DOGS BARK AT NOTHING
(Free Dirt Records)

10.5.18


If you go to Wikipedia and look up ‘Honky Tonk’, you’ll find the following description: “A Honky Tonk is both a bar that provides country music for the entertainment of its patrons and the style of music played in such establishments. In the 1950s, Honky Tonk entered its golden age, with the popularity of Webb Pierce, Hank Locklin, Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price, Faron Young, George Jones, and Hank Williams.” So, given that description, it’s no wonder that singer/songwriter J.P. Harris is often referred to as one of the finest purveyors of Honky Tonk music in America today. As ‘modern’ Country takes up space on the charts, it is refreshing – and dare I say it, exhilarating - to experience an artist so in tune with the roots of the genre’s pioneering artists. Harris ain’t no Americana bandwagoneer – he is as Country as Country Music gets.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

TOM MORELLO: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A


SOUNDING THE ALARM:

Rage guitarist TOM MORELLO 
discusses his new album 
THE ATLAS UNDERGROUND


DAVE RAYBURN: “Battle Sirens” sets the tone for this album with a wild, yet familiar array of production elements. As this rally call begins to pierce the air, what exactly is the Atlas Underground and what is its message?
TOM MORELLO: The Atlas Underground is a sonic conspiracy. It is an array of diverse artists who have come together with me as curator to forge a brand new genre of music. An alloy consisting of one part Marshall stack, one part bass drop, one part sonic Molotov cocktail.

JOHN HIATT: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A



THE INVALUABLE STRUGGLE:

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A 
with 
JOHN HIATT


DAVE RAYBURN: THE ECLIPSE SESSIONS comes four years after your last album, 2014’s TERMS OF MY SURRENDER. It’s your longest stretch in between albums, but it’s also under the shade of your longest standing relationship with a label. Why did album number twenty-three take so long to come about, and how have the last fifteen years been with New West Records?
JOHN HIATT: Well, I finished touring TERMS OF MY SURRENDER in 2015 and I just really didn’t know where to go next. Frankly, I was getting older and I didn’t know quite what to write about. After fifteen years straight of touring, with very few breaks, I needed more time at home. It just took me a minute to get my bearings. And I didn’t write a song for about two years, 2015-2016. And then the songs just started coming. I have enjoyed working with New West over the last fifteen years, we have a good relationship.

Friday, September 28, 2018

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: AMY RAY/HOLLER



AMY RAY
HOLLER
(Daemon Records)

9.28.18


Amy Ray is best known as one-half of Indigo Girls, the Grammy-winning Folk duo she formed with Emily Saliers. Formed in 1985, the duo released an EP before signing with Epic Records and becoming one of the most popular Folk-Rock duos of all time. Although they have remained active for over three decades, Amy would use her downtime between projects to follow her own path. Beginning with her 2001 solo debut, STAG, Amy has pursued a slightly different path than that of Indigo Girls. Her voice may be instantly identifiable but her solo releases tend to travel down different musical paths that eventually converge onto the same road that she travels down with Indigo Girls. HOLLER, her 2018 album, is no exception…

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monk’s Dream: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with GEARBOX RECORDS founder DARREL SHEINMAN


MONK'S DREAM:

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A 
with 
GEARBOX RECORDS founder DARREL SHEINMAN

DAVE RAYBURN: Gearbox Records is much more than a record label. As the founder, how would you describe the range of the company’s capacity and its dedication to the music?
DARREL SHEINMAN: The label was created from a sonic technical angle. Initially we were vinyl only, so the studio I built has a collection of the best vintage and modern mastering and lacquer cutting equipment. As the label has grown, we now do all formats, so we have taken our digital side up to being able to handle 192 khz on 64 channels simultaneously too! I also wanted to be able to offer all products from creation to playback, so we built a turntable packed with tech and with great sound at a sensible price point. My belief is that if the sonic quality is excellent, one will hear excellence in the music regardless of the genre and whether or not it is your thing.