Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Random song post, Volume 11

July 2, 2010

Mayday Parade – “Jamie All Over” (A Lesson in Romantics, Fearless, 2007): Combining the dual vocals of frontman Derek Sanders and former vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Jason Lancaster, and boasting a high level of production courtesy of Zack Odom & Kenneth Mount, the irresistably catchy pop rock of, “Jamie All Over, ” can’t be ignored, nor denied.  Jake Bundrick’s drums are simple, solid and laden with just the right amount of creativity without the tendency to overplay.  Rounded out with occasional bursts of half-time during the bridge and outro, “Jamie All Over, ” is yet another excellent entry into a genre that could use more songs like this.

The Swellers – “Fire Away” (Ups and Downsizing, Fueled By Ramen, 2009): Immediately coming out of the gate with a 6/8 attack of aggressive drums and guitars, this unrelenting burst of energy only briefly comes down during the verses, which itself is short-lived, bringing to mind early Foo Fighters.  Even more Foo comparisons can be found in frontman Nick Diener’s vocals and guitar, and his brother Jonathan’s fantastic work on the drum kit, similar to the chemistry found in Dave Grohl and his drummer Taylor Hawkins.  As a die-hard Foo fanatic, it’s easy to see this Michigan quartet filling their shoes one day-in fact, they might already have.

Artist Profile: Drew De Four

February 14, 2010

One of the many things I was looking forward to this past summer while vacationing in Ireland was the rich, diverse Irish music scene, something us Yanks have gotten a taste of through films like 2007’s Once.  Fortunately, during my second night in Dublin, my wife, cousin and myself had a chance to hit the pubs and see what we could find, eventually stumbling upon an artist named Drew De Four.

To say I’ve never seen someone play piano like Drew would be an understatement.  The energy and musicianship he displayed that night were unparalleled, with a voice that fit within the confines of the bar perfectly.  However, his music was able to transcend that live setting-after his set (of which I unfortunately only saw a few songs), I picked up the disc he had for sale that night, an interesting collection of demos, rarities and live tracks that showed off his songwriting and diverse musical tastes.  Although he hails from Michigan, his music is rich in Irish overtones, especially his piano on songs like, “Marie, ” along with his arsenal of pint-in-the-air anthems.  Songs like, “The Tower, ” almost seem to recall a bluesy, ’70s-vibe, while, “Keep A Light, ” turns up the emotion with touching lyrics and a gradual layering of instruments, including drums, guitars, and a fantastic female backing vocal.  “Damned, ” is a true masterpiece, a swinging tune that one can instantly picture echoing through the music halls of the ’20s and ’30s.  The blues makes a return on, “You Only Kiss Me When You’re Drunk, ” and, “In The End You Die, ” is just pure, unabashed fun.

But this is only a taste.  With three releases under his belt (including last year’s The Troubadour), influences ranging from Tom Waits to Joe Cocker to The Beatles and a busy touring schedule, one is bound to find something they like whether it be his music and/or his live performance-an absolute treat which shouldn’t be missed.  Check him out at http://www.myspace.com/drewd4, at his official site at http://www.drewdefour.com, at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/DrewDeFour (for samples of his tunes and an opportunity to buy his music online), and do head over to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkAkhgt4G5c for one of the most unbelievable solo renditions of, “Bohemian Rhapsody, ” you’ll ever hear.

What else can be said about this musical wunderkind?  Not only is he probably one of the few people I could look in the eye without having to crouch (at 6’7″), but he’s one of the few artists my wife and I can agree on, what with her country leanings and my rock ‘n roll love.  That alone should say something.  🙂

Very few people to me represent a living, breathing embodiment of music.  Drew De Four is, without question, one of them-the talent he possesses will surely continue to carry him down the road from venue to venue, from the mp3 player to your ear, from this lifetime well into the next.