OK, the dolls are a little creepy, but these guys have a really good sound going here.

Romantica – The National Side from Ryan Newman on Vimeo.

Cool Jobs: Local Rock Star from 651media on Vimeo.

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New Mobjack Single, Walked Away too Fast

<a href="">Walked Away Too Fast by Mobjack</a>

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New Collin Herring Album

In all fairness, this is really an EP.  It clocks in at just over 30 minutes and, even with the brevity notwithstanding, it’s not his best effort.

That said, Ocho is still better than 90% of the crap coming out of Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, where ever – and Collin Herring is still the best songwriter you’ve never heard of (unless, of course, you’re an avid reader of, in which case you’re “hip” and “in-the-know”).  Hell, the second track on the record is worth the price of admission; and, if you don’t feel like dropping coin for the whole kit & caboodle, you can always pick and choose the tracks you want at CD Baby or iTunes.

I also dug up this delightful video of the recording process from his Myspace site.

…more on the EP/Album/Record/LP semantics nightmare later…

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Boot Liquor Radio

What it sounds like…

Boot Liquor

Click Me!

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National Carpet Is a Band

Do you ever hear a bad band and think there’s more to the story?

Shortly after moving to Easthampton, MA in 2005, a friend called me to tell me he was seeing a show at the Iron Horse in Northampton.  The band was The Damnwells, a Brooklyn-based group fronted by singer-songwriter Alex Dezen and backed by a top-notch group of musicians including Steven Terry, was the original drummer of Whiskeytown.  That was all I needed to hear.

They put on a really good show.  Dezen’s writing is beautiful, well crafted, and the band was tight as a drum.  They were good-looking guys and looked as comfortable in a power ballad as a grip-n-rip it barn-burner.  They had a major label deal and seemed to have all the makings of rock n’ roll success story.

The Damnwells later became victim of the ever-tightening major label squeeze.  Having released a single called “Golden Days” which was beginning to receive air play and favorable critical attention, they were summarily dropped by Epic and their newly-finished album was shelved.  An excellent documentary was shot about the band entitled “Golden Days” and the tagline tells the story far more eloquently than I ever could, “They’ve toured the country, opened for rock legends, and you can’t find their album anywhere.”

But this post isn’t about the Damnwells; this post is about the band that opened for them.   (more…)