Monday, March 31, 2008

Mike Baron gets a few questions in with BRYAN SCARY!!!!

PhotobucketMany of you have by now read Mike Baron's glowing review of Bryan Scary's latest album, FLIGHT OF THE KNIFE. Mike was able to ask the always-busy Scary a few questions about this newest release...

MB: I take it your main ax is the piano. How and when did you start training?

BS: I started playing when I was seven. I took pretty casual lessons at first. There was a one year period where I took serious jazz and classical lessons, and many of my so-called chops were learned that year. But a great deal of my playing is self-taught.

MB: Do you compose on piano?

BS: I compose most of my songs on piano. Sometimes I'll use a guitar. I write differently on different instruments, and since I'm considerably more limited on guitar, guitar songs tend to come out simpler. Which can be a good thing! Not usually though.

MB: Whydja form the band?

BS: I formed the band to play shows, but also because I'm not particularly interested in being a solo artist. The first record was essentially an elaborate demo created to find like-minded musicians and start this band. The fact that the band uses my name actually makes me uncomfortable, but that's the way the cookie crumbled.

MB: What’s “Take a Stab at the Sun” about?

BS: It's about a mass suicide! But it's not necessarily as simple as that. I like to leave a lot up to the listener, as far as lyrics go. The final steps taken by a listener to complete the song's meaning let the lyrics take on hundreds of meanings, all related to but distinct from the one I intended.

PhotobucketMB: What’s “Bottom of the Grave” about?

BS: "Bottom of the Grave" is sung by a man to an ex-lover who died in an automobile accident of some sort. It's a pretty straight-forward lyric, but I hint at some details about their troubled past relationship. There's also the possibility that this man may not be quite right upstairs...

MB: Are you really playing Madison?

BS: We ARE playing Madison. I think the website is either incorrect or not updated yet. We're TRYING to play Denver and finding it hard to book, so stay tuned.

To hear sound clips or order a copy of this AWESOME new album, click here!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The WTFst Videos of All-Time! #3 (in a series)

Leave it to the Japanese to actually make "We Are the World" listenable!

**UPDATE!!!** Don't count Swedish death-metallers out on this one either!!!

Bruce's NEW AT NOT LAME Update for March 2008!!!

Straight from the boss, here's Bruce's list of what's new at NOT LAME...

Here are the Top New Releases on the Not Lame web site for March. There are many new releases on da 'ole home page, but for the time starved, these are the ones worth of your precious time. Click on the links for full mini-reviews on each CD and listen 'n sample lots of soundbites, as well. Have Fun!

PhotobucketTHE GENERAL STORE - "Mountain Rescue"
The gorgeous strains and influences of World Party, "Harvest"-era Neil Young, early 70s Elton John(well, he’s the son of Davey Johnstone, Elton’s guitarist and he grew up around the band!), C,S,N & Y, Quiver and The Travelling Wilburys are present but filtered purely through Tam Johnstone`s immense talents. The music is multi-varied and soul stirring.

PhotobucketTHE LACKLOVES - "Cathedral Square Park"
Over the course of four well received releases, The Lackloves have exhibited a talent for reworking the lighter side of pop`s lineage, with The Kinks, The Hollies, Big Star, and Squeeze among those referenced in the "sounds like" column. Here, they have pushed beyond the spiked punch bowl and dipped into the Everclear.
While still embracing some of the classic sounds they`ve proven themselves with, this one blazes with a more muscular feel, polished with swirling psychedelia and a sonic edge. Not to mention what you`ve come to expect from these slick popsters - jangly tones, sheer melody and harmonies to boot.
He’s delivered the ‘tour-de-force’, his large body of work has overtly hinted and tapped on our collective shoulders. It’s a release I can confidently recommend to a vast majority of folks who are reading these words!

PhotobucketBRYAN SCARY - "Flight Of The Knife"
Hate to sound coy, flippant, but it will be hard to top this one in 2008 for my ears. It will be impossible for this one to fall out of a Top 3 spot and, yes, it’s March as I type this. It’s everything you want in release – it’s fresh, it challenges convention yet still remains wholly accessible and with every listen, something new *experienced*. There’s a word we don’t’ get drop that often with music, in general. ‘Experience’. Think about it.
"We all know what an ear worm is. It’s a tune you get in your head and can’t get out. There are good ear worms and bad ear worms. Bad ear worm: theme to The Munsters. Good ear worm: the new Bryan Scary record. Yes, the whole freakin’ record. Rare is the song that grabs you on the first listen and won’t let go. Such is the power of every song on Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears: Flight of the Knife.’ Baron goes onto to give his erudite evaluation on every song and finishes with the flourish – ‘every song looms large against the Liliputian landscape. Flight of the Knife is an instant classic"-Mike Baron,

PhotobucketFREDDY - "Doublespeak"
Freddy is an artist who has spent some quality time listening to the Jeff Lynne/ELO catalog, God bless him!
There’s strong influences of British Pop bands like The Feeling, Keane and Stereophonics – Freddy goes for big sounds and huge anthemic chorus-builds, all elements that make our knees weak and ears yearning for more. Yes, I am pretty sure he’s spent some time with Jellyfish records, as well as The New Radicals.
The entire album is *exactly* a representation of power pop that, if played on radio, would appeal to a large audience and actually *sell* records.

PhotobucketBRENT CASH - "How Will I Know If I'm Awake"
GERMAN only import and a MUST for fans of Wondermints’ styled Beach Boy baroque pop but it’s even more than that - please listen below, let the tunes shine into your life a bit! GERMAN only import and a MUST for fans of Wondermints’ styled Beach Boy baroque pop.
Sounding like a lost sunshine pop classic from the '60s, How Will I Know If I'm Awake is overflowing with hook-laden choruses, multi-layered vocal harmonies and lush, sophisticated arrangements. It's the sound of endless summers and good vibrations.
Rooted deeply in 60s songwriting, think Bacharach, Wilson, McCartney and even a bit of The Monkees but in the modern day sense, this exploratory music that the Wondermints have staked out so well and we miss not hearing enough of. Solution: Brent Cash.

PhotobucketJOHN DAVIS (Superdrag) - "Arigato!"
2008 solo record from Superdrag leader and he’s most certainly back and rocking here and in fine, fine Superdrag-mode!

PhotobucketTED LUKAS - "Misled "
Delicious Modern Day Power Pop Flavored with Americana Influence from Ex-Barely Pink member. Very much a record that should appeal to most folks who spend time with Not Lame! ed Lukas returns to his power pop roots, mixing in Americana soul for a new recipe that’s all his own.
The 10-songs recorded for this self-produced, self-released CD captures the dynamic guitars, catchy melodies, and heartfelt vocals that were once made popular by classic artists such as Tommy Keene, Big Star, Nick Lowe, and Badfinger. We said this was a Not Lame-styled slab of excellent power pop, right? Well, we meant it!

PhotobucketCLINT SUTTON - "Clint Sutton"
A great find here for Not Lamers, especially ones with a ‘jones’ for Matthew Sweet-styled power pop.
"Honest, big guitar-pop smothered in mellow harmonies.“Grade: A. The record does not seem to be a statement about music, after all. It’s more of an example of what can be done than what no one else is doing. Fans of the record will surely be at least a little disappointed by not having more tracks for their listening pleasure. Though it may take another few years to hear more out of this project, most of us would be happy to wait.” - Daily Athenaeum. The result is Sutton's self-titled debut record, 11 songs of big-guitar pop with lots of harmonies, kinda-sloppy solos and melodies strong enough to force their way in, but sweet enough not to wear out their welcome. Fans of Matthew Sweet, Superdrag, the Posies and Teenage Fanclub will understand.

PhotobucketSCOT SAX(ex-Wanderlust, Feel) - "While She Was Working"
2008 6 song EP of new studio material from ex-Wanderlust and Feel frontman Scot Sax, one of the most under-rated songwriters of the last 10 years, a fact well known to many reading spending time with us at Not Lame.
His solo albums, his work w/ Wanderlust and Feel document this well. “While She Was Working” finds Sax stretching himself, exploring new vistas while remaining grounded in what he does best – crafting highly seductive, nuanced melodies amidst lyrics that strike human-soul resonance. Well, Well Done, mate!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Bruce is so excited about this new clip from Michael Carpenter and wants you all to know about it...

Here's a truly fab, fab, fab video shot from one of all time favorite NLlabel artists here at Not Lame, Sir Michael Carpenter. Watch and weep at the paucity of music talent you possess and then be thankful someone like Michael has enough to share! Yes, the dude plays it all, including producing it(the truly excellent Stagefright Studio). And...check out the wall 'o guitars! Lotharios have penis envy, musicians and collector types have six and twelve string envy. We're officially ready for Michael Carpenter's next project!

Mike Baron's take on the new BRYAN SCARY & THE SHREDDING TEARS!!!

PhotobucketWe all know what an ear worm is. It’s a tune you get in your head and can’t get out. There are good ear worms and bad ear worms. Bad ear worm: theme to THE MUNSTERS. Good ear worm: the new Bryan Scary record. Yes, the whole freakin’ record. Rare is the song that grabs you on the first listen and won’t let go. Such is the power of every song on BRYAN SCARY & THE SHREDDING TEARS - FLIGHT OF THE KNIFE.

Last year Bryan Scary’s eponymous debut made several top ten lists including this reporter’s. His oddball, piano-based compositions had roots in rock, chamber music, cabaret and glam in a way not seen since the heyday of the Beatles and/or ELO. That record’s first track, “Take a Stab at the Sun” was operatic in both thrills and structure. Scary recorded every instrument himself.

The new Shredding Tears is a six-piece band with another keyboard player. FLIGHT OF THE KNIFE begins with an elegant overture that segues into a soaring stomper about “an airship that would never sail,” changing keys and moods faster than a coked-up Robin Williams. Bryan Scary packs more melody in one song than the Counting Crows, Black Crowes, and Crows on all their albums. Not to pick on crows, but mainstream pop suffers from a paucity of melody. And no wonder. Bryan Scary’s got it all.

“Imitation of the Sky” burrows into your skull like the Moleman heading for Manhattan. The band broadens Scary’s palette and smooths out his rhythmic idiosyncrasies. “Imitation” showcases everything that makes Scary great: theatrical, technically challenging vocals, a bodacious melody with a Moby Dick-sized hook, extra choruses in strange keys, orchestral interludes and heavenly choruses. Following a weird rap in a Newsboy Legion voice (“We trusted ya…we believed in ya…and now we’re cryin’ our eyes out for ya!”) Lead guitarist Graham Norwood explodes into a frenzied solo that brings it all back home.

Photobucket“The Curious Disappearance of The Sky Ship Thunder Man” weighs in with operetta strings until Scary takes the lead in cabaret mode comping himself on piano. “The Purple Rocket” begins with the sounds of ignition from which emerges a bright and shiny theme trailing a perfect hook, trailing a Rick Wakeman-like freak-out. The song—the whole record—is like The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Every time you think you’ve heard the climactic catharsis, Scary reaches into his hat and pulls out another trick. In the case of “The Purple Rocket” you won’t believe where you end up.

“The Zero Light” is another instant and unforgettable classic with a hint of reggae, the unbearable sweetness of the tonic and chorus giving way to a hard rock exchange you might expect from the Drive-By Truckers. “Son of Stab” reprises the theme from “Take a Stab at the Sun” as a launching pad for a series of rhythmic variations that slaps five with Blood, Sweat, and Tears before evolving into a bluesy vamp.

“Heaven on a Bird” is a ballad of shimmering beauty combining insistent, whiny electric guitar with an astral chorus. “Flight of the Knife Part Two” suggests Jellyfish in its lush intro—a fake-out! Scary starts singing over acoustic guitar, picks up the band on the second chorus. The song unfolds in a series of barrel-house blues, vaudeville vocals and a horn section. Dag. I wasn’t going to comment on every song. But every song looms large against the Liliputian landscape.

BRYAN SCARY & THE SHREDDING TEARS - FLIGHT OF THE KNIFE is an instant classic and certain to be in my Top Ten list for the year.

To hear sound clips or --gasp--even order a copy, click here!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The WTFst Videos of All-Time! #2 (in a series)

More Germans. Fog machines. Cellophane masks.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The NOT LAME BLOG Official Soundtrack, Vol. One!!!

PhotobucketYou say you want some free music? We hear ya! As a thanks for those of you who keep coming back to the NOT LAME BLOG, here's our first blog's the official soundtrack to the NOT LAMEBLOG, featuring some of the best artists NOT LAME has to offer! 15 tracks in all!! All you gotta do is RIGHT CLICK TO SAVE AS--and if you like it, buy it!!! Tell your friends!!!

So here goes...

1. THE EVERYDAY THINGS - "She Like It Like That" (from Lighten Up, Francis!)

2. DOUG POWELL - "I Woke Up In Love This Morning" (from Right to Chews: Bubblebum Classics Revisited)

3. P. HUX - "Bazooka Joe" (from Mile High Fan)

4. THE SHAZAM - "Gettin' Higher" (from Tomorrow The World)

5. BLEU - "You Might Think" (from Substition Mass Confusion - A Tribute To The Cars)

6. THE WELL WISHERS - "In Search of Alter Egos" (from Under The Arrows)

7. WALTER CLEVENGER - "Burned" (from Five Way Street - A Tribute to Buffalo Springfield)

8. MYRACLE BRAH - "Simplified" (from Six Years Of Power Pop)

9. ROGER JOSEPH MANNING,JR. - "What You Don't Know About The Girl" (from IPO - Volume 9)

10. REDDY TEDDY - "Ooh Wow" (from Teddy Boy)

11. MICHAEL CARPENTER - "Emily Says" (from Rolling Ball)

12. SCOT SAX - "I Am The Summertime" (from Scot Sax)

13. BOBBY SUTLIFF - "Warning Bells" (from Bitter Fruit)

14. BEAGLE - "Well, It's Only Pain" (from IPO - Volume 4)

15. THE VIRGINIA SISTERS - "Beautiful One" (from Last Pathetic Fool)