Author Archive

Album Review: White Orange – White Orange

White Orange - White Orange

Loud.  Insane.  Tritely comprehensive.  A shit ton of fun.  This could pretty much sum up Portland Oregon’s newly founded thrash rock sensations White Orange.  They are a loud brand of pyschedlic madness, the likes of which have rarely been noticed until now.  With their self titled debut album in hand, this is a group that is approachable for metal, punk, and good old rock and roll fans alike.

While a track with a title such as “Kill The Kids” might disrupt the average not-so-hard rock listener, it is actually a track that holds a 90’s alternative to everything sound that was so highly acclaimed when Sonic Youth did it a decade before, while being accepted in the grunge era as well.  Sure, White Orange is prone to a bit of screaming, but they are without a doubt a much finer portayl of thrash core than their previous successors of this age.  They take sort of classical element when composing tracks like “Save Me” and “Color Me Black”, the latter of which is very reminiscent of the highly underrated Stabbing Westward.

While we have become prone to only loving simplistic indie rock and understandable heavy metal, there should always remain a soft spot for the hard edged, exterminators of reality sound that a group like White Orange has blessed us with in this strangely distant day and age.  Sometimes we just need to rock.  But how can we do this without losing our artistic integrity?  Just throw in White Orange’s self titled beauty and begin to relive the glory years when “alternative” was not a brand name for bullshit radio stations playing “Spoon Man” on repeat while advertising mattress outlets.  Rather the period where you could be loud, proud, and purposely deprived of adhering to the social norms.  You know, the way rock and roll was suppose to be!

Track Review: Lotte Kestner – “Halo”

Lotte Kestner

Even the meekest and most pretentious hipster on earth should clearly admit Beyonce Knowles has a voice that can call upon the angels of the midnight hour tstare the world down until all of their children are safe.  We also know, based upon the words of the one of the finest artists of the modern world, that she made “THE GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME!!!”.  But, what happens when the king of modern R&B is unintentionally outdone?  Is it possibly that a goddess from the independent music world could legitimize a pop princess?  The answer is yes.  Yes, because the great Anna-Lynne Williams decided she would strive for such a feat.

Lotte Kestner — “Halo” | download

Lotte Kestner’s (Anna-Lynne William’s solo project) latest album, a collection of somewhat obscure covers, is obviously beautiful.  Her interpretations of Trash Can Sinatras and Interpol are obviously commendable as she spews her beautiful vocal chords upon the world.  But, somewhere on the bonus disc of the aptly titled Stolen, we find the wife of the hip hop legend Sean Carter.  We find Williams creating something so sensual and captivating, it is extremely hard to believe these words did not come straight from her heart, but from any given songwriter who will probably always remain nameless.

Beyonce can sing.  This is obvious.  But, anyone who hears Lotte Kestner spill out her heart to the same words the lady of R&B once did, should instantly realize that an improvement was made.  Should Mrs. Carter ever come across this track, I can feel that even she would agree that she was trumped.  Hopefully she can understand.  And if she doesn’t, we can still be entirely thankful that we have beautiful voices all over the world.  From Knowles to Williams, we can be happy for these tones of beauty that plague even our darkest moments.  Within these folk’s talents, we can find peace.  We can find love.
Lotte Kestner’s latest album “Stolen”, and the 5 song bonus EP, featuring “Halo”, can be found at  The critically acclaimed debut of Lotte Kestner, “China Mountain”, can also be purchased from the site as well.

Jonathan Jones readies Utah, Idaho tour in support of Community Group

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones of We Shot The Moon is coming to you, Utah! Yes, the piano man behind the acclaimed indie pop troubadours We Shot The Moon is striking out on his own to support his latest solo effort, Community Group. He’s got a swell band to cover his ass on the way through the Inland Northwest as well. To help distribute the wealth of piano laced excellence, Jones has enlisted his fellow Moonies, as well as some new recruits including Spokane, Wa., based drummer Ben Hilzinger (The Young Professionals). It is suffice to say, something brilliant is in the work for you his already adoring fans.

Community Group is likely to be known as Jonathan Jones’s finest work to date. One listen to a track like “East Coast Feeling” brings to might the powers that be as being ever present and phenomenal in an entirely non-theological sense. Only the sense that one man’s sensual ability can bring your heart ablaze as melodies and harmonized beauty sweep and swill through your body. The kind of feelings only a wonderful song can invoke within you. So, find your way to whatever fine venue our hero of virtue and musical genius might be spitting his venom of positivity into the faces of an adoring crowd. Go ahead. Go get spit on!

To hear Community Group in its entirety and for three free downloads, including the amazing “East Coast Feeling”, visit

Find Jonathan Jones in a city near you very soon:

6/22 – Logan, UT @ Logan Arthouse

6/23 – Provo, UT @ Velour

6/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court

6/25 – Rexburg, ID @ Hemming Village Complex (FREE Show)

6/27 – Boise, ID @ The Venue

Artist Spotlight: Soul Distraction

Soul Distraction

If you’ve ever dug through your parent’s vinyl collection and felt a slight sense of apathy you can’t really explain, trust in me that you are not alone.  Most of us in our 20’s and early 30’s know that there was a period of time, in which some of us were actually alive, that you could turn on the radio and hear a song that was absolutely to die for.  Although most of us can’t really remember such a time.

Soul Distraction — “Talk About It Later”
[audio:|titles=Talk About It Later]

Now, we all know such ideals are pretty much dead and gone (save for the resurrection of Cee Lo Green), and we are more app’ed (get it?) to digging around on our iPhones and finding the next underground sensation from a city we may have never heard of, and will probably be disbanded within a year after a SXSW appearance and a west and/or east coast tour.  We love the music for the music.  But, we seem to have lost the Cheap Tricks and the Deep Purples that once were ruling the airwaves, as well as our hearts.  And if you long for that classic rock vibe that has seemed to disappeared into the depths of the indie rock sea, fear not, because the sound has been recaptured in a way you probably never imagined.  And the high definition lens showing us the future, as well as the past, is seen through the eyes of Portland’s Soul Distraction.


Album Review: The Seldon Plan – Coalizione del Volere

The Seldon Plan

In the world of music criticism, there are a few on rules that are supposed to be followed, but are routinely dismissed.  One is using the first person reference in a review.  Thankfully, blogging as completely destroyed this concept, so we, actually I, can say whatever the hell I want.  Amongst the probably hundreds of other ridiculous rules is to never make assumptions about a record/artists/burlesque show if the standards are too high for a band that can’t live up to the expectations you have set.  It’s also not a good idea to use foul language.  So, on that note:  The Seldon Plan’s Coalizione del Volere is an album that I believe is absolutely fucking fantastic, and you will absolutely adore it.  Rules are meant to be broken.  And with an album like this, it is perfectly acceptable to raise the bar all the way to the heavens.  They have the means to back themselves up on product alone.

The Seldon Plan — “Fractionation”
[audio:|titles=The Seldon Plan – Fractionation]


Artist Spotlight: Andy B

Andy Botterill

The danger with lo-fi pop is pretty obvious.  It draws the same sort of sometimes warranted typecasting of non-creativity that punk music received in the late 1970’s to the mid 80’s:  it all sounds the same!  Now, those who actually listen to the music know that this is not entirely true at all.  But, give one good reason why The Ramones are world renowned, and The New York Dolls, although critically and cult acclaimed, are just a quick blip in history.  Both were sensational in their own way, but someone always has to stand out.

Andy B – “Talk About it Later Baby” from Days Pass Me By
[audio:|titles=Andy B – “Talk About it Later Baby” from Days Pass Me By]


Children Of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From The World Of Independent Music

Art by Kathie Bayne

Disclaimer:  Folks, if you don’t know by now, your further searches into this project will show that, yes, this is my project.  And I am basically using my own pull to advertise my own work.  I am the editor and coordinator of this project, came up with the idea and what not.  I feel as though I can rationalize doing this since we have so many other great folks involved with this project that deserve all the recognition they can get.  And we are doing it all to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.  So leave judgements at the door, and you will find something awesome below!

With the holiday season upon us, an almost nearing completion, it might be a good time to start thinking about one of the finer, and probably more noble, sides of the season – The Giving.  But, as most of us know, but may not want to admit, sometimes the benefit of giving is actually the getting.  So how we solve the dilemma of trying to give back, and at the same time receiving something awesome in return?  I’d like to say, “there’s an app for that”.  And there may very well be.  But, there is also a nice charity project in development that could very well offer just what we need.

The project is a book entitled Children Of Mercy:  Tales and Teachings From The World Of Independent Music.  It shall be a collection of essays and poems written by several elite individuals from all over the world, as well as all over the independent music spectrum telling tales of glory and woe they have experienced in this somewhat deviant, yet delightful world we call independent music.  Contributors to the book include artists, journalist, bloggers, label owners, dj’s, etc.  And in some cases, a contributor might hold all of these titles. (more…)

Recession Proof Music: Top Ten EPs of 2010

I’m not sure if the recession really had much to do with it, but short track lists didn’t seem to be in short supply this year.  In my tenure as an indie music blogger and investigator, I’ve usually been able to pick out a couple EPs throughout a year that acted as more than just a promotional tool for a forthcoming LP or simply as a demo of a band’s talent.  But in 2010, it seemed as though many artists decided they would stuff 12 tracks worth of brilliant material into just a few songs (in some case, just two tracks.) Were they in a rush?  Were they just broke?  Or did they simply realize that they can express everything they wanted to in a much quicker fashion?

In the end, it doesn’t matter. Some wonderful tunes were made, and that is all that really matters.  So, here is a list of ten of my favorite EPs from the year:

10)  The Flying Change – Singer/Songwriter.  Sam Jacobs went an entirely different route than he did on his 2009 album, Pain Is A Reliable Signal, that appeared on many “best of” lists, including mine.  He traded in the acoustic guitar for some dancable beats.  Although it is only two tracks, it is very exciting.  I wouldn’t expect to hear an experiment like this from Jacobs again, as he is constantly looking to create something new.  Just be thankful he did this at all.