Category Archives: New Music Fridays

New Music Fridays: Edgar Breau

If you’re a fan of Canada’s Simply Saucer, you’re going to be a very happy camper with today’s New Music Fridays post.

Now, if you’re asking yourself, “Simply Saucer? Huh?” I won’t go into all the nitty gritty details of this fascinating tale of a band that has influenced so many music-types around the globe yet still remains largely unknown to the general public. I suggest you head over and check out this great article at Perfect Sound Forever that does a far better job than I ever could explaining the history and significance of Simply Saucer.

For now, though, feast your ears on the newest offering from Saucer frontman Edgar Breau, Patches of Blue. This brand new collection of songs is a bit of a departure from the Simply Saucer sound, with a heavy emphasis on tunes built from the acoustic guitar on up. Truth be known, I’ve had the title track from Patches of Blue on a loop in my house all day today, and I still can’t get enough of it. You can stream the album at Breau’s website, although I suggest you just cut to the chase and buy it on iTunes.

Here’s the video for the title track, Patches of Blue.

New Music Fridays: Witch Ever

It’s mid-November. It’s cold. The stores and malls have their Christmas decorations front and centre. It’s safe to say that winter has got one stinky, boot wearing foot in the door, so I figure why not resume giving you some ideas for some great music to help you through the next few months of chilliness. If you live some place slightly warmer where the only white you see in winter is not from heaps of falling snow but from the thinning hair of a million retirees flooding your community, today’s featured band is a great one to have cranked in your convertible as you drive past that new shuffleboard complex. Take that, old man!

Witch Ever first came to my attention a couple of months back when their track, The Push, ended up in my mailbox. Trippy, loud, and delightfully rough around the edges, The Push quickly won me over to the Witch Ever way of doing things. The long and short of it is Witch Ever are straight ahead rock and roll, played loud and with no strings pulled. In fact, I was impressed enough with the band to include them in my Music From the Inbox feature over at Alan Cross’ site last month.

As we speak, Witch Ever are busy as Gretsch-slinging beavers hunkered down at The Rogue studios in Toronto, where they are brewing up their ‘heavy on the analog’ debut album with the help of producer James Paul. Head Witch Stephen Sirisko tells me that Witch Ever’s legendary musical influences like John Lee Hooker and lesser known bluesmen like Junior Kimbrough are being cross-bred with the likes of guitar maestro Jeff Beck and even former Oasis honcho Noel Gallagher, the latter two having left a memorable impression on Sirisko after having seen them in concert.

Enough talk. More rock. Witch Ever, show ’em how it’s done. Here’s The Push.

‘Like’ Witch Ever on Facebook.
Visit  Witch Ever online at www.witchever.com.
-Jay Moon

New Music Fridays: The Rest

Seesaw, the soon to be released third album from The Rest (after Atlantis, Oh Our Saviour and Everyone All at Once), is a fitting title for a collection of songs that has seen its fair share of ups and downs in the process of its creation.

First, tragedy struck when The Rest’s longtime musical mentor, producer, friend (and former Junkhouse guitarist) Dan Achen suddenly died in March 2010 from a suspected heart attack while playing hockey (read more about this sad tale here). Then, after coming within grasp of the finish line of what would eventually become Seesaw, The Rest found themselves the victims of a major technical malfunction that saw months of work wiped clean off of the hard drive it had been recorded onto.

Throughout all of this, the seven piece from Hamilton, Ontario (yes, another Hamilton band…c’mon, Toronto. You’re getting your ass kicked here!) kept plugging ahead, and although a little behind schedule Seesaw is now slated for an early 2012 release. Even though Achen passed away before the start of production on Seesaw, his years of collaborating with The Rest still influenced the making of the album, and the band considers Dan still very much part of the songs featured on it.

And speaking of songs, The Rest are making a couple of tracks from Seesaw available for download for free right now, but act fast-they’re coming down at the end of this month. If you’ve always wanted the perfect amalgamation of Jesus and Mary Chain crossed with Broken Social Scene, then Always On My Mind and  The Last Day are going to help fill that void, at least until The Rest drop Seesaw next year.

If you’re in Toronto tonight, you can see The Rest at Wrongbar with We are Augustines. See details of the show here. After that, The Rest will be doing shows with Memoryhouse throughout October in Quebec and Ontario.

Finally, here’s the video for The Lady Vanishes, off of Everyone All At Once.

Visit The Rest’s website here.
Buy music from The Rest here.
Download free tracks from The Rest here.
Follow The Rest on Twitter @therestband.
Like The Rest on Facebook.
-Jay Moon

New Music Fridays: Greg Preston & The Great Machine

Every once and awhile, rather than have to hunt around looking for something new and exciting to feature on That’s Funky Awesome that ‘something’ just happens to fall into my lap. Such was the case with today’s featured band, Hamilton, Ontario’s Greg Preston & The Great Machine. My first impression was, “Interesting name, but what’s so great about it?” The second thing that caught my attention occurred as I scrolled through the Great Machine’s Twitter feed, and discovered mention of the band promising to play The Who’s Substitute at an upcoming gig. Now, I loves me my Who, so just the fact that we shared a respect for that band had me feeling good about what The Machine would have to offer. After further study, I suspect that Greg Preston & The Great Machine may have a bit of a Who crush going on, as they even feature a track entitled Zoot Suit on their four song debut EP, Hate To Love The City. Coincidence? Perhaps, but the band does share the raw edge that made early Who tracks so great. The recording was more about the emotion and spirit of the song rather than note for note perfection, and I can safely say that seems to be The Great Machine’s philosophy, too. The Great Machine may lean a little more heavily towards the punk spectrum (other sites have brought up The Stooges when describing them which I would agree with, and maybe even add in a little early day Stranglers), but the end result is the same: rock and roll, plain and simple. Delivered by a classic three piece, bass-guitar-drums lineup with an affinity for Converse sneakers. Now excuse me-I have to go get another mirror added onto my Vespa.

Here’s Greg Preston & The Great Machine and the video for Leave The Light On.

-Jay Moon

New Music Fridays: Fake Your Own Death

It’s Friday, and that can mean only one thing:

It’s time for some new music.

Although this week’s featured band, San Francisco-based Fake Your Own Death is new to these pages it already has a six degrees of separation affiliation with That’s Funky Awesome. You’ll recall an interview I did last year with Roosevelt Radio bass man Adrian McCullough? Well, Adrian is now pulling in some serious overtime with Fake Your Own Death. Having been witness to McCullough’s skill with the bottom end (easy now-I’m talking about the sound spectrum) for some time now, I understand why his talents are in demand. And they fit in perfectly with Fake Your Own Death, a five piece power pop outfit that isn’t afraid to experiment with open spaces that allow their songs to breathe, and at the same time are more than willing to drop the hammer and just let sheer forward momentum carry a track down the home stretch.

McCullough’s cohorts are all veterans of the Bay area music scene, and while still a ‘young’ band, Fake Your Own Death have managed to rack up some impressive live credentials.  Amongst them, a slot on San Francisco’s Noise Pop festival and a spot at this year’s SXSW music showcase in Austin, Texas. They’ve also been busy in the studio under the guidance of producer Sean Beresford, whose credits include Vanessa Carlton and Third Eye Blind and is considered the honorary sixth member of the band. Beresford was there when the Fake Your Own Death seeds were originally planted by singer/guitarist Terry Ashkinos, and with the addition of keyboardist Meredith Weems, drummer Dan Francisco and guitarist Rob Easson (along with McCullough) the line-up is set for their plans for world domination. Actually, I’m just assuming they’re scheming about conquering the globe, but I honestly wouldn’t be too upset if a tank showed up outside of my house blaring a track from Fake Your Own Death. Currently, the band is busy in the Batcave/studio of a fairly well known San Francisco musician working away at the follow up to their 2010 self-titled debut.  Who, exactly? Well, those details are for a future post, once all the spit and polish is done with their current studio work.

Check out the video for the track Dead Won’t Die. Jeez…so much dead and dying talk. I hope their next single mentions rainbows and waterfalls.

You can check out the Fake Your Own Death Facebook page here. Name your price and download tracks from their self-titled debut here.
-Jay Moon

New Music Fridays: Belle Histoire

By Jay Moon

Well, here we are, kids.  That’s Funky Awesome officially has its first week of existence under its belt-and you’ll be glad to hear it was achieved with minimal casualties.  The support you have all shown has been phenomenal, so let me say thanks for taking the time out of your day to visit.  And if That’s Funky Awesome somehow managed to take on the role of a welcomed distraction while you were in the workplace, even better.  I need you, and you, although perhaps not to as great an extent, need me.  We’re like a dealer and his best customer, except instead of drugs you walk away from the transaction with a little extra spring in your step and a tune stuck in your head.  Of course, I’m assuming this is how drug addicts feel after they score.   Before the depression and anxiety creep back in again, that is.

I wanted to kick off New Music Fridays with a very recent find.  How recent?  This time yesterday, I had never heard of this band before.  Now I’m having a hard time NOT listening to them.  The band is called Belle Histoire, and they hail from Kentucky (a state famous for its bands with french-influenced names.  Or not).  One song in particular, Nightmares, has become like a sonic mosquito incessantly buzzing around my noggin, and I’m making no effort to swat it away.

Here’s what I can tell you about Belle Histoire: they have an E.P. on iTunes, Spirit, that contains the previously mentioned track, Nightmares.  There are five people in the band.  There is a girl singing.  Two of the band members are rockin’ some great facial hair.  And no, one of them is not the singer (cheeky monkeys!).  They also remind me a little of Black Dub, who Bill Paul profiled here. And that is a very, very good thing.

Nightmares, by Belle Histoire.

Buy the Spirits E.P. on iTunes.  Visit the Belle Histoire website here.  Follow them on Twitter @BelleHistoireKY.