I still believe a live show should consist of one cover per set. Let the audience know your inspiration, give them a chance to be turned onto something new; flex your creativity by a re-work using your sound.
2013 gave us more Hawksley Workman in guitar form. His new band, Mounties, an explosion of hard hitting rhythms, chugging, melodic guitar lines, and hooks a plenty has my interest piqued. And they’ve only formally released two songs –three with their “Merry Christmas Maybe”. Thrash Rock Legacy is what they’re calling their full length debut, and let’s cross our fingers it hits early in 2014. With “If This Dance Catches On” & “Headphones” as evidence, I might already have one of my favorite records for ’14 in ’13. Believe it….
The resources are vast to always be discovering new music. Spotify’s Discovery option is smarter than anything I’ve used. The usual e-zines are still as strong as ever with a diverse lineup of new artists emerging constantly. What’s lacking in short supply is time to keep tabs on the latest and greatest. But luckily I was in the right place at the right time and stumbled on a fresh favorite of 2013.
Who knew that Denver can smoke. Nathaniel Rateliff, an impeccably fine folkster, can flip a switch and ignite a room with a dusty, hypnotic throwback to a simpler time. Nathaniel brings together a posse of hip-swaying, precison-like soulful funksters penned the Night Sweats — the Mile High City’s equivalent of Hitsville’s Funk Brothers. A septet with this much pep, ability to compose feel good classics, and the ability to step back into yesteryear has my attention.
When Rhye took to the stage earlier this year, there was an expectation set after you set foot into the performance room: Rhye didn’t appreciate fans speaking loudly and entering and leaving the performance area. Their sensual concoctions pay homage to romantic relationships. When in heat, you’re present in the moment, the vocals you’re delivering are hush, deliberate phrasing to arouse the moment further. A Rhye set is no different.
The vocal delivery is one part Sade and two parts seductress. On “Last Dance”, the groove begins immediately, and that’s before you even begin providing shivers to your partner. The bounce, with its horn stabs, lush beats, and so accessible sway set an immediate tone: I came here to get down.
A heartfelt ode in song form is untouchable. How else can you express your gratitude and exude appreciation for someone than composing a personal poem with head spinning atmospherics? Autre Ne Veut has done just that. For his grandmother. “Counting”, with its highs and lows; its kaleidoscope pulsing; Arthur’s piercing falsetto and sincerity continue to ask, “I’m counting on the ideal that you’ll stay/I’m counting on the ideal that you’ll stay alive”…
If I could stretch my voice, create a lavish, dizzying array of a sound bed to plant my ode over, it would sound exactly like this. Sonically beautiful and lyrically inspiring…