Monday, February 16, 2009

Five Musical Nuggets from Strummerville

Recently I went on a "fishing expedition" on the Strummerville Web site to see if I could find some new and up-and-coming rock bands to check out. Strummerville is a non-profit organization founded in memory of the late-great Joe Strummer whose mission it is to provide opportunities for aspiring musicians. 

Below is a list of five really cool songs I found there that you may also like.

However, after looking over my selections, check out the site for yourself as there are a ton of artists there ranging from folk, electronic, rock, rap and everything in between. 

OK, here are my five "finds"...
  • Dylan James - Talking to Yourself. An energetic call of "Whoa-whoa!" over a three chord electric guitar progression starts this song out with great indie style. Dylan James then proceeds to rock right on along with a ripping basic melody. The lyrics seem to be the singer's advice to someone - a friend? a girlfriend? - about how they should do something and have some opinions rather than "just walking around talking to yourself and singing to yourself - whoa-whoa!" To me this song is what rock is about. A passionate tune, passionate delivery, no need for frilly instrumentation - all adding up to a song that makes you want to jump around and sing out loud. Preview and download it for free from Strummerville here or from iTunes. James also has a couple other songs on iTunes you can check out if you like what you hear from Talking to Yourself.
  • The V.C.s. - Barbarella. Kicking in with a song that's a cross between the score for the movie The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and anything Quentin Tarantino might come up with for a street crime outlaw movie staring an early 1980s Mickey Rourke, The V.C.'s Barbarella is just plain cool. The western pistolero guitar and the singer's croon about his desire for a particular woman paint a picture of an outlaw roving the urban range looking for what he needs. Preview and download it for free from Strummerville here. 
  • Cuban Heels - Eleven Little Secrets. The Heels crank out a jaunty little song here with Eleven Little Secrets. Strumming guitars and an "" backing chorus layers over and around the song's lyrics about how secrets can change things and how the singer "just doesn't feel the same" after sharing some of his eleven secrets. Check it by previewing and downloading it for free from Strummerville here.
  • New World Record - Here Come the Arrows. Here Come the Arrows is mid-tempo rock tune about the avalanche of life and what you can and cannot do about it. "Look out, here come the arrows, so hold out your hands and hope they turn away" communicates the inevitability of a dangerous world and that all you can do is stand up brave and take what comes. Meanwhile the chorus  booms, "Don't kill yourself with trying to take control, because in the end it will steal your heart and soul."  I take that as a comment on the soul corroding obsession many people have over trying to control their world and the people around them. The music here is reminiscent of Matt Pond PA with a little Glasvegas thrown in. Pretty damn good stuff in my book. This song is available for free preview and download on Strummerville here.
  •  Sunny Day Sets Fire - Brainless. You like a strumming good song with a heavy trombone part? You like a quirky little 1980s synth solo in the middle? You like a song about how a guy doesn't want to be brainless? Well, look no further than checking out the neat-o, danceable, lets get stoned out in a field tune Brainless from Sunny Day Sets Fire. Do it now. Preview and download for free at Strummerville here
So there you go...five songs from bands you've probably never heard of, but whom deliver the goods! Check 'em then go find some of your own.


No comments: