Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Eli Lieb - Zeppelin

Eli Lieb has this amazing grounded, earthy quality to his voice and performance that makes him stands apart from the other young make vocalists out there.  He's got a bit of a harder edge to his voice that makes him a little more rock and a little less pop and that's great because I think it's important to do what it takes to make you noticeable.  He makes the music you want someone to dedicate to you on the late night call in show on your local radio show.  He makes the music that will be the soundtrack to your relationship with it even meaning to.  His music is the music that makes you want to be loved and in love.

"Zeppelin" is an absolute summer song that makes you just want to throw the top back and take off on a gorgeous summer night with that person beside you.  It's idealistic and it's hopeful and it's just an easy song to get swept up in.  By the time it's over, you're hitting the replay button to listen to it over and over.  The chorus is infectious and it's just an incredibly written, incredibly sung and fantastically put together song.

Eli makes music for the masses while being exceptionally true to himself and his artistic vision.  Never once do you feel like he has an agenda or he's shoving anything in your face.  His videos are just matter of fact about his sexuality and they don't scream a need for activism.  It's this type of quiet idealism that is going to be turning point in this chapter of the civil rights movement.  Because the images are so innocuous and there aren't over the top visuals, it's very easy to accept the story of the video and move on. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Matt Fishel - Radio-Friendly Pop Song

It was probably around 2003 that I learned the importance of gender appropriate terminology in music.  Until then, every love song or breakup song or relationship song I ever listened to on mainstream radio had to have their pronouns switched in my head to make the song work for me.  So when the crooner was expressing his love for his one and only, I would make the switch from "her" to "him".  And I can remember Mark Weigle, the first openly gay musician I can remember listening to singing to him and expressing emotion and love for him and a light was flipped on.  Never had I had that freeing revelation that I did with that first song.  To hear a man singing his heart out to another man made all the difference to me.  It was at that point I learned that pronouns did matter and it was important to have someone singing a song to me so that I was actually about me and the man that I would eventually fall in love with. 

I've talked about this for years.  About how important it is to have the freedom to have artists make music that will touch the heart of someone halfway across the globe.  Now, it's much more prevalent across the board to hear artists singing about their preferred gender.  Granted, you still aren't hearing them on mainstream terrestrial radio, but honestly who really listens to that anymore?  With the internet and streaming services, radio has all but gone by the wayside.  On top of that, record companies are really relics of the past with people being able to publish to iTunes, Amazon or even Bandcamp and SoundCloud.  So you're an unsigned artist, publish your music on your own.  And I think that's giving a voice to a whole new generation of artists.

I don't really know much about Matt Fishel, yet.  I know that he has lifted my spirits higher today than they have been in a long time.  This song is so incredibly infectious and it makes me want to just jump up and dance like an idiot because I feel amazing listening to it.  It's fun and it's funny and it's poignant.  It's political without being pushy and it's affirming and it makes me feel validated.  And I hope that young people around the world just rock out to it and have an amazing time doing it.  This song has the potential to make a huge impact on the world, not just the music industry but people all over.  I cannot stress how much this song just makes me smile.  I am glad that it exists and I hope it does amazing things for Matt.

Nick D' & The Believers - Bang Bang

Columbus Indie rockers, Nick D' & the Believers have quickly become one of the bands I am most likely to stalk for the rest of the year in order to see them in concert because they are just incredible.  They call themselves Garage Soul and I get that genre and I would say they were very close to other indie groups like Walk The Moon, Young The Giant or The Black Keys.  This song is just full on fun.  The falsetto in Nick's voice is a perfect compliment to the crunchy bass line and indie sensibilities.  There's a spot where the harmonies come together around 2:56 that solidified my love for this group.  When the harmony is that solid for even 2 seconds, it's an even win for everyone.  Not to mention they continue to harmonize through the rest of the track.

I've got Paul Reynolds of myfizzypop for the heads up on this group and it always cracks me up when a UK blogger introduces me to a band that's based in the US.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Matt Zarley - Fucking Perfect (with Jeb Havens)

I'm really proud of this cover.  I'm proud of both of these men singing the hell out of this song.  I am proud to know that they took this seriously and just made a damn fine recording while putting their all into it.  This song is important and to have 2 out gay artists doing one of the finest recordings to date means a tremendous amount and will make a huge difference to the young men and women that find themselves on the other end of the track.  P!nk's version will always and forever be the go-to version of this song and it's one of my favorite songs hands down but the impact this cover will have to it's not only a niche market of young gays and lesbians but to anyone that comes across it on the internet will hands down be staggering.

Matt and Jeb's vocals flow seamlessly together and they gorgeously compliment each other.  The earthiness to Jeb's voice is totally grounded in Matt's soulful tenor and they play to each other's strengths - never over powering each other and totally giving each other the space they need to stretch their legs as it were.  But then they come back and harmonize beautifully with each other like it's totally old hat.  They both bring enough attitude and atmosphere to the track that enables the song to not come off as just a patronizing rant but more like the advice of an old friend when you need it the most. 

These guys are fantastic and they make me adore them a little more each time they step out of the gate.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Shadowboxers - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

There's really nothing I can say about this that the guys can't say for themselves.  When the harmonies are this strong, it's only a matter of time before they blow up and win all the awards.  I cannot get over how amazing they sound, especially when they aren't mic'd.  This is nothing but pure genius.