Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SON of Anarchy

Are you a "Sons of Anarchy" fan? Yeah, me neither. But I am a fan of the show's soundtracking. More accurately stated, I am OBSESSED with Joshua James. Combining elements of Bob, Amos and Ray (and bearing a strange resemblance to Jared Leto), Joshua personifies a manifestation of all my favorite men. His late 2012 release, From the Top of Willamette Mountain, provides an intense aural experience -- and his first single, "Queen of the City," is, well, nothing short of an "aur-gasm." 

Hardly a rookie, Utah's Joshua James has been at it for almost a decade, opening North American tours for notables like John Mayer, Ani DiFranco and Third Eye Blind, among others. While his first single exemplifies an edgier rock sound, the majority of the album builds upon the folky gospel vibe so prominent in his earlier work. Regardless of the genre, the content is always consistent: the stuff of great blues -- drinking, drugs and deities. My favorites on this album are too abundant to name. Do yourself a favor and just buy the entire album; it will be the best $9.99 you spend this year. If you're feeling particularly spendy, add his Build Me This (including "Coal War," below) to your cart. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Won't you be their Neighbour?

While clearly influenced by its home state's summer vibe, The Neighbourhood's EP I'm Sorry is anything but seasonal. The California quintet is brand spankin' new, with the May 2012 release its first (hopefully, of many). 

I know what you're thinking, but The Neighborhood isn't your typical collection of West Coast misfits with "pumped up kicks" trying to surf its way onto your iTunes with tired indie beats. Rather, front man Jesse Rutherford's experience in heavy metal bands and hip hop groups since the age of 13 give The Neighbourhood its obvious edge. Of his influence, Rutherford says "It happens very naturally, when I write while I am rapping over the melody." With this combination of pop, rock, hip hop and music videos that pay homage to film noir, the boys have earned a Neighourhood watch.  

You may recognize the band's first single, "Sweater Weather," although it was undoubtedly underplayed in most summer 2012 rotations. That video, as well as my other favorite "Female Robbery," are below for your viewing pleasure. 

My New York friends: if you like what you hear, the band is playing two shows mid-January. What's even more exciting than that? A ticket to see the band will cost its "hoodlums" less than their cab fares at an astonishing $12 a pop. Click here for more info.