River Tiber releases The Star Falls EP

the star falls

There’s a little bluebird sitting on my fire escape. For a while, any movement I made turned him into a goner. But now I can approach the window and he’s prepared for my presence. He cocks his head ever so slightly to the side, but keeps his eyes affixed on me. I wonder what he’s waiting for to fly south. There’s a flock of others on the roof across the street, flying circles overhead as they practice their formation toward warmer weather. But this blue guy appears to have no worry in the world. He’s ready for the fast ascending darkness; for the crisp air that puts so many of us into hibernation. Perhaps he will be here forever. Probably not. But until then, I’ll watch his unmoving gaze and a concentration I never thought possible.

Get the full EP on iTunes

River Tiber on the web | Facebook

Knox Road is five years old today

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In 2008, Breaking Bad began its first season. 35% of Twitter users had 10 or fewer followers. The iPhone was one year old. Knox Road was created (see our first post on November 17, 2008, above).

This post isn’t so much about the history of Knox Road as it is about our gratitude to our readers and team of writers (though I could go on and on about the history – it’s crazy how much the blogging game has changed over the years). Without you, Knox Road is just two dudes talking about music and pop culture nonsense. With you, Knox Road is two dudes talking about music and pop culture nonsense to people, with many other excellent non-nonsense pieces all around.  If I ever thought Knox Road would last 5 years, I probably would not have created it. Kidding. I think.

But, really, this blog has given new meaning to our lives both within and outside of music, and we are forever grateful to everyone who helped make it happen. We know we don’t post as often as we did in our heyday, but we hope we’re still providing you with relevant columns and new music that you may never hear outside of the site.

As our “About” section explains, it’s pretty simple, really.

[MP3] Sophia Mitiku: “The Hollow”

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We speak about worldy musicians quite often, but I’d be hard-pressed to find someone more deserving of that label than Sophia Mitiku. Mitiku, half Korean, half Ethiopian, was born in California but raised and grew up between Germany and Finland. Say what? Yeah. She knows a thing or two about diverse cultures.

Mitiku, a singer/songwriter, makes delicately nuanced songs, using minimal instrumentation and chilling vocals. The nuance creates a powerful effect, and Mitiku’s vibrant and full-bodied voice carries the tracks to their ultimate destination.

Sophia Mitiku – “The Hollow” [MP3]

Check out her YouTube channel for more covers and original tracks.

Sophia Mitiku on Facebook

Little May: “Hide”

Little May Hide

An indie-folk trio lady trio based out of Sydney. My interest is already piqued. But really, though, “Hide” is a lovely song and makes me feel so much better about this dreary day (not to mention the winter darkness ahead). The rolling percussion and echoed vocals turn what begins as a nice folk ditty into a lush anthem.

Little May on Facebook | Website

Hayden Calnin: “Coward”

Hayden Calnin Coward

His music still strikes me at the core. Check out Calnin’s new song below. I’ve got nothing to add to my first post, which nicely sums up my feelings. Expect more TV placement soon.

Shout out to my fellow Hayden Calnin loving friend Missy from LBYB.

Hayden Calnin on SoundCloud | Facebook | Knox Road

Eureka Birds return with new album “Strangers”

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Chris walked up the front steps to the worn-down school he used to call home for 15 years. Fresh out of University, he taught English to seventh graders. It had been full of laughter, mischievous souls, and teachers who hated the place yet loved it at the same and wouldn’t give it up for the world. It never smelled great, but now it reeked of mildew, and a sticky wetness fell upon him as he walked inside. On this chilly night, Chris wanted to go back to everything he remembered. But this was eerie. And Chris was alone. The warmth that used to surround this place was gone. Chris walked up to one of his old classrooms and sat down with his back against the beat up and graffitied door, placing his head softly against it. He took in the empty hallway and closed his eyes, hoping to see light.

Eureka Birds on the web | Facebook | Knox Road

[Help Help Hooray] The Age-Old Question of When to Throw Horns

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Hype Hype Hooray is normally a go-to resource for philosophical analyses of popular music, but today it is Help Help Hooray, a go-to resource for music-related personal advice. Have a music-related problem you need help with? Email knoxroadblog@gmail.com!

I was at a Toro Y Moi show with my roommate, let’s call him “Dirk,” and right in the middle of “New Beat” where he breaks back into that synth lead like crazy, Dirk starts throwing horns in the air. I get that it’s a high energy moment, but I just feel like the horns don’t belong at a Toro Y Moi show, ya know? Should I sit him down and talk to him about it, or should I just forget about it? Help!

Help Out Right Now Soon!

This is a very tricky issue, HORNS. Throwing horns, or extending one’s index and pinky fingers while tucking the rest together, then thrusting that hand in the air, has roots that reach back into ancient superstition. “The Sign of the Horns,” aka “Devil Horns,” aka “mano cornuto,” was thought to ward off evil or else summon Satan or else imply cuckoldry. Like every other combination of raised and lowered fingers, it has several different meanings across cultures and over time.

In rock culture, the meaning of the horns is more vague. The sign’s first appearance is debatable. Gene Simmons, Ronnie James Dio, Ozzie Osbourne and even John Lennon have received credit for bringing the horns to rock ‘n’ roll. The horns gained popularity in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s at heavy metal and otherwise “hard” rock shows, but have since infiltrated shows of all genres, from Big & Rich to Britney Spears.

To throw horns or not to throw horns, that is certainly a big question at a show. On one hand live music is all about uninhibited freedom to enjoy the music, to let it flow through you and to truly experience it. On the other hand, it can be embarrassing for everyone when you’re the only person throwing double horns to Laura Veirs. It’s always best to test the temperature of the audience. If you start to feel that macho, fist-pumping energy that summons the horns, by all means throw them up. Just know that throwing unwarranted horns is a major concert faux pas. I won’t necessarily judge you but there are plenty of people, like you yourself, HORNS, who will.

Judging by your reaction, and the energy of the music, it sounds like your roommate did in fact throw inappropriate horns, HORNS. But let’s not judge too harshly, lest we wind up getting lost in the energy of a show and throwing unwarranted horns ourselves. It happens to the best of us.

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Continue reading [Help Help Hooray] The Age-Old Question of When to Throw Horns

Chris Flew

Chris Flew album

Dark is coming sooner now. Time to layer up. For some of us, hibernation becomes natural, and not just physical. It’s a state of mind. We’d like nothing more than to curl up in bed, clench our toes under our comforters, and stay away from it all. Tomorrow is a new day.

Chris Flew on Facebook

[Abby's Road] Danke schön, darlings…

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By the time this is published I’ll have crossed the bridge into my triumphant, 40th year. While I am wracked with thoughts like “how the hell did THIS happen?” and “…but I still look like I am 25…” (just agree with me), I also realize that I haven’t said thanks to the many folks I don’t have the luxury of seeing or speaking to everyday. You know…people I am only acquainted with virtually or via the airwaves. Individuals who, despite distance and some mystery, still make my life extraordinarily fantastic. Who? Well…here goes:

Firstly, to the songs that fill my otherwise quiet days with song and emotion: bless you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: records and their tunes are the most loyal friends I have. They are ready and willing to hang out at a split-second’s notice, and they don’t drink or eat much (read: more for me). Oink.

To my 6 readers: yes! Thanks for being my audience and giving me feedback enough to keep on going. Seriously, to be brutally honest? Audience or not, I find getting my ramblings down and out rather than clogging up my head rather meditative. That said, if my words can make one person go out and listen to a record for the first time or revisit something that has been collecting dust on the shelves for ages? Huzzah! Worth the time it took to scribble things down nine times over. Ten, even.

To the music-hungry youth of the world: GO ON! Keep blogging..keep listening..skip lunch and buy vinyl! You have the time to immerse yourself in all that’s new and gorgeous, music-wise. Keep teaching me. I love it and I still have a lot to learn. Just agree to listen to me a little. I’ve been around the block several times and, well, I know my shit. Mostly.

Continue reading [Abby's Road] Danke schön, darlings…

Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ Lyric Video is Live!

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There you have it, it’s live. We don’t usually post newsy news, but this one is…uniquely grand. After months of teaser videos and guerrilla marketing maneuvers that annoyed even their most die-hard fans; Arcade Fire’s fourth full-length studio album Reflektor is streaming on YouTube. It’s live, and well, it’s a lyric video of epic proportions.

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This is all happening five days ahead of release, and the entire record (85-minutes in length) is streaming on YouTube to the a classic Brazilian movie “Black Orpheus.”  Watching this reminds me of the classic Wizard of Oz film to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. And yes, there are occasional moments of synchronicity in “Black Orpheus” that seem to match the music in Reflekor. It’s a trip man, and worth spending 85-minutes watching a Brazilian film you probably haven’t heard of.

Continue reading Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ Lyric Video is Live!