Mannequins on 7th Street

Mannequins on 7th Street, based in London but originally from Belgium, makes perfect rainy day music. Looking for the next Zero 7, but in male form? Well, the Mannequins duo is delivering similar blissed out electronic music and you’d be remiss not to keep track of their promising future.

Mount Sharp

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Mount Sharp, comprised of some of the coolest dudes I know, including one of my What Blog?! partners, Bryan Bruchman, have announced that their first physical release, WEIRD FEARS EP, will be available this summer via yk records. If first single “Crazy Eyes” is indicative of what’s to come, we’re in for a real treat. Killer guitar lines and raw but accessible female vocals take their place on the engaging jam. It’s the kind of summer music I need.

[MP3] The Lake District: “Framed”

When we talk about music, we oftentimes come up with banal platitudes to describe what the heck something sounds like in a way we think we’ve never described something in the past. It all comes out to synonymous adjectives and sometimes induces WTF faces. The Lake District aka Trevor Ransom, from Seattle, got creative in sending his music. Let’s go with his words.

Framed is best listened to as you think about the last scene in Casablanca.

Though Frank dons a calm face, there is no doubt of the underlying emotion behind his appearance. Framed is about his thoughts as he watches his love walk off into the gray, to get on an airplane and never come back again. It’s about the sweet, now ash tasting memories of times they shared before innocent love was torn apart by the war. It’s about the enveloping emotions of heartache, and hopelessness that threaten to crumple him. And… at the end of it all, it’s about waking up the next day and facing the world, drained of color, but with a belief that one day the color will return.

The Lake District – “Framed” [MP3]

I’ve been listening to a lot of scores lately of films I’ve never even watched, so this was a pleasant surprise. That may make me lame, but I’m okay with it.

Doe Paoro’s ‘Ink on the Walls’ EP

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My good friend Doe Paoro returned with a new EP, Ink on the Walls, this week, marking a vast departure in production from her previous works. She collaborated with S. Carey of Bon Iver fame, and he added necessary tightness to her raw sound. Justin Vernon – surprise! – is featured as well. The soul is still very much there, and Doe’s vocals, as usual, propel the tunes forward, but she needed this to gain ground on the upper echelon of indie artists, and that she has done. Watch her just-released video for “Walking Backwards,” the strongest track on the EP and give the full thing a listen below.

[MP3] Animal Years: “Got Nowhere To Go”

This week’s vote for most-likely-to-end-up-on-a-tv-show is Animal Years’ new single “Got Nowhere To Go”! Brimming with energy and radiating pop sunshine, it’s oh so easy to picture a character running through the streets to his loved one’s destination at the end of the episode. BUT DO THEY KISS?! I would assume so, if you listen to the whole song. The backing harmonies make “Got Nowhere To Go” soar.

Sun Will Rise (The Deluxe Edition) will be released by The Orchard on May 6.

[MP3] Jom Comyn: “Waves, No Water” (ft. Jessica Jalbert)

First (real) post back. Jom Comyn is an Edmonton based singer/songwriter specializing in low-key, thoughtful tunes. Jessica Jalbert provides the intimate vocals on his sophomore album’s strongest track, “Waves, No Water,” featuring a shoegazing guitar line.

You can pick up In the Dark on 99 (All the Time, All the Time) via Value Records.

Guess what!? Knox Road back in action soon

Maybe even tomorrow. That’s right ladies and gentlemen and everyone else: we’re back.

Thank you all for your patience during this longer-than-anticipated hiatus. Life had made it difficult to keep up with the blog, but I’m in a place now where I’ll be able to continue the upkeep and writing. I’ll be back to finding (or getting from respected others) lots of new artists for you and you’ll see some appearances and features from my writing buds. 

I’ve missed you all and appreciated the kind words in our absence. Rock on.

[Abby's Road] It’s not your Oma’s Bavaria

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Well. My journey in the south will soon be over. It’s officially official: in a couple short months my better half, our cat and I will be packing up and heading north. Berlin, we’re coming at you. I must admit that while I adore Munich, I am looking forward to a change of scenery and a more, well, ‘multi-culti’ atmosphere. As this decision was being made I realized that aside from going on about the gigs I’ve hit, I never really talked all that much about the local music scene here as I see it. Maybe I should while I’m still a citizen of this great city. So. Munich.

On the surface, as with many big-ticket tourist destinations, Bavaria, specifically Munich, is a region/city steeped in tradition. Pre-war, post-war, lederhosen and beer, the preconceived notions of an international community based on history’s timeline are about as real as the glossy travel brochures have them appear to be. There is a revered beauty and charm connected to the region that cannot be denied. That said, while many young people visit Oktoberfest annually in full-blown tracht and regalia, Munich is about as rich with progressive musicians and art as a city comes.

There really is no physical nucleus to the “scene” in Munich…one I’ve encountered, anyway. It is really just one giant amalgam of local venues + musicians/fans sprinkled about the city. It’s all pleasantly accessible. And, if you can believe it, it’s pretty radio-centric as well. With online access and specialized streaming tools it had (shamefully) been years since I dialed into an actual station; since my college radio days in the early-90s I guess. It was on holiday visiting my Bavarian in-laws some 5 years ago when I heard a song on the car stereo I assumed was some long-lost Sarah Records gem I missed somehow. Confused, I settled and checked the tracklist from the show and was floored to find that it was Wild Nothing hailing from the VA/Washington, DC area WHERE I WAS LIVING AT THE TIME. Appreciate the irony: I had to come to Munich to hear someone from my backyard. On the radio. Right.

It’s mothership being the Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), PULS Radio successfully caters to younger listeners and those who wish to hear a mindful mix of music running against the mainstream and a good dose of homegrown artists as well. Via their website one can become connected to a veritable cornucopia of music, pop-culture interviews, videos and events with a fingertip. The end of November brings the annual PULS Festival, the biggest indoor radio festival in Europe. Hosted in the classical music soundstages of the BR, it is an international evening of progressive and new live music. This year’s line-up included but was not limited to NYC’s Haerts, Copenhagen’s Reptile Youth and Munich’s own Aloa Input. The best of show this year happened to be a rap artist (!) from Augsburg. I give you Blindspot.

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Quick Update!

Hey friends,

In case you hadn’t noticed, Knox Road has been lacking new posts lately. Don’t worry, it’s not a trend that will continue much longer. However, we have had some busy lives lately which has kept us from really digging our ears into new music. We will be back atcha shortly, with our eyes on the prize.

Thank you all for your patience and we hope 2014 is treating you well.

Cheers.

“The Cure: In Orange”

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I first caught a glimpse of a dewigged Robert Smith on a spotty VHS copy of “The Cure: In Orange,” a videotape a friend popped into his VCR and told me, then in 1998 when I first started playing the bass guitar, “man, look at Simon, you need to learn how to play like that.” To see Simon Gallup at that point in the Cure’s history, during the heyday of their reign over the goth-pop worshiping masses in the mid-80s, was a moment I will never forget.  Strumming his bass during a smoke-hazed set that included some of my personal favorite Cure songs, such as  “Push” and “A Forest,” kept me glued to the screen in awe of the grandiose setting, and equally magnificent performance. For me, at that very moment, Simon Gallup playing his bass and wearing all black was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

Continue reading “The Cure: In Orange”