I noticed today that I have been quite negligent in introducing new music. I write about bands and videos and concerts gone by, but what is it that I’m listening to right now? I’ve compiled a list of current artists that have caught my attention that you might have never heard. Of course, being the visual learner you are I’m including some youtube links to kill your bandwidth. Enjoy!
Here’s what’s currently spinning on my hard drive:
The Violet Burning!
They’ve been one of my favorite bands since the early 90s with one of the most unique frontmen in the industry. Michael Pritzl’s voice takes some getting used to, but after a bit you can’t imagine the band sounding any different. Interesting story… I was at a music festival in Illinois in 1995 and had just talked to a friend the night before about how I wished I could catch a Violet’s concert, but being a somewhat obscure band from LA I guessed it wasn’t meant to be. I was walking from one tent to the other during the hot afternoon. There were little groups of amateur performers scattered everywhere. But off the path a bit I could hear someone playing a Violet’s cover. They sounded really good! I walked over to see. I was entirely shocked and overcome with joy when I saw Michael Pritzl and some members of The Prayer Chain performing beside a van with about 20 kids standing around! Just an impromptu jam. They played for about 20 minutes. I can remember thinking over and over how I must have been dreaming or else hallucinating after being awake for the last 40+ hours of the festival. But it was one of the most memorable concert experiences of my life. Afterward I got to tell Michael how cool I thought he was. You can see me now blabbering on and making him feel completely uncomfortable. Later I would front a band that would do two Violet’s covers. They have out a much more current album (which is supposed to be why I’m writing this post) but I found this song on youtube and felt you should give it a go. The name of this song is As I Am. It’s about being accepted for who you are — naturally. This version is 8 minutes long and was shot at that same festival in 2000 by some guy in the crowd. The girl on the right isn’t actually part of the band, she was just singing the harmony. The audio isn’t the best and there are better videos to be found around the net, but there’s just something about this song. You don’t have to watch the whole thing, especially since whoever was holding the camera seems to have been distracted at several points, but I find it a gorgeous piece of music.
Sugar and the Raw!
I’m glad I can say that they’re current again. They’re having a reunion show at Juanitas in Little Rock on Sept. 29. For $8 you not only get in… you also get their new CD!!! This is a local band with a really tight sound. I can’t find any video footage of them, but click on the link above to their myspace page and a music player will pop up. I think you’ll like it.
All That Remains!
Not an obscure band in the least, but probably something you don’t listen to very often. Be warned, they’re up for MTV Headbanger’s Ball Band of the Year. So why would I want you to listen to them? Because of the drummer. He’s unbelievable. Make sure you have a good sound system so you can hear just how awesome he is. Just released last month, this is their most commercially friendly single, so looking for their other offerings will probably hurt your ears.
I’ll end with an artist I consider to be a female version of Sting (you can argue that in the comments). I can’t believe I haven’t written about her before this. I’ve been completely captivated by her voice, music, and lyrics since I first heard her during the Live Earth concerts back in July. She’s Australian, and anyone who reads this blog knows how much I love the Aussie music scene, so that just makes it that much better. I’m not one who likes love songs, unrequited or otherwise, but somehow they sound right coming from her — especially when she isn’t afraid to use words like ‘scrupulous’. I just can’t say enough nice things about her, so I’ll let her video speak for me. This is Where I Stood.
BTW, this is one of three official videos for this song. I like this one best.
After watching this one, you might want to check out the videos for Ten Days, Steer, Greed For Your Love, and The Special Two. I know, too many options and you won’t choose any. Look, she’s had a lot of hits on the other side of the world. These are only a fraction of her videos. Well, pick that last one at least!
I’d like for you guys to also recommend some bands. They don’t have to sound like the ones I’ve posted here, or even like anyone else at all. I’m just always looking for things I should be listening to. Got a suggestion? Post it in the comments!