Monthly Archives: November 2012

Slacking off? Me?

I know it must seem that I have been slacking at Incognito HQ this week. I can assure you, loyal reader, that it’s not on purpose. Without going into too much detail about the whole thing, I’ve had to submit two deadline articles this week and that has hindered me from doing my usual posts during the week. I’ll be back at it this weekend and next week. Just a couple notes to bring to your attention.

  • The December issue of Incognito will be posted tomorrow.
  • We added a new link category called Cool music sites. Do me a favor and check out Paddy Rock and You Got Good Taste. Oh, and check out the links in the blogroll while you’re at it.
  • We are looking for an intern in Orange County CA. if you know an enterprising young writer that would be interested, put them in touch with us.

And finally…

  • If you have any topics you would like to see covered here on Incognito HQ, let us know about it. This will keep me from slacking (or at least appearing to).

Funk Friday: Funktion

Step into It is available now

Step into It is available now

When you start to explore the world of funk, you realize what a tremendous influence Funkadelic has had on the genre. It’s easy to see the influence Funkadelic had on Funktion (from Kalamazoo) from the very first song on the band’s album Step into It. The guitar on that opening track has the same sort of psychedelic sound that has long been Funkadelic’s signature.

If you want a real good sample of how Funktion will get yo moving, check out the song “Lover’s Delight.” This song has everything that makes a great funk song. It is driven by an amazing bass line, and a drum part that is sure to get your feet going. It also features some wicked horns and a lot of energy. This is easily my favorite song by this band. A close second is “All I Got,” a song (like a lot of funk songs) about sex. Let’s face it. Funk is good for getting your groove on and this song would be good to play while you’re getting it on.

The band also has some slow jams like “Can You Handle It?” No matter the tempo, this band plays the real deal. This is funk with just a splash of psychedelia, and a little bit of jazz (listen to that trombone in “All I Got”). If you’re a fan of funk, meet your new favorite band. You’re welcome.

 

 

Tchoupitoulas Thursday: The Hokum High Rollers

Ease into It is available now

Yes, I know, loyal reader. I keep promising that we’ll get back to Far-Out Thursdays. And we will. It’s just that I keep finding these good bands either from Louisiana or that play Louisiana music. Now here’s the thing. When you talk about Louisiana music, you could be talking Cajun or zydeco, blues, funk, Dixieland, etc. The Hokum High Rollers fall into the country blues category with this album that was recorded in the 9th Ward in New Orleans.

I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for country blues, particularly when it involves a steel guitar and a fiddle. This band has both. What this band is missing is percussion. Well, I can’t really say it’s missing percussion because it sounds just fine without a drummer. The strumming of the guitar provides not only the melody, but also the rhythm. The one band this most reminds me of is James Mathus and His Knockdown Society (the first album), both with the melodies and the vocals. If you’re a fan of country blues and string bands, you need to check out Ease into It by The Hokum High Rollers.

Incognito seeks an intern in Orange County

Yes, loyal reader, it’s true. We are looking for some enterprising young writer in Orange County, California, to join the Incognito team, and not just as someone to get donuts…although we do like donuts.

Job duties include:

  • helping to write some of the content for both the daily blog and the magazine
  • meeting with the editor-in-chief (he’s a hell of a boss) once a week
  • interaction on social media
  • plus other things as the need arises (and no, that doesn’t mean fetching coffee).

If you are interested:

  • make sure you read the blog and the magazine to get a sense of what we do here
  • send two writing samples (album reviews, interviews, etc.) to: incognitomusicmag (at) gmail (dot) com.

Make your case to be on our year-end list of favorite albums

Sending us cookies doesn’t guarantee you a spot on our year-end lists, but it can’t hurt.

Only one month remains in 2012, which means it is almost time for our year-end lists. Sure, we have candidates for our favorite albums of the year (and we never limit ourselves to just 5 or 10 because playing by the rules is boring), but we haven’t heard everything. Here is your chance. Use the Contact Us page and tell us who you are and where we can find your album that was released in 2012. Then do whatever you feel you need to do to get on our list (make a video wearing Incognito gear, send us merchandise or cookies…you get the idea).

Incognito pick of the week: Feral Conservatives

Breaks and Mends is available now

This seems to be the year of the duo for me. There are a number of duos I have found and really enjoy. Granted, most of the duos I have encountered are a little more raw than Feral Conservatives, but suffice to say that if you are a duo and your two primary instruments are mandolin and drums, you have my attention.

Now, having said that, maybe you expect this to be a duo with a wispy woman in a sundress strumming her mandolin and singing folky songs. That is not the case. This band sort of takes me back to my college days. Why is that? Because both the energy and the vocals remind me a lot of Velocity Girl. That’s right. This is a duo that reminds me of a full five-piece band. Sure, there are some mellow songs on Breaks and Mends, but for the most part this is a band that plays energetic indie rock. With a mandolin. Loyal reader, you know we are fans of bands that do something different. Feral Conservatives certainly does something different and pretty well at that. If you like female-fronted indie rock, check out this band from Virginia Beach.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/26807412″>Feral Conservatives – Control</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/mfrancis”>mfrancisFILM</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Why settle for just a few items in the buffet that is music?

Loyal reader, you’ll have to indulge me for a moment here. I am going to talk a bit about my three-year-old son, who is a giant music fan, but I will get to a larger point than just bragging on my boy.

The new album from The Creeping Ivies is available now.

Yesterday, I was at the market with my son and he was carrying the iPhone and listening to some tunes. One of the cashiers (who regularly sees me and my son in the store) asked him what he was listening to. He answered, “The Creeping Ivies” (his selection, by the way…he doesn’t need any help finding and selecting music on the iPhone).

The cashier said, “You have the most diverse music tastes. I love it.”

You wouldn’t just eat potatoes at a buffet, would you?

And it’s true. He really does have diverse musical tastes and there is no doubt that is something he inherited from his old man. The thing is, most people settle into a certain kind of music. Or more to the point, they never go beyond the music that they liked when they were in high school. That works for a lot of people. I for one, can’t really see the point. Say for instance that classic rock is all you listen to. There is nothing wrong with classic rock. However, if you ask me, listening to classic rock exclusively is a bit like going to a buffet and eating only potatoes. Sure, potatoes are familiar, and they can be prepared in a variety of ways. But think about it. You’re at a buffet. You see all this food on the tables that you ignore so you can load up on that familiar item.

That’s part of the reason we’re here. We’re here to point you to the items on the buffet that you may not ordinarily indulge in. If you read this blog for just one week, you will be introduced to bands from at least six different genres, and possibly seven depending on our pick of the week.

So, as I wrap up this monthly blog challenge in a couple days, I also want to challenge you to step outside of what you normally listen to and find some new bands and new styles. Don’t know where to start? Try Bandcamp, Soundcloud, ReverbNation. Start with baby steps. Go to one of those sites and search for whatever kind of music you normally listen to. The great thing is that one band can lead you to another band. Go ahead. Embrace the buffet that is music. You might be pleasantly surprised at the bands and genres you start to like.

Blue Monday: The Dirty Mac Blues Band

Simple, raw, dirty

On the Twitter page for The Dirty Mac Blues Band, the band is described as “simple, raw, and dirty.” I don’t have to tell you that simple, raw, and dirty music is right in our wheelhouse.

When you visit the band’s ReverbNation page, the first song listed is “BBQ.” This is a classic blues theme where the lyrics could be construed as dirty (at least by some uptight conservative). Terry Mackie sings things like, “I hear you like your pork pulled tight. That’s something I like real late at night. Smoked sausage too.” It’s reminiscent of singers like Bessie Smith, who sang about having “sugar in her bowl.” The band has another song where the message is less veiled. The title? “Bootycall Man.” Oh, and in addition to being about sex, this song has two of my favorite things: harmonica and slide guitar.

Terry Mackie has a big voice that is particularly noticeable when you watch some of this band’s videos. Her voice, like Big Mama Thornton’s and Candye Kane’s, is in the deeper registers and it is perfect for the blues. In fact, it’s hard to imagine her singing any other style…except maybe soul. But of course, the band deserves some attention too. The rhythms are just what are needed for the blues, and I wish I could play guitar or harmonica half as well as the guys in this band. If you want some dirty blues to get you moving, check out this band.

Mopey Christmas: a Morrissey Christmas album (proposed)

After reading yesterday’s post about The Smiths Complete box set, one loyal reader posed the question “Is there a Morrissey Christmas album?” That got me to thinking what a Morrissey Christmas album might look like. Here are some proposed tracks for Morrissey’s Christmas album, starting with six proposed by loyal reader Bob Brower who posed the question in the first place.

  • Hark the Herald Angels Weep
  • The Little Hum-Drummer Boy
  • Rudolph, the Withdrawn Reindeer
  • Sulking In A Whimper Wonderland
  • O, Little Frown Of Bethlehem
  • Silent Plight
  • Santa’s in a Coma
  • Winter Lonelyland
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (How Come No One Wants to Kiss Me?)
  • O Maudlin Night
  • God, Arrest these Merry Gentlemen!
  • Grief to the World
  • Sobby the Snowman
  • 12 Dreads of Christmas

Oh, and Morrissey…you’re welcome.

Surf Music Sunday: Daikaiju

“Premium action heroes deliver most high rocket music!”

When you see that band name, you might think that I have discovered some Japanese surf band. Loyal reader, I am sure there are Japanese surf bands. This is not one of them. Daikaiju is from Hunstville, Alabama. Note: This is the second surf band from Alabama that we have encountered: Kill, Baby…Kill being the other one.

This is another band that caught my attention before I heard any of its songs on ReverbNation. (Bands, are you taking notes here? Do something unusual and find some way to draw your audience in. I cannot stress that enough.) How? Just look at this bio info.

“Who is the Daikaiju??? Premium action heroes deliver most high rocket music! Special reverb skill combo for full impact! Loud sonic boom for earful pleasure!

Beautiful radiation of hyper-dimensional springy sound creates divine psychic wind for your special protection.

Worship Psycho-surf band Daikaiju daily for good luck and health!”

Now, isn’t that better than “So-and-so is a four piece band from Pig’s Knuckle, Oklahoma?”

The best way I can think to describe Daikaiju is…bear with me here. I thought about dipping into the well for “wall of sound” to describe this band. That doesn’t seem quite right. It’s more like an atmosphere of sound because the sound of this band seems to surround you as you listen. There is a prominent psychedelic aspect to this band and that is probably part of the atmosphere of sound. I’m going to cite “Zombie Harem” as the best example of this atmosphere of sound. From the twangy reverb of the guitar to the rumbling bass line to the rhythm of the drums, the sound seems to come at you from all directions. Now, I’m not saying you must add this band to your collection, but it seems like it would be worthwhile for the good luck and health that are sure to come.