Monthly Archives: March 2013

Funny Sunday: Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers

I have written about this band once before (specifically “My Lovely Moustache), but this band is hard to top for a Funny Sunday. I mean, just listen to the first song on this album. It is an ode to the color beige. Now, I live in a place where everything (yes, even the great outdoors) is beige. Looking around Orange County and seeing all the beige, I never would have guessed that someone could write a song about this drab color. I especially never could have imagined that anyone could write a song this catchy about a color so dull.

Beige isn’t the only sort of unexpected subject. The Greatest Show on Toast also contains songs about a sandwich that’s gone off and “warming up your custard.” And perhaps the best thing about this band in addition to making you laugh and making you dance is the fact that it includes a tuba. I for one think it’s hard to go wrong with a tuba. And frankly, it’s hard to go wrong with this band, particularly if you want a few good laughs.

Ska Saturday: Be Like Max

The tagline on the Be Like Max Bandcamp page is “Las Vegas ska/punk music still exists.” If there was ever any debate about this, Be Like Max puts that debate to bed. Yea verily, Las Vegas ska/punk music still exists.

Play in the Mud begins with a female voice saying “Oh my God! This band has horns? That’s fucking stupid!” I feel bad for anyone who feels that way. Generally bands with horns are upbeat and often infectious. This band is no exception. If you don’t want to dance when you listen to “Get Over It,” you probably just don’t like dancing.

This band also has a couple thought-provoking songs. “Sheep” starts out like a old-time ska song with the muted guitar and horns that get you swaying. Then the singer hits you with the lyrics, “There’s gotta be a bigger dream than the currency.” But wait! There’s more. Later in the song are the lyrics, “There’s gotta be a few nice guys that finish stuff first. Obviously it’s different in style, but this song carries the spirit of P-Funk in that it can get you moving while provoking some pretty deep thoughts.

The other thought-provoking song begins with the line, “There’s more to life than working for the man.” Preach it, brother! The band gets another ringing “Amen!” with the line “We’re also decent people just trying to do the best we can.” This band has an amazing ability to put itself in the role of everyman. And what’s more impressive is that they put it all to catchy melodies that get you moving. Do yourself a favor. Listen to this entire album. And then do the band a favor and buy the album. After all, they’re decent people. Besides, can’t you use some music that expresses things you feel every day?

We’re taking a little break at Incognito

It’s not very often this blog takes on a serious tone. And I promise not to make this too dramatic. After all, this isn’t Lou Gehrig just before his last game or anything. However, I have to announce that we are going to take a little break from the magazine. Fear not, loyal reader. It is just to take care of some organizational details. We are going to publish the April issue very soon, and I will keep writing the daily blog, but the next issue of the magazine will be in August. I know what you’re thinking. You’ve heard that tale before from small businesses that say they are taking a hiatus that becomes permanent. That is not the case here. We enjoy doing this far too much to just let it go. We’re going to come back with a new issue in August and I promise you when we return, we will be better. And you can help us, loyal reader. You can contact us anytime to pester us and make sure we are not only true to our word, but also on our toes. Seriously.

In the meantime, keep reading the blog. And musicians, keep submitting your stuff. August will be here before we all know it and I will need to fill the reviews section and Have You Heard in addition to our music features.

If you know me at all, you know that I like to come up with an appropriate song for a situation. Sure, this song is about a couple who is going through some hard times, but the part that keeps repeating in my head is “I won’t give up this good thing.”

 

Funk Friday: Spongecake and the Fluff Ramblers

Must be that country funk

Must be that country funk

Normally for Funk Friday, we go for that old-style funk that sounds like it’s straight out of the late 60s or early 70s. It’s not that we discriminate against country funk. It’s just that the old-style stuff is what we normally go for. That being said, we’re venturing into the country funk this week.

Now, it’s not often that you hear a funk band with a mandolin, but that is exactly the case with Spongecake and the Fluff Ramblers. So this band isn’t like Parliament (who is, really?) or some of the other bands we’ve featured for Funk Friday. Frankly, its vibe is probably a little closer to Yonder Mountain String Band. Still, listen to those bass lines (especially in the extended jam “They Love Each Other”) and tell me this isn’t funk. “Great Ol’ Valley” is another really good example.

The band also works the psychedelic aspect into “Don’t Let Go.” You could call this a straight jam band song and you wouldn’t be wrong, but let’s face it. A lot of jam bands take funk as their base. If you like some good jam-style country funk, check out this band.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Wise-L Leathermonk

High in the running for laziest worldwide

High in the running for laziest worldwide

Well, it’s time one again to celebrate the ethos of The Dude. Now, I need to preface this post by saying that I don’t necessarily condone it, but let’s face it, is there a song title that better describes The Dude than “Lazy Stoner”? And this guy is L-A-Z-Y. If anyone besides The Dude is high in the running for laziest worldwide, it’s the guy described in this song by Wise-L Leathermonk. The guy just wants to sit around and grow his hair. I don’t know about you, but I think that laziness is pretty hard to top. The lyrics of this song are hilarious and probably describe ever stoner you’ve ever known. To be fair, Leathermonk does mention a job, but…well, I’m just going to invite you to listen to the song.

Listen to “Lazy Stoner”

The subject of this song is certainly not a man who goes out “looking for a job dressed like that on a weekday.” Whatever else you can say about him, you can say that he most certainly is Dudelike. And I take comfort in that. Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Incognito pick of the week: Devil to Pay

RAWK

RAWK

I’ve been listening to a lot of heavy rock recently. So when I received a message about a “sludge-soaked and soulful tune,” from Devil to Pay suffice it to say that my curiosity was piqued. Now, I should say that it’s only one song, but it is a good one. I don’t know about sludge (you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong to call it that), but this is some serious RAWK. I mean, you need to get out your air guitar for this one. If this doesn’t get you playing air guitar, at least it will get you pumping your fist. And like Clutch (who I saw again on Sunday), this band isn’t afraid to mix in some cowbell.

So, why only one song? Well, it’s to give you a taste of this band before its new album is released on 9 April. I’ll tell you this much. After hearing this one track, I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

Devil to Pay homepage

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Trashy Tuesday: The Ogres

Brilliant 60s garage and R&B

Brilliant 60s garage and R&B

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that I am a big fan of garage rock that sounds like it was recorded in the 60s. The Ogres not only have that trashy garage R&B sound, but also a great album title: The Acrid and Misanthropic Sounds of The Ogres.

It doesn’t take long to hear the 60s sound. “Ain’t That Love” contains some excellently trashy guitar sounds as well as an organ that sounds like it’s straight out of the mid-60s. Speaking of that mid-60s sound: “You’re My Baby” has that in spades. This one bring Question Mark and the Mysterians to mind.

Speaking of that trashy R&B sound, “Isabella” is a great example of it. The song begins with a guy introducing himself to a girl who replies that she can’t stick around and talk because she’s going to a party. This is a song that begs to be on a 45, probably as the A side because it will get people moving.

One of the things that makes a great song is a story that everyone can relate to. “Pay Day” tells the story that probably all of us know too well. The narrator gets his paycheck and he just knows that it’s already gone because a) the check is so small and b) he has so many bills to pay.

If you like 60s-style garage rock, check out The Ogres. The Acrid and Misanthropic sounds of The Ogres will be available on 1 April.

‘Billy Monday: The Matadors

If you like songs about drinkin', you'll love this album

If you like songs about drinkin’, you’ll love this album

I’ll admit it, loyal reader. I’ve seen enough bands that only have their music on MySpace (yes, MySpace) that it comes as a relief to me when I find bands that make their music readily available. Take The Matadors for instance. This band has several albums available on Bandcamp (click the picture to hear them). The one I am going to write about is Sweet Revenge.

This album begins with “That’s How She Died” and at the very beginning of the song, it sounds like you’re going to get a healthy dose of alt-country (not that there’s anything wrong with that). About 40 seconds in, it becomes this rockabilly romp with a a bluegrass twist provided by both a banjo and a mandolin. And in case you’re wondering, the girl who is the subject of this song dies in a most unflattering way. I’ll let you find that out for yourself when you listen to the song.

The next track “Up All Night” definitely brings some of Lee Rocker’s to mind although this song is more about the guitar than the bass until the end of the song when the bass comes on full force. One thing is for sure: all the musicians on this album know what they’re doing.

Like a lot of great rockabilly albums, this one has a lot of songs about drinking and lost love. The next time I complain that someone has too many songs about drinking will be the first time. Oh, and there is a song about the devil…also a must for a rockabilly band.

If you’ve been looking for some new rockabilly or punkabilly to add to your collection, check out The Matadors.

 

Funny Sunday: Sadface :( by Psychostick

Space Vampires vs Zombie Dinosaurs includes Sadface and lots of other rockin' funny tunes.

Space Vampires vs Zombie Dinosaurs includes Sadface and lots of other rockin’ funny tunes.

We’ve all joined the social networks because it’s what you have to do, right? Maybe you joined it for business networking purposes. Maybe you joined because it’s an easy way to share pictures with your family. Whatever the case may be, most of us have probably wondered at some point why on earth we ever joined any social network. You know, when you log onto Facebook and your feed is filled with the inanities of all the people in your friends list. It’s enough to get you to run away screaming…or at least take a couple hours away from whatever network is driving you nuts.

Well, Psychostick has written about a song with an honest response to all the rubbish (like when you’re on Twitter and one of the trending topics is Scooby Doo) that muddles your news feed and makes you want to tell everyone to get stuffed.

I should note that while I chose this particular song for Funny Sunday, I could just as easily have chosen any song by Psychostick. These guys rock and they’re funny. If you haven’t checked them out before, you should…unless you’re easily offended by curse words.

 

Your humble narrator is taking the day off

I know you’ve come here expecting another edition of Ska Saturday. However, yesterday was my birthday, so I gave myself the night off from writing another Ska Saturday post. While you’re here, check out some of our other Ska Saturday posts. Heck, check out anything you like. We have plenty of posts for you to peruse. We’ll be back with another edition of Funny Sunday. Feel free to give us your recommendations.