Cole Cash – “Alkaline”

Sometimes the only way to break up monotony in life is to thrust yourself into an unfamiliar situation. It can be a dramatic, “pick-up-and-move-to-a-new-city” kind of decision or something more subtle. Take, for example, when 1146′s own Matt asked if I wanted to check out a concert in Annapolis a few weeks ago. I had not ever heard any of the acts, and I intentionally decided not to listen before the show in the hopes of being happily surprised; indeed, I was. The first band to play was Baltimore’s caustic yet joyous SUN CLUB. They were followed by an excellent set by the very talented Friendly People. But the biggest surprise of the night, for me, was the closing act: an acoustic set performed by two members of Annapolis’ own Cole Cash.

I had already chalked the night up as a success by the time 1/2 of Cole Cash (multi-instrumentalist Thom Beall and vocalist/guitarist Bri Ong) took the stage; their performance elevated the night of music from really good to something truly special. Their mournful melodies backed by gentle yet complex guitar arrangements instantly caught my ear as being uncommonly beautiful. My favorite song of the night, which if I recall correctly is entitled “Perturbed”, was revealed to be written about a girl in attendance at the show who apparently left. (I’m very curious if they would have played it if she stuck around!)

Thom graciously handed me a CD of their 2012 LP Radio, What Radio?. It’s been my companion in the car ever since. Album opener “Faded” leads in with a math-y electric guitar figure reminiscent of a Danny Elfman theme. “Humanity” has an alternative groove a la classic Pixies. But my favorite track does an excellent job of representing their acoustic talents: the folky “Alkaline” (listen below). The song’s harmonies and optimistic shuffle never cease to hit me right in the gut. The group’s lyrics are earnest and poetic without ever feeling forced. I hope to see them again live, in either a full-band configuration or another acoustic set. Until then, I’ll keep replaying “Alkaline” and singing along in the Mazda, butchering the melodies and harmonies to my heart’s content.

Kalob Griffin Band – “Full Love”

“She sets bear traps at the foot of my bed just to keep me on my toes.
She knows I won’t run cause if I do I won’t have half my foot,
and you can’t get too far without your foot”

The Kalob Griffin Band returns with new music from their upcoming EP, Full Love: Volume 1. “Full Love” is a toe-tapping little tune, which according to Kalob himself, is “about a couple so deep in love they can’t get out of and with all their imperfections and quirks they are perfect for each other”. This song gives me a vision of a guy sitting around a fire with all his friends talking about the love of his life. She might do some crazy things, but in the end she’s the only one for him.

I love when a recording emulates the atmosphere from a band’s live show. It becomes something you can take with you to remind you of a particular moment. There’s this delicate balance between maintaining the energy of a live show and still getting that polish that a studio recording provides. For me, “Full Love” walks that line perfectly by utilizing tempo changes and crowd harmonies. I’ll be dancing along and (hopefully) avoiding any bear traps along the way.

Check out “Full Love” below on Soundcloud or download it for free here.

 

Additionally, a collection of photos from the Kalob Griffin Band show in the nation’s capitol at Gypsy Sally’s can be seen below. Photos courtesy of Jeremy Hilts. If you missed the show, check them out in Baltimore at Rams Head Live! on November 15th.

Kalob Griffin Band – "Full Love"

“She sets bear traps at the foot of my bed just to keep me on my toes.
She knows I won’t run cause if I do I won’t have half my foot,
and you can’t get too far without your foot”

The Kalob Griffin Band returns with new music from their upcoming EP, Full Love: Volume 1. “Full Love” is a toe-tapping little tune, which according to Kalob himself, is “about a couple so deep in love they can’t get out of and with all their imperfections and quirks they are perfect for each other”. This song gives me a vision of a guy sitting around a fire with all his friends talking about the love of his life. She might do some crazy things, but in the end she’s the only one for him.

I love when a recording emulates the atmosphere from a band’s live show. It becomes something you can take with you to remind you of a particular moment. There’s this delicate balance between maintaining the energy of a live show and still getting that polish that a studio recording provides. For me, “Full Love” walks that line perfectly by utilizing tempo changes and crowd harmonies. I’ll be dancing along and (hopefully) avoiding any bear traps along the way.

Check out “Full Love” below on Soundcloud or download it for free here.

 

Additionally, a collection of photos from the Kalob Griffin Band show in the nation’s capitol at Gypsy Sally’s can be seen above. Photos courtesy of Jeremy Hilts. If you missed the show, check them out in Baltimore at Rams Head Live! on November 15th.

PAPA – “Young Rut”

In some ways, I have never felt completely comfortable writing about this song because it’s a song that strikes a little too close sometimes. I alternate between two reactions to it–it makes me slow down and think about some different things or I scream along as if it’s the only antidote to the venom of monotony. You’re catching me on a day when it’s the former.

I guess I avoided writing about this song because I feel like I’m in a rut. It’s not that I’m lost and direction-less but I couldn’t tell you what my greatest passion is. I couldn’t tell you what I want. I don’t even know. If someone asks how I’m doing, I just reflexively respond with “okay.” It’s not bad. It’s not great. It’s just what it is and it never changes. I went a couple months between seeing someone and all that changed was that I grew a beard.

It’s easy for me to fall into a routine or rut and it’s easy for me to stay there. Take writing about music, for instance, I haven’t been as interested as I was the last couple of years. I’ve fallen in the rut of not doing.

I’m jealous of those that can take their turn and run to avoid life’s rut. I’m too cautious to do it, but it doesn’t mean I don’t dream about it. I want that spirit in my life somehow.

Wasn’t sure of how to accomplish it so I devised a gameplan that hopefully will give me a chance. Over the past week or so, I’ve made a more concerted effort to live outside the rut. To write, to create, to eat less fast food, to ask for advice (which is not in my nature), to think about people more than in just passing and hope they are doing better than okay wherever they are. The next step is to interact more frequently and openly. I’m going to work on myself and hopefully improve myself. If that happens, I figure the rest will come.

I’ll leave you with some of the lines of Young Rut that get to the core of what I’m trying to say:

Don’t know what I want but oh, Lord, I
I want it bad
Keeps me up all night, it keeps me so goddamn mad
Restless heart and inpatient mind
Keeps me so far away from a better kind