Archive for girl band

JENNY AND THE FELINES-Don’t Look Back

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

J&F2New Jersey has long since been the home of some incredible popular music. Sinatra, Springsteen, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Gar Francis, The Smithereens and The Grip Weeds. We can now add to this list. From Raritan, New Jersey-I don’t know where it is either,-come Jenny And The Felines, a way cool, alternative pop band who cite The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Buddy Holly as influences. Singer, song writer. guitarist, Jenny Cat-ok, getting a little weird-leads us on a journey through her mind, and it is not such a bad trip.

j&f1Their July 2013 release, Don’t Look Back, an ironic title for a band that draws so heavily from 1960’s pop/rock music, nails it. The title track  opens the album with wonderfully 1960’s harmonies, great transitions, and a cool hook. “The Worst Kind” has a great chorus,  a bridge  that incorporates a change in tempo, and keys that simulate horns, all within a sweet melody. “I Hope She Knows” offers a nice bass line and cool drum shots. “Boston” has a countryfied feel, a wonderful early Eagles groove, with its laid back pop sentiment, a nice and easy flow and multi-track guitars. The layered vocals of “Mommy” add to the super cool, 1970’s John Cafferty feel. Great guitar picking highlights “Alive“, with its ongoing drum rolls and shots, and a beautifully tender melody line. “Bleed For You“, a pop/rock tune has a completely different sensibility, reminiscent of The Go-Gos. The up tempo “Tangerine“, blends power pop with psych rock. There are changes in tempo and time signature with great transitions that make me wish it was 2 minutes longer. Way cool tune. “Wanna Be Yours“, has wonderful structure, with a key change, ongoing riff,  some great drum rolls leading into the chorus, and a 60’s girl band feel. The album closes with “Watched You Go“, delivering wonderfully subtle harmonies, a beautiful chorus and a warm, understated organ that fades out amid some very cool drum shots. 

j&f4This band rocks. This band rolls. Jenny And The Felines does it all. Don’t Look Back is a wondrous compilation of memorable tunes with catchy hooks and melodies. They have created a unique blend of 1960’s and 1970’s music with an alternative edge. The songs all fall within the 2-3 minute range, and contain simple, straightforward yet meaningful lyrics. Jenny Cat writes amazing tunes, with insanely good choruses. The guitar solos and riffs are short, precise and intense. This woman can write songs. This woman can sing. This woman can play guitar. Simple music. Great songs. Nothing forced and nothing overwhelming. Don’t Look Back is a way cool 60’s feel good journey. Listen and then listen again. Once is definitely not enough. One of the most exciting albums I have heard in a long, long time. Destined to be on the short list for I Can’t Believe My Earz Album Of The Year.

You can listen to Jenny And The Felines here:  http://jennyandthefelines7.bandcamp.com/

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THE BEACHES

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

“They are pretty good for an all girl band”,  he said to me.   If I hadn’t been there on business,  I would’ve knocked him on his ass and asked him if I hit pretty good for an all girl writer.

thebeaches3Pretty good is an understatement at best, and the condescending tag for an all girl band was unnecessary.  THEY WERE GREAT, and if they had been cockerspaniels that might have been somewhat noteworthy.  Female musicians have long since paid their dues and have gone lick-for-lick with the boys for decades, and the girls from THE BEACHES….  could give any one of them a run for their money.   The fact that they are all teenagers, and the band is still in it’s infancy, is more astounding than their gender.   The quality and professionalism belies their youth and their experience.   If I had closed my eyes and just listened,  I never would have believed, if you told me, that they were in high school and had only been together, in this line up, for a short time.

When I caught them during INDIE WEEK at The Rivoli,  I had no idea who they were when I saw their set.  I was drawn in completely by the sound and the energy.   This was my game plan.   To have no plan.    I just wanted to go from bar to bar and stay and listen if I liked what I heard, or move on if I didn’t.   I really wanted to be drawn in by the performances.  No previous homework or bias.  I didn’t want to be persuaded by a really cool website or by a well written bio.  And more than that, I didn’t want to chase down a band I liked on SoundCloud or BandCamp, just to find out the live performance was lacking.    I wanted the moment to speak for itself.

And this moment spoke volumes.

thebeaches2Yes, they are beautiful young ladies,  but they are not a T’n’A act selling sex instead of music.  They are very skilled musicians.  Technically, the performance was flawless, engaging and energetic.   Their style has clear influences but it was fresh and distinct alternative/pop/rock that was not trying to replicate something that already existed.

The obvious comparison to The Runaways will probably be made many times,  but more for reasons of age, gender, and look, than the actual style of their music.  Although,  the raw energy and attitude of the performance is definitely reminiscent of the ladies who hard rocked that path clear for Jordan Miller (Lead Vocals/Bass), Kylie Miller (Lead Guitar), Eliza Enman McDaniel (Drums) and Leandra Earl (Keyboard/Guitar).

Audience engagement is a huge deal for me at a live performance.   I can stay home and listen to good music, and I have already paid to hear it, as often as I like.  There is a mystical, spiritual thing that happens when you are captured by a really great live performance.   This is exactly what happened while I watched these young girls doing their thing.   They have that charisma and dare I say it… magic…that gets the crowd involved.    This, I am sure, was a contributing factor to their being named “Breakout Band of 2013” by Toronto’s NXNE Festival.

The_Beaches_EPThe other contributing factor is that they have clearly invested time honing their skills in both playing and songwriting.   Once I walked away from the live show,  I had a listen to just the recordings.   Did the music hold it’s own once I was away from the passion of the moment?   Yes,  it most certainly did.    “Loner” (http://youtu.be/MW3qKk5bqL8),  and “Absolutely Nothing” (http://youtu.be/UMAB286tTYA),  the two stand out singles from the 6 song debut self titled E.P. (available on iTunes) are both edgy, catchy, commercially viable songs with sing along lyrics.  An easy transition out of the alternative/indie circuit into the mainstream.

These Toronto girls have a bright future around the bend and a full performance schedule straight ahead,  including a Hamilton show on November 13th  at This Ain’t Hollywood where they share a bill with Cherie Currie.

That is a torch passing moment not to miss.

To connect with The Beaches:    www.thebeachesband.com  and www.facebook.com/thebeachesband

r1Rocinante’s Aurgasms.

Rocinante is an Innovator, Creator and Passionate Expressionist.

Music is not an interest, it is a lifestyle choice. You do not choose the song….the song chooses you.

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