Speak Into My Good Eye

SIMGEssentials: James Wells (The Gay Blades), Angel Olsen, SUN CLUB, Tango Machina

Chris Rotolo November 28, 2012 Features, SIMGEssentials 2 Comments

Tango Machina @ Asbury Lanes ’12 (Photo: C. Rotolo)

“Family” by James Wells (The Gay Blades)

Stevenson’s storied tale of Jekyll & Hyde, though undeniably cliche, yet less offensive than declaring an artist as a schizophrenic, accurately describes the creative range of one James Wells.  Better known by his stage, Clark Westfield, and as front-man of The Gay Blades, a Northern New Jersey-based Rock duo of scary van rides and riotous live performance fame, Wells possesses the chops to go solo when the situation calls, distributing devout lyrical counseling to the misled youth (“Just Kids” – 2011), and in the wake of Super Storm Sandy, offering musical relief to storm-ravaged sections of the Empire and Garden States in the form of “Family.”

What’s rather remarkable about Wells’ latest composition for the cause is this tune’s tone, as it’s uplifting missives calling to “rebuild what’s ours” and “carrying on” are unlike anything this often brooding and satirical songsmith has ever dealt.  Stream the track below and purchase it here.  All proceeds raised from the sale of this single will be donated to a pair of grassroots organizations, New York City’s own Occupy Sandy, and the Red Bank-based Rebuild Recover.

“My Dreams Have Withered And Died” by Angel Olsen & Marissa Nadler

Missouri’s Angel Olsen utilizes a sultry brand of vocals and a quivering delivery over faintly plucked acoustic meanderings that call to mind Edith Piaf, if the French songbird had fronted an American Folk outfit and became a Pitchfork darling in September receiving an 8.0 on her debut LP Halfway Home.  Since cutting that record, Olsen has embarked on a tour and a new recording project with Boston’s own Marissa Nadler in which the pair of songstresses are slated to cover an unknown amount of songs in the most Lo-fi manor possible.  Last week, the duo released its rendition of “My Dreams Have Withered And Died,” an Richard & Linda Thompson original.  Stream it below and stay tuned for more.

“Lunar Bears” by SUN CLUB

SUN CLUB’s debut LP is the result of many a late Maryland evenings spent expanding the mind both chemically and sonically, soaking up heavy doses of unmentionables and the catalogues of both Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend to present its own style of Strawberry-Fusion-Indie-Pop, a self-coined, long-winded, hyphen-infested synonym for the phrase “disturbingly seductive.”  No cut from the outfit’s self-titled collection better encapsulates this group’s youthful angst, turbulent percussion work, and hook-riddled lyricism than “Lunar Bears.”  Check it out below.  SUN CLUB already left its mark on Asbury Park back at SIMGE’s summertime showcase at The Saint, and should you have the means one can catch the band on its way down to SXSW at Savannah Stopover ’13, a three-day music festival feat. Of Montreal, Turbo Fruits, Delicate Steve, Ducktails, and more in Georgia running from March 7th to the 9th.

“The Combination Is Explosive” by Tango Machina

Speak Into My Good Eye has been keeping tabs upon Monroe, NJ’s own Tango Machina since this website’s inception back in late 2010.  We’ve followed them from local holes in the wall, down into the storied New Brunswick basement dwelling that is The Court Tavern, and upon The Stone Pony’s hallowed planks where the Garage-Rock outfit joined CKY back in 2011.  This past Summer, after months of tweaking, and arranging to a level of perfection, Tango Machina entered its home studio to cut its long awaited debut EP, before sending the charred compositions off to CKY’s Chad Ginsberg for mastering.  This penman was instructed to give this disc its just due, to describe it as is, to “trash it” if it was deserved…and it’d be a lie to take such a course of action.

The opening salvo, “The Combination Is Explosive,” is ingrained with reckless Queens Of The Stone Age-esque abandon, as galloping guitar riffs churn the soundscape into a fine powder that dresses each successive offering in a crunchy cloak of fuzzy distortion, including “Evil Twin,” that’s bass-laden backbeat inspires a dance of the dead, as well as the acoustic guitar-driven “Miles,” a seared selection with soulful vocal work via Paul Caffrey that brings life to this bear bones production.  However, it’s the musical shrapnel bomb titled “Warning Sign” that most accurately depicts this collective’s capabilities.

Stream the distorted ragetune below and be sure to check out Tango Machina at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch with Last Of The Bad Men, Daddy Long Legs, and Dog Lift Leg on December 7th. Doors for the event open at 7 p.m. with a cover of $10 to be paid upon admission.


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About The Author

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May of 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in both Journalism/Professional Writing and Communication Studies. He's held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet’s Arts & Entertainment section as well as Consequence of Sound (http://consequenceofsound.net).