“Summer Is Hopeless” by No Wine For Kittens
Asbury songsmith Rick Barry specializes in the musical character study, focusing on subjects in despair, that have lost both life and love, and are otherwise caught up in melancholy circumstances from which there appears to be little room to escape. Thankfully, when working with the members of No Wine For Kittens, the amalgamation of writing styles and artistic visions allow for such emotional soundscapes to be presented upon a more accessible Indie-Pop palette, a package of alluring compositions titled Not Ready Yet (2012). “Even” opens the collection in a tranquil manner, as Emily Whitt’s seductive vocals intertwine with bursts of chimes and six-string splashes that reverberate in the track’s cavernous capsule, an appealing juxtaposition to the crunchy riff-driven offering of “Summer Seems Hopeless,” which features Barry’s wistful croon in harmonious beauty with Whitt’s own vocal prowess.
The synth-riddled “Hey You” is sandwiched within a three-part yarn that can be read into way too much, and was by this penman. “Emily (In Which We Say Hello)” is the re-recorded single that brought No Wine To Kittens to local prominence in 2010, earning the Asbury Music Award for “Best Song,” and is followed in succession by “Guilty Winds (In Which A Decisions Must Be Made)” and “All Your Things, They Will Wait For You (In Which We Say Farewell).”
Was this No Wine For Kittens’ way of saying its goodbyes? Solo releases, side projects such as Dentist (the remaining four members of the band minus Barry), and no live performances since a low key record release party at the beginning of the year led us at SIMGE to believe so…until we were able to draw them back to the stage. Stream the outfit’s “Summer Is Hopeless” below and be sure to check out No Wine For Kittens when they play SIMGE’s Holiday Party at The Saint on December 20th with The Amboys, Cold Fronts, and Taylor Allen (more information here).
“I Need More” by The Porchistas
The Porchistas are very much apart of the burgeoning wave of Folk-Rock influenced outfits roaming New Jersey’s underground music scene, not necessarily in style, but in ideology. You won’t find this Montclair-based collective slinging acoustic guitars at a fireside sing along, not with influences like the Flaming Lips, Operation Ivy, and Ween. However, interspersed between such sizzling Cow-Punk offerings as “Zombie Jesus” and “I Need More,” found upon the group’s latest LP The Baby Album (2012), are equally outrageous Pop numbers like “Oh Brother” and “Tooty Tooty Ta” which possess a bewitching power to bring people and communities together around nonsensical lyricism and odes to blow jobs. At it’s most basic, this band is in the business of bringing smiles to the masses, and though the group’s artistic complexities allow The Porchistas to work in various musical mediums, the accessibility remains, and the enjoyment of seeing it performed live is undeniable. Lucky for you, the band will be performing amongst a stacked bill of local favorites, including The Amboys, Thomas Wesley Stern, Bern & The Brights, Accidental Seabirds and more on December 15th at Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair. Don’t miss it.
“Decapitator” by Ether Sunday
I have an unhealthy bias toward bands that utilize samples plucked from the works of Quentin Tarantino…thankfully, Asbury’s own Ether Sunday is more than worthy of the attention. Rob Blake, stick wielder of such outfits as The Obvious and PEAL, has stepped out from behind the throne to lay his brutally distorted vocals over equally barbarous instrumentals on the Grungey, Metal outfit’s first single “Decapitator.” The Sweet Beef studio-production provides the listener a treacherous tour through an unstable environment of jagged fret-work and explosive drum-head destruction with Mike Smith’s (The Obvious, Earthman) sinister bass play at its backbone. “It’s 30 minutes away…I’ll be there in 10,” declares Winston Wolf. It’ll take far less time for you to be drawn to Ether Sunday.
“The Ad” by NOVI
Oregon’s own burgeoning Electro-Pop darling, Carolyn Neuman, is a seductive songstress on the rise that operates above the faux, yet remarkably accurate, Sluwave medium that envelopes the likes of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Ks$ha. Known best by her stage monicker, NOVI, this artist offers a fierce first single, “The Ad,” which speaks powerfully and intelligently about the subject of sexual attraction to a male magazine model, rather than following in the footsteps of her predecessors and spraying fire and/or whipped cream from fire arms attached to her breasts. NOVI utilizes her sex appeal to the fullest, as its experienced in each melodic verse and candy-coated refrain. Stream the single below and stay tuned for NOVI’ sophomore studio release which is slated to drop in 2013.