Erin’s Prime Slices (12/9-12/15): Alice Merton, Down Dirty Shake

Alice MertonMINT (power pop)

Alice Merton’s newest album, MINT, is a whirlwind of edgy pop jams that pack a serious punch. Her writing style is unique and memorable, and although she has had her fair share of skeptics, Merton has stayed true to her vision and sound. One of her more recognizable songs, “No Roots,” has a phenomenal hook and some really great, heavy guitar lines grounding the whole arrangement. “Why So Serious” is Merton’s own personal anthem about how music is supposed to be fun and creative rather than so focused on popularity and money. Check out the official music video below!

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (12/9 – 12/15) The Beths, Starcrawler

The Beths – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – (indie rock)

Well as fate would have it, I have another spicy Christmas release for you all to listen to. The Beths, who put out their third album, Future Me Hates Me, just a few months ago, did up a nice cover of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” It has a really wonderful Doo-wop vibe through the start and then kicks in with a crunchy electric guitar playing the melody and eventually taking off into a Beths style solo, it quiets down and sweetly ends with the string section vamping with the band. It’s one of my new favorite versions of the classic and honestly my favorite song of the week. Put this on your next Christmas playlist!

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Show Review: Tall Heights at the Royale

When I walked into the Royale to see Tall Heights I was going in with a blank slate. I had read a brief bio and their instrumentation had piqued my interest (cello, guitar, bass, drums, synth, and trumpet). But I wasn’t too familiar with their songs or genre and I’ll tell you right now, don’t hold your breath.

I walked in just as the first opening act, folk singer-songwriter Old Sea Brigade, played their last couple songs. Next up was Frances Cone who had a very similar vibe but more electro folk. Her songs weren’t bad but really nothing to note other than that the trumpet player for Tall Heights came out to play a song with them which was a nice collaboration. Both openers didn’t have much stage presence which is a bit of a turn off for me. They also didn’t really have any hooks in their tunes, which of course isn’t necessary for every song you write but I believe every band should have those few songs that everyone can pick up the lyrics or melody in a matter of seconds. Continue reading “Show Review: Tall Heights at the Royale”

Curtis’ Prime Slices (12/1 – 12/8): Los Straitjackets, Sticky Fingers

Los Straitjackets – Complete Christmas Songbook – (surf/ska)

Well it’s December 1st and you know what that means! Christmas albums coming to us from all directions. This week we got Los Straitjackets’ sweet new holiday record, Complete Christmas Songbook. Any fans of Dick Dale or Link Wray are probably going to have this on for the majority of the month. The songbook has a total of 27 tracks ranging from classics like “Frosty The Snowman” and “Jingle Bells” to brand new ones like “Holiday Twist” and “Groovy Old Saint Nick.” The sound is a nice blast from the past and it really stands out from just any other Christmas album. It’s chock full of danceable tunes that’ll be sure to liven up any holiday family gathering!

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Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27

I was really happy to catch this performance Tuesday night at the Sinclair. I got there early enough to hear the very first openers, Halfsour, a three piece classic indie rock band.  Front woman, Zoë Wyner, doubled on vocals and bass, speaking for the band but making it clear that talking in between songs was her least favorite part of being on stage. They were a pretty quirky little trio and had a great set, but their level of quirk was nothing in comparison to the next band, Palberta.

Palberta was peculiar and off beat, but completely on brand. All three members switched instruments multiple times which kept the audience on the edge of their seats (in a general admission standing room). They conversed with the audience like they were making weird small talk with a stranger in an elevator, but everyone laughed through the uncomfortableness and seemed to enjoy the bands personality and overall sound. Continue reading “Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27”

Erin’s Prime Slice (11/25-12/1): Speedy Ortiz

Since this week will be cut short by Thanksgiving, I only had one prime slice pick: Speedy Ortiz’s newest album Twerp Verse. Although beginning the recording process all the way back in the fall of 2016, the band decided to rethink a lot after election day (for obvious reasons). As a band that prides themselves on releasing politically driven music from their very first project, Speedy Ortiz felt that they couldn’t release some of the tracks that had focused on more frivolous topics. The title “Twerp Verse” is a phrase coined by front woman Sade Dupius to describe “when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part.” This album acts as one big “Twerp Verse” for Speedy Ortiz, holding some pretty substantial messages about the struggles faced in the current, skewed world we live in.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/18 – 11/24): Moving Panoramas, Theia

 Moving Panoramas – Baby Blues [single]  – (indie rock)

This week, indie rock band Moving Panoramas caught my attention with their incredibly groovy new single, “Baby Blues.” It has a great energy that reminds me of bands like Soccer Mommy and The History Of Apple Pie. This is the first single from the highly anticipated sophomore album In Two and if this is what’s to be expected, I can’t wait either. The compressed bass and drums together give the song a very driving feeling that really makes you wanna tap your feet. The melody and lyrics compliment each other nicely and get stuck in your head pretty fast. Give it a listen!

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Erin’s Prime Slices (11/18-11/24): Rose Droll, Maiah Manser

 Rose Droll – Your Dog (singer-songwriter)

The only reason I classified this album as “singer-songwriter” is because I could not think of a single other way to fully encapsulate all that I was hearing. It begins with a bass line reminiscent of Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” accompanied by a looping drum machine and breathy background vocals. The second track, “Hush” completely caught me by surprise by opening with a line from “This Little Light of Mine,” followed by some seriously cutting rap verses spoken in an almost whisper. This album is seriously unique and, to top it all off, Rose played every single instrument on the record. The lyrics are complex and completely honest, but definitely require a few listens to fully unpack.

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Show Review: EZI at the Sinclair – 11/7

Filing in from around both sides of the sidewalk were mostly young girls excitedly anticipating the show at the Sinclair last Wednesday, November 7. Although I think the hype in the air was mainly for the headliner, MAX (best known for his song “Lights Down Low”), I was there to see the first opener, EZI. EZI is a younger artist who just released her first EP, Afraid of the Dark, this year. She is a former Nickelodeon star that rebranded herself after being selected as the very first artist signed to Steve Madden’s 5Towns Record label, and she’s been putting out some pretty awesome tunes ever since.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/11 – 11/17): Poppy, Y La Bamba

Poppy – Am I A Girl? – (future pop)

Probably one of the more memorable albums of this year is Poppy’s second album Am I A Girl?. After the first record it was hard to tell where she would go stylistically and the answer is heavier and even more strange. Going track by track, each one has a distinct theme, whether it be poking fun at pop culture or even herself, they’re all adding to the robotic character that is Poppy. The Song “Time Is Up (feat. Diplo)” describes her waking up in the factory she was made in and finding herself in a dying world she doesn’t understand; eventually saying there’s no going back and that humankind will inevitably be erased. The title track then talks about her programming not being able to process whether she’s a boy or a girl despite everyone saying she’s a girl. Now, as far as genre, the album is pretty consistent. That is until the last two songs. Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/11 – 11/17): Poppy, Y La Bamba”