Curtis’ Prime Slices (2/16 – 2/22): Mike Krol, White Denim

White Denim – “Shanalala” [single] – (fuzz rock)

Coming in hot this week is a fiery new single from Austin band White Denim. This song is a mix of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and early Eagles of Death Metal with a really driving chord progression as well as the singers nonchalant vocal delivery. The lyrics aren’t easy to understand through the verses and are almost used as a rhythm part until the chorus, where “I don’t believe you” is repeated. It’s a really simple and effective tune that makes you wanna groove along so check it out.

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (2/9 – 2/15): Squid, Claude Fontaine, Andrew Bird

Squid – “The Dial” – (indie punk)

At the very top of my list and will definitely appear again at the end of this year, is Squid’s new single “The Dial.” Squid is a relatively new band from the U.K. who have only released a few singles thus far in their career. This is currently their heaviest track but easily their catchiest. The vocal delivery is hard hitting and aggressive as he repeats with more intensity each time “The dial doesn’t change, oh the dial stays the same.” It’s one of those songs that gets you angry even if you weren’t before. It’s a real punch you in the face kinda song and it’s my new favorite. CHECK THIS OUT!

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Curtis’ Prime Slices (2/2 – 2/8): Pip Blom, Cass McCombs, Pamela York

Pip Blom – “Daddy Issues” [single](indie fuzz rock)

There’s a little pressure trying to pick the first prime slices of the year but so far I’ve been given some pretty good choices. First on my list is Pip Blom hailing from Amsterdam. Fronted by the singer-songwriter of the same name, they’ve been putting out music since 2016 but recently broke through with their new EP Paycheck, released in October of last year. This single is following the same trajectory with their sound and I hope it can snag them some new fans. It’s a punchy song with a fuzzy wall of guitars and a great hook. Give it a listen!

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2018 in Review: Top 10 Prime Slices of the Year

Compiled in no particular order by Music Directors Erin Ober and Curtis Heimburger

Thirdstory – Cold Heart (soul pop)

This album is heart wrenching and painfully well thought out from start to finish. The lyrics are flawless in message and flow, and the vocals are simply insane. You will want to cry and dance and call your ex (maybe don’t act on that last one) upon hearing Thirdstory’s luxurious harmonies and consistent connection. They remind me of a more soulful and sensitive One Republic with a much heavier focus on lyrical content and storytelling.

Haley Blais – Let Yourself Go EP – (indie folk)

Haley Blais is an indie folk artist hailing from Vancouver, B.C. Let Yourself Go is her first release with Rumpus Room Records, engineered and mixed by Trevor Lang. The EP starts out slow and sweet with soft vocals and ukulele and quickly picks up to an almost ABBA inspired vibe. The record has a nice balance of Haley’s personal side of life and her natural ability to write a catchy song. Her style is easy to love and even easier to relax to.

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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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