Sleep Deprived Music Review: Joan of Arc

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My boyfriend says that I like some weird music.  The band, Joan of Arc, is kind of weird. It’s ok. We like weird.

Manny Pacquimeow is not so sure about this album. He’s meowing at me. He might be ready for me to change the music. Or he’s hungry and wants food even though his bowl has food in it already.

1984 album will be released on June 1, 2018.

I could only listen to half of “Tiny Baby.” “Vertigo” also might give you vertigo. Can you catch vertigo from a song?

I like Melina Ausikaitis’ voice but the music sounds distorted. It’s supposed to – Joan of Arc follows their own instincts, much like their namesake.

Even though Joan of Arc is a little creepy and kooky, they aren’t the Addams Family. Although, Wednesday Addams would probably like this album.

Joan of Arc on bandcamp

Joan of Arc on Facebook

Interview with . . . Paris Monster

 

 

Paris Monster 5 CREDIT Elizabeth Lauren West
Paris Monster. Photo credit: Elizabeth Lauren West

 

Oh my glob you guys. I love Paris Monster! They were going to be within driving distance of my house in June but instead, they are going to Europe. No one could blame them. Anyone would pick Europe over Ohio. Unfortunately, there’s not enough time to get my passport to follow them across the Atlantic Ocean. (I’ve only been procrastinating about the passport for 17 years. Procrastinators can be patient.)

However, if I were you I would not procrastinate when it comes to Paris Monster. Go listen to their music, watch their videos. Read this interview with Josh and Geoff from Paris Monster!

 

Which would you choose:

  1. French toast
  2. French bulldog
  3. French Quarter

 

PM: French Quarter

 

Where was your 1st show?

Our first show was at a party at a private recording studio north of NYC. Afterwards, we stayed up there and began recording our first EP “It Once Had Been Kind”. That EP has our song “A Vision Complete”, which we recently performed live in-studio for Meinl Cymbals. You can find that on our YouTube page. Our setup and live show has changed and developed a lot since that first show, but we still feel like we’re at the beginning of something. That’s a nice feeling that you hope continues, in fact.

Are you looking forward to going overseas in the fall?

Absolutely! We’ll be in the UK in September and continue on to Europe in October and November. We cross the Atlantic a few times a year and always enjoy playing for new audiences, trying the local cuisine everywhere we go, and getting to know people who we might see again on the next trip. We’re particularly excited about playing in some new place this time around (Poland!) and hitting some places that we had great shows in the past (London, Newcastle, Malvern just to name a few)

Are Geoff’s “No” t-shirt and Josh’s jackets the official band uniform?

No.

Do you think that people are afraid to try playing or listening to new things as far as music?

It’s certainly easier not to try. But there are a lot of adventurous musicians and listeners out there. Anyone can be this type of artist or listener, but it is a decision. As far as our own music–what’s the point if we’re not trying new things? And when we play or record, we owe it to the listener to give them the benefit of the doubt–to assume that they’re willing to take a chance on our music. If someone puts on our music, that act quite literally says that they’re willing to listen. And so we owe it to them to write truthfully, play boldly, and to do it all without caution.

Josh: How did you discover that you could play the drums and keyboard at the same time?

started practicing drums with a keyboard so I could sing and hear chords. That turned into making little videos of songs. Soon after, Geoff and I started playing together. We narrowed it down to the Dave Smith Instruments Mopho, which became more of a synth bass/lead line vibe. That became a part of the writing process as well.

Geoff: Who is your favorite Star Trek character?

I have never watched Star Trek, but a few of the modules in the eurorack modular synth take their names from Star Trek and other science fiction sources (Vulcan, Spock, Mind Meld, and also Dalek), so perhaps I should familiarize myself.

What do you want people to know about Paris Monster?

We have a new album recorded and ready to go. We made it down in Nashville co-produced with Owen Biddle and Josh Kaler. We’re excited for people to hear it. We’re already writing the next one. In the meantime, we hope to see everyone out there on the road! We have a busy 2018 tour schedule, and we’re adding even more dates.

Paris Monster website

Favorite Friday Video: Paris Monster

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Prom Queen

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Prom Queen seems like such a sweet band on the outside. They look innocent. They sound a bit like the Ronettes or the Shirelles. It reminds me of that song by Tracey Ullman, “They Don’t Know.” Do you guys remember that song? It came out in the 1983 so some of you weren’t born yet.

However, the lyrics to Prom Queen’s songs are not sweet at all. They released an album in September 2017 called Doom-Wop. I appreciate the play on words. It appeals to my twisted sense of humor.

I’m fairly certain that the song “End of the World” isn’t about the end of a relationship. It’s really about the apocalypse. I can’t say for sure if there are zombies or not.

I like “Manic Panic.” I wonder if it will make me feel happier during a panic attack. Also, “Vengeance will be Mine,” is my personal favorite song on the album. Prom Queen does a killer cover of “November Rain.”

So if you’re into nostalgia with a twist, Twin Peaks or sweet things that aren’t truly what they seem, then you might like Prom Queen.

 

 

 

Prom Queen on bandcamp

Prom Queen on Facebook

Prom Queen website

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Marc Broussard

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I spent at least half of 2017 listening to Marc Broussard. He did an album of covers called S.O.S. 2. Half of the proceeds went to City of Refuge, a charitable organization in Atlanta.

Broussard also did another album, Easy to Love, that was released in 2017. I think this album is as easy to love as his last album. He has a great voice. Great is an understatement though. What’s greater than great?

I’m also glad that not all of the songs sound alike. It’s a fine line between wanting artists to sound the same as previous albums but also not sound exactly the same.

I cannot pick a favorite song. There are too many good ones to pick just one. I will be spending 2018 listening to this album.

Marc Broussard website

Marc Broussard on Twitter

Easy to Love on Spotify

Interview with . . . Smile Empty Soul

 

Who can resist a band that is little brooding and mysterious? Not me. If you haven’t heard of Smile Empty Soul, you should Google them immediately. However, I did include the links to some of their sites at the bottom to save you a few steps.

Sean Danielson of Smile Empty Soul responded to my questions with the correct amount of mystery and conversation.

 

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Who is in the lineup at this time?

It’s me on vocals and guitar, Mark Young on bass, and Victor Ribas on drums, but things are a bit fluid with members over the last handful of years

Do you think that taking breaks is beneficial for the group?

It can be depending on the situation.

What do you guys do during the time that you’re on a break?

When we’re not on the road I’m at home in Arkansas Doing the family thing. I’m also always making music and painting when I have the extra time.

Who did the cover art for the latest album? It’s creepy in a good way. I may never go swimming again.

My good friend(and amazing artist) Chris Sehenuk. He has done 99% of smiles and my solo projects art over the years.

Do you think cats have a sixth sense about music? My cat likes your video and has to block the screen while I’m typing.

Haha, I’m not sure what they think of our human music, but I know they love to block the screen and step on the keys.

Are you a pet-friendly band?

Oh yeah, we all love animals and have pets. How someone treats animals says a lot about them

How important is dental health if you have the word smile in the band or tour name?

Not any more than any other band.

Do you guys ever smile in your photos?

No.

Where was your first show?

Hollywood, California.

What do you guys want people to know about Smile Empty Soul?

We have excellent dental hygiene.

 

 

Smile Empty Soul on Facebook

Smile Empty Soul website

Sleep Deprived Music Spotlight: Izik

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Photo credit: @littleroomportraits

Right now, I should be doing a ton of other things – other music reviews, finishing about five books, figuring out the summer schedule for the kids. However, I cannot stop watching YouTube videos featuring Izik.

His voice is spectacular. I don’t use that word often. Spectacular doesn’t always fit. Not everyone is spectacular. Some people have good voices but not quite spectacular.  Izik is spectacular. You could even say super spectacular.

 

So this is my life now . . . just listening to Izik with my cat, Manny Pacquimeow, and saying spectacular. Actually, it sounds like a pretty good life.

Izik on YouTube

Obsidian on Spotify

Izik website

Confessions of the Fox: #bookreview

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When I started reading Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg, my first thought was “Why are there so many footnotes? Soooo many footnotes.” I haven’t seen so many footnotes since my college literature classes. There were at least five footnotes that just said “Pussy.”

It didn’t take long to realize that most of the footnotes were telling a story within the story.

Basically, the first story is in a newly found manuscript about Jack Sheppard, a famous thief and jailbreaker in London during the 18th century.  Sheppard was a real person who was in love with a prostitute known as Edgewater Bess.

In the manuscript, Sheppard alludes to the fact that he is transgender. I’m pretty sure that he was intersex, born with male and female genitalia. His mother wanted him to be a female but Sheppard identified as being male.

After he escapes from his apprenticeship as a carpenter, Jack lives with Bess. Eventually, he has his breasts removed and his vagina sewn shut. I imagine he goes through a lot of the same feelings that anyone who goes through sex reassignment surgery. Hopefully, the surgical part of gender reassignment has improved.

 

The manuscript is being read and annotated by Dr. Voth, who is also transgender. He’s going through a lot of the same things that Jack is going through – trouble at work and trouble with intimacy. It’s interesting to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same since Sheppard’s time.

I would give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s not a quick read but it is very good. It’s also probably different than most of the books out in the world right now.

 

 

 

  • I received an ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own obviously.

Confessions of a Fox on AmazonConfessions of a Fox on Amazon

 

Jordy Rosenberg’s website

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Anju

 

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It’s raining today – a perfect day for listening to Anju and drinking coffee or possibly tea. Many years ago, one of my friends told me that I liked music with people playing guitars who are probably sitting under a tree. It’s not untrue.

Anju may or may not be playing her music under a tree somewhere in Boston. She sings, writes and produces her own music. It’s all beautiful and relaxing but not boring. “Cassiopeia” is my personal favorite.

Her last album, Rind & Seed, came out in February 2017. Anju also sent in an entry to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert for 2018. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she makes it to that office space. Until then, we can make more coffee and play her album again.

 

 

Anju on Facebook

Anju on bandcamp

Anju. Tiny Desk Concert entry