116 Days of Summer Guests: In the Whale




There are so many cool bands out there. I have a list on Twitter of several hundred bands. I’m pretty sure that In the Whale is on my Twitter list. They’re a couple of dudes from Denver who absolutely rock. Their new single “Highways” is out on June 29, which is today, so check it out. There’s a handy link to the single at the bottom.

They also agreed to do a guest post for you to read – here and now.


The ABCs Of Touring In A Small Band by In The Whale, a hard rock duo from Denver, CO

A– always ADVANCE the show. About a week before, we reach out the venue via email and go over all the logistics such as what time to arrive, how long we’re playing, what the deal is with money, parking, etc. There’s nothing worse than showing up to realize you’re tho only band playing and they want you to play four hours. Or not being able to find a parking spot, parking two blocks away, hauling all your gear down to the venue only to realize you have a reserved parking spot behind the building. These things can be avoided with some simple communication with the people putting on the show beforehand.


B– BANKING. Every few days, make sure to deposit any money you’ve made. You definitely don’t want to be walking around with a big ole wad of cash in your front pocket. #WalkingTarget


C– CRACKER BARREL is not just for Christians and old people. It’s delicious, fresh, well-made food and insanely cheap. No, they aren’t sponsoring us. It’s a fact! Agent Orange introduced us to this food chain, while we were on a two and a half month tour with them. Thanks, guys!


D– stop DRINKING so damn much! We’ve toured with bands that get hammered every night and they look like they got hit by a bus every day. A seven-hour drive with a hangover after sleeping for 4 hours in a van? No thank you. Take a break from the booze every now and then. Your body will thank you.


E– get some EARPLUGS. It’s not punk rock, but if you’re on a long tour, your ears get punished from hearing loud music every night. I (Eric) don’t wear them on stage, but I wear them when the other bands are playing. My ears used to ring at the end of the night. They don’t anymore.


F– make FRIENDS. Everything is a little bit easier when you make friends. That sketchy promoter isn’t going to want to short you on money if he likes you. That bartender may let you upgrade to a non-well drink for your drink ticket if he likes you. Hang out in the venue and talk to the people that are there. You just may make a friend you can hang out with the next time you come to town.


G– GOLD BOND. If you know, you know.


H– sign up for HOTELS.COM. If you book 10 hotels, you get the 11th for free. #NoBrainer


I– ILLNESS is almost unavoidable if you’re on a long tour. And being in an enclosed space for long periods of time with a sick person means you’re going to get sick too. Take multivitamins, drink tea, take DayQuil, and try to eat healthier. Are we getting less and less punk rock with each paragraph?

J– Flying J truck stops are a guaranteed clean bathroom. #NoBrainer.


K– KLEENEX. Traveling a lot means being in a whole bunch of different atmospheres every day. This can destroy your allergies. We keep a box of tissues in the van and use them often.


L– utilize a packing LIST. Did you get an hour out of town on the way to your next destination and realize you left your backpack at the Super 8? Now you have to turn back and hope to god no-one stole it. Left your backup guitar in Jacksonville and now you’re in Pittsburgh? Good luck getting the promoter to ship it to you! We have a packing list in the van and we check it every night. OK now I know we’re getting less punk rock.


M– bring your own MICS. Not because you’re a douche nozzle with a golden voice that has to sound them exact same way every time. Why? Because, how many lips do you think have touched that mic? Thousands? When was the last time that mic was cleaned? Do you think it has ever been cleaned? This is another thing that Agent Orange taught us. Bring your own mics and wash your hands frequently, and the tendency to get sick is much less.


N– get a case of Cup O’ NOODLES. Picture this: you had a late load in, the bar you’re playing only has snacks and is in an area where there are no restaurants around. You finish playing the show, load out, and it’s 2:30 in the morning. Nothing is open. You’re screwed. Have no fear! Grab your Cup O’ Noodles, ask the person who’s couch you’re sleeping on if you can use their microwave, and you got a full stomach baby!


O– OLIVE GARDEN. Unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks. $11.49. #NoBrainer


P– PODCASTS are a great way to stay entertained on the road. Some of our favorites: Sword And Scale, The Jasta Show, The Ex Man with Doc Coyle, vintage Loveline shows, and The Joe Rogan Experience


Q– seriously QUIT drinking so damn much! We’ve seen too many of our friends quite literally drink themselves to death.


R– ROLL with the punches. Being flexible is an extremely important thing to remember. So many unexpected things happen out on the road. Blown tires, people vomiting on your van, people pissing on your van, the stage being the size of a postage stamp, hotel bedbugs, having to replace your engine, the venue making you pay for water…. all these things have happened to us and then some. Try your absolute hardest to roll with it and keep a positive attitude. You might go crazy, otherwise.


S– SELL the crap out of your merchandise! Have good looking shirt designs on soft shirts, and a variety of different items to choose from. This is a very very very important part of how you make money. Don’t just throw up a Gildan shirt with your band name on it, a burned CD, and a few stickers. Take pride in the merchandise you sell, put time and effort into it, and get your butt back there behind the merch table!! Do all this and I promise you it will pay off.


T– get some TRAFFIC CONES. Found the perfect parking spot right in front of the venue? Wanna go get some dinner but wanna keep your spot? Traffic cones.


U– be UNDERSTANDING towards your bandmates. If your bass player gets anxious in traffic, don’t make him drive during rush hour. If your drummer is a hot head, don’t make him handle the money. If your singer hates pop country, don’t play Florida Georgia Line in the van. If you’re the only smoker in the band, definitely don’t blast a bunch of cigs in the van! Know everyone’s buttons and don’t push them. Trust me, it will make things less stressful.


V– VAN MAINTENANCE is key. Our running joke in In The Whale is that the van is the highest paid member of the band. This is still true to this day. Keeping your van in working order is absolutely imperative. Being plagued by van troubles is possibly the most frustrating thing about touring. If you have to take a little less payout to get the tires rotated and the oil changed, for gods sake do it! And get the high mileage oil!


W– WATER. Drink it. A lot of it. Buy a case and put it in the van.


X– bring XTRA socks and underwear. Especially if you’re touring in the summer. We are sweaty boys. Do I need to elaborate?


Y– YOLO! Don’t forget that you do this because you love it! Touring is hard and stressful, but you experience so many different things and meet so many amazing people. You get to travel around and rock faces across the country. How awesome is that!?


Z– ZIGZAGS are a great promotional tool at festivals. Buy a bunch of rolling papers, write your band name and set time on it, and pass them out. Boom! You’ve got a flyer that won’t get thrown away.


Catch us on tour this summer: www.bandsintown.com/inthewhale

Check out our new single “Highways” on Soundcloud

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Wild Moccasins





Synth pop is different now than it was in the 80s and 90s. There were synth pop/indie pop bands that I liked back then – mostly Duran Duran. Some got on my nerves. No offense Pet Shop Boys but you get on my nerves.

There was a lack of female voices in the genre. There were females but they weren’t as well known. I can’t even think of one.

I’m always glad to hear a female voice – no matter what the genre. Zahira Gutierrez has a strong voice that doesn’t get overpowered by the band. She also doesn’t sound like a robot so that’s a plus.

Wild Moccasins – Zahira Gutierrez, Cody Swann, Nicholas Cody and Avery Davis – have been around since 2007. My marriage didn’t even last that long.

I’m glad they stuck it out so they could make this new album, Look Together. “Boyish Wave” reminds me a bit of A Flock of Seagulls. I’m ok with that. My favorite song is probably “Longtime Listener.”

They are still new to me and Manny Pacquimeow. The album was on and he appeared while “Doe Eyed Dancer” was playing.  Manny sat on the piano bench for a few songs so that’s a good sign that he likes Wild Moccasin’s new album. I wonder if Manny would be willing to do a recreation of the cover of the album. (I’m definitely in need of a nap. That’s a crazy genius idea.)




Look Together will be out on June 29 for your listening enjoyment. Go look for it in all of the usual places.









Wild Moccasins website






  • I received an advance copy for review purposes. Opinions are my own. Obviously.

Interview with DeAndre Brackensick

So you guys don’t know this but I don’t have cable or watch much besides YouTube videos and Netflix. The point of mentioning that is that I haven’t watched American Idol since the second or third season. So I didn’t know who DeAndre Brackensick was until he kept showing up in my YouTube recommendations.
Currently, he is working on a few different music-related things in Australia. DeAndre just released a new single, “Catch.” Of course, there is also a video for “Catch” that I’ve watched at least ten times.

By the way, DeAndre is a sweet and funny guy. If you read the following interview, you’ll see that it’s true.


How long have you been in Australia?

Been in Melbourne since May 2017

What have you enjoyed the most about being in Australia?

I love the music scene and the sense of community within the other musicians! Everyone is very talented and willing to share it with others

Have you wrestled any crocodiles yet?

No lol haven’t seen one yet lol

How much fun do you have with Lina and Izik?

Lina and Izik are some of my closest friends! Not only do we enjoy our times singing, most of the time we’re together it’s just constant laughing from random buffoonery. And I love them so much for it lol

Have you guys (you, Lina & Izik) ever considered forming your own band?

No, we love singing together but acknowledge that we are all our own artist and support each other in that way

Do you ever get stage fright?

I get stage fright most times, mostly with bigger settings or formal gigs. I want to make sure I’m giving my best and don’t wanna give a bad first impression

You had the chance to meet Patti LaBelle? Was it everything that you hoped it would be?

It was everything I hoped for and more! She was one of my idols from childhood! She was just as beautiful, classy, and amazing off stage as she is on stage. Was that moment meeting one of the people that inspired me to sing and it was better than you expected! Just a genuine, real and kind legend

Do you like being in the studio or do you prefer touring?

I prefer touring! I like the interaction of singing to a crowd! Sharing what I wrote and hopefully moving someone enough to have a positive reaction.

What would you like people to know about you?

Just that I’m excited about what’s to come with my life and you’ll hear more music from me soon! I love what I do and I wanna share it with the world



DeAndre Brackensick on Facebook

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Stringer


Stringer will be releasing their new album, “My Bad,” on June 29. The title of the album could be the title of my biography. I feel like this band gets into shenanigans on and off stage.

However, I feel like they take their music fairly seriously. Or they are just pretty talented and can get away with stuff.

I listened to a top-secret copy of the album. Some of the song titles are “Dead Horse,” “Ghosts,” and “Miss Slovenia.”

I wasn’t keeping my fingers crossed that the album didn’t suck. Apparently, crossing your fingers works because the album doesn’t suck.

“Halving” sounds so sweet but really the lyrics are a little twisted. My favorite songs are “Ghosts” and “Swimming.”

Some of Stringer’s songs remind me of Weezer but darker, punk rock and with more acoustic guitar. Stringer would be pulling pranks on Weezer 24/7. Now that would be something that I would watch constantly on YouTube. Stringer, can we make that happen?

Stringer on bandcamp

Cool dudes that send me cool music: http://www.earshotmedia.com/

116 Days of Summer Guests: Sydney Ranee’


Photo credit: Peter Lin coventryautomatik

Hey!!! This is Sydney Ranee’ and I am a singer/songwriter and producer from Los Angeles.
First off I want to thank Holley for having me. This is my first time doing something like this and I’m super excited.
I’ve got a pretty epic topic so I’m just going to dive right in it.
I’ve always been fascinated by the roles women play in the music industry.  The current focus is that female artists are expected to be good at only one thing.   I am continually amazed that we don’t hear more about women in the industry that wear multiple hats!
There are many ” badass” women who write, perform, produce, manage, arrange etc…. Some doing all of these things simultaneously!
What I’m trying to get at is that we always hear about these male celebrity moguls and entrepreneurs, but why don’t hear much about their female counterparts?  Especially women of color.
 We hear about artists like Beyonce’ or even celebrities like Oprah, but there are so many more talented women that are in front of and behind the scene that we never hear about.
This is why I  decided to wear many hats in this industry!  Being an artist in this industry is more than being just a singer to me. It means being able to market, write music and produce. It’s being knowledgeable about the business side of things and owning you!
I feel its important to share this message with other women especially those that are interested in pursuing a career in this field.
The more of us in the industry, the more recognition we will get.

Sleep Deprived Music Spotlight: Calembour




I love a good Calembour . . . I mean – a good pun. Calembour is French for the word pun. It’s fancy and funny. If I knew French or Italian, there would be so many calembours. Calembours with a side of croissants and a cappuccino.

Calembour is also a folk-rock band from Italy. I kind of love them too. They remind me of Cat Stevens with a hint of Mumford & Sons.

They just signed a record deal with Standby Records. Calembour also released an EP, Let the Wind Lead us Home, in May.  I wish that it had more songs on it because I really enjoyed all of the songs.

I wonder if they like puns as much as I do.



Calembour on Facebook

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Gang of Youths



When I was a kid, I would play my mom’s vinyl records and dance around in the basement. One of the records she had was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. I think she liked the cover photo of his butt. My mom was the cool mom.

There’s something about Gang of Youths that reminds me of Bruce Springsteen and Kings of Leon. The Gang of Youths songs sound finished, unlike the Kings of Leon’s songs. (I’m always waiting for Kings of Leon’s songs to move forward after the climax and nothing happens. It’s like a terrible one night stand.)

Anyway, I don’t believe that Gang of Youths will leave anything unfinished. They’re not sloppy. There are 16 songs on this album so they might be more prolific than some bands.


I wish that I still had a basement dance area. I would totally play this album and dance.


Gang of Youths website

Go Farther in Lightness on Spotify

Interview with . . . Paper Foxes

Paper Foxes are self-proclaimed “death disco darlings” from Phoenix, Arizona. While they weren’t on the tennis court, the band was busy working on their first full-length album, which will be out this fall.

Maybe when they aren’t so busy, they would play a few sets of tennis with my family. It would be highly entertaining.

The band also has entertaining answers to all of the pressing questions that I had for them.




Where was your first show?

The Rogue bar in south Scottsdale

What are you afraid of?

Addiction, self-destruction, depression, police, our president, capitalism, & cockroaches

How would you describe death disco?

Somewhere in between post-punk and dance rock, like Ian Curtis on MDMA.

Do you really play tennis? If so, you’re welcome to stop by and play with my kids and I.

I (CJ) took lessons as a kid, but I’m not really a tennis player haha. We might be the only tennis playing band tho, let us know when we should drop by with our racquets!

Are you good at keeping secrets?

Actually yeah! Like important ones for people I really care about.

Are there any causes/organizations that you support?

Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ community, we’re all animal lovers and a couple of our members are vegan

Tell me something positive about your hometown. (Phoenix, Arizona)

We have great venues and an amazing community that supports local bands, also good tacos!

Did any of you have weird parents?

Yep, we still do. It’s kind of why we do what we do!

Paper Foxes website

Paper Foxes

116 Days of Summer Guests: NeoRomantics


For this series of summer guest posts,  I would usually give the band or solo artist a list of topics or one very broad topic. The NeoRomantics of Tulsa, Oklahoma chose to tell me about their bucket list. It’s like a combination of my favorite things – music and bucket lists.  This reminds me that I should find my list again . . .

Keep reading to find out what the NeoRomantics have to say. I appreciate them for taking time out of their busy schedule to be my guest.




Bucket List:

Write records that resonate with our listeners.

-Sell out Cain’s Ballroom, in our hometown.

-Tour in all 48 states in the continental U.S.

-Tour Internationally, North America first, then Europe, Australia, Brazil, and Japan eventually.

-Tour with our favorite bands.

-Make a career out of playing music.

-Make as many friends as possible at home, as well as all across the globe.


This prompt was rather difficult for us to think about. On one hand, we’re an ambitious group and have never let anything get the best of us. Personally, When things would come up in the history of this band, Anthony would step up and learn how to tackle it to make sure we could move forward and keep truckin’ along. So the idea of having a bucket list meant we have new things to tackle. For example, we wanted to tour lighter and more efficiently, which meant ditching a trailer. Hagen, our vocalist literally learned how to play guitar and bought great gear and moved us in the direction we are now so we could tour in a van without a trailer.


Now, we sat down as a band after we received this and really had to think about the future, where we see ourselves in a few years and what we wanted to tackle. First things first, we want to hit every state in the continental US. we’ve hit quite a few, mostly in the Midwest and east coast but the west coast is next to tackle. After that, touring internationally is the next step. I’ve personally only gone out of the country once but playing a show out of the country would be otherworldly for me.


A vast amount of our goals surround the touring aspect of being a band. We LOVE touring with friends, and friends bands we think are really killing in their respective scenes. We’ve grown our family from touring already, and part of that is due to us being relentlessly caring towards new friends. I feel like as soon as we get to a new state or city we’ve never played, it’s my personal mission to leave knowing at least 5 new friends by name, and making sure they’re loved and cared for. When you’re on the road playing a new city, it’s too easy to get into a mindset that no one cares about you when you’re there, or you’re super alone in a big city, but if you give people a reason to extend their friendship to you, it goes a long way.


We want to keep building our family at home. This band started super organically. We all kind of ran into each other in each version of this band and regardless of lineup changes, we’ve always been a family. Fans and bandmates alike, we’d love to continue growing our family at home.

While we have a ton of friends and fans in Tulsa, it’s a fairly large city and we know for sure that we haven’t talked to them all yet. It’s a process. There are still people here that don’t even know how strong our music scene really is, and being an advocate of that and helping our area know that it exists will make sure it organically grows as large as possible. I think for us guys that were born and raised here, selling out the Cain’s Ballroom (a 1700 cap) venue would be an indicator that our heart for other people and our hard work as a band would continually be worth it.


At the end of it all, the whole bucket list kind of resonates around writing wholesome records. Not wholesome in the sense of being like family friendly or easy to listen to, but writing songs that are raw, honest and what we’re all going through at that time. We’ve grown so much as a band writing this newest release. It’s new to us, it’s radically different from our previous departure and our growth as a band is absolutely due to us learning each other and what we all want or need at that point in time. There are bands like Emery and Paramore that have continued evolving their sound as they’ve gotten older, and their fans have gotten older as well and it’s everything that they’ve needed in that certain moment. The key to knocking out this bucket list is being brutally honest with ourselves, and our fans and family and never just doing the same thing over again. I’m stoked for the future.




NeoRomantics on bandcamp

NeoRomantics on Facebook

NeoRomantics “Savor” video on YouTube

Sleep Deprived Music Review: L.A. Witch

Once in awhile my kid asks me if I’m a good witch.  I wonder if L.A. Witch ever gets that question from their fans. I don’t think they would be necessarily good or bad. From what I’ve read, they aren’t witches at all.

They are pretty badass though.

They released a self-titled album in 2017. L.A. Witch describes their sound as “REVERB-SOAKED PUNKED OUT ROCK.” It’s a pretty accurate description. My personal favorite song on the album is “Get Lost.”

I like their sound – it’s punk rock but a little more dark and haunting. Imagine if Wednesday Addams was in a garage band and also writing the lyrics. L.A. Witch is as close to that as possible.


L.A. Witch album on Spotify

L.A. Witch on Tumblr