Quarantine Interview: Evereal

When I listen to Evereal, I am reminded that concert season is practically here. Hopefully, there will be actual concerts this year. If I get the chance to see Evereal, I am going to throw all of my money at the merch person. Literally but nicely of course.

Please welcome Evereal to the blog! Check out the links to find out how you can also throw your money at the band and merch person.

Evereal on Amazon. Affiliate link

Where have you been staying in 2020?

At home. Home being Canada. We all live in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley area of British Columbia.

What have you been doing during times of quarantine?

For the first three months of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, we couldn’t rehearse due to the pandemic restrictions. Everyone just put things on pause. But as the restrictions began to ease a bit, we decided to get back to rehearsing, and Steve started focusing on new material. He’s always writing anyway and had a lot of ideas that just needed lyrics. He and Alicja have done most of the work on the new material. So they have been working on several new songs. Then in the fall of 2020, we started working with a local studio, MNET Media, which has a big sound and video studio, with the idea of putting on a one-hour virtual concert. We recorded the show in late 2020 and then broadcast it in early 2021, with proceeds from ticket sales going to the ALS Society of BC.

Have you found or re-found any hobbies?

We all have our own hobbies. Gord, our bass player, is into ATVs, which is an outdoor activity so that’s one thing you can do during a pandemic. Nelson is into outdoor stuff too — backpacking and cycle touring, so he continued doing that. Steve’s hobby is music anyway, and producing, so he just buried himself in that. Alicja has found running outside and is really enjoying it. 

What have you been listening to lately?

Nelson: I’ve been watching a lot of concerts on Youtube — Nightwish, Rush, Metallica, all kinds of stuff.

Alicja: I’ve been listening to new pop and old 90’s. Also true crime podcasts haha. 

Has your songwriting process changed this year?

Not really, actually. Even before the pandemic, Steve tended to write in isolation. He’ll come up with the music, and send it to us. Alicja will come up with a melody and some lyrics. She has her own mini studio at home, so basically Steve will send her the music, and she’ll come up with a vocal melody and lyrics, record the vocals over the music, and send it back. Sometimes they will get together at Steve’s studio. But basically, we were already kind of used to working remotely anyway even before the pandemic.

Alicja: Yes, it has been super handy to have a set up at home to get ideas down and send to each other for sure. 

Is there any message that you would like to convey to fans or soon-to-be fans?

We can’t see you live, but we can talk to you on social media. We love interacting with fans. So don’t be shy — we’d love to hear from you on social media, and we are on pretty music every platform — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. 

What is something positive that has happened to you during 2020?

For the band, doing the virtual concert was a good experience. It gave us something to work towards at a time when playing live gigs just wasn’t an option. It allowed us to do a full show on stage. The cool thing about it is that, while people were watching, they were able to interact with us in a chat function. So we could actually chat with the fans while they were watching the show as it was being broadcast. So that was a unique experience.

Alicja: Yes, the live streaming show was a great experience and was another opportunity for us to get better and perfect our craft. 

Connect with Evereal:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

bandcamp

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Temple. Amazon affiliate link

I have listened to the “Temple” album from Thao & The Get Down Stay Down several times. It really gets better every time I listen to it. Am I putting off doing this review so that I can keep listening to this album and not focus on doing anything else? Perhaps.

I would describe Thao & The Get Down Stay Down as indie funk. The bass is strong with this one. Plus, from what I can tell the lyrics are amazing. If the lyrics were not great, the bass is still great so no one can lose by listening to their music. Winning situation for everyone.

 
Thao & the Get Down doesn’t remind me of too many other bands. Maybe Beck but better than Beck. My favorite songs are “Temple” and “Pure Cinema.”

They have an apron in their merch section. I don’t cook enough to warrant buying an apron. So I’m trying to think of reasons that I should buy it anyway. What hobbies can someone do while wearing an apron? There are also t-shirts, music and food products in their store.

Well, I think that I would like to listen to this album while wearing the apron to do arts and crafts. Would an apron get in the way of glassblowing if someone was taking a class? So someone could maybe wear an apron during a glassblowing workshop and listen to Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

Who is in the band?

Connect with Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Website

Twitter

Instagram

linktree

  • Amazon affiliate link included in this post.

Flawless Friday Video: Mae Powell

Photo by Holiday Hagan

Good morning! What better way to start the day than with profanity and protesting?! A video with profanity, protesting and a Powerpuff girl avatar with a guitar definitely makes a statement.

Check out this video from Mae Powell. Here is a statement that Powell made about this song, “Fuck I.C.E.” :

“I wrote this song two years ago when Trump was being very vocal about essentially militarizing I.C.E. and cracking down on deportations, family separation, and detention centers,” Mae explains. “I realize now that I.C.E. has been a huge problem since it existed, under any president, but it was the first time that this issue came to my attention. I decided to write this song for two reasons: one, out of anger for what was happening, and two, to and bring attention to an issue that was and is still largely ignored. I wrote it as a starting place for people (especially white people) who were either unaware or didn’t care before to start paying attention and calling for change.” 

Any money made from the track will be redirected to those affected by I.C.E. Here are some resources to help end the injustices and detainment harming Immigrant communities.

10 Books on the #AlreadyRead List: Part 19

  1. Paradise.
  2. Beloved. For some reason, my Goodreads list was organized by date added last time. It’s kind of odd because all of the other lists are alphabetical by author. Probably. Anyway, I love “Beloved” so much that it’s worth another mention.
  3. Lolita. I did not love it but I finished it. It was assigned for a college class. One of my classmates refused to finish it. The main character is a pedophile. Good for her for sticking to her principles. She wasn’t wrong.
  4. The Hound of Hell. It was on my DNF pile for a long time.
  5. Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes.
  6. The Unadjusteds
  7. The Girl Without Skin.
  8. A Letter From America. I need to do a review for this book. Too many books, so little time or something. It will definitely be a favorable review.
  9. Akata Warrior. Review is in the draft section. I did enjoy this one as much as the first book in the series, which is next on the list.
  10. Akata Witch.

Quarantine Interview: Dog Trainer

Dog Trainer of New York has been trying to stay busy during the quarantine. They developed an interest in “aquascaping.” Who knew that there were aquascaping conventions? Dog Trainer knows. Besides their new hobby, hanging out with parents and fostering cats, they also finished an album, which was released on March 26.

Please welcome Dog Trainer to the blog!

Where have you been staying in 2020?

Lucas: Starting in July, Nick and I actually lived together for 3 months in NYC to finish making this album haha… For a few months before that though, I was staying in Vermont and Nick was subletting a place in Washington Heights. Usually. we both live full time in NYC.

Nick: It was definitely a super crazy time. Things are a little more settled down now for both of us. Lucas is actually back in Vermont and I found a pretty nice spot in the East Village. I definitely normally couldn’t afford it, rent’s come waaay down in NYC haha.

What have you been doing during times of quarantine?

Lucas: Well the biggest thing, maybe to our significant other’s chagrin haha has been working on this album. In the three months we spent together in NYC I think we took 1 day off ?

Nick: Yeah haha we went extremely hard musically this year. I think we’re both super proud and excited about what we were able to achieve. Other than music, we’ve both been working from home. I do a lot of work on some music education apps, and Lucas and I both edit podcasts.

Lucas: BORING hahah, yeah pretty much working though… and watching netflix…

Nick: We watched way too many bad (and good) Will Ferrell movies lol

Have you found or re-found any hobbies?

Nick: Lucas and I both are randomly insanely into this thing called ‘aquascaping’ lol It kinda started when Lucas got a beta a few years ago, and things have just escalated so much.

Lucas: Yeah it’s pretty much underwater landscaping for fish. That sounds weird cause it is weird haha. We’ve gone to like expos and stuff. It’s really nerdy. Good conversation starter tho any time people come over to my apartment the first time haha

Nick: I never thought I would know as many aquatic plant species as I do. If anyone’s asking, a good pair of planting tweezers will go a long way.

Lucas: No one’s asking… hahahah but yeah when I came out to Vermont I brought a 17 gallon tank/plants/and I think 10-15 fish, but the species I brought mates super easy, and the population tripled in the first 3 months of quarantine. When I came back to NYC I had to give them to the store we frequent. Was a sad day.

Nick: I was actually there a few weeks ago and I saw a bunch of them haha

What have you been listening to lately?

Lucas: I’ve been playing Tony Hawk and listening to the new Machine Gun Kelly album. Such a 2000’s throwback. Sounds like if Blink 182 had listened to Juice Wrld.

Nick: Yeah MGK is pretty amazing lol I’ve been listening to Caroline Polachek a lot in the last couple weeks. Pang is just so good, I really love the production on that album and her voice is really cool.

Lucas: I’ve also been listening to a friend’s band Sipper. He’s releasing I think a song a week and they’re all really good and kind of cute? Idk I really like it haha.

Nick: ‘room’ is a jam haha

Has your songwriting process changed this year?

Nick: Quite a bit. Before quarantine, Lucas and I were kind of doing everything in the same room. But after the pandemic started, we ended up literally in different states, and were kind of forced to collaborate in new ways. So we’ve been using an app called Splice to collaborate on sessions and send each other beats/ideas.

Lucas: It was really cool to work apart, I think when you’re not in the same room, you don’t have that feeling that you’re wasting the other person’s time when you really explore some weird directions with production. I feel like this allowed us to really imprint a lot of our individual tastes into the music.

Nick: Definitely, I feel like that’s been a huge development in our process. Also, songwriting wise, we haven’t always done this ‘beats first’ approach, but I think Lucas and I both really liked and benefited from it.

Lucas: Yeah at first it was kind of just out of necessity, cause we didn’t really feel like we could write melodies and lyrics as well over facetime, but production seemed super doable, as we mentioned, in that kind of split up, trade off way. I also really loved how when we finally were able to get together and write the songs, the production was already there. So it was like immediate gratification, just getting to hear the song with vocals with almost final production super quickly.

Nick: Right, and also I think the production really helped inform the direction of the songwriting. Like some of the melodies we wrote were originally synth melodies, and a lot of the lyrical directions were influenced by the tone of the production.

Is there any message that you would like to convey to fans or soon-to-be fans?

Lucas: No.

Nick: lol

Lucas: Jkjk, I think with this album we were just trying to be super honest. In the past I think we kind of caved to fronting on social media, always showing a very confident face to our followers, like everything was going great… now we’re kind of unmasking that and pretty openly talking about our things we struggle with, like our anxieties (“am I gonna hate this tattoo when I’m 45 applying for a job I never wanted in the suburb that I grew up”), the pandemic, keeping in touch with friends, procrastination etc.

Nick: Totally. On the flip side, there’s also a lot about how grateful we are for a lot of the things in our lives, especially the relationships we have. So there’s kind of this juxtaposition between all of these positive things, and then this like real negativity that Lucas and I both really experience and can be hard to overcome. That being said, I think the album is a little bit song to song message wise. But everything is kind of encapsulated by our real life experiences, basically everything on the album is truthful down to like, the smallest details haha

What is something positive that has happened to you during 2020?

Lucas: Spending this much time with my parents has honestly been really amazing. This is probably the most time I’ve spent with them since I was like 1 yr old haha. Even when I was in elementary school I would go to friends houses, sports practices etc. whereas here I really get to just sit down to dinner every night and watch TV with them after. Maybe that doesn’t sound edgy enough haha

Nick: Damn haha that’s very sweet Lucas

Lucas: Yeah, that and ALL THE DRUGS I’M DOING just kidding lololol

Nick: For sure… (5 minutes later)

Nick: yeah…….. Well…….. I think this album has been insanely positive. Also moving into the East Village with my s/o Elvira has been pretty fun. We also are fostering a cat named Bono, but I mostly call him Baby Cat. I’m also edgy btw

Lucas: For sure…

Nick: well… think that wraps up this interview, thanks for having us. Remember us when YOU’RE FAMOUS!

Lucas: abstract hahah, yeah thanks so much for having us.

Connect with Dog Trainer:

Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Twitter

Meet and Greet: Okey Dokey

Photo by Mark Cluney

Who: Okey Dokey of Nashville

What: Folk rock with soul. In 2020, they released an album, Once Upon One Time. Their single, “Delicious,” has been remixed by New Orleans duo, Generationals. There is also a cool video for “Doublin’ Down.”

Why: Who knew that folk rock with soul is so awesome?! I have suspected but now I know.

Where: You can find their music in all of the usual places like Soundcloud

OKEY DOKEY LINKS: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

The Startup Wife: #bookreview

The Startup Wife on Amazon. Affiliate link

Most of The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam is set in Utopia. Utopia isn’t heaven. It is a place for startup companies to develop and become successful. Asha Ray sees her high school crush, Cyrus Jones. They begin a whirlwind romance, get married and develop an app based on an idea that Cyrus had about personalizing rituals.

Asha is a brilliant coder and is the force behind the app. Cyrus is the face of the company. At first, he doesn’t have much involvement and then he has too much power. Cyrus publicly takes all of the credit for the app. Understandably, Asha feels betrayed when Cyrus excludes her from the company.

Asha knows that Cyrus is not the mastermind behind the company and definitely not the messiah. She put so much faith in him and not enough faith in herself. She does everything to keep the company afloat in the beginning stages. Then Cyrus betrays her in such a harsh way. Will their marriage survive mixing business with their relationship?

My favorite character is Destiny. She meets Asha and Cyrus at Utopia. Her company doesn’t have the same success that Asha’s company does. Destiny comes to work for Asha. They become really close friends. Destiny supports Asha through all of the problems. I imagine her as a RiotGrrrl, a punk rock feminist. I love her so much.

Asha follows Cyrus’s dreams and leaves her plans behind. I think she learns that one person cannot be everything to another person. She learns about boundaries. She loves Cyrus but starts to question if he is the best person for her.

If you are looking for a book about feminism and technology, then you might enjoy this book.

If you think feminism is for suckers, then maybe you will learn something by reading this book.

Author’s website:

Tahmima Anam

  • I received this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Obviously.
  • Amazon affiliate link included in this post.

Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes: #bookreview

At the beginning of “Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes,” Karolina and her mother are attacked by the Shadow Forged, beings with supernatural powers. Karolina Dalca was born in Romania but was raised in Canada by her mother. Her mother doesn’t tell her anything about her father.

Up until this point, Karolina doesn’t believe in the Forged or The Dyads. She thinks that the Forged are more of a myth. The mother doesn’t survive the attack and Karolina has to go on the run to escape the Forged. She’s not sure if the Dyads are good or bad yet. I would have liked to have a better description of what they do or how they look. Maybe I missed it or something.

She knows that she is a half-vampire who doesn’t know anything about her father. She also finds out that her friend, Roman, is a werewolf. Karolina finds an address in Russia that her mom kept in a secret box. It doesn’t reveal any other secrets but it’s a start.

A vampire named Andre shows up to help Karolina find out about her father’s family. Karolina, Roman and Andre are headed to Russia.

Karolina and Andre have imprinted on each other so they are connected – probably for life. They just met – that must be awkward. What if you don’t like the person at all? Karolina still isn’t sure if she trusts Andre. Can you get un-imprinted from your soulmate? Is there a supernatural divorce ritual or something?

So Roman is kind of jealous because he also loves Karolina. What is a poor werewolf to do about losing his sort of girlfriend to a vampire? It sort of reminds me of that love triangle in “Twilight.” I was Team Jacob for a long time. I think I’m also on Team Roman.

If the book were made into a movie, this is who I would cast:

Madelaine Petsch – Karolina Dalca

Jack Huston – Roman Lupei

Charlie Hunnam – Andre

If you like supernatural books with vampires and werewolves plus a little bit of a love triangle, then you might enjoy “Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes.”

I suppose if you are a Shadow Forged, the Boogeyman or other evil creature of the night, then you might not be a fan.

  • I received this book as part of The Write Reads book tour.
  • Amazon affiliate links included in this post.
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