Quelliott Seamripper

Quelliott – “Seamripper”

Do you know the feeling of being so tightly wound by stress and worry that the smallest added struggle will snap you in two? Of course, you do. It’s a pretty common occurrence in the lives of most adults I know, young and old. For us–I’m speaking of post-college millennials finding their way into full-blown adulthood–this unwavering juggling act of your own life can be shocking. The clear passage of higher education is over. What happens next? Will we haze, constantly wandering?

This is the sort of  strife I hear on Savannah-based, Orlando-born singer-songwriter Elliott Lane’s debut single. Released under the pseudonym Quelliott, “Seamripper” is his lo-fi dump of internal feelings. A bassy voice begins over the purely acoustic music: “started off in the way of myself.” He goes on to paint a picture of shirts and ladders, getting hung-up on the way down. Instead of ascending to adult life, he is descending into it. It’s “darkness” and “terror.” This weight may be too much for him to bare.

one seam could honestly be it.

Once Quel utters this line, the song shoots into its next gear. Layered acoustic lines raise his pitch for the second verse, not his spirits. “My shoes fit snug on my feet. I feel cold snug on my fingers.” The songs overall tone can be seen in the cover art for Quelliott’s recently released album, MorningThe title is written over and over, and as we get down the page the repeated word begins to contort into nothing but frustrated squiggles. Morning after morning it gets worse.

FIONA SIGHT FOR SORE EYES VIDEO GOLDBABY ORLANDO

FIONA Releases “Sight For Sore Eyes” video | GOLDBABY out Nov 18

The artist formerly known as Mr. 3 is having a great November. FIONA dropped “Galaxies” on Wednesday through EARMILK and graced Mass Appeal today with the video for the glittery, R&B-tinged single, “Sight For Sore Eyes.” Produced by ORL artistic collective Always Nothing, the moody visual is full of colorful shadows, both eerie and bright at the same time. FIONA mopes around his house party, bummed that his love interest (played by ORL looping empress Tiger Fawn) showed up dancing on another man. He raps confident bars throughout the song, elevating this woman and all her imperfections. FIONA is even approached by another woman but shows absolutely no interest in anyone other than his “Sight For Sor Eyes.”

SugarPlum Music Video

SugarPlum – “All the Time” (music video)

The simple pleasure of eating an ice cream cone with someone you love. After watching SugarPlum’s music video for “All the Time” over-and-over, I feel at peace in the song’s cheerful, Frankie Cosmo-like melodies and the visual’s matching warm glow, directed by Henderson Nguyen. Although the lyrics beg to differ — “Can’t help you now, no longer your host” — joy radiates from the video/song. Catch SugarPlum tonight at Will’s Pub with Tiger Fawn and Zoya Zafar.

Teen Divorce – “Anthem” (premiere)

A quick Google search will inform you that the noun “anthem” is defined as “a rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause.” While listening to Teen Divorce’s song of that name, I tried and tried again to reaffirm its title in my mind. Because although indie rock of Jacksonville’s Ben Saunders is singable, the song’s cool, solemn atmosphere doesn’t immediately strike me as “rousing” or “uplifting.”

Now I could be just reading into much into the title — songs are often named after whatever word is said the most, and Teen Divorce repeats “anthem” throughout the song’s chorus and bridge — but this is the path I’m choosing to follow. After a mellow verse, the song’s pre-chorus build towards an exploding chorus — very grandiose — but instead goes a more subtle route into a smooth, dreamy repetition of the song’s title.

What I do think is anthemic about “Anthem” is its theme. “I wish you could see yourself as somebody new. I wish I still cared.” These lines stuck out from my first listen. They’re not “rousing” as we like to think anthems are, but do stir up passed memories and feelings. The one I’ve uncovered most is apathy. The song’s overall tone of wishing the best for someone, but only because you no longer give a shit, is without a doubt chant worthy. And what Teen Divorce does so well in “Anthem” is deliver that importance in a way that mirrors the song’s message. 

See Ben perform a Teen Divorce solo set October 13 at Uncle Lou’s.

Zap Dragon Tropical Depression

Zap Dragon – “Unwritten Rules” (premiere)

Orlando four-piece Zap Dragon are an unassuming band. The members themselves are very down-to-earth guys; good friends who just enjoy playing music together. They wear t-shirts, baseball caps, and shorts on stage. Frills and gimmicks aren’t their things. Some would say that they play equally straightforward rock music. The unassuming part is how well these “straightforward” songs are crafted.

Allow me to awkwardly segway “Unwritten Rules” — their latest preview of Tropical Depression, out October 1 — to make my point. The song’s instrumentation is tight. Everything has its purpose and there’s no unnecessary fat — a theme with Zap Dragon. But this allows the harlequin voice of David Zimlinghaus space to dance about. We can really appreciate the interesting things he’s saying and the interesting ways he’s saying them. His charismatic yelps are often joined by co-vocalist Jordan Schneider in sweet melodies.

Zap Dragon’s lyrics are full of just as much character. “Unwritten Rules” covers both personal and political hypocrisy. Zimlinghaus points the finger at himself just as much as he does the “absent president.” And he does so, as always, in a sarcastic manner. “Unwritten rules, someone should write them down.” Zap Dragon are throwing a release party for Tropical Depression, October 1 at Will’s Pub with Transcendental Telecom, The Wooly Bushmen, and Really Fast Horses. Catch the sarcasm live!

Pariuh sad song video

PARI∀H – “Sad Song” (video) | Show Tuesday @ Uncle Lou’s

In their new video for “Sad Song,” Boston/Miami absurdists PARI∀H beat the shit out of multiple birthday cakes. This brutal torture involves waterboarding with Coca-Cola, stuffing the defenseless sweets into Durex condoms (the Great Value of condom brands), and a sprinkle-to-cake ratio that may make young parents form a Facebook group in protest of tooth decay. Both the video and the song are an assault on the senses. The latter combines the sound of photon laser rifles, malfunctioning synths, and overly-distorted guitars to create the perfect noise-pop song.

PARI∀H’s odd aggression will undoubtedly transfer onto the grimy concrete floor of Uncle Lou’s when they invade this Tuesday. Them–along with the equally pissed-off St Pete. trio Piss Ghost–will join ORL natives Harsh Radish and Auto Chlor for what’s certain to be a messy night of ear-damaging jamz. Bring your own cake and let loose.

just some songs

just some songs. (9/14/16)

If you look at my Soundcloud likes, you’ll see that I pretty much only listen to Central Florida artists. And way too often, I let all these really dope songs build up and up and up without reviewing them. Then, periodically, they all come out at once in a segment I call “just some songs.” Enjoy.

Kaiydo — “Fruit Punch”

Kaiydo has come out of nowhere to produce some of the brightest summertime bangers this year. The 19-year-old emcee has been heavily co-signed by huge blogs like Pigeons & Planes with “Fruit Punch” being his biggest hit to date. The instrumental feels like it was made poolside in Miami; Horns heat up the block and when the bass comes in, you’re done. Kaiydo is so confident that he could be spitting in a reclined position. You can’t have more than him because he’s got the summer.

Dog Island — “El Dorado”

Dave Hanson is best known as the quiet half of Slumberjack–his drumming serves as the foundation for partner Andrew Kelly to make a huge, emotional mess on. While touring with the duo, Dave showed me some demos of a solo project he was toiling over. As the man steps from behind the drums to the mic, he produces psychedelic slacker rock as Dog Island. “El Dorado” is the first on his five-song EP, Laniakea. Dave’s personality is all over this release, he sings gently (surrounded by oohs and ahhs), plays a happy acoustic guitar, and smiles through the entire thing.

valleyz — “The Morning” (feat. DVWEZ & Olukara)

Another perfect summer song, “The Morning” combines the angelic voice of DVWEZ, the cocky slur of CLE-to-NYC rapper Olukara, and the child-like wonder of a beat by valleyz. The sweet dinging sounds like they were made by Fisher-Price. It varies in speed depending on who’s over it, switching from light and playful for DVWEZ to a quick burst for Olukara’s bars. The conversation between the two is passionate and natural. These two need to get together again.

Rogerthomas — “Thas Wassup”

St. Peterburg is lucky to have multi-instrumentalist and producer Rogerthomas–can ORL borrow him? He combines the delicate plucking of nylon classical guitar strings with drum and bass beats to create a topographical map without words. “Thas Wassup” has peaks and valleys. One moment it’s full of ticks, synths, smooth bass, and the aforementioned guitar. The next, everything is stripped away and our artist starts again.

native feel — “dont need ur love.”

Allan Duncan is a man of many hats. He skates with the Bev Boys, makes weird, jazzy indie rock with Sailor Ripley, and DJs/produces as native feel. I’m not sure how he made “dont need ur love” or where its pieces come from, but the many rotating sounds over a glitchy D&B instrumental keeps me bobbin’. Who are these two verses by? Why does the song suddenly cut out? More questions than answers, as is this man’s forte.

Ark Calkins Reformat Video Orlando

Ark Calkins – “Reformat” (video by Russell Parker)

I’ve been a bit bitter since pysch artist Ark Calkins moved from Orlando to Phoenix. See, being an only child I don’t like when something I love is taken from me–in this case Ark’s transcendental live performance. And although the music ethos hasn’t been the same without this creative force, Arkie’s ring of influence is still being felt. He, along with the equally brilliant Winter Calkins, combined live music and art installations into one-of-a-kind events. A show was never just a show. Other ORL eccentrics like Always Nothing, TMD, and Ugly Orange and me have booked with the same purpose.

Ark has stayed busy since the move. In July he put out [1] Unsure and Incomplete, a four-song EP recorded in one take. He described the rawness as, “as naked an Ark release as they come.” Recently, the glitchy painter has been previewing songs from his next LP Background Emotions. The latest is the surreal video for “Reformat.” Directed by Orlando animator, videographer, and songwriter Russell Parker (Harsh Radish), the animation is a barrage of stimuli; black-and-white monstrosities dance around computer generated hell, and bright patterns and landscapes fly at us constantly.

The song itself comments on the data purgatory where we all exist. We are “information slaves in the information age.” Ark includes himself, going so far as to needing to reboot his brain. As it updates, he signals his change over static-y guitar. “Reformat, reformat, reformat, reformat.”

[read our interview with ark.]

Jon David 270 Songs

Jonathon David is Releasing 270 Songs in 270 Days. (i review the 1st FIFTY)

Forming productive work habits is not easy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to sit and write an article or edit someone else’s work, but end up staring at mindless click bait articles and YouTube videos. [Case and point, this article was supposed to come out on four days ago. Habits die hard.]

Jonathon David, frontman of Melbourne’s dancey rock outfit Evil Virgins, had a similar problem. He felt like a zombie idling through life, engaged with things like Netflix, sex, and drugs instead of music.

To make up for lost time Jon started something kinda crazy–writing, recording, and releasing 27 albums (10 songs each) before his 27th birthday on May 26, 2017. 270 Songs has been updated almost every single day with a new song. Many artists would find this huge goal stifling to their creativity, the pressure and expectations too high. But Jon sees the challenge as inspiration to make better and better music. And he hopes it can be motivational to others as well.

If some drunk asshole like me can be creative and productive everyday, so can you.

This asshole is moved. So much so, that I’ve decided to do something a little crazy myself. To celebrate Jon’s completed 50th song, I’m reviewing all of them–even if in just a few words. I’ve underlined some of my favorites. Follow along below. Enjoy.

1. “Florida is Hot”: We’re starting off on the right foot. There’s a fun, ticking beat that builds the song’s foundation for the light, sunset-like guitar. Jon croons, “Is it hot enough for you?” 

2. “Joseph, Mary, and John”: I’m already really surprised by the detail in these songs; egg shaker, vocal ticks, and woodblock all make an appearance here. The song goes through numerous changes as parts come in and out. Jon’s voice is more obscured.

3. “Does It Feel Right”: This one feels like a foggy day at the beach. The guitar dances around like a teenybopper, but the vocals are processed into a dark haze. The playful delivery reminds me of Iggy Pop.

4. “Falling”: I love the ringing sounds in the background of this one–like the sound of crystals shimmering. “Falling” has the poppiest hook so far. “I should be falling in love with you.” 

5. “OD’ed on Nostalgia”ooooo. The deep rasp that we’ve known up until now is gone. It’s replaced by the delicate, higher-pitched lulls of a hopeless romantic. The synths deepen the mood. The nostalgia in question is that of John Hughes films. Everyone grab a dance partner, proceed to the dance floor, and rock back in forth because I know you don’t know the right way to slow dance.

6. “A Little Time”: The Growlers could have made this song. The guitars and vocals have a similar twangy trot to them.

7. “Always, Forever”: Straight forward. “You will be mine. I will be yours. Always, forever.” Another contender for the most aggressive track so far.

8. “Respect”: What does respect mean to Jon David? Given the heavily distorted vocals, the answer seems ambiguous. I think I made out the phrase “limp dick suckin’,” and that’s no way to respect a dick.

9. “I’m not an Artist”: What does it mean to be an artist? In his critique, Jon pokes fun at the overly pretentious title, saying artists “make every other artist feel like a neglected clitoris.” He claims no one is an artist. “We are all just ourselves.”

10. “Motivational Seeker”: There’s a dancey little guitar part during the verse that I love. “Motivational Seeker” seems to take influence from the 270 Song project itself. We all wander about, seeking reasons to follow our dreams instead of actually accomplishing them.

11. “Are you Lost?”: Quickly paced and short (just over two and a half minutes). Very jangly. Jon sings with soul. The answer to the song title’s question should be obvious.

12. “Probation”: When talking to Jon about why he started 270 Songs, he mentioned that he thought he was spending too much time drinking and doing drugs. The man in “Probation” has the same problem. He can’t drink and drive anymore because if he gets caught, it’s straight to jail. He can’t get high. Being on probation is fucking hard.

13. “6 minutes”: At 6 minutes, 24 seconds, “6 minutes” is tied for the longest song Jon has released up until now. It’s a slow burner, waves of cymbal and guitar crash on each other. Towards the end, chaos ensues as the noise builds and builds until it can’t hold anymore.

14. “it was/is You”: This one is hella sweet. Disco guitars and cowbell join forces to make one sugary chorus, as Jon delivers his vocals like a buzzed Mac DeMarco. It’s so light and poppy that I even get a taste of Maroon 5.

15. “Pig Lady”: The variations between song topics is great. One moment we’re listening to drug-induced sadness, and the next he’s singing about a lady who reminds him of swine.

16. “Jelly Bean”: “Jelly Bean” again reminds me of Mac DeMarco. The light-hearted, come-back-to-me tune is exactly what you want to listen to sitting on a porch with your buddies, drinking Miller Lite. I’m still not sure exactly why Jon wants a jelly bean, though. Probably drugs.

17. “Give Back”: “I was fucked up for days.” The past. “I’ll you’ll ever be is what you give back.” The future. We spend so much of our lives idling. But when you find out how you can make the world better, that’s when you become of real purpose.

18. “FUCK UP”: This is held together by chewing gum and duct tape. It’s dirty and raw. Jon channels his punk attitude as he beats his head, and instruments, into the wall. “I’M FUCKED UP.”

19. “Habit of the Dramatic”: There’s a cool irony to a song about melodrama being so tame. Here, he drags out his words in a quiet mumble. But with the intensity of “FUCK UP” still ringing in my ear, I can see the seams about to pop.

20. “I Wish I was Jonathan Richman”: Jonathan Michael Richman (born May 16, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. In 1970 he founded the Modern Lovers, an influential proto-punk band.

21. “Is It Snowing?”: No. Of course not. We live in Florida. But there is a cool guitar line about halfway through the song that falls like how I imagine the frozen rain does. Tied for the longest song to surface on 270 Songs, the journey we’re taken on gets progressively colder.

22. “I’ve Never Been So Lonely (Little One)”: I love the clarity of Jon’s voice on this one. He seems incredibly sincere when he states his solemness.

23. “Stick It In”: Starting with strange, minimal sounds, the song builds slowly into a smooth jam.

24. “Nobody Knows”: I’m about halfway done. I’m already exhausted. I don’t know how Jon can write every part, record, and mix these a new one of these things every day. He’s a monster.

25. “She’s My Mother”: At the beginning of the track, Jon dedicates it to his mom. He then goes on to explain that on multiple occasions, his mother saved him from dying from asthmatic shock. I’m not sure because I’m writing all of these after their release, but I have a sneaking suspicion this was released on Mother’s Day.

26. “Everything is Sexier in Miami, Even You”: I’m over halfway there!! “I don’t want to go back home… because no one knows how to play or have fun.” This ode to MIA has everything that is key to the city: cocaine.

27. “Out of Key, Out of Time, Out of Ideas”: Creativity is often brought out of pressure. Whether you’re rushing for a deadline, writing a new song every day, or reviewing all of those songs in one sitting, we feel stressed because our bodies are preparing themselves to accomplish whatever task we have in front of us. I believe this is the case with “Out of Key, Out of Time, Out of Ideas,” a beautiful instrumental piece and one of my favorites so far.

28. “AMY”: I really thought this song was about Amy Winehouse until he started singing about her not being able to eat solid foods because of a broken jaw. Poor girl is worse off.

29. “Little Boy”: dootdoot doot doot. doot. doot. doot. The melody that won’t get out of your head. Both the guitar and vocals use it throughout, making it a jumpy, happy time.

30. “Gettin Busy”: 270 Songs at its most blues rock. The groove breaks down into a funky bridge that sounds like a deranged Buddy Guy. And those bass pops on the off beat! (I think I’m saying that right.)

31. “Suicide Note”: “I don’t know what to do. You say I was killing you.” The despair on this song is hurtful. I can see the grizzled, tired Jon David writing this to his estranged lover. He strums his guitar four times. The first three are so quick, but when he bashes the fourth, the pain rings on and on. Organs signal a funeral. “We both know I’m gonna die tonight.”

32. “I Wanna Go Home”: The barebones nature of “I Wanna Go Home,” again pulls at the heart right out of the chest cavity. After “Suicide Note,” this song feels like we’re following Jon’s ghost to purgatory. Again, the organ is so, so haunting.

33. “It’s not me, It’s you”: Our narrator seems to be having an altercation with a younger man, whom he calls “boy.” He puffs up his chest and tells the boy what he’s dealing with; “I’m drunk all of the time. You got a problem with that? I don’t think so.” He’s clearly a man with nothing to lose, and you shouldn’t fuck with him. “I’ve got a problem. It’s called myself.”

34. “BLACK CLOUD (god ISN’T REAL, YOU ARE)”: When the first verse starts and all we hear is Jon’s distorted voice and the drums… Then the guitars, an eerie organ, and some background ooo’s come in… FUCK DUDE. It is so powerful. His anguish can be felt through every element. “Black clouds are coming down.”

35. “Back On Crack”: Crack sound really fun. It sounds like organ, cowbell, and toe tappin’ fun. It sounds like a madman screaming in my ear–less fun, still kinda cool.

36. “She’s too Beautiful for me”: I wrote a piece about Unknown Hinson recently–he’s kinda like Johnny Cash meets The Cramps on meth. And he’s a character played by a comedian/musician. “She’s too Beautiful for me” has a similar charm to it, but Jon is less ridiculous and more self-depreciating. It’s relatable. I love the line, “And I’m not that good of a fuck.”

37. “Roll With Me”: Smoking a wiz with someone you’re into is a magical experience. It’s a different way to engage with someone or to get to know them. Until you start saying things like “I lost the love of my life.”

38. “2032”: I’ll be 40 in 2032. Seems really old. Jon will be 43. He’s not exactly sure if he’ll be loving the same woman or dead. In my life, both of those things seem incredibly unlikely yet somewhat probable. IDK.

39. “I’m Praying For You”: I wasn’t so sure about this song for the first 45 seconds or so. Then a sudden guitar lick hits and the whole tune takes off. It jumps to life with more and more bright guitars. Everything is mixed beautifully.

40. “BLOODSUCKER”: When talking to Jon about 270 Songs, before number 50 was released, he said this was his best to date. Going through everything until now, there’s a clear growth. He’s been working the muscle so much that it must be becoming a little easier, if not second nature. And he’s getting better. That’s clear with “BLOODSUCKER.”

41. “Guided by Callahan”: This is the kind of song I want to see in front me. I can see a packed Spacebar–much like when Jon’s band Evil Virgins played a Body//Talk there–shaking the walls to this one. A steady snare claps with the bob of their viewer’s heads. Depending on the crowd, a mosh pit could hit during the chorus. They’d fucking chant.

42. “Falling out of Love”: “Falling out of Love” could be in an 80s rom-com. The hook reminds me of Culture Club–their voices sound so nice and sweet but what they’re sayings is heartbreaking.

43. “Does Anybody Like Me”: “i hate my life.” From the second #43 starts, I’m interested. He continues to list shitty things about where he is in the world. The delivery is hardened, stoic. He’s excepted this. But then–and this has happened more than a few times–the I want to move. And he’s still saying horribly depressing shit, but it sounds too much like a beach party.

44. “She only like’s Rock and Roll”: The Stooges shout out is so fitting because the song as a whole is a callback to early punk. Jon moves his waspy effects in and makes the place his own.

45. “True Love”: “I will kill the man. Shoot him in his fuucking head. If you fall in love, baby, I’d be your man.” The juxtaposition of these themes says a huge amount about the kind of love this man has to give. It’s not safe. It’s not stable. But he will fuucking love you. And the funky breakdown at the end–complete with light pole drumming–is amazing.

46. “Brevard County Line”: I don’t know why, but I’m just imagining that the name of this song is a reference to a street where prostitutes frequent.

47. “Freak Wave”: “Everyone is the one.” Here, Jon has taken up a new view on love. Anyone could be your true love. You just have to let them. “You could be happy if you would let yourself be free, like me.” This song is so cool because its message differs vastly everything else Jon has said about love. Maybe he turned a new leaf. Maybe he’s fucking around with us.

48.”Bitterness is a Warm Gun”: Jon seems to be learning his lesson. He’s telling the bad people to “fuck off.” And it sounds beautiful.

49. “Dirty, Hairy”: Is anybody still reading this? Has someone really read all 49 reviews? I’m going to go ahead and move to 50 just to see if anybody notices. [Note: This song is good. He sounds like a jungle man at one point.]

50. “Christian School”: the last one. Releasing a song every fucking day must be hard. Jon has 220 more days of it. “Christian School” has a lovely section that sounds like something The Beach Boys would have put on Pet Sounds. The final chorus feels appropriately triumphant, drum fills abundant and moral high.

[Jonathon David has released #51 since I started writing, but this is a 50 song celebration. Keep up with the next 220 on his Bandcamp.]

I’m done writing. No fucking conclusion.

Maximino – “Lady in the Water” (video + live photos)

In 2006, M. Night Shyamalan spent $70 million on his 7th cinematic mistake (I’ll give him The Sixth Sense) and tainted the careers of Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard. Of Shyamalan’s role in the film, The Observer film critic Mark Kermode said, “It’s like someone pouring petrol over their heads and setting fire to themselves.”

Fast forward 10 years, ORL’s one-man musical machine Maximino cuts the aforementioned movie down to a two-minute video for the Maxi Mixtape vol. 1 track of the same name. Maxi’s gentle voice and delicate guitar lines smooth the clunky fantasy thriller into an erotic masterpiece, shimmering in aqua blue. Although he only sings two different lines throughout the song, the delivery makes the video for “Lady in the Water” Oscar-bait for sure.

Peek below the video for photos from Maximino’s recent performance at the now legendary Ugly Orange X Always Nothing house show.

Maximino

Maximino

Maximino

Maximino

Maximino

Maximino