Reggae Artist Wayne Marshall Channels REM

I don’t claim to have any vast knowledge of reggae but I do enjoy the genre. There’s a sun-drenched quality to the genre that is both refreshing and kinetic. That being written, I have no clue if Wayne Marshall is a big draw in the genre or what, but when I heard that he channels REM on his new single, I thought I’d give it a shot.

Sure enough, the song pulls many of its verses straight from REM’s “Losing My Religion.” While some may be quick to criticize, it’s always a good thing for music when genres crossover and bleed together. One never knows when one song will make one music listener dive deeper, try harder and chase their dreams.

I probably haven’t listened to reggae song in at least a half-dozen months, but I am more than happy to say that “On the Corner” is the first song that brought me back.

D.B. Rielly Finds His Groove on Latest Album

Often times the amount of requests that come through the RMP inbox is overwhelming, so overwhelming that we often neglect albums worthy of widespread attention. Said album is New York City roots-rocker D.B. Rielly’s sophomore effort Cross My Heart + Hope to Die. Self-released this past October, the ten-song collection is another sterling effort from an artist who would probably be far more well-known were he not in the overcrowded metropolis of New York City. Read more…

Meet the Coywolf Hits Airwaves on Jan. 22

Call me old-fashioned, but I much prefer PBS’ Nature over pretty much anything else on TV. Granted, some episodes drag in places, but anytime you are given a chance to get that much closer to nature, it’s hard to say no. Not only that, the program always provides ample amounts of scientific insight and never-seen-before footage. If you’re a sucker for dazzling visuals (and believe me I am) Nature always provides exactly that. Their 31st season continues in two weeks with their first new broadcast of 214, Meet the Coywolf. The hour-long expose centers on how this new breed of western coyote and eastern wolf first originated and how and why it has emerged in some of North America’s biggest cities (Toronto, Montreal, New York City). Meet the Coywolf debuts on Jan. 22, at 8 p.m. on your local PBS station.

The Top 50 Films of 2013

1.12 Years a Slave
2. All is Lost
3. Nebraska
4. American Hustle
5. Disconnect
6. Captain Phillips
7. Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Mud
9. Fruitvale Station
10. The Wolf of Wall Street
Read more…

The Poster Boy: Europe’s Best Power Pop Band

Though it might be surprising to some, arguably the strongest power-pop album released this year hails from Budapest, Hungary. The international trio known as The Poster Boy are comprised of American drummer Michael Zwecker, who serves as the band’s primary lyricist; as well as Imre Poniklo and Noel R. Mayer, two leading figures from the Budapest indie scene. Before moving to Hungary, Zwecker performed in Athens, GA’s Seven Simons. Read more…

Julie Meckler’s Queenshead

There’s something deeply appealing about Chicago (by way of Paris and New York) singer-songwriter Julie Meckler. Her debut album Queenshead is equal parts eccentric, engaging and earnest. While the album has its share of oddities (“The Cigarettes Song” is a cheery 40-second piece that sounds like a studio outtake while “Laissez-Moi” is French spoken-word poetry”) tracks like lead single “Manhattan” and the near-perfect “The Dresses Song” are utterly delightful.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Meckler tackles David Bowie’s “Soul Love” and does so with harmonica, upright bass and a veneer that screams hazy summer afternoon. Much of the disc is doe-eyed, gauzy and cottony. Yet Meckler and her band also do a fair share of aural ass-kicking, most evident in the last 45 seconds of “Me and the Waves,” the last minute of “All Your Pretty Things” and “Deportation Blues” and the last 30 seconds of “Desire” and “Forest.”

Arguably the toughest test in listening to Meckler is cataloguing her sound. In truth, she’s in a league and class all her own, and while Queenshead is far from perfect, there are enough touches of brilliance here to warrant repeated listens. There’s a good chance her sophomore release may be the one that gets the Midwest talking.

You Need to Listen To: George Ducas

Let this be known: George Ducas is back in a big way and ready to top the charts….again!. Whether its the rumbling lead track “CowTown,” the uber-infectious “All Kinds of Crazy,” or the more subtle “Ain’t That Crazy,” Ducas has his finger directly on the pulse of how to be a commercial success in country music. Thankfully, this blog is not the only one taking notice as USA Today recently featured Ducas’ gorgeous effort “Amnesia.” Some discs can take many concerted listens before making a dent, but Ducas’ powerhouse 4340 made an impression from the very first listen. By the time the disc finished, the urge to return to the beginning and start all over is almost too hard to pass up.

Top 50 Albums of the Year

1. Patty Griffin – American Kid
2. Rhye – Woman
3. John Fogerty – Wrote a Song For Everyone
4. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
5. Jason Isbell - Southeastern
6. Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer, Different Park
7. Bronze Radio Return – Up, On and Over
8. Local Natives – Hummingbird
9. 65daysofstatic – Wild Light
10. Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Daze

11. David Bowie – The Next Day
12. Kopecky Family Band – Kids Raising Kids
13. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
14. Robbie Fulks – Gone Away Backward
15. Caitlin Rose – The Stand-In
16. John Mayer – Paradise Valley
17. Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience Part II
18. Nathaniel Rateliff - Falling Faster Than You Can Run
19. Neko Case – The Worse Things Get
20. Phosphorescent – Muchacho

21. Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady
22. James Blake – Overgrown
23. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
24. Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium
25. Atoms for Peace – AMOK
26. Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon
27. Sigur Ros – Kveikur
28. Pet Shop Boys – Electric
29. Katy Perry - Prism
30. Elvis Costello and the Roots – Wise Up Ghost

31. Elton John – The Diving Board
32. The Wild Feathers – The Wild Feathers
33. Firehorse – Pills from Strangers
34. Preston Lovinggood – Sun Songs
35. Ola Podrida – Ghosts Go Blind
36. Emily Bell - In Technicolor
37. Caveman – Caveman
38. Cowboy Indian Bear - Live Old, Die Young
39. Luke Winslow-King – The Coming Tide
40. The Crackling - Mary Magdalene

41. Twinstar - The Sound of Leaving
42. Josh Rouse – The Happiness Waltz
43. Kenny Roby – Memories and Birds
44. Jared Bartman – Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows
45. Quiet Life – Wild Pack
46. City and Colour – The Hurry and the Harm
47. Morningbell – Boa Noite
48. Kait Lawson – Until We Drown
49. Jim James – Region of Sound and Light of God
50. Erin McKeown – Manifestra

Elliott and the Ghost – “Mamba”

Apparently, today’s the day for Latin-themed song titles. On the heels of Steff and the Articles’ “Te Extrano,” New York City’s Elliott and the Ghost have released the gorgeous Southern rock anthem “Mamba.” A rousing, organ-drenched affair that calls to mind Alberta Cross, My Morning Jacket and that distinct Muscle Shoals sound, this song is an absolute monster. Their debut EP drops Jan. 21.

Steff and the Articles: Piano-Pop Up-and-Comers

As an admitted fan of piano-pop, few things get me as stoked as a hot new single that absolutely rattles my cage. “Te Extrano” from Steff and the Articles is the latest example. An equal blend of Sara Bareilles, Elizabeth and the Catapult and Tristan Prettyman, the song is an absolute scorcher. Guided by honeyed vocals, gauzy verses and a string-backed chorus, the song is an absolute delight. Like many of the bands that fly across my inbox, I have limited knowledge of the band, but with a song this potent, who the hell cares? Color me interested!

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