DFWd Hype Project: Jake Paleschic “When It Is Played”

I’ve been meaning to do this one pretty much since I started posting these last week. Jake Paleschic is one of the more intriguing emerging artists in the DFW music scene. His sound blends the feel of traditional American folk music, country and indie rock for a textured, passioned and visceral sound. Today’s track “When It Is Played” is a stirringly beautiful track about the power of a song in a man. Give it a listen below. You can grab the full album (name your own price), Again, At Last, right here.



DFWd Hype Project: Jake Robison “Blue and Trains”

So, Fort Worth has built up a fine community of songwriters who are always there to reach out and help each other and support each other at the various Open Mics and Songwriter Showcases around town. One of the guys in that community is a young man named Jake Robison. While he just plays music on the side of his full-time job, his debut record, Como Mansion, that dropped last year, is a record that really tugs at the heart strings. Today’s featured track is a lovely little song called “Blue and Trains” that makes me cry every damn time. Anyways, grab your tissues and enjoy. You can check out my Better Know An Artist interview with Jake here and go check out the full album here.

New Music: Joe Savage Band “No Fear”

So, Fort Worth has been producing a lot of great nods to old school country, like the other day’s featured artist, Vincent Neil Emerson. Joe Savage is another young man blending old school country and the blues. I haven’t gotten my hands on the full record yet, but what I’ve heard shows Joe’s fantastic songwriting skills and his hearty baritone will definitely bring you some Johnny Cash feels along with it. So, check out “No Fear” below, and look out for Joe around town.

Image Credit: Rattle Media

DFWd Hype Project: Vincent Neil Emerson “7 Come 11”

Vincent Neil Emerson was the artist whose show we were at the first time Asa told me “I like that song”, so he’s an artist I’m quite fond of. If he makes the kid happy, he makes me happy. Vincent walks a fine line between old school honky tonk country, western swing and the blues, and there’s no finer example of his sound than one of my favorites (and one of his), “7 Come 11”, named after an unreleased record by one of his idols, Townes Van Zandt. Vincent’s been laying down some recordings at Nile City Sound where Leon Bridges recorded Coming Home. I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot from this young man in the near future. For now, you can catch him playing somewhere most nights with his band, the Old Souls (which includes fellow Fort Worth songwriters Luke McGlathery and Denver Williams). Check out “7 Come 11” below or get the full album here.

You can read my Better Know an Artist interview with Vincent and find out more about “7 Come 11” here.

About the DFWd Hype Project series: Now that AsasRecords is a Hype Machine featured blog, I feel the need to drive some attention to some of the great artists in the metroplex that might be overlooked in the global scene. I decided to start the daily Hype Project series to feature those artists and help me fight the urge to just post a long stream of posts in one day. If you’re not a DFWd local and you dig the track, like it, share it, reblog it, get the word out. We’ve got some great talent here in our area and would love to get them out to your area.

New Music: Charley Crockett “In the Night”

So, the record came out a few weeks back, and this single has been out for a bit now, but Charley seems to be underexposed on the global scene, so I thought I’d put this one out there for the world to wrap their ears around what we in the Metroplex have already found, the genre-bending greatness that is Charley Crockett. Cajun, Blues, Soul, Honky-Tonk and Gospel all rolled into one man.

You can check out our Better Know an Artist interview with Charley here.

Enjoy “In the Night” below.

Better Know an Artist (Vol 33): Nicholas Altobelli

Whether the Observer wants to show him the love or not, Nicholas Altobelli is, without a doubt, one of the most gifted songwriters in the DFWd market. He crafts simple and wonderful pop songs with intricate and personal lyrics, and even throws in a key change every now and then. We had Nicholas sit down and answer our usual questions and this is how that went. 🙂

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

NA: I first got into writing music after I graduated high school. Before then, I spent my time playing drums to top 40 country radio in my bedroom. But after high school, I picked up the guitar and started writing terrible alt-country songs.

I knew it was something I wanted to pursue after I performed my first official show in 2007. I was opening for the newly formed Somebody’s Darling at a little coffee shop in Addison. The live setting hooked me in and I wanted to do it over and over again.

I’m not sure if I’m playing music for a living. I tried, but it never really worked out. Once I made the decision not to pursue music as a career, I started making more money and getting more press from it — funny how that works out. But I have other interests such as writing and teaching that I’m doing now that I’m really excited about.

Music has evolved into a side gig that I do to keep from going insane. So far, it’s working okay — on good days.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

NA: A panic attack wrapped inside a catchy, yet familiar melody. I don’t claim to be doing anything new. I’m not reinventing the wheel, I’m just keeping it spinning.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

NA: That’s a hard question because I’m influenced by everything. I’m mostly influenced by non-music things such as seasons and landscapes. I usually write about the season I’m currently not experiencing. That’s why Searching Through That Minor Key sounds like autumn, because I wrote and recorded it during the summer.

Southern California also influences my music a lot — it’s okay to say that, I used to live there. I have a super secret plan to move back out there if an opportunity arises. If that happens, my catalog will transition quite nicely.

Also, anything by Nick Lowe.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

NA: This changes a lot, but right now, it’s a song called “Pile of Leaves” on my last album. It’s the perfect autumn song, in my opinion. I was reading about the afterlife in the Wikipedia wormhole late at night; I read somewhere that there is a theory that the afterlife is whatever you want it to be. I’m not religious but that was something I could get behing. I asked myself, “What would my afterlife look like?” And that’s what this song addresses. I also love a good chord progression that walks down and this song really nails that out of the park.

I’m also really fond of “L.A. Rain.” It’s the typical story of someone going to Hollywood to chase their dreams, but I flipped the perspective and wrote it through the point of view of a family member/friend/partner back at home questioning their decision to move to California. It was also one of the first songs I wrote on piano, which is probably why I like it so much.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

NA: I would love to open for Electric Light Orchestra. I love all things Jeff Lynne. I think he’s a genius. I’ve also been really getting into ELO lately — I forget how many great songs they have. So, yeah… ELO at the Hollywood Bowl… somebody make that happen. Like 78% of things I do in my music career, I’d do that gig for free or for a $20 IHOP gift card.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

NA: I really don’t listen to new music very much. I sound so pretentious saying that, but it’s true. I mainly listen to 60’s/70’s soul, R&B, Motown stuff. I really think that’s the golden age of music. If that’s something you’re interested in, I got you covered — I created an eight hour playlist called “Nicholas Altobelli’s Jukebox” on Spotify. Just turn on the random button and hit play.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

NA: Probably a live anthology from the Grateful Dead, so it will last a really long time. Or, if I wanted to end my suffering, I’d pick an album from one of those new folk bands — that would be the much needed motivation to drown myself in the sea.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

NA: My favorite thing about the local music scene is that there are still venues out there that will book me. Honestly, it’s amazing I can still get a gig. I don’t exactly put asses in the seats. I’m that artist who you book where you’re a dozen away from a sellout and you need that extra boost to push you over. I’m a professional support act and I’m okay with that — I actually really love doing it.

My least favorite thing about the music scene are those yearly music awards and the bands who give those ridiculous thank you speeches.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

NA: I have three favorite venues: the Kessler, Dan’s Silverleaf, and the Live Oak. All three have very friendly staffs and the best sound guys. Also, parking is a breeze at these venues.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

NA: Where do I begin? Brian Lambert has a new album coming out and I was lucky enough to be in the studio while he was recording some of it — it’s pretty damn great. Look out for that one.

Daniel Markham’s new album is amazing. Matthew Gray is always doing amazing things. Salim Nourallah and his boombox are a force to behold. John Dufilho has 1,389 bands that are incredible. I hear Rahim Quazi has new songs that I’m excited to hear. The Blondettes are killing it in Dallas. Vanessa Peters’ new album is her best.

I know there are more out there and I apologize if I left a few off this list. I think the music scene is the best it’s been since I began in 2007.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

NA: I have this weird phobia of looking up. It freaks me out.

Also, my older brother and I go on these strange adventures. We have done storm chasing, ghost hunting, hosted a short lived radio show, made a found footage Bigfoot movie, and much more. I’m currently writing these adventures out and maybe I’ll post the stories on my website or find someone to publish them — they are incredible.

Big, big thanks, to Nicholas for sitting down with us. I featured his latest single, “Exit Polls”, last week, and you can find it here. You can find another recent track, “Everybody Knows the Truth” down below. Fort Worth peeps can catch Nicholas at the Live Oak this Thurs, opening for Matthew Gray. Dallas peeps can catch Nicholas at the AllGood Café on Friday for a song swap with Taylor Young (the O’s) and Sean Russell (Cut Throat Finches). If you can’t make those, he’ll be playing at Salim Nourallah’s Open Mic at Sundown at Granada on Jul 26 and at the Local Brews Local Grooves at House of Blues on August 6. Now that I’m a Hype Machine featured blog, you can go favorite “Exit Polls” here.


Better Know an Artist (Vol 32): Seth Reeves (Siberian Traps)

The last Siberian Traps record, Blackfoot, was a pretty solid little chunk of jangly post-punk with some film score aspirations. I hear the new one, Stray Dogs, is going to be a little more straight forward, but we’ll know more this Friday when it drops. Check out a couple preview tracks down below. They’re pretty frickin’ great. I sat down with the Traps’ mastermind, Seth Reeves, for the usual questions.

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

SR: I first got into music in my parents’ living room at three years old, spinning Beach Boys vinyls and putting on a “concert”, complete with air guitar. That’s the first music I remember hearing that spoke to me. I’m still a huge Beach Boys fan. I don’t know that there was a moment of epiphany where I knew I wanted to make my own music. It was an inchoate idea that slowly became something I put into practice as I learned to play guitar. I’ve always loved singing. That probably goes back to the Beach Boys.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

SR: Post-punk and jangle pop doing the twist together at an old-fashioned dance hall.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

SR: The aforementioned Beach Boys, for all of the aforementioned reasons. I love harmony in music because of them. Also, the early R.E.M. records from the IRS years have been a huge influence on me. That’s simply some of my favorite music ever made. What a cryptic stew of post-punk energy and rural Americana-ism. I also love Neil Young, because maybe more than any other artist who has endured for decades, he has shown how to follow your own muse and how to create a sense of mythology about the stuff you write. I buy into it completely when I hear a Neil Young song.

While recording our new record, Stray Dogs, I also found I was listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, particularly Tusk. They have a knack for writing a hook that burrows under your skin in about 30 seconds flat, but at the same time, it has staying power. If I try and visualize what their harmonies would look like, I see a light teal-colored halo around the notes. Their voices in harmony are smooth and almost airless. I love it.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

SR: “Songs I Don’t Write”, on the new record, is to me, the most meaningful song I’ve written. I wrote it about my Dad, who passed away in 2011. It took me a few years to even begin to address in a song the loss I feel. He was a World War II history buff. That was probably his favorite subject in the world. I picked up an interest in it from him, but I especially began to fixate on the Eastern Front, on the horrific bloodshed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and on the powerful human narratives that emerged from that awful conflict. I had this ridiculous idea after we finished Blackfoot, our previous record, that I would make the next record one of fictional World War II-era Red Army patriotic songs. I was pretty much half-joking about it. But then my Dad passed and I spent a few years wondering if I’d ever manage to express how I felt in a song. I eventually wrote one about how I was never going to write those silly fake Red Army songs, but also about how I could try to write one for my Dad as a tribute. The words come to me all in one piece. The first time I heard the finished recording of it, I sobbed like a baby.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

SR: In a time machine, I’d travel back to 1986 and open for R.E.M., just so I could see them show me how it’s done.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

SR: I’ve recently gotten into Steve Gunn. He has a remarkable sense of rambling motion in his songwriting and guitar playing. Beautiful stuff that feels familiar and bizarrely new all at the same time. His new record, Eyes on the Lines, as well as his 2014 release, Way Out Weather, have been in heavy rotation for me lately.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

SR: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. It’s as close to a perfect record as anyone has ever made.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

SR: I love the diversity of bands/artists, not only here in Fort Worth, but also in DFW as a whole. I actually think my favorite city to play around here is Denton, because folks seem to listen the most closely there.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

SR: Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton is maybe my favorite venue I’ve ever played. The sound onstage is second to none. And the crowd seems to really appreciate what you’re doing. It’s a beautiful room for music.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

SR: Earthchild Imperius are doing some really interesting things. Our drummer, Peter Wierenga, has been recording some tracks for them recently, and from what I’ve heard, it’s far out. Those guys are a wellspring of musical ideas. I also really dig Natural Anthem and can’t wait to hear anything they release in the future.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

SR: I have large swaths of Hamlet committed to memory. It happens when you’re an AP English teacher and teach it every year. You asked about desert island records earlier. My desert island book would be Hamlet, because it’s the closest approach to infinity that any writer has achieved.

So many thanks to Seth Reeves of Siberian Traps. Be sure to go grab the new Traps record, Stray Dogs, this Friday, June 17. Check out a couple preview tracks of the new album down below, and you can catch them live at the Foundry, July 30 (that ish is free). So, get out there and support a excellent local band.