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

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Better Know an Artist (Vol 34): Katrina Cain (TOMKAT)

TOMKAT is a band out of Denton, Texas, making dreamy electro pop with touches of jazz and soul. They’re fronted by the golden-tressed and golden-piped Katrina (AKA Kat) Cain. Her voice melts on top of the textured electronics to create a slicked up pop dreamscape. Katrina took the time out from dying her hair to answer our questions. Enjoy!

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)?

KC: The first time I performed in public, I was four years old. I knew pretty much immediately that I wanted to be a professional musician, and specifically a vocalist. I’ve always known it’s what I wanted to do. Throughout my childhood, I played quite a few different instruments and sang everywhere I could (I was a band, orchestra, choir nerd). I eventually majored in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas, which is how I started actually gigging and making money. It’s also where I met all the guys in the band. All of us moved to Texas to study music at UNT, and we’ve ended up staying here because of the DFW music scene.

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

KC:  I’ve always had trouble classifying our music because I feel like it could fall into several genres. I like to say it’s electro groove pop. We hope people can dance and chill out to our music.

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

KC: My early songwriter self was influenced by artists like Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. But this current band, TOMKAT, is a mix of all of our influences. I would say we are influenced by artists like Little Dragon, Banks, Polica, and Haitus Kaiyote.

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

KC: Our song, “Big Love”, means the most to me because it’s the first song I wrote for this band. Well, the first song I wrote for us that ended up recorded and performed. It’s actually not about love and not about drugs (like it seems), but it’s a metaphor for the music industry. Basically, an obsession or addiction that I can’t stay away from, but sometimes it feels like it’s killing me. My current favorite song is “Icarus”, which we haven’t recorded yet, but we open every show with it. It’s pretty much the story of Icarus, and again just a huge metaphor for being excited/scared to pursue your dreams. The last lines of the song are, “What if I fly, and if I fly too high, what if I fall?”

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

KC: Oh, damn. “Dead or alive” makes it hard to narrow down…if we could open for Little Dragon one day, I would be on top of the world. That’s when I’ll have achieved my definition of success. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them…I was maybe 18 or 19 when a friend told me to check them out. It’s great to see their progress and how far they have come. In my opinion, they are one of the freshest, most innovative bands out there– without being so “out” that it drives the mainstream listeners away. They do a great job of balancing unique sounds and concepts with feel good grooves. Everything they release just blows me away.

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

KC: Our guitarist’s new band, Terra Collective, is blowing us away recently. Sorry for the plug, but they’re doing some cool things. Polica is a band from the twin cities up in Minnesota. They’ve been around for a few years, but don’t get as much credit as they should. I’m excited to see where they go. I look up to them a lot.

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

KC: I honestly don’t want to answer this question, because there are so many records I could name.

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

KC: I love how different each scene is- I truly feel like Denton, Dallas, and Fort Worth each have a unique vibe and their own unique fan bases to offer. I love Deep Ellum. I love how much studio work there is here. Any negative experiences I have had here, I have also had in every other city we’ve played, so I’m not sure that there are any negatives about the DFW scene in particular. Houston has so far been the least welcoming city as far as other bands/artists, venues, booking shows, etc.

I will say in general: I wish more people were willing to go out and see live music, to tip the musicians and/or just pay the cover charge. I’m a big spoiled because my “day job” is also playing music (at swanky restaurants and weddings), but honestly it’s a bit ridiculous to think that we should offer our profession for free anywhere. Even when it’s original music….especially when it’s original music! No one ever says, “Oh, I thought that haircut and dye would be free. No thanks, then.” So why do people turn back around when they get to the club door and there’s a small cover charge? I promise you it will be worth the $5!

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

KC: So far, Trees takes the cake. We had the opportunity to play during the Pin Show’s preview event at Trees in December of 2015 and it was amazing. Really hoping we can play there again. Every show I’ve seen there has been incredible. They book some of my favorite acts, and the sound is always fantastic. I also want to give a shoutout to Jimmy at Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton for being the best sound guy I’ve ever worked with. He’s also the crankiest, and you can tell him I said that, he knows I love him.

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

KC: Absolutely in love with the band Relick, and have always loved hearing Isaac Hoskins play. We also adore playing shows with Rat Rios and Sudie, so check them out as well!

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

KC: My name is Kat, but I like dogs. I am left-handed. I have never done karaoke.

Many thanks to Kat for taking the time to do this for us. I don’t think TomKat has any local dates upcoming. They’re in Houston and Austin the next couple days. For now, you can listen to their track, “Big Love”, below, and pick up the EP here. Keep an eye out for TomKat dates here.

 

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.

New Charley Crockett record “In the Night” Streaming Now

The highly anticipated new record from local genre-bender Charley Crockett hits the world this week, and you can check it out now. It’s got some real standouts including “In the Night”, “I Am Not Afraid”, “Baby 123”, and “Silver Dagger”. Just bumped itself into my top local record of the year slot. You can stream it below or go order it on his website. You can find him live in the coming months at KXT Sun Sets series on July 28 and at the Dallas Museum of Art for their late night concert series on August 19.

You can read my Better Know an Artist interview with Charley here.

Top Records for May 2016

So….., May sees the return of my favorite band and one of my favorite young solo artists, and they dropped a couple of the best records of the year thus far, and even after that, there’s several other great records out this month, as well as a few highly anticipated local records. By all means, let’s do this.

1 Radiohead “A Moon Shaped Pool” 9.1
2 James Blake “the Colour in Anything” 8.7
3 Car Seat Headrest “Teens of Denial” 8.6
4 Anohni “Hopelessness” 8.4
5 the Hotelier “Goodness” 8.4
6 Chance the Rapper “Coloring Book” 8.4
7 Modern Baseball “Holy Ghost” 8.3
8 Hard Working Americans “Rest in Chaos” 8.3
9 Karl Blau “Introducing Karl Blau” 8.3
10 Quaker City Night Hawks “El Astronauta” 8.2
11 Jessy Lanza “Oh No” 8.2
12 Trashcan Sinatras “Wild Pendulum” 8.1
13 Daniel Markham “Disintegrator” 8.1
14 Andy Shauf “the Party” 8.1
15 Mudcrutch “2” 8.1
16 Kvelertak “Nattesferd” 8.1
17 Gregory Porter “Take Me to the Alley” 8.1
18 the So So Glos “Kamikaze” 8.1
19 Yak “Alas Salvation” 8.1
20 Big Thief “Masterpiece” 8.1
21 Flume “Skin” 8.1
22 Against the Current “In Our Bones” 8.1
23 Death Grips “Bottomless Pit” 8.1
24 Marissa Nadler “Strangers” 8

25 Kaytranada “99.9%” 8

I’ll see you next month with some more highly anticipated local records, hopefully. Happy listening.

 

 

Stream: New Quaker City Night Hawks LP “El Astronauta”

Heads up, peoples. You can currently head over to Soundcloud and stream the new record from Fort Worth faves, the Quaker City Night Hawks, El Astronauta, in full. You’re going to want to stop what you’re doing and get on that. Look, I made it easy for you.