Category Archives: The Wright Stuff

The Wright Stuff presents Interesting New Music

Spring ahead with these new found gems!  They are music treats and you don’t even have to search the eggs or the candy!  Exclusively from The Wright Stuff!

guiltyofeverything_15005f616fGUILTY OF EVERYTHING
Relapse Records

They call this style of music Shoegaze. Yet in it is an atmosphere dreamy to explore through the music itself and though the songwriting. The brilliant easy breath floating vocals are mixed with harsh throbbing bass and pounding drums throughout the record in most of the songs. There are few that are slightly upbeat but most have tough vocals and yet again then the soft spots go into a caressing mood almost into a stillness state. Setting a grid to follow music is pretty hard here, because the members play full out their instruments with a little restraint which make the music the heaviest part of this project. Those who like Catherine Wheel and Slowdive should like this a lot. This marks or a great debut. When I first heard this CD I thought the band Ride had gotten back together again and was I surprised

The Feeling
BMG Records
This marks for the band’s fourth album to date. This band from England uses passionate rock and melodic melodies to bring you into listening to them. This album finds the band combining uplifting pop with a depth of emotion. The single is called Rescue. The personnel has changed just a little you’ll notice he change that there is a new vocalist. Here is the current lineup: Kevin Jeremiah, Dan Sells (vocals, guitar); Ciaran Jeremiah (vocals, keyboards); Richard Jones (vocals); Paul Stewart (drums). Ciaran Jeremiah’s piano playing is sensational to say the least it’s almost in awe form.

Broken Gold
End Sound Records
With already a debut album released under their belts in 2011 Recovery Journal, this Austin, Texas band has a new Ep out. Broken Gold consists of Ian MacDougall on vocals who also plays guitar. Joining him on the EP is Patrick Lillard on bass who were also both together in The Riverboat Gamblers band. Also on here is Ben Lance on guitar along with Rich Cali on drums. Rich Cali is also the artist who created the cover for the new EP. Sonically influences veer more towards British punk and shoegaze than American Garage Rock that was the sound of The Riverboat Gamblers. The music at times gets a little more dreamy and reflective. For those who like The replacements and The Cure mixed together will enjoy this art shoegaze sound.

Clan Of Xymox
Metropolis Records
It is very consistent album and flows the whole way through. It is a melancholic that tears at your inner heart, with songs of love and loss. The Baritone vocal style of Ronny Moorings signature crooning is ever so present and at the for front of this new CD. The album opens with a brilliant instrumental track that flows into track number 2, She’s Falling in Love. This opening is one of the albums strengths. This stands out from the album and sets up a great setting the tone for the record. The album is melodic, romantic, atmospheric, airy, at times intense and but yet beautiful. The lyrical honest emotional goodness is on here too. The instrumentation is a perfect balance of electronic and natural sounding instruments of different sorts. Very interesting is that the last track on the new album is also an instrumental. This is a very well made and good production in style of what a whole album should be.

Frontiers Records

ASIA, the legendary British band, moves into its extraordinary career with “Gravitas”, a brave new album that explores different landscapes while embracing familiar musical past. Produced and written by band members John Wetton and Geoff Downes. Scheduled for release on Frontiers Records on March 21 (Europe); and March 25 (North America), the album will be available in two configurations: a standard CD and a Deluxe Edition, that will include two bonus tracks and a DVD containing the “Valkyrie” music video, a promotional film, and footage of classic live ASIA tracks such as “Heat Of The Moment”, recorded with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria. Gravitas chronicles a man’s struggle in the battlefield of life, to the powerfully compelling tale of unrequited love in the song The Closer I Get To You. Gravitas conveys the spectrum of emotion and color from real-life agonies to all the to fantasies of escapism. A great fantastic collaborative effort that only Asia can do weather in is prog mood or in their soft melancholy turns they know how to take you on their journey on this CD.

Tomas Barfod
Secretly Canadian Records
All ready with an album done this is a new Ep. Techo dance pop is something that is done remarkably by this artist. Catchy but not so bouncy and loud without demanding thumping throughout it. Simple plain straight forward sound from the keyboards this time around. The opening track is Pulsing a good pop tune really but danceable too. The second track is called Tea Cup an is more the style of a movie theme background moody instrumentation sounding song. The third song is called Happy that has a more dreamier undertone to it and with some female vocals arranged on it. This single EP should get Tomas some good floor dance time and maybe some radio play as well too.

(All reviews by Jonathan D,. Wright)


Counting Down 2013 with The Wright Stuff

ultramarineocean1TOP 10 ALBUMS 2013

By: Jonathan D. Wright
Associate Editor
Highwire Daze Magazine

The Wright Stuff
The Ocean Blue
With The Ocean Blue releasing Ultramarine, this is their first full-length studio recording since 1999. This record measures up to their better work of the 1980’s till early 1990 wise ease. Longtime fans will recognize the airy guitars with accented synths. David Schelzel’s soft mature vocals are intact to keep your ears dreaming. The Ocean Blue’s melodic pop sound is a perfect fit to keep them retro yet with that slight indie vibe of alternative sound of what is available today. This is an outstanding release in both production and in the artwork. This is a whole package release. A thought out project from start to finish.

10,000 Maniacs
Legends already in the pop folk rock genres, 10,000 Maniacs lost their lead vocalist and had to find a new one. Natalie Merchant shoes weren’t easy to fill. But if you were the backup vocalist you had a shoe in for a try out. Sure enough now background vocalist was a front singer. Could Mary Ramsey write songs and lyrics as well or as good as Natalie Merchant could? Not only does she writes great lyrics, and sings but plays a great violin as well. The band decided to make this a whole recording process live all together. They did this by performing on a stage in the round. The CD was also funded by using which let the bands audience participate and feel involved in the making of this record. Also Jeffrey Erickson and member Dennis Drew also wrote some of the new songs as well.

Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy
Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy have put out another installment of dreamy mood swings with lush backgrounds. This in return lets you float across and yet still feel that You Are Everything. In the eyes of the lyricist here and with the musician’s music it’s so easy to let yourself go for a ride. The adventure isn’t rough or fast but a brilliant wave of sounds and lush chords that lift you around by Steve Kilbey’s bass and baritone vocals compliment it.

Gary Numan
Gary Numan has injected and infected darkness to this CD with some love that totally overpowers messages that lurks you to listen wanting to understand more. The Love here has the power to move you physically, emotionally and even internally. Heavier deep lyrics and ever deeper dark sound elements are well produce here. This is giving us convincing electronic rock that still shows it has a dark drive still left in it to explore no matter what character or story that is added to it. Gary Numan truly envelopes you with shattering Splinters of thought which provokes us into taking what we have learned and let those splinters of infection (knowledge or feeling) move us into a dark space in our minds and the one that gets into our hearts. This is a well thought out deeply intellectual album.

David Bowie
ISO/Columbia Records
Letting go of the past and going forward marks the theme for David Bowie’s newest release The Next Day makes David Bowie’s 24th album. After adapting to fashions and trends of all kinds, David Bowie has put out something that pushes him forward and not listening to anyone but himself.

House Of Love
Chery Red Records
She Paints Words In Red is the band’s first new work in eight years. Softer the band sounds now these days. There is a small hint of a dark anguish in hurt and suffering in Chadwick’s lyrics in the new songs. However don’t worry the lush strong guitars are plentiful. You feel as if bright pastel pretty colors are painted through the band’s sound on other songs as well. For being eight years this was worth the waiting for. Now to get them to tour will be the next question.

Alison Moyet
Modest Music Records
This is Alison Moyet first solo album since 2007. Guy Sigsworth has lead Alison into an electronic programming album. He helped in both co-writing with Alison and also produced it for her. This isn’t a Jazz record that Alison sings well but it’s something in between experimentation and pop. So in the electronic field Alison has fond an Interesting place just for her own expertise in the more art pop side of electronic with this CD. We see Alison Moyet more in control to where her emotionally raw and powerful vocals deliver greatly on here as well too.

UMG Recordings
Placebo has constructed another entry to their spanning catalogue. This is the band’s seventh album. Front man Brian Molko, bassist Stephan Osdal and drummer Steve Forrest give its fans a modern take on their sound. You’ll find it edgy at times but personal felt lyrics fill your listening ears. Placebo still strive in their alternative in sound yet with a strong punch to it in most of this project. This time they have are also trying to explore a more experimental groove in their overall tone. Loud Like Love draws you nearer to them and puts you right into the scenes of the pictures where the band is at in every song with detail.

Hopeless Records
Ocean Avenue reaches out and connects with our memories from our youth. With this CD you are able to recall memories of teenage years. Thoughts, feelings, and even certain people you know are brought back to the surface of your mind. Yellowcard are best known for writing catchy and light hearted pop punk. They use a violinist to push certain content of distinguished sound throughout the band’s music and here it become more personal done acoustic. Thanks for taking us back to letting us feel our youth in more details. Now that we are mature it doesn’t mean we have to completely forget about the past.

New Order
Warner Music
It’s really bad when a band like New Order who have been around for many years break apart. With Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook such break ups are pretty deep. Still though Bernard got to keep New Order’s name. But this CD Lost Sires comes to release with songs that were let over when the band was still together. In sound in a Live setting since Peter Hook left I found the band was more loose and playful. But in the case of these eight songs left over, the deep pulsation of the band is very intact. So these eight songs were recorded during 2005′s ‘Waiting for the Siren’s sessions which was to be release as a follow up CD. That never happened till this release now.

lukepotteroneday1BEST EP’S 2013
Luke Potter
He might be from the United Kingdom but his music has a universal appeal. His singing voice is expressive and textured. The sound of his is pop that will either make you hum to or dance to. Luke Potter keeps it very simple and clean to which you might want to even play it for your mother. This is definitely catchy, melodic and heartfelt pop songs. This youngster is ready for bigger places and nicer things to come.

The Royal
They do dancing pop punk at times fast and yet not too hard for one’s finer ear. An interesting thumping beat they bring out that keeps up with your pulsing heart. They are already a radio friendly sounding commercial band.

Former vocalist for Breathe Electric decided to change their name and are now going by Goldhouse. It is still up beat pop dance with a slight alternative edge. This is a 6 song Ep so I’m sure that a full CD is on its way. Some of the dance clubs should take a listen to Goldhouse and give it a few spins for the audience to dance too.

For The Foxes
Watch out this is carefree pop. The songs are infectious and contagious. For The Foxes play the most fun music that I haven’t heard in a while. This is very refreshing to listen to.

5. XI
Rebel Revive
Here we have a solo song writer that will glaze you over with his pop melodies and textured vocals. He also plays all of the instruments himself.

The Blues And Greys
This is alternative pop with dream soft female vocals. Strong writing lyrics and heart felt honesty is truly given here. If you were to take U2’s album Joshua Tree and inserted a female vocalist this might be something close to that.

My Genuine Find
No too hard and not too harsh but a great sounding alternative band. My Genuine Find pushes limits slightly but keeps you tuned in. The guitars grab your attention but the vocals caress your inner thoughts. What a great combination of strength and stability.

Keep It Cute
This is todays dance fast pop where punchy and bouncy hook up. You’ll find that the lyrics do get personal. You’ll appreciate his fun pop blend of catchy tunes that is for sure.

Arrica Rose
Arrica uses lushly romantic gentleness mixing it into laid back radio commercial sound that you might get from an adult contemporary station. With the usage of arty canvases, Arrica leads you into making it your own space color wise to fill in with her songs kind of looking through a kaleidoscope.

Bleach Blonde
Here is fun enthusiastic pop with alternative hooks thrown in. Here you will find catchy songs and up beat tempo’s that seem to be endless like a long lost fun summer.

Go listen to these band’s songs on now. There is a Top 10 Pics show on the station as well to give you some depth to the top 10 pics as well by host JD the DJ.


The Wright Stuff: Best Concert 2012

THE MOTELS, The Malibu Inn, December 21, 2012

The best live performance is going to The Motels at The Malibu Inn in Malibu on December 21st 2012. Had to wait all year for a great show to come along and stand out to be this years best live show. The venues stage is pretty small but such a huge successful band as Martha Davis And The Motels are, they filled in all the space of the 16 by 16 stage area that included a Christmas tree in one corner of it. The Motels have been in the USA touring a lot and even did a great performance at The Hollywood Bowl that stood out too over some other 1980’s Icons that were performing September 29th. The Malibu Inn had maybe 70 people for this intimate Friday night performance. Mostly adult and a few 21 and over college clubber’s where in attendance drinking and dancing around including doing the Conga during one of the songs in tonight’s show. They played a lively 2 hour full show. They even did a brand new Christmas song called Shiny Balls which was really good and should be recorded for a Christmas album.

The Motels started off with rockers of Mission Of Mercy, People Places And Things and Closets And Bullets. Tonight’s show was missing the keyboard player due to having his van broken into while on tour recently in San Francisco. So in tonight’s show they played Little Robbers and dedicated it to him.

Some of the main songs that everyone loved were also done like Cry Baby, So LA, Take The L, Suddenly Last Summer, Celia, Last Of The Bohemians and Apocalypso. My favorite song they did early in the set Total Control. Total control is one thing this band has over it’s audience.

The show ended with the great version of Only The Lonely which got the crowd standing and singing and dancing along. What a great night in a small intimate bar club on the beach. Way to go out for 2012. Thanks to the Motels for such a grand evening. Martha Davis and the band stuck around to sign autographs and to take picture with you as well. This was a class act and well worth the drive to go see in concert.

It was a cold 30’s degrees outside the venue and a hot time was had by all inside. Hope it’s not a long time before The Motels come back around again and perform. Maybe Martha Davis will come back and play songs from her solo materiel next time or include some during the show.

(Article by Jonathan D. Wright – Dodgy but Artistic Cell Phone Pic by Kenneth Morton)



And here they are…

1. XXX by ASIA on Frontier Records
Asia is a super group formed in 1981 with members of Yes, King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer and Uriah Heep. The current members are Geoff Downes, John Wetton, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer, but the membership has seen many changes over the years. XXX, The title acknowledges the bands thirtieth anniversary, and is this lineups third album of original material since they reformed in 2006. Fans of Asia have come to expect catchy songs, but this collection really exceeds all expectations. The opening songs, like “Tomorrow the World,” and “Faithful,” are great, but the album’s set is constructed that each song keeps getting better until the closing song, “Ghost of a Chance,” which is the best song.

2. GO by Motion City Soundtrack on Epitaph Records
Gone appear to be the frequent catchy guitar riffs replaced with much more melodic verses and stanzas. One of the things I absolutely LOVE about MCS is the catchy riffs and punk-poppish music. Go, Motion City Soundtrack’s return to Epitaph Records, fits right in with that lineage of strong efforts record. Go is the Minneapolis-based quartet’s most poppy album, full of vocalist Justin Pierre hitting some very high notes over synth-and-guitar-driven melodies. Motion City Soundtrack has forever stood in some sort of corner when it comes to genre, perfectly pureeing elements of pop, punk and indie into its own nerdy mix. The delectable result is fully identifiable – you know a Motion City Soundtrack song when you hear one, and opener “Circuits and Wires” is a testament to that. It plays as a perfect continuation of the Mark Hoppus-produced My Dinosaur Life, with Pierre delivering his usual self-deprecating lyricism. This band has grown and evolved in a way that has been fascinating to watch and even more fun to witness in live performances.

Here we find the title of the album (“The stars are indifferent to astronomy”) in a declaration of the ultimate expression of individuality. This comes from the opening song Clear Eye Clouded Mind. This album is a gateway into the Nada Surf sound for friends who haven’t been around for the band duration thus far. Some of the other catchy tunes on here are Waiting For Something, When I Was Young, Jules And Jim and The Moon Is Calling. This is one of those pop treat gems that’s nice to play in your car while driving around on a beautiful day.

4. LIFE SOMEWHERE ELSE by Isidore on Communicating Vessels records.
Jeffery Cain (Remy Zero) and Steve Kilbey (The Church) credited Isidore. Much to Cain’s surprise, what was once an instrumental came requited by words and melody sung in Kilbey’s distinctive baritone to make for a great collaboration. Life Somewhere Else is a sprawling epic. Haunting and beautiful, Life Somewhere Else has a power beyond itself. This album is quite literally breathtaking! It leads you through colors, landscapes, and images of oceans, skies, dolphins, seals, death, birth and children playing. The first song, The best song is Privateer which conjures up visions of islands, oceans, sea serpents, and maps of the stars. This CD is a Masterpiece.

5. LOVE IN THE AGE OF WAR by Men Without Hats in Cobra Side Records
This is a brand new studio recordings from Canadian Ivan Doroschuk and Men Without Hats. Love In The Age of War leads you back to the bouncy synth-pop fun of Men Without Hats of the ’80s. The biggest difference between now and then is the lyrics are more introspective and mature. The strongest song is Live And Learn. It perfectly merges the ’80′s with the present. He new song Everybody Knows sounds like it could have come off of Rhythm of Youth. Actually several songs on this album are much in the style of the tracks on Rhythm of Youth which makes it that much more of a fun album.

6. THE VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM by Lit on Megaforce Records.
It’s been nearly 8 years since their last CD. Lit’s latest release is THE VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM is a great surprise. After the death of drummer Allen Shellenberger, the band found itself in a place of transition. THE VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM feels it has rejuvenated the band and you can feel it on this album. THE VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM is a straightforward rock album; it may be their heaviest to date. Many of the lyrics deal with dead-end relationships, but there’s a hint of optimism in the songs as well. This is a great forward record strong and punchy. There are a few hooks in it as well that you can get caught up into if you want to as well too.

7. INVISIBLE STARS by Everclear on Eone Music.
It’s been awhile since Art Alexakis came out with new material, but Art in is classic form creating stories from his life that anyone can relate too. It’s a simple CD, melodic, hooky, and filled with tracks that anyone can fall in love with. It’s been 6 years since Everclear’s WELCOME TO THE DRAMA CLUB. It doesn’t feel like the band has aged though. Saw them at Warped Tour and they were having a ball with the younger kids remembering their old familiar songs and were singing alone to them. INVISIBLE STARS is energetic, reinvigorated, and lively. For fans looking for a bit more, this record is a throwback to the band’s original traditional sound. Music wise it’s conventional guitar/bass/drum rock with verse-chorus structure. This makes it just a pop fun alternative rock record. So go enjoy it on a nice sunny day drive.

8. THE DOLLYROTS by The Dollyrots on Store Front Recordings.
Drummer Chris Black is not on the new self titled self released record this time around. The Dollyrots this CD makes it their fourth album to date. This CD is a mix of super-slick modern pop, classic three-chord punk rock. Every song on the album is solid and catchy, and the way they incorporate elements makes the whole thing really feel like a cohesive whole without skipping a beat. After 2012, Satellite and I Wanna Go are my favorites. if you enjoy Tsunami Bomb or The Muffs you should listening to this. By the way it might make you want to drive fast in your car, so play it loud.

9. DON’T PANIC by All Time Low on Hopeless Records.
There are few bands who consistently deliver power pop/emo like All time Low does who do it the best. The only band who left me with a great impression at this years Vans Warped our was All Time Low. With Don’t Panic this CD finds the band with the ability again to deliver pop hooks while at the same time rocking out and not abandoning the identity they established early in their career. With big guitar and massive vocal choruses, Alex Gaskarth and company embrace once again independent label status and crank out their most consistent album to date. My favorite track is For Baltimore. Give it a listen and see why these young men will crawl right into your loving ears with enthusiasm that will give the shakes of joy with ease like it did for me.

10. DEDICATED by Wilson Phillips on Master Works Records
The movie Bridesmaids got Wilson Phillips back into the spot light. So Dedicated gound it’s fans through the big screen you might say. Inspired by parents and proud musical lineage, DEDICATED is the album fans have been waited. WILSON PHILLIPS’ album DEDICATED pays homage to their shared musical heritage. Featuring faithful renditions of The Beach Boys and Mamas & The Papas songs in their unique harmony-rich sound, DEDICATED includes classic songs such as California Dreamin, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Dedicated to the One I Love and God Only Knows. The rich harmonies is something one’s ears will cherish on this album. This is one of those have a lemon aid sipping to or play loud sing along cleaning house CD.

BEST EP 2012: There is one Ep this year that really stands out on its own. Currently between making albums and not currently tour so heavily, Placebo is back with B3. B3 is a 5 song EP. With over three years passing for new material, it might seem a let down to have 5 tracks to show for it, this means the few tracks we get to hear are something pretty special. Actually only four of them are Placebo songs. I Know You Want To Stop is a Minxus cover. the four remaining tracks actually stand up very well. The four songs portray four very different sounds. B3 is uplifting. The Extra is melancholy. The song that stands out almost by itself is IKWYL. His song is dark and sinister. Time is Money is a very slow building up track and feels more relaxed. This variety is equal by quality, even managing to put in a 7 minute album closer that doesn’t drag which Time Is Money doesn’t drag at all and would be great visual if done right live. The songs feel tight and well-formed, never outliving their welcomes.

(List compiled by Jonathan D. Wright)



Lit at The Greek Theater

The Acoustic Basement is a brand new stage on this year’s Vans Warped Tour 2012. The setting was a large tent/stage designed felt like an intimate basement show. This allowed the audience to get up close and personal with the artist in a tight setting. The Acoustic Basement was presented by Full Sail University. It’s the first time that Full Sail has been a major sponsor at the popular festival. This year the festival turned the legal age of 18 years old. Some of the performers include Brian Marquis, Vinnie Caruana (I Am the Avalanche), and several others. Brian Marquis was the ideas host and presenter of this Acoustic Basement for the entire Vans Warped Tour from June 16 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and ending August 5 in Portland, Oregon. Brian Marquis played songs from his solo debut cd Snow Damage to the crowd likings. One interesting set was done from Skinny Lister who came all the way from Europe. They performed Irish songs and played several songs from their debut release. A Loss For Words came up and played songs from Webster Lake, The Kids Can’t Lose plus played some newer songs from their sophomore release No Sanctuary. A Loss for Words also invited a guest artist all the way from Japan to play during their set as well whose band was called After Tonight. Lead vocalist Vinnie Carina from I am The Avalanche performed older songs from his band when they were signed to Tooth & Nail records plus he played songs from their newest release CD Avalanche United. Other bands that played acoustic were Anti Flag, Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Anthony Raneri (Bayside), Mike Herrera (MxPx), Taking Back Sunday plus sets from various others throughout the entire Vans Warped Tour of 2012. I was able to see this acoustic stare come alive three times this summer. I am sure by how popular this was, I hope it comes back for next year’s Van Warped Tour #19 in 2013. Watch for it.

SUMMERLAND TOUR 2012 from June 28th in San Diego through August 11th in Laughlin Nevada with Marcy Playground, Lit, The Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray and Everclear. These are a great mix of bands from the 90’s. I got the chance to see this show while on this tour package at The Greek Theater. Both Everclear and Lit are currently out touring for their newest CD’s. Everclear has out a current single Be Careful What You Ask For and were featured on Jimmy Kimmel and played songs on the show including this new single and songs from their latest CD Invisible Stars. Marcy Playground performed first. They play a 25 minute set of bubble gum smack popping fun gems including St Joe, Deadly Handsome Man, Secret Squirrel and their rocker Sex And Candy. Lit was second and played their hits from the past like My Own Worst Enemy, Zip-Loc, Down, Over My Head and they played songs from the current release The View From The Bottom. The Gin Blossoms were up third with radio friendly pop hits like Til I Hear It From You, Hey Jealousy, Follow You Down, Allison Road and Until I Fall Away and a few others as well. They were very calming after the rockin’ set of Lit. Fourth came Sugar Ray. Matt McGrath talked a lot of banter so it was nice when he actually sang. They played such favorites as Fly, Every Morning and Someday. For these songs the crowd was singing every lyric. Closing out the show was Everclear. The crowd was in great spirits by the time the band finally played. They enjoyed such favorites as AM Radio, Santa Monica, Heroin Girl and really rocked out with the band when they played their newest single Be Careful What You Ask For. All in all it was five hours of music that had influenced us from the 1990’s. It was a fun party night.

On August 4th in downtown Los Angeles at Pershing Square had a free concert series. On this particular evening The Bangles played. The bad thing about this show is that there is nowhere for the disabled to sit anywhere close to the see the stage if the wanted to see the show. In order for the disabled to view the show they are put all the way to the back of the crowd. Personally I would feel like I was being thrown to the back of a bus and discriminated upon if I was in a wheel chair or scooter. There were several rows of vacant VIP seats not being used that the disabled should be able to us but the security said no to them. Persian Square is a city park location and I suggest that they change their views upon who can sit in the VIP seats and where the disabled are put. The Bangles played many songs of their career including In Your Room, Manic Monday, Eternal Flame and Walk Like An Egyptian. The joyful bunch of the crowd really liked when they performed these and other of their more classic material. They played a lot of songs from off of their current cd Sweetheart Of The Sun. They played some groove new tunes such as Anna Lee and Under A Cloud, Ball ‘n’ Chain. Probably would of like the set more but how I saw the security handle the placement and treatment of the disabled left a very bad taste and sore feelings with me. Maybe because I was one of those disabled that got treated so badly as well too.

(Presented by Jonathan D. Wright)


The Wright Stuff Best Of 2011 List



1. Relient K:  Relient K Is For Karraoke. This is a cover song EP with seven tracks on it. I would like the cover of this CD/EP for a shirt as well. But the covers of Tom Petty’s Here Comes My Girl and They Might Be Giants song Doctor Worm are excellent. Justin Beiber should be proud as well because this band also on here cover his song Baby as well too. This EP is fun and we need some of that blasting us into 2012.

2. The Ready Set: Feel Good Now. I didn’t know that Warner Brothers Records released Ep’s. But the danceable hip-hop and pop sounds of The Ready Set does lead themselves to getting a hit single off of this EP with my favorite song of the year Back To Back. There are some other reat songs on here also like A Little More, Young Forever and Hollywood Dream. The Ready Set is ready to strike it big with both radio and with the dance clubs easily with this new EP.

3. Amely: The Raleigh Sessions. Currently departed from Fearless Records though they have available this fine EP have decided to released this them themselves. Victory or Hopeless Records should pay close attention to this release that is for sure. It’s very cachy to the ear.

4. Less Than Jake: Greetings From Less Than Jake. This was released by the band on their own new record label called Sleep It Off Records. The only thing is if you want these on CD you have to buy them from the band while they are on tour at one of their shows. You can get the tacks from off of Itunes as well. Simple ska jams that are easy fun to dance around with. Just five tracks but well worth the full hearing of them all. The EP comes in at around seventeen minutes total.

5. Asleep In The Downlights: Asleep In The Downlights. This is dramatic slow drifting mood pieces of songs done by Hammock/Steve Kilbey/Tim Ebandi Powels. Steve Kilbey and Tim Ebandi Powels are members of The Church. This is one of those pieces you listen to in a dark room and having this following sooth intentions of moods smother your senses with it.

6. Ten Thousand Maniace: Triangles. This EP you had to get when you saw them live. Nattalie Merchant isn’t with them any longer and has been replace by another females vocalist who sounds like a little bit like Nattalie who is Mary Ramsey. Jeff Erickson who is an original member sings on two of the new songs Cold and on Fine Line. The other three songs sound like typical arty alternative pop 10,000 Maniacs tunes.

7. Josh Carterer: The Heart Of Christmas. Smoking Popes lead vocalist first solo project has come to life for this holiday season. One of the last EP’s I got but well worth the waiting for. There are four original songs on here. Plus there is a different arrangement that sounds awesome to the Christmas religious classic Hark The Herald Angels Sing. One of the best new original songs is Conroy The Gingerbread Boy. This song would make from a new great animated Christmas story. Perhaps someone should do something about this song and make it into a movie….hmm!

8. Joe Brooks: A Reason To Swim. Here is another artist who can sell out small to medium venues who was signed to Universal Records who has gotten dropped. However Joe Brooks has released his own solo EP. Maybe Sire records should pick him up. This Crooner shows again his great talents and writing abilities on this independent EP. He makes writing a simple ballad and how a simple pop song can mean so much. Give his guy a real break already he deserves it. This EP could easily have two singles from it with the very first songs.

9. The Bobbleheads: Two Guitars, Open Fire. This pop alternative band out of San Francisco has showcased for a long while now and played through the bar scene. This is the bands second EP since it’s first debut CD release.. They do seem to show us that garage pop is still apparent and full of life. International Pop festival has seen this band play it at both Los Angeles dates and for the dates in San Francisco for the past couple of years. John Ashfield can write a good pop song with ease. Record labels like Hopeless, Hollywood and Sire Records should check this band out

10. Pop Fiction: Next Level. Here is some pop that makes you move around and want to dance with. There is some alternative edges to this work that gives them a sound to still explode with that is catchy a well too. Los Angles local that definitely shows that in Los Angeles there is still a cool vibe in the pop alternative scene. This sure isn’t no garage band. This is a produced sound that sends our speakers into a leap of fun blasts.


1. Glen Campbell: Ghost on The Canvas. His is an artistic achievement from Glen Campbell. It’s so very sorry that this will be his last record. His alzhighmers disease is taking it’s effect on him. He is currently on his last and finale tour as well. This record though is something very heartfelt and personal as well. He album paints pictures and images that are true to one’s own self universal feelings. Glen Campbell will sorely be missed by many no doubt. At least though he has put out a Grammy worth getting record for his last one.

2. The Human League: Credo. Not sure what the title means, but electronic dance is definite at the bands forte and they do it very well once again with this release.

3. Tennant/Lowe: Th Most Incredible Thing. This orchestration music set to a ballet is divine. This shows that a pop alternative band, as they are The Pet Shop Boys, can make other appealing emotional orchestrated ballet music as well too. These guys are so multitalented.

4. Yellowcard: When You’re Through Thinking, say Yes. They first released the record as an alternative rock album. Here through hey have released it again and all of the songs are done acoustic. The songs are amazing taken down to their rawest form. You can here each instrument distinctively which lets the vocals harmonize over them with easy flow and understanding.

5. Simple Plan: Get Your Heart On! Yet again they give us a fun and exciting energy to an alternative pop record. They did get a lot of help on this record from such artist as Natasha Bedingfield, Rivers Cuomo, Alex Gaskarth (of All Time Low and even a rapper K’naan is featured on a song too. One of the softer tunes is Astronaut which could make for a great video as well too.

6. Fountains Of Wayne: Sky Full Of Holes. With such pop songs like A Road Song, A Dip In The Ocean, Working Man’s Hands and open track The Summer Place all lead them to easily being made into video’s of some sort. The band fill up small to medium venues across the states pretty easily. The even did an acoustic tour opening for Amie Mann as well. They might come across as a simple pop band but hey are well produced.

7. Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy: White Magic. This is there second collaboration release. Kennedy sets the orchestration background with interesting mood swings and Steve Kilbey croons you melodic melodies to mix everything together correctly. Even if it’s an up beat songs or a softer one, they seem to work well as a duo team ye again.

8. The Black Rabbits: Hypno Switch. The band doesn’t seem to be able to break out of Australia with this debut release. This alternative band should hook up and tour with The Church. The have really great harmonies and outstanding guitar work on this debut as well too.

9. Stephen Jerzak: Mile And Miles. Hip hop positive dance music with great added guitar, keys and solid drumming real drummer, Stephen Jerzak shows how a real hip hop dance album should sound. He might not be the young delightful Justin Beiber (thank God! – HD Ed.), but Stephen is able to hold his head up just as high with such new songs as Party Like You’e Single and She Said. Watch out dance floors here comes Stephen Jerzak.

10. Gary Numan: Dead Son Rising. With such synth songs as Resurection (instrumental opening track), Dead Man Rising and We Are The Lost Gary Numan now shows on his 16th release that he could easily score a horror film. Abe Fenton produces this newest CD. It has Nine Inch Nails heavy guitars and synth sound in lots of songs to give you 12 tracks of crushing riffs, menacing vocals and bomb bolting rippling synth moods and hisses.

Thanks to all of these great CD’s for 2011 and for all of the other fine music that was heard throughout the year I thank you for that as well. Keep the music art alive always.

(Compiled by Jonathan D. Wright)



Simple Plan at Warped Tour Ventura


Looking to get yourself ready for Vans Warped Tour 2011 here in Los Angeles, find here some reviews you may want to listen to these CD’s before you go to the big show that is arriving in early August 2011. But these CD’s will keep you pumped with excitement through all of the summer till next year at least.

The Wonder Years
Hopeless Records

Thirteen new songs are on here from the 6 guys of this Pop Punk band from Philadelphia. The Wonder Years don’t sprinkle sugar dust onto anything. They focus on honesty that seems stitched in tightly to their individual chest. With effortless flawless drumming, rampant grinding plucked hard fast guitars and bass driven hard thuds carve into you with delight to ones nervous system with ease. With such breakout melodic head banging songs such as Local Man Ruins Everything and My Life As A Pigeon, these fun punsters will grab your attention quickly. The record is refreshing and charged with enthusiasm even with its gnarly punk-piercing feel. Came Out Swinging is a good example of what can happens when you get into frenzy that comes with this song from immediate beginnings of it. Woke Up Older is a great guitars blazing number to listen to see the true bone of this band. Don’t worry though Campbell’s lyrical effort hits hard, employing realistic natural themes and at times even being sincere with such songs as Don’t Let Me Cave In and I’ve Given You All, The Wonder Years make it easy to listen to them as you mosh around in a pit. Your ears will find traps to enjoy that will get your self-moving to the beats and sounds from the songs Summers In PA and You Made Me Want To Be A Saint. In a sense, Suburbia is an original release with whispered messages of dealing with fears, with understanding regrets and finding a reason to live. Pop punk isn’t pretty, it’s raw and it marks the true birth of a blistering summer is ahead to enjoy.

The Ready Set
Sire Records

This is not just some simple feel good pop record for a teenage thirteen year old. But also the adults who are buying this CD for their daughters are enjoying it as well. For the over protective parents they and you will also find that there are no curse words on this record at all. Jordan’s voice is charming to ones ears. Love Like Woe is a simple jolly cute memorable tune. The entire album is upbeat and lively. The songs are catchy and unique. They are easy to sing and dance too. The Ready Set is a little like Never Shout Never and electronica thrown in for stylish poise. Jordan Witzigreuter is so talented. He plays every instrument on the record, synthesizing influences into one remarkably diverse album. Other standout songs on this are Upsets And Downfalls, More Then Alive, and especially Spinning!!!

Go Radio
Fearless Records

Lucky Street is their first full-length release. Jason Lancaster of ex-Mayday Parade has all ready established himself as poignant pop rock melodies catchy tracks lyricist. This album is no disappointment. From opener track Lucky Street, it gets you off to a strong start. This song also highlights Jason Lancaster’s vocal range and stylings. Some of the songs are vivid pop-punk with catchy rhythmic snappy vocals and fun melodies attached. For the other songs there are piano tracks that show off Lancaster’s lyrical abilities. The excellent stunning song Why I’m Home is a very stripped down song that showcases Go Radio’s main attraction: Lancaster’s voice. Lyric and vocals combined from sincerity to a warmer sound, nothing demonstrates transition like the pop-fuelled Redemption In The Verse. Softer felt track House of Hallways is the perfect catchy, yet gentle pop-rock tune. Go Radio are very good. The Truth Is is a high notable tune basking fully in its pop-punk sensibilities. So you get a true rounded record form the full CD to devour in many different ways. Enjoy it for every note.

THE JOYS OF LIVING 2008 – 2010
Velvet Scene/Rise Records

This is a British quartet that sounds like a cross between The Jam, The Buzzcocks and The Clash. The CD is actually songs that the band has recorded between 2008 and through 2010. From amongst these are their first three EP’s and a couple of new songs included to round it out. Sweet Harness is one of the newer songs recorded on here. Sweet Harness is a mid tempo tune. It’s very melodic and rich and full of guitar. Capital Youth shows off the anarchy styles that earlier punk band gave us of days gone by but with better sound guitars and strong bass throbbing. It All Relates showcases that this ban can pound out fast and strong to jump start a mosh pit within seconds. The raw edge of this band gives them a throw ahead of simple pop punk that is more today’s standards. This will set them apart but keep them in the spotlight to see what comes next from these lads. The CD has no duds among the 14 tracks on here.

Windsor Drive
Windsor Drive is an emo rock band from Houston, TX. The band was formed in January 2005 in a small town in central WI, with Kipp, Owen, Jon, Dustin, and Dan. They have three records thus far. You might find yourself humming to melody lines well after you have listened to the album. These songs might come to your mind in many in sight full ways. They might seem a bit structured and a tinge unusual to here at The Vans Warped Tour this is true. But, the songs are beautiful and catchy and plenty thought provoking wondering painted scenes. If your into Coldplay, Fine China with a little bit of U2 thrown in your in for great textured to feel from this bands newest release. Instrumentation wise features electric guitar riffs, piano, and drums that add color that won’t jar you. The guitars riffs might remind you to sounding a bit like Coldplay’s Parachutes album. Meet The Tide album is consistently mellow and soothing. You will never feel compelled to skip a song. Some of the best songs are Shine, Bedridden, The Island, Slow Down and Oh Sovereign. They also have two other CD’s out as well Bridges and The Weather.

Hello Goodbye
Wasted Summer Records
Self produced this time around. It’s a pop record but not as bouncy as the band past efforts. Growing up to a more mature garage band sound yet with great production to sound more pro. Lot more guitar work on this release. This is clearly a self-funded grand opus achievement of a great sounding record. ‘Would It Kill You? is a record about letting go, accepting and eventually celebrating the weirdness of life. If you like Panic! At The Disco you pretty much will like this album. Each of the songs on Would it Kill You? are catchy and they just make you want to smile. Since their self-titled CD back in 2004 they experimented with electronic sounds that you can dance too. Now the music has slowed down a lot! It’s really good, but acoustic guitar sounds more than synth on this release. This is a cheerful good feeling record. Some of the great songs are The Thought That Gave Me The Creeps and Finding Something To Do. The subject matter is simpler and melodies are still catchy too. This Huntington Beach band might have a newer lineup but the change is good for the record and for the band too. Some might say this is an arty type record but it’s a great leap from where they were.

Relient K
Mono Vs. Stereo Records
Seven cover songs are done on this release with an additional seven more available on line this coming October/November to complete this record. Some of the songs covered are Here Comes My Girl originally done by Tom Petty And The Heart Breakers which songs just like Tom Petty’s rock classic exactly which sounds amazing. They do a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want To have Fun. It seems like a lot of makes want to cover this sing a lot. Relient K do a great version of it on here too. This is one of those CD’s that you want to drive along the beach with the windows down riding along on a bright sunny day. This CD will cheer you up and those around you too. You might find your own self wanting to step into a Karaoke bar and singing these songs yourself.

Simple Plan
Atlantic Records
Interesting this time is the one of the album’s ballads most notably the song Astronaut is fantastic and would make for a great video project. The rockers are more focused, falling back effortlessly with catchy three-chord power pop and pop punk fast hooks. This album expands perfect to the follow-up to 2004′s “Still Not Getting Any” because it improves and slightly on that album. Pierre Bouvier’s vocals never sounded better, and are boosted more by guest spots by Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low), Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), and Natasha Bedingfield. With songs like You Suck At Love proves Simple Plan have returned to their perfected pop punk sound. Simple Plan has been around for a decade already now and might have a Grammy award winning record on their hands with this release. Simple Plan is aging gracefully, and with a release like this it could prolong the band’s shelf life for years. Not only will these songs sound great in their live sets, they are best material thus far in their career. A natural progression in albums is expected from a band, but the amount of improvement from the previous album to this one is refreshing, as it is stunning. This album is packed with so many potential singles that a nightclub could be spinning them around and around easily in a nightclubs peaking in rotation for weeks on weeks. One of my picks for album of the year easily. Thanks you guys.

Less Than Jake
Digital download only from the band out of Florida just in time for release for hearing these songs done live while on tour for The Vans 2011 Warped Tour which they are one of the headliners. Fun and very energetic but the band still does this ska punk pop thing with such ease. It’s a five song EP. The new EP’s five songs are Can’t Yell Any Louder, Goodbye Mr. Personality, Harvey Wallbanger, Oldest Trick in the Book, and Life Led Out Loud. The very talented Gainesville, Florida based Ska band members are still Chris on vocals/guitar, Roger: bass/guitar, JR on saxophone, Buddy on trombone, and Vinnie is on the drums. These dudes still make this look so easy and they keep bring out great fun exciting fun. Now though they do it in their own with their own releases too. Hopefully they wont just release tracks this way but instead find there way to releasing CD’s but we will have to wait and see for that. So enjoy these new songs.


Summer is still a great time to start getting into bands. Blood On The Dance Floor has caught my eye this time at the Vans Warped Tour and I’m sure you’ll find out more from me later on as I get to know this band an others as they come through Los Angeles and San Diego this coming August during the Summer Vans Warped Tour 2011 see you there.

(Text by: Jonathan D. Wright – Photo by: Kenneth Morton)


THE WRIGHT STUFF “Traveling For Music”

Interesting enough I went up to Seattle Washington in the late Spring. While having lunch at The Space Needle left over from The World’s Fair in 1962, I found that a radio station did a broadcast from up high inside the Space Needle tall structure. Not the best place to hear music, but with the sighs from the observation level you might get a few ideas for a new son from all the sights from up there. I could have had eaten at The Hard Rock Café that they have here as well but didn’t.

Close to the area near by The Space Needle is the EMP. The EMP is Experience Music Project is a music educational experience place and exhibition and gallery facility all in one place. In this building are exhibits that you can explore the history of America popular music through state of the art interactive displays including listen to key music artist interviews from different sources. They also have an extensive collection of music memorabilia.

Within this building is another building called The Sky Church that houses a gigantic video screen that constantly pulses music video’s and music performances. In another area in the building is The Guitar Gallery. Included in this area is a Christmas tree made up of all guitars hat went from the floor of the building to the ceiling. The brown wood makes this tree really stand out with all of the dark and rich tones of the wood that each different guitar has. The Guitar Gallery follows evolution of the favorite instrument of rock ‘n’ roll. There is an exhibit hat was there called The Northwest Passage which traces the development of the Northwest music scene. Inside The Sound Lab visitors can make their own music using a variety of instruments with high tech music gear, or even go as far as making themselves a rock star on a sage too. To the Seattle scene respectfully this is the place where you can pay homage to Jim Hendrix and learn about him and his ways that made it for him to be a rock star that he truly was. An exhibit called An Evolution Of Sound is here which is a tribute to this Seattle native.

One other building here is called Sound And Vision. This is where music artist tell their stories. With 18 different listening stations your able to hear from all sorts of different artist in each field in rock music that gives you an insight to them and to there music. For example to give you some sort of idea you can here at station 11 which is called stories. Here artist ell their own stories such as Fred Foster, Holly Near, Michael Penn, George Takei, Bill Sullivan and Cowboy Jack Clement as well. While you have combed and listened through the collection of interviews and stories from over the years that music has been around, go and leave your own music experience that you have had too. You can do this in the Oral History Recording Booth. So if your looking for stories about Hip Hop, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Punk, Nuts And Bolt of the music and its scene, Producers, Music Social Struggles, Northwest, DIY, Image, Music in Science Fiction, Inspiration and Road Stories this is the place to find it all.

Right now you will find the largest exhibit of one of punk rocks biggest bands Nirvana. This is the world’s most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries Nirvana. He exhibit features rare and unseen artifacts and photography from the band, their crews and from their families.

One last thing is The Sound Lab. His is where you can discover what your musical talents are. Everyone can rock out in sound lab no previous skill required is this places motto. You can band real drums and scratch like a real dj or sing play guitar just about everything you ever needed is right here to figure ou what your music talents really are.

To find out more about this place or to make a donation is support of this great music place check out I am truly thankful to everyone there who showed me he place and where to find such great exhibits. This place totally rocks. This isn’t just for kids but for adults too.

(by Jonathan D. Wright)




1. MY DINOSAUR LIFE by Motion City Soundtrack on Sony Music. Only playing two dates on this years past Vans Warped Tour I still haven’t see this band come back around for a full USA headlining tour for this release. This marks the bands first major record label release. “I’ve been a good little Worker Bee,” sings Justin Pierre and he’s not kidding. Plus it is the open track for the CD. Motion City Soundtrack has spent the past decade climbing the ranks of the emo-rock pop underground. With the release of My Dinosaur Life, the band strikes a radio-ready CD filled with melody. This may trigger their long-awaited breakthrough. One track Stand Too Close, sounds a bit like Weezer could of done it. With the song Pulp Fiction, it’s close to sounding live Eve Six. The track I like though has the most unique title of any song ever made called @!#?@!. I really enjoy the lyric from this song in the chorus “You All Need To Go Away You Mother Fuckers, You All Need To Leave Me And My Sensitive Home Boys Alone “ Also on the creative side the CD has this fun arty drawing of a your Dinosaur having the time of his life which would make for a great movie or video. The CD is infectious, melody driven and with catchy relatable lyrics. More than just one single can be found on here. Outstanding and addictive. Humming right along.

2. A LITTLE MESSED UP by The Dollyrots on Black Heart Records. Joan Jett has found a pop punk band that’s all been playing great tours opening for Social Distortion and on The Vans Warped Tour a couple of times. Plus even Drew Carry must like them as well to be so far the only band to ever play on the national show The price Is Right. With the Dollyrots, it’s definitely their charm given from Kelly, Luis and Chris. A Little Messed Up packs a potent punch from start to finish, broadening the Dollyrots scope in message and music. From beginning to the end it is filled with songs that stick in your head. The songs tend to discuss love and life’s pleasures With 2010’s release, it marks for the band it’s third album from the California Alt-Pop/Punks. With A Little Messed Up it comes into play because it points to the idea that imperfections are all around and a natural part of human existence. No one’s perfect. Kelly might be a female but she sure shows even us guys that this life can be fun too. The band have a live show coming up on February 2nd 2011 in Hollywood at The Troubador.

3. THE MORNING AFTER / THE NIGHT BEFORE by James on Mercury Records. Originally released as two individual singles, the two EP’s are now as one CD and it works for this project very well. Choruses are explosive as they are optimistic. But the darker side of James has now been revealed but creatively released that falls within the other upbeat material on this CD. The Night Before, is the brighter of the two albums. With the song Dr. Hellier, it shows how futuristic the band has ever sounded. James has always been a band captured in the moment. Yet the wordless chanting in the song Dr. Hellier truly as a heated hook is of weirder sorts, that have come out of James past catalog. Hero is a song reminder to love your brother no matter what. The song Crazy is joyful but thought provoking with lyrics as: “I’m not crazy I’m just laughing at myself.” This goes to show you that Tim Booth’s writing is still spinning inside his deep insight and intelligence thoughts. English literature should come so easy in the words that Tim used to describe things. If The Night Before is crowd pleased ready, The Morning After is more a mysterious side of the package. Possibly a dream state or a dead state feeling. Check these lyric’s out “there’s a vulture at the end of my bed it’s 5:00 am, it thinks I’m dead” pairing it with piano chords to set up the refrain “I forgive you.” This is only comparison to other past James songs as Sound. James diversity shows when guitarist Larry Gott gets out his slide to play some unsettling blues as Tim Booth sings about a violent drunk who wakes up one morning not remembering that he beat his wife. James gloom is kept to a minimum. This lets the pop nuggets like Make For This City, Lookaway and Tell Her So have just the amount of danceable backbone, with a breezy melody to show James being upbeat. The Morning After The Night Before doesn’t throw dynamite, it has though cast James into a diverse light. The Morning After is somber, restrained without melancholy. The Night Before is more pop. The hint of drama holds up well intertwined within all of the material here. Longtime band mates Jim Glennie, Larry Gott, David Baynton-Power, and Andy Diagram recognize when to step away up backing Tim when need be but they work off of each other when they are a whole unit. The Morning After The Night Before reminds us that James is still getting better than you ever thought that they could. This shows that James are still great artistically. They have now explored working with a chorus and changing up their musical style with this CD.

4. SKIN TIGHT by Liv Kristine on Napalm Records. When listening to Skin Tight you might feel it deep within you while it’s working under your skin. This might be just the right pathway to get your heart. It is a down-to-earth album, absolutely very real feelings were put into it. Liv Kristine is being personal just enabling to reach into your inner soul as you the only listener. Some of the songs talk about childhood like the songs One Of Them and Wonders. The most interesting songs are Boy At The Window and The Rarest Flower that make us lookout into the masses and observe them in everyday ways. Madonna should take a listen to this CD to better express her self. The one thing that this CD does look at is Love and how it is seen through children. It shows what true love is toward all things relationships, nature and love for every human being. This helps us to be able to completely accept all love. Hopefully the CD will open everyone’s heart to innocence to find the true meaning of loving humanity equally for all to be in love. To love each other no matter what.

5. UNSEEN MUSIC UNHEARD WORDS by Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy on Second Motion Records. Steve Kilbey, front man of legendary atmospheric rockers The Church has joined forces with Martin Kennedy instrumentalists to create an album made in heavens space of pure lightness.. Unseen Music Unheard Words combines gentle melodic pop with Kilbey’s silk voice and lyrical know-how. It is a deep album full of unexpected twists and turns which makea it more interesting. Here you will find Steve Kilbey’s breathy vocals, bass and harmonies meshing with guitars and keyboard sprinklings with other combined instrumentations from Martin Kennedy through lavish arrangements and orchestration. One of the most elegant and simple instrumental rock albums to date. Heavenly clouds you will find that are not of this material world but only where Steve and Martin will take you if you close your eyes. Listen deeply. Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy present Unseen Music Unheard Words by two Australian fellows. Steve Kilbey, of The Church, silky evocative voice seductively narrates dreamy lyrics over Martin Kennedy’s cool atmospheric song structures. Steve Kilbey once again has released an eclectic brilliant CD. His resonant, dreamy vocals are accompanied by sublime, soothing and mystifying music sound-scapes. The album is a typical Steve Kilbey one that will take many times to permeate into your psyche the full-blown luster and splendor of this experience of a place. My favorite song on here is the spiritual mystical All Is One and other songs as My Will Be Yours and Eyes Ahead are great too. Steve Kilbey is one of rock’s finest vocalists frequently using his voice as an instrument to the music even so on here. Take a good listen with burning incense and close your eyes. Kick way back and let go. They will have a new album out early in 2011.

6. MICHAEL by Michael Jackson on Epic Records. This is the first and im sure not the last posthumous releases from Jackson. Presented here are ten tracks that were in various stages of development but never finished to the superstar’s famously standards. Instead, collaborators including Akon, Teddy Riley, Lenny Kravitz, 50 Cent and the producer of the record took demos and nearly completed songs and finished them up them up. Shockingly better than might be expected. It is economical and listenable. Hold My Hand is an Akon song with Michael’s flavoring. Lenny Kravitz brings his A-game to the song Another Day. The most captivating tracks are those that feel less manhandled. Monster with it’s dance-floor feel is best to be used on just that. Great harmonies can be heard like orchestral string arrangements on the song Best of Joy. Michael Jackson’s heavenly airiness vocals can be heard on The Way You Love Me. The closer is an acoustic song called Much Too Soon that is very touching. Michael’s leftovers have sparkle. But was this Much Too Soon to be released?

7. FREE TIME by Shonen Knife on Good Charamel Records. From Japan with 16 records under their belts, Shonen Knife has released a full length English singing record. The three girl punk pop band remind you of what The Beatle’s first visit was like filled with simple ness and excitement all at the same time. The commercial songs they this band has like Star, An Old Stationary Shop, Rock ‘N’ Roll Cake, Capybara and Moonstar Jellyfish it will be easy for this band to make commercial video for al of these songs and easily have a hit on their hands. They have all ready sold out Space Land in Silver Lake and The Echo in Los Angles. They even toured The USA for this record. Maybe The Vans Warped Tour should give this band a try out. If you like soft punk pop this band hits it right at you but from a female band which is highly entertaining. KXLU and KROQ should play their songs on its radio shows. Go-Go’s watch out here comes Shonen Knife.

8. A BEST OF US…FOR THE REST OF US by Reel Big Fish on Rock Ridge Records. From out of Orange Couty, CA Reel Big Fish has taught us something with this two CD set release. Now that the band has taken on the role of owning their songs, it’s not the re-recording of their past hits on this two CD set, but the acoustic recordings of their songs that are on here to why this ska band made the top picks list for 2010. I never knew that ska songs could be broken down and recorded acoustic. Other ska bands should pay close attention to this. Maybe now we will find ska bands performing acoustic in coffee houses.

9. MEMPHIS BLUES by Cyndi Lauper on Mercer Street records. Cyndi has re-invented herself yet again. She got help on this album from Charlie Mussel White, Allen Toussanri, B.B. King, Johnny Lang and some help from Ann Peebles. But with her doing her own songs Down So Low, Don’t Cry No More and the great song Romance In The Dark (which would make for a great video and nice single), Cyndi Lauper has found her should in blues. She has seemed to let go and become very professional at this stage in her career. This is such a deep and artistic flowing record this time. Nice to see her challenge herself and what an outcome it has been. Creative yet very stylish that is way in depth to ones heart and mind through sensitive blues music. Wow.

10. OF MEN AND ANGELS by The Rocket Summer on Island Records. Brice Avary is such a great artist. He is also a good producer for himself at least so far (other producer credits coming?). On Of Men And Angels, Bryce Avary delivers his best record yet. Mixing classic pop rock with spirituality. This fifteen song collection is fun and thought provoking. The song Roses kicks things off with the topic of faith. Faith is introduced in the song and is a recurring theme throughout this CD. The song I Want Something To Live For will have you shouting its catchy chorus. The tempo slows with the variable autobiographical song called Walls. Another track Japanese Exchange Student is a very serious piece on here. And the album eventually concludes with the song Light. Light is one of the strongest selections on the CD. With Of Men And Angels, melodies and simple joys await you. They takes it’s listener to a simple place, where faith is all that matters, and a happy song can save your day. Bryce is brilliant at doing and writing songs like these. So some seriousness and fun awaits for you from this CD. Enjoy it as I did and possibly you will be up lifted from it like I was.

Oh there were plenty of other CD’s that came out this year not mentioned here. But this is just my picks and maybe not yours. Give these a listen for the reasons I mentioned and you’ll at least understand why I chose them.




1. LOVESTRUCK by Breathe Electric.

Grant Harris might be this artist real name but when performing Breathe Electric was the only unsigned band that performed on the entire Vans Warped Tour. Breathe Electric is definitely not your generic dance/power-pop/electronica band. The EP opens with high-energy. The opening title track sustains the energy and excitement that it begins with. Singer Grant Harris’ voice is unique puts Breathe Electric’s music above all of the other generic pop bands. Grant is powerful and he stamina is constant throughout this entire project. Grant shows many different ways to show off his talents on this EP. Lyric wise the Ep is filled with songs about love and girls. The differences in each songs mood and tempo seem to be enough to keep the album from becoming monotonous sound wise to keep you dancing right along. Each song is exciting and just a warning: you might find yourself singing along as well. A song that sticks out is Electronic Lover. This Particular song slows down the pace of the album in a good way. The music is still high energy but Grant is able to show of his song writing abilities with this one. If you like to dance, you will enjoy this EP. Breathe Electric has a lot of potential to gain more friends and becoming well-known. This could be obtained if Breathe Electric tried the dance club circuit market and get everyone dancing around. You will be surprised by this album as it will be worth playing more than once

2. STUCK ON REPEAT by Stereo Skyline.

I think their kind of music is the boy band of this generation. The Japanese edition of their 2010 album includes four bonus tracks. You could say that this is kind of like Emo but with Pop guitar sound, added with cutesy lyrics and the singer has a sweet voice. The CD is full of feel good songs. They also have the catchy hooks and cutesy sounds that make girls croon easily too. Being signed to Columbia Records/Sony should help this band to move more smoothly along into the pop genre as well. Don’t be surprised if you catch them appearing on this years Vans Warped Tour (Junior Year) #17 touring across our entire nation this coming summer. The song Tongue Tied has all ready been made into a music video.


Fearless records always seems to find the next refreshing pop rock bands. Armed having an impressive collection of honest, melodic songs, this is the second EP released from this band. Go Radio is an exciting band to emerge from Florida. Do Overs And Second Chances features seven songs of heartbreak and redemption. It’s the vocals that caught my attention with its real emotion backing it. Very strong heartfelt Dreaming Gets Drastic is the opener, but listen to the closing ballad Goodnight Moon. It is an epic closing ballad that displays lead vocalist Lancaster’s vocal talents. Embracing you is a real emotion in every note. Go Radio’s EP Do Overs And Second Chances was released April 20th, 2010.


Hopeless is another record label to break the next punk pop band. They have found yet another one. First off they got Will Pugh from Cartel to sing the bridge on the song Never Be What You Want. The male and female dynamic vocals together is enriching for the music alternative scene to show diversity. They do sound like paramour but that’s not a bad thing. As far as sound goes they’re a fun catchy pop rock band. They also have a hint of New Found Glory mixed within their sound as well. They have some great potential to come up with some catchy songs. This is a good CD/EP for a new up and coming band. Great start out release.

5. FACE FRONT by Ivy League on Skull Candy Records.

Yet another Orange County Ska band has emerged onto the music scene with a great EP. The EP is well produced including a cool live track called Rest Of Your Life. Rest Of Your Life really needs to be on a studio album as a regular track.. Releasing a live recording on an EP is original and helped this EP to stand out. The sound the band has is a cross between Sublime meeting The Clash with a more modern combination twist thrown in for good measure. If you like punk and ska mixed with american reggae, you’ll dig this band and the laid back music that they make. Bob Marley would be proud of this stuff.

6. HELLO WORLD by Amely.

Amely is a quartet of four lads based out of Orlando, Florida. Fearless Records has found another a power pop punk all American four male group that’s going to make you slammed and move around with great ease. The rock Amely makes is high spirited that tends to make everyone bounce around with them. However, their power pop style is catchy and yet fun too. The young crowd can et excited with them and your car will like going over bumps and up and down hills with them playing loud in your car. You might need new shocks after listening to this new band.

7. ERIC’S MARINE by Zeke Duhon.

Based out of Oklahoma, you can find most of his music from Itunes. This 16 year old all ready shows great wisdom and uses it to work out contemplations throughout his lyrics and music. You might find similarities to The Rocket Summer and Never Shout Never in the music from Zeke Duhon. So this EP is five songs long. The songs deal with Hope and through that it will tug at your heart. Zeke writes his own perception on life through his own experiences in some of the songs. In other songs, Zeke as they observer, looks through other people experiences around him to write what they feel in their perspective of living is very interesting. Zeke does show off that he can rock out a fun song too with the opener of the EP Job Are For People Who Can Fish. Escaping you will find yourself doing right off the bat with this tune. The other great song is Paper Cut. Paper Cut is kind of melancholy but because it is examining a relationships and all of it flaws makes for a great subject matter to write a song around it. One of the most powerful tracks on here is the heart felt Your Hit Song. The compositions that Zeke writes for us on here lets us wonder around in his world. The songs move and effect us even when making difficult choices. Like Charles Dicken’s ghost characters in A Christmas Carol, Zeke creates an experience around us to make us feel. Relationships should be looked at this way by stepping around them and looking in on them to get a closer perspective before reacting upon those feelings we are actually dealing with. What’s next from this teenager will truly be amazing I am sure of it.

8. THE WONDER by Backseat Goodbye.

Backseat Goodbye is really Chad Sugg a 23 years old solo artist from Murfreesboro Tennessee. Interesting enough some of the songs on here were produced by Ace Enders formally of The Early November. The song The Breakfast Club might make you want to go back to High School but its not about the movie of the same name. It make you appreciate that times you had with your friends back when you were in High School and remembering all of that growing up teenage stuff. Another really great track on this project is The Great Unknown. This song represents how nothing is ever certain. It is also a song about appreciating everything that is simple or appreciating how complex things might be.

9. FANTASTICA BASTIDAS by Fantastica Bastidas.

This is what Sub pop alternative grunge did. It’s created an outlet for artistic bands to use their garage to explore different style of grungs punk and alternative sounds and mix them all up. This Los Angeles band does this rather well. If you like arty punk sub pop bands that you might hear on KLXU these guys take the cake. With such songs as Holy Spirit and Hue I don’t understand why this band isn’t played on KROQ. Rodney On The Rock should check this band out himself sometime. This band I would say is really hip to making unusual guitar sounds and making them work well with a bass and drums. Sometimes with male lead vocals and sometimes with female lead vocals as well too. Fantastica Bastidas is very interesting and way up to date in their scene. Silver Lake has all ready accepted them greatly here in Los Angels, plus they have gotten played on local radio and so should check them out too.

10. GET INTO THE LOVE by Justin Tyler.

19 years of age, Justin Tyler has sold many a copies of his debut EP Wake Up Call delivering it himself all over the country. Formerly of the band Nextdoor, Jason Tyler is based out of the Long Beach CA. Justin is now a member of the band Explosion. Judging what’s heard here on this latest Get Into The Love new solo EP, Jason Tyler’s solo career is taking of faster than being in bands. A massively talented singer/songwriter, Jason Tyler’s EP was produced by Justin Powell (The Cab, A Thorn For Every Heart). Justin Tyler knows delivers tunes with pop perfection. Watch out Jonas Brothers. The new EP opens with Turn It Up, a pop party style song yet infectious so it will remain in your head for days. The song Bliss shows Justin Tyler’s personal style of writing a memorable touching song. Queen Of Hearts is a pop rocker, and it will get the crowd swaying and singing along. DQ is an upbeat tune. Press Play should be on commercial radio with its anthem appeal chorus and catchy lyrics style. What he should do is make a solo album and call it Pres Play. Justin plays the instruments and well as all of the vocals on here. Get Into The Love is truly the musical answer to what love on the stereo should be in a pop fun way. KISS FM should pay close attention to this artist solo career.

A couple of others that I also listened too this year that put out an EP were The Hit and Striking Back. They didn’t make the top 10 but were very close and alternates most of the year with barely dropping off the top 10 picks list recently. Wow what a year for EP’s and The Unsigned Artist with five of them being out of the ten.