Short Story Review: Kuro Crow

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Travel through the words, through the mind of Dave Maass to the Far East, through Korea and Japan where things happened, perhaps only in his mind. They were interesting things and only took up a few pages. The symbolism of the crow might be revealed and someone might die, but they might not. Reading Kuro Crow for yourself is the only way to truly find out.

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Local Music Review: Inspired and the Sleep

Artist: Inspired and the Sleep

Songs: The following songs are available to stream on their Soundcloud page:

  • “Chops”: Beats, that will likely case you to stumble on the pavement if you attempt to jog along, surprise you with their innovative stylings. You can definitely hear the influence of Rafter in this one.
  • “The Claw”: Slightly reminiscent of a one of my favorite New Zealand band’s, Zed with oddities that include sound effects and the use of the word, “serotonin,” twice. 
  • “Garden of Your Affection”: Sweet little love song. Toe-tapping drum beats with nothing real obscure.
  • “So Great”: The title says it all.

Overall: Off to a great start, these boys won 1st place at the Cal State Uni San Marcos Battle of the Bands in March of this year. Max Greanhalgh, of Tan Sister Radio leads on vocals and the reins of marketing and promoting. Bandmates, Hayden Stewarton drums and Bryce Outcault on guitar rounds out this trio giving the band the opportunity to truly experiment beyond one individual’s capabilities. Inspired, but no room for sleep. Take a look at what they have been up to:

Albums: Kaleidoscope Years EP (2011), recently recorded with Chris Hoffee at Chaos Records, to be released this Saturday.

Calendar: Currently, they have two dates listed to release their EP:

  • Saturday, May 7 @ Che Cafe with Pilots and Get Back Loretta (all ages)
  • Saturday, May 28 @ Boar’s Crossin in Carlsbad (21  & up)

Local Music Review: Billy Anne Crews

Artist: Billy Anne Crews

Songs: The following songs are available to stream on her myspace page:

  • “Hard Life to Live”: Billy Anne’s deep voice resonates against the soulful steel guitar.  Take a swig of whiskey and wallow in your sadness to become the epitome of this songs’ story.
  • “Taking My Promises”: Ringing, swinging guitars with lyrics like “Taking my promises is like gambling, cause when it’s time to cash in you might get nothing” reminds you that indeed this is country music but without the blame.
  • “Gasoline”: Half anticipating to hear The Silent Comedy’s Gasoline, this song doesn’t quite live up to that expectation. About fueling her own internal motivation to make it through the week, with a sort of blasé attitude towards life.
  • “Don’t Want to Settle”: Reaching vocal ranges takes you along a road trip to a saxophone solo? The solo throws the song off slightly, but Billy Anne gets things back on track belting out from her gut.

Overall: Billy Anne Crews is truly a hidden gem in San Diego music, mostly playing the beach coffeehouses and clubs. Her vocals seem reminiscent of the rich notes of Fiona Apple with the country stylings of Lucinda Williams. Her formal music education and love for the genre of art shines through as she crones her heart out.

This review is part of a series on musicians playing at the North Park Festival of Arts in May. Thank you, Lisa B.  for booking her on the Beat and Eats Stage.

Albums: Taking My Promises EP (2009) includes the above four songs and can be purchased at iTunes or Amazon.

Calendar: Currently Billy Anne only has a couple shows on her schedule. Perhaps some of my booking peeps will take a look at getting her a few more around town. *Hint, hint*

Local Music Review: The Heavy Guilt

Artist: The Heavy Guilt 

Songs: The following are available to stream on the band’s myspace page:

  • “Clove”: Like a warm blanket on a cold night with a campfire burning, this song engulfs you in its lonely warmth. The slow organ and acoustic guitar gives this songs a jazzy feel.
  • “Mixed Messages”: Vocals switch between speakers like a conversation happening across the room or whispers in your ears. A soothing instrumental break takes your brain on a journey to your own thoughts to “reminisce the day.”
  • “Let This Daylight Rest in Peace”: Gritty rock like you would expect in a rural bar as a backdrop for a bar brawl. But the lyrics remind me that it is almost time to go home. Perhaps this will become my new anthem for quittin’ time.
  • “Hope You Still Believe”: The American Dream in a song. Hopes and aspirations for a new day and positive thinking. Like a lullaby for the broken- and down-hearted.

Overall: The Heavy Guilt is the perfect name for this band. They are less “heavy” in terms of metal, but plenty heavy on the mellow, thought-provoking music. I imagine this band doing chill instrumental jams for hours, deep into the sounds of each other. I have yet to see The Heavy Guilt, as many of the bands I choose for the local music review, but I can’t wait to see them soon.

One of the reasons I am reviewing The Heavy Guilt is due to their involvement in the North Park Festival of Arts in May. Thank you, Rosey from San Diego Dialed In for booking these guys on the Main Stage. For the weeks leading up to the event, I will be reviewing bands who will be playing the event on various stages. Stay tuned for more!

Albums: Lift Us Up From This (2009) debut 12 song album is available through the band’s webstorereapandsow.com, Amazon and iTunes.

Calendar:  The Heavy Guilt have a couple shows on their calendar right now: 

Photo courtesy of one of the band’s photographers: Anton Orlov, Steve Wiley or Amber Martin

Local Music Review: Old Tiger

Artist: Old Tiger

Songs: The following are available to stream on the band’s website.

  • “Free”: The intro starts out vaguely sounding like the Kids in the Hall theme, but not as much as The Smart Brothers’ song, “Don’t Call Me Baby”. Strong vocals over take the track and you forget you even thought that in the first place. The catchy lyrics remind me of driving down the desert highway looking for adventure.
  • “I Got It Figured Out”: Slight reverb in the swinging guitar melodies gives the song a lonely feeling. But suddenly a party breaks out in the end. Odd composition, but it kind of works.
  • “It’s a Crime” Demo: Bluesy guitar echoing down a dark alley tells the tale of what I thought was a man down on his luck, but seems that is only half the story.
  • “Tambourine” Demo: Head bobbing along to the steady rhythm of the beat. The subtle tambourine jangle I actually missed the first several times around.There is something about this song that reminds me of early Beatles. Am I the only one hears it?

Overall: With lead vocals reminding me of local musician, Jeff Berkley from Citizen Band and Berkley Hart, I was instantly hooked. It took me several listens to get beyond that thought, but once I did, I heard their distinct style echoing a bit of blues and soul. I can’t imagine their performances to be lively, but the music is true to their purpose “to channel their collective love and penchant for all things Stax Records and the Golden Era of Motown into their own material.”

Albums: The Definitive Collection EP (2010) with 4 songs and their 10-song live album (2011) are available on bandcamp. Both “Free” and “I Got It Figured Out” are on the EP. while “Tambourine,” “Free” and “I Got It Figured Out” are all on the live album. Oh, yeah… and you can download the live album for FREE.

Calendar: Their calendar is a little behind showing mostly the past month’s shows. March seemed like a good month. Right now there is only the following gig:  

  • Friday, April 8 @ Bar Eleven with Owl Eyes and The Red Fox Tails

Photo courtesy of Andrew Helwich