The Rural Alberta Advantage is pretty good

That is a statement of fact. I have another fact- they are playing at Bottletree tomorrow night. I’m pretty excited about it because they are a band that I had never heard of until Spotify.

I have a habit of hitting the related artists button, and then hitting it again. And again. Basically Inceptioning my way to new music. And not long after I first used Spotify, I found the Rural Alberta Advantage.

Here’s the first thing I heard:

 

At first, my brain said Postal Service. And Mangum.  And the time is right- 2008 is a prime year to sound like the Postal Service and Jeff Mangum. But the rest of the album just… enveloped me. Felt immediately comfortable, like one that I knew. And now I do. Hometowns was their debut, and well received by most people. I was blissfully unaware while this was occurring.

There was a time in my life where I’d feel some sort of shame for not knowing about them. But now it’s a wonderful discovery. It’s like two years ago when I got the flu and watched 3 seasons of Justified in 2 days. That’s what it feels like when I find a discography on Spotify that laid there, undiscovered (at least by me).

So I discovered.

They just released their third album, which is just fine. It’s not as good as their first two, but that’s alright. Maybe I’ll really like it 4 years from now.

 

 

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THE BHAMFM MIXTAPE :: OCTOBER 2K14

It’s pretty much Fall now and we’ve found you some new songs for you to listen to on our monthly mixtape. Whit added the newest track from Kendrick Lamar, some Tweedy, New Pornographers, future mega star Sam Smith, and a new one off the new Interpol record.

I’ve trying to reach back and listen to some indie records and bands that I may have skipped in the past so I picked my new favorite song of the moment “Autumn Sweater” by Yo La Tengo and I also added some tracks from the likes of Caribou, a song from the new Karen O record, Ought, a New Order cover by Galaxie 500, and tight Nerves cover by Real Estate.

Culture Czar contributed the new one from TV on the Radio, some King Khan and BBQ and Black Lips (GARAGE PUNK RAWK!), as well as AnCO and a unique track from industrial, avant-garde group Einstürzende Neubauten. The Czar is always good for adding some really cool, unique songs to this mix.

Bhamfm.com is very pleased to announce our celebrity guest picker for this month’s mixtape. For our first picker we’ve enlisted Birmingham internet legend Rick Muscles to contribute some of his favorite songs and man did he pick some good ones! Here’s what Rick had to say about “Ricks Picks”:

 

Diarrhea Planet :: Ghost w/ a Boner – 4 guitars or life as a barista. These Bros play like they’re running as far away from a desk job as possible. I chose Ghost with a Boner because it reminds me of the time I snuck into my girlfriend’s apt.

Dan Deacon :: True Thrush – Dan Deacon’s music reminds me of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. It’s fast, full of wonder and funny. When I listen to his music in the morning, I pretend I’m waking up just like Pee Wee did in Big Adventure. I just need a bowl of Mr T cereal.

Bass Drum of Death :: Get Found – The next generation of Southern punk rock. These dudes have skills and still play with a reckless abandon. In my 20s, I only had the abandon. Like football in Mississippi, these fellas are going places.

Jay Reatard :: Night of Broken Glass – No jokes and he needs no introduction. Can’t get this song out of my head. RIP Reatard

blink 182 :: Dammit – This song was released 17 years ago and 17 years ago I was young. Throw on your baggy jeans, frost your tips and hide your maxim magazine from Mom because we were cool.

Please make sure to subscribe to our monthly mix! Listen to some new music! You won’t regret it!

 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY!

This weekend marks one of the biggest weekends in college football, specifically the Southeastern Conference. There are several marquee games being played in the SEC amongst what some would call “rival” teams. With “rivalry” games comes trash talk, media hype, and, of course, internet trolls.

In 1991 the band Blur released their second single of their career “There’s No Other Way”. It was a massive hit in the UK. Now, this doesn’t have too much to do with college football and the video has nothing to do with it but the lyrics to this song are an eerily good answer to the trash talking, hype, and trolling I mentioned above.

Here are the lyrics:

You’re taking the fun
Out of everything
Making me run
When I don’t want to think
You’re taking the fun
Out of everything
I don’t want to think at all

[Chorus]
There’s no other way
There’s no other way
All that you can do
Is watch them play

You’re taking the fun
Out of everything
You’re making it clear
When I don’t want to think
You’re taking me up
When I don’t want to go up anymore
I’m just watching it all

Crazy right? Everyone in this part of the country loves their college football and their college football teams but all the rigamarole that comes with these big weekends gets super old and takes away some of the more fun aspects of the game, but we all do it and it’s all part of being a fan. Blur inadvertently summed all of that up in this classic song.

Here’s the video for “There’s No Other Way:”

WEEKENDER: Real Estate play Bottletree Sunday night

Real-Estate-Had-To-Hear-7

If you’ve kept up at all with indie music during the past 8-10 years you know it’s changing rapidly. There’s not a particular sound you can pinpoint and call “indie” anymore. So many new indie acts have adapted and recycled sounds from the past and pushed the limits into more of a pop sound. But there are, of course, the bands that have stuck around over the years with minimal change to their sound. Bands like Modest Mouse, Spoon, Wilco, and Arcade Fire and more recently Vampire Weekend are examples. Those bands have found a niche market, so to speak, and have grown into adult-friendly music. Or maybe their listeners have just grown into adults. Either way, those bands are still, for all intents and purposes, “indie rock” bands.

In the past five years, one band has stuck out amongst its peers as a true American “indie rock” band. That band consists of guys who grew up in the suburbs of northeastern America in New Jersey. That band is Real Estate.

Their first self-titled album came out in 2009 and featured “Beach Comber” a track that propelled them into the music atmosphere as a hazy, beachy, (also pinned as “lo-fi) surf-rock style band. Also on that debut, a song that absolutely floored me, “Suburban Dogs.” With the snare drum on the up beat and bass drum on the down keeping time throughout the song, and the phase shifting guitar noodling, “Suburban Dogs” sets the stage for a summer evening riding your skateboard home from your friend’s house as the sun sets on the paved road in front of you and you feel absolutely carefree. Let’s get this right, this album is perfect for summer weather.

In 2011, they released their second album Days on a bigger indie label, Domino Recording Company. This record had a bit more polish and sheen but still they stuck with their formula for writing and composing music. Still keeping with the theme of the previous record and the underlying idea of nostalgia, they turned out songs like “Green Aisles,” which is one of the prettiest songs I’ve ever heard, and “Out of Tune.” But this time, the band notched up the BPMs on tracks like “Easy” and the now crowd-pleasing “It’s Real,” the song everyone sings along with at shows. The band even had some minor chart success, reaching number 52. With this record, Real Estate was beginning to carve out a space in indie rock and get comfortable for the long term.

This year they’ve released yet another critically acclaimed record Atlas, again on Domino. They are embarking on another major tour, more promotional marketing, and even had a spot on “The Late Show with David Letterman” back in April. “Atlas” could be their most successful album to date, this time reaching number 34 on the charts, so far. By now you’ve probably read that they used Wilco’s studio space in Chicago with lots of instruments at their disposal to record “Atlas,” also garnering comparisons to Wilco. “Talking Backwards,” “Had to Hear” and “Crime” stick out as the most popular and catchiest songs on the album, and this time main songwriter and singer Martin Courtney tackles more recent topics and focuses on the future rather than reflecting on the past as he did so often on the previous albums’ songs.

On this record you begin to recognize songs as “Real Estate” songs. Not so much because they are on the album, but because of the instantly recognizable guitar stylings of one Matt Mondanile and the vocals of Martin Courtney you’ve grown accustomed to. You pick up pretty quickly on Matt’s style particularly on “Crime” in the same way you would pick out Britt’s voice on a Spoon song, or the instrumentation of a Vampire Weekend song. You don’t have to know it’s a Real Estate song to know that it’s a Real Estate song. This is a sure sign of a band making an impact in music.

Real Estate is quickly becoming a mainstay in American indie rock like the bands I mentioned above. They will be one of the bands that will hopefully have a long career and grow a larger and larger fanbase. I’ve met the lead singer, Martin twice now: once in Nashville a few years ago and earlier this year in Austin, and I can tell you that he is a driven and professional musician, not a guy looking to make noise on social media or soak up the hype or fame. The guys in Real Estate just want to make great guitar music. This is a great band, so pay attention!

When I heard they were finally coming to Birmingham, I was totally excited. Hopefully, you were able to pick up tickets for the now SOLD OUT show at Bottletree THIS WEEKEND,  but if you weren’t able to get tickets please make sure you find a tour date near by you and go see Real Estate. If you do have a ticket to Sunday’s show, I’ll see you there.

WEEKENDER ROAD TRIP: Squallfest in Lexington

“A squall is a sudden, violent, gust of wind usually associated with active weather or thunderstorms.”

“A squall line is a line of thunderstorms that have a common lifting mechanism. Lifting mechanisms tend to occur in bands“.

By the definition of “squall” and “squall line”, it’s safe to assume that the definition for “Squallfest” would be: A sudden, violent, gust of rawk that tends to occur within the bands on this line-up.

Now, what the hell is “Squallfest”?

Squallfest is a two-day music festival, held in Lexington, Kentucky with a portion of all tickets($18-$20) sales going to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. The festival, which will have two stages, will be held at the massive, 11,000sqft, live music venue Buster’s Billiard’s & Backroom in the Lexington Distillery District.(Fun Fact: the building that Buster’s now calls home was built in 1860 and was part of the first registered distillery in Lexington.)

That being said, if you love music or historical buildings or music held in historical buildings, you need to make the trip to Squallfest.

Now, let’s talk about the important things, the music. This line-up really does perfectly accompany the festival title (and made-up definition), all these bands pack a heavy punch of rawk fused with punk, metal, and rocknroll with one common factor running rampant through most of these bands; southern roots. Headlined by Nine Pound Hammer and The Dopamines, check out the schedule below, make your plans, “grab the ticket and take the ride”; all the cool kids are doing it!

Friday September 19th 2014

8:00 – Doc Feldman and the Infernal Method

8:45 – Christian Lee Music

9:30 – The Past

10:00 – Sonic Deville

11:00 – Those Crosstown Rivals

*Doors at 7:00 PM music starts at 8:00 PM sharp!*

Saturday September 20th 2014

(frontroom)

5:00 – Vibrolas

6:00 – Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound

7:00 – Josh Nolan

8:00 – Jeremy Porter and the Tucos

9:00 – Bad People

10:00 – The Dopamines

(backroom)
4:30 – Alcatraz Shakedown

5:30 – Todd Farrell Jr. & the Dirty Birds

6:30 – Paper Bridges

7:30 – Bohannons

8:30 – Alone At 3AM

9:30 – Ned Van Go

10:30 – Those Crosstown Rivals

11:15 – Nine Pound Hammer

Doors at 3:00 pm music starts at 4:30 PM sharp!*

Tickets: $10 day of show / $18 pre-sale – http://www.ticketfly.com/event/656321-squallfest-2014-lexington/

Playlist: Squallfest 2014 Playlist<

FLASHBACK FRIDAY! WHISTLE EDITION!

Peter-Bjorn-John-Young-Folks-4

I’m really psyched about this week’s video because it’s such a fun song. Back in 2006, a little group from Sweden called Peter, Bjorn, and John released one of the catchiest songs ever called “Young Folks”. The band has released other music heard in commercials and elsewhere but this song is probably their most popular. In fact, it was so popular that even Mr. Kanye West sampled and used the song for himself! You can listen to that here.

Here’s the amazing video: