Tuesday, March 7, 2017

All Around Sound Is Turning Seven! - Day 2: The Heligoats

A rather unintentional theme of the bands that I tapped to participate in this year's blog birthday is they all were written about in my blog's second year. But unlike first contributor Genders, Chicago's The Heligoats were making music long before I discovered them. While I discovered them in 2011 from a NPR Tiny Desk Concert they did months earlier, singer/songwriter Chris Otepka had been making music both as The Heligoats and as part of Troubled Hubble well before I was old enough to discover what cool music even was. Perhaps the fact that Otepka's been making music for almost two decades has something to do with it or perhaps it's just that Otepka personality steers him toward pretty innovative and astute lyrical observations. Whatever the case The Heligoats make music that's both wonderfully familiar in sound and surprisingly unique in composition. Their camping themed concept record Back to the Lake was an engaging listen full of unexpected twists and turns. When someone is able to make music both as enjoyable and as fascinating as The Heligoats I wonder what kind of music they're even listening to. So I asked. And thankfully Chris Otepka delivered and gives us a play-by-play. Enjoy his mix!

Happy Birthday to All Around Sound! Endless Pitstops forever! Thanks for inviting me to the birthday party. And thank you for the love you've given us through the years and for all of your service spreading the love.  It was great to meet you this past year at Silent Barn!  Hope to cross paths again soon.  Here's to many more years to All Around Sound!  Happy B-Day!  I am not going to bog this party with a lengthy playlist, but rather a few significant samplings from my recent adventuring.  I know I may be revisiting some artists you've already covered, but that seems unavoidable, provided the power of your radar.  

First up, friend rock, Chicago dudes, Meat Wave just released The Incessant on Side One Dummy this past week.  Produced by Steve Albini, a tight three piece, with short, raw, powerful songs. So good.   

Good god, Caveman! From New York! The only time I've seen a band, having never seen or heard of them before, to wake up the next day with a song of theirs in my head.  Delicious, melodious, rocking, and nice dudes to boot.   My band, Troubled Hubble got to open for these guys a couple weeks ago at Gas Fest in Davenport, IA.   It was a great time, and this band killed!  

I love Palehound. Dry Food came out at the end of Aug 2015, and I think I listened to it about 142 times in 2016, if I'm doing my math right. It is truly impossible to pick a favorite song from the record. Healthier Folk is so sick! Cinnamon, Molly, the whole record is so good. To be honest though, the song that got me first hooked on Palehound is from their 2014 Bent Nail EP "I Get Clean'. Go see them March 22nd at Sunnyvale!

My roommates are virtual pillars of the progressive rock and metal community and some of the biggest music fans I have ever known in my whole life. Knowledgeable headbangers. Husband and wife, Heather and Justin, beautiful people, tour managers and drivers for bands like Circus Maximus and Evergrey, from Sweden and Norway, crew members of Prog Power USA in Atlanta, GA, and always introducing me new bands, sounds, songs, scenes. One band they work with stands out more than any of them, Pain of Salvation, from Sweden! Just released their 9th studio album, The Passing Light of Day, which has stuck with me and has had me diving backwards into their previous, and sometimes completely bizarre prog rock back catalog. The new record is so tight, so focused and very powerful, if you're into that kind of thing.  I saw them in Detroit as they passed through the Midwest on tour last week.  It was an honor to meet them. I love their drummer, Leo Margarit. Brilliant.  

I installed 800 sq feet of pergo flooring in an attic this past summer over 3 days, listening to nothing but Mother Mother.  They're a band from Vancouver, BC and are on tour right now and I think they're fantastic.   I discovered them on CBC Radio while living in Port Angeles, WA for the past 8 years.   Their "Oh My Heart," record from 2014 is full of some of the best written folk, gaze pop I've ever heard.   Great band, very cool songwriting.  I always go back to Mother Mother. 

I also always go back to Laura Veirs.  This is one of my favorite things on all of You Tube in case you wanted to know.
I could go a million places from here.  I've recently been revisiting Rilo Kiley's "The Execution of All Things," and have found it having a very positive effect on my days. I listen to a lot of rap. Kendrick Lamar & Mac Miller's "Fight the Feeling," has been on heavy rotation through my days. Vince Staples, Childish Gambino, Tribe Called Quest. MF Doom has been one of my favorites for a long time and someone recently posted the SadeVillian mash up on You Tube, I hadn't heard it before a couple months ago.  It's pretty great.   

Sometimes I fall asleep to this:

And sometimes I fall asleep to this:

Saw her at Empty Bottle in Chicago this past summer. Unbelievable.

Finally, everyone should listen to Mascaras, from Portland, OR.  Second finally, everyone should see Mascaras, from Portland. Lastly,  support Mascaras from Portland.  Any chance to see or hear Papi Fimbres play drums should be taken seriously.   That is all for now.  Happy Birthday, All Around Sound!  
Love, Chris
Thanks to Chris for his awesome and incredibly eclectic peek into his listening habits. If you haven't for some weird reason make sure you check out The Heligoats' pretty spectacular discography and stick around for more mixes later this week.

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