‘Research Turtles’ on British Invasion Bands, Weezer, Recording and the Beauty of the Internet

“British rock invasion meets modern rock” is how the Research Turtles were described to me. “That sounds interesting enough,” I thought, “but do these guys really have the goods, or something unique in their sound, that will catch my ear and the ears of rock music fans worldwide?”  I wasn’t sure, but I headed over to their MySpace page anyways to listen to some sound clips and to begin to form an opinion on these guys. Well, after listening to just a few clips I had heard enough—“I’ll write about them!” I excitedly told my editor.

The Research Turtles were then kind enough to send me their album to listen to prior to interviewing lead singer, and founder, Jud Norman.  One listen through the CD, at a loud volume, and I was completely hooked! I had catchy song melodies and crunching guitars going through my head all day!  The CD has been played in my car almost daily since I got it.

It is with great excitement that I share with you some of the highlights of my conversation with Jud.

RRR: First of all, I just want to let you guys know how much I love your sound! It is very catchy music with a great blend of melodies, harmonies, and crunching guitars…

JN: Thanks man!  We really appreciate that, and appreciate your interest in our music!

RRR:  One of the first questions I have to ask you is where and how did you come up with “The Research Turtles”?

JN: Well, it took a lot of time and we had a lot of fights over it! [laughs] But we actually took the name from a line in a Wes Anderson movie, “The Life Aquatic”.  His movies have had a huge influence on all of us, especially musically.  He’s turned us on to a lot of great artists like David Bowie, The Kinks, and The Stooges.


Isaac Miracles’ Debut, ‘Desire’, Presents “Positive Values That People From All Different Backgrounds Can Bond Around”

l_9014f791c08643e2af7d4e78967f2f8fLittle did I know how much would come out of going to see a Matisyahu show in Memphis, TN this summer. Not only did I see a great performance by the Jewish Reggae-Rap-Rock artist, but I was also introduced to the incredibly talented lyrical and Rap-Rock musings of Nosson Zand (whom I featured on The Rock and Roll Report recently). Out of my dealings with Nosson I was then soon introduced to another standout Hip-Hop-Pop-Rock fusion artist by the name of Isaac Miracles.

If you are open to the influence and sounds of West Coast Hip-Hop on Rock music nowadays, then this is one artist that you absolutely must listen to. Like Matisyahu and Nosson Zand, Isaac Miracles is of the Jewish faith and, like the previously mentioned artists, he possesses musical and lyrical abilities of the highest caliber. The music of Isaac Miracles stands out as an extremely smart and unique representation of a fusion of genres, namely Pop, Rock and Hip-Hop.

Isaac recently released his debut album, Desire, filled with catchy songs presented with an unbelievably professional sounding production. Desire is truly an enjoyable listen from the first track to the last.

The Rock and Roll Report had a chance to catch up with Isaac and talk about the making of Desire and learn more about him as an artist.

Artists and Bands

Artist Feature: Nosson Zand

nosson zand 300I remember riding around with my good buddy Drew back around the time I was 15-17 years old. We’d ride around after working our part time jobs at a major music theatre in the Chicago suburbs. Our purpose was two-fold: 1) To goof around and act as silly and as stupid as we could! 2) To tune in to WJKL “TheFox” and listen to as many new bands and artists as we could, in order to try to discover the next big musical act worth following.

That musical passion has continued up to this day, and has lead me to the next great musical artist that many of you have probably never heard of, but should. His name is Nosson Zand, and he is a Jewish rap/hip-hop artist, who blends elements of rap/hip-hop and rock, along with positive lyrics, inspired by his Jewish faith, to create some of the most exciting and interesting new music being heard today in the independent music scene.

I interviewed Nosson recently by telephone, and although technological problems prevented me from getting our interview recorded verbatim, what follows is a brief summary of our interview that will hopefully allow you to begin to get to know Nosson, the artist, and the man, a bit better. It just may influence you to give this guy a listen. Even if you are primarily a rock and roll fan, as I am, you just may come away impressed with the musical talents this young artist has to offer.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Oracle and the Mountain – s/t

oracle-and-the-mountain-webBased out of Memphis, TN, Oracle and the Mountain are beginning to build a pretty good name for themselves on the indie music circuit here in the mid south. Their debut CD “Oracle and the Mountain” is an interesting, eclectic mix of modern indie rock, with good pop sensibilities, classic rock and southern rock. The band, comprised of Dale Naron on keyboards and guitar, Chris Moore on guitar, Tim Blais on bass, and Josh McLane on drums, weaves through a variety of styles on their debut CD. The result is a fascinating mix of hard edged rock music that sounds unique, despite the influences one can pick up on listening to the album.

Reviews and Suggestions Rock and Roll Reads

CD Review: U2 “No Line On The Horizon”

As U2 enters their 30th year of making music together, and as they release their 13th full length album in that time span, you might expect to find the band resting on their laurels. After all, they have sold millions upon millions of albums. They have made millions upon millions of dollars. They have been loved (and scorned) by critics, and have developed one of the most loyal fan bases ever in rock and roll. So maybe it’s time to go The Rolling Stones rout and become largely an oldies band. After all they would still be revered and loved by their faithful fans, and they could make an easy buck with the huge song catalog they have. I mean, who doesn’t love the Stones, even though we’ve all heard “Satisfaction” 50,000 times? And although I’m sure U2 will include a number of older songs on their set lists of their upcoming world tour, “No Line On The Horizon” is an extremely strong album that is sure to have many of it’s songs find their way on to those set lists.

Live Rock and Roll Reviews and Suggestions

Live Show Review: The Jealous Girlfriends Live In Little Rock, AK 11/25/08

photo by Maryanne VentriceThe Jealous Girlfriends showed on their debut release as a foursome in 2008, that they are adept at changing gears quite successfully. They did this throughout the album again and again; in the process creating one of the best new releases of the year. At their concert in Little Rock, AK on 11/25/08, they had to change gears again.

Reviews and Suggestions

Eric Lamb’s Top Albums of 2008

Top Albums of 2008

rated by: Eric Lamb, Independent Music Critic

(with a few liberties taken, as some of these may have been released in 2007, but received heavy rotation in my i-pod in 2008)

1.)The Jealous Girlfriends: The Jealous Girlfriends

2) Arcade Fire: Neon Bible

3) Thom Yorke: Eraser

4) Counting Crows: Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings

5) Coldplay: Viva La Vida

6) P.O.D.: When Angels and Serpents Dance

7) Mute Math: Mute Math

8) The Airborne Toxic Event: The Airborne Toxic Event

9) Chris Cornell: Chris Cornell

10) So Indie It Hurts: ROIR Rocks, Volume #1

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Jealous Girlfriends – s/t

On The Jealous Girlfriends’ My Space page, a writer states that “The Jealous Girlfriends make it work.” Although certainly meant as a compliment, this writer will go at least one step further. The Jealous Girlfriends don’t just make it work, they take varying musical ideas and influences, and put together the most creative, enjoyable and interesting new music release of 2008. The only album I would put in the same class as the Jealous Girlfriends’ self titled release, is the better known Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible.” Both blend various musical influences, and out of the box thinking and writing, to create extremely interesting and creative albums.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Airborne Toxic Event

A recent musical discovery by this writer that has proved to be very pleasing to the ears, is the self titled debut by The Airborne Toxic Event. Based out of Los Feliz, California, this band immediately reminded me of a harder edged version of The Killers. Others have correctly noticed influences by Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire.