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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Microcosms “Fairytale”

Sometimes you learn an instrument and then create a band. Sometimes you spend years playing one instrument only to find inspiration in another instrument. That was the situation with songwriter Andrew Tschiltsch who spent time playing drums for years before the desire to play guitar hit him. And once the guitar was in his hand, the desire to create his own songs hit. Tschiltsch spent a few years recording and experimenting with the way his music sounded before bringing Bryan Emer (bass) and Jered Pipenbrink (drums) into the fold. Together, Tschiltsch, Emer and Pipenbrink create the Chicago-based band called Microcosms. The band’s first release, Know My Body, came out a few years ago in 2017. And in 2018, the band released their latest EP called Fairytale

Fairytale from Microcosms begins with the track “Omnipotence”. The track begins with the entire trio creating a track that blends together straight-out Rock and Roll with some Prog-Rock influence to it. Soon enough, however, the feel of the track changes as Bryan Emer’s bass seems to be the instrument to focus on as the bass pushes the track forward. Both Tschiltsch and Pipenbrink use their instruments to support Emer’s playing. Eventually, the trio creates a song that contains a rather unique feel to it. Ultimately, the slightly off-key music of the track brings to mind the style of Frank Zappa, as both the music on the track and the playing of the band both seem to contain Zappa’s influence. The track’s lyrical content features a darkness as the lyrics describe a person who wants as much power as possible.

With the second track on the release, Microcosms creates a slightly more upbeat track. The track “Wrapped Up” features a musical blend that takes some Punk feel and mixes it with some straight Rock and Roll. What stands out on this track is the vocal delivery from singer/guitarist Andrew Tschiltsch. On this track, for whatever reason, Tschiltsch seems to be channeling Mark Mothersbaugh of the band Devo. The lyrics to the track also seem to contain a little influence from the Akron, Ohio band of Devo as the lyrics about wondering why the singer is so attracted to the person of interest that the lyrics are about. The band powers through “Wrapped Up” as the song doesn’t even last for two minutes before it’s finished. While the song is not one hundred percent influenced by Devo, the influence does seem to be there.

Microcosms’ 2018 release of Fairytale continues with the song “Flinch”. With this track, the band continues their pattern of creating songs that are inspired by older bands. On “Flinch,” you can almost hear the influence of the band Talking Heads in the music. It’s the slightly off-kilter feel of the music that brings the vision of the Talking Heads to mind when listening to the song, not to mention the way the lyrics feel as Andrew Tschiltsch delivers them. The Frank Zappa approach of the band on this track makes for a great track that goes well with the previous track of “Wrapped Up”. The overall feel of the track makes it perfect for any Alternative Rock radio station.

As the track “Strangle” begins, the listener finds themselves back in the nineties as the track has a style that is rather reminiscent of bands from the era. The track starts off with the sound of Bryan Emer’s bass. The riff created by Emer brings to mind something from the band Weezer. From there, the track features a style that blends Weezer’s influence with some Punk feel. The driving pace to the music of the track creates a strong, fun feel to the song. Like much of the EP, “Strangle” features lyrics about someone who has too much power. The lyrics deal with the singer trying to control his anger towards that person. The song feels rather at home in today’s political atmosphere.

The five tracks that make up the 2018 EP of Fairytale from Microcosms have a definite feel to them that helps to create a solid release. However, the five tracks also contain a different approach. This creates a solid EP with a good amount of variety in the Rock and Roll. While this EP was released not that long ago, the band continues to record. Stay tuned.  

 

To check out the music of Microcosms, check out the video to their single “Omnipotence”.

For more information, check out Microcosms’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

 

 

 

 

Microcosms just celebrated the release of their latest single entitled “Forget Us”. Click HERE to check out my review of that track. 

To check out the Fairytale EP from Microcosms, click on the album cover below:

Categories
Features

PIGSHIT: Frankie Teardrop

Ten so long years ago, a random gathering of some of the best musicians from Canada’s greatest musical berg threw themselves onstage as part of the annual Locke Street Festival. Spearheaded by legendary Junkhouse dog Tom Wilson, said ad-hoc combo was busy rocking and rolling things all the way up that street as the sun slid down when suddenly, a most familiar figure was spotted nearby.

The lead singer of the one, the only, Teenage Head.

Frankie, 1977

As would later be reported in the press, “I asked Frankie, ‘Frankie, fuck man, you’ve got to come up here and sing,'” Wilson says. “He said, ‘You got to give me a hundred bucks.’ So I reached into my pocket and I only had fifty, so I asked Dave Rave for the other half. I said, ‘Dave, fifty bucks for Frankie.’

“And this was the kind of love they had for Frankie. Dave didn’t ask me, ‘What for? What does Frankie need fifty bucks for?’ He was just pulling it out of his pocket. And Frankie got up and did ‘Let’s Shake’.”

It turned out to be the last-ever public appearance of Francis Hannah Kerr, much better known – and most rightfully so – as Frankie Venom, who along with his high school pals four-plus decades ago decided to form a band in between spins of NY Dolls, Stooges and, yes, Flamin’ Groovies records. Remarkably, that little band that could went on to garner two gold and one platinum platters of their very own; the latest, in fact, gathers all their bravest hits and then some onto one 20-digital-track, or even better double-pink vinyl set. Fun Comes Fast indeed.

In a scar-studded career that admittedly held more bumps than most bands’, Teenage Head never turned (or toned) things down, never towed anyone’s line, and never ever made a bad record or gave a bad show that I, or anyone else for that matter, should care to recall. And whether slithering across the heat pipes of Toronto’s (in)famous Crash ‘n’ Burn club, opening for the Pretenders, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello in front of fifty-thousand at Canada’s Heatwave festival – or belting ‘Let’s Shake’ for and with some old friends on Locke Street on a warm late eve – Frankie Venom was every single inch the Head above all others. 

He succumbed to throat cancer on October 15, 2008, aged fifty-two. Your record collection has never been the same.

For a taste of Frankie Venom and his band Teenage Head, check out their song “Some Kinda Fun“. 

To check out more on the music and current activities of Teenage Head, click on the record cover below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.GaryPigGold.com

Categories
Features

A sit-down with the always on the move Dre of (for right now) Mount Rushmore Safari

Most or even all you reading this will know that one of the great things about getting to follow a band or musician online is that you are able to follow their progress closely while also getting to know them a little. This applies more to independent and unsigned bands as they generally run their own pages online and working as a journo/reviewer/interviewer for various online sites has given me the opportunity to capitalize on this, which has created some excellent friendships.

Some while ago now I organized a charity event in the UK to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. This proved to be a brilliant experience, although mostly due to my enthusiasm and naivety it only managed to raise about £70 after costs. I have no regrets though, I am glad to have learned from this and have every intention of running a similar event some time in the future once I get the chance to do so. The point which I am getting to is that one of the bands whom I staged was Le Cul from Denmark. I got to know Andreas (Dre) from Le Cul in my early networking days and we soon built up a good rapport. Not long after becoming hooked on the style, ethos and attitude of Le Cul, I found that this band was just a rock ’n’ roll outlet for the band’s two founding members, Dre and Maxim.

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Artists and Bands

Matt Pfahlert, owner of Get a Clue Design Studio, talks about his musical clients and puts the word out to The Tragically Hip to please collect their posters

Matt Pfahlert spent his early years engrossed by the inner workings of his dad’s ad agency, and being the envy of his classmates. In 2003, with more than twenty years of experience in the business, Pfahlert unveiled his very own, independent Get a Clue Design Studio.

Offering design and illustration, the Get a Clue Design Studio often finds itself working on projects for the music industry and its artists. Over the years, clients have included Live Nation, Wilco, Band of Horses, The Black Keys, Against Me!, Gogol Bordello, and many others. Pfahlert recently took some time to talk about the good ol’ x-acto knife days in his dad’s agency, maintaining a business in today’s economy, dream clients (as well as overly demanding ones), and to put the word out to The Tragically Hip to please collect their posters.

Q: You were introduced to the design world by working with your dad from a young age – how would you say those years shaped the way you work/design today?

A: I think that coming from a time when graphic design was still being done, essentially, by hand – wow, do I sound old – that hands-on process affects how I approach design projects today. Even though there’s no kerning type by hand with an x-acto knife, there’s no applying just the right amount of rubber cement on a mechanical you just hand inked with a rapidiograph pen, there’s no shooting the perfect photostat – all those little things that added to the “craft” of design – all those techniques I remember and, at least in some way, I think all that translates today into how I try to take a bit more time to develop a design. Which is tough because we’re in the quick-natured computer age of design. There’s that perception that all you do for a living is draw all day and hit a few buttons and viola;“Design happens!”