I like to ask great musicians what they’ve been listening to, and here’s a great reason why I do it. When I posed this question toTed Russell Kamp, he mentioned Steve Poltz. “If you like great songwriters, you’ll like him,” Ted told me. And so will you. It turns out Steve has written several hit songs for others, including Jewel’s “Meant for Me”. It’s his original work, however, that really struck a chord with me (and the fact that Steve is a big baseball fan didn’t hurt either). He even penned a great tribute to the recently deceased hall of famer Tony Gwynn and counts Giants coach Tim Flannery, an accomplished musician in his own right, as one of his closest friends. A good place to start is Steve’s autobiographic tune “Brief History of My Life” which pays homage to the influence of baseball radio broadcasters on his childhood.
Ariel Pink – Pom Pom
I’ve been a fan of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti since I first heard House Arrest several years back. That said, I didn’t check out his 2012 album, Mature Themes, just out of negligence. I’m quite glad that I gave Pink’s first ‘solo’ record Pom Pom a listen. It features a wide array of bizarre pop and rock ditties that more often than not sound like advertising jingles. “Jell-O,” a song about the gelatin brand, is one of the strangest in Pink’s catalogue. “White Freckles” is a classic Pink song with its frenetic bridge and sleazy, grooving verses. The whole thing is full of cheesy synths and musical nonsequitors. Think a Phil Spector-produced Hall and Oates record on acid. Highly recommended.
Richard Starking’s and Elephantmen
Richard Starkings is the creator of comic book Elephantmen published by Image Comics. He’s also a Blackwing user. In discovering him, I discovered this article, where talks about his own discoveries in being a comic writer and the importance of owning what we create. My favorite line: “Sharpening a pencil is like a cup of tea for your brain, there’s something about it.”
Title Fight – Floral Green
Floral Green may not be new to most, but it’s new to me. I’m a sucker for catchy pop-punk, so The Last Thing You Forget was right up my alley. Shed surprised me with it’s change in tone and tempo, but ended up being my favorite album of 2011. Why it has taken me so long to give Floral Green a chance, I’ll never know. As many have stated before, the album calls back to the sounds of 90’s emo, but with a bit more oomph than its predecessors. Give it a listen and you’ll know what I mean.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/69985408″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]