Zack King, the young Minnesota musician, is not afraid to get real in his newest single “Hit and Run.” He isn’t afraid to get personal and vulnerable when it comes to his music, and “Hit and Run” is no different. This song in particular is about growth and the strength and bravery it takes to move forward rather than desperately hold onto the past. Zack shares that “trying to hold on to who you used to be can be toxic, especially when you don’t recognize that person anymore. Looking in the mirror and seeing a new person can be scary, but also rewarding. Why not give the new you a chance and see what good can come from it?” People evolve all the time. Zack asks whether you want to embrace who you become.
Zack just released the music video for “Hit and Run” which is a wonderful visualization of this journey. While this story is based on Zack’s own experience, he uses his knowledge to help others grow. This acoustic style pop meets grunge song is for those who don’t like who they’ve become. Zack, for example, felt lost and alone after graduating college and turned to drugs and alcohol to try and find who he was. On top of that, he treated the people he loves the most poorly. After time, all of these bad habits and behaviors towards himself and others made him realize that he no longer recognized the person staring back at him in the mirror. He became unrecognizable to himself. So, he set out to change for the better.
While he doesn’t like who he was looking back, he accepts it and sees that it wasn’t all bad. It was part of his journey and he was able to learn and grow as a person. “It’s okay to move on from a past life, especially when it will benefit you, and those around you,” Zack shares. “Don’t be afraid to take that leap from who you used to be, to who you want to become.”
The trip to the Bell House in Brooklyn is cold on a December night but the chance of seeing the legendary indie pop band Sloan is well worth getting your mittens out for. There’s something magical in the air when Sloan comes to town, almost like Santa Clause (Tis the season, right?). Fans expect nothing less than an amazing show and the band always delivers. At the venue early to interview the band, I had the pleasure of watching their soundcheck which was a Sloan fan dream come true. Even when they’re playing to a crowd of five it’s like they’re playing for a room of 500.
Openers Magenta Lane took the stage at 9pm and managed to get the crowd pumped up. Three females who know how to own the stage and their instruments is the best way to describe the band that have such a raw energy. With a bit of pop rock edge mixed with a little garage influence the Canadian trio knew how to work the crowd. Singer Lexi Valentine’s voice is incredible and heartfelt as she plays her guitar through a sea of hair. Though quite enjoyable the band wasn’t even off the stage yet before the crowd started in with the classic Sloan chant .””Sllllllooooooannnnn
Finally Sloan took the stage at a quarter after 10 to a packed venue. Opening with a new song off their Hit and RunEP (Murderecords) ”Take it Upon Yourself,” it was a great choice to start the set with. One thing that was great about this show was that the band brought out a lot of old, missing tunes that we haven’t heard on stage in a while. Only supporting the five song ep at this time it left everything to fair game, which leads me to the next tune. Sloan brought out “At the Edge of the Scene,” one of my personal favorites that dates back 10 years. Never thinking I’d hear this song live, I was amazed with how great this song was onstage. The back and fourth vocals of Chris Murphy and Jay Ferguson were pulled off flawlessly making it everything I hoped it would be. Throughout the night as the band switched instruments and lead vocals, it was one surprise after another. Murphy took over with such tunes as the always crowd pleasing “Money City Maniacs,” and “Keep on Thinkin’.” Patrick ‘the hit maker’ Pentland brought out some oldies but goodies as well ranging from “Friendship” to “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” as Jay Ferguson brought out “Don’t You Believe a Word” and “Witches Wand.” Andrew Scott came out from behind the drums for an extended period of time which is always nice to see. Playing such old favorites as “The N.S.” and “The Great Wall,” he nailed every bit of it.
The energy of the band always manages to match the enthusiasm of the crowd. Another great thing about Sloan is they may not be the early 20 somethings they were 18 years ago, but they still put on an amazing live performance that cannot be reckoned with. After playing the always wonderful sing-a-long “Who Taught You To Live Like That,” the band headed off stage and the “Sllllllooooooannnnn,” chants began immediatly. Not letting the fans wait to long, after a couple of minutes the band returned promptly and surprised us all by kicking in with “The Other Man,” a rather slow Murphy tune to start off the encore. From there he went into the infamous “Chester the Molester,” as Jay took over for “C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get it Started),” and ending with Patrick’s “The Good in Everyone.” A perfect ending to a perfect night. Long live Sloan!
Come back to Modern Mystery in the coming days for our interview with Sloan’s Chris Murphy!
This week’s edition of Secondhand Sunday is dedicated to ye olde Sloannnnnn. The band will be in the New York area TWICE this week with a show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ tomorrow night (Monday) and a stop at Brooklyn’s Bell House, Friday night. We’re a little bit more than excited over here for a couple of reasons. First of all….Sloan at Christmas time? That’s a pretty sweet gift. Secondly we will be interviewing the band on Friday and well, to interview one of your favorite bands of all time is just beyond imaginable. Enjoy one of my favorite Sloan videos for “The Lines You Amend.” Actually one time I told Jay Ferguson if he ever stops playing that song live, I’m not sure I can come to any more shows-it’s essential. His reply? “No don’t do that!!”
The Canadian Godfathers of indie pop, Sloan, are back at it again to provide you with some sugary tunes. Yesterday the band has just released via their official website their newest EP titled Hit and Run (Murderecords). The name is pretty self explanatory, as singer/bass player/sometimes drummer Chris Murphy was involved in a hit and run this summer when a car plowed into him crossing the street in Canada. This is a surprising yet clever title to the record.
One of the most interesting things about Sloan is the fact that they switch instruments and vocals. This creates the ultimate diversity within the band, but somehow they seem to bring it all together. The album starts off with the “Take it Upon Yourself,” which is a Murphy penned song that begins with the classic Sloan keyboard sound and handclaps that automatically want to make you dance around the room. This is a great way to start off the record. For the track “Midnight Mass,” Jay Ferguson takes over lead duties as his voice croons over the piano. The rest of the band comes in filling the song with stellar harmonies that also add a 60’s nostalgia feel. Patrick Pentland heads to the front for the track “It Is Never,” which is filled with sonic guitar sounds and brilliant melodies that he always successfully brings to the table. Murphy returns with another song in tow, “Oh Dear Diary,” which at first glance of the title has the potential to be foolish, but turns out to be a sincere song which brings a bit of old school Sloan back into the mix. With the mixture of voices, piano and the retro sounding drums this is one track that will be stuck in your head for days. Andrew Scott comes from behind the drum kit to take on “Where Are You Now?” which is perhaps his strongest song since the band released Between the Bridges in the late 90s. Infectious guitar riffs fill the song with Scott’s strong voice prominant in the song. Hit and Run takes on a life of it’s own and proves that Sloan shows no signs of slowing down.
Sloan is also embarking on a short North American tour in support of the EP that starts on Saturday. Check out the dates below and come back to Modern Mystery for coverage of their show in Brooklyn next week!
Sloan Tour Dates
November 28th- The Filmore- Detroit, MI
November 29th- Skully’s Music Diner- Columbus, OH
November 30th- Maxwell’s- Hoboken, NJ
December 1st- Jammin’ Java- Vienna, VA
December 3rd- TT The Bear’s- Cambridge, MA
December 4th- The Bell House- Brooklyn, NY
December 5th- Kung Fu Necktie- Philadelphia, PA
December 6th- Grog Shop-Cleveland, OH
December 7th- Lincoln Hall- Chicago, IL
December 9th- The Pyramid-Winnipeg, MB
December 10th- Louis’ Pub- Saskatoon, SK
December 11th- The Gateway- Calgary, AB
December 12th- Starlite Room-Edmonton, AB
December 15th- Commodore Ballroom- Vancouver, BC
Lately I’ve had Sloan on my mind, mainly because New York is usually graced by their prescene this time of year. The word is the guys are working on their next album, the followup to last year’s ‘Parallel Play’ hence why there is a lack of summer touring.
On a more serious note, Sloan bassist/singer/sometimes drummer Chris Murphy was hit by a drunk driver on Friday in Toronto. It was a hit and run. Murphy has a broken collarbone which he will need to have surgery on. Though this doesn’t slow him down one bit as the band is playing a show in their homeland of Canada today in which it was stated that he was just going to sing and not play the bass. Though the band stated that the other few tour dates may be affected since he needs surgery now.
We send all of the well wishes in the world to Chris and a very speedy recovery! He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.