The Beauty of the Sound of Dignan

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I’m an eighteen-year- old music journalist who pretty much sucks at everything I do.  I do nothing with my life but go to shows.  Lord, how I live for shows.  I travel hours and hours to reach certain destinations and cities to go to shows and experience the feeling of live music.

 This past year, I journeyed on to my first year of college.  Going to a private university that I did not even want to attend, I made the best of it by making myself friendly with the music venues.  I love San Antonio, but the music scene up here is horrible.  And I hate even mentioning the word “music” and “scene” within the same sentence, but I’m being completely honest  with the music style  (I dig that word better) that San Antonio has to offer.  Don’t g get me wrong, there are a few local bands from here that have some talent.  But for the most part, I do not fancy it all that much. 

I matured as a human being while listening to Dignan.  Dignan is this beautiful five-piece band from McAllen, Texas.  They play the most harmonic and melodic tunes that anybody will ever hear.  (My father even loves their sound.  Come on now!)  Being in San Antonio separated Dignan and I a good four hours.  However, that didn’t stop me to seeing and hearing them.  I’d travel during the school week to see them and drive four hours in the wee hours of the night to make it to class the next morning.  Dignan is the one band that I’d do anything for.  They have molded me so much that I can’t even begin to explain.

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It’s 2:02 in the morning as I sit in front of this computer and ramble on run-on sentences.  I’m sorry for my lack of correct grammar.  My weekly migraine decided to barge in on me today and keep my mind company.  There I go again- I’m getting off topic.

About an hour ago, I was at Sam’s Burger Joint listening to Dignan.  Right in front of lead singer, Andy Pena, mic as always, I stood there swaying side to side- more than likely looking like an idiot with uncontrollable spasms- and everything in my life felt right.  How many times does every SINGLE thing in a person’s life feel right?  Maybe it’s just me, but I hardly EVER feel that way.  And last night/ this morning, everything felt perfect.

It was Trey Perez, the drummer, last night to perform with Dignan.  He is pursuing his education and attend college in Austin.  Maybe that’s what did it.  The whole this-is-the-last-time-I’ll-hear-Trey-live momentum.  I swear for a second, I wanted to cry when they played their last song.  I thought to myself, “This can’t be his last performance.  Trey IS Dignan.  He belongs with Dignan.  Dignan can’t be Dignan without him”.  And then I realized, I felt the exact same way with Dignan’s former drummer too.  Except, I didn’t see Dignan live when the other drummer was there.  I started seeing them when Trey was there.  And I felt as if Trey grew with me; as my mind and soul grew with him being there.  That was taken away from me tonight. 

I’m not too sure where I’m getting with this.  I mainly wanted to state that tonight’s show was beyond amazing.  It was beautiful.  As always, their energy and passion took over the crowd.  My Lord, I love Dignan so much.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain to a person how much I love them and how much they have changed me. 

I’m a college student who has a lot on my mind.  From my future to lack of future to ex lovers and  everything in between, it consumes my life.  I drown in my thoughts.  But, seeing and hearing Dignan live…that takes it all away.  I swear, it does.  During their set, not a single unhappy thought races through my mind.  My future has vanished.  My misery of being single and lonely has vanished.  It all vanishes.  Dignan is the unconditional love that is sent from some sort of high heaven to guide me.  I know I cannot possibly be the only person who feels this way about them.  And if I am, then hell, I sure am sounding like some crazy fangirl.  Really, though, if you haven’t already-PLEASE give Dignan a listen.  There music is something so beautiful that every person must hear before they die.

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I want every person who reads this to give them a listen.  If you aren’t willing to cough up some bucks, I will personally e-mail you some of their tracks so you can experience the true joy that Dignan has to offer.  It’s an offer you can’t refuse.

They are currently about to start their tour with O’brother (in which is another band you will be reading an article from sometime soon).  Definitely check out the dates and locations.  If you are by the area, go out and support them.  Both bands put on mind blowing performances. 

Dignan & O’brother tour dates:

Aug 27 – New Bern, NC @ Broad Street Music
Aug 28 – Raleigh, NC @ The Brewery
Aug 29 – Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Hall
Aug 30 – Greenville, SC @ The Channel
Aug 31 – Greenwood, SC @ Homemade Genius
Sept 01 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
Sept 02 – Atlanta, GA @ The Wonderroot
Sept 03 – Milledgeville, GA @ Buffington’s
Sept 04 – Macon, GA @ Cafe 567
Sept 05 – Columbus, GA @ Gallery 13
Sept 06 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
Sept 07 – Tallahassee, FL @ TBA
Sept 08 – Fort Walton, FL @ TBA
Sept 09 – Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
Sept 10 – Pensacola, FL @ Sluggos
Sept 11 – Hanceville, AL @ Space Camp Festival
Sept 12 – Hattiesburg, MS @ 1126 House
Sept 13 – Louisiana @ TBA
Sept 14 – Louisiana @ TBA
Sept 15 – Shreveport, LA @ TBA
Sept 16 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
Sept 17 – Waco, TX @ Common Grounds
Sept 18 – Dallas, TX @ Mokah
Sept 19 – San Antonio, TX @ The Ten Eleven

 Check out Dignan on MYSPACE

and TWITTER

By Krista

Miniature Tigers Announce New Tour Dates, Release New Songs

Ah, summer is actually almost over and we’re already thinking about the fall a bit. What better way to start off the season with a few concert dates with one of our favorite new bands, The Miniature Tigers. The boys will be hitting the road again starting on September 8th with indie band Fun. Jump on these tickets fast as the shows are selling out quickly!

In other news, Charlie Brand has been posting some B-Sides from ‘Tell It To The Volcano’ on his twitter. Wow, can these guys possibly get any better?

Give these new tracks a listen ‘Roaring Twenties’ and ‘River of Blood’

Sep 8 2009 8:00P
 Kilby Court w/Fun Salt Lake City, Utah

Sep 9 2009 8:00P
 Club 156 @ U of Colorado Boulder w/Fun Boulder, Colorado

Sep 11 2009 8:00P
 The Shelter w/Fun Detroit, Michigan

Sep 12 2009 8:00P
 The Intersection w/Fun Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sep 13 2009 8:00P
 Club @ Water St. Music Hall w/Fun Rochester, New York

Sep 15 2009 8:00P
 North Star Bar w/Fun Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sep 16 2009 8:00P
 Great Scott w/Fun Boston, Massachusetts

Sep 17 2009 8:00P
 Mercury Lounge w/Fun New York, New York

Sep 18 2009 8:00P
 Jammin’ Java w/Fun Vienna, Virginia

Sep 20 2009 8:00P
 The Drunken Unicorn w/Fun Atlanta, Georgia

Sep 22 2009 8:00P
 Rocketown w/Fun Nashville, Tennessee

Sep 23 2009 8:00P
 The Firebird w/Fun St. Louis, Missouri

Sep 24 2009 8:00P
 Schubas Tavern w/Fun Chicago, Illinois

Sep 25 2009 8:00P
 Triple Rock Social Club w/Fun Minneapolis, Minnesota

Interview: A Little Bit with Elmor

Indie Brit band Elmor is a band you should love. The boys of Elmor intertwine delighful pop vocals with driving insturmentation to produce fun, “dance-y” and romantically charged rock n’ roll. I had the pleasure of interviewing the group before they embarked from England to LA to tour. Unfortunately this interview took place via Facebook chat due to the band’s location across the pond, but imagining the boys saying everything in a British accent made up for it.

Liv: Where’d you get your name?  I’m sure you know there’s an Elmore band and an Elmore D Band?

Andy: It’s our lead singer Luke’s mother’s maiden name (she’s Scottish) and a street he used to live on. Elmore band…? There’s one in London but we’re bigger than them so doesn’t matter! Although myself and Rich here are big jazz fans and love Elmore James [of the Elmore D Band]! Don’t forget we’re Elmor though!

Liv: How did the band form? Where are you all from?

Andy: Luke and I have been mates for about five years. After living in Vancouver I moved back here [London] and hooked up with him for some drinks. Luke said he had written some songs and wanted to get a band together. We started with a five piece line-up then. However things weren’t working and our original guitarist had to be fired after a year, so Tristan joined who we knew from the muso circle around here! We went through three other drummers before getting Richard who we found on the net….so 21st century!!

 Liv: What is muso?

 Andy: People in England who are musicians basically…! But it’s like more of a cool term for rockers.

 Liv: Ah, I like!

Andy: As a band we all have different influences though and so the sound we have is different than what it was when we began. The songs we did when it started three years ago? We don’t play any of them now!

 Liv: Describe Elmor’s sound to someone who has never heard your music before

Andy: Melodic rock; energetic rock sound with a commercial vibe…hang on we once had a review from a national paper which describes us well: “A face-off between the west coast of America indebted soaring melodies of the Thrills and the day-glo pop of the hirsute Magic Numbers, with a dash of stadium rock U2 and even industrial Editors-esque riffs” THE FLY “A lot of scope and expansiveness to the music, a certain kind of wind-swept romanticism” THE INDEPENDENT ”

Liv: If you weren’t in the band, what would you be doing?

Andy: Working in the industry; I’d probably go into management. I was doing that before the band. Luke would probably carry on – writing, doing solo stuff – and start a gardening business.

John: I’d be song writing and producing.

 Richard: Playing drums?! Typical drummer! Playing jazz though…

Liv: I’m glad you all would still be doing music stuff!! That’s refreshing.

Andy: The thing is we’ve never discuss that! We are part of the project and team and we don’t consider anything else.

Liv: What’s the song writing process? Song writing inspirations? Lyrical inspiration? Do you ever find it difficult to write a song?

Andy: When we wrote our current single it happened within an hour. Other songs have taken weeks! Sometimes the lyrics and melody are written first, sometimes another part is the basis. The songs can take weeks to tailor. “The Wedding Song” – which you won’t have heard; that shall be our next single – took about two months to get it how we wanted. Luke uses a lot of influences in his life for inspiration.

Liv: Yes, writing about what you know is always good! Do you have a favorite song to perform?

 Andy: A track called “Use It”. This was originally called “Everything and Everyone” but we’ve changed the latter to the album name. Because it’s the first song we wrote we wanted to incorporate it into the album title. John’s and Luke’s favorite is “One Step”

Richard: “Seven Years”

 Tristan: “Little Bit”

 Liv: Why these songs?

Andy: They are all different. Each one has its own elements. How we play them physically is different too. We get a different reaction to each one. I think our main basis is every song should be unique but encompassing our signature sound! There are too many bands – especially in this country – who have an album of “samey” songs…..also bands we’ve met touring. But then there are a couple who are special…

Liv: Like you?

Andy: We have been told we are! Haha!

 Liv: What song do you wish you had written?

Andy: “Be my baby”, The Ronettes. “Don’t Worry Baby”, The Beach Boys. Uum………. I know Luke would say Radiohead’s “Ok Computer”. For me: every album Muse has done!

Liv: Me too! I love Muse. Have you seen them live?

Andy: yeah last year!

Liv: Their keyboard player is fucking incredible.

Andy: Such a massive inspiration for me…

Liv: What’s your favorite thing about being on tour?

Andy: Making bets on how long it takes for Richard to fall asleep on the dance floor when we’re out! Oh, and tickling Tristan. He hates it!

Liv: Couldn’t you tickle him anytime?

Andy: Yes, but in a vehicle, he can’t escape! Meeting other bands is always fun. We come away from a tour having met loads of lovely people. Of course there are the obvious perks like trying different venues and crowds. England even though it’s small to you, you go an hour away and people/accents can be very different!

Listen to Elmor on their MYSPACE

New Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin ‘Cardinal Rules’

There has been a talk for quite some time in the Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin camp about a studio version of ‘Cardinal Rules,’ a song the band had written about their hometown minor league baseball team, The Springfield  Cardinals. The band have been playing the ever poppy tune at recent shows and it instantly became a favorite amongst fans. Will the tune be on the new record? No word on that yet, but there is word of SSLYBY working on their third record as we speak. The plans after that are to go back on tour, and we just can’t wait!

Download Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin ‘Cardinal Rules’ HERE

Laying It Down With The Honors

A combination of Jim Beam and a desire to change the world produces indie rock band The Honors. The Boston four-piece creates intricate yet accessible rock songs thickly layered with gritty, compelling instrumentation, sophisticated guitar licks, and raspy sincerity. Lead singer Brandon’s passionate vocals are particularly distinguished in “Passing on Blue”; the captivating melody provides the ideal vehicle for an unrestrained, heartfelt lyrical delivery that is one of The Honors’ trademark musical elements. 

Jason and Brandon of the band answered questions via email at a coffee shop on tour in Niagara Falls, NY.

Liv: What inspired you to make music together? How did you all meet?

Brandon: Someone once told us that people form bands to either change the world or get laid. I suppose you could say that we are inspired by a good mix of both.

Jason: Brandon and I met while studying English at Regents College in London, England. What began as late night, post-club jam sessions grew into a lasting musical relationship. We reunited several years later in Boston and decided to form The Honors sometime in the winter of 2008. Jason was playing in a successful New England area hip-hop band called The Press Project, and after performing their final show at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival, Jason recruited the hip-hop band’s bassist, Roland, to join the new band. Andrew came to Boston to study jazz at the Berklee College of Music, and knew of Brandon through mutual friends, as both Brandon and Andrew hail from the Ohio Valley.  

Liv: What inspires your music on a non-musical level? Like, a book or piece of artwork…

Jason: ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ by Jules Verne. Anything involving the ocean, really.  

Liv: What was your very first show like?

Brandon: We had so much fun we can’t really remember.  

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Liv: What has been your biggest conflict to over come as a band or as individual musicians?

Brandon: Who gets to sit shotgun on tour.  

Liv: How has the relationship within the band changed over time?

Brandon: We used to shake hands. Now we give hugs.  

Liv: What does the near future hold for The Honors? Ten years from now?

Jason: Lots and lots of touring, meeting new people (preferably lovely ladies), empty bottles of whiskey, shoe polish, Walmart parking lots, Mark Jacobs, releasing a debut album, legendary fame in Japan.

Brandon: Ten years from now doing all the same things but in a world we helped to change.

 Liv: What’s your pre show/post show routine? Describe your rock show experience…

Jason: Preshow-

750ml of Jim Beam

5 cigarettes

1 to 3 windsor knots

Engaging as many lovely ladies as possible. Spice to taste.  

Brandon: Postshow- 30 Pack of Miller High Life, so every lady gets a drink at the afterparty.  

Jason: If you’re a female, like to dance, party, have fun, and forget the day to day bull shit that inundates all our lives, then this is the show for you. If you’re a male, and like to look at females dancing, partying, having fun, and forgetting the day to day bull shit that inundates all our lives, then this is the show for you. Party on!  

Liv: What’s your favorite/least favorite things about being on tour and/or being in the studio?

 Jason: Favorite studio experience: the initial play back of a new song.

Brandon: Least favorite: waiting around for the engineers to set everything set up.  

Liv: What song do you wish you had written?

‘Love Game’ by Lady Gaga.  

Liv: What are your favorite swear words?

Jason: The Jonas Brothers. PressShot

Check out the band’s myspace here!

Secondhand Sunday: The Sleepy Jackson ‘Vampire Racecourse’

This edition of Secondhand Sunday features a band that I sort of forgot about, The Sleepy Jackson. The video for ‘Vampire Racecourse’ really reminds me of my mid college years. I listened to a lot of The Sleepy Jackson on the way to class. It just felt right. Of course now, singer Luke Steele is in indie rock outfit, Empire of the Sun which has pretty much surpassed The Sleepy Jackson in terms of popularity. Both bands are very different, but are nonetheless incredible.

Watch The Sleepy Jackson’s ‘Vampire Racecourse’  from their 2003 album, ‘Lovers’.