Nicholas Monroe lives in Eugene, Oregon with his partner Danae and their three mythological beasts Sasquatch, Wendigo, and Chupacabra. He holds a Master of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from California State University, Chico. He is a former editor of Watershed Review and is a contributing author for Rawckus Magazine. Links to his published works can be found below:
Their newest video, “Good Girls,” released just days before their self-titled debut album, finds singer Paul Klein roaming on the streets of L.A. in an unnerved, brooding manner, and singing to a catchy synth-laden backing track with light funky fills that harkens back to the glamor and grime of ‘80s and ‘90s Hollywood. In it, Paul Klein plays the role of teen-movie beleaguered bad boy looking for redemption—unwashed locks, gold hoop earrings, and baggy crop top—equal parts Vine and Valley. By the end, however, Klein’s character happens into a chance encounter, adding nuance to the initially simple premise with a direct narrative reference to the prior “ILYSB.” Of the video, Klein said, “I thought it’d be cool to set up the storyline of this specific song as a potential prequel . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
Columbus, Ohio threesome Plaid Brixx started out in 2014 on the poppier side of pop-punk, with a sound akin to late 2000s-era bands like Fall Out Boy, We the Kings, and Cute Is What We Aim For. Success followed quickly, with their first EP, Chemistry, earning a nomination for an Independent Music Award in the 2014 Best Rock EP category. Plaid Brixx continues its winning ways on the road, most recently as part of the We the Kings 10-year anniversary tour through the US and UK.
Plaid Brixx singer and songwriter Chris Duggan spoke with Rawckus about the band’s self-titled EP, released in November 2016; artistic integrity; playing live versus in the studio, and the power of Taylor Swift . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
New Jersey’s Wyland sounds considerably polished for such a young band. In fact, CMJ calls the uplifting sonics, spacey reverb, and soaring vocals—which fall somewhere between Long Island emo-pop band As Tall As Lions and Brit-pop mainstays Keane—“instantly digestible.” The band just released their second EP, Snake Hill, and are launching a new tour in support.
Lead singer and songwriter Ryan Sloan was kind enough to speak with Rawckus about Snake Hill, his views on live showmanship, Wyland’s role as rock ‘n’ roll “outcasts, and the impact of politics on the arts . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
Patti Smith. Debbie Harry. Poly Styrene. Joan Jett. Siouxsie Sioux. Kathleen Hanna. Kim Gordon. Kim Deal. Corin Tucker. Carrie Brownstein—all have shown that women can rock as hard, live as dangerously, and make an impact as profound as any of their male counterparts. More importantly, they’ve shown that being punk, like being a woman, isn’t a singular thing . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
Owen Marchildon is a pervert. At least that’s what he proclaims on multiple tracks from his second solo record for Purple Hill Records as Marchildon! (Yes, he uses excessive punctuation in his moniker to differentiate projects.) That statement goes far beyond self-deprecating if perversion is taken as a negative or conflated with sexual deviance here, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for the Ontario, Canada folk-punk weirdo . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
The United States is in turmoil. There is palpable unrest in the air. Deep social, political, and ideological divides mount. Few albums in recent memory have captured this feeling better than RTJ3. The New York rap duo of El-P and Killer Mike (aka eclectic producer Jaime Meline and Bernie Sanders stumper Michael Render) dropped their third manifesto by way of mailing list and a promotional bit featured on IFC’s hipster-skewering/revering Portlandia . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
It’s not often that an artist’s debut album is as sonically mature as Tim Muddiman and the Strange’s Paradise Runs Deeper, but Tim Muddiman isn’t your typical fledgling artist.
Though Paradise Runs Deeper is functionally a debut, the British multi-instrumentalist and producer has worked extensively with Gary Numan, Pop Will Eat Itself, and Nine Inch Nails as part of their touring bands and a supporting act. In fact, the production and musical architecture on the album share similarities to those aforementioned artists with its massive, arena-worthy percussion and electro flourishes, but with a greater focus on guitar work than synthesizers. Indeed, the guitar work, both in tone and phrasing, is the most exciting element of the album. The immediate artistic comparison is Jack White by way of Johnny Marr . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
Back in April, 2016 we published an article titled “Buckethead’s Artistic Madness,” detailing Brian Patrick Carroll’s prolific career as guitar wizard Buckethead—and by prolific, we mean it. Over the course of the guitarist’s 20-plus-year solo career, he has released more than 260 studio albums. This number doesn’t even include the countless side-projects and supergroups to which Buckethead has contributed. You may ask, “Where do I even begin?” This would certainly be a daunting task when approaching any artist with multiple decades under his or her belt, let alone an artist with a discography as long as Buckethead’s. Fear not, however, this list was written to help you get started . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
It’s that time of year again, boils and ghouls—the weather has cooled, leaves have begun to turn, and the witching hour is upon us. Halloween quickly approaches and you need some music to wake the dead. You know the standards already: “Thriller,” “Monster Mash,” “Ghostbusters,” and “This is Halloween.” They’re spooky good and nicely embalmed to withstand the ages, but this year, Rawckus reaches out to another musical plane to conjure up some lesser known tricks, treats, and tracks . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
You can feel your tires roll over the salt-worn boards, each one squeaking as you pedal on the pier. That peerless ocean caress, flecked with sand, pinks your cheeks. The laughs from fellow cyclists spark your ears—the same spark you’ll get from the band at the downtown dive, warm with its harmonized whoa-ohs, yahas and ooohs, backing up some proto-rock yowls. As the sun sets and the boardwalk grows dark, you grab a cone from the creamery and wash it down with a 40 before heading into the punk rock prom. This is the essence of Shannon and the Clams, a sock-hop punk band out of Oakland, California . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
Joywave made waves (groan, I know) as they came crashing back onto Late Night with Seth Meyers to play “Destruction” from their recent release Swish, a remix album consisting entirely of slight variations of the aforementioned song and album art that hawkishly mocks The Life of Pablo (you mad, Kanye?). The brilliantly offbeat performance began with lead vocalist Daniel Armbruster alone on the darkened stage timidly pushing a cartoonish red button only to be “frightened” by the buzzsaw synthesizer groan that followed in response. What ensued was three minutes of dance-rock . . . wait for it . . . destruction . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
Like the majority of the song titles on their sixth full-length album, Stiff, (seventh if you include Exposion), White Denim have always operated as a parenthetical aside to the “heavy hitters” of the modern blues rock subgenre; indeed, five out of nine tracks on Stiff contain parentheses in the title. However, the album shows a clear attempt to change this status. While The Black Keys moved on to disco and Tame Impala became more idiosyncratic with psychedelic experimentation, White Denim delved deeper into the R&B and soul catalogue, digging up influences from Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, and James Brown . . . . (Read the rest at Rawckus Magazine.)
Often in poetry we find authors trying to connect larger existential and philosophical themes with nature and concrete, tactile imagery—that melding of abstraction and the physical. Few poets, however, get at that fused space with the essence of the human condition, moving beyond beauty into the sublime to find that extra dimension or flavor like literary umami. Troy Jollimore is one of these poets . . . . (Read the rest at Watershed Review blog.)
“Deadheading” is a collection of poems that can be viewed as a travelogue. This is a documentation of exploration. These poems move. They cover terrain—terrain that is physical, emotional, temporal, cultural, and spatial. This travelogue explores many elements of the world in order to convey the essence of the human condition through a variety of voices and poetic techniques. The characters portrayed within, a rich variety of personae, navigate through the literary wilderness of eastern Tennessee in “Southern Gothic,” go to market and return with little to show for their work in “The Muleteer Returns Home from Market,” watch native islander culture clash with the now inseparable tourist trade in “Aloha from Hawaii,” and experience urban decay in the “Baby Puke Bus” sequence of poems. Other characters encounter mental illness for the first time in “Jeff Takes a Ride Through Alta Heights, 1989,” commune with the natural world in “From bouldered perch I see” and “of bark, of branches,” and come to terms with their own grief in “In You I Recognize Myself” and “days like this keep me warm.”