Timothe Davis

Timothe Davis


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Saturday, 01 February 2014 16:20

"Little Darling" - Paper Cranes

One of my dilemnas is that I'm not always able to find information on the artists I stumble across. My guess is that if it's a dilemna for me, it's a bigger dilemna for them. How does an independent artists get his or her name out there (the universe) without major backing? There are scores AND SCORES of talented artists grinding out quality music that will get heard by very few people. (Just as there are wonderful writers who will never have a best-seller.)

All that brings me to Paper Cranes and their song "Little Darling." The song is a blend of folk and alternative with an emotional and soulful undercurrent. The lead singer's tenor beckons for a repeat listen as he admonishes his little darling how to save her soul. I compelled to believe he's referring to her emotional soul, not her spiritual one. 

And that's all I got for you. I don't know much about Paper Cranes. This is the first single from their second album, (wild guess there!) and they are from New Zealand.

But hey! My job is to point out the good music I hear. It's up to you to go out buy and support ... 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 00:00

The Miseducation of a Zombie

 

The Miseducation of a Zombie

"You don't just turn someone into a Zombie or a Werewolf or a Vampire. That shit's been illegal for over fifty years, even if the victim is willing. No, there are protocols to follow. You go to the Bureau of Reassignment, you get tested; you get a permit. The victim needs to see a therapist, talk to their doctor, and sometimes receive hormone injections before the procedure even begins. No one is stupid enough do that stuff in back alleys anymore."

But "turned" Zombies are appearing. And if the resulting violence doesn't destroy the nation, then the truth behind what's happening will.

Vic, Senior Serenity Ambassador, is tasked with preventing the Zombie-Apocalypse. But how can he? He's juggling his love life, coming to grips with his own prejudices, and he hasn't slept for days — not with a moody Nymph sitting on his doorstep.

All Vic wants is his happy ending. But he's about to learn that some fairy tales don't end well.

 

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014 02:03

"Trampoline" - The Unlikely Candidate

The Unlikely Candidate and their "Trampoline" is a bouncing (no pun intended) happy-go-lucky rock song. It's rock ala Fall Out Boy (circa "From Under the Cork Tree") and like Fall Out, the song is a blend of pop/rock/and maybe a bit of punk.

It's a fun ditty with a catchy hook and a thoughtful message about owning your own happiness. Although, owning happiness is often easier said than done.

At the end of the day, and the end of the song, the Unlikely Candidate is wishing for a positive outlook. To tell the truth, how can you not have a positive outlook on life when you're bouncing on a trampoline? And this is a "Trampoline" worth jumping on. 

 

Friday, 03 January 2014 00:09

"Just Because" - Body Language

I've been sleeping, and I hate when I do that.

A few months ago, I heard "We Got Enough" by Body Language on SIRIUS radio. I thought, "Damn, cool song!" I bought it on iTunes, placed it on heavy rotation on the workout mix, and kept it moving.

People, I was sleeping. Because today I was out and about and heard "Just Because." And I realized, I really like this group. No, wait, hold it. I mean, I really REALLY DIG THIS GROUP. (Of course, you know that means I bought it.)

"Just Because" has this 80's retro soul-pop sound. As if Philp Oakley (the Human League) decided to do a duet with Five Starr, and then they all relocated from London to Brooklyn. The vocals (including the background), the groove, and the video make me smile. I've been hearing more soulful synth of late; this groups commands it better than most. 

You know how I feel about indie; it's overlooked and ignored. But this is great stuff. It deserves to be heard. And not "Just Because .." 

Thursday, 02 January 2014 23:59

"Casting Shadows Everywhere" - LT Vargus

In "Casting Shadows Everywhere," sixteen year old Jake, by his own account, is a pussy. Harassed, put-upon, and bullied since childhood, he has never stood up for himself; even when his insides urged him to do so.

His friends are limited to his cousin Nick, his would-be-protector whose twisted take on life begins to mold Jake. Beth is the sweet object of Jake's affection and Robert is his autistic schoolmate.

The tale is written as a diary-of-sorts. Through it we see how ineffective and unaffected Jake is. Even as his life becomes more chaotic, he remains disconnected from almost every action, as if he was an observer but not a participant. Whether it's his first kiss, or his finding a woman sleeping in the house he burglarizes, or eventually becoming a bully himself, most of his actions are punctuated with "ya know?" or a 'meh' type comment. The few times Jake claims to feel "alive" are typically the times we'd prefer that he not.

Change is inevitable and over the course of the book, as Nick-the-burglar becomes Jake's mentor, Jake begins to change. The bullied becomes the bully. The change is sadly fascinating and perhaps a bit ironic; Jake spends much of the book talking about how the brain works, how it sifts through information, how people process right and wrong, yet the lessons are lost on him. He reads the info; he doesn't apply it.

Jake isn't easy to care about partially because he doesn't care. Clearly he feels a fondness toward his two friends. But outside of that, he has passion for virtually nothing.

I wish I had known more around the "why's" of Jake's actions. He is reasonably attractive, he does well enough in sports, he's tall and strong enough to defend himself, and he's smart enough to take college courses. So what's up with him? The book hints that it's a lack of a role model, and I did wonder: Where in the HELL are the adults in this kid's world? There doesn't seem to be one who is active in his life. This includes his mom, who for unclear reasons, he doesn't respect. She merits no more than three or four entries in his journal.

Maybe she deserves it. Maybe her parenting skills were grossly lacking. The kid was slipping out every night to steal shit. Did he have no curfew? Was mom knocked out on Ambien? Or was she slinging hash at Mel's Diner, trying to provide a decent life for the two, and she didn't know what he was up to? We don't know; Jake never tells us.

Time passes, and one day Jake discovers that Nick is up to far more than just burglarizing homes. Jake sets out to resolve it. Yet as he tries, the disconnect between what Jake should do and what Jake does remains. To state it as Jake might, 'I'm not sure if the left side of his brain and the right side of his brain are communicating. Ya know?'

In the end, Jake learns some very powerful lessons about himself and what life is really about. I'm just not sure that he learned everything that he should have. But maybe that's what happens when you make life-altering decisions at sixteen years old. Or maybe you can't see clearly when you're "Casting Shadows Everywhere."

In her debut novel, L.T. Vargus has fashioned a modern day commentary about the repercussions of bullying, of controlling others, and of not loving one's self. It's a powerful theme; and the tale lingers long after you turn the last page.

Thursday, 26 December 2013 17:41

"Feels Like Home"- Melissa Polinar

Melissa Polinar strums the guitar, her vocals are crystal clear,and her lyrics are introspective and thoughtful. She's akin to India Arie; her lyrics about growing, about positivity, and self-reflection are as important as the music itself.

On "Feels Like Home," she laments, "Tried using credit cards to fill my empty heart. And now, my wallet is empty ..."

On "Happy," she chooses to "live life and just be happy."

On "Never Change," she shows off some of the many colors of her voice. 

This is a fine collection of songs, served as well in a coffee shop as they would be over the radio. They are designed to make you feel warm and comfortable. And really, that's how home should feel. 

 

Thursday, 26 December 2013 17:30

NAYAH

There's something almost disconcertingly sweet about Nayah. She's friendly, sincere, appreciative, and two minutes into the interview, she giggles.


It's an odd but wonderful juxtaposition from a girl who wants to own the dance floor ala Beyonce and Rihanna but at heart is thoughtful and modest.


To speak with Nayah is to speak with someone who knows the blessing of having family surround her and understands the strong foundation it has provided.


Nayah started singing at the tender age of nine. As she tells it, she'd follow her sisters at family get-togethers, admiring how they would sing for others, but much too shy to perform herself. One Christmas, her mother convinced her to sing "Silent Night." The rest is history. Nayah's talent was abundantly clear, and her love for singing was apparent. It wasn't long before Nayah was taking voice and dance lessons, while being coached as an artist by her mother and father.


Nayah's appreciation for those experiences is clear: She can't help but sing praises about her sisters and their "beautiful voices." She shares how her parents have provided wonderful support during good and bad seasons. And she talks about her sister T-Dani's ability to write songs.


This foundation, this background, helps provide Nayah's life with balance. Not only is Nayah a singer, she's also a college student. And her education is important to her as her music.


"My goal is to walk across the stage with my Masters and to walk across the stage and perform. I'm going to do that."
Balance, though, is more than just spending the proper time studying for school and working on her artistry. Balance is also about being the artists she wants to be and presenting the "right" Nayah to her audience. It's about being true to her core.


"Nowadays, we listen to anything that has a beat or rhythm. And sometimes you don't think of the message. You think, it's a cool beat. But I want to create the message that I want. I want it to relate to my age, and situations that happen to young girls and guy. Personally I want people to understand me as an artist, and that I can relate [to what they've been through].


"I want you to be able to listen to the lyrics and have a great time jamming to it as well."


What Nayah doesn't want to do is to get caught up. She admits that there are a lot of things that can distract an artist. And if you don't know who you are, if you don't have the proper mindset, you can make decisions you regret.


It's hard to imagine that someone as modest as Nayah will get caught up. While she doesn't put her voice in a genre, she admits that she does get compared to Rihanna quite often. Her response?


"I feel very humble when someone comes up to me and says that your music sounds like Rihanna. She's an amazing artist."


When you bring up her loyal and ever-growing fan base, she beams. "I'm so thankful to have them and I appreciate them. If I could thank every one of them, I would." Sweet and appreciative.


So what's next for Nayah? She recently released "Lights Out," her follow up to her hit "BLVD." 2014 will bring new songs, a new video, and continued growth as an artist.


Nayah is a star on the rise – brilliant, beautiful, but humble – as any shining star should be.

Saturday, 21 December 2013 21:33

"Peace of Mind" Cash Bilz

Smoothly produced and flawlessly delivered, Brooklyn rapper Cash Bilz is asking for "Peace of Mind" on his mixtape.

I'll admit, I'm a bit picky about my rap music. Do I love the genre? Yeah. But there's a tendency for rap artists to deliver the same gangsta shit, the same boastful shit, and the same sad stories over and over again. I get it. Those stories represent some lives. Yet, if those are the stories an artist is sharing, deliver them to me with some nice beats and tight lyrics.

I'm a writer. Lyrics mean everything.

Fortunately, Bilz delivers both on this joint. He's struggling; he's frustrated; he's got no support. But the rhymes are on point, mixing both timeless references - "I'm underground like Harriet" - to more current - "And I dunk on your hoop dreams."

As in all poetry, there are simple rhymes and there are more complex ones. Bilz has deferred to the more complex ones; and he doesn't miss on his delivery. 

The song is short. Too short. And that's a compliment to what he's done. I was nodding my head the entire song, and you will be as well. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 18:41

"Right Mistake" - Shawn Mayer

Shawn Mayer is based in Nashville, which gives her some country roots. But that doesn't mean she can't rock. Because rock is what she does in "Right Mistake." 

Seemingly addressed to a potential lover, Shawn Mayer proclaims that "the sweat from the heat of the night" is rolling off her skin. Her tone is reminiscent of Melissa Etheridge as she wrings primal passion from the tune.

Check out the youtube link; you'll love the bass.

Check out the iTunes single; you'll love her voice. 

And remember, support your indie artist! They've got some great talent. 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 02:51

"Don't Forget About Me" - Silvergun

Do you like ROCK? If so, I'd strongly suggest you tune your dial to Silvergun, a rock band straight outta Dallas, TX. 

Their latest song is "Don't You Forget Me" and while it's a rock ballad (think "Heaven" by Warrant), it's clear that the lead singer has the chops to wail a rock song like it should be. You know, the way Axel Rose can wail (or another one of my personal favorites - Layne Staley of Alice in Chains). Of course, a rock song wouldn't be rock without the necessary guitars and bass. The song is replete with them. 

Catch Silvergun while they are still doing the Dallas circuit. From the looks of their growing fan base, chart appearance, and movie soundtrack work, they are quickly headed for the big time ...

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