Regret the Hour: ‘Better Days’ — melodic ache


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betterdays-artwork“We strongly believe that music has the power to make the world a better place.”  This is the announcement of Regret the Hour, a young New York band set to release their sophomore album, ‘Better Days,’ April 13th.   This follows their 2012 EP, ‘The Living Remember.’ The foursome who formed the band in 2010 originated as Nyack High schoolmates.  ‘Better Days’ features brothers Nate and Ben McCarthy on lead vocals and guitars, Jesse Yanko on bass, and Anders Fleming on drums.

Drawing comparisons to U2 and Kings of Leon, Regret the Hour received some early recognition, with their venue list including Arlene’s Grocery, Sullivan Hall, and The Bowery Electric; they shared the stage with acts ranging from The Chapin Sisters to Dave Mason to the Vanguard.

Within two years, Regret the Hour released two EP’s and an album.  They set out to record ‘Better Days’ as their first real studio effort.  Creating a studio in an old factory building on High Ave, Regret the Hour wrote and recorded ‘Better Days’ during the summer of 2012 with assistance from producer/engineer Marek Stycos. Continue reading

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Otan Vargas: ‘Selected Sorrow’ — hope amidst melancholy


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In this season of gratitude, we get an EP from one of the most grateful artists making music, Otan Vargas.  This NYC artist recently vowed via Facebook to “work hard and save enough money, so I can tour from east coast to west coast and even out of the country.”  He made this public promise not to expand his music exposure or increase merchandise sales.  Call it instead a gratitude tour – “Then I can finally thank each one of you in person,” said Vargas to his fans.

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Alexx Calise: ‘AC3’ EP — fun passionate groove


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Alexx Calise asserts that she absolutely is not crazy. This statement comes a year after her hauntingly beautiful Sound of Cancer project release, ‘No Vampires in Gilroy.’ The ‘AC3’ EP, released November 13th was produced entirely at Calise’s Los Angeles home (with the exception of drums) by Alexx Calise and her producer, Wes Michener.

‘AC3’ is five tracks featuring Calise at what she does best: take you from heavy party rock tunes, such as the jumpin’ “Not Crazy” to the deeper, more pensive songs like “Outta Here” which sympathizes with confusion yet emits enough compelling rhythm to get “through the night.” Continue reading

Resonance Retreat ~ A Personal Note


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Me and Ben Flanagan of The Trophy Fire at Silverlake Lounge, Nov 15th.

On the Roxx with Alexx Calise, Oct. 15th.

Since Resonance’s inception in June 2011, I’ve undergone parental health crises, cross country moves, a three month stay on the West Coast, and the growth of a new family member due in just a few days.

Music has been my joy and solace through much of the turmoil.  Over these past few months however, even music has failed to provide the necessary balm for soothing life’s upheavals.

My current need to focus on family responsibilities and organize daily life exceeds my underlying ache to create.  Writing has ceased to come easily, and what was once a hobby has become one more undone item on my to-do list.  Time to move on.  Or at least retreat for a spell.

Experiencing Dissilence 2 with Nostalghia, Dec. 3rd.

I have greatly appreciated the opportunities to personally meet a few of the artists I’ve reviewed and interviewed.

Thanks to all who have submitted material to Resonance and helped make it fun.  Best of luck to you in your music.


“Bridge of Sighs” by Her Vanished Grace


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Bridge of Sighs
Suck in, release
Tension waves
Primal cries
A Shot in the Heart

Face Value
Crossing the line

The threshold
Into my arms

A Dream Of Fish

Swimming cozy
Until fateful
Labor Day

Winter Birds
Passion Curve


Find “Bridge Of Sighs” on Her Vanished Grace’s latest album, ‘Star-Crossed.’

Ummagma: ‘Ummagma’ — electro-ambience


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Ummagma is a mixture of nature-inspired ambience and electronic beats.  With Canadian and Ukrainian backgrounds, this duo consists of Alexx Kretov (composition, instruments, arrangement, recording, vocals) and Shauna McLarnon (vocals, composition, lyrics).  Some bands start out small, releasing singles and EPs.  Ummagma makes their debut with twin albums, one self-titled and the other named ‘Antigravity.’  That’s a two-dozen song debut!  This review will cover the self-titled album.

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Voletta interview: dreamy industrial shoegaze


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Listing inspirations as diverse as Jameson whiskey and Saladworks entrées, Joe Sheairs admits that he is inspired by much more than other band’s music.  Sheairs is joined by Andre Comfort to form Voletta, an electronic shoegaze band formed in 2004 and based in Philadelphia.  Voletta seems to reside in a dreamy nebulous area, where emotions take precedence over the details of reality.

The duo’s releases comprise of one album and several EPs, the latest of which is titled, ‘A Big Mess,’ a three-track collection of B-sides and live recordings.  Here’s a brief description of each.
‘The Collapse’ (2004): Hear a bit of powerpop in “Snap Bracelet”, a tinge of psychedelia in “Hypoglycemia”, and a nice dreampop ambience in “Pocket Full of Empty Film Canisters.”
‘Sign Language’ (2006): If Smashing Pumpkins were to do something more along acoustic lines, at least without the multi-layered guitars, it would sound something like this.
‘Voletta’ EP (2010):  This is an amazing mix of 80s artrock with 90s powerpop, and layered shoegaze guitar fuzz.
‘Soft Focus’ (2011): Smooth and compelling, this EP features electronic beats, layered with fuzz guitar behind breathy vocals.  Groovy industrial vibes alternate with explosive shoegaze soundscapes to create a pervasively powerful sound.
Voletta singer/songwriter Joe Sheairs spoke with Resonance about inspiration, clarification, and reworking songs. Continue reading