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A Look Behind Hawk & Dove

by Charles Willis on Apr 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM
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The indie rockers, Hawk and Dove, have brought rock back to Brooklyn. "Hawk and Dove have been described as the Loudest quiet band you have ever heard." They are creating a Rock sound that has never been heard before. They have done this by mixing beautiful ballads and thunderous stoner grooves that makes a psychedelic rock sound like no other.  It was 12 years after their first meeting, at a summer camp, they figured out their passion for music was the same, so they started playing and writing. With Brian curling lyrics and with john's angular guitar plays shards of glass that bind and repel us. Ever so often you can hear alittle david bowie come out. I recently had a chance to ask them a few questions. 

Charles Willis -What got you started with your love for music?

Elijah Miller: Music was always in my family.  My grandmother is a wonderful folk musician with a few children’s records under her belt, and she had me singing onstage with her at the Philly Folk Festival when i was 5 or 6 years old.  My mother is also a phenomenal singer and guitar player who sang in the house every day.  We had instruments set up in the living room when i was a toddler and the whole family would make music.

John Kleber: My father was phenomenal blues guitarist and banjo player so I grew listening to Flatt and Scruggs and Bill Monroe as well as the blues legends like John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson. My mom loved all of the '50s and '60s classics like Elvis and Buddy Holly, the Beatles and the Beach Boys, and I am sure she is the reason why I have the lyrics to the entire Motown catalog memorized. At this point that music is in my DNA. Though I studied saxophone in elementary school, I never got very far because my school had a terrible and uninspiring music program. It wasn't until I got my first guitar when I was 14 that I really became obsessed with music. I practiced hours and hours every day and played in a band that rehearsed constantly which eventually allowed me to turn music into my job for several years.

CW: Tell us briefly how the Band came to be? (Are you a comic fan?

EM: John and I became friends at summer camp about 20 years ago, and then reunited by a chance meeting in a brooklyn bar in 2006.  At the time I was just starting to make music the number one priority in my life and John had been playing in different bands for many years.  I was honing my writing and stage fright skills at open mics a few days a week and john came out to see me play a number of times before we decided to embark on this journey.  We have been slowly adding to, and crafting the sound with a group of amazing musicians that today, make up the best group of people we’ve ever played with.  AJ Sauseville, our drummer and John have been playing music together since 1998. Joan Chew covers both our string section with her violin and the rhythm section playing bass. Max Hodes adds stunning accents and articulation with his tenor guitar, vocals and bass playing (when joan is holding a bow,) and both he and our newest keyboard playing member Caitlin sing harmonies as two karaoke nerds at heart.

CW: What inspired the name Hawk and Dove?

EM: Hawk and Dove was a name John had been tossing around in his head as a band name for a little while before it was taken on by this project. We are also comic book fans, and Neil Young fans (he has an album called hawks and doves), and that bar in DC fans... but i think the name was really taken on because it reflected our deeper intention of attempting to perform a musical and emotional dichotomy. Our loud and quiet moments, our soothing and abrasive moments, are all sort of attempts to perform this idea.

JK: I was aware of the comic book but it was never one that interested me. In general I have always liked the connotation of the Hawk and Dove. When it occurred to me to use it as a name it was because it reflected the sound of the music I want to make and, most importantly, it was the only band name I had ever come up with that wasn't completely embarrassing. 

CW: Where did the inspiration come from that helped you cultivate your first fulll length album?

JK: It's not easy to talk about what inspires an album. We both drew on countless sources, and we spent literally hundreds of hours developing these songs, building and tearing them down before we even put any tracks on tape. Overall, the album took us more than a year to make. The entire process was incredible  and difficult and powerful and inspiring in its own right. I would venture a guess that when one works on any work of art that requires the kind of emotional and intellectual effort demanded by an album, the process itself can be the source of inspiration.

CW: What is the meaning behind the album title. "This Yesterday Will Never End"?

EM: It's funny, it seems so apparent to me, though many people ask about the meaning, but it really means exactly what it sounds like I think... The origin of the album's name came from a late night moment of exasperation, a statement made by John in the midst of a very challenging month. He said it out loud, and I wrote it down because I loved how articulate and unique the combination of words he had come up with were.  And it immediately conjured for me, in a simple statement, a greater challenge we all struggle with about the yesterdays that continue to follow us through our own lives, starting in a way, with our earliest decisions, but then also much further back, both generationally and culturally.  And that is one of the main themes i was trying to investigate with the words in this record, so we felt it really fit, as a frame with which to hold these songs.

JK: I tend to come up with a lot of what my high school vice principal called "ambiguous phraseology". It almost goes without saying that I was frequently disciplined for such lexical hijinks.

CW: Elijah, Where do you go with your writing the lyrical story to your songs?

EM: I often write my songs around a specific image, or scenario in my head, or something i’ve heard about - or dreamt up in a country house, or on another planet in space, or grabbed a slice off from a piece of memory...  and then i do my best to most accurately describe that image or scenario.  And if it’s a scene that really has inspired me, then there’s a good balance of emotional reaction and logistical explanation.  Every one of my songs are about something very specific, and if it’s not a physical image, sometimes it’s just an idea, or a kind of reaction that i want to understand further, and the process of writing is sometimes just an attempt at clarity.

CW: John who are some of the musicians who help direct your melody creations?

JK: I believe my melodic inspiration comes from music I absorb subconsciously. I definitely find a lot of inspiration in simple motifs and repetition. I think the music that most influences my process is that which is buried deep in my memories from childhood; lots of Motown, Soul and Bluegrass.

CW: What has been your favorite moment of being a part of Hawk and Dove

EM: My favorite times with this band are on stage when our musical vision is, in that moment, being realized. When we're connecting with the audience and we're all performing together in a way that feels deeply intimate and untroubled. That's why I keep coming back... and enjoying my day.

JK: It is really a joy to play in a band I believe in after all these years. It has been such an amazing experience writing and performing music that people connect to on an individual, visceral level. I think that we don't make music that is meant to be enjoyed only one way; it can be interpreted and discovered and debated; in this way, the music almost becomes a collaboration with the listener. Being a part of such a process and hearing what people take away from it is extremely rewarding. I also just really like to rock hard and play my guitar loud and this band lets me do that.

CW: If i were to borrow your ipod, who would find it there?

EM: I survive on a steady flow of Waits, Dylan and Cohen as inspiration for lyrical and metaphorical imagery. But I never go long without checking back in with Nick Cave, Gillian Welch, Earth, Nina Simone, the Beatles, Wilco, Harry Nilsson, Lou Reed, CAN...

JK: These days I have been listening to a lot of modern rootsy folky stuff like Brown Bird, Phosphorescent, Sufjan Stevens, Wilco, and Will Oldham. I also spend a ridiculous amount of time with  guitarists like Mark Ribot and Bill Frisell and early John McLaughlin. I also can't get enough Tinariwen or Earth or the Grateful Dead. And I have to admit, I am a sucker for a good pop song. My guilty pleasure is Kimbra. 

CW: What is the future for Hawk and Dove?

EM: The future of Hawk and Dove is to really just continue to compose and perform our sound until we can't anymore. Sharing it with more and more folks in a live setting as often as we can. Though at the rate we've been working, there's no end in sight and we're very excited about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michael Sweet on Stryper's "Second Coming"

by Nathan Garcia on Mar 25, 2013 at 8:08 AM
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Michael Sweet Stryper singer, guitarist

 

"The best way I can describe the tone of this album is that it sounds like a grown-up version of Stryper. "

 

 

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Stryper - Second Coming

by Matthew C. Miller on Mar 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM
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Stryper - Second Coming

Stryper's Second Coming arrives March 26, 2013

I left the promo copy of this disc on my desk putting off listening to it though I wanted to hear it real bad.
I had not listened to any of the samples the band had released because I feared what I would hear.
(Re-recording veritable golden and platinum classics is a cardinal sin).

I was cringing hoping it wouldn't be bad or embarrassing, but as I plugged in and cranked my monitors up - my jaw proceeded to fall through the floor.

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Who stole the show at the Grammys

by Charles Willis on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM
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the grammys

 

One of the biggest nights in the music industry happpen for the 55th time last night. THE GRAMMYS. I will start this little post by saying that it was one of better cast of performers than I have seen in a long time. They were all on their A Game. I feel, in my opinion, that two performances that stole the show were FUN. and the tribute to Bob Marley.  Let me say this as well that my opinion does not take away from all of the top performances of the night. The coolest feature, prop, or wardrobe would have to go to Carrey Underwood. That growing, projected flower on her dress was...How should I say...AWESOME. Well I am a tech geek as well so of course i digged it. The only bittersweet moment for me of the night was the BEST NEW ARTIST CATERGORY. I was pulling for the Lumineers, BUT I am happy FUN. won.  Here is a list of the winners. 

 

 

 

Record
Lonely Boy, The Black Keys
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You), Kelly Clarkson
We Are Young, fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
WINNER: Somebody That I Used to Know, Gotye featuring Kimbra
Thinkin Bout You, Frank Ocean
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Taylor Swift

Song (goes to writer)
The A Team (performed by Ed Sheeran)
Adorn (Miguel)
Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen)
Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)
WINNER: We Are Young (fun.)

Best new artist
Alabama Shakes
WINNER: fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

Pop vocal album
WINNER: Stronger, Kelly Clarkson
Ceremonials, Florence + The Machine
Some Nights, fun.
Overexposed, Maroon 5
The Truth About Love, Pink

Dance/electronica album
Wonderland, Steve Aoki
Don't Think, The Chemical Brothers
> Album Title Goes Here <, Deadmau5
Fire & Ice, Kaskade
WINNER: Bangarang, Skrillex

Rock album
WINNER: El Camino, The Black Keys
Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay
The 2nd Law, Muse
Wrecking Ball, Bruce Springsteen
Blunderbuss, Jack White

Alternative album
The Idler Wheel Is Wiser …, Fiona Apple
Biophilia, Björk
WINNER: Making Mirrors, Gotye
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, M83
Bad As Me, Tom Waits

R&B album
WINNER: Black Radio, Robert Glasper Experiment
Back to Love, Anthony Hamilton
Write Me Back, R. Kelly
Beautiful Surprise, Tamia
Open Invitation, Tyrese

Rap album
WINNER: Take Care, Drake
Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1, Lupe Fiasco
Life Is Good, Nas
Undun, The Roots
God Forgives, I Don't, Rick Ross
Based On A T.r.u. Story, 2 Chainz

Country album
WINNER: Uncaged, Zac Brown Band
Hunter Hayes, Hunter Hayes
Living for A Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, Jamey Johnson
Four the Record, Miranda Lambert
The Time Jumpers, The Time Jumpers

Americana album
The Carpenter, The Avett Brothers
From the Ground Up, John Fullbright
The Lumineers, The Lumineers
Babel, Mumford & Sons
WINNER: Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt

Pop solo performance
WINNER: Set Fire to the Rain (Live), Adele
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You), Kelly Clarkson
Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen
Wide Awake, Katy Perry
Where Have You Been, Rihanna

Pop duo/group performance
Shake It Out, Florence & The Machine
We Are Young, fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
WINNER: Somebody That I Used to Know, Gotye featuring Kimbra
Sexy and I Know It, LMFAO
Payphone, Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa

Dance recording
Let's Go, Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo
WINNER: Bangarang, Skrillex featuring Sirah
Don't You Worry Child, Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin
I Can't Live Without You, Al Walser

Traditional pop vocal album
Christmas, Michael Bublé
A Holiday Carole, Carole King
WINNER: Kisses on the Bottom, Paul McCartney

Rock performance
Hold On, Alabama Shakes
WINNER: Lonely Boy, The Black Keys
Charlie Brown, Coldplay
I Will Wait, Mumford & Sons
We Take Care of Our Own, Bruce Springsteen

Hard rock/metal performance
I'm Alive, Anthrax
WINNER: Love Bites (So Do I), Halestorm
Blood Brothers, Iron Maiden
Ghost Walking, Lamb of God
No Reflection, Marilyn Manson
Whose Life (Is It Anyways?), Megadeth

Rock song (goes to writer)
Freedom at 21 (performed by Jack White)
I Will Wait (performed by Mumford & Sons)
WINNER: Lonely Boy (performed by the Black Keys)
Madness (performed by Muse)
We Take Care of Our Own (performed by Bruce Springsteen)

R&B song (goes to writer)
WINNER: Adorn (performed by Miguel)
Beautiful Surprise (performed by Tamia)
Heart Attack (performed by Trey Songz)
Pray for Me (performed by Anthony Hamilton)
Refill (performed by Elle Varner)

Traditional R&B performance
Lately, Anita Baker
WINNER: Love on Top, Beyoncé
Wrong Side of a Love Song, Melanie Fiona
Real Good Hands, Gregory Porter
If Only You Knew, SWV

R&B performance
Thank You, Estelle
Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.), Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Ledisi
I Want You, Luke James
Adorn, Miguel
WINNER: Climax, Usher

Urban contemporary album
Fortune, Chris Brown
Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel
WINNER: Channel Orange, Frank Ocean

Rap performance
HYFR, Drake featuring Lil' Wayne
WINNER: N----- In Paris, Jay-Z and Kanye West
Daughters, Nas
Mercy, Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz
I Do, Young Jeezy featuring Jay-Z and André 3000

Rap/sung collaboration
Wild Ones, Flo Rida featuring Sia
WINNER: No Church in the Wild, Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean and The-Dream
Tonight (Best You Ever Had), John Legend featuring Ludacris
Cherry Wine, Nas featuring Amy Winehouse
Talk That Talk, Rihanna featuring Jay-Z

Rap song (goes to writer)
Daughters (performed by Nas)
Lotus Flower Bomb (performed by Wale featuring Miguel)
Mercy (performed by Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)
The Motto (performed by Drake featuring Lil' Wayne)
WINNER: N----- In Paris (performed by Jay-Z and Kanye West)
Young, Wild & Free (performed by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars)

Country solo performance
Home, Dierks Bentley
Springsteen, Eric Church
Cost of Livin', Ronnie Dunn
Wanted, Hunter Hayes
Over, Blake Shelton
WINNER: Blown Away, Carrie Underwood

Country duo/group performance
Even If It Breaks Your Heart, Eli Young Band
WINNER: Pontoon, Little Big Town
Safe & Sound, Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars
On the Outskirts of Town, The Time Jumpers
I Just Come Here for the Music, Don Williams featuring Alison Krauss

Country song (goes to writer)
WINNER: Blown Away (performed Carrie Underwood)
Cost Of Livin' (performed by Ronnie Dunn)
Even If It Breaks Your Heart (performed by Eli Young Band)
So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore (performed by Alan Jackson)
Springsteen (performed by Eric Church)

Producer (non-classical)
WINNER: Dan Auerbach
Jeff Bhasker
Diplo
Markus Dravs
Salaam Remi

 

 

 

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Adam "MCA" Yauch - Forever Will Be Missed

by Charles Willis on May 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM
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MCA WILL BE MISSEd

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