Tag Archives: San Francisco

Shawna Virago Delivers Strong Messages With Punk Twists In Heaven Sent Delinquent

13 Apr

Shawna Virago dazzles the music scene with her newest album Heaven Sent Delinquent. Combining visual storytelling with singing about emotions, Virago does an amazing job of painting pictures within the tracks on this album. Drawing inspiration from typical folk sound, Virago spins it into a world of her own. Also, deep within her music lies the themes of punk rebels, stories of the queer and transgender community, and pioneers of society. Overall the album takes the listener through a ride of journey as they listen to stories of love, adventure, and reflections. In conclusion, Virago crafts a sound that’s a perfect blend of new age Americana, folk, and punk into one album.

For more listening:

Hey! Let’s Go to San Francisco!

20 Mar

In celebration of the Spring equinox, I wanted to do an obscure classic rock post about a band that fit the Spring spirit. This clearly was not too difficult because this was the era of the flower child. After a few seconds of thinking I came up with the perfect melodious blend of music for this absurdly beautiful day in NYC. And, of course, I pick a song about going to San Francisco written by some chaps from Britain. Hey, didn’t you hear, we are going to San Francisco – but in this song you don’t have to wear a flower in your hair.

The Flower Pot Men

The Flower Pot Men may have created one of the most easy-going, light-hearted, songs of 1967, yet, because they were a band constructed of talented session musicians and didn’t stay together long, their name and this song have fallen into obscurity. But not to worry, there is still a strong coterie of individuals who remember and like the song enough to mention it, listen to it, and write about.

“Let’s Go to San Francisco” is the song I am obviously talking about. It was written and recorded by John Carter and Ken Lewis, who previously played in the Ivy League with Perry Ford – remember that song “That’s Why I’m Crying?” They were known as a pop-vocal band and that is what The Flower Pot Men was as well. Carter and Lewis, though, had no interest in promoting the song, so they hired a bunch of session musicians and vocalists to record the song. Tony Burrows led the group. The song kicked butt, as expected. This song was actually made fun of in Spinal Tap where the same-named band in the rockumentary had their first hit with the fictional song “(Listen to the) Flower People”

Harmony pop at its finest here folks. The hybrid call and response is magnificent – if you are into that type of thing of course. The song is upbeat but drawn out enough that you feel the musical saturation. You are doused with this Beach Boys’ like California (almost surf-like) beat that fits the title of the song perfectly. It is a relatively simple song and that is what makes it so excellent. We even get a Beach Boys breakdown (including some late 60’s instrumentation).

The band did not only release this hit. They attempted to strike it big again with “A Walk in the Sky” which for all intents and purposes is the same exact song. At around 54 seconds though something changes and it is remarkable. They actually progress years in their musical styling – from the inherently poppy early 60s pop to a late 60’s Pet Sounds like breakdown which is definitely the best part of the song. Check it out.

The Flower Pot Men would go on to change members (Jon Lord and Nick Simper of Deep Purple was actually in this band for a little while) and actually become the band White Plains that you may not have heard of but if you were around in 1970 probably heard this song.

It’s pretty much the same song as the other two with some strings and horns.

The Andes are Falling!

11 Aug

Don’t worry. The Andes are not really falling. Go back to bed South America, everything is going to be okay. But if the Andes were in Pittsburgh, PA, well, then residents might need to take caution. Falling Andes, a new Indie/Pop, is hot off the presses and one listen to their dulcet melodies and sticky rhythms will get you hooked on the Andes.

Falling Andes was manufactured by multi-instrumentalists Dan Peluso (vocals, guitar, synthesizer) and Jordan Wood (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards). The accomplished duo started writing songs together and expanded the band to include drummer Peter-Michel Natishan and guitarist Mike Boyer. Now when I say the band is new, I am not pulling your leg. Their debut EP dropped two days ago on iTunes. Pick it up. You will feel mighty good about yourself when the indie world picks up on the exuberant joy of Falling Andes.

If I had to pick one song to introduce the band it would have to be “San Francisco.”

The synth beginning is promising, but when the airy guitar chords kick in and lay comfortably over the synth the listener is transported to Fisherman’s Wharf, his/her eyes staring at the San Francisco Bay. The voice of the lead vocalist is distinct. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. His “oh, no” shouts remind me of the always theatric Arthur Brown’s shout of the same words in his song “Fire.” It fits perfectly, though. The song is fresh and catchy and I smell the sea when I listen to it. Which, of course, is interesting because the band is from Pittsburgh. Definitely check this band out.

Visit the band’s website

%d bloggers like this: