Tag Archives: Scrubs

Never Seen a Marching Band Like This

16 Jan


After now three superior indie/pop releases, it is about damn time that more people know about the Swedish/Berlin duo Marching Band (Jacob Lind and Erik Sunbring). It is such a shame when sweet-sounding, sonorous sounds are only shouted from the snow-crested peaks of the Scandinavian Mountains or the Alps. So, America, are you listening?

Okay, maybe I am over-exaggerating a bit. It’s not like Marching Band has surreptitiously crawled out of the underground like a dulcet mole rat. After releasing their first album in 2008, Marching Band was written about by Rolling Stone’s “Hype Monitor.” They quickly earned radio support, and this continued for their second release in 2010 (check out all their music here). Because of their easily accessible, toe-tapping, psych-saturated pop sound, the band’s music has been featured on several television shows (How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Jersey Shore and Cougar Town).

But here is the deal. With the release of their new EP And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That (and new album later in 2013), I want to see even more press for this Marching Band. The music is too good to pass up, and I think it deserves an even bigger listener population than it has already garnered. Let’s get to why I think this. The music, duh!

First thing’s first; this album was entirely self-produced. The EP (and future album) was recorded by the duo in their own studio. Thus, it features a commodious, hospitable sound, as if a mini version of the band is performing each song live on the listener’s desk. “And I’ve Never Seen,” the first track on the EP, begins with an infectious opening beat followed immediately by a satiating guitar riff. The well-harmonized vocals lay over the melody like a pillow. Marching Band features an almost Arcade Fire-like wall-of-sound-esque approach to the chorus of “And I’ve Never Seen” (and several of their chorus’). The culmination of sped-up instrumentals mix with pop paraphernalia. It makes for a great effect.

“Breaking is Fun” may be my favorite track from the EP. It is far more stripped down and folksy. The vocals are market fresh and pastoral. The song moves with a pop pace, though, and this amalgamation is excellent. The song also transforms seamlessly. A folk rhythm turns into a sort-of Irish jig to a rock breakdown into 90’s indie back to the Irish jig. Just awesome.

So, if after listening to the music you agree that Marching Band should be better known, go check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter

Weekend Concert Preview – Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

26 Apr

Wrong day and Year!

Don’t worry, I will not make you suffer through the Meatloaf song that shares the name of the title of this post. That’s mean. I actually don’t mind Meatloaf. Yes, he is corny, but he does have a great voice. Great! A completely off-topic opening. Okay, let’s shake it off and get to the main posts.

The purpose of this post is to produce a schedule that I promise I will follow to a tee. I haven’t been great about setting a blogging schedule for myself and following it but I promise to stick to this plan…mostly!

This involves delaying the two-week new band splurge. I will most likely begin this early next week (probably Tuesday). There are a good amount of bands that I will be profiling so make sure to tune in for that. Why should you view the blog prior to this? Concert reviews! Two of them.

Like I said yesterday, I will have the pleasure of seeing former Men At Work crooner Colin Hay tomorrow. I jumped on the opportunity to buy tickets to this New York City show. While Men at Work is what he may be known for (“Down Under” was a huge international hit), Hay has released 11 solo studio albums, the most recentGathering Mercuryin 2011. Through this, he has developed a unique sound that blends 80’s World Music with acoustic easy-listening. It is his voice, though, that is most attractive. Hay’s voice is soothing with great range. He is also a gifted lyricist – laid back and intelligent.

I have to thank Zach Braff for my introduction to Colin Hay. I believe Hay gathered many fans this way. Braff, who knows good acoustic music, featured his music (and him – see video below) on “Scrubs” and his music was disseminated from there. Take a listen to “Overkill” while watching a funny performance from “Scrubs.” Don’t you just love the media age? I know Colin Hay does. The video has more than 3 million views.

The Left Banke follows Sunday which I am very excited about. This reunion should be excellent and I wrote about it a little while ago. Read this and look forward to two concert reviews soon! https://musiccourtblog.com/2012/02/22/the-left-banke-ask-renee-to-walk-away-again/

Lyric of the Day? Colin Hay Can See a Very Long Way

24 Jan

Colin Hay

Colin Hay has come a long way since co-forming and providing lead vocals for the men down under Men at Work in the 1980s. But you know what they say (okay, I don’t think anyone says this), a good vocalist is always appreciated in the music community. That is not so much an aphorism, but rather a fact that I hope to be true. For Hay, it is very true.

Hay has Zach Braff (who played J.D. in the popular medical comedy “Scrubs”) for a career revitalization. Braff is one of those guys who appreciates a good vocalist. He started using Hay’s solo material – which is a delicate blend of acoustic rhythm, deeply emotion lyric, and somber vocal splendor, in his work. Since a lot of young folk like Braff (and a lot of people in general loved “Scrubs”), Hay’s music suddenly found a new, younger group of listeners, like myself. I knew of Men at Work, but, I did not know of Colin Hay until I heard “Overkill” on “Scrubs.”

I was hooked. I did have in mind far loftier goals for a post today, but I have been quite busy. This, though, will certainly do. While I have not published a Lyric of the Day in what seems like forever, I think that some lines from “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin,” one of my favorite songs by Hay, would be appreciated by the masses. I am going to see Colin Hay at Town Hall in NYC in April, by the way, and I am PSYCHED!

This song was in “Scrubs” in case you were going, “where have I heard this song before.” My favorite lyrical part of this song is the beginning.

“Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
I’ll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don’t you understand
I already have a plan
I’m waiting for my real life to begin”

Just listen to the song and let the waves crash down on you. The song touches on a hint of a grand existential wait. It does seem that our protagonist will forever be by the shore waiting for his ship to come in, but, perhaps there is some peace in this situation – some beauty in the monotony. Or, perhaps, I have been reading too much Camus. Any which way, please enjoy this song!

Colin Hay Sings of a Beautiful World

14 Sep

Not often does an artist succesfully travel from an accomplished band into the world of solo recordings. Colin Hay is an exception to the rule. The one-time lead-vocalist of the men down under, Men at Work, has released several solo albums since the late 80’s and his status as incredible singer/songwriter goes unquestioned. His Scottish/Australian vocal flavor, tremendous range, and passionate lyric and guitar work makes Hay an acoustic force and he releases great content time and time again.

Many may know Hay from the TV series “Scrubs,” where he contributed music to a series of episodes and made on-camera performances. If you are a “Scrubs” fan you will certainly recognize this song:

My favorite song by Hay is “Beautiful World.” I love it because of its sincere simplicity and imperturable message. The song also provides some apt lyrics that are timeless. He describes how there are great negatives in the world, but one must learn to appreciate the niceties of life because, hey, “perhaps this is as good as it gets.” He also uses lapsang souchong in his lyric, and anyone who uses this popular tea leaf in a song succesfully deserves some credit. The song’s melody is soft and Hay gives it just enough of a taste of smokiness. That actually sounds like lapsang souchong tea. So, listen to this song while enjoying some tea.

Another recording I’d like to share with you from Hay is a cover of “Norwegian Wood” he recently recorded at a session with Rolling Stone magazine. It’s so beautifully stripped down and it’s bare acoustic style is inviting. I could listen to Hay sing and play guitar for hours. It is that relaxing. Enjoy and have a beautiful day in the beautiful world.

Hay’s new album Gathering Mercury was released earlier this year and it definitely deserves a listen. Check out more from Hay at his website

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