Neighborhood Jams: The Aura & Øvation

Hello friends! This week on Neighborhood Jams I am featuring the San Diegan band, The Aura & Øvation! I highly, highly recommend listening to these guys – each musician adds so much emotion with their preferred instrument. This past January they released the album, Brilliant Nights – EP, and you can purchase it on iTunes. On their website you can listen to their entire acoustic EP, read up on each member’s background, and check out a quick summary on each song from their acoustic EP. It’s absolutely great to read about the band’s feelings and thoughts on their own songs – it makes the connection between the musician and listener stronger. I loved it.

If Dashboard Confessional were to do a collaboration with Kings of Leon we would get the guys from The Aura & Øvation. They would be considered alternative rock. Lead singer and guitarist, Mike Strong, combined his instrumental skills along with his passion for poetry and, in the first song from their acoustic EP, titled Vines and Mini Blinds, Strong’s emotions and honesty shines through. You can feel the rawness in each chorus, and I believe it is truly beautiful. Alongside Strong is Jesse Richardson on guitar and bassist Paul Philips each bringing a key ingredient to the heart wrenching songs. Lastly, Chris Thiel is strumming away and keeping rhythm on drums. Thiel is three-time San Diego Guitar Center Drum-Off Champion, and his skills and techniques really round out The Aura & Øvation.

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I also really loved the songs House on Fire and On These Brilliant Nights both featured on their album Brilliant Nights – EP. Each song sounds full, powerful, and make me want to close my eyes and do a slow head bang. The guys have played at several local venues including The Tin Roof and Point Loma Nazarene University – I wish they could play at SDSU! It’s so great to find local bands filled with so much passion in their first albums. Great job guys, great job. Check out The Aura & Øvation on October 24 at PLNU’s Fall Fest.

Give these guys a like on their Facebook.

 

Photo Credit: Sarah Binsfield

Mackie Dre’s Submissions Highlights: Ed Ghost Tucker

Ed Ghost Tucker – Sofia

Ed Ghost Tucker

So. If you know me, then you know I have a love affair with the music of Ed Ghost Tucker (or EGT for short). In fact, if you check out my staff page (linked in the doobilydoo below), you can check out one of their songs.

Imagine my surprise when I found out the other day that they released a new song called Sofia and a companion video. EGT is unsigned, and if you know anything about the music industry and labels and how recording works, you might know how difficult it is for unsigned artists to come up with fast funds for some recording time.

Sofia is chirpy and melodious, instrumentally accompanying some darker lyrics. Partially based on Good Morning, Midnight, EGT ties literary worked and lyrical loveliness together once more to enchant listeners. No stranger to dark lyrics, EGT released Devils last year, a creeping, crawling gorgeous song that disgusts and enthralls. It is my personal favorite of the band’s, but Sofia is most definitely up there as well. You can find all of their music for sale here (some for free!) and the new video for Sofia here. Don’t forget to like the facebook page for updates!

EGT is playing the Soda Bar on April 6th and Porter’s Pub on April 16th, both here in San Diego.

You know what’s coming. The following deserve all your perfectly poetic repeats.

17 March Highlights

SEACATS – Firewood

Sputnik – Midnight Rose

Yard of Blondes – Requiem for a Lover

Photo credit

Mackie Dre’s Submissions Highlights: Rhino House Band

Rhino House Band – Little Things

Rhino House Band – Dirty Hobo

Rhino House Band

Hello there lovelies…today, I would like to give you the gorgeous sound that is the Rhino House Band.

I can’t find a bad thing to say about this band. Their Indie Pop Rock sound makes me so incredibly happy while their lyrics are so many shades of thought-provoking. Don’t worry, I’ll get there. First let’s get you acquainted with this wonderful band.

Hailing from Brooklyn, Rhino House Band formed in early 2013 and are currently making a name for themselves over in the lovely state of New York. While we here in San Diego can’t go hear them live, you can go download their Golden Summers EP and fall in love on repeat. Comprised of Ricky Demetro, Steven Bartashev, and Joey Vergara the band seeks to “strike a chord in the indie scene and continue to push their musical boundaries,” a lofty goal, maybe, but I know these rad dudes have it in them.

Above are two of the awesome songs on Golden Summers: “Little Things” and “Dirty Hobo,” my favorite. “Dirty Hobo” juxtaposes the homeless of SoHo with the wealthy while simultaneously critiquing the goverment and the church. That’s quite a bit of anti-establishment going on in one song (and I absolutely love it).

Please give a listen and let me know what you think on twitter or Facebook. Don’t forget to like their page and follow them on tumblr!

And you know what’s coming next. Here are some other fantastic songs that deserve all the repeats.

1 March 2014 Highlights

Ess Vee – Pen and Paper

Paul Cannon Band – Thinking About You

The Kid Ryan – Run That

Mackie Dre’s Submissions Highlights: NOHC

NOHC – Fly

 

NOHC

In the past few years, the popularity of EDM has exploded.

Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about the genre, as I’ve just dipped my pinky toe into it, but before David Guetta started making Top 40 charts I didn’t even bother leaving my indie rock world (and I sure missed out).

Since I started looking around, I’ve noticed that EDM has a history and plenty of variety. House and Dance have a way of pumping your blood, appealing to whatever part of our brain deeply enjoys rhythm and beat, without all the troubling melodrama of lyrics. It’s almost like pure feeling.

This brings me to this week’s submissions highlight, NOHC.

As you may know, my favorite question to ask bands is how they decided on a name. NOHC pulled their name from the chemical formula for adrenaline, which is about as nerdy and wonderful as it gets for this college kid. The New Jersey “EDM trio” is comprised of Brandon Zemel, Chris Vuoncino, and Suzanne Criscione and their single, “Fly” deserves your attention.

What starts off as a pop ballad, pulling at your need to “let go” and “feel the wind in [your] hair” [insert Frozen reference], hits the chorus and quickly becomes a ballsy beat that is truly as freeing as “how it feels to fly.” You can grab the track for free on their soundcloud [highly recommend] and show your support by liking their Facebook page, where you can learn all about their touring dates and when they drop new songs. They will be at SXSW on March 11th, so if you’re going, make sure to stop by and check them out.

Here are a few more songs from this week, which, as you know, deserve all the repeats.

22 February Highlights

Jack Berry – Reno

Richard Tyler Epperson – Hourglass

Fiction 20 Down – Down Like Hip-Hop