[note: My friend Joel Williams of d/wolves told me he was thinking about starting a blog of his own. When I told him he could write about music here if he wanted, he decided to give it a go. Joel's only 18, and I love his enthusiasm and his music, and I hope my readers enjoy his fresh perspective and voice. I mean, if it wasn't for Joel, I would've never seen this amazing gem. ]
Earlier this year, a band I'm in called D/Wolves played a show with Da Bears at the Tin Can Alehouse. We didn't know these fools at all at that point. A day later we had an email from Grizzly Records asking us to do a joint tour with Da Bears. A couple months after that we were on tour with a bunch of older dudes we didn't know. Long story short, I became pretty connected to their music, maybe because it reminds me of driving to a new place every day and playing for new faces, or maybe because I started to think of them as good friends.
Sadly Da Bears broke up a couple days after we got back, but they all still play music, and even with no memories to tag along with the new audio, I enjoy what they're doing.
Ryan Solomon currently has two groups- Nature's Kid and a project called DUDES.
In Da Bears Ryan sang and played guitar. In Nature's Kid he's doing neither. Its Ryan and his desktop computer chopping up samples of his favorite artists so they almost sound like a CD skipping, but he ties it all together by mashing the samples together to make a solid jamming song drenched in psychedelic phasers and delays. The music is repetitive, head fucking, spaced out greatness. Nature's Kid has a show coming up October 2nd at the Che Cafe and you can download a whole Nature's Kid album from bandcamp.
Ryan's other project is called DUDES. The concept behind this one is pretty rad. He writes these stoney songs with guitar and drum loops, and then he samples Youtube videos over them. Even cooler is he wants to release all the songs on youtube with videos for each song. No mp3s to download for free at this point, but DUDES should be putting an EP out sometime soon. I like when music confuses me and the first time I heard this song the vocals really confused me. For the first couple syllables I thought maybe he pitch shifted his voice to make it squeaky but its all natural besides some added reverb. Ryan's just not afraid to full out moan into a mic I guess... beautiful.
Last but not least is a band called TV Girl. Trung Ngo played guitar and keyboard for Da Bears. Now he and bandmate Brad Petering are singing over some bumping beats and samples. This is just straight up fun. When I hear it so many things come to mind. The drums are deep and grooving, the instrumentation is smooth and made up of sampled guitars, brass, percussion, etc.. Trung's voice is mellow and modest, he's not trying to impress, he's trying to relate to the listener, which is so much more important than any amount of technical ability. Don't get me wrong though, he's actually quite the singer, he's just not trying to make you feel like you suck at singing yourself. Brad's voice is an interesting partner to Trung's, low and very rhythmic. I also really enjoy these songs lyrically. Lines like "You only want it when you're drunk" or "Give me some advice and I'll tell you where to stick it" are bratty but they make me feel great, like something you wish you would have said to a person that just really pisses you off. I've talked to Trung about live shows, but at this point they're still trying to figure out how to perform the new material live. Here's Trung singing "If You Want It" and here's Brad singing "I Don't Care". If you're wondering where the sample in "If You Want It" is from, it's from my good friend Todd Rundgren.