Tyler Barlass

Editor

Tyler is passionate about Music, Sports, Beer, Comic Books, Food, Cocktails and other seemingly unrelated things.

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Nobody's Sheriff - Boxing the Compass Review

The first song on Boxing the Compass from New Jersey’s Nobody’s Sheriff, gives you a taste of exactly what you're about to hear during the course of the ten tracks on the album. The bluesy song titled “Like the Elephants Do,” is a serious tale about a serious medical condition, but the lyrics are smart and playful and the shared vocals of TJ Pederson and his younger sister Tess give the song a dynamic quality. It’s a great tune that sets the band’s self-released debut album off on the right foot.

Oct
09
2013
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The Golden Ghosts Take Advantage of Their 15 Minutes of Fame

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Do you remember the recently aired car commercial with Peter Frampton in it? The one where a band is getting ready to go on at some dive bar and the singer informs the small crowd that, since their guitarist is sick, Peter Frampton will have to fill in on guitar. Frampton plays the first few chords of “Do You Feel Like We Do” and then the commercial tries to sell us a Buick. If you watched much of the greatest sporting event on the planet earlier this year (NCAA college basketball March Madness), then you (like myself) have probably seen this commercial 250 times. What you may not know about the ad is that the long haired singer who kicks off the commercial is Riley Bray, and the rest of the band behind him is his real band, The Golden Ghosts.

Sep
04
2012
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Foreign Home's New Identity

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After all these years, it’s hard to listen to the talents of Deric Williams, Daniel Clark, Tobie Munroe and Chris Davis and not refer to them by the collective moniker they’ve gone by for over half a decade. I guess I understand why the band now known as Foreign Home needed to distance themselves from their previous handle, Motive for Movement. When the band first started out they performed mostly at churches and all-ages venues. Their lyrics, much like their band name, were spiritual in nature. As the band seemed to evolve into a new area, both creatively and very likely personally, a fresh start was needed. That fresh start came in the way of Foreign Home, a name ripped from a Minus the Bear song. After watching the band perform at the FreeTulsa music festival in July, it was clear that the band has indeed turned over a new leaf. While the jaunty shoegaze-lite sound of the band has remained intact, the dancing girls and shirtless bassists were a new touch.

Aug
10
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Norah Jones

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Did anybody ever really think that at some point we could describe everybody's favorite jazzy adult-contemporary musician as the murderous Norah Jones? Earlier this year, Jones released Little Broken Hearts, a more focused and mature effort than we're used to from the now veteran songstress. It was an album full of heartbreak and breakup songs; tunes that set a somber mood that whitewashed the entire album. When it came time to making music videos for these songs though, heartbreak seemed to turn to vengeance. The first video shot for Little Broken Hearts was for the song "Happy Pills." The video, which is both stylish and retro, spins the tale of an unfaithful lover and his demise at the hands of his scornful girlfriend. The more scenic video for "Miriam," which happens to be my favorite song off of the new album, shows us another hapless victim, struck down by the hands of Jones' character.

Aug
03
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Heartless Bastards

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The Heartless Bastards have been making a habit out of releasing music videos that are a fascinating mix of both interesting and strange for their fourth studio album Arrow, released earlier this year. The first single off of Arrow, "Parted Ways," is possibly the weirdest professionally made music video you'll see all year. Even more recently, the band has given us a video for the outstanding track "Only For You." The video is produced and directed by Brady Beasley and Louisiana Kreutz and highlights a summer romance between two adorable kids - kind of.

Aug
01
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: The Raveonettes

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In September, Danish rock duo The Raveonettes will release their 6th full length album, Observator. It's been ten years now since these two talented artists, that share a taste for both noise pop and '60s rock, broke onto the Danish music scene. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo have been flooding our ears with new sounds ever since, especially over the last two years. Last year, The Raveonettes released a studio album and a rarities disc, while this year we've already been given a four song EP by the group. Earlier this week, the band premiered the video for their newest single off of their forthcoming album. "She Owns The Streets" isn't just a unique New York themed video, it also has an interesting back story.

Jul
24
2012
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Deadpool Has An Announcement To Make

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Marvel's merc with a mouth has again broken the fourth wall to give all of his eager fans a life changing announcement. Over at Deadpool's official website you can hear Deadpool (voiced by famed voice actor Nolan North who recently played Deadpool in the fantastic Marvel vs. Capcom 3) announce his starring role in an all new video game, and hear him talk about a lot of other random things. The game will be produced by High Moon Studios, a studio best known for a forgettable movie tie-in Transformers game, and published by Activision. Read on for more info + the trailer that premiered at Comic-Con.

Jul
20
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Glen Campbell

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The sad truth is that after decades as both a studio guitarist and a country music legend, Glen Campbell will be retiring from the music industry after he wraps up his Goodbye Tour later this year. Campbell announced his impending departure from the public eye after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease last year. The admiration and respect Campbell has received as he says one last farewell to his fans and peers has been overwhelming. Earlier this year, Campbell performed one of his signature hits "Rhinestone Cowboy" at the Grammy's and the crowds have come in droves to see Campbell perform one last time on his final tour.

Jul
19
2012
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Mumford & Sons Announce Sophomore Album "Babel"

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It was two years ago when the London quartet Mumford & Sons exploded onto the popular music scene. After releasing their debut album in October of 2009 to little fanfare outside of the UK, Sign No More was re-released Stateside in the Spring of '10 to rave reviews. By 2011 Mumford & Sons had found their way onto modern rock stations, they were nominated for multiple Grammy's and their debut was well on its way to selling over 2 million copies in the US (4 million in their native UK). The band's blend of modern rock and British folk found a broad audience and the anticipation for a followup had reached a fever pitch as 2012 came around.

Jul
18
2012
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Wink Burcham - Irene Vennie Review

It's debatable as to whether the Tulsa Sound is a definable musical style or a snapshot of rock musicians who made it big out of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1970s. Musicians such as Leon Russell, JJ Cale and Elvin Bishop found fame by mixing blues and country music 40 years ago in the heartland of America. Once superstar Eric Clapton aped Cale and Russell's sound (both "Cocaine" and "After Midnight" are Cale originals), the Tulsa Sound became world renowned.

The notion of a unified Tulsa sound for this generation, something borrowing from Russell and yet providing something new and exciting for the '10s, seemed like a far fetched idea until recently. In the past few years a number of Tulsa-bred artists who grew up listening to Tulsa's rock and roll forefathers have emerged. The New Tulsa Sound, a tag made famous by a compilation album released in 2010 by Horton Records, is the current reincarnation of the now mythical '70s Tulsa rock scene. Though the scene is filled with talented musicians and fantastic bands, one particular artist stands out above the rest. The lucid and laid back Wink Burcham is the face of the new Tulsa Sound, and for good reason.

Jul
11
2012
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Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts Review

It's been ten years since Come Away With Me was released and it seems like now, more than ever, that Norah Jones will forever live in the shadow of her debut album. Jones may be most famous for her sultry voice, but her overnight success is one of the best pop music stories of the new century. From virtually unknown to Grammy darling, Jones shed her backup singer job to become both an actress and a pop superstar. Her inconspicuous debut was released quietly on Blue Note Records in '02, but would go on to sell tens of millions of copies world wide (it's been certified Diamond in three countries). With so much acclaim and fandom to live up to, it's really no wonder that Jones has struggled to regain the relevance that was bestowed upon her a decade ago.

May
24
2012
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Silversun Pickups - Neck of the Woods Review

If Carnavas was fresh and exciting and Swoon was dull and predictable, the Silversun Pickups' third album, Neck of the Woods, could probably be called both refreshing and maybe even a bit eerie. The band's move from hooks that bordered on arena rock into a darker and more ambient sound certainly feels like a step in a refreshing direction. As much as I liked Carnavas, the Pickups' first full length, I felt alienated by the repetitive and overbearing sounds of their followup Swoon. Carnavas was shoegaze-lite, a dream pop inspired opus that relied on fantastic songwriting sprinkled with ambient noise that slowly saturated each track. Neck of the Woods is, thankfully, a call back to the band's debut. It's an album that skates along in ethereal splendor, never getting too worked up or in too big of a hurry. Only on a few occasions do the steady sounds swell into a wall of blazing guitars; which is something we've kind of become accustomed to while listening to SSPU. Not to say that that the Silversun Pickups are suddenly playing it safe, quite the opposite. Instead, the band has decided to delve into the intricacies of the pop-ambient sound they've created. The results are scintillating.

May
16
2012
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Thrice Says Farewell to Tulsa

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It wasn't long after the release of Thrice's 8th album, Major/Minor, that the band released a statement explaining that they would take an indefinite hiatus after one final farewell tour. However upsetting this news was to legions of Thrice fans, myself included, I guess it's no wonder that the members of Thrice would want to take a break. The band has been playing together since 1998 after all, back when founding members Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi were still in high school. A lot has changed since then, over the years Thrice has undergone the transformation from a virtually unknown hardcore band to one of the most respected hard rock acts in the land.

May
10
2012
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Shel Live at the Five and Dime

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Samuel H Kress opened his first store in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania in 1887. Though the concept of a five and dime, or a store in which everything costs either a nickel or a dime, didn't originate with Mr. Kress, S.H. took the idea and ran with it. By the turn of the 20th century, Kress stores littered main streets across America. Mr. Kress passed away in 1955 and less than ten years later, S.H. Kress and Co. would abandon their main street mentality and move into suburban shopping malls. In their wake, stood often beautiful downtown buildings, abandoned just like department stores and other businesses that left quaint down towns for miles of asphalt parking. Thankfully, a recent renaissance has seen businesses move back to historic down towns and in response has seen the restoration of many historic buildings that had stood either abandoned or underutilized for years. The small northern Oklahoma town of Bartlesville, former home to both Phillips 66 and a busy Kress five and dime, is experiencing this renaissance first hand.

Recently, local magazine owner Chris Oldroyd purchased the Bartlesville Kress building and quickly orchestrated its renovation. The two story building featured an upstairs stock room which was turned into a living space, while the bottom floor was transformed into a meeting area. The space was recently shown off to a crowd of nearly 200 when the Colorado based band Shel was invited over for a house concert. Though the renovation was surely impressive to all who attended (I overheard many patrons expressing their praises throughout the night), it was Shel that stole the limelight that evening.

May
07
2012
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A Couple Dystopian Decemberists Videos

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It's no secret that my favorite album of last year was The Decemberists' ode to REM and American roots music, 2011's The King is Dead. It's an album that saw the band move away from the epic prog-rock that they had been leaning towards and delving into some good old fashioned, steel guitar and harmonica filled Americana. Last year the band released two critically acclaimed music videos to accompany a couple of the songs off of The King is Dead. Both videos were vastly different, but both shared a common theme - dystopian futures.

May
04
2012
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The All-Star Collaboration of Spectrum Road

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It seems like supergroups are constantly popping up to the delight of hardcore fans and websites that are looking for some big music news scoop. Mainly these supergroups fall apart with much less media attention than they get when they're formed. Still it's always fun to hear about a group of well known artists getting outside of their comfort zone and collaborating with other established artists. Recently four rather well known musicians, from differing musical backgrounds, have announced an upcoming collaboration going by the name Spectrum Road. The headliner of this group is former Cream frontman Jack Bruce, who will play bass and lend his voice to the musical odyssey.

Mar
02
2012
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Silversun Pickups Get "Seasick"

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If the soothsayers are right and the full length album really is on its way to irrelevancy, maybe the 3 song digital EP will take its place. Though originally released on vinyl as a Record Store Day promotion back in November, the Silversun Pickups’ Seasick is a slick collection of left over songs from the band’s 2009 Swoon sessions that made its digital debut last month. Though the Pickups haven’t officially announced that they plan to abandon the full length album format in favor of bite size EPs; Seasick is a such a refreshing, affordable and cohesive effort, it’s hard not to wonder what a world where artists dish out monthly EPs instead of bi-yearly albums would be like.

Feb
14
2012
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Music Video Spotlight: Vital

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California singer/songwriter Duranta Cook chose the name Vital for his musical persona based on his opinion of the intrinsic and imminent value that he brings to the world of music. Though Vital may be selling himself a bit too high based on that remark, his debut EP released last month is no doubt a unique and pleasurable collection. Each of the five songs on the Vital EP are beautiful, complex tracks that are distinctly different from one another. From smooth electronic aided compositions to whimsical sing alongs, this former amateur hip-hop artist has proven that he can write and perform a varied collection of musical styles and genres.

Jun
22
2011
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Moby - Destroyed Review

It's hard to argue with the fact that over the years Moby has become the bald, bespectacled face of electronic music. During his 20+ year music career he has had great successes (Play) and forgettable outings (Hotel), but it was his last album, 2009's Wait for Me, that may very well have solidified his place in the electronica hierarchy. Wait for Me was a well crafted ambient gem, replacing the dance numbers of his '08 album Last Nightwith brooding, night drive worthy compositions that fit together more cohesively than any other prior Moby album. Expectations were, needless to say, high for his follow up album. On Destroyed, Moby doesn't tamper too much with the formula that made Wait for Me so great; yet, like he has often done during his lengthy career, the new album falls flat in the shadow of its predecessor.

Jun
20
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: IS TROPICAL

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It's no mystery that a lot of press releases that find their way into my inbox are filled with caps lock laden hyperbole, but there was one particular email that I received earlier this week that caught my attention. The press release in question was adorned by the pretty bold question; "best video of the year so far?" As usual, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to watch the video. After having seen it, I knew that I had to share it with my loyal readers.

Jun
16
2011
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