The Ghost and the Guest is an interesting album that was recorded in a simple bedroom studio and was released last year by LDS artist Jake Workman. Loyal Linescratchers followers may recognize Jake from his days with the group “The Sweater Friends”. Prior to listening to this album, I had never heard any of his music, and knew little about him. So, it was with a completely fresh and unbiased perspective that I was able to sit down and listen to his music.
I reviewed the album in a digital download form and found that the download contained much more than just music. Graphics from the album are included, as is a scanned copy of a handwritten thank you note from Jake. Most interesting though was a large booklet, which was conveniently provided in a number of different e-reader formats. Right about here is where things started to get weird, interesting, or sentimental – depending on how you look at it. The included e-book comes in at over 40 pages. In the preface, we learn that the songs were inspired by the life of Henry Pickett Pratt, who was born in 1866, and left a journal about some of his early life – a journal which was read by Jake Workman. Something about this man and his experiences struck a chord (pun intended) with Jake, and provided the inspiration for the songs on the album. The e-book includes portions of the journal that provide a backdrop of sorts for the songs. Jake has intended for the journal and the music to be enjoyed simultaneously in order to get the full experience of what he intended to create and capture.
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So the title might sound a little more anti-conformist than this post deserves but it describes an issue any musician is faced with when they begin to sell their own music. Music has always been in large part tied to the image that a given song creates. Phat beats and a stadium synth can place the listener in the hippest night club ever. A twangy melody and a lap guitar will send you to the broken pickup out back. And yes, even three power chords with enough fuzz will have you raging against any machine. But when it comes down to it, the image of a musician has a lot to do with they those sounds produce their corresponding reactions.
Staying true to the foundation of this website, Mormon musicians are not exempt from the identity crisis that is the music scene. And while some musicians choose not to place their faith in the limelight, being of a “peculiar” people makes this easier said than done. This brings up an interesting question, is it ethical to use your religious beliefs or background to sell music? While making money from one’s faith is the basis of this question, we will focus on the music point of view for this post. Continue Reading →
Album: This Wildfire Magic
Recommended if you like: Spoon, Phoenix, Tokyo Police Club, Futureheads
I first heard Bearcats on Facebook some time ago while dorking around between classes and was instantly amused with what I found. Since the release of their recent album, my initial response panned out to be much more than my usual affection towards local band. Bringing a chilled out Pixies-esk tone to the table with a big dose of British indie drive and hook, Bearcats show some real maturity for their first venture as a band. Formerly called Alt Alt, the group itself currently calls Provo home, but hails from Brigham City in Northern Utah. The three-piece stems from high school friendships (which by my judgment wasn’t that long ago) and have since found great cohesion musically. Continue Reading →
Album: Through the Chaos and Clatter
Artist: Good Morning Milo
Home Town: San Diego, CA
Recommended if you like: Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Second Hand Serenade, or Paramore.
Imagine Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco having a baby that could play the guitar better and you’ll have Good Morning Milo. Their full-length album Through the Chaos and Clatter is a great mixture of poppy over-the-top vocals placed on the melodic layers that constitute the rest of the group. Continue Reading →
First off, let me apologize for the lack of posts, my 18 credit hours this semester have been keeping me busy.
From that school work however, I came across an interesting essay by a man named José Ortega y Gasset called La Deshumanización del Arte. Written in 1925, the essay explores art, what it was before his time and what it had become. For Ortega, art is something lost to some and loved by others. He wrote (translated):
“Wherefore, the new art divides the public in two classes of individuals: those who understand it and those who don’t understand it; those being, the artists and those who are not artists. The new art is an artistic art.” (p 53)
Artistic art? Isn’t that a little redundant? Like a flavorful flavor or colorful color? Continue Reading →
I went to a concert the other night and had an interesting moment. Before I tell you the band though, I want to share a few of the words from one of their songs. Maybe you’ll know it, maybe not. It goes:
We’re more than carbon and chemicals
We are the image of the invisible
Free will is ours and we can’t let go
We are the image of the invisible
We all were lost now we are found
No one can stop us or slow us down
We all are named and we are known
We know that we’ll never walk alone
Though all the world may hate us, we are named
Though shadow over take us, we are known
Raise up the banner, bend back your bows
Remove the cancer, take back your souls Continue Reading →
As a musician that has played at all in the last 10 or so years, I have had to create an interesting Myspace page. (http://www.myspace.com/thesweaterfriends). Well, at least I have felt the need to. Myspace has been the go to site for years when you like a band. Aside from creepsters, artists seem to use the site more than anyone else. Though my html knowledge is quite limited (as you can probably see, ha), I still go thru our source code every now and then and try to spruce it up, or at least speed up the loading time.
My question to you all, as music lovers and creators, is if Myspace is still the go to music site when you are interested in a new band? Continue Reading →
My name is Jake and this my first official post as a member of the Linescratchers team and I could not be more thrilled about it. To start off I would like to pose a simple question: what is poetry? Is it flowery words? Or fourteen lines about love with a specific rhyme scheme? Maybe even deep thought smashed into a simple text?
Well, if you ask Roman Jakobson, a Russian linguist born in 1896, it is none of these. Poetry, or the poetic function, is simply communicating in a form different then the standard norm or language. For example, if we spoke in rhyme all the time then rhyming sentences would become the norm or standard. Any deviation from this norm, or not rhyming, would be using the poetic function. Poetry is noticed and memorable because it stands out among the background of everyday speaking. I bring this up to point out that poetry is made simply by being different, pushing your way outside the box in order to be seen, and if applied to music, to be heard. Continue Reading →
In the sometimes gloomy world of rock and roll it’s refreshing now and then to hear a band like The Sweater Friends. This isn’t your average happy folk-rock duo. Their songs are sweet, fun, and catchy. Jake and Allyson met as children in the same neighborhood, and their friendship grew long before their music did. Their lyrics are interesting and insightful, but are not bogged down musically like lots of insightful lyrics can be. They will be playing soon with Mindy Gledhill on April 24th at Kilby Court. More on that later.
To find The Sweater Friends at iTunes, click here.
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Podcast: Play in new window