foo fighters - press photo

Tuesday Tunes – “Iron Rooster” by Foo Fighters

On October 28th, the Foo Fighters’ website was replaced with a mysterious clock and looped audio on its homepage counting down to November 23rd. Was the band announcing a new album – Sonic Highways II, perhaps? Another world tour? A line of outerwear apparel? The band offered no other clues except that the “event” was 25 days away.

In the wee hours of Monday morning, the Foo Fighters released the 5-song Saint Cecilia EP, recorded in the Saint Cecilia Hotel in Austin, Texas while the band stayed there during this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. Lead singer Dave Grohl penned a heartfelt letter along with the EP, writing that the project was originally intended as a “thank you” gift to fans for their support, but added that the project “has now taken on an entirely different tone” after the recent attacks in Paris, and has dedicated Saint Cecilia to the victims and their loved ones.

I’ve listened to “Iron Rooster” more than any other songs on the EP so far. Parts of the song make me a little nostalgic for something I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s childhood (as the lyrics mention) or a period when the world didn’t seem so turbulent. After another day of watching the news and following current events, this song gives me a feeling of peace amid the unrest.

You can read Dave’s letter, get the EP (it’s free!), and make a donation to those affected by the Paris attacks here.

songs of water - promo photo

Tuesday Tunes – “11 Miles” by Songs of Water

Do you believe in soulmates? The gorgeous music video for “11 Miles,” directed by Ben Stamper, explores this idea using the “red string of fate” concept. The red string of fate is a belief originating from a Chinese legend that an unbreakable, invisible red string connects two people who are destined to be together. In this music video, our protagonist follows his red string through obstacles in a house, the woods, and across a body of water. I think there could be a larger metaphor at play regarding the great lengths we go to maintain relationships, namely, romantic ones. Even when times are difficult or the “string” is entangled or stretched taut, we push through because we know love is worth the fight.

Songs of Water is a seven piece band based in Greensboro, North Carolina. “11 Miles” is featured on their newest album, Stars and Dust, which released in June. It’s a beautifully crafted album that takes the listener on a journey from start to finish. By the way, if you’ve never seen this band live, do it! The members are multitalented (and friendly!) and the performance is an unforgettable experience.

I wonder how many yards of yarn it took to create this video.

For more on Songs of Water: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp | YouTube

jon foreman - press photo

Tuesday Tunes – “Before Our Time” by Jon Foreman

It’s been a busy week for Jon Foreman. The Switchfoot frontman celebrated a birthday on Thursday, released Dawn, the final EP of The Wonderlands project, on Friday, and over the weekend, he played more shows than hours in a day, potentially breaking a Guinness world record.

“Before Our Time” is the last song on Dawn. The track features Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek and Watkins Family Hour) and it’s a joyful conclusion to the series of four EPs, which have tackled some weighty subject matter, particularly on Shadows and Darkness. It’s a song about embracing the time we’ve been given and making the most of life while we can.

In addition to being an illusion and a curse, time is also sacred. We don’t know how much of it we have left. We’re alive now, so let’s live now. Think of something you’ve always wanted to do. Is it scaling Mount Everest? Traveling to Greece? Starting a band? Do it.

Our time is now.

*Fun fact: Another version of this song, called “Our Time is Now,” appears on Amy Grant’s 2013 album How Mercy Looks From Here. Foreman co-wrote it along with Grant and Marshall Altman.

For more on Jon Foreman: Website | Twitter | Instagram


Guitar Hero: My Journey to Guitar Lessons

I was nine years old when I fell in love with guitar. At the time, I was enrolled in Saturday morning piano lessons – mostly by my mom’s choice – and had just been promoted to Level 3. I enjoyed playing piano, but something about the guitar drew me in. You could make a wider variety of sounds with a guitar than a piano, I thought. So, I asked my mother if I could take guitar lessons.

She said no.

For the next two years, I asked again and again for guitar lessons. My family always said no for the following reasons:

  • “But don’t you like playing piano?”
  • “Guitar is for boys. You should learn to play violin instead.”
  • “Black people don’t play guitar.”
  • “Black people don’t listen to that music.”

By “that music,” they meant rock music.

I listened.

To rock music, that is. I disregarded the idea that the guitar was only for certain people. After all, I’d seen Joan Jett and other female musicians playing guitar on TV so it couldn’t just be for boys! And what about Chuck Berry and B.B. King? They were black guitarists, so why couldn’t I be one, too?

In the meantime, I learned as much as I could about the guitar from library books and what I could access via dial-up internet. When I was eleven, my parents surprised me with a secondhand classical guitar. My dad’s co-worker gave it to him since his wife no longer played it. The guitar was pretty old and its strings were wound the wrong way, but I was so excited that I didn’t care. I was just grateful that I could finally learn to play. I began trying to teach myself, but I made more discordant noises than actual music, so that summer, my mom agreed to let me take lessons at a music day camp.

I’ve been playing ever since.ScreenShot053

Challenging as it was at the time, I honestly would not be who I am today without these experiences. Fighting for guitar lessons taught me to persevere and not give up on my dreams. It’s a quality that shapes my interactions to this day.

Earlier this year, one of my professors tasked
our class with making a 1-2 minute video telling a personal story with a redemptive ending, so using The Sims 2, I combined my love of machinima and storytelling to create “Guitar Hero.” Unfortunately, with the time limit, I could only show a snippet of the story. Here, I’m telling the full story.

This was fun.

the belligerents - press photo

Tuesday Tunes – “In My Way” by The Belligerents

Today’s tune comes from The Belligerents, a five-piece band from Brisbane, Australia. “In My Way” is the opening track from the band’s new EP, Outside:Inside. I’m new to The Belligerents’ music and this song’s catchy riffs and driving bassline hooked my attention from the start. Now that’s how to open an EP.

Consequence of Sound premiered Outside: Inside. You can listen here.

For more on The Belligerents: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud


Tuesday Tunes – “Kafari” by Lockerbie

“Kafari” is a new release from Icelandic band Lockerbie from their upcoming album of the same name. The lyrics are all in Icelandic so I don’t fully know what they’re saying (and Google Translate wasn’t much help), but I like it. However, I do know that “Kafari” means “diver” in English, which makes sense by the end of the music video.

Directed and edited by Timothée Lambrecq, the music video for “Kafari” is one of the most scenic, cinematic music videos I have seen. One special little touch in the video is that in the beginning, the subject’s alarm clock plays “Laut,” a song from Lockerbie’s first album, Ólgusjór. This video brings out my inner film nerd as I was able to identify a strong rectilinear motif, as well as a great use of match cuts, jump cuts, and cutting on action. Hope that’s not getting too technical for you!

If anything, this video really makes me want to hop on a plane to Iceland. Or a Lockerbie show. Or both.

Starting tomorrow (October 14th), Kafari will be available as a free download on the band’s website. I’ll be grabbing a copy :-)

For more on Lockerbie: Website | Twitter | Facebook | SoundcloudInstagram


pearl-jam- press photo

Wishlist: Every Pearl Jam Album Ranked by Fans

It’s become increasingly popular for bands with large discographies to have their albums ranked from “best to worst” or “worst to best” by popular music magazines and websites. Pearl Jam is no exception, with Diffuser, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, and other sites contributing their own lists. However, one Pearl Jam fan was unhappy with these rankings, so he took to Twitter to get a different opinion – but this time, directly from fans. “I was irked by Rolling Stone’s readers’ poll that put Ten, Vitalogy, & Vs. at 1, 2, and 3 respectively, as if they [Pearl Jam] never improved after that initial period, when we know that to be far from the truth,” Andrew said.

Over the course of several weeks and 45 rounds of voting, Andrew, known as @theboytemps on Twitter, asked the “#PJFam” (a Twitter hashtag used by many Pearl Jam fans) to rank their favorite Pearl Jam albums. He presented two albums per round and fans voted for their favorites until the top ten emerged based on the number of votes received.

Here are the albums from least to most favorite, as ranked in Andrew’s poll:


dru cutler - promo

Tuesday Tunes – “Familiar” by Dru Cutler

The television and film industries have seen plenty of remakes and reboots these last few years, with even more rumored to happen. Please make it stop. The same is true for the music industry, namely, band reunions. It’s rumored that Oasis may reunite and even Chris Cornell has said that an Audioslave reunion isn’t out of the question. While I’m always down for more Audioslave, it’s evident that nostalgia has a hand in shaping popular culture. Put on your rose-colored glasses (or take them off) because today’s tune explores that concept.


Album Review: Dust & Gold by Rafe Pearlman and Jonathan Plum

Dust & Gold - album art“Let me hear you,” Rafe Pearlman sings in “Even The Stars,” the opening track of his album with Jonathan Plum, Dust & Gold. “…Through dust and gold now / The echoes that showed how / Harder to hear in the noise that’s around.”

Perhaps unintentionally metaphorical, these lyrics are an excellent description of Dust & Gold. It’s a soft, mellow album that doesn’t scream for the listener’s attention, but rather, commands it through a unique blend of genres and influences.

Released on March 20, 2013, Dust & Gold is a collaboration between Seattle-based singer/songwriter Rafe Pearlman and producer/guitarist Jonathan Plum, with contributions from Tasha Jamison, Seth Littlefield, Chris Littlefield, and others.

Overall, the album has a gentle, sweet mood. Some songs, like “Over The Water,” reveal feelings of love and longing: “‘Cause I wanna be just like the stars and live and die as lovers / It will be sung, our song to the sun / We’d walk over the water.” Elements of nature such as fields, birds, water, stars, and sunlight recur throughout the album and fit perfectly with its organic, stripped-down sound.

Jonathan Plum and Rafe Pearlman (via Kickstarter)

Jonathan Plum and Rafe Pearlman (image from Kickstarter)

Although the similar mood of some songs can make the album feel a little lengthy at moments, the instrumentation makes each song unique. There are wonderful little nuances in the mix, like the soft claps in “Sweep Up The Stars” and the bass playing on “Missing You Every Day” and “Crown Us.” The beautiful transition from “Shade” into “Over The Water” is also worth noting.

The closing track, “Looking For A Field” evokes feelings of gratefulness, both for life and its unanswered questions. It satisfyingly concludes the journey Dust & Gold takes the listener on while hinting that the journey may not be over just yet.

For more on Dust & Gold: Bandcamp

builder of the house - promo photo

Tuesday Tunes – “There Is No Hourglass, Only Sand” by Builder of the House

Weather-wise, not much has changed since last week’s Tuesday Tunes post. In fact, I’m not sure it ever truly stopped raining. This weather doesn’t bother me too much, but I can tell it’s starting to wear on some people around me. For this week’s song, I figured if we can’t get sunshine outside, we can at least get some in this music video – literally.