Happy Friday!

iPhone Pictures 06-23-2014 551We just learned that one of our favorite bands of all time and space, Smug Brothers have a new album tentative titled Woodpecker Paradise that they are planning to release on February 24th.  The band recorded it with Derl Robbins (of Motel Beds) and the album is the first to feature the band’s new lineup with one of the finest bassists that we know — Larry Evans on all tracks. The album will be available from Gas Daddy Go! Records in both CD and Digital formats!  To celebrate this fine achievement the band is playing on February 21st at Blind Bob’s in Dayton, Ohio with Human Cannonball and Forage!  Who wants to go with Dr. J?  You can expect to hear tracks from the album very soon on the show!

Popthrillz---Alternative

Looking Forward to Days to Come

ImageThere are bands that become successful because of intense and expensive record company promotion that repeatedly tell us that this entertainer is a musician, regardless what your ears may tell you.  There are bands that dominate the radio, the ‘net stream, and iTunes because they have a look.  There are bands that become well known because of the producer that records the music, even before we hear that first chord.  And there are bands that become successful for the simple reason that they are good, they successfully write music that captures the often ignored inner need we all have for a great song.  Dayton’s own Motel Beds are one example of a band that is simply a good band that consistently delivers great songs.

With the Misra Records recent release of their recent collection, These Are The Days Gone By, PJ Paslowsky, Tommy Cooper, Ian Kaplan, Derl Robbins, and Tod Weidner remind us that even without the music industry machine, without some hypoallergenic created look, great music can not only be consistently created – it can be created in your home town.

Days starts with the eponymous album track, a rocking reminder that art and commerce should connect when the time is right. And for this band, the time is right with every song you hear on this collection.  These are the Days Gone By – a standout track from the ‘Beds Tango Boys album – demonstrate the way that the guitars-bass-drums approach of rock and roll can still be made fresh and exciting.  If you do not start to sway when you hear the twin guitars of Cooper and Robbins, you should check your pulse; and if the bass does not make you dance… “Well, how you feeling right now? Are you still with us?”

The next song Ocean Flows from the ‘Beds 2009 EP Go For A Dive connects the listener to the best in high intensity yet rocking lofi-ish sound.  Songs such as this recall the early and best of bands like R.E.M. when the vocals did not have to be so highly mixed as to over-power the music.  While this lesson is repeatedly ignored by Top 40 radio, The ‘Beds are able to make the most out of a mix that encourages the listener to feel the different instruments of the song.  It is important to note that the current arrangement of Ocean Flows illustrates the impressive drop-your-jaw drumming of Ian Kaplan that becomes a full out attack on later ‘Beds recordings such as Sunfried Dreams and Dumb Gold.  And live, wow… you will wonder how Kaplan can lift his arms after a show.

With Skymade Suit and Cactus Kiss the band reveals early ideas that will be more fully realized on later work.  Skymade Suit was the first track on the ‘Beds 2003 EP Hasta Manana and show a different side to the band.  Suit was recorded with only Paslosky, Cooper and Kaplan before being joined by current members Derl Robbins and Tod Weidner.  The evolution of the band is demonstrated when comparing songs such as Skymade Suit and more recent work such as Surfjerk, Smoke Your Homework, and Valentimes.   Cactus Kiss originally appeared on the 2007 collection Local Losers – a release to benefit WWSU radio — and then on The ‘Beds Moondazed album and more importantly helps place The ‘Beds into a constant evolving swirl of Beach Boys influenced rock psychadelia.

The alternative version of Sunfried Dreams is a welcome visit into the creative process of the band.  It is one of only two songs on the album to include keyboards; the alt version of Dreams has a different all around feel than the version that ended up on the album of the same name.  One has to wonder if this alternative version is a glimpse of a band that would have moved along a different path than the road taken.

Standouts on the record include Tropics of the Sand that include the vocals of the always terrific Kelley Deal (R. Ring, The Breeders), SurfjerkLights On and Smoke Your Homework –  Songs that have long been featured on local radio, all four songs in rotation on WUDR.  It is impressive how Paslosky and Deal wrap their vocals around the song.  They sing and sound as if they have been singing together for years!  When their cascading vocals hit the song title together, you believe that they are yearning for a tropic somewhere together.  You feel it.  With Lights On and Surfjerk you hear the welcome addition of Tod Weidner (Shrug and heck too many projects to list here).  The additional strength on bass and on vocals on other tracks greatly strengthens the overall sonic texture of The Motel Beds.  And if you have seen the band live, you know firsthand how much Weidner adds to the performance!

One of the best discoveries on the album is the cover – and it is the only cover on the album – of Matthew Sweet’s I’ve Been Waiting, an often overlooked track from his terrific album Girlfriend!  The ‘Beds demonstrate their understanding of indie-college music by tacking the song and infusing urgency in the song that Sweet’s focus on classic indie-pop melody understates.  The Motel Beds make the song feel more immediate and more plaintive than Sweet ever could.  And considering that Matthew Sweet once had an indie hit with a song called Sick of Myself – that is really saying something.

Throughout all twelve tracks on this album you almost miss noting the captivating vocals of PJ Paslosky. Instead of grand standing and singing in some strange grandiose manner, Paslosky extends his voice in ways that draw the listener into the songs.  Whether listening to an early song by the band or something from their latest album of new material, Dumb Gold, you find yourself drawn to him.  Drawn not because of an industry manufactured buzz or some odd notoriety, but a gravity that a gifted vocalist creates.

Do not miss this collection – part retrospective, part review, and part exploration – consider this a road map of good songs for your music loving soul.

Information about the band can be found at motelbedsmusic.com and misarecords.com.

Track List for These are the Days Gone By: 

1. These are the Days Gone By
2. Ocean Flows
3. Skymade Suit
4. Cactus Kiss
5. Surfjerk
6. Valentimes
7. Lights On
8. Western Son
9. Tropics Of The Sand
10. Sunfried Dreams (alternate version)
11. I’ve Been Waiting
12. Smoke Your Homework

Cross posted at DaytonMostMetro  drj-1-crop1.jpg

Motel Beds ‘These are Days Gone By’ Vinyl Pre-Release show

Motel Beds 'These are Days Gone By' Vinyl Pre-Release show

The fantastic Motel Beds are presenting a rare opportunity for Dayton and Miami Valley music fans on January 18th (doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm sharp)!

In conjunction with We Care Arts and Misra Records, The Motel Beds invite you to join them as they review their musical career with friends, Smug Brothers and Good English at an All Ages show at the Yellow Cab building!

The ‘Beds are doing what we call a soft, limited release of “These are the Days Gone By” with 500 LP covers hand-painted by the artists at We Care Arts! A portion of the proceeds from the sale/show are to benefit We Care Arts!

“These are the Days Gone By” is a collection of Motel Beds singles, outtakes, and live favorites. Songs have been remastered by Carl Saff (Dinosaur Jr, GBV, etc), with added bass parts by Tod Weidner.

This is a soft, pre-release for the first 500 LPs; they’ve all been hand-painted by the artists at We Care Arts (“changing disabilities into possibilities”) you can learn more about WCA at their website – http://www.wecarearts.org/.  The album will be released internationally later in 2014 on Misra Records.

BIO FOR MOTEL BEDS “THESE ARE THE DAYS GONE BY”

Press Release (Courtesy of Motel Beds)

MOTEL BEDS are a rock & roll band from Dayton, Ohio – a delightfully detached underdog city nestled in the heart of The Heartland. Seasoned veterans, Beds have worked alongside local music advocates Kelley Deal (Deal duets on the lusciously hushed “Tropics of the Sand”) and Robert Pollard (guitarist Derl Robbins has recorded Guided By Voices). Allies aside, when it comes to rock & roll, The Motel Beds speak for themselves.

“These Are the Days Gone By” reveals the fruits of Beds’ labor these latter years. The album is an electrifying collection of “hits,” remastered by Carl Saff (GBV, Dinosaur Jr., etc.) and featuring added bass parts by new(est) member and local ace Tod Weidner. Over a 12-song cycle, the proficiency with which Tommy Cooper and P.J. Paslosky (Motel Beds’ core songwriting duo) augment a solid hook is clearly set on display.

While “Days” largely finds Ian Kaplan at work as one of the finest rock drummers around today (not an embellishment), Beds demonstrate their versatility with two never-before-released tracks: a poppier version of 2011’s “Sunfried Dreams” and a beautiful acoustic cover of Matthew Sweet’s “I’ve Been Waiting”; the latter proving Paslosky to be much more than a rock vocalist. In addition to recording Motel Beds in a visionary manner, guitarist Derl Robbins adds his own unmistakable style and sound.

True to Dayton (see GBV’s “Propeller”), the first 500 LPs are all one-of-a-kind. Each cover was individually hand-painted by the artists at We Care Arts: a non-profit dedicated to “changing disabilities into possibilities.” A portion of the proceeds from these first 500 will go to benefit WCA.

In his glowing review of “Dumb Gold” (2012), AllMusic Senior Editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted, “[This] is an album that deserves to break them out of the Rust Belt and onto the larger stage; it’s one of the best straight-ahead indie rock records of 2012.” “Days” takes all of “Dumb Gold”‘s assets song writing, hooks, musicianship, energy and ups them ad infinitum. It’s a remarkable rock record and one that finds Motel Beds carrying the torch for Dayton, Ohio’s independent music scene.

Track List:

1. These are the Days Gone By
2. Ocean Flows
3. Skymade Suit
4. Cactus Kiss
5. Surfjerk
6. Valentimes
7. Lights On
8. Western Son
9. Tropics Of The Sand
10. Sunfried Dreams (alternate version)
11. I’ve Been Waiting
12. Smoke Your Homework

Popthrillz---Alternative

A Dayton Community Event

Dayton-Ohio_smallThis coming Tuesday — October 29, 2013 at 7:00 – 8:30PM Dr. J will host a discussion on Dayton music!

Join us as we celebrate Dayton music and the Dayton Community!  The event will be held at the University of Dayton’s Science Center Auditorium.

Everything you wanted to know about Dayton Music but were afraid to ask!

Speakers include:

M. Ross Perkins, Goodbye
Tifani Tanaka, Dear Fawn
Burris Dixon, Me & Mountains
Andy Ingram, Kris N.
Tom Gilliam, The Rebel Set
Liz Rasmussen, Good English
Tod Weidner, Motel Beds, Shrug

New Motel Beds video

One of Dayton’s saviors of rock and roll, our own Motel Beds keep getting attention for their ‘we are not afraid of guitar’ songs. Their video for the second song on their terrific new album, Dumb Gold is called “Valentimes”. Remember now and do not forget that the ‘Beds have made Dumb Gold available for a name your own price — that means it could be free but you really should cough up a few dollars! Great music for your music listening pleasure!

Once you hear a Motel Beds song, you cannot go back!

March 9th Your Sunfried Dreams will become a Sunfried Reality

Motel_Beds_March9_flyer_webOur friend, The Motel Beds will be playing their great CD, Sunfried Dreams it its complete indie goodness on March 9th here in lovely and rockin’ downtown Dayton!  You should make whatever arrangements that you need to do in order to make sure that you can be there!

It boggles the mind but they have made their latest record, Dumb Gold, free to anyone who wants to download it.  Yeah, we are  not crazy out-of-it!  You can actually download Dumb Gold for free at http://motelbeds.bandcamp.com  You can watch the video for Dumb Gold here:

You can also watch the video for “Smoke Your Homework” at 

So, dear music fans… you have no choice.  Free your schedule on the 9th.  Come to the show.  Enjoy.  Surely this beats whatever you had planned!