Best of 2019: Jeremy Siegrist’s Picks and Thoughts

Hindsight is always 2020

GEA - C21ILLC Final-8Well, here we are, the end of another year is upon us. If you’re like I am, you are fighting to break out of your self-imposed  echo chamber which you have ensconced yourself in and (possibly) you are thoroughly convinced life as you know it is falling apart. Yes, 2019 has been one of “those” years. As we all watch the worlds political systems, economies and climates stretch and strain under the forces that be, it is easy to fall into a state of hopelessness and despair.  For a great many of us, however, the thing that keeps us upright and a productive part of society is an unnatural reliance upon popular music, rock n roll in particular,  and the almost mystical way it seems to be able to make life bearable. Almost like a gigantic connective web covering the world, for those of us who are tuned in, music is the prime mover, the voice of generations, the highest form of expression and ultimately, the reason behind it all. Like legendary Who guitarist Pete Townsend said, “… the elegance of pop music [is] that it [is] reflective: we were holding up a mirror to our audience and reflecting them philosophically and spiritually, rather than just reflecting society or something called ‘rock n roll.’”  Indeed, this is the way it was then when The Who was at the forefront of new music and the way it still is now.

Fortunately for almost everyone,  I am not prone to writing long pieces extemporaneously, but initially and for reasons unknown, I was asked by my friend Art Jipson, (a Dayton Ohio music legend in his own right), to write a small piece on what I have been listening to this past year and write a couple of review lines about each of the artists. Not being someone who routinely turns legends down, I agreed to the project and found that in attempting to put the piece together I was  forced into deep water asking myself why was it exactly I was listening to what I was listening to. Why was I drawn to things I was drawn to and what did they truly mean to me? The truth is, I’m not sure I came up with any solid answers and I definitely did no music reviewing in the process of writing this article, but here are some things I think are worth mentioning.

2019, for all intents and purposes, was a year of great  turmoil in the United States. Social GEA - C21ILLC Final-113upheaval and political division was at an all time high and I have found that with only a few notable exceptions, artists from previous eras have become suddenly and starkly relevant again in a way that has never happened for many of us before. For instance, 2019 saw the release of the album Colorado by Neil Young, which is objectively an amazing piece of artistry and social commentary. Take into evidence the song “Shut It Down” where the venerable Mr. Young sings:

“All around the planet There’s a blindness that just can’t see Have to shut the whole system down They’re all wearing climate change  As cool as they can be”

I was, and am, immediately drawn to this album for reasons other than just being a decidedly die hard and zealous Neil Young fan. There are things afoot which we haven’t dealt with in many years and they are starting to show in the edges of the musical spectrum of rock-n-roll.

The Drive By Truckers, the die hard stalwart hardest working rock band in the business, this year released a single and a teaser for they upcoming album with the titles being respectively, Perilous Night and Armageddon’s Back In Town. My friends, there are things moving, whether you want them to or not, which we have not seen in many years. In Perilous Night, Patterson Hood sings:

“Dumb, white and angry with their cup half filled

Running over people down in Charlottesville

White House Fury, it’s the killing side, he defends

Defend the up-ender, yes he played that tune

it ain’t the ending but it’s coming soon

 

We’re making love beneath a sputnik moon again

White House is glowing from the Red Square light

The gates at the border being slammed down tight

We’re moving into the perilous night, my friend” 

These are heady and potentially dangerous times, and Rock N Roll, maybe even all of pop music, is standing in the gap ice again ready to take up the cause. Yes, there were many albums released this year and singles which have absolutely nothing to do with the general climate in the world, for instance (and I am showing my age here) Juliana Hatfield, and Swervedriver both released albums this past year. However, I find myself continually drawn back to music which is speaking to our times, even when those times are from years which have seemingly passed out of relevance.

Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Drive By Truckers are all in my rotation on a constant basis now because they are in the process of capturing a point in time for me. I need to post a disclaimer for everyone who has made it this far in the article. I am not living some sort of 60’s battle reenactment; (This is a line from a Frank Turner song, if you don’t know him you should look him up). I am suddenly and very acutely aware at this point in history we, in this country, and on this planet, are watching huge tectonic plates grinding and moving against one another in a way that has not been seen in many many moons. Put your antenna up friends, the truth is out there and it’s starting to be sung about out on the fringes.

Ultimately, however, and when I finally pull my mind away from the morass of the public spectacle in front of us, I gravitate back towards the people and places I love and am familiar with. For instance, local bands Like Seth Canan and The Carriers, The Boxcar Suite and the 1984 Draft.  Artists like Charlie Jackson and Amber Hartgett, and really everything Patrick Himes touches, are always somewhere in my headspace leaving sonic trails through the synapses. I miss Tom Petty more and more every day and wish I could let it all go again but did you hear? Rage Against the Machine is coming back for one more go. Coincidence? I suspect as we roll into the next year we will see an even greater resurgence of politically and socially charged music and lyrics and I for one think it is long overdue. In this case, hindsight is truly 2020.

JeremyJeremy Siegrist describes himself as “a no one, from no where, in a small band in Ohio called The Typical Johnsons, who are making as much noise is as humanly possible from his low low vantage point.”  https://twitter.com/TypicalJohnsons @TypicalJohnsons Typical Johnsons Fan Club & Website Their latest song ‘Wreckage’ is available on all platforms. We recommend checking out The Typical Johnsons’ page on bandcamp

Indie Rock Cinco De Mayo Fiesta 2019

The 2nd Annual “Indie Rock Fest/Cinco De Mayo Fiesta” was amazing this year and the line up was simply fantastic. While a day before the Cinco, it was a show full of good vibes, great music and a heck of a party. To call it jam packed really does not cover all of the musical goodness from the local community packed under one roof! Bands covered Americana, shoe gaze, rock and Indie Rock and Roll. Many thanks to the bands who played — A Voice of Your Own, The Boxcar Suite, The Typical Johnsons, The 1984 Draft, Neo-American Pioneers, Slow Glows and Kyleen Downes.

Video of the Day – The Boxcar Suite – Living to Infinity

‘Living to Infinity’ is the first single from the ‘Further In and Farther Out’ LP by The Boxcar Suite, due out on Magnaphone Records on April 28, 2018.

Video by Jeremy Sewell at Sewell Film Productions

Instagram: @SewellFilmProductions

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SewellFilmProductions

The Boxcar Suite http://www.theboxcarsuite.com http://www.magnaphonerecords.com/the-… http://www.facebook.com/theboxcarsuite

Instagram: @theboxcarsuite

Twitter: @theboxcarsuite

Magnaphone Records http://www.magnaphonerecords.com

Twitter: @MagnaphoneRec

An Embarrassment of Riches – Great Guests on YTAA

DSC_0061Last week we had our good friends A Voice of Your Own in the YTAA studio.  The week before that we had our pal Mandy Jewell in to talk about her music and the Dayton Scene!  No one goes to as many shows as Mandy! We are Very happy to let you know that Mandy has a show coming up on April 21st with The Typical Johnsons and Evil Eye Gypsy at Southpark Tavern.

This week we are keeping the local train rolling with Tim Pritchard and Matt & Tesia of The Nautical Theme spending some time with us!

It was a real pleasure to have A Voice of Your Own in the studio this past week! Such fine fellows! And their record, ‘Vines on the Lines’ is fantastic! And to boot, they make fantastic videos! Check out their cool videos on their AVOYO youtube channel!

GEA - boxcar suite finals-2Join us this Tuesday as we welcome additional cool guests: Tim Pritchard of The Boxcar Suite talking about their new record and the record release show for ‘Further In, Farther Out’ at the Yellow Cab Tavern on April 28th! They have a very cool lineup for that show with Speaking Suns and Seth Canan and the Carriers playing!

FloatAnd later in the same show we are fortune to have our good friends Matt and Tesia of The Nautical Theme in the studio talking about their latest, ‘Float’ and the release show on April 21st at Jimmie’s Ladder 11 with The 1984 Draft who is always making good choices  and soon to have a new record out to pleasure your music loving ears with support from the fine folks at Poptek Recs and our friend and probably the friendliest friend we have Kyleen Downes who has a great new record most appropriately entitled – ‘Friends!’

We will share all of the good news about terrific local and Dayton music on the show this week!  So, join Dr. J & his affable cohort Flower for Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative from 3-6pm on WUDR.udayton.edu!

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Video of the Day: The Boxcar Suite – Living to Infinity

PromoArt_Front

The new album by The Boxcar Suite is available for pre-order!  The album, Further In and Farther Out, is the latest from the band and is being released by Magnaphone Records on April 28. If you pre-order you get one track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released in April.  The band have a release party planned for April 28th at the Old Yellow Cab Building!  Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.  See you there!