Brandon Berry’s Short Takes

Short Takes

Our Short Takes today comes courtesy of Brandon Berry of The Paint Splats. The band came on the scene with a blast of indie rock goodness with “I Gutted My VCR” which eventually joined nine other songs for the first self-titled record released on November 16, 2019! A split with Mike Bankhead, “Defacing the Moon” came out around the same time! Some of Brandon’s contributions to that shared record includes the heartbreakingly beautiful “Annie”.

a2463795233_10This past March, The Paint Splats released a terrific EP …With a Side of Fries. That continues the terrific indie pop and humor that The Paint Splats are becoming known for in the Miami Valley. As Brandon wrote about the project: “An unhealthy blend of power pop melodies that grew up listening to garage rock and the man shouting obscenities from the comfort of a street corner.”

Reaching out to Brandon to ask if he would give us a few ‘Short Takes’ of music that he is listening to lately was an easy call for us to make here at YTAA. Take a few minutes and review his excellent recommendations!

The Kinks – Sleepwalker

In my high school band, we attempted to cover the Kinks – “All Day and All of the Night” and our “Lola” parody, “Ebola” – but I just passed them off as another forgotten novelty spawned from, and muddled up by, the swingin’ ’60s. It wasn’t until I started taking chances at the record store that I discovered their massive catalogue of inventive tunes that would serve as major inspiration for my own songwriting. The early stuff will always be dear to me, but their late ’70s and early ’80s albums, like Give the People What They Want and Sleepwalker, stand out for the risk-taking, something they’ve been known for since the amplifier cabinet-slashing origins.


kink2Life goes on
It happens ev’ry day
So appreciate what you got
Before it’s taken away


I’m not sure if there’s a more apropos quatrain for this present moment.

Kurt Baker – Brand New Beat

Power pop never died; the arena has just been cluttered by artists who shouldn’t be included in the category. There is hope, though. Musicians like Kurt Baker are keeping the original spirit alive. I came to this guy fairly late, but after hearing “Weekend Girls” and “She Can Do It All” from Brand New Beat, I had to get the record. I wear my nostalgia on my three-quarter length sleeves. The album cover alone would’ve been enough for me to throw down the cash. With vocal fluctuations à la Elvis Costello, I can’t help but get sucked into Kurt’s expertise in the genre.

a3565109622_10The Mountain Goats – Songs for Pierre Chuvin

When I write lyrics, I channel my inner John Darnielle. Destructive and off-putting sentiments with underlying sadness and regret over a major key chord progression. When I heard that he was recording a new album during quarantine, I had no idea the promo videos involving John and his sideways, trusty Panasonic tape deck would be the final product. Going back to his roots, he released the new batch of songs on cassette. I wasn’t around or conscious enough to consider myself an original fan, but I feel like I’m a part of something special now. I’ve been listening long enough that when a limited release such as this presents itself, I am to jump on the opportunity to be one of the few to have a copy. Though the cassette hasn’t been officially released, the lo-fi grain can be streamed online. Gather up your pagan crew. Do yourself a favor and listen to this record.

Various Artists

I have a playlist on Spotify called “songs that make me feel better,” which is comprised of mostly ’80s ballads and bops, like Mike & The Mechanics’ “All I Need is a Miracle” and “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister. You’d be surprised what else you can find in there. When I was a youngster, I discovered the Beatles and the Stones through my dad and the big haired ’80s through my brother, eventually blending and inspiring me to dive into genres from every era. During the time of mandated isolation (remember that?), I needed something positive to listen to, so I dug up the old playlist and added some new songs to the repertoire amongst all the Scandal and Wilson Philips songs:

YTAA MonsterI suggest you make a playlist like this, too, adding only tunes in the key of happy that you can dance to at the drop of a hi-hat. A dash of positivity never did any harm.

Many thanks to Brandon for sharing what he has been listening to with us!

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Best of 2019: Brandon Berry of The Paint Spats’ Picks and Thoughts

Best of 2019

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Misconstrued – Seth Gilliam & The Fake News

There hasn’t been one project that Seth has been a part of that hasn’t been astounding, and this album is no exception. I’d say the fella’s talented beyond his years, but I’m the same age and that would just make me depressed now, wouldn’t it?

 

Where Have I Been All Your Life? – John Dubuc’s Guilty Pleasures 61470138_554840258255776_5954152654669086720_o

John’s become one of my best friends over this past year. It all started because I told him that when I grow up, I want to be as good of a songwriter as him, and that’s the truth. I’ve never heard a record with such re-listen-ability-ness as this one. This record will live with you for a long time.

 

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What The Brokenhearted Do… – Tim Heidecker

This one blows my mind. Tim tricked us into thinking he got a divorce and wrote an entire record surrounding said divorce. He is the Andy Kaufman of music, a triple threat of awesome. Plus, he’s heavily influenced by Warren Zevon, which is no crime.

 

Bad Wiring – Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltagea0025309944_10

Because of my hankering for vinyl, a friend sent me the “LPs” music video from Jeffrey Lewis and I was enamored. This record has no shortage of great tunes, including “Except For The Fact That It Isn’t,” “Till Question Marks Are Told,” and “Exactly What Nobody Wanted.”

It’s easily become one of my favorite records of 2019.

 

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In League with Dragons  – The Mountain Goats

John Darnielle has been my biggest influence when it comes to my own songwriting. This album, in a way, feels like an experiment, or at least a divergence of style, which I love. There are a few country-esque tunes, and an 80s-inspired power ballad.

There’s adventure all across this one.

 

When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – Billie EilishBillie_Eilish__When_We_All_Go_To_Sleep__Large

There is something dark and sinister that she’s bringing to the table that breaks up the monotony of the four-chord safety net that’s been implemented in pop music over the last few decades. Her live shows and music videos are out of this world. Billie gives me hope for music.

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Misery – Age Nowhere

Paul Monnin ripped me from my sad bachelor pad on Central in late 2018 to bring me to my first open mic in several years at Star City Brewing. I heard him play this before I knew anything about his band or his songwriting. I associate this tune with my entrance into the Dayton music scene, and it couldn’t have been a better one to remember it by.

 

 

a3408849665_10Transference – Overthought Musik

I am a firm believer of never moving the needle once it hits the grooves, but for some reason I break my own rule for this one. The whole record is a knockout, showcasing some of Dayton’s beloved heavyweights.

But this song, man. I can’t stop!

 

 

Alex-Cameron

 

Miami Memory – Alex Cameron

The fuzzed-out drums, the simple melodies and minimal musical distractions, Alex Cameron tells it like it is. The lyrics are dirty, comical, yet heartwarming, and the video just reinforces the point.

Every time I hear it, I feel like I’m falling in love all over again.

 

“What I Mean To You” – David Paynea1693069051_10 (1)

How can I make a best-of list and not include our good pal, David Payne? Like Nebraska before it, Orange Glow is an intimate record that gives you the sense that you’re being serenaded by a woeful traveler who shares the same heartbreak as you. After it’s over, all you can do is pour yourself – and your guest – a glass of whiskey and stare into the fireplace until the embers sizzle away with the sunrise’s orange glow. That’s what it means to me.

 

hqdefaultBrandon Berry is the sonic artist behind The Paint Splats. He loves long walks, sunsets and… just kidding he is a songwriter, videographer, photographer and visual artist who in his down time is watching VCR tapes and writing some of the catchiest indie and alt-country pop songs this side of the Mississippi. His latest record is Defacing the Moon, a split album with Mike Bankhead, available now. The Paint Splats are on twitter and instagram as @thepaintsplats.