Austin artists Aly Tadros & Alyse Black take their Debut Tour 2009 to my hometown of El Paso. All my El Pasoans go and check them out. Click on the flyer to get to Aly Tadros’ Official MySpace Page.
August 11, 2009
June 12, 2009
Get a taste of the BLBL sound with “A New Word To Say” before reading our 10Q interview with the Artist Formerly Known as Rod Thomas about his new status quo.
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1. So, why the change of name from Rod Thomas to Bright Light Bright Light? The last year or so I’ve been working hard on my production skills and live set and it’s much more layered and textured, with some shimmering synth parts weaving between more organic sounds. I DJ and remix a lot, too, so the name change reflects the more rounded nature I guess.
I think if you have a “firstname” “surname” identity, people often presume you’re an acoustic act, which is not what I am. Also having a pseudonym means you can have a bit more fun, too, with the detachment from your own personal life I think.
2. Does this mean we have to refer to you as the Artist Formerly Known as Rod Thomas? YES. (haha, no not at all!)
3. Is this partly because there’s already a Rob Thomas out there? For publishers/labels I suppose yes. Especially stateside. Everyone was aware of him in the UK, but in the US he’s a multi-million selling artist, so that’s a bit of a problem. That’s not the reason for it, but it sidesteps it.
4. Since the name is a Gremlins reference, what other 80s movies do you love and why? I absolutely love Mannequin, Gremlins 1 & 2, Splash, The Breakfast Club, Back To The Future … God there are SO MANY amazingly nostalgic/well-soundtracked films from the 80s! Such an era for an equal number of duds and TOTAL classics.
5. And if the reference is lost on folks is that okay? Yeah of course. It just came into my head straight away. It’s not DELIBERATELY a reference of Gremlins as in that I wanted to connect my music to it, so there’s no requirement for people to notice it.
6. Does this mean there will be an 80s vibe to your [new] work? For certain songs maybe. Like I worked on “A New Word To Say” and “Disco Moment” with Boom Bip who’s famed for 80s project Neon Neon, so there’s obviously some 80s references. But, it spans 90s references. There are some real campfire folk influences in the album and some disco/Motown strands weaved in, too. But, I guess, yes, there are 80s vibes in terms of strong melodies/big beats.
7. Sonically, how is Bright Light Bright Light different from Rod Thomas? In other ways? I don’t think Bright Light Bright Light is intended as a severing point, but it’s definitely less soft than Rod Thomas, mainly for the reasons above.
It allows me to be seen less as a vulnerable man on his own with his songs and more as a body of music, I guess. A collection of sounds and ideas. I guess “he’s” shinier, more intertextual, maybe more experimental. Even though Rod Thomas was doing that, just nobody really paid attention
8. Are there any remnants of Rod Thomas left? Some people liked him and his sound. He did have fans, you know. Yes, a lot is left. The live set incorporated a lot of Bright Light Bright Light. The name stems from the sounds I create live. Plus material-wise, I still use “Your Love Is A Tease,” “You Get Goodbyes,” and “Debris” from the Rod Thomas catalogue. I’m glad he had fans, I’ll let him know!
9. Well, the level of success of name changes in the music industry is debatable. Please share your thoughts on the following –
• Prince to The Artist/The Artist Formerly Known as Prince/that Symbol and back to Prince again Kind of ridiculous, but also very interesting. The idea of not having a recognisable name is really something quite bizarre, but intriguing. Especially as it suggests hearing the music without attributing it to a personalit while also suggesting a personality so large it doesn’t require a specific name.
• Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to Diddy Totally pointless.
10. What shiny and new things (couldn’t resist) can fans look forward to in the future? The future brings lots of exciting stuff. I worked with Boom Bip on two tracks I’m so very happy with and I worked with a guy called Andy Chatterley (KanYe West/Pussycat Dolls/Underworld/Unkle) on a track. I’ve been re-working the live set for a band and have 2 weeks in New York at the end of July/beginning of August. I’ll be writing with my friend James Yuill, and gigging a lot as well as releasing the first bit of BLBL material, too. So, very busy, but hopefully very fun!
May 25, 2009
I’ve been wanting to do a countdown featuring songs about songs (you know, songs about music, dancing, and/or a certain genre). I have my 10 songs, but even as I posted Number 10, I wasn’t sure about the order. So, this one will form as I go. I normally have my list ready to go before I start. MY TOP 10 is a music video countdown, but with some songs (maybe one two in particular) occuring before the MTV era, I will have to improvise and pull something from Dailymotion or YouTube. Here goes.
7. Sonny & Cher “The Beat Goes On”
Sonny Bono’s headstone simply states “AND THE BEAT GOES ON,” the lyric he wrote for this song. Goes to show the power of this song, its timelessness, and how it’s synonymous with Sonny & Cher. It works because “the beat” is a metaphor for the cycle of life. And, that works during any era. The sound is at the same time classic and modern because though it’s classic ’60s pop, it could be a new song today, too. Britney Spears covered it for her debut, …Baby One More Time, in 1999.
March 25, 2009
Continuing our sxsw show pic-olio series (this is 2 of 3) this week (featuring this month’s SXSW pop quiz Artists) next up is UK artist, Rod Thomas, whose folk/pop stylings are a refreshing new sound to these stuck-in-their-listening-ways-ears. I did get to talk to him a bit and he seemed like an unassuming nice fellow who was nervous about his gigs and just wanted to give good shows to good crowds. For this gig he had a special guest in the way of his friend, Sophie Galpin, accompanying him on bass guitar. She normally plays with two other UK acts — My First Tooth and Sam Isaac.
I actually saw him twice because I missed a little bit of this first gig. Something I learned is that he’s one of those techno-daddy-one-man-show-types. I guess there’s more of that going on. My first exposure to that was seeing Arthur Yoria live a couple 0f months ago. Different sounds, though, don’t get me wrong. They just both do the recording, replaying, sound effects, and singing with oneself thing. It’s econimical. More importantly, it’s very creative and seems somewhat experimental.
At one point, for one song, Rod busts out a ukulele. And that’s oh so much fun. I kept thinking it was like something out of a Muppet movie. And, that’s not a diss. There’s a fun, innocent, and carefree whimsy that I think Rod Thomas’ brand of electro-acoustic pop and stage performance captures.
March 17, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 6:27 PM
To Whom It May Concern:
Two things are on my brain right at this moment — St. Patrick’s Day and SXSW. So, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and for those in Austin for SXSW this week — Enjoy!
Right off the bat, we’ve had the most pop quizzes featured in March 2009 than any other month since popolio started in September 2008. The reason being that in addition to our two March pop quiz artists, I also hosted a special SXSW Week (last week!) featuring a different SXSW Artist pop quiz daily. That’s five (seven total) for those doing the math. The last artist of the week is a 2009 Grammy Nominee as well. Our first Grammy Nominated pop quiz Artist at that. How exciting is that?
I tried to reach out to artists of different genres to have a nice variety and I think we achieved that. R&B, Club, Folk, and Roots are all well-represented. All their shows are tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, 2009, except for Clarence Bucaro’s whose show is this Saturday, March 20, 2009. I didn’t plan it that way. It’s just coincidence that the artists that were most receptive to popolio have shows on the same day. And the other March Artist pop quiz is still coming up and will close out the month. So, watch for that one. Check out their pop quizzes by clicking below (and go see these SXSW Artists’ shows!):
- Our first March 2009 pop quiz Artist: Soce, The Elemental Wizard (Hip Hop/Rap/Pop)
And the SXSW Artists featured last week –
- Kendra Ross (R&B/Soul/Jazz)
- The Wong Boys (Club Rock)
- Rod Thomas (Folk/Pop; Not to be mistaken with Rob Thomas)
- Clarence Bucaro (Pop/Roots)
- Wayna (R&B/Soul/Hip Hop/Singer-Songwriter; 2009 Grammy Nomineee)
- Our second March 2009 pop quiz Artist is coming (check for it)
So, I think that’s the biggest news for March 2009 at popolio. All our other features are to be continued. I will be bringing a new MY TOP 10 at the end of the month. Check for that.
Enjoy our SXSW content; all of our March 2009 content; and to all those music fans, artists, and industry people alike in Austin for SXSW this week welcome to Austin and have a blast.
Sincerely, Freddie Rodriguez aka freddie beat
March 11, 2009
Rod Thomas, an independent artist from the UK, wanted to get to SXSW so badly that he played a benefit concert in his native country to help. Now, that’s some ground-rootsiness that I can respect. He recently released what he calls a “mini-album” last Monday, March 2, 2009. I think it’s what we refer to as an EP here in the States. He can call it whatever he wants. He plays the 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn (500 North Interstate Highway 35) next Wednesday, March 18, 2008, at 11:00 PM. Check the SXSW site here for more 411.
March 11, 2009
Name: Rod Thomas
Latest Release: Until Something Fits Mini-Album (Self-Released through Self Raising Records)
Release Date: March 2, 2009
This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Underground
2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)??? Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision
3. Studio or Stage? Stage
4. Spirituality OR Hedonism? Hedonism
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Make Love
Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my favourite vice.
7. I’m musically inspired by everyone I meet.
8. My favorite old school joint is “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be utterly useless.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Cake, Wine, and 80s films.
11. I make music because: There is very rarely silence in my head so it has to go somewhere!
12. I want my fans to: Fall in love with my songs as much as I’ve fallen in love with other people’s.
13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be: I love every minute of what I do.
14. Wild Card! I always arrive places too early. And I know every word to every song on Ace of Base’s debut album.
15. I want my musical legacy to be: That I made some great tunes that will long outlive me.
Enjoy the track, “Same Old Lines,” from Until Something Fits and check out his MySpace Page.
Rod Thomas’ favorite old school joint!
January 28, 2009
Remember that show at The Hideout Theatre that I posted a few weeks ago? Well, I went to it. It was a night of many firsts. It was The Executive Life’s first official show. It was Jeder’s first time opening a show like this. And it was my first time taking pictures of a show for popolio. The show also featured the more established Arthur Yoria who seems to be friends with The Executive Life. The Morakestra were on the bill, too, but never showed.
Drum roll, please because, though it took me a little while, this kicks off a new feature. Introducing: pic-olio. Title speaks for itself, I think. I took pictures of all 3 of the acts, so I’m going to divide this into 3 parts.
Part 1 features Jeder the artist also known as La Jeder and Heather Coleman. Folk is going hip hop with all these aliases. Seriously, though, she kicked things off nicely. She set it off with her beautiful voice and her mix of English and Spanish folk stylings.
I especially liked her between-song banter and audience interaction. She seemed like she’d been doing this for a little while at least. Imagine my surprise when she intimated this was her first time. Definitely, an up-and-coming-one-to-be-watched kind of artist. You heard it here first at popolio. Check out the pic-olio and Jeder’s MySpace Page, too.
January 9, 2009
I just met this musician last night and just heard about this show, so I apologize for the so, so late notice.
Her name is Jeder and she’s the opening act for The Executive Life’s first official show here in Austin. She didn’t make the poster, but she is definitely kicking things off.
Also on the bill is Houston artist, Arthur Yoria (who popolio co-editor, JW Richard, previously blogged about here) and The Morakestra.
Check the flyer for more 411. I think I’m gonna’ go. See you at the Hideout.
Check out their MySpace Pages: