Tag Archives: pop

Interview with Alex Di Leo

Rockin’ Performance + Interview with Alex Di Leo

Singer and songwriter Alex Di Leo was one of the artists to make an appearance at the Florida Music Festival in Orlando this weekend. He played the Church Street stage on Saturday, and put on a lively show that got the audience moving. Starting out the show with his most popular hit, “So We Go”, Alex’s performance was an energetic blend of alternative and pop that captivated fans.

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Add Some Cafeine To Your Musical Diet


Cafeine – New Love Album Review

The new album from Cafeine somehow slipped past my radar the first two times it ended up in my InBox. Thanks to a persistent PR Rep, I finally took it for a spin a few weeks ago, and can’t get enough of this sweet, catchy alt-rock.

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Cafeine the group is really the multi-talented Xavier Cafeine, a French Canadian multi-instrumentalist who sings, plays all of the instruments and recorded the album himself. The result? A hip, cool collection of pop-laced rock tunes that at different times feels like new wave, punk or ska, but a collection of songs that are always eminently listenable and enjoyable.

New Love is drenched with infectious hooks and catchy riffs, and simply stated is a blast to listen to. Periodically, I conjured up happy memories of classic Oingo Boingo and of more recent Bloc Party, but the music is distinctively fresh and stands on its own. At times the tracks are saccharine sweet, but just as often the songs deliver an engrossingly gritty edge.

A wave of fuzz and distortion immediately demands attention as the album kicks off with the title track which quickly evolves into a melodic pop rocker. New Love delivers hard charging guitar riffs intermixed with dreamy synths and clever lyrics. Cafeine’s voice is not particularly beautiful nor tremendously gritty, but it is undeniably likeable.

The majority of the tracks on the album carefully navigate around the topic of Love, and the inherent trials and tribulations associated with all of the joy and angst brought out by that emotion; on this album, more of the latter. On “I Love You” we hear him exhort “Hey bitch I got a message for you. I don’t like you, you don’t like me, I don’t care anymore.” Aside from the great lyrics, it’s an interesting juxtaposition of poppy bouncy keyboards and edgy vocals.

And then there’s “Fucking Time,” which is just pure musical genius. It’s a hearty rocker, with raging drums, addictive riffs and wonderfully casual lyrics. If not for the title, this one would be a fantastic choice for a summertime radio hit. I’ll leave you with my favorite line from the song, “Wish my life could be a bit better, but there’s no fucking time; wish my songs were a little more clever, at least they fucking rhyme.” I strongly implore to check out the album now, while you still have some fucking time!

Grab the album now on iTunes: New Love – Cafeine

Rock On!

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Psychic Friend – My Rocks Are Dreams – Album Review

Psychic Friend Album Cover
Psychic Friend Album Cover

Psychic Dreams Album Review

Don’t ask me how it happened, because I’m not sure.  I downloaded this album and when I put it on my phone to listen to it, the tracks got loaded in reverse order.  I didn’t notice until after about four days of listening to it.  Well, guess what? I listened to it in correct order and it didn’t really matter.

My Rocks Are Dreams is a pretty damned good record throughout, with none of the tracks falling flat.  Starting off with a simple, but effective piano intro on “We Do Not Belong”, it soon jumps full-steam into melodic pop goodness.  Will Schwartz, of Imperial Teen fame, has crafted some of the best pop songs I’ve heard in a while.  They are not sugary, but they will get stuck in your head for days.  His lyrics are sincere, but never seem to approach melancholy.  Sounding a bit like John Samson of The Weakerthans, his voice could possibly be abrasive to some, but sweet and melodic to others.  It adds a unique element to the songs, and in all seriousness, I believe it’s one of the most defining characteristics of Psychic Friend.  The drumming is flawless, and the arrangements usually include piano or synth, and guitar.

I like to imagine that Mr. Schwartz was writing songs with the hipster that wouldn’t leave his bar-stool in mind.  “We Do Not Belong” would certainly be the one to make you forget about getting your brand new tennies scuffed on the dance floor, and if the original wasn’t enough, the remix by Gliss will surely make it impossible to sit still.  Also included is a remix of “Once A Servant” by YACHT.  It is unclear whether these remixes were commissioned, or offered to Schwartz for inclusion in the album, but they are welcome none-the-less.  Side note: My brother saw YACHT open for the Postal Service in Las Vegas and said that they were more entertaining than the headliner.

If you’re unfamiliar with Imperial Teen, like I was before listening to Psychic Friend, then it seems to be common knowledge that Mr. Schwartz is gay.  I wasn’t even going to mention it, but the information I read when receiving the music made a point of mentioning it.  My point is that had I not been privy to that information, it probably would have never crossed my mind.  The songs are sometimes about love, but love as a nameless, faceless template for you to insert yourself into.

The write-up also indicated that it would be an album full of super-catchy, fun pop songs, and those are the only four words that needed to be said to make my ears perk up.  Indeed, My Rocks Are Dreams is a well crafted album, full to the brim with dance-ables, whether you are at a cool club or just want to slow-dance with the one you love in your living room, Psychic Friend has got you covered.

Check out the album on iTunes: My Rocks Are Dreams – Psychic Friend

Broken Birdie