Film and Music with Mark Battle

By on Nov 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

“Music really does connect us to the emotional chords of a film…” Wish I said those words. I didn’t. Mr. Mark Battle did. He’s an award winning filmmaker from New Hampshire and he knows his stuff. Or at the very least is filling in those creative edges mighty fine. Every year I see one of Battle’s short films, THE JANITOR or THE CONVICT, at the SNOB Film Festival, I can’t help but say to myself, “Yup, this cat is on a whole other level. Wow.” I’m betting ten years down the road, I’ll be filling my face watching HBO or Cinemax or Showtime, and touch down on a Battle series, something spun out of these early years of Mark’s as a filmmaker in the Granite State. And what is film without music? That’s what we at Soundcheck wanted to know. So we turned to Battle for his take on blending film with music as he...

November’s Reign

By on Nov 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

November can be a beast of a month, a gnarly hole of shrinking light capable of decapitating ones disposition. Like her cranky cousin February, November serves just one purpose: to annoy. There’s simply no bloom in her step, no arch in her heel, just the desperate sound of human bloating, cutting northern winds and dark, cold mornings. But we aren’t going to get anywhere with that kind of attitude, now will we? That’s why this year, instead of cowering in defeat to the month of November, I decided to push back on her by booking a steady diet of good music into the studio. It’s really all I have in defense. A couple months ago, I was enjoying a few pints downtown in Manchester, not necessarily searching for any new music. That night was built for rampant exaggerations and spinning white lies with my compadres. Not introspection. A couple pulls later, I’m thrust out of my juvenile...

The Rebirth of Cool

By on Oct 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Jazz is a tricky mind twist of a musical genre. Never have I been able to get a snug grip on it. And I’ve been trying since I was a kid. Columbia Music Club mailed me my first jazz CD when I was in college at Plymouth State. Of course it was Miles Davis “Birth of the Cool” because that’s the only CD any of us posers had ever heard of by Davis or anyone, really. I lost the CD in a move and retreated back to the Badlands. Then I read Jack Kerouac and I wanted to engage in jazz even more. There was physicality to Jack’s writing; it was aerobic, electric, sliding from one target to another, just like the sounds of jazz. Yet it confused me, like jazz. Scared me even. It was too all over the place, allotting so little time to settle into a flow before being whisked away to a whole other orbit. Hit it and quit it, sure, I get it. But let’s have a moment or two for influence. I still haven’t...

State of Grace

By on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Not for nothing, but New England College on Main Street is booking some of the very best shows in the area these days. “The Listening Room Music Series” throughout the summer provided top notch performances by a slew of diverse and an incredible core of artist from around the country. The place is really humming with talent, firing clean, with purpose, vision. Musicians from Texas, New York, Boston and right here in NH, have graced the floor at NEC and stood between the speakers and exposed their wares to the intelligent crowd of music lovers that don’t give a lick that the place doesn’t serve booze. A dry night of music will sometimes leave you with the moistest of memories. The Duke of Dudeism himself, Jeff Weber, the cultural arts director at the performance center, has gone full throttle, all in with the music. And on October 1st at 7:30pm, another...

Rap Night at the Shaskeen

By on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Rap music has never really been my thing. I don’t snob my nose down to rap like I do pop country or that gooey garbage stinking up my radio dial. Rap just doesn’t hit my sweet spot. Wish it did. As a high school kid in the mid 80’s when Run DMC and the Beastie Boys were taking over the world of music, designing and redefining hip hop, rap, rock and pop, I was listening to Dylan and Bruce and Johnny Cougar. Still am. But over the years, groups like Public Enemy and Eminem couldn’t be ignored. Ballistic yet brilliant, the great Chuck D writes revolutionary lyrics that rival the best of James Baldwin. Jay Z, Tupac, the Geto Boys, all legends in the genre of rap, all writing about surviving the loco life. Still, I know less about these artists than I do about what Hilary whispers to Wall Street. That’s why when I was asked be one of the judges at last Sunday’s “Rap Night” at the Shaskeen...

Mash Up Of Voices

By on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Had myself a hankering to shut my face for once and let others do the talking this time. I done worn my teeth to nubs with all the incessant chattering I been doing this summer, whether on-air or selling air. Kind sick of hearing my own voice. Sure I’m not alone. So, who better to get talking than the professionals, the ones who inspire many of these discussions based on music, English, art and creation, than a few great musicians and find out what they got on their minds. Lets first catch up with the nicest punk rocker turned troubadour, Tristan Omand from Manchester. Tristan has been slaving it out at Rocking Horse this summer, working on a new album. The life of his characters are lived on the gray frindges, built on loss and redemption, each gaining speed on sweet damnation. “This album feels like another step forward from the last three, and I feel like a happier person than I was...