Worth The Ride

By on Feb 16, 2017 in Reviews, Uncategorized |

I enjoy sitting in my freezing cold basement listening to music that other people created. Song after song, over and over again, I drag and rewind, drag and move forward, pondering these creations, these sensations. Some people like to ski or snowshoe. I like to sit in my basement a lot. But for some godless reason, the “Sarah and The Wild Versatile” CD that I was given didn’t take when I popped it in the computer to run it. Just spun round-n-round, aiming at nothing. I spit on the disc, shined it on my thigh, loaded it in slowly again. Still nothing. Frustrated, I pocketed the CD then shouted up to my 15 year old daughter who was embedded in her softly lit fortress, doing her teenage thing. “Let’s get coffee, sweet face!” I said when I reached the kitchen. “We’re going for a ride.” Listening to music while driving trumps any other...

A Great Awakening

By on Jan 4, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Miketon and the Night Blinders aren’t wasting any time kicking in the doors on 2017. The Manchester-based “garbage grass” band has a new CD ready to launch on January 12th called “Building A Home.” And if you enjoy a rollicking country sound with fiddle, bass, brushes and banjo, then this CD is your first purchase of the New Year. Three seconds into the opener “Lucky Hearts” and I’m sold. Lead singer Miketon Graton strikes a quick chord, then sings hard for his love that sleeps at home, waiting to smell the stink of his beer-stained skin and feel the warmth of his allegiance to her. Cameron Rapoport enters in with a steely smooth fiddle solo and off we go. This is when we know the Night Blinders have identified themselves as a serious rock band, pledging that, “the love of ours will last if together we hold fast to hope that’s...

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...