Friday, February 7, 2014

Mike Viola - Hang On Mike (review)

There are many musicians out there who are said to be underrated and unheard - if I could name one, Mike Viola would be my personal number one.

Hang On Mike - released in 2004 - opens with a song that asks "What To Do With Michael". This may be the perfect way to start a record that's in major parts autobiographical.
Bringing up stories from his boyhood ("Superkid"), finding his love ("What To Do With Michael"), troubles of touring and a musical career ("Unexpected Traffic", "Hang On Mike"), family ("Let's Have A Baby") and quite personal, sad and tragically times ("Charlie" and "Painkillers").

"Hang On Mike" cover

Hang On Mike ends with the fabulous "Hunker Down", which lays bare the insight of a musician.
There is a lot of struggling all over the record about being a musician resulting in his final statement: "If there's one thing you're good for, it's another song."

Mike Viola manages it like no other to put serious topics together with catchy and upbeat melody.
I have to warn you: this music is addictive! If it gets you it may never leave you again!

The Candy Butchers live at Joe's Pub in 2004
Hang On Mike was remastered in 2010 - only on 180 gram gatefold Vinyl with digital download and 27 bonus tracks (demos, live stuff) - available here:


One more thing:

Mike performs at StageIt - every week 'til the end of the year 2014.

Every month will feature one of his studio albums. In February 2014 the Featured Album Of The Month is “Hang On Mike”.

If you don't know StageIt: it's all about doing a live performance via the World Wide Web.
Pay what you want and get 50 minuntes of live performance and some spectacular stories.

StageIt looks like this...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jeremy Messersmith - Heart Murmurs

The singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith from Minneapolis has his fourth album - Heart Murmurs - out now on CD, LP and digital. While his last record - The Reluctant Graveyard - was centered on death, Heart Murmurs is about love - with all its perspectives, such as addiction, self-laceration and desire.
If you like smart music, an incredible voice, and a record that has all the indication of being an instant classic, you'll be right with Heart Murmurs.

A stream the entire record can be found at NPR.

A video of the artwork & the included origami at Instagram

Track list:
1 It's Only Dancing
2 Tourniquet
3 Bridges
4 Steve
5 Ghost
6 Heidi
7 I Want To Be Your One Night Stand
8 You'll Only Break His Heart
9 Bubblin'
10 Hitman
11 Someday, Someone