The Royal Foundry hold a special, weird place in my musical heart.
I don't listen to a lot of pop, dance or electronic music. But I'm powerless against the magnetic hooks and dynamic production of Jared and Bethany Salte's electro-pop duo.
I saw this week's Listen Local pick play at a Soft March show. Travis Matthews was our opener. He's funny and captivating. He's got great stage banter. At one point he invited a girl up on stage who'd been dancing her way through every song. She became his improv backup dancer for the rest of the night – even through a slower, sadder song – and Travis was unshaken.
I'm back for another round of that most daunting battle with my inner critic.
Last year I set out some big goals for myself and missed a few I'd most hoped to reach. I'm still short a new album release.
If I let failure stop me I'd never set a goal again, and if I did that, I'm afraid the music would simply fade away. It's all too easy to retreat into the safe and comfortable.
And so it is with full knowledge of my naive optimism that I present to you my big stupid musical goals for 2019.
Way back in January I wrote a stupid blog post. Stupid in the best way – daring and audacious and naive. I went public with my goals for the year.
Looking back, I hold "the year that was" up to the light next to my list of goals. If I angle the two just right and squint a little, they almost line up. But that's not the full truth. There were failures. There were complete surprises.
Soft March – today's Listen Local pick – have just put out a ton of music. They've been working hard this past month, and I should know because Soft March is my other musical adventure.
I joined Soft March in the spring of 2018. At that point they'd released their debut album, Farewell Party, which I had nothing to do with but had already been getting into. The songwriting is strong and Paul Jensen's vocals add a texture that keeps things interesting.
Today's Listen Local pic holds a special place in my heart. 100 Mile House is the first local band I really dug into.
Long before I knew the depths of our local music scene, I was running sound at The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse during the Kaleido Festival. I'd never heard 100 Mile House before, and I was a sound-tech amatuer. They were gracious, easy to work with and sounded fantastic despite me. I could have listened to them all day, and bought a CD so that I could.