Tag Archive: Rock


Don’t know Tunabunny? The band hails from Athens, Georgia as in the home of the famed 40 Watt Club, The B52’s and R.E.M. Tunabunny founders are Scott Creney and Brigette Herron. Along with Mary Jane Hassell and Jesse Stinnard the band has released their fifth album, “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr”. The album captured us. Taken as a whole (twenty-eight tracks) or on a track-by-track basis, the journey is well worthwhile. Fortunately, Tunabunny found time to talk with us. This is a great band having seemingly unbounded creativity accompanied by a welcome sense of humor!

HVUM: Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us! We’ve read a bit about the background of the band and it sounds like a good story, so tell us how Tunabunny happened and how you came up with the band’s name!

TB: Just some friends getting together to make some noise. None of us were proficient on our instruments, or had ever played in a band before. Scott and Brigette had moved in together and their house, in addition to kind of falling apart, had a lot of space. Her dad played music and brought over a bunch of stuff for them to play around with.

After a couple of months of this, songs started to emerge out of the ether and we began to dream of maybe one day playing a show. The original idea was to have a different name every time we played, but Scott saw a sign on a rural highway that said BUNNYTUNA. We flipped it around because it sounded better and all our friends just kept calling us Tunabunny. Some people hate it, but we think it sounds kind of cute and kind of disturbing, which makes it perfect. Anyway, it’s a better band name than Def Leppard. Or Ed Sheeran.

HVUM: Many of our followers are D.Y.I. musicians, so they are always interested in knowing if band members have formal musical backgrounds or if they are self-taught.

TB: Entirely self-taught. We were totally inspired by all that Raincoats, Kleenex, early Slits stuff. Plus Velvet Undeground, and The Shaggs, and Pere Ubu, and The Clean. All those bands showed what you could do with a couple of chords and a lot of imagination. More locally, bands like Pylon and The B-52’s made us thing you could be weirdo art kids with more inspiration than chops and have fun playing music.

HVUM: Fantastic! We’re absolutely into The Slits (Cut), The Raincoats, Kleenex/Liliput…Knocking on to the last question, we’d like to know how you found your HHBTM or was it that HHBTM found Tunabunny?

TB: After a couple of shows, word got around town that there was this band called Tunabunny that was a cool fucking mess and someone told Mike (owner/ceo/whatever of HHBTM) that he needed to check it out. It took him a couple of tries because he kept showing up after we’d already finished playing (we pride ourselves on punctuality—plus the sooner the show’s over the sooner you can relax and party). Anyway, he signed us right there on the spot. Said he’d never make us stars but he’d let us record whatever we wanted, which is all we could’ve asked for. And we kind of got to become stars anyway—distant stars that you can only see when the planets and atmosphere are properly aligned, but still stars nonetheless. We’ve certainly gone further than we ever expected or dreamed when we started playing together.

HVUM: Your music covers a very large bandwidth of genres from pop to blazing rock and it seems just to say that much of what you do is experimental. Do you have any influences that motivate you or is it more about an independent convergence of creative minds?

TB: The music usually emerges from us playing in a room. Because we listen to and love all kinds of music—from Abba to Sun Ra, from Swell Maps to The Beatles, we don’t put up boundaries around what we can or can’t play. Someone in the band shouts That’s great! Play that again! And a song comes out of it. Given that we live in an age when we have practically the entire history of recorded music at our fingertips, it seems dishonest for a band in 2017 to sound like they’ve only ever heard one record in their entire collective lives. Maybe that’s a good marketing strategy, but it makes for really boring records. And as a band, the only goal we’ve ever had is to not being boring — to ourselves or to our audience.

HVUM: Your new release “PCP Alice in Wonderland Jr” is our pick out of new releases for 23 June. We had a hard time describing the album in the sense of “pinning it down”. We’d really like to know your thoughts on the twenty-eight track album as far as its being topical or thematic?

TB: It’s a concept album about how great we are (I’m half channeling Noel Gallagher and half serious when I say that). There seems to be a lot of politics on this one, personal and otherwise, and a lot of struggling to keep one’s emotional head above water. I hear a lot of ostracism, a sense of loneliness and loss and isolation in the lyrics, with the music kind of pushing back against that. Like the best music, it’s about dancing on the graves of your problems and fears.

HVUM: Let’s take time out for a look and listen to “Incinerate”, the second track on “PCP Alice in Wonderland”.

HVUM: We first learned about the band with the release of “Genius Fatigue” and we like that album…”Duchess For Nothing” gets put on repeat! Has there been any change in direction between “Genius Fatigue” and the new release?

TB: We recorded Genius Fatigue back when we were touring all the time, so it has that kind of attack you get from standing in front of an audience. Being at home more, you tend to pick up different instruments, play around with drum machines, electronics, recording techniques, etc. Plus, the first two albums were us learning to play. Genius Fatigue (third album) was us kind of mastering the form. The only thing to do at that point was unlearn—switching instruments, switching approaches, etc.

HVUM: If Tunabunny was a book, what would it be and why?

TB: That is such a great question…It’s probably going to take longer to answer than all the others combined. Maybe Guy Debord’s autobiography Panegyric. We’ll defer to the publisher’s description of it as a “tongue-in-cheek autobiography [that] mixes precision and pastiche in a whirlwind account of philosophy, exploit, and inebriation. Plus it was original bound in sandpaper so it would erode the covers of the books next to it and most people haven’t heard of it—just like Tunabunny.

HVUM: Finally, what is on the horizon for Tunabunny? Any tours ahead?

TB: We’ve toured a lot over the years—low-budget shoestring DIY touring, but there’s more obstacles now than there used to be. Brigette’s about a year away from finishing her PhD (if all goes according to plan), and there’s a 3-year-old baby bouncing around, and Mary Jane has a real grown-up job and mortgage. That’s not to say we’ll never tour again, but we’d probably need more money than we did in the past, which would mean we’d need to be more popular, something we have no control over. Most likely we’ll be a cult band that gets criminally ignored during our lifetime only to be besieged with offers 20 years from now when we’re cited as incredibly influential, etc. etc. assuming human life exists 20 years from now in any recognizable form of course.

HVUM: Hey! Thanks a lot for spending time to share your experience and thoughts about Tunabunny. We really hope that you can find the time (and the money) to keep going. Don’t hesitate to call on us if we can lend a hand going forward!


The Darts (US) are an all-girl rock supergroup bringing together Nicole Laurenne (The Love Me Nots, Motobunny, Zero Zero), Rikki Styxx (The Two Tens, The Dollyrots, Thee Outta Sites), Christina Nunez (The Love Me Nots, Casual Encounters, The Madcaps), and Michelle Balderrama (Brainspoon). The band formed in early 2016 when, after watching each other’s bands from the sidelines for years, Nicole and Michelle realized there was no good reason why they shouldn’t just start writing songs together already. With six songs ready, Rikki and Michelle recorded their tracks in Los Angeles and then Nicole and Christina tracked their parts in Phoenix. Producer and audio wizard Bob Hoag shaped the sonic mix giving birth to two smoking 10” vinyl EPs.

Following their October 2016 release, the singles “Running Through Your Lies” and “Revolution” enjoyed instant radio airplay and “Take What I Need” was selected by Sirius/XM’s Underground Garage channel as “The Coolest Song In The World.” The band is signed to London’s Dirty Water Records.

HVUM: Hey, Christina! It’s great to get together and find out more about The Darts. We know that you came together as a band some ten years ago. How did you meet up and what made you decide to become The Darts?

C: Nicole and I where in a band together for many years. We all knew each other through various different bands we’ve all played in. Played shows together and all of that. Nicole and I have talked about wanting to do a “girl” band forever… just a bunch of bad ass girls who can rock without any boys involved. So eventually Michelle and Nicole hooked up and got together some of their song ideas. It started off as let’s just put some songs together and see how it goes for fun. 1 year later and we have 2 EPs and a new full length album on the way and plans to tour all over the world.

HVUM: When we listen to The Darts we think punk and grunge. Is that how you identify the band or are there other influences?

C: Well I guess everyone has their own idea of what the band sounds like or what it should but when all of our ideas come together it just turns into the Darts. We all like similar and very different things. And we all bring our own influences to the table for sure. I love Nick Cave, The Cramps, Billy Childish, The Trashwomen, various stoner rock bands as well. Nicole is super into Death Valley Girls, the Black Belles, Thee Tsunamis. Rikki loves Bleached and Wavves and generally more pop punk. And Michelle is more into rock n roll… The Stooges, Jimi Hendricks.

HVUM: Many HorizonVU Music followers are self-taught. Collectively, are you formally trained in music or are you more learn-as-you-go?

C: Well let’s see… individually we have all had very different musical backgrounds. Nicole is formally trained in classical piano. She played flute in marching bands. But learned to play the rock music through her experiences in bands. Rikki is self taught but went to summer camps for many years to learn more about drumming. I have been playing violin all the way through school so I learned a lot about how music works but self taught when it comes to bass. Michelle is self taught learned from listening to records and figuring out the notes.

HVUM: Let’s have a look and listen to your January 2017 release “My Heart Is A Graveyard”!

HVUM: Like great female punk bands like the Slits, it seems fair to talk about The Darts using adjectives like shambolic, inchoate, anarchic, and irreverent. Does that fit your band image? Do you have to work at an image or does the image just come about naturally?

C: Hmmm well know I guess I’ll have to bust out the dictionary to look up all those fancy words… 🙂 I don’t think we are specifically working towards an image. After so many years of being in bands trying to have a certain sound or image. This one is meant to be fun above all. Whatever comes out of that is what our image becomes. We play the songs we like. We don’t try to hard to make them sound like any specific genres we all have fun together and get along so onstage and on our records it really makes for just a cool fun rad vibe. Our image is us loving what we do.

HVUM: Sorry about the words…too many summer days hanging out playing Scrabble! You’ve just come off a European tour. Highlights? Lowlights?

C: Touring overseas is pretty amazing. Waking up every day in a new city in a new country is pretty rad! It’s hard to sleep in the van because we don’t want to miss anything amazing while we drive… the rule is “wake me up if you see a castle”. So highlights… well we played our first Dirty Water Club in London for or label Dirty Water Records. It was an amazing show where we got to meet some of our London label mates… Suicide Generation so good! The Priscilla’s and the CaveMen. The CosmicTrip Festival in Bourges, France also very big highlight… it is the funniest show ever. I think the bands have more fun playing around than the audience and the guys who run this festival are all so amazingly cool! One other highlight was playing on the beach at Midnight in Italy… the entire audience dancing in the sand. Then as soon as we where done running off stage down to the ocean and jumping straight in with only moonlight and the stars! The whole tour was pretty unforgettable though. Amazing crowds very fun venues. Can’t wait to go back!

HVUM: Great! We can’t wait to get you back and if you want a cool place to gig in Paris…you’ve got our email! You’ve released two EPs and a full-length self-titled album The Darts, 2016. You’ve got a new release in the pipeline, “Me Ow”. Tell us about the new album and how you see it relative to the first album.

C: “Me Ow” is maybe the best one so far if I do say so myself. It’s kind of similar to our other records since they’ve all been written very close together and put out so quickly. It’s not like we’ve had time to switch eras or anything. But I think we are closer as a band and as friends after a year so we play off of each other so much easier. And our producer Bob Hoag who has done all of our records so far knows exactly what we want/need and makes it happen. So it’s good. We like it a lot and hopefully you do too.

HVUM: Going a bit further, thinking about your work as a creation, what are you working to create? If “Me.Ow.” was to be captured in a painting, what would that look like? Do you have topical aspirations?

C: Me Ow is maybe the best one so far if I do say so myself. It’s kind of similar to our other records since they’ve all been written very close together and put out so quickly. It’s not like we’ve had time to switch eras or anything. But I think we are closer as a band and as friends after a year so we play off of each other so much easier. And our producer Bob Hoag who has done all of our records so far knows exactly what we want/need and makes it happen. So it’s good. We like it a lot and hopefully you do too.

Hmmm that’s a lot of questions in 1… We want to create an environment where people are rocking out, having fun, dancing, making out to songs about our crappy exes, our current loves, our tour dinners, or our messy situations. We aspire to tour all the time… our favorite thing… ever! Play songs and tour!!! In a nutshell Nicole says we are looking to create a soundtrack for new millennial sex kittens to dance to… that’s a way easier answer! Me Ow in a painting would look like Ann Margaret circa 1965 in a black slip snuggling a beat up vintage guitar. On the floor of a London dive bar wading in a plastic crappy kiddy pool filled with champagne.

HVUM: Okay! We’ll watch for the release on The Darts band site and on The Darts Facebook page. We want to pre-order right now…two signed pink vinyls!

HVUM: Seems as though the U.S., or the world as a matter of fact, is into dizzying political hyper overdrive. Your views? Do you identify with issues or causes?

C: The world is crazy. Do what you can to take your own stand for what you believe in. And if you do nothing then don’t complain… stand up for yourself! And people who can’t stand up for themselves. Our motto is put us in a box and we will still find something fun to do…

HVUM: HorizonVU Music thanks you for taking time out to join us. We know you and the band are going to continue to enjoy success going forward. Let’s Stay in touch!

Visit The Darts (US) at the band’s website and on Facebook!

Karen Elson

Karen Elson
Double Roses
Hot Records

Visit Karen Elson at Facebook and iTunes

Karen Elson, the British model and musician, has released her second album following a seven year hiatus since the release of “The Ghost Who Walks”. Elson’s “Double Roses” brings to mind the singer-songwriters of Laurel Canyon and the counterculture musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Carole King. The album has numerous highlights, but “Hell and High Water,” “Raven,” and most certainly “Distant Shore” cannot be passed by. This is an album not to be missed.


Lexy1Lexy Cassell is a singer/songwriter from Long Island, NY. She mixes pop, rock and punk into her music style. Songs she sings reflect her life philosophy which are to break the norms. Her song Original is about being yourself and is currently played in rotation on several radio stations. It won the people’s choice for most votes in Newsday’s Battle of the Bands contest. Lexy has performed at Jones Beach and local events, fairs, concerts and TV shows. She also enjoys skateboarding and is a sponsored skateboarder, team rider and model for sPACYcLOUd and Skate Girls Tribe. She visits high schools as a teen mentor and has spoken at school assemblies for anti-bullying awareness.

HVUM: How do you describe yourself? What are your key strengths, and generally, where might you like to improve personally?

LC: I’d describe myself as a hard working and resilient. I’ve broken 4 bones skateboarding and I don’t give up easily, I love a challenge. I also enjoy being able to entertain people. I’m always working on improving myself and moving forward, whether it’s olling a 4 step on my board or a new song on the piano. If it’s nice outside I can forget the time and skate all day so trying to manage my time can be hard if I have a few things going on in one day.

HVUM How do you view your family in relation to your wanting a career in music?

LC: Without the support from my family this wouldn’t be possible. My parents drive me to events, coordinate my schedule and pay for Lexy2expenses. They also let the band practice in my basement.

HVUM: Tell us about your background and development in music. When and why did you start playing music? Did you have any formal training?

LC: When I was around 8 I would go into my room and dance around, make music videos and post them on You Tube. When my mother found out I was doing it I thought I might be in trouble but she watched the videos and liked them. She told me she would get me singing lessons if that’s what I wanted to do and she also enrolled me in a local music school.

HVUM: Are there any particular musicians or bands that have influenced you?

LC: Yes, when I was 8 I saw Lady Gaga perform a News Eve show in Miami. I watched her from the hotel balcony and it was that moment I knew I wanted to have a career in music. There are so many artists I enjoy. I love Avril, Britney Alanis, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Evanescence and Paramore just to name a few.

HVUM: Do you think being a female in a rock band is any different than being male? If you think that there are differences, what are they?

Lexy4LC: I don’t look at it that way. I like to be known as myself. Just like when I skateboard I don’t like people to say I’m a good skateboarder for a girl. I’d like to be known as a good skater period. Most of the contest I skate at I’m usually the only girl so I’m use to competing with the guys.

HVUM: When it comes to building your individual brand as an artist or as a band how do you set your objectives and priorities? What are the toughest objectives to achieve?

LC: Part of building my brand is being true to who I am. So it’s pretty easy. I basically just do random Lexy stuff. I believe it’s me just being me. I enjoy making videos goofing around and letting people just get to know me as a person and see who I am, I do what I like and that’s how I feel I can really connect.

HVUM: Thinking about the key elements for your success how you rank Talent, Team support, Technology, Networks and markets, financial support.

LC: Talent is number one and number two is having committed people supporting you. The rest are all equally important.

HVUM: Given that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…) are so important how do you deal with the demands of networking online? What do you consider to be the pros and cons of social media as a means for driving success?

LC: I love to use social media as a tool to network.. I recently started going LIVE on Face book *Lexy Cassell and Instagram *Lexyy Cassell. I don’t see too many downfalls so far social media has been very helpful for me. I can book shows and share information and make new friends.
Lexy5
HVUM: Are you ever concerned about your public image or do you expect people to accept you as you are and forget about changing to meet public approval?

LC: Something that’s important to me is to be who you are. I’m happy with being myself. I’m not perfect and I don’t feel pressure to be that way because I try to keep it real. Part of being a skater means my sneakers are a mess my jean have holes and my hair is all over the place. I feel I’m pretty authentic to who I am and it would be hard to change that. I’d look pretty silly in high heels and a dress on a skateboard.

HVUM: Given that you are young, are you ever concerned that your efforts to build a music career will “disconnect” you from your closest peer group (schoolmates, for example)?

LC: Absolutely not. I get what I have to get done during the week. For example school, lessons and band practice. On the weekends if I’m not performing, I have sleepovers, eat out and go to the mall with my squad. During the summer I spend a few weeks at Woodward which is an extreme sports camp for skateboarders, BMX bikers, and cheer.

HVUM: Do you get nervous before you perform in public or does it just come naturally to you?

LC:When I was younger I did. Not now, it’s just what I do and I look forward to doing it.

HVUM: What is your most memorable moment as a musician? Do you have an experience you’d like to forget? Can you tell us about it?

LC: My most memorable moments are when someone special surprises me and comes to one of my shows.

HVUM: What are your primary social causes or interests?

Lexy3
LC: I’m very involved in Autism Awareness and have spent several Sundays playing at a local Café the employs young adults with developmental disabilities. I support Paws of A Cause and Long Island Domestic Violence Awareness. I also helped raise money for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital here on Long Island.

HVUM: Is there anything you’d like to add to the interview? Anything we’ve missed?

LC: Yes. Recently I’ve started a band called ELISA. It stands for East Long Island Skate Agenda. I have an amazing guitarist Andrew Friedman, cool David Wolfsohn on bass and hitting the drums is Peter Leonardo. We all immediately clicked from our first time we played together I think it’s because we’re all skaters.. We have a great vibe and energy and we’re starting to record our own songs, have booked several shows and a TV interview and just love to hang together and be real.
This month I started a job as a DJ on Radio Buzz 101 Real Alternative. I’m on Sunday from12am-2am and my goal is to bring some attention to the hardworking local bands out there.

Lexy, thanks so much for taking time with us! You’ve got a lot of talent and energy to make things happen. We wish you all the very best of luck and success. Let’s stay in contact going forward. Again, thank you.

Visit Lexy at Facebook and YouTube


Sallie Ford

Sallie Ford
Soul Sick
Vanguard

Visit Sallie at Facebook and iTunes

Sallie Ford’s second album “Soul Sick” is all about…well…soul sickness or those feelings and emotions that give rise to fear, anxiety and troubles of living in one’s own skin. Ford is certainly not the first to pick up on the themes of the album, but what makes this recording worth the time is her energy and abililty to bring together disparate sounds such as retro Top 40, rock, and psychedelia. Check it out!


Allison Crutchfield

Allison Crutchfield
Tourist in This Town
Merge

Alabama native Allison Crutchfield has released her first solo album “Tourist in This Town”. Produced by Jeff Zeigler, the album makes use of Zeigler’s knowlege of synthesizer music lending space to the recording. As for Crutchfield she artfully captures feelings of that go with breakups (anger and sadness), but the listener won’t feel trapped in the past. It’s clear that Crutchfield has moved forward. While there’s a sense of popishness on the album there’s still plenty of rock influence.

Visit Allison Crutchfield at Facebook and iTunes


The Regrettes

The Regrettes
Feel Your Feelings Fool!
Warner Bros

Visit The Regrettes at Facebook and iTunes

Led by singer/songwriter Lydia Night, The Regrettes have released “Feel Your Feelings Fool!”, delivering a very high energy punk-pop thwack. Despite the sense of urgency one might feel from the fifteen-track album, the band is led by Lydia Night who does know how to write songs that stick. Night formed the Regrettes with guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Sage Nicole, and drummer Maxx Morando in 2015.


Emily Jane White

Emily Jane White
They Moved in Shadow All Together
Talitres

California indie rock, folk-rock, indie acoustic artist has released her fifth album. The album is hypnotizing and even eerie at times. She addresses social battles and injustices faced by women. In addition to the lead tract, “Frozen Garden”, special recognition goes to “Pallid Eyes” and “Nigtmares on Repeat”.

Visit Emily Jane White at Facebook and iTunes

Alice Bag_200x200Alice Bag

Alice Bag

Don Giovanni

Punk rock verteran Alice Bag has released her first solo album on the Don Giovanni label. She is a noted musician, author and feminist. The album offers up plenty of rock (“Little Hypocrite”), but there’s also some intelligent pop (“Suburban Home”) and Latin folk-rock (“Incorporeal Life”).

Visit Alice Bag at Facebook and iTunes.

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Margaret Glaspy
Emotions and Math
ATO

California native, Brooklyn-based artist Margaret Glaspy delivers an inward-looking rock-sound with power.

Visit Margaret Glaspy at Facebook and iTunes



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