Alisha Kirby breaks down her top 5 albums of 2012
PG0806Get to know the
03 12Some of the
clipped pics and find out how to
And The Record Rolls OnLocal musician and opinion writer Scottish John
writes on his passion and on todays music in the west
UnpluggedM a g a z i n e
StreetlightfIrePG10Talking about recording with Dryw Owens and the new line-up
unpluggedIssue 102 ..
Letter from the editor:
Procrastinating my first step
This is the first step to establishing myself as a designer. The process has been happening for a whole year and I finally have gotten around to making something my own that everyone can enjoy.
This zine started with a simple idea: make lo-cal music more well known. A few weeks later that was scratched, and I wanted to make a Sacramento music/food/fashion/culture zine, but I quickly realized that wasnt going to happen.
After months of not planning and then quickly deciding I wanted to end the year with a greater ac-complishment than perfecting the art of making soup, I spontaneously gathered a small team of people I knew who loved music more than I do. Once I had a roster I started writing story ideas, picking out fonts and drawing up basic layouts. And now, after only minor setbacks, here you are.
I dont claim to be an expert on anything in this zine. In fact, I dont claim to know much about music in general. Im not a musician, Im actually far from it. Im instrumentally inept and tone deaf when it comes to my own voice. But I love music, and thats why Im doing this.
I want to thank you so much for reading and, actu-ally, I really want to thank you for even opening this. It means a lot to me, and I know that it means a lot to the writers as well.
I am not sure where this zine is going, Im not sure if there will be more issues or if this is a one-time deal, but I know that if I get enough feedback from this first issue, then I will most definitely continue.
I want to take a few words to thank everyone whos supported me through this and helped me with the entire process.
Thank You, Steven Condemarin Designer/Founder
My Top 5 Albums of 2012
Yours ForeverThe Seeking
BabelMumford & Sons
Sand & Snow A Silent Film
Morning ParadeMorning Parade
Violent WavesCirca survive
unplugged Issue 1 03. .
y name is Alisha Kirby, and though I love writing about other people, Ill tell you right now Im awful at writing about my-self. Were going to call this a bio, but its pretty much just going to be a list of fun
facts that loosely relate to what Ill be writing about here.
Im 21 years old and was born and raised in Sacramento, Calif. I dont know that I could survive in a climate that wasnt mostly moderate. I go to Ameri-can River College where Im majoring in journalism and minoring in music business. Hopefully those can combine into something awesome after I graduate.
Ive been writing for various music outlets for the last few years, mostly doing reviews and interviews with the occasional feature piece, but have found a more permanent home at Hellhound Music.
My memory can be pretty useless at times, but I can still tell you the first CD I bought with my own money (Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up The Girl), or what album I listened to on repeat working on fourth-grade art projects (Michelle Branchs The Spirit Room), or sing and play perfect steering-wheel drums to every song on Brand News The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. Thats all certainly got to count for some-thing, right?
My name is Megan Houchin. I am 20 years old and en-joy copy editing. I believe in a universal style for all journalistic publications
and I take that goal seriously when I read and edit stories and check them for AP Style.
Along with copy editing, I also enjoy designing, and I work full-time as a page designer at the Auburn Journal while I put a hold on my schooling.
In my free time I like to play Pac-Man and listen to Say Anything. I am obsessed with seahorses. I also love Paris, and I hope to travel there one day to see the Louvre and of course the Eiffel Tower.
unpluggedIssue 104 ..
unplugged Issue 1 05. .
My name is Steven Conde-marin, and I like to design. I even designed the exact page you're looking at right now, and the rest of the
zine. I originally had the idea to make a magazine-type publication back in the beginning of June, just a little after I real-ized I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.
I'm 20 years old and I've moved between Antelope and North Highlands way too many times to count. I'm ready to uproot and move out East or even down South, but since school, food and rent is provided for me, I might just stick around for a while.
In my spare time I like to listen to music, watch movies and T.V. shows, play billiards, shoot guns (when I can), play video games, sleep, and most imporantly, spend time with the people that I love.
I love music and I honestly don't think I could go a day without listening to a few hours of it. I can appreciate all types of music but my favorites are gen-erally alternative and acoustic. Although I'm not musically talented, I love to analyze music and listen to the differ-ent instruments and layers of sounds.
Ive enjoyed this bands albums more and more with each release, but On The Impossible Past has worn down my iPods battery on repeat on more than one occasion this year. Each song is incredibly specific, with in-depth details in each line, yet it remains re-latable to any listener. Every track tells a story, and every story is backed by the most fitting instrumentals - be it the forced strums in the raucous The Obituaries, or the arpeggiated chords of Gates.
But what really makes this album so perfect is that you cant ever quite put your finger on what it is that makes it perfect. Certainly youve heard the melodies before, you see, youve definitely heard these chord progressions before. Hell, youve even heard variations of these stories before, but never packaged together quite like On The Impos-sible Past. This is an album that has the lon-gevity to pop up on my top albums list in five, 10 or 15 years. If you havent been listening to it since its February release, I recommend you get to it. This will certainly go down as one of the best albums of the next few years
All of Now, Nows previous releases have been great, but Threads is stronger in every aspect. Theres a central theme that ties it all to-gether nicely, the instrumentation is tighter, and it embraces a sort of soothing factor without becom-ing boring. Something about the combination of ambient guitar tones and Cacie Dalagers calming voice keeps you on the edge of your seat just hold-ing your breath for the 41-minute duration.
Aside from the albums hypnotizing nature, what sets it apart is the dichotomy of urgency and fragility in almost every track. Gems like Prehis-toric, Wolf and Lucie Too all begin in ways so soft youd swear theyd break if you turned the volume up too loud. Yet each one builds up into an earnest powerhouse of a song. When the album first came out I thought it was a bit dull. I said in my initial review that The vocal melodies can seem repetitive, almost monotonous at times, if you arent in the right mood for the album, but I was wrong and I know it now. Threads is a fantastic record. If you want an album without any filler youve got one now.
Alisha's Picks Hellhound Music's executive editor talks about her top 5 albums of 2012
On The Impossible Past The Menzingers
Threads Now, Now
Ive been wishing success for Nate Ruess since hearing The Formats Interventions and Lullabies for the first time. His sometimes brash but al-ways tongue-in-cheek lyrical style and booming vocals are unique no matter which way you slice it. While We Are Young is my least favorite track on the album, Im glad it gave them some much-deserved mainstream attention. The rest of the album, including the bonus track, are phenomenal.
The theatrical nature of the album is something very few bands could pull off. Some Nights is more
detail-oriented than any recent album I can recall hearing off the top of my head. Each effect, each note and each vocal inflection are all done, or played or sung with a purpose. Nothing on this album was a happy accident. One Foot is perfect, Carry On keeps out of clich territory and Stars is a lush, colorful masterpiece. Even the nor-mally annoying vocoder is heard as a tasteful effect. If youre annoyed by the constant play of We Are Young on the radio, or Glee or countless other outlets, this album has something so much more to offer you.
My God Clara was a huge and heavy-hearted album that I truly believe could have taken this band somewhere had they not decided to break up recently. Its the sort of album that reminds you why you love music so much. Its the album you stumble upon that makes wading through hours of musical monotony worthwhile. When new bands all start sounding the same, or when old favorites start changing their sound to compete with said new bands, its the rawest releases that shine.
The only way I can think to
describe the album now is how I did when I reviewed it over the summer: By the time you get to the hidden track With a Great Stride the acoustic nature of the song is almost relieving. Not that youre excited for the album to end, but rather quite the opposite. The album is so powerful and so emotional that its almost exhausting. The simplicity of those closing mo-ments li