Showing posts with label ron gallo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ron gallo. Show all posts

Friday, October 12, 2018

video review: 'stardust birthday party' by ron gallo

Ugh... this was hard to talk about, because I really wanted to love this one, and it just didn't connect all the way through. It happens, though.

Next up... I think it's time I talk about A Star Is Born, so stay tuned!

album review: 'stardust birthday party' by ron gallo

So I wasn't expecting this.

Sure, when Ron Gallo came right the hell out of nowhere to blow my mind with the brilliantly witty, terrifically nasty album HEAVY META in 2017, I knew we were dealing with a very real talent that I was sure was going to throw me for a loop consistently, and when he followed it with the Really Nice Guys EP in January of this year which seemed to be an extended satire of the experience of the working musician, I knew that he would be have to be someone to watch. What I wasn't expecting was that Ron Gallo would have another project ready as early as this October, which I only assumed to be another slice of self-aware satire but buzz was suggesting was a much more gentle, introspective affair, blending in elements of funk and art rock... which yes, could indeed be very interesting, but given what I know about Gallo's delivery I wasn't sure this was a direction that'd really flatter him in comparison with the acerbic fire that stoked HEAVY META. Still, he's a fantastic songwriter, I really wanted to hear this as soon as I could, what did we get from Stardust Birthday Party?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

video review: 'really nice guys' by ron gallo

Man, I'm so happy I got to cover this before (sigh) Fall Out Boy... and yeah, of course that's next on the docket. Stay tuned!

album review: 'really nice guys' by ron gallo

At this point of his career, you can tell Ron Gallo is simply enjoying the practice of screwing with our expectations - and boy, does he want you to know it. His last project HEAVY META was half targeted at the gentrified faux-hipster Gen-X and millennial crowd falling in line... and half-targeted at himself for being not far from that crowd himself. He's smart enough to earn his nasal obnoxiousness, but doesn't spare himself from the crosshairs with his dry sarcasm and some genuine fury lurking beneath - and when you factor in he's pairing it with some of the best garage rock in recent years, it should be no surprise at all he wound up on multiple year-end lists from me.

And so when I hear he put out an EP called Really Nice Guys, you know deep down he's going to be taking the piss out of that archetype and sound amazing doing it, stripping out the gratuitous moments that might have dragged on HEAVY META for something ruthlessly effective - so yeah, of course I was going to cover this as soon as I could, especially if it was to be a quick listen. So how was it?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

the top 25 best albums of 2017 (VIDEO)

Well, nearly forgot about this one... but not to worry, it's still here. Enjoy!

Next up, the debut of The Trailing Edge - stay tuned!

the top 25 best albums of 2017

Of all the years I've put together year-end lists for albums, this might be the hardest it's been - and believe it or not, it's for the best possible reason: I covered an abundance of incredible music in 2017, arguably more than I ever have before! Even though I didn't give out any perfect scores, this year showed multiple genres giving us the goods, from a revitalized rock scene to several country gems to underground hip-hop making a major resurgence to pop putting forward its best showing in years - and that's not even getting to the genre-defying oddities that utterly blew my mind!

But what this also meant were cuts... in a year where I could put together a top 50 and still feel like I'm leaving stuff off, this was particularly brutal. Once again, I was very tempted to expand this list, but again, I'm highlighting the best of the best, and that means while these could have made it in a weaker year, for 2017 they didn't cut it. I won't deny that hip-hop got hit hard in this, as I really wanted to include records from Quelle Chris, Jay-Z, milo, Armand Hammer, Tyler the Creator, Rapsody, Yelawolf, and yes, Kendrick Lamar on this list and I can't. And queue the outrage by everyone that DAMN. is not making this list, but considering there are  five hip-hop records that beat him out to get here, there isn't room for complaining. And I don't want to hear anything from the indie set either than Father John Misty, Kirin J. Callinan, Spoon, The xx, St. Vincent, and Alvvays missed the cut too - all great records, to be sure, but not quite good or consistent enough. Honestly, the most painful cuts for me came in rock - where Creeper, Chelsea Wolfe, and Ayreon all missed it - and especially country, where Natalie Hemby, Angaleena Presley, Dori Freeman and Chris Stapleton all didn't make it - again, great albums, but limited slots. Finally, we have three records that would have sparked controversy had they landed on the list so there is a part of me they just missed the cut: Jhene Aiko, Brand New, and Niall Horan - although there is another part of me that would love to see everyone's expression if Niall made my year end list and Kendrick didn't.

But again, those are my Honourable Mentions... and now onto the list proper.

Friday, June 30, 2017

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2017 (VIDEO)

And there is THAT weight off my shoulder. Whew, ton of work to get that out... and yet it's not over, as I've got another special video dropping soon, so stay tuned!

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2017

There have been a lot of people who have said that 2017 has not been a good year for music, on the charts or otherwise... and from a certain point of view I can see it. Hip-hop in particular has had a really rough past few months, and between pop stars flopping, mainstream country continuing to spiral, and entirely too many records from established acts not living up to their potential, indie or mainstream, I can see why people are calling 2017 a disappointment.

I can also say that I don't buy it for a second, because for me, 2017 has been awesome. I already have plenty of songs to line my list of the best hits, and going into this point at the midyear, I have more records that I've scored 9/10 than ever before. Granted, it also seems like one of those years where the critical darlings aren't quite crossing over in the same way, and if you haven't heard of most of my favourites, that would be why - and that's not even counting the stuff I had to cut, and man, there were a few rough choices there. I think part of this comes from Patreon helping to shape my requests - once the scheduling got figured out as part of this experiment, things began to click and I started covering a lot of stuff I really loved. 

So you all know the drill by this point: twelve albums in order - an order that could shuffle by the end of 2017 - twenty-four songs in chronological order of my reviewing them (yes, I'm expanding the list, it's that kind of year), and keep in mind that if they don't make this list they've still got a real shot for the list at the end of the year, so let's get this started with...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

video review: 'HEAVY META' by ron gallo

This is an easy record to love. Smart, biting, ridiculously catchy... FUCK, had so much fun with it, really great album!

Anyway, next up... hmm, Holly Macve, this'll be interesting, to say the least. Stay tuned!

album review: 'HEAVY META' by ron gallo

I'm not sure where to start with this guy. Odds are unless you have dug very deep into Bandcamp you probably haven't heard of him - and yes, this is another act who wound up here thanks to Patreon. 

And yet I'm really happy I found Ron Gallo, because he represents a weird sort of intersection point in music that really is right up my alley. There's definitely an element of the 70s singer-songwriter style that I like, but thanks to recording his debut album RONNY in Nashville he also stepped towards country tones with pedal steel and more liquid guitar tones. And that's before you factor in Gallo as a singer: basically, imagine a cross between Josh Tillman and some of Ty Segall's more restrained cuts, with the same over-educated theatrical swagger balanced with an slightly offkilter air of sleazy weirdness that's almost more unspoken that it comes through the subtle but often really clever writing. And let's not mince words, RONNY is a great record in 2014, especially for a debut, and I see why the guy who recommended it also cited Kyle Craft... and while I can see the similarities, Craft was pulling from a much more ragged, outcast wheelhouse, whereas with the late 60s-early 70s country callbacks and obvious affection for Harry Nilsson, Gallo is balanced a little closer.

So yeah, I was excited to hear what his followup this year would lead to - he's a good songwriter, I like his voice, and his command of well-established melodic structures is solid, so how does HEAVY META turn out?