Beth Roars – Phonograph Électronique
Similar artists: Danny Elfman
Genre: Alternative Rock, Alt Pop
Songs about military catastrophes were all the rage back in the late 1960s, just as guitar pedals could more accurately convey the sounds of bombs. During the 1980s, many mainstream movies focused on natural disasters to coincide with the boom in visual special effects. There’s a new threat now, but most artists are too busy writing notes to themselves on their expensive phones to notice.
Beth Roars has seen the future, and it’s grim. The only thing to do is imagine how it will play out while giving the story the attention to the detail it deserves. Reckoning with the destructive potential of technology is not an easy thing. Especially not now. Why, with most people spending more time with their phones than their loved ones, suggesting that modern tech is anything but a miracle is tantamount to heresy.
Beth Roars’s “Phonograph Électronique” is a hybrid of contrasting ideas made to fit together. The tune arrives for the Halloween season, and the arrangement recalls French chansons of the 1960s and Beth even subtly introduces some of the skill-requiring vocal runs for which she is already known. The result is a nightmarish exploration of the world and where it naturally seems to be drifting. It’s strange to review a well-known music reviewer, sure. But this is an accomplished, imaginative piece of modern pop-rock.
Gregory Dwane – Momma Still Loves You
Genre: Alt-Country, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Most of the famous country-rock songs of the late 1960s don’t sound very realistic. But, then again, dreams don’t fit that categorization either, and nobody gets mad at them. Most of those songs weren’t made by cowboys or gurus but by hippies in love with cowboys and gurus who believed in putting a positive spin on everything going on around them. Gregory Dwane does the same thing.
The risk in doing this is that someone in the not-too-distant future will accuse you of lying. But, once again, you could claim the same thing about the generation of musicians who made their name back in the fabled 1960s. If you listen to their songs, you might get the idea that they were out to save the world. Meanwhile, they were out to get loaded or to make money.
Gregory Dwane’s “Momma Still Loves You” makes the idea of living it out in terrible squalor appear like the most fun anyone could ever have. And, in the right circumstances, it just maybe so. If anything, Dwane’s country-rock functions as a cautionary tale. But it could just as well be a reminder that dreams are worth pursuing, that they’re beautiful even when they turn ugly, and that the ones who love us encourage our love affair with our dreams.