Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

August 14, 2013

Mixtapes ~ How To Throw A Successful Party

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: alt rock, folk rock
Label: Animal Style Records
Year: 2012
Home: Cincinnati, Ohio

Members: Maura Weaver ~ vocals
Ryan Rockwell ~ vocals/acoustic guitars
Boone, Michael

This nine song release was originally issued as a free bonus download with pre-orders for the group's 2011 outing Maps & Companions & now gets a formal release on its own without any 'some other tracks' stigma haunting it. It's still only available digitally but gets a bonus vinyl reissue limited to 500 copies in colored vinyl. I'll confess that seeing the name of the album & the band the first thing I thought of was that its DJ time & that is not the type of music I listen to or review. But, surprise me. I don't know if the name of the band is being over ambitious, but there's no DJ's here, let alone no tapes, mixes nor even much of party music. Mixtapes is a very modest & intimate acoustic outing that sounds more like two of your friends at that party the other weekend who pulled out a guitar & sang some self-penned folksy songs, except this isn't as somber as that outing of your friends might have been. Male & female vocals singing usually together against a single acoustic guitar with occasional electric lines. It's simple, maybe overly simple as the guitar playing is just straight chords ... think again your friends at the party ... while you can picture the lead lines being done by a guitarist who is sitting in the corner not wanting to draw attention for himself. It's not wild, screaming or even climactic like many little groups that go acoustic but struggle to work sans feedback. This is instead poetic & reminds me of the type of music I used to see while in high school & college in the Seattle region ... late night shows at coffeehouses by your friends or friends of friends & about their friends & midnight thoughts! Check out "Noon (Protest Songs)" that sings about famous bands versus the indie musician who sings for themselves re: "I consider myself a part of nothing ... I do it for myself/& the rest of you can go to hell". Fellow coffeehouse musicians will make this their anthem. An interesting feature, though its not necessarily thematic, is that all the songs are named after times of the day, for example "Noon (Protest Song)", "8 PM (The Apple Barn)" "10 PM (Safe)".

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