Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Hello everybody. My name is Fletcher McNeill and like Larry I am a teacher in my 50’s. I have known Larry for quite a while and was very happy when he decided to do this blog. I am thrilled when he asked me to do some postings which I will be doing at least once a month. I am very passionate about current music to the point where I volunteer at WTMD radio in Baltimore, which is a non commercial station that focuses on a lot of new bands. They really are “Radio for music people”. Check them out on their stream at WTMD. I also work merchandise tables for a lot of national bands that come through Baltimore. This way I get to hear and meet a lot of rising indie bands, many of them who I will write about.

I am starting out with a band that you need to listen to, Goldspot.

Born in the States, grew up listening to Bollywood soundtracks, spent time in New Delhi, and influenced by the West Coast indie rock movement, Siddharta Khosla is paving a way for himself and his unique sound. He has referred to his band as Indi-rock. Goldspot was formed in Los Angeles 5 years ago. They put out their first album “Tally of the Yes Men” and released a few singles “Friday and “Rewind” from that album that did very well in England and India. Goldspot has just released their new album titled “And the Elephant is Dancing”. Every song is solid and memorable. Siddharta delivers his lyrics with a great warmth and believability. Each tune is melodic, memorable and catchy. Every song is the type that will get into your head and you will be humming it all day. Not a weak or filler song on the album. They use amazing instrumentation with everything ranging from guitars (both American and traditional Indian) to harmoniums. You will hear Siddharta’s influences that range from Kishore Kumar to the Beach Boy’s. The new album has this great wall of sound captured in the studio. What is great about the band is that they can produce the rich sound live. Enjoy this recent live performance of “Call Center Girl” at KCRW radio from their new album and I encourage you to get involved with this amazing band that deserves your ears. You won’t be sorry.

Siddharta is spending this summer getting ready for his upcoming marriage. We all wish him our best and look forward to touring the album in the Fall to a venue near you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wilco (how I learned to love listening to new music again)

In 2001 a friend of mine, Fletcher McNeill approached me about listening to some new music. He was extremely excited about a band named Wilco whose new album was due out soon.

Fletcher let me borrow some of their older albums. I was immediately impressed with "Misunderstood, "the opening song on Being There, Wilco's second album. The song is a reminiscence about the neighborhood where the singer grew up, and it begins softly but with a sense of the power that will later fully emerge. The song, which starts as a ballad, ends with Jeff Tweedy, Wilco's lead singer, screaming, "I want to thank you all for nothing, I want to thank you all for nothing at all." The rest of the album wonderful mix of songs by a creative young band showing off their versatility. Wilco plays in most any style of music, from country to classic rock and roll to cutting edge indie rock.

Several albums later, Wilco's 4th album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, remains my favorite. The tonal colors are rich, and the songs vary broadly in their styles, from the dark opening song "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" to the humorous "Heavy Metal Drummer." Here is the beautiful ballad, "Jesus, Etc."

Fletcher introduced me to Wilco just before they hit the big time. They have since gone on to win critical acclaim, including 2 grammy awards, including best alternative music album for their 5th album, A Ghost is Born.

I'm enormously pleased that my friend Fletcher has graciously accepted my invitation to co-author this blog with me. Fletcher has a keen ear for new and emerging bands ,and I am excitedly looking forward to his posts.