Wednesday, August 31, 2016


August 1, 2016
"Beachball" performed by R.E.M.
"This Is The Day" performed by The The
"On The Way Home" performed by Buffalo Springfield
"Gonna Cry Today" performed by Nazz
"Little Lamb Dragonfly" performed by Paul McCartney and Wings

August 2, 2016
"The Dirty Jobs" performed by The Who
"Canadian Summer" performed by Midnight Reruns
"Holy Heart" performed by Cedarwell
"Battle In Me" (live rehearsal footage) performed by Garbage
"Green Hornet" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE

August 3, 2016
"Something" performed by The Beatles
"I Looked Away" performed by Derek and the Dominoes
"Mainline Florida" performed by Eric Clapton
"Every Mother's Son" performed by Traffic
"Down By The River" performed by Buddy Miles

August 4, 2016
"Tin Pan Alley" (live in Japan 1985) performed by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
"The Sky Is Crying" (live in Japan 1989) performed by Albert King
"Cold Lonely Nights" performed by Lonnie Brooks
"I'm Done Crying" (live 2013) performed by Robert Cray
"Blues In C" (live 1988) performed by Prince

August 5, 2016
"Watch The Sunrise" performed by Big Star
"You Bring The Summer" performed by The Monkees-WSPC PREMIERE
"The Noisy Days Are Over" performed by Field Music-WSPC PREMIERE
"Tempted" performed by Squeeze
"Day After Day" performed by Pretenders

August 7, 2016
"Rio" performed by Mike Nesmith
"Rio Dreamin'" performed by Johnny "Guitar" Watson
"Rio Connection" performed by Steve Hackett
"Rio" performed by Duran Duran
"Nancy's Going To Rio" from the 1950 film

August 8, 2016
"Hope That We Can Be Together Soon" performed by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
"Sideshow" performed by Blue Magic
"When Will I See You Again" performed by The Three Degrees
"Shannon" performed by Henry Gross
"On And On" performed by Stephen Bishop

August 9, 2016
"Love And Peace Or Else" performed by U2
"Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" performed by Genesis
"Another Satellite" performed by XTC
"Tin Toy Clockwork Train" performed by Andy Partridge
"Looking On" performed by The Move

August 10, 2016
"The Only Living Boy In New York" performed by Simon and Garfunkel
"Mad Man Moon" performed by Genesis
"Girl" performed by Prince and the Revolution

August 11, 2016
"Whipping Post" (live at the Fillmore 9/23/70) performed by The Allman Brothers Band
"Dear Mr. Fantasy" (live Santa Monica 1972) performed by Traffic
"Careful With That Axe, Eugene" performed by Pink Floyd

"Bang Bang" performed by Green Day-WSPC PREMIERE

August 12, 2016
"Swim" performed by Fishbone
"Summer Swim" performed by George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars
"Pandora's Aquarium" performed by Tori Amos
"Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"Undertow" performed by Ivy

August 13, 2016
"Strap Me In" performed by The Cars
"Courage" performed by Todd Rundgren
"Hong Kong Garden" performed by Siouxsie and the Banshees
"Arabian Knights" performed by Beck
"All In My Mind" performed by Love and Rockets
August 14, 2016

"Son Of Mr. Green Genes"
"St. Etienne"
"Transylvania Boogie"
"The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution"
"Punky's Whips"

August 15, 2016
"Open Book" (unreleased) performed by Prince
"The Bird" performed by Anderson.Park-WSPC PREMIERE
"Forrest Gump" performed by Frank Ocean
"Find You" performed by Rober Glasper Experiment-WSPC PREMIERE

August 16, 2016
"Till  Forever" performed by Joy Williams-WSPC PREMIERE

"Are You Okay?" performed by Dum Dum Girls
"Pitch The Baby" performed by Cocteau Twins
"In My Room" performed by Yaz
"The  Unguarded Moment" performed by The Church
"Eyes Closed" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE

August 17, 2016
"Greyhounds" performed by De La Soul with Usher-WSPC PREMIERE
"Always In My Dreams" performed by Wendy and Lisa
"Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Falling)" performed by Lone Justice
"One Of The Millions" performed by XTC
"Talent" performed by Pixies-WSPC PREMIERE
"All Blues" performed by Miles Davis

August 19, 2016
"Storms" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"What Does Your Soul Look Like? (Part 4)" performed by DJ Shadow
"Love On A Real Train" performed by Tangerine Dream
"Love Is A Sign" performed by The Go-Betweens
"You Get What You Deserve" performed by Big Star

"Prophets Of Rage" performed by Prophets Of Rage-WSPC PREMIERE
"Black And White" (live 2015) performed by Todd Rundgren

Tame Impala LIVE at MELT FESTIVAL 2016

August 20, 2016
"Bad Reputation" performed by Freedy Johnston
"We're The Same" performed by Matthew Sweet
"Waiting For You" performed by The Bangles
"Little Miss S." performed by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians
"Summertime" performed by The Sundays

August 21, 2016
"The Ghost In You" performed by The Psychedelic Furs
"Into Dust" performed by Mazzy Star
"Wistful" performed by Pete Townshend
"Willin'" performed by Little Feat
"Trouble Your Money" performed by Robert Plant

August 22, 2016
"Changes" performed by Yes
"Change" performed by John Waite
"I'll Be Back Up On My Feet" performed by The Monkees
"Rhino Skin" performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
"One More Day (No Word)" performed by Todd Rundgren

August 23, 2016
"Last Goodbye" performed by Jeff Buckley
"One Clear Moment" performed by Linda Thompson
"You're The Lucky One" performed by Spooner
"The Good Life" performed by Fire Town
"Bell Boy" performed by The Who

August 24, 2016
"In My Life" performed by The Beatles
"Time For Me To Fly" performed by REO Speedwagon
"Goodbye" performed by Prince
"Fade Away" performed by Todd Rundgren
"Electrolite" performed by R.E.M.

August 25, 2016
"So What" performed by Miles Davis

"Karma Cashback" performed by Angelo Moore and the Brand New Step-WSPC PREMIERE
"(Just Like) Starting Over" performed by John Lennon
"My Sweet Lord" performed by George Harrison
"Here We Go" performed by Jon Brion

August 26, 2016
"Summertime" performed by Big Brother and the Holding Company
"Anytime" performed by My Morning Jacket
"If I Ever Was A Child" performed by Wilco-WSPC PREMIERE
"Dust" performed by Steve Winwood
"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" performed by Bob Dylan

August 28, 2016
"Street In The City" performed by Pete Townshend

"Snoopies" performed by De La Soul with David Byrne-WSPC PREMIERE
"Executive Life" performed by Jeff Parker-WSPC PREMIERE
"Man Made" performed by Gloss Coats-WSPC PREMIERE
"Idlewild" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"Clover" performed by Dash Hounds-WSPC PREMIERE

August 29, 2016
"Show Me A Smile" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"The Morning Is Waiting For You" performed by Field Music-WSPC PREMIERE
"Crazy You" performed by Prince

"Wristband" performed by Paul Simon-WSPC PREMIERE
"Scared For The Children" performed by Jeff Beck-WSPC PREMIERE
"Day To Day" performed by Robert Glasper Experiment-WSPC PREMIERE

August 30, 2016
"Sly" (live in Bremen, Germany November 1974) performed by Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters

"What Does It Take" performed by Junior Walker and the All Stars
"There's Always Someone Cooler Than You" performed by Ben Folds
"Flying Junk" performed by 10cc
"Texarkana" performed by R.E.M.
"Long Away" performed by Queen

August 31, 2016
"Maybe Tomorrow" performed by The Jackson 5
"You're All I Need To Get By" performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
"Summer Soft" performed by Stevie Wonder
"West Coast Summer Nights" performed by Tony Carey
"Come September" performed by Natalie Imbruglia

"Vodka" performed by Moe Berg


1. "Gratitude" performed by Angelo Moore and the Brand New Step
2. "No Direction Home" performed by Cheap Trick
3. "Live In The Dark" performed by Jeff Beck
4. "King Of The World" performed by Weezer
5. "German Days" performed by Iggy Pop
6. "Forester" performed by Post Social
7. "Ashes To Oceans" performed by DJ Shadow
8. "The Werewolf" performed by Paul Simon
9. "Me & Magdalena" performed by The Monkees
10."Dreams Of Flying" performed by Mudcrutch
11."Bubbles Burst" The Claypool Lennon Delirium

1. "Hot You're Cool" performed by General Public
2. "Make It Through The Summer" performed by The Chamber Strings
3. "Love Action (I Believe In Love)" performed by The Human League
4. "The Beautiful Ones" performed by Prince and the Revolution
5. "Don't You Want To Know What's Wrong?" performed by Field Music
6. "I'm Only Sleeping" performed by The Beatles
7. "Down To London" performed by Joe Jackson
8. "Egypt" performed by Kate Bush
9. "Number 1 Lowest Common Denominator" performed by Todd Rundgren
10. "Long Hot Summer Night" performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

SAVAGE RADIO EPISODE #41-"LIVE BABY, LIVE" AUGUST 17, 2016 (all tracks recorded live)
1. "Parallels" performed by Yes
2. "Driven To Tears" performed by The Police
3. "I'm Gonna DJ" performed by R.E.M.
4. "Stay" performed by David Bowie
5. "Bodhisattva" performed by Steely Dan
6. "Crown Of Thorns" performed by Pearl Jam
7. "Brother Rapp/Ain't It Funky Now" performed by JAMES BROWN
8. "Heavy Metal Drummer" performed by Wilco

1. "It's Over" performed by Electric Light Orchestra
2. "For What It's Worth" performed by The Cardigans
3. "I Can't Remember" performed by The Thorns
4. "Eventually" performed by Tame Impala
5. "One Of These Days" performed by Paul McCartney
6. "Stay" performed by Wendy & Lisa
7. "Square One" performed by Tom Petty
8. "Say Goodbye" performed by Fleetwood Mac
9. "I Wish You Were Here" performed by Simple Minds
10."Untitled" performed by Jason Falkner
11."Summer" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins

1. "Surf's Up" performed by The Beach Boys
2. "Endless Summer" performed by Zwan
3. "A Tough Decision" performed by The Charade
4. "Forever Lost" performed by The Magic Numbers
5. "Peace, Pain & Regret" performed by The Anniversary
6. "Late In The Day" performed by Supergrass
7. "Long Hot Summer (12" version)" performed by The Style Council
8. "Tomorrow Comes Today" performed by Gorillaz
9. "Summer's End" performed by Foo Fighters
10."Intuition" performed by John Lennon
11."Last Day Of Summer" performed by Kirsty MacColl
12."Vodka" performed by Moe Berg

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Released July 15, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: When Jeff Beck released his orchestral and almost devotional album "Emotion & Commotion" (released March 10, 2010), it felt to nearly function as somewhat of a swan song due to the elegiac nature of the work. Thankfully, one of the greatest guitarists that we have all been graced to have with us for nearly 50 years has returned with a voluminously sounding protest album at just the right time.

"Loud Hailer" (named for a British colloquialism for a megaphone) fully lives up to its title as Beck and his powerfully loud band, fronted by ace vocalist Rosie Bones (complete with working class British accent), ROAR through the urgently performed selections like "The Revolution Will be Televised," "Live In The Dark," and "Thugs Club" wile also making ample room for the aching societal plea of "Scared For The Children" and even the almost violent instrumental "Pull It." A most appropriately and darkly noisy album for the dark noise that surrounds us in the 21st century.

Released June 3, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: Speaking of living legends, we next move to Paul Simon, who at the age of 72, has released a new album that proves to remain as vital as anything he has ever presented in the past. If he, according to some articles that I have seen this summer, does indeed decide to call it a day and retire from music altogether, he has more than earned that right and luxury, for what else does this man ever have to prove to any of us?

With "Stranger To Stranger," Simon continues his themes of modern 21st century life and issues of impending mortality with his trademark literary wit and wry insight as well as his innovative musicality, instrumentation and production. With a presentation that leans heavily into the rhythmic and percussive, "Stranger To Stranger" opens brilliantly with two tales that span the near gothic ("The Werewolf") to the streetwise ("Wristband"), yet both serve as skilled metaphors of heading into the hereafter. From an experimental instrumental of "The Clock," to a ballad celebrating his longtime wife Edie Brickell with "In The Garden Of Edie" and the propulsive first person narrative of life in the ER with "In A Parade," Paul Simon is in full possession of his gifts, the very sort that we have all been in blessed receipt of for nearly 50 years as well.
Released June 14, 1975
Released May 5, 1987
Released February 5, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: Here, I send my most gracious thanks to Randy Ballwahn and his WSUM-FM outstanding radio program "Freak Scene Radio," for alerting me to this band.

Before a few weeks ago, I had never heard of this project as created and performed by brothers David and Peter Brewis, but an article posted by Ballwahn courtesy of The Guardian in which the twosome was celebrated and placed within the same musical universe as the likes of XTC, Prefab Sprout, The Go-Betweens, Todd Rundgren and Prince (who apparently was a fan), I just knew that I needed to check it out. And after quite a number of listens, the wildly diverse album has truly begun to grow on me strongly, again demonstrating that pop music can always be artful.

"Commontime," which has a running time of just a hair under 1 hour, often feels like a double album placed onto one CD or a work divided into several song suites straddling funk and dance rhythms ("The Noisy Days Are Over," "Disappointed," "Don't You Want To Know What's Wrong"), elegant pop soundscapes ("Trouble At The Lights," "The Morning Is Waiting For You"), arcane studio experiments ("That's Close Enough For Now"), stunning ballads ("Stay Awake") and even more, making for a musical bouquet that is overflowing with gorgeous melodies as surprises.

Oddly enough, and for all of the music comparisons held within the Guardian article, I have to say that to my ears, when I listen to Field Music, it often makes me think that if say 10cc were still making album,s perhaps it would sound something like this. Yeah...10cc by way of Squeeze, I think.

Does that sound like it's up your alley?
Released March 23, 1993
Released July 1971
Released June 24, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: In a year that we have seen the first new release from Tortoise in seven years, we are also graced with a solo release from Tortoise composer/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Parker and it is a terrific companion piece as well as a sumptuous artistic statement from this idiosyncratic musician.

"The New Breed" is a mostly instrumental (save for one track with vocals) album that steers itself away from Tortoise's specialized brad of instrumental post-rock in favor of more jazz leanings with Parker, on a variety of instruments in addition to his nimble guitar playing, creates soundscapes that feel to not only update, say, the guitar leanings of someone like Wes Montgomery, they turn them inside out, stretching into regions of hip-hop, funk, and soul that sounds so ahead of the curve yet somehow nostalgic.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Late last month, I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak with Post Social's Shannon Connor about the band's third and finest album to date entitled "Casablanca" (released July 30, 2016). Now, I am equally thrilled to present to you a brief conversation I had with former Modern Mod member Alivia Kleinfeldt, who alongside Post Social's Brendan Manley, are ready to fully unveil their first EP as Dash Hounds with a release party at the High Noon Saloon on Saturday, August 27th!!!

Here is the Synesthesia scoop on Dash Hounds' "EFT" (which I've am thrilled to have already heard so stay tuned for the full posting next month)

1. Could you please explain the origins of Dash Hounds? Did you already have the idea in mind as Modern Mod was ending?
Originally, I had started writing some songs that I didn’t feel would be a good fit for Modern Mod and thought that it might be a nice opportunity for me to put together a solo project so I could have an outlet for singing and playing guitar. I had been talking with Brendan about that idea and asked him if he’d be interested in helping me with that by backing me on drums, and the more we talked about it, we realized that becoming a duo would be even better. I can come up with a million verses and choruses but can’t finish one to save my life, and he hadn’t written any songs from the start but is the master at arranging and completing them so it was perfect. So as Modern Mod was ending, we decided to try it out by writing a song (“Idee Fixe”) for my friend’s short film, and that ended up to be our first single!
2. What has been fascinating for me was to see the band perform for the very first time last October and then again, months later on Record Store Day and hear how Dash Hounds had evolved. Do you feel that you have been formulating the concept or the identity of the band or what it could be over this period?
We booked our first show before we really had any material and took that as a push to become ready, so at that point we just played the first four songs we had written together. Over time, as we jammed and wrote more, we got a better sense of what our sound was when we came together and what to highlight. I’d say we still have more figuring out to do, but then again we always strive to evolve and push our creativity. We’ve also played with quite a few different people live, and every one of them has had an impact on our writing and performance, and I love that this band has become pretty much a huge collaboration project because of that.
3. How was the songwriting process for you both?
Every song on our EP had a pretty drastically different writing process. “Weekend” started as an old, complete song of mine that we played as Modern Mod for a while but neither of us felt it was as good as it could be, so Brendan came up with the idea of switching between 4/4 and 6/8 and then it pretty immediately came together. We also played “Yes I Front” for a while as Modern Mod too, but Brendan and I wrote that one together in probably a few hours. “Pudding” was one that we had briefly jammed on at practice with Tom (Teslik of Pollinators) and Sam (Galligan of Post Social) on drums and bass, respectively, and Brendan took it and arranged the whole thing.
“Dreamboy” and “Clover” were the two most recent songs we wrote, and Tom, Sam, Brendan, and I wrote those together, both of which started as tiny ideas of mine that we expanded on by jamming. That’s been the most effective way of writing for us, but even when we have a song completed, it goes through countless little changes every time we run it in practice or at a show. New ways to tweak it or happy accidents that end up to become keepers happen all the time and I’m glad we’ve had the time to let these songs evolve before we recorded the final product.
4. Are you and Brendan the only ones performing on the EP or is it the full live band?
Before we started recording, we came up with a plan with our friend Zach Guyette, who recorded and mixed the EP for us, that we wanted to use this as an opportunity to really experiment with sounds and recording techniques and such. With that, we had Brendan record all of the drum parts in a really open live room setting, and Tom Teslik, who played drums and collaborated with us for quite a while, recorded all the same parts in a dead room. I believe we determined that the dead room just didn’t work for recording drums so it’s just Brendan drumming on the EP but we intended on using a little bit of both, and really appreciate that the both of them tried that out because it was a worthwhile experiment I’d say. Brendan and I played all of the guitar parts, and I did all the vocals. Sam took two of the songs on bass -the ones he wrote the bass lines for- and I recorded the other 3. So it was almost completely us two for the entire EP but Tom and Sam did record with us and collaborated with us on all of these songs.
5. Would you like to explain the EP’s title?
It’s a cute little story! Brendan and I have long had a fondness for newts, and a few months ago when we were visiting his grandpa in Vermont, we saw a tiny orange newt. His grandpa explained to us that it was in the stage of its life in which it’s called an “eft.” We liked the word enough to make it the EP title.
6. How was the recording process? What was the easiest/hardest songs to record?
The recording process was spread out over several months and hopped from place to place, starting and ending with percussion in my basement. We recorded bass and guitar at MMI and at Brendan’s house, most of the drums at MMI, and all of the vocals at MMI and Zach’s house. We wanted to experiment with weird recording techniques and sounds that we never would know if they’d work until we tried them. Some pretty odd things ended up working out and this has given the EP a lot of its character.
Our opening track, “Dreamboy,” was personally the most challenging song to record. Vocally it jumps around a lot and I struggled for the longest time with liking the way I sang it. The ending of the song was arranged towards the end of the mixing process. It started as an idea of Brendan’s, just to create this huge, wide wall of sound with twinkly guitars for the outro. We recorded a bunch of little ideas in the studio on the last day of recording and it was a bit of a challenge putting that all together in a way that made sense and everything could work together, and that song is already a bit of a rollercoaster. “Pudding” was a breeze to record. I think it only took us a few takes for all of the guitar tracks, probably only one or two for the drums, and Sam is amazing and only needed one take for bass (he did that with the other song he recorded for us as well, it’s unreal,) and vocals were a cinch because I only had 4 lines to sing and they’re drenched in a massive reverb. The part that took the longest was recording pedal noise for the end, so we got to have a lot of fun with that one.
7. How are you feeling now that it is completed?
Relieved, but mostly excited for what’s to come next. Excited for people to hear it and to know what we’re about. Excited for our first LP (but I won’t get ahead of myself)!

Sunday, August 7, 2016



Shannon Connor: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Mitch Deitz: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Sam Galligan: Bass Guitar
Brendan Manley: Drums, Percussion, Programming, Vocals

Bill Gibson: Modular Synthesizers, Thumb Piano on "Eyes Closed"
Javier Reyes: Lead Guitar on "A7"

Cover Photography by Sheridan Connor
Flower Petal Pressing Artwork Designed by Emma Schell

Recorded at Shannon's House January 2016-June 2016
Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room, Milwaukee, WI

Composed, Produced, Arranged and Performed by Post Social
Released July 30, 2016

Gentlemen, you have raised your own bar!

For a band who rapturously captured my attention upon first listen and has only continued to impress, surprise and enrapture me with their specialized art and artistry, Madison, WI's Post Social has now emerged with their finest effort to date, so much so that as I listened to it for the very first time, I thought to myself, as my mouth was held agape in amazement with what I was hearing, "This is their 'Led Zeppelin III'!"

Now, before any of you dear readers and listeners feel that I have completely succumbed to hyperbole, please allow me to elaborate. If the band's first two albums, from their sparkling, dazzling self-titled debut (released December 6, 2014) to their scrappier, rambunctious second album "Young Randolphs" (released October 3, 2015), were strong introductions, showcasing Post Social's unquestionable skills with songwriting and a superior musicianship that often dazzles the ears with their layered, intoxicating textures, then their third album, entitled "Casablanca," is where Post Social arrives with their most fully realized and cohesive collection.

Whatever the title of "Casablanca" may mean to you or whatever images and feelings the name implies, maybe attempt to have those in mind when you listen to this album. For myself, I imagine something or some place of some great distance or elusiveness. I am swayed by emotions that sail from mystery and mythology of something grand and possibly magical. If the three albums by Post Social happened to be feature films, then "Casablanca" is the one where they extend into 70MM widescreen!!

Please believe me and heed the words that I not only have written but the ones that you are about to read as I would never steer you down the wrong path. The four young men of Post Social are indeed the real deal. Accomplished, serious musicians who only continue to grow and challenge themselves while maintaining the innocent and unfiltered glee found in the discovery of writing another song. And with that, Post Social's "Casablanca," again self composed, produced and recorded solely by the band yet this time over a six month period (while also juggling post high school responsibilities from college courses and holding down day jobs), exists as a stunning, beautifully sequenced song cycle where not one element is out of place, making it one of the finest albums I have heard in 2016.  

Where both of Post Social's previous albums began with instantly dynamic openers from the sunshine soaked "Time And A Half" from the debut to the raucous "Offline" from the second. With the track "Forester," "Casablanca" begins its journey on a slightly muted yet unmistakably pensive note performed on pastoral acoustic guitars. "When your hands are at a loss/The flame will read your thoughts," sings guitarist Mitch Deitz, conjuring up images in my mind of woodland solitude and meditative states while staring into a long running campfire. "Thinking about moving on," Deitz continues. "Just to have another crack at what was done/You never felt so good inside/You never felt like you begun." Yet, as the song continues to shape shift, from its double tracked, spacey vocals to a more interior single vocal, sounds of self-doubt seem to emerge as guitarist Shannon Connor begins to sing, "I think you should know by now that what burns never didn't keep your fingers crossed/And the feeling's still lost."

At this time, please allow me to inform you that I have not spoken with the band about the meanings or inspirations to any of their songs. Yet, for me, in the case of "Forester," I wonder if perhaps this is a song about their relationship with inspiration itself. The excitement of beginning a new song but the trepidation that also arrives with the creative process, the wonder and worry that what has been accomplished in the past could ever be achieved again. Who knows? And also, with that, how incredible as Post Social has advanced themselves into a greater sense of nuance that is compounded by the musical bed of "Forester," over the course of nearly six minutes, the song slowly builds upwards and then explodes into a glorious, almost classic rock fury with Connor taking a bold step forwards with a stunning extended guitar solo that spirals over and through the majestic bedrock powerfully laid down by Deitz, bassist Sam Galligan and drummer Brendan Manley.

After the abrupt finish of "Forester," we receive the dream like fade in of the crystalline "Green Hornet," which again showcases the jaw dropping guitar work of Deitz and Connor as they seemingly effortlessly continue to build their trademark interlocking guitar lines in a fashion that recalls Real Estate by way of 1980's King Crimson. By the album's third track, entitled "Heat," Post Social turns up the volume, returning to more of the "Young Randolphs" exuberance yet with more of a polished sheen and even a surprise ending to boot, a laugh to tickle the eardrums followed by the natural tranquility of hearing raindrops falling against the windowsills.

Shannon Connor has always specialized with the group's ballads, for their always impressive melodicism combined with the inventiveness of the guitar work. For "Idlewild," Connor has outdone himself tremendously. It is a melody that almost sounds vintage, with a chord progression that feels like a sound that I haven't heard in an extremely long something from Brill Building era Carole King or even early Todd Rundgren, either Nazz or like the mythical lost track from "Something/Anything?" (released February 1972).

This time, Connor takes the lead vocal for a set of lyrics that for their fragility, they possess an emotional imagery and intimacy that stuck to the ribs and felt as if the song's aforementioned melody willed the words into existence, for they are in lockstep.

"Check your Christmas cards
I think you missed one
Returned to sender

We know who it's from
Snowflakes are in bloom
Mattress on the floor
I know nothing lasts forever
But I never asked for more"

For a band that has never shied away from any sense of romanticism, "Idlewild" wears its melancholy heart upon its sleeve willingly and beautifully, therefore charting a new and deeper emotional territory for Post Social.

One really fun aspect about listening to a Post Social album is the process of trying to discern just what the band members may have been influenced by throughout their lives, possibly trying to determine what sorts of artists may have influenced their sound and songwriting. Even so, they have become so skilled with their creativity that you may think you know who they listen to but you're not quite sure. With "Blume," it feels as if '90's alternative rock has entered the fray as Post Social expertly crafts a tune with the era's signature loud/quiet dynamics, on which the band unleashes a guitar army and alternates those moments with gentler guitar plucks and subtle drum machine beats.

The album's centerpiece "Eyes Closed" is also the band's masterpiece. With this six minute plus selection, we find Post Social at their most prog rock ambitious and adventurous yet also ensuring textures, shadings and a level of tastefulness that is often elusive to so many long established musical acts. The track begins with a jaunty bounce that is amplified by Galligan and Manley's near Motown-ish backbeat but find themselves juxtaposed with darkly somnambulant lyrics on which Deitz sings about old skulls, bad luck, decay, mirrors and smoke and appearing comatose.

And then, Post Social goes into a daydream...

For the following three minutes or so, The band creates a hallucinogenic soundscape with repetitive Pink Floyd styled guitars and bass while electronic flourishes flow through the notes and our speakers, weaving an enormously captivating and trance inducing spell. Our dream state is then eventually interrupted by the band in full rock and roll power blasting us all awake from our reverie before double-ending back upon itself into the light and dark of its opening section. Just phenomenal.

Musically, "In The Shade" is wide eyed sunshine, a perfect arrival after the dreamworld of "Eyes Closed." Yet, lyrically, it feels as if the band is again juxtaposing slightly darker internal thoughts against the sparkling guitars. Life may be good in the shade but you could still lose all that you have obtained. "Ugolino" finds the band heading underwater, perhaps in the womb starring an unwanted child (perhaps a little like Jimi Hendrix's "Belly Button Window") as its self-described tomb is located outside of the womb because "you just don't belong." 

"Ugolino" is packed with even more complex guitar patterns dancing around Manley's jazz drum patterns and soon, we find ourselves caught within the furious instrumental throes of "A7" before heading into the album's finale (sort of), the already released single of "Guac Bomb," with finds the band in a relaxed, reflective groove which may even house a newfound sense of resolution.

Now, for those of you who happen to purchase the physical version of the album as I have, I think the album concludes proper with the gorgeous epilogue entitled "A Desert In The City," a selection that serves as a secret hidden track and features Shannon Connor on all of the vocals and instruments performing a melody that felt like something James Iha may have composed. For me, that song perfectly concluded this particular listening experience wondrously.

Post Social's "Casablanca," precisely like its two predecessors, is compulsively listenable as its sinuous harmonics, melodies and rhythms compel you to hear the entire album all over again the split second it reaches its end, and even then, their music continuously reveals itself. Yet, with "Casablanca," Post Social have pushed themselves forwards by creating the full album experience where every song and sound sits within its perfect place, because like a house of cards, the entire work would fall apart if any elements happened to be out of place.

Their six month recording process, their most intensive to date, has illustrated that the extra time and effort was completely worth any sense of trouble. This album, like "Young Randolphs," is self-recorded and produced. Yet unlike that album's rawness, "Casablanca" sits within just a pebble's throw of the sonic sheen of their debut, which was recorded in an official studio. It amazes me how a home recording could sound so hi-fi! Brendan Manley's drums in particular sound full and fresh while Mitch Deitz, Shannon Connor and Sam Galligan's guitars and bass just sparkle through the speakers.

The band has always show tremendous skill with song sequencing but with "Casablanca," the entire album feels and sounds like one complete statement rather than a collection of songs, like a Pink Floyd album or as I previously stated at this posting's outset, like "Led Zeppelin III" (released October 5, 1970). As I also previously stated, I have no idea of what these songs or this album is necessarily about but thinking of these four young men and their current station in life just one year away from high school and into further adulthood as they all approach their twenties, there is something of a feeling of the process of transition flowing through the album, the process of transformation and all of the joys and pains that ensue. Even the motifs of water that occur through the album could be seen as either purifying or engulfing or even a bit of both. Perhaps the album is an internal journey about traveling from being boys to becoming men. Maybe the feeling of "Casabanca" is a feeling of new levels of maturity found and the turbulence that comes from shedding old skin.

But, aside from any interpretations, "Casablanca" is a more nuanced affair, more introspective, somewhat quieter than their previous albums, and harboring a musical soundscape that is considerably vast from alt rock to classic rock, to elements of jazz, pop, ballads and prog rock yet not from song-to-song, but all contained within the songwriting itself, which remains the star of the show above all. What impressed me most as I listened to the album for the very first time and what made my jaw open in amazement over and again was the skill of their songwriting, where the cascading melodies, harmonies and rhythms just unfurled luxuriously throughout, flowing from one to the next creating the album's full tapestry, again showcasing the band's cohesiveness and overall discipline.

While Post Social continues to place the song itself front and center instead of spotlighting any individual members (whose instrumental performances continue to astonish), I do have to make special mention of Shannon Connor's increased vocal presence throughout the album as his and Mitch Deitz's vocals now merge together so seamlessly that I often could not tell which one was singing lead. Their vocal blend, much like their guitar work, fits like hands in gloves, much as the inventiveness and agility of Sam Galligan and Brendan Manley's formidable rhythm section.

I honestly do not know how they do it and perhaps, neither do a degree. At their album release performance at the High Noon Saloon, Mitch Deitz did offer the possibility that having been friends and bandmates for so many years, beginning as their very young previous incarnation as The Shrunken Heads, they have had 10 years plus of opportunities to write and play together, to learn about songwriting, recording and performing, that at this stage, much of what they do is almost telepathy.

Even so, it is clear that this is a band that does not wish to sit on its collective creative laurels and just coast. "Casablanca" is the album where Post Social has committed themselves with the determination to expand and push themselves and their art forwards. "Casablanca" is the album where Post Social have now effectively blazed a forward path so vast that anything feels possible.

And I cannot wait to hear it.

Post Social's "Casablanca" is NOW AVAILABLE upon their Bandcamp page for download. On this very page, you can also hear several demos for the album, giving you an insight into how these new songs first came into fruition.

For the physical copies, which the band has also gone all out and created their most elaborate packaging to date, if you are in Madison, head down to B-Side Records on State Street and pick one up!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016



In 1987, I was 18 years old and arrived in Madison, WI to attend college at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison. Next year, will officially mark 30 full years that I have lived within this city and blissfully so (despite the presence of the state Governor, but enough of that). Oddly enough and especially with my music obsessions and four years DJing on WLHA during school, I honestly never had paid very much attention to the Madison music community over the years. This is not for any reason or for any prejudices. I have never held any ill will towards local musicians and local music. I just never paid attention and therefore, I was wholly ignorant of any sense of a local music scene.

Yes, during college, the names of Fire Town, Spooner, Honor Among Thieves, Ivory Library, and Marcus Bovre and the Evil Twins were all bands whose names became instantly familiar to me, even if I was completely unable to name even one song.
Since that time, local children's music performer/musician/singer/songwriter/producer Ken Lonnquist has more than earned his much heralded reputation...
...and of course, the presence of the iconic drummer Clyde Stubblefield, the former member of James Brown's Famous Flames, as well as the man responsible for the most sampled drum break in history (from the classic "Funky Drummer" track), is a cherished local Madison fixture.
Jazz music giant Richard Davis remains as a treasured Professor of European Classical and Jazz Bass, Jazz History and Combo Improvisation at UW-Madison, a tenure he has held since his Madison arrival in 1977.
Madison is also the home to jazz pianist/composer Ben Sidran (whom I met briefly during the 1990's) and also local jazz composer/saxophonist/flautist Hanah Jon Taylor, with whom I do share a personal connection as I first met him as a child when I attended school at the University Of Chicago Laboratory Schools, and who inexplicably recognized me MANY years later walking around State Street in Madison.
And most of all, there is the band that really needs no introduction but has deep ties to the Madison music community through its members Steve Marker, Duke Erickson and Butch Vig, all of whom participated in Spooner and Fire Town plus created the legendary Smart Studios.
I reference all of these musical figures at this time to demonstrate a few examples of how Madison, WI is indeed home to a rich and seemingly bottomless musical history and tapestry. But even so, it still seems to exist as unknown territory in regards to the larger American musical landscape. We are all very much aware of the influences of Minneapolis, California, Chicago, New York, Seattle, New Orleans and so on have had in our nation's ever continuing musical history, but I would be hard pressed to think that anyone would notice that Madison, WI was, and continues to be, a tremendous source of musically creative and inventive individuals the equal of any of those aforementioned cities. It feels as if this city exists as the nation's best kept musical secret...even to its inhabitants, like myself.

I was never really aware if Madison ever possessed a musical "scene" or even its own musical "identity," so to speak. Does Madison possess a signature "sound"? Honestly, I still do not know but what I am now happily aware of is that the next generation of Madison based bands, songwriters and musicians are more than deserving of some extra attention in any discernible spotlight that I am able to help place upon them. 

For the past year and a half now, Synesthesia has become a bit of a home for news, updates and music information concerning the young musicians that have made up the local bands Post Social, Modern Mod, Dash Hounds, Trophy Dad, Barbara Hans, Pollinators and ever more, each time that I have been able to see these bands perform live. And furthermore, it has been an honor having the opportunity getting to know these musicians personally, as well as having an outlet of Savage Radio on WVMO to play their music over the airwaves. 
On the very late evening of Saturday, July 30th, I ventured out to the High Noon Saloon in order to celebrate the official release of Post Social's bar raising third album "Casablanca," an evening in which the band would serve as headliners with the aforementioned Dash Hounds, Appleton, WI's Cedarwell and Milwaukee, WI's Midnight Reruns all as opening acts. 

I entered the Saloon close to the 9:30 p.m. start time, stunned with the announcement from the ticket taker who adorned my arm with wristband and hand-stamp that I was the first patron to enter for this night's event. Number 1?! How could that even be possible? While I quizzically looked around at the wide open spaciousness of the High Noon, I was greeted warmly once again by Post Social guitarist/singer Mitch Deitz and guitarist/singer Shannon Connor. I spent several minutes extolling my excitement over "Casablanca," which I had previously heard a few weeks before thanks to B-Side Records' Steve Manley, who possessed an advance copy via his son and Post Social/Dash Hounds member Brendan Manley

Soon afterwards, I had the pleasure of meeting celebrated local folk guitarist Ritt Deitz, the Father of both Mitch and his brother jazz pianist/composer Wilder Deitz, who has not only just released his own new album entitled "Child's Play" (released July 15, 2016) but also studied directly under Richard Davis as well. Shortly thereafter, Steve and his wife Anita arrived with the cargo of Post Social's album, plus complementary buttons and custom designed Dash Hounds apparel in tow and I quickly made my way to their merchandise table to pick up a copy of the official release, fully supporting the band and their efforts. Dash Hounds guitarist/singer Alivia Kleinfeldt greeted me as did Post Social/Dash Hounds bassist Sam Galligan and before I realized, Alivia called Sam to the stage and the night began.
It has truly been a wonderful privilege to hear the evolution of Dash Hounds from its very first live performance last October to this point in time. Being this first post-Modern Mod project from Kleinfeldt and Manley, I am still amazed with their level of confidence and bravery with building a musical identity in front of an audience and consistently so, especially as Kleinfeldt admitted to me later in the evening that she really had no idea of what Dash Hounds could be when she originally conceived of the idea, and now the band is set to release their debut EP with their own release party at the High Noon Saloon at the end of August. 
On this third time that I have seen the band perform live (albeit with some musical chairs within the personnel as Manley has returned to the drum kit and guitarist James Strelow has joined the fold), it was just fascinating to me to hear this short and initial collection of songs being worked over and over again, all the while finding the way in which the songs will be best represented. On Record Store Day, I described the band's performance as being "stormy." While some of that remained this evening, Dash Hounds took on a tighter, punchier dynamic to their dream state aesthetic, which found Kleinfeldt rocking harder than I had previously seen her, while still effortlessly displaying her strong melodics and the lush timbre of her singing.
With both Cedarwell and Midnight Reruns, I had never heard of either band, personally know none of the band members and therefore, I carried no ideas or perceptions of what I might hear, and as with every one of these events that I have been so fortunate to attend, I was again deeply impressed and often amazed with the results.
The music of Cedarwell proved itself to be not only a perfect companion band to Dash Hounds due to their equally hypnotic dream state qualities, they burst onto their own mesmerizing musical path through a presentation that had a decidedly more folk, alt-country vibe yet one that felt filtered through the likes of Neil Young, Iron And Wine and Wilco at their more experimental.
Drummer Jared Beckman, armed with a truncated and standing set-up masterfully sounded as if he was seated behind a full drum kit, and lead singer/guitarist Eric Neave crafted a pristine vocal harmony that sounded nearly lifted from the Eagles.
Lead guitarist Jeff Patlingrao was nothing less than astonishing, a true guitar gunslinger if I have ever heard one and even more deadly because I would doubt few, other than faithful fans, are even remotely aware of him. Now based in New York, and after enduring an especially arduous and overly extended flight to this particular show with his bandmates, the travails of his travels certainly never announced themselves during his piece of the performance which was stunning to behold due to his musical dexterity, flexibility and agility (even performing slide guitar with a butter knife), which often found him channeling the likes of Lindsey Buckingham, The Smashing Pumpkins' Jeff Schoreder and by all accounts from jaw dropped spectators afterwards, Wilco's Nels Cline!! Yeah...Patlingrao is that good!
Milwaukee's Midnight Reruns carried the power pop/hard rock flag of the night brilliantly! Guitarist/singer Graham Hunt, bassist/singer Brady Murphy, guitarist Karl Giehl and drummer Sam Reitman performed nothing but barn burners to say the least, as their specialized blending of Cheap Trick, The Replacements, Big Star and most definitely Thin Lizzy, with their exquisite twin guitar leads and blazing back and forth solos, hit me directly within my wheelhouse (and I was thankful to have been able to express as much with both Hunt and Giehl later in the evening). 
But, then it was time for the headliners, the main event themselves, the full arrival of Post Social at the top of the bill and they indeed brought their "A" game to the stage. Performing nearly the entirety of "Casablanca," Post Social more than effectively mirrored the sizable growth and development showcased upon the new album with a exhibition that displayed the band at the tightest that I have had the pleasure to witness to date. Additionally, I also felt that on this night, the band really re-established their identities on stage to powerful effect.
Face it, Mitch Deitz is made for the stage! No matter what else may be happening around him visually or musically, he will always find new and invigorating ways to capture your attention solely due to the sheer jubilation he exudes. It is as if he is taken over by the music, the glory and wonder of every musical note, melody, harmony and propulsive beat that swirls around and through him. Even as a spectator in the audience watching other bands perform, you cannot help but to bear witness to his unabashed glee. Yet, when he sings and wields his guitar, his long hair flying vigorously, Deitz is a formidable showman. No easy feat and he makes every moment look and feel honest, natural and infectious.
The virtuoso rhythm section of bassist Sam Galligan and drummer Brendan Manley, more than ever, feel to be Post Social's John Entwistle and John Bonham, eliciting every song with fluidity, grace, power and wallop, so firmly "in the pocket" while open and loose enough to fly freely.
So...if Deitz is the consummate showman, Galligan the stoic, mysterious bassist, and Manley the beastly force of nature, then this would make Shannon Connor the guitar wizard. Observing his growth over the past 18 months or so has been wonderful to witness as he is exhibiting much more comfort and confidence on stage through singing more often (as well as on the new album) but his guitar playing has truly skyrocketed through extended, lyrical solos and an increasing skill with utilizing a growing arsenal of special effects.
As you can obviously gather, I deeply love this band and to see them perform so heroically just made my heart soar. It didn't matter that the audience during this entire night was more on the scant side. This band took it to the stage and by the time they reached their personal favorite selection "Ohio," they had more then effectively whipped the audience into a veritable slam dance frenzy that left the audience begging for more, which the band did oblige with one explosive encore of the track "Gentle Ben."  

And so, after another epic night of live, local music, what have I learned about the Madison music scene? In some ways, I am still not terribly sure, especially in regards to our city possibly possessing a signature sound or musical identity. However, what has amazed me, and especially so, with this particular generation of musicians, is that these young people, who are all around the same ages, have taken it upon themselves to learn an instrument or several to various degrees of proficiency. They have also, most importantly, learned and are seemingly devoted to exploring the craft of being able to write good songs!! 

Here is where these young people have placed much of what exists in the forefront of pop culture to shame. These individuals are completely guileless when it comes to creating music and being in the position to write, record, perform live and to possibly exist as working musicians, something I think that fully needs to be recognized and respected now that we live in an age where one could easily create an album upon their laptops and never learn how to play an instrument. 

These people all seem to view their standing as a gift to be treasured and nurtured. As a community, the support and camaraderie given to each other is supremely warming to witness. They write together, play with each other's bands, direct music videos for each other, help with designing band logos and album cover artwork, trade roles of audience member and performer, watching and learning from each other without any sense of envy, jealousy or negative elements of competition. Hell, I have even observed them in the audience singing every lyric of songs written by other bands and excitedly so. They are each others greatest cheerleaders and confidants, all amazed by the process of collaboration and the bonds of community. 
On this night, I spoke with not only the members of Post Social and Dash Hounds but also Abby Sherman (Trophy Dad bassist/singer), former Modern Mod lead singer/guitarist Emily Massey (now of the new band Melkweed as well as new addition to Slow Pulp--formerly known as Barbara Hans) and I even spotted former Post Social backing vocalist Siv Earley wildly dancing the night away in the crowd. Everyone only confirmed all that I had witnessed first hand: that the Madison music scene is now home to a vibrant, restlessly inventive and creative group of songwriters, singers, musicians, artists and producers, all of whom are devoted to their gifts and are fearlessly charting their own paths.

I may not have known terribly much about the local music scene but as I am learning, I am discovering happily what a deep and rich tapestry we have in Madison and this new crop is a great place to begin if you happen to be unfamiliar with the scene as well. And for all of us, the path these young people are blazing forwards will hopefully inspire all of us to look backwards to those who came before, ultimately revealing much about what makes Madison, and therefore, Wisconsin tick musically. 
And whatever we end up listening to (in my case, it will be another luxurious spin of Post Social's "Casablanca"), always remember to...

...PLAY LOUD!!!!!!