Friday, January 30, 2015

Heart String Soul by Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms (Album Preview)

Ryan Allen's been singing and shredding out pure indie-pop songs for nearly ten years with bands like Friendly Foes, Destroy This Place and his solo set Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms... 

Before that, though, he was a young turk tumbling into the Detroit scene during the early 00's just as "garage-rock" branding was becoming passe and he started specializing in what Pitchfork would call "spaz-punk..." That, namely, was Thunderbirds Are Now, a rock quartet that cut the breaklines of their tempos and sped up the snarl and frazzle-fits of punk until it crashed into the guitar-splattered wall of indie-rock, essentially a more noodly-legged remedy reacting against the static-stance of new-millennial shoegaze-types like Interpol.

I can't help getting that vision of Ryan and his brother Scott and TAN from a show I foggily recall, ten years ago, on the outskirts of Michigan State's campus, the pair of them in constant motion as if their recital were a game of freeze-tag they were intent on winning. Oh, and it was loud. Lots of feedback too...

But this is Ryan Allen's all-grown-up-now record...the record he couldn't have made without all the wild, senseless, exciting, stressful, wonderful experiences of the last 15 years, many of which are lyrically recounted on the songs of Heart String Soul.

Some songs are softer, minimalist vocal-pop settlers for the contemplative evenings while others are aerobic blare-outs for showcasing his sustained abilities for a great guitar solo. Richly resonant acoustic guitars strum and unspool under sentimental folk-pop lyrics charmed with a wry self-deprecation dropping dates and venues, offsetting events and licked wounds from lessons-learned. Other jams, meanwhile, continue the surfy tempos and jangly guitars that all but punch their hooky riffs into you under his characteristically high and hazy singing voice.

But this time, not only are those electric guitar "freakouts" displaying a more focused aggression in their crescendos, his lyrics are some of the most manifestly autobiographical & heart-on-the-sleeve I've heard in a while... Ryan sings both to the defiant youths who are now coming up behind him as well as appealing to his reflective nostalgics who remember music magazines and cassette tapes, a meditation on how those exciting and hot-headed days are long gone that seeks to emboss the self-actualizing work it hath wrought upon him, now that he's on the "wrong side of" 30 with a life and a family... The lyrics, sung straight from the heart and seeming plucked from his happiest emotions to his most nerve-wracking anxieties, come straight from the heart...(all puns intended, re: album title).

There's honesty here that was lacking in his past songs; whereas he might've penned lyrics with a cryptic wink encoded with scenster slang in the past, he's looking the listener straight in the eye now, telling him in plain English his thoughts and revelations, still cadenced, of course, to a buoyantly catchy melody and belted out with breathless passion.

Perhaps the much-younger Ryan would roll his eyes and consider some of these songs overly sentimental... But that doesn't seem to matter to present-day Ryan. There's a new kinda comfort and coolness here that doesn't seem to care about quips from the comment bin.

There's a song for his parents (and by extension, a song for his brother), a song for his young son and, streaming below, a song for his wife. Not only is he honest and, by extension, more confident in his words, he's also unafraid to take jabs at himself and that's achieved best by his self-referential "Should Be Me," (also streaming).


Songs (Heart String Soul)





The songs feel right, and they come straight from my heart. --Ryan Allen on Heart String Soul

Andy Reed (Verve Pipe) mixed and mastered the album on analog equipment and it will be released via Allen's own Two Brains Records. The album comes out physically (CD) and digitally on March 25.


LINKS






Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend Songs: The Witches, Moonwalks, Ill Itches, Santiparro




Songs I can't get out of my head...for the weekend of January 23


1.) The Witches - "Perfect Monster"

The first Michigan band I interviewed, the first Michigan band that both inspired and haunted me so much so that I was drawn, like a stumbling zombie toward the gothic manor of Bela Lugosi, into the surreal worlds they brought into existence with their psychedelically-crunched bubble-gum grit and grime, glorifying midnight monster movie aesthetics and pondering the the lives and the loves that could be wrought and won in some fantastic spirit realm.





2.) The Moonwalks - "Sheiks"

I'm three months late on this Detroit quartet's EP (which already got buzz from CREEM Magazine), but, then, I'm could also two months early for their first full length (coming sometime in the late winter of this year). "Shieks" reverb-wrapped guitar slithers and chirps over weaving, punchy beats and echo-quavered vocals, conjuring a neon blacklight basement space-out in an incense-clouded clubhouse, a coo cloister at edge of the vast, mirage-filled desert of psych-pop.

Moonwalks join a line up for the new Seraphine Collective residency, "Last Thursday" at PJ's Lager House, featuring Prude Boys, Best Exes (Jim Cherewick & Linda Ann Jordan) and Rebel Kind, January 29. Info: http://on.fb.me/1xy3mZa




3.) Ill Itches - "Hallelujah"

Ill Itches guitarist Josh Woodcock and YUM's singer/guitarist Elise Poirer are headed to Japan this season. They will be greatly missed.
This show, featuring Citizen Smile, Nigel & The Dropout, YUM and Le Voyage  is a going-away party as well as a grander nod to the bond these bands have  built over the last year & a half through various shows throughout the region. January 31 at The Loving Touch, info here 



4.) Santiparro - "The Benefit Of Confrontation"



Michigan's own Santaparro Alan Scheurmann will be releasing a long awaited full length album next month titled True Prayer. (February 12 on Gnome Life Record). This startling and beautiful album is filled with revelation and insight, sung in a soft, creaky voice emanating like a calm brook or the soft waves of a spring wind, written from the mind/soul & heart of a man whose experienced several life changing experiences over the last six years. While the themes and subjects treated involve shamanic ceremonies and roadmaps through the spirit world, it's also an exemplary addition to the cerebral genre of psychedleic folk music, soothing, engaging...and, if one listens intently enough, enlightening. Santiparro means "the lens that sees things not usually seen..."
This song features Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy), with other contributors on the album including Kip Malone (TV On The Radio), Adam Wills (Bear In Heaven) and more



Suggested reading: Phreddy Wischusen's heartfelt essay leading up to the completion of this record from 2014.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Vaselines

Among the handful of artists (Raincoats, Meat Puppets, Daniel Johnston,) that the grunge messiah (Kurt Cobain) championed, The Vaselines won the title of being his "favorite songwriters in the world." Nirvana went on to cover three of the Glasgow duo's songs. Praise from that era's contemporary Caesar, more or less...but songwriting duo Francis McKee and Eugene Kelly, having started The Vaselines almost 30 years ago, have earned the acclaim with their most recent V For Vaselines (Sub Pop). 



Expanding (and lightening) the filled-out pop/rock sound of 2011's Sex With An X, Kelly and McKee bring crunchy, driving guitar chords, upbeat tempos and breezy melodies into an overcast cloud of coolness with hazes of distortion and raw riffs. With V, they continue to utilize the pleasing counter melody of their complimentary voices sewing throwbackish pop melodies to strutting beats, in and out in just three minutes, most of the time. Certainly evolved beyond their original lo-fi aesthetic, sweet, swaying lullabies like "Single Spies," with it's willowy guitars and delicate chimes, are like downplayed bursts of sunlight.



The Vaselines perform at Ferndale's The Loving Touch Tuesday evening with Amanda X.   Info: http://on.fb.me/1zrqoXy

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekend Songs: Gosh Pith, Viet Cong, The Dodos

Songs I can't get out of my head for this weekend, January 16th

Gosh Pith - "Window"
Gosh Pith's latest starts out soft, slow and small... till the clanging percussion claps in and the echo-blurred vocals crackle onto the soundscape in that characteristic whisper-croon that these two young groove-pop prodigies have been perfecting over their first year & a half of existence. Sequenced beats and dreamy synths have been a calling card for them, but on this track, along with that charming bouncing ball rhythmic hook after the second chorus, they allow some other elements, namely that syrupy-static fuzzed guitar, to shine...


Gosh Pith perform Friday, Jan 16 at Arbor Vitae (336 1/2  S. State Street) @ 9PM
with Man Vs. Indian Man, Little Animal and Jonah Baseball. Info: http://on.fb.me/1CfDt3s



Viet Cong - "Bunker Buster"
The gaunt guitars are so caustic and terse they all but take the wind out of you, a droning feedback fills any open spaces between verses while the vocals, delivered with half a sneer and half a howl, find that supernatural sweet-spot between post-punk yowling and new-wave crooning. The musical bedrock of the song, though, has an uncannily enticing pallor to it, with all it's keys bent towards an atonal minor murk... For those lovers of ol' timey Gang Of Four and the darker shit from Liars and Interpol...this is the band you've been...oh you know how the cliche goes.... waiting for...


Viet Cong are starting a UK tour, soon. More info on their self-titled debut here: http://n.pr/1DAplWD



The Dodos - "Competition"
This indie-rock duo dropped this single at the end of 2014, but it bares re-spinning (in case you missed it). The wailing whip of the guitars around the corners of the verse and through the bridge, the hyper-fast percussion kicking along under the word-packed vocals (harmonized nicely, per their signature singing approach), with an ebullient vocal melody waving its way through the chorus. Put the headphones on and listen to just how much janglin' is going on in those furiously strummed acoustic guitars...


The Dodos will come to Ann Arbor, MI in March
Playing The Blind Pig on March 5 with Springtime Carnivore

Speaking of Springtime Carnivore...that's another one of my favorite late-2014 finds...
Try and get this whistled melody out of your head... The soft strings bending through the verses over those strutting drums, jaunty pianos and just enough reverb reared over the soft vocals... Makes January feel like early September...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Last Stop Sundays (presented by At Willoughby)

Jan. 27 @ The Berkley Front


Ceremonies, however, subtle or casual, can supplement the certain camaraderie intrinsic to the idealization of "...a scene." Well aware that, to establish your foot print on the scene, you the band, will have to hit the usual circuit of bars/venues and play amped up music under boomlights, often expected to scream your head off, break a few strings and drop some sweat on the wooden stage. 

Every now and then we need a slightly different atmosphere to be struck, though, at these "ceremonies" of ours... We need opportunities for these bands to show some of the other sides of their songwriting or performing styles... 

The first in a new series of monthly concerts can offer that... 
Alan Sowinski, singer/songwriter who records/performs under the moniker At Willoughby, spearheaded the Last Stop Sunday's series -to be hosted on the final weekend of every month at the Berkley Front. 

Yes, it's a "school night" for us, but the event will be early: 6 - 9 pm / $4 at the door. And the vibe will be much more chill than the tacit dress-to-impress posturing that can inevitably be struck up by the fast-blast boogies of an electric Saturday show. 

The idea is to give bands and individual songwriters to try something different, be that unplugging and going acoustic or bringing out some new or forgotten songs that they were heretofore hesitating to try out during a typical electric-set...

Sowinski has been writing, recording and performing as At Willoughby for several years, but this gesture is one of his biggest forays into the scene to date. Expect to see him out, performing live, much more often in 2015. 

He kicks off the first Last Stop Sunday with singer/songwriter Jeff Howitt (from Duende), Adam (from Futurebabes) and Poor Bastard (featuring Jaye Allen Thomas of Rogue Satellites and Serene Arena from Dutch Pink). 


Friday, January 9, 2015

Music Videos

Oscillating Fan Club - "To The Dogs"


The Oscillating Fan Club sounds via bandcamp


Mic Write and Doss The Artist - "H.O.M.E.S."


Mic Write latest, Code Green via bandcamp



Gosh Pith - "Smoke Bellow"


An article on Gosh Pith and their upcoming show in Ann Arbor, here: http://www.ecurrent.com/January-2015/Weekly-Whats-Up-Albums-Of-The-Year-Part-5-5/#.VLA4tyvF-So

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Secret Friends Fest part deux - Fri/Sat (Loving Touch)

"Secretly..." says Jason Stollsteimer, "everyone who goes out to a show wants the same thing..." 


Whether they know it or not, showgoers and bands, audience and performer alike, want to tie themselves into an ineffable experience, something to be shared in a darkened environment where there isn't the scrutiny of fluorescent lights, no tacit demand for polite demeanor or the tense guard of minding P's and Q's or even a need to seem normal so that the rest of the bustling workaday rat runners don't look at you funny... 

And it's an experience, a place, a destination that's benefited by the ideal soundtrack. The best songs, the loudest songs, passionately performed by those whom you consider to be your true friends or your... "Secret Friends." The Friends you meet out here, after hours, away from work, away from the bills you pay in the morning, away from the bull shit that stresses you out in the afternoon... 

"Everyone wants to have fun," said Stollsteimer, a longtime fixture of the Detroit rock scene with bands like The Hounds Below, Von Bondies and, recently, PONYSHOW. "Everyone wants to meet new people, forget about your day, whether work or school or whatever and to discover new things together, be they another band or another person to fall in love with..." 


Jason Stollsteimer has organized the 2nd annual Secret Friends Fest after the success of last year, hosted right around this time of year at The Loving Touch. "Last year worked great, both nights sold out." The lineup for this Secret Friends Fest Part Deux, happening Friday and Saturday at the Loving Touch, is listed below. "The goal last year, besides just having fun, was to introduce out-of-state bands to Michigan bands." 

Twin Peaks comes to us from Illinois, Max Jury is from Iowa, Nox Boys from Pennsylvania and Brian Olive from Ohio... Just for starters.Then, Detroit fans will be treated by notable neighbors like Mexican Knives, Eleanora Nigel & The Dropout (pictured above,) and, from as far out as Grand Rapids, Valentiger
Two nights; 20 bands; secret friends. 

"It's eight bucks per night," said Stollsteimer. "That's .6666 cents / band if you go both nights!"  

It's a night to build bridges between varying scenes across state borders; a chance to remember that the tired cliche of competition, edging another band out for the glory of being the biggest band in the scene should be set aside in an era of Internet-whimsicality that finds the DIY artist as uncertain as ever and, hence, in need of as many "friends" as possible. A night, as Stollsteimer put it, to just remember why you go out to these shows in the first place...

Secret Friends Fest Part Deux 


FRIDAY
JAN 9th
Doors at 8pm


Main Stage
12:45am -Mexican knives
11:30pm - Brian olive (OH)
10:30pm - Siamese
9:30pm - Eleanora

Side Stage
12:15am - Nigel & the dropout
11pm - Blaire alise & the bombshells
10pm - Vamos (IL)
9pm - Little Animal


SATURDAY
JAN 10th
Doors at 6pm


Main Stage
12:30am - Twin peaks (IL)
11:30pm - Valley hush
10:30pm - Cold blood club (NY)
9:30pm - Maxwell jury (IA)
8:30pm - Valentiger
7:30pm - Mover//Shaker

Side Stage
12am - Moonwalks
11pm - PONYSHOW
10pm - Dead broke (CAN)
9pm - Nox boys (PA)
8pm - Darn wishes
7pm - Pines

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Let Us Listen To Music

Another blank slate.
Back to the first track. Side one.

Let us channel benevolence. Let us remember to breathe as deeply as we can every other half hour.

Let us listen to music... for as long as we can... and not begrudge the deadline that pulls you away from your solace(s). Solace can be anywhere, if you perfect a certain internal procedure of tuning out the harmful inconsequentialities, the ubiquitous spirit gnawing swarms of ineffable discouragementors... 

Let us remember, try to remember... that we all mean well, most of us anyways.

Let us aspire to something more than like-ing what each of us are doing and, hopefully, sharing, actually sharing in what we're doing...building toward something.

Let us keep on pushing, against the boulder of this day and the next day. Let us be able to stop and stretch and ....remember: breathe as deeply as we can...

Let us remember how much of the hassleeations and tessellations and situations can be put on hold, when at all possible.

Let us listen to music. Let us remember to listen to music. Let us quote lyrics and get lost in the delicious drones or taken away by cheery chimes, or those beats, let us be taken by those drum beats...

So this is the new year... 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tuesday: Grand Design Release Party: Mic Phelps & DJ Kage


"I'm not what you think..." 

The Grand Design Release Party: Mic Phelps (of hip-hop quartet Cold Men Young) has stepped up to the mic as a solo MC, backed by producer DJ Kage

Phelps, with his guttural voice and blistering delivery and Kage, with his knack for classy throwback styled production with modern flairs for heavier electronic atmospherics, have certainly forged a fine album and it’s been a longtime coming for both to step into their own spotlights. 

The stand-out track for me has to be the ferocious and stark electro-rap exposition of "Reparations," with Kage affecting a nervy, nocturnal vibe with percolating synths striking ominous, hollow chimes over a grinding buzz that evokes a building tension; following are individual cameos from  Passalacqua. 



A demand for fairness, for collective enlightenment, for reparations and for a "new administration..." These "are blood songs...buried in our bones..." for a time when nothing else seems to work, for when impunity from corruption and abuse of power is the status quo...  A dropping of tired rhetoric and a call for a chance, a real chance, to change things. With each guest rapper sounding enlivened by Phelp's passion and in-tune with his restlessness and his resolve and matching his characteristically fast and fierce delivery. 





This release party, produced by ASSEMBLE, is an excellent showcase for Detroit's contemporary hip-hop scene, with Guilty Simpson, Erno The Inferno (with Lisa Stocking), Macs The Realest, LaRon Ronco, DJ No Chaser, light shows by The Prince of Darkness and visual art by Ashley McFadden.

Indigo Black and CrackKillz Da God will be co-hosting with WDET's Travis Wright. 
8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Tangent Gallery, 715 Milwaukee Ave, Detroit.

More from Microphone Phelps



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Secret Friends Fest (Part Deux) Spotlight: Valley Hush

The Secret Friends Fest Part Deux is a two day music festival hosted at The Loving Touch on Jan 9th & 10th 
Featured bands include: Twin Peaks, Nigel & The Dropout, Mexican Knives, Blaire Elise & The Bombshells, Vamos, Siamese, Little Animal, Eleanora, Max Jury, Moonwalks, PONYSHOW, Cold Blood Club, Nox Boys, Dead Broke, Darn Wishes, Pines, Mover/Shaker, Valentiger &...
Valley Hush (Interview, below)


Doors @ 8 PM Friday / 6 PM Saturday
Full Line Ups








Valley Hush 




Valley Hush wanted to keep things minimal. The very first song on the Detroit-based duo's debut EP started with just a vocal melody and the intent, inspired from how pure it sounded at the outset, was to keep true to the sweetness of spareness. Melody is "extremely important" to both singer Lianna Vanicelli and producer Alex Kaye. Even if they're a duo and even if they're going for a minimalist trip, they're still spreading on a mixed milieu of genres and sonic shades, from dream-pop, to acid-lounge to a bit of laid-back space-rock.



The pair started collaborating two years ago on a previous project of Kaye's inside Rustbelt Studios, happening upon a natural chemistry. Valley Hush, predominantly charmed by the melodic curling of Vanicelli's fine and formidable voice, finds Kaye melding the cool, fuzzy hums of synthesizes, intricate percussive possibilities of drum machines, warming bass and a gloss of guitars.

The evocative title, To Feel Small, combined with the daunting imagery of those majestic trees looming large amid a green-curtained forest bathed in celestial sunlight, suggests a proclivity towards the outdoors and a consciousness to be present, in the moment, experiencing the world around you. The sublime splash of major keys, soulful bass, ethereal synth chimes and soaring guitars under Vanicelli's airy vocals and contemplative lyrics, along with the word "Valley" appearing in their name, further invites an embrace of an appreciation of the organic world.

"Much of our inspiration comes from the contrast of our presence within nature to our existence withhin present-day society," Vanicelli said. "Our intent is to bring these ideas togehter with much in a form that's ultimately accessible to many people."

The duo are currently wrapping up their second EP. More info: http://valleyhush.bandcamp.com/releases


Valley Hush performs @ Secret Friends Fest Part Deux on January 10

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Scene Histories: Chapter 3 - The Beggars (Playing NYE @ Loving Touch)

No more clich├ęs, no more cynicism. Rock’s not dead. Never was. The Beggars are here to save the day. Rock’s redeemers, Steven Tuthill, Jim Faulkner, Pookie Grech and Chris Krez… each understand that rock n’ roll can be more than just music, it can be something to live for…

Photo by Bob Alford
(L-R)  Jim Faulkner, Pookie Grech, Steven Tuthill, Chris Krez


And don’t you dare doubt their powers. Attendees of Beggarsconcerts are often quickly converted by their charms: a combination of the wild and the raucous with the wholesome and the nostalgic; it’s head-banging, fist-pumping, guitar-shredding, ballad-belting music, but it’s done with this charismatic grin and studded with a classy (if half-crazed) showmanship that conjures the most glorious of rock’s glory days.


The Beggars perform on New Year’s Eve at The Loving Touch with Broadzilla and White Shag. Doors 8pm – more info at: http://beggarsrock.com/ / http://thelovingtouchferndale.com/



Last month, the Ferndale quartet released their second full length record, a self-titled album produced by a powerhouse team, Eddie Spaghetti (of Arizona garage rock legends The Supersuckers,) Andy Patalan (guitarist of Detroit-bred alt-rock group Sponge) and local producer Tony Maisano.

The album is their most definitive work to date, with the versatile Faulkner’s driving backbeats, the dynamics of Krez’s cascading riffs, and Grech’s subtle coiling bass licks. It’s a rock that has a lot of heart and gets a floor shaking, rattles windows and brings bodies to move, dance or jump, spurred on by Tuthill’s trilling baritone lead vocal.

“Genuine rock and roll,” Tuthill calls it; “…the Good-Time Rock.”

That means drums that get you moving, blurring guitars bellowing those electric growls and bass that sweetens with a soulful crest. Tuthill, meanwhile, a former football player and wrestler, is keen to throw his whole body into his performance and that’s key to the infectious energy of the Beggars, assuming a larger-than-life presence on stage, ready to back flip off of turnbuckles, if they could. 

When rock n’ roll can seem heroic, like its participants, the performers on the stage, evidently appreciate that certain kind of caution-to-the-wind sacredness that rock deserves…that’s when you know you’re at a Beggars show.  

“We’re normal guys, most of the time,” Tuthill says, as he digs a Frisbee out of the bed of his truck. 

“But, when you get on that stage,” he stops to set his coffee down at the foot of an oak tree, “then it’s no time to be normal. At that point it’s like…” he tosses the Frisbee over to me, “…like you’re from a different planet, ya know?”

He nods, his long curled hair blown back by the late autumn breeze. “Not a better planet! Just…a different planet. It is a lot of fun.”

Tuthill meets me on the last beautiful day of the season, strolling through Geary Park in Ferndale on a weekday morning. “I couldn’t find my football,” he admits. “That’s like a low point, for me. I have to use my Frisbee…”

The Beggars have been a Ferndale band for a longtime now. Tuthill’s second show with the band was performed at Club Bart’s (where John D now operates). “I always love bringing up Club Bart’s cuz I have such fond memories of that bar, so many great shows, particularly with Duende.”

Indeed, Tuthill, and the entire Beggars alumni go way back… The band was started in the early 00’s by Jonny Wilkins, Jim Hansard Joe Senac, Jon Epstein and Keith Thompson. That’s right; the current line-up of the Beggars technically has no original members. Though, to his credit, Tuthill, the longest-serving Beggar, joined the band ten years ago. The album’s liner notes give respectful shout-outs to all former members, including Johnny Miller, Jim Hansard, Jeremy Cybulski and Rod “Pool Party” Jones.

“Awesome dudes all across the board,” says Tuthill with his characteristically easygoing exuberance. 

“And everyone still gets along great. All classy dudes, from start to finish Everybody’s still a family, it’s good. And that’s rare (for bands).” I can see a glint of contented nostalgia in his eyes as he pauses, “Man,” he says, “it’s been nuts, all of the great venues we’ve played at through the years. The Majestic, The Magic Stick, The Magic Bag…a Woodward Dream Cruise Party back in 2002,  a Homecoming Dance or on a Pontoon boat, or the Pig & Whiskey and DIY…”

“We plan to rock from here to eternity,” Tuthill assures.

The Beggars are performing at the Loving Touch on New Year’s Eve. How perfect: the ultimate Good Time Rock band performing right down the street from most Ferndale music fans to facilitate what should be the party of the year!

Their live show has always been, suffice it to say, a spectacle (sometimes capped with choreography or tricky human pyramid formations). The microphone is swung this way and that and each player’s body, head and instrument is constantly slung, shook or shredded, just the same.

Both Maisano and Patalan helped mix and master this album, with Patalan serving as engineer and Maisano as its executive producer. Tuthill was heartened by the teamwork of everyone involved in The Beggars production. “That’s what I’m excited for, just to feel thankful for that support. (Krez, Grech, Faulkner) and I all had fine performances. We were relaxed 92% of the time…well rehearsed, too. (Maisano, Patalan & Spaghetti) were a super team. All genuine, with one goal: an exciting rock album!”

Finally, we ask about the closing track, a fierce, riproaring rocker called “Good Love,” with breathless vocals and a speedy tempo. The former wrestler in Tuthill nods to the iconic Ric Flair, 
“The Nature Boy,” as part of the inspiration. “He could get his ass beat, thrown around a turnbuckle and flipped over for the sake of show-biz! He did everything he could to make it look great. The last lines of ‘Good Love’ are about new generations coming up, while that passion is still in his heart, that good love. It is about a passion, something to live for…whatever it is…”

Is that what the Beggars live for? Tuthill responds that they live “to remind people that it’s about fun, it is escapism. It’s preserving Good-Time rock. Let’s have some fun. It is a little tongue-in-check here and there but it’s still a serious message.”

The Beggars perform on New Year’s Eve at The Loving Touch with Broadzilla and White Shag. Doors 8pm – more info at: http://beggarsrock.com/ / http://thelovingtouchferndale.com/