Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Human Agency: New Album "The Indigo Hour" Debuts May 20


Our good friend Jonas has been playing drums with Human Agency, which is the dynamic duo of Seamus and  Biorhythm (a.k.a. Ryan). If you're from Colorado, then you've probably come across Human Agency. And if you haven't well, then you're in for a treat.

Human Agency is releasing a new album on May 20th titled "The Indigo Hour." They also released a single titled "Grace", which you can stream...



Human Agency also offered up a free download of GRACE here.

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I conducted a brief interview with Seamus from Human Agency. Here's the highlights...
PAULY: What were the influences for this album?

SEAMUS: I believe a vast musical influence on Human Agency is it's most creative weapon. Everything and anyone from Ninja Tune Records has greatly inspired us both for over a decade. We all listen to a wide array of Rock, Blues, alternative and world music and that shows in one way or another. Bonobo, DJ Shadow and RJD2 with a light dusting of Daft Punk is how I describe Human Agency to people who have never heard of us. Maybe that helps.
PAULY: Is the new album a glimpse into the future direction of band? Or does it solidify or build upon previous themes?
SEAMUS: Both of those ideas seem unavoidably true for "The Indigo Hour." Personally I would like to have a small group of talented, multi-instrumentalists collaborate and contribute to the live presence of what we record and produce in the studio. Easier said than done, believe me. That being said, we made a clear shot to have a more dance presence on the album without removing too much of the desired melody we all love in music. It came down to giving show-goers the energy they desire on the dance floor while giving the battle hardened music nerds a taste of our talent. The balance was hard and often illusive, but I'm happy with the current and future outlook of Human Agency. We have a strong and hard working group of people working directly around us. Stan Lee would call them True Believers, and I'm very appreciative.
 
 We pretty much broke our studio making this album. After spending countless hours in a basement production studio over a two year period, almost every piece of gear suffered some sort of injury. From beat machines to blown sub-woofers, turntable cartridges to Wurlitzer organs shorting out, very few pieces of gear survived this journey. Like the Mongols ascending the Great Wall of China, a lot of casualties were suffered before we realized it's ending ha! Good thing we ended in a beautifully equipped professional studio.

PAULY: Are you concerned with the backlash that's happening with the music industry and festival circuit being overrun by "dudes with laptops"?

A majority of this album was entirely written, composed and performed by Ryan and I. We draw from a traditional music background but are inspired by the creative options of digital music. So let me address something...I understand much of the argument many people have with this very recent surge of solo DJs with a single laptop selling out stadiums - and how eye burningly uninspiring it might seem when performed, I really do. I get it. But through the lens of a band like Human Agency, having grown up playing instruments then merging that with digital production thereafter, we spend as much time, if not much more, on our craft and sound. I'm very proud of the talented people who contributed to this record and help perform it on stage. I believe - from start to end - it's melodic, beautiful and inspired.
 
However, when I hear people from all levels of musical involvement criticize modern electronic music as being cheap, simple or uninspired, it immediately strikes me as an infinitely uneducated argument. I'll admit there's a slew of Dance/Electronic music that doesn't float my boat, nuff said. But there are some profound producers making richly unique music electronically out there. These scores of digital naysayers all the sudden come off as those puritanical haters who used to burn Beatles records or segregate Chuck Berry shows at the birth of Rock 'n' Roll. Let the people have a good time, even if you are not.
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Human Agency's new album "The Indigo Hour" debuts on May 20th. Get a free download of Grace here.

Human Agency - Facebook Page
Human Agency - Soundcloud Page

Here's a promo video for "The Indigo Hour"...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Rosalita 1975

You know it was a wild night when we're waking up very late on Monday. Hey, 4/20 Day only comes along once a year, right? Hope you raged properly. I know we did.

I'm not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, but I dig this particular performance by the Boss. For one, it's 1975 and he's 40 years ahead of his time in the fashion world. Springsteen is dressed like some of my hipster neighbors (beard + wool hat when it's 75 degrees outside) and Steve Van Zandt is going for the pimp-chic look, while Clarence Clemons looks like a faith healer.

Here's Rosalita from London 11/18/75..

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: I'm A Man - Spencer Davis Group

In honor of the return of Mad Men, here's one of the songs that appeared in last night's episode. Spencer Davis Group's I'm A Man played when Megan picked up Don at the airport.


This is also one of the last songs that Steve Winwood appeared on before he left SDG to start his own band, which ended up becoming Traffic.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dope Stories: Sean Azzariti

Dope Stories is 11 episodes old and we released one of my favorites shows up until this point. I got a chance to interview my pal Sean Azzariti. If his name sounds familiar, it is because Sean was the first person to ever purchase legal recreational marijuana in Colorado (on the morning of January 1, 2014). Sean is also a medicinal marijuana advocate, specifically trying to get PTSD listed as one of the conditions to be eligible for a MMJ card. Sean is a veteran himself and spent two tours in Iraq. When he returned stateside, he struggled with PTSD until he began treating it with medicinal marijuana. Sean currently works as a budtender at a MMJ dispensary in Denver. He's also a huge Phishead and we've seen a bunch of shows together in Colorado.

We chatted for almost an hour and discussed a bunch of different topics. Here's the "setlist" for Episode 11...


And listen to Episode 11 here...


Download link for Episode 11.

Subscribe to Dope Stories on iTunes.

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Twitter: @DopeStories

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Listen to previous shows.... Episode 1 , Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, plus Broke Stories Ep. 1.

Thanks for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to Dope Stories on iTunes.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Johnny Winter Covers Jumpin' Jack Flash

Monday morning. Time to wake up and snort the coffee. Crank it up. Piss off your office mates. Time to grab life by the nutsack and get shit down.

Here's a Stones' cover by the albino wunderkind Johnny Winter. After he sold his soul to the devil, his hair turned bleach white. Winter looks like one of them Whitewalkers...

Sunday, April 06, 2014

G-Money Picks: Bill Frisell and East West

Funday Sunday. Time for G-Money Picks! Whenever I ask G-Money (@777GMoney) for a recommendation, he never steers me wrong.

G-Money suggested Bill Frisell today, specifically his live album East West. Bill Frisell has always been an underrated guitarist because he's a jazz guy, which is the kiss of death because jazz guitarists never get any love. If Frisell played in one of those darling indie bands du jour then he'd get tons of press from the indie machine and become a hipster god. Or if Frisell was in one of those bong-rattling multiple guitar bands from the 70s, then he would have gotten significantly more love from the likes of Creem and Rolling Stone.

East West is one of Frisell's live albums that is perfect background music. Frisell re-invented a few covers like Grapevine...


If you dig this series, then check out more picks by G-Money... James Brown's Funky People, Allman Brothers - Brothers and Sisters, Little Feat (1976 Winterland), Slave and Ohio Funk Scene, and Grateful Dead - Egypt 1978.