Tag Archives: New York

Stray from the path

Stray From The Path: Download Festival – photo review

I am one of those people who likes to think that they are fairly up to date with the music scene.  I attend numerous festivals and gigs, I am always on the hunt for new bands to love and as an ageing punk I am certainly open to almost any kind of rock music.

Having attended last weeks Download Festival one thing that became apparent to me is that I know diddly squat about the hardcore scene in the USA.  This is something I intend to put right, starting with the long list of U.S. based hardcore and metal core bands bands that I introduced myself to last weekend.

Another of those bands was the brilliant Stray From The Path.  The four piece band out of Long Island New York already have no less than seven albums under their belt and the eighth is due out on August 14.  Like most of the best punk bands Stray From The Path feature the classic punk band lineup.  Guitar, Bass, Drums and vocal.  Their sound is also fairly standard, driving guitars over a thumping bass and rolling drums.  Drew Yorks vocal helps to add a layer of complexity and variety to the overall sound.

As you would expect the bands performance is intense and energetic and the band connect with the enthusiastic crowd right from the beginning of their eight track set.  I have to say that the one thing I would change about download would to be to give the acts on the smaller stage a longer set.  Most bands only had 25 – 30 minutes and when you discover a band like Stray From The Path that is nowhere near long enough.  A 45 minute set would mean fewer change overs and therefore more time enjoying music.

Stray From The Path are well worth checking out if. like me, you are not already familiar with their music.

Stray From The Path are on the Internet here, on Facebook and they tweet as @strayfromdapath

Ryan Adams

Governors Ball: Ryan Adams Throws Shade at Deadmau5 And Dance Music

I like Ryan Adams a lot.  His music is great and he is a man who speaks his mind.  He also seems to hate Dance Music.  Fair play to him 🙂

Governors Ball: Ryan Adams Throws Shade at Deadmau5 And Dance Music.

Ronan Conroy – The Game – album review

Ronan Conroy is a New York based singer songwriter. His previous work was with dark folk band ‘The Listeners’ and Goth Inspired ‘Oh Halo’ for whom Ronan played guitar and shared songwriting duties.

In 2013 Ronan embarked on a “never-ending album” project, recording over 30 songs in the first year, working with the incredibly talented producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Charles Nieland (guitarist with Her Vanished Grace), with a host of guest musicians including Justin Wierbonski (Children of Mu, Quiet Sons, Demonic Sweaters) and Satoshi Inoue (Quiet Sons, Cerenkov).

I had the pleasure of reviewing “Discontent” his first solo offering, late last year and I am delighted to say that the second album was released at the end of February.  Amazingly the next instalment is already in production.

Where “Discontent” was brooding, introspective and largely acoustic “The Game” is a ‘bigger’ album.  It is bigger in sound and bigger in outlook.  The stripped back acoustic approach is largely replaced by a full band sound and the songs are much more outward looking.  What the albums share though is that they dig deeply into the dark side of life.  No subject is out of bounds, drink, drugs, prostitution and the seedy side of big city life all get a run out.

Ronan Conroy honed his songwriting skills studying Dylan, and Nick Cave and those influences are clear once again.  Like those masters Conroy is extremely adept at building contradictions, layers and  dilemmas into his songs.  His songs are often metaphorical and allegorical, something that comes over really well in “The Princess, the Coke Whore and Magdalena.”  The song reacquaints is with Ramon and Magdalena from Dylan’s “Romance in Durango” as Magdalena lies with her dead lover.

We are introduced to the three sides of her personality, the princess on her wedding day, the coke whore turning tricks in a back alley for a line of coke and the wife, daughter and mother that is Magdalena.  It shows us that people have many faces and each of sees a different face at different times.

The Game reflects on life’s winners and losers, one light and dark, joy and despair, life and death and the stories that underpin each of those facets are told across the piece.  In “Hello Kitty” you get light bound in darkness.  The melody is bright and uplifting and holds out a message of hope “what we have will live for ever so you say” then Conroy cruelly smashes that hope as he observes “but I won’t live forever, I’m dying every day”.

“Give me what I need” conjures up a vision of the man who has everything and yet has nothing. “I’ve got everything I need, but I ain’t got what I need.”  You see the rich man surrounded by material wealth but unfulfilled because something is missing. “We’ve all night” builds on the theme of a lack of fulfilment claiming that “its all right now, I’m all cried out”.

“One way or another” sees the protagonist trapped in the cages of an unfulfilling job and an unfulfilling home life, trapped in cages, knowing that so much more is possible but not having the courage to chase his dreams.

“Right or Wrong” sees the pace lifted another notch, driving electric guitars set the tone and Conroy hints that you know what is right, it is there inside of you, things are not black and white but the answer is there if you choose to open your eyes and see it.  The higher energy is maintained through the rest of the album but the contrasts remain “we are going nowhere fast, but we are going there much faster, beyond the point of pointlessness,” deliciously ironic observations in “It Comes Around.”

Once again this offering from Ronan Conroy holds together beautifully as a piece its wry observations on life are the theme on which everything hangs.  It is more upbeat and perhaps more instantly accessible than “Discontent” but it still feels part of an overall story.  It is hugely enjoyable, interesting and rewarding and it still carries secrets that are given up only after a little effort on the part of the listener.  “The Game” is another wonderful piece of work by Ronan Conroy and it is by some distance the best album I have heard so far this year.

Ronan Conroy | website | facebook |  bandcamp |

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot Release Tribute To ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Victim Eric Garner

Controversial Russian Punk band Pussy Riot have released their first song in English and true to form the song is a rebellious and anti-establishment tribute to Eric Garner the black man choked to death by New York police officers. Garners death in July 2014 led to a wave of protest across the U.S. with many adopting “I can’t breathe” as a form of protest.

Pussy Riot, whose members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spent nearly two years in a Russian prison for a protest performance at a Moscow cathedral, said their song is inspired by the death of Eric Garner and dedicated to all of those “who can’t breathe.”
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1852943/pussy-riot-russian-punk-band-release-i-cant-breathe-tribute-to-eric-garner-video/#gh8M2f0MRIWK9v5e.99

The Snow Storms in the USA – It’s not me, its you.

I am saddened today to see that at least eight people have lost their lives in the amazing snow storms that have hit the USA.  It is truly a tragedy how mother nature can cause so much devastation when she flexes her muscles like this.

That said today on the UK television news I saw this picture;


Now seriously, most of the state has been hit by up to 6 feet of snow.  Please give me a clue, why are you trying to dig out your car?  Just where exactly is it that you think you are going to go?  Most of the roads look something like this.


Now seriously just what are you trying to achieve?  Spare a thought for the emergency workers who will be trying to reach people in need, the elderly, the infirm and those at risk.  Maybe you should go check on your neighbours, see that they are OK, help them out.  Forget about your damn car until the thaw sets in.  One of us is a candidate for a Darwin award, and guess what?  It ain’t me!