SDMA winner Gayle Skidmore’s track “Whiskey and Cigarettes” is a recent standout in the Reader’s growing music database.
Over 1100 MP3 songs currently grace the 3900-plus band pages in the Reader’s Local Music Database, playable from the performer pages as well as on their upcoming event pages and via the website playlist at sandiegoreader.com/songs. We listen to every song submitted, with the following mini-reviews representing several of the most recently posted tracks.
Zack David, “Not Scared Anymore”: Originally from Minneapolis, this Encinitas folkie opens on a vaguely Celtic lilt with guitar and violin, as he laments, “Oh how I’ve strayed, how I’ve pushed you away.” The tempo picks up with increasingly operatic vocal flourishes, though it does take over six minutes to pull up to a quiet finale.
David Brauner, “Feed My Sheep”: Brauner, who sings in the choir and with the praise band Awakening at Westminster Presbyterian in Point Loma, has a pleasant voice for acoustic gospel that doesn’t wear out its welcome, despite the repetitive lyrics.
Gayle Skidmore, “Whiskey and Cigarettes”: My favorite of the week, this cynical number shuffles in on a funky keyboard riff, bookended by deceptively upbeat doo-wop backup trills, as the recent SDMA Best Pop Album winner croons engagingly of “The strange taste of my regret, mixed with whiskey and cigarettes.”
Mani Dollaz, “Motivation”: The bespectacled rapper is (consciously or not) building on the market for urban nerdiness pioneered by the Beastie Boys, with anti-bling confessions/aggressions like “I don’t have a car, but I’m still shining like a superstar.”
3 By Design, “Under the Surface”: Bluesy singer/guitarist Jon Goodhue (Thrillrazr) dresses up this melodic hard rocker with lots of layered harmonies, for a catchy, if not particularly memorable, number.
Sight Unscene, “Manic”: From their fourth studio album, The Noise We Don’t Hear, released in August, “Manic” lives up to its name, from the frenetic intro through its screaming march toward the final four-minute mark.
Jesse Daniel Edwards, “Walking in the Rain”: A Carlsbad native, the mandolinist/guitarist from the Smart Brothers supersizes this jumpy cut with surprisingly psychedelic flair that evokes the best of World Party and Tears for Fears, before it goes all Robert Fripp about two minutes in.
Other new MP3s on the website include “Zombie Apocalypse,” by Zappa-esque studio outfit Max Maharaja; “Imagine,” by Kid Circle Empire vet Markos Tegui; “All the Creatures,” by Marcelo Radulovich’s experimental noise band Nice World; and the hysterical sendup “Shut Up, Ted Nugent Is Talking,” by madcap married punk-comedy duo Pony Death Ride.