It’s been around two years since Josh Rosenblum released his album Move Yourself. “The album is labeled as pop rock, but our jazz, funk, and blues roots always find a way into our music in one way or another,” he says of the entirely self-produced and independently released LP. Backup players included Cedric Jones (drums, cajon) and Andrew Melendez (bass). “It’s designed to get you up and moving. I wrote the album as motivational encouragement to ‘move on’ from negativity, while still maintaining the realist perspective that everything in life takes work to accomplish. It’s also an homage to my relocation to Southern California [in summer 2018]…I spent my entire life living in my hometown of Modesto performing music full time with the weddings, bars, private events, never truly knowing what other opportunities could be out there waiting. So my wife and I decided to take our little dog and cat and just take the chance and move.” The Josh Rosenblum Band will debut their new album Green Eyed on April 30, via local label Pacific Records. The first single “Drive” features Philly trombonist Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg and trumpeter-singer Mark Pender, both of the Miami Horns and Conan O’Brien’s television band.
Founded in 2008, Wavves started out as a one-man band brainstormed by Nathan Williams (Fantastic Magic), a former Music Trader manager who had dropped out of college, lost his job, and was living in his parents’ house. His debut lo-fi album as Wavves was recorded on a laptop computer in the garage, on a trial version of Garage Band with a Macbook routed through an internal mic. At age 22, Williams became a record label signee in 2009, earning much internet buzz, as well as multiple slots at that year’s SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. The self-titled Wavves album on Fat Possum Records earned an 8.1 rating at hipness arbiter Pitchfork.com, and they’ve now put out six studio full-lengths, including an Emo Christmas EP in 2018. Their first new release since then is now available. “‘Sinking Feeling’ is a song about a wave of depression that keeps coming back,” says Williams. “It’s that sinking feeling that drags you down and no matter what you do or where you go it follows you.” It’s the band’s first new music since re-signing to their former label, Fat Possum Records. An accompanying Jesse Lirola -directed video features Williams driving around and sleeping in his car in remote desert locales.
Theatrical post-hardcore/screamo band SeeYouSpaceCowboy features former members of René Descartes, alongside players from Letters To Catalonia. A four-song debut EP was released in 2016, Demo, issued on cassette via Structures/Agony and on CD from React With Protest Records. The following year saw the release of a six-song 7-inch EP, Fashion Statements of the Socially Aware. The band made national headlines in July 2017 when their equipment van was stolen off SE Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland, costing them gear and personal belongings including mics, drums, pedals, and amplifiers. While the group works on their sophomore album, they have a split-EP with If I Die First dropping May 14 via Pure Noise. If I Die First is a new metalcore band with emo-trap artist Lil Lotus and From First To Last members Travis Richter and Derek Bloom, alongside fellow emo-trap artists Nedarb and Zubin. Titled A Sure Disaster, the split-EP features two songs by each band, with SeeYouSpaceCowboy contributing “A Clear Picture from an Unreliable Narrator” and “Modernizing the Myth of Sisyphus.” Both bands can be heard on a fifth collaborative track, “Bloodstainedeyes,” also streaming as a Cameron Nunez-directed video featuring both bands playing together in a room which is painted half white and half red.
Punk rockers Bathwater Babies released the first single off their debut Cult Muzic Records album, “Doesn’t Matter,” in April 2019, playing their first show the same month. The record, along with their raucous stage act and popular songs like “Hobo Sexual,” earned enough local praise to land them subsequent gigs at Art Around Adams, the Casbah, Soda Bar, and the Merrow (clips from the latter gig are streaming on the band’s Facebook page). Last year’s Tunes From the Tub session is streaming on YouTube, where you can also find band videos such as “The Imajinary Friends.” They finally finished a collaboration tune begun last year and now available on Spotify. “So about a year ago, back when all of this Covid quarantine business first began, the Bathwater Babies and J. Andrew teamed up to record a track called ‘Subterranean Quarantine Blues,’” says the band. “This past year has been a little fucked up, but this song still has me smiling despite the mandatory masks and social distancing we’ve all had to endure.”
Courtesy Tomorrow’s Voices
Socially conscious singer-songwriter Jewel is featured in a Today All Day streaming special, “Tomorrow’s Voices,” hosted by Hoda Kotb and aimed at creating a platform for deserving teens across the country. The stream includes Jewel as well as entrepreneur Mark Cuban, animator Frank Abney, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and chef Andrew Zimmerman. The show also spotlights five students who were surprised by Today anchors with the chance to interview one of their heroes and collaborate or tackle a project that gives back to their communities. Carson Daly connects Philadelphia teen Jasmine Chesbro with her songwriting hero Jewel. The young singer and songwriter, who uses music to help her cope with ADHD, is given the opportunity to collaborate on a song with one of her biggest inspirations. Jewel celebrated the 25th anniversary of her 12x platinum-selling debut album Pieces of You in November with a limited edition box-set released by Craft Records, a four-disc set full of unreleased recordings, including a Pacific Beach performance at Inner Change Coffeehouse. The online release concert featured her “You Were Meant For Me” co-writer, local singer-songwriter (and occasional Rugburn) Steve Poltz. Earlier this month, she appeared on American Idol as a surprise duet partner.