Wednesday, June 13, 2012

BUCKAROO BOB'S TROUBADOUR LOUNGE: WhiteTrash WhipLash


Going through unsolicited submissions of music to a radio show can be a jading business.  For every good one, there’s a million bad ones.  So it goes in this technologically-advanced day and age.  In one sense, it’s a good thing; where recorded music used to be the domain of artists who had secured record contracts, now anyone with a computer can make an album and it doesn’t cost much to have it pressed to CD.  On the other hand, because it’s so easy and accessible, everybody and their cousin can – and do – make albums.

When I contact a record label or an artist to request some of their music to play on my Dirty Roots Radio Show, it’s generally because I’m familiar with them at some level.  At very least, I’ve heard something from them or heard positive reviews.  Therefore, I have some semblance of a clue about what I’m getting into.

I firmly believe that all music deserves to be heard.  To be at least given a fair chance.  How do obscure little gems get discovered, after all, if someone doesn’t give them that much? 

Most times, when I find one of those gems, it jumps at me.  I overhear it in a record shop, I hear it on a like-minded small radio show, or in some obscure B-movie.  In other words, it falls into my lap.

However, when an artist, manager, or label sends me something without my requesting it, the task becomes a little more daunting.  When these CDs come across my desk, I have more work on my end.  I’m not lazy (especially when it comes to music) and I don’t want this to sound selfish.  But I have to choose to interrupt my schedule, or designate a time, to play this new album.  I have to actively go into it with a clean palate.  It’s not fair to the artist to let my impressions of the band’s name, cover art, etc. sway me one way or the other.

Likewise, it’s not fair to an artist who is giving it their all in getting their music heard to let the fact that I come across SO much bad music influence my decision to play or not to play their album and to give it a fair shake if I do.

As the host of a radio show, even one as small as mine, I am frequently asked if someone can submit some music for my consideration.  I always, always, always say yes.  But I’ll be honest – it doesn’t go much further than that in my brain.  I don’t retain their name, etc.  When CDs arrive, I listen to them, and if I like them, I’ll play them on the show and/or get in touch with the artist for more info.  More often than not, I put the disk aside and move on. 

(Ed. Note: While the above comments about unsigned bands and their albums may sound incredibly negative, please keep in mind it's a numbers game.  There's a LOT of music out there.  My music tastes run pretty far left of center and the stuff that doesn't hit my radar far outweighs the stuff that does.  In many cases, it's just a case of it not being "my kinda thing", which is NOT the same as being bad. 

Also, this is part of why I launched the Buckaroo Bob's Troubadour Lounge series; to put forth a more concerted effort to discover unsigned/independent talent and to showcase artists I find interesting to a larger audience.)

This is the situation one Webb O’matic – drummer for WhiteTrash WhipLash – walked into when he asked me if he could send a copy of his band’s new album “Whiskey Gun”.  Sure you can.  Like always, I didn’t hold out much hope.

Webb O'matic
I will say, the band’s name stuck out in my head.  Every once in a while, you hear a name or notice some album art that breaks convention and does give you a pretty good inkling as to the band’s sound.

Both happened with these guys.  I unwrapped the CD and loved the graphic design instantly.

However, as much as I liked the design of the album, and as much as I’m a fan of hillbilly/redneck/trailer park culture, I’m not a fan of guns.  And I could tell instantly that one of two things was going to be true when I saw the cover photo:


#1 - This was one bold album that was confident in being bold and doing their thing and was going to take no prisoners (putting them right up the Dirty Roots alley)

OR

#2 - This was going to be a crass, over-the-top, album that absolutely doesn’t live up to the boldness promised in such an album cover.

Then I opened the cover and saw the definition of the album’s title, “Whiskey Gun”, printed right there on the CD:

whis-key gun (hwis-kee-guhn) – noun – a toy gun that shoots a stream of whiskey into the mouths of willing fans during the stage shows of Seattle rock band The WhiteTrash WhipLash.

Well, OK, then.  It’s like a water gun!  But WITH WHISKEY!!!  I’ll give any band who fires a whiskey gun at their audience a fightin’ chance!

And guess what…

This album IS as bold as the cover promised.  And maybe a weensy bit crass and over-the-top, too.  But only in the best, Dirty Roots-ish, way possible!!!

Listening to a lot of different kinds of music in the way I described above, you get pretty good at knowing the difference between albums recorded with the help of some kind of record label budget, however small, and those recorded by an eager, hard-working band who scraped enough money together to get some studio time.

Many of the latter kinds of records are quite good, but a huge percentage of those fall into the “it shows promise…they’ll be great when they get a label, or at least more money, behind them” category.

Not WhiteTrash WhipLash.  These fellas are right on the money, just as they are.

They get it.  They get the roots.  The rock-and-roll.  They get marketing and how to present themselves in graphic design and written word, etc.  They know how to infuse humor into what they do to effectively present themselves as playful scamps, rather than a novelty act.  They know how to have fun without simply being a “party band”.  There’s some meat on these rockin’ bones.  I’ve never seen them live, but from the photos I’ve seen of them in concert, they get the art of live performance, too.




They know how to promise a bold experience, and they know how to live up to it.

For god’s sake, they do a cover of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” on here.

Do you know how hard it is to effectively pull off a cover like that?  That song is so well known that it’s become cliché.  You can cover it in an “ironic” way and be funny.  Or you can approach it overly earnest and come off as just stupid.

Again, WhiteTrash WhipLash lives up to it.  They promise boldness by even covering the song, and they live up to it by delivering a genuine, but not earnest, take on the song in their own style.

Congrats, boys.  You got a good one here.  I can’t wait ‘til you can bring the show around to my neck of the woods.  I WANT A DRINK FROM THAT WHISKEY GUN!!!!

---

Talking with WhiteTrash WhipLash drummer, Webb O'matic...
 

ARTIST/BAND NAME: WhiteTrash WhipLash

LOCATION: Seattle

SELF-DESCRIBED GENRE: Dirt Rock

HOW DID YOU GET CONNECTED WITH DIRTY ROOTS RADIO/OTIS RYAN PRODUCTIONS?

I first ran across Dirty Roots Radio while surfing the web looking for great music & shows that play great music...and I found one! 

TELL US ABOUT THE BAND:

WhiteTrash WhipLash started as a country rock band in 2005 and after releasing a self titled record, building a following, selling out Seattle clubs and touring the west, we disbanded in late 2007. We reformed in early 2010 with a new rhythm section, new music, and an insane live show to back it up. Our toes are still in the country mud but our heart and soul is pumping rock and roll.


HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC/SOUND?

AC/DC & Johnny Cash on a three day bender in Lynyrd Skynyrd's trailer.


WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?

AC/DC, Johnny Cash, Motorhead, Waylon Jennings, Lynyrd Skynyrd


TELL US ABOUT THE ALBUM YOU’D LIKE TO PROMOTE:

The new album, ‘Whiskey Gun’ is a great blend of songs that range from rockers like My Buick and Machine to twangy country bumpers like Wild Irish Rose and Everybody Loves a Little... There's even a cover of Poison’s Every Rose Has Its Thorn and WhiteTrash WhipLash makes the song our own.


WHAT ARE THE KEY TRACKS YOU’D LIKE TO FEATURE?

My Buick Goes 180
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Panty Dropper #11
Spodie Odie Hey!
Wild Irish Rose


HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU?




CAN WE BUY YOUR MUSIC ANYWHERE?

CDBaby, iTunes & Amazon


ANY OTHER INFO YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

Watch out for the WhiteTrash WhipLash at a rock-n-roll venue near you!


---


Buckaroo Bob’s Troubadour Lounge is a feature on the Otis Ryan Productions blog and the Dirty Roots Radio Show, highlighting independent artists around the world, who have made contact with Dirty Roots through social networking mediums. The goal of the feature is to highlight unsigned talent and to illustrate the power of social media.

Artists may complete the questionnaire below and submit the answers to: dirtyrootsradio@rocketmail.com or send a message directly to Dirty Roots Radio on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DirtyRootsRadio.

Those selected for inclusion will be profiled on Otis Ryan Productions and, when appropriate, one of their songs will be featured on Dirty Roots Radio to coincide with the appearance of their profile on the blog.

Direct all questions to dirtyroots@rocketmail.com

ARTIST/BAND NAME:

LOCATION:

SELF-DESCRIBED GENRE:



HOW DID YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH DIRTY ROOTS RADIO/OTIS RYAN PRODUCTIONS?


1. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF/YOURSELVES:

2. HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC/SOUND?

3. WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?

4. TELL US ABOUT THE ALBUM YOU’D LIKE TO PROMOTE:

5. WHAT ARE THE KEY TRACKS YOU’D LIKE TO FEATURE?

6. HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU?

7. CAN WE BUY YOUR MUSIC ANYWHERE?

8. ANY OTHER INFO YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

PLEASE PROVIDE:
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Band/Artist Website:
Artist Facebook page:
Links to key songs:

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure God led me to you. You have helped me so much! I will always be grateful and i will keep sharing your testimony for restoring my marriage about your work to any site i come across because there are other people out there who are also in need of your help. keep up the good work Gbenga Okokodu. you can contact him on his email gbengaokokodu@yahoo.in

    ReplyDelete