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Bettye Swann rereleased an album of songs recorded from 1968-1970. I first heard of her on a special episode of All Songs Considered earlier this year which featured great break up songs. Her soulful voice and honest delivery of “(My Heart Is) Closed For The Season” made me instantly fall in love with her sound. The album is full of some of the saddest and best R&B songs I’ve heard in a long time. The liner notes inside the album tell about how Bettye got sick of the games and mistreatment that she endured during her long career. Basically, she wasn’t happy with what she did, so she left the business, and disappeared completely. The person who recompiled the songs was able to find her, and had a couple of phone conversations. She lives in Las Vegas and works with children with educational problems. He said she couldn’t sound happier. It’s a shame that the music industry treated such a gifted singer so bad, but ultimately she’s doing what she truly loves now.

Bettye Swann “Little Things Mean A Lot”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

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It’s official! I’ve finalized the artwork to be used on posters & shirts for Cityview. Look for them at Cityview’s upcoming shows, and buy a couple for family and friends. They’re a great band, and you should get in on the early merchandise. It’s going become a collector’s item when they break big in the national market. Plus, who hasn’t owned an abused teddy bear. The shirts will be printed on a nice creme color shirt.

Here’s what the final poster art looks like.

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

The Fate Lions are a great new Fort Worth band that I would classify as indie pop. There songs are reminiscent of Fountains of Wayne, The Deathray Davies and Dressy Bessy with catchy hooks, infectious melodies and vocals that make you want to sing along. I haven’t seen them live yet, but I hope to soon. I predict that they will be a huge national act in the next 2 years.

Fate Lions “Astronaut”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

I’m not super familiar with The Burning Paris’s body of work, however the one single that I own by them is phenomenal. I hear strong influences of post-rock bands like Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even Tortoise. This song has a nice slow build that continues to add layers over the top of a hauntingly simple piano melody.

The Burning Paris “Tonight I’ll Expire”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

Pinball Wizard is possibly the most famous song by The Who. It’s definitely the iconic tune from their rock opera “Tommy.”

The Who “Pinball Wizard”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

I have this song on a free sampler that I got at the Vans Warped Tour in 2000. The compilation is really good, but this is the perfect first track. I don’t know a whole lot about Lefty, but they definitely have the newer West Coast punk sound going for them.

Lefty “Girls”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

Blakroc is the brilliant side project from the Black Keys featuring hip-hop stars like Mos Def, RZA, and Q-Tip. The album is short but it’s packed with solid material. I really wanted to do a sketch of “Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo),” but I never came up with a visual. I hope Blakroc isn’t just a one-time thing, because I’m ready for new material.

Blakroc “On the Vista”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

A little over a week ago, I promised another speed sketch for a great Dallas/Fort Worth band. If you don’t believe me check out the Cityview sketch. Today’s sketch is inspired by In Memory of Man, a great band that somehow I keep missing live. If I remember correctly, In Memory of Man was formed by most of the members of Loaded Moses. Their sound is complex in that I hear something new and great every time I listen to their E.P. On last listen I heard elements of T.V. on the Radio, Soundgarden and Faith No More. They are having a CD release party on Saturday, July 24th at Lola’s in Fort Worth, so you should definitely check them out. Buy lots of CDs and tell them that I said hello, since I once again won’t be able to make it. I’m confident that I will see them before year’s end.

BTW, the speed sketch clocked in at just under 42 minutes.

In Memory of Man “My Sweet (Cathexis)”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

If you aren’t familiar with Mastodon you should be. They’re in the multi-faceted metal genre though I’m not sure of where they exactly fit in. At times they sound like Black Sabbath or Ozzy Osbourne’s solo work, but I hear elements of Tool and Alice In Chains on many of their songs as well. Needless to say, they’ve taken a great deal from the best sources and concocted a sound that’s heavy and memorable. I don’t know this for sure, but I think Nathan Explosion would call them brutal.

Mastodon “Ghost of Karelia”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever come up with a great way to describe the sound of the Bloodhound Gang, but here’s my attempt. They combine elements of pop, punk and straight-up rock with witty lyrics and very unconventional themes. If Southpark or Family Guy were a band this would be what they sound like minus the showtunes.

Bloodhound Gang “I Hope You Die”

Like what you see feel free to email me at tad@creativesquall.com and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook. Check out the Creative Squall website to see how sketches grow up to be complete ideas.

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