All posts by Mara Robinson

Mara Robinson is a music photographer based in the rock 'n' roll capital of the world. Her work has been featured in Paste Magazine, I Rock Cleveland, the Cleveland Free Press, the Space Rock Gallery and more. She plays in bands and is available for hire/assignment/travel.

Dodgy Drops New Single: You Give Drugs A Bad Name

By the time I received my education in the ways of Dodgy — thanks to a like-minded (and incredibly handsome) graphic artist I created healthcare materials with in 2005 — the band had already called it quits. After being sufficiently chastised for never having heard of them, I  promptly was sent home with a copy of Ace A’s + Killer B’s.

Hooked from track one, I relished its pop goodness all the way home. That night I purchased 32 tracks of live BBC sessions from So Far On Three Wheels, including performances from Leeds, Glastonbury and more.

Every single track has lived on my iPod ever since, and whenever a song pops up on shuffle, it always makes my day.

So when Dodgy reunited a couple years ago, I was thrilled — anticipating how the new stuff would sound.

A rather boring Live album in 2013 left me wondering whether the band would be able to recapture my heart like they had done so easily before.

Then this morning I got a notification that Dodgy just dropped a new single: You Give Drugs A Bad Name. It’s track one from the What Are We Fighting For album due September 2. Nervously, I opened Spotify to give it a listen. What I heard has me very excited to hear the rest of the album.

If you’re a fan of ’90s Britpop, Dodgy or otherwise, and like a psychedelic edge or Wizard Of Oz-inspired lyrics, check it out here.

 

 

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Shaun Fleming of Diane Coffee Answers the Famous Proust Questionnaire

Two years after author Marcel Proust died, among his belongings they found a questionnaire titled Marcel Proust Himself, which was later used for interviews by Bernard Pivot and Vanity Fair. We loved it, and are happy to rejuvenate it here at Blown Speakers.

Before coming back to Cleveland on tour in support of his latest Diane Coffee album, Everybody’s A Good Dog, Shaun Fleming took the time to answer it for us, and we happily present it along with the photos by rock photographer Mara Robinson.

Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
SF: Honestly, THIS is. I have the love of a beautiful woman, I’m playing my music to people who WANT to listen, and I’m able to make a living off that music.

What is your most marked characteristic?
SF: I’d like to think my persistent positivity.

Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
SF: The release of my first record.

What is your greatest fear?
SF: The deterioration of my mind

Which living person do you most admire?
SF: My little brother Dan.

Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson

Who are your heroes in real life?
SF: David Wilcox, John C Reilly, Sam Cooke, Sufjan Stevens, Donovan, Paul McCartney, Steve Martin, Marc Cohn.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
SF: I can get lost in the task at hand… Lose sight of the bigger picture.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
SF: The inability to walk in others shoes.

Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson

What is your favorite journey?
SF: I love the trip all the way down the PCH.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
SF: I’d like to think I’m a man of virtue, I think they all have value.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse?
SF: Sick. But more like “siiiiiiiick.”

What is your greatest regret?
At the moment I can’t think of any. I love who I am and where I’m at.

What is your current state of mind?
Calm and ready to shut down for the evening.

Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
We would all be living closer.

What is your most treasured possession?
Maybe my ring? I never take it off.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
That’s too dark a question for me right now.

Where would you like to live?
Northern California. Maybe somewhere in the redwoods.

Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson

What is your favorite occupation?
Other than music? I’ve always loved the idea of cranberry farming.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Gentleness.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Toughness.

What are your favorite names?
Pierce and Ruth.

What is your motto?
Dream Big.

Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
Diane Coffee by Mara Robinson
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Photo recap: Howard at Musica

Akron was the first stop for Brooklyn-based Howard Saturday February 20 at Musica.

Fronted by Howard Feibusch, we saw the band last year at Nelsonville Music Festival. He and bassist Myles Heff performed a stripped-down acoustic set, as their drummer hadn’t yet joined the tour. Here’s our set of photos.

Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
Howard Feibusch and Myles Heff (Howard) at Musica by Mara Robinson
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Slow Wave by It Hugs Back

When you love a band, you’re blissfully happy when every new album is as good if not better than the last. In that regard, Slow Wave by London quartet It Hugs Back signals a band that keeps getting better while holding onto what makes them great.

It Hugs Back
It Hugs Back

Slow Wave boasts alluring half-spoken baritone lead vocals and hypnotic guitars courtesy of songwriter Matthew Simms, also known for his work in Wire since 2010. Graceful keyboards and lush vocal harmonies, echos and responses are provided by Jack Theedom. Paul Michael delivers gentle basslines and drummer Will Blackaby rounds out the relaxed rhythm section. All combine to create layered, dreamy songs you can fall in love with. Or to.

It Hugs Back
It Hugs Back

It Hugs Back albums are recorded in Simms’ studio The Record Room, and sound just as good as any studio recording. In their early days, having formed in 2006, It Hugs Back was on Too Pure and 4AD record labels, but their last few albums have been released on their Safe & Sound imprint.

Slow Wave was first recorded live by the full band, then Matthew and Jack added 12-string guitars, mellotron strings, analog synthesizers and vocal overdubs. The songs were then sent through an old copi-cat tape delay.

It Hugs Back
It Hugs Back

Whereas past IHB albums like 2013’s Recommended Record featured up-tempo songs you can get a speeding ticket to — with plenty of noise-pop and psychedelic moments and heavy effects — Slow Wave is the prettiest release, more along the lines of Remember off their Inside Your Guitar release. It still sounds like the same band, just more hushed and halcyon.

Slow Wave comes out June 15. Pre-order today on iTunes and get an immediate download of Everything’s OK:

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Sneak Peek: Nelsonville Music Festival 2015

photo by Mara Robinson (The Flaming Lips at Nelsonville Music Festival 2011)

This Thursday morning, Jason and I will be getting into the packed Prius and heading out to Robbin’s Crossing for Nelsonville Music Festival 2015 (May 28-31). Jason will be tweeting, posting, Instagramming and writing, and I’ll be shooting FreezeFrame from the pit. Here’s a sneak peek of who we’ll be covering.

Thursday:

Dead Hand of Man (Athens, OH)

Howard (Brooklyn, NY)

Ezra Furman (Chicago, IL)

Friday:

The Summoners (Athens, OH)

Clarke and the Himselfs (Boise, ID)

Weird Science (Athens, OH)

Good English (Dayton, OH)

Mavis Staples (Chicago, IL)

Built to Spill (Boise, ID)

The Flaming Lips (Oklahoma City, OK)

Wooden Indian Burial Ground (Portland, OR)

Saturday:

The D-Rays (Athens, OH)

Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire — Montreal, Canada)

Soddy Daisy (Chicago, IL)

Bummers (Columbus, OH)

Bassholes (Asheville, NC)

Budos Band (Staten Island, NY)

Natural Child (Nashville, TN)

The Black Lips (Atlanta, GA)

Oblivians (Memphis, TN)

St. Vincent (Manhattan, NY)

Moon Hooch (Brooklyn, NY)

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