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29 Mar

Jolly @ Centralstation Darmstadt

Jolly @ Centralstation Darmstadt

It has been quite the wait. After releasing “Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1″, New York-based Jolly got to work on Part 2. For fans, it seems, the time in between was spent asking about the record (how many times the release date was a topic of conversation on Facebook is surreal). Now that it’s finally out, the awesome four-piece returned to Europe to support Polish progressive rockers Riverside on their tour.

It’s almost impossible to compare this new Jolly experience to my last. The last – and first – time I saw Jolly live was at a small festival in a club-size venue. An intimate, dimly-lit setting. A full set. This time at Darmstadt’s Centralstation, I only had about 30 minutes to rock out, but the show and sound certainly made up for it. As always, the tunes from both audio guides did not fail to put me in an extremely good mood. As did the energy coming from the four up on stage.

Jolly @ Centralstation Darmstadt

Jolly @ Centralstation Darmstadt

I hate to call these guys progressive or alternative. I would prefer to just call them versatile. Songs brimful with ideas and stories, some heavy riffs, some class melodies. And the talent to back it all up. In a nutshell, that’s what you get when you get Jolly. And they would swear that they love you as well.

Jolly are:
Anadale – vocals, guitar
Joe Reilly – keyboard, sampler
Anthony Rondinone – bass, vocals
Louis Abramson – drums

Flickr the show here.
Find out more about Jolly here.
Get the program for Centralstation Darmstadt here.

iLL and Jolly

20 May

On the recommendation of an ally of mine, I ventured out to the suburbs of my rock city to go and see a show. The bands on the bill were new to me. Before I left, I quickly listened to the headliner online, just to make sure I wasn’t in for a huge surprise. But it seemed to be “my thing”, so I decided to just go with it.

When I walked into the venue to wait for my ally, the support was playing. It took about 10 seconds to fully sink in, but there it was – the answer to one of my many musical prayers. Somebody had finally combined a little Seattle sound and Layne-esque vocals with a little Southern rock, added in a touch of the classics and then bundled all that in an extremely contemporary, masterfully composed package. The band onstage was iLL, a lively three-piece out of Atlanta, GA. On a side note, I know what you’re thinking. I agree. Something’s up with that city. With the amount of awesome bands springing from that place we can only hope it’s the dawn of another rock revolution. Anyway, since the show I have had some time to listen to and digest the current album “Gotten Gains”. I am telling you: get your hands on it now. It’s one of those that gets better with every spin. I am definitely keeping my eye on these guys. I would recommend you do the same. Here’s a tune for you to listen to:

After iLL, NYC’s prog rock four-piece Jolly took the stage. Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, they dropped me into a beautifully designed musical layer cake of cerebral sounds, awesome riffs, rich bass lines, heavy beats and grab-your-soul vocals. And this layer cake made me…uhm….elated, I guess. Intrigued by the mood-changing powers of the performance, I googled and found out that the band incorporates binaural tones which can have an effect on your emotions by altering the brain’s natural frequency. Scientifically, I understand it works only when listening to the actual recorded work. But judging by my mood when I left the suburbs, I guess when someone sets out to make “emotional music” like that – whether the science of it would carry over into a live set or not – those tunes still have the power to make you smile. My advice: Get your hands on their “An Audio Guide to Happiness”, put on those headphones and enjoy. Here’s a snippet to try before you buy:

More on iLL here.
More on Jolly here.
Program for the venue Das Rind here.
Sorry, no Flickr for this show as the attendance was spontaneous. I’ll hopefully get pics next time!