Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Oy Vey – White Lies

This add to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One is dedicated to Elwood – half of the Yid & The Kid crew who ran the streets of Montreal in the bad old days of EMS. Elwood will, no doubt, enjoy listening to a NYC band who call themselves Oy Vey blasting out the very catchy electro-pop-rock tune ‘White Lies.’ And in keeping with the vintage reference, these guys sound a bit like The Cure –   this is one infectious blast of music that belongs on an upbeat part of the playlist. Turn it up!

Oy Vey is an electro pop/rock band composed of Bryce Aubrey and Kevin Corcoran. Their influences range from Springsteen to Daft Punk to Fleetwood Mac to MGMT. Bryce (guitars) and Kevin (keyboards) have been childhood friends since 1999.

With a shared hatred for school and a great love for Bruce Springsteen, it was only natural that they would collaborate. The two wrote music together for many years and in many different forms, but eventually left for separate adventures, playing in musical projects in Chicago, New York, and New Orleans. Bryce and Kevin reunited in the winter of 2010, quickly forming Oy Vey and started immediately writing their first album, Botanical Curiosity.

Botanical Curiosity was recorded in Chicago at Kevin’s home studio and mastered at Sterling Sound by Steve Fallone in New York City. It is available for purchase on iTunes, CDbaby.com, and many other sites. It’s also available to stream in its entirety on www.oyveyband.com as well as on YouTube, where you can see the White Lies video.

While promoting Botanical Curiosity, Oy Vey started working at Strobe Recording Studio in Chicago on their follow-up record, Recession Girls, featuring drummer Johnny Rabb and Steven Stokes on bass. Recession Girls was released on February 14th to rave reviews. MTV recently added it to their publishing catalog. And Indie Rock Cafe chose “When I Was Young” as a Top 5 song for release week of February 14th and called Oy Vey a band to watch. Oy Vey now lives full-time in New York City.

Oy Vey is a band that loves dance music. While the songwriting may stay grounded in traditional rock-roots, they are never shy to layer it with enormous drums, synths, and ‘80s bombast.

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | The Steel Chops – Never

I don’t know if it’s the combination of all these big guys clustered together in a tiny radio studio sounding like a 70s country-rock band hooking up with Blue Rodeo or if it’s because some of the other tunes remind me of the blue-collar grit of bands like The Tragically Hip but The Steel Chops track ‘Never’ is a keeper here on the Big Med Playlist for The Big One.

This group out of Glenview IL [Chicagoland] started out as duo of a classic rock guitar player and a Sinatra-esque vocalist has evolved into an Americana/Rock ensemble that sounds like it ought to be the house band the next time Mellencamp takes the stage at the Hall. Their list of influences include The Allman Brothers, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and George Strait. The Steel Chops have real street cred from a long list of amped-up appearances in the Chicago area. They play music like they mean it.

J.D. – Vocals
Scotty – Rhythm Guitar & Backing Vocals
Nicko – Lead Guitarist
Lockett – Drums & Percusion
Sam I Am – Piano & Organ
P Noodles – Bass

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Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Garrett Morgan – Standing On A Bridge

Garrett Morgan says his song ‘Standing On A Bridge’ is about coming to a point in life where you need to make a serious decision. We’ve all been there and yet only a few have expressed that turning point so beautifully as Garrett Morgan does in this track. The melodies, vocals and emotions provide a beautiful soundtrack for tackling tough moments on the job and in ‘real life.’

Garrett Morgan is a Northern California based singer and songwriter who grew up in Southwest Texas in small towns around San Antonio.

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The making of Standing On A Bridge

Big Med Playlist for The Big One | Tim Pepper – Are You Coming Home/ The Killing Kind

A double shot of sweet folk music to start a marathon day of adds to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One. This is Nashville TN-native Tim Pepper with ‘The Killing Kind’ and ‘Are You Coming Home.’ I like both of these songs for their stripped-bare emotion and the beautiful simplicity in their construction. I’ve been listening to a lot of Tim Pepper lately – and following his journey on his blog. He lays it all out there and some of his reflections on life in Nashville as an aspiring musician are a must-read for anyone who believes all those award shows are somehow reflective of reality. Tim Pepper’s music comes on quietly – even gently – but the lyrics have a certain weight to them worth carrying with you.  Enjoy.

Tim Pepper started playing guitar during his first year of college. It was 1996 and he was 19 years old. “Writing songs felt good. I wasn’t much of a talker in those days. I wrote in journals. I was the quiet guy who seemed pretty calm and collected on the outside but my journals gave me away. I was pissed off and lovestruck and God-struck and emotional. I was all angsty and bitter and I grew up Christian so the only place I could curse and be truly honest was in my journals.

“But then songwriting gave me another way to express myself. I could say things in songs that I couldn’t say face to face. I was timid in the flesh but brave when I was writing a song. I got a little high from songwriting and it seemed like I was pretty good at it. It just made sense. It felt like I was discovering a new me; maybe the real me.”

“My parents are missionaries, the churchy kind. So I grew up listening to southern gospel choirs, old hymns of the faith and later on a lot of ‘christian’ rock bands. My dad was a drummer in a rock band in his teens and twenties so he had a few cassettes of the Beatles and Dylan lying around. I loved singing in church when the whole congregation knew the song really well and you could hear the old fashioned men and women breaking out into their parts.

“We didn’t really have a lot of music in the house but I always had my ears open when we were out shopping or at the gym. I listened to everything and melodies would find there way into my brain long before the lyrics did. I’ve discovered several times in my life that I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics to songs for years.

“The first album that I fell in love with was “The Joshua Tree” by U2. I must have listened to it a thousand times in a few weeks. When I hear any of those songs on the radio they still get me. Then I discovered Nirvana and “Nevermind” and that completely changed my life for the next few years. Nothing I heard came close to that. The funny thing is that I was listening to Garth Brooks’ ‘No Fences’ right around the same time and had his whole album memorized at one point.

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Are You Coming Home?

The Killing Kind