High Voltage Magazine

Reflections of '07

posted by Just M! | Monday, December 31, 2007 | 4:43 PM
This ain't like one of those "let's exhaust every possibility of being entertaining list and blast you with as many facts and statistics as humanly possible, numbing your cerebral cortex into a coma" list.

Nuh uh. I don't do statistics or numbers so well, so here's my "What You Should've Been Listening To In '07 But You Didn't So Let Me Repeat Myself" List. Kinda.

Best Band On The Planet In '07

The Killers This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. They can do no wrong in my eyes so they continue to carry the flag of best band (there's a flag, didn't you notice it hanging over Ronnie's drum set?) for yet another year. Arguing with me would be pointless. Each their own, right? Expect more weird things to come out of Brandon's mouth and even greater music in '08! [MySpace | Official Site]

Band You Hopefully Cranked Up in '07

CSS Apparently they're doing well. They're all over that iPod Touch commercial with "Music is My Hot, Hot Sex." So I guess some of you listened. [MySpace | Official Site]

But for some unknown reason Gossip aren't blowing up over here, well at least I haven't noticed much of an impact. They should be on countless playlists and touring the country like crazy! So please please continue to support or Beth Ditto will come over to your place and slap you around for a while. [MySpace | Official Site]

Band You Should Listen To In '08

Operator Please We've featured them before in HV. Kids shouldn't be allowed to be so good. It's just not... natural. Sure they won't write deep meaningful songs like John Lennon or heal the world with their ditty about ping pong, but dammit it's catchy and fun, and sometimes that's just good enough! [MySpace | Official Site]

Needs To Get Slapped Silly in '08

Amy Winehouse was probably my favorite Never-Heard-Of-Before-'07 artist. Back to Black is an amazingly well produced and well written album. I was expecting great things and much success for her when the album landed in our HV mailbox earlier this year. With one listen I was hooked, instantly became a favorite! Unfortunately she got kinda lost along the way, her private life drama took focus and her live performances suffered (not to mention her health, but that's another blog). Luckily her album is doing well (I don't do numbers, just take my word for it), so she's got it and if you've listened to Back to Black then you've heard it. On record, she's amazing. Hate to see talent go to waste. I pray to the music gods that she's able to get her shit together, focus back on the music, and be clear headed enough to perform the way she is capable of doing. Best wishes in '08 for her! For real, yo. [MySpace | Official Site]

And to any band or artist that I left off the list, try harder next year. Just kidding. With lists aside, just continue to listen to good music and hope '08 is filled with a whole lot of it! CHEERS!


Kevin Bowers - Nine Story Building

posted by High Voltage Staff | Sunday, December 30, 2007 | 4:37 PM

Kevin Bowers
Nine Story Building

Kevin Bowers is a talented musician releasing his second album entitled Nine Story Building, which he wrote, arranged, and produced. The record has much diversity and range with each song able to be labeled into a different genre. Jazz, Emo, Blues, and Pop all spring to mind listening to this disc. At initial instinct, such musical range is a positive feature: cutting down on the boredom provoked by some monotonous records. But in this case, there is little to tie the songs together, due to the diversity, so it feels as if the listener is being cheated out of a plot to the story. There is no consistent theme or even genre, so Nine Story Building lives little to be desired as an album.

Some of the songs are good stand-alone pieces that are enjoyable to listen to such as, "Possibility," "Have Mercy," and "Waiting for a Table." These songs range from fun and upbeat danceable tunes to a nice instrumental jazz piece. These were interspersed with less than fun and undanceable tracks. There are moments on each tune of various instrumental solos (from horns to xylophones to organs) where Bowers' musical prowess is recognized, but overall, the album falls a little short. — Jennifer Fowler

MySpace | Official Site

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Chelsea's Mix - Goodbye 2007

posted by CHELSEA | Friday, December 28, 2007 | 4:42 PM
2007, so much music - so little time. Below are the songs I was absolutely addicted to at various points this year. Check it out, maybe you'll discover something new!

Van Gunn - Pull The Trigger

The ColourOur Children Were The Stars
MIKALove Today

Amy Winehouse - Rehab

Kings of LeonKnocked Up
KT TunstallSuddenly I See

BRMC - Berlin

Sara BareillesLove Song
The Format - Oceans

Snow PatrolChasing Cars
Ryan Adams - Two

HansonGreat Divide

Steel TrainA Magazine

Jim Sturgess – All My Loving (Across The Universe Soundtrack)

Jonas BrothersHold On
Miley CyrusSee You Again

Jim Sturgess – Revolution (Across The Universe Deluxe Soundtrack)
The NakedVampire Girls

Can't wait to see what 2008 brings. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Jotto - Jotto


Jotto has a background like no other; their music has spent the past three years living in the nightclubs, bars, galleries, and warehouses of Philadelphia and upon graduating art school, they've taken the time to record their first E.P. Okay, so maybe their story isn't exactly unique, but the music that they've produced is some of the most interesting to come from the artists currently emerging out of the Philadelphia and Brooklyn art scenes.

Over the years Jotto's sound has shifted from pretentious "rock poetry," to the kind of Dance Rock found in bands who would support Panic! At The Disco, but for their E.P., the band has left behind anything one-dimensional that they have explored and come up with something that's extremely danceable, but not juvenile and clever, without being pompous. They've toned down all clichés and come out as a band that would be equally at home in a coffee shop or a dance party.

The album is a musical homage, of sorts, to the legends of NYC. "On The Road," has the band sounding like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in their lighter moments; the Jazzy, horn-laden "Backyard Circus" holds more than just a passing similarity to Luscious Jackson; and at time's vocalist Aaron Fisher-Cohen's lazy, untrained vocals are almost reminiscent of Johnny Thunders in ballad mode. Unfortunately, there are also moments when the band sounds more like the cheesy pop of Beck, but they generally stick to their influences of a higher quality.

If you're not busy guzzling PBR and shaking your ass to the New Wave grooves of tracks like "Future," you'll find that the heart of the band seems to lie in Fisher-Cohen's lyrical storytelling. For this release, he's crafted six witty, yet poignant tales of NYC, being on the road, and jaded chicks from the perspective of any other young art-schooler who might not have his ability to reflect quite so eloquently. There are, however several beyond trite references to "diner lights," "punk haircuts," and a "C.B.G.B. girl," which come off sounding like pathetic attempts at scene credibility that tend to smudge his narration.

The biggest problem with this debut is that before going into the studio for the first time, the group made the decision to write all new material, instead of finally recording the songs that they had been crafting and rearranging over the years in front of Philadelphia audiences. Consequentially, the music found on the E.P. is not necessarily the band's best. While none of the songs included are especially poorly constructed, they're not indicative of what the group have proven to be capable of. Besides, it would've been nice to give fans a chance to own all of their favorite songs that previously could only be heard on MySpace or in concert.

Even though their debut sounds somewhat lackluster and rushed, the release of Jotto's E.P. legitimizes their place in the scene and ensures that it's only a matter of time before they have people in striped scarves dancing on crushed cans of PBR and first-year photography students waxing poetic about the beauty of growing up in New Jersey. — Izzy Cihak

MySpace | Official Site

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