Tag Archives: bob dylan

RADnotBAD: John Jack Joseph

30 Sep

John Jack Joseph-Optimized.


I was sitting at The Blackheart back in February, finally having made my way out to see Jack McBrearty (The Electric Friends, Partyy Dress) perform a solo set as John Jack Joseph, the project had just begun to grow legs and the awkwardness of having not acclimated fully to the absence of  having three friends to draw strength from as he had been doing for years with The Electric Friends was obvious, probably not so much to the laymen observer, the dude has clearly been playing shows for the better part of a decade, for someone who has seen him lose himself on stage as long as I have though it caught me off guard.

Near the end of his set he seemed to shrug some invisible chip off his shoulder and went into this slow driving song “Open-Ended, Middle-Class Blues,”  all the effects he had been using throughout the set to create some idealistic wall between he and the audience had been torn down and for the first moment in all the time I’ve seen the guy play he took complete command of his sound and forced it all into its proper place behind him as demons no longer allowed to torment him but instead to be used through some ancient spell as puppets to sway before the audience at each twitch of his hands. The bar hushed and turned to the stage, the bartenders, the other bands, even the traffic outside stopped to allow the presence of John Jack Joseph to speak.


Every set I’ve caught of his since that five minute magnetic moment you can see him honing in on whatever IT is. Each set the moment grows longer, each set he becomes more of a presence than a person, something about the way he has gone about his path leads us to believe he has always known it was there, like when Don Juan speaks to Castaneda about learning to know the precise time to dig up the plant so it will bring about knowledge rather than spiritual death, “a man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it will live to regret his steps.” It is as if that fear, not so much of failure but instead of self-destruction, had kept him trying to find a Continue reading

HCK! Best Songs Of 2013

11 Jan

HCK! Best Songs 2013

HCK! Best Songs of 2013

(1-10) Continue reading

The Definitive (ish) Hooded Sweatshirt Mixtape: Volume 3

3 Nov


The Definitive(ish) Hooded Sweatshirt Mixtape: Volume 3

Complete Mixtape: mp3

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These Are The Days (HCK! End-Of-Summer Mixtape)

14 Aug

Dazed And Confused

As another summer comes to an end here are some songs which seem fitting… I’m not sure that there is a common thread or an overwhelming sentiment going into creating this other than it is sundown on a Tuesday in Austin,TX and I love making mixes.

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The First Time We Were Clay

29 Mar

Here’s some great music.



Orca Orca – “Say So” mp3

Orca Orca - Heycoolkid.net

Just when I thought I might actually make it a full month without putting up an Orca Orca song Jim Hewett went and released “Say So.”

Comforting yet important, spacious but deep, might as well call it “Experiencing An Oxymoron” instead.

While “Say So” is playing I really want to come outright and say it is the best song on this weeks mix, as well as my favorite, unfortunately I can’t say that for sure, I’m pretty stoked to be closing out March with such a solid playlist, still without ranking it is more than worthy of a side-one track-one status on this weeks mixtape.

Make friends with Orca Orca –  Facebook | Bandcamp | Tumblr



Endless Loop – “Across The Atlantic”mp3

Endless loop - Heycoolkid.net

In February of 2011, on one of the first Heycoolkid! posts ever (Winterishly Trapped),  I included a track from the band Chairs In The Arno, at the time it had been years since I’d heard anything from them and mentioned the hiatus in the review, turns out it wasn’t just a hiatus but instead the band had succumbed, as so many bands do, to life and parted ways.

So randomly last week I received an email mentioning the former bass-player for Chairs In The ArnoJeff Knight‘s new project Endless Loop.

There are four Endless Loop songs getting steadily played on my ipod this week. There was a novelty to CITA that attracted me to them, novelty is fleeting and there is no remnant of it on any Endless Loop song, instead you’ll find charisma wrapped in an electro-pop blanket of understated confidence.

My favorite element within the Endless Loop sound is Samantha Hughes and her ideal vocals. “Across The Atlanta” is the perfect example where each time she joins in with Knight’s singing the two voices combine making things feel spot on, as if they were meant for the other’s.

More than likely I’ll be putting up some other songs from these two in the near future.

Here is that Chairs In The Arno track so you can contrast and compare.

Chairs In The Arno – “Winter Song” – mp3

Make friends with Endless LoopFacebook | Bandcamp



Health – “Goth Star (Pictureplane Cover)” mp3

Health - Heycoolkid.net

I may actually enjoy this cover more than the original. I’ve dug Pictureplane for some time so that isn’t meant to take anything away from what he does,  Health just know how to draw certain feelings from a song better than any other artist in the genre.

That guitar use is a straight forward way of setting the entire songs vibe which gets sealed completely by the Fleetwood Mac samples which destroy with angelic fierceness.

For some reason whenever I play this song I picture the Gleaming The Cube warehouse skating scene in my head (I watched Gleaming The Cube and Friday the 13th part six on repeat as a kid, which is not an exaggeration. Most kids had Disney movies, I had Christian Slater with Tony Hawk and Jason Voorhees soundtracked by Alice Cooper collaborating with Kenny Loggins).

—- Okay so I just pulled up the clip from Gleaming The Cube and figured out that if you start the song just between :12 and :13 and start the clip without sound, every time the deck hits the ground it goes with the beat… I know I’m probably the only person on the planet who cares about that combination but if you could have seen the little move I made when I got them aligned you might come close to understanding how much enjoyment I found at four in the morning by aligning the two together (think professional bowler after getting a winning strike, that whole elbow into the side reverse fist pump disgruntled “yeah” face thing they do… just happened)—-

Make friends with HealthFacebook | Twitter

Make friends with Pictureplane Facebook | Soundcloud



V A L I S – “Cold Hands” – mp3

V A L I S - Heycoolkid.net

Picture your favorite scary movie from the 80’s, now think of the one scene that you remember being both awesome and creepy at the same time, now imagine “Cold Hands” from V A L I S playing, tell me they don’t fit PERFECTLY together. The one movie above all others where this song would have absolutely killed in…. The Lost Boys ( another glorious movies that helped define my childhood).

V A L I S  are out of Chicago and it is nearly impossible to find anything out about the electronic new comers (in part due to an extremely shitty band called Valis…there is nothing worse than old dudes who think they are making “rock” music,these are the same guys that throw the “rock” hand sign in every lame picture they take, you know what I’m talking about, and then the second being that three times in there bio it mentions that one of the members was once in Screaming Trees and then in the last paragraph it says “Say what you will about VALIS… Just as long as you can do it without using the words “trees” or “screaming” because Van Conner has stepped out of the shadows and landed front and center in what can only be described as a total reinvention of self,” don’t name drop your ex-[and much better]band and then talk trash about comparing the dude to them.

Sorry for the digression back to V A L I S the gnarly industrial/techno duo.

If you dig this song then take the time to follow the Soundcloud link below and check out some of their other stuff there, especially “Cobra” which is one hell of a song sampled around the Sylvester Stallone movie with the same title; if you’ve ever had a hangover on a Sunday there is a good chance you’ve seen it a few times like myself.

Make friends with V A L I S Soundcloud | Myspace



The Dø – “Too Insistent (Trentemoeller Remix)” mp3

Trentemøeller - Heycoolkid.net

The number of friends who have that random clinging person who I wish I could just send this song out to are many.

The strength lies in the work Trentemøeller‘s put in allowing an escape from the lyrics themselves causing  “Too Insistent”  never to have a chance at balancing out, things consistently changing to give numerous angles on the singular message.

Make friends with Trentemøeller –  Website | Facebook

Make friends with The DøWebsite | Facebook



Dr. Dog – “Lonesome” mp3

Dr. Dog - Heycoolkid.net

This song came out back in January, it takes a close second to “Shadow People” in my favorite Dr. Dog track list.

Lonesome” is one more example of that mid-seventies sound that for two years now I have been saying is soon to be dominating the scene.

“What does it take to be lonesome? … Nothing at all.” Ahhhhhhhh get it?

Make friends with Dr. Dog –  Website | Facebook | Twitter



1860 – “For You, Forever” – mp3

1860 - Heycoolkid.net

1860 are an Icelandic band with a folk backbone and pop mindset. “For You, Forever” is a start to finish hold-hands and sing-along track meant for crush mixtapes and subtle playlist for co-ed drives.

I love that these guys do half of their songs in English and the other half in Icelandic which makes for a very enjoyable listen with their combination of confident steady lyrics and borderline swooning vocals. (Via)

Make friends with 1860 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud



Strange Fur – “Couldn’t Wait” – mp3

Strange Fur

I featured “Riptides” from Strange Fur on the  I Saw The Best Minds Of My Generation Choking On Birthday Cake post. “Couldn’t Wait” is a very similar song, although with slightly more upbeat instrumentation, with lyrics of concentrated remembrance of better times shared with someone else.

The direct one-on-one focus to their songs is the one tangent of Strange Fur‘s music that appeals to me more than any other aspect within their creativity.

Make friends with Strange FurWebsite | Facebook



The Parade Schedule – “Thousand Oceans” – mp3

The Parade Schedule

More than any other band I’ve found in 2012 none have made me feel anywhere near as comfortable as The Parade Schedule.  There is some unspoken undertone to Matt Kinder, a longing sadness of some sort yet deeper, for some reason I have instantly attached to it and more-so can relate with.

His fearlessness to weave his faith into his lyrics is of utmost importance to me and it pains me that so many other artists lack the courage to express who they are fully through their art. The Parade Schedule is genuine and I dig it.

Bonus:  The Parade Schedule – “By And By” – mp3

I’m not sure what it is about “By And By” that I love so much but I do enjoy this track immensely. The first time I heard it I kept picturing the scene in The Go-Getter (oh my love for The Go-Getter!) when Lou Taylor Pucci is helping his brother’s ex-girlfriend with community service by singing hymns to young kids, it’s one of my favorite movies and I realize these two have no real relation but that was the image playing in my mind, “By And By”  may now be my favorite from The Parade Schedule.

Make friends with The Parade Schedule Facebook | Bandcamp



Caleb McCoach – “Towers Of Our Heart (Live)” – mp3

Caleb McCoach - Heycoolkid.net

I recorded this just before leaving Indiana and have listened to it a good twenty times, I hope you listen intently so as not to miss the sense of awe that came over the crowd as “Towers Of  Our Heart”  developed.

This is the song Caleb McCoach opened his set with, I first heard it last fall at Broad Ripple Music Fest and have been eager to hear once again ever since, BRMF was also the first time I’d seen him joined on stage by the ever-so-talented Lisa Berlin on the keys.

Having caught him live so many times over the last few years I can say that the difference of having Lisa play along has not only helped transfer his sound in a completely new direction, there is also a calm that is apparent which she brings to the stage, seeming to ease the nervousness that before played an element of contrast to the music he performed. Oddly what that nervousness has been replaced by is a guy who is finally as massive as his lyrics have always been.

Caleb McCoach is easily one of the greatest songwriters living today and now he has a presence when performing that accentuates it. For a while I was afraid that Caleb would begin drifting off into that void of life so many artist dissipate into, it’s beginning to be clear that something more important is happening, a transformation, it is unbelievable to feel the change. His lyrics have always given me chills yet to be there and see a loud room transfer into wide eyes with open jaws mouthing “WOW” to each other felt epic, like stumbling into Cafe Wha? in the early 60’s .

Take everything you love about  Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and possibly even Tom Waits (depending on which direction he eventually goes in) and I guarantee you Caleb McCoach fits right in beside them as an equal. He is one of the last remaining songwriting gunslingers, we need someone like him in music now more than ever.

He’s supposed to have a new EP coming sometime in the near future, I cannot wait to own it.



Here is a live take on my favorite Caleb McCoach song “Brother In The Kitchen” :

Caleb McCoach – “Brother In The Kitchen (Live)” – mp3

Make friends with Caleb McCoachFacebook



Howth – “Out In Eagan” – mp3

Howth Newkirk - Heycoolkid.net

Finally some new music from the group that gave us one of the best songs of 2011 “Belly Of The Beast.”

Howth are a developing band out of Brooklyn who are one of those rare collectives to walk the fine line between solid controlled instrumentation and deep heavy lyricism.

Initially “Out In Eagan” is my favorite song from Newkirk which will be available on May 1st (you can stream it now through their Bandcamp link), although with such a strong effort I have a feeling once I’ve listened through it a few more times something else will take it’s place.

Make friends with HowthBandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr



Bryan John Appleby – “The Words Of The Revelator” – mp3

Bryan John Appleby - Heycoolkid.net

Bryan John Appleby has created one of the more organic songs I’ve heard lately, with it’s uncanny ability to drive rhythm upon rhythm that makes this song chug along with importance. “The Words Of The Revelator” is as much a necessity to see performed live as it is to throw on a mix to get your body moving in that uniform “yeah” motion.

Make friends with Bryan John ApplebyWebsite | Facebook | Bandcamp



Boyhood Bravery – “Like Vines” – mp3

Boyhood Bravery - Heycoolkid.net

Like Vines” is more poetry than anything else.  Joseph Williams using his Boyhood Bravery moniker puts out introspective sketches that are so well written that they make the stripped down nature to his recordings sound necessary.

i wore 3D glasses and i stared into your eyes
you said “the stars look pretty plain tonight”
and i racked my brain right there and then
to try to find a solution
to ‘when exactly did i start to bore you first?’
was it the first time i mis-quoted Bronte?
(and by the way, she still bores me)
or was it the ill-fated night of candle-wax?
either way i knew back then,
as the spectrum bled into a familiar colour,
you’d found another.

i could write about the first time that i lay there in your bedroom
i could write about the first time we were clay
and we both moulded our bodies
intertwined like vines on a National Trust building;
but it wouldn’t change that things ended this way
with you hating me just for liking you
more than a friend should do.

take a look at all that happened;
i bet it isnt how you dreamed it would be
i still have your ring hidden somewhere
i still remember everything.

Make friends with Boyhood Bravery Bandcamp | Facebook




All songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like to have content removed email me at heycoolkid@yahoo.com

If you know a band or are in a band that would like to have their music reviewed email me at the above address as well,( hard copies of albums won’t guarantee you a spot on a playlist but they will most definitely guarantee you a spot in my heart).

Come Alive For Me Tonight

23 Mar

A handful of songs I put together for my drive to work last night.




Hanni El Khatib – “Come Alive” – mp3

Hanni El Khatib Heycoolkid.net

Hanni El Khatib  (Innovative Leisure Records) mixes emotion with generation crossing influences which surface with unique delivery and unparalleled confidence. “Come Alive,” as well as pretty much all of Hanni El Khatib‘s music, sits well with any mood in need of a soundtrack.

The list of artists I missed during SXSW is long, distinguished, and unfortunately includes Khatib. Hopefully he’ll be stopping back through Austin in the near future.

Make friends with Hanni El KhatibWebsite| Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr



Margot And The Nuclear So And Sos- “Shannon” – mp3

Margot And The Nuclear So And Sos Heycoolkid.net

Margot And The Nuclear So And Sos (Mariel Records) were one of the first rays of hope in the Indianapolis music scene to touch my eyes, alongside Thin Fevers and Early Day Miners, they  opened my closed minded approach to music and chipped away at the circle of music I thought was so great during my adolescence. Margot was the first band to show me what true substance was and how brilliant music could actually be, where Bob Dylan and John Lennon laid the foundation in my youth Margot And The Nuclear So And So’s were the perfect example of what could be built on top of it. To this day I would confidently include Dust Of Retreat on my top twenty-five greatest albums of all-time list.

It feels like lifetimes have passed in the nearly 6 years since Dust Of Retreat was released, so many things have changed, it’s been a tough road to follow Margot along and remain stoked about them in the process. Animal!, Not Animal, and Buzzard all having a slew of negativity thrown their way for sounding like a band trying way too hard to be something they are not, myself included in the torch bearing mob of criticism. They were hard albums for fans to swallow knowing that if only they would relax and not turn their backs on writing highly personal songs rather than trying to prove how “rock” they were they could do epic things (maybe it’s the fact that it’s three in the morning when I’m typing this but I bet early Weezer fans felt the same way… only they are still waiting for some sort of redemption).

Shannon” by no means is a return, that is apparent from the opening crunch of guitars, instead it is more or less an example of focus and hard-work paying off. All that “trying” may have changed their sound forever yet what has developed in the process is damn good music.

The band has changed, the sound has changed, but on an individual level what can be expected, we all change. There is so little in common between who I am now and who I was six years ago I’d more likely be strangers with myself  than friends, which is probably the best example of how to describe Margot And The Nuclear So And So’s on their new album Rot Gut, Domestic (released Tuesday).

So here’s my concession; Rot Gut, Domestic is a new beginning and as long as they continue to put out solid music I’m going to give up hanging on to the past and just appreciate what they were for what they were and respect the band I hear now for who they have become, plain and simple.

Make friends with Margot And The Nuclear So And So’sWebsite | Facebook | Twitter



Night Beats – “Puppet On A String” – mp3

Night Beats Heycoolkid.net

In Texas the river of Psychedelia runs deep, outside of a few examples of random exposure it’s a fountain I’ve never drank from before… that is before moving here a month ago.

What began with embarrassment from my lack of  knowledge has developed into a new found passion that is both long overdue and an exciting new area to learn about.

So in this education process I’ve found Night Beats, currently signed to Trouble In Mind Records (The Fresh & Onlys, Ty Segall , The Mean Jeans). They are out of Seattle with two of it’s three members originating in Texas itself.

Puppet On A String” is my favorite song thus far from the guys but I’m early on in hearing what they have to offer.

Make friends with Night Beats Facebook | Trouble In Mind Records



Cousin Brian – “Pushed Away” – mp3

Cousin Brian Heycoolkid.net

 Since catching the amazing Cloud Nothings set last week I haven’t been able to get enough of this mid-90’s post-alternative garage rock sound. A few weeks ago I introduced Cousin Brian with a similar track, “Fear Instilled.”
Both songs showcase the energy and texture that has me looking forward to new material from these guys.

Make friends  with Cousin BrianBandcamp | Facebook



Gulls – “Wild” –mp3

Gulls Heycoolkid.net

Wild” comes on slow and passive only to develop into a swing, stomp, and clap along anthem for discontent of the place you call home. Basically this is a key addition to any proper spring soundtrack. (check out the rest of my review here).

Make friends with Gulls Facebook | Bandcamp



Wilhelm and the Dancing Animals – “Twice Alone” – mp3

Wilhelm And The Dancing animals - Heycoolkid.net

What can I say, I’m a sucker for male/female vocals bouncing off of each other, I’m an even bigger fan when female vocals are intensely focused with screaming passion (I had to re-write that sentence probably fifteen times to keep it from sounding like some perverted innuendo).

I did a review back in December for another great Wilhelm And The Dancing Animals (Origami Records) song “Wake Up” , check it out here.

I’ve been trying for months now to fit them onto a playlist but each time the song felt slightly out of place. These Pamplona,Spain natives have created exceptional music, unfortunately their Achilles heal is they are too heavy for a chill playlist and not quite hard enough for a heavy one, they are an island by themselves yet when you are in the mood to be there it is the only place you want to be.

Make friends with Wilhelm And The Dancing AnimalsFacebook | Bandcamp | Tumblr




All songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like to have content removed email me at heycoolkid@yahoo.com

If you know a band or are in a band that would like to have their music reviewed email me at the above address as well, hard copies of albums won’t guarantee you a spot on a playlist but they will most definitely guarantee you a spot in my heart.

The Future Of Indie-Pop: Getting To Know Jhameel

11 Nov

Jhameel Collision



So I sat down last week with Jhameel (Via Skype) and had my first official Heycoolkid! interview.

For those of you who may not follow the website closely Jhameel has become a steady HCK! favorite since he put out “The Human Condition” earlier this year. I originally planned to put this up on Tuesday to coincide with his first release from his new project “Waves“. I made a last second decision to run with the new track over on Listen Before You Buy and slated this to come out today since I get the most hits on Fridays and Sundays and really want to get this guy the most exposure possible.

I will say before getting into the interview that I think this novel approach at releasing an album could quite possibly end up being a new model that many artists emulate in the future. It’s a brilliant way to keep people focused on a project and remain motivated about new music from a specific artist.

I truly hope that if you haven’t given Jhameel a chance that you allow yourself a few minutes to get to know the most promising new face in indie-pop.


HCK!- So how has everything been going?

Jhameel- Oh it’s good. Just been preparing for the release next week, and everything’s basically prepared I’m just doing little mixing things here and there to yeah know perfect it.

HCK!- So you’re still working on the songs as they are coming out?

J- Well everything’s completed, I’ve just got a little extra time so I’m just mixing here and there making it a tiny bit better.

HCK!- So you are recording this yourself like you did the last album?

J- Exactly

HCK! – Awesome, I like that. The last one turned out really well so I’m exited to see you keep going in that direction.

J – I can show you a little bit if you want

HCK! – Yeah, I’d love to hear it.

[ this is where Jhameel played two incredible samples from the upcoming release]

HCK!- [the second track] is like taking “Bernal Heights” a step forward, reminds me a lot of that song

J- Yeah I learned a lot from that song in particular, that one was really popular so I studied what made it so good and tried to get the best parts of everything into five songs ya know

HCK! – On the last album it seemed like each song had a different vibe to it like each one was distinct, there are very few artist I get that from. Where usually you get just one solid sound throughout the album that’s something I really dug about [“The Human Condition“] EP where I got into “Shut-Up” early on and then as I started listening to the other stuff  rather than hearing five more tracks like that each one was different. is that something you go in trying to do or is that just how it came out, is that more of a subconscious thing?

J- Not a lot of people heard my first album but on my first album it wasn’t something I was trying to do. I think what it is, is if you look around my room I have like every instrument just lying around; I’ve got a cello, a guitar, a trumpet, a ukelele, a piano right here, synth, it’s kind of everything at my disposal I’ve been, I’m lucky to have a voice that I can do different shit

HCK! – Right

J – So it comes out that way because I’ve got so many resources I have then I try  in a diverse way try to do different things. When I hear an album I don’t wanna here the same slow album. Like in this day and age where we have free music… we have every song we ever created at our finger tips I listen to different stuff all the time. Why not create an album that is completely different every time cause if I won’t listen to it other people won’t listen to it. What I’m trying to do with this series is try to make it a little more diverse in the sense that each one represents a different type of music so one song is like 70’s disco, another is like nineties hip-hop and then I’ve got like a 2000 electro-pop kind of thing and then a metal/eighties prince kind of thing, I’ve got like an acoustic 60’s Bob Dylan-esc song.

HCK! – Nice, You’re still unsigned right?

J- Yeah, there’s been interest but my team and I haven’t had any reason to sign yet 

HCK! – Outside of being a performer is sound engineering something you see yourself pursuing down the road, is that something you really enjoy doing or is that just a labor of love for yourself ?

J- Its something that’s a labor of love for myself. So much of the style comes through in production, I feel a huge advantage in there being no communicating between me and a producer. I can make it sound exactly how I want

HCK!- Now do you think that will affect you in the future if you ever have to work with somebody. Do you think that could be an issue maybe, having a vision in your head of it and dealing with the barriers in translation?

J- You know my management is trying to set me up with sound producers,it didn’t really work out because my vision was too specific. I can see myself collaborating with someone on a side project and in a context outside of my own major releases I’m totally open to trying different things. It’s just for the beta releases I want to convey my specific vision but outside of that I can imagine myself collaborating easily with any good producer .

HCK! – Tell me what’s different now as opposed to a year ago before you put out the last album.

J- Okay so the last album I was still figuring it out from all the angles, I was figuring out good music structures that could keep your attention I was very much figuring out the best way to present lyrics, still figuring out the sound engineering portion, it took me a while to like get it perfect in an album. It was a very stressful situation. With this time around it’s like very systemized, I think I’m a much better writer now, better sound engineer, and I got the presentation down. So now I’m free to just be creative with the music. So all the base foundation things are set up so now I can just branch out. I’m really free.

HCK!- What about the time period, have you felt more pressure to put this album out than you did with the last one? I feel like before the last one came out you probably had all the time in the world to create it or did you set a deadline for that one as well?

J- Um yeah the last one I had all the time in the world, and  that was kind of stressful cause it means I wouldn’t be happy with myself unless it weren’t absolutely perfect. This time around I did have a deadline but I created it for myself and I new it would completely manifold to be completely happy with the final product,cause so many of the instances that were time consuming are now automated, if that makes sense.

HCK!-it makes complete sense. What are the shows like now as opposed to before, are people starting to come out ?

J- Yeah every single time it’s more and more coming out to see me and ya know the live show is a lot better than it use to be, I got a backing band and we practice all the time, we have a lot of fun and try to just bring out all the passion I wanna put on a vibrant consuming performance. My team and I think the live show is very very important.

HCK!- I feel like of any time live performance is probably more important now than ever if your trying to build a career. Anyone can put out one good song and everyone notices it but if they come to town and you don’t see them deliver it’s so easy to just throw them aside cause there’s so much music out there

J- it’s like the fans put faith in you when you have good recordings and then when you have a bad live performance they lose faith, like i recently saw the godfather, everybody judges me for this,but I recently saw the Godfather for the first time and I remember the scene where the families are all together and the godfather, the original godfather, is like “you all know that I’m a man of my word” right and that was like his enemies believing his word that was like him being dedicated to being a man of his word. So I feel, especially at this early stage, I have a responsibility to not let the hype get bigger than it actually is. There’s a lot of hype but I feel like I can live up to it, but the live show, if I don’t put on a good live show people will lose faith, people will be like well he makes fake shit on production or something to make it sound good.

HCK!- That seems to be the Achilles heal for guys like you who do all instruments and everything, once you get live and you see it you just write it off as well he’s a good producer, he knows what he’s doing, but… Tell me about maybe one bad show that stands out in your mind cause I’m sure that getting to this vibrant live performance it took a lot of work. Is there maybe one experience that stands out in your mind that you keep with you?

J- well uh I use to do a loop station show, I think there’s videos on the internet, it was cool but it didn’t let me express emotion it was… it was kind of pretentious. 

HKC! – Really? That’s the way that it appeared to other people or the way it felt to you?

J- The way it felt to me. It was more of an intellectual show than an amusing passionate emotional show. I feel like music is just pathos you know, but to everyone it’s different, but to me I think it should be mostly pathos presented in a good way so as soon as I switched to a band i tried different people out. Now I’ve got a set band it’s just a lot better, but yeah we’ve had terrible shows and but the key is we learn from those shows we’re honest with ourselves, if it’s bad we know it’s bad it makes us try twice as hard and that’s my philosophy with every front; if you make something bad as mistake except it as a mistake immediately, learn from it, study it, force yourself to watch it… we video tape our shows and force ourselves to look at the failures.

HCK!- I think that’s great, there’s a lot of bands I’ve wished would do that. Are you touring now or what’s that looking like in the near future?

J- The plan is to tour over the summer. So we had a showcase, my team and I had a showcase two weeks ago in LA and some of the big booking agencies were there, well they said I wasn’t ready yet so… I think what they’re waiting for is for me to get big enough so they don’t have to work to promote me. which is not smart because then I could just hire someone else.So what we’re going to do is my manager Ryan, he’s going to book a summer tour. He does all the publicity he’s an incredibly smart business man, he’s going to be able to do it, so we’re planning a summer tour no matter what.

HCK!- Hopefully you can make it through Indiana. So let’s get into the new album, originally you planned on releasing it as a one unit and now… explain how that’s going to go over the next few weeks 

J- Alright I guess I should tell the story. I originally planned on releasing a ten song album over January. and then it all happened a little less than a week ago, me and my manager, Ryan, we were discussing well is the album still relevant today in the internet world and what we thought about was that I can’t pay attention, when an artist releases an album usually I like two/three songs and then I forget about the rest, like i don’t want to but it happens, and then we thought about well a lot of the good ones get lost in the shuffle so I had this four song demo already out for the industry people, we realized these four songs flow really well I just needed one more which i finished yesterday. 

HCK! – Yeah when [Ryan] sent the email over it said you were still working on the songs, since you’ve already set that five week date I thought that was kind of crazy

J- They come together fast. That’s one of the reasons we’re doing it in a five week series. Partly a series because it’s once a week and at the end of the five weeks it turns out to be a cohesive thing. and it’s just five songs which I think is perfect because it’s manageable, there’s no overwhelmingness for you not to listen to the entire thing, it doesn’t get in the way of your life with one song a week. Each song has it’s own artwork which each of the pictures are very appropriate I’m very happy with how they turned out. 

HCK! Yeah that’s awesome. What’s one aspect of music you’ve discovered in the last year that maybe frustrates you or upsets you ?

J- Frustrates me? It’s that the music industry hasn’t adapted to the internet yet completely. What frustrates me is that there’s no unifying network. like Ryan has worked really hard for people and blogs to get them to pay attention, he’s done it really well, he’s organized his network in very efficient manner, he talks to every person individually, he’s very personable, so it’s been a lot of hard work it’s been a beautiful challenge and a lot of fun but I think in the  coming years we need to figure out, people in the music industry need to figure out, that we need to change immediately like the next step is streaming. We need to accept that people get music for free,

HCK! – It’s almost impossible to go forward without excepting that

J- Impossible. So like streaming is the next step, like Spotify is one, itunes is going to go streaming, I’ve been reading stuff about that too. The frustrating thing is that Ryan and I ,as a team, and Cyndi is also my LA manager, we all as a team want to be progressive but we need to figure out a way to do that without upsetting tradition, it’s a balance between trying to do new things but also having industry people understand. If that makes sense.

HCK! -yeah it makes complete sense


I’ve cut a little from the interview in respect to length and the realization that most of us have a fifteen second attention span. It’s worth noting though that Jhameel did tell me that all the pictures for the upcoming track releases and promotions were shot in his living room.

Here’s the first track “Collision,” it should help you understand why I’m so stoked about this guys music and why his taking the time to sit down and have a conversation for Heycoolkid! meant so much to me.

Thanks Jhameel!

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