Friday, January 4, 2013

New Reviews!


Remember about a month ago in my article "You Should"... Be Blogging More (A Trakan Music Update)" when I talked about how, as an indie artist, I have to be my own "marketing department", handling the PR, marketing, radio, outreach, all in the "hunt for reviews or radio play"?
Click here to see my press stuff


Well excited to report some successes over the holidays!

First, thanks to DJ JimK and his "Diggin The New" show at Chirp Radio, and again to my good friends at WLUW, The Razor and Die Show, for their recent radio support.

AND... a couple reviews of my last record "Powder Kegs Beneath Dagger Trees" (PKBDT) finally came in!

1) Illinois Entertainer's Steve Forstneger writes in "Around Hear: January 2013":

The mononymously dubbed Trakan handles a microphone the way a cabernet-drunk, aging punk talks too closely in your ear. On his Powder Kegs Beneath Dagger Trees mini-album, he marries a Billy Bragg-meets-Nick Cave veteran angst with the occasional – if predictable – foray into Irish-tinged insurgent country. That he chooses to have a female duet partner accompany him on the tracks is a tiny bit subversive, but definitely counterproductive. Trakan’s best when he takes another swig and breathes a layer of sleaze onto your nape.

Now, first of all, I am more of a "Budweiser-drunk" sort of "aging punk" if my "drunk" needs to be categorized!  But how could he know that?  I'll take it.  (I do love my wine too of course. In fact, I was discussing with Matt yesterday about how maybe I should start taking a bottle of Cabernet on stage with me moving forward, after reading this review.)

Secondly, I wasn't aware that Irish-tinged insurgent country combined with Billy Bragg/Nick Cave angst was predictable.  But hey - I'm learning as I go. (Mr. Forstneger may again be less than surprised on the next EP.  Cuz wait till you hear the new insurgent instrumentation!)

But all in all, this is one of my favorite reviews ever.  I really appreciate that Steve took the time to listen and come up with such creative imagery.  Genuinely honored to be compared to Nick Cave and Billy Bragg.  Thanks, Steve! (By the way, Steve, you have no idea how "counterproductive" these particular female vocals actually were in these recordings.  I think you'll like the next batch of Roxy's vocals better!)

2) babysue.com also reviewed PKBDT a couple days ago! (Almost a year of no reviews, and then whammo!  Two in one week. Such is life as an indie musician.)  babysue writes:

Eight nifty tracks from Chicago, Illinois-based recording artist Trakan. True to the claim of the press release that accompanied this disc, these tunes are reminiscent of artists like Frank Black, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave. Trakan's songs feature lyrics that are sometimes sung in English and sometimes in French...and they also feature guest female vocalists. Trakan had quite a few friends offering their support here...no less than seventeen folks helped in the recording of these tunes. The songs have a slick sound and yet the rockers retain a nice gritty sounding edge. Trakan's vocals are the real treat here. This guy has a cool breathy dark vocal style that reminds us in many ways of the previously mentioned Mr. Black. Groovy cuts include "The Bridge," "Walking The Plank," and "Peter The Great."

Unanimously positive!  And this is really exciting because I'm truly a fan of babysue.com, and was a tiny bit bummed when they passed on reviewing my first CD.  Check their site out if you haven't.  Great music reviews, comics, and sneaky-clever humor! Love you, babysue!

Thanks for the reviews, Illinois Entertainer and babysue.com.  I hope you like the new EP, "Backporch Hymns" in 2013 later this year.

My "marketing department" will be in touch!


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