Category Archives: Music

And We’re Back with a Vengeance: Former champs, Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

So August 2013 came and went in blur, and law school kind of kicked our publication schedule in the teeth – but the good the news is we’ve a got a glut of great contest submissions. The Battle of the Bands is now closed to entries, and we will resume running the finalists starting NOW.  What better way to challenge the awesome Red Nova, and what better way to come back, than with Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands? Those of you who’ve been with us know that they were the champions of our first 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands. We would LOVE to put them head to head with Missy and Chelsea (or better yet, on a double bill) somewhere down the road. For now, just consider them on the short list of “Bands that we will suck up to until we launch our record label” (2014 – its coming!). Without further ado, here’s their 2013 entry, Especially Your Mother:

It has been a very busy year for Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands, with over 150 shows from Canada to Austin, TX and New Orleans to Nashville in support of the latest release, “Muses and Bones.” Bright is rising through the ranks quickly and performed with the North Carolina Symphony in 2011 on an arrangement of her song “Toy Hammer,” at SXSW and Savannah Stopover in 2013 where she was highlighted by Savannah Now as one of the “Must See” acts, and will be featured as one of the On the Rise performers at FloydFest 2013. The group has an eclectic, haunting but yet whimsical, carnivalesque world folk sound. Singer/Songwriter Crystal Bright plays accordion, musical saw, concertina, piano, Taiko drum, adungu (Ugandan harp), and various others, leaving people captivated with her operatic & soulful vocals and virtuoso command of her exotic instruments. Together, the band “creates an uncommonly dignified circus sideshow or a melodramatic, gorgeous Eastern European street performance. Think Kate Bush with Tom Waits’ sense of humor, or maybe a Tim Burton film with the steampunk quotient maxed, alternating between reckless klezmer and enormous gothic ballads.” Who are your biggest influences these days?

Crystal Bright: Tom Waits, The Tiger Lilies, PJ Harvey, Lhasa de Sela, Yann Tiersen, The Gotan Project, Michael Nyman, Tori Amos, Flamenco, Children, Dreams It’s been about a year and a half since we last “spoke” –  which of your songs or albums is your favorite to date?

Crystal Bright: “Muses and Bones” is by far my favorite album so far. There was so much time and love put into it and it really encompasses all of my different sounds to date. What makes you unique?

Crystal Bright: I really play and write from my heart instead of trying to play a certain “genre.” I really love to collaborate with different kinds of artists, dancers, and performers. I am a crazy multi-tasker and love to play many different instruments from around the world.

If you need proof and Especially Your Mother didn’t do it for you, here’s Drowned Out that won the 2012 Spring battle: What has been your biggest challenge/hurdle to date?

Crystal Bright: Keeping a steady line up of musicians that can go on tour with me constantly and still have jobs. It’s been pretty stable for a year now, which has been great! What has been your best experience to date?

Crystal Bright: There isn’t just one, but I really love all of the new friends that I’ve made from touring. It has been amazing. Also, playing with the NC Symphony on one of my songs was pretty amazing. When is your next song/album coming out? What can you tell us about it?

Crystal Bright: I will hopefully have an EP out by the end of 2013. Are you working on any videos?

Crystal Bright: There is a live DVD of one of our Cabaret shows being worked on right now, so can’t wait to see that! It involved silk aerials, acrobats, fire dancing, burlesque and a lot of other dance while the band played live.

We can’t wait! –

And we’re underway! The 2013 Battle of the Bands opens with a Red (Super) Nova

Happy August, everyone. From now until mid-September, Drunken Mermaid will be featuring a new band weekly as our 3rd virtual Battle of the Bands is underway.  We’ve got new talent and old favorites for you, including Crystal Bright, Bill Madison, and Joy Focus.  This go round we are kicking off with Swedish sensation Red Nova, featuring Pär Eriksson, Simon Hjortek, and Tobias Ohlsson. Red Nova describe themselves as “the band that makes your head explode. With small means the band delivers music of greater proportions and makes you constantly hunger for more.” How did Red Nova come to be?
The band was formed a sunny afternoon when sipping tea peacefully in a garden. When the beverages ran out, all members felt a sudden urge to play rock music. So we did.  Who are your biggest influences? Why?

Our biggest influences are Muse and Nirvana. Muse is simply superb and always gives you a performance out of this world, Nirvana is likewise and good if you feel like smashing stuff.  Which of your songs or albums is your favorite to date?

Our favourite song constantly changes, but the song we enter this competition with, called Appearances are Deceptive, is always a blast to play.

Let’s give it a listen:  What song by another artist do you wish you’d written? Why? What would your version sound like?

Panic Station by Muse. It´s simply the perfect song for every moment, whether your walking down a lonely street or need to wake up in the morning, it always make you feel groovy. Our version would probably feature a lot of whammy-guitar and tap dancing. What makes you unique?

We´re never afraid to stick out, and love changing our sound. We also have a big groove and harmonies that you don´t see that much in similar bands.  What has been your biggest challenge/hurdle to date?

We recently toured in Japan, and it was a big challenge getting our drummer Simon out of those sushi-places. That guy´s appetite just never ends.  What has been your best experience to date?

Playing the Peace & Love Festival and touring in Japan and the Philippines. All those places rocked so much.  When is your next song/album coming out? What can you tell us about it?

We recently released our debut album “Sharp Colours And A Taste Of Dust” recorded in co-operation with producer Henrik Edenhed who has also worked with acts such as Robyn, The Sounds, Jordin Sparks and others.  We´re still busy touring with the material, but we´re simultaneously working on the next record, which we have a lot of ideas for. It´s gonna be a mixture between the sound of a broken synthesizer and a dragon swallowing six guitars.  Are you working on any videos?

Absolutely! The video for the song we´re competing with will be released soon. It will include revolvers, shaved legs and quite a few pillows…  Where can we see you live? 

We play at the festival Rockstad Falun this summer, and we´ll also do a tour in Germany by the end of August. We´re super-turbo-mega excited about both!

Awesome stuff. We recommend checking out both. If you can’t make either, you can always catch up with Red Nova at their facebook page. – Drunken Mermaid

Our Other Favourite Creature from the Deep: Brother Octopus!

Brother OctopusWay back in August of last year, we at Drunken Mermaid became sober enough to realize there was something else interesting lurking in the depths, something lurking in that OTHER pond on the left coast of North America, where Drunken Mermaid gets far too infrequently, given our penchant for washing up on Cape Ann, or heading up the Thames for a pint or twelve. That “something else” has since emerged from the Pacific Ocean and is taking over Edmonton, much in the same way as Godzilla owns Tokyo, albeit with electronic riffs and plush octopods rather than pyrotechnics. We give you 2013 Edmonton Music Award Nominee BROTHER OCTOPUS! Where did the concept for Brother Octopus emerge from (other than the deep)?

Brother Octopus: Under the depths of the Pacific Ocean, it can become quite dark and lonely at times. Luckily for me, a “human” from above decided to drop a guitar into the ocean which had sank down to where I resided. I picked up the guitar and played it to my hearts delight, eventually I learned how to play the drums and keyboard. The name Brother Octopus began to take it’s place through the voices of my friends. Lady Friend had loved my name so much that we decided to stick with it as our band-name. Tell us about yourselves – who are Brother Octopus and Lady Friend in the real world (whatever that is)?

Brother Octopus: The real world is boring. I’m half man, half octopus currently living in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. Canada. The only real thing here is the snow and it gets cold!

Lady Friend: I would prefer not to state my real name since I’m a wanted woman for stealing a chocolate bar in my early ages. If it wasn’t for Brother Octopus, I’d still be serving time in jail for life! I owe him the world but all I can offer him is my vocal and tambourine skills which I put to good use on Tentacle Trauma. You recently released your first full length album, the 7-track Tentacle Trauma.  What went into its creation? 

Brother Octopus: It’s actually a 6-track EP since the 7th track is a hidden bonus track (thanks a lot Drunken Mermaid!). We incorporated plenty of silliness into this album including songs about Jurassic Park, Animals and even Aliens. We like to write songs out of the ordinary but with serious intentions. It’s meant to make you laugh and enjoy the overall track at the same time so I think Tentacle Trauma nailed the tail on the donkey. How does it differ from your debut EP, Yukilo?

Brother Octopus: Well, Yukilo was the first album we’ve ever released and so it will always be dear to my heart. Since it only had 3 full tracks on the album, I think that Yukilo was considered more of a sampler album – a taste of what’s to come and Tentacle Trauma is the icing on the cake. However, the cherry on the top is yet to come. What are your favorite tracks to date?

Brother Octopus: Underwater Mysteries from Yukilo

Lady Friend: Recreational Zoo from Tentacle Trauma

While we’re at it, here’s the video for Recreational Zoo: Who are your influences? What do you take from them? What do you add?

Brother Octopus: For me, I’d have to say The XX and King Cobb Steely are my main influences for Brother Octopus. I love the elements that The XX brings into their sound and we have the boy/girl vocals in common with them. King Cobb Steely just has that cool electronic vibe to his tracks and so we incorporated that to our music and added some playful lyrics.

Lady Friend: Daft Punk, definitely. I’ve always been a fan of the electronic sounds of Daft Punk and I’m happy to be in a band that can bring in some of that awesome sound. Chemical Brothers is also a favourite of mine. Good stuff. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by Brother Octopus?

Brother Octopus: Lately, I’ve been digging that Tegan & Sara song called Closer but I’m sure if Brother Octopus wrote it, it would become to be a song about Robots for some reason. I like Robots. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your unique brand of music?

Brother Octopus: We are already working on a full-length album which will be entitled Sea Of Champions and is due for release in late 2013. I’d like to get our music into a comedy film or commercial. It seems to be the most prominent way of receiving exposure. However, with so many artists to choose from, I’m sure we’re just a drop in the ocean (see what I did there?). Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see Brother Octopus in the flesh?

Lady Friend: Brother Octopus insists on always bringing a plush toy of an Octopus to EVERY show and sometimes throws toy tentacles around on stage. It’s really a sight to see. I’m usually the one in the background trying to avoid the soaring tentacles, I’d like to keep my eyes intact.

Brother Octopus: I like to have fun on stage! I wear my bright red top hat and octopus ties. I mean, we’re already singing about silly things, why not dress silly as well? That said, where can we see you in the near future?

Brother Octopus: Although, we’ve only been touring around in the province of Alberta, we’d like to expand our tours not only within Canada, but to the US as well. You can always keep up to date with our shows by liking our facebook page and following us on twitter.

Drunken Mermaid suggests you do, while we wait for their immanent victory in the 2013 Edmonton Music Awards.

And the Winner is…Missy and Chelsea!

Without further adieu, the winner of the Fall 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands: Missy and Chelsea!:

As in the Spring, it was a tight contest. Missy and Chelsea will receive a check for 500 dollars. Both Pound and Bee in the Bonnet will also be receiving prizes to be named as thanks for their great submissions and support. Today we wrap up our first calender year since resuming publication, and what an amazing year it was:

Emily Sophia Van Binsbergen, James Morrow and Chris Davis worked with us on the relaunch, Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands and Floozzie Shooz took the honors in our first 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands, novelists RB Wood, Leah Petersen and Tim Queeney gave us great interviews, HARAH Designs provided our first fashion profile, Michele Kishita and Dennis Young shared their spectacular artwork, DJ Konai shared his take on the music industry, and Kathy Freeman, Reverence, Pound and Bee in the Bonnet gave us high- end music submissions.

And now, a special shout-out to Bill Madison, for both his amazing material and the introductions he made for us: One Song World and, as a result, Indie Bible. As a result of our Indie Bible listing, we have a five month log of submissions (but keep them coming, we will get to you!). Thanks Bill!

Here’s to great and successful 2013 for all of us –

Happy Holidays from!

Thanks to all our viewers globally for their contributions in 2012. We’ll be announcing the winner of the 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands on New Year’s Eve. Today we have a special treat for you, the last finalist in the contest and one of our favorite artists, period – Bulgaria’s own Bee in the Bonnet. For those of you who missed it over the summer, here’s their video Sundays:

Martin, Bogdan, Krasimir, and Teodora are supporting their new album Tick Your Time and Tock the Rest of It, which is available on iTunes and in our Amazon store. We’ve posted the video for Blue on our facebook page.

Make sure to let us know who you like best – Missy and Chelsea, Pound, or Bee in the Bonnet!

Happy Holidays.


They’re Back! Fan favorites Pound continue the Battle of the Bands

The 500 dollar Battle of the Bands continues with Swedish alternative rock band Pound.

Pound BotB

We ran our first feature on Stefan Altzar (guitars & lead vocals), Christian Larsson (bass & vocals), Samuel Granath (drums), Janne Korpela (guitars) and Kalle Sandström (keyboards & vocals) back at the end of September and immediately received great feedback from our audience. Here is their recent video and official Battle of the Bands entry “Apocalyptic Smile”:

Their new album releases in December, make sure to check it out! in the meantime, you can also see their video Phantom Killer on our facebook page.

Kicking off in Style Part 2: Missy and Chelsea

And after much delay, the Fall edition of the 500 dollar Battle of the Bands is underway with a spectacular singer-songwriter duo from Chippewa County, Michigan – Missy and Chelsea.

Sisters Missy Zenker and Chelsea Zenker have the kind of talent at ages 17 and 15, respectively, that most of us can only dream of. To prove it, here’s their original piece Same Story:

We rest our case.

But as listening to one of their songs makes you immediately want more, here’s another Missy and Chelsea original: No Stoppin’ Us Now will be looking to interview the duo in early 2013. In the meantime, make sure to like them on facebook and visit the facebook page where we’ve shared their first ever Christmas song. Tell us what you think.

And so once again the bar is set high out of the gates. Up Next: a recent video from fan favorite Pound