Tag Archives: #ivanandalyosha

Music Monday: 2013 Recap Part 1 – Ivan and Alyosha

There are only 8 full weeks left in the year. Isn't that disgusting and ridiculous? I was hoping to have so much more accomplished by now. For #nerdjizz, in life. Ah well. With there only being so few Music Mondays left to concoct, I decided I'd start doing my "Best Of 2013" bullshit now. That way, by the time the year is actually almost over, these posts will be wrapped up and we can kick off 2014 so fresh and so clean!
#nerdjizz's Top 8 Bands of 2013 in no particular order; Ivan and Alyosha
Today's feature should come as no surprise, since this band has essentially been the subject 60% of my #musicmonday musings in the past; Ivan & Alyosha. The Seattle-based group is one of my favorite discoveries of the last few years, and with their debut album All The Times We Had finally releasing in early 2013, I'm more than happy to showcase them once again. I think I might've mentioned that there is one song on the debut that, while I love the song itself, ended up being too polished. The song is "The Fold" and an earlier cut that can be found on the 2012 EP The Cabin Sessions is actually my favorite version. In this nerd's humble opinion, the extra studio polish really dimmed the acoustic brightness from the pre-All The Times We Had era. Why am I even bothering to mention such a trifling detail in a post wherein I am supposed to be lauding the top 2013 music offerings? Because even their second best is better than the rest! #poetanddidntknowit Sorry for the terrible rhyming and jokes. Now: Compare & Contrast songs! First up, three takes on "The Fold" "The Fold" live on the Marty Riemer Show "The Fold" from the Cabin Sessions EP "The Fold" live, All The Times We Had arrangement The following song was only featured on an EP from 2011, but it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. It's the one that I heard and knew I'd be following these guys for years to come. It's called "Everything Is Burning" and it's wonderful. Seriously, these harmonies will bring fucking tears to your eyes and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. "Everything Is Burning" acoustic "Everything Is Burning" from the Fathers Be Kind EP Doppelgänger Time! I know I've discussed the members of the band before – two brothers, two non-related members, one touring drummer – but the lead singer Tim Wilson is sort of a dead ringer for Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul.) So if you have some residual love for everyone's favorite TV meth cooker, you can project that love onto Tim! For beautiful harmonious reasons, and not the meth reasons, of course. Tim (on left): Aaron Paul: You can buy "All The Times We Had" on iTunes, On Amazon and on Xbox Music.

Ivan & Alyosha: Running For Cover

Ivan and Alyosha just debuted the new video for the lead single from the debut album "All The Times We Had" (talk about a lot of "current" adjectives) so take a gander at the artsy "Running For Cover!"

Music Monday: Ivan & Alyosha

Hey guys! Long time no see! :O Sorry, I've been busy and *blah blah blah* you don't wanna hear it, I know. BUT, I want to return to your good graces by introducing (or hopefully for some of you, RE-introducing) you to Ivan & Alyosha. I've posted about them once or twice or thrice before, so if you'd like to catch up, feel free to check out each of those links. They have been one of my top ten favorite bands for just under three years now, but the good news for you is that they released their first full length album almost two months ago. Based in Portland, OR, they've already released a handful of EPs and they had success financing the LP release via Kickstarter, which they'd previously used to finance a North American tour. There's a very honest grassroots feel about these guys, and they have the raw talent to merit that kind of attention. ivan Jumping into the first feature album, titled All The Times We Had, you're immediately struck with the level of professional recording time these guys managed to squeeze in at the studio between their live gigs. Right off the bat you're introduced to "Be Your Man," an infectious rouser with some pretty keen harmonies. As a matter of fact, keen harmonies are one of the things these guys do best. If you did take the time to check out the links above, you probably already gathered that much.   On the flip side, "The Fold" which they featured heavily on 2012's Cabin Sessions EP also received some pretty heavy-handed studio bells and whistles, and quite frankly that new version is the only part of the album that feels out of place. So much so, that I can't give the album a perfect rating because of its inclusion. I know I probably only feel that way because of how deeply I connected to the song when I first heard it, but you know how it feels when a lesser talented artist covers one of your favorite songs by a band? I feel like that happened here. Only it's the same band, covering their own song, only the magic harmonies and raw musicianship either got left out or drowned out by an overzealous recording mixer. It's still a damn fine song, and I won't be the least bit surprised to see it show up on network television as a soundtrack song, but the first recording imprinted on me in a big way. Friend of the band Aimee Mann can be heard on the title track of the album. It's a melancholy ode to the glory days gone by of the protagonist characters' relationship. The song is truly very earnest, but it sounds so uniquely Portland, that for some reason I have a scene in my head featuring the cast of "Portlandia" (on which Mann has appeared, so maybe she's the cause?) in various vignettes pantomiming the lyrics while getting drenched in the northwestern rain and so forth. I think it helps me make what could be a wrist-cutting song a joy to listen to. That's what I'll tell myself, anyway. The live version below has lead singer Tim Wilson's brother, Pete, filling in for Amy's vocal parts. I've mentioned it before – most especially when talking about First Aid Kit – but sibling harmonies > all other harmonies.

Music Monday: Ivan & Alyosha – Running For Cover

Ivan & Alyosha, my favorite northwestern songwriting crooners are gearing up for the February release of their first full-length, honest-to-god album. To say that I'm excited would be a slight understatement. My introduction to these guys was via their second EP, Fathers Be Kind, and I was instantly hooked. Wonderfully played guitar rhythms and expertly arranged harmonies are exactly the kind of thing that give me a musical nerd boner, and these guys dole both out in spades. Their first single was released today on iTunes, a live performance of which can be seen below. Here's a test: press play and then don't watch. Why? Because it's a live performance. I want you to listen to how good it is. It's damn near studio quality. These guys don't just make pretty songs for their records, they're more than capable of reenacting note for note each perfect melody. Now that you know how great the song is, support the arts and the spirit of the up-and-coming band by purchasing the song here.