Bethesda's 2012 has been a busy year with performances at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival 2012, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum's Summer in the City Series with Sharon Van Etten, RedGorilla Music Festival at SXSW 2012, MidPoint Music Festival 2012, and more. Meanwhile, Bethesda has been working on their next fan-funded full-length album set to be released in 2013.
After releasing their 2011 EP, “Dreamtiger & Other Tails,” Bethesda has been slated for thirty plus shows on the Discovery Network as well as fourteen shows on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, Bravo!, VH1, and E! Their music can be heard on over 200 independent and college radio stations nationwide, where they have reached “Top 5 Add” status and have been charted in numerous college markets.
Over the past year, Bethesda has had the privilege to play with bands such as Eisley, The Hush Sound, Nouvelle Vague, Sharon Van Etten, Azure Ray, An Horse, Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, Jessica Lea Mayfield, First Aid Kit, River City Extension, Frontier Ruckus, Suckers, and more. Bethesda has used their energetic live shows and carefully crafted songs to elevate themselves into the same conversation as some of indie rocks best.
These six friends, in hopes of satisfying their snow laden angst, came together in the interest of channeling their desires for meaningful living into the artistic expression of music. The result? Bethesda, an indie rock group that brings together folk roots, indie beats, crafty guitars, and soaring vocals with meaningful lyrics to build songs that move your heart and feet in equal measures.
Blending influences from seemingly unblendable musical genres, these folks paint pictures of human drama, the struggles of life, the beauty of nature, and the few truths they know to be true with poignant lyrics and musical movements that can rip you from your apathetic state and send you whirling. This vibrant combination has aided Bethesda in developing a loyal following.
Bethesda followed up the 2008 release of their self-titled EP with the release of their debut full-length album, “Love in a Time of Tra La La,” in January of 2010. Their EP, "Dreamtiger & Other Tails," was released in May 2011.
Shanna Delaney - Lead Vocal, bells, and Keys
Eric Ling - Vocals, Acoustic and Electric guitar, brass, and Keys
Dan Corby - Bass
Justin Rife - Drums
Jesse Scaggs - Banjo, Lead Guitar
Chris Black - Violin
"The Reunion" 2013
"Dreamtiger & Other Tails" 2011
"Love in a Time of Tra La La" 2010
Self-Titled EP - 2008
April 2013 “Band of the Month” – BETHESDA
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When I started the “Band of the Month” feature last year, I had no idea we would be introduced to al...When I started the “Band of the Month” feature last year, I had no idea we would be introduced to all the amazing artists that we wound up working with. From a feature with now-indie-giants, Of Monsters and Men, to the beautiful bedroom tunes of Faye Webster, the site found community and excitement in this feature. As we move forward into 2013, we plan to continue to share with you music that we’ve grown to love. Thanks for all your support these past few years.
- Sean Pritchard
April 2013 Band of the Month BETHESDA
Our introduction to the band came at MidPoint in Cincinnati last year. We had settled in for a drink and begin chatting with a bartender (who consequently was from our hometown), before being abruptly cut off by this strangely beautiful noise coming from the stage. Enter Bethesda… What was the MidPoint experience like for you all?
Shanna: The MidPoint experience was wonderful. We played at the Know Theatre, and the sound guy was very professional and the bar staff was kind and helpful. Everything was well-organized.The crowd was really energetic and courteous. You could tell that people were there to hear music. Sometimes when a band goes to perform, the music can be an afterthought. However, Cincinnati has a rich and growing scene where people respect and love music. We were so honored to be a part of that.
Eric: The MidPoint fest was awesome! We met a lot of great people and the crowd responded really well to our music! We are so impressed with the Cincinnati music scene and its dedication to original music!
April 2013 Band of the Month BETHESDA
Bethesda at MidPoint 2012 – Will Hawthorne
With all the time spent on the road last year, did the decision to write the new album come following your fall dates or was it a work in progress?
Eric: A bit of both, really. We are always working on new material and are always working on the next record. However, without a deadline we find it difficult to “complete” songs. So, for this album, we set the summer dates for recording and proceeded to work our tails off to make the songs as “complete” as possible before the date. A time crunch forces us to be decisive and sort of live with the songs, which makes it a very intentional process, rather than passive and elongated.
Due out April 9th, The Reunion is a collection of stories, both personal and from your listeners. Explain to me what exactly you did with getting your audience involved in the writing process of the album.
Eric: It really is more of an observational exercise than anything. We are very close with our friends and fans and try to be in tune with their struggles and successes. When we are moved by a story, we write about it in hopes that others resonate with it as well. As songwriters, we strive to write songs that give justice to the stories being told, whether they are our own or the stories of others. We believe we are storytellers and are inviting our audience to live in the stories that we have been given to tell. Recently we have asked our fans that donated on Kickstarter to give us 5 facts to write a song about their life as a reward. None of these songs show up on this album, but a few of them very well might end up on the next one. It is the commonality of our stories and the hope that is injected into each of them that keeps us pushing on and ignites our desire to write.
Of the stories collected, is there a particular one that stands out to you the most?
Shanna: I love all of our songs on the album, of course. However, the one that is most personal to me is “Fit to Leave.” The song was written from my brother, Stevie, who passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to. Finally, on this album, we were able to come up with a song for and about him that captures my feelings on his passing. Part of the song is a first person narration from Stevie’s perspective, viewing himself as an unlovable, unworthy person due to his mistakes. The song is in part about unfairly judging people while they are alive and that there is love and hope for all, no matter what their mistakes may be. This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too. We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.
Eric: I am personally invested in each of the songs on this album. Probably the one that resonates the most is “The Reunion”. A few years back, my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He called me up and asked me if I would write a song about his life, and I agreed, of course. I worked my tail off trying to write a song that gave justice to his life, but I just couldn’t put something together that did him justice. It wasn’t until his funeral where everyone came together to pay homage to his life, that it hit me. These people were all carrying parts of my Grandpa’s story and had reunited to make his story whole – what a beautiful way to send him off. The song tries to capture the beauty of that day and couple it with the joy my grandpa was feeling knowing that he was both meeting his maker and reuniting with his wife who had passed a few years earlier. It’s one of those songs still evokes all kinds of emotions when I hear it. I hope others resonate with it as well.
April 2013 Band of the Month BETHESDA
The Reunion Album Art – Morgan Mzik
When picking the track order for The Reunion, did these stories play into how you arranged the songs or was it based on the musical composition?
Eric: When we were discussing the order of the tracks, we decided that we had two options. 1) To organize the songs based on musical composition and how the melded together and 2) To mold them together in such a way that the stories have a purpose and we are delivering a message through song. We chose the second, because, really it is what is most important to us. The album starts with this anthem towards death, inviting it as a reunion with all of those that have gone before. It moves through a series of stories in which loved ones are reunited, life struggles challenge unions, hardships are overcome, and it ends with a peace (“Patterns”) where we know that “we are gonna get to where we’re goin’.” By our best understanding and through the collection of our stories, this spans both life and death and breathes hope into each.
What prompted you all to make the temporary move to Colorado to record instead of hanging around Ohio?
Shanna: We recorded our first full-length and ep with Tim Gerak (formerly of Six Parts Seven) of Mammoth Cave Studios when he lived in Akron, Ohio. We formed a relationship with him and his wife and also admired his talents as a recording engineer. We didn’t really want to go with anyone else for the album, so we followed Tim to Denver, CO to record The Reunion with him at the beginning of July 2012.
Eric: Exactly! Tim knows our sound so well, and is a magician in the studio. We decided to give him more control over how the record sounded by asking him to produce as well as engineer, and we are really excited about the results. It may have seemed crazy to travel half-way across the country for a recording, but we think the results speak volumes! We are already planning on going back for our next one!
The first single from the album, “Go”, is a jolly number with a video featuring the band performing in front of a line of Irish dancers. Was it distracting to film with so much going on at once, or do you wish more people broke out in line dances at your shows?
Eric: Haha! Not at all! We feed off of the energy, and it was the same with the Irish dancers. They brought so much talent and dedication to their craft, and performed with such grace that it brought the best out of us. We have always been the band that has its best performances to the most engaged crowds. In fact, the dancers actually performed with us at our local pre-release show in Arkon on March 2nd. It was incredible!!! Energy is always contagious. So next time you all are thinking about dancing at a show, DO IT! It just might take the live experience to the next level!
TheBlueIndian.com has a strong connection with the Buckeye State for a number of reasons; We’ve had writers and photographers based there, visited a number of festivals there, and included quite a few Ohio-based band on our compilations. What other acts from around the state should we be keeping our eyes on?
Shanna: Ashley Brooke Toussant (singer-songwriter), A Band Named Ashes (folk), Winslow (Soul/pop/funk), The Mitchells (indie-pop), and many more. There are really so many wonderful acts coming out of this good state of Ohio!
If people want to buy the new record, where would you suggest they visit?
Shanna: iTunes for the week of April 9-16th. We have a special and exclusive digital pack we will be giving out to those that download the album from iTunes in the first week. For more on that follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bethesdaband
One of the highlights of your upcoming tour schedule is the Bunbury Music Festival, scheduled for the 12th-14th of July in Cincinnati. Headlining sets from The National, fun., MGMT – and support from over 80 other acts – including you all! Looks like we’ll be making yet another trip to the 513..
Eric: We are so excited for this fest. This show is occurring on our (Shanna and Eric) wedding anniversary, and Belle & Sebastian is playing that same day. I used to make mix cd’s for Shanna that included quite a bit of Belle & Sebastian, so we are really excited. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend our anniversary!
I’ve spent time in Akron before (and actually wound up having a long, somewhat odd conversation with Dan Auerbach’s dad..), but never spent time in Kent.. What does one do if they’re looking for a good time there?
Eric: Kent is a place for friends. Find a local coffee shop or pub and inject yourself into conversation. You will find a friendly and intellectual community that promotes the arts and pursues unexplored territory daily. We are just glad to be a part of it all!
The 2013 Grammy’s were:
Justin: Typical. Same players, same winners. It’s nice to see some independent artists get more recognition than in years past. However, there is still a long way to go before this celebration of music is all-inclusive. They keep eliminating categories making it even more difficult to break in.
Eric: On? I missed them….intentionally? Maybe :D
Shanna: I second that. Given Eric and I are school teachers by day, we were most likely fast asleep for that 5:30 am alarm clock.
Best Chili in Ohio:
Shanna: I can’t stand chili, but my mama makes the best. I can tolerate her chili at least, and others say it’s the best they’ve ever had!
Justin: Whitey’s Booze’n Burgers in Richfield. They have the BEST I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot.
Favorite local beer:
Shanna: How about a warm, cup of tea for us grannies?
Eric: Great Lakes Brewing Company – CLEVELAND LOVE!
Strangest place you’ve played:
Shanna: Oh, wow. We have been in some crazy places. I would definitely say Rochester, NY. I don’t want to name the venue, because it’s actually a fantastic place to play and the booker is a great guy. However, this is where we coined the term “Rochester weird.” It was just a series of crazy events one after another from the bouncers yelling at us because they didn’t think we were in a band and wouldn’t let us in the venue, eighty year old men playing flutes and reciting humorous poetry before our set, people dressed like elves doing a dance in the middle of the room, a razor used for coke sitting on the bathroom sink, a guy getting thrown up against our van by the cops, another guy falling in front of our van getting whisked away by an ambulance (maybe it’s the van), etc. These events were only drops in the bucket of our experience with Rochester this particular night, but we continue to go back because the city is really awesome! ( I guess this wasn’t a short answer…haha..you may shorten)
Eric: Trenton, NJ in a basement club where there were multiple layers of urine covering every square inch. We played anyways and ended up inviting in and dancing along side a homeless lady who later invited us to breakfast at the shelter. It ended up being a great and memorable night, but we certainly weren’t sure as to what might be transpiring when we first showed up. It is by far the shadiest club we have ever played. But music softens hearts and brings the unlikeliest people together. That is why we do what we do.
Best part of the recording sessions for The Reunion:
Shanna: Listening to a year’s worth of hard work, sweat, and tears mix together and come out of the speakers to create something you wouldn’t even imagined on your own with your band family.
Eric: The end product!!! Everything else is a marathon and it ain’t easy. But when you hit the finish line, you may be exhausted, but you also know that you have completed something that can’t be taken away….ever. We have etched our place in the micro-history of music. And THAT feels great!
Ultimate tour cuisine:
Shanna: Cheese pizza (although I have to eat it with olive oil/garlic sauce instead of red sauce when touring because sadly it’s bad on the old pipes)
Justin: Chicago style hot-dogs and Dr. Pepper.
Eric: Chicken & Waffles in Austin, TX. Changed my life!!!!
Bethesda - The Reunion
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Bethesda and Mammoth Cave Studio and Cauliflower Audio, 2013. Bethesda: http://bethesdaband.com ...Bethesda and Mammoth Cave Studio and Cauliflower Audio, 2013.
Starting in Kent, Ohio (the first reason to love them and listen) Bethesda will sound mighty familiar if you’re a fan of Ear to the Ground. And if you’re not a fan of ETTG, you should be so you can hear about more awesome music like Bethesda. From their first album as the self-titled EP in 2008, the upcoming release of The Reunion makes four albums for this dynamic locally grown group. Bethesda has toured with Jessica Lea Mayfield, Frontier Ruckus, River City Extension, and He is We, among others. This mix of quirky, funky, soulful sound and an innocent visual creative energy make for a sort of modern Alice in Wonderland feeling that’s almost dreamlike in its playfulness.
“Indie folk” seems to be a popular genre of late, and Bethesda and The Reunion fit in that general area of the musical spectrum. If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I hate the tem “indie folk” because at its heart, it’s an oxymoron. Folk is music that is of the people, more cultural art than high art, while independent implies coming from one’s self. No person grows from his or herself alone, they grow as part of a community, so the idea of indie folk is something that seems beyond hard to understand for me. But in Bethesda I can start to see a glimmer of this discordance coming together well. If one were to take Eric Carle mixed with Maurice Sendak and set it to a soundtrack of Ashley Brooke Toussant and Lily Allen, I’m pretty sure The Reunion is what you would end up creating. At the same time, indie folk plain old fits for The Reunion. Local band makes good and has their own album(s), then instead of getting signed somewhere, funds a new album via Kickstarter (how I ended up with an early copy, full disclosure).
The album starts off like many reunions do, an individual slowly joined by others who know each other well, with people jumping in and out of the music as they jump in and out of our lives at times, the highlights being the times when everyone is present and partying together. “Go” starts off at full-power and lets the listener get really revved up before a more gentle opening to As We Grow Old. This seems appropriate, as it takes a bit to warm up as our bodies age instead of jumping out of bed ready to go when we’re younger. There are some restive, contemplative parts to As We Grow Old, before Fit to Leave gets a bit more edgy, or at least not all bouncy and happy and ventures into more theological realms. Signs is eerily beautiful, with abstract vocalization intermixing with strong lyrics and solid instrumentation. After this more low-key reprieve, Rotted Pines brings us back to light-spirited and uplifting sounds with a more fantastical story to tell. Stop Motion Picture is possibly my favorite track with a nearly perfect balance of high and low, fast and slow. The Water’s Way flows like a river, slow and steady at a surface level but deep and powerful if you look below that initial glance, with some lilting riffles at times to mix things up a bit. Water continues to leak a little into the next hand-clapping, foot-stomping tune, as Poisoned Heirloom positively bites at times. Patterns wraps up the album with a slowing, calming melody that ends on a resolved and fulfilled feeling.
This album more than others that I’ve reviewed here on ETTG is great for any number of age groups, and really strikes me as a child-friendly selection. If you want to introduce kids to all that they can do, show them Bethesda. Show them art, show them music, show them creative people coming together to make something that didn’t exist before, and show them the community support that made this dream after the Dreamtiger a reality.
Personnel: Shanna Delaney (Lead vocalist, mad tambourine, hand-claps), Eric Ling (Guitar, vocals, whispers), Jesse Scaggs (Guitar, banjo), Dan Corby (Bass), Justin Rife (Drums and loud noises), Christopher Black (Violin/Viola, keyboard), Evan Story (Drums)
Tracks: The Reunion, Go, As We Grow Old, Fit to Leave, Signs, Rotted Pines, Stop Motion Picture, The Water’s Ways, Poisoned Heirloom, Patterns
BAEBLE Music Videos: Bethesda - Go
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Bethesda are a 6 piece band hailing from good ole Kent, Ohio. Not surprisingly, the band planted roo...Bethesda are a 6 piece band hailing from good ole Kent, Ohio. Not surprisingly, the band planted roots at Kent State. Not sure what these kids majored in, but they are obviously committed to a graduate program in driving, roots heavy rock and roll. The band recently shot a fun-loving video for "Go", from their new album The Reunion, which we're happy to be premiering. Here the band line up against some Irish dancers, with anything but traditional results. Have a look.
Read more: Music Video Premiere: Bethesda http://www.baeblemusic.com/musicblog/3-22-2013/Music-Video-Premiere-Bethesda.html#ixzz2OUit1TZj
Live Music, Right Now
The hard work and easy roots rock of Bethesda
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Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling are ready for their big moment. Or at least a bigger one than they’ve h...Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling are ready for their big moment. Or at least a bigger one than they’ve had to date. Balancing day jobs, graduate school and a band with a growing platform is simply becoming too much for the members of Bethesda. The good news is that their new album, The Reunion, will likely serve as a tipping point toward much greater things.
The Ohio based sextet brings a folk-driven roots rock mix that’s conjured comparisons to The Decemberists among others, but the end result on The Reunion is undoubtedly original. As a good bet to break through, we sat down to get the story behind Bethesda and what drives them to work as hard as they do.
Stereo Subversion: Talk a bit about your chaotic schedule.
Shanna Delaney: It’s a bit like working three full-time jobs: managing Bethesda, going to grad school at night and then teaching—my “real job”—all day. [Laughs]
SSv: When you’re already so busy, can you talk about what makes you put energy behind Bethesda in the first place?
Shanna: Well that’s definitely where my greatest passion lies, actually for Eric [Ling] and I both. I’ve always felt like I was supposed to do music, like it’s my calling so to speak. So when you love something that much it doesn’t feel like work. It doesn’t even feel like you’re taking out time from your life; in fact it energizes you and energizes other areas of your life. It’s not that teaching isn’t important or that we don’t enjoy it, but I know for both of us that music is what we would truly love to be doing full-time.
I think ultimately the goal in music is never to be rich or famous. Or if that’s your goal then good luck! [Laughs] But just to be able to make enough so that we can do it for a living, so we can scrape by, so we can do what we love, that would be gaining traction for us.
SSv: So how have you chased that in the past? How have you whet your appetite to put the work into it?
Shanna: For me, I’ve always had a huge musical background in my family. I was really involved with musical theater all the way through high school, and I actually went to college for musical theater, but I decided that wasn’t something I loved anymore or wanted to do. I had always loved literature, so I thought, “I’ll change over to that and be a teacher.”
But the real kind of music I wanted to do was writing my own music and performing it for others, so that drive is what kind of kept us going. And then meeting our bandmates and finding people who had the same passion for what they were doing and had the same goals I think has helped as well.
SSv: Tell us about the earliest incarnation of Bethesda? How did that begin to come together?
Shanna: Eric and I met at Kent State University in Ohio. When we first met he was really young, had self-taught himself guitar and was really into a lot of lo-fi music, Bright Eyes and whatnot. I’m coming from a theater background, so when we first met we both really loved music but it was definitely a challenge to start working together. [Both laugh]
But then some time passed and now we’re married, and during the first year we were married I told him this is what I really want to do. I can’t picture my life without music being a major part of it. I feel like we were brought together because I do most of the singing but wasn’t much of a songwriter, whereas he doesn’t like to sing but he loves to write lyrics and music, so it just seemed like a natural fit to be brought together like that.
But then we started attending a church out here called the Veneer Community Church and that’s where we basically met the rest of our bandmates one by one. And then in the past year we’ve gotten a new lead guitarist, Jesse Scaggs, and we also got a violinist/viola/keyboard player, Christopher Black, so we kind of added that to our sound.
So our sound has changed over the years. This will be the fifth year we’ve been together, but it really feels like a new band because we’ve added the two new members this year. But we still have the original four out of the five too. We all love what we do and believe that what we’re doing is helping people.
SSv: When you say it feels like a new band, were there elements before that you really strove to keep despite the new lineup.
Shanna: I think, when you first start a band, you kind of throw things at the wall and try to make everything work. We’re all from different backgrounds. I also have a bluegrass background in addition to the musical theater background, so I’m kind of all over the place. Eric comes from that lo-fi background. Justin, our drummer, was in a punk band. And then Chris was classically trained as a violinist, so it’s funny. We all had very different musical backgrounds when we first came together but we all knew we loved to write music and wanted to play together, so we just sort of put everything in and then let a song be what it is.
But now, we’ve decided to keep more of the folkier elements that we’ve been heading in the direction of. The guitarist that we used to have in the band was into more of the math rock sound, so that was difficult because you could tell the difference between the songs that Eric was writing and then the songs that he wrote. It’s not that they weren’t good, but it wasn’t as cohesive as it is on this album, so I think we just decided to go in more of the folk direction because we thought that’s what we did well.
So we’ve kept a lot of those elements in the band, but when we put out a song we try to just let it work instead of dictating too much. We have it in mind what the mood is and what the feel of the story is, but we let everybody come to the table and write their own parts. We’ve always been really big about letting a song be what it’s supposed to be and not worrying about what’s “in” right now because it’s real easy to give in to that pressure.
SSv: So was there just a common love in the band for the folk rock sound more than any other? Did it feel more honest to you? What informed your decision as a band to go that route?
Shanna: I think part of it is that we’re acoustically-driven and led by the acoustic guitar. We have a lead guitarist, of course, but what really drives the sound is the acoustic. Everything is written on the acoustic, and so I think that lends itself real well to that. But I think it’s something that’s also better for me, vocally. A bunch of us are also really into Sufjan Stevens and—my personal favorite—The Decemberists, and so I think you can’t help but be influenced by some of those bands that you listen to.
SSv: So is that a feather in your cap when someone compares you to The Decemeberists? Sort of a “Yes!” moment?
Shanna: You know, on the one hand it’s like, do you want to be compared to anybody? Because sometimes when that happens it’s easy for people to say that you’re trying to be like them and aren’t original, but obviously when you love a band that much it’s a huge honor and very flattering. In a lot of ways we’re nothing like them but it’s an honor, to me, to hear something like that.
SSv: What are the emotions right now with it being release week? What’s your mindset like?
Eric Ling: It’s real exciting. We’ve been working on this album for a year now, maybe a little bit less than that, and it’s been done since this past August, so we’ve been so excited about it and we’re excited to share it with people. We’re pumped for people to actually hear the album, get those responses and see how everything goes.
There are also some nerves in there, especially when you’ve invested so much into something that we’re very proud of. You want it to be accepted, you want it to do well, so it’s kind of like we’re putting our baby out there for the public.
Shanna: Hope it’s not an ugly baby! [All laugh.]
Eric: So yeah, we’re just hoping to gain some traction for it, I guess. It’s hard to put into words everything that has gone on, but we’re confident and we’re excited. We feel good about the product that we’re putting out there.
SSv: You talk about gaining traction, and not only does that mean different things to different people, but it also means different things as the music industry continues to change. What does that mean for you guys at this point?
Shanna: I think ultimately the goal in music is never to be rich or famous. Or if that’s your goal then good luck! [Laughs] But just to be able to make enough so that we can do it for a living, so we can scrape by, so we can do what we love, that would be gaining traction for us.
But also, recently we’ve been having a conversation about how success looks different to different people, and just redefining what we believe success to be. We were talking about this in another interview about how a lot of what we do is just storytelling. We cull these stories from our own lives and from the lives of people that we know.
Some of those are very good experiences, and some are very bad experiences, but in all of it we hope that somehow our stories reach people and lead them to feel a certain way, and not necessarily a way that we desire them to feel. I think anytime anyone makes music they just want to tug at people’s hearts in a way, because music is a way of speaking to people that I think other mediums don’t.
And so I think for us, the celebration for us is the stage, the performance, but one of my favorite parts is after the show. A lot of people feel really drained by then, but we feel revived when people come up to us. Sometimes they’ll just come up to our merch table and be crying and they don’t even know why. Or they say, ‘Hey, you told that story about your grandpa or your brother that passed away. I had a brother who passed away.’
I think connection is one of the most important parts of the experience, and after doing this for a couple years… you always say you want it to be the connection and being part of changing people’s lives and making them feel something, and I think we’re starting to get to the point where we define success as more what it does for other people in their lives than maybe what it does in ours.
Eric: Everything she said there in terms of gaining traction is right on. It’s just growing that audience and the amount of people we can share this with. We just want to get this out there, get it to as many ears as possible and take it from there. Hopefully that will result in us being able to travel more places and play more places and maybe potentially do it for a living at some point, but right now we’re excited about where we’re at and are definitely enjoying the journey as much as we are seeking teh destination.
Bethesda release party for "The Reunion;" March 2 at Musica
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2012 was a big year for Bethesda. The group played Bonnaroo, Midpoint, Red Gorilla Fest at SXSW ... 2012 was a big year for Bethesda.
The group played Bonnaroo, Midpoint, Red Gorilla Fest at SXSW and performed with Sharon Van Etten at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, all in support of their "Dreamtiger & Other Tails" EP.
The group is hoping to make even more noise in 2013, albeit with a somewhat quieter sound.
"We've always had folk influences but were pulling from all sorts of different genres and throwing things against the wall to see what stuck," vocalist Shanna Delaney said over the phone from her home in Kent. "Eventually we realized that it's what we do better. We have a violinist now, who wrote all his own parts. For a while we did whatever we wanted, but this time we were looking for a more coherent album sound."
Finding that sound has been a circuitous process for the group.
"At first there were a lot of eight-minute songs, lots of Sufjan [Stevens], you could hear some ska and punk. Then it became a more indie-pop sound. Finally on this one, it's coming together more. It's more representative of what we do."
And while they're pleased with where they're at now, Delaney stops short of ruling out future evolutions.
"We try to write what we love. If we evolve into something else, it's just because we're following that." Bethesda will host a local release party for their new album, "The Reunion," at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Musica in Akron. It will make its national debut Tuesday, April 2.
As personal as the process of making "The Reunion" was, the album is the product of a wider community.
"It's really everyone's album," Delaney said. "We used Kickstarter to help fund it. About 70 donors gave around $8,000."
"It was really cool to see this little community we've built come together to support the album," said guitarist and lyricist Eric Ling.
The band sweetened the pot for top donors, promising to write a song for anyone who gave more than $100.
"They were supposed to just be little jingles," Delaney said. "But they turned into real songs."
"I tried," Ling chimed in. "But I just can't write jingles."
The Other Best Bands of Bonnaroo 2012
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Bethesda, "Dreamtiger" Because not every band from Akron sounds like the Black Keys. Some, in fac...Bethesda, "Dreamtiger"
Because not every band from Akron sounds like the Black Keys. Some, in fact, sound like a female-led Decemberists.
Bethesda Prepares for Release of "The Reunion."
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As most musicians know, sometimes the hardest part of being in a band is setting aside your creative...As most musicians know, sometimes the hardest part of being in a band is setting aside your creative differences. But what some see as a conflict, Bethesda sees as a creative discussion.
“We encourage all band members to have input on each song, and we methodically build the song according to the collective vision,” said Eric Ling, rhythm guitar and backing vocals for the band. “Of course, some ideas click a little more than others, but I think what makes what we do original is that what you hear is a product of honest collaboration.”
Artwork for Bethesda's album, "The Reunion".
Artwork for Bethesda’s album, “The Reunion”.
The discussions paid off. After releasing three albums, the band agrees that their upcoming release, The Reunion, embodies the mature sound the band was pining after since the band’s inception. The Kent indie-folk band managed to maintain their love for lyrics on the album, all the while weaving in crafty guitars and ascending vocals that long-time fans are used to.
The band had a busy 2012 playing notable festivals like Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, MidPoint Music Festival and RedGorilla Music Festival at SXSW. Since then, Bethesda has been preparing for the release of The Reunion which they will be hosting a local release party for at Musica in Akron on Saturday, 2 March at 8 p.m. The Reunion will make its national debut Tuesday, 2 April.
When Bethesda began writing songs for the album, Shanna Delaney (lead vocals) said that they started to notice an overall theme of reuniting and uniting with loved ones. It began with the album’s title track, “The Reunion,” then they wrote “Fit to Leave” and “Go.”
“‘Fit to Leave’ was written for my brother, Stevie, who had passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago,” Delaney said. “I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to.”
“This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too,” she added. “We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.”
The band first got together four years ago, and at the time, there was really no plan. Delaney explained how in the beginning, the band just jumped right in and started playing the first thing that came to mind.
“Now, we still allow for people to write their own parts and put their creative twists on them, but when Eric and I bring a song, we generally know what kind of feel we are going for so we communicate that,” she said.
Communication became especially crucial when the band added a new guitarist, Jesse Scaggs, and a violinist, Christopher Black, Ling said.
“The record has taken on new dynamics that perhaps were quite as present before,” Ling added. “With that being said, we are still Bethesda, and our brand of indie-folk with lyrics that have depth and meaning to them, and thoughtfully composed musical soundscapes with Shanna’s soaring/melodic vocals is certainly all over this album.”
Although the new album may sound different with the addition of new members, long-time fans will be happy to know that the band stuck with the same producer. And it wasn’t easy to make this happen. The band explained how Tim Gerak at Mammoth Cave Studio had produced their past three albums. It seemed only fitting to have him produce their national debut album. The only problem? Gerak moved to Denver. So, the band followed him despite having to use all their vacation time from their 9-to-5's just to make it happen.
“We were basically living in the studio for a week. Some of us slept in iso booths while others didn’t sleep at all,” Justin Rife, drums for the band, said. “It was a monumental task to get this recorded in the week that we had.”
And perhaps the most interesting thing of all is that the band used Kickstarter to fund the album.
“It was a really humbling experience seeing the generosity of our friends and fans in supporting our dream,” Ling said.
BethesdaflyerWith many things in the hopper for 2013, including spots at notable local music festivals like Brite Winter Festival in Ohio City and Cellar Door Rendezvous at Beachland Ballroom and Tavern in February and March, respectively, the band hopes to continue creating buzz starting with the release show.
“I’d like to get our new album in the ears of as many people as possible,” Dan Corby, bass for the band, said. “We have something new and unique to offer and if we could gain national attention, I’m sure we’d surprise a lot of people.”
Delaney said the band has also started working with Unleashed Music out of Los Angeles, which will hopefully garner more national attention. Ling added that the band is also working on playing more festivals, weekend and full-week tours in support of the album with the help of their new booking agent at Prater Day Booking. Fans can also expect a couple of music videos from the new album, which are currently in the works.
Check back at Nasty Fancy for a review of the album and coverage of the record release show at Music in Akron. If you can make it out to the show, we hear they do not disappoint. And with new additions made to band, long-time fans can expect something different.
Timing seems right for Bethesda
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Tonight at downtown Akron live music venue Musica, a local band will make its case for becoming a na...Tonight at downtown Akron live music venue Musica, a local band will make its case for becoming a national band.
Akron/Kent-based band Bethesda will celebrate the release of its second full-length album, The Reunion, a 10-song collection of melodic, acoustic-based indie folk. The band — violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, singer Shanna Delaney, guitarist/singer Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/singer/keyboardist Jesse Scaggs — are all in their mid to late twenties. They recorded the latest album and previous releases with former Six Parts Seven member Tim Gerak at his Mammoth Studios in Colorado.
The Reunion is a refinement of the sextet’s previously scattered sound with two new members (Black and Scaggs) helping to provide cleaner arrangements and better use of dynamics.
“They each bring a new sound to the album. This has more of a folk-pop and maybe a little bit of Americana in there and I think this album is much more cohesive …” Delaney said.
Throughout The Reunion, there is an underlying theme, which Delaney said was a happy accident.
“We noticed that these stories were coming together. We didn't mean to or try to make it happen but we noticed that they were all stories about people reuniting in some way — whether that be later on after death or in this world,” she said pointing to the title track about Ling's grandfather, Fit to Leave written for Delaney's brother who died while she was in college and Signs about Ling's brother's long-distance relationship.
“We always sit down and talk about the stories first before we even start writing parts and so we made sure to really go through these songs and make sure the tone and the mood that we [wanted] to come across in the songs” came through, she said.
The album was funded entirely by a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $8,000, giving the bank accounts of Ling and Delaney, who historically used their own money, a break.
The Reunion should please fans of the increasingly popular indie folk-pop sound of bands such as Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons, both of whom have won Grammys, sell out concerts and sell scores of records.
Delaney, a proud music theater geek who also studied opera, uses her unique and immediately recognizable and occasionally dramatic alto on songs such as the rising and falling Signs and the peppy Rotted Pines featuring the now familiar indie-folk shuffle groove. Go sports a kinetic bluegrass groove and, as with many of the tunes, a catchy, hummable chorus, while Delaney and Ling harmonize on the toe-tapping up-tempo indie-pop tune Stop Motion.
Right now Bethesda members are primarily weekend warriors, traveling and playing shows on Fridays and Saturdays as all the band members have “real” jobs. Ling and Delaney are both teachers (Delaney’s also in graduate school), and other members’ job titles include graphic designer and banker. But that could all change with the new album.
Bethesda will launch a radio campaign with radio promoter/marketing firm Unleashed music and has picked up nationally known P.R. firm Team Claremont and record label Inkind Music, run by a former Virgin board member who is still connected enough to get the album distributed by Sony.
The band settled on its acoustic-driven sound because founders Ling and Delaney are both fans, with Delaney growing up playing and singing bluegrass music “like a bunch of hillbillies” with her family. Ling was a fan of the often spare, dour sounds of singer/songwriters such as Elliot Smith. Nevertheless, Bethesda members realize their timing is serendipitous, dovetailing with a critically and commercially popular sound.
“Right,” Delaney said, “the Decemberists and Arcade Fire, when you see them doing so well, it definitely gives you hope. My mom said to me a year ago, ‘Do they even have a name for your kind of music?’ and I said ‘Yes, Mom’ and now you see it becoming rampant and that's very good for us.”
Bethesda will be making its second trip to the South By Southwest music festival in April in Austin, Texas, and then plans to embark on its most extensive tour this June. With a label, a publicist and the band’s take on what is a popular sound, Bethesda appears to be pointed in the right direction.
“It's exciting, and we'll see where we go; we'll see what happens,” Delaney said.
Malcolm X Abram can be reached at 330-996-3758 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also on Facebook as Malcolm X Abram. … Go figure.
MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A Retrospective
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We were thrilled to make our first visit to MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati last month to be a...We were thrilled to make our first visit to MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati last month to be a part of their 11th year. Over 120 bands played on 16 stages throughout the weekend, with headlining sets from Dinosaur JR, Andrew Bird, Grizzly Bear and more. Thanks to everyone involved with the festival and we can’t wait to come back.
By taking one look at the lineup for the recent MidPoint Music Festival, you could easily tell it was one worth making the drive for. You’ve got 100+ bands in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, a city that rarely sleeps and when it does, it’s angry when you wake it up at 6:30am wanting to go to Bob Evans because you need something to soak up the Bourbon Barrel Ale that you drank the night before. Will and I had our Cincinnati festival introduction earlier this year when we drove up to cover the inaugural Bunbury Music Festival, but MidPoint turned out to be an entirely different beast/creature/machine/festival…
On the drive up, Will and I discussed what we were going to have to do in order to see every single band that was playing and quickly came to the conclusion that we didn’t think most of the venues would allow us in if we were wearing rollerblades and so this was technically impossible. I started reading out bands I wanted to see and we begin making our tentative schedule. It should be noted that we started listening to the radio and heard a song by Atlanta-rapper 2-chainz that made us completely lose any faith we had in rap music, and that if Kanye West continues to put his name on songs like “Birthday Song“, bad things might start happening.
MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveMoving on. For those of you who aren’t well acquainted with MPMF, the festival has become one of the most sought after showcases in the country, and it showed as they celebrated their 11th year. MidPoint 2012 was held the last weekend in September and bands were featured at thirteen venues throughout the Over-the-Rhine district and on three outdoor stages, one of which was conveniently open to the general public. The festival is put on by the same group that curated Bunbury, as well as the city’s popular Fountain Square summer series, and has featured dozens of bands that have graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Spin, NME etc. Just think of it as sixteen mini-parties that make up the best three nights your boring life has ever been a part of. I love camping, I love the outdoors, but there’s far more to be said for a festival that has such an immense degree of variety, so few seventeen year olds walking around asking for molly, and the convenience of not having to listen to “the dubstep party in the woods that we should totally be at” rage on until 6:00am. My point is that the typical MidPoint-er that was met was polite, open-minded, and engaged and supportive of what was going on in their city, and that the festival reflects that mentality. Aside from the girl that kept poking me in the butt for dancing at Stepdad, everyone was pretty cool. If that was you, you should be ashamed of yourself because your attempt to ruin my good time was shabby and ineffective, and it’s Stepdad; there’s plenty of room for you to cross your arms and lament about beer prices or how “you weren’t feeling what Andrew Bird was doing” elsewhere, but not in the front row.
MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveWe arrived in Cincinnati at about 6:00am on the first day of the festival and managed to get a few hours of sleep at our friend’s house before heading to a place near the Northside Tavern called Melt to eat lunch. They had excellent sandwiches, highlighted with curry ketchup, and very relaxing aesthetic. Lunch was followed by a visit to Shake It Records, one of the coolest and best stocked record stores Will or I had ever been to. Highly suggest stopping in to anyone that has the chance to.
After spending most of the day relaxing with the two people we know there, we made our way down to the Washington Park stage to catch the second half of one of my favorite local bands, Pomegranates. We’ve covered them a good bit for the site and their new record, Heaven, is phenomenal. Nice people make nice music. They’ll actually be in Macon on November 10th, so those of you around the state watch out for that. Pomegranates was followed by a quick trip over to see Chattanooga’s Machines Are People Too before heading back to Washington Park to watch Andrew Bird.
Seeing as it was my first time catching him live, I was eager to see how his records transfer over to the real thing, but I’ll have to say that it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. That’s not to say it was upsetting, as I doubt very few people have ever left one of his sets feeling upset, but it was almost too perfect. He and his band played an incredible set though, highlighting crowd favorites from past records while also throwing in a mix of newer tunes from his upcoming record, Hands of Glory. One of the most interesting aspects of his live show is the prominent feature of his unique Leslie organ (or at least that’s what I think it was). The cabinet towered over his set, with two giant horns whirling throughout their time on stage. It made for quite an impressive sight.
We followed Andrew Bird by making our way around the festival area, stopping in for a few moments at different places. Some tough choices had to be made, but we eventually decided on catching Hospitality and Best Coast, who put on one of the best shows of the weekend. Bethany Cosentino had won over the hearts of everyone in the audience by the time she finished their first song and the dreamy pop set an appropriate tone for what would become the rest of our first night.
MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveBest Coast was followed by a brief stroll though the downtown before heading to the Know Theatre for Athens, Ohio’s The Ridges, and then on to the Below Zero Lounge to see the final few songs from Rich Aucoin, who was on tour with Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, who played before him, and Stepdad, who was headlining the stage. Aucoin’s shows are raucous, sweaty, and overflowing with neon, combining live projections with beeps and blurps that had the entire audience shaking off their day. Oddly enough, one of the projections was his cell phone number and an encouragement to send him a text. Will decided to have at it and probably an hour later received a response of “Thanks for coming to the show, Will. I hope you enjoyed yourself”. That’s some serious dedication to your audience. Stepdad fed off of the energy that Aucoin and TPDR stirred up and worked their way through songs from their debut LP, Wildlife Pop. I’ve personally been a huge fan of the band since one of our writers, Grafton, opened for them in Athens, but seeing them play to a packed room was incredible. I would encourage you to get a copy of their album, spend your entire day watching videos of them online, and then make it out to a show. Not because I love the band, but because they evoke the same attitude that Dan Deacon does, in that it’s not just okay to let loose, but that it makes everything better. At least until some girl spends their entire set poking you and telling you to stop moving. It was her loss, not mine.
We spent the rest of the night hopping from venue to venue and trying to blend in with the Reds fans at a few bars, to no avail, and taking pictures with anyone that would join us.
MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveDay two was packed with bands we wanted to see and choices were going to have to be made. Will and I settled in at a local eatery called Taste of Belgium and spent most of the early evening talking with the staff about the city, their thoughts on the festival, and who they were seeing once they got off the clock. Everyone seemed to be excited about all the good the festival has done in the past and didn’t seem to mind that extra business either. Definitely make Taste of Belgium a go-to if you’re in the area. They’ve got Delirium Tremens on tap and they’ve got chicken and waffles, and to make it even better, they were a sponsor of the festival so at any given time, we weren’t far from a good waffle. They weren’t Ron & Gladis good, but they know what they’re doing. We followed that up with an amazing set from Grizzly Bear at Washington Park. The park was nearly entirely full, and the band seemed ecstatic to be there, joking and talking with the audience in between songs.
MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveWe split up following their set with the intention of meeting up at Dinosaur JR, however the only downside of the weekend came when we found out that the outside area where J. Mascis and his crew were at had reached capacity and they weren’t allowing anyone else in. Will managed to make it inside and snap a few photos, while I caught parts of Cheyenne Marie Mize at the Emery Theatre and local act (and previous TBI compilation feature) The Kickaways. We met back up at MOTR, what become our hangout for the weekend, to see White Arrows close out the night. TBI was introduced to the band sometime last year and we loved their debut EP, so finally seeing them live was a treat. They’re actually finishing up a long tour with a string of dates on the West coast, so if you’re out there go see them.
They didn’t really want to talk much after their set, which was a disappointment, so we made our way over to catch the tail end of The Kingston Springs, an act out of Nashville that’s been on the road with our friends The Weeks. They have a new album that came out last week that’s well worth giving a few spins and they’re doing plenty the rest of the year.
We started our last day at the festival off right with a giant steak dinner at a local Outback. It really set the mood for the day. Will and I decided to stop into the Know Theatre to grab a few drinks and wound up meeting a bartender there who was actually from Macon and graduated a few years behind Will, so we spent a while there trying to see what mutual friends we had and catching him up to speed on the city. 8:30pm rolled around and the first band took the stage while we were still talking, but they immediately had our attention. It took us a few songs to get a name out of them, but it was well worth it. Lead by singer Shanna Delany, Bethesda hails from the Akron area but has spent most of the year touring the country. Back in June, they were featured at Bonnaroo and since then things have been on the rise. The band quickly charmed the crowd that was trickling in and quickly accumulated a responsive group in the front, ready to chime in on melodies and hand claps. Check them out and see for yourself.
MidPoint Music Festival 2012: A RetrospectiveA short stint at The Walkmens’ set followed, but we were more interested in seeing a few other smaller acts so we made our way to MOTR to see Swear and Shake, a four-piece from New York that had played an outdoor stage earlier in the day. Again, it was another fantastic set from a band with captivating personality. It wasn’t that they had the most unique sound that sold them to the crowd, but that they had great talent and a presence that invited the audience to be a part of what was going on.
A short walk to one of the outdoor stages allowed us to catch the end of Imperial Teen’s set, which was met with great response, before taking a break to regroup, grab a drink and a bite to eat and prepare for Dirty Bourbon River Show, who we both felt was the best bet to close out the festival. Having seen them last year at a small venue in Macon, we had an idea of what to expect but upon getting to the venue we were met by a packed house. Will and I decided to post up at the back of the room to get the best view of their set and it was worth it. The audience loved the New Orleans flair the band had and it seemed fitting for the night. Everyone was celebrating the success of yet another festival, being with friends, and listening to great music all weekend.
All in all, MidPoint was worth the time we spent packed in Will’s car. The curators select a wide variety of genres from locales all around the world, and the festival has helped the Cincinnati downtown flourish. Aside from the few shows we couldn’t get into and being harassed by a few bums, we couldn’t have had a better time. Thanks to everyone involved and we’ll see you next year!
Band of the Week: Bethesda
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Meet the Band: Shanna Delaney (vocals, tambourine); Eric Ling (rhythm guitar); Justin Rife (drum...
Meet the Band: Shanna Delaney (vocals, tambourine); Eric Ling (rhythm guitar); Justin Rife (drums); Dan Corby (bass); Jesse Scaggs (lead guitar); Christopher Black (violin/viola, keys)
The New Line-up: Delaney and Ling met a few years ago while they were students at Kent State and subsequently formed the band about four years ago. But in the last year, they've had a number of line-up changes prior to recording their new album, The Reunion, last summer. "It's like a new band now," Delaney says.
Big at Bonnaroo: Last year, the band played Bonnaroo. While the group had to compete against jam icons Phish, who were playing the festival at the same time, it still attracted a decent crowd. "We were on the Miller Lite stage in the middle of the whole festival," says Delaney. "The Shins were finishing up on the stage next to us. It was kind of surreal, but it went really, really well. I was like, 'Oh God, please let me play well.' We had several hundred people there."
Why You Should Hear Them: The band's new album, The Reunion, could loosely be categorized as alt-country or indie pop and will appeal to both camps as Delaney evokes Neko Case in the moody ballad "We Grow Old." The band comes off a bit like indie rockers Rilo Kiley in the fiery "Poison Heirloom." "This record sounds more folk-rock than indie pop," Delaney says. "But that's what we do well. I feel like the folk elements suit us well. We've never tried to fit into any sort of hole at all. We just play what we like."
Where You Can Hear Them: wearebethesda.com
Where You Can See Them: Bethesda performs with A Band Named Ashes and Eddie Doldrum at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Musica in Akron. — Jeff Niesel
Q and A With Bethesda
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A Conversation with Bethesda by Brit Charek Back in May, Bethesda was featured by guest blogger ...A Conversation with Bethesda
by Brit Charek
Back in May, Bethesda was featured by guest blogger Ash Adams as one of the first in our ongoing series of local band profiles, This Band Could Be Your Life. (Check out that post here!) Now they are about to release a new album, which seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse to sit down with singer Shanna Delaney and guitarist Eric Ling and talk about what's in store for fans with the release of their new album, The Reunion.
All photos taken from the band's Instagram Feed. You too can follow their adventure's by following them @bethesdamoments
What are some of your goals as musicians for the New Year?
Eric: The big goal is always the same: do music for a living. Not for a ton of money, but enough to get by and to do what we love. We have put together a really great team for this album (radio with Team Clermont, management/promotion with Unleashed Music, and booking with Prater Day Booking) in hopes of making this dream a reality. What does this look like? Hopefully playing some really great festivals, weekend and full week tours in support of the album, music videos (two are in the works), radio play, national/local press, and much much more! Outside of all of this, we always make it a point to meet and build relationships with our fans and other artists and to invest in our own local music community. It is all kicked off on March 2nd, 2013 with the Album Release Party at Musica in Akron. It is going to be a great year!
Artwork for the Upcoming Show at Musica March 2nd
What should fans expect from the new album?
Eric: This new album is our most mature album to date, but I guess that goes without saying. We really feel like we have come into our own as songwriters and music composers. We really focused on making this album have the energy of our live shows, and for the emotion of the songs to be palpable. Without getting too nerdy on the sound side of things, fans will notice a pretty big change in our recording. It definitely has more grit and life than anything we have done before. With a new guitarist (Jesse Scaggs) and violinist (Christopher Black), the record has taken on new dynamics that perhaps were quite as present before. With that being said, we are still Bethesda, and our brand of indie-folk with lyrics that have depth and meaning to them, and thoughtfully composed musical soundscapes with soaring/melodic vocals is certainly all over this album. We really just can’t wait to share this with everyone – we are so excited about these songs and this album!
Tell us about the process of making the new album. How was it different than albums you've made in the past?
Eric: Many things were different about this album. First of all, the album was fully funded through fans via Kickstarter. It was a really humbling experience seeing the generosity of our friends and fans in supporting our dream. With that newfound confidence and resolve, we went out to Denver, CO to follow our favorite sound engineer, Tim Gerak of Mammoth Cave Records. On prior recordings, because they were local, we would break up the recording over a series of months. But this time, we practically locked ourselves in a studio for 14+ hour days for 7 straight days. As a result, this records has a lot of continuity and life to it that may have been a bit absent when the experience was a secondary and spread out process. Our two new members also brought completely new elements to the recording table with a more melodic lead guitar and strings, strings and more strings. We tried to take full advantage of that. Finally, we asked Tim Gerak to be our producer. It was our 3rd record and no one knew us better than Tim. Involving him in the creative process for the project really helped us capture the sound we were looking for. And we just brought a confidence and vision to the studio with these songs that was a bit lacking on prior recordings. We are really really happy with the results.
Shanna: “The Reunion” was the first song we wrote for this album. After that, I believe it was “Fit to Leave,” then “Go,” and so on. We started to notice that we unintentionally had written songs that followed the same theme of reuniting/uniting in some way with loved ones. For example, “Fit to Leave” was written for my brother, Stevie, who had passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to. Finally, on this album, we were able to come up with a song for and about him that captures my feelings on his passing. This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too. We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.
Tell us about some of your favorite memories as Bethesda.
Shanna: This is such a hard question. There are so many moments this year!
One of my favorite memories was from this year at SXSW. A few of us decided to go play in the streets and just have some fun. A guy from NPR Austin (WKUT) spotted us and invited us into an alley (I know…sounds creepy) to play a few songs for a live video feature. Justin made drums out of boxes he found in the dumpster conveniently located next to us, and the rest of us (me, Eric, and Chris) situated ourselves in front of the camera and performed. I had to sort of yell/sing over the traffic, but it was worth it. Then a random guy came running down the alley and offered to hold the microphone for the videographer while he filmed. Then a lady came running down the alley all at the same time to shoot some photos for a fashion column. It all happened so fast and was surreal, but it was super fun. I want to do it again!
Eric: My favorite memory has to be performing at Bonnaroo Music Festival this past summer. We got to meet so many terrific artists (including sitting by the Beach Boys at dinner). It was surreal! When we were loading on to the stage from our golf cart, The Shins were finishing up their set. I was pinching myself at that point. When we hit the stage, we had the show of our lives. I’ve never felt quite the same buzz after a show as I did that night. I got to do all of that with 4 of my best friends and my wife! You kidding?
Shanna: During our show, the crowd was dancing and going crazy. A few people were sitting on other people’s shoulders or were in the crowd holding signs that said, “Go Shanna.” I didn’t know these people at all. They just knew my name. This made me a little giddy.
Bethesda performing at Cellar Door Cleveland
Where can we see and hear more?
Our website, www.wearebethesda.com, is our home base. If you want to RSVP to our Album Release Party on March 2nd at Musica in Akron, you can follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/events/505872819436956/?ref=ts&fref=ts
Bethesda Is Invited To Play Bonnaroo And Prepares To Record A New Album
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Folk/Rock band Bethesda received an invitation to play at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 2012 in M...Folk/Rock band Bethesda received an invitation to play at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 2012 in Manchester, Tennessee. The festival takes place shortly before the band heads to Denver, Colorado to record their highly anticipated sophomore album. Kent, Ohio – May, 10, 2012 – Bonnaroo, one of the largest and most popular music festivals in the country, has invited Kent natives, Bethesda, to join the festivities this summer on Sunday, June 10th at 8:00 p.m at the The Great Taste Lounge. Other notable acts to play the festival this summer are Radiohead, Ben folds, The Beach Boys, and the new Rock Hall inductees, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. After the festival, the band will be heading to Denver, Colorado to record their second full-length album with their trusted producer and engineer, Tim Gerak, at Mammoth Cave Studios.
The last year has been a remarkable year for Bethesda. After the release of their EP ,”Dreamtiger and Other Tails,” the band has signed several contracts with MTV, VH1, Showtime and Discovery networks, was the first band featured for the new Rock Hall Sessions by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, filmed and released a music video (“Dreamtiger”) under the direction of Cory Sheldon (Eisley’s “Memories” and “The Valley”), played unofficial showcases on sixth street during the SXSW festival in Austin, TX, and launched a successful fan-funding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund their up-coming release.
Deeply rooted in the traditions of folk storytelling and the high energy of a punk rock show, Bethesda’s enchanting vocals, led by Shanna Delaney, and rousing melodies has made them a band to watch. Blending influences from seemingly unblendable musical genres, Bethesda has been able to paint pictures of human drama, the struggles of life, the beauty of nature, and the few truths they know to be true with poignant lyrics and musical movements that can take you from apathy to exhilaration in an instant. This vibrant combination has aided Bethesda in developing a loyal following. About Bethesda: Bethesda is the husband and wife team of vocalist Shanna Delaney and rhythm guitar player Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife, bass player Dan Corby, lead guitarist Jesse Scaggs and violinist and keyboardist Christopher Black. Up Coming Local Shows of Note: May 19, 2012 at Musica w/ Paper Route May 30, 2012 at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern w/ Plants and Animals July 21, 2012 The Burning River Festival in Cleveland August 22, 2012 at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rock Hall Sessions: Bethesda
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Although Bethesda is an Ohio-bred band whose homespun tales and sounds are grounded in the folk trad...Although Bethesda is an Ohio-bred band whose homespun tales and sounds are grounded in the folk tradition, the members' ecletic musical backgrounds, creative energy and flair for the dramatic ensure that they're never beholden to the trappings of one particular style. Instead, the group's core of musicians – violinist Christopher Black, bassist Dan Corby, vocalist Shanna Delaney, guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jesse Sloan – have cultivated a refreshingly vibrant sound that has made them a band to watch. Their music has been slated to appear in programming on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, VH1 and E!; they've shared the stage with such noted indie acts as Azure Ray and fellow Ohio native, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and exposure on more than 200 independent and college radio stations nationwide has given them serious buzz.
Delaney hails from Circleville, Ohio, while Ling grew up in nearby Bellefontaine. Sloan originally came from Florida, Rife from Tallmadge, Ohio, Corby from Chardon, Ohio, and Black was most recently living in Connecticut. The members brought divergent tastes, with Rife coming from a background playing in punk bands and Delaney having found her voice in musical theater. Ling was a student of the lo-fi acoustic school, emulating artists such as Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst. "I had a horrible voice and so did they, so I thought that was what it was all about – singing with the crackling voice and writing really thick lyrics," says Ling. "Then I met Shanna, and she had an amazing voice, and had vocal training, and listened to a little bit of folk and bluegrass growing up, and did musical theater – so [we were at] polar opposite sides of the world. The first couple times we tried to write, it was a big fight." The name Bethesda came at the suggestion of Sloan's father – a reference to the "healing" pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.
The band's debut long player, 2010's Love in a Time of Tra La La was the sound of Bethesda trying to reconcile their genre-spanning influences. "Our first record was very much a blend of all of our influences coming together – I wouldn't say fighting, because there was a blend there, but I think now we've really learned how to write together," says Rife. Tim Gerak, who'd made a name for himself playing with group The Six Parts Seven, handled production duties for Tra La La at his Akron recording studio, and the band tapped him to oversee the 2011 follow-up EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails. Ling still oversaw the majority of the songs, penning lyrics that were adapted and reworked with Delaney's input, but the entire band came together in the process creating an inevitably tighter dynamic. That would serve as the framework for nearly all the EP's tracks. The first album was finished in less than a month, while the EP – despite half the number of tracks – took nearly two.
Dreamtiger introduced the string support of Estee Beasley (a role now handled by violinist Christopher Black), adding to an already rounded sound. Although most the EP's tracks clock in at more than four minutes, there are enough hooks and engaging lyricism to keep the mix on a speedy course. The dreamlike imagery is echoed in the cover art (designed by Corby's wife Morgan; pictured above), which resembles a children's storybook. "Even though it's a genre of music we really couldn't put our finger on, that's great, because this is something original we are creating together," says Ling. "[Dreamtiger] marks a new direction for us – sort of a magical, folk, indie-pop thing that's happening that I think is really our sound."
Each member of the band agrees they prefer the live setting over the studio, the chance to engage with audiences and best harness the energy of their recordings. "The live experience is what I love," says Delaney. "I think that's because that's what I grew up doing – musical theater, opera – the stage, live performing."
As the band prepares to record the follow-up to Dreamtiger, they sat down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to talk about how they came together, their influences, feeling an intimate, emotional connection with artists' lyric sheets in the Museum, and the major impact of the Women Who Rock exhibit.
Video Interview by going to link
Northeast Ohio Band Grows From Puppy Love
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Northeast Ohio band grows from puppy love The Northeast Ohio band Bethesda has been spreading its f...Northeast Ohio band grows from puppy love
The Northeast Ohio band Bethesda has been spreading its folky Baroque pop throughout the Midwest. The group went to South By Southwest last month, the premiere showcase for unsigned bands, and is preparing to record a new album.
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA
["Dreamtiger and Other Tails," packaged to look like a well-worn childrens book, was released in 2011, and a full-length LP will follow next year.]
"Dreamtiger and Other Tails," packaged to look like a well-worn childrens book, was released in 2011, and a full-length LP will follow next year.
In The Region:
The Northeast Ohio band Bethesda has been spreading its folky Baroque pop throughout the Midwest. The group went to South By Southwest last month, the premiere showcase for unsigned bands, and is preparing to record a new album. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on how a case of stalking puppy-love led to Kent’s newest musical export.
Northeast Ohio band grows from puppy love
Bethesda began as Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling, with members like bassist Dan Corby starting as awestruck fans.
Shanna Delaney was a Kent State student in the mid-2000s when she noticed a cute boy around campus. Eventually tracking him down for a conversation, she was... subtle.
Eric Ling: “She scrawled her number on my arm.”
Eric Ling and Shanna eventually got married and started putting their musical backgrounds to good use -- Ling is a self-trained guitarist and composer, and Shanna studied musical theater in college.
Shanna: “I’d always been a vocalist, I was always into bluegrass and country growing up. He’d already written some songs and I tried singing some songs and it was mass chaos.”
Eric: “It was difficult to write songs at first but we’ve gotten better at it.”Shanna: “Just like marriage, you learn to give and take.”
Starting in 2008, they were joined by drummer Justin Rife, bassist Dan Corby and newest addition Jesse Scaggs on guitar and banjo, all bent on -- quote – “satisfying their snow-laden angst.”
They picked the band’s name while driving to their first gig. “Bethesda” is the Hebrew word for a healing pool.What’s followed were appearances on the Oxygen and E! networks, a profile at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, shows with the likes of Jessica Lea Mayfield and Frontier Ruckus, 2 EPs, an LP and now, almost four years after forming, the group hit South By Southwest this spring in Austin, Texas.
Eric: “We played a gig with acoustic guitar and violin on the street.”
Shanna: “We decided to set up and see who would hear us. Some guy from NPR saw us and says, ‘Hey, I’m doing this series on South By Southwest in the streets. … Want to come in this alley and tape a show?’ (laughs). So we did and we did a few songs.”
KB: “Usually stories that begin like that end with, ‘And he wasn’t from NPR’.”
Since returning, more good news has come via Kickstarter, a website that collects donations for creative projects. Bethesda raised close to seven thousand dollars for the recording of its next album this summer. Along with videos for many of the songs, the band hopes to release the album on vinyl LP -- a first for Bethesda.
Fine Arts and Fest: Burning River Festival: Party On Environment, Party On
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Whiskey Island here in Cleveland, Ohio, was hoppin’ July 21st and 22nd, as it held the annual Burnin...Whiskey Island here in Cleveland, Ohio, was hoppin’ July 21st and 22nd, as it held the annual Burning River Festival. The Burning River Festival takes environmental awareness and turns it into a giant party that is fun for all, but especially those over the age of 21, as beers from The Great Lakes Brewing Company flow from a multitude of kegs throughout the entire weekend. I had a blast and have to say that there is just something about the taste of Christmas Ale on my tongue in July that is like no other. Oh yes, there was Christmas Ale, and plenty of it! It’s practically Christmas in July.
Patrons take in Burning River Festival 2012 (Witwer)
Over 25 bands took to three different stages during the weekend, and the ones that I was able to take in were amazing. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes if you attend the 2013 festival because everyone was moving and grooving in-time. I particularly enjoyed one band that I saw on the main stage called Bethesda. They had amazing energy, great musicianship, and a killer lead singer. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Florence and the Machine as I danced away the night to their music. Here’s a link to their website if you’re looking for some new jams to rock out to, I highly recommend them.
Also, don’t worry if you’re not a dancer or if you like softer tunes, because right around the corner from the main stage was the acoustic stage, where solo guitarists with fantastic folky sounds jammed for a sitting crowd with a lake view that could bring calm even to the most stressed out executive in Cleveland. As far as the music went, the festival covered all the bases, and there was something for everyone so come one, come all.
Aside from the music and beer (yes, I know sometimes we forget that there’s more than music and beer to events…and life) there was the continuous theme of improving our environment. I can’t think of a better cause to help support right on the shore of Lake Erie itself. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Burning River Foundation, which is a local non-profit organization which provides resources for a happy and healthy future for our waterways. Saturday night, former U.S. Senator George Voinovich made an appearance to personally accept the foundation’s inaugural Outstanding Environmental Leadership Award for all the work he’s done to protect the Great Lakes.
Other environmental fun the festival offered was having the major contributors to the festival build boats out of post-consumer recycled materials and race with them down the river. The Corporate Boat Float entries I saw looked great and I was more than impressed with the work that went into them! Here’s to putting the materials that often cause waterway problems to a much better use!
A “Boat Float” awaits launch. (Witwer)
In addition to the boat float, there were a multitude of booths featuring fresh local food, the Ohio Burn unit which put on a fire show, and, my personal favorite, the instrument petting zoo hosted by the Baldwin Wallace University OCMEA. At this booth festival goers could try any instrument they wanted, and there were tons to choose from. I got a mini-lesson in trombone and saxophone and my boyfriend got one for the violin. It was such a fun experience! Though I’ve just mentioned a handful, there were many other vendors and displays to take in. I know I’ll be back next year because I certainly couldn’t fit everything in this time, which is a great problem to have, I suppose. It’s well worth the $10 ticket, I assure you.
Festival goers take a moment to check out the acoustic stage and the scenery. (Witwer)
Burning River Festival is a great way to support a significant cause, dance away the evening to amazing music, and have a few (ok, many) beers in the process. It’s local, it’s the essence of summer, and it’s the perfect reason to get off the couch and take in some gorgeous scenery. Take it all in Ohioans, because these are what the glory days of summer are made of.
Shoutout 30: We went to Bonnaroo
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Bethesda’s music is as intelligent as it is accessible and the band is as musically talented as they...Bethesda’s music is as intelligent as it is accessible and the band is as musically talented as they are adorable. But don’t let their cute look fool you – this Ohio sextet knows how to hustle. Bonnaroo is their latest appearance following SXSW and even an interview on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame video series in 2012 alone.
Around Town: Music on the Streets - Bethesda
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Bethesda Anyone that’s been on 6th Street during SXSW understands that feeling of listening to ten ...Bethesda
Anyone that’s been on 6th Street during SXSW understands that feeling of listening to ten different radio stations at the same time, all of them turned all the way up. Ohio band Bethesda was in the middle of this, competing with a goth metal band on 6th and Red River, a SRV wanna be on the opposite corner, and a raging rock show from the tiny club right behind them. When I spotted them they were packing up their gear in hopes of finding a spot more suited to their folk inspired sound. They were instantly interested when I creepily invited them into an alleyway to shoot some video. We found a quiet spot between dumpsters, recruited a passerby to hold a shotgun mic and shot a couple of videos. They’re a five piece band so it’s tough to get them all on camera, but if you look closely you can see drummer Justin Rife in the background banging on a drum kit made of cardboard boxes and my bike frame as a cymbal.
In The New - Bethesda Akron's Dreamtiger
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If you are looking for a band that fuses energetic live shows with carefully crafted songs, look no ...If you are looking for a band that fuses energetic live shows with carefully crafted songs, look no further than Akron's Bethesda. With two EPs and and a full-length record already under their wing, this six-piece is bound for bigger things. Though as vocalist Shanna Delaney admits, the band couldn't have done it without the love and respect of where they call home.
"Northeast Ohio is in the middle of an artistic resurgence as it continues to be filled with appreciative folks that care about culture and invest in their communities," says Delaney. "We are thrilled to be a small part of it each time we take the stage in our local cities. It is truly an electric and unique experience."
When it comes to why she chose to be a musician, Delaney says she is in awe of the way that the music she creates can move people in so many ways.
"One of the things I admire most about being a musician is the humbling honor we are given to connect with people on a deeper level and touch their lives through music," she says. "Through instruments, vocals and words, we can change people's lives in a positive or negative way. We have been given a unique responsibility and opportunity."
While some bands may aim for a sound that has the most potential to be successful to mainstream listeners, Delaney and the rest of the band strive to play music that means something to them personally.
"There's a lot of temptation in the music world to do the most trendy thing and jump on the bandwagon," she says. "We know musicians who are so caught up and concerned with what is new and trendy instead of just playing what they love, and it makes them miserable trying to keep up and fit in."
Over the years, the band has nurtured multiple avenues to discover a sound that represents them to the fullest. As Delaney explains, Bethesda has become stronger with each and every recording.
"As far as sound is concerned, we have had many genre influences, and although we loved what we wrote, we had songs that were all over the place," she says. "I think with each album, the songs have become more and more cohesive."
Stilling buzzing off the success of last year's EP, Dreamtiger and Other Tails, the band is looking forward to recording another full length.
"We believe that this album we are currently working will display the full maturation of our sound. We are really working on dynamics in this album," Delaney says. "We've written songs that range from very lo-fi pensive folk songs to full sound indie-folk-dance songs, all carefully orchestrated to give each instrument its own space."
While ideally bands like Bethesda would love to make this their full-time gig, day jobs are always a big part of the picture. Though their passion for music makes it all feel like something truly special.
"Did I mention we all have careers during the day while doing all of this?" she asks with a laugh. "We're either crazy or really, really love it. Though I think it's the latter."
10 Ohio bands that should be on your radar
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Bethesda: Kent, Ohio This indie rock group blends meaningful lyrics with folk roots and crafty guit...Bethesda: Kent, Ohio
This indie rock group blends meaningful lyrics with folk roots and crafty guitars in a way that makes you feel warmth in your heart. I remember a few years ago when I first came to Kent State, I heard about these guys. Boy have they grown since then. This year has been a fantastic one for the six piece band. After releasing their 2011 EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, Bethesda has been slated for thirty plus shows on the Discovery Network as well as fourteen shows on Showtime, MTV, Oxygen, Bravo!, VH1, and E! Not bad for a small-town band.
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Bethesda Akron Empire would like to welcome guest blogger Ash Adams, a freelance writer and good ...Bethesda
Akron Empire would like to welcome guest blogger Ash Adams, a freelance writer and good friend with Ohio roots currently based in Anchorage, Alaska. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationally. To follow Adams' work, visit her blog, Brian & Ash, which she manages with her husband, Brian Adams.
This Band Could Be Your Life: Bethesda
Photo courtesy of Brian Adams
It's really rare for one of your friends' bands to be one that you actually listen to when they're not around. And it's not because you don't love your friends—you do—it's just that you'd rather listen to good music.
This is why it took me almost 2 years to listen to Bethesda's first EP. Because I'm friends with Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney and, quite frankly, a little jaded after listening to a lot of bad music created by good people that I love. So when I finally listened to the band's first full-length album, Love in the Time of Tra La La, I was humbled, I was ashamed, and at the same time, I was squealing with delight.
YES. This was what I'd been waiting for at all of those other shows, listening to all of the failed bands of my friends.
Powerhouse lady vocals, poignant lyrics, melodic guitars, dancy percussion, tambourine, chimes, violin, and Midwestern swagger all intelligently stitched together into joyful, full sound. It was better than good—it was something I wanted to listen to and share with people.
My lack of faith then is embarrassing still. It's not that I didn't know that they were talented—the first time I heard Shanna's voice was in her car on one summer day in Kent, and I was blown away. So, consider this piece my personal apology for not believing in you guys from the get-go, Shanna and Eric. Please understand that I'd just been burned too many times before.
This disclosure is also for you, the reader. I may be friends with Bethesda, but I am still severely unbiased. I had no idea that Bethesda's songs would make it onto nearly every mix I've made during the past 2 years, including the one I made for my first child's birth. In fact, if asked beforehand, I may have bet against them. But I was wrong, so wrong.
And even still, Eric was willing to answer a few questions for me this week so that I could tell their story on this blog.
Bethesda's story starts in the way of many good stories. He meets she and then good things happen. Eric and Shanna, now married, were both attending Kent State, where they met one night through a mutual friend at a local pizza shop, Pete's Arena. “We had one of those moments,” Eric says, “where we knew something significant had just happened. A few “chance” encounters later, Shanna scrawled her number down my arm and the rest is history. I was hers without debate from that time forward.”
Eric was writing lo-fi guitar songs before they met, and Shanna was just coming out of the Kent State musical theatre program, so it was natural that music was a part of their relationship from the very beginning. “It was actually really difficult to begin with,” Eric says. “Shanna was vocally trained, and I was not trained in anything – ever. So there was a natural tension as we stumbled towards coming up with something that we were both excited about. After quite a bit of blood, sweat and tears, we had a handful of lo-fi acoustic-folk songs that we started to perform for our friends and family.”
They started playing these songs together as the Silver Diamond Doves. A couple of years later, Eric says, after attending an Anathallo, Sufjan Stevens show at Calvin College, the duo decided that they wanted to collaborate with other musicians, “to bring even more life to the songs that we had been creating.”
The couple spread the word at Vineyard Community Church, a local arts-focused church that they attended, and soon the couple had found a bassist (Dan Corby), a drummer (Justin Rife), and the band's original guitarist (Jesse Sloan).
“Soon, we had a full band, and we were intoxi
CURRENTLY ON THE RADIO AS OF SUMMER 2011
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CURRENTLY ON RADIO AS OF SUMMER 2011 BearCast Cincinnati OH BULLS RADIO Tampa FL CFMU Hamilton ...CURRENTLY ON RADIO AS OF SUMMER 2011
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Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2012
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For the third year in a row, the city of Cleveland came alive with creativity of all kinds in the fo...For the third year in a row, the city of Cleveland came alive with creativity of all kinds in the forms of music, arts and many other forms of creative expression as we once again hosted the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest on June 9th and 10th, with a preview date on June 8. Like other conferences that have come before and those that are still around like North By Northeast and South By Southwest, the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest combined many different creative elements together to create a unique experience, all while taking place in Greater Cleveland.
The two-day Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was once again a feast for all of your senses, as the festival created an experience that you were only able to get if you travelled hundreds of miles outside of Cleveland. But now, once a year, people come here to take in this event that brings together professionals from many different industries that all have one thing in common- creation. Three of the main parts of this festival are: Design, Speakers and Performance.
Design: Many different artists brought their ideas as well as their art to display during the weekend. As the artists come from different fields of art and design as well as from different types of companies and organizations, you had the opportunity to view many forms of artistic expression. Studio Ace of Spade, Three Bears Design and Fizz Creative were just some of the studios that will be took part in the show, as well as Go Media, the company that brings the festival together each year. The best part of the Art/Design Show was that it was free!
Speakers: Part of any good conference like this is the ability to check out many different people who come to talk about the main idea that the festival is centered around. With the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest having to do with many different artistic ideas, many different people spoke about different parts of the Arts industry. Sunday featured a standing room only audience in the Reinberger Auditorium with Jennifer Daniel from Bloomberg Businessweek and Jeff Finley from Go Media (the company behind the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest III),some of the other participants scheduled were: Friends of Type, Matt Stevens, Tad Carpenter, Margot Harrington and of course Johnny Cupcakes. (Photograph of Jennifer Daniel from www.WMCFEST.com)
Performance: Like any good conference like this, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest III featured plenty of performers throughout the two-day event. Like last year, this year’s event featured a breakdance competition for B-Boys and B-Girls who are looking to show off their moves.
For the rest of the time that the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest took place there was plenty of music being performed. With an indoor and outdoor stage, one band performed as another band set up. Over twenty-five bands took played during the two days of the festival.
Some of the bands that were worth checking out this year included: Into It, Over It; She Bears; Bethesda; A Great Big Pile of Leaves; and Two Hand Fools. Each of the bands mentioned have a style all their own and helped create a unique sound as they took to the stage and performed some of their music in front of very attentive audiences. While some bands who took part in the festival featured very commercially-approachable sounds that people would find enjoyable and others had more experimental sounds that would leave many scratching their heads if those bands were performing in a more conventional concert setting, the festival setting of Weapons of Mass Creation allowed for bands of any and all styles to perform together and create an ever-changing lineup of music that kept the music part of the event interesting. (Photograph of Bethesda courtesy of the Weapons of Mass Creation Facebook page).
With all that was going on this past weekend in the Greater Cleveland area, it was great to see how many people made their way out to check out the festival. The bands all had decent crowds inside of Saigon P
Indie Folk-Rock Act Bethesda Hits a Groove, In Rhythm For Show and Album
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Perhaps the smartest move local act Bethesda -- Eric Ling (guitar, vocals), Justin Rife (drums), Sha...Perhaps the smartest move local act Bethesda -- Eric Ling (guitar, vocals), Justin Rife (drums), Shanna Delaney (vocals), Jesse Sloan (guitar) and Dan Corby (bass) -- did last year was hire a press company to support the group's EP release "Dreamtiger & Other Tails."
As a result the indie-folk outfit, which has garnered comparisons to critical darling acts Arcade Fire, Eisley, The Decemberists and Mumford & Sons, had its music played on 200 independent and college radio stations. Also, the band opened for Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Azure Ray.
"We've been doing quite a bit, getting out whenever we can, but we still have day jobs," said Pickerington native and 2007 Kent State University graduate Delaney, who is married to Ling.
"Honestly, we've worked really hard. I'm very much the skeptical one of the group. When we get offered things, I'm like what do they want? What's the deal? You have to be very realistic and aware in this business."
In addition to playing a few showcase dates at SXSW Music Festival next week, the sextet is planning to record its new full-length album this summer in Denver.
"Before we were more sort of indie pop before with a folky feel and I'd say this one album still has an indie pop feel but I think it's definitely getting a little folkier," Delaney said. "We're really focusing on dynamics with this album and not all instruments having to play all of the time."
Bethesda is scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights. Also on the bill are Nights, Goodmorning Valentine, The Tins, Saints, and Poets. Tickets are $8. Call 216-321-5588.
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Bethesda told WMC Fest they love the artwork of Carson Ellis because it's "folky yet fantastical". W...Bethesda told WMC Fest they love the artwork of Carson Ellis because it's "folky yet fantastical". We couldn't think of a better way to describe their charming blend of indie rock.
1. What artist or band consistently blows you away with their artwork? Eric and I have always been big fans of Carson Ellis. She does most of The Decemberists’ artwork. We love the folky yet fantastical nature of her work. Some of the pen and ink drawings are reminiscent of some of the artwork Dan’s wife, Morgan Mzik, creates at times. (ex. Our 2012 album “Love in a Time of Tra La La.”)
2. What’s your dream collaboration? Shanna: I think we would all choose different people here. It would be my dream to perform with The Decemberists. They have such an energetic presence and a fun live show. Actually, the best live show I have ever seen. Colin Meloy often talks in his interviews about the importance of planning the live show experience.
Eric: I would choose Sufjan Stevens. He is one of the most original and thoughtful artists I have ever encountered.
3. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure song (or band!)? Justin and I (Shanna) both love ’80s music. Just the other day we expressed the desire to start a Pat Benatar cover band.
4. What are your 3 sbow essentials? Shanna’s 3 Show Essentials: Warm tea with honey for my throat, my iPod nano and headphones with vocal warm-up tracks (and some Laura Veirs to calm my nerves), fun dress with tights
Eric’s 3 Tour Essentials: Van loaded with gear, bucket loads of stored up sleep, handful of my best friends with an appetite for adventure
5. What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland and playing in Cleveland? Cleveland is a city whose musical history is full of some of rock’s greatest acts. With the burden and delight of this history, Cleveland is in the middle of an artistic resurgence as the city continues to be filled with appreciative folks that care about culture and invest in their communities! We are thrilled to be a small part of it each time we take the stage in Cleveland! It is truly an electric and unique experience.
Give ‘em a listen:
Follow Bethesda on Twitter, check ‘em out on the web, and keep up with the band on Facebook! They’ll be playing at the Saigon Plaza during the Fest.
Local Band in Focus: Bethesda
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Meet the Band: Shanna Delaney (vocals), Eric Ling (acoustic guitar, vocals), Jesse Sloan (electric g...Meet the Band: Shanna Delaney (vocals), Eric Ling (acoustic guitar, vocals), Jesse Sloan (electric guitar, banjo, keys), Dan Corby (bass), Justin Rife (drums), and Christopher Black (violin, viola).
By the Slice: A chance meeting between Delaney and Ling at a Kent State pizza place was apparently destiny: They later tied the knot. Even though it sounds like the plot of a lazy Hollywood romantic comedy, their relationship was the catalyst for the formation of Bethesda, whose indie-folk-pop sound was eventually rounded out by the other members over the past couple of years.
Healing Art: Their name comes from a healing pool found in the Bible and in Jewish and Christian traditions. "We wanted to make music with thoughtful lyrics and instrumentation that captures our real-life struggles in an honest way, but that also offers hope," says Delaney. "We loved the imagery of a place where people gathered with their brokenness on full public display in hopes that they could find healing."
Why You Should Hear Them:
Bethesda serve up an uplifting indie aesthetic that recalls the Decemberists, and their intensely meaningful lyrics, carefully crafted arrangements, and multi-textured and multi-layered soundscapes are heightened by Delaney's voice, which is filled with emotion and brightness.
Where You Can Hear Them: wearebethesda.com.
Where You Can See Them:
At the Grog Shop on March 9.
— Alexander Hall
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There’s a shift going on in music. An undercurrent of bands that are fueled by a passion for what th...There’s a shift going on in music. An undercurrent of bands that are fueled by a passion for what they are doing coupled with a cathartic quality in their writing that embraces the listener and pulls them in. Kent’s Bethesda is no exception.
This band draws you in with the angelic vocals of Shanna Delaney and wraps you in its delicate folk rock instrumentation by fellow band members Eric Ling (guitar/vocals), Jesse Scaggs (banjo/guitar), Chris Black (violin/viola), Dan Corby (bass) and Justin Rife (drums). The result is an uplifting sound that breathes a breath of fresh air into the mundanity of life.
We had the opportunity to meet up with Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling—the couple that fronts the band—prior to their performance at Cleveland’s Brite Winter Fest. Get to know a band that is trying to build a community of musicians who can inspire one another to create together.
Where did the name come from?
Ling: In Jewish-Christian tradition, bethesda is a pool of healing, and we liked the idea. We sing about a lot of hurt, a lot of pain, just reality, life; we try to be really honest in our songs and what we’re experiencing in life. We really liked the idea of just bringing hope to all of that. We write dark songs filled with hopeful melodies. We like the idea of going into a place and making it brighter than it was when we got there.
What kind of music inspires your sound?
Delaney: That’s a difficult question! When we first started out, Eric was really into Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, that sort of thing, and I was coming from an opera/musical theatre background, and kind of a country and ’80s background, too. We were coming from that. I would say as we grew together and started checking out more music, became adults and kind of grew into our own, we were inspired by bands like Sufjan Stevens, Anathallo. I think that’s where our big band noise comes from, and that’s why we wanted more members. Now, we’re very much influenced by bands like Mumford & Sons, Eisley, The Decemberists… Mates of State was a really big one for us when we were coming together and dating. We’re all over the map.
And you guys are playing SXSW this year?
Delaney: We have two shows down there; we’re doing a Red Gorilla showcase that we’re playing two shows for.
Ling: That’s the dream, to play SXSW. We’re going to be surrounded by all of our favorite bands. A year ago, before Dreamtiger was released, none of this was happening. I feel like we’ve worked really hard, we’ve been really blessed, now we’re going to SXSW and not playing just one show, but playing two shows at SXSW. It’s going to be so fun. We get to go to all of our favorite labels’ parties, too.
What advice would you give other bands that want to be able to play something like SXSW one day?
Delaney: Work hard. We work so hard. I think you have to be talented, but the other part of it is that you have to work for it. So many people don’t want to work for it. We’re workaholics. I mean, we get up at 5 in the morning, we work all day as teachers, and then we come home, and all we can think about is Bethesda. We’ll spend all night working on Bethesda, from 3:30 to when we have to go to bed at like 9. It doesn’t even feel like work because you want to be doing it.
Ling: If you really love what you’re doing and believe in what you’re doing, just work hard at it and have integrity. Don’t just slack off or get discouraged because other people don’t believe in it. Work hard and believe in it. Surround yourself with people that care about you and support you.
Let’s talk about this new album. You guys are doing a Kickstarter campaign to fund it, and you’re at around 90%.
Ling: We’re really excited! I guess as a band, you’re always excited about the next album. I feel like our new songs are a step in a new direction that we’re super proud of. This will be our second full-length album. We’re really excited about having a second full-length since we feel like we’ve really matured as a band.
Delaney: The first song we wrote for that album was “Reunion,” and it has a folk feel. Eric wrote it about his grandpa. His grandpa asked him to write a song right before he passed away, and he never got to before he passed, so it came to him one day, and Eric wrote that. The very next song after that is about my brother, who passed away when I was in college in a motorcycle accident, and I’ve been wanting to write this song since I could remember. I think there was a song in me for him, and I just couldn’t write it. We’re thinking about calling the album The Reunion; there seems to be a theme of a reunion, just reuniting and experiencing that feeling that comes with a reunion and coming together.
Ling: Some of the songs we’ve written so far are some of the most amazing songs that we’ve written, and performing them live has been a blast. We are also ridiculously humbled by the amount of money people have donated.
Delaney: We don’t take it lightly. There are times when we’ve got in a pledge, and we’ve wept when people we know have no money to give, gave to us. We want to hope that our music is more than just music, that we are helping people achieve some sort of healing, or emotion, and that we are more than just musicians.
If you loved what you heard and read, hop over to Kickstarter and help Bethesda reach the $8000 mark so that you can own a copy of their album on vinyl.
[show review] Bethesda / Lovin’ Cup, Rochester, NY / 11 February 2012
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In my mind there’s truly no better way to be introduced to a band than in an opening slot with no pr...In my mind there’s truly no better way to be introduced to a band than in an opening slot with no preconceptions. You’ve come expressly to see the headliner, and the opener is just a necessary means on your journey to achieve your musical desire. If they’re bad it can be painful; if they’re good it might at least pass the time. But an unknown opener needs to be be pretty great to completely command your attention, and when they do it comes as a surprise. It’s the unexpectedness that can create a lasting impression and elevate the whole experience: certainly more memorable than being sent a link on Spotify or reading some poor-excuse-for-a writer’s review.
Kent, Ohio-based Bethesda, opening for Kingsley Flood at Lovin’ Cup on Thursday, February 11, had their their guns set to surprise and excite. Starting off their set with their folksiest number of the night, they set up the audience perfectly for what was to come. Announcing: We’re Bethesda, our music may be based in the traditions of folk, but we aren’t going to stop there, and actually we’re not going to stop anywhere. The majority of their music was unpredictable in both style and destination. They didn’t follow the regular verse-chorus-verse song structure, and didn’t give the listener much to latch on to in the way of hooks. In fact, as soon as a riff started to seem familiar, they ripped it from under you and changed direction. Each song was a separate journey with a beginning and end that were two completely different places. Their set was meandering and wonderful and glued together by an arresting frontwoman.
Shanna Delaney was the one constant through it all. Not to dismiss the rest of the band, as each piece was important as the next, but it was Delaney that attracted my attention the most. She has superior vocal range and a stage presence that is mystifying and electric. Aside from her vocal instrument, she also played a tambourine through much of the set. The actual sound from the tambourine didn’t add all that much to the music per se, but how it was played was the key. The energy, it’s highs and lows, could be followed solely from that tambourine. At the close of the set – in a state of pure rock and roll bombast – Delaney dropped to her knees, slamming both the tambourine and her palms wildly on the stage in a move that woke the guitar gods from their slumber. Yes, with a tambourine. Bethesda: surprising to the end.
Cold Doesn't Keep Tough Clevelanders From Brite Winter Festival
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For its third edition this past Saturday, the Brite Winter Festival moved a few blocks — from its fo...For its third edition this past Saturday, the Brite Winter Festival moved a few blocks — from its former riverside location in the Flats to Ohio City. Festivalgoers huddled around three bonfires in a parking lot at Bridge and West 26th, while bands played from 5-10 p.m. on the outdoor stage there. Hundreds of hardy Clevelanders braved the cold to listen to Tom Evanchuck & the Old Money, Lighthouse & the Whaler, Bad Veins, Black Taxi, and Bethesda shiver as they played. Bethesda vocalist Shanna Delaney brightened the dreary day not only with her sparkling vocals but with her bright red coat and yellow gloves. Given the bitter cold, many music lovers appreciated the eight nearby businesses that also featured music — indoors. The festival also featured games, art, and food trucks. — Anastasia Pantsios
Radio Interview: http://www.fearlessradio.com/index.php/component/k2/item/2429-bethesda.html
Bethesda Vs. Arcade Fire
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If you need any proof that indie music is quickly becoming mainstream, look no further than Arcade F...If you need any proof that indie music is quickly becoming mainstream, look no further than Arcade Fire. The band first burst onto the scene in 2004 with their debut album Funeral, which garnered much critical acclaim and is now regarded by many as one of the best albums of the last decade. 2007's Neon Bible continued the band’s success by debuting at Number 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band then cemented their status in the public’s consciousness by winning last year’s prestigious GRAMMY Award for Album Of The Year with their third album, The Suburbs. Arcade Fire stand out from the plethora of other indie rock bands through their use of baroque influences and varied instrumentation; using anything from violins to accordions to xylophones and many more. Their music can best be described as “anthemic,” and their headlining slots at huge festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo this year have proved that their music is intended for the masses. Luckily, OurStage’s own Bethesda share Arcade Fire’s penchant for making stadium ready indie rock.
Like Arcade Fire, Bethesda is great at creating slow-building songs that lead to epic conclusions. Their song “Dreamtiger” is a perfect example of this formula, and it bears some resemblance to Arcade Fire’s song “Haiti.” Both songs begin with strummed acoustic guitar chords, but add a variety of instruments as the songs progress. While “Dreamtiger” picks up momentum pretty quickly, the song takes a drastic change about halfway through. Here, all of the instruments drop out except for the acoustic guitar and vocals. Other instruments like violin and electric guitar are soon added to create texture, followed by the entrance of a snare drum, which creates a march-like rhythm that gradually gets faster and faster. This eventually leads into the bold ending, with the repeatedly sung refrain “we are free” backed by pounding, rhythmic drums and guitars. Words can’t fully do this song justice; you really need to listen to it yourself. “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats!” is another Bethesda song with some similarities to Arcade Fire. This song also begins slowly, this time with acoustic guitar, banjo and vocals. Violin is soon added to the mix to double the vocal harmonies. However, this slow section only lasts for a short period of time, as the song quickly picks up tempo. Driven by a pounding bass drum beat and hand claps, the song sounds like it could be played at a hoedown.
However, Bethesda’s sound differs from Arcade Fire thanks to their female lead singer. While Arcade Fire occasionally uses female vocals, the majority of the singing duties are handled by lead singer Win Butler. In Bethesda, Shanna Delaney’s unique voice is a crucial component of the band’s sound. Her high pitched soprano is a one of a kind voice that is immediately recognizable. Bethesda also creates their unique sound through their use of elements of power pop and synth pop. “A Song for the Peasant Farmer” is an upbeat song that uses a catchy synthesizer melody and driving guitar chords to create a fun song that will instantly have you bobbing your head. In the end, Bethesda’s greatest strength lies in their ability to meld a bizarre variety of instruments and influences into a cohesive whole.
Bethesda to Brighten Up Old Dog, Jan. 6th
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Bethesda to Brighten Up Old Dog, Jan. 6th. Bethesda By Zac Clark Link to Bethesda website A...Bethesda to Brighten Up Old Dog, Jan. 6th.
By Zac Clark Link to Bethesda website
A simple message in a big bundle of happiness, Bethesda comes to town January 6th with the goal of making Kalamazoo all warm and fuzzy inside—so much so that my beard is becoming jealous with the coming days.
The six-piece band, made up of vocalist Shanna Delaney; her husband, auxiliary-vocalist and acoustic guitar player, Eric Ling; drummer Justin Rice; bass player Dane Korby; guitarist Jesse Sloan; and violinist Christopher Black; are playing the Old Dog Tavern for an all ages shows Friday, January 6th. The group, trekking out from their base of operations in Kent, Ohio, was recommended that they stop and perform here by local artists.
"Gun Lake and Joe Hertler tout the Kalamazoo Music scene," Delaney explained, "and we were looking for a place to play before our show at Reggie's." Bethesda is to be featured in a live interview on Fearless Radio the day after their show in Kalamazoo, followed by a performance at Reggie's Music Joint in Chicago the same night.
A band of simple pleasures, but eclectic taste, Bethesda has a light and nimble sound that still provides an ample amount volume. The group has gathered band members from all walks of musical life to create a sound akin to a tambourine—bouncy and weightless, but still raucous when shook. To create what Ling calls "music about real life and real struggles and the things that bring us hope" the band borrows influence from a plethora of artists and genres. While vocalists Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney are fans of bands such as Mumford and Sons and Feist, artists that Ling feels have "a lot more range and melody" to their music and Delaney acutely describes as "folksy," drummer Justin Rice listens to everything from Fleetwood Mac, The Clash, Operation Ivy, and Rancid. "We come from different musical backgrounds, influences and tastes. I gear up with punk rock, metal, ska--a lot of a noises, playing fast and full," drummer (and resident fire breather) Rice said. Now he is influenced by Motown. Violinist Christopher Black emulates the fiddling of the Dublin rock-music band The Frames for his work with Bethesda, and Dane Korby enjoys the bubbly bass riffs of the French band Phoenix every now and then. Guitarist Jesse Sloan listens to 90's emo/indie rock.
This boiling pot approach doesn't mull the taste of the band's sound either, as most of their lyrics comes across clearly and the instrumentality isn't lost amidst a cacophony noise. "When we come together to write a song we bring a fresh perspective-- and a different perspective. There is a lot of freedom to express and write your own stuff. We really believe we are providing something original," said Ling. On a whole the band aims to bring a message of healing with their music. "We are a band that brings healing and joy to places of darkness," Ling said. This can be understood by taking a brief, scholarly, look at the band's name—Bethesda. As Ling explained it, derived from "a tale of Jewish and Christian tradition about a pool of healing" located in Biblical Jerusalem .
As a band they acknowledge the influence as one that "is definitely that Christian faith" but don't classify themselves as a Christian band. One should expect lofty lyrics rather than beat-you-over-the-head symbolism here, as their songs focus on tropes of hope and love rather than the faith of Christianity itself. Black says, as for the show on January 6th goes, that the band is looking "to have a lot of fun, bring a lot of energy, and have a great time in the city. We have to show how much energy--how much love--we put into what we do."
Oh, and Justin might breathe fire. No big deal or anything.
Bethesda: Dreamtiger & Other Tails
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Straight outta Akron, this female-fronted quintet unleashes a five-song, 22-minute EP that deftly de...Straight outta Akron, this female-fronted quintet unleashes a five-song, 22-minute EP that deftly demonstrates why Bethesda has garnered such high acclaim in its home state. Dreamtiger‘s opening track, “A Song for the Peasant Farmer”, displays vocalist Shanna Delaney’s unique phrasing and the unique interplay between her and her bandmates, guitarists Eric Ling and Jesse Sloan, bassist Dan Corby, drummer Justin Rife. “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats!” is as whimsical and memorable as its title, while “Homage” may be the prettiest track here. Curiously, the band seems at its strongest when focusing on mellower material, though “Upon This Rock” and the closing “Dreamtiger” are hardly disappointing.
Bethesda booked at Sullivan Hall
Featured on front page of website
Matheson Kamin's "Best Of" List for 2011
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As amazing as it seems, we have reached the end of 2011. Now is the time to make our lists for the b...As amazing as it seems, we have reached the end of 2011. Now is the time to make our lists for the best releases from the last year. For me, this year’s list will be a little different than the previous years that I have created a list. This year’s list will have three parts:
Part One: Each year, there are those releases that catch your ear while taking hold and never letting go. The first 5 selections of this year’s list will make up the best 2011 albums that I wrote about throughout the year. These albums are the ones that found their way to my CD player and have yet to be put away because of how times I’ve gone back to listen to them.
Part Two: The second part of the list will include 5 additional releases. These particular selections will include explanations for their inclusion when they are mentioned.
Part Three: The third part of the list for this year will include the five best songs I have heard in 2011. These particular songs helped make 2011 what it was for me, musically.
The 2011 “Best Of” List
1 Little Tybee Humorous to Bees I love the Humorous to Bees release. The five people that make up Little Tybee combine to create one very strong release. The creativity in the writing and the playing of the members are what make this CD one of my favorite CDs for the year.
2 Mother Mother Eureka The Eureka release from Mother Mother is a personal favorite from 2011 because I just stumbled across it. And once I had the chance to hear the release, I have not been able to take it out of my CD player. I really wish there were more releases that were as well-written and strong from beginning to end as this release.
3 Bethesda Dreamtiger and Other Tails The first of two EPs from 2011 that made the list, Dreamtiger and Other Tails from Bethesda is probably the most unusual and creative release I had the chance to hear this year. From the strangely beautiful voice of Shanna Delaney to the unusual instruments included in the music of the band, there are many reasons to check out Bethesda and their 2011 release Dreamtiger and Other Tails.
4 Son of the Sun Almost Not There The second of two EPs to make their way onto my Best Of list for this year is Almost Not There from Son of the Sun. The six songs that make up this release work well to create one strong, though short, release. The variety in the songs is one of the reasons why I include this CD in this list. Son of the Sun offers up some of the best indie rock this year with their Almost Not There CD. This is one CD I wish was longer than it is.
5 Stacie Collins Sometimes Ya Gotta Sometimes Ya Gotta from Stacie Collins is the one CD on my 2011 Best Of list that is NOT from 2011. But since the album was released very late last year, I am including it in my list for this year as I was not able to review it until early this year. The Blues-based rock that Stacie Collins creates is very fun to listen to. And the fact that Collins recorded this release with The Scorchers makes this release all that much stronger.
Five Additional Releases for Your Consideration
1 True Nature You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud
The reason You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud by True Nature appears in this category is because of two reasons: One, the release came out in 2010, not 2011. And two, the band already appeared in my “Best Of” list once. But since the band’s other release of Feels like Centuries was basically half an album and included in the “Best Of” list for 2009, and You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud was the unofficial second half of that album, I felt I had to give the same honor to both the first and second parts of the release.
2 Ellery This Isn’t Over Yet This selection is another album released in 2010. And while the sound of the band is not quite as energetic as the selections in the main list, the music from Tasha and Justin Golden is beautiful and powerful. Each song written by Ellery is a song that needs to be heard. This Isn’t Over Yet is one of those releases that has many songs that could become hits if only given the chance.
3 Gods of Indie Guitar 2011 This release really deserves to be in the “Best Of” list for this year. But since there are already five selections in the Top 5 part of the list, I put this release in the second half to give more promotion to this very enjoyable release that features many talented acts.
4 Nexcyx Queen The Queen EP by Nexcyx is very good, but it really didn’t fit into The Rock And Roll Report, which is why it never appeared on the website. But I really think people should know about this release, which is why it appears here. Nexcyx is a band from Barbados that creates music that incorporates R&B, Rock and some island elements into their music, creating a style that today’s music fans should find very accessible. One of the best tracks of the year belongs to the band’s song “Bass”. That song alone makes the Queen EP one of the best releases from 2011.
5 Modern American Theatre We Could Make a House One main reason why I did not include this release in the “Best Of” list is because We Could Make a House from Modern American Theatre was actually released in 2010. And another reason for not including this release in my Best Of list for 2011 is because the band released other albums since then.
The Best Songs I’ve heard This Year:
1. Mother Mother “Simply Simple”
3. Little Tybee “Signal Below”
4. Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs “Alone in This Together”
5. Bethesda “Dreamtiger”
Holiday's Top Releases: Jolly Good List of Indie Holiday Tunes
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"We’ve compiled an overview of the best holiday music out this year..." http://www.thewildhoneypi..."We’ve compiled an overview of the best holiday music out this year..."
Christmas Comes: Bethesda Celebrates The Season With Song
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Bethesda released a modern Christmas hymn "If this is Christmas" on Sunday, December 18, one week be...Bethesda released a modern Christmas hymn "If this is Christmas" on Sunday, December 18, one week before the Christian holy holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling crafted the beautiful baroque-style serenade and recorded it with Dan Corby in one day, stating on the band's Bandcamp page, "This is our gift to you."
Delaney's endearing vocals are reminiscent of Karen Carpenter crooning the classic "Merry Christmas, Darling," composed by Richard Carpenter with lyrics by Frank Pooler. Much like the song that earned The Carpenters a Billboard No. 1 holiday hit in 1970, Bethesda's Yuletide carol has the potential to make its history in the hearts of families celebrating this special time of year.
Lyrics to "If this is Christmas" are available on Bethesda's Bandcamp page.
Live From Bad Racket: Bethesda A Band With A View To The North Coast and Above
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It's a balmy Tuesday evening, and Bethesda vocalist Shanna Delaney is out of cell phone range and wi...It's a balmy Tuesday evening, and Bethesda vocalist Shanna Delaney is out of cell phone range and without access to the Internet. She's in a remote expanse of Ohio country, miles outside Columbus, and her only means of immediate communication is a landline. It seems fitting for the voice of an Ohio-bred band whose homespun narratives are grounded in the folk tradition, a shared faith and a curiosity that enriches the typical trappings of such musical – and Biblical –convictions.
The group's core of musicians – bassist Dan Corby, guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling, drummer Justin Rife and lead guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Jesse Sloan – met at a now-defunct Vineyard Community Church (part of a Christian network of organizations and houses of worship) that became an Anonymous Relief Mission (ARM) center. It was there that the quintet discovered a mutual appreciation for music, first performing worship standards once per month, though not as Bethesda. "Looking back, it's kind of a blur, how did it all come together?" says Delaney, the gregarious, self-deprecating and titian-haired front woman of the band.
Delaney hails from Circleville, Ohio, while Ling grew up in nearby Bellefontaine. Sloan originally came from Florida, Rife from Texas, and Corby from Chardon. They've been playing music together for three years, first as Silver Diamond Doves, the short-lived duo of Delaney and Ling. Bethesda came later – on the fly, the nom de plume a paternal suggestion.
"We were going to our first real show, and thought 'we don't have a name,'" says Delaney. After much deliberation, Sloan piped up that his father had suggested Bethesda. "It means the pool of healing. We want our music to have a healing quality to it for people, to bring joy and healing into their lives, so we were Bethesda." The songs flowed with similar ease.
"When we first came together, songs came out of us in just a matter of minutes," says Delaney. "I think it's also because Eric had been writing them for so long, so he would have lyrics, and we would all jump in, come up with our own thing. It's always been part of our band to let whatever is going to happen just happen.
"I know you hear this a lot, but you don't want to be labeled as one genre… but we really didn't have a genre," says Delaney. Ling's tastes gravitated toward Bright Eyes and Elliott Smith; Sloan embraced rap and math rock; Rife had played in a ska-punk band; Delaney was coming from a musical theater background and pop rock. "When I first got into indie music, Mates of State were a big [influence]; I like a lot of the female-led [bands] such as Feist and Eisley," says Delaney. "We all really like the Decemberists, Cloud Cult, Arcade Fire - of course." Despite common ground, the first album represented a band trying to bridge myriad styles.
"We were all coming from different places," says Delaney. "Our first album very much sounds like that." The band's debut long player, 2010's Love in a Time of Tra La La is the sound of Bethesda growing: the songs are distinct but without cohesion, the performances scattered, the songwriting loose if unrefined. "If it wasn't eight minutes, it wasn't a Bethesda song," jokes Delaney. "Vocally, for me, it was so different, because I was coming from the musical theater thing and country – I grew up on bluegrass – so I'm trying to figure out how to get my vocals to fit this way I'd never sung like before."
The band were also united by academics. Delaney studied musical theater as an undergrad, while Ling studied business. The former teaches ninth grade English, in addition to public speaking and a women's studies course at Lake High School in Uniontown, Ohio; the latter is a seventh grade ancient history teacher at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. "I do a Tuesday tune," says Delaney of her high school gig. "[The students] don't like any of my music, but I try." All the band members are currently pursuing graduate degrees at Kent State University.
Tim Gerak, who'd made a name for himself playing with The Six Parts Seven group, handled production duties for Tra La La at his Akron recording studio, and the band tapped him to oversee the follow up EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails. Ling still oversaw the majority of the songs, penning lyrics that were adapted and reworked with Delaney's input. That would serve as the framework for nearly all the EP's tracks.
Whereas the previous effort hinted at a starry-eyed dynamic capable of evocative story telling and complementary, compelling arrangements, Dreamtiger skirted suggestion and delivered on the potential. "Of course, when Love in the Time of Tra La La was done, we loved it," says Delaney. "But it was our first time recording with [Gerak], figuring everything out, trying to take it seriously." The first album was finished in less than a month, the EP – despite half the number of tracks – took nearly two.
Gerak knew exactly how to capture the band's best during the second session. The band was subconsciously relaxed. The meandering jams were gone. "We were way more focused," says Delaney.
Dreamtiger introduced the string support of Estee Beasley, adding to an already rounded sound. Although most the EP's tracks clock in at more than four minutes, there are enough hooks and engaging lyricism to keep the mix on a speedy course. It's a transportive album, with dreamlike imagery that's echoed in the cover art (designed by Corby's wife Morgan), which resembles a children's storybook.
"As a local band, when you're first starting out, you know nothing," says Delaney. "No one really tells you, and you just figure it out along the way as you go along, and you learn from your mistakes, and you pick yourself up by your bootstraps and perfect it more next time."
When pressed to peg Bethesda's sound as neatly fitting a particular genre, Delaney is uncharacteristically tight-lipped. "I'll definitely say that we start with a story, and I will definitely say – as cheesy as it sounds – that it comes from the heart, and we let it be what it is," she says, delivering an honest, unrehearsed answer. ""I should really start trying to find an answer for that one."
In this installment of "Live From Bad Racket," Bethesda performs "Oh! How we Crane our Throats!," a free wheeling, folk-spiked lark with punchy banjo and string work, ringing xylophone, percussive splashes and Delaney's dulcet carol.
"The inspiration for "Oh! How We Crane Our Throats," it's basically about people… always searching for something, always wanting something more," says Delaney. "The thought of craning our throats, always reaching out for something that will ultimately, in the end, not satisfy them – and once you find something that satisfies you, you look for something else, and something else, and something else, so you're always craning your throat.
"For us and our band anyway, at the end, we feel like God satisfies. You probably pick up on the religious undertones of some of our lyrics."
Bethesda help kick off the 2011 Weapons of Mass Creation Fest this Friday at the Happy Dog. The band will set out on a tour from June 18-26, hitting Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.
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“When an artist or group combines 2 or more styles of music together, they are taking a chance on wh...“When an artist or group combines 2 or more styles of music together, they are taking a chance on whether people will like the sound or not. Bethesda is one of the lucky few bands who have successfully done that. With their upbeat Indie Rock and Folk Music combo, Bethesda has achieved nationwide status where they have reached “Top 5 Add” status. It’s no wonder on why they have the following that they do!”
CD Review: Bethesda "Dreamtiger & Other Tails"
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The Greater Cleveland, OH band Bethesda is known for their blending of sounds and styles in their mu...The Greater Cleveland, OH band Bethesda is known for their blending of sounds and styles in their music. Part folk, part indie, part pop, Bethesda takes these genres and blends them together to create a sound that is modern, retro, artsy, and altogether beautiful all at once.
The band’s sound is made possible with the help of the members of the group.
Together, they are: Shanna Delaney on vocals and bells, Eric Ling on rhythm
guitar, vocals, bells, horns and keys, Jesse Sloan on lead guitar, vocals, bells and keys, Justin Rife on drums and percussion, Dan Corby on bass, and Estee Beasley on violin. The unusual instruments of bells, horns and violin used by the band help create a sound that is very unique and creative. And then, there are Shanna Delaney’s vocals: She has a voice that sounds like it came from a time gone by. Her voice could easily remind you of female vocalists who would have recorded with bands and band leaders back in the Big Band era. The clear quality of Delaney’s voice really helps enforce the power of the lyrics to the band’s songs. Together with Delaney’s voice, the band’s sound is definitely like nothing you’ve come across before.
Since the band came together, they have released three CDs, including their newest one, 2011’s Dreamtiger & Other Tails. Dreamtiger & Other Tails from Bethesda begins with the track “A Song for the Peasant Farmer”. The first track off of the EP is a classic Indie rock song that features Delaney as the lead singer of the track. The use of the bells by Sloan on the song really gives the song a sound that is part rock and orchestral.
The song “Oh, How We Crane Our Throats” is one of the songs on the newest
release from Bethesda that proves that the band’s sound is much more than just
indie rock. Take an indie feel to the music; add some banjo and violin and you
get a song that has a very Americana approach. But the foot-stomping beat created by the band on the song is a lot harder than your average Americana tune.
With the song “Homage,” the band slows the pace down quite a bit. “Homage” is a folk-flavored song that features a minimal amount of musical instruments that include guitar, bass and violin. With a overall sound that might have you thinking of the refrain from “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm” from Crash Test Dummies, the slow-paced song is like a beautiful letter to those who made you You. Shanna sings the lyrics to this rather beautifully and really make you feel the emotion of the words.
After taking a few minutes to perform a very beautiful song, the band once again picks up the pace. While “Homage” is a tune that has a very simply sound and approach to the music, “Upon This Rock” on the Dreamtiger & Other Tails release from Bethesda has a harder sound and once again finds the band in an indie frame of mind. Along with Delaney’s vocals, the song also features the vocals of lead guitarist Eric Sloan as he sings his part as a duet with Delaney. The trumpet playing of rhythm guitarist Eric Ling also gives the song a very indie feel.
Dreamtiger & Other Tails comes to a close with the song that helps give the release its name. “Dreamtiger” is probably the strongest song on the album and could easily be thought of as the song that truly allows the listener to hear the talent of all musicians involved. The rock music created by the band, the violin playing of Estee Beasley and the beautiful vocals of Shanna Delaney combine on this song to create the best track on this release.
While Dreamtiger & Other Tails from Greater Cleveland’s Bethesda is only five songs long, this is the type of release where you get so many different sides of a band that you really wish the album was longer.
Bethesda - Dreamtiger & Other Tails
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Dreamtiger & Other Tails is the latest offering from indie-folk quintet Bethesda, the Kent / Akron O...Dreamtiger & Other Tails is the latest offering from indie-folk quintet Bethesda, the Kent / Akron OH. band’s EP is rich mix of sound textures bound together by the soaring opera-esque vocals of Shanna Delaney, combine this with thoughtful engaging lyrics and you have an intriguing set of songs that marks them down as one to watch and should set you down the path of checking out their other releases the 2008 self-titled EP and the 2010 debut full-length Love in a Time of Tra La La - here’s the links and their excellent video for Dreamtiger.
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We've said it before but we'll say it again (and again and again and again). We rarely review EPs ar...We've said it before but we'll say it again (and again and again and again). We rarely review EPs around here because of the hassle involved in playing the damn things--so much physical work involved (pant, pant, pant, whine, whine, whine...) just to hear a handful of songs. So if you see an EP reviewed here you know it's something that really stands out. The folks in Bethesda are obviously off and running with their career. Though the band has only been around a short time their music is already being played on over 200 radio stations around the country and they're slated to appear in a multitude of cable shows. Not hard to see why the music is being instantly embraced. The five songs on Dreamtiger & Other Tails are fresh and feature some truly great crystal clear female vocals. The band is comprised of Shanna Delaney (vocals, percussion), Eric Ling (guitar, vocals), Jesse Sloan (guitar, vocals, keyboards, banjo), Dan Corby (bass), and Justin Rife (drums, percussion). Exceptional sleeve design and artwork on this one. You can expect to see and hear a lot about this band in the very near future...
Bethesda: Dreamtiger & Other Tails
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Let’s be honest, the indie market has been over crowded for sometime now. It seems like almost every...Let’s be honest, the indie market has been over crowded for sometime now. It seems like almost every day a new band pops up in that particular market and nine times out of ten they sound similar if not identical to at least four or five bands out there doing the same exact thing. Because of this it seems the indie market is narrowed down, as far as judging bands, based on how they deliver their sound, no matter how familiar. Bethesda isn’t a band that I’m going to champion as the next best thing but they at least manage to impress as a unit and manage not to waste much of their foot in the door opportunity.
Lead singer Shanna Delaney reminds me a bit of Zoë Deschenal’s work with She & Him, mixing in a slight rockabilly twang in her vocals and an impressive high register operatic delivery at times. The fact that she is a fantastic singer, for the most part, elevates the brilliance of the bands efforts in the lyrical department. Inside of the CD case you’ll find a removable booklet, small as it may be, which has lyrics for all of the EP’s songs. Flipping through the five pages of lyrics is like flipping through a book of tales. The bands folk edge is accurately defined by their use of lyrics as a narrative for the every day human. Topics covered here are mostly about life in general, through my perspective, from the hard knock truths about life being hard but making the most of it, looking back on those hard times and allowing their faded memory to bring sweetness to the rewards of the now, and when all else fails being able to live within the perfection of our own dreams and fantasies. All of the tracks rate very highly as far as sound, it is an excellently produced album, but the final title track just didn't sit well with me.
The album is a mish mash of what I take as influences from The Sussex Wit to Mumford and Sons to She & Him and more. The 22 minute EP manages to create individualism between the five tracks while somehow tying them all together to weave some sort of tale, again, from my perspective. Fortunately enough the band does have their 2009 self titled EP available for free from their website as well as the entire album available for streaming at Bandcamp. It’s a real opportunity to see weather or not the band makes your cut. For me, I think I’ll be listening to this CD for awhile. Its got enough strength to continue on in my collection. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.
Bethesda - Dreamtiger & Other Tails
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Upon first setting eyes on Bethesda’s packaging for their new EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, you know...Upon first setting eyes on Bethesda’s packaging for their new EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, you know that this is going to be a playful collection of songs. The EP with its illustrated booklet are fitting first impressions for Dreamtiger‘s storybook concept. And, despite the jaunty tunes, like a lot of good children’s tales, Bethesda’s tracks aren’t about unicorns, rainbows and fairies, but they’re a bit on the darker side. And, although every song on the album are musically and lyrically delightful, “Dreamtiger” stands out because it’s the track that best showcases lead vocalist, Shanna Delaney’s voice. But, it’s the melancholy melody, cello and harmony in the troubled “Homage” I’m drawn to the most.
Sound Notes: Bethesda
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As the title and cover art of Bethesda's Dreamtiger & Other Tails not-so subtly suggests, the Ohio b...As the title and cover art of Bethesda's Dreamtiger & Other Tails not-so subtly suggests, the Ohio band's latest EP (official release is May 7) is a lively foray into the ethereal. The varied instrumentation and delightfully curious orchestration are bound by a talent for colorful narrative that speaks of scattered ashes, farmer's hands, river banks, cattail whips, Mother, hearts, empty halls and handwritten letters, dreamers and lovers. The result is an engaging 20-plus minutes of storytelling, pensive lullabies for adults.
Vocalist Shanna Delaney carries each tune with a commanding presence that often sings more to Broadway than Beachland Ballroom – fitting as her performance tends to steal the show. Her dulcet tones are dynamic, leading – not adapting to – the music swirling around her. While comparisons to the twee drawl of Zooey Deschanel or Jenny Lewis are not without merit, her delivery has more in common with sometimes sultry, usually enigmatic, rarely imitative authenticity of Gillian Welch and Neko Case. The undeniably talented band – guitarist/vocalist Eric Ling; lead guitarist, vocalist, key man Jesse Sloan; bassist Dan Corby and drummer Justin Rife – find a musical cohesion and confidence that allows for studied experimentation. The whole package emanates with seemingly effortless aplomb, further lulling listeners into a contemplative submission.
"A Song for the Peasant Farmer" launches the EP with a playful punchiness. The guitars have a shimmering, angular lilt that has much in common with the creative vibrations of The National. Delaney's vocals bubble and subdue, guiding a snare-driven drill march in the final minute, tensely building to a crescendo that never arrives, though it doesn't seem anti-climatic, but rather restrained.
"Oh! How We Crane our Throats" plays up the decidedly folk stylings of the band, as loose banjo and fiddle flutter behind Delaney's buoyant effusing: Mother said / what's lost can always be found. The track quickly evolves, as Delaney's idiosyncratic delivery follows a shuffling clap-along sing-song that rolls with string flourishes, plucky banjo, tinging bells and percussive splashes.
The cheery disposition takes a backseat on "Homage," a haunting, crawling, harmony laden number with ringing, repetitive acoustic picking, emotive cello, and lyrics: dear mother, don't cry / your love is strong / it carries me / all dressed up in white / dark memories flee / once trapped, now free.
Indie proclivities guide "Upon This Rock," as speedy high-hat work gives way to heartier cymbal bashing exercises; stop-start clean guitar transitions into a familiar uptempo strum, and male-female dueling vocals compete for attention.
"Dreamtiger" closes the EP with among the album's most wide-eyed imagery: 'Cause I know behind your dead eyes / there lives a dreamscape of nights /with stars that pulse in the skies / and take me under / take us under / in the light, in the light / stars erupt a thousand times. The song sings of the youthful naivety associated with hope, love and longing, and the inescapable realities of life. It's about uncovering meaning in the sublime. Two minutes in, Delaney takes center stage, the spotlight, briefly unaccompanied before being backed with more minimalist strings. It's soaring, repeating "we believe" and "we are free." It's a fitting finale to an all-to-short offering from a young band with many more stories to tell.
Named #1 Local Band on Akron-Canton HOTLIST
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BETHESDA: Not the City in Maryland
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As the childhood rhyme goes, first comes love, then comes marriage — Bethesda is the proverbial baby...As the childhood rhyme goes, first comes love, then comes marriage — Bethesda is the proverbial baby in the baby carriage.
While Shanna Delaney and Eric Ling were at Kent State k-i-s-s-i-n-g, they started the band Silver Diamond Doves. The duo started attending Vineyard Community Church together, where a little over three years ago they met the three guys who would fill out their group.
One by one, Dan Corby, Jesse Sloan and Justin Rife joined Delaney and Ling on their musical endeavor. Corby and Sloan both currently attend Kent State as a visual communication design major and a pre-nursing major, respectively, and Rife left Kent State in 2009.
After Corby, Sloan and Rife completed the ensemble, they started having those “ah” moments, Ling said. The moments where they all just knew it was right.
But they didn’t have a new name.
Even as they were driving to their first show, they still hadn’t settled on what they would call themselves. Second Star to the Left was up in the air, but when Sloan’s dad called with a suggestion, they had another “ah” moment.
Bethesda is a city in Maryland, but that’s not the namesake of the band. Bethesda in Jewish tradition is a healing pool, and that, more than a city or a “Peter Pan” reference ever could, encompasses the messages in Bethesda’s songs.
“We talk a lot about struggles and difficult times,” said Ling, who graduated from Kent State with a degree in integrated social studies and is currently working toward his master’s in evaluation and measurement.
Their songs tend to be a little lengthier because they have to tell the stories through their lyrics.
“I think we always try to focus on the story or the emotion,” Rife said.
Bethesda just finished recording its newest EP, “Dreamtiger and Other Tails,” which they hope to release in May, and they said there’s only one song less than five minutes on that album.
“We’re a lyric-centered band,” Delaney said. “We couldn’t cut lyrics because it’s part of a story.” And Ling added, “It’s hard to write a three-minute story.”
Every member of Bethesda came from different musical backgrounds, so any one of the band’s songs might have a hint of a different style.
“People have often had a hard time defining (our music),” said Delaney, who graduated from Kent State with a degree in integrated language arts and is currently working on a master’s in literature.
There’s a healing quality to Bethesda’s songs, no matter what the influences are on any given track. The power behind Delaney’s lead vocals, both in sound and emotion, demonstrate her background in musical theater, but her dreamy tone carries the stories in the lyrics.
The overall product ends up being a little bit indie, a little bit pop and a little bit folk. Estee Beasley plays violin for the band, adding that unmistakable string sound.
Corby called Bethesda’s music “baroque pop” because every part the band writes for a song is orchestrated. Every piece of the song has meaning.
“We just write music, and however it comes out, it comes out,” Rife said.
Delaney said the most important part is if the band loves the song. If they love it, it’s a Bethesda song. They aren’t defined by one genre, rather a mixture of their favorite parts of a multitude of genres.
“(The songs) all seem to flow together,” Rife said. “It doesn’t seem like you’re listening to different artists.”
Ling and Sloan write the songs, but each member writes the part for his own instrument. Ling said it helps them come up with something unique each time and helps to eliminate redundancy.
“It changes the roles we play,” Sloan said because the person who is playing a specific instrument depends on who wrote the song.
During the their Silver Diamond Doves days, Ling and Delaney had a hard time writing music because Ling wasn’t used to writing songs for her voice.
“When we first started writing songs, it was miserable,” Ling said.
Now they’ve got things figured out, and the music is part of their marriage.
Bethesda has only been together for three years, but in that time the band has racked up some big accomplishments.
Ling used to put Azure Ray songs on love CDs for Delaney. Now they can say they opened for one of the same bands that brought them together. Delaney said she has always admired Eisley. Yeah, Bethesda has opened from them, too.
“You see how quickly things did work,” Delaney said.
“You only get one shot at this music thing, and we really feel confident with what we have,” Ling said.
First comes love, but in this case it’s not solely love between two people. It’s love for the group and love for the cause and love for the music being created. It’s love in the songs they write and the stories they tell.
There’s love in the circumstance because they know chances like these don’t always come around.
“Deep down in my heart, I feel like this is what God has for us,” Delaney said. “We’ve all been given this passion for a reason.”
Contact Nicole Aikens at email@example.com
Off The Grid
Weapons of Mass Creation Pre-fest Mixer Wrap-up
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Weapons of Mass Creation Pre-Fest Mixer Wrap-Up Today is the first day of the two-day festival kn...Weapons of Mass Creation Pre-Fest Mixer Wrap-Up
Today is the first day of the two-day festival known as the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. The festival will be taking place in and around the West 58th and Detroit Ave area. To recap: The Weapons of Mass Creation Fest has three parts: The Art/Design Show, which is currently taking place at Wall Eye Gallery at 5304 Detroit Ave; the Speakers category, which features people in the Design Industry describing what is currently happening and what will happen in the Design Industry in the near future with speeches taking place at The Reinberger Auditorium at 5209 Detroit; and the Bands category with around 20 bands taking part in the two days of events, with the concerts taking place at The Happy Dog at 5801 Detroit Ave. To help kick off the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, a Pre-Fest Mixer took place last night at The Happy Dog. The Pre-Fest Mixer featured four acts that gave just a small indication of what type of music could be expected for the two days of celebration throughout the weekend. The first act to grace the stage at The Happy Dog for the Pre-Fest Mixer was Humble Home. Humble Home was recently featured in the Scene Magazine as Band of the Week. If the performance by the band at The Mixer is anything to go by, This is one band in the area that needs to be seen by many more people. The half-hour show was great, as Humble Home performed their indie-rock music that can be found on their current release entitled "To Doubt". Hearing the band in concert and then experiencing the CD, it is easy to see why this band is one to keep your eyes and ears out for. Gregory and the Hawk was the second act for the night. Gregory and the Hawk is otherwise known as Meredith Godreau, a New York-based singer-songwriter. For the Pre-Fest Mixer last night, Godreau took the stage at The Happy Dog as a solo act, which was sort of disappointing; not because of Godreau's performance, but because most of the performance was lost on the people in the back of the venue. For those who could enjoy the music that came from Godreau's Gregory and the Hawk releases, there was much to enjoy. Probably the most interesting act of the night was the third act, Bethesda. The Cleveland-based band is another act that needs to find a very large following in the Greater Cleveland area. Most of the music played during Bethesda's waaaaaay too short set came from their new release entitled "Dreamtiger and Other Tails". The band's musical makeup includes a violinist, a trumpet player, a vibe player, banjo player, as well as the usual guitar, bass, keys and drums. The unusual combination of musical instruments and singer Shanna Delaney's vocals that seem to have come from a different time make for a truly special sound. If you see this band is performing in the Cleveland area, check them out as you won't be disappointed. The last act of last night's Pre-Fest Mixer for the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was David Dondero. Dondero played the longest set of the night as he played for about an hour. Dondero, like Godreau, played solo. The strange thing about the set from Dondero is that he said almost nothing throughout the hour-long set of music, though he was definitely able to fill the hour with no trouble. The set contained a variety of moods, going from rock to folk music; some of the songs were stories, while others were politically-charged. The Pre-Fest Mixer for the 2011 Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was a nice success, as many people came to check out the music. Today, the 2011 Weapons of Mass Creation Fest begins and will continue tomorrow, as well. If you would like to experience what you missed last night, check out the website for the fest at www.wmcfest.com and discover all you can do over these two days.
Rock Hall Sessions: Bethesda
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Rock Hall Sessions: Bethesda Added Feb 20, 2012, Under: Multimedia, Written by Buzzbin Staff Loc...Rock Hall Sessions: Bethesda
Added Feb 20, 2012, Under: Multimedia, Written by Buzzbin Staff
Local band Bethesda sits down with the Rock -N- Roll Hall of Fame to talk about their music and what they like about the Hall of Fame.
Bethesda "Dreamtiger & Other Tails"
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Bethesda is not the kind of band that garners an easy label. Hailing from Kent (in spite of the name...Bethesda is not the kind of band that garners an easy label. Hailing from Kent (in spite of the name), the recording artists embody a sound unlike other artists in the Northeast Ohio music scene. Their latest EP, “Dreamtiger & Other Tails,” is a refreshing aural experience in an otherwise lackluster year of releases thus far. Led by vocalist Shanna Delaney, Bethesda’s release takes on a sound akin to Zooey Deschanel’s She and Him, then runs with it in an entirely different musical direction. A robust and often powerful array of instrumentations comes blossoming from the speakers.
The EP kicks off with the intriguing “A Song for the Peasant Farmer,” but the clear standout is the closer “Dreamtiger,” which launches with the sounds of an organ and then pumps straight into the uplifting vocal strengths of Delaney and the talent around her. An honest look at life in general, Bethesda’s “Dreamtiger & Other Tails” is a welcome addition to the frequently overlooked folk-rock scene and a stellar look at what’s to come from this promising local group.
Hear Bethesda’s quirky indie stylings and roaring vocals at the “Dreamtigers & Other Tails” release party on May 7, held at Musica. Craig Ramsey and The Speedbumps open; tickets are $10 in advance. Doors open at 7.
Bethesda Heading to NYC This Friday
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Ohio band Bethesda is heading to New York City and are set to play Lulu’s this Friday night with Fie...Ohio band Bethesda is heading to New York City and are set to play Lulu’s this Friday night with Field Mouse. Driven by female vocals, acoustic guitar, and steady percussion, Bethesda’s latest EP, Dreamtiger & Other Tails, is a well-crafted, summertime beauty...
Dream Big: Makin' the Scene
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Dream Big Bethesda find their voice on a new EP by Jeff Niesel | May 04, 2011 locals-1.jpg Er...Dream Big
Bethesda find their voice on a new EP
by Jeff Niesel | May 04, 2011
Eric Ling and Shanna Delaney met as Kent State students seven years ago. Though she was a singer into old-time country music and musical theater, and he was all about Bright Eyes and Elliott Smith, they started an indie-rock band and eventually got married. By 2009 their band, Bethesda, released its debut EP; last year they completed their first album and opened for some of their favorite groups, including Azure Ray. "Eric used to put their songs on CD for me when we were dating," says Delaney.
Now Bethesda are planning a video for "Dreamtiger," the lilting Neko Case-like title track from their brand-new EP. Then they'll tour the East Coast before returning to Cleveland for the Weapons of Mass Creation arts and indie-rock festival next month.
"We've changed so much from our first EP," says Delaney. "We had some folk songs and some pop-punk songs. You could hear we were trying to find our sound. This one is a solid five tunes. We're starting to grow and come into our own."
Bethesda play a CD-release show at 8 p.m. Saturday at Musica in Akron. Speedbumps and the Afternoon Naps' Craig Ramsey open. Tickets are $10, available at akronmusica.com.
"Dreamtiger & Other Tails" A Bethesda Review
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Bethesda does it again with a new EP, adding to their collection of whimsical tunes. "Dreamtiger & O...Bethesda does it again with a new EP, adding to their collection of whimsical tunes. "Dreamtiger & Other Tails" takes the form of a storybook — musically and lyrically. The booklet that comes with the EP is reminiscent of a children’s fairy tale book, hand drawings and all.
Similar to the folklore in children’s stories, Bethesda’s songs have a darker tone. Despite the happy beat and soaring vocals, the lyrics tell stories of a troubled family, lies and uncertainty.
This EP is a slight branch from Bethesda’s last album, “Love in a Time of Tra La La.” But Shanna Delaney’s vocals are familiar enough to recognize the songs are definitely Bethesda-made. Only one song has an obvious chorus while the others take the form of a narrative.
Here’s a small taste of each track from “Dreamtiger & Other Tails,” but make sure to purchase it to get the full effect.
A Song for the Peasant Farmer: This song has a fun beat with poetic lyrics and speaks of what the death of a king will do for those who are less fortunate.
“Separate us from what breaks us. Bind us to what made us.”
Oh, How We Crane Our Throats: This is a cute song that opens with a slow banjo playing in the background that sounds like music from the swamps of Louisiana. The song picks up as the meat of the story begins that makes the listener subconsciously bob his or her head.
“Why do I lay here in this old skin? Sinking deep, surrounding me, are you with me?”
Homage: The lyrics to this one are sad but brave. A mother is crying, a father speaks harshly, a brother forgets and a sister remembers. The melody flows and sways. The harmony rounds the sound out and cello adds a wonderful undertone to the whole tale.
“The rising beasts, the gnashing teeth, yet still we stand.”
Upon This Rock: The vocals open the song right away and are bouncy and happy. The lyrics are more positive than the other tracks and talk of trusting in undying love.
“When the waters rise, what we’ve built won’t wash away.”
Dreamtiger: The title track shows off Delaney’s talent. The track is upbeat until the end where her voice takes the listener to another world. Her voice soars and the harmony fits perfectly. The final few minutes of the song sound almost like a march and speak of belief and freedom.
“Break down these walls! Now we can see the ocean speaks. We believe. We believe we are free.”
Indie Today: The Unsigned Band Series (Bethesda)
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Bethesda is the latest addition to the Unsigned Band club. This Ohio based six piece band released ...Bethesda is the latest addition to the Unsigned Band club. This Ohio based six piece band released their debut album, "Love In The Time of Tra La La", this January. I'm excited when I listen to this indie folk/rock band and how they write lyrics for a purpose. They have a desire to get a message across. A lot of bands try to hard to accomplish this while Bethesda are writing intelligent, straightforward lyrics. I'm reminded a little of The Sundays when I listen to these guys. Shanna and Eric are teachers by day, so let's hope now it's summer that we'll see a few concerts from the band. Keep an eye out, especially if you're in the Ohio area.
I'm trying something different with these guys. Instead of doing an interview with them, I asked the band to do a song by song bio of the album. I'm so glad I did. I think it has added a lot to the album. I'm seeing some songs a lot differently now. I added some of the songs onto the post so you can check them out while reading the snippets on the songs.
Staff Pick: Ohio Music Swap Meet at Kobo
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It says a lot that this show has me determined to split time between it and the highly-anticipated-b...It says a lot that this show has me determined to split time between it and the highly-anticipated-by-yours-truly Wet Darlings CD release party at Skully's this Friday. Ohio Music Swap Meet is a new series at Kobo, and local bands Way Yes and Moon High are on the inaugural bill alongside Indiana band husband&wife and Bethesda (pictured) from Kent.
That last one has me particularly pumped. Seeing a band composed of alumni of my alma mater (Kent State) in a town where Buckeyes rule with an iron nut warms my heart, but their baroque sound and dreamy lyrics could make anyone swoon. Also pumped are the indie band's singer Shanna Delaney and guitarist Eric Ling.
"We both grew up in the Columbus area," Delaney said, "so it's nice to do a show at home."
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Very close to the capital of the United States, Maryland, is a town called Bethesda, which gives its...Very close to the capital of the United States, Maryland, is a town called Bethesda, which gives its name to training before us, a sextet based in northeast Ohio, which only have information, as we only know that an EP released in 2008, followed by an album early last year 2010, called "Love In A Time Of Tra La La".
This is a very interesting album, which has gone unnoticed but for the media, so its spread has been quite weak, which comes back to show how easy it is to support individual artists of dubious quality and leave out bands that has nothing to envy to those who have greater media impact.
The fact is that, because of our commitment to reverse this situation, we think we should show our support for groups like this, almost without means to support them, and with only the illusion and good work, we demonstrate that it is possible enjoy great music while remaining outside of what we consider major consuming industries.
If we focus on the music they make, we could say that this is a melodic indie-pop with folk overtones in which especially the voice of singer Shanna, a versatile voice and great personality that is presented at its best on "Puzzles", a great song that would justify the acquisition of the disc. However, this is not the only issue to be taken into consideration, because the whole album shows a band of high quality, delicious melodies and brilliant vocal harmonies, delightful songs that make your listening a delight.
Chris Cozens (Oscar-winning musician/composer) Reviews Bethesda!
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To compare Bethesda to anyone else would be unfair on both parties but in order to talk about them t...To compare Bethesda to anyone else would be unfair on both parties but in order to talk about them to those who have yet to hear them we are left with little option. Bethesda have an original take on a well developed indie line up – female and male lead vocals harmonies over guitars bass and drums. Little flecks of influence can be heard; but it is a reference, a doffed cap, a salute rather than a direct copy of any other artist. And the band have a wide range of tastes – Fairground Attraction sprang to mind, Prefab Sprout, REM. And the common denominator in all these bands – the quality of the songs.
Bethesda – Love in a Time of Tra La La is a collection of ten well crafted songs beautifully played and presented. From the catchy Burn These Ships through the driving Puzzles, the reflective The Otherwise Unremarkable Case of… - these three opening songs set the listener up for a journey glimpsing the lives of this talented band. And there are some wonderful surprises in store – such as the use of glockenspiel and trumpet on The Prime Directive. I have yet to see them live – but my suspicion is that they are even better in that setting.
Chris Cozens. 2010.
Bethesda- Live @ The Lemon Grove Oct 23rd 2010-By Damien Killjoy aka Gary Angelo
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Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda rekindles an ethereal yet upbeat sound that incorporates warm theatrical ind...Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda rekindles an ethereal yet upbeat sound that incorporates warm theatrical indie folk elements.
When listening to Bethesda, a calmer side of the 80's British indie/working class sounds of The Band of Holy Joy come to mind with an advant folk element in the vein of acts such as Ash In Pensacola. Setting influences aside, Bethesda carves out their own creative code when it comes to layering folk elements over a strong indie ethic foundation. Bethesda released their latest LP Love In Time of Tra La La in January of 2010. Some tracks that come to mind include the rural folk tones of “Burn These Ships,” while “Puzzles” puts Bethesda’s classic Brit-pop shine on intrigueing display. Bethesda can easily fit on a bill with acts ranging from The Vaselines to Langhorne Slim.
The night continued with the glazed/glassy post-shoegaze guitar sounds of The Pomegranates from Cincinnati, along with Youngstown favs Sewing Machine War and Signature Event. The Event was a production of Wild Kindness, an indie touring and booking company put together by local musicians David Pokrivniak and David Knowlden
Myspace or Yours #3: Bethesda
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We Metro area folks are quite familiar with Bethesda. Well, at least as it pertains to that certain ...We Metro area folks are quite familiar with Bethesda. Well, at least as it pertains to that certain part of the Maryland burbs with the heaps of fancy houses and miles of winding roads and, perhaps best of all, a killer bowling alley. It just so happens that now there’s another Bethesda to make yourself acquainted with, and I promise this one’s even better.
Hailing from Ohio, and born out of “snow laden” frustration, Bethesda the band makes music that is full of gentle lulls and folksy familiarity. One could very easily call them homespun, salt of the earth, and down home, but there’s more to them that that. There’s the sound of sunshiney days captured in summer and remembered during long, cruel mid-winter nights, the glow that warms you as your breath comes fast and white against those stark, starry skies.
Something about Shanna Delaney’s voice is earthily ethereal, as warm and rich as the day is long. And really, I never thought anyone would ever be able to make lines from “Row Row Row Your Boat” sound good, but hot damn, Bethesda proved me wrong. “The Boat Waltz” is entrancing, and more than a little mystical. Of course, I kinda sorta feel that way about the band in general.
Say Hello To: Bethesda
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Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda write pop songs based in a blended combination of folk, mathy rhythms, orchest...Kent, Ohio’s Bethesda write pop songs based in a blended combination of folk, mathy rhythms, orchestral flourishes (hand claps, bells, horns, violins, etc), and indie rock. It’s the kind of description you hear at a bar from a friend who just found a new favorite band, but can’t describe them. As the naysayer of friend’s passionate opinions for years let me say I completely understand their pain now. Bethesda really is all of those things, and the equal measures of each element of their songs is important to their sound. The heart of what keeps one thing from taking too much control over is the pop center of the songs. Obviously talented musicians, Bethesda show off by creating songs that are devoid of erroneous fluff while being stuffed with different genre quirks. Imagine a 80’s movie montage of She & Him, The Smiths, The Descemberists, The Anniversary and Good Old War playing kick ball. They’re kind of like that.
Knox Road: Bethesda
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A band that caught my ears recently has come with a name not so unfamiliar to us folks here in D.C.:...A band that caught my ears recently has come with a name not so unfamiliar to us folks here in D.C.: Bethesda is a town just around the bend, so the group caught my attention pretty much immediately, despite having never heard a lick of their music (does anyone use that saying anymore?). Sometimes you just get lucky! I should note, though, that Bethesda isn’t really from Maryland at all, they’re actually from Northeast Ohio. What? Indie band from Northeast Ohio? Unheard of! Another thing going in their favor. Go Bethesda!
The sound is difficult to explain, but I think that’s what Bethesda thrives off of, so I’ll do my best not to narrow them down too much. The six members clearly have roots in a folk sound, but on their debut full length, Love in a Time of Tra La La, indie pop runs rampant.
Bethesda: "Love in a Time of Tra La La"
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Meticulously recorded by Six Parts Seven's Tim Gerak at his Mammoth Cave Studios, this pensive Kent-...Meticulously recorded by Six Parts Seven's Tim Gerak at his Mammoth Cave Studios, this pensive Kent-based band's debut takes its musical cues from Rilo Kiley. That's not a bad thing. With its trickling acoustic guitars and soft horns, "The Boat Waltz" is a quiet number that sounds like a short fairy tale. So do tender tunes like "Apocalypse" and "My Body." The brisk "The Prime Directive" features intricate call-and-response vocals, highlighting the band's true strength: The group has several good singers.
— Jeff Niesel
The Independent's Night Out
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“There’s a weird sense of Americana shot through Bethesda’s music – eerie in its own way when contra...“There’s a weird sense of Americana shot through Bethesda’s music – eerie in its own way when contrasted with Coffin Rider. Leaving out the banjo and other various trappings one might associate with the genre, the band tosses in some tropes more associated with current sub-terra rock groups, fey and otherwise. Fronted by the able-voiced Shanna Delaney, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there’s a band performing behind her. Understanding each player’s abilities, Bethesda works out a musical fence-sitting act between straight pop and more serious art musics.
We play a collection of songs from our LP (estimated release 2013), 2011 EP, and 2010 LP. All songs are original, and we can do whatever set length is necessary.