MP3 Chancellorpink - Life Like Sad Music
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13 MP3 Songs in this album (42:13) !
Related styles: POP: Pop Underground, POP: Power Pop
People who are interested in John Lennon David Bowie Pulp should consider this download.
Chancellorpink's brand new 2009 release, "Life Like Sad Music", is a brilliant and stirring intermingling of the sad with the serene, the triumphant with the tragic.
Anthemic blasts like "Bleed The Enemy" and "Tears At The Cemetery" stand alongside heartfelt reflections of strength in isolation like "In Self Defense" and "Black Light Blinks", all tied together in the end by the incredibly haunting "There Was Reality" (a song the ghost of John Lennon may have penned) and the pop-to-pang-filled sonic mashings of "Dying Dreams Day".
From top to bottom, "Life Like Sad Music" is truly an underground power pop masterwork from one of the best rock songwriters still making music in virtual anonymity. Lost a dream or two lately? With "Life Like Sad Music", Chancellorpink lets you know you're not alone, giving you indie hits to make you smile and sad music to save your life.
Interview: Chancellorpink Breathes Life Into sad Music
Chancellorpink is a terrific songwriter with sonic imagination. And on his 4th release, 2009's "Life Like Sad Music" (March 22, Wax Electric), he sprinkles lyrics of irresistible depth with elements of outsider rock, power pop and new wave, and with a deep and yearning croon, breathes life into 13 great sad songs.
The sad music started in 2006, when life-long songwriter Ray McLaughlin redefined his musical career, coming out of the shadows of semi-retirement to become the broken-hearted balladeer Chancellorpink. He did so with a determination to do things his own way. For the first time in his life, Ray decided to engineer, produce and play every note of his own original songs. He stepped out. He took a chance.
So how's it going so far for "The Chancellor"?
First came May 2006, when he released his eponymous solo debut and vowed to "record an album a year until I die or become boring." "Chancellorpink" contains 12 literate, indie pop/rock songs, drawing comparisons to old Bowie, a funky Elvis Costello or Crowded House on a vodka bender, with Ray's rich and often plaintive vocals leading the way to favorable reviews and Internet radio airplay for songs "Chancellor Pink", "AnnaJo" and "Disgusting". Chancellorpink also picked up a small cultish, underground following for its deceptively-titled, acoustic love ballad "Cunt".
April 2007 brought about the release of the 19-track "Darkrazor", which Ray described as "a haunted house with 19 rooms; my Beatles' white album only it's black." Songs "Lock Me Up", "Paul's Song", "Everybody Needs A Family" and "A Case Of Noir" garnered some spins on international and local college and public radio airwaves, though no regular rotation. Still, more people began catching on to Chancellorpink's unique blend of poetry, pop and pathos.
But it was not until his 2008 release, "Valentine Parade", that Chancellorpink finally made a real dent on the indie music coffee table. With "Valentine Parade" (released on February 14, but as an antidote for anyone who wants to generally avoid loved-up couples), Chancellorpink brilliantly crafted a post-retro, Euro-80's pop album full of prescient, modern day lyrics and rich vocal harmonies. This was no batch of lullabies. And sales and airplay soared, with The Chancellor finding certifiable indie pop hits in songs "Unfinished Valentine", "Mrs. Kowalski" and "Valentine Parade".
So that now, with "Life Like Sad Music", recorded from July 12-September 20, 2008, at Indigent Studios in Pittsburgh, PA, The Chancellor's got real game.
What drives Chancellorpink, an avid college basketball fan, to play above the rim? He writes a good deal of poetry and describes making both music and poetry as something that is "in the blood". Ray has always been fully immersed in music and writing. He was involved in successful bands in and around Pittsburgh since an early age, and he is also highly educated, holding a Professional Writing degree with honors from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Magna Cum Laude J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Law.
But none of these superficial accomplishments intimidate you when you meet with The Chancellor, who certainly makes it a point to sweep everything expected aside with his gracious, humorous loquaciousness. He sort of reminds you of a more-centered Tom Waits or the quirkier, lighter side of John Lennon, on interview.
As for why Chancellorpink has yet to hit the big time, after writing over 1000 songs, Ray says that presently he finds the dynamics of being part of a band too much for him. "I love playing live, but unless you're rich like Bowie or Ringo, pulling the right band together to feed your immense ego is tough," he says with a wink. "I am a lazy artist who believes in instinct and the destiny of each creation. No, this won't make me famous, refusing to trudge the beaten path of cock-rock stardom. But it'll make me uniquely insane, and I'm sort of into that."
The Chancellor adds, "More practically, I make songs rather than have a 'sound'. I change the instrumentation from song to song, and I change my vocal stylings depending on the overall sound I'm going for on a given song. This doesn't translate so well to band mates, who mostly just want to play what gets them laid. And it's so fucking fun just to create, to create anything at all, and lay it down for the world to hear. Hell, I'd give it all up just to do what I am doing now. Oh, wait..." And he gives another sly grin.
"Really, my hope is that people who have lost out on love or dreams of any kind can relate to my music, share it, and it spreads. And maybe men can all get back to being loving and sensitive again, but while remaining strong and not taking any shit from the new generation of creeps that the modern world has created. I hope we can learn again not to be afraid, and to stand up for ourselves, with great conviction but also great compassion. Way too much to expect from some indie pop-rock songs? Exactly. And there it is."
Spending time with Ray, you are struck by his warm humor and his immense degree of romanticism and respect for women of intellect and power. He showed a degree of commitment and certainty in his words that, well, maybe he's on to something here. In this female interviewer's opinion, Ray emanates zero bitterness or emo-whiner, but, instead, a sense of -- sans corny here -- soulful truth.
"I hate no one," he says. "Even the people I loathe, I probably love at least a little bit, somewhere down deep. Because I even loathe myself in so many ways, you know? I just hope we all try to get things right and do the right thing as much as possible, and I don't think that's the case most of the time for most of us, including me. And that failure not only hurts me inside, but it also pisses me off some. But I use that hurt and anger to create stuff, and maybe that will start some sort of chain reaction some day, who knows. Or maybe not. Either way, I remain your Chancie Baby, baby." And he smiles again.
You almost want to slap him, but you don't. Because you have a story to finish. And because, you just don't really want to slap The Chancellor. Not at all, really.
Ellen Sarcalow for Performer Magazine, December 2008
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