Roe Knows Best: The Blog Becomes The Artist

When I first changed the spelling of my nickname from “Ro” to “Roe”, there was a legitimate reason behind it.

Though somewhat silly, I felt like “Ro” was too naked. There wasn’t enough there. Aesthetically, there weren’t enough letters. It wasn’t balanced enough for me. That’s why I added the “E” at the end.

This was middle school decision. But also helped make my signature much more original – and fun!roemusics sig

All my life I’ve been “Roe” when performing solo because it’s my name, it’s who I am…and always have been. But similar to the middle school decision I made, it’s never seemed like enough. I’ve always felt like there should be more there.

When I started this blog in the summer of 2013, it was for reasons stated on my About page but also so that in time I could hopefully become an authority on something, even if it was on my own life and experiences. I’ve been taught, that in this Internet-swamped day and age, that is an important concept to comprehend in order to get through a lot of the white noise out there. Roe Knows Best seemed like an appropriate title to achieve that, at least superficially.

I’m trying to plan big and legitimate things regarding my music career (or lack thereof – har, har, har!), and one day I’d like to be able to perform my songs with a band, not just solo, and would like to have an all-encompassing title in order to do that. So in a similar fashion of Into It. Over It., I’ve decided to change the name of all my musical projects henceforth to Roe Knows Best. And in time, I hope to have this blog serve as the main hub and website for all future music endeavors.

And that ends my minor PSA. Thanks, everyone! Stay tuned for more music.

Also, check out this Justin Pierre-approved Motion City Soundtrack cover I recently did:1620615_10152586853457371_8558050812583263054_n

Roe’s Best Albums of 2014: Honorable Mentions

1. You Will Eventually Be Forgotten by Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)

I loved the way this album flowed like a storybook or a collection of newspaper clippings or scrapbooks – and maybe that was the point, I don’t know. What I do know is that the “emo revival” or whatever you wanna call it, rings true in the sound and shape of this record. Though Keith Latinen’s voice is somewhat of an aquired taste, at times it’s the sweetest thing you ever did hear. I didn’t find myself exactly dumbfounded or necessarily “struck” by listing to this record, but parts of it shines through very brightly to me and I was overall impressed and content with what I heard.

2. Kingfisher by Prawn

 When listening to this record, I got excited dreaming up the potentialies of what Prawn could be in the future. Still a young band and also within the vein of “emo revival”, Kingfisher seems extremely promising upon first listen. I’d keep an eye on Prawn in 2015. I think they have a wide open road ahead of them and I’m definitely looking forward to the next release they put out.

Roe’s Best Albums of 2014: #4 – Die On Stage by Hostage Calm

Hello there, fellow RKB readers/enthusiasts! From the comfort of my hotel room in Jacksonville, FL,  I’m currently bumming on my dad’s laptop to bring you the rest of what I consider to be the greatest albums this year had to offer. I hope you’ve enjoyed the past 6 albums I’ve listed so far. Here’s #4:

Artist: Hostage Calm

Album: Die On Stage

Produced by: Will Yip

Released: September 16, 2014

Hostage_Calm_Die_On_Stage“Devastated” would be an understatment to describe how I felt when Hostage Calm announced their inpromptu breakup a few months ago. I believe the jury’s still out as to why they did, especially in the middle of a tour and all…I suppose I’m still not over it. <sadface></sadface>

That aside, Die On Stage is one of the best albums you will listen to this year. Fresh with recognizable licks and chord progressions clearly inspired by The Beatles and The Smiths, along with many others I’m sure. Will Yip is in the production seat (whose name you may recognize from Braid’s newest record I wrote about, No Coast). Chris “Cmar” Martin’s voice has considerably matured in this record (even finding his falsetto on “Fallen Angel”), harmonies are the tightest they’ve ever been, with gentle accompanying bells on almost every track (I’m a sucker for that sort of thing). The songwriting is also at another level entirely.

I was a huge fan of Please Remain Calm, later discovered HC’s self-titled (and Lens) and fell in love. I’ve seen HC a handful of times and always loved their live show, energetic and full of spirit; Two things which seem difficult to find at a show nowadays.

If this record doesn’t give you something (anything) to believe in, I’m not sure what will.

Listen to:

Roe’s Best Albums of 2014: #5 – Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey

Artist: Lana Del Rey

Album: Ultraviolence

Produced by: Dan Auerbach, Lana Del Rey, Paul Epworth, Lee Foster, Daniel Heath, Greg Kurstin, Rick Nowels, Blake Stranathan

Released: June 13, 2014

UltraviolenceLDRTo say I am in love with the Lana Del Rey narrative is an understatement. I don’t even know what I am about it. Ecstatic about it maybe? Buzzing, excited, a level less than obsessed but oh-so-incredibly interested. Tell me more.

But I can’t get enough!

And since I kind of already said my piece on Lana and voiced my overall approval of this album, it should be no surprise that this comes in no less than #5 on my list.

The beginning chiming guitars of “Cruel World” are like the beginning of a wild acid trip in the desert. The reverb on Lana’s voice is damn near perfect, knowing she’s speaking to you right there in your ear, but you’re so damn high everything seems so far even though it’s so near. And the track just pulls you in, right then and there. You’re being roped into a swimming pool-esque ocean of sound; Crystal clear and beautiful, full of promise and sensory potential.

You can see why this record turns me on.

Though sonically distant and seemingly impersonal, you feel connected to this music somehow. Though the words are not literally about you or your life or anything you’ve done, it somehow is about you; This is your story. And Lana is a part – Even though you’ve never met. But is it a memory? Or could it be for real?

In a way, Ultraviolence is like a box of chocolates, but not in a Forrest Gump kind of way; Every track is deliciously decadent and an experience in itself. You sure as hell know what you’re gonna get, but it’s the way that happens that gets you, that makes you close your eyes and throw your head back.

You almost feel guilty listening to the whole thing.

It’s a wonderful indulgence.

Listen to: