Michael Bowling | Uptown/Dogtown

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Elvis Costello The 88 The Faces

Album Links
PayPlay Apple iTunes PassAlong Tradebit Emusic

More Artists From
United States - Virginia

Other Genres You Will Love
Rock: Modern Rock Pop: Beatles-pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Uptown/Dogtown

by Michael Bowling

This album immediately leaves a striking impression. Michael Bowling’s vocals are sugar-coated in pop harmonies that are both boisterous and energetic. You can hear the intermingling influences of Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello... Smother.net
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
available for download only
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. What Kind of Innocents Are We?
4:27 $0.99
clip
2. If Anything Breaks Your Heart
3:08 $0.99
clip
3. Rockit Girl
2:54 $0.99
clip
4. Silent Movies
4:08 $0.99
clip
5. High Time We All Had a Ball
3:06 $0.99
clip
6. Apologies to Morrissey
3:56 $0.99
clip
7. Time Stand Still
3:56 $0.99
clip
8. You'll Never Reach Heaven from the Mountain Top
3:48 $0.99
clip
9. Thank You Very Much
3:09 $0.99
clip
10. Amelia Believe
3:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
So Michael Bowling goes into his Virginia home, writes ten bright new songs, learns all the guitar, bass, piano and drum parts, then figures out how to lay these little gems out on disc, and self-produces Uptown/Dogtown? Color me easy, but to do it this well is impressive indeed. His promo material mentions a huge learning curve, but believe me when I tell you he has scaled it well. Very nicely done.

Michael Bowling turns in a mix of dry wit, very capable guitar chops, and a drive to rock that I think may be congenital. The only other explanation is the hours and hours he has apparently spent listening to the Beatles, which was time well spent. His songs show the same heart, those rock changes that feel effortless and free-flowing. "Silent Movies" is the most obvious example, but the CD is full of them, each one flaunting those boyish vocals that fit the material like water fits a fish.

I listened to "Rockit Girl" over and over trying to discern if Bowling had snuck a female onto the project before I reluctantly conceded that he had nailed the soprano background vocals as well. But it ain't all sugar and spice; the burning "Thank You Very Much" comes off like a tongue-in-cheek acceptance speech for an awards show, not all that unlikely actually. "If Anything Breaks Your Heart" showcases his rougher Springsteen-like vocals, but those Beatlesque chord changes shine through with an incandescent sparkle. The lyrics of "Never Reach Heaven From the Mountaintop" are nicely provocative, and "Apologies to Morrisey" has a nice bite to it too. Laid out with what feels like instinctual sensibility, the CD just gets better as you work your way through. Excellent first showing. The aforementioned curve is dust.

Kevan Breitinger for Indie-Music.com

Editor's Choice
This album immediately leaves a striking impression. Michael Bowling’s vocals are sugar-coated in pop harmonies that are both boisterous and energetic. You can hear the intermingling influences of Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello, especially the later in the song arrangements. Born and raised right around the proverbial corner from Smother’s headquarters (we’re in Northern Virginia!) in Richmond, Virginia, Michael writes with the spunk of a suburbanite who has a wealth of experiences to relate and thankfully chooses to do so with his voice and incredible knack for writing pop songs.

J-Sin Smother.net


Bio

“I’ve taken my time, bled it line by line,” sings Michael Bowling in “Thank You Very Much”, a track off of his just released CD, Uptown/Dogtown. The line could be in reference to either the succinct lyrical content of the ten songs included on Uptown/Dogtown, or the two years spent laying out each and every note on this, his first release. The sound is tight and loose at the same time, reminiscent of the Faces. The vocals have been compared to Bruce Springsteen by Kevan Breitinger of Indie-Music.com and Marc Bolan by Steve West, former drummer of alt. rockers, Pavement. And the songs. “(T)hose Beatlesque chord changes shine through with an incandescent sparkle.” writes Kevin. Think The 88, Elvis Costello, Big Star.

And like many others in the new DIY (Do It Yourself) indie world, Michael has had to scale the learning curve. And, according to Kevan Breitinger, “...believe me when I tell you he has scaled it well. Very nicely done.” Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Michael, the youngest of four, grew up listening to his older siblings’ record collections. Each brother or sister had a slightly different era. “I remember my brother’s dusty and scratched Beatles albums,” he says, “and how on the second verse of Abbey Road’s ‘Something’, there was a skip. And now every time I hear that song, I always mentally add the skip.” He survived the disco era with his sister, sneaking into her room to play the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. “She also had Wings Over America, which to this day is one of my favorite albums.”

And then came Punk and New Wave. Michael found Blondie, Elvis Costello, The Talking Heads. Blondie is still a favorite today. And so is Garbage and other bands like them. “What a huge influence they were,” says Michael. The Replacements were around when he was in college, and housemate Steve West went on to play drums for Pavement. “So I have a special fondness for them, and how they demonstrated what a rock song could sound like.”

And now the DAW revolution and online distribution. “I just want an audience, just a small one, a hundred people or so who look forward to the next thing I put out,” Michael says. And what about a big fat record deal? He says it’s not something he worries about. “I write for myself and enjoy the production of it all, and playing in front of an audience,” says the artist, “so I’m already a big success!”

Read more...

Reviews


to write a review

Absolute powerpop

CD of the Day, 3/13/06: Michael Bowling-Uptown/Dogtown
Richmond's Michael Bowling has a winner on his hands with his debut album Uptown/Dogtown. This is really good uptempo/midtempo stuff, reminding me of a poppier Elvis Costello, as well as Eytan Mirsky, Michael Shelley and Chris von Sniedern.

The piano-based "If Anything Breaks Your Heart" is the highlight here, with its Harry Nilsson/Randy Newman vibe, but close behind is "You'll Never Reach Heaven From The Mountaintop", a guitar-based number with a groove that recalls Mirsky along with Michael Carpenter, complete with "doo doo doo" backing vocals. "Apologies to Morrisey" is self-explanatory, and the jaunty "Amelia Believe" closes the disc in fine fashion.

You can stream four tracks from the album at his site, along with a couple of non-album tracks labeled as a single that are pretty good themselves. He has a myspace page, too, which has the "single" as well as a couple of the same album tracks. And you can sample the remainder of the album, including "If Anything Breaks Your Heart", at CD Baby, where you can pick up the album for a cool $9.99. No gutter balls on this one.
Read more...

Amber

Very cool pop songs, kinda old school
Great melodies and grooves and just a wonderful feel to the whole thing. Should be a classic!
Read more...

Amber

Very cool pop songs, kinda old school
Great melodies and grooves and just a wonderful feel to the whole thing. Should be a classic!
Read more...

John

rock pop at its best!
I really like this cd. Very cool guitars and hooky melodies, but it doesn't sound like everybody else. "You'll Never Reach Heaven from the Mountain Top" is a definate standout. Buy it!
Read more...