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  • Kris Rodgers and the Dirty Gems Releases New Album “Still Dirty”: Streaming

  • Portland, Maine based rock band Kris Rodgers and the Dirty Gems released their sophomore album “Still Dirty” on July 23, 2021.
    It is their first album in seven years. The album comprises of 10-track, including Elton John's cover “Take Me To The Pilot”.
    The band worked with Geoff Sanoff on the album and recorded the album at Renegade Studios in New York.
    “Our initial plan was to record at Renegade Studios, NYC with engineer Geoff Sanoff,” Kris Rodgers explained. “We were really close to finished before the pandemic – everything but those drums and vocals – so we only needed two days in the studio. It was so frustrating, but I'm glad we were safe and everything's all done now.”
    He continued, “We took some chances we wouldn't normally take on this record, and I think it paid off. For me, a big thing was to not shy away from trying something because it's a little leftfield. 'Tortuga,' 'She Likes To Party' and 'Don't Look Back' all sound like they come from different records. I've played in almost every type of band you can think of, from country, to reggae, to being the only keyboard player at the punk rock festival.”
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    Kris Rodgers explained track-by-track for the album.

    “She Likes To Party”
    “We ended up with a list of things that rhyme with 'party,' which is how we chose all the chorus lyrics. That's how "She loves Charles Barkley" made it on. My original intent with the song after we had the demo was to make it our own version of Ace Frehley's 1New York Groove.'”

    “I Can Still Feel It”
    “This was the first song I wrote for the album. It's really autobiographical, about the excitement of the journey, and getting caught up in it. I worked at a farm and valeted cars for famous people like The Rock and Tom Brady. You pick up on that energy. I miss a lot of events with friends and family because of my music career as well, and there are bits of that in there.”

    “Can't Give It”
    “This is a weird mash-up of David Bowie and The Supremes. Everything I do musically is usually as a reference to something from the past. It's just how I operate, for some reason. Because of the pandemic, the backing singers never got to track on this one, so all the backups are me doing my best girl-group impression.”

    “Don't Look Back”
    “Tom Hall wrote the music for this one. Maybe my favorite song off the record. Lyrically, it's about letting go of old tropes and assumptions individuals have either picked up or made over the years. Specifically for me, I was writing about racism and the moment you're confronted with it. I had an experience in a group of people telling "jokes" where I didn't speak up when I should have, because I was just too much of a coward, to be honest. It was a weird and humbling experience, and I'm determined to speak up if it happens again. The line "The temptation of past relations getting complicated, never bothered me" is about that. It did bother me, but it won't again. People upset thinking their rights are being taken away just because other people are finally getting those same rights are reflected in the line "It manifests from the ignorance that embers only burn to bring the Mission down" and also references Elton John's 'Burn Down The Mission.'”

    “Across The Galaxy”
    “This song and "See You Again" have a lot to do with my dad passing away. My inspiration for the vibe of the song, though it doesn't come out that way, is “Life On Mars?” by David Bowie. I think you can hear the influence in the piano on the choruses if you really listen. Tom Hall's guitar solo is epic.”

  • “Take Me To The Pilot”
    “Ever since I was a kid and heard it for the first time, I always wanted my band to play it. Then we did and it became this staple of our set. It's so nice because it happened organically. We played it basically live in the studio. I had to recut the piano and vocals, because technology. We also played without a click track, which was interesting.”

    “I'm Your Man”
    “To be honest, I wrote it trying to write a Kurt Baker Band song. I'm pretty terrible at guitar so I have to keep it really basic. I've always loved Kurt's melodies and the way Kurt and Wyatt Funderburk re-harmonize different sections.”

    “Don't Turn Around”
    “We had just been listening to Brian Ray's version of "One Heartbeat" with Smokey Robinson, and I shot Ryan a message saying we needed a song like "One Heartbeat." The next day, I had an email from Ryan with pretty much everything but lyrics and vocals for “Don't Turn Around.” Minus the horns too, but it was almost a complete song.”

    “This is about a turtle who escapes a subway/bus station in Madrid, where the main rail station actually had a real overpopulation problem with turtles a few years ago. He escapes to the beach and goes to a show at La Buleria in Granada, which is a hole-in-the-wall flamenco joint that only locals know about. My partner and I went to this place and we were the only non-Spaniards in the joint. The bartender only tended bar between songs, because he was also the guitar player. And the bar only had rum and Coca-Cola.”

    “See You Again”
    “This is about my dad. Something that I had to wrap my head around was I'm never going to see him again. As I'm sure it is for a lot of people, it was a very surreal experience that put at least one of the lights out in my world. We went on tour four or five days after he passed away. I had talked about canceling it and decided I'd still do the tour because my dad wanted me to, and it was probably good for me to be busy. At some point on the tour, as always happens, Tom and I were in this deep dive music theory discussion about major/minor 7th chords and how they should be used, and really nerdy stuff. Anyway, still only a few weeks after my dad passed, I came home and played what are the opening chords to “See You Again,” and couldn't get through it without sobbing. It was kind of my therapy for a while. Eventually one lyric line would come, and that would get me sobbing again. Rinse and repeat. Really happy with how it turned out, and I like to think my dad would love it. Kind of a funny thing about the song is we realized when we were finished that the chorus is the same chords as the Steve Goodman classic “City Of New Orleans.” Lightens the mood a bit!”
  • source : Spotify
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