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Top Five Fridays: Mark Kaschak

July 24, 2015

Hey Folks, We’re back for another exciting Top Five Fridays (#T5F)!  That hallowed part of the week where cool people show up and share music that is just as happening as they are!  We’re in Greenfield, MA this week to talk about five great LPs with singer/songwriter and all around musical man about town Mark Kaschak.


Mark Kaschak

Mark Kaschak is the captain of the ship at the well oiled musical site Backline.  Anyone wanting to keep their finger on 2015’s musical pulse has but to mosey on over to Backline and check out “The Master List” a carefully curated listing of killer records that have been dropped this year.  Also, if following my musings on this website is not enough for you, I’m occasionally a source of insight on Backline, like this time Mark and I talked about how amazing Nashville fuzz rock band Bully is and what it takes to record a great vocal take.

In addition to enhancing the interwebs with his musical scholarship and analyses, Mark is a tremendous musical talent in his own right.  Playing with his brother Sean (Check out Sean’s T5F HERE) as The Brothers Kaschak, Mark released the album  “The Ark & The Amateur” earlier this year.  To put it simply, A&TA is one of my favorite albums of 2015, and I would not be doing anyone justice if I did not take a moment to sing its praises.  It is a record that shines in its extremes.  The Bro Kaz deliver both on acoustic singer-songwriter goodness (listen to THIS) and hard rocking rave ups (now listen to THIS), often on the same track.  Lyrically the album straddles the fine line of being poetic with out being vague, accessible with out becoming confessionally obvious.  Mark Kaschak is equally equipped to draw you in with moments of  intimate balladry and seconds later lead the charge on a quest of foot stomping insanity.  Guitarist Sean keeps up with him in a prime example of effortless sibling synergy, sustaining a note here, leaping in with a dirty blues lead there.  All of this comes together to leave the listener with the feeling one takes from their live show, “Wait…this is only two guys?” Whether you are reading his lyrics, or his review of why the new Twenty One Pilots album is amazing, Mark Kaschak is a presence you all want in your musical lives.  So without further ado, here are five albums signed, sealed, delivered (I decided there are not enough stevie wonder references around this site) by Mark Kaschak! ———————————————————————————————————————————————–

Naming your top 5 albums is a damn tricky thing to pull off, mostly because “top” could meanany number of things: most nostalgic, favorite for the year, favorite of all­time, objective best ofall time, the best musically, the best lyrically,that in mind, let’s freaking do this.

Drunk Like Bible Times by Dear and the Headlights

Drunk Like Bible Times Cover

This is, without a shred of doubt in my mind, my absolute favorite front­to­back album in existence. It’s twelve examples of how to perfectly craft a song. It’s a flat­out masterpiece as one collective work: stylistically diverse and masterfully themed. It pulls you in wonderful directions, taps into every emotion, and is jam­packed with lyrics that only Ian Metzger could ever write (or sing, for that matter. The man has PIPES). I have a lot of respect for DATH, too. Not only is each band member one of the best writers on their own instrument, but they as a group halted after this record because they felt they had lost touch with the main reasons they started playing music in the first place.


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band by The Beatles

Sgt Pepper's Cover

Plain and simple, there’s not a more nostalgic album in the world to me. My dad is a dimensional sign­maker, and this was his album of choice for working late nights in the garage (he’s a genius with cars, too). I’ve been hearing this record for as long as I can remember, and could not imagine my life without it.


Mignonette by The Avett Brothers

Mignonette Cover

The first band I ever cared about was Carbon Leaf. In 2004, I saw The Avett Brothers open for them at the Higher Ground in Burlington, VT. The Avetts were touring behind their new album, Mignonette (which I bought without question). I specifically remember expecting my mom to hate them because of the screaming, but after I made my way from stagefront to check in with my parents (I was 14) I learned to never doubt her again (at least about music). It was because of Mignonette that I now think singles and the shuffle button are stupid. Though I think they’ve released better records than this one (Emotionalism is their best work in my opinion), this album is by far my favorite of theirs, and is the Avett record that has most influenced my work as a musician.


Tog Pebbles by Way Yes

Tog Pebbles Cover

I’ll get straight to the point: a band as small as Way Yes has absolutely no business crafting the sounds you’ll hear on Tog Pebbles. Really, it’s a slap in the face to the big­leaguers shelling out insulting amounts of cash to make their records sound as great. There are some albums that make my head sick trying to figure out how the band is not more famous. This record is the prime example. Front­to­back, song­by­song, it is flawless and possibly my proudest discovery yet. It also features Get Healed which is without a doubt my favorite song ever made by any artist in the history of music. Get listening.


Shallow Bed by Dry The River

Shallow Bed Cover

If I could share brains with any musician for a day, it’d be either Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots or Peter Liddle of Dry the River. I’m not the least bit sure how DTR has the time, mental capacity, or life experience to crank out the music that they do. Shallow Bed makes me weep, dance, sing, question, love ­ sometimes all at once. I got the privilege to catch them at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC with my fiancée who introduced them to me. Their bassist Scott Miller is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. He spent a good fifteen minutes dedicated to rounding up the rest of the band just so we could get a picture, all with the biggest smile on his face.  Demons is probably my second favorite song on the planet, and this record is so perfect that the song doesn’t even “stand out” among the rest. Thanks to Peter Winter and All the Day Sounds for having me! ———————————————————————————————————————————————– Thanks for your time Mark!  Way to give Dear and The Headlights some love!  Reminds me of late nights spent cruising the back roads of roads of Ohio blasting “Run In The Front.”  Also the staggering work that is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band can never be given enough love.  Before I would even listen to my dad’s records I would just take that album out and just look at it. Ok folks, support Mark in all of his endeavors.  For all things Backline, check out the Facebook and the official site. The best place to keep tabs of Mark’s solo musical output is his Facebook page.  You can listen to and purchase the excellent Brothers Kaschak album “The Ark & The Amateur” on their band camp. Thanks for reading folks!  Remember you can catch up with past Top Five Fridays by taking some time and snooping around the archives! well peace out good people of the world, Peter Winter

Peter Winter linked to a live Stevie Wonder song earlier in this post.  He realizes that it is so good that he must link to it again here, and also HERE.  When you are done watching it, please watch it one more time, right HERE.  Peter Winter is on twitter where you can follow him @peterwinter38 where he will continue to link to this video of Stevie Wonder…here

One Comment
  1. Backline permalink

    Reblogged this on Backline and commented:
    The ever-wonderful Peter Lee (@peterwinter38) of All the Day Sounds invited me over to discuss my top 5 albums! Check it out and dig into the other artists featured in his ‘Top 5 Fridays’ section!

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