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Staff Editorial: Music Emissions’ Top Albums/EPs/Mixtapes of 2016

posted January 2, 2017, 12:32 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Best Of, Staff Editorial | comment Leave a Comment


hintergrund-tapete-20172016Reflecting back on a year with extreme highs and lows, where we spent a good part of the year mourning the loss of irreplaceable music legends, now’s the time to commend the artists that provided the few bright spots of 2016. Waiting to see if there were any last-minute surprises in December yielded some well deserved final entries. Scope the international staff multi-genre picks below!

Nick Fry

1. Sulk – “No Illusions”
2. Alcest– “Kodama”
3. Sea Pinks– “Soft Days”
4. David Bowie– “Blackstar”
5. The Fylls– “Interrupted”
6. MONEY– “Suicide Songs”
7. Sivert Hoyem – “Lioness”
8. Pity Sex-“White Hot Moon”
9. Mudcrutch– “2”
10. Sunflower Bean– “Human Ceremony”

Maddy Johnson

1. Blink-182– “California”
2. David Bowie– “Blackstar”
3. K.Flay– “Crush Me”
4. Billy Talent– “Afraid of Heights”
5. Childish Gambino– “Awaken, My Love!”
6. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds– “Skeleton Tree”
7. The Kills– “Ash & Ice”
8. Iggy Pop– “Post Pop Depression”
9. M.I.A.– “AIM”
10. Tegan and Sara– “Love You To Death”

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Staff Editorial: Top Albums/EPs of 2015

posted January 1, 2016, 8:01 am by Carlita | Filed Under Best Of, Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases, Staff Editorial, Throwback Thursday, Top Albums | comment Leave a Comment


new-year-690800_960_720As we move into the latter part of a decade and we bid adieu to another busy year in music, now’s the time for our collective team to weigh in on the best albums or EPs of the year. Not wanting to jump the gun in case there were any surprises in December proved fruitful and yielded some last-minute treasures from artists who wanted to end the year right. Check out our international staff selections below!

Nick Fry

1. Marriages – “Salome”
2. Fischer-Z – “This is My Universe”
3. Desperate Journalist – “Desperate Journalist”
4. The Waterboys – “Modern Blues”
5. Pinkshinyultrablast – “Everything Else Matters”
6. Chelsea Wolfe – “Abyss”
7. [debut] – “Postcards from Berlin”
8. Title Fight – “Hyperview”
9. Failure – “The Heart Is a Monster”
10. Pants & the Family – “You Will Go to a Party where Strange Customs Prevail”

Maddy Johnson

1. The Dead Weather– “Dodge and Burn”
2. Lord Huron– “Strange Trails”
3. Daniel Romano– “If I’ve Only One Time Asking”
4. Tallest Man On Earth– “Dark Bird is Home”
5. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – Self titled
6. Diana Krall– “Wallflower”
7. Florence and The Machine– “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”
8. Tame Impala– “Currents”
9. City and Colour– “If I Should Go Before You”
10. Joanna Newsom– “Divers”

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Game: Guitar Hero Live

posted December 29, 2015, 8:22 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest | comment Leave a Comment


It’s not often we review video games around here, but there’s not many video games that are more applicable to our taste’s than Guitar Hero. Many of us were bitten by the buzz when the original Guitar Hero hit the shelves and at the risk of sounding redundant, it’s back and bigger than ever.
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Barely beyond 10 years to the day the original Guitar Hero was released, the latest installment arrives with a plethora of changes and upgrades. So we sat down over the holidays and let some family take the first crack at the new game.
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Interview: Hiatus Kaiyote

posted May 4, 2015, 6:33 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Interviews, Music News, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


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As we head into the first week of May and Star Wars fans all over the world yell “May the 4th be with you”, one of my top anticipated releases of the year drops TODAY, beginning the month with a bang. Grammy nominated foursome Hiatus Kaiyote’s sophomore album ‘Choose Your Weapon’ is available everywhere in the U.S., providing more airport dancing jams for all (including me who’s previously danced in several terminals to ‘The World It Softly Lulls’ blasting from my headphones). Stumbling upon this Melbourne, Australia based group when they were scheduled to open for D’Angelo and Busta Rhymes at The Summer Spirit Festival in 2013, I’ve loved their unique blend of electro future soul/ jazz with world music influences ever since.

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Unsigned and Wound Up 11: Fan Picks

posted April 30, 2015, 4:53 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Music Emissions presents Unsigned and Wound Up, Music News | comment 2 Comments


As you may be aware, we recently completed another round of submissions for our latest installment in the Unsigned and Wound Up series*. However, we’re going to need your help narrowing things down a bit more.

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Staff Editorial: Surprise Drops- Yay or Nay?

posted April 3, 2015, 9:30 am by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Staff Editorial | comment 3 Comments


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As Kendrick Lamar (intentionally or not, which is still up for debate after viewing his management’s reaction) added his name to the list of surprise releases with his latest drop, ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, the discussion stirred up again like dust in the wind, begging the question, “Do we as fans like it?” “Does it make a difference in the end?” or “Would we have bought these albums no matter their release date?” Although Queen Bey’s not the first artist in history to do it, she re-ignited the latest trend, moving almost a million units of her album in 72 hours in December 2013, with artists like Drake, U2, Björk, Run The Jewels and D’Angelo (with his drop coming 14 years after ‘Voodoo’) joining the ranks. I posed these “Surprise Drops- Yay or Nay?” questions to our staff to get a global perspective as we listen to different genres and here are our thoughts below:
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UNSW: Announcing Unsigned and Wound Up 11

posted January 18, 2015, 12:34 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Contest, Music Emissions presents Unsigned and Wound Up | comment Leave a Comment


Music Emissions is currently seeking the songs of 10-16 artists to enter into their quarterly contest, Unsigned & Wound Up. This is a great opportunity for exposure with the chance to earn an album review or artist spotlight on Music Emissions.

History

Unsigned and Wound Up is a series of audio compilations highlighting top emerging artists who may not be on your radar. Selected bands will compete for votes on Music Emissions and the top vote-getters will receive written features provided by the editorial staff at Music Emissions.MElogoUNSW11

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Started in 1999, Music Emissions has been promoting independent or DIY music podcasting since February of 2008. Over the years the site has grown to include reviewers and critics from all over the world. What started out as a college project now houses a music community of over 5000 avid indie music fans. In May of 2011, they launched their monthly contest known as Unsigned and Wound Up. Read more

Best of: Staff Picks, 2014

posted December 28, 2014, 8:58 am by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Top Albums | comment Leave a Comment


Every year our staff compiles a list of their favorite albums of the year. Here’s 2014

Gary Hill

see all of his reviews here Read more

Live: Ed Sheeran in Milan: between + and X!

posted November 29, 2014, 10:44 pm by Colasanti Chiara | Filed Under Live Show Reviews, Music News | comment Leave a Comment


Ed Sheeran live Milan

Lots of people believe that “You never forget your first time!” and we’re pretty sure Ed Sheeran won’t forget his first gig in Italy, on the 20th of November at Alcatraz in Milan.

This concert was sold out for months. If you missed him this time, luckily he’ll return soon with two upcoming concerts planned in January as well! His British punctuality made him start the concert at 9:02 pm, ending precisely two hours later, with an amazing “Sing”, with over 2500 people in the venue, taking part. A real “one man show”, Ed was all alone on the stage but played like there were other four people on that stage. Cover, mash up, original arrangements and, above all, a live loop station’s application that left us without words. He beautifully harmonized the audience’s choruses and we spent all the time singing following his directions. Read more

Interview: Kimbra

posted October 23, 2014, 10:27 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


As I prep for more upcoming travel, it’s not shocking music is always a must-have. U2’s cloud delivered ‘Songs of Innocence’? Uh no. Grammy-winning New Zealand artist Kimbra’s ‘Vows’ and her latest, ‘The Golden Echo’? Yes, please. Since I first saw her mesmerizing live version of ‘Plain Gold Ring’, I felt a kindred left-field thinking spirit. Playing in the pop sandbox with bold visuals, jazz, musical theatre, electro, hip-hop, new wave and soul influences, this girl was different.

Photo Credit: Thom Kerr

Photo Credit: Thom Kerr

Catching her live with Foster The People, where she displayed her sweet personality in a flowing rainbow kimono, sealed the fandom deal. Read more

Interview: DJ Muggs

posted July 31, 2014, 12:22 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


DJ-Muggs

When a music connoisseur mentions the words “DJ Muggs”, several things come to mind. One of the best hip-hop producers of all-time? One of the best producers of all-time, period? That guy from Queens behind all your favorite Cypress Hill classics (he’s working on the next album right now) and the unforgettable House of Pain’s “Jump Around”? The guy who’s collaborated with U2 and Depeche Mode and just recently released an EP this week called ‘Vita E Morte’ with a new multimedia collective featuring Andrew Kline, Brevi, and Sean Bonner named Cross My Heart Hope to Die (CMHHTD)? Yeah, that dude.

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Interview: José James

posted July 21, 2014, 9:24 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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One of the best things about summer, besides the abundance of outdoor shows to choose from, is the time to delve into new albums en route to said shows. June yielded several road trip and airplane friendly albums including José James’ standout latest offering, ‘While You Were Sleeping’. Known for merging the old with the new via the blending of neo-soul, electronic, hip-hop and classic jazz influences on previous efforts, José boldly brings touches of punk and folk into the foray this time around. On the experimental tip, he puts a trademark Generation X/Y blurred stamp on your definition of genre.

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Festivals: Rocklahoma Sights, Sounds (Day One)

posted May 30, 2014, 7:45 am by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Festivals | comment Leave a Comment


Last week, Pryor, Oklahoma played host to the eighth annual Rocklahoma. Whether you made the trip or just stayed at home and barbecued for Memorial Day weekend, chances are you’re still recovering. Although some logistical problems immediately came into play over the weekend, such as check-in traffic and cell phone signal and the overwhelming choice of terrific bands, we were there to get in close for a look at most of the action. Here we go…

Blackstone Cherry- We missed their show, but from everything we’re told (including their peers) Blackstone Cherry is not a show to be missed. Check out their youtube video for “Blame it on the Boom Boom”
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Interview: Mark de Clive-Lowe

posted February 20, 2014, 10:39 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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In the world where we live or die on the hot single, as a music fan nowadays, it’s rare to find cohesive albums that hold your attention with intricate production from start to finish. E-digging in the crates yet again, I came across such a gem called “Renegades” by New Zealand born, LA based producer, musician and orchestra bandleader Mark de Clive-Lowe. I immediately explored more of his diverse discography and found fiery music cutting across at least five genres (latin and classic jazz, soul, electronic, broken beat) from someone drawing comparisons to other avant-garde producers like Quincy Jones. Fortuitously, as is the case in LA, that same week, I attended Mark’s live “CHURCH” show which brought the music (which will be on his upcoming album dropping in June) to life and had the whole crowd dancing with some spirit-filled tambourine shaking.

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Interview: Twiztid

posted January 16, 2014, 10:41 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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Peeping Juggalo fan favs Twiztid’s first independently released mixtape , “A New Nightmare” (I, still a horrorcore newbie) frightened, impressed and intrigued me. Putting the break with Psychopathic Records (Insane Clown Posse’s label) behind them, they ventured out on their own and had a very successful 2013, punctuated by their Abominationz Tour and headlining Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare. In their 16 year career, this Detroit duo’s (Madrox and Monoxide) done a lot, working with the likes of Tech N9ne, Swollen Members and Royce Da 5’9, to name a few.

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Best Of: Staff Picks for Best Albums of 2013

posted December 31, 2013, 3:38 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Best Of, Top Albums | comment Leave a Comment


It’s that time, minus one or two, our staff picks are in. Below, find the best indie music had to offer our beloved staff. Some in lists of albums, others in songs and some with both. Thanks for reading in 2013, and join us as we spend the next few weeks exploring what’s to come in 2014. Read more

The Best Music of 2013 – At Least According to G.W. Hill

posted December 31, 2013, 12:11 pm by GWHill | Filed Under Music News | comment Leave a Comment


Early in the year I thought this was going to be a pretty mediocre year from music. I wasn’t hearing a lot of stuff that was really exceptional. The thing is, as the year progressed, that really changed. In fact, it wound up quite difficult to get this list to any kind of decent length. I had to make some tough cuts to get it into a small enough format to work.

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Live Review and Interviews: Red Bull Sound Select with El-P and special guest Killer Mike, Thurz, Warm Brew and Azizi Gibson

posted December 20, 2013, 10:59 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews, Live Show Reviews | comment Leave a Comment


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‘Tis the season to wrap up 2013 and if you were looking to turn up one last time before putting on ugly reindeer sweaters, jingling some bells and shutting it down until 2014, Red Bull Sound Select’s LA show provided the perfect opportunity to do so. Mixing LA-based rising talent (Thurz, Azizi Gibson and the group Warm Brew) with an East Coast producer/artist on top of his game right now (El-P who brought along his Run the Jewels partner Killer Mike), you’d have to search far and wide to find a line-up like that for $3. On a cold (ok, it was 50) night, I ventured to the historic Troubadour to peep these acts. Read more

Interview: Johnny Richter

posted December 17, 2013, 1:02 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews, Music News, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


Johnny richter

After an intense start to 2013, MC Johnny Richter wraps up his year on a high note with the release of FreeKING Out, dropping today. Obviously, you might recognize him as a former member of platinum selling Orange County based group, Kottonmouth Kings. Breaking ties, channeling storied pasts, potential accusations and personal strife, Johnny focused his energy positively in response and connected with Souls Assassins producer G-Rocka to create his first solo EP in Cypress Hill member DJ Muggs’ studio. Approaching almost 20 years in the business, he faces this next phase of his career with a significant supportive fanbase and a larger than life persona and image that’s unforgettable. Read more

“Waking Up In Vegas”- 2013’s Life Is Beautiful Fest Review and Artist Interviews

posted October 28, 2013, 11:00 am by Carlita | Filed Under Festivals, General Interest, Interviews, Live Show Reviews, Music News, On The Verge | comment Leave a Comment


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To say that I had a great time this weekend in Vegas at the first annual Life Is Beautiful music, art and food Fest would be an understatement. The Killers, Imagine Dragons ( whose set featured Cirque Du Soleil Mystere performers) Childish Gambino (who did a dope cover of “Rolling in the Deep”),Janelle Monae (who flew in from NYC after performing on SNL on Saturday),Alabama Shakes (love them), Danny Brown, Allen Stone (always fun live), Wallpaper and a slew of great rising Nevada reppers (including Red Bull Sound Select Tour Bus performers American Cream, Moondog Matinee and Ekoh and Homegrown Stager Sabriel ) and other talents from around the U.S.(The Kingston Springs, Tink, Cosmic Suckerpunch to name a few) all made the traffic I faced driving from Los Angeles worth it.

Everywhere you turned on each block of the downtown Fremont St. vicinity stimulated the senses. Whether it be the 3-D art painted on sides of buildings, the fire-shooting ant, the various indoor and outdoor music stages, the culinary village that featured air-conditioned tent chef demonstrations (came in handy to get a break from the sun) and the ridiculously tasty gourmet food under $10 (how often do you find that at a festival?), it all definitely outweighed the serious walking concertgoers did, traveling around from place to place (in hindsight, it was good calorie burning).

Allen Stone and Wallpaper:



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Interview: DJ Colette

posted September 19, 2013, 7:42 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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Growing up in my house, hours of booming, “ass-shaking” music filled my ears. Disco, dance and house music, in particular, made my little feet want to move constantly. Arriving in LA years later, a friend put me onto DJ Colette who not only brought those great memories flooding back but made it modern-day relevant. Repping Chicago and DJ collective Superjane, Colette released her first independent album on her own label, Candy Talk, When The Music’s Loud a few weeks ago. Featuring the blazing electronica title single and 80’s Adonis inspired “Hotwire”, DJ Colette’s clearly dropped another album full of club bangers. Read more

Exposed in the Grid – Adventures in Music & Mischief

posted September 4, 2013, 10:30 am by Danielle Martin | Filed Under Editorial, Exposed in the Grid, Festivals, General Interest, Live Show Reviews, On The Verge, Worldly Venues | comment Leave a Comment


In an ever-changing global music and arts culture, one certainty still remains. The city that never sleeps, New York City, continues to wear the crown of trend-setting tastes. In a column every-so-often, special reporter to Music Emissions, Danielle Martin will take on the beast known as the five boroughs and all it has to offer…

Aly Tadros live at Joe’s Pub*

Folk music… This is definitely NOT your parent’s folk music. For the longest time, I had a slight aversion to folk music based on my experiences as a child listening to my Grandfather’s folk and country songs on the 8-track (hokey, etc. did not fit in with my rock/alternative mindset)…

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Interview: Madchild from Swollen Members

posted July 24, 2013, 9:01 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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A legend and crucial character in Canadian hip-hop, Madchild’s reputation precedes him. An undeniably skilled lyricist and potential loose cannon fiery personality, he’s dropped several unforgettable verses over his 14-year career. As a critical member of four-time Juno Award-winning Swollen Members (along with Rob the Viking and Prevail, who I spoke to earlier this year ), his talent speaks for itself. Achieving mainstream success, the bumpy road’s been filled with addiction detours and legal bans that prevented this brilliant artist from reaching his full potential. Back and better than ever, Madchild’s recently returned to the Canadian and U.S. stage (now allowed to return), rocking the Vans Warped Tour and is poised to drop his latest solo album, “Lawn Mower Man” in August. Read more

Contest: F.Y.E. Presents The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Flyaway!

posted July 9, 2013, 1:11 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Contest, Festivals, General Interest, Music News | comment Leave a Comment


Contest

SCOTT IAN’S METAL UNDERWORLD SELECTS TOP RELEASES FROM MAYHEM FESTIVAL LINE UP. Wanna go? Read more

Interview: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from Bosnian Rainbows

posted June 21, 2013, 11:02 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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As a music fan, there are few things better than when members of great bands get together and create a new great band. New alt rock band Bosnian Rainbows (comprised of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Deantoni Parks from Grammy-winning The Mars Volta, Teri Gender Bender from Le Butcherettes and Nicci Kasper who’s worked with Kudu and KRS-One) have joined forces to create said type of band and will release their self-titled debut on June 25. Combining left-field creativity and performance art sensibilities, this group has melded to form its own attention-grabbing entity. Read more

Episode 122: Unsigned and Wound Up 10

posted April 30, 2013, 5:27 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Music Emissions presents Unsigned and Wound Up, Music News, On The Verge, Podcast, Releases | comment 6 Comments


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Welcome to another edition of Unsigned and Wound Up, volume 10 ladies and gents. The top three vote-getters will receive a professional review from a staff writer. The top vote-getter receives an interview feature.
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Tour Review: Cold War Kids

posted April 9, 2013, 9:37 pm by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under General Interest, Live Show Reviews, Music News, Tour | comment Leave a Comment


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Cold War Kids shared a special moment with a sold-out crowd at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio April 9.It’s not a band, which interacts much with the audience. But the crowd was prepared to be wowed by their heroes. And the fans were rewarded for their devotion. Cold War Kids rock hard. “Mexican Dogs,” the second song, was where the they started to cut loose.

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Nathan Willett put on a good show whether he was singing vocals sans instrument, playing guitar, sitting at the piano or shaking the maracas. The new album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, was well represented in the set, which took a little more than an hour. Among the new songs, “Miracle Mile” was the biggest hit with the crowd. The band was entertaining throughout the night, moving about the stage effortlessly. Read more

Interview: Rival Sons’ Jay Buchanan

posted March 26, 2013, 9:09 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


Paris shoot venue pic

As a kid on the 70’s/80’s cusp, classic rock played an integral part of my childhood. Artists like Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Free rattled from our car’s speakers crisscrossing the country on frequent road trips and their songs remain imprinted on my cerebellum permanently. Nerdily scoping the regular late night show music schedule in Los Angeles (like I am prone to do) to see who’d be coming soon, I stumbled upon Rival Sons playing Jimmy Kimmel and gravitated to their latest album Head Down along with their previous one, Pressure and Time with songs like pointed “Burn Down Los Angeles” and sorrowful “Jordan” that now stay on repeat automatically. They took me right back to my favorite period of time blending modern and classic folk, rock, blues and funk, making me want to dance immediately. Live clips of these Long Beach, CA natives (who’ve opened for AC/DC, Judas Priest and Alice Cooper) playing live sealed the deal that this band was f-in dope.

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I chatted with Rival Sons’ frontman and lead singer Jay Buchanan right before he left for their latest European tour about “standing on the shoulders of giants”, the band’s secret name for him, working with noted producer Dave Cobb, his love of books and hidden wealth of knowledge that could possibly keep us alive on a stranded island and more. Check out the videos and interview clips below!



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Interview: Del Tha Funkee Homosapien

posted March 4, 2013, 9:41 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: DJ Toure, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien


Interviewing DJ Toure of the Bay Area Hieroglyphics crew a few weeks ago, I luckily connected with another member of the crew, the ringleader, legend and most colorful member, Del Tha Funkee (or The Funky) Homosapien during a tour stop through Southern California recently. One of the best freestylers in the game, which he proved, making the crowd go nuts during his packed show at the Constellation Room, his albums I Wish My Brother George Was Here and No Need for Alarm were two of the my favorite albums of the 90’s. As a member of futuristic Deltron 3030 and Gorillaz multi-platinum “Clint Eastwood” collaborator, his musical history has been varied and full of influential tracks. Watching his documentary , “The 11th Hour”, before the show, a portrait of a gaming, funny creative genius (peep the scene when he talks about porn) emerges.

Taking the stage that night with A-Plus from the Souls of Mischief, they rocked for 90 minutes before I got to catch up with Del after the show. Check the videos and interview clips below and follow Del on Twitter for more deets on his new album!




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Interview: Daru Jones

posted February 17, 2013, 5:23 pm by ROCKthusiast | Filed Under Interviews | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Blunderbuss, Jack White


I don’t think anyone could have predicted the kind of year Jack White had in 2012. From a Grammy-nominated album to touring the world over with two backing bands to putting vinyl records in balloons, White sure knows how to keep busy. He also knows it takes special people to want to come along for the rock ’n’ roll ride. Fortunately for White, Buzzards drummer Daru Jones is just that type of person – Grateful. Humble. And talented as all heck.

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Press Release Roundup: July 14

posted July 20, 2017, 1:27 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Friday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

POP Montreal

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POP Montreal is very pleased to make a second line-up announcement in anticipation for the upcoming #SWEET16 edition of the festival. Highlights include experimental Argentinian songwriter Juana Molina, the avant-garde composer William Basinski, darling of the electro-pop underground John Maus, and one of the most devastating live performers on earth, Moor Mother, all of whom will also appear in conversation as part of the POP Symposium. Some of the newer acts not to be missed include Dirty Beaches frontman Alex Zhang Hungtai’s new project Love Theme, Polaris long lister and art pop warrior Lido Pimienta, as well Aba & Preach, the hilarious and phenomenal social commentators who have been keeping all of us Montrealers entertained and awake. Finally, hometown hero and LuckyMe recording artist Lunice will put on the party of the year and also partake in a special interactive beatmaking workshop that’s guaranteed to leave the audience inspired.

On the Art POP front, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with the Never Apart art space to present G.R.O.S.S., an all-female multimedia group show featuring artists Tricia Middleton, Nadine Faraj, Rebecca Storm and Jana Sterbak. The exhibit opens July 13th and will run throughout the festival, reveling in the guck, ooze, rot, leaks, and stray hairs and exploring the balance between revulsion and attraction.

To get tix, click HERE!

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Introducing: Ghostly Beard

posted July 18, 2017, 10:49 pm by CharlesMartel | Filed Under Introducing | comment Leave a Comment


In today’s world, it is easy to overlook the fact that what we now take as the norm was, not so very long ago, regarded as exotic. Patrick Talbot, who is Ghostly Beard, is an example of that. Born and brought up in the French Riviera of Franco-Italian background, he now lives in Montreal and is a Canadian citizen married to a British born woman. If there was an example of multi-culturalism in action then Talbot is surely it.

0010303515_10Read our review of “Infinite”

Talbot’s association with music began, as so often happens, with listening to what his family were listening to, in Talbot’s case, rock music listened to by his elder brothers. That early association led to a study of music. With no formal training, he admits to difficulty in reading music and largely taught himself. However, with limited opportunities in his native region, his musical journey could almost have died before it was born. Like many of us, there were local projects with unknown bands with big ideas but that was the sum of it. And then, again like so many of us, career, marriage and life in general got in the way and Talbot entered into a musical hiatus where, he freely confesses, there was a lot going wrong in his life. It was not until some fifteen years later that he began to move back to music. By this time, living in Canada, the opportunities were greater and Talbot once again began to write songs and record them. Read more

Press Release Roundup: June 30

posted July 1, 2017, 6:14 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Friday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

Northern Nights Music Fest

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Returning to the historic Cook’s Valley Campground, just 3 hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area from July 14-16, 2017, Northern Nights Music Festival is celebrating its 5th year of bringing incredible beats, river swims and positive vibes to the Emerald Triangle! NNMF is humbled and excited to announce that last year’s beloved and trailblazing Medical Marijuana Zone will not only be returning but is expanding into a full state-of-the-art “Tree Lounge” – an exclusive, innovative and educational oasis in the center of the festival. Smoke a bowl in the main bowl to headlining artists such as notorious Hip Hop collective Living Legends, Jai Wolf, Cherub, Big Wild, G Jones, Dirtwire, Random Rab,Justin Jay’s Fantastic Voyage, and 90+ more amazing acts and experience the magic of music, swimming and dancing amidst one of the most sought out destinations in the world – the California Redwoods.

The game is changing for how festivals will approach cannabis use in the future and Northern Nights is continuing their pioneering efforts to remove the stigma around Cannabis use, enhance the experience, and honor the incredibly rich Cannabis history of the festival’s region. The Cannabis Tree Lounge highlights Humboldt, Mendocino and Northern California cultivators that have been perfecting their trade behind the Redwood curtain for generations who are coming forward at the end of cannabis prohibition. The Tree Lounge will also include education, sampling, interactive installations, refreshments, meet-and-greets with headliners plus performances throughout the day and night on the Royal Gold Tree Stage!

While not everyone can glamp – NNMF is showcasing the importance of self care for everyone with an exclusive “Yoga in the Grove” program curated by Bloom Farms. Sustainably farmed and responsibly made Bloom Farms seek to bring safe and enjoyable medicine to patients who use medical cannabis as part of a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. Also available in the Tree Lounge will be North Bay Nectar providing cannabis infused and hemp infused massage oil for 6,000 massages with their innovative premiere cannabis infused body products made with organic ingredients.

Don’t have a medical marijuana card? From the comfort of your own home, attendees can get a cannabis recommendation online from PrestoDoctor at a discounted rate for NN ticket holders. Just email info@northernnights.org for your code. Or PrestoDoctor will be onsite to provide recommendations at regular rates. Arriving with a current card also has the advantage of expedited entry into the lounge.

Outside of the relaxing oasis of the Tree Lounge, the 5th Annual Northern Nights has curated exceptional experiential offerings including a new “Purple Nights” Art Gallery showcasing the works of the finest borosilicate glass artists from around the world. Beachside dance parties, afternoon river swims, a diverse lineup of internationally renowned and breakout musical and mural artists, and world class production in an intimate setting make NNMF the perfect destination for city revelers to experience farm to fest. NNMF encourages all participants (18+) to activate their souls and smiles for three unforgettable days – no matter the path, you’ll find a home for the weekend in the majestic forests of NorCal.

To get tix, click HERE!

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Staff Editorial: Cinematic Mastery

posted June 23, 2017, 11:14 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Best Of | comment Leave a Comment


Since the late 1800’s, artists of rare form have found themselves recording songs that would go on to change lives. However, the songs that truly impact our lives transcend to cinema as well. Here’s a list of our staff’s favorite cinematic musical memory

Brian

As far back as I can remember, music has been a passion, even prior to movies. While I would love to point a finger at just about any John Cusack film (sorry, born in the 70’s), the impact of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”, Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters,” Steelers Wheel “Stuck In The Middle With You,” The Pixies closing of Fight Club with “Where Is My Mind” or even Bob Marley’s impact on all of the film “I Am Legend,” I would have to say the finest musical moment must be a glue to many generations, goofy or not.

Nat
What helps make a good or even great movie is a strong musical score. This is what makes the musicals so strong from the 1930s through 50s. The golden age of the musical has passed. Still music is important in film. “Pleasantville” features great jazz music from the 1950s. One of my favorite recordings Miles Davis’ “So What” is in the film. A jazz singer added to the film “Good Night and Good Luck.” The songs were more effective in furthering the story than any film composer contribution. The concert film also has a place, and the best would have to be the Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense.” Not only good songs but David Byrne’s energy made a for a great movie.

Press Release Roundup: June 9

posted June 11, 2017, 3:40 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Friday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

ID10T Music Festival + Comic Conival

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ID10T Music Festival + Comic Conival Announces SYFY’s The Magicians Panel and Animaniacs LIVE! Plus Portlandia, MST3K, Harmontown, & Stan Against Evil & Toyota Fan Engagement Experiences

Created and Hosted by Comedian Chris Hardwick

2-Day Festival Will Feature Music Performances and Comedy Sets By Today’s Top Artists Including Weezer, Girl Talk, Madeon, Zeds Dead, Demetri Martin, Michael Che & Many More, Plus Panels, Autograph Signings, Comic Book Artists Alley, and Exhibitor Village

Saturday, June 24th & Sunday, June 25th
in Silicon Valley, CA at the Shoreline Amphitheatre and Surrounding Grounds

ID10T Music Festival & Comic Conival, the groundbreaking first of its kind event that will combine chart-topping musicians, renowned comedians, makers, and some of the most influential people in the entertainment industry, together in one place for a once-in-a-lifetime weekend experience, has announced that SYFY’s The Magicians and Animaniacs LIVE! will join the impressive lineup of confirmed panels alongside Portlandia, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Harmontown, and Stan Against Evil. The festival will also feature multiple experiences from Toyota including a Cinderella-themed infinity photo booth, a Gingerbread Man-inspired car chase, interactive beatboxing, a live caricature station, and more. Created and hosted by Chris Hardwick, ID10T (pronounced I-D-ten-T) will take over the Shoreline Amphitheatre and surrounding grounds in Mountain View, CA on Saturday, June 24th and Sunday, June 25th.

Musical, comedy, and comic talent is as follows:

The Shoreline Amphitheatre Main Stage will feature a diverse musical lineup with performances by Weezer, Girl Talk, Lord Huron, Crystal Castles, TV On The Radio, OK Go, Animal Collective, Car Seat Headrest, The Mowgli’s, Robert DeLong, Mothers, Ron Gallo, and Tank And The Bangas.

The Mad Decent Stage in the Festival Tent will feature some of today’s premier DJs and electronic music acts with performances by Madeon, Zeds Dead, Jai Wolf, TroyBoi, Gryffin, Party Favor, Ape Drums, 4B, and Wax Motif.

The Monster Energy Comedy Tent will feature sets by some of today’s most entertaining comedians in an intimate, club-like setting. Hosted by April Richardson, performers will include Demetri Martin, Michael Che, Nikki Glaser, Garfunkel and Oates, Michael Ian Black, Brian Posehn, Greg Proops, Brent Weinbach, Hampton Yount, Matt Braunger, Dan Mintz, Marcella Arguello, Jonah Ray, Mike Phirman, and Yassir Lester.

Participating comic companies include Skybound, Valiant, Oni, Boom! Studios, Top Shelf, AfterShock, Insight Editions, Aspen, and HowToons.

Comic artists include Ande Parks (Green Arrow, Ciudad), Andrew Robinson (The Fifth Beatle, Superman: Red Son), Andy Belanger (Southern Cross, SwampThing), Babs Tarr (Batgirl of Burnside, Motor Crush), Becky Cloonan (Southern Cross, Punisher), Brent Schoonover (Howling Commandos Of Shield, Antman), Cameron Stewart (Fight Club 2, Batgirl), Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated, Officer Downe), Dennis Hopeless (Spider-Woman, WWE), Donny Cates (God Country, Redneck), Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War, The Wrenchies), Gary Brown (Black Road, Catwoman), Gerry Duggan (Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy), Ivan Brandon (Drifter, Black Cloud), Jai Nitz (Suicide Squad’s El Diablo, Dream Thief), Jason Shawn Alexander (Empty Zone, Abe Sapien-The Drowning), Justin Greenwood (The Fuse, Stumptown), Matt Hawkins (Think Tank, Aphrodite IX), Matt Wilson (Batman & Robin, Joker), Mike Costa (Venom, Lucifer [FOX TV]), Morgan Breem (The Family Trade, Valor: East of the Sun & West of the Moon), Ngozi Ukaza (Check, Please!), Nick Dragotta (East of West, Howtoons), Phil Hester (Shipwreck, Green Arrow), Phil Noto (Black Widow, Star Wars), Ramon Villalbos (Nighthawk, E is for Extinction), Rick Remender (Deadly Class, Fear Agent), Robert Wilson IV (Heartthrob, Bitch Planet), Shawn Martinbrough (Thief of Thieves, Luke Cage Noir), Van Jensen (The Flash, Cryptocracy), and Wes Craig (Deadly Class, Guardians of the Galaxy).

To get tix, click HERE!

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Press Release Roundup: May 26

posted May 29, 2017, 10:24 am by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Friday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

MoogFest

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Attending our second MoogFest this month, the move to Durham provided a different vibe this time around. In a larger urban center than its previous hub, Asheville, the switch helped elevate the profile of the electronic music fest which continues to rise each year. Featuring events all over the city such as Michael Stipe’s art installation ‘Jeremy Dance’ being played on the windows of the American Underground, Sound Installations with Moor Mother and sold out workshops on techno-shamanism by Elizabeth Traina, the action packed agenda yielded cool moments. Whether you attended talks with Michael Stipe, Flying Lotus and Colin Wolfe, peeped performances by DJ Chela and ZenSoFly, Suzi Analogue, King and DJ Premier or sampled Moogs to your heart’s content at the pop-up shop, was inspiring to see electro nerds and neophiles from near and far united for the love of the art.

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Press Release Roundup: May 12

posted May 15, 2017, 10:14 am by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Friday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

ARISE Music Fest

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Peep the lineup above for Colorado’s ARISE Music Fest and get tix HERE!

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Jesus Christ Superstar – ”A Striving Artist’s Cast Recording”

posted May 8, 2017, 8:50 am by Mark Mcconville | Filed Under Releases | comment Leave a Comment


 

 

Image result for jesus christ superstar a striving artists cast recording

To unravel the beauty you must delve in, you must focus on the shine and the quality, and music group Striving Artists are doing that with their hearts beating to the instruments they wholeheartedly love and cherish. Their work is renowned for its elegance and subtlety, produced for the passionate and the purists, orchestrated with peace and serenity in mind.

The tranquil sounds are a reflection of why Striving Artist founder Greg Luzitano wanted to create a group setting and why he wanted to incorporate his expertise. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, proving his talents on a big scale. And with these sounds put in place, Luzitano and a whole array of talented people have put together astonishing, somber, emotional compendiums in Jesus Christ Superstar. They are records full of wonder and might, created to spark magic and hope.

There are two CDs to indulge in, both religious and compelling, both taking influence from faith and its impact. The brilliance of it comes from the true bond that the artists have. They all come together in unison, playing their hearts out for the cause, delivering beautiful harmonies.

The sequences and arrangements are powered by different singers and instrumentalists, which creates a sense of diversity and gives the crop of stars a chance to shine. There’s drumming from wonder-kid Nate Concalo, who has the powerhouse ability to go on and propel, there’s vocals from a variety of great singers. It all comes together as a worthwhile and entertaining project.

The performers have been plucked from a wonderful platform of flair and imagination, and it’s heard throughout the two collections. The songs all serve up a purpose too. Heaven On Their Minds from CD 1 is a brilliant, raw, rock influenced track which highlights what Striving Artists are about, great melody and scintillating instrumentals and sincere workmanship. This Jesus Must Die is a song which begins with slow vocal work. The contribution falls into a trance like vibe. The lyrics are searing and imaginative, describing a dangerous situation. Damned All The Time – Blood Money showcases a rock infused riff and well-toned vocals. This track highlights the versatility of the group.

CD 2 goes on in the same vein. It’s purposeful and intriguing. The Last Supper is a tour de force, it lasts for 7.17 and it’s a magical, colossal, burst of emotion. The arrangements are wonderfully placed and the production values are massive. Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) directs towards Luzitano who serves up arresting vocal work. You will hear the passion and reason in his vocals. He certainly knows how to raise his voice and bellow out stark and eventful lyrics. King Herod’s Song contains a blunt subject matter. The lyricism is fundamental, and the words are sung with a degree of rage. Yet again the instrumentals are on point.

Striving Artists is a collective of unbelievably talented musicians. They’re truly at one with their craft and it shows through this religious but modern work.

Press Release Roundup: April 28

posted May 3, 2017, 9:20 am by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases | comment Leave a Comment


Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Friday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

Art of Cool Fest

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Capping off a steamy April, thousands traveled from far and wide, even crossing the pond, to partake in the 4th Annual Art of Cool Fest in Durham, NC. With a multi-generational jazz, hip-hop, R&B and soul-rock lineup that you couldn’t find anywhere else, each day showcased homegrown rising and Grammy-winning established artists and producers. With the diverse group assembled, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see future collabos and projects as a result. Whether it was Rakim backed by Zoocru and fest co-founder Al Strong on trumpet or George Clinton funking it up with Kendra Foster jumping onstage, the community vibe remained strong throughout the weekend.

Oasis Fest

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All eyes will be on Morocco this September as Oasis festival returns to Marrakech for its third edition this September 14-17, 2017 bringing a world-class music line-up to music resort The Source. The third wave of acts are revealed today, including Agents Of Time (live), Black Rose, Call Super, DJ Stingray, Dr. Rubinstein, Pantha du Prince (live), Shed, Willow and more. With acts including Richie Hawtin, Maceo Plex, Nicolas Jaar, Marcel Dettmann, Anja Schneider, Moodymann, KiNK and Charlotte de Witte also on the bill, this is set to be the biggest edition to date.

There’s not many festivals in the world where you can ride a camel in the desert by day and dance beneath the stars by night, soundtracked by the biggest stars of the electronic music scene. Founded in 2015, Oasis has put North Africa firmly on the map as the must-visit festival destination of the moment. Nestled on the outskirts of the bustling city of Marrakech, the festival continues to showcase the finest international talent, as well as shining the spotlight on the flourishing Moroccan electronic music scene.

DJ Stingray has been an innovative force in the world of Detroit techno for over twenty years. Through his unconventional techno offerings, the balaclava-clad DJ has captured the attention of alternative audiences worldwide. As a blanket of darkness envelops the Atlas Mountains that backdrop the festival, his distinctive high tempo, high impact sound will set the tone, making for an intense and electric atmosphere at Oasis 2017.

Underground techno specialist Call Super also makes the journey to North Africa for Oasis festival this September. The British producer recently dropped his Fabric 92 mix to a stellar reaction from fans and media alike, with Resident Advisor slating him as “one of the most striking artists in electronic music right now” and Pitchfork praising his “spellbinding selections.”

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Jerad Finck – “New Kids”

posted April 21, 2017, 5:43 pm by JasonHillenburg | Filed Under Releases | comment Leave a Comment


NewKidsFinal.jpg

Spokane, Washington native Jerad Finck has arrived at this place through talent, but discipline plays a much more important role. His experiences with a variety of instruments and musical approaches, as well as his lyrical engagement, makes him a singularly unique performer whose songwriting and performing talents have been amply recognized on both a regional and national level. However, it is discipline distinguishing him for than anything else. Finck is a performer who clearly gets and wants it – his new single “New Kids” bristles with creativity and a subtle sense of risk taking that defies the norm and rewards anyone willing to give him time to weave his magic. His time opening for acts as diverse as Daughtry, Sister Hazel, Red Wanting Blue, and Christina Perri have shaped him into a superior creative artist capable of conveying oceans of emotion with seemingly little effort. This latest effort highlights his ongoing artistic partnership with writer/producer Denny White and is set to propel his career to a higher level than ever before.

http://www.jeradfinck.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jeradfinck/new-kids-master/s-266fn

“New Kids” has a low key fanfare opening the song before it soon settles into a steady groove. The groove is ambling, easy going, and loosely confident while still maintaining all the needed focus to get the song over. The percussion, seemingly scattershot at times, is particularly effective for conveying the song’s shuffle mood and Finck brings his voice into perfect accord with the backing track. The decidedly low-fi approach of the song never lacks physicality – “New Kids” is a track that will engage listeners on every level from the first notes on. It has understated melodic virtues that few songs of its ilk share and Finck does an exceptional job of wrapping his voice tightly around the arrangement.

There are few meaningful post-production touches. Instead, Finck’s voice is the centerpiece of the track and effectively wraps around the music in a compelling but unobtrusive way. Much like everything else about his presentation, Finck refrains from following established formulas too closely and, instead, attempts to wring new variations from aforementioned themes. It results in a collected, humble performance in some ways that nonetheless announces his arrival in unambiguous terms. Jerad Finck is clearly a performer intent on establishing himself as a major force on the music scene and there isn’t a single note of “New Kids” that doesn’t resound with that intent.

The lyrics are accessible without ever unduly belaboring things. The balance of artistry Finck brings to his work is a rarity with seasoned performers and writers, let alone new voices. It emerges from him naturally and without any of the usual trappings, like glossy presentation, that frequently compromise similar performers. Instead, Finck’s performance on “New Kids” comes out as a genuine expression of singer/songwriter artistry quite unlike anything else on the scene today. Finck’s ability to connect with audiences is quite obvious and it seems to come naturally. “New Kids” plays like a track ripped from his autobiography, but it will prove difficult for a wide swath of listeners to not relate to its sentiments and their expression in sound.

Photo by: Michael Sparks Keegan

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