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.
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.
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…
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”
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.
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.
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
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.
Live Review and Interviews: Red Bull Sound Select with El-P and special guest Killer Mike, Thurz, Warm Brew and Azizi Gibson
‘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
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
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:
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
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)…
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
SCOTT IAN’S METAL UNDERWORLD SELECTS TOP RELEASES FROM MAYHEM FESTIVAL LINE UP. Wanna go? Read more
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
posted April 30, 2013, 5:27 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, MP3, Music Emissions presents Unsigned and Wound Up, Music News, On The Verge, Podcast, Releases | 6 Comments
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
Before it’s officially acceptable to go pumpkin spice crazy and stress over what costumes to wear for Halloween, we couldn’t let September escape without talking about our favorite songs of the summer. 2014′s summer proved to be a busy one and we wanted to create a staff time capsule as we rocked to a variety of track releases of all genres. Peep the podcast to listen to our staff summer snippet picks by Brian, Nathaniel, Chiara and I, Carlita, below.
1. Robin Joel Sangster- “The Water”
2. Los Rakas- “No Tan Listo”
3 and 4. Hiss Golden Messenger- “Lucia” and “Mahogany Dread”
5. Mark de Clive-Lowe featuring Nia Andrews- “Now or Never”
6. Sheppard- “Geronimo”
7. Boomdabash featuring Otto Om- “L’Importante”
8. Big Data- “Dangerous”
How Taking Back Sunday Made Punk Disappear in the Studio and Reappear Live
Taking Back Sunday has been an icon in the alternative rock industry since the New York natives burst onto the scene with their interesting mix of punk music and hardcore vibes in 1999. The band reveled in their success and continued to produce record after record, despite the comings and goings of several bandmates.
Amidst the changes, the band skyrocketed as an indie group, and eventually had a high-octane album released by Warner Brothers Records in 2006. Fast forward 8 years—Taking Back Sunday, once glorified for their edge, released a laid-back album entitled, “Happiness is.” The recent release was a cause for much debate among critics and music lovers alike. Where did the punk go? Read more
As a music correspondent who luckily gets sent music daily, I can’t say enough about a good album cover. When your eyeballs hit a cover artistically done with care and serves its purpose, it boldly grabs your attention and makes you want to hit “Click”. Coming across DeQn Sue’s ‘Zeitgeist’ cover above illicited such a reaction and I needed to know more. Delving into the LP, I discovered this Alabama and Los Angeles based artist spoke to and for my left-of-center “magenta” sensibilities delightfully with the right amount of funk, spunk and punk.
NMC is a 24/7 music channel presenting a unique opportunity for over 12.5 million independent musical acts, encompassing virtually all genres, to be discovered and promoted on a national scale. Optimal integration of NMC’s presence on TV, mobile, online and social media ensures your expansive fanbase stays hooked, thereby enabling artists and audiences of all musical tastes to come together a revolutionary community dedicated to changing patterns in television programming and promotions within the music industry.
New Music Channel (NMC) is a television network to premier on DirecTV that will provide an unprecedented platform for independent musicians to be discovered, funded, and promoted on an international scale.
These benefits include: Read more
Mi gente, it’s music award season again and today The Latin Recording Academy revealed their nominations for the 15th Annual Latin Grammys, taking place live from the MGM Grand in Vegas on November 20. Receiving more than 10,000 music piece submissions this year, Gabriel Abaroa Jr.,the President and CEO of the Academy, stated the nominations reflected “the dynamic and vibrant worldwide Latin music community of artists, producers, engineers, songwriters and everyone involved in the recording process.” Getting a chance to speak to Gabriel last year, I imagine he remains proud of how far the industry’s evolved and how it continues to thrive.
The concept album. The very phrase sends shudders down my spine. True concept albums, as opposed to albums on a theme or rock operas, are not as common as you may believe. For instance, “Reconstruction Site” by the Weakerthans is a great album with a theme whereas “Tommy” or “SF Sorrow” are rock operas. But true concept albums almost always start negatively with me. “2112” and “Hemispheres” are concepts on one side (of the vinyl) and are about the only ones I can truly tolerate. “The Wall” I dislike, but my real intense loathing and hatred is reserved for the overblown, pompous, contrived, pretentious, affected bullshit which is “Tales from Topographic Oceans.” Anyone who claims to have been inspired, as Jon Anderson does, to embark on a four-track, double-vinyl melodrama as a result of reading a lengthy footnote at the bottom of page 83 of some Hindu Yogi’s autobiography deserves all the ridicule he is likely to attract. I could go on but when Anderson wanted to record it in a wood at night he was, not surprisingly, told to “get a life”.
Enough of this…let’s get on with the next ten.
For American fans of fashion and music icon David Bowie, the wait is over. The much buzzed about ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibit opens today at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, its only U.S. stop. Enthusiasts will be able to follow the many transitions and transformations that occurred during his life. Assembled with intricate care and deference to the legend, the traveling exhibit follows a young boy in Bromley, already called “an exhibitionist” by fifth grade, with grand, specific ideas of stardom. Sketches, paintings and storyboards of stage sets, memorable costumes and album covers reveal a visual artist in control of every part of his image, down to every last detail.
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 Monday, I will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across my virtual desk.
In addition to our ever-popular UNSW contests every month, Music Emissions is constantly striving to introduce you to the most underrated indie artists in the globe. With that said, we introduce you to Robin Joel Sangster.
Robin Joel Sangster
“Don’t confuse making music and being famous, there are too many famous people,” says Sangster. “Most real musicians have to keep making music (whether it sells or not) or they would probably keel over and die. Most of the famous people out there should just concentrate on the latter.”
Although he has had no formal training, growing up under parental influences such as Van Morrison, James Taylor and Loudon Wainwright III sort of speaks for itself. These days, RJS, has found inspiration in artists like The Decemberists, Otis Redding and Brandy Clark, helping mold his own original score and sound, subsequently resulting in his 2013 LP, “Upstream.” Read more
Wading (or slashing) through a mountain of e-mails, while trying not to spontaneously combust in the Los Angeles heat recently, I stopped in my tracks once I saw the twisted cover of Butcher Babies’ upcoming EP. Bold and brash, I couldn’t take my eyes off it and ‘uncovered’ an amazing LA based metal band fronted by two strong ladies Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey. Read more