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
As a hip-hop fan growing up in The Bronx, I was grateful for my world full of quality music, with public access, cable (when videos played on a constant basis) and radio stations providing limited glimpses of hip-hop scenes in other cities. Now living on the West Coast, discovering the underground scene here has been a treasure trove. Attending the Back 2 Basics Fest a few weeks ago, I saw People Under the Stairs (Thes One and Double K) live and was blown away. Repping LA to the fullest with their ying-yang flows, they’ve put together an impressive career of eight albums, got immortalized on “The Simpsons”, performed over 1,000 shows on six continents including Bonnaroo where SPIN called their performance at the festival “simply the best performance of Friday…period”. Read more
SCOTT IAN’S METAL UNDERWORLD SELECTS TOP RELEASES FROM MAYHEM FESTIVAL LINE UP. Wanna go? Read more
As an avid (and nerdy) hip-hop concertgoer and poetry-lover, finding that combo in an artist is the best. Much has been written for decades on if hip-hop’s art, and can hip-hop be considered poetry and spoken word, with several weighing in on these topics (pseudo-intellectuals etc). One artist who fiercely stirs this debate up is Sage Francis. Doing research (um, listening to the artists’ music prior and loving it) to attend the Back 2 Basics Fest held in Southern California recently, I instantly became of a fan of Sage’s trademark brand of political, poetic and powerful discography and never looked back. 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
Founders Entertainment is thrilled to announce the lineup for the 2013 Governors Ball Music Festival. The 3rd annual edition of New York City’s marquee live music event is expanding to three days of Music, Art, and Entertainment. Held Friday June 7th through Sunday June 9th in Randall’s Island Park, the festival will feature over 60 world class performers, showcasing a wide spectrum of Dance, Indie Rock, Hip Hop, Americana, Electronica and Pop all weekend long. Only 1 day tickets are left available for purchase, the 3 day general admission have already sold out.
But now you can now enter to win a pair of general admission tickets to Governor’s Ball Fest! It’s a Facebook contest, don’t wait enter here now!
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!
Black Sabbath annouces June 11th release of album “13″ and first set of North American tour dates
13 MARCH 2013 (Toronto, ON) – BLACK SABBATH today announce June 11 as the release date for their upcoming album, 13, through Vertigo/Republic/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. As the countdown to release continues, the second Jack Osbourne-directed clip of the rock legends at work on their album can now be seen at blacksabbath.com. 13 was recorded primarily in Los Angeles and features the original BLACK SABBATH–OZZY OSBOURNE (vocals), TONY IOMMI (guitar) and GEEZER BUTLER (bass)–who were joined at the sessions by drummer Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine). The album is produced by Rick Rubin (seven-time Grammy winner, two of those as Producer of the Year) and marks the Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees’ first studio album together since 1978’s Never Say Die!. They have sold over 70 million albums together.
Once upon a time, Indie legend Aesop Rock joined El-P’s label Definitive Jux and proceeded to drop five of the greatest albums of the 00’s (which sound even better revisited now), even getting mainstream attention being called one of the top 100 Artists of the Decade by Rolling Stone. Since the beginning, he’s continued to keep us guessing. Just when we think we have this instrumental scorer, superior lyricist and visual artist pegged, he will announce a brilliant left field project that shows his versatility and blows preconceptions to pieces yet again. Case in point, his latest collaboration forms a new duo called The Uncluded with Kimya Dawson and will drop their first project on May 7th, Hokey Fright.
During a break on the road for his latest tour, he took the time to answer some of my weird questions below. Peep his answers and videos below and follow Aesop Rock on Twitter and Facebook for more info on his new project. Catch him live next at the Coachella Music Festival in April!
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!
Canadian fans, it’s giveaway time again!
Against Me! have announced their upcoming Winter 2014 headlining tour. Hitting the road in advance of the release of their highly-anticipated sixth full-length album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, the 22-date tour begins on Tuesday, December 31 in Pittsburgh, PA at the Altar Bar and will visit markets such as Cleveland, OH on Saturday, January 4, Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, January 9, Birmingham, AL on Friday, January 17, Nashville, TN on Sunday, January 19, and will culminate in a performance at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Sunday, January 26. Support on the entire run will be provided by The Sidekicks and The Shondes, and more information on tickets can be found on Against Me!’s official website. Read more
One reason why a song will get included in this list is that it produces an emotional reaction in me. There are songs which can bring tears to my eyes, of both joy and sorrow. There are songs which make me angry, there are songs which make me miserable, there are songs which make me smile. In the most extreme cases, there are songs where the emotional reaction is so strong it causes a physical reaction – makes the hairs on my arms stand on end, or brings a flush to my cheeks. Some of my highest ranked tracks will fall into this category. And if I were to try to describe why I cannot abide most commercial mainstream music, herein is the answer. Commercial mainstream music needs to be as inoffensive as possible because profit is not gained by alienating potential purchasers. It produces no reaction in me as a result. Yet its deliberate inoffensiveness is what I find offensive about it.
Onwards and upwards then. The next twenty.
The Hives in 2013 represent an interesting dichotomy.
Carrying on from last week, if technical proficiency alone is not a guarantee of inclusion – quite the reverse it may seem – then what militates against it. The answer is deceptively simple. A melody. My top 1000 contains little or nothing which could be considered ambient; very few long complicated passages of difficult to play but difficult to listen to virtuosity; and nothing which is atonal for a prolonged period. Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy a good tune and a song without a good tune, or hook, or riff, call it what you will, is not going to stick with me long enough to get included on the list. Music which I only notice when it stops playing is not music but an aural equivalent of wallpaper.
Onto the 800’s.
Stop right where your brain is at, we’re not slinging Amy Lee or Scott Stapp posters. Good, you made it through, you’ll be glad you did so. Have a listen to a terrific new playlist available courtesy of Wind-up Records.
Continuing with the theme of what makes something worthy of inclusion, it may come as a surprise to learn that technical ability is not a major factor. Of course, some of the greats, particularly guitar greats are included – Page, Clapton, Hendrix and so on. And, of course, are works by the man who quite possibly was the greatest known musical genius of all time – Ludwig van Beethoven. Many of the tracks performed by the most technically gifted artists of the seventies, a period which formed my musical tastes, namely the prog rockers Yes, Genesis, ELP and the like are not here. And yet some of the early punk songs and indie pop samplers from the eighties are, despite their poor quality. Why this should be is looked in the next blog
On with the list – twenty more.
If you were like me in the late 90’s, chances were VERY high you were bumping solo and featured material from one particular LADY. Nicole Wray. The artist who laced several a track for music masterminds Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Damon Dash’s Rocafella, started her career off on a high note and spent years behind the scenes songwriting for other artists. Briefly collaborating with the Black Keys ( via BlacRoc) and Kid Cudi, Nicole next stepped back into the spotlight with a new look, new sound and a new band, Lady, in 2012, finding a new home in retro funk soul mecca, Truth and Soul Records.
Last time I looked at context, time and place, as among the defining factors for inclusion of a track. Another factor, which may seem overriding at first, turns out not to be so, namely reflective of my views. To be sure, songs which may be said to be politically or socially “left” will resonate with me more. Yet, while I would never include songs of the extreme right – Prussian Blue for the USA or Skrewdriver for the UK – I can include a track from Rush’s “2112” which was inspired by libertarian right author Ayn Rand. Similarly, though I am an atheist, I have a special fondness for the grace and calm of the works of twelfth century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. So, music according with my views is not always as important as may at first be apparent.
Anyway, here is the next twenty.
- “Night and Day-Frank Sinatra
- “April in Paris”-Louis Armstrong
- “My Favorite Things”- John Coltrane
- “Brilliant Corners”-Thelonious Monk
- “Nowhere Man”-Beatles
- “Too Much Monkey Business”-Chuck Berry
- “Just As I Am”-Johnny Cash
- “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”-Rolling Stones
- “Diplomat’s Son”-Vampire Weekend
- “Easy To Love”-Billie Holiday
- “Take Five”-Dave Brubeck
- “American Pie”-Don McLean
- “All I Have to Do is Dream”-Everly Brothers
- “Ain’t That a Shame”-Fats Domino
- “Look For the Silver Lining”-Chet Baker
- “I’ve Been Loving You For So Long”-Otis Redding
- “Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong”-Arctic Monkeys
- “Third Stone From the Sun”-Jimi Hendrix
- “Ego’s Last Stand”-Flaming Lips
- “Bargain”-The Who