Returning with his second album, A$AP Rocky’s ‘At.Long.Last.A$AP’ gotten rave reviews and has entered “Top Albums of 2015″ discussions. Featuring tracks produced by Kanye West, Mark Ronson and Danger Mouse, A$AP’s love of psychedelia and the drugs who inspired it, remain yet he gets introspective and sadness lingers, addressing the death of his friend, the unforgettable A$AP Yams. We’ve partnered with our friends, With A Bullet, to give away this dope album to his Canadian fans!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
Every year our staff compiles a list of their favorite albums of the year. Here’s 2014
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
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.Catching her live with Foster The People, where she displayed her sweet personality in a flowing rainbow kimono, sealed the fandom deal. Read more
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…
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”
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
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.
What right do popular musicians have in the political realm? And why should we give their opinion credence? In answer to the first question, I suppose they have just as much right as anyone else. But why does it seem the opinion of celebrities matters more than the average person? Why should politicians care what Bono thinks or Lady Gaga? To be honest I don’t think politicians care for much beyond public opinion and the almighty dollar. But they put on a good show, don’t they? Recently, Bono met Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa about maternal and child health aid in Africa and elsewhere.
Part of me is happy celebrities like Bono aren’t spending their time swimming in a vault full of hundred dollar bills, but another part of me wonders how informed musicians are on world affairs and how much we should trust their opinions. I feel it is an old world mind set to believe other countries require help from the western world, and shows the remnants of colonial endeavours. I think it presumptuous to offer help where it has not been asked for, and until the question has been put forward, countries, politicians and celebrities should not try to ‘fix’ so called ‘problems’ in other countries. But if the call for aid has been sent, why should musicians bare arms answering such a call?
It is always heartening to leave the comfort of your room listening to studio albums to venture outside, to the city, the T.Dot, the big TO, for an album launch and find a community of musicians and music fans still exists. After driving two and a half hours on the 401 and through summer construction and endless signs reminding me of the imminent Pan AM games (as if the commercials on TV weren’t enough), I walked in the breezy sun to the Cloak and Dagger Irish pub. It was as all Irish pubs should be, a hole in the wall that had that permanent aroma of spilt beer mingled with piss and vomit. It wasn’t overwhelming, it was like a pleasant reminder that this was an authentic Irish pub in the middle of Toronto.
With the historic Vans Warped Tour turning BlackJack’s magic number, now seemed about as good a time as any to attend my first one and I looked forward to the tour kickoff. This being my first event at this Pomona venue, I trekked through the dust kicked up from moshing, past the fake old town Western façades and mini city of merch tents to visit the stages dispersed across the Fairgrounds. #VWT is not for the weak or fainthearted as the blistering sun beat down on concertgoers and required escapes to the rare shaded places and water breaks.
The Italian teenagers were waiting for their beloved artists since last year, when they opened for One Direction, in the San Siro Stadium. This time 5 Seconds Of Summer were doing their first Italian headline gigs: on the 8th of May in Turin and the 9th of May in Milan. I went to the Milan gig, at Assago’s Forum and the show was pretty astonishing: on stage and under the stage.
One of the most meteoric artists in the industry right now is Fort Worth, Texas based Leon Bridges. We’ve partnered with our friends, With A Bullet, to give away his album “Coming Home,” which was released on 6/23/15.
-Must be a resident of Canada
-Contest ends on midnight, Monday June 29th
One winner will receive:
-Copy of the CD
One winner will receive:
-Copy of the vinyl
*We will select and notify the winner by Tuesday, June 30th
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, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.
R&B artist Miguel returns this week with his much anticipated follow-up to his Grammy award-winning sophomore album ,’Kaleidoscope Dream’, with his latest offering ‘Wildheart’. Continuing his trademark style of romantic, sexual and introspective lyrics with tinges of classic rock, ‘Wildheart’ gives listeners an inside peek into the artist’s psyche, passionate love affair and his genuine affection for LA. Preview the album before it officially drops next week at NPR HERE !
Life is full of circuitous journeys. We find things in our youth that fire our imaginations before moving on to other passions, but occasionally, we sometimes retrace our steps and find unexpected callings from the ashes of the past. Jonas Martin remembers his father’s love for music and a long tenure playing percussion in school band played crucial roles in his development, but despite their influence, a younger Martin wanted to pursue filmmaking instead.
The intrusions of growing up pulled Martin in another direction and his goal of becoming involved with film receded in the distance. He moved in with a close musician friend and, initially as a lark, Martin and his friend began recording improvisational jams and sound collages. Read more
Italy was waiting for Maroon 5 and they finally arrived. It was an amazing party, not just a concert. More than 12,000 people were there to sing, dance and scream, having a blast while Maroon 5, on stage, were doing their show. On the 12th of June, we understood why we were waiting for them so impatiently .Their energy is incredible and their songs mean so much to a lot of us that their concert time travelled between memories and past experiences.
Your latest solo album was different from 2010′s, when you did your first solo record?
Brandon : No, it’s very similar, there were very similar circumstances to the first time because after we’ve finished “Day and Age”, which is The Killers’ third record, we knew that there was gonna be a long break and so it was very similar. After “Battle Born” there will be a long break, so I took time for myself to do another record. If I didn’t make this record I would have all of these songs, plus there are thirty songs that didn’t make this record, plus I’d be at home right now writing more songs and when it would be time to do The Killers’ record, I would have all of these songs, and Mark and Dave and Ronnie would be like “eeeew… too much!” In addition, it’s best when The Killers are collaborating and all four together to create new songs, that’s the best! There were some songs destined to The Killers, but they didn’t like them…