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Introducing: Apollo Architect

posted January 8, 2016, 8:00 am by Kevin Sellers | Filed Under Introducing | comment Leave a Comment


Started in 2014, Apollo Architect is the visionary project of Ontario native Bipin Bobby Kumar. In 2015 the band, which features session musicians performing the material Kumar writes and orchestrates but is unable to perform directly due to a neurological condition, released two fantastic atmospheric EP’s, The Wanderer and The Cutting-Room Floor. The former was one of my 10 favorite albums of 2015, and the latter is almost as good. Dabbling in soundscapes that reflect the post-rock mentality of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and MONO , along with a host of other inspirations, Apollo Architect creates immersive and imaginative aural experiences. With his first two EPs finished, I had the opportunity to ask Kumar about his music, his condition and how it affects said music, digging further into the inspirations and aspirations of the talented young man.
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Press Release Roundup: January 4

posted January 8, 2016, 1:41 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Music News, Press Release Roundup, Releases, Top Albums | 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 Monday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

TRDMRK

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2015 was a great year. TRDMRK has been busy. Aside from their tour tour in Europe, Nu has been out doing festivals all over the world with Jurassic 5 and Tre touring North America and Europe with Bizarre Ride. End of the year saw the guys getting back to work on a new TRDMRK album. Hearing the new stuff was amazing and we can’t wait to share it with you.

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Jazz Street: Johnny Hartman

posted January 7, 2016, 5:29 am by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under Jazz Street, Throwback Thursday | comment Leave a Comment


johnny hartmanThe magic of music is often wrapped up in a love song. One of the best singers in the genre, Johnny Hartman, died in 1983 at the age of 60. He had a storied career and it didn’t find him reaching the stardom of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Doris Day or Judy Garland. Still, Hartman performed with some of the great artists of all time including John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Erroll Garner. He was a top level singer in the truest sense of the word. His style of singing was less popular as the 1960s wore on. This was a loss for the musical world due to beauty of albums such as the one he recorded with John Coltrane (“John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman”) in 1963.

Fortunately, the albums are still there for us to listen to. Not all listeners embrace Hartman, preferring better known singers. This is unfortunate, since Sammy Davis Jr. considered him, “one of the finest ballad singers.” This made for high praise indeed. And I find myself going back to his recordings with Coltrane, these being some of the most accessible recordings the saxophonists ever made. He was involved with recordings that featured skilled musicianship and just plain great singing. There are times when it’s good to just enjoy the voice rather than get caught up in the cult surrounding various superstars. Hartman can just be savored for the magnitude of his talent and the passion he brings to each recording and performance. I look forward to listening to more of his discography and learning more about his career. There’s plenty room for more fans.

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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Press Release Roundup: December 21

posted December 26, 2015, 9:44 am by Carlita | Filed Under Music News | 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 Monday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

The Beatles

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Now nothing’s standing between you and music’s greatest catalogue.Come celebrate this incredible moment with Spotify!

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Scott Weiland, 1967-2015: RIP

posted December 21, 2015, 10:23 am by JasonHillenburg | Filed Under Editorial | comment Leave a Comment



Celebrity culture seldom touches me. The headline dominating affairs, arrests, public meltdowns, stints in rehab, and frequent comebacks aren’t grist for my mill. Scott Weiland’s death, however, is different for me. It resonated more deeply than I thought possible. I’ll be forty-one years old soon and he died at forty-eight. We shared similar histories – longstanding alienation, addiction, mental illness, and a wont for glamorizing self-destructive behavior. He left two children behind; I have two little girls, ages three and five. Weiland and Stone Temple Pilots entered my life shortly after my eighteenth birthday when I first heard “Sex Type Thing” on MTV’s then-popular Headbanger’s Ball. I saw myself then as crossing some shadow line demarcating youth and adulthood and Stone Temple Pilots’ music played a huge role in that soundtrack. I have heard Scott’s voice for over half my life. Read more

Press Release Roundup: December 14

posted December 18, 2015, 12:01 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 Monday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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The names of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2016 Inductees have been released. They are:

Performer Category:

Cheap Trick

Chicago

Deep Purple

N.W.A.

Steve Miller

The 31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Friday, April 8, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for the second time. HBO will broadcast the ceremony in spring 2016.

Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording. The 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Performer Inductees were chosen by more than 800 voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote. The top five artists, as selected by the public, comprised a “fans’ ballot” that was tallied along with the other ballots to determine the 2016 Inductees. Three of the top five artists from the fans ballot will be inducted in 2016.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, will also open a special exhibit on the 2016 Inductees in conjunction with the 2016 Induction Ceremony. Klipsch Audio, a leading global speaker and headphone manufacturer, is a strategic partner and presenting sponsor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and its Induction Ceremony events. Klipsch’s renowned products deliver the power, detail and emotion of the live music experience throughout the iconic museum.

Tickets will go on sale to the public in February. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be available for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members in advance of the public sale date. To be eligible for the member pre-sale, you must be an active Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member by December 31, 2015. Exact sale dates and ticket information will be announced in late January. Details available at www.rockhall.com. To receive Induction Ceremony updates, announcements and ticket information, sign up for the Rock Hall’s e-newsletter at www.rockhall.com/e-newsletter, follow the Rock Hall on Facebook, Twitter (@rock_hall) and Instagram (@rockhall) or join the conversation at #RockHall2016.
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Jazz Street: Duke Ellington

posted December 17, 2015, 8:47 am by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under Checking the Playlists, Jazz Street, Throwback Thursday | comment Leave a Comment


duke ellingtonListening to the greats is a worthwhile exercise not just because of all the wonderful music there is to sift through. It’s a necessity to beef up your musical IQ. You can see the enormous influence a bandleader like Ellington had on so much of what happened in popular music after he started making recordings in the 1920s. His career, leading an orchestra spanned more than 50 years until his death in 1974 at the age of 75. It’s amazing, listening to a great rock album, Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic, and realizing one of the cuts, “East St. Louis Toodle-OO” was a top-10 hit for Duke in ’27. Like Armstrong and Basie, it’s hard to imagine the evolution of popular music without this remarkable composer and pianist. There’s so many great cuts in his song catalog (written by himself and others), if there’s a song a listener has misgivings about, check for the Ellington version before making a final judgement.

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Press Release Roundup: December 7

posted December 11, 2015, 4:22 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, 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 Monday, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

The Grammys

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The Recording Academy® announced nominations for the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards® in all 83 categories this morning. Reflecting a diverse blend of talented music makers, this year’s nominees were selected from more than 21,000 submissions entered. As the only peer-based music award, the GRAMMY Awards are voted on by The Academy’s membership body of creators across all disciplines of music, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, and engineers. Final-round GRAMMY® ballots will be mailed Dec. 16 and the preeminent award for excellence in music will be presented Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

This year, Kendrick Lamar leads nominations with 11, followed by Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, who each earn seven. Additionally, music producer/songwriter Max Martin receives six nominations and mastering engineer Tom Coyne, rapper Drake, and engineers/mixers Serban Ghenea and John Hanes each earn five nominations.

GENERAL FIELD
Album Of The Year:
Sound & Color — Alabama Shakes
To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar
Traveller — Chris Stapleton
1989 — Taylor Swift
Beauty Behind The Madness — The Weeknd

Record Of The Year:
“Really Love” — D’Angelo And The Vanguard
“Uptown Funk” — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
“Thinking Out Loud” — Ed Sheeran
“Blank Space” — Taylor Swift
“Can’t Feel My Face” — The Weeknd

Song Of The Year:
“Alright” — Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
“Blank Space” — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
“Girl Crush” — Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)
“See You Again” — Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
“Thinking Out Loud” — Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)

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