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Press Release Roundup: June 9, 2014

posted June 9, 2014, 12:36 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Music News, Press Release Roundup | 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, I will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across my virtual desk.

Colbie Caillat

Hear COLBIE CAILLAT’s Gypsy Heart beat now.

iTunes Purchase Link: iTunes.com/Colbie
Device Aware: http://smarturl.it/GypsyHeartSideA
“Try” Free Download Link: www.itunes.com/Colbie

New York, NY – June 09, 2014 – Multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning Southern California songstress COLBIE CAILLAT surprised listeners everywhere this week with the release of her brand new EP, Gypsy Heart Side A [Republic Records]. Caillat first revealed the news of Gypsy Heart Side A earlier today during an appearance on Live! With Kelly & Michael.

GYPSY HEART SIDE A EP Track listing:
1.Live It Up
2.Blaze
3.If You Love Me Let Me Go
4.Try
5.Never Gonna Let You Down

The five-song collection is available now via iTunes and all DSPs, and it comprises the first half of her forthcoming fourth full-length studio album, Gypsy Heart, due out later this year. This also marks the follow-up to 2011’s All Of You, which debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200. Read more

Interview: J. Stalin

posted June 4, 2014, 11:42 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


J-Stalin-Shining-in-Darkness-1024x1024

It’s no secret 2014’s been a banner year for underground hip-hop releases. In the first five months alone, West Coast legends and newcomers have provided my ears bangers to spare. Amid the barrage of new music, doing his part to rep for the established Oakland scene, J. Stalin dropped his latest offering, Shining in Darkness (SID) on his own label Livewire Records, with key contributions from Too $hort, E-40, Joey Fatts, Shady Nate and Iamsu! It’s obvious this mob music artist/businessman’s admirably earned his spot at the “Boss” table.

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Charles Martel’s Top 1000: Part 33

posted June 4, 2014, 12:30 am by CharlesMartel | Filed Under Recommendations from the Writer's Mind, Video | comment Leave a Comment


One of my biggest bugbears, in terms of music, is poor production. That is not to say that some of the unrefined production styles of lo-fi, or the very rough at the edges production styles of punk would count as poor. It may help if I exemplified what I mean by ‘poor production’. First off there is the Elephant’s Ear production, where everything is flat and grey and there is no distinguishing in timbre or tone (the Smiths’ debut album). Then there is inappropriate production, where the style does not fit the music (“Give ‘em Enough Rope” by the Clash) and then there is over-production (the worst in my view) where every irregularity, every rough edge, every bit of character has been eliminated to produce a sound which is so obviously manufactured it really detracts from the listening experience (the White Lies debut album). I can forgive any aspiring artist amateurish self-production, but I cannot tolerate a supposed expert producer making a hash of his job by filing off every rough edge rendering the recording totally devoid of character, spark or individuality.

On we go then with the next twenty.
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Getting to the middle of the year.

posted June 2, 2014, 10:39 am by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under Checking the Playlists, Editorial | comment Leave a Comment


withered hand new godsThe end of the year isn’t quite around the corner. Still there’s nothing wrong with starting to think about what the best albums of the year so far, since the year is about half over. The top five albums I’ve heard up to this point are:

  1. Withered Hand-New Gods
  2. EMA-The Future’s Void
  3. Future Island-Singles
  4. Metronomy-Love Letters
  5. Tune-Yards-Nikki Nack

It doesn’t have to be the case the drama is over for who gets the nod for best album of the year. Withered Hand (aka Dan Wilson) put out an amazing disc. But maybe there’s another masterpiece out there in the wings. I don’t expect to come across more than two 5-star albums in my reviews during a year. I won’t complain if this situation develops. Charles Martel reviewed an EP by Beta Lion, which almost made the cut for top five.  I tend to favor full length albums, when looking at lists. But maybe Beta’s Written In Sand will find a place in my list. I’m more interested to see if any other reviewer at ME comes across a classic, I’ll latch onto if it falls outside of my reviewing list. I would like to see some jazz albums worth reviewing. I’m not going to get excited over any reissues. Maybe a new collection will strike my fancy. But I’d like to see an album of new songs  make the grade. I’ve read biographies of John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong. There’s a limit to what can be gained by longing for the music of the past. I want to go along with those, who say we need to move on to new things. I”ll keep listening to the various new genres. It’s not enough for the music to be different. Some critics hail Fennesz as innovative. But after trying to fight off sleep, while listening to the Austrian’s latest, Becs, derivative music sounds better. I’ll keep the mystery at a higher level as to how I’m leaning for best songs. I haven’t even contemplated a list yet.

Festivals: Rocklahoma Sights, Sounds (Day Three)

posted June 1, 2014, 6:09 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Festivals | comment 5 Comments


Pryor, Oklahoma hosted 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 and Day One was the most troublesome, between 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…

Eve to Adam Rocklahoma 2014 by Slidely Slideshow

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Festivals: Rocklahoma Sights, Sounds (Day Two)

posted June 1, 2014, 9:52 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…

Day One

Miss Day One? Catch it here

Day Three

…In Progress

Las Vegas’ Adelitas Way opened the Main Stage on Saturday Slidely Slideshow

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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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The App Making ‘BigNoiz’

posted May 29, 2014, 12:27 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Music News | comment Leave a Comment


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When it comes to apps, if you’re a music fan like me, you don’t need 80,000 apps to fulfill your live music or content needs. With several hype-filled music apps in the marketplace, it’s easy to get lost among apps that aren’t user-friendly i.e. requiring you to provide your first born’s blood type to log in or only serve one function. You know the drill- visit this site to enter this contest over here and visit another site to find out tour dates and to buy tickets, which is annoying and time-consuming.

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Charles Martel’s Top 1000: Part 32

posted May 28, 2014, 12:30 am by CharlesMartel | Filed Under Recommendations from the Writer's Mind, Video | comment Leave a Comment


So, can you appreciate music you don’t like? That is a difficult question to answer. The simplest answer I can think of is ‘why would you want to?’ If there is a musical style I do not like I can think of no valid reason to want to listen to it. I might be able to say that it is technically well-performed or something, but that is still not going to make me want to listen to it. That is why I struggle with so much prog rock – I simply do not find it appealing enough despite the fact that it is often well-performed. Same goes for some of the more obscurantist forms of jazz. But don’t confuse poor-performance with poor production – they are two entirely separate animals.

We will be two thirds of the way through with this twenty.
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Fest Review and Interviews: UCLA’s JazzReggae Fest

posted May 27, 2014, 11:26 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Festivals, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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Now that Memorial Day is over and folks emerge from food comas like bears from hibernation, it’s time to recap the wonderful musical festivities taking place this weekend. Returning for my third year to UCLA’s JazzReggae Fest, I spent my time this weekend listening to some R&B, jazz, reggae and hip-hop on Jam Day at UCLA Intramural Field. With the perfect weather (sunny with light breezes), students and families came to sample the wares and listen to dope music all Sunday.

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