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Introducing: Jokatech

posted January 21, 2016, 9:29 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Introducing | comment Leave a Comment


IMG_6917 There’s no doubt being born and raised in The Bronx and its Westchester suburb Mount Vernon in a blended British and Ghanaian household during the 80’s and 90’s shaped Jokatech aka Jason K. Addae, the artist and the man. Reared in these East Coast music meccas provided invaluable exposure to the diverse styles of music (i.e. golden era hip-hop, classical, club music, Broadway musicals) and this metropolitan upbringing definitely left its mark. Early on, musical education played a critical role in his life as crucial individuals along the way molded and guided the young visionary. Jokatech fondly remembers his first piano teacher and recital at the tender age of seven, which led to him to write his first song at eight. Appreciating his music teacher’s strict demeanor, he stated “she was stern but I always cherished the gift she gave me. Teachers especially those of the arts were super heroes to me.” Reminiscing about another educator who significantly impacted him, he recalls: “My favorite teacher in school was so passionate about listening to the every “how” and “why” of a literary piece, or musical composition, and I remember how his discussions would open whole new worlds to works of art we looked at. He inspired me to take my ideas and writings, and do more with them. He really loved art, and his son was a good author. The course he taught was called Great Works. The series, “Magnum Opus” translates to that phrase, and was a huge part of its inspiration. If it weren’t for him, most of my work probably wouldn’t exist. It’s like you could say, we wrote it together. That’s why I dedicated it to him.”

Moving into his teen years, unfortunately opportunities to remain in the school orchestra and band were taken away but it fueled a different fire. He recalls from “12 to 17, I had to keep it (the passion for music) alive myself.” This formative period propelled Jokatech’s future path forward and encouraged his desire to teach, promote music and remain immersed in the arts, eventually spending time studying and further building his musical foundation at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston. In terms of his other artistic influences, when asked the random question of which five albums Jokatech would take with him on a deserted island, he selected a myriad of diverse genres. His picks included spectrum-ranging “Coin Coin” by Matana Roberts, “Feels So Good” by Chuck Mangione, “Morning Dance” by Spyro Gyra, “The Black Album” by Jay-Z and “Make Yourself” by Incubus. Pondering dream collaborations, he would have loved to connect with the beloved and recently deceased no holds-barred visual and music artist David Bowie as Jokatech is inspired by “creating transcendent sounds and music, and by artists who feel the same.”

When hypothetically considering which decade he’d like to transport himself to create music, he’d choose the turbulent and classic 1970’s. He further explains “It was a transitional period for not only jazz, but popular music, and rock. I would love to make music then, not because of what was out, but because of how open the ears were back then. At that time, the feedback you would get was so in-depth and insightful, that it inspired even greater music, because the fans were like artists themselves. Listening is an art in itself, and it’s somewhat lost today.” Fast forward to his current discography and the aforementioned ‘Magnum Opus’ trilogy (comprised of “Magnum Opus Res Ipsa Disc 1 and 2” and “Magnum Opus Book 3: Coming of Age”) which gives your ears and mind plenty as they amalgamate metaphor-filled rhymes, experimental jazz fusion, electronic music and spoken word into an existential whirlwind exploring life’s obstacles. Rife with mentions of his love of sparring and pugilism (who’s mother says he was born “with his hands in a fist”) and lingering trumpet riffs through each project, Jokatech carves a unique lane unto himself. The “ink in him” drops knowledge.

Best Of: Nat Lathy’s Top Albums Of 2015

posted January 20, 2016, 12:41 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Best Of, Staff Editorial | comment Leave a Comment


1. James McMurtry-Complicated Game
McMurtry ComplicatedThis album has a great folk sound. It’s got some of the best melodies I’ve heard on an album in a long time, and the lyrics are worth revisiting.

2. Nellie McKay-My Weekly Reader
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In the mood for old school? McKay handles the classics with her own interpretations. You don’t have to lose your allegiance to the originals to enjoy what she offers.
3. Laurie Anderson-Heart of A Dog
anderson heart dog
This was the most unique album of the year by far. This soundtrack to a film about the death of Laurie’s dog, covered so many topics it’s amazing how it all tied together so well.

Read more

Press Release Roundup: January 11

posted January 15, 2016, 7:36 am 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.

SXSW

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The South by Southwest® Music Conference and Festival (SXSW®) is pleased to announce the third round of artists invited to perform. This is a small sample of the wide array of artists performing for the attending global music community. SXSW Music’s 30th annual event takes place Tuesday, March 15 – Sunday, March 20, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

The SXSW Music Festival staff continues curating a not-to-be-missed music festival experience. The third round of artists invited to perform include:

1001 Nights Orchestra (Austin TX)
5ive (Earth TX)
8 Ball Aitken (Nashville TN)
Steve Adamyk Band (Ottawa CANADA)
Advance Base (Chicago IL)
Aero Flynn (Minneapolis MN)
Agoraphobia (Boiro SPAIN)
Kita Alexander (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
[Alexandros] (Tokyo JAPAN)
Algodón Egipcio (Mexico City MEXICO)
All Dogs (Columbus OH)
Elida Almeida (Praia CAPE VERDE)
Tiffany Alvord (Los Angeles CA)
Ruby Amanfu (Nashville TN)
Amasa Hines (Little Rock AR)
Carl Anderson (Nashville TN)
Andy Clockwise (Los Angeles CA)
Andy The Doorbum & Justin Aswell (Charlotte NC)
Daniel Antopolsky (Bordeaux FRANCE)
Arbor Labor Union (Athens GA)
Aries (Bilbao SPAIN)
ARO (Los Angeles CA)
ASTR (New York NY)
Astronauts, etc. (Oakland CA)
Atash (Austin TX)
Atomic Stooges (Ōsaka JAPAN)
Awol One & Factor (Los Angeles CA)
Baby Strange (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Bad Sports (Denton TX)
Julien Baker (Memphis TN)
Band Aparte (San Pedro CA)
Banditos (Birmingham AL)
Bobby Bare Jr. (Nashville TN)
Bayonne (Austin TX)
Beach Beach (Barcelona SPAIN)
Bee Caves (Austin TX)
Bel Heir (Philadelphia PA)
Charlie Belle (Austin TX)
The Big Pink (London UK-ENGLAND)
Big White (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Birthday Boy (Toronto CANADA)
Black Crown Initiate (Reading PA)
Blaenavon (Liphook UK-ENGLAND)
Bleubird (Ft Lauderdale FL)
Bloc Party (London UK-ENGLAND)
Blue Healer (Austin TX)
BOAN (Austin TX)
BONES (London UK-ENGLAND)
Booher (Austin TX)
Jackson Boone (Portland OR)
Boraj (Santiago CHILE)
Boreals (Barcelona SPAIN)
Broncho (Tulsa OK)
Melissa Brooks & The Aquadolls (Orange County CA)
Built By Snow (Austin TX)
Burnt Palms (Santa Cruz CA)
Cala Vento (Barcelona SPAIN)
CALLmeKAT (Copenhagen DENMARK)
Dylan Cameron (Austin TX)
Capsula (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)
Cardiknox (Los Angeles CA)
Charlotte Cardin (Montréal CANADA)
Carey (Nashville TN)
Loyle Carner (London UK-ENGLAND)
Cellars (Los Angeles CA)
Ceschi (New Haven CT)
The Chainsmokers (New York NY)
Chanti Darling (Portland OR)
Pearl Charles (Los Angeles CA)
Gina Chavez (Austin TX)
Chicano Batman (Los Angeles CA)
Chocolat (Montreal CANADA)
Maureen Choi Quartet (Madrid SPAIN)
CLARA-NOVA (Los Angeles CA)
Clarence Clarity (London UK-ENGLAND)
Clean Cut Kid (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND)
David C Clements (Belfast UK-N. IRELAND)
Coast Modern (Los Angeles CA)
Coldair (Warsaw POLAND)
Judy Collins and Ari Hest (Denver CO)
Wendy Colonna (Austin TX)
The Compozers (London UK-ENGLAND)
The Contortionist (Indianapolis IN)
Bill Converse (Austin TX)
Will Joseph Cook (Royal Tunbridge Wells UK-ENGLAND)
JP Cooper (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
Corb Lund (South Alberta CANADA)
Cosmo’s Midnight (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Frankie Cosmos (New York NY)
Barns Courtney (Ipswich UK-ENGLAND)
CREEPSIDE (McAllen TX)
The Cult (Los Angeles CA)
Denzel Curry (Miami FL)
D.D Dumbo (Castlemaine AUSTRALIA)
D∆WN (New Orleans LA)
Daddy Issues (Nashville TN)
Kat Dahlia (Miami FL)
Benjamin Damage (Swansea UK-WALES)
The Dandy Warhols (Portland OR)
Dead! (London UK-ENGLAND)
Dead Leaf Echo (New York NY)
The Dead Ships (Los Angeles CA)
Dead Soft (Vancouver CANADA)
The Dead South (Regina CANADA)
Death by Unga Bunga (Oslo NORWAY)
Decorations (Los Angeles CA)
De De Mouse (Tokyo JAPAN)
Deepflow (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
Deffie (Lake Forest CA)
De Mónaco (Santiago CHILE)
Des Ark (Durham NC)
Alvaro Diaz (San Juan PUERTO RICO)
Luther Dickinson (Nashville TN)
Sonny Digital (Atlanta GA)
The Digital Wild (Austin TX)
Dilly Dally (Toronto CANADA)
The Dirty Nil (Dundas CANADA)
Division Minuscula (Matamoros MEXICO)
DJ HALO (Oakland CA)
DJ Sermon (San Antonio TX)
DJ Spinn (Chicago IL)
DJ Taye (Chicago IL)
DMA’S (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Domo Genesis (Los Angeles CA)
Draper (London UK-ENGLAND)
Drinking Flowers (Los Angeles CA)
Dual Core (Austin TX)
The Dumplings (Zabrze POLAND)
Duran (Colombia) (Bogota COLOMBIA)
Dynoman (Karachi PAKISTAN)
DZ Deathrays (Brisbane AUSTRALIA)
DZZ (Stephens City VA)
East of My Youth (Reykjavík ICELAND)
Eerie Wanda (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)
Ela Minus (New York NY)
El B (Miami FL)
El Conjunto Nueva Ola (Los Angeles CA)
Electric Eye (Oslo NORWAY)
ELEL (Nashville TN)
El Freaky (Bogotá COLOMBIA)
Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes (Nashville TN)
Elohim (Los Angeles CA)
Jota Erre (São Paulo BRAZIL)
Escondido (Nashville TN)
ESDLCP (Santiago CHILE)
EVDW (Edgar Van de Wingard) (Santiago CHILE)
The Excitements (Barcelona SPAIN)
Extraperlo (Barcelona SPAIN)
Faith Healer (Edmonton CANADA)
BP Fallon (Dublin IRELAND)
The Family Rain (Bath UK-ENGLAND)
Far From Alaska (São Paulo BRAZIL)
Mark Farina (San Francisco CA)
Fast Romantics (Toronto CANADA)
Fat White Family (London UK-ENGLAND)
Charlie Faye & The Fayettes (Austin TX)
Fedel (Tulsa OK)
FEMME (London UK-ENGLAND)
FEWS (Malmö SWEDEN)
Field Division (Des Moines IA)
Field Trip (Los Angeles CA)
Fine Times (Vancouver CANADA)
Flying Ipis (Manila PHILIPPINES)
Foex (Santiago CHILE)
Formation (London UK-ENGLAND)
Fotogramas (Valparaíso CHILE)
Frances (Newbury UK-ENGLAND)
Franky Flowers (Los Angeles CA)
Eleanor Friedberger (New York NY)
Robbie Fulks (Chicago IL)
Fuse ODG (London UK-ENGLAND)
Gabylonia (Guatire VENEZUELA)
Janice Gaines (Nashville TN)
Gang Of Youths (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
Destra Garcia (Port Of Spain TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
The Garden (Orange County CA)
Kevin Garrett (Brooklyn NY)
Kevin Gates (New Orleans LA)
Gateway Drugs (Los Angeles CA)
GGOOLLDD (Milwaukee WI)
The Giving Tree Band (Yorkville IL)
Margaret Glaspy (New York NY)
Samantha Glass (Madison WI)
Jody Glenham (Vancouver CANADA)
Glenn Rexach Group (Austin TX)
Great American Canyon Band (Baltimore MD)
Gregory Pepper and His Problems (Guelph CANADA)
Matt Gresham (Fremantle WA)
Diaz Grimm (Cambridge NEW ZEALAND)
GRRL (Durham NC)
Guten Birds (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
GYMSHORTS (Providence RI)
Gerald and Tammi Haddon (Los Angeles CA)
Cas Haley (Paris TX)
Hanba! – The Rebellious Street Band (Kraków POLAND)
The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer (Vancouver CANADA)
Harts (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Hawai (Orange County CA)
Ronnie Heart (Fort Worth TX)
Heaters (Grand Rapids MI)
Zyna Hel (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
HEO (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
Ari Hest (New York NY)
Hey Marseilles (Seattle WA)
The High Strung (Detroit MI)
Hodgy Beats (Los Angeles CA)
Holy Esque (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Holy Fuck (Toronto CANADA)
Holy Nothing (Porto PORTUGAL)
Honduras (Brooklyn NY)
Horse Thief (Oklahoma City OK)
House Of KENZO (San Antonio TX)
Hundred Visions (Austin TX)
Hunny (Los Angeles CA)
IAN (Boston MA)
Iglooghost (Bath UK-ENGLAND)
INHALT (San Francisco CA)
I See Stars (Detroit MI)
Julia Jacklin (Sydney AUSTRALIA)
The Jacques (Bristol UK-ENGLAND)
James Supercave (Los Angeles CA)

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Jazz Street: Dave Brubeck

posted January 14, 2016, 8:29 am by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under Jazz Street, Throwback Thursday | comment Leave a Comment


Dave BrubeckAnd the consensus was the best version belonged to Dave Brubeck. His is the  only version of the song I’ve heard. There’s been plenty of writing about Brubeck and his work with time signatures. The main interest level for me in Brubeck’s recordings is they just sound so good.He put out a classic album with Jazz Goes To College. I became a fan, listening to cuts from this album. My interest level increased, downloading Dave Brubeck’s Greatest Hits ( a great 43:00 of music.) Read more

Introducing: Molly Brulé

posted January 11, 2016, 8:00 am by madelainej | Filed Under Introducing | comment Leave a Comment


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Imagine a pastoral mountainside, sprawling open spaces, snow-capped towering mountains and green fields. Now listen to Molly Brulé’s debut album, “Seasons,” and you’ll have an idea of where this innocent voice crooning of heart break originated. Molly Brulé grew up in Vermont before moving to the bustling city of Boston. Her strong ties to the American landscape and people attest to her folk/pop and Americana sound. With a family of musicians to inspire, encourage and back her up, Molly is following her passion for music.

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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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