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Interview: Black Alley

posted April 7, 2015, 10:54 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Festivals, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


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Rifling through the massive SXSW schedule, I set an ambitious goal of seeing or connecting with artists from all over the US and abroad. Always a fan of music from the DMV area, I knew DC #HoodRock repping Black Alley would be on my list. Formed in 2008, the band’s been featured on VH-1 Soul and MTV’s site plus shared stages with Common, Erykah Badu, Marsha Ambrosius, Wale, Raheem DeVaughn and Doug E. Fresh to name a few, carving a lane in the jazz, soul, hip-hop and rock intersection seldom seen before.

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Staff Editorial: Surprise Drops- Yay or Nay?

posted April 3, 2015, 9:30 am by Carlita | Filed Under Music News, Staff Editorial | comment 3 Comments


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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:
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Introducing: Kathy Muir

posted April 2, 2015, 4:02 pm by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Introducing | comment Leave a Comment


4178126c-7e36-43ab-992d-9de844a4beb7The greatest songwriters are seldom songwriters alone. Some are creative polymaths while others synthesize elements from an array of forms into a wider songwriting vision. Kathy Muir is more than a songwriter.

Her visual sense, a key element in much of her songwriting, likewise finds expression in her photography, but her muse never stops moving. Her deeply collaborative creative spirit has a proactive slant and much of her efforts are connected with others looking for embody the change in our world that they seek. Muir succinctly describes Read more

Interview: Sadat X

posted April 1, 2015, 11:00 am by Carlita | Filed Under Interviews, Music News | comment Leave a Comment


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One of the best things about SXSW 2015 is the rare opportunity to see and interact with new and established artists in one place. Rifling through the packed schedule, I put a star next to Sadat X’s name. I hoped things would align and I’d connect with one of my fav hometown MCs from one of my all-time fav hip-hop groups, Brand Nubian. Known for delivering memorable verses over the years, Sadat X’s career spanned a couple of decades and yielded opportunities to work with the best in the biz.

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Press Release Roundup: March 30

posted March 31, 2015, 10:59 am by Carlita | 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, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

Los Rakas

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Oakland by way of Panama duo Los Rakas, who were included in Billboard’s up-and coming reggaetón artists to watch list, released their 22-minute mix, Ricardo: The Raka Party Mix, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their debut album, El Negrito Dun Dun y Ricardo. The mix presents an up-beat sound that can be put on repeat for an easy ride down the California coastline. Los Rakas adds a feel-good flavor to their remixes of a variety of hits like Everything But the Girl’s “Missing” and Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time,” even adding UK house duo Gorgon City’s “Ready For Your Love” featuring MNEK to the mix.

Known for their fresh mix of hip-hop, plena, reggae, and dancehall music with both Spanish and English lyricism, the duo, who can be caught live at this year’s Coachella music festival, has set out to inspire fellow “Rakas” by empowering them to become successful despite their circumstances, turning the current Latin hip-hop world on its head. “‘Raka’ comes from the word ‘Rakataka’. They used that word to refer to people from the hood in Panama, but in a negative way,” Raka Dun explains. “We took the word and decided to make it positive…A ‘Raka’ can go to college and be a business man, you know.”

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Interview: Adelitas Way’s Rick DeJesus

posted March 26, 2015, 11:23 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment


89149445.pfsdf9 When considering the various music scenes in the City of Sin, one cannot ignore rock’s storied past and present there. A band who’s undeniably made their mark within that thriving landscape, Adelitas Way recently contributed their latest new EP ‘Deserve This’, with a full-length album funded by Pledge Music coming soon. Going through major and indie label ups and downs selling over 1 million singles and collecting #1 hits, it’s clear Vegas rock is not dead and is better than ever.

We chatted with lead singer Rick DeJesus on a tour stop a few weeks ago about memorable presents, going go-carting and golfing with their AW Army, major label highs and lows and touring with Guns N’Roses, Theory Of A Deadman and Godsmack.
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SXSW 2015- The Sequel

posted March 24, 2015, 3:07 pm by Carlita | Filed Under Festivals, Live Show Reviews, Music News, Tour | comment Leave a Comment


Photo Credit: Jasmine Safaeian

Photo Credit: Jasmine Safaeian

Sleep deprived and my head still swimming with all the live music heard, it’s time to recap my SXSW 2015. Covering the entire week of music, I landed in Austin with an airplane full of fans, artists and music biz elite, ready to conquer this fest for the second year in a row. Attempting to approach the week in a more organized fashion, I kept my schedule flexible (there were 2,200 artists there and saw several lugging instruments in the streets) from hour to hour (with the goal of not being overwhelmed and feeling like I’m missing out on 10 mill things going on at the same time). RSVPster, Eventbrite, #SXLines, #SXSWFreeNoms and SXSWhoa all became my virtual BFFs, giving me backup options and provided up to date info that guided my experience.

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Press Release Roundup: March 23

posted March 23, 2015, 12:14 pm by Carlita | 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, we will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across our virtual desk.

Breaking Benjamin

Off their upcoming, long-awaited LP “Dark Before Dawn,” the lead single “Failure” is here.

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Interview: All Time Low

posted March 22, 2015, 9:28 am by Colasanti Chiara | Filed Under Music News | comment Leave a Comment


All Time Low started their European tour in Milan, on the 9th of March and it was pretty amazing.

All Time LowThey played live in front of more their Italian fans who were waiting for them since the day after their last Italian gig: the show was sold out since weeks and the band was pretty excited thinking about the European fandom’s growth during these seven years.

We met them and we asked them something about their upcoming album, “Future Hearts“, here’s what they told us.

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Festivals: SXSW 2015

posted March 16, 2015, 3:42 am by Brian Rutherford | Filed Under Festivals, Live Show Reviews, On The Verge | comment Leave a Comment


Some of you have been reading our editorials since 1999, so you already know mainstream gatherings don’t usually catch our attention or inspire our admiration.

Inaugurated in 1987, it’s fair to say, annual music conference South By Southwest has earned its place on our feed. Despite it’s progressively consumerific format and over-priced entry fees to live music and keynote speakers, four days of the year, literally spanning the city limits of Austin, TX, the music portion of the conference still contains the independent spirit method of tomorrow’s music today.

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Indie artists drive in on fumes to play an over-booked showcase and hob-knob with industry executives, pundits and music zealots alike. Whether it’s larger-than-life artists playing secret shows under psuedonym’s or local keep Austin weird vibes putting it’s signature on the scene, every year is an inforgettable event, somehow, someway. Read more

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