Sunday, November 28, 2010

Album Review: A Brilliant Catastrophe (Beta)

"One year I can save a nation/Now I'm reduced to my orientation/Tell me why did you change your mind," B Slade sings in album opener "Brian's Lament," a somber starting point for the follow-up to A Brilliant Catastophe's alpha version. The album's emotional lyrics spin a loose narrative of isolation, loneliness, determination and spiritual redemption.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Music: B Slade "A Brilliant Catastrophe (Beta Version)

B Slade has decided to give his fans an early Christmas with the release of A Brilliant Catastrophe (Beta), a follow-up to A Brilliant Catastrophe (Alpha), released eariler in the year. Download the entire album here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Remix Of The Week: Ice Cube "What Can I Do?"

One of the west coast giant's lesser-known, but no less potent tracks. Watch the clip below:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Artist Profile: And The Wiremen

And The Wiremen, led by guitarist Lynn Wright, may hail from Brooklyn, but their sound is steeped in the Southern gothic aura of New Orleans. "Sleep," with its haunting guitar chords and melancholy jazz trumpet, conjures up the image of a solitary soul walking down Canal Street late a night. "Sharpen Your Knives" combines another mournful trumpet solo sparse, tribal-like drums, lumbering, distorted guitar to create a sound made to be played in smoky bars. Other tracks like "Lines" switches things up from cool jazz to offbeat folk pop. Take a listen below:

Find more artists like AND THE WIREMEN at Myspace Music

Find more artists like AND THE WIREMEN at Myspace Music

Find more artists like AND THE WIREMEN at Myspace Music

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Music: Cut Copy "Take Me Over"

The Aussie pop trio returns with "Take Me Over," the first single from their upcoming album Zonoscope. The melodic, mid-tempo track is insanely catchy, inserting its hooks of shiny synths, sharp guitar licks and slow-rolling bass groove deeper into your skull upon each listen. Zonoscope comes out February 8th. The band will also be on the road for a series of European beginning in February. View the complete list of dates and take a listen to "Take Me Over" below:

Cut Copy - "Take Me Over" (Radio Edit) Premiere by modularpeople

Fri 4 Feb – Brisbane – St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 
Sat 5 Feb – Melbourne - St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 
Sun 6 Feb - Sydney - St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Fri 11 Feb – Adelaide - St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 
Sat 12 Feb – Perth - St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Thurs 3 March - Glasgow - Death Disco Special
Sat March 5h – Manchester – Now Wave @ Gorilla (New venue form the people behind Deaf Institute)
Sun 6 March – London - The Forum
Tues 8 March - Oslo - Rockerfeller
Wed 9 March - Malmo - KB
Thurs 10 March – Copenhagen - Loppen 
Fri 11 March – Stockholm - The Strand
Sat 12 March – Helsinki - House of Culture
Mon 14 March – Tallin - Rock CafĂ©
Wed 16 March - Berlin - Lido
Thurs 17 March - Koln - Gebaeude 9
Fri 18 March – Amsterdam - Melkweg
Sat 19 March - Paris - Casino Nouveau
Wed 23 March - Lisbon - Coliseum

Friday, November 19, 2010

Remix Of The Week: Salt N' Pepa "You Showed Me"

"Push It," "Shoop" and "Let's Talk About Sex" are usually the songs that come to mind when Salt N' Pepa is mentioned. But the remix to this forgetten gem from 1990's Black's Magic deserves to be in the top 10 of rap duo's best songs. Listen below:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making Of: "Shine" By David Crowder Band

Remember the Lite Brite goodness that was the David Crowder Band's video for their single "Shine?" Well now you can see how the band (and more than 80 friends) put the unique clip together. Watch the four-part making of documentary below:

Scattered Trees "Love And Leave"

The atmospheric production--jangly, low-fi guitars, icy background vocals, and sparse, pared-down drums--sets the perfect soundtrack a tale of temporary love. A perfect song for solo moonlit rides or quiet, contemplative moments. Download the track below:

Scattered Trees-Love and Leave

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Album Review: 40 Watt Hype Push

"Only the strong survive," vocalist/MC/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Wall sings on the album opener of the same name. While he's talking about life in general, he could also be referencing his status as a white guy maneuvering in the worlds of rap, R&B and Spanish-flavored music.

"Can U Dig" and the bilingual, Latin-style "Tu Bien Sabes" continue the will-to-survive theme with lyrics detailing breakups and baby mama drama. Wall flexes his storytelling muscles on the somber "Echoes," detailing the trials of inner city life with lines like"5 to 1 says you don't make it out the gate/4 to 1 says you don't make past the 12th grade/3 to 1 says you don't make to see 23/2 to 1 says you end up in the penitentiary." The bouncy "Mas y Mas," mines similar territory, criticizes those who "All the freedom but/Don't want the fight."

Musically Wall and his band also hold their own. The album is a melting pot of genres, featuring straight-forward hip hop ("Feel My Music"), mid-tempo R&B/soul jams ("The Messenger, "Wannabe") and Latin tracks "Mas Y Mas" and "Tu Bein Sabes," complete will exotic horn riffs, conga drums and Wall's Spanish flow, which rings with authenticity and respect for Latin music.

"Echoes," with its full, rich backing vocals courtesy of the Grace Gospel Choir, takes on an anthem-like tone. Overall Push is a diverse, fun effort that should leave little doubt about 40 Watt Hype's survival.


Artist Profile: Atari Teenage Riot

Formed in the early 90's as a response to increasing Neo-Nazi influence in their fellow countryman's music before disbanding in the early 00's, German digital hardcore duo Atari Teenage Riot are back with a new single, the hyper-aggressive, aptly titled "Activate." Channeling all of punk rock's ferocious attitude onto the dance floor, ATR, with help from new member MC CX Kidtronik craft a sound that is nothing short of an electro-pop molotov cocktail. Listen to "Activate" and few other tracks below:

Atari Teenage Riot - Activate by fironov

Atari Teenage Riot - Digital Hardcore - 2009 Remix by Builder

Atari Teenage Riot - Digital Hardcore - 2009 Remix by Builder

Atari Teenage Riot - Rage (Mustard Pimp Remix) by mustard pimp

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remix Of The Week: Mobb Deep Ft. Lil' Kim "Quiet Storm"

A late 90's classic...and the kind of verse Kim will need if she wants shut down Nicki Minaj (I'm just sayin'...the Queen Bee has been off her A-game as of late). Watch the clip below:

Greenhorse: Q&A

Greenhorse have been sparking a buzz among fans and critics since the release of last year's Transcontinental EP. The duo, made up of high school friends Chris Hackman and Shawn Day, is currently writing songs for their follow-up to talk to about musical influences, dream collaborations and explaining what "post-pop" means.

How did you come up with the name Greenhorse?

In a way, it was inspired by the film Broken Flowers. We wanted to create an image that symbolizes rebirth and hard work. And we wanted something simple and clean.

What were your early musical influences?

Shawn: As early as 16 I loved the Smashing Pumpkins. When I moved out to London, the first band that inspired me was Arcade Fire. Hmm… We recently got referenced to the band "Suicide", and I thought that was pretty interesting.

Chris: I'd rather not tell you what I was listening to early on… Some of my influences from medium-on include Radiohead, Primus and The Crystal Method.

What was the first album you bought?

Shawn: Guns N Roses, Appetite for Destruction

Chris: Live, Throwing Copper - we recently recorded with the engineer from that album and it was an amazing experience to come full circle like that.

What artists/producer are you currently listening to, and which ones would you like to work with?

We really love the work that Bloodshy and Avant are doing right now; We love the last Mike Snow album. Ideally, we'd want Trent Reznor to produce our first full length album.

How does the songwriting and music production process work?

One of us will start an idea and bounce it over to the other. We'll kick it back and forth until it's listenable. Now that we've been writing for awhile, a lot of our songs are inspired by shared experiences. For example, we recently recorded several new songs inside a cave in Wyoming.

What kind of musical sound can fans expect from your upcoming EP?

Post-pop. It's a sound we've been carving out for the last year. It's got the emotional weight and musical depth of classic pop, but with greater immediacy. You're not going to know whether to dance or just stand back and listen.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Artist Profile: Jamaica

Dance music with no synthesizers? Blasphemy! Paris-based duo Jamaica commit this unspeakable act and manage to create some good music out of it. Relying instead on grungy, trunk-rattling bass grooves, snappy, sparse drums and irresistibly hooky new wave guitar riffs, the pair create a sound that is simultaneously organic and deliriously danceable at the same time. Listen to a few tracks below:

Find more artists like JAMAICA at Myspace Music

Find more artists like JAMAICA at Myspace Music

Find more artists like JAMAICA at Myspace Music

Artist Profile: Hurricane Bells

Hurricane Bells, the brainchild of Steve Schiltz, produces a variety of musical sounds. "I Can't Remember," with its distorted, watery "la la's",  and the somber, down beat tom tom drums and lean, muscular guitars of "The Winter's In New York," embrace an evocative, other-worldly pop sound.

Gentle, winding guitar bends mark the mid-tempo "Freezing Rain," the soft, driving drums conjure up images of a train swiftly moving along, providing an escape from the past to the future. The melodic rocker "Monster" shows Schiltz can turn up the volume when needed, while the cover of The Shirelles classic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," a duet with Scout's Ashen Keilyn, reveals a romantic side. Listen to a few tracks below:

Find more artists like Hurricane Bells at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Hurricane Bells at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Hurricane Bells at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Hurricane Bells at Myspace Music

Artist Profile: Voltaire Twins

Voltaire Twins combine an upbeat electro-pop sound, full of hand claps, digital blips and a whirlwind of synthesizers with sometimes cryptic lyrics. "You'll never be friends with them/You'll never be close with them/Like I am," the duo sings over the booming drums and dark, grimy samples of "London."

"D.I.L," with its stuttering beats, shimmering synths and deep bass, reveals a poppier sound, but a grim outlook for newcomers looking to survive in the big city. "The future's bleak for you my dear/So much can change in just a year." "Cabin Fever" trades in the angst for anger, telling an ex-friend/lover off nursery rhyme style. Voltaire Twins offer danceable depression, which in this current economy is lot cheaper than Valium. Take a listen below:

Find more artists like Voltaire Twins at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Voltaire Twins at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Voltaire Twins at Myspace Music

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Artist Profile: Daddy Lion

Washington D.C. Daddy Lion put a unique spin on the indie rock format. Whether it's the crunchy guitar attack of  "Just Die Young, the gentle acoustic twang of "Morning" or the Joy Division-inspired blend of acoustics and synthesized melancholia ("Tomorrow," "Falling To Pieces"), the band creates a moody, evocative sonic landscape. Not bad for a band that met through Craigslist. Download two tracks from Daddy Lion's self-titled EP below:



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Artist Profile: Avery Sunshine

Atlanta-based R&B artist Avery Sunshine is no newcomer. The singer-songwriter and former member of duo DaisyRew has lent her vocals to movie soundtracks like Fighting Temptation, did a stint as choral director for the National Black Arts Festival production of Dreamgirls and performed at President Obama's  inauguration.

Needless to say, she's been in this game for a minute. And such experience shows on the dazzling assortment of musical styles she explores. Whether it be the sultry jazz of "Ugly," the deep house groove of "Stalk You," the sweet doo-wop/R&B of "Pinin," or the rich harmonies and gut-bucket gospel belting of "Blessin' Me," Avery Sunshine displays a deep knowledge of both music and mastery of her voice. Take a listen to a few tracks from her self-titled debut below:

Vid Pick: Darwin Deez "Constellations"

An offbeat, quirky pop song deserves an equally offbeat and quirky video. And Darwin Deez delivers in the clip for "Constellations," a video filled with images of apples snapping themselves back together, tea that leap frogs from cup to cup and water particles and small trees suspended in midair. Deez even throws in a one-night stand for good measure. Watch the clip below:

Artist Profile: Greenhorse

Post-pop duo Greenhorse began as a transcontinental collaboration between high school friends Chris Hackman and Shawn Day. The result was 2009's appropriately titled Transcontinental EP. Greenhorse craft a sophisticated, cosmopolitan brand of energetic electro-pop. However, the music still retains its emotional punch while still being devilishly danceable at the same time. The duo are currently working on a follow up. In the meantime, listen to a few tracks below:

Find more artists like Greenhorse at Myspace Music

Find more artists like Greenhorse at Myspace Music

Monday, November 8, 2010

B Slade "Kick Ft. Ohene"

B Slade throws another musical curveball on this track, trading in the ferocious rock and rage of "BSSF(Rated R)" for smooth jazz stylings and 40's harmonies, mixing them with his trademark bold, uninhibited lyrics. And as usually the result is sublime. Listen to the track below and download it here:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Remix Of The Week: Missy Elliot Ft. Nelly Furtado "Get Ur Freak On"

Missy amped the freakiness by adding then newbie Nelly Furtado to the remix of 01's "Get Ur Freak On." Speaking of the Supa Dupa Fly, where has Missy been? She needs to get some new music out ASAP and show the wannabes how it's done. Timbaland, are you listening? Lay off the techno pop for second (even though that has been paying the bills for a minute) and come back to R&B/hip hop, the music that made you. But I digress. Listen to the track below:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kavinsky "Nightcall (Dustin Nguyen Remix")

French-electro artist Kavinsky's new remix of his single "Nightcall" is definitely worth a listen. The grimy synth-bass and digitized chip-tune crunch are a definite plus, while the singer's cold, robotic delivery, paired alongside the warm, sultry vocals of CSS' Lovefoxxx gives the track a unique contrast. Besides anything produced by a member of Daft Punk is worth a least one spin. You can also download three other "Nightcall" remixes below:

Nightcall (Dustin NGuyen Remix) by Kavinsky

Nightcall(Breakbot Remix)
Nightcall(Robotaki Remix)
Nightcall(SAWAGii's Revenge Remix)

Album Review: Otis Grove: The Runk

Remember crunk? That mix of booming 808 bass, drum machines, sinister samples and screamed, one-syllable chants that gave birth to countless strip club anthems ("Get Low" anyone?) and provided the soundtrack to countless nightclub brawls? Which would account for about 80 percent of Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys' music. Well maybe not 80 percent. But at least 50 percent tops.

Well make way for runk, a mix of funk and rock birthed by Boston trio Otis Grove. Drawing on those genres as well as R&B, jazz and hip hop, the band comes up with some truly unique sounds. Album opener "Monark," with its blistering, distorted riffs and maniacal organ, sounds like Metallica dropping in on a New Orleans church service, while the collision of twin guitar solos and whirling, eerie synthesizers sound like a long lost Red Hot Chili Peppers track.

The laid back guitar licks and bright organs of "Uncle Runky" would feel right at home at a afternoon barbecue. "Waiting," crafts a seductive mix of minimalist licks and sharp drums before surrendering midway to a monstrous groove of floor-shaking bass, fiery, frenetic guitar solos and a wailing wall of organ sound. Brash funk freakout, "Fausto" with its fuzzy distortion, rubber-band bass, is another standout track.

Otis Grove are clearly talented musicians, able to both improvise and snap back into the melody at a moment's notice. Sam Gilman coaxes a endlessly array of sounds out of his organ, electronic piano and mellotron, while guitarist Tyler Drabick and drummer Blake Goedde display enough versatility to keep with Gilman's experimentation. It would be interesting to hear what the band would sound like with words and vocal melodies. But Otis Grove have provided more than enough ways for listeners to get runk.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vid Pick: Rubblebucket "Came Out Of A Lady"

Rubblebucket's acid-triptastic video for "Came Out Of A Lady" proves that great clips can made off a shoestring budget. The band spent only $2,000 and shot, directed and built the set themselves, including the colorful tent/crazy lady trap thingy they perform in. The effort was definitely worth it, although I would recommend watching this sober:). Take a look below:

Aficionado: "The Same Original Idea"

Picture crashing drum rolls bashing alongside roaring power chords unleashing punk-rock fury before morphing into twisted, Master of Puppets-style dueling guitars, while an organ, piano and a flute steal moments from the chaos to get solo spotlights between vocals that sound like a bizarro version of School House Rock. All in the course of a single song. Somehow, Albany-based post-punk band Aficionado make this tangled web of instruments and styles work, creating a strange (did I mention there was a flute), wacky, but subversively catchy track. Listen below:

Find more artists like AFICIONADO at Myspace Music

Artist Profile: The Parlotones

The Parlotones create energetic pop/rock sound, marrying electronic samples and smooth harmonies with a straightforward guitar attack. This clever approach results in tripped-out synth-pop jams like "Giant Mistake" and the crunchy rock riffs of "Life Design," complete with a hey chant (always a welcome addition). The band also shows their stadium rock ambitions on "Push Me To The Floor," a dark, romantic plea of sexual desire cloaked in huge guitars, bouncy synths and booming drums. Take a listen below:

Find more artists like The Parlotones at Myspace Music

Find more artists like The Parlotones at Myspace Music

Find more artists like The Parlotones at Myspace Music
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