Thursday, March 31, 2011

Video: Dot Freestyling In The Studio

Watch this video of Dot busting out a freestyle in the studio. The NYC rapper is set to drop a video for his next single "Sunset In New York" soon.

Artist Profile: The Sounds

Together since the late 90's, Swedish indie rock The Sounds were formed by four classmates, eventually recruiting keyboardist Jesper Anderberg, the band's youngest member, at the Hultsfred Festival. Since then the quintet has released three albums--2002's Living In America, 2006's Dying To Say This To You, and 2009's Crossing The Rubicon--that blend punk rock snark and new wave cool in a way that recalls Blondie and The Cars at their best.

The group has also attracted a celebrity following that includes Dave Grohl, who wore a Sounds T-shirt in the Foo Fighters' video for "Times Like These,"  Quentin Tarantino, Pharrell and Britney Spears. Their latest release, Something To Die For, continues in the new wave/dance-rock sonic soundscape, with rave-tastic rip snorters like "Better Off Dead," where the electronic effects are set off by huge blasts of fat brass. "

"The No No Song" reveals more of the band's gritty, rock n' roll side, with singer Maja Ivarrson snarling "In moments like these/Don't give a fuck/About you/Cause I've enough/It's not me, it's you." In "Dance With The Devil," another two ton dance floor banger, Ivarrson invokes the power of the beat, shouting "We conquer our planet with dance." A revolution under a groove. Listen to a few tracks below:

Find more The Sounds albums at Myspace Music

Find more The Sounds songs at Myspace Music

Find more artists like The Sounds at Myspace Music

New Music: Jane's Addiction "End To The Lies"

Jane's Addiction debuted their new track "End To The Lies," featuring TV On The Radio's Dave Stick on bass. The song is the first offering from the band's forthcoming album The Great Escape Artist, set for a summer release.

Frontman Perry Farrell said the band has been "fully immersed in the process of making modern music. It has been a great experience thus far, and the results have so much potential." Listen to the track, which premiered on Chilean radio, below:

Jane's Addiction - End to the Lies by paniko

Insider Gives Details On Coldplay's New Album

Coldplay are currently in the studio working on their next album, which singer Chris Martin described to Spin back in December as a concept album about ""two like-minded outsiders who meet in a very difficult environment and therefore have a journey together."

While details such as the musical direction of the songs and lyrical content are scarce, an anonymous insider named "Roadie #42" did reveal on the band's official blog that the group and producer Brian Eno are laying down vocal overdubs.

"Brian is back in the fold this week and the fellas are gathered around the mic for much of the time," the post reads. "It's a tremendous thing to get close up to. When the guys are belting it out with the track on headphones, all that can be heard in the room is the blast of harmonies. It's huge, powerful, and yet completely unaided by technology, just a pure, organic human bloom."

The insider also managed to overhear a wry quote from Martin about the album's progress. "I hear Chris standing in the doorway of Dav's room listening. 'That's amazing, just great.'" He stays a while and listens, then heads off down the stairs proclaiming to no one in particular: 'Maybe this album won't be so bad after all.'"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Big K.R.I.T. Releases Free Mixtape

Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T., who recently inked a major-label deal with Def Jam off the buzz of his independently released debut K.R.I.T. Wuz Here,  has just dropped a 25-song mixtape entitled  Return of 4Eva. The mixtape features guest spots from Ludacris, Bun B, fellow Mississippi MC David Banner and others.

And although his proper full-length debut isn't expected to come out until later this year, K.R.I.T, whose real name is Justin Scott, told Spin that he has big ambitions for his music. "I want to write music that, every time you hear it, evokes an emotion," he said. "Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield or Bobby Womack... their music managed to survive and grow, crossing generations, years after it came out. That's what I want to accomplish."

You can download Big K.R.I.T's mixtape at his official site for free.

The Strokes, Friendly Fires, Vaccines Join Radio 1 Big Weekend Lineup

The Strokes, Friendly Fires, The Vaccines and Noah And The Whale have added their names to list of acts performing at BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend in Carlisle. The NYC alt-rockers with headline the In Music We Trust stage on May 15th, while Swedish House Mafia will be the closing act on May 14th.

Panic! At The Disco, The Door Cinema Club, Pulled Apart By Horses and Everything Everything have also been added to the bill. Superstar acts Lady Gaga and Foo Fighters will headline the event, set to take place at Carlisle Airfield. More acts are expected to be added to the bill in the coming weeks. You can find out how to get tickets and other details at  See the current lineup over at

Vanity Theft Releases New Single, Announces Remix Contest

Fresh off the road from a nationwide tour with Hunter Valentine and a few performances at SXSW, you'd think the Ohio rock quartet would take a breather. But instead the band is plowing forward, first with a month-long residency at Los Angeles' famed Club Moscow--the first band to have a residency there in four years--and releasing their new single "Rattle, Rattle" on April 26th.

The single will include remixes by HOUSE, Jesse Christenson and Tiny Bill. But the band's remix album, set for a summer release, could also include a remix from you. If you're one of the winners of Vanity Theft and music site's mashup/remix contest that is.

“Laptoprockers are very happy to have Vanity Theft aboard for this remix contest. With five sexy songs to remix, this is our biggest contest to date! Thanks to Ableton and D16 Group Audio Software there are great prizes to win, while the best remixes are eligible for inclusion on Vanity Theft's remix album due out this summer," the site wrote.

 The contest runs from March 30th to May 20th. To enter click HERE.

Rattle Rattle by Vanity Theft

Q&A: Chrissy Murderbot

A DJ since the age of 13, Chrissy Murderbot has been influenced by and been a part of the evolution of Chicago's dance music scene, with over 400 remixes for artists like Delorean, Warrior Queen, Johnny Moog and Waxmaster on his resume. Fresh from a string of performances at SXSW, Murderbot talked with Indies And The Underground about the meaning behind the title of his new album Women's Studies, set for release in May, the Windy City's musical legacy and why cooking fried chicken before a show is never a good idea.

How did you first get into deejaying/music?

It was like 1990/1991, I was 8 years old, house music and rave music were blowing up into the mainstream for the first time, and my 18-year-old big sis was bringing a lot of this music back to the house. That was my first experience with electronic dance music, and I fell in love on the spot. 5 years later I was a 13 year old rave kid DJing at parties in Kansas City, and it's all pretty much evolved from there. 

What other DJs/producers influenced your style? How did they influence you?

SO MUCH STUFF. Obviously I'm very influenced by juke music, and by classic chicago house (especially the SONGWRITERS like Jamie Principle, who crafted real pop tunes as opposed to just tracks). My production style, sound palette, and approach to rhythm are VERY heavily influenced by mid-90s jungle artists like DJ Krome & Mr. Time, DJ Dextrous, Remarc, 4Hero, etc. Finally, my songwriting and ideas about pop song structure are really informed by synthy Quebecois disco, UK Synth-Pop, New Jack Swing, and Dancehall: think Lime-meets-New Order-meets-Cutty Ranks-meets-Bell Biv Devoe.

What do you remember about your first DJ gig?

It was a NYE rave in Kansas City and I was 13 years old. Just the night before I had burnt the hell out of my hand in a failed attempt at making fried chicken, so that complicated things. I strolled into the club with my right hand all bandaged up like a wild animal had gotten hold of it, and the promoter was like "are you gonna be ok to play?". My set was early in the night so not many people were there yet, but I imagine that the ones who were there all thought "WHO is this underage kid, and what's the deal with his gimpy hand?" I managed somehow, though...

How would you describe the sound/vibe of Chicago juke and footwork to someone?

Juke is basically just a raw, uptempo form of house music, with a lot of big booming bass and a fair amount of dirty lyrics for the dancefloor. Juke is what you play at the dance party to get all the girls and guys dancing on each other. Footwork is kind of a sub-genre of juke: it's the stuff that is a little faster, without as much of the four-on-the-floor thump-thump-thump-thump bass drum like you'd hear in house music--the rhythms are a little more sideways. Footwork music is more specifically for footwork dancers dancing at footwork battles. Obviously there's a huge overlap between what you can play at the juke party and at the footwork battle, but then there are a lot of tracks that work in one setting but wouldn't work in the other. 

How do you think the city of Chicago influenced you as a musician, producer etc.?

Chicago is the whole reason I'm doing this. Chicago is the whole reason ANYBODY's doing this, in fact. This is the city where electronic dance music as we know it was invented; this entire industry wouldn't even exist if people like Frankie, Jamie, Farley, Ron Hardy, Steve Silk Hurley, etc. hadn't paved the way. Furthermore, it's really inspiring to work with today's Chicago talents: people like DJ Spinn, Gant-Man, DJ Rashad, etc. I'm always drawing inspiration from Chicago artists, and doing my best to put new ideas back into that system.

How would you compare the music scene/musical climate of Chicago to other cities?

Chicago is a lot like London--a million things going on at once, and almost all of them are paving the way for everybody else. Chicago and London are really unparalleled in that way--nowhere else (save maybe Berlin or Bristol) manages to put out as much new music, or to change the rules of the game as often.

You've done tons of remixes for acts like Delorean, Lemonade and Warrior Queen. What's your typical process of remixing another person's track?

They send me the track, I listen to it a LOT for a few days, then go around town humming it. Usually the song in my head kinda just morphs in my mind into something new until I have a firm, structured idea in my head for a new song based on the source material., I go home, put that song together, work out all the kinks, and there's the remix!

Which current mainstream hits would you love to remix?

Whatever George Michael's about to release.

In what ways does creating an original song differ from doing a remix?

Basically my approach to a remix is that I am making a new track based on elements of the original. The song you're remixing is the initial seed that your ideas develop from, whereas with an original song that seed is a melody in your head or a rhythm you come up with or something like that. The actual process is pretty similar--I guess it's just a matter of where the beginning concept comes from.

The video for "Bussin Down" is hilarious with the Super Nintendo and Street Fighter II references. How'd you come with the concept?

I was trying to come up with a way to showcase footwork outside of the camcorder-at-a-footwork-battle style vids that you see on YouTube...something that took the idea and put it in a new context without making it "fake" or "diluted" or anything. Video games just jumped out at me as a really perfect fit.

Do video games influence your sound the way they do other dance genres (i.e chiptune, 8 bit)? 

Not as much as those genres, but I guess anybody who grew up in the 80s and 90s and likes electronic music is influenced by video games whether they consciously recognize it or not. I sampled Yoshi from Super Mario World in a track in 2009, but other than that and this video I don't have a lot of overt video-gamey material incorporated into my work.

Does the album's title Women's Studies have any specific meaning?

The album is all about women, and it contains a lot of pretty heavily objectifying booty music tropes...a lot of "get on the floor and shake your big booty" kind of music. I think it's very clever and self-aware though--sexually objectifying (towards women and men alike) without ever being mean-spirited or misogynistic. Just hyper-sexual juvenile party music. I wanted the title of the album to reflect that: this album is filthy and objectifying and sophomoric, but it's in on the joke. Hence Women's Studies.

What can people expect from the album?


What can fans expect from you next?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Linkin Park Release Ballad For Japan Relief

Linkin Park have put out "Issho Ni," a previously unreleased track, for Download To Donate, a compilation album designed to raise money for Japanese earthquake victims. The album also features contributions from artists like R.E.M., Slash, Counting Crowes and Angels and Airwaves.

"Issho Ni," an electro slow jam propelled by stuttering drums, soft keyboard chords and atmospheric samples, has raised the ire of some fans who were expecting more of an amped up thrasher than meditative ballad. Mike Shinoda responded to the criticism by challenging fans to remix the track, which he'll post on his blog.

"I’ll tell you what: you guys edit it, add vocals, sample it, do whatever you like–I’ll let you finish the song.  The vocals don’t have to be about Japan, they can be about whatever.  Sing, rap, rearrange, remix, write new material, whatever," he wrote.

Listen to "Issho Ni" below. You can also go to Download To Donate's website to give $10 and pick up the album.

Linkin Park - Ishho Ni by musicforrelief

Holy Ghost! "Wait & See"

While Holy Ghost!'s first offering "Do It Again," showcased the duo's ability to create cutting edge, dancefloor anarchy their new release, "Wait & See" reveals they also have a knack for crafting straightforward pop songs,. Carried by a catchy four-note melody motif, they strip away the synthesized zaniness, leaving space for anxious, emotional lyrics about a relationship.

Holy Ghost! are currently on tour with Cut Copy. Listen and download "Wait & See" below, and view the full list of tour dates.

Holy Ghost - Wait And See by IndiesUnder

03/29 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*

03/30 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*
03/31 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero*
04/01 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5*
04/02 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5*

04/04 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues*

04/05 – Montreal, QC @ Club Soda*

04/07 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy*
04/08 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera*
04/09 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue*

04/12 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo*

04/16 – San Francisco, CA @ The Grand Ballroom*
04/17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Grand Ballroom*
04/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex

04/20 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater*

04/21 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s*
04/22 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s*

04/23 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic*

04/29 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

My Morning Jacket To Release Circuital On May 31st

My Morning Jacket will release their sixth album Circuital on May 31st. To celebrate the release of the new album, the band has been releasing a new live track each week from their performances at Terminal 5, recorded back in October of last year.

This week's live cut is "It Beats 4 U," from the Z performance at Terminal 5 on October 22nd. To download this track or the other live performances, sign up by clicking on the widget below:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Radiohead to Release Two New Songs For Record Store Day

Radio will release two new songs on limited edition vinyl April 16th, or Record Store Day. The two tracks--"Supercollider" and "The Butcher"--are previously unreleased, though "Supercollider has been performed live. Right now 2,000 copies are planned for pressing.

Along with Radiohead, bands like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Beastie Boys and Jack White are also dropping vinyl records for Record Store Day. Watch a performance of "SuperCollider" below:

Artist Profile: Royal Bangs

Hailing from Knoxville, TN, the Royal Bangs have been more critics' radars since their performance at the first night of Bonnaroo back in 2008. Since then the trio has moved up with the help of the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, who released the band's first two albums on his label before they signed with Glassnote Records.

The group's latest disc Flux Outside comes out on March 29th. "Fireball," the first single, seems to give a good indication what listeners can expect. Beginning with whirling sounds before giving way to a swinging rhythm filled bombastic drums, hooky guitar licks and twinkling electronic effects that creates a weirdly melodic sound that is oddly soothing.

"Grass Helmet," follows in the same vein. Although filled with pounding drums, pummeling riffs drowned in distortion and a cacophony of sounds that include a cowbell, the track still retains its melodic edge despite the strange detours. Listen to a few of Royal Bangs' tracks below, and download "Fireball" over at Spin.

Find more artists like ROYAL BANGS at Myspace Music

Find more artists like ROYAL BANGS at Myspace Music

Find more artists like ROYAL BANGS at Myspace Music

Vid Pick: Kutiman "My Favorite Color"

Take a look at this fantastic new video by musician/producer Kutiman. "My Favorite Color" is the latest clip in the artist's "Thru-You" video series, in which he samples footage posted by amateur musicians on YouTube and mixes them all together into one jam session. In other words, what you see on screen is also what you hear. It's pretty cool. "My Favorite Color" uses this unique formula to create a jazz-oriented sound. Watch below:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Remix Of The Week: Snoop Dogg "Gin And Juice (Laid Back Remix)"

If you didn't think it was possible for Snoop to get any more laid back, then you thought wrong nephew. Listen to this chilled out remix of "Gin and Juice" below:

New Music: Lady Gaga "Born This Way (The Country Road Version)"

Take a listen to the country road version of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." It's a stylistic departure that surprisingly works, ditching the disco stomp of the original for a bluesy, country rock throw down that retains the song's sassy edge.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lady Gaga To Release Country Version Of "Born This Way," Album Art Leaks

Lady Gaga plans to release what she calls "the country road version" of her number one hit "Born This Way." The singer tweeted "Surprise Monsters! Born This Way (The Country Road Version) will be released on Twitter tomorrow at 12am PST/3am EST 3/25." This should be interesting.

In other Gaga news, the album artwork for Born This Way may have been leaked. The photos include the album's front and back cover, as well a listing of all 14 tracks and shots of the album booklet. You can view the photos here.

New Music: Lil Wayne "If I Die Today"

On "If I Die Today," supposedly the second single from the forthcoming Tha Carter IV, Weezy remakes Rick Ross' "I'm Not A Star" in his own image, toning down the breakneck, maniacal flows dispensed on "6 Foot, 7 Foot" for a more a focused blast of chest-pounding menace. Ross returns the favor by adding a new verse on the track. You can listen to and download the song here.

Cut Copy Kick Off National Tour, Perform On Jimmy Fallon Friday

Cut Copy kick off the U.S. leg of their Zonoscope World Tour Saturday in Miami at the Ultra Music Festival. The band will also make its first television appearance in support of the album on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Friday.

In addition fellow Melbourne natives Architecture in Helenski gave the band's "Need You Now" a sonic makeover, transforming it from dance track to a genteel, down home pop song. Listen to it here, and view the list of U.S. dates below.

Mar 26 - Miami, FL - Ultra Music Festival - SOLD OUT
 Mar 28 - Atlanta, GA – Masquerade - BUY TICKETS*
Mar 29 - Washington, DC – 9:30 Club - SOLD OUT! *
Mar 30 - Washington, DC – 9:30 Club - SOLD OUT! *
Mar 30 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall (DJ SET) - BUY TICKETS
Mar 31 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero - SOLD OUT *
Apr 1- New York, NY - Terminal 5 - SOLD OUT *
Apr 2 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 - SOLD OUT *
Apr 4- Boston, MA - House of Blues - BUY TICKETS*
Apr 5 – Montreal, QC - Club Soda - BUY TICKETS
Apr 6 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 - SOLD OUT
Apr 7 – Toronto, ON - Sound Academy - BUY TICKETS*
Apr 8 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theater - SOLD OUT *
Apr 9 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue - BUY TICKETS*
Apr 12 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Sodo - BUY TICKETS*
Apr 15 - Indio, CA – Coachella – SOLD OUT
Apr 16 - San Francisco, CA - The Grand Ballroom @ Regency - SOLD OUT *
Apr 16 - San Francisco, CA - The Sutter Room (DJ SET) - BUY TICKETS
Apr 17 - San Francisco, CA - The Grand Ballroom @ Regency - BUY TICKETS*
Apr 20 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater - SOLD OUT *
Apr 21 - Austin, TX - Stubbs BBQ - BUY TICKETS*
Apr 22 - Austin, TX - Stubbs BBQ - SOLD OUT *
Apr 23 - New Orleans, LA – Republic - BUY TICKETS*
June 5 - Houston, TX - Free Press Summer Fest @ Elanor Tinsiley Park - BUY TICKETS
July 7 – Mariaville, NY – Camp Bisco @ Indian Lookout Country club – BUY TICKETS
July 17 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival @ Union Park - BUY TICKETS
August 12 - Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre - BUY TICKETS

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rubblebucket Announce New Album, Spring Tour

Rubblebucket will release their latest album Omega La La on June 7th, a follow-up to their 2009 self-titled sophomore album. For the new disc the Brooklyn eight-piece collaborated with producer/mixer Eric Broucek, best known for his work with Cut Copy, LCD Soundsystem, Hercules and Love Affair.

The album's first offering "Silly Fathers," with its sunny guitar chords and brass flourishes, channels both upbeat indie pop and jazz, an unconventional style the group explored on tracks like the giddy "Came Out Of A Lady," which has been reworked for the new release. The band also incorporates indie rock, pop and Afro-Cuban rhythms on other album tracks like "Down In The Yards," "L'homme" and "Raining."

Rubblebucket will also be hitting the road for an extensive spring tour set to kick off tonight in Cleveland. The band will make stops in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C. before wrapping the trek in July in Virginia. View the full tour schedule and listen to "Silly Fathers" below:

Silly Fathers by Rubblebucket

03/23: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland
03/24: Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre  *
03/25: Chicago, IL @ Martyr's  *
03/26: Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Co. *
03/27: Bloomington, IL @ Bluebird Nightclub *
03/28: Iowa City, IA @ Mission Creek Music Fest: Gabes
03/29: Kalamazoo, MI @ The Strutt
04/03: Kerhonkson, NY @ Rock and Roll Resort
04/07: Boone, NC @ Legends *
04/08: Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm & Brews *
04/09: Athens, GA @ New Earth Music Hall  *
04/10: Asheville, NC @ Emerald Lounge
04/14: Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall **
04/15: Woodstock, NY @ Bearsville Theater **
04/16: Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street Ballroom **
04/20: New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge **
04/21: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall **
04/22: Ithaca, NY @ Castaways **
04/23: Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theater
04/27: Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
04/28: Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live **
04/29: Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom  **
05/01: Phoenix, AZ @ McDowell Mountain Music Festival #
05/04: Boise, ID @ Reef
05/05: Bend, OR @ Cinco De Mayo Street Fair ##
05/06: Seattle, WA @ Nectar
05/07: Portland, OR @ Mt. Tabor
05/10: Eureka, CA @ Red Fox Tavern
05/11: Sebastopol, CA @ Hopmunk Tavern
05/13: San Francisco, CA @ Boom Boom Room
05/14: Los Angeles, CA @ The Mint
05/15: Joshua Tree, CA @ Joshua Tree Music Festival
05/19: Denver, CO @ Cervantes
05/21: Chicago, IL @ Martyrs
06/18: Grand Rapids, MI @ Founders Fest ###
06/30 - 07/03: Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest Festival  %
07/09: Schuylkill, PA @ Midsummer Meltdown
07/16: Greenfield, MA @ Green River Fest
07/29: Floyd, VA @ Floyd Fest %%
07/30: Floyd, VA @ Floyd Fest %%

* = w/ Toubab Krewe
** = Million Young opens
# = w/ Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Black Joe Lewis & more
## = w/ Ozomatli
### = w/ Galactic
% = w/ String Cheese,  Tiësto,  Pretty Lights, Bassnectar,  Edward Sharpe & more
%% = w/ Grace Potter, Robert Randolph, Old Crow Medicine Show & more

DATAROCK "Catcher In The Rye"

When your single comes with tagline as "the most extravagant single in history," you better bring the goods. While such a description is still debatable (you know with personal opinions and all) "Catcher In The Rye" will definitely set feet a tappin' and have you pressing the replay button.

The tracks melds stun-gun new wave guitars, rubbery, funkdafied bass, techno back beats, electronic samples and hand claps are spread over vocals that are both pop enough to be instantly memorable while still brimming with ferocious attitude. DATAROCK's California EP, currently streaming exclusively on AOL Spinner, and "Catcher In The Rye" is available for download on iTunes. Listen to "Catcher In The Rye" below:

Find more artists like DATAROCK at Myspace Music

Young Guru: "Watch The Throne" Is Almost Ready

Young Guru, a producer/engineer behind monster hits like Jay-Z's "H To The Izzo," Freeway's "What We Do" and Cam'Ron's "Oh Boy" told Vibe  Watch The Throne, Kanye and Jay-Z's hotly anticipated joint LP, is almost finished.

“Right now, I’m really trying to get Jay and Kanye to hurry up and finish this Watch The Throne album because the world needs to hear it," Guru said, while taking a break at the SXSW festival. “It just needs little tweaks and things like that. But the core of the album is finished."

While he hasn't contributed any beats himself, Guru confirmed that West, Q-Tip, No I.D. and Pete Rock have all created potential songs for the album. “Kanye takes what they do and adds on to it and I think that’s his genius. I say this all the time ‘Kanye records are never the same twice, while he’s making them because they always grow.’"

Guru remained mum on any guest appearances or other details about the album, but hinted at future Jay-Z projects. Watch The Throne currently has no release date. Watch the interview below.

Rare Nirvana EP To Be Reissued

Nirvana's rare Hormoaning EP wil be re-released on April 16th, which is Record Store Day. The EP, recorded during a BBC Radio 1 John Peel session and originally only sold during the band's tour of Australia back in 1992, features covers of songs by Devo, The Vaselines and The Wipers.

The record also features two Nirvana tracks, "Aneurysm" and "Even In His Youth." Only 6,000 copies of Hormoaning will be released. Nirvana isn't the only group dropping an album on Record Store Day. Foo Fighters, The Strokes and Deftones, as well as other acts will also put out special releases. View the track listing for Hormoaning below.

'Turnaround' (Devo)
'D-7' (The Wipers)
'Son Of A Gun' (The Vaselines)
'Even In His Youth'
'Molly's Lips' (The Vaselines)

My Morning Jacket Announce US Dates, Release New Live Track For Download

My Morning Jacket are hitting the road in celebration of their upcoming release Circuital. The North American tour will begin in June, with more dates being announced in the near future. Fans can get pre-sale tickets starting today and on sale to the public March 26th. The band will also donate $1 from each ticket sold to charity.

The band is also in week 3 of its "T5 Countdown" to Circuital, where they release a live track from their Terminal 5 shows back in October. This week's song is "One Big Holiday," performed on an October 21st show. The group will also release a song from the new album on the sixth and final week. You can download the live track by clicking on the widget below, and get more ticket info at My Morning Jacket's official site. View the tour dates below.

6/17 - Auditorium Theatre (Chicago, IL)
6/22 - Pantages Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)
6/24 - Fox Theater (Oakland, CA)
6/26 - Paramount Theatre (Seattle, WA)
6/28 - Edgefield (Portland, OR)
6/29 - Orpheum (Vancouver, BC)
7/11 - Kool Haus (Toronto, ON)
7/12 - Metropolis (Montreal, QC)
8/04 - Red Rocks (Morrison, CO)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artist Profile: The Downer Party

San Francisco-based band The Downer Party (kind of a contradictory name isn't it?:) have a knack for making catchy songs that combine pop melodies with grimy guitars that are, in their own words, "fun songs about crappy situations."

Made up of members from several Bay Area bands like French Miami, Elephone and Two Seconds, the band's upcoming Cities EP explores the agony and ecstasy of young love in the urban metropolis.

"Cities is about being disconnected from the people you care about and the attempts we all make to cope with that weirdness," singer Sierra Frost explains. "It's about home and know?

With songs like "Country Kid" and "Chicago," hooky gems filled with warm, off-kilter melodies and lyrics that are by turns humorous and biting but always accessible, it's likely plenty of people will be singing along whether they want to or not. Cities comes out April 1st. Listen below:

Country Kid


Artist Profile: The Movement Fam

The Movement Fam, made up of rapper Cee and singer Bekah, as well as occasional appearances from solo rapper Notion, craft a mix of hip hop, soul and pop/rock they define as "Soul Hop." Originally hailing from Melbourne before making their way to Toronto, their music mines the soulful, R&B-influenced hip hop of Common, College Dropout-era Kanye West and Lauryn Hill.

Tracks like "Livin' This Life" blend DJ scratching, Bekah's sultry vocals and guitar licks while Cee nimbly spits rhymes about being successful against all odds. The old-school soul sampling "Anything For You" gives Bekah space to get her Alicia Keys on, as she wails over the track about a loyal lover. But lyrically the theme consistently turns back to the struggle for success.

"Even though I'm so imperfect/I'm so determined/Been doin' this for too long to be crashin' and burnin'" Notion raps in "All Of This Time" while Bekah advises "Don't look back/The past is dead," in "Livin' This Life." Romance is fine, but unbridled ambition and love for the music are the group's real motivations. Such determination, along with their evolving style, will likely propel them into the stratosphere of superstardom they desire. Listen to a few tracks below:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Malaysia Bans Pro-Gay Lady Gaga Lyrics

Seems like Malaysia isn't feeling the pro-gay Gaga love. The conservative, Muslim majority country has taken issue with some of the singer's lyrics in her hit "Born This Way," to the point of censoring some of the lines. According to

"Radio stations in Malaysia have made the decision to censor the track, replacing lyrics like "no matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life" with garbled sounds.

A statement from Malaysia's largest private station, AMP Radio Networks, defended the call, saying, "The particular lyrics in 'Born This Way' may be considered as offensive when viewed against Malaysia's social and religious observances." It continued, "The issue of being gay, lesbian or [bisexual] is still considered as a 'taboo' by general Malaysians" -- as well as the government, which can impose fines on broadcasters for infringing on the ban. "

Pang Khee Teik, co-founder of Sexuality Independence, an anti-sexual discrimination group in Malaysia, didn't agree with the decision, and believes such actions by the media fuel ignorance and hate. "We just want the same thing as everyone else: to love, be loved and have our songs played on the radio," he said.

Lady Gaga isn't the first artist to feel the wrath of Malaysia's censorship. Fellow diva Rihanna agreed to change her costumes to fit the country's strict performance guidlines when she performed there in 2009, while Beyonce pulled the plug on her 2007 performance when groups threantened to protest the show. And last year a Muslim group protested openly gay singer Adam Lambert's performance even after he agreed to follow performance guidelines.

A Perfect Circle Plans Summer Tour

A Perfect Circle will be hitting the road for an upcoming summer tour. The band--made up of Tool and Puscifer member James Keenan, Ashes Divide's Billy Howerdel, former Smashing Pumpkins member Jame Iha, Weezer and Devo's Josh Freese and Matt McJunkins, also from Puscifer--will kick off the tour May 22nd in Colombus at Ohio's Rock On The Range festival.

Keenan told Spin that new Tool material is also in the works. "They are getting together and writing," Keenan said last fall of his bandmates drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and bassist Justin Chancellor. "I'll be popping back into L.A. soon to check in." View the tour dates below.

5/22, Columbus, OH (Rock on the Range)
6/29, Portland, OR (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall)
6/30, Kent, WA (Showare Center)
7/2, Gibbons, AL (Boonstock Festival)
7/4, Winnipeg, MB (Centennial Concert Hall)
7/6, St. Paul, MN (Roy Wilkins Auditorium)
7/8, Detroit, MI (Fox Theatre)
7/9, Toronto, ON (Edgefest)
7/12, Boston, MA (Bank of America Pavilion)
7/13, New York, NY (Hammerstein Ballroom)
7/15, New York, NY (Beacon Theatre)
7/16, Philadelphia, PA (Penn's Landing - Festival Pier)
7/17, Washington, DC (Constitution Hall)
7/19, Charlotte, NC (Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre)
7/20, Atlanta, GA (The Tabernacle)
7/22, San Antonio, TX (Freeman Coliseum)
7/23, Grand Prairie, TX (Verizon Theatre)
7/25, Phoenix, AZ (Comerica Theatre)
7/28, Los Angeles, CA (Gibson Amphitheater)
7/29, Sacramento, CA (Memorial Auditorium)
7/30, Berkeley, CA (The Greek Theatre)
8/2, Denver, CO (Red Rocks Amphitheatre)
8/9, Pittsburgh, PA (Stage AE)

Emilie Simon "Rainbow (Remix Emilie)"

French electro pop singer Emilie Simon exploded in her homeland back in 2003, earning three Victoires de la Musique (France's Grammy equivalent) over the course of three albums, becoming an influential force in music as well as fashion. Best known internationally for her musical score of the hit documentary March Of The Penguins, Simon settled in Brooklyn to record her latest album The Big Machine, set for release on April 26th. In the meantime, she has also released a Rainbow EP, currently available on iTunes.

The EP's Emilie remix provides an interesting listen. Production-wise the track is full of adrenaline-charged bass, and atmospheric synths and samples. But the standout is Simon's voice itself, a bewitching, quirky and commanding instrument that brings to mind a modern-day Kate Bush. Listen to the remix here.

Vid Pick: Daddy Lion "Falling To Pieces"

Daddy Lion use a wealth of found footage--from Frankenstein and Dracula to collapsing buildings and little kids breakdancing--in the video for "Falling To Pieces." The diverse montage of images really fit together, creating a good visual companion that adds an extra emotional weight (and the occasional dash of humor) to the song's somber message.

Listen to the song here, and watch the video below:

Lil Wayne's The Carter IV To Drop May 16th

Lil Wayne's highly-anticipated The Carter IV will be released on May 16th. The superstar rapper revealed the news on MTV during the opening night for his I Am Music II Tour in Rhode Island.

"Tha Carter IV is done," Wayne said. "All they need to do is tell Tez [Wayne's Manager, Cortez Bryant] to stop sitting on it…It can come out tomorrow 'cause I'm so finished…Tha Carter IV will be dropping May 16. If you're not doing anything, do me."

The new disc will be Wayne's first release since he was released from prison last September, and while much of material was recorded before his prison stint, it is likely that the album will feature all newly recorded tracks.  Besides The Carter IV's first single, the Bangladesh-produced "6 Foot, 7 Foot," Wayne has been tight-lipped about the rest of album.

Young Money protege Nicki Minaj told MTV News she'd done a verse for the album while on the set of her "Super Bass" video. "I think Carter IV is gonna just be exceptional, of course," she said. "I think Wayne is definitely on his grind crazy right now."

The Drums Announce NYC Gigs, Summer Festival Dates

Indie pop darlings The Drums will have a busy summer ahead of them, as the band will perform at Lollapalooza Chile, Australia's Groove In The Moo Festival and at the Gaymers Stage in London for LOVEBOX. American fans can catch the band at Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo Festivals.

All of this is in support of the band's critically-acclaimed 2010 self-titled debut, a collection of track that marries the innocent swing of Sixties pop with the dark romantic nuances of Eighties new wave to create a sound that is both retro homage and modern innovation.

The Drums will kick off their tour with a series of intimate shows at the Tribeca Grand in New York beginning March 25th. View the full of list dates, as well as the video for "Me and The Moon" below:

3/25: New York, NY @ Tribeca Grand w/Big Trouble & DJ Patrik Cleandenim
3/31: Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Estúdio Emme
4/3: Santiago Chile @ Lollapalooza
4/7: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge w/ iO Echo SOLD OUT!
4/11: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory w/Matthew Dear
4/15: Indio, CA @ Coachella
4/28: Richmond, VIC, Australia @ The Corner Hotel
4/29: Richmond, VIC, Australia @ The Corner Hotel
5/1: Townsville, QLD @ GROOVE IN THE MOO FEST
5/4: Brisbane, QLD @ The High Fi
5/9: Sydney, NSW, Australia @ The Metro
5/10: Adelaide, Australia @ Uni Bar
5/12: Perth, WA, Australia @ Astor Theatre
5/14: Bunbury, WA, Australia @ (GROOVE IN THE MOO FEST)
5/16: Singapore, SG @ TAB
5/18: Tokyo, Japan @ Club Quattro
5/19: Tokyo, Japan @ Duo
5/20: Nagoya, Japan @ Club Quattro
5/21: Osaka, Japan @ Club Quattro
5/24: Bangkok, TH @ Ratchaprasong Urban Space
5/25: Jakarta, Indonesia @ Blowfish Club
5/26: Hong Kong, China @ KITEC
5/29: George, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
6/9: Nashville, TN @ Bonnaroo Festival
7/16: London, UK @ LOVEBOX

Friday, March 18, 2011

Remix Of The Week: Ice Cube Ft. DMX "We Be Clubbin'"

East met West in this fiyah remix to Cube's '98 cut from The Player's Club. Watch below:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pearl Jam Working On 10th Studio Album

Pearl Jam bassist Jeffery Ament says the band is about to head back into the studio to start work on its 10th studio album.

"We did a whole bunch of demos and everybody's got a disc of 25 [songs] right now," Ament told Billboard. "April will be the time where we get together and learn to play all these demos and figure out which 12-15 of them float to the top. Hopefully we can get something done this year."

The new album, a follow up to 2009's Backspacer, isn't the only thing on the band's agenda. Pearl Jam also plans to put out special reissues of previous albums Vs. and Vitalogy as part of box set to be released on March 29th. The band also plans to release a documentary and a book in late summer or early fall to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their smash debut album Ten, released in August 1991.

In addition to those goodies, frontman Eddie Vedder, currently on a solo tour in Australia, will soon begin work on a solo album, while Ament will be recording a solo album with his side project Tre Mts. Drummer Matt Cameron will be also working on a new record with Soundgarden.

Pearl Jam are also planning a special 20th anniversary festival. "We're not 100% where we're going to have it yet, so it's a little bit tricky... If it's Labor Day, that's three or four months; that should be plenty of time for people to make reservations," Ament said.

Nate Dogg Dead At 41

Rapper/singer Nate Dogg is dead at the age of 41. Born Nathaniel D. Hale, he was an integral part of the west coast rap scene, collaborating on tracks like Warren G's "Regulate" and Dr. Dre's "Next Episode," as well as hits by rappers like Westside Connection 50 Cent, Eminem and Fabolous.

Close friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg confirmed the news, tweeting "RIP NATE DOGG," and later tweeted: "We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met."

Hale had been battling health complications after suffering two strokes in recent years.  Watch a few of Nate Dogg's greatest collaborations below:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Artist Profile: Dot

Releasing his first mixtape, Microphone Fiend, in 2006 after leaving to pursue, in his own words, a "Masters on the Billboard charts," rapper Dot sounds a like a student of the Kanye West path to fame. But in actuality the Philly native sounds more like Yeezy's mentor Jay-Z, with his laid back but confident delivery and clever metaphors. Rapping since the age of 11, the aspiring MC experienced the highs and lows of life early, growing up in Philly's rougher neighborhoods while attending Catholic school.

Inspired by NYC rap icons like Nas and Biggie, Dot decided to relocate to the Big Apple last year to work on his debut album, entitled Aviators & Bombers, a concept album based around people's belief that having a lot of material goods equals success. The album is set for release later this year. Until then though, get into the video for "The World Is Not Enough." The track has an East Coast, mid-90's feel to it. Download the track here.

CirKus "Bells"

Sweden-based band CirKus serve up a subdued, tense electro pop sound on their latest single "Bells." Pushed along by a thumping and urgent bassline, the song gives an air of foreboding menace with its ominous samples that jump out of the darkness like a jack in the box and chromatic synthesizer lines that twist and contort like a backwoods road. Meanwhile vocalist Cameron McVey mournfully croons the lines, "cause we never live / never live / live and learn."

The single is set to drop on March 22nd. McVey, who has worked with everyone from The Slits, Chrissie Hynde, Cher and Gorillaz to Michael Stipe and Massive Attack, looked to his own inner circle to form CirKus. The band is a family affair of sorts, made up of McVey, his wife Neneh Cherry, their daughter Lolita and guitarist and family friend Matt Karmil. The group's latest release Medicine comes out May 10th. Until check out the video for "Bells" below:

Unkle Drop Only The Lonely EP and Where Did The Night Fall-Another Night Out

Unkle will release their five-song Only The Lonely EP digitally and a new, extended version of their 2010 album Where Did The Night Fall-Another Night Out in April. The physical version of Another Night Out will come in a very limited edition box set later this spring, and can be pre-ordered at

Many of the songs on the new EP were a collaboration with Nick Cave, as well as The Duke Spirit's Liela Moss and former Sleepy Sun member Rachel Fannan. Cave was particularly proud of his work with the band.

"I always had a huge soft spot for Unkle-their pop sensibilities, their hooks, big choruses, their super-treated production--so when they sent me some music to sing over I jumped at the chance...I wrote a lyric--something desperate sounding to run counterpoint to the joyful racket of the music. It's a fucking hit."

The Another Night Out box set will contain six unreleased songs, all of the tracks from Only The Lonely, and a few songs from the band's The Answer EP. The set will also come in gold and contain a 32-page booklet and 16 page board book with new exclusive photos.

Unkle will kick off the release of the box set with a performance at London's Brixton Academy on April 1st with The Duke Spirit before touring through Europe and Australia, including a gig at the Sydney Opera House. Listen to Only The Lonely track "Money and Run" featuring Nick Cave, and view the complete list of tour dates below:

Money And Run (feat. Nick Cave) by UNKLE

03/25 KD Vltavska - PragueCZ
03/26 Refresh The Venue - IstanbulTR
04/01 Brixton Academy- London UK
04/08 Principal Club - ThessalonikiGR
04/09 Fuzz Club – Athens, GR
04/29 Billboard – Melbourne, AUS
04/30 Groove In The Moo – Bendigo, AUS
05/01 Groove In The Moo – Townsville, AUS
05/03 Hi-Fi Brisbane – Brisbane, AUS
05/05 Powerstation – Auckland, NZ
05/07 Groove In The Moo – Maitland, AUS
05/08 Groove In The Moo – Canberra, AUS
05/09 Sydney Opera House – Sydney, AUS
05/11 Bakery – Perth, AUS
05/14 Groove In The Moo – Bunbury, AUS

Limp Bizkit Working On Two New Albums

Limp Bizkit are currently in the studio working on two new albums, according to lead singer Fred Durst. Durst recently announced the band's fifth album, Gold Cobra, would be coming out later this year. The singer tweeted: "Obviously we have two albums here, in case you didn’t pick up on that. First one is 'Gold Cobra'. Due soon."

While release dates have not been set for either album, Durst said he wants Gold Cobra out by the summer. He gave away a few details on the new record, saying it would feature guest stars such as rappers Lil Wayne and Raekwon, as well as Kiss bassist Gene Simmons.

Limp Bizkit's new albums will be their first since guitarist Wes Borland rejoined the group.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Q&A: Ringside

California rockers Ringside have shown a knack for crafting tracks that mix the best elements of dance and rock. The band-- made up of core members Scott Thomas and beatmaker/producer/actor Balthazar Getty, as well as other musicians like guitarist Kirk Hellie, live drummer Sandy Chila and live keyboardist Max Allyn-- combine fuzzy guitars, shimmering synth lines, as well as musical curve balls like a symphonic chorus, to create a unique spin on the dance-rock genre.

In a Q&A with Indies and the Underground, frontman Scott Thomas (pictured right) talks about the group's early days, the inspiration behind their latest release Lost Days, dream collaborations and upcoming projects.

How did you get the name Ringside?

Balt and I were on the road in Los Angeles, just driving. We were talking about how cool it was to have "Spanishfaster (AKA: Tired of Being Sorry)" being played in the clubs without any record label. We had just been making these recordings in my garage on an entrance level protools setup and had given it out to a few friends. It just kind of ballooned, locally. We hadn't even thought about making a real record and putting it out, so there was never a name for it. Eventually, though, we decided that naming it might be a good thing. He had this little boxing glove hanging from his rearview mirror that had a RINGSIDE logo on it. It was the first thing that came to mind and we thought it best to keep it that way, since our recordings were so of the cuff.

You were a fashion designer before deciding to start the band. Has your previous career helped you navigate the music business in any way?

I was not a fashion designer, intentionally. I was working as a stylists assistant to get by. Other bands that we were dressing, started asking me  if they could wear my clothes, off my back. I was pretty broke back then, so without hesitation, I always obliged. Things just took off from there, but I also learned that trying to get paid designing for retail is just as difficult as making a living making music. So, I signed out by making my last design, called "Black Valentine", a leather jacket for Sean Penn. I felt that was a good way to go out. I still like making my own shit, though. But, I decided that I would return, again,  to making music, exclusively. Something I had done since I was 5 years old. No more dressing other bands that were making music all day long. I wanted in.

You also sold everything to dedicate all your time to the band. Were the any low points or times you felt like giving up?

There were many low points along the way. Still are. LIke I said before somewhere, it's a struggle. Right? There's no room for giving up. I'm not interested in that game. Better to die, trying.

At what point did you feel the band was coming together, or could be something successful?

We always thought what we were doing was fun. Something that we would listen to. So it makes sense that we made some fans along the way. We are still fairly unknown to the masses, though. We're still swinging fists, you know? All in  though, I guess I feel 'successful' just in knowing that I spend everyday writing, recording, and releasing. I probably feel best playing live. Big stage, screaming girlies, all that ego shit.

Some of your influences include The Stooges, Depeche Mode and The Clash. What about them inspires you?
The music, the clothes, the spirit, the blood. Stuff that is so good that it stays with you forever. Like a lover. Someone that you could never get close enough too. 

What influences do you have that may surprise people?

I don't know. Philip Glas, Eric Satie. Choir music, Bulgarian woman's choir, the Cossack choir. I listen to a lot of world music. Japanese koto and shakuhachi, that kinda thing. Great stuff that came out on the Lyrichord  label. Sixties stuff. Serge Gainsbourg, Anton Jobim. A lot of Herbie Mann. Old school country, Merle Haggard, a lot of pickers. Folky stuff. There's some great modern stuff out there. The Delta Spirit, Fleet Foxes, Kings of Convenience. Everything from Leadbelly to Liberace. Who doesn't love a little Windham Hill? I love the 70's singer songwriter movement. A.M. Gold always feels like summer.

What was it like to collaborate with Ben Harper on "Lost Days"? What do you think he added to the track?

I have toured with Ben for a while, so we're close. We actually met in the nineties. We wre both getting our new records out, his  "Welcome to the Cruel World', and my lesser known "Shine Like You". He came in to try a few things together and really liked "Lost Days". He really put his stamp on it. Effortlessly. Started with singing along with me, then threw down some great lapsteel. His very honest spirit really shines through on that track. The kids choir seemed like a good fit, too.

What other singers/producers would you like to work with?  

I've worked with Dr. Dre a few times and he's up there.  I have always wanted to work with Brian Eno. I have been a big fan of his ever since I was a kid. Even before U2 worked with him, I was following him. Through Roxy Music, the magic collaboration with Bowie. His "Warm Jets" era, the ambient "Discreet Music", his work with Harold Budd, "Pavillion of Dreams".Awesome. I have a lot of  instrumental music that I've recorded over the years, that I will be releasing at some point that is very inspired by him, Satie, and Glas, among others. As far as me producing other artists, I guess today it would be Band of Horses, or maybe Rihanna. She does to me of when Stevie Nicks voice always did. Woman like that make it hard to fall for just anyone.

Do you draw inspiration from any books, pieces of art, photography or movies? Which ones and why?

Absolutely. Films like "Withnail and I", "How To Get Ahead in Advertising". "Love Serenade" is genius. ""the Castle". The Aussies make great films. Wim Wender's work. Gus Van Sant. There are too many to to list. I love vintage shit like, "Logan's Run" on a good hangover. Fine art and antiquities is a real passion is for me. My grandfather owned a gallery that specialized in European and Asian  works. So, I got the bug pretty early on. My place is a real mix of stuff. Navajo Carpets, Viennese wedding chests, and Danish Modern. There's some modern artists that I really like. Jorge Santos, Christian Vincent, Brad Noble, Shepherd Fairey and of course Tom Ford. I read as much as I can. I never tire of anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, Martin Amos. I love the Russian poets Lermontov, and Pushkin. "Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole is amazing. "Sin in the Second City", by Karen Abbott is a real page turner. I love period stuff, especially old Americana.

In what way is Lost Days different from your previous albums?

Well for starters, we spent the better part of five years making it in a very swank place provided to by a very generous patron of the arts. It was a dream after working for so long within the limitations of  small garage space, and a major record label. ( I had several solo records from before, "Shine Like You" on Mercury, "California" on Elektra). We were free finally, and  that was great, but we were going through some very dangerous days, personally at that time, as well. On the upside, we were playing stadiums overseas and coming home and tracking, so I think that comes across. I had broken my back in a speedboat accident, so I became somewhat dependent on opiates for a couples years and that was hell. Still there was a underlying theme of hope in "Lost Days". Like, "I am going to get through this, come hell or high water!" Gods, shamans, angels, and aliens. I reached out to them all for  divine intervention.

How does the songwriting/production process usually happen?

I usually start with a hook on guitar or piano. A melody comes instantly usually. I sing in tongue for a while until the words sort of form themselves,as though I am listening to something and taking notes. If I think about what is happening then I lose it. I just let it be. It comes. I always write a second or third song at the same time, probably because I'm so ADD, even when it comes to chasing the muse. I guess I'm always chasing more than one pretty girl at a time. The story unfolds. Something I'm going through, something or somebody I saw, a near death thing maybe, something about a lover or just a romance gone bad.

Is it challenging to combine organic and electronic elements together (for example, live drum and electronic drum beats)?

I really like both elements. I thought mixing the recorded loopy stuff, with live drums would be the right move with this record. I wanted to bring the live show back into the studio. Balt fought me every step of the way. I think he still is sore about it. I'm still a rock and roller, and I miss the flow of natural meter at times when I'm smoking the grid pipe. Balt felt like we would lose some of our fan base. I feel a different connection with our fans. I think it's deeper than just production value. Although, I must admit, I took the production of this record all the way and over the top at times. I don't know. The stuff I am doing right now has few tracks and a lot of open space. Sill, I am a fan of symphonic music. I think I had this idea that the record should reveal itself like it was coming out of an orchestra pit.

What can fans expect next from you?

Man, I have no idea what will come. I guess I am trying to focus on film scores, and "Matson Tweed", my side project with Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, Madi Diaz, and Kristen Hall of Sugarland. I've also been working with the Cossack choir on some solo stuff that really excites me. I'm hoping to collaborate with Yuri Bashmet on an album.  Balt and I are in the studio today working on number three. Hopefully, RINGSIDE will get out and tour a bit, so we can play the new stuff out. In the meantime, let's see if we make it through another day. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Remix Of The Week: TLC "Creep (Untouchables Remix)"

The Untouchables flipped the '94 classic from Crazysexycool from a sultry mid-tempo jam to a certified block party jam, complete with a verse from Left Eye. Listen below:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vid Pick: Scattered Trees "Love And Leave"

Check out the Star Wars-inspired clip for Scattered Trees "Love and Leave," if only for the fact that it proves Stormtroopers are really just depressed hipsters who need love just like the rest of us. Oh, and for the Darth Vader-style death scenes. Plus the song's great too. Watch below:

Artist Profile: Rachel Brown

Born and raised in New York City, 23-year-old Rachel Brown combines both her hometown's multi-cultural atmosphere and her Bermudian and Ethiopian heritage to create a sound that's equal parts pop, folk and reggae.

While she's only been performing since her junior year at Harvard, and is not classically trained in any instrument, Brown managed to learn the guitar and ukulele on her own. "My songwriting process—which started about five years ago— consisted of grabbing my guitar and learning to play it while I wrote these songs,” she said. “I just kind of play things until they sound right.”

This simple-can-do attitude spills over into her songwriting as well. The bubbly reggae-fused pop of "Bumblebee" finds her head over heels for a new infatuation, while "Diamond In The Rough" strikes a slightly more seductive tone, with the lines "Your smile is like a bonfire/It melts all my cares away." But Brown can also sing the break-up blues as well, as proven by the somber live track "Lullaby," where she tries to her best not to break down. "No that's not a tear/I swear/I just got somethin' in my eye."

Such emotional honesty has earned her opening slots for acts like Mary J. Blige and Robin Thicke, as well as an impromptu performance with her musical idol Wyclef Jean, who asked her to join him onstage for a cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."

Brown is currently working on her debut album, set for a late summer release. Until then, click on the links to listen to a few tracks below:



Diamond In The Rough
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