Another installment of the Boiler Room event was recently released via YouTube, so you know what to expect: people looking disinterested, other people trying too hard to get on camera, and even more people looking like they’re way too cool to be standing a few feet from one of their generation’s best producers. But great music.
This version of the event took place in San Francisco, which doesn’t host the events as frequently as the LA or NYC, and it also served as a post-Treasure Island Music festival event. For those reasons, the crowd does seem a bit more into the music than past versions of the event. But the man behind the boards is also Madlib, the elusive yet eternally dope DJ/producer/West Coast hip-hop extraordinaire. Everyone pays attention to Madlib.
If you thought Lion was the last step in the evolutionary career path of Snoop, you underestimated the artist. The musician has now become Snoopzilla, a character akin to the 70s-style funk-rap persona he popularized on songs like “Sexual Eruption.”
Along with retro-style modern producer Dam Funk, Snoopzilla is releasing an album entitled 7 Days of Funk via Stones Throw Records. While that album has a release date scheduled for December 10th, the duo ecently released the video for the track “Faden Away.” The entire video is like a vintage performance, with Snoopzilla donning the outrageous wig and singing and rapping with the vocoder effect.
The new video from Welsh indie-pop band Los Campesinos! is a tremendous feat of acting, choreography and camerawork. The entire clip for the No Blues track “Avocado Baby” was shot in one go, and there are enough costume changes and bombastic effects that it would’ve been difficult to film even with the time and editing offered with multiple takes.
Never mind that the video’s narrative doesn’t quite make sense, there’s enough going on and the song’s good enough that the clip is worth watching. What viewers can take away from the story is that band member Gareth Campesinos stars as “the host of a terrible game show” called The Avocado Show, and then there are lots and lots of weird costumes, masks and other crazy things going on.
Little Bird’s American Spirits LP begins with a complex and upbeat drumbeat followed by a harp solo that could be described with similar adjectives. Each of the songs continues in a similar manner, combining acoustic guitars, bass, drums and other instruments to create a sound that, if nothing else, makes American music fun again.
The band’s sound is akin to pop-oriented jam bands that blend a variety of styles, including funk, jazz, folk and rock. The group’s alternative approach to its music is also slightly reminiscent of the band Born Ruffians, but I might just be thinking that because that group is the force behind the popular song about a little bird. I think the similarity lies within the vocals.
Black Dog, the most popular BBQ restaurant in my hometown of Champaign, IL and #2 on Maxim’s “Top 5 BBQ Joints” in the U.S., typically runs out of Burnt Ends, the most popular item on the menu, by mid-afternoon.
Black Dog came in second on that Maxim list only to Franklin BBQ, the Austin, TX establishment that runs out of burnt ends (and, usually, all their food) by early afternoon, with lines forming early in the morning.
In certain circles, Five Iron Frenzy is the biggest band on earth. The group played Christian ska music from 1995, the height of the third wave ska era, until 2003, when they performed what was to be their final show in a sold-out Denver arena.
Of course, a band that specific has to reunite at some point. There aren’t many bands filling the void in the Christian ska punk genre, or at least not any that are as good as Five Iron.
Pelican’s Forever Becoming is the band’s fifth studio album, and their newest release since 2009’s What We All Come To Need. It’s also the first album with new guitarist Dallas Thomas, as founding member of the band Laurent Schroeder-Lebec left the group last year.
From the album’s first track, it’s clear that Schroeder-Lebec’ departure led to at least a slight departure from the sound found on the band’s last few albums. Pounding drums on the album opener suggest heaviness, but its jangling guitars dictate its lighter tone, appearing as if the new album is set up to be an expansion of the group’s lighter, more post-rock-oriented work. The crushing chords and relentless riffage of “Deny The Absolute” immediately prove that idea to be inaccurate.
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Ever since founding Def Jam Records from his NYU dorm room and catapulting the careers of the hip-hop, punk and heavy metal greats (with a few pop stars sprinkled in), Rick Rubin has been one of the most well-known producers in the music industry. Working in a role that typically goes unrecognized in the realm of music creation, Rubin and his beard, his monk-like philosophy and his penchant for going barefoot have made him an icon in his own right.
Barons of Hiddenhausen, is a mysterious and hidden secret, with it’s origins in Vienna. Although the project sounds like a full-fledged band, the mastermind behind the project is one person: Moritz Kofler. Kofler is no stranger to the genre – after he recorded “World Withdrawal,” he collaborated with Digital Noise Academy in L.A., a project by Ken Andrews (Failure, Beck, A.P.C. NIN), Jordon Zadorozny (Blinker The Star, Courtney Love, Melissa Auf Der Maur) and others. That experience shows in this record.
Listen to Barons of Hiddenhausen on Earbits