It's hard to place WZRD in any particular genre, which I believe was the goal Kid Cudi and Dot Da Genius were trying to accomplish with their new project. Pronounced how it's spelt-out, but meaning "wizard", WZRD fuses rock and electronica to create a psychedelic soundscape featuring Kid Cudi's singing vocals (Sorry rap fans, no bars are spit on the WZRD project, nor is there any swearing). The entirety of the album is produced by Day 'N' Night producer Dot Da Genius with Cudi on guitar, however Empire Of The Sun leant their talent on The Dream Time Machine and Desire is sampled in my personal favorite Teleport 2 Me, Jamie.
YouTube has launched the career of so many artists. It is such a wonderful platform for hidden talent to shine through, like 2nd most viewed band on YouTube, Boyce Avenue. The rock band from Florida consists of 3 brothers Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano.
The band formed in 2004 and they began posting videos on YouTube in 2006. They upload original material and cover popular songs which their fans have chosen for them, including multiple collaborations with other YouTube artists such as Alex Goot, Cobus Potgieter, David Choi, DeStorm, Kina Grannis, Megan & Liz, Megan Nicole, Savannah Outen, Tiffany Alvord, and Tyler Ward.
Their videos have gotten them over 1,000,000 subscribers and over 500,000,000 upload views. They have an original sound and the ability to make any song that they cover their own. The quality improves with each video uploaded. All of their original music videos that have been added in the past 6 months have displayed incredible talent and direction.
Boyce Avenue was previously signed to Universal Republic but the band went back to independent in 2011 under their own record label, 3 Peace Records. They have always made touring a priority and on March 12, 2012, they will be coming to The Pageant in Saint Louis.
If you want to learn more about the band you can go to their website http://www.boyceavenue.com/ or you can listen to their music on YouTube. They just uploaded an acoustic cover of "Without You" that is amazing!
This Will Destroy You, often abreviated TWDY, is an american "post-rock" band from Texas formed in 2005. I put quotes on post-rock because the band hugely neglect this notion. They are often compared to bands in the post-rock genre such as the infamous Explosions In The Sky who are also from Texas. Bassist and keyboardist Donovan Jones has said in an interview, “Fuck post-rock, and fuck being called post-rock.” and in an interview with the Dallas Observer, guitarist Jeremy Galindo said, "It can be aggravating. I think after this new album comes out, a lot of that is gonna stop. Because this next album is definitely gonna be sounding more like the stuff that we do listen to.". This has proven to be true. The release of TWDY latest album 'Tunnel Blanket' has changed drastically in style, moving away from the melodic sounds they were known for and going more towards a drony and doomy sound. The band referred to their new sound as "doomgaze". Although it hasnt hurt TWDY success at all. Released in May 2011, 'Tunnel Blanket' entered the Billboard Heatseekers Album Chart at number 25.
Russian Circles is a three piece instrumental rock/metal band from Chicago. Russian Circles play instrumental, sprawling music which runs the gamut of heavy discordant metal, to soft delicate passages. They are also known for their energetic live shows, mostly headlining now but in their earlier days they toured with the likes of Boris, Isis, Red Sparowes, Minus the Bear, Daughters, Coheed & Cambria, Mono, and Pelican as well as appearances at the 2006 SXSW, and 2009's Bonnaroo. They were also the opening band for Tool while playing their first tour in the United Kingdom in 2007. Their name is taken from a drill exercise used in the game of ice hockey.
Formed in late 2004 by guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Colin DeKuiper (both formerly of instrumental band Dakota/Dakota), they quickly recruited drummer Dave Turncrantz, formerly of St. Louis band Riddle of Steel. Together they create a complex clamor of sprawling guitars, propulsive drumming, and heavy basslines.
Paradieswärts Düül is a 1970 psychedelic rock album by the German band Amon Düül. It was the final Amon Düül (I) album to be recorded. In contrast to the communal, free-form improvisations of the earlier Amon Düül albums (generally thought to have all been recorded in a single "jam session" with various commune members coming and going throughout), Paradieswarts Düül was recorded with a smaller, more stable lineup of musicians. The pastoral, folk-influenced sound of the record has been compared to the gentler work of American bands Love and The Velvet Underground. The first word of the title is a German construction meaning "paradise-wards", as in "towards paradise".
The album was re-released on CD in 1996 by Spalax Records. This version added two bonus tracks, from the single "Eternal Flow / Paramechanical World" released slightly before the album. This same master was also used for the 1997 edition issued by Repertoire Records in Germany.
Bardo Pond are an American psychedelic rock band formed in 1991, and who are currently signed to London based label Fire Records. Bardo Pond's sound is characterized as psychedelic but has to be recognized as a category all in its own. Bardo Pond is unlike any band making music today. The sound has a lot of heavy repetitive drone type sound to it and use sounds and instruments uncommon in the typical band. Topped off with synthesizer and female vocals, Bardo Pond has a specific and signature sound. Bardo Pond has a distinct sound and can be recognized from a distance. Bardo Pond's albums range drastically in style and each album is a journey in itself. The current members are Michael Gibbons (guitar), John Gibbons (guitar), Isobel Sollenberger (flute and vocals), Clint Takeda (bass guitar), Jason Kourkonis (drums), and Aaron Igler (synth/electronics). Bardo Pond's drug-inspired music is often classified as space rock, acid rock, post-rock, shoegazing, noise or psychedelic rock. Many Bardo Pond album titles have been derived from the names of esoteric psychedelic substances. Their sound has been likened to Pink Floyd, Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine amongst others.
Long Distance Calling is a post-rock/ post-metal band formed in 2006 in Münster, Germany. Their melancholic tracks, usually lasting five or more minutes, are mostly instrumental, but some of them feature guest vocalists: Peter Dolving from The Haunted (Built Without Hands, album Satelite Bay) and Jonas Renkse from Katatonia (The Nearing Grave, album Avoid The Light). Long Distance Calling have released two singles and three full-length albums, all of which were received very positively by critics: Satellite Bay (2007), Avoid the Light (2009) and Long Distance Calling (2011). In 2008 the band played at the Rock am Ring and Roadburn festivals; the band toured Germany in 2009. In 2010 Long Distance Calling and Finnish Swallow The Sun supported Katatonia during the New Night Over Europe tour.
Red Sparowes is a Los Angeles post-rock band comprising current and former members of Isis, Halifax Pier, Angel Hair, The VSS, and Pleasure Forever. Their sound is characteristic of soundscape-influenced experimental rock, with an otherwise uncommon extensive use of a pedal steel guitar.
Red Sparowes formed in 2003 as another project for its members. Through signing to Neurot Recordings, Neurosis' record label, Red Sparowes toured with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Made Out of Babies in 2004 after recording demos for their debut album. The debut was recorded in May 2004 by engineer Desmond Shea, with the resulting sound in the vein of guitarists Bryant Clifford Meyer and Jeff Caxide's band Isis, Chicago post-rock/metal outfit Pelican, as well as bands as varied as Sonic Youth and The Cure. Members Jeff Caxide and Dana Berkowitz relocated in late 2004, thus forcing them out of the band.
Parhelia are a 4-piece from Dublin, Ireland, who play refined #Instrumental #PostRock. They released their debut Ep “First Light” in 2006 and followed it up with “Oceans Apart” in 2007.They released their Debut Album "Shifting Sands" in 2009. It is rumored that Parhelia is planning to release a new album in 2012.
Parhelia have undertaken tours in Ireland and Norway and appeared alongside acts such as Dead Soul Tribe, 65 Days of Static, God Is An Astronaut, Anathema, Cougar and most Notably Guns N’ Roses and Therapy on the Irish leg of the Download Festival!!
Parhelia's sound and talent is uncomparable to any instrumental post-rock group i have heard yet. Their guitars compliment each other so well and mesh to form a very relaxing and hypnotic sound that is impossible to forget. The bass lines are catchy and keep you on your toes and Parhelia's sound is brought together perfectly with the creative and uplifting drum beats. This band is definitely a personal favorite and a "must hear". Give them a listen. I promise you wont be dissappointed.
On January 19, Jack's Mannequin played an unforgettable show at The Pageant in Saint Louis, Missouri. The Tour highlighted songs from the band's third studio album, "People and Things".
Jack's Mannequin was originally formed in 2004 by Andrew McMahon, the lead singer in Something Corporate. Three other members also make up the alternative rock band from Orange County, California. Together they bring down the house with McMahon singing his heart out at the grand piano. You would never know that leukemia once held this man back because he is currently full of energy. Popular songs from previous albums, "Everything In Transit" and "The Glass Passenger" were also performed throughout the night along with some new material. It is always a treat to hear someone live who has written their own lyrics. There is so much more passion in the room. Even the balcony, where we were sitting was full of life. Men and women danced and sang along to every word as Andrew poured out his heart and soul for all of us to hear.
Some of my favorite songs that were performed are "Swim", "Hammers and Strings", & "Holiday From Real". I can't wait to see Jack's Mannequin live in concert again sometime! For more information on Jack's Mannequin and upcoming tour dates check out the website: http://www.jacksmannequin.com/
Foxhole first began regular rehearsals in November 2000. The brainchild of founding members Adam Moore and Nathan Mcbroom, and finding practice space in various places on Western Kentucky University's campus, Foxhole was heavily influenced by other Kentucky bands such as Slint and June of '44. The first performance featured Nathan on guitar and bass, Adam on guitar, Matthew and Joey on drums and percussion, Justin playing glockenspiel, and two of the bandmates' girlfriends providing sparse vocals. The second performance featured the aforementioned players together with Derek on bass, Greg improvising on trumpet and sans girlfriends. By their third performance, the lineup had solidified to Nathan, Adam, Justin, Derek, Matt, and Greg.
The band initially focused on melding experimental sounds with melody. A staple of early performances was a fully improvised song (designated "X") randomly inserted into the set list, and which often featured several homemade instruments, including the "juggophone", "shatterophone", "topophone", and "pyrophone", which utilized the sounds of beating water jugs, breaking bottles, clinking pot tops, and micing fireworks, respectively. They also made frequent use of the sounds of a signal generator. Gradually, Foxhole integrated slightly more traditional song structures and held to typical instruments, dispensing mostly with the use of gimmick instrumentation. Songs typically featured a gradual build in intensity, and featured rare and unaugmented vocals.
Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, the self proclaimed new "Cheech and Chong" have been some busy little potheads the last year. Back in early 2011, we saw the Dogg and Wiz start making songs together, and soon after the duo announced they would be releasing a stoner film, than just called "High School". The team promised a instant stoner classic, but were silent about it for the majority of 2011.
Fast forward to October of 2011, the team came together once again, this time with a new title for the film, and sound track. "Mac And Devin Go To High School". The details of the film still seemed vague, but the sound track was done, and the team announced it would be hitting store shelves on December 9th. Clocking in at just under an hour, with twelve tracks, this soundtrack is an instant classic.
A lot has happened in the five years since Doug Appling, better known as Emancipator released his first album "Soon It Will Be Cold Enough" at the age of 19. His intricate guitar pieces delicately layered over his smooth beats made him stand out in the over-saturated genre which is #Electronic. Emancipator's first release gained him a sponsorship with shoe maker Puma, as well as an interview in Rolling Stone Japan. His latest effort "Safe In The Steep Cliffs" shows nothing but maturity. With more intricate Guitar, Smoother Beats, and an overall unique experience, I have recently found myself hooked on this album.
"Safe In The Steep Cliffs" was released in 2010 via Autonomous Music. It contains fourteen instrumental tracks, all entirely produced and played by Appling himself. The opening track "Greenland" starts off right away, getting the listener in the groove with a quick bass line, backed by some airy synth, all overlaid with subtle strums from Appling. The vibe felt in the song is pretty recurrent throughout the entire album, as far as being down tempo and groovy. Appling utilizes a wide range of guitar effects throughout the release, my favorite being on Track 2, entitled "Black Lake".
This album is great for anyone who enjoys some good Chill Out, Downtempo, or Groovy music. I found myself being able to listen to the entire release without getting bored at all, often forgetting what song I was on. Some notable tracks that are my favorite would be
5.-All Through The Night
Check out Emancipator on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/emancipatormusic
Nominated for BBC's Sound of 2012, rising #hiphop artist A$AP Rocky, has caught my attention. BBC's Sound of 2012 is an annual poll that recognizes promising new talent. Artist running against A$AP Rocky include, Skrillex, Frank Ocean, Niki & The Dove, and StooShe. In 2003, 50 Cent was awarded, and 2010 Ellie Goulding, both of which have made a promising music career. A$AP has catchy beats, and original lyrics. His songs draw you in with their odd hooks, and voice effects. I definitely have respect for A$AP, because he started out at an 8 year old in Harlem, who wanted to be a rapper, and he has really made something out of himself.
On December 30, I was privileged to see Soldiers of the Jah Army, aka SOJA, live at the Music Farm in Charleston, SC. I'm glad they chose to play at The Music Farm, it is by far my favorite venue in Charleston. It sits smack dab in the middle of downtown, looking like a run down shack. Once you walk in you see it doesn't look that fancy, just a large dance floor, a raised stage, and an upstairs deck with tables and couches. The venue only holds 900 people, but every show I've gone too has sold out, including SOJA.
SOJA preforms #reggae fusion music. They are touring to promote the release of their upcoming album entitled "Strength to Survive" on January 31, 2012. SOJA's sound comes from the wide range of instrumental talent in the band including guitar, bass, turn tables, percussion, and saxophone. SOJA front man, Jacob Hemphill says the new album was greatly influenced by Bob Marley's "Survival". I really enjoy their songs, and have been listening to them a little over a year. Hemphill is the lead guitarist, and writes most of the band's lyrics. Almost every song is about harmony, and life stories. "We become what we do not what we say."--'Everything Changes'
Arriving at the Music Farm, my group of 11 easily got in, we only waited 10 or so minutes. Once you enter, you're instantly enchanted by the atmosphere. TreeHouse was the opening act. They are a local reggae band, from Myrtle Beach, SC. The Music Farm has an excellent technical crew, the sound is always top quality, and the light effects are amazing. Behind the stage is a large screen, which has constant morphing effects that change with the music. Its easy to get lost in the show. After TreeHouse finished their set a short video and slide show was presented, because the profit from the concert was going towards the Nicole F. Miller Memorial Scholarship at Trident Technical College.
The lights then dimmed and a hush came over the crowd. A few moments later, the familiar opening bars of "I Don't Wanna Wait" began to play. SOJA was amazing, not only did they put on a fantastic musical show, but they really connected with the fans. Hemphill took the time to stop and talk to everyone. He said how excited he was to be in Charleston, and how much he loved and appreciated his fans. It was nice to listen to a sincere group of artists. I have high hopes that SOJA will return to The Music Farm to play another show.
Jakob is a New Zealand instrumental/ post-rock band, based in the Hawkes Bay city of Napier. The band consists of guitarist Jeff Boyle; bassist Maurice Beckett; and drummer Jason Johnston. They have been compared to such bands as Mogwai, Sonic Youth, and HDU, though they largely eschew any vocals or samples in their songs.
This three-piece formed in July 1998, and began by opening for New Zealand bands Salmonella Dub and Pitch Black at the local pub O'Flaherty's. They toured extensively throughout 1999, releasing that same year a self-titled EP recorded with David Holmes at Napier's Venn Production Studios. The year 2000 brought a gig at The Event New Years party in Napier, and the 7" single Erfo, a limited release on the Crawlspace Records label.
Jake Austin & The City Limits are a high energy rhythm and blues band with a great modern twist to the music! With their screaming horns, complementing guitars, danceable rhythms and memorable vocals this is a band you are sure to love!
In 2006 Jake Austin moved to St. Louis with little more than a box of clothes, a Ray Charles album, and a dream of reinventing Rhythm and Blues. After three years of songwriting and development, Jake Austin & The City Limits formed it's unique sound; a sound that is compiled of influences across all genres that most anyone can enjoy.
There must be some magical aura that surrounds the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Because both of the two taped performances I have seen recorded there have blown me away. Adam Young and his backing band give viewers ninety three minutes of an absolutely spectacular performance.
If you've never heard of Owl City or Adam Young, than go YouTube "Fireflies" and you will be reminded. Anyways. Young starts the show with the opening track off All Things Bright and Beautiful ”The Real World”. I love how great the cameras capture the entire band’s instrumentation on this song, especially keyboardist/vocalist Breanne Duren who has performed on several songs on both of Young’s major label records.
I was very impressed with the entire set list played that evening, Young did not disappoint, and played at least one song from each album he’s released under the Owl City moniker. He even gave fans a treat, and played Port Blue’s ”Setting Sail” which is off an unreleased EP, widely unknown by fans.
I must say of all the songs played, Setting Sail was definitely my favorite. But having previously seen Owl City twice, I got great joy out of getting to re live the concert experience, and see several songs that he didn’t get a chance to play on the dates I saw him. If you are a fan of Adam Young and any of his projects, spend some of your hard earned Christmas iTunes gift cards, and pick this up.
To me, Dubstep is a genre with many dimensions. It’s a genre that will never be perfectly defined simply because there are just too many interpretations of the style of music. It’s always baffled me that artists like burial and Clubroot can be classified within the same genre as artists like Flux Pavilion and Excision, mostly due to the massive difference between the two styles of Dubstep that the two types of artists create. I will admit that I am fairly new to the genre, but during the last year and a half of scouring the internet looking for the newest and best Dubstep acts, I am confident in saying that Dubstep is one of the most interesting and constantly evolving forms of music I have encountered. While it is a genre that is often looked at as one of the most repetitive and bland genres, due to the WHOMP scene and it’s demand for more WUBS, I have been amazed by artists like Swarms, Zomby, Submotion Orchestra, Ital Tek and others that create simply amazing Dubstep music that focuses more on atmosphere and emotion. The latest discovery in the world of Dubstep that has really caught my attention is Sanctuary, the latest release from Los Angeles producer, Mimosa.
Mimosa is one of the few American Dubstep artists who can find the perfect equilibrium between incorporating the whomps and wubs that are so popular and prevalent in the American Dubstep scene with the more 2-step and atmospheric vibe of minimal Dubstep. Mimosa trademark sound is a clash between beautiful swirling syths, hip-hop inspired piano hooks and beats and an excellent use of Dubstep bass drops. The whomps in Mimosa’s music are never overbearing, and instead of his tracks being completely based around huge bass drops like the majority of American and Canadian Dubstep artists do, Mimosa has a knack for incorporating them at the perfect times. There has always been a certain amount of soul tied to Mimosa’s music, especially in his lead synth parts and Mimosa’s music often contains some of the most memorable synth lines in all of Dubstep. My first encounter with Mimosa’s music was when I listened to his 2010 album, Silver Lining, which is an album I constantly recommend to anyone interested in the genre.
God Is An Astronaut (GIAA) is an Irish "instrumental/ post-rock" band for the Glen of the Downs, Co. in Wicklow, Ireland. After forming in 2002, God is an Astronaut took the inspiration for its name from a famous quote in the movie Nightbreed. God is an Astronaut's debut album The End of the Beginning was released in (2002) on the Revive Records label which is independently owned by the band. Two music videos for "The End of the Beginning" and "From Dust to the Beyond" produced by the band received airplay on MTV UK and on other MTV Europenetworks.