The return of Jeff Mangum and Neutral Milk Hotel — who influenced a generation of songwriters with a string of records in the ‘90s, culminating with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea — is one of the most welcome re-births in the history of indie music. Mangum was here in 2013 in what was one of his first shows in over a decade. This time he’s back with the whole band.
Tickets go on sale December 12 at noon and are $36 if purchased in advance, and $45 day of. Read more and buy tickets via MASS MoCA.
Drug Church is one of my favorite bands that happens to be from the Albany area. It’s a pretty refreshing take on as it’s grounded in hardcore but often goes on tangents in an interesting, great way. Go check the new video and grab the EP on vinyl before it’s sold out.
Recently Rome Fortune released his third project of the year – an 11-track EP titled “Small VVorld.” The album features production from Four Tet, Blood Diamonds and Bassnecter, as well as guest appearances from artists, OG Maco and ILOVEMAKONNEN, with the hopes to have some of the new talent that Atlanta is harboring represented alongside Fortune.
At first listen, I didn’t think this was an album for me. It has that abrasive, rough quality that, in this instance, grew on me quicker than I thought it would. Sometimes you just have to listen to filthy, haphazardly constructed rap music and get down with it.
This isn’t a perfect album. I ended up loving that about it. It’s got an edge to it where the imperfections simply aren’t flaws, they are subtly enhancing each track. There are certain times where the lyrical delivery seems forced or lazy or even unclear, and that ends up being part of the charm. Rome Fortune is having fun with his voice and his vision, while also delivering a bigger picture into the conversation, and that is clear from the tracks to the album cover.
Fortune spoke to Billboard.com regarding this EP, saying, “‘Small VVorld’ is an ideology I have that’s obviously a common saying, but at the same time is the truest way to test if you’re on the right path of life, in my opinion. If you’re doing it right, ‘it’ being whatever you prefer to occupy your time, you will always run into powerful presences [and] entities that can push you further with that passion or take it all from you. That’s what the album cover signifies in one image.”
Tracks like “Workin’ Gal” and “5 Second Rule” appear in the dead middle of the EP, and those were the two tracks that really sold me on the project. The production is spectacular and really shines alongside simple, repetitive patterns and hooks. “FriendsMaybe” is also a stand out track for me, and has both a club or radio quality to it (in the best way possible) and has a relatable story behind it.
Overall, this EP pleasantly surprised me. You can check it out below, available for free download.
UPDATE (December 14, 2014 2:15pm) This show is being rescheduled.
Dellarocca Booking has hooked us up with a pair of tickets to giveaway to this awesome show, and you can enter to win below. And if you’re not the contest type, tickets are currently available, and are only $12. Dellarocca Booking always puts on awesome shows up here and this one will be no different!
I took my first listen of Men of Many Crowns self-titled debut album while raking leaves in my parents front yard. I may as well have been aimlessly skipping stones because the afternoon wind picked up every fifteen minutes, throwing me off and giving me an excuse to keep checking my phone to see what track I had just listened to. Like the romantic I am, I was all about the juxtaposition of listening to sounds created in a warmer place while doing some east coast upstate New York chores and letting my mind get lost in the album.
The album is the first release of a new collaboration between San Diego emcee MoodSwingKing and DJ/producer W. Steele, and has with ease found a place in my heart’s top 10 albums released this year. For me, this was a year of “good, not great” hip hop releases in general, and the last two months of this year are totally making me reconsider and get hyped for what 2015 has in store.
Plus, wicked bonus – it’s available for the generous pay-what-you-want download option.
If I was a musician, after finishing a project, I’d probably allow myself take some time to relax before starting the next one. And that’s one of maybe thirty reasons why I’m not a producer or rapper. Brooklyn-based J57, of the Brown Bag All Stars, just happens to be both. And he puts the work in.
I always personally enjoy when an artist breaks into another element of creating – such as a DJ learning production or a rapper getting into more than just rocking the mic. It’s all about putting passion into learning your craft inside and out, and J57 is living proof there’s nothing wrong with being well-rounded in the studio these days.
I also really appreciate the “no days off” vibe I get from all members of the Brown Bag All Stars. After all, you get out of it what you put into it – in this case, it’s a multitude of amazing tracks. Additionally, it’s noteworthy that with the BBAS (much like with our music scene in the 518), there is a solid and visible balance between independent projects and group endeavors, and support for every effort from both the members of the group and those listening alike. It’s hard to keep up, really, and that definitely holds true with J57.
Today, URB Magazine debuted a new track by J57 titled “Heisenberg Blue” which is this pretty instrumental that holds a large, cinematic feel before turning into a tease by ending quicker than I’d have liked. Luckily, the track is part of an forthcoming “freEP” presented by URB Magazine, titled 0057: FlaskLIFE, so there will be more to look forward to in the near future of this capacity.