Q. Jane’s Zennigram

Just Pretend Records is a newly formed indie record label based out of upstate New York. They’re meticulously crafting their artist roster focusing on those with unique, raw talent. Their catalog begins with singer Q. Jane, who today released the first single off of her debut EP, Zennigram.

Accompanying the track, “Bad Thing,” is a hauntingly beautiful music video directed by Jimi Woodul. Q. Jane’s music is vibrant, unadulterated and whimsical, aided by the honest place it has grown out of.

Growing up in a small town in upstate New York, Q. Jane started writing songs in her early adolescence and was encouraged by her father to record her own material. As a college freshman, she worked with her brother on a track entitled “Cool Kind.” which revealed a natural energy between the two siblings. Returning to Albany the following summer, Q recorded her debut EP with Just Pretend Records, entitled Zennigram. Music has become her most comfortable medium of expression ushering growth and confidence finding her voice.

Zennigram is available for pre-order on iTunes and you can check out the video below for “Bad Thing”.

Photo: Ben Woodul


Grizzly Gato’s While You Were Sleeping: Review

In a post-millennial music industry where the instant gratification of digital distribution has all but rendered the making of carefully crafted full-lengths a lost art, Grizzly Gato’s While You Were Sleeping stands apart as a masterfully executed body of work. Sincere and entertaining, the album effortlessly sidesteps a plethora of hip hop stereotypes that have only intensified their grip on the genre over the decades.

With lyrical teamwork that brings to mind hip hop legends Smif-n-Wessun, the diverse pairing of Grizzly Grimace and Oddy Gato is a surprising success. Grimace brings his own brand of clever and honest lyricism to the table, and though Gato’s big personality has been rightfully placed center stage, it is Grimace who is ultimately responsible for turning the spotlight to Gato’s unique blend of consciousness and comedy. Gato thrives under the guidance of Grimace, and as album producer Grimace also demonstrates his talents in curating samples. Needless to say, the record would not be the triumph it is without its supporting cast either. Mixing engineer PJ Katz brings the duo’s vocal performances to life track after track, and veteran DJ Nate Da Great‘s modest yet highly effective turntable work is precisely what each song needs.

Though While You Were Sleeping has its share of heavyweight anthems and hilarious sound bites, the album also has its introspective moments. On “Sacrifice”, Gato reflects on a personal conflict of family and artistry, unapologetically pledging his allegiance to the flag of the free spirited. “Subway Trip” is proof that not only can spoken word be credibly implemented on a hip hop album, it can also make for one of the album’s most profound moments. Gato’s psychedelic commentary humorously details the weird atmosphere of a New York City subway ride, while Grimace hooks up a bluesy organ vamp to compliment the mood. But the album’s crowning moment has to be “Weiners”. Grimace plays his role by contributing a pair of thunderous hooks and a solid verse, but the song’s nutty funk-rock loop sounds more like a soundtrack for Gato to coolly bop down a busy Bronx street, and the MC faithfully delivers with his signature mash of street life and street knowledge.

While You Were Sleeping is one of the most captivating and addicting albums yet to be offered up by the Albany hip hop coalition. Consistent and to the point, the statement the record makes is a complete sentence that listeners are sure to revisit over and over again. Indeed, Grizzly Gato wins.

The previous post was a guest post written by Rich Capeless.


Prurient at The PostContemporary

A unique art show and music performance is taking place this Saturday at The PostContemporary (formerly CAC Woodside) in Troy. The show, called “Rural Violence” looks at the work of artists “who explore the limits of astonishment, awe, and dread”.

“Rural Violence”, curated by Brandon Stosuy, features the work of the artists Matthew Barney, Cindy Daignault, Lionel Maunz, and Prurient (with John Sharian). It is a meditation on the bucolic as sinister and the quiet violence of the pastoral, along with the various rituals attached to both natural and personal cycles.

Also of interest from the event page:

There will be a Rural Violence after party next weekend, August 8, at Rare Form Brewing Company in Troy with DJ sets by Brandon Stosuy, Becka Diamond, and Caleb Braaten.

Read more on the official event page.


Oneohtrix Point Never at EMPAC

EMPAC has an awesome last minute addition to their already awesome Fall schedule. Oneohtrix Point Never will be playing EMPAC October 16 at 8PM.

When Oneohtrix Point Never (aka electronic musician Daniel Lopatin) was last at EMPAC, he and visual artist Nate Boyce developed and debuted a multimedia stage show for the world tour supporting his 2013 album R Plus Seven, released by Warp Records. Upon returning this fall, he will be in residence to develop and premiere new work set for release later in 2015.

Read more on EMPAC’s event page