Review: Masai – Almost Home

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While listening to the 15 tracks that make up Almost Home you are getting to know the artist behind the music as if he’s there sitting next to you on a park bench, casually bearing his soul to you, while also making you laugh and carefully listening to what you have to say. That’s Masai, as I’ve come to know him.

For some unfortunate reason, such a personable artist-and-listener interaction and consequential intimate relationship feels rare in today’s music scene, in both local and international examples. In this particular release, emcee and writer Masai created an album that in theory, is all about him, his life and his experiences, and in its outcome, it is actually not only about him, his life and his experiences. He takes small details and turns the focus on the larger picture, all with the collaborative help of over a dozen reinforcements.

Almost Home joins releases Almost Gone (2007) and Almost Back (2010), bringing Masai’s trilogy of solo albums full-circle. The release date of Almost Home, today, February 13, 2013, marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of his mother and serves as a tribute to her life. The album overcomes hardships and grief, displaying strength, honesty, perspective, growth and depth, which are core themes of hip-hop and life, in and of itself.

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Andrew’s Music Monday: Winter Mixtapes

There’s been a crazy amount of awesome mixtapes coming out this year for it to barely be halfway through February. Here’s a few choice ones that have popped up in the past couple of weeks.

Up first we’ve got Mike Posner and DJ Benzi with a guest mix they did for BBC Radio 1. It’s got a lot of energy and definitely has a sexy Valentine’s Day flavor to it — just look at the tracklist.

Diplo & Friends 2013-02-10 Mike Posner and DJ Benzi Valentine’s Warm Up by Core News Uploads on Mixcloud

Up next we’ve got a mix from Kingdom for DIS Magazine. It’s loaded with a ton of different sounds and has a big span (Jersey club to rap to what you’d expect from Fade to Mind) for being only 45 minutes. The intro is amazing. It’s got a lot of forthcoming stuff from Kingdom, including the tracks he did with Kelela Mizanekristos which are be coming out soon on the Vertical XL EP on Fade to Mind.

Here we’ve got Ryan Hemsworth’s Radio 1 Mix for Benji B. Hemsworth has exploded in popularity very recently and after listening to this mix you’ll understand why. Check out more from Hemsworth’s label WeDidIt if you’re into this sound. Very good etherial and emotive sounds in this mix. Would be a good soundtrack for a scenic drive.

That’s it for now. Go have a productive week!

Ravens Head Brewing purchases Cohoes Armory, plans $3M investment into building

Pam Allen for The Business Review:

Ravens Head Brewing Co. has purchased the Cohoes Armory and will pump as much as $3 million into the property to begin producing beer by late August or early fall.

That’s a pretty significant investment, especially since the Cohoes Armory is a mere 10% of the cost of the original plan which involved St. Joes and an additional parking lot. That’s a really high number especially considering:

Cleary’s not sure if the brewery will be limited to a production facility with tasting rooms and tours, or will add a restaurant down the road.

I’m not sure what the lack of continuity is with these numbers and plans for Ravens Head, but something isn’t adding up. I feel that there must be some miscommunication here as this wishy-washy attitude with regard to not having a brewpub is so far off from their original plan, not to mention I really don’t think it would cost $3M to set up a production-only facility.

AOA has a fantastic article about the future of St. Joes which gives a look into the challenges of finding an occupant for the building.

IBM’s Watson heads to RPI

Chris Welch for The Verge:

According to the university, faculty and students will work to “sharpen Watson’s reasoning and cognitive abilities, while broadening the volume, types, and sources of data Watson can draw upon to answer questions.”

It’s awesome to see this come full circle as a group of people behind Watson are RPI alum. Watson has already been used by Citibank to help with risk management, so it will be exiting to see what functionality the students are able to add.

Press video after the jump. Continue reading…

Review: Green Day’s American Idiot at Proctors

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Last night was the opening showing for Green Day’s “American Idiot” musical at Proctors.

The first thing that I learned is that if you at any given point in your life (likely young teens for people my age), learned all of the words to a Green Day album, the lyrics stick with you YEARS later.

I was a big fan of Dookie, which came out in 1994, (which I discovered in maybe 2001), and I can remember telling my friends with conviction that American Idiot, which came out in 2004, was the “better of the newer” Green Day albums as I burned CD copies for a select few… (I think this memory means I’ve always been a bit of a music snob?) However, regardless of how my tastes have changed, I’ve always been impressed by how large the creative body of work from Green Day really is. The discography of Green Day spans eleven studio albums, three live albums, five compilation albums, three video albums, twelve extended plays, three box sets, forty singles, ten promotional singles and thirty-eight music videos. That is a lot of material to work with. I think it is important to take into consideration the massive body of work that Green Day has produced prior to talking about the musical version and to consider that this adaption, as created by Billie Joe Armstrong himself, was simply one direction it could be taken in.

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Ticket Giveaway: Matt & Kim w/ Passion Pit at RPI 2/11

Next Monday there’s an awesome show coming to the RPI Field House with last year’s Pearlpalooza headliners Matt & Kim, along side Passion Pit! Not only that, but we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to this show which is guaranteed to be a good time. If you didn’t get to catch them last time they were here, here’s your chance.

If you don’t already have it, you can pick up the latest Matt & Kim record on iTunes, which is in stores now.

Hit the jump to check out a video from both Matt & Kim and Passion Pit, and for the entry form! We’re picking a winner on Friday so act fast.

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