Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Release Tuesday: 6/23/15

Tori Kelly - Unbreakable Smile
Unbreakable Smile

~MusicLife Pick~
For her debut album, it's a great intro to who she is as an artist.  It not only showcases her amazing vocal ability but her guitar playing.  Great mix of tempos.  Listen to:  Talk, I Was Made to Love you ft. Ed Sheeran, Funny, Art of Letting You Go

Preview album here 

See what upcoming albums will drop on our New Album Releases page

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hozier Takes Fans to Church Despite Dangerous Weather Conditions at Merriweather Post Pavilion

June 20, 2015 - Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD

The last time I was at Merriweather was in 2012 to see Florence + the Machine with Chris, my Terp and COMM (both Communication majors in college) partner in crime, and we returned this year to have Hozier take us to church.  Around 8pm Brooklyn, NY indie rock band The Antlers opened the show and performed for about about 30 mins.  Afterwards, the venue organizers came to the stage to inform us the show would be delayed for about 45 mins due to a bad storm approaching.  They advised those seating on the lawn to go back to their cars for cover and for those with pavilion seats, like me, to stay put.  In minutes, torrential rain started to come down in sheets.  At one point, staff were using folding chairs to hold up the side of the theatre made of a tent to prevent it from caving in due to the water.  Then the storm finally past and at exactly 9:35pm, the band including Hozier casually walked on the stage and got in position while the crowd went crazy.  Later on, Hozier thanked his those still out on the lawn for sticking in there calling them "absolute troopers" and dedicated Cherry Wine to them.

There is something about Hozier that's so intriguing and sexy.  I can't really describe it but it's hypnotizing.  It's like if you continue to look at him, he'll have you under his spell.  That must'v been the case because my eyes were glued to him as he played the many different guitars that he switched out during the show.  Although at a big amphitheater, Hozier made it feel so intimate as if we were at a blues club.  I loved the mixture of blues, rock n roll, and soul in the songs played.

Hozier was also joined by fellow Irish artist Alana Henderson, who also played the cello with the band, to sing In a Week.  For most songs, it required clapping which definitely gave you that church type of feel.  However, you know keeping a clapping rhythm can be difficult for some folks so it turned into a hot mess at times. . E for Effort though lol.  The highlight of the night was what we all had been waiting for the entire night. . .Take Me to Church.  Hozier did not disappoint and I loved how the lights were choreographed to the guitar parts giving the song extra dramatic effect.  The whole crowd put their hands up and joined him singing "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaamen."  Another highlight was him performed Problem by Ariana Grande during his 3 song Encore.  Hozier performed it like the one he did on BBC1's Radio 1 Live Lounge where he added a little Warren G Regulator. . . it was awesome!


*performance links below are of videos taken by others

1.  Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene
2.  From Eden
3.  Jackie and Wilson
4.  To Be Alone
5.  Someone New
6.  It Will Come Back
7.  In a Week

8.  Illinois Blues (Skip James cover)
9.  Like Real People Do
10. Arsonist's Lullabye
11. Sedated
12. Take Me To Church
13. Cherry Wine
14. Problem (Ariana Grande cover)
15. Work Song

A little over an hour, the crowd got an album listening party as Hozier sang most of his album in its entirety.  I'm going to be honest, having only listened to his album probably once, seeing him perform the songs brought it to life and gave me a better appreciation for it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Black Music Month: 'Wild Style' Depicts Hip-Hop Culture Through Film

June is Black Music Month.  Throughout the month, check out a series of features that recognize the power of Black music, those who made it, and the contributions to today's music and culture.

Wild Style (1983) Poster

The movie Wild Style, considered a cult classic, took place in NYC in the 80s.  Released in 1983, it was the brainchild of independent filmmaker Charlie Ahearn, known for his connection to local NYC communities and Fred Brathwaite (aka hip-hop artist Fab 5 Freddy).  Using the separate arts of rap music, DJing, graffiti, and breakdancing, they used Wild Style as the visual vehicle to show the connection between music, dance, and visual art and how as a unit it created the hip-hop culture. Wild Style was the first time a film took hip-hop out of the limited exposure in NYC communities and into mainstream audiences.  This was an opportunity to tell the world that hip-hop was not one-dimensional and to present a more positive presentation of the culture.

For the most part, the people in the film were not actors but real people from the community.  It had real life graffiti artists like Lee QuiƱones who played the main character graffiti artist Zoro, hip-hop groups like the Cold Crush Brothers, and break dancers like the Rock Steady Crew.  Although the plot was based on the conflict Zoro had between his love for graffiti and his personal life, the real 'stars' of the film were the scenes highlighting MCing, turntablism, graffiti, and B-boying.

Wild Style Accolades
  • Voted as one of the top 10 rock and roll films of all time by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Exhibited as part of a 1980s art retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.
  • Its soundtrack has been described by Allmusic as 'one of the key records of early '80s hip-hop'

Despite not becoming a blockbuster, Wild Style still had a global influence on cultures and introduced hip-hop to other demographics.  Its influence can also been seen in rap music years later.  The Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill both used snippets of dialog from the movie and Nas, De La Soul, and AZ have sampled the movie’s soundtrack and score in their music.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Analyze This: "Guts Over Fear" by Eminem ft. Sia

Analyze This:  An in depth look at the lyrical content of a song to provide insight

Feels like a close, it's coming to
Fuck am I gonna do?
It's too late to start over
This is the only thing I, thing I know

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is
Find different ways to word the same, old song
Ever since I came a long
From the day the song called "Hi, my Name Is" dropped
Started thinkin' my name was fault
Cause any time things went wrong
I was the one who they would blame it on
The media made me the, equivalent of a modern-day Genghis Khan
Tried to argue it was only entertainment, dog
Gangsta? Nah, courageous balls
Had to change my style, they said I'm way too soft
And I sound like AZ & Nas, out came the claws
And the fangs been out since then
But up until the instant that I went against it
It was ingrained in me that I wouldn't amount to a shitstain I thought
No wonder I had to unlearn everything my brain was taught
Do I really belong in this game? I pondered
I just wanna' play my part, should I make waves or not?
So back and forth in my brain, the tug-o-war wages on
I don't wanna' seem ungrateful or disrespect the artform I was raised upon
But sometimes you gotta' take a loss
And have people rub it in your face before you get made pissed off
Keep pluggin', it's your only outlet
And your only outfit so you know they're gonna' talk about it
Better find a way to counter it quick and make it, ah
Feel like I've already said this a kabillion eighty times
How many times can I say the same thing different ways that rhyme?
What I really wanna' say is if there's anyone else that can relate to my story
Bet 'cha feel the same way I felt when I was in the same place you are
When I was afraid ta'

I was a... afraid to make a single sound
Afraid I would never find a way out
Afraid I'd never be found
I don't wanna' go another round
An angry man's power will shut you up
Trip wires fill this house with tip toed love
Run out of excuses for everyone
So here I am and I will not run

Guts over fear (the time is near)
Guts over fear (I shed a tear)
For all the times I let you push me round
And let you keep me down
Now I got guts over fear, guts over fear


I know what it's like, I was there once, single parents
Hate your appearance, did you struggle to find your place in this world?
And the pain spawns all the anger on
But it wasn't until I put the pain in songs learned who to aim it on
That I made a spark, started to spit hard as shit
Learned how to harness it while the reins were off
And there was a lot of bizarre shit, but the crazy part
Was soon as I stopped saying "I gave a fuck"
Haters started to appreciate my art
And it just breaks my heart to look at all the pain I've caused
But what am I gonna do when the rage is gone?
And the lights go out in that trailer park?
And the window is closing and there's nowhere else that I can go with flows
And I'm frozen cause there's no more emotion for me to pull from
Just a bunch of playful songs that I make for fun
So to the break of dawn here I go recycling the same, old song
But I'd rather make "Not Afraid 2" then another motharfuckin' "We Made You", uh
And I don't wanna' seem indulgent when I discuss my lows and my highs
My demise and my uprise, pray to God
I just opened enough eyes later on
Gave you the supplies and the tools to hopefully use that'll make ya' strong
Enough to lift yourself up when you feel like I felt
'Cause I can't explain to y'all how dang exhausted my legs felt
Just havin' to balance my dang self
When on eggshells I was made to walk
But thank you, ma, 'cause that gave me the
Strength to cause Shady-mania,
So when they empty that stadium
'Least I made it out ta that house and a found a place in this world when the day was done
So this is for every kid who all's they ever did was dreamt of one day just getting accepted
I represent him or her, anyone similar, you are the reason that I made this song
And everything you're scared to say don't be afraid to say no more
From this day forward, just let them a-holes talk,
Take it with a grain of salt and eat their fuckin' faces off
The legend of the angry blonde lives on through you when I'm gone
And to think I was a...

Pre-Hook + Hook

J9's Analysis:  I know I'm a bit late with this since the song was released last year but I had to share my thoughts.  I love how this song serves as a light at the end of the tunnel for those who struggle with this tug-o-war between allowing society and the people around you to control in you life and the life you see for yourself. We give others too much power to dictate our decisions and paths, when we are the ones that have to live with the decisions made. In Em's words "I had to unlearn everything my brain was taught."

Through this song, Em presents his own testimony of his struggle with fear and his desire to break from its shackles and go with his gut.  He addresses all the things he has faced during his personal life and career.  Two more journeys/perspectives are then highlighted in the accompanied video to further illustrate Em's message and show the progression of overcoming fear.  The first is the story of boxer who we see experiencing many trials and tribulations as he tries to take care of his family while pursing his dream of boxing.  At the end of the video, we see how far the boxer has come in his successful boxing career.

The second is told by the model Chantelle Brown-Young who Sia choose as the vehicle for her words in the video.  Chantelle, who has the skin condition vitiligo, was first seen on Cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model.  Just like Em and the boxer in the video, Chantelle experienced her own bout with fear dealing with negativity from others did understand the condition and ostracized her. Through modeling, she was able to redefine the definition of beauty as well as dispel misconceptions about the skin condition..

The moral of the story is "Sometimes you gotta take a loss and have people rub it in your face before you get made pissed out."

Guts Over Fear is off Em's compilation album Shady XV.  

Miguel Promotes Wildheart Album With Summer Tour

Miguel Tour

This summer, Miguel hits the road to promote his third album Wildheart, which drops June 29.  Roc Nation's LA-based rock band Dorothy will join as special guest.  Tickets go on sale starting this Friday, June 19, at 10 AM ET.

Tour Schedule

July 24 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
July 25 – Dallas, TX – South Side Music Hall
July 26 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live – Ballroom
July 28 – New Orleans – Joy Theater
July 29 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
July 31 – Philadelphia, PA – The Theatre of Living Arts
Aug. 1 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
Aug. 2 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
Aug. 4 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Aug. 5 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Aug. 7 – Westbury, NY – The Space at Westbury
Aug. 8 – Atlantic City, GA – The Music Box
Aug. 9 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
Aug. 11 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Aug. 12 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Hall
Aug. 14 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
Aug. 15 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Aug. 16 – Kansas City, MO – Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
Aug. 18 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
Aug. 19 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
Aug. 21 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
Aug. 22 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Theatre
Aug. 23 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Aug. 25 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
Aug. 26 – Ventura, CA – Majestic Ventura Theatre
Sept. 1 – San Diego, CA – North Park Theatre
Sept. 2 – San Pedro, CA – Warner Grand Theater
Sept. 4 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Forever Cemetery*
Sept. 26 – Washington, DC – Landmark Festival*
Sept. 27 – Washington, DC – Landmark Festival*

*Date does not include Dorothy

Click here for ticket info

Monday, June 15, 2015

Janet Stays True to Her Promise and Releases Dates for Unbreakable Tour

After teasing fans via social media on her birthday last month saying a new album and world tour was on its way, today, Janet finally released dates for the Unbreakable World Tour.  Her album, currently unnamed, is available for pre-order with a ticket purchase.

Tour Schedule

Aug. 31- Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
Sept. 2 - Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB
Sept. 4 - Rexall Place Edmonton, AB
Sept. 5 - Revolution Place Grande Prairie, AB
Sept. 7 - SaskTel Centre Saskatoon, SK
Sept. 8 - MTS Centre Winnipeg, MB
Sept. 11 - Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, MI
Sept. 12 - PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati
Sept. 15 - Air Canada Centre Toronto
Sept. 17 - Walnut Creek Amphitheatre Raleigh, NC
Sept. 18 - PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte, NC
Sept. 20 - American Airlines Arena Miami
Sept. 23 - Amway Arena Orlando
Sept. 24 - Amalie Arena Tampa, FL
Sept. 26 - Chastain Park Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA
Sept. 27 - Ascend Amphitheater Nashville
Sept. 29 - Fedex Forum Memphis, TN
Sept. 30 - Smoothie King Center New Orleans, LA
Oct. 9 - Axis @ Planet Hollywood Las Vegas
Oct. 10 - Axis @ Planet Hollywood Las Vegas
Oct. 13 - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium San Francisco
Oct. 14 - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium San Francisco
Oct. 16 - The Forum Los Angeles
Oct. 17 - Viejas Arena San Diego
Oct. 19 - Comerica Theatre Phoenix
Oct. 21 - Santa Barbara Bowl Santa Barbara, CA
Oct. 22 - Santa Barbara Bowl Santa Barbara, CA
Oct. 24 - Energy Solutions Arena Salt Lake City, UT
Oct. 25 - Pepsi Center Denver, CO
Oct. 27 - Sprint Center Kansas City, MO
Oct. 29 - Chaifetz Arena St. Louis, MO
Oct. 30 - CenturyLink Center Omaha, NE
Nov. 1 - Target Center Minneapolis
Nov. 3 - Chicago Theatre Chicago
Nov. 4 - Chicago Theatre Chicago
Nov. 12 - Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena Honolulu, HI

Click here for ticket info

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Recap Report: 6/12/15

The Recap Report:  A feature post that highlights interesting music news collected from the music streets you might have missed

Why Collectives May Become The Future Of Music - More young artists are choosing to form a collective rather than join a mainstream label.

The Moment House Music was Born - See how this infectious genre got created.

Apple announces its streaming music service, Apple Music - With Apple joining the streaming world, it will give Tidal and Spotify more competition.

Kendrick Lamar Blows Teens' Minds, Hears Their Poetry at NJ High School -  Kendrick visits school after hearing they analyzed his new album in class.

Watch Blake Griffin Try to Explain the Lyrics of Fetty Wap's 'Trap Queen' -  Reporters hit the streets of LA asking people what the lyrics mean.

60 year old teacher does the damn thing in this 'Uptown Funk' Hip-Hop routine


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