Archive for the Off Topic Category

Sonny Knight at Lyn Lake Street Festival 2014

Posted in Concert Reviews, Culture, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Local Love, Media, Mind Inversion Exclusive with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, June 12, 2014 by sir minivan dad

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… Sonny Knight was, and is great. He came across as the kind of guy who comes from bygone era, while effectively staying relevant. His music has life. He utilized three backup singers and a full band, he was doing it right. At the peak of the numbers in the crowd, Sonny rocked the stage like a champion. The best song of the day was “Hey Girl”, naturally, but even less familiar songs moved those in attendance. From behind the performers looking out, one could see raw excitement, and the power which Sonny sustained. His set was charged and intimate, and precisely electric. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise, having never seen him before.

Sonny played for some time, and then the show was over. The crowd was pleased. I exited the stage at about the same time in hopes of having a one-on-one conversation with the artist. I ran around back as he was being mobbed by fans and snapped at with cameras. He took time for the adoration and with a broad smile he vanished. Sonny was something; to me, he seemed like a classic soul singer from the distant past, yet he was thriving in 2014. I wondered where his time machine was parked. Searching, I found nothing…

For the full story coming soon, check: www.dirtyterry.com

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The D.O.T.-How We All Lie

Posted in Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Mind Inversion Exclusive, Music News, News, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, April 12, 2013 by sir minivan dad

After Mike Skinner put The Streets to rest after 5 albums I didn’t think I would hear much from the bloke.  I waited for some time, and nothing…  I followed Skinner on his blog http://mikeskinner.so and watched for him to put out something new.  Nothing happened…  I mean, there were some new posts and interesting photos, and words, but no music.  And then-a few months back, I became aware that I was literally on Mike Skinner’s personal emailing list.  A message popped up from one of my favorite anti-mainstream mainstream artists.  I had received an email from the man as if he had risen from the grave.  I was bestowed upon some great and inspiring new sound.  Kaboom!

And here it is in video form incase you missed it.  (above)

This catchy tune takes a few listens to warm up to.  You know I am crazy, so I sat around all day banging this shit out on loud, macbook style.  My GF got a little mad, by the end I was singing along (out of tune of course) and getting scolded.  I felt I knew the song and the artist a little more, I felt there was promise in this new material.  May I say I am a bit excited for the full length album?  I felt the video was entertaining (I had heard about this filming technique in Boulder, CO).  After listening to this song, and viewing the innovative video, I realized that what The D.O.T. was doing was actually pretty good.  I felt the same emotion that I had gotten from a lot of The Streets’ albums after the first and second listen, “Cult classic, not bestseller”.  But sales don’t matter, the sound is important, and this song is very catchy and has an incredibly memorable melody.  I woke this morning singing the chorus.

Before this message from Mike Skinner, I had little knowledge of The D.O.T., I assumed Skinner produced the songs.  I had no idea who the singer was.  So let me fill you in:

The D.O.T. Official Website

They have some interesting videos, venue tickets, downloadable songs, and other merchandise.

The D.O.T. project’s site is visually appealing and artsy, while remaining easy to navigate.

In all honesty I love how abstract and collectively cool Skinner is overall; most (universally), if not all of The Streets’ material is exceptionally well made, as Chuck Klosterman wrote-he (Skinner) is ‘advanced’ as an artist.  The music he puts out is real and relatable, there is an essence of humanity within his lyrics and delivery.  Also, Rob Harvey, of The Music, sounds great on vocals, and harmonizes well with Skinner.  At times I feel that Skinner wants to put more vocals into the song; however, it sounds pleasant the way it is presented.

Happily I am intrigued and I want to hear more.  If you could hook it up with a free CD, Mr. Skinner, that would be excellent, pre-release if possible???  Thanks.

Watch out for The D.O.T.’s new album “Diary” due to drop May 6, 2013.

Because Geezers truly need excitement.

5 Good Reasons to Avoid a Bassnectar Show

Posted in Off Topic, Random with tags , , , on Friday, August 17, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

5. His fan base consists of a lot of middle school aged kids.

There seems to be an influx of young kids at Bassnectar shows. I have nothing against young kids as long as they can be responsible and not cause a scene; however, it is never a good time when I have to look at a girl who is far too young to be that far gone.

4. His music is ground shaking but not ground breaking.

The consistency of his sound consists of a lot of heavy bass. I guess if you like to listen to a repetitive heavy bass line then it is a show for you. That is why I say his music is ground shaking but not ground breaking. He isn’t creating electronic music that is trend setting or new to the industry. This heavy bass seems to work for him even though I do not understand how or why?

3.  Slow vibe dancing is just not as fun.

When attending a Bassnectar show get ready to vibe slow. His display of powerful bass is great if you are into dancing slow but if you are looking for a dance party, you will not find one at his show. I prefer a dance party over a crowd who is methodically moving to the beat.

2. Throws in the change of pace too late in his set.

When I saw him recently at Lollapalooza, he changed it up towards the end of his set with some hopped up punk rock. This was a lot of fun and got the crowd going – an easy thing to do after putting everyone to sleep for an hour. If he would have mixed some of this in to break up the monotonous first hour, or brought in a few upbeat dance songs to change the pace a bit,  his show would be more enjoyable.

1. His music is fit for the bedroom not a music venue.

This slow vibe dancing I was talking of earlier can make you look to this music as a way to make babies. There’s a name for this style of electronic music: baby making music. That is why when you look around at one of his shows you see a bunch of people “getting it on” in the crowd. That is cool if you like to see that display of public affection, but it’s not my number one priority when attending a show. To the people who like to do that, put a subwoofer under your bed and turn the bass up if you cannot give your women a proper orgasm.

*Take note for every reason I just listed could be the very reason you want to attend a Bassnectar show. If you are a really big fan of his music, then I would definitely suggest going. Keep in mind, the opinions of this article are from a person who was totally impartial before going to the show at Lollapalooza.

Vote For M.i in the TDE Feature Contest!

Posted in Contests, Music News, News with tags , , , , , , on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 by Tim Althaus

Whether you realize it or not, this is a pretty big deal folks. M.i is a finalist in the Top Dawg Entertainment Feature Contest; emcees across the country have sent in tracks in the hopes of collaborating with an artist from the T.D.E. roster. According to what I’ve read, each artist was to submit a hook and verse using one of two instrumentals provided by the Top Dawg in-house production team. The winner will receive a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul or Schoolboy Q.

I’m not surprised to say this, but M.i is one of five finalists left in the competition. Top Dawg Entertainment is one of the strongest forces in Hip-Hop right now; it seems as though everything they touch turns to gold. I know I’m going to do my part and push the button to vote. You could be helping a terrifically talented artist get the recognition that he deserves.

You can listen to the track below, and you can listen to the other artist’s tracks here as well as vote.

Happy Birthday Keith “Guru” Elam (July 17, 1961 – April 19, 2010)

Posted in Culture, News with tags , , , , on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 by Tim Althaus


In the movie Sandlot, Babe Ruth made a quote that I will never forget: “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die”. Keith “Guru” Elam is exactly the type of human that personifies what the Colossus of Clout was talking about. For the better part of two decades, Guru wrote some of the most insightful and intelligent rhymes in Hip-Hop. From the humble beginnings, Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal was a potent emcee, and he only became stronger as the years passed.

There are a lot of emcees out there who always use the same monotonous flow, and after hearing  a vast portion of their catalog, listening to their music becomes a chore; the same cannot be said about Elam’s work. Dubbing himself “The King of Monotone”, Guru never changed his style or delivery once in his career, and it’s one of the biggest reasons that he remains an unforgettable emcee. If Bald Head Slick was on a track, everyone and their brother was looking for it.

One of my favorite albums of all-time without a doubt is Gang Starr, Moment of Truth; to me, it’s by far one of the most polished albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. I would never discredit anything that Gang Starr released because I’m a huge fan of every album in their catalog, but Moment of Truth towers over everything else in my opinion. From rhyming with Inspectah Deck on the fan favorite “Above The Clouds”, to spitting bar-for-bar along side Freddie Foxxx and Big Shug on “The Militia”, Guru makes sure that every one of his stanzas are heartfelt and memorable.

One of my favorite songs of all-time is the title track from Moment of Truth. Guru spits forty-eight bars of real-life lyrics; everything that he says makes perfect sense, and if you take a minute to deeply digest the lyrics, you can apply it to situations in your own life:

“Sometimes you gotta dig deep when problems come near/don’t fear, things get severe for everybody everywhere/why do bad things happen to good people?/seems that life is just a constant war between good and evil/the situation that I’m facin’ is mad amazin’/to think such problems can arise from minor confrontations”

Guru would have been fifty-one years old today, and rest assured, he would still be rhyming with the best of them. I can personally say that he rests comfortably among my top ten favorite emcees of all-time, and I know a lot of people would put him in the same category. There’s no denying that Guru’s presence is missed greatly in Hip-Hop culture, and it will continue to leave a void for many years to come.

A couple of years back DJ Premier stated that he had enough Gang Starr material to compile a posthumous LP, but it’s never made its way into seeing the light of day. Personally, I would love to see another Gang Starr album, but if there isn’t one, it wouldn’t bother me; between the Jazzmatazz series and his work with DJ Premier, Guru has already left behind a legacy that most emcees would die to have.

The Streets, Computers And Blues

Posted in Album Review, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, June 29, 2012 by sir minivan dad

Mike Skinner is one of my favorite artists hands down.  Why?  Basically, because Mike Skinner (The Streets) is unique, original, and you can follow his paper trail to where he is today.  He started at the bottom and worked his way to the top of the food chain.  Incredible.  We can actually see an artist evolve from a garage type setup, to a studio, to a super-studio facilitated album.

Evolution of The Streets is apparent and refreshing.

The Streets have done 5 albums, all of which are different, all of which are excellent, and all of which are incredibly interesting, conceptually, and aesthetically.  I prefer Original Pirate Material, A Grand Don’t Come For Free, and The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living.

I now agree that Computer and Blues is up there with the best of their albums.

With only 3 days of non-stop listening, I prefer this album to the others.  This album is fresh, relevant and very personal. The Streets’ last album is a sound-system banger and an artistic send off for Skinner.  I feel he wants to end on a good note, and I appreciate the respect for fans and music.  So many bands milk it to the very last drop and fizzle out while pumping out shit.  I respect The Streets and Mike Skinner; however, I hope sometime soon he can pull a reunion tour so I can catch the music live.

Apparently, he wanted to do 5 albums, that’s what his contract was about, and that’s it.  He has stated in interviews that he was satisfied with this decision because he wanted to find more time to spend with his family.

Dan gave me this album, mentioning that at first he did not dig it as much as the other albums.  This seems to be the case with most of The Streets albums for me, there is definitely a first listen and blah.  After a bit of thinking the album is thrown back into the mix and listened to over and over again.  Always a cult classic and a heavy listen.  Since Original Pirate Material I have been a Streets fan.  Most all of their albums to date are inspiring, completely original and massively progressive.

One thing I take away from The Streets is they make music that sounds like The Streets, they are not ripping off, copy-catting to hit the charts up, or going trendy.  The Streets just transpire and it comes out sounding amazing.  I love The Streets and the music they make, and the inspiration they flood the speakers with.

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For days I have been listening to this album on repeat and I was trying to get a perspective and give you something in detail, but after listening I feel this CD deserves a listen.  Lyrics are spot on, the songwriting is out of this world.  The beats are heavy when needed, also, soft and chill when necessary.  I found my roommates awesome sound set up and took full advantage of it.  This Streets album is worth a buy, and definitely a good listen.  Streets fans won’t regret Computer and Blues and it is on par with, if not better than all his previous albums but Original Pirate Material.  You deserve to listen to this album on a really good sounds system.  The positive message is solid and the beats are innovative.  Mike Skinner did create a sound system banger, and an artsy bon voyage.  Cheers!  This Streets album has me with a smile on my face.

Beck and Jack White Collaborate on Third Man Record Blues Single

Posted in Art, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Music News, News, Reviews, Song Download on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by sir minivan dad

Again, I am amazed at genre crossing artists like Beck, who chose to collaborate with one of my favorites:  Jack White.  I must say, had I not heard, “I Just Started Hating Some People Today” on 89.3 The Current, with DJ introduction, I would have hardly imagined it was created by Beck.  With its country style guitar and cynical, but realistic message.  I imagine beck as some cool kid making sick dance beats, or songs I can completely use my imagination on.  These are good things, but this new song was also good, in a different way.  I love blues.  I could completely relate to the lyrics.  And it was crisp sounding and very straightforward.  We have all felt like killing someone at some point in our lives, yet this song is more on the Vonnegutesque dark humor, enjoyable, sort of, side of that feeling.  I could almost hear a smile, but Beck’s gritty vocals did not come off with the Beck style I had come to appreciate.  It was a bit different, but not different in a bad way, just different, and solid.  Something I had not expected; unexpectedly sufficed by a random song on the radio.  Beck has come into the realm of blues and he has successfully produced a single.  I am looking forward to hearing more.  These two artists (Beck and Jack White) are made for progressive blues/country rock.

I was subtly surprised with the dark vocals and country twang, but I must admit I was satisfied with the sound and think it progressive.  I would enjoy hearing other new material.

Furthermore, what I thought was just as amazing as the song was the collaboration with Jack White.  I could tell immediately that Jack White was on the track; with guitar slides, moderately heavy and catchy riffs.  The slide guitar solos were a plenty but not excessive, I could listen to any of The White Stripes’ albums for days, specifically because of the guitar solos and garage rock aspect.

I had no idea that Jack White and Beck had collaborated in the past, but with a little research I became learned.  Earlier collaboration on Guero’s ‘Go It Alone’ between Beck and White were drastically apparent by the sound.  Happy to know that real musicians are still making real music.

Unique and relevant artists creating gems together has me in high hopes about the music to come.  Third Man Records seems innovative and growing.  Beck’s new musical sound and approach appeal to me especially with Jack White at the Helm, and because it sounds excellent on the radio.  Jack White is a guitar virtuoso to say the least, and is one of the most innovative artists of our time, the latter goes for Beck as well.  I am satisfied with the exposure of sound while driving around with the station dialed in.

Get yourself a listen.

Details on the release of the special edition single and anything Beck:  Official Beck Site

Buy the New Blues Series Single:  Third Man Records