Album Review: The Amends, What We Could Be

Posted in Album Review, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Sunday, April 21, 2013 by Eric Gilardi

The Amends - What We Could Be

This story starts out with a band and a dream. The Boulder, CO based band, The Amends, has aspirations to gain popularity by way of self-promotion. Recently they reached out to see if I would check out their second studio album that was released earlier this year. Fortunately for them, I just started writing again and fortunately for me, I took that chance and gave the album a listen. The Amends consisting of band members Drew Weikart (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Tyler Taylor (Vocals, Keys and Rhythm Guitar), Chris Childress (Bass) and Shay Byington (Drums) caught me off guard with an album that touches base with classic rock and blues while adding that hint of Indie rock.

What We Could Be starts straight out with an edginess that says we have arrived and we have come to kick your door in. “Second Take” makes me think back to when the Arctic Monkeys first came out of the gate. You can really hear the direct message from a band that just wants to jam and make people have fun. The second track, “A Certain Speed”, keeps the party vibe going. They start out the album with a kick and you think that is what you have turned yourself on to but you better think again.

As soon as the keys hit in a “Big City Way” you get more of a blues sound to their rock music. This tells you that this band is not a one-dimensional rock group. Continue reading

Summerfest 2013: The Lineup Returns to Championship Form

Posted in Music News, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, April 18, 2013 by Eric Gilardi

image

One of the greatest music festivals in the world recently returned as a championship contender when they released their lineup for 2013. Lately, the festival seemed to rely mainly on its prestige alone. After all, it is a festival that spans over 11 days and has more than 800 acts performing on 11 different stages. The festival is a vision of the great late mayor of Milwaukee, Henry Maier, who wanted a massively relative festival that would compare to the joyous Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. He started the tradition that became Summerfest in 1968.

The lineup has been lacking the innovative music that the youth and many more have gravitated towards in recent years. This year after they released their headliners at the Marcus Amphitheater I had mixed feelings. So I was a little skeptical when I received the E-mail that their complete lineup was out but said, “What the hell” and clicked the link. To my astonishment, I was really impressed. One thing that stuck out in my mind was that they got some major electronic, Indie rock and alternative rock acts. All whom are currently relevant in their respected industries. This list includes Pretty Lights, Diplo, Empire of the Sun, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yeasayer and MGMT. They did this while still including a lot of the older talent (Alice Cooper, 311, Foreigner and Billy Idol) and mixing in many more talented up and comers.

Another thing you have to appreciate about Summerfest is the variety of music that they bring to the many ears attending the festival. They have done a great job blending country, pop, blue grass, electronic, rock and even a little bit of hip hop into the lineup. A few other artists that would be worth seeing are: Capital Cities, Atmosphere, Trampled by Turtles, Robert Delong, Matt & Kim, AWOLNATION, Imagine Dragons, Taliban Kweli and Cake. If you are the least bit interested after reading this head over to summerfest.com/lineup for a complete listing of this year’s lineup.

Album Review: Poolside, Pacific Standard Time

Posted in Album Review, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Eric Gilardi

Poolside PacificStandardTime

Greatness in the most subtle form is “pure blissfulness”. Poolside, an electronic duo based out of Los Angeles, has done just that; made an album that equates to “pure blissfulness”. If you have never heard the delicate electronic music, from Filip Nikolic and Jeff Paradise, that has you wishing you were sipping a mojito poolside. Then take a gander over to that oversized lounger and order yourself a mojito. Their debut album, Pacific Standard Time, starts off real mellow and real instrumental. “Tulsa” lets you in, gets you comfy and gets you ready for the rest of what is to transpire over the course of the next 68 and a half minutes. Let me tell you, it won’t seem like that long once you drift away in this great and magical album.

The second track, “Next to You”, is an upbeat electronic jam with a chorus that is heavy on harmonic melody. Even when the harmonized lyrics are not being sung, you can still hear where they would fit in perfectly with the music.  In “Why You Wanna” they come at you with less harmony and a little more direction. Continue reading

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 terrynibelung

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.

R.I.P. Gavin Theory (January 30, 1985 – April 10th, 2012)

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Tim Althaus

G

I’ll still never forget the first time I actually met Gavin and had an in-depth musical conversation with him. Gavin was with Lucas Dix, and they were performing a Hip-Hop show at a local bar in my hometown; to be clear, this was well before Lucas & Gavin moved out to Portland.

Having an entire family that is from Kenosha, Wisconsin, I was able to find some sort of common ground with both Lucas and Gavin almost instantly, but (no offense Lucas because you know I love your music) Gavin was the producer, and I was more interested in picking his brain. I remember having an intense discussion where we talked about everyone from J Dilla to El-P, and I was able to take a sneak peek into the mind of a genius. People have always said, “be confident, but never cocky”, and upon meeting Gavin, it’s possible that people (myself included) mistook the extreme confidence that he exuded for cockiness, but in all reality, he is one of the most humble dudes I ever met.

When I listen to Escaping Stasis I’m still blown away by everything that Gavin was able to accomplish on the boards before he started using the MPC; the ethereal quality of his music is incredible – and it always has been. The first time I listened to Edifice I was completely blown away; I couldn’t believe the sounds that I was hearing. It was almost as if Pete Rock and El-P had a love child, and Gavin’s production was the bi-product. Gavin laced Edifice with spacey synths and even more sublime samples – the stuff I love. In his short time with the MPC 2500XL, it seems as though he was able to master the machine that turned regular, ordinary men into legends, and it’s unfortunate knowing that I’ll never be able to see just how far he could have pushed the boundaries of Hip-Hop by punching the pads.

In remembrance of G-Theory’s passing, Lucas Dix let this brilliant gem loose that features Sandpeople crew member IAME. The track – “Po’est Pimpin” – contains one of the last beats that Gavin ever made, and it has his signature sounds succinctly spread all over the soundscape. Me and Lucas were discussing this beat, and although it’s a toned down version of what Gavin was capable of, we both agreed that anything Gavin made was truly exceptional.

Album Review: Tyler, The Creator, Wolf

Posted in Album Review with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Dylan Isensee

TylerTheCreatorWolf

I would assume that you probably know who Odd Future is by now, and if you don’t know who they are, then I would assume you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years. Tyler, The Creator dropped his third album, Wolf, today, and you can say I’ve been looking forward to it. I listened to both Bastard and Goblin a ton, and Wolf will also be getting regular rotation from me. Tyler’s music seems to get better the more I listen to it. I’ll admit the first time I heard “Bastard” I didn’t really like it, but the more I listened to it the more I liked it.

Odd Future is known for having graphic material in their songs; Bastard and Goblin both had a lot of songs about murder and rape, and while Wolf definitely has it’s fair share of outrageous lyrics, Tyler has toned it down a little bit. He has definitely moved away from the ridiculous shock raps and the “fuck everybody” punk attitude. The themes that show up on Wolf include dealing with fame and success, girl problems, having an absent father, and his career thus far. His flows are all pretty nice on this album. When it comes to the beats, Tyler has stepped his production game up – a lot. The whole album is entirely produced by him, and the beats sound great. His production style is very unique and he’s definitely created his own sound.

The single off the album “Domo 23” has Tyler bragging over mischievous horns, while the following track “Answer” is much darker with Tyler longing for his late grandmother and absent father over a relaxed guitar track and bright organs. “IFHY” is one of my favorite songs on this album. Tyler talks about his conflicted love interest over a dark organ track which evolves into electric synthesizers while the darkness is continued in the bass and drums. “Rusty” is the standout track on this album. The beat almost sounds like something RZA would’ve done in the 90’s, and Tyler’s verse is on point. He basically gives all of his critics a big “fuck you” and finishes off his verse with “Fuck buying studio time, I’ma go purchase a shrink/ record the session and send all you motherfuckers a link”.

While Tyler’s production is better than it’s ever been, his rhyming hasn’t really gotten any better. He’s definitely not a bad rapper, and it’s good that he’s moved away from the rape and murder, but his rhymes aren’t any better than they were on Goblin. With that being said the album still has some of the best songs he’s ever written. There are several tracks really dive deep into his personal matters, and “Rusty” is one of his best lyrical performances to date.

Overall, Wolf is a beautiful sounding album. The production is beyond great, and rather than venting his anger like Bastard or Goblin, Tyler has opened the doors to show off the talent behind his music.

7.5/10

Step Brothers (Evidence x Alchemist) Will Release Lord Steppington in 2013

Posted in Album Update, Video with tags , , , , on Friday, January 4, 2013 by Tim Althaus

First off, let me say that I can’t believe I’m writing this post; this project had almost reached Detox status for me.I realize that both of these dudes have been extremely busy over the last couple of years, but damn…

I feel as though all of my Hip-Hop prayers have been answered. I just peeped this video the other day on Ev’s twitter, and it got my super excited. I’ve been waiting for an Evidence and Alchemist full-length since they mentioned their Step Brothers project back in 2009. What makes this project even more special? It’s being released through Rhymesayers Entertainment – talk about dope. There are a few assumptions that I can make about Lord Steppington: First, the beats are going to be raw;  the equivalent of having your skin scraped off after a fall on the pavement. Second, the album is going to be chocked full of humor; we all know that Evidence and Alchemist are hilarious dudes.

Here’s a little taste of what to expect: