Looks like the Mayans were wrong. And thank God (or Quetzalcoatl) for that. Of course, the Mayan doomsday prophecy was gratuitously misinterpreted by the Western world and looking back, it’s embarrassing how easily we got swept up in it all. With that said, 2012 was indeed an eventful year…
Hi everybody and welcome to another edition of Project Rhythm Seed’s Free Music Friday. Today we are excited to offer you a full EP of remixes from Mayer Hawthorne. On a prior FMF last year we brought you his Impressions EP, a fabulous collection of cover tunes. That was a huge crowd favorite and is still available here.
The 42nd Annual Bumbershoot®: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival kicks off this Saturday, September 1st, 2012. Project Rhythm Seed will be there all three days. Beginning next week we will be featuring interviews with select artists, as well as photos, show reviews and a whole lot more. This year’s lineup runs the gamut – from Tony Bennett to Skrillex, and everything in between. Click here for the entire lineup or watch the video below. The festival runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday, September 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Single day and three day tickets are still available. Purchase in advance and skip the long lines on site. Click here to purchase tickets.
The world famous All Tomorrow’s Parties will present the I’ll Be Your Mirror USA festival this September 21st-23rd at Pier 36 in Manhattan, New York. Pier 36 is a new indoor venue sitting on the edge of the East River between the Manhattan & Williamsburg Bridges, with an outside area that boasts glorious views of Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty.
The 2012 Heineken City Arts Fest begins on Oct. 17 with a performance by David Byrne & St. Vincent at Seattle’s historic Fifth Avenue Theatre. The festival will run through Oct. 20, with performances by Mos Def, Devotchka with the Seattle Rock Orchestra, Blind Pilot, Ghostland Observatory, Two Door Cinema Club, Reign Wolf at the Laser Dome, Joshua Radin, Collie Buddz, A Fine Frenzy, and many more taking place in iconic clubs, halls, and venues throughout Seattle. All access wristbands and staggered performance schedules allow festival attendees to explore downtown Seattle and see multiple shows in the same night.
As the summer stretches into August and you find you’re still in need of this season’s anthem, look no further than Terraplane Sun‘s “Get Me Golden.” Infectious keys and hand-claps, unique-while-familiar vocals, and upbeat percussion are the recipe for a sunny afternoon get-together…and maybe even a little something more. This is the first single off of Terraplane Sun’s new EP, Friends, produced by veteran Dave Trumfio (Wilco, My Morning Jacket) and out October 10.
They say that Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil. If he did, then quite possibly he has been reincarnated as a white man from New Zealand. If you think that this sounds like the ravings of a madman, wait just one moment and let me introduce you to Willy Moon.
“Today is a big day for hip hop…”
… Def Jam founder and hip hop heavyweight Russell Simmons is of course talking about Frank Ocean’s recent proclamation of bisexuality. The Odd Future-member and saccharine crooner revealed that his first love was a man in a poetically intimate Tumblr post (click here to read original post). Cue the ever-pervasive interweb exploding with articles like “Frank Is Gay” and “Is This The End of Hip Hop’s Homophobia?”
To answer one of the more popular questions asked after returning from the Sasquatch! Music Festival held at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington (good one, Washington State) it should be stated first and foremost that yes, Tenacious D did have a giant blown up penis casually stationed behind the pair onstage. But more about that later.
Fitz and The Tantrums will launch an extensive North American tour tomorrow night at WorkPlay Soundstage in Birmingham, AL. In addition to its headline dates, the band will play a two-night stand with Dave Matthews Band at New York’s Jones Beach Amphitheater (6/12 & 13), join Ben Harper at the Santa Barbara Bowl (6/30) and the Hollywood Bowl (7/1), and make its return to Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a Fourth of July show with Blues Traveler. Fitz and The Tantrums will also perform at numerous festivals (including Bonnaroo and Outside Lands). See below for itinerary.
The current state of a majority of mainstream R&B/Soul music in the States is rather discouraging when compared to its heyday, as it’s now comprised of little in the way of refreshing or original-sounding talent, so who knew that a young London artist raised by Ugandan parents could inspire a little hope for this genre by building off the styles of venerable singers like Otis Redding, Bill Withers, and Marvin Gaye. The artist is Michael Kiwanuka, and there is a lovely hazy quality to his debut album Home Again as if it’s straight out of the 1960s or 1970s, thereby evoking a timeless quality. Kiwanuka’s music can be described as rootsy, folk-inflected modern soul with hints of jazz and contemporary R&B.
Charles Bradley will bring his thrilling and highly praised live show to the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, the Sasquatch Music Festival, Mountain Jam, and more this year. The 63-year old “Screaming Eagle of Soul” is currently on tour in the US and will soon head to Australia and Europe. See full tour routing below.
Los Angeles, California’s own Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton, collectively known as Electric Guest, are pleased to announce the release of “This Head I Hold” on March 26th through Because Music. Produced by Danger Mouse, the track is taken from their debut album Mondo which is set to drop on April 23rd.
British soul-singer Michael Kiwanuka is proud to announce the release of his newest EP, Home Again, via Cherrytree/Interscope Records, today January 3rd 2012. The three-song EP will only be available digitally in the US. For full track-listing, see below. Following Michael’s introduction in 2011 with the Tell Me A Tale and I’m Getting Ready EPs through Communion Records, Home Again heralds another fine glimpse into this unique, British voice for 2012.
Another year has ended; another list has been compiled. Often I get this feeling that in 100 years, all that will remain of today’s pop culture will be a number of well-thought-out lists. While many critics are driven to paroxysms at the thought of another year-end list, the fact is that they are essential to annual retrospective analysis. There is a feeling of security and consistency in ‘Best Of’ lists; inasmuch as one can feel safe in the presence of a numerically-ordered selection of things. But in truth, the rapid acceleration of technology and the advent of social media has completely changed the way humans organize their internal thoughts. We no longer think in prose, or even full sentences; we think in lists.
Amy Winehouse’s life was tragically cut short when she was found dead in July of 2011. The talented singer had one of those distinct and evocative voices that conveys the pain, vulnerability, and sorrow that seems inherent to the best blues/jazz singers. In the capable and loving hands of producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, a posthumous album of Winehouse’s work has now been released entitled Lioness: Hidden Treasures. But it should be noted that there are only two original tracks and the other songs include alternate versions of singles and plenty of notable covers.
Following her tragic passing on July 23, 2011, some of the producers and musicians who worked closely with 5 time Grammy Award winning artist Amy Winehouse, among them Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, spent time listening over the many recordings that Amy had made, before, during, and after the release of albums Frank and Back To Black. It was said by all who worked with Amy that she never sang or played a song the same way twice. It quickly became apparent to both Salaam and Mark that they had a collection of songs that deserved to be heard, a collection of songs that were a fitting testament to Amy the artist and, as importantly, Amy their friend.
Roots Manuva returns with a new single and it’s one of the standout cuts from the acclaimed ‘4everevolution’, the brooding, magnificent ‘Here We Go Again’.
Over an intense, thunderous collision of hip hop, techno and dubstep, Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva drops lyrics about an old friendship gone bad: “something in his life isn’t right with him/ He’s caught up in the hype and it bites within.” A clear-eyed, deadpan exposition of the dangers, temptations and, more cuttingly, childishness of “street life,” Smith is keen to emphasize that he isn’t preaching. Everything he says applies to himself as much as anyone else and a fate he avoided more through luck than judgment. The tune is finished off perfectly by a pure, soulful chorus from Spikey Tee.
On the surface the quiet port city of Gothenburg doesn’t seem like it would harbor much soul music but it comes through in the dreamy rhythmical shifting moody creature that is Little Dragon. The four-piece band blends R&B, new wave, electronica and experimental pop.
Noted authorities on the matter from OutKast’s Big Boi and Raphael Saadiq to Damon Albarn of Gorillaz all recognize the fire—each has tapped the group to collaborate on recent and/or upcoming projects. And it seems that the rest of the world is starting to catch on to what tastemakers from BBC’s Gilles Peterson and the DJs at Los Angeles’ influential KCRW have known for years.
By J. Brown
Rather than focus on one particular band or artist, this particular article will highlight some of the latest (or upcoming) releases that have managed to grab my attention recently.