Check ‘Em Out: Cavemouth

Cavemouth

“Guaranteed to get you up and out of your seat and sweating, Cavemouth are the aural equivalent to a night on a stairmaster, drinking Jack Daniels through a pair of fishnet tights.”

Cavemouth are a primal lo-fi funk four-piece who sound as though they live on the wilds of Exmoor (UK) on a strict diet of roadkill, making music to keep the neighbors away and lure the foxes in. Their gritty original sound blends blues, funk and hip-hop with African-influenced tunes and mind-altering lyrics.

Fronted by Sketchy Lex on filthy guitar and vocals, Wreckless Richie on drums, Ms. Mo on funked-up bass and vocals and Mr. Duncan ‘The Hook’ Hook on saxophone, the band have known each other for years. Growing up in rural Devon, they had to make their own entertainment by putting on their own raves and free parties, a past that has certainly helped to shape their sound.

Inspired by everything around them from politics and religion to nature, Cavemouth are influenced by Prince, ESG, Busta Rhymes, Leadbelly, Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age and Jethro Tull.

Check them out on Souncloud HERE.

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Mixtape From Mystery Skulls + Tour Dates

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“some of the most addictive, hypnotizing disco-pop jams you’ll hear” –COMPLEX 

Skulls’ tunes are one part electro, another indie-pop, and a whole lotta soul all wrapped into one package”- THUMP

“He sings, he DJs, he produces, he stuns… Tantalizing disco-inspired harmonies will no-doubt get you dancing”. –VIBE

“Every live Mystery Skulls show maintains a juxtaposition between the energy and grittiness of a DIY show with his infectious and dance-worthy productions and vocals. Forever is a disco house and funk-infused album” – DJ MAG USA

Following some time off after two tours with Cherub, spot dates around the globe, and commissioned remixes, sound architect Mystery Skulls will hit the road in August for a 7 day, 7-city tour run that begins Friday August 21st in Brooklyn and ends Friday August 28th in his former stomping grounds of Toronto.

Routing and ticket links are as follows:
DATE               CITY                             VENUE

FRI 8/21            Brooklyn, NY                Baby’s All Night                        TICKETS
SAT 8/22           New York, NY               Mercury Lounge                        TICKETS
SUN 8/23          Baltimore, MD               The Metro Gallery                     TICKETS
TUE 8/25           Philadelphia, PA           Ortlieb’s Lounge                        TICKETS
WED 8/26         Cambridge, MA             Brighton Music Hall                   TICKETS
THU 8/27           Pittsburgh, PA              Brillobox                                   TICKETS
FRI 8/28            Toronto, ON                  Drake Hotel                               TICKETS
To coincide with the tour, Mystery Skulls takes his eclectic ear and genre-bending stylings to produce a specially curated mix to hold over fans while (re)introducing the sounds popularized in his Forever debut last year which featured appearances from Nile Rodgers, Brandy and Snowblood.

Listen: Mystery Skulls Summer 2015 Mixtape

 

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Must Listen: Foals – “Mountain At My Gates”

FOALS

Produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence + the Machine), “Mountain At My Gates” builds from the leftfield grooves and angular art-rock that characterized previous Foals’ anthems such as “My Number” and “Miami”. This time, however, the quintet subverts expectations by twisting the track into a frenzied finale with a cacophony of sound.

“I’d recorded the beginning riff on my phone ages ago,” explained vocalist/guitarist Yannis Philippakis in a track-by-track interview with NME.  “At the beginning it had a baggy feel, but became less so with more work. The central image – “I see a mountain at my gates” was from me getting more interested in seeing what would come out lyrically where there wasn’t a pre-conceived idea. Normally I write voraciously in books and journals, then harvest a lot of that for the record. This, though, came out instantaneously in the room.”

Foals’ thrillingly visceral return with title track ‘What Went Down’ earned a flurry of Radio 1 support (Hottest Record in the World, Tune of the Week and Track of the Day) as it accelerated past the million views mark at YouTube. The album is now available to pre-order on digital, CD, CD/DVD and vinyl formats, as well as a limited edition box set, which is available exclusively from Foals’ online store. Fans who pre-order the album will receive instant downloads of “Mountain At My Gates” and “What Went Down”.

As with the rest of the What Went Down album, Foals – completed by Jimmy Smith (guitar/keys), Walter Gervers (bass), Jack Bevan (drums) and Edwin Congreave (keys) – recorded “Mountain At My Gates” at the studio La Fabrique which is located in the same village in the south of France in which Van Gogh was hospitalised after savaging his own ear.

What Went Down is an album that grapples with questions that are a world away from the bland bleatings of homogenised pop: permanence and impermanence; life and death; solitude; vulnerability; intimacy; passion; rage; humanity – weighty issues that make demands of the people creating that music, and of all those who listen to it, too.

Sonically, it’s an album that precariously seesaws between primal aggression and naked vulnerability. It’s an approach that delivers a contrast of muscular shocks with the fiery central riff of “Snake Oil” and the menacing percussive march of “Albatross” set against some of the band’s most openly experimentally moments to date such as cocktail of afrobeat and drum machines that underpins “Night Swimmers” and the stripped-back, vocal-led “Give It All”.

The album closes on an astonishingly beautiful note with “A Knife in the Ocean”, akin to both the calm before the storm, but also the stillness and silence after it has passed.

Foals have released three top ten albums to date: Antidotes (2007, album chart no 3), Total Life Forever (2010, no 8) and Holy Fire (2013, no 2).  2013 was the year that Foals broke through (even though I’ve loved them since 2007). Appearing high up the bill at festivals around the world, Foals became festival headliners in the UK, headlining Bestival, Latitude and Parklife, drawing the biggest crowds of the weekends.  By the end of 2013 Foals had won another slew of awards:  Best Live Act at the Q awards, Best Live Act at The Sun Bizarre awards, Best Single (Inhaler) at the NME awards and a Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize nomination (the band’s second in a row).

 

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Video: The Wheel Workers – “Burglar”

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“Painfully catchy.” – MAGNET

“Houston’s brightest hope. Damn. Seriously righteous.” – BLURT

“Sincerely progressive and catchy as hell.” – Space City Rock

“Sociopolitical consciousness with a memorable hook.” – The Big Takeover

“New Wave synth stylings meet sharp lyrics.” – PopMatters

Houston-based sociopolitical pop act, The Wheel Workers follows up its 2014 nomination as “Best Pop Act” at the Houston Press Music Awards with a total of eight nominations in 2015 including “Best Local Recording” for its current album CITIZENS, as well as “Best Live Act.” Bandleader Steven Higginbotham has also been nominated as “Local Musician of The Year” and “Best Songwriter,” an especially noteworthy accomplishment for a pop band.

“I love artists who’ve had something substantial to say beyond the standard lyrical fare in pop songs,” Higginbotham says.  The Houston Chronicle called The Wheel Workers’ previous release “one of the best albums made in Houston last year,” and now CITIZENS is earning similar praise, this time on a national level.

When Higginbotham talks about substance in pop songs, he’s talking about the pairing of sociopolitical consciousness with a memorable hook. After all, there’s a reason that listeners are still moved by the catchiest folk and punk protest songs of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and The Clash. This approach to music-making by The Wheel Workers is the reason why the Houston Chronicle went on in that same piece to call the album a “thoughtful recording that offers new rewards during repeated playings.”

On CITIZENS, the band’s way of doing things has become masterful, as the album’s latest single “Burglar” proves. Higginbotham started writing the song the day after (guess what?) his home was burglarized.

“The singing style is reflective of my angry and vulnerable state at the time,” he recalls. Higginbotham didn’t finish the tune off until some time later when a failed relationship left him feeling that same way again. “So the song is ultimately about the break-up and looking back at what was lost,” he concludes.  The music video for “Burglar” noted the clip’s “Wes Anderson-inspired aesthetic.”

 “The original idea for the song was written a day after my house was burglarized, thus the title,” Higginbotham explains.  “Fortunately, they didn’t go upstairs, so my recording gear was intact!  I had been drinking, and my singing style on the song is reflective of my weird, drunken, semi-angry and vulnerable state at the time.”

With all that’s going on for The Wheel Workers and CITIZENS, the band is already looking towards the future, having already tracked basics for its next full-length.

“While the vinyl press cools off from printing album number three, we’re already in the studio working on number four,” says band member and producer, Dan Workman. “We’re all pretty amazed with the number of great songs and sounds we are collecting. I think that we’re hitting our stride!”

Higginbotham and the band’s Craig Wilkins (a fellow Houston Press Music Awards nominee as “Best Keyboards”) note that the next record will be of a more collaborative nature.

 Along with Higginbotham, Wilkins and Workman, The Wheel Workers is comprised of Allison Wilkins McPhail, and Tyson Sheth.  CITIZENS by The Wheel Workers is out now.  The Houston Press Music Awards are scheduled to be handed out on August 20th.

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Track Listing:

  1. Yodel
  2. Burglar
  3. Whole Other World
  4. Smokescreen
  5. Wage Slaves
  6. Run Away
  7. Dream
  8. Citizen Incorporated

 

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Video: Yutani – “Mt. Minakami”

Yutani

With the release of At The End Of A Day coming late last week, YuTaNi continues his role with the debut of his new music video for “Mt. Minakami.”  Directed by acclaimed visual artist and Montreal native Jason Voltaire (Jacques Greene Live, Skunch), the video is a perfect compliment to the ambient textures of Mt. Minakami, at once soothing and engaging all the same. Examining and tearing apart the relationship between tangible and digital, the sounds of Yutani blend into smooth symbiosis with Voltaire’s visuals as the ambience renders it impossible to tell the synthetic from the organic.

Mt. Minakami is just the first of many peaks in At The End Of A Day, which is quickly finding it’s way into the ears and hearts of discerning tastemakers the world over — don’t miss out on what’s quickly becoming a sleeper hit of the summer.

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Bad Bad Hats Release Album Today

BB

Minneapolis’ indie rock trio Bad Bad Hats released their critically acclaimed debut album Psychic Reader today. In celebration of the highly anticipated record, the band will kick off a national fall tour, making stops in Chicago, DC, NYC, Philly and more. They will join Saddle Creek’s Mynabirds as direct support for this stint of live dates.

Album opener “Midway” is an undeniably infectious track that is broken up by a danceable, energetic pop chorus that tells a story of a relationship’s impending end. Check out the video below.


Psychic Reader is comprised of experimental beats, growling guitars, and catchy pop melodies that are both dreamy and strikingly deep.  Bolstered by the touches of producer Brett Bullion (Poliça), the band takes a refreshingly rebellious approach with lyrics that challenge gender conventions. Catch the band’s captivating live show in a city near you!

8/14: Minneapolis, MN @ Icehouse (11pm set)
9/10: Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern *
9/11: Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar *
9/12: Boise, ID @ Neurolux *
9/14: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
9/15: Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive *
9/17: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown *
9/18: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
9/19: Chicago, IL @ Schubas *
9/20: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland *
9/23: Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle *
9/25: Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade *
9/26: Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall *
* = Direct Support for Mynabirds

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Newest Love: IAMDYNAMITE

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“IAMDYNAMITE have carved deeper into their unique style, blending elements from their musical roots of Seattle sound and 80s pop.“ – Earmilk

“Ridiculously good… The songwriting is light years beyond their debut.” – Pop Dose

“Infectiously catchy hooks that pair atmospheric synths” – The Joy of Violent Movement

” IAMDYNAMITE are back, and they’ve done a complete 180 – making an 80s-inspired slow burn record that comes off as Sting & Oates.” –  A-Sides with Jon Chattman

Michigan-based IAMDYNAMITE announce slew of new tour dates in support of its forthcoming new album Wasa Tusa (out August 7th on Brando Records) and reveal a new cut from the album.

The tour sees the duo of Chris Martin and Chris Phillips hitting the road across the U.S. from August through October playing such venerable venues as NYC’s Webster Hall, House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, Chicago’s Bottom Lounge and many more. A full list of dates can be found below.

The guitar-driven tension of “Bloom” bursts forth much like the name of the track implies. Premiering today, it’s the second cut revealed from IAMDYNAMITE’s sophomore album Wasa Tusa and follows the lead album track “Be There” which recently premiered via EARMILK.

Drawing inspiration from 80’s pop pioneers such as The Police and Hall & Oates to early 2000 nu-rave revivalists such as Klaxons and Simian Mobile Disco, IAMDYNAMITE’s synth-driven rock and alt-pop hooks are as danceable as they are delicious.

Wasa Tusa, set for release on August 7 via Brando Records sees IAMDYNAMITE expanding their repertoire and experimenting in the studio to create a new brand of freewheeling pop.  Produced by Matt Novesky, the album highlights their melodic, hook laden songwriting skills and delivers a swift emotional punch.

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Listen: IAMDYNAMITE – “Bloom”

IAMDYNAMITE Tour Dates
8/15: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
8/18: Lacrosse, WI @ The Warehouse
8/19: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
8/20: Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
8/21: Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
8/22: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
8/23: Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
9/10: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
9/11: Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
9/12: Charlotte, NC @ 1065 The End’s Weenie Roast
9/13: Raleigh, NC @ 95X Big Shindig
9/19: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
9/20: Providence, RI @ Simmon’s 677
9/23: Stanhope, NJ @ Stanhope House
9/24: Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
10/1: Dallas, TX @ Double Wide
10/2: Houston, TX @ Walter’s
10/6: Albuquerque, NM @ The Jam Spot
10/7: Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
10/8: Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock Live

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. renaming themselves JR JR

JR

The following is a letter from Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr. — explaining their decision for a name change.

 

Dear Friends, Fans, Internet Users, And Everyone Else Out There

We wish to address you one final time as Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr.

A bit of backstory is probably in order…
What started out as a basement recording project in 2009 has become a full time career for us, and we are eternally grateful for the opportunity that it has given us to make music and work on art the past few years.

As we prepared to release our first full length album on Warner Brothers Records back in 2011, our band name became a topic of concern among people who work with us. The concerns were y’know… legal ones. Bands stuck in courtrooms have a tough time touring and making records so it was decided that the name needed to be addressed, and possibly even changed.  As much of a hail mary as it seemed as the time, our solution was to just write Dale Earnhardt Jr himself and explain we were in no way making light of him or his family,  that we were fans of his and hoped he wouldn’t take offense to our existence.

What’s crazy is he actually wrote us back…
 The exceptionally good natured spirit of the man himself lifted everyone’s spirits about the name.  We were proud to keep it, and create under it.  To this day, Dale Earnhardt Jr has been nothing but gracious and cool about things. And y’know…he didn’t have to be. It was perfectly within his right to look at these two weird kids from Detroit and say ‘no way’, or to just have an intermediary shut things down on his behalf. But he didn’t. He was a legitimately warm human being about it all. He was kind. A couple of times when asked about us, he even mentioned that he likes the music we make. This, we thought, was the best case scenario.

When we initially chose the name Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, the feeling was that it gave us an amazing flexibility.  We were just meeting as people, and hadn’t begun to scratch the surface of knowing what our voice, as a band or each individually, would be. Band names are a weird thing to begin with, but we figured if we named our band Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr there would be no expectations for what we were meant to sound like. Something that bizarre would just have to be listened to and judged without preconception. And realistically, we never thought so many people would be up for taking that sort of a listening experience on.

But people really did. You guys did. And since then we’ve been continually overwhelmed by seeing so many people around the world having such a passionate connection with the things we have made.  What we’ve been able to do, as a result of our amazing fans, fills us with a lot of pride.

The flip side is that as things have grown, so has the amount of confusion caused by the name Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr.  Some of it is no big deal and easily cleared up. But sometimes we get sad and bizarre requests sent to our social media sites or emailed to people we work with. We’ve had people drive long distances to shows only to be disappointed when they realize it’s a neurotic Jew and wild haired gentile from Detroit they’ve paid to see. A number of times now we’ve received hope filled inquiries from people who have dying relatives that only want to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr (the driver) before they pass.  Those sorts of interactions feel a little voyeuristic and eerie, and even attempting to simply clarify the situation means you’ve added a moment of embarrassment to someone’s day when they’re already going through a lot.

We recognize that we created this situation and that the name has been a part of getting to where we are now. It stirred up some attention for us in the modern internet world of over-stimulation, and we aren’t complaining about any of it–good and bad.  The name has become it’s own personality, though.  Almost, another member of the band.

But as time has passed, we have grown into ourselves, both as artists and individuals.  Each of our perspectives have gotten stronger, and we’ve found that there is no longer room for a third, ubiquitous member of the project.

So recently, after a lot of thought and discussion, we made the decision to shorten our band name to the much more brief moniker of…

JR JR

We hope this doesn’t bum you guys out too much. In our mind, changing our name to JR JR allows us to take back our voice in a way.  To us It is all about empowerment, and being who we feel we need to be moving forward.

At the same time, we don’t want to run away from what we’ve done under this name with all of you in the past.  If you need us to remain Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr for your own reasons, we have no problem with you calling us that. After all, nobody is forcing us into this change, so we’re able to do it at our own pace. Functionally, we will go on performing as Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr for a short while longer so that nothing feels imminently different when we announce shows. We probably even have a few t-shirts with the old name left that we’ll burn through the last of in the coming months.

But in the long run we’re going to transition into just being JR JR. We encourage you all to come out to the next show near you and celebrate another phase of life with us.  The past is passed, and we are so excited about the future.  We hope there is nothing mournful about this.

ESPECIALLY… because we’ll have another announcement very very soon. One that we hope gives all of you out there a reason to move forward with us as JR JR.

Ok, this has gotten lengthy so we’ll leave it at that for now.

Thank you for allowing us into your worlds…We are eternally grateful for the privilege

yours truly,
Josh & Daniel

who at times have referred to themselves as Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr

but are now going to be known as the much easier to say…

JR JR

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Kelis Wrote A Cookbook!

Kelis

Kelis’ love affair with food started as a child.  A native New Yorker, her mother worked as a chef in her own catering business, run out of their home in Harlem.  Driven by the speed and the intensity in the kitchen, Kelis’ passion behind watching her mother cook inspired her to roll up her sleeves, willing do to what anyone asked of her.  Every detail was clear and defined:  Red lips, red nails, perfume, earrings and a military demeanor, Kelis felt in the presence of a master while watching her mother work.

At age 17, Kelis signed her first recording contract and began to travel the world.  She discovered local outdoor markets and tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants and considered them the hidden treasures of her journeys.  After 10 years in the music business, Kelis decided to attend Le Cordon Bleu.  Attending the famous cooking school gave Kelis the confidence to call herself a chef and to write her first cookbook.

MY LIFE ON A PLATE: RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD (Kyle Books; September 28, 2015; Hardcover; $24.95) tells Kelis’ personal story through the food she creates.  Her style has been molded by her culture, her travels, and all the people she met along the way.  “My Life On A Plate is my first cookbook, and like the title says, it really is a reflection of my life through food.  It includes my version of recipes I grew up eating and things I’ve picked up that have inspired me along the way,” says Kelis. “It’s an exploration of tastes and cultures, and my experience as a chef, musician, mother and wife. It’s a lifestyle, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.”

This book is a collection of her favorite recipes.  It features a mix of foods from her Puerto Rican heritage, such as Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder), Arroz con Gandules, and Shrimp Alcapurias along with dishes she created after discovering them on her travels around the world such as Malay Curry Chicken and Swedish Meatballs. Food lovers looking for a new kind of food fusion experience will love MY LIFE ON A PLATE.

“The music world is full of foodies, from Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos to Action Bronson and his penchant for rapping about barbecued venison. Kelis out-foodies them all.”-Observer Food Monthly

Pre-order “MY LIFE ON A PLATE” now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other book retailers ahead of its September 28th release.

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Video: Dave Monks – “Gasoline”

DM

All Signs Point To Yes​ is the first solo release from Tokyo Police Club bandleader Dave Monks. Made up of six songs, including the lead single “Gasoline,” the EP was released on Tuesday, June 16 via Dine Alone Records.

Dave has now shared his first music video from the EP for the lead single “Gasoline.” Premiering on BlackBook, the video is simple and clean, with the camera trained on Dave as he performs his single with just an acoustic guitar. It was directed by Chris Schoonover and features camera work by Tyler Kufs, Stephanie Dimiskovski, and Jonathan Schoonover.

All Signs Point To Yes was written and completed ​over the latter half of 2013, while Monks was falling in love with a new person and a new place. Inspired by that romantic relationship and a move from Toronto to Brooklyn, Monks sought to hone in on the honesty in his songwriting, stripping away other sounds in order to focus the spotlight on his voice and acoustic guitar. The result is an EP of fully formed, earnest, and insightful songs that serve as both a natural evolution and familiar embrace of Monks’ music.

Removing the other instruments also revealed a creative freedom for Monks, inspiring a simplicity and directness to which all songwriters aspire. “As I was writing these songs I just thought, ‘What if this i​s​ the song, what if it just starts with me and I don’t have to add anything else and I can embrace all the things that come most naturally to me?’ There’s definitely less stuff to hide behind.”

Settled in his new place in Bushwick, Monks embraced the collaborative spirit and structure of New York City, adding a new bass player and drummer to the project while sharing songs constantly with his girlfriend and other musician friends. “It’s definitely honest,” he says of his voice on the EP, which he recorded himself in his apartment before handing over to be mixed by Rob Schnapf. “It could be too honest for some people but I’m in a really good spot and wrote a bunch of sweet songs. I appreciate the connection that comes from sharing something that somebody might not have seen, that’s not visible to the naked eye. People do relate to it, and I find that super rewarding; that drives me in a lot of ways. I’m trying to understand what people really want to get out of music.”

Despite all its sincerity and intimacy, A​ll Signs Points To Yes s​till manages to avoid being too wistful or overly serious while still giving us a very real look into the life of its singer. It i​s a small record with a big heart, a snapshot of a man in a new time and new place who is learning to expand his reach, all while stripping away the superfluous and concentrating on connecting through trust, humor, and sincerity.

All Signs Point To Yes Tracklisting

Vegas
Gasoline
The Rules
Miss You
Heartbeat Blues
Summer Dream

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