Category Archives: Awesome

TEES 4 TOGO – Cool Tees For a Great Cause

Kathleen Hanna has launched TEES 4 TOGO, a brand new, star-studded line of T-shirts designed by — and portraying designs of — Hanna and her friends. 100% of the profits go to Peace Sisters, a Pasadena-based non-profit that financially assists to fund local girls’ school tuition costs in Dapaong, Togo West Africa, the hometown of current Pasadena resident and Peace Sisters founder, Tina Kampor. Each shirt is cozy, colorful, sweatshop-free, and costs$40 each—the amount it costs for a girl to attend school in Togo for an entire year, including books.

In Togo, Hanna points out, people usually don’t have enough money to send their children to school, especially if they have boys and girls at home. “People often decide to spend their money on the boys. When Tina was an educator in Togo she saw so many girls’ dreams fall by the wayside. She came to California determined to change that.”

For her birthday last November, Hanna organized a Peace Sisters gofundme, which raised almost $9,000. Hanna also began throwing fundraisers at her home, was named a Peace Sisters ambassador and regularly attends board meetings with Kampor, learning how each dollar the group earns is spent. Feeling bolstered by the team’s professionalism and attention to detail, she decided to do more. That’s when Hanna got the idea for TEES 4 TOGO.

TEES 4 TOGO emulates Kampor’s own donations to her home country. “Tina came to Pasadena from Togo, got her nursing certificate, and started sending girls through school. First, she sent two girls through school. The next year she sent five. Before she started Peace Sisters as a non-profit in 2016, she had already sent 130 girls to school with her own money.”

Photo Credit: Jason Frank Rothenberg

Through it all, Hanna has worked to address and facilitate conversations around inclusivity, equal opportunity, sexism, and breaking societal expectations. “We’re not gonna have equality in the world if we don’t hear African women’s voices,” Hanna says. “And we’re not gonna hear women’s voices if they have no education. Another part of this is Trump saying Africa is a shithole. How can I respond to that as a citizen? How can I do something positive in light of that? I found an organization run by somebody who grew up in West Africa, who flies money back to the school every year, and has already been doing it for 15 years. This is my opportunity to be an ally to her already successful project.”

Kampor brought three things to the girls in Togo on her recent April 2018 trip: money for girls’ tuition, solar lamps, and her own vivacious spirit. With TEES 4 TOGO, Hanna hopes to continue Kampor’s work by giving West African girls an opportunity for education, which, she argues, is more vital than ever today.TEES 4 TOGO is just the beginning. Hanna says: “Eventually the dream is to send all the girls to college, and help with housing needs, which may start happening as early as this November, depending on how many shirts I can sell!”

TEES 4 TOGO is consistent with Hanna’s renowned feminist and DIY philosophies. 15 TEES 4 TOGO designs:
— Sleater-Kinney performer and actress Carrie Brownstein (drawn by Kim Gordon)
— Comedian Patton Oswalt (drawn by writer and performer Sam McPheeters)
— Joan Jett (drawn by artist Sarah Larnach)
— Beastie Boy and Hanna’s husband Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (drawn by musician Seth Bogart)
— Public Enemy rapper, author and producer Chuck D (drawn by political artist Adee Roberson)
— Sociopolitical comedian W.Kamau Bell (drawn by musician by Eric Adams)
— Musician & Hanna’s former Le Tigre bandmate JD Samson (drawn by Kathleen Hanna)
— Body/Head and Sonic Youth musician Kim Gordon (drawn by Ooga Booga artist Steve Dore)
— Actor and comedian Kristen Schaal (drawn by Coleman Fitzgerald)
— Grimes (drawn by artist Maddy Mathews)
— Author, artist, performer and actor Justin Vivian Bond (drawn by illustrator Greg Kozatek)
— Author and musician Brontez Purnell (drawn by illustrator Janelle Hessig)
— Actor and comedian Hari Kondabolu (drawn by Bill Thelan)
— Writer and director Jill Soloway (drawn by artist Hannah Lucy)
— Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin musician, activist & actor Kathleen Hanna(drawn by Charlotte Farmer, Jhonny Russell, Katie Edmunds & Jess Marshall)

 

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White Panda – “Hands On Me” ft. Loote

So, I’ve been a fan following White Panda for years now. He does some amazing mashups, check out some of it below:

Now, after years of working on his own writing skills, he’s released a debut track titled, “Hands On Me” and features fantastic vocals from Island Records’ emerging pop duo Loote. It’s fun, upbeat, feel-good, party-ready…everything one looks for in summer jams.

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New Music From Night Riots – “On The Line”

 

“…brooding, restless, and totally infectious…with an added bonus of New Wave paranoia and perfectly layered, textured harmonies.” – MTV
“…urgent, cathartic new wavey bliss”– Billboard
“…they’ve fashioned the sound of urban desperados wandering rain-slickened streets, hearts playing tug-of-war with hope and despair.” – Buzzbands.la

 

Fresh off of a string of sold-out headlining shows in the UK, California new wave mainstays Night Riots are debuting “On The Line”. The Sirius XM and BBC favorites’ follow up to “Colour Morning,” which racked up over a million plays in just weeks, finds lead singer Travis Hawley demanding authenticity over a creeping, arpeggiating synth and pulsing drums, drawing sonic inspiration from the likes of Billy Idol and The Cure.

He recalls the scene that inspired the lyrics as well as the artwork: “I went to a party out in the country where we live in central California, on a ranch with two trailers on a hill overlooking the entire city – there is a tribe of girls who live there. They’re girls who shoot shotguns, ride horses and blast Kendrick Lamar at all hours of the day and night. In one of the bedrooms, there was a group of them, cast out on the bed like modern day Marie Antoinettes, laughing and passing around a blunt. It struck me because it wasn’t a performance, they weren’t trying to stand out or impress. There was a lawlessness and a realness that struck me. This is the modern youth, I believe this is the majority of people, not the sensationalized thing we see in entertainment right now where everything needs to be shocking and full octane. In these times, you can shut the real you out because you feel like you need to put on a show to stand out. To me, putting it all on the line is reconciling with who you are and putting it out to the world.” 

The band will be taking this new material and more on the road this summer for the headlining US-wide Dark Violet Tour, featuring indie pop favorites courtship. and LA’s Silent Rival. For dates, see below.

With the release of 2016’s Love Gloom LP, followed by “Colour Morning” and “On the Line,” Night Riots has garnered praise from the likes of KCRW, Huffington Post, NYLON, The AV Club, and more while performing with acts from Lana Del Rey, Cage the Elephant, Andrew McMahon & The Wilderness, K Flay, Phantogram, Walk the Moon, The Hunna to OK GO – garnering consistent praise throughout; earning comparisons to The Cure (by MTV) and The Killers (Earmilk), described as “new wavey bliss” (Billboard) and praised for their “anthemic, synth-laden rock” (Spin). After growing and cultivating their fanbase, earning the respect of the diehards through their dedication to the studio and the road, the headlining Dark Violet Tour sets the band up for a spot in the mainstream – and they’re certainly ready. After garnering over 40 million streams on Spotify, placements on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, and sold-out UK shows, Night Riots are poised to continue their streak.

Catch NIGHT RIOTS On Tour
w/ courtship. and Silent Rival

6/1 – Phoenix AZ – Valley Bar
6/2 – El Paso TX – Lowbrow Palace
6/4 – Austin TX – Antone’s Nightclub
6/5 – Dallas TX – House of Blues
6/6 – Houston TX – White Oak Music Hall
6/8 – Atlanta GA – The Masquerade
6/9 – Charlotte NC – Visulite Theatre
6/10 – Washington DC – U Street Music Hall
6/12 – Boston MA – Brighton Music Hall
6/13 – New York NY – Baby’s All Right
6/15 – Philadelphia PA – The Foundry @ The Filmore
6/16 – Albany NY – The Hollow
6/18 – Columbus OH – The Basement
6/20 – St. Louis MO – Blueberry Hill
6/21 – Cleveland OH – Grog Shop
6/22 – Chicago IL – Subterranean
6/23 – Detroit MI – Shelter
6/25 – Kansas City MO – The Record Bar
6/26 – Denver CO – Marquis Theatre
6/27 – Salt Lake City UT – Kilby Court
6/29 – San Francisco CA – Popscene
6/30 – Los Angeles CA – El Rey Theatre

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New Music: Freedom Fry – “Classic”

Los Angeles based duo Freedom Fry has shared their retro-inspired official video for recent single “Classic,” pulled from their long-awaited debut album Classic out June 1st. Featuring models Madison Paige (profiled in The New York Times) and Jayden Robison, the video is co-directed by the band and Ryan Lumley.

Freedom Fry previously shared their video for “Wild Child,” teasing another track that will appear on their debut album this summer. Following a series of shows at SXSW and a live session with KUTX, the band will bring their kinetic energy to a hometown show in Los Angeles on 4/10 at Moroccan Lounge.

See my post about Freedom Fry from last year, here.

Composed of Parisian-born Marie Seyrat and Michigan-born Bruce Driscoll, Freedom Fry has independently amassed over 50 million streams on Spotify and earned numerous #1 appearances on HypeMachine. They recently shared a #girlpower version of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Man On Fire,” which is featured in the new animated film from Intuit, racking up over 20 million views to date. Freedom Fry’s music, which heavily bleeds the warmth and sunshine of their home state of California, skirts the lines between pop, folk, and alt rock and can be heard in over 50 films, shows, and commercials including Judd Apatow’s Love, Showtime’s Shameless, Grey’s Anatomy, and in high-profile ads for fashion labels such as Lanvin and Madewell. They have performed in Europe and throughout the U.S. with the likes of Stromae, Phantogram, and X Ambassadors.

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New Music From Said The Whale

“Though fewer in number, the pulse between the remaining members has grown louder and more confident than ever before.” – NYLON

“Bursts of electronic bass compliment bright synths and bittersweet vocals” – Consequence of Sound

“An explosive synth-backed outpouring” – Noisey

“Their best effort yet.” – CBC Music

JUNO Award-winning chart-toppers Said The Whale have announced a deluxe edition release of their 2017 LP As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide via Hidden Pony Records. Released one year after the original on March 30, the album includes 10 additional tracks, 5 B-sides, 4 acoustic versions, and 1 new cover song. To celebrate the release, the band has shared one of the previously unreleased tracks “Congratulations”.

Previously operating as a five-piece, the current trio – made up of frontmen Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester and keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown – have created their most collaborative, focused record to date. Previous releases highlighted the contrast between the two founders’ eclectic rock influences and salt-of-the-earth folksiness. Here, their styles become one. Despite the album’s many adventurous sonic forays, it remains true to the spirit of their classic work. At its core, As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide is a singer-songwriter record, guided by introspective lyrics and alchemical group harmonies from Ben, Tyler and Jaycelyn.

Additionally, the band has released a 5 episode podcast titled Demoitis. Each episode explores a song from As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide as well as featuring discussions with peers in the Canadian music scene such as Max Kerman (Arkells), Graham Wright (Tokyo Police Club), Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mother) and more.

As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide: Deluxe Edition + B-Sides is available via the band’s website, Spotify, and Apple Music.

 

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Eric Sharp & Friends EP

Click to listen to the four-track EP

With two lead singles already under his belt it’s now time for Eric Sharp to round things out in one symphonic release.

Over the past four years, Sharp has only released individual singles, so the Eric Sharp & Friends EP is a momentous achievement in his career.

Featuring hit tracks “Too Much” and “Take This Time”, you now also get to enjoy two more tunes, “Call in the Night” and “Some Place I Can Call My Own”. Three of the tracks feature his good mate Zhao, with “Too Much” featuring Brooklyn lads French Horn Rebellion.

Eric Sharp has come a long way since his successful DJ spinning days in the underground house and techno scene, but they certainly shaped his productions for a more focused sound today.

“For the ‘Eric Sharp & Friends EP’ I left that creative constraint behind and just focused on making music as an ends in and of itself. Those who follow my original work will know that collaboration is a big part of my process. I find that there is a nearly magical energy exchange in co-creating music with other artists whom I share a wavelength with,” Sharp said.

The four-track body of work shows a softer moodier side to Sharp’s personality both as a producer and a writer, with a creative flow geared towards the philosophy of surrealist painters like Dali, Magritte and Miro.

“Surrealism involves allowing one’s unconscious to manifest itself in one’s work, maintaining an openness to explore whatever flows through oneself. Because of this I often don’t know what a song is going to be about until halfway through writing it,” he said.

The EP was developed both in his home studio and remotely, with writing sessions at Drew Kramer (Wild & Free) and Zhao’s studios, where the focus was primarily around developing ideas.

“It’s hard for me to take in my productions with a fresh ear, but hopefully on first listen people will hear the tracks as warm, inviting, and hypnotic. My goal is to draw people in my world sonically to have their own experience, and for this purpose, an EP is a better avenue than a single would have been,” he said. 

When you next see Eric Sharp live, listen closely as you will hear snippets of these four singles filter through his set.

“Ironically, now that I have the final masters I find myself sneaking these songs into my DJ sets quite regularly even though they are pretty different from most of what I mix,” he said.

Eric Sharp & Friends EP is available everywhere now including Spotify & Apple Music, with thanks to Little Assembly.

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DATAROCK – Back After 9 Years!

“…this band can nail any song they want, cheekiness be damned” – Pitchfork
“A note-perfect tale of nerd love from two Norwegian dance rockers” – Rolling Stone
“…a frothy elixir out of 1980s synth-pop, art-rock and new wave” – The New York Times
“Don’t be fooled by the tracksuits and ironic facial hair – these wacky Norwegian ‘new rave’ dudes actually write ace songs” – SPIN
“[Datarock] delivers another set of kitschy…songs…very catchy” – BrooklynVegan

The return of DATAROCK is finally upon us: the Norwegian tracksuited synth-stars have finally released their long-awaited third album Face the Brutality. After a nine-year absence, the new album still checks off every spot on the DATAROCK checklist: infuriatingly catchy, impeccably produced, with an undertone of lighthearted goofiness. Make sure not to miss the action-packed video for “Laugh in the Face of Darkness.”

DATAROCK’s playful brand of indie-dance crossover music has been featured everywhere from Workaholics to Vampire Diaries, to more than ten major EA games to various ad campaigns including Apple and Google — take one listen to the opening bassline of “Fa Fa Fa” and you’ll instantly recognize it. American fans have been able to catch sight of the signature red tracksuits at festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza and late night TV programs like Jimmy Kimmel. Face the Brutality will be the synth-rockers’ first LP since 2009 and first output since their musical, The Musical, in 2015. Years in the making, Face the Brutality is an album for the bored and bitter survivors of 2017, an upbeat escape with substance.

FACE THE BRUTALITY Tracklist:
  1. BMX
  2. Ruffle Shuffle
  3. Sense of Reason
  4. Laugh in the Face of Darkness
  5. Everything
  6. Feathers & Wax
  7. Beautiful Monster
  8. Invitation to Love
  9. Outta Here
  10. Darkness at the Edge of the Pit

 

 

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Ladytron is Baaaaaaaaaaack!!!

“This is the Ladytron you remember, sleek and icy, with a wall of synthesizers barreling their way toward you, driven by a teutonic disco beat while Helen Marnie, disaffected as ever, intones “There’s no wrong, there’s no God.”
-Brooklyn Vegan

“The Animals” marches forward propelled by brittle percussion and the short, sharp synthesizer riffs popularized by early Eighties New Wave bands. Lead singer Helen Marnie condenses the hook into a punchy, breathless chant as choral backing vocals glide through the mix behind her.”
-Rolling Stone

” a potent combination of smeary dream-pop and futuristic robo-music.”
-Stereogum

“A dark, synth-driven track, the song’s lyrics describe the animalistic, base nature of humanity.”
-Spin

A hallucinatory track of primitive synths and angelic harmonies, with lyrics considering our more savage instincts.”
-Flood Magazine

On March 1st, Liverpool’s synth meets shoegaze quartet Ladytron released their new single, “The Animals” which made its premiere exclusively via Flood Magazine. A remix by Vince Clarke dropped, making its premiere with Deep House Amsterdam. Both tracks are available now exclusively through the band’s Pledge Music campaign for their forthcoming album. The campaign features deluxe versions of the album and other exclusive items including a limited seven-inch vinyl of the two versions of “The Animals.”

The project reunites the band with Grammy-winning producer Jim Abbiss who produced their iconic album Witching Hour and hit single “Destroy Everything You Touch.”  “The Animals” was the first new song we had, and with it we went immediately into the studio with Jim Abbiss,” says vocalist Helen Marnie. “He’s the producer who has really understood us the most”. 

A combination of primitive synths and emotive harmonies, with lyrics that contemplate humans’ bestial impulses, the single is unmistakably Ladytron, yet hints at new horizons to come. Electronic pioneer Vince Clarke adds a new dimension with his remix. Opening with a sick yet flawless bassline, and stripping the shimmering keyboards of the original for a more menacing sound. “We have always wanted to work with Vince in some way, he’s obviously a legend in our sphere,” remarks Ladytron’s Daniel Hunt.
A second single will follow in the summer, followed in the Fall by the album, both via Pledge. The Pledge Music campaign provides a great opportunity to make the album independently and reconnect with their audience.

About Ladytron:
Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt, Reuben Wu formed Ladytron in Liverpool, England in 1999. They broke through in the early 2000s with the Light & Magic and Witching Hour albums. After five records and a succession of world tours over a ten-year period, Ladytron took a deserved pause, pursuing other projects, collaborations and creative endeavors, before finally deciding in 2016 to begin work on new music together. “The Animals” is the first fruit of this new chapter for the group.

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Tycho and Portugal. The Man Live in the Moment

Ghostly International recording group Tycho has united with Portugal. The Man for two extraordinary remixes of the GRAMMY Award-winning group’s current smash single, “Live In The Moment.” Tycho has crafted a pair of distinct new musical visions – “Live In The Moment (Sunrise)” and “Live For The Moment (Sunset)” – that both showcase the acclaimed Portland rockers original song while pushing it forward via the GRAMMY® Award-nominated dance/electronic project’s own distinctive approach.

“Live In The Moment (Sunrise)” and “Live For The Moment (Sunset)” are available today at The Ghostly Store as well as all digital music retailers and streaming services.

“As a producer and musician who primarily creates instrumental songs I jumped at the chance to work with Portugal. The Man’s unique vocal style,” says Scott Hansen, Tycho’s primary composer, songwriter, and producer. “I try to approach remixes in a way that casts the original song in a new light while staying true to its core elements.  Getting to explore totally different spaces with these two versions, it allowed me to better express my take on the song. I wanted to create a lighter, more energetic version (Sunrise) and darker, more introspective one (Sunset) to highlight and contrast the parts of the original song that most inspired me.”

“Live In The Moment” — featured on Portugal. The Man’s eighth studio album WOODSTOCK — is the follow up to the album’s lead single “Feel It Still,” which was undoubtedly one of the biggest songs of 2017. “Live In The Moment” is currently shaping up to be a multi-format chart smash, which includes a top 5 spot at Alternative radio and #1 at Triple A.

Tycho will celebrate the “Live In The Moment” remixes — as well as 2016’s chart-topping album, EPOCH — with a wide ranging U.S. tour, highlighted by headline dates, DJ sets, festival performances, and multi-artist tours alongside Phantogram, Emmit Fenn, and Poolside. For complete details and ticket availability, please see tychomusic.com/#tour.

TYCHO U.S. TOUR 2018
MARCH
1 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore #
2 – Okeechobee, FL – Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
3 – Dallas, TX – Stereo Live Dallas *
4 – Houston, TX – Stereo Live Houston *
7 – Boston, MA – Icon *
8 – Brooklyn, NY – Output *
10 – Washington, DC – Flash *
MAY
16 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theater ##
17 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory ##
18 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory ##
19 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex ##
21 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre **
22 – Albuquerque, NM – Villa Hispana %
23 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren %
24 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre **

* DJ Set
** w/ Phantogram & Poolside
# w/Poolside
## w/Emmit Fenn
% w/Phantogram

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Highly Anticipated: New Album From Magic Wands

Magic Wands are a dream pop duo from Los Angeles, California. They are known for their melodic, catchy songs “Black Magic” and “Teenage Love.” Chris and Dexy Valentine create music that centers on their main influence— the love of all things “magic” “love,” and “dreams”. They have recently expanded to a five-piece for live shows. Magic Wands Abracadabra Tour begins this fall in anticipation of their third album ABRAKADABRA due out early spring 2018. 

Check out their new single, from the upcoming new album, “Loveline”. 

Magic Wands have been remixed by The XX and Crystal Fighters (featured #1 in NME) as well as have toured and shared bills with The Horrors, The Black Keys, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Wombats and The Kills. In 2012 they released their debut album, Aloha Moon, & performed live on BBC1 Radio and XFM followed by Jupiter in 2016. 

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