Category Archives: Random

The Mystery Is The Green Seed

“Tackling contemporary issues —and universal themes of the heart and home, the multifarious southern hip-hop crew creates a smart, infectious, 13-track LP exuding positivity and self-awareness.” SPIN

“For folks who think the ’90s was Golden Age of hip hop, Birmingham, Alabama group The Green Seed recalls the days of De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Black Star and more.” -Brooklyn Vegan

“Comparing the socially conscious four-man crew’s rhythmic and lyrical dexterity to Ghostface Killah and Kool Keith isn’t stretching too much.” – Nashville Scene

Over the summer, inexplicable commercials have been popping up all over local Birmingham television stations.  The commercials are only a quarter of a minute long, but thanks to the odd imagery involved they have created quite a memorable impact on all who have seen them.

Birmingham residents have been perplexed as to what the commercials were designed to advertise since they were all quite obscure, leaving much to the viewer’s imagination.

The confusion was taken to an all-new level when one of the spots was aired on national television during Late Night with Seth Meyers and Saturday Night Live commercial breaks.

Today, the source of the perplexing commercials has been revealed, and it is not what people expected. Online, many television watchers speculated as to the source with some arguing it was for a comedic sketch show and others saying it was a publicity stunt for some soon to be released product. While all the guesses were good, they were all wrong.

Birmingham, Alabama hip-hop group The Green Seed is the proud source of the surreal commercials.  Each member of the four-piece group (Jean Jefferson, Ted Thompson, Psychic Mike, and Winston James) recorded their own commercial in a viral marketing campaign for their debut full-length album, Drapetomania. The record was released July 15th via Communicating Vessels and is available for purchase now.

In case you missed seeing the commercials on television then you can catch them on the YouTube playlist above. Of course, be sure to dial the number at the bottom of the screen.

The Green Seed is an exciting new act hailing from one of the current most musically fertile cities in the US. Their debut album has gained nationwide critical acclaim and is most definitely one of the best hip-hop albums to have been released this year. Drapetomania is currently at #2 on the CMJ Hip-Hop charts.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Drapetomania wasn’t the product of the Dirty South rather than the blunted grit of J Dilla’s Detroit or the otherworldly productions of Lex Records. But Drapetomania is no homage – it’s a unique blend of heart, laughter, and guts. While the album often contemplates bondage – artistic, romantic, etc. – but, ultimately, it’s a soundtrack to Freedom… And whatever comes next.

If the commercials have you intrigued then the music will have you hooked. Listen to the stream of Drapetomania on Spin now, right here.

While their recorded songs are amazing, there’s nothing quite like seeing these guys live. They’ll be playing a handful of dates in the coming weeks, so check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

9/5 in Florence, AL @ 116 Mobile
9/12 in Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern
9/19 in Hattiesburg, MS @ Thirsty Hippo
10/21-25 in NYC @ CMJ Music Marathon

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Tegan and Sara – Get Along

Beloved Canadian pop-rock icons Tegan and Sara will release a very special DVD/CD package, entitled Get Along, on Warner Bros. Records on November 15th, 2011.

Get Along is a collection of three films and a live album that offers viewers a rare and intimate look into the lives of widely celebrated songwriters, performers, and musicians Tegan and Sara Quin. The first film, States, is a 30-minute documentary that uses American touring footage and interviews with Tegan and Sara as a backdrop to illuminate their early career beginnings and unique connection with their fanbase. The second film, India, is a 25-minute documentary shot during Tegan and Sara’s first-ever tour of India, using interview footage with Tegan, Sara, and a cast of family and friends to chronicle diverse reflections on road life. The third film, For The Most Part, is a 70-minute stripped-down studio concert, shot before a live audience of 75 fans, friends, and family over two days at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, BC.

Get Along will come in three configurations. The first is a standard DVD/CD that includes States, India, and For The Most Part, plus an audio CD of the 15 live tracks on the DVD (see below for track-listing). The second is a Direct-to-Consumer piece that includes the three films and live concert audio, plus three signed lithographs, two digital instant grat tracks (live versions of “Back In Your Head” and “Wake Up Exhausted”) that will be delivered upon pre-order at teganandsara.com, and two digital bonus tracks (the previously unreleased “Northshore” Chuck Brody Remix and a live version of “I Bet It Stung”) that will be delivered on November 15th. iTunes versions of Get Along will also be available via the digital retailer, with the CD component available in the Music Store and the DVD component available separately in the Movie Store.

Get Along is now available for pre-order at teganandsara.com. Stay tuned to the site for information about upcoming screenings of the films, plus very special Q&A sessions with Tegan and Sara to be held in November.

The tracklisting for Get Along is as follows:

Alligator
I Know I Know I Know
Monday Monday Monday
I Hear Noises
Night Watch
Back In Your Head
Divided
Call It Off
Relief Next to Me
The Ocean
Nineteen
Knife Going In
Not With You
I Won’t Be Left
Sentimental Tune

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Lucha VaVOOM

Mexican Masked Wrestling + Burlesque + Comedy = Lucha VaVOOM

Click the image to watch the preview for the 2010 Halloween shows in L.A.

In the spirit of my return from an awesome vacation in Mexico, I’m going to pass along some information today about Lucha VaVOOM, which is where Mexican Masked wrestlers flip and fly, performing breathtaking acrobatic feats as lovably absurd characters with names like Dirty Sanchez, Chupacabra, and Shamu Jr.  In between matches, the finest handpicked burlesque acts from around the world delight the crowds because the folks at Lucha VaVOOM like a little sexo with their violencia!  Lucha VaVOOM has upcoming Halloween shows at LA’s Mayan Theater, October 27th and 28th.

Even more, there’s comedians added to the mix! In the past, comedians like Jeffrey Ross, Patton Oswalt and Jack Black have taken part. Lucha VaVOOM has also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, CBS National News, Carson Daily and several other local news programs.  Recently, dancers and wrestlers from Lucha VaVOOM shared the stage with Ozomatli and Cheech Marin at the Hollywood Bowl, and were one of the top-billed acts at the Chicago Just For Laughs Festival (right under Ellen DeGeneres).
 
Rooted in history, Lucha VaVOOM draws its inspiration from the bizarre world of 60’s Mexican Lucha Cinema, where brave, masked wrestling crime fighters save the world from evil brains, vampires, the Bermuda Triangle etc; always with an obligatory stop at the local go-go club. 
 
You simply have to see it to believe it!  If Lucha VaVOOM isn’t coming to a city near you this time, be sure to catch an appearance on America’s Top Model on October 6th. 

Lucha VaVoom Fall 2010 Dates
(w/Jonathan Toubin DJing East Coast Shows):
 
10/21:  Seattle, WA @ Showbox
10/24:  Portland, OR @ Roseland
10/27:  Los Angeles, CA @ Mayan Theater
10/28:  Los Angeles, CA @ Mayan Theater
10/31:  San Francisco, CA @ Filmore
11/04:  Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
11/06:  Asbury Park, NJ @ Convention Hall
11/08:  Boston, MA @ Royal Boston
11/09:  New York, NY @ Webster Hall
11/11:  Chicago, IL @ Park West

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Straight From the Source: Free Energy’s “Bang Pop” Video

I touched on the subject of Free Energy and their video a couple times. I had also posted a blast informing you guys that the audition was at Urban Outfitters in Philly. Well, Pitchfork conducted an interview with the director of the video for “Bang Pop,” Josh Nussbaum.

Here’s a short excerpt, but click here for the entire article (and to watch the video).

Pitchfork: This is obviously a super fun video. Was it fun to make? Or was it hard to wrangle all those people to look like they were having fun?

JN: I kept promising myself that I was going to have fun making the video. This was the mantra that I would repeat every morning. By nighttime, I needed to remind myself that I should be having fun with it. It was a huge challenge. The casting was left until two or three days before the shoot. At a certain point, I just had to put the casting into God’s hands. We shot on the week of the ash cloud, so I lost a couple key members of my crew, and I ended up taking a lot of that responsibility on myself. The creative process of making the video was incredibly fun, but my personal expectations that are so high that I’m constantly having to remind myself to have a good time.

Pitchfork: Why are there so many bubbles in the video?

JN: The bubbles were a momentary inspiration in my first meeting with the production designer. I was just trying to intimidate him by creating an impossible list of requests. I probably said, “Oh, and of course there’s gotta be bubbles the whole time”. So I was very pleased when I showed up and there were bubbles the whole time. 

Pitchfork: In the hallway scene, Evan Wells, the band’s bass player, is doing all these wheelchair tricks. How many times did he fall down?

JN: Evan is just really good. In fact, he didn’t fall once. Half of my directions in that scene were to him because he was at the front of the scene. I really wanted him to fall; I thought that would be great for the video. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. He did give it his all, he just didn’t fall. The wheelchair was supposed to have fireworks shooting off it, but there were a lot of small to large pyrotechnics– as well as all sorts of nudity and drug references– that were at some point slated for the script, but fell by the wayside.

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Sparklehorse Frontman Dead

More sad news across music blogs…indie rock band Sparklehorse’s frontman Mark Linkous has taken his own life by shooting himself in the heart at age 47. According to his publicist, Linkous had almost finished working on a brand new Sparklehorse album that was going to be released through Anti-Records.

Go to Sparklehorse’s MySpace page and listen to “Cow” and “Piano Fire.”

Check out Pitchfork’s saddening article: “Artists React to death of Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous”

 

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Friendly Fires vs. Holy Ghost!

It started off as a drunken conversation at Corsica’s Calvi Rocks festival in July 2009. Friendly Fires had just played live, Holy Ghost had just finished DJing, and in the post-gig haze the decision was made by each band to cover one of the other’s songs.

Click here to hear what Stereogum calls a “shimmery disco-dusted electro anthem!”

The following download list will be available March 8, 2010:

1. Friendly Fires – Hold On
2. Friendly Fires – Hold On (Instrumental)
3. Holy Ghost – On Board
4. Holy Ghost – On Board (Instrumental)
5. Holy Ghost – On Board (Dub)

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The Music Tee

Why hasn’t this been thought of before?

A joint venture between Girlie Action and L.A.-based innovator Invisible DJ, The Music Tee is a new and unique way for musicians to sell their music while creating a new outlet for fans to experience music and album art together again. It’s a shirt that has ‘cover art’ on the front and a track list on the back. Each shirt comes with a hang tag with a unique URL to download the music from TheMusicTee.com. The Music Tee is registered with Nielsen SoundScan, so each download counts as an album sale. The point is to help artists find a new platform to actually sell their music again while combining fashion and music. Past artist tees that are still available include The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Kid Sister,  The Dim Mak Dance Compilation #1, Monsters of Folk, Mos Def and more!

“As fashionistas everywhere know, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys are two of the best places in New York to update your closet, but now they are also two of the best places to load your iPod. Thanks to the Music Tee…” 

– New York Times

Here’s my personal favorite:

The Magic Wands

Magic Love & Dreams EP

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Artists on the Verge

From the New Music Seminar and OurStage.com, comes a new, exciting contest!

Enter to win this once in a lifetime opportunity aimed to help break aspiring artists’ careers in the music industry though direct exposure and personal mentoring from some of the most influential and connected industry leaders of the new music business.  The winner will also receive a special prize musical package including free musical equipment, video promotion, publicity services, legal work, CD pressing and much more.

Entries are open to all unsigned artists in the Urban, Rock or Pop genres, and will be accepted until December 22nd, 2009 at http://bit.ly/TheVerge

Ten Finalists – A Judge Panel consisting of music industry leaders will select ten finalists from the top 20 ranked artists from each of the “Artists on the Verge” OurStage Channels.  These ten finalists will have their A&R promotional packages and EPKs delivered to 20 top record labels in North America for consideration.

Top Three Finalists – The top three finalists will be awarded travel funds and passes to Los Angeles to attend the New Music Seminar on February 2nd, 2010 following the Grammy Awards. The three finalists will each receive a live mentoring and critique session by industry experts (led by superstar artists, producers, radio programmers, and bloggers) in front of the NMS audience.

Grand Prize Winner
-The One Grand Prize Winner will be chosen at NMS to perform at the NMS After Party and will receive a comprehensive music consultation package that will include special music prizes, services and offerings from some of the smartest and most connected leaders of the new music business.

For more details on the entry rules and contest please go to: http://www.ourstage.com/go/artistsontheverge

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Wekastar.com Competition

Wekastar.com is a website sort of like TalentTrove that devotes itself to discovering new artists.

They have many different competitions going on, but one they’ve got going on right now is a Bob Marley cover competition.

Please go check out and vote for my good buddy Brando’s cover of “Redemption Song“. You do have to register to vote, but it’s FREE and QUICK! And worth it…he does an awesome job!!!

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Empire of the Sun & Jay-Z!?!

Empire of the Sun’s debut album Walking on a Dream (which I reviewed here) has done extremely well, especially in the UK. Now, Jay-Z has asked frontman Luke Steele to collaborate on his new album, The Blueprint 3.

From Spinner.com:

It’s pretty impressive for a band that has yet to play its first show. They’re finally going to add that to their resume as well, at the end of this month when Empire of the Sun performs a string of festival dates across Australia, beginning Sept. 26 in Brisbane.

“I’ve kind of designed the show like a movie,” Steele tells Spinner. “It’s like a 3-D movie. There’s narration and there’s lots of dance, and so it kind of takes you on a journey like the record does and goes to a lot of different places. It’s a cross between a movie and a live band show.”

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