Monday, October 20, 2008

Brazilian Girls-NYC Review

The Brazilian Girls
New York City
New York City, the third album for NYC based Brazilian Girls reveals a more intercontinental sound than its predecessors. Unlike their 2006 release Talk To La Bomb, NYC strays away from the typical electro and formulates more of a lounge sound. Multilingual frontwoman Sabina Sciubba incorporates Spanish, French, Italian and every other language she speaks which attributes to the album’s world-savvy flair. The album which packs numerous styles and sounds into one sitting leaves little room for a cohesive progression---a schizophrenic overload of jazz, cabaret, electro and jazz.
The critically acclaimed band extend their signature, multi-lingual sound with the help of renowned Senagalese musician Baaba Maal as a guest vocalist on "Internacional," and American jazz musician Kenny Wollesen on numerous tracks. The album entitled NYC pays homage to the city which the band first got their start. The album’s first track, “St. Petersburg,” is reminiscent of the bands international percussion-driven beats and cool jazz undertones. Sciubba coolly inquires “do you like my accent?” “Good Time” the album’s essential dance sing-a-long features happy synthesizers, lively guitar riffs and a peppy drum beat. "We just want to have a good time, tonight. We just want to have a good time all the time," sings Sciubba. “Nouveau Americain,” which translates from French to “New American” is a hypnotic track permeated by Pan-African drumming and melodic vocals.
While NYC’s sound varies greatly between tracks, the album remains a feel-good chic album that will keep the listener on a rollercoaster of both up and down-tempo grooves. This album is cooler than a ham sandwich and side-dish of shitake mushrooms.

Halloween comes early

This week's Sarah Palin moment of the week...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bands I've Seen (and number of times)

Forgive me for bragging, boasting.. etc. But I'd like to have this online for reasons of convenience. Anyhow, I'd like to see at least 15 more before the year's over.

Widespread Panic- 17
Ghostland Observatory-5
Spoon- 5
The Flaming Lips- 4
Grupo Fantasma- 3
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers-3
Dave Matthews Band- 2
Neil Diamond- 2
Three Leaf-2
Holy F*ck-2
Kings of Leon-2
Amy Cook-2
Mickey Avalon-2
Dave Matthews & Friends- 1
The Strange Boys-1
Band of Horses-1
David Byrne-1
The Ugly Beats-1
The Boxing Lesson-1
Handsome Furs-1
The Kills-1
The Eagles-1
Tokyo Police Club-1
Tilly & The Wall-1
The Presets-1
Cut Copy-1
The Fratellis-1
The Muslims-1
White Denim-1
Del the Funky Homosapian-1
Vampire Weekend-1
Aesop Rock-1
Thievery Corporation-1
No Age-1
Abe Vegota-1
King Khan and the Shrines-1
The Jaccuzi Boys-1
Sound Team- 2
Aqualung- 1
Lcd Soundsystem-1
The National-1
The Arcade Fire-1
Yo La Tengo-1
The Killers-1
The Faint-1
Jaguar Love-1
Zap Mama-1
Regina Specktor-1
Bloc Party-1
Kaiser Chiefs-1
Cold War Kids-1
Queens of the Stoneage-1
Bob Dylan and his Band-1
The Bravery- 1
Buddy Guy- 1
Robert Randolph & the Family- 1
Rebirth Brass Band- 1
Cher- 1
Of Montreal-1
Pattern is Movement-1
Loren Dent-1
Cyndi Lauper- 1
Elton John- 1
Mission from Burma- 1
She Wants Revenge- 1
I Love You, But I've Chosen Darkness- 1
Shakira- 1
Ov7- 1
Ha-Ash- 1
The Walkmen- 1
Phil Lesh & Friends- 1
Chicago- 1
Earth, Wind & Fire- 1
Rachel Yamagata- 1
Keane- 1
Nic Armstrong & the Thieves- 1
Damian Gong Marley-1
Tv on the Radio-2
Built to Spill-1
Los Lonely Boys-1
The Rolling Stones-1
The Racontours-1
Gnarls Barkley-1
Steve Miller Band-1
Parliament Funkadelic-1
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-1
Elvis Perkins-1
Jose Gonzales-1
Brazilian Girls-1
Massive Attack-1
The B-52's-1
Pet Shop Boys-1
Sons of Hercules- 1
The Black Angels- 1
Car Stereo Wars-1
Crowded House-1
Artic Monkeys-1
Stephen Marley-1
The Jellydots-1
Key-Man Marley-1
Ian McLagen & Bump Band-1
Stephen Marley-1
Clap! Clap!-1
Van Halen-1
Dandy Warhols-1
Ringo Deathstar-1
Kanye West-1
Lupe Fiasco-1
Steve Winwood-1
Broken Social Scene- 1
Jack Johnson-1
Sharon Jones and Dap Kings-1
The Cool Kids-1
Suptnik Monroe-1
Paul Van Dyk- 1
Paul Oakenfold- 1
Infusion- 1
Dj Shadow-1
Dj Logic-3
Max Graham- 1
The Chemical Method- 1
Gabriel & Dresden- 1
James Zabiela and Nic Finaciulli-1
Benny Benassi-1
Ferry Corsten-1

Oxblood Masquerade Music and Arts Festival

The fourth-annual Oxblood Masquerade Music and Arts Festival, produced by Austin-based promotions company They Will Come Productions will be held October 31-November 2 at The Ball Farm, a 62-acre venue located 25 minutes from downtown Austin in Lytton Springs. The event which used to be called Melody & Josh’s Halloween Bash stemmed from the mastermind of Josh Ball, event organizer. “Initially, it was just a big party about 125-130 people in attendance and Funkotron performing. But now it’s grown into something larger,” says Ball.
The event which gets its name from the oxblood lilies that grow throughout the venue’s area will feature a 36-band lineup, local art, food vendors and beer. Festival attendees will be allowed to bring their own food and alcohol. Due to liability, alcohol brought is to be consumed in the designated campground area only ---no kegs or glass bottles are allowed. Vehicles occupied by minors carrying alcohol are prohibited from entering the campground. Ball highly recommends that festival attendees facilitate the free campsites. “We emphasize camping to minimize drunk driving, it’s free for all, although you can’t get back into the ground with a one day pass,” says Ball. “Campers must be attendees in order to camp on the grounds. We aren’t letting any outside guests use the campsite.”
The community based event which promotes the sharing of fans among the bands, previously relied on word of mouth advertising but has extended its promotion to radio, internet and flyers. “We expect at least 2,000 to attend,” said Ball. Texas State Senior, Bryan Wasetis who attended last year said that he first heard about the event through his friend who had attended the year before. Wasetis further stated that the Oxblood festival is an enjoyable way to discover local music and have fun with friends. “Instead of doing the conventional Halloween thing in Austin, my friend who had gone the year before suggested we go to Oxblood instead because it would be more fun,” said Wasetis. “Oxblood is revolutionary in how it supports the local music scene. I had an incredible time at last years, a great mix of people and good times.” Bands on the bill include local favorites Three Leaf, Funkotron, The Olive Street Band, Green Mountain Grass, The River Hymm and Word Association to name a few.
In support of the going green trend, all food and beer will be served in compostable containers and the main stage will be run by solar power. All attendees are encouraged to wear costumes in lieu of Halloween.
For ticket prices, complete line-up and more information visit

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Britney, bitch....

Britney's new single Womanizer, for her upcoming album Circus was featured on 20/20 Friday night. While the shower scenes were edited for content, the song and video are sure to be instant gold. I like the 4/20 reference in the video. See if you can catch it. She's back! Here's the unedited version:

Sarah Palin Remixed

Our weekly Sarah Palin fix.

Maya Preggers!

A very pregnant M.I.A. took the stage with rapper T.I. and N.E.R.D., last night in Brooklyn, New York at the Diesel xXx Rock & Roll Circus. The Sri Lankan rapper who recently got engaged to Benjamin Brewer , the son of CEO and Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr., had been said to have cancelled her summer tour due pregnancy rumors.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thievery Corporation-Radio Retaliation Review

Thievery Corporation
Radio Retaliation
ESL Music

Radio Retaliation is the fifth studio album for Washington D.C. based duo Thievery Corporation, which consists of deejays Rob Garza and Eric Hilton. While the album is the follow-up to 2006 album Versions which consisted primarily of remixes and their popular 2005 release The Cosmic Game, which rose to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart and sold over 150,000 copies in the United States, Radio Retaliation falls short of its predecessors. Despite the incorporation of numerous world guest singers, the down-tempo, ambient, lounge theme remains central and really doesn’t present anything new or out of the ordinary. Often categorized as “world music,” Thievery Corporation remains true to this notion through the inclusion of Brazilian, Nigerian, Middle-Eastern, Afro-rhythm, and Latin beats. Guest musicians joining Hilton and Garza on the album include Anoushka Shankar, daughter of renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar, Slovakian violinist and vocalist Jana Andevska, Brazilian singer Seu Jorge, award-winning Nigerian afro-beat star Femi Kuti, and "Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown among others.
“Sound the Alarm,” kicks off the album with an emergency alarm sample which lasts about 18 seconds and fades into an energetic reggae dub ordering to “sound the alarm, order the attack.” The album’s second track entitled “Mandela” featuring Shankar is an instrumental manifestation of rich drum beats and sitar strumming which transcends into an innovative acid-jazz funk jam. “Radio Retaliation,” the title track features reggae singer Sleepy Wonder who sets forth the political agenda of Thievery Corporation---“50,000 watts of Thievery hit them like poison darts, and watch the whole system what them build up fall apart.” The last track entitled “Sweet Tides,” featuring vocalist LouLou, is a sweet soft boss nova tune that provides a perfect ending to this “chill” album.
The CD comes in a rustic cardboard packaging enveloped loosely in a poster fold-out insert. The leaflet itself measuring 20” x 30” when unfolded contains the lyrics of each song randomly placed along the front and back. The artwork consists of a large Rasta-colored bulls-eye on both sides, surrounded by cut and paste images of electronics, music equipment, cameras, bullets, pixilated people, and infamous quotes from the likes of Timothy Leary, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Hunter S. Thompson, Joe Strummer and numerous others. In addition, a footnote included amongst the other quotes implicates that “the quotes and images assembled on the enclosed poster collage are intended to convey a transformative political and social message” and are in no way intended to represent the significance of Radio Retaliation but of Thievery Corporation itself. Interestingly enough, the deliverance of their message is subtle and doesn’t outshine the music.
While, I wasn’t a fan of Thievery Corporation until I saw them live a few months ago in Austin, Texas, I’ve come to realize that their live performance is much more captivating than their studio work. Whereas, you’d typically hear this style or type of music at a lounge or coffee shop, Thievery Corporation has reinvented the genre into something more appealing to the masses. I was blown away by their stage presence which included a belly dancer clad in archaic Arab garb, an array of backup musicians and guest singers Federico Aubele and Seu Jorge. The gravitational effect of the music was prevalent in the crowd’s endless dancing and celebration of being “one.”

Highlight Track: “Sweet Tides” Track 15

Album Grade: 6.5/10 (increments of .5)

Ashley Cass

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Electric Mayhem every Wednesday at Lucy's

Funk, punk, indie, electro, pop, house, hip-hop, mainstream are only some of the types of music being played at Lucy's on Wednesday nights. While typically referred to as "Hip-Hop Night" by the local scensters and hipsters in San Marcos, Lucy's General Manager Brian Scofield says he dislikes the term because it doesn't really describe the encompassing theme or agenda. "I don't really like the term 'hip-hop night' because I think it is too narrow a description of what Electric Mayhem play."

When one thinks Electric Mayhem, instantly an image of the Muppets house band comes to mind, unless you're a college student at Texas State University. Electric Mayhem, made up of resident deejays Chief and Dj Crown real names Greg Williams and John Crownover have played a significant role in San Marcos nightlife for the past six and a half years. The duo who adapted their name from Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem grew out of former musical venture Liquid Stereo Project, a seven piece hip-hop group. On the eve of one of Liquid Stereo Project's performances at Lucy's, one of the members had a family emergency which resulted in the show's cancellation. In an attempt to fill in last minute, Williams and Crownover volunteered to deejay and Electric Mayhem was born. Despite a slow start, the duo began to gain steady popularity through word of mouth by the end of the summer in 2002. By 2005, Lucy's was hitting max capacity every Wednesday which continues to date. Texas State Junior Veronica Sanchez says she's been going to see Electric Mayhem every Wednesday since last year. "I started coming because I used to see the advertising for 'Electric Mayhem at Lucy's' around town and friends just kept telling me how much fun it was," says Sanchez.

Both Williams and Crownover, who hold other jobs during the day, sample all types of music which include rock, old funk, soul, and reggae. "We play a variety of music. About 75% are personal tastes and maybe 25% is what we think people want to hear. We try to be an alternative, we play what we feel comfortable playing," says Crownover. Williams says the duo find their music through the use of XM-radio, Myspace, music blogs, and magazines. "We get our music from sources that most people get their music, we use music that an open-minded crowd appreciates," says Williams. Philosophy major Hannah Jordan enjoys the varied genres Electric Mayhem play throughout the evening. "They keep it real diverse. I never know if I'm going to hear James Brown or M.I.A.," says Jordan.

The duo is incredibly appreciative to all of the members of the crowd who come out and enjoy themselves. "This is our 'bread and butter, we just have a blast when we're up there," says Williams. Crownover reiterates his and Williams' gratitude to the people who attend and says that he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fixed Gear Bicycles

My first stand-up package... I hate my hispanic accent, but oh well!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun Fun Fun Fest

The second annual Fun Fun Fun Fest will be held at Waterloo Park in Austin, Texas, November 8th and 9th. This year's eclectic lineup features retired punk band
Dead Milkman whose sole reunion performance will take place at the event. Several of widely anticipated acts include The National, Atmosphere, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dan Deacon and Clipse to name a few.

FINAL LINEUP for 2008:
Stage 1: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The National, Atmosphere, Minus The Bear, St. Vincent, Black Angels, Trail of Dead, Deerhoof, Rival Schools, Islands, The Annuals, Bishop Allen, Centro-matic, Black Heart Procession, Frightened Rabbit, Spinto Band, Parts and Labor, Colourmusic, Experimental Dental School, 27, Til We're Blue or Destroy, Paul Green's School of Rock, Ume, Black Joe Lewis

Stage 2: Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Neil Hamburger, Tim Fite, Magnetic Morning (adam franklin of Swervedriver, sam fogarino of Interpol), Kevin Seconds (of 7 seconds), The Revival Tour w/: Chuck Ragan (of hot water music), Tom Gabel (of against me!), Ben Nichols (of lucero), Tim Barry (of avail), The Cynics, The Ugly Beats, El Paso Hot Button, Walter Schreifels (of quicksand, rival schools, GB, YOT), Coldtowne Comedy Hour, Pepi Ginsberg, Altercation Punk Rock Comedy hour, Frank Smith, Matt Beardan, Chris Fairbanks, Dragon Boy Suede, Golden Arm Trio, Grampall Jookabox, spot & Albert, James Petralli (White Denim)

Stage 3: Bad Brains, ALL, Dead Milkmen (reunion/only show), Adolescents, Integrity (only US/worldwide show), Bouncing Souls, Swingin Utters, DOA, Killdozer, Cromags (jam), Scared of Chaka, Young Widows, Leftover Crack, Trash Talk, World Burns to Death, Krumbums, Mammoth Grinder, Cute Lepers, Bitter End, High Tension Wires, Born to Lose, Camp X-Ray, Municipal Waste

Stage 4: Clipse, Z-trip, Dan Deacon, YACHT, Grupo Fantasma, Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon, Dengue Fever, Brownout!, Franki Chan, Toxic Avenger (paris), Hawnay Troof, Starlynx/bigface, Richard Henry, J*Davey, Shane Tyson, The Octopus Project, Zeale & Phranchyze, Terp 2 It

Tickets can be purchased here!

Mad Decent Tour date in Austin!

The Mad Decent Tour featuring Diplo, Abe Vigoda, Boy 8-bit, Telepathe and other special guests will be making a stop in Austin at Emo's Friday, November 7th.

You can get your presale tickets to the event here.

Fey as Palin continues to boost SNL ratings

Tina Fey's reprising role of Alaska governer and Republican Vice President hopeful Sarah Palin has continued to boost ratings for NBC's "Saturday Night Live". With a viewership of 7.4 rating, ratings jumped 23 percent since last week's episode. The skit featured special guest star Queen Latifah as debate moderator Gwen Ifill. Here it is in case you missed it:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cool Hand Luke

Hello friends, I just wanted to share with you my first "real" cd review for Stereo Subversion.

Check it Here!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Radiohead Reckoner Video

Radiohead has decided to use an animated feature directed by Clement Picon, who is one of the winners of the Radiohead Reckoner video contest, as the official video for the track. The video is pretty cool and depicts the rise and destruction of a futuristic world.
Radiohead - Reckoner - by Clement Picon

The Walkmen- You & Me Review

The Walkmen
You & Me
You & Me, the fifth album and follow-up to A Hundred Miles Off exhibits The Walkmen ‘s evolving sound and style. While the album is sulkier and gloomier than its predecessors, it puts the band’s lyrical genius forthright. Unlike the success of their first album, Bows and Arrows, which features hit single “The Rat,” You & Me is slowly gaining popularity in the indie world. An introspective analytical proverb of interpersonal experiences, You & Me explores the human emotions of lust, love and heart-break.
A burning bass riff and melodic drums compliment singer Hamilton Leithauser’s whiskey soaked voice nicely on the album starter entitled “Donde Esta La Playa,” which translates from Spanish to “Where is the Beach?” The mention of a one night stand on the track sets the mood and encompassing theme of the album. “Flamingo (for Colbert),” a melancholy instrumental piece which serves only as a filler between the first and third track provides nothing more than carefully crafted musical noise. The album’s standout track “In the New Year,” a heartfelt emotion of self-induced optimism is conveyed by Leithauser proclaiming that “it’s going to be a good year, out of darkness and into the fire.”
It’s great to see a band such as The Walkmen experiment with a darker undertone and lamentation of words. You & Me truly proves to be an engaging masterpiece for the brokenhearted and barstool depressed.

Ashley Cass