Ukrainian Block Party -- Huun-Huur Tu and DakhaBrakha at Royce Hall

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 27, 2015 01:41pm | Post a Comment

We're spoiled for entertainment choices here in Los Angeles; sometimes I feel almost paralyzed by cultural options and end up in an almost catatonic state listening to old episodes of Dragnet. That almost happened the other day, when I was torn between whether to go to KDAY’s Fresh Fest or Center for the Art of Performance's Ukrainian Block Party. South Los Angeles's Westside or the Westside WestsideUCLA territory or USC? The 2 or the 92?

Royce Hall at Sunset
Royce Hall at Sunset by Karan Mehta

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: New Releases, Bay Area Vibez, Del in Denver, Psalm One, Goodword + Tahaj the First, Stretch & Bobbito + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 26, 2015 11:46am | Post a Comment

New and recent hip-hop album releases to arrive in Amoeba Music's three retail outlets and on the online Amoeba store include Mac Miller's GO:OD A.M. on Warner Brothers, Glasses Malone's GH2: Life Ain't Nuthin' But...  on Blu Division Music, Michigan rapper/filmmaker Prozak's We All Fall Down on the Tech N9ne co-founded Strange Music Inc. record label, and Young Dro's The Reality Show on E1 Music - the first album in two long hip-hop years from the Atlanta artist who released High Times back in October of 2013. Other recent releases include Scarface's Deeply Rooted on BMG from the Geto Boys star, and the popular new joint from Motor City hip-hop favorite son Guilty Simpson, whose latest full-length Detroit Son is released via Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw Records in both CD and vinyl formats as well as a download version of the recommended new 17 track release. Meanwhile, soon-to-drop upcoming releases will include Rhymesayers artist/Chicago femcee Psalm One (aka Hologram Kizzie) whose been on the road recently, including at Riot Fest 2015 in her hometown (see video below) and at Hiero Day earlier this month in Oakland, as pre-promotion for her soon-to-drop P.O.L.Y. album.

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DJ Qbert Interview on Maker Faire NY, new Invisibl Skratch Piklz LP with Shortkut & D-Styles + new Mix Master Mike collaboration

Posted by Billyjam, September 26, 2015 08:44am | Post a Comment

Late yesterday afternoon, within an hour of landing at JFK following a long flight in from Japan where he was at the big Red Bull World DJ Championship week-long event, DJ Qbert showed no signs of jet-lag but was in surprisingly good form as he pulled his compact suitcase across the grass grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Queens where this weekend the World Maker Faire NY 2015 takes place. The hard working, pioneering turntablist who has been the leading ambassador of skratch music for the past two decades, has had one of his busiest years to date. Still satisfying fans' demand to hear and see him perform tracks live from his acclaimed new album Extraterrestria (and its spinoff GalaXXXian), the San Francisco DJ born Richard Quitevis has been on a seemingly non-stop globetrotting trek of concerts and showcase performances. Now, back on US soil this weekend along with his fellow Thud Rumble crew of forward thinking tech gear designers (Yogafrog, Hard Rich, Charles Angeles Jr.), he is at the big Maker Faire NY.

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9 Awesome Albums That Came Out This Week

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2015 06:30pm | Post a Comment

This week was a huge one for new releases. Instead of doing my usual handful of album picks, I’m picking out nine that stand out.


Chvrches - Every Open Eye

chvrches every open eye lpScottish trio Chvrches made electro-pop gems splattered with emotion on their beguiling debut. For album No. 2, they just get craftier, creating songs that sound like the soundtrack to your wildest dreams. “Never Ending Circles” opens the album on a note of big, open-armed camaraderie, the kind of drinking song or team anthem that’s nearly impossible to pull off. That sense of momentum carries through song after song. “Leave a Trace” finds frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s vocals at their strongest — hers is the kind of voice that makes it impossible to feel lonely or sad when you’re listening to it. “Keep You On My Side” is a hi-NRG-inspired jam that calls to mind the best of Erasure or early Depeche Mode with its fluttering synths, but its hard-hitting beat updates the sound for the EDM generation. Every Open Eye doesn’t quite have a song that lands with the same power as “The Mother We Share” or “Gun,” but The Bones of What You Believe was an album of peaks and valleys, whereas this one is a steadier ride, coasting on the band’s increased confidence. It’s life-embracing pop music of the highest order, something we all need from time to time.

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Weekly Roundup: Wavves, James Ferraro, Hazel English, The Mantles, Froth, Gun Outfit

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

Wavves – “Pony”

wavvesThe third track we’ve heard from Wavves’ upcoming V is the catchiest of the pack, a lovelorn jam that sneaks soul-searching lyrics into its surging power-pop chords. V is due Oct. 2 on Ghost Ramp/Warner.


James Ferraro – “Skid Row”

james ferraroAs avant-R&B artist James Ferraro may have based his last album, the neo-brutalist NYC HELL 3am, on a bleak view of the NYC landscape, the first song off his new album pulls a similar feat with his adopted second home of L.A. “Skid Row” feels like an art-damaged, half-awake reading of our particular version of urban decay, of 7-Elevens and acid rain and hip-hop beats rumbling in the distance and something beautiful (or sinister) lurking in the hallway. Recorded in L.A., Skid Row is due Nov. 13 on Break World.

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