Taiga is a pop album, but its creator has made that way intentionally while retaining, and perhaps improving upon, her artistry. Rather than cashing in, the album finds Zola Jesus (aka Nika Rosa Danilova) returning to her roots of sorts, as she largely wrote Taiga on Washington’s Vashon Island, as though returning to the rustic forests where she was raised in Wisconsin, singing “do you wish you could go back to it all?” on the creaking opening title track, which erupts into a jungle beat. From here, we head into powerful pop songs like “Dangerous Days” that find Danilova singing clearly and boldly over dance-pop beats, but with the same paralyzing strength her voice has always commanded. “Go (Blank Sea)” is a little sultrier, built on a slower beat that swells into big, booming pop chorus and disintegrates into fluttering synthesizers, while Nika Roza Danilova’s voice rises and falls with soul and precision. “Hunger’s” hyperkinetic beat and incisive synth riff make for some of the album’s most grabbing moments. And though “Lawless’,” beautiful melodies sound buried under the ice, they’re still firmly pop. Perhaps because of the way in which it was written, the album has a certain isolation to it that comes through on tracks like “Ego,” in which Danilova undergoes thorough self-examination (she pairs similarly painful reflections “I fought against the ego, I know it brought me closer to losin’” and “I fed into the ego, I knew it brought me closer to hubris”), while synthesizers and strings quietly battle around her, sounds creaking cavernously in the background. On Taiga, Danilova sounds as though she’s faced her inner demons and come through on top with an album of powerfully moving pop music.
image credit Stevie Nicks/Morrison Hotel Gallery
Stevie Nicks may have found fame in Fleetwood Mac, but she is nothing if not her own super star, apparently. Concurrent with the October 7th release of her new solo album 24 Karat Gold - Songs from the Vault and her upcoming tour with the fully reunited Buckingham Nicks era Fleetwood Mac line-up, Morrison Hotel Gallery will debut Stevie's 24 Karat Gold photographic exhibit featuring a collection of Nicks' intimate and meticulously executed Polaroid self-portraits created while at home and on the road between 1975 and 1987. The exhibit begins in New York City on October 10th and 11th at 201 Mulberry Street, moving from there on to the Morrison Hotel Gallery Loft at 116 Prince Street for the month of October. Prints will be available for sale through the website, the gallery in Soho and and through Morrison Hotel Gallery's Los Angeles location at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, October 12th to the 21st.
Given that many of the songs recorded for this new album were written between 1969 and 1987, this exhibition presents a fitting glimpse into the clandestine musings of an artist at work. "I always hoped that there would be some kind of an outlet for them," Nicks says of these images. "When I started looking back at these songs I wrote years ago to select what I would record for my new album, I began to look at all the Polaroids I had taken during that time. For every love affair I had, there are pictures. "
For the first time ever, Culture Collide Festival hits San Francisco October 14th and 15th for two days of incredible music, art, film, and more. Culture Collide will welcome performances by international rock sensations such as Cloud Nothings (USA), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (USA), Go Back to the Zoo (Netherlands), Nothing But Thieves (UK), Takeoffs & Landings (Peru), and so many more!
In addition to the amazing music, check out the Culture Collide Creative Summit -- an exclusive two-day conference panel series open to all Culture Collide wristband holders. The summit will bring together influential speakers from the music, entertainment, and lifestyle industries with delegates from around the world to discuss brand partnerships, record sales, touring, digital marketing strategies, and more.
Get your tickets HERE!
Open Mike Eagle "Informations (feat. Kool A.D.)" (2014)
One of LA's greatest emcees Open Mike Eagle, who the LA Weekly just named Best Rapper of 2014 in last week's issue of the weekly paper, has just today published today the brand new Jay Brown directed music video (above) for his 2014 track "Informations" which is a commentary on the state of modern technology and how one deals with it all.
The lyrically engaging track from the Project Blowed veteran, which features a memorable guest spot from Bay Area emcee Kool A.D. of Das Racist fame, is culled from Open Mike Eagle's current album, Dark Comedy, that was released jointly by Mello Music / Fat Beats a couple of months ago and is available in both CD and LP formats - and is recommended for those into progressive hip-hop.
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.
On this day in music history: October 6, 1969 - "Something" b/w "Come Together" by The Beatles is released (UK release date is on October 31, 1969). Written by George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, it is the 18th US chart-topper for the Fab Four. The lone single is issued from the band's recently released album Abbey Road. The ballad "Something" is written by George Harrison while the flipside "Come Together" is actually written by John Lennon but is credited to Lennon/McCartney. By the time the single reaches #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on , both sides will be listed at the top (w/ "Come Together" listed first) due to a change in chart policy. Billboard begins listing the A and B sides of a single receiving radio airplay and generating sales in the same chart position rather than separately. Initially, the two sides will debut on the chart separately with "Something" entering the Hot 100 at #20 and "Come Together" at #23 on October 18, 1969. "Come Together" will climb as high as #2 and "Something" at #3 before "Come Together" slips back to #7 and "Something" holds at #3. Billboard will then combine the airplay and sales chart information for both sides of the single, providing the momentum for both to ascend to number one. "Come Together/Something" is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.