Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outasight - From Here to There (An Album Prequel) Free Download



"Born and raised in Yonkers, New York, Outasight (Richard Andrew) was brought up by a mother who decorated the walls with records and a guitar playing father. Constantly moving from apartment to apartment never gave him a true sense of home, but Outasight always found comfort in music." - bio excerpt (big ups to Y-O!)

So while admiring my new Jugrnaut "Duck Down" Fitted and peeping their blog I came across a video posted by Mr. Rogers for this artist named "Outasight." He's not quite "mainstream" yet but he did win MTVU’s “The Freshman” contest for his track “Good Evening” so he may not be underground for long, so I figured I should give him some shine on here before he gets bigger. He has an album dropping this summer called “From Here To Eternity” which this "mixtape" is an album prequel for (Download and links after the video below.) It is presented by Mick Boogie and PressPlayShow.com.

You may see the black thick rimmed glasses, suit & tie and compare Outasight to Mayer Hawthorne, another white artist with a soulful voice, but the similarities are mostly aesthetic. For one I prefer Outasight's blues-tinged tone over Mayer's cleaner, higher pitched crone. And for some reason Mayer Hawthorne has started to grate me lately, he was dope enough when I first heard him but I honestly got tired of his voice real quick. Outasight isn't necessarily the greatest new soul voice ever either, but he couples his formidable singing with some pretty dope rapping as well. Not a huge fan of the singer/MC combo deals but he pulls it off well, similar in skill (not style) to Phonte of the late Little Brother.

I could listen to an entire album of him either just singing or rapping which should be the only reason to do both on your songs. If you're mediocre in either department you shouldn't do both, too many rappers nowadays are singing/playing instruments etc just because they have some level of competent skill. Just cuz you took a few guitar lessons or found auto-tune doesn't mean you should start playing while you sing/rap (I'm sure you can figure out who I'm referring to here.) Enough of my tangents though, definitely check this guy out. He's worth your time.





Download here:
Outasight - From There to Here

Official Website: http://www.iamoutasight.com/

Outasight's Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/iamoutasight

Friday, May 21, 2010

Let Dio Rest in Peace



"Ronnie hates prejudice and violence! We need to turn the other cheek on these people that only know how to hate someone they didn't know. We only know how to love someone we know!" - Wendy Dio

That's all I have to say about the subject. No need giving the haters press (and I mean that literally, not the ironic, slang-term usage of the word hater.)

Free "Doom Metal Front" Zine & Compilation (Vive la France)

I know what you’re thinking, you’re probably all like; “Idol Threat where’s our free music? What the fuck is up with all these words?!” And in my mind I’m thinking; “Sorry about that, there’s just been so much news lately and I’ve been pretty busy.” And then you’re probably all like; “I don’t give no fucks about your life! I want my free shit! Reading ain’t never help nobody anyways! Give me something to make me shake my ass and practice making babies to!” And then I get all sensitive from all the yelling and cursing and hide in a fetal position in the corner of my room’s man-cave. Man, hypothetical conversations are pretty brutal on my psyche.

In all seriousness though it has been a pretty busy week for me and I have been going to a lot of shows lately (one of which I’m in the process of writing a review for) and it seems that the “free music” part of my blog has been left to the wayside. I should probably change that since they’ll be a gap for posting soon while I’m road tripping it to Maryland Death Fest, so I’ll try and leave ya’ll with some free shit to tide you over.

“Doom Metal Front” is an online blog that also houses a Zine which they offer for free download on their site. Along with the PDF downloads (which I think is a pretty nifty, futuristic DIY way of publishing a Zine) they sometimes offer some free compilations as well. This particular DMF Comp features an all-French lineup. France isn’t all pussies like most of our "American Fries" eating brethren think, and they’ve been releasing some quality metal for quite some time now (I’m looking forward to seeing French Death Metallers ‘Gorod’ at MDF this year.) Enjoy this compilation of French Doom/Stoner/Sludge/Drone bands:

Download the Free Comp here:
Doom Metal Front Compilation (Vive la France)

Visit the DMF Blog & get their Free PDF Zines here: Doommetalfront.blogspot.com

Kinky Notti "Ghetto Love" Video


It's finally here, the video for Kinky Notti's single "Ghetto Love" off of their debut album "Succumb!" (you can read my review of their album in this post.) Chicago natives will recognize various South side/South Loop spots and scenery (and probably even some of the extras too.) It's a nice, clean, classy video and features some dope flexing, juking etc. throughout the entire video which culminates in a 'secret' warehouse dance party. Make sure to cop the album from their bandcamp, or at least the single. Enjoy the video.


Download the album or individual songs here: http://kinkynotti.bandcamp.com/

Check out their blog: http://kinkynotti.blogspot.com/

Official Website: http://kinkynotti.com/

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mikkey Halsted, Rhymefest, JUICE & Twone Gabz are "Blaxploitation"



Finally after almost four months the Chicago supergroup of Mikkey Halsted, Rhymefest, Juice & Twone Gabz have a name, and it's "Blaxploitation" aka BLX. The tentative name of their debut album is "The DuSable Museum." (you can read about their inception and download their first track in this post.)

Blaxploitation's first official concert will be at Reggie’s on June 17th 2010 at Mikkey’s Beat Battle. For consideration to compete in the producer battle send 2 tracks in to mikkeyevents@gmail.com along with your phone number. The subject line should read "MHBB Submission." Here's what Mikkey had to say about the upcoming show:

"I am pleased to announce that this month’s special guests will be myself along with my group members of BLX (Blaxploitation) Rhymefest, Twone Gabz and Juice. We will perform a few songs and premiere a few records off of our upcoming group project. These songs haven’t been heard anywhere."
-Mikkey Halsted via Fakeshoredrive

You can read more about the contest here: http://www.mikkeyhalsted.com/
2109 South State Street
CHICAGO, IL 60616
(312) 949-0120

It's about damn time!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Isis Calls it Quits, Breaks Up After 13 Years



Wow, I can't say I didn't see this coming but it did take me by surprise. Famed metalgaze/atmospheric sludge/post metal pioneers Isis has called it quits. The band who helped start a major metal sub-genre & spawned countless imitators is saying goodbye after 13 years. It's probably for the best, their releases have been progressively straying farther away from metal and their members have been increasing their side projects activities of late. Mosquito Control, The Red Sea, Celestial and Panopticon are still some of my favorite albums and Isis was one of the most influential bands to come out in metal in recent years. Despite all the criticism that their recent releases received I can't deny their greatness. They will be missed.


"ISIS has reached an end. It's hard to try to say it in any delicate way, and it is a truth that is best spoken plainly. This end isn't something that occurred over night and it hasn't been brought about by a single cataclysmic fracture in the band. Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close...

...It seems fitting that the last show of the tour and of our active existence will take place in Montreal, the site of the very first ISIS show in 1997 (though that was an unintentional move when booking the show initially). After the tour we also plan to follow through with other projects set in motion some time ago - pursuing the completion of a final EP, compiling live audio and visual material for future releases, and generally doing whatever we can to make our music available for as long as there are people who wish to hear it."


You can read the full farewell here: http://isistheband.blogspot.com/




You can check out there tour dates here: Isis Final Tour


Farewell Fellas, It's been swell.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Message Board Poster Hall of Fame #2



"Bunch of Drake listenin, American Apparel wearin, Twilight watchin faggots."

-ImPerfectNick, Okayplayer.com

In response to people thinking that Wu-Tang would lose in a hypothetical Jay Electronica VS Wu-Massacre battle possibly resulting from the recent 9th Prince/Jay Electronica "
Twitter Beef."

"Legion" Movie Review



Top 10 things I’ve learned from the movie “Legion”

1) God is a vindictive, uncaring, indecisive being who doesn’t know what he wants
and therefore his creations need to give him what they think he “needs” instead of what he asks for.

2) This ‘film’ proves that it’s still cool to kill off all the black people first in Sci-Fi/Horror movies (YAY for cannon fodder.)

3) Charles S. Dutton’s talents really need to be utilized somewhere where they
can be appreciated.

4) Fox REALLY needs to release “Roc” the TV series on DVD already.

5) All angels have British accents because Europeans are closer to God.

6) You can do anything with enough guns and bullets, even defy God!

7) The 2 black people in the movie play a gun-toting, deadbeat father and a God-
fearing one-armed cook. You tell me what that teaches you.

8) Even Tyrese is better than this movie deserves.

9) Angel-possessed people make Zombies. Duh.

10) There IS a Dennis Quaid movie out there worse than GI Joe!

“Legion” is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jay Electronica, 9th Prince, DJ Kay Slay "Beef" Update



Last week I made a post about this Twitter beef 9th Prince was starting with Jay Electronica over some comments he made about The RZA. DJ Kay Slay also took some offense to what Jay was saying in the interview and made his own comments via Twitter. It seems that from the above Twitter post that Kay Slay and Jay Electronica have squashed their "beef" peacefully. 9th Prince however seems to still be taking minor shots at Jay via his Twitter.

For those that are curious I've found the video interview in question that started all this mess. After seeing the video for myself I can see why people would be upset, although he very clearly voiced his respect for RZA it all did verge on being disrespectful (especially the part about leaving people dead in dumpsters.) It was almost like all those people that start off saying "no disrespect" but use that as an excuse to say the most disrespectful thing. Since neither I nor Jay Electronica himself knows where he heard RZA say those comments we can only speculate on what RZA said and the tone in which he said it - and so far RZA has remained quiet during this whole debacle (and RZA is NOT from Ohio according to the Wu.)

Jay almost comes off like he's still angry in this video interview (which you can see below) and I got to admit that I still get a slightly disrespectful tone coming from him despite what he says. Shouldn't he have an album out by now btw? Whatever, hopefully this all marks the end of this "non-beef" and people can get back to making music.


Message Board Poster Hall of Fame #1


So I've been coming across a bunch of posts made by forum/message board frequenters that have either been fucking hilarious or surprisingly insightful. So I've decided to start a personal "Hall of Fame" for these quotes. Future posts will most likely just have the quote and a short background description on it. I forgot who (and where) posted the following quote so this first one will remain anonymous unless I'm able to come across the info again:

"If you feel it's necessary to insult others who don't like a band you like, you're probably trying to hard. And to be clear, this isn't a "let's all hug and love each other" thing as much as it is a "hey you're a stupid fucking moron" kind of thing."


-Random Message Board Poster

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio Dies of Cancer


1942-2010

So rumors started circulating late last night that legendary metal singer Ronnie James Dio passed away after a 6 month bout with cancer. The news prompted many tributes to start pouring in including one from 'Rage Against the Machine' guitarist Tom Morello's Twitter (which is how I first heard of the rumors.) I made this post around 3am after I found out that Dio's wife and manager Wendy reported to Blabbermouth.net that he was still alive. Sadly I had to update this post because Dio passed away this morning. I just found out the news after this afternoon. Here is the statement on Dio's official site:

"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all.

We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."

- Wendy Dio


Ronnie James Dio is credited with popularizing the metal "devil horns" and was the former singer for the band DIO and Black Sabbath. Dio recently reunited with former members of Sabbath to form "Heaven & Hell" a band named after the first Black Sabbath album Dio sang on. That album is a classic and I have long thought his last studio album with Sabbath "Dehumanizer" has been highly underrated as well. Heaven and Hell's only studio album "The Devil You Know," which was released last year, is a modern masterpiece that I'm sure will be deemed as a classic with time.

My heart goes out to Ronnie James Dio and his family, I'm getting really tired of making RIP posts lately. This one is particularly heartbreaking, I was hoping to catch him on tour with Heaven & Hell. To me he was never merely a replacement in Black Sabbath but a legend in his own right. He had a unique and powerful voice and was a seminal figure in Heavy Metal history.

"We're a laugh without a tear
The hope without the fear
We are coming...home"


Friday, May 14, 2010

Swans Announce Tour, Play Chicago at Bottom Lounge on October 5, 2010



I guess all my hoping finally paid off. Swans finally announce their tour dates and Chicago is included. Got my tickets for their show at the Bottom Lounge on October 5th, get yours now - don't say I didn't warn you once these sell out. Nothing else to write, I'm just really fuckin geeked for this. Tour dates at the bottom of the post.

"One of the trademarks of Swans' early period was playing at painfully loud volumes during concerts, to the point where some audience members would vomit or the police would stop the show."

God I hope this is still true. The loud part that is, not the vomiting or police thing. Well maybe the vomiting, as long as it's not me.


Swans 2010 Tour:

09-28 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theater
09-29 Washington, DC - Black Cat
09-30 Boston, MA - Middle East
10-01 Montreal, Quebec - Pop Montreal Festival
10-02 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
10-04 Detroit, MI -
Crofoot Ballroom
10-05 Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
10-08 Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Masonic Temple
10-09 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10-22-24 Birmingham, England - Supersonic Festival

http://www.younggodrecords.com

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Listen to Harvey Milk's "A Small Turn Of Human Kindness"




So the day has finally come (or will come next week.) The new album from Harvey Milk, "A Small Turn Of Human Kindness," comes out everywhere on Tuesday 5/18/10. I enjoyed their last album "Life...the Best Game in Town" and it even made it to my year end list, but it was by far not my favorite Harvey Milk album. In fact it may have been my least, which says a lot for the band if my least favorite album of theirs is still better than most of the albums released that year. I like all facets of Harvey Milk but I enjoy the tortuous, extremely slow, 'almost-too-difficult-to-listen-to' Harvey Milk that produced the "My Love is Higher..." and "Courtesy And Good Will Toward Men" albums. And I'm happy to say for myself and the other fans of those albums that this new one is a return to form and may turn out to be just as good as it's 'heavy as hell, slow as fuck' predecessors.

Like I mentioned in my review of the re-release for their Self-Titled Album, A Small Turn Of Human Kindness could (and probably should) be listened to straight through since all the songs basically bleed into each other and form a suite of sorts.
This particular 'suite' just happens to be narrated by a man with the voice of an erupting volcano. There's even a piano passage that made it into the album. All in all this is another "highly recommended" album and a must-buy on Tuesday. You can stream the entire album courtesy of awesome radio station NPR below where you'll also find links to cop the album:

Stream here: Listen to "A Small Turn Of Human Kindness" at NPR


Pre-order the New Album Here: Harvey Milk Hydra Head Store

Or Buy the MP3 Album on 5/18 here: "A Small Turn Of Human Kindness" at Amazon

Lollapalooza Wants You to Vote For Your Favorite Chicago Music Blog



So Lollapalooza wants you to vote for your top 3 favorite Chicago Music Blogs. You should probably go do that...*wink, wink

"Lollapalooza wants to find out directly from our fans the best music blogs in Chicago. We want everything from high-traffic blogs to your buddy’s new startup. As long as the blog (and its writers) are based in Chicago and are passionate about music, then we want to check them out. Fill out your top 3 favorites below, with the website’s URL (ie. www.bestchicagoblog.com) and we'll choose some to help us cover our 2010 artists this summer."

You can vote here:
Lollapalooza.com

(unfortunately you can't vote for a better line-up, guess it's too late for that.)

9th Prince of Killarmy Has Beef with Jay Electronica?



It seems people just don't want to leave Jay Electronica alone. I usually don't get too into all the Twitter antics that goes on but I wanted to post this one because I thought it was pretty amusing. I saw Just Blaze re-Tweet the above post from 9th Prince and saw that 9th has been goin at this all morning. According to 9th Prince's Twitter he claims that Jay Electronica is saying that the RZA is from Ohio and apparently that was enough to piss 9th Prince off. Luckily 9th Prince just so happens to have a new album out now that he can provide as proof to his above Twitter statement.

I haven't heard what Jay Electronica said about this Ohio thing but if he did say something he may have been confused by the fact that the RZA and some of the other members of Wu-Tang spent time in Ohio way back in the day, and a few members of Killarmy are from Ohio. In 9th's defense the RZA is his older brother and so it's understandable if he's quick to defend anything that may be deemed as an attack. The first two Killarmy albums was my shit way back when and I've enjoyed what Jay Electronica has put out so far, but like many I'm impatiently waiting to hear his official debut. And it seems that Jay Electronica has responded to this respectfully (see below) which is refreshing, beef is entertaining and all but I'm getting a little tired of it lately. I would be excited to see a KRS One/Canibus beef come into fruition though! (Canibus seemingly dissed KRS One in a song released back in February.) Support both of these artists' endeavors.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Free Stinking Lizaveta Show at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, May 20, 2010



Stinking Lizaveta kicks your favorite band's ass. Fact. Few bands play with this much passion and skill, and even fewer bands can keep up that energy for 6 albums and 15 years full of non-stop touring. They're probably also the only band that has played at Jazz Festivals, Metal Concerts and "All Tomorrows Parties" and not sound out of place at any of them. The band is made up of brothers Yanni (guitarist) & Alexi Papadopoulos, who plays an electric upright bass, and drummer Cheshire Agusta. They play instrumental music that combine elements of Stoner/Sludge/Prog as well as countless other genres, and has even been labeled as "Doom Jazz."

That label seems somewhat accurate, if only to convey the sense of dread, drama and immediacy that emanate from their virtuoso musicianship. There's a kinetic quality to their playing that both moves you, and leaves you anticipating the unpredictable. Once during the middle of an extended solo Yanni gave a random audience member his guitar so he could finish the solo off, and the last time I saw them play they had Damon Locks from The Eternals sing a couple of songs with them (apparently Yanni & Damon was in a band together in High School.) You can practically get lost in the fervor of Alexi's upright bass playing, and the power of Cheshire's drumming can leave you both scared of the woman in a skirt making it and in awe of it's beauty. Every night is different for them, you can catch them rolling around the floor during a song one minute and screaming into their guitar pick ups in another, and just like the best Jazz you'll never know exactly what you're going to hear no matter how well you know their songs. And fuck are they heavy!


Some people may consider this maniacal style of playing "noodling" or self-indulgent, but there isn't a single note played that is uninspired or unnecessary and the trio are actually really down to earth and refreshingly humble. You would think that a band that's been together this long with such an intense touring schedule would be more cynical and burnt out. Stinking Lizaveta return to the Cobra Lounge in Chicago for a free show on Thursday May 20th after only just playing there last November. I never get tired of watching them live no matter how many times I see them, and every show at the Cobra Lounge is always free so I HIGHLY suggest that you go and pick up some merch in support (try their homegrown, organic garlic if they have any at this show.) Opening for Stinking Lizaveta will be Chicago's own "Killer Moon," an up and coming Prog/Psych trio who also have some metal leanings. What I've heard from them so far has been good and I'm anxious to hear them live. I'll leave you with an excerpt from Stinking Lizaveta's bio, a live video, links and their remaining tour dates:

"Born in the basements of West Philadelphia and tempered by fifteen years of American and European tours, Stinking Liz has built a reputation as one of progressive metal’s most unique and devastating live acts....Real rock and roll is not a video game. Real rock and roll is not the latest pass at this year’s formula. Real rock and roll is Stinking Lizaveta."



Stinking Lizaveta Website: www.stinkinglizaveta.com/

Stinking Lizaveta Myspace:
www.myspace.com/stinkinglizaveta

Cobra Lounge
235 North Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60607-1401
(312) 226-6300

Remaining Tour Dates:
5/12/2010 Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, GA
5/13/2010 Saturn Bar - New Orleans, LA
5/14/2010 Sadie’s - Lafayette, LA
5/16/2010 Lounge on Elm Street - Dallas, TX
5/17/2010 Replay Lounge - Lawrence, KS
5/19/2010 Frequency - Madison, WI
5/20/2010 Cobra Lounge - Chicago, IL
5/21/2010 31st Street Pub - Pittsburgh, PA

Frank Frazetta RIP 1928-2010


Frank Frazetta was a modern master. He was a Fantasy/Science Fiction artist most known for his Conan the Barbarian and Death Dealer illustrations. He passed on Monday at the age of 82. Frazetta lived on a 67 acre estate in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and died of a stroke after a year long battle with cancer. Frank Frazetta and contemporary Boris Vallejo were major influences on me as an artist (yet my skill doesn’t even come close to either of these masters.) My childhood is littered with memories of their paintings and in my opinion they gave a sense of class and elegance to a profession that was often looked down upon by other “artists.” The world has lost an icon, but at least we still have his art. You can find some of his artwork after the jump. RIP to a true legend. [Thanks to DJ Major Taylor for the heads up]

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

RIP Lena Horne 1917-2010



Legendary singer Lena Horne died yesterday at the age of 92. I have to admit - I never really got into Lena Horne. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it’s just with so much music out there in the world it’s damn near impossible to get into it all. It’s not like I didn’t like vocal Jazz - I was into Nina Simone, Lady Day and Dinah Washington; I just never got the chance to give Ms. Horne a try. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, Lena Horne was an incredibly talented actress/singer and a major celebrity voice in the Civil Rights movement.

9th Wonder Presents: Rapsody *Updated



It's about time I continued with the 9th Wonder posts I started a couple of days earlier. Rapsody is a dope up and coming female MC signed to 9th's Jamla Record label. Besides Jean Grae no new female MCs has really impressed me lately and I was starting to lose all hope before hearing Rapsody. I don't want to waste time since it's been awhile since my last post (and because I'm a lazy bastard) so I'll just post an excerpt of her bio from her Myspace followed by downloads of some of her music and a video clip of one of her shows. Seriously, check her out. You won't be disappointed. And again, stay tuned for more 9th Wonderfulness (and other free music ish too.)

"Rapsody, (also know by the stage name Rapdiddy) is the new female force in hip hop, and she's about to blaze the trail for the new generation of women who rely on their skills to make marks in the music world. She is the first lady of North Carolina super crew Kooley High, and Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder's protégé and first artist signed to It’s A Wonderful World Music Group / Jamla, the brainchild of his true school resurgence, setting the bar high for all succeeding label mates, male or female. Paying homage to her hip hop godmothers MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Lauryn Hill, this Snow Hill, North Carolina native doesn't just represent the female side of hip hop- the b-girl, the rapper, and the deejay who rocks the party just as well as any man. She is an emcee who represents hip hop beyond lines of gender, proving that anything "the boys" can do, she can do too. Her skills as an emcee are the highlight of her presentation, while her inherent feminine twist proves to be the icing on the cake."

Rapsody Live at The Brewery 4-15-2010


*Update: "RAPSDOY REPLAY" is a collection of Rapsody songs and features from 2007-2010 with production from 9th Wonder and features from Skyzoo, Big Remo, and Kooley High to name a few:

Please download here:
Rapsody Replay

Download
Rapsody "Tell It Like It Is" (Prod. by 9th Wonder)

Download
Big Remo ft Rapsody “Baby’s Gone”

Download
Rapsody “Chosen One f. Skyzoo”

Download
Rapsody “A Man’s World” (Prod. by AMP)

Download
Rapsody “Honda Accord Music” (Prod. by 9th Wonder)

Download
Heather Victoria “I'll Always Be Down feat Rapsody”

Download
Rapsody, Actual Proof (Sundown x Enigma) & 9thmatic “Turn It Up”

Rapsody's Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/rapsodymusic

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ken Mode - Free Sampler & North American Tour


I love Noise Rock. Unsane, Swans, The Jesus Lizard, Boredoms, Zeni Geva, Melt Banana, AmpRep Records… There’s just something about unpleasing sounds set to drums and rhythm. Not as extreme as pure Noise yet more abrasive than normal rock, it’s as if the harshness adds an exclamation mark to everything played (or not played.) Dissonance, distortion, atonality, it seems that my ears have some sick fetish for being grated and abused, a sort of sonic masochism if you will. I guess that makes Noise Rock more of an every day fuck and pure Noise the stuff you make safe words for. But I disturbingly digress, what was this post about?... Ah yes, music.

Ken Mode is a self-described “metallic Noise Rock” group from Canada. Formed by brothers Jesse, (guitar/vocals) and Shane Matthewson (drums) and Darryl Laxdal (bass), the group released several demos from 1999 to 2003 before releasing their debut full length "Mongrel" on Escape Artist Records. Chad Tremblay replaced Darryl on bass and they released "Reprisal" in 2006 and "Mennonite" in 2008. Their self-described tagline is pretty accurate in terms of their overall sound, with the vocals being more on the clean-hardcore-yell/David Yow side. I prefer the damaged throat-shredding of Noise Rock bands like Unsane when it comes to vocals, but don’t let that stop you from giving these guys a try. (Speaking of which, you should check out Unsane frontman Chris Spencer’s side project
Celan. That’s only if you like good music though. Don’t bother if you want to keep listening to shit.)

They’ve released a sampler of their music which provides a good overview of all their releases, and you should hit them up on Myspace to purchase their cds/merch if you like what you hear. The download and links to their sites are below. They have a tour coming up and you can find the dates/locations for the tour along with a video after the jump. This upcoming North American tour will mark the first time they've been back to the US in 6 years. If you’re in Chicago May 24th I suggest you go see them at Ronny’s. I’ve only been there a few times many years ago but I remember it being about the size of a 2 car garage and being louder than hell in there. I guess it depends on the bands' equipment, but anything would be loud when the amps are 3 feet in front of you. Sonic fucking masochism.

Download Ken Mode’s Sampler: HERE

Ken Mode Official Website: http://www.ken-mode.com/

Ken Mode Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/kenmode

A few of their songs were included in a documentary on the legendary Royal Albert (‘Capricorn' being the backing for the official trailer). You can see that video below:

9th Wonder Releases Free Music from his labels: Jamla & The Academy


Man 9th Wonder is making me WORK! For the past few months (and especially the past week) 9th has been releasing a steady stream of free music via his Facebook and Twitter pages. There’s so much content I could barely keep up, I had to wait until now to even think about posting it all. I was going to put everything up all at once but there’s seriously way too much so I’m going to try and break it up between 4 or 5 posts. I had the pleasure of helping show 9th Wonder and his friends around during one of his visits to Chicago and I can tell you that this man is serious about Hip Hop, which would explain why he’s teaching a Hip Hop history class at North Carolina Central University. (He can also grill some mean chicken wings.)

If you’re wondering why he all of sudden started releasing all this free music he basically explained to 2dopeboyz.com that he has tons of music lying around and was tired of holding on to it. I remember him playing instrumentals during his visit that I not only haven’t heard released yet, but sound waay different than his normal stuff, so he’s obviously still sitting on a huge stockpile of unreleased gems.


For those that don’t know 9th Wonder was a founding member of the North Carolina group “Little Brother” and also the producer for many hits by artists such as Jay Z, Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige, De La Soul, Mos Def, Memphis Bleek, and Buckshot from Black Moon. He first broke into the scene by putting out a remix album of Nas’ 2002 album God’s Son entitled God’s Stepson, which was the album that started the trend of themed/fully remixed albums a la the Beatles/Jay Z mash-up “The Grey Album.”

9th Wonder has recently been working on starting up his own record label. Not only has he succeeded in starting a label, but true to form the hard working Producer decided to start TWO labels: Jamla and The Academy. The free music that I will be posting throughout the week will mostly be releases from his stable of artists, but I will also include 9th Wonder’s collaborations with other industry artists such as David Banner. When asked about some of his highly-anticipated upcoming collaborations, 9th had this to say to HipHopDX.com:

“That album’s been done, man. We just got to put it out,” he said with a laugh, speaking on the Jean Grae collaboration, a follow-up to Jeanius. As mentioned, though, his album with David Banner is also anticipated.” (read the full interview here:
HipHopDX.com)

In this post you’ll find 2 tracks from David Banner and 9th Wonder’s upcoming project “Death of a Pop Star” as well as a couple of other 9th Wonder produced tracks by artists Big Remo & TP. I’m also posting up a mixtape that was released to coincide with the 3rd Season of The Boondocks (an Adult Swim Cartoon series that 9th has contributed music to in the past.) “Hip-Hop Docktrine 3: The Final Chapter" is the unofficial official Boondocks Mixtape hosted by David Banner & Killer Mike and brought to you by Dub Floyd & Wally Sparks in conjunction with HighOffLife.com and BoondocksBootleg.com. It features exclusive jams from 9th Wonder and Jamla/Academy artist Rapsody, Big Remo, Thee Tom Hardy, & TP. Below you'll find an excerpt from 9th's Myspace blog explaining the fruition of his two labels, and the downloads will be after that. You can also peep a video after the downloads featuring some of the aforementioned artists. Enjoy and stay tuned to Idol Threat for more 9th Wonderfulness:

"Starting in 2009, and with the blessings of Egon, PBW, and Dru Ha, I will be launching 2 labels at once, The Academy/Stones Throw and JamLa/Duckdown. This will be my shot, to put more music into the atmosphere, with the artists that I believe have what it takes. They are not striving to be mega PLATINUM superstars, but instead to make a noise loud enough to create a fanbase, a following, and to make money. Each label will have 2 different agendas, and 2 different paths, with an attempt NOT to cross the streams (see Egon in Ghostbusters). I believe that internet has created SO many pockets and demographics that crossing the streams will not become a factor, and each artist can reach the EXACT audience they want to reach..."

Download the Boondocks Mixtape Here: Hip-Hop Docktrine 3: The Final Chapter

David Banner – Strange f. Big Remo (prod. 9th Wonder)
Download “Strange” here

David Banner – Slow Down (prod. 9th Wonder)
Download “Slow Down” here

Big Remo - Handle My Biz (prod. 9th Wonder)
Download “Handle My Biz” here

TP - The Fresh Prince Is Back (prod. 9th Wonder)
Download “The Fresh Prince is Back”

Obligatory Club Scene Video Featuring Jamla/The Academy artists:




Purchase 9th Wonder Music here: 9th Wonder Music at Amazon

9th Wonder’s Myspace:
http://www.myspace.com/9thwondermusic

Melvins to Release "The Bride Screamed Murder" June 1st, Tour With Isis



Holy fucksandwich! I really don't know how I haven't heard about this until now but Seattle Sludge/Stoner Metal gods "the Melvins" are releasing a new album entitled "The Bride Screamed Murder" on June 1st! (OK, so maybe they’re closer to Aberdeen but what kind of alliteration can I get from that?) This will be the legendary band's 19th Full-length release counting their remix album "Chicken Switch" which was released late last year. This will also be the 3rd album to feature their dual drums line-up made up of Buzz "King Buzzo" Osborne, Dale Crover and the drum & bass duo from the band "Big Business." This release follows their 2008 album "Nude with Boots" and will once again be released on Mike Patton's Ipecac Records. I can't hype/jock/recommend this release enough and I HIGHLY suggest that you see them on tour with label-mates & Post Metal godfathers "Isis." You can catch their tour dates below under the video preview of the album, and be on the lookout for "The Bride Screamed Murder" in stores and online on June 1st!

Some fun Melvins facts: The band took their name from a hated employee at the grocery store where Buzz worked, and Nirvana Mastermind Kurt Cobain once tried out for the bass player spot in the band but supposedly was so nervous he forgot the songs and thus didn't make the band.



The Melvins tour dates:

06.01 San Diego, CA: Casbah
06.02 Tempe, AZ: The Clubhouse
06.03 Albuquerque, NM: The Launchpad
06.05 Austin, TX: Emo's
06.07 Houston, TX: Warehouse Live
06.08 Baton Rouge, LA: Spanish Moon
06.09 New Orleans, LA: One Eyed Jacks
06.10 Birmingham, AL: Bottle Tree
06.12 Manchester, TN: Bonnaroo Festival
06.14 Athens, GA: 40 Watt Club
06.16 Washington, DC: 9:30 Club
06.17 Philadelphia, PA: TLA
06.18 New York, NY: Webster Hall
06.19 Brooklyn, NY: Music Hall of Williamsburg
06.20 Boston, MA: Paradise
06.21 Boston, MA: Paradise
06.23 Cleveland, OH: Grog Shop
06.24 Detroit, MI: Small's
06.25 Chicago, IL: Double Door
06.26 Madison, WI: High Noon Saloon
06.27 Des Moines, IA: House of Bricks
06.29 Denver, CO: Ogden Theatre
07.02 Calgary, AB: Sled Island Festival (Melvins Only)
07.03 Calgary, AB: Sled Island Festival (Melvins Only)
07.05 Vancouver, BC: Rickshaw Theatre
07.06 Seattle, WA: Showbox at The Market
07.07 Eugene, OR: John Henry's
07.09 San Jose, CA: Blank Club


Melvins Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/themelvins

Monday, May 03, 2010

"Every Band Should Have a Bandcamp"


So the majority of the free content on here that comes directly from the artists are being distributed via bandcamp.com. There's been so many I've come across and it's been so user friendly and invitingly simple that I've been meaning to write a post about it for awhile now. Unfortunately I've been backlogged for quite some time and the free music posts and "breaking" news usually gets top priority. Luckily for my lazy ass (awesome Metal Blog) Invisible Oranges beat me to the punch and posted an extremely informative blog about bandcamp. Bandcamp is fast becoming the new, better Myspace and the best way to get music out there and for the artist to get paid. I'll post an excerpt from the Invisible Oranges blog and links to the full post, and to the bandcamp main site. Artists, get off the My-pedophile/spamwagon-Space and join Bandcamp (great post Cosmo):

"...Bandcamp is much better as a competitor [than Myspace.] It is all (well, almost all) of the good stuff of MySpace, without the bad stuff. MySpace’s good stuff is (1) streaming player, and (2) social networking. MySpace’s bad stuff is (1) hardly works (unreliable streaming player, primitive email functionality), and (2) ugly as hell (ads all over the place, template virtually impossible to improve). The bad stuff cancels out the good stuff.

Here’s what Bandcamp offers: streaming audio, access to lyrics and artwork (if a band offers it), and direct sales capability of music in all file formats – MP3, FLAC, AAC, etc. That’s all a band needs, really. Social networking? Use Twitter and Facebook for that. Just drive people to your Bandcamp page, and they can stream and buy music instantly – with no intermediary like Amazon or iTunes. The interface is clean and simple. It invites one to stay. With Bandcamp, labels don’t get to sign bands just by looking at profile views and play counts. That’s a good thing. Maybe labels can sign bands based on what they actually sound like! Imagine that..."


Link to the Full Post: InvisibleOranges.com

Artists Join Bandcamp Here: http://bandcamp.com/


Unreleased GI Joe X New Era Snake Eyes "Visor" Fitted


Damn I don’t know why the powers that be decided not to release this fitted cap. New Era released some GI Joe themed hats in conjunction with the shitty GI Joe movie released last year. I copped the clean black hat with the red Cobra logo last year but I almost certainly would have picked this up too or instead of the Cobra one. All the 80’s babies would have eaten this up, hopefully they decide to eventually put that cap into production. Strictly Fitteds reported that there’s rumored to be only 5 of these caps in existence. The front features Snake Eyes’ iconic visor that wraps around to the sides a little, with the 63rd hexagram of the iChing used as the symbol for Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow’s clan (which represents climax or completion) found on the back. There’s also a sick ass print of Snake Eyes’ dog “Timber” lining the inside of the cap. You can drool over the rest of the images after the jump:

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Raekwon: The Vatican Mixtape Vol. IV


So in celebration of the Liquid Swords announcement I'll post the new Raekwon mixtape (I know it doesn't make sense, but I couldn't find a GZA mixtape and I was also talking about Raekwon in the announcement post. It's all Wu anyways.) Raekwon started the Vatican Mixtape series back in 2007 with DJ Riddler. It seems that he's been just sitting on the last release for awhile now, but lucky for us they've decided to finally release it. Rae has been releasing mixtapes like crazy ever since he announced that he was working on OB4CL2. 

I admittedly didn't care for his other 2 albums that came after the first Only Built For Cuban Linx, but his mixtapes has been straight fire and the OB4CL sequel an instant classic. While searching for an "official" link for this mixtape I read quite a few comments from guys calling his recent releases (INCLUDING Only Built for Cuban Linx II) everything from "garbage" to "hipster bullshit" and even going so far as to call Raekwon irrelevant. I don't know how these people can call themselves Hip Hop "heads" but to me an MC that not only manages to release this many strong mixtapes, but an album like OB4CL2 after 15 years is far from irrelevant. And I'm not going to even try and fathom how ANYONE can consider anything Rae has done "hipster bullshit." Back in the day Raekwon was not even in my top 5 Wu-Tang MCs but he has fast become my favorite in recent years.

Mixtape releases has always confused me, I could never tell what was "official" and for sale and what was being given away for free. Especially now that most have co-opted the "mixtape" title for anything that's not an album instead of for DJ made blends. The 1st three Vatican releases for instance can all be found on Amazon for sale but every other website I found has them for free download. What I could figure out was that this newest Vatican mixtape was co-released by NY clothing boutique Boundless, and that they have this for download on their website. That's good enough for me. If you enjoy any or all of these mixtapes be sure to pick up Only Built For Cuban Linx II and be on the lookout for the RZA-produced sequel to GZA's classic Liquid Swords out this Fall.

Download The Vatican IV Here: Raekwon: The Vatican IV

Link to the Post with Torrents to the 1st three Vatican Mixtapes: Boundless NYC

Buy OB4CL2 in Stores Now or Here: Only Built for Cuban Linx II

Wu-Tang Official Website: http://www.wutang-corp.com/

For All the Deejays Out There (DJ Intervention Video Pt. 1 & 2)






This is for all the new school deejays who never bought a vinyl record that wasn't a Serato Control Record. This is for all the deejays who never had to carry a single crate of records to a club or party. This is for all you laptop-only deejays, slam-only/non-blending deejays and soon-to-be iPad-only deejays. Big ups to Arabian Prince & Rhettmatic. Can't believe you cut the beard!