Thursday, August 26, 2010

Black Milk - Free Tracks & 'Album of the Year' [+Videos]

Black Milk has always released solid work but he's been progressively getting better and better with no signs of slowing. I remember first hearing his production and thinking that Detroit (and Hip Hop) now has a fitting successor for Dilla. Then I heard him rap. Black Milk is hands down one of the best MC/Producers out there, in fact I'd be hard pressed to find a better rapper out of all the MC/Producers out now (Oh No comes to mind however.) His rapping can stand alone, he doesn't simply sound like a producer with adequate skills trying to rap that knows his way around a beat. His 2008 album "Tronic" was my favorite Hip Hop album of 2008, and his upcoming LP "Album of the Year" due out on September 14th may very well live up to it's title. Especially if the rest of the album sounds anything like his track "Deadly Medley" with Elzhi & Royce da 5'9" whose video you can peep below. Although Black Milk already has a formidable crew with Sean Price & Guilty Simpson called "Random Axe" (album due this year on Duck Down) I would love to see a supergroup with this Detroit Trio.

Enjoy this collection of free tracks, some of which are unreleased and some from the aforementioned albums, and be on the lookout for "Album of the Year" out on September 14th on the recently downsized online/distro-only Fat Beats Records. Download link after the videos below:

Download Free Black Milk Tracks: Black Milk New Music (Single Tracks)

Black Milk Bandcamp:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rotten Sound Announce North American Tour

Holy fuck is this awesome! Rotten Sound is one of my favorite grind bands and they've just announced that they'll be on the North American Finnish Metal Tour 2 with Finntroll, Ensiferum and Barren Earth. This is a weird tour for Rotten Sound to be on considering the only ties they share with the other bands on the bill are that they’re all from Finland. As long as it gets them over here to the States I could give two shits, I will be watching whoever I have to and paying (almost) whatever the price is to see these guys! Here’s the official news:

"ROTTEN SOUND will take part in “The Finnish Metal Tour 2” featuring fellow Finns FINNTROLL, ENSIFERUM, and BARREN EARTH. This four-week tour will kick-off on January 31st in Orlando , FL and conclude in early March in Raleigh, NC . A listing of confirmed tour dates and cites can be found below.

ROTTEN SOUND has most recently seen the release of their Napalm EP. The six-song EP features three brand new ROTTEN SOUND tracks and three NAPALM DEATH covers as well as a DVD featuring a live set from the Obscene Extreme Festival. Napalm is currently streaming in its entirety at

Rotten Sound has begun work on the follow-up album to 2008’s "Cycles," tentatively titled "Cursed." The brand new full-length will be mixed by Nico Elgstrand (Entombed) and is expected to see an early 2011 release date. Additional album details will be announced shortly."


***The Finnish Metal Tour 2 w/ FINNTROLL, ENSIFERUM, BARREN EARTH***

1/31 - Orlando, FL - The Club at Firestone
2/01 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
2/02 - Louisville, KY - Headliner's Music Hall
2/03 - Tulsa, OK - Marquee
2/04 - Austin, TX - Emo's Alternative Lounging
2/05 - Dallas, TX - Ridglea Theater
2/06 - Amarillo, TX - The War Legion Underground
2/07 - Tempe, AZ - Clubhouse
2/08 - Los Angeles, CA - Key Club
2/09 - Ramona, CA - Ramona Mainstage
2/10 - San Francisco, CA - DNA Lounge
2/11 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
2/12 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
2/14 - Calgary, AB - The Republik
2/15 - Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
2/16 - Regina, SK - The Exchange
2/18 - Minneapolis, MN - Station 4
2/19 - Chicago, IL - Reggie Rock Club
2/20 - Detroit, MI - Blondie's
2/21 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
2/22 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
2/23 - Quebec City, QC - Imperial de Quebec
2/24 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
2/25 - Rochester, NY - Montage Music Hall
2/26 - New York City, NY - The Gramercy Theatre
2/27 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium
3/01 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero
3/02 - West Springfield, VA - Jaxx
3/03 - Charlotte, NC - The Casbah
3/04 - Raleigh, NC - Volume 11


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fat Beats Closes it's LA & NY Stores

Wow, you know it's bad if Fat Beats can't even stay afloat. I was lucky enough to be able to visit the LA store a couple of years back, it was a dope spot with even doper prices and selection and they always had great instore performances lined up. This is what happens when you don't support your local music vendors, don't let your favorite spot go under. At least their label and online site will stay up. Here's the press release:

"Fat Beats’ longest running and most famed location is at 406 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. Since the 1994 opening of Fat Beats' flagship retail location, hip-hop fans have traveled far and wide to visit the iconic store. With locations soon following in Los Angeles (7600 Melrose Ave.), Atlanta, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, the record stores were a place to experience hip-hop culture and its legacy, which became a global phenomenon. “The closing of Fat Beats is just like one of my friends passing away. They promoted vinyl at its highest degree for the culture of good music and that makes it more difficult to say goodbye," says DJ Premier.

The announcement of the closings is a reflection of the woes that have been plaguing the industry for years. Global chain HMV closed their last US location in 2004. Tower Records shuttered in 2006. Last year saw the close of the last Virgin Megastore, and the story is no different in 2010. For Fat Beats, maintaining two stores well into 2010 is a testament to the stores' importance to the music and to fans and consumers continuing to support independent hip-hop.

While news of the stores' closing marks the end of an era, the future is not doom and gloom. Digital sales continue to increase industry-wide; for Fat Beats, currently operating a profitable and growing online retail store, this has provided a boon to business as fans continue to order mp3s, vinyl, and CDs from Although digital sales continue to grow, executives at Fat Beats understand the importance of independent retail stores and are planning to re-open a brick and mortar hip-hop lifestyle location sometime in the near future.

The future looks just as bright for Fat Beats Distribution and the label. Fat Beats Distribution, which has been renamed FB Distribution, continues to strike noteworthy distribution deals with independent and major labels worldwide and is now working with different genres of alternative music. Fat Beats Records will continue to release notable albums from their own impressive roster of artists including ILL BILL, TruMaster/KRS-One, Black Milk, Trinity, Sha Stimuli, Q-Unique, and more. Fat Beats owner and President Joe Abajian says, “This is the start of a new era for Fat Beats. We’re adapting to meet the needs of our demographic by revamping and improving our existing systems. While our website, which stocks everything available in our retail stores, continues to do very well, we’re still exploring our options for alternate retail locations in the future. We’re proud of our legacy and will continue to re-invent ourselves. For now, we’ll see you online at”

K-OS Presents: The Anchorman Mixtape

Awhile back I featured a mixtape by singer/rapper Outasight and mentioned that I wasn’t normally a fan of the singer/MC combo but there were a few exceptions. K-OS is definitely at the top of the pile of those few exceptions. The Canadian MC/Singer/Songwriter made a splash with his 2002 debut “Exit,” but it wasn’t until a label rep gave me a promo to his follow up album “Joyful Rebellion” that I really started to take notice. I don’t think that CD left my stereo for weeks.

Besides rapping and singing K-OS also produced the majority of all his albums and played a number of instruments on them and at his live shows as well. My group was lucky enough to share a bill with him recently and his live show is amazing. His touring dj is Lil Jaz of Nelly Furtado and Turnstylez fame, I used to watch dj battle videos of him when I was a kid - he’s an amazing turntablist.

K-OS seems like a very down to earth and humble dude, he recently held a contest for fans to remix songs from his last album and even gave each winner $1000. In April 2009 he began the Karma Tour across Canada for which he sold no tickets to, fans were simply asked to donate whatever they wanted for the show. That’s almost unheard of for anyone to do at a Hip Hop show, let alone anyone of his stature. I haven’t heard this mixtape yet but with his track record I can trust that this is a solid release. It features leftovers from his 2009 album “Yes!” as well as some new tracks. Enjoy.

Download here:
The Anchorman Mixtape


PG PORN: Squeal Happy Whores - UNCENSORED

The uncensored version (meaning there's cussing) of this PG Porn video starring pornstar Jenna Haze. Hilarious. Via Thevastdifference:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mike Schpitz - Mike Murder [Free Download]

I'm a little late with posting this mixtape but you know what they say, better late than - who gives a fuck. Mike Schpitz (real name Mike Jones, not used for obvious reasons) is a Chicago MC transplant from Topeka "Top City" Kansas and he's been making noise for quite some time now. I have to admit I was quite surprised when I first heard him live, I've heard too many a MC hyped by people only to be disappointed when I finally hear them but this wasn't the case for Mr. Schiptz. He was refreshing and lyrical, two qualities that I rarely find in rappers nowadays let alone from one person.

When he was formerly known as "Lovejones" he came off as an east coast lyricist tempered with west coast mellowness which worked well with the soulful beats of his releases such as "Sunday Drive," his collaboration with producer Phys Edison. I remember liking his MC name alot and was confused when he switched it to Mike Schiptz, but his recent name change makes a lot more sense after hearing the tracks on his recent release "Mike Murder." He's still laid back and still has that smooth syncopation in his flow but this mixtape is definitely about murdering the beats and spittin.

Mike chose a good selection of industry beats to rap over on this release and just straight goes in on most of them, with most of these 10 tracks not even having any hooks or breaks in them. If you like this mixtape you should head over to iTunes and buy his brand new EP "Stanley Ipkiss: Year of the Nice Guy" which is out now. Download link after the tracklist below:

Download Here: Mike Schpitz - Mike Murder at


Friday, August 06, 2010

eLZhi - The Leftovers (Unmixedtape) Free Download

The news of Slum Village’s demise and impending final release has got me listening to a lot of SV lately and so now’s probably the best time to give ya’ll this “mixtape” that eLZhi released for free a couple of months ago. This “UnMixedtape” is raw, sparse and to the point, and also one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) eLZhi solo releases. eLZhi is one of the best and most underrated lyricists in Hip Hop today and few can match his skills and patterns. Slum Village's breakup is disheartening but at least the little I’ve heard of their last album is living up to my expectations of what a final Slum Village album should sound like, and this Leftovers release proves that eLZhi is more than capable of carrying the torch for SV. I’ll leave you with the description of “The Leftovers” release and a video for its single “Deep” and a dope video of eLZhi breaking down the “art of patterns.” That video is a MUST for any MC aspiring or pro. You can find the download link for the mixtape after the videos below.

"The Leftovers UnMixedtape is exactly what it sounds like: A compilation of one of the game's most talented Emcee's unreleased and featured works. Whether it's a promo joint from a few months back (eLZhi and Black Milk - Deep), a feature from another artist's project (Danny Brown - Contra feat. eLZhi), or just a rare gem from years past (eLZhi and DJ Dez - Living), these Leftovers would have passed for a fresh cooked meal if you didn't know better. It's raw, uncut, unmastered, fresh from the studio and ready for your ears. No DJs, just eLZhi and his comrades, your speakers and you. Without the Leftovers UnMixedtape, most of these songs would never have seen the light of day, so consider this a gift, and come get your grub on!"

One of my favorite eLZhi verses:

Don't compare me to jokes/I'll strangle the air in your throat/Like you jump from a chair and choke/In mid-air from a rope/Got a big gun and carry a scope/The flair of the smoke/Keep niggaz quiet like words that librarians spoke – Little Brother, Hiding Place (Feat. Elzhi)

Elzhi's "Deep" Official Music Video


Download Here: eLZhi – The Leftovers (Unmixedtape)

Message Board Poster Hall of Fame #4

From the OMGvinyl website (via Thou's Website):

"No offense, but once you start listening to bands like Thou, Of Montreal just sounds like somebody is literally injecting AIDS directly into your ear canal."

and not from a "board" per se but here's another nice quote found on the Thou website:

"I drove my mom home from work today, and I put on the Peasant CD. First my mom said it was 'whale music.' Then she said, 'Oh great, now the devil is singing. Desmond, he sounds like the devil.' And theeeeen, 'I feel like I have to go to church now to save my immortal soul. Why doesn't someone just put him out of his misery?' Mind you, this is all in the time span of about 15 minutes."

Robotic Empire: Free Label Sampler 2k10

I was prowling the Robotic Empire site for Thou releases and shirts when I came across their 2010 Sampler. Robotic Empire is an underground Metal/Hardcore label and distro that has a ton of quality releases under their belt such as the aforementioned Thou releases, the massive Floor Below & Beyond Box Set, and an insane USB Bracelet full of MIDI versions of songs from Chicago grindcore outfit Hewhocorrupts. You’ll find all that and more on this free sampler (check the sweet live version of Young Widow’s song “Lucky and Hardheaded.”) This will be a great way to kick off your weekend and check their site if you like their stuff, they have really reasonable prices and great shipping rates. Download link after the tracklist below:

1.) BAD SECRETS - Go and Leave
Originally from Robo 087, Self-Titled 9"+CD
2.) NEON BASTARD - Steven Tyler
Opening track on Robo 090, Meikhaus CD
3.) FLOOR - Downed Star
From Robo 084, Below & Beyond Deluxe Box Set or 8xCD set
4.) VANESSA VAN BASTEN - Fuck the Best, Take the Rest (teaser)
5.) TIDELAND - Braindead on the Interstate
Opening track from Robo 095
6.) YOUNG WIDOWS - Lucky and Hardheaded (live)
Originally from Robo 97, Live Radio Performance April 6, 2009
7.) CAPSULE - Just Three Lines
Originally from a tour-only CD, then from a digital-only release, now also from Robo 094
8.) DIAL - Sweating
Originally from Robo 088, Self-Titled CDep
9.) HEWHOCORRUPTS - Sell em All (MIDI)
From Robo 076, Midi of Profits USB Bracelet
10.) THOU - By Every Hand Betrayed
From Robo 089, Baton Rouge, You Have Much To Answer For 12" and cassette
11.) BATTLEMASTER - Death is a Warm Cube
From Universe #2, split 7" with INTER ARMA
12.) MEDUSA - Mediatrix
From RoboTape05, En Raga Sul Cassette
13.) EMPLOYER, EMPLOYEE - Nil or the Nile
Originally from Robo 008, sic[sic] CD, now from forthcoming Robo 048, Discography 12"
14.) FLOOR - On the Money
Late-era demo from Robo 084, Below & Beyond Deluxe Box Set or 8xCD set
15.) ENEMY SOIL - My Religion
Originally from Fractured Theology 3" miniCD
16.) INTER ARMA - 2000 Years
From Universe #3, Sundown 12".
17.) TIDELAND - Crash
Saddest track from Robo 095, Asleep In The Graveyard 12"
18.) VANESSA VAN BASTEN - Domio '95
From forthcoming Robo 078, Closer to the Small/Dark/Door. Available October 5th

Download the Sampler Here: Robotic Empire - Free Label Sampler 2k10

Robotic Empire Store:

Robotic Empire Blog:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Indian Live Video from Chicago Wicker Park Fest

So over the weekend I endured the throngs of hippies and hipsters to catch a set by the local doom/sludge band INDIAN at Wicker Park Fest. It was a short set and we had to pay to get into the fest, but 5 bucks was worth it for some quality metal. This would be the first time I've heard Indian since former Middian/Wolves in the Throne Room guitarist Will Lindsay joined and also the first time I've seen them since they signed to Relapse Records.

The new songs sound amazing but as usual the outdoor sound was a little lacking. Here is a video from that performance and it's a surprisingly great video (considering the rig I saw that taped it) and the sound on this video does them way more justice than the live outdoor sound did. I for one am geeked to hear their Relapse debut and hear them live again in an indoor setting, preferably at the Empty Bottle or Double Door. Enjoy the video.

(*The embed feature on this video was disabled so you'll have to settle for a link):

Indian’s Myspace:

The Avengers Movie [TEASER] Trailer

Not much of a trailer but still geeked about this movie, guess this was the trailer they premiered at Comic-Con. I wish that the Chicago Wizard Convention was gonna be as good as Comic-Con was.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Early Graves singer Makh Daniels Dies in Van Accident *Updated

This is truly some tragic news. I just found out on that Makh Daniels the singer for the band Early Graves (formerly Apiary) was killed in a van crash on their way to do a show in Reno, Nevada. They have been on tour with The Funeral Pyre doing shows all across the West Coast. I just recently heard their latest release "Goner" which is an amazing, thrashy blend of metal and hardcore and I was sure they would be the next "big thing" (or as big as an underground band could get.) The singer was very talented and I was hoping that they would eventually do a show in Chicago soon. My condolences goes out to Makh Daniels' friends and family. Here is an excerpt from the official news report:

"The van's driver reportedly fell asleep and he lost control. The van and trailer traveled off the right shoulder, rolled and came to rest off the freeway in a grassy area.None of the nine occupants were using safety restraints and the adult male victim was ejected from a rear cargo area where he and two others were. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene by responding emergency medical services personnel."

*update The band has issued the following statement:

"There are no words that can properly say all the things that I want to say about our friend Makh Daniels. He is one of the most amazing writers I have ever known. He is incredibly funny. He is wise beyond his years. He is the most honest person you could ask for as a friend or a band mate. I had the pleasure to be in 2 bands with Makh and they were some of the best years of my life thus far. Sadly, Makh Daniels was taken from all of us. He wrote a lyric in an Early Graves song "To everyone that I've ever loved, I've Failed" but if there is anything that I could tell him is how proud I was of him and how much I loved him and how much his friendship meant to me. We were all like brothers.

"I know that there was a lot of people out there who were also deeply affected by this wonderful man, Makh Daniels and I cannot tell you how much he loved music and performing and how much he wanted to affect and help people get through their demons in life."To all of you guys, and to all of the amazing amount of love you guys have sent our way, Thank you. You guys are helping all of us get through this horrible time. We are nothing without each other right now and you guys are helping so much. But we've seen the whole community of metal and punk and hardcore musicians and fans join together in this trying time and I want to say how much it means to us and his family.

"There is a donation Paypal account that is now set up that if you would like to donate some money for services, ect, please do. The paypal account email is and honestly anything you can donate would be greatly appreciated."The funeral will be on Monday, August 9th at the Good Shepards Church in Pacfica on 901 Oceana Blvd. There will be a reception afterwards and we are asking everyone to please bring in a potluck item as we are expecting a lot of people to be there and we would love to have everyone who loved Makh or his music there."There will also be a memorial show for him on August 29th at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco.

The address is 155 Fell st. This was where Makh worked and he would want us all there drinking Jameson shots and Sierra Nevada pale ale for him, with him. We will be selling memorial shirts for Makh with all proceeds going to his family to get him through this tough time."Also, please support the show in Los Angeles on Friday, August 6th. It was to be one of the last shows of our tour. The last of the Eary Graves merch will be there and all proceeds will also go to the family of Makh. The show info can be found here." Makh, I love you. Thank you for everything you were."

Full News Account:
KTVL News Report


Invisible Oranges Interview