I write quite a bit about music on this website. You might have noticed. At times it seems like this website is about little else. It’s strange for me, seeing as how music played a rather insignificant role in my life when I was younger. Now pretty much ALL of my friends are musicians. And so am I!
So I was extremely honored when I was approached by Seattle rock musicians The Jesus Rehab, who gave me an advance copy of their latest album long before it was available to the public and asked if I might write something about it. I said that I would. So here we are! More… »
The Hellfyre Club is a Los-Angeles based rap collective that includes some of the very best in indie rap nowadays. It includes (but is not limited to):
Open Mike Eagle
A couple months ago they put out a compilation album of sorts, with the rather politically-charged title of Dorner vs. Tookie. And just last week they released the video for the title track “DvT,” featuring six different performers! It’s pretty epic:
And next month they’re going on a whirlwind tour all over the frikkin’ place. I’ve highlighted the relevant date/location:
2/11/14 – Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar (Free Show)
2/14/14 – San Francisco, CA @ Elbo Room
2/15/14 – Ashland, OR @ Lounge South 2/17/14 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
2/18/14 – Portland, OR @ Star Theatre
2/21/14 – Denver, CO @ The Marquis
2/22/14 – Fort Collins, CO @ Road 34
2/24/14 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
2/25/14 – Milwaukee, WI @ Mad Planet
2/26/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Tavern
2/27/14 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
2/28/14 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme
3/1/14 – Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Tavern
3/3/14 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
3/6/14 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
3/9/14 – Washington, D.C. @ DC9
3/10/14 – Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor (Free Show)
3/11/14 – Atlanta, GA @ Purgatory Room
You’d best believe I will be there, even though February 17th is a Monday night and we have a wee beb. There’s little to no chance that Carrie will make it since it is a Monday night and we have a wee beb.
Do you like Science Fiction? Do you like good Metal music? Well, then let me introduce you to Olympia’s Gunslinger. They’re a three-person metal band. In their own words:
We are Gunslinger. A particularly lethal combination of beer, science fiction and METAL!
They’d like to record their first album, and like most indie bands nowadays they’ve turned to Kickstarter to help with the funding. Here is their pitch video:
Gunslinger only has 10 days to meet the goal, and they have quite a long ways to go, so kick in what you can! If you’re undecided, you can listen to some demos and watch some videos at their Reverbnation page and follow them on their Facebook Page. Plus, look at the art they’ve had made up for the album cover!
I, for one, staunchly believe that the world needs more sci-fi metal music, and I’ve put my money where my mouth is (as much money as I can spare seeing as how I currently am taking care of a wee beb) and have spread the word here. SO CAN YOU!
Open Mike Eagle has just released a new video for his song “Apologies.” It’s a short and sweet little song (not even two minutes long) and a cool, rotating-head video. Watch it!
“Apologies” is from the compilation album Dorner vs Tookie by the Hellfyre Club record label/collective. The Hellfyre Club is made up of some of the best rappers in existence right now, including Mike, Busdriver, VerBS, Nocando, and many more. It’s a pretty fantastic album:
As 2013 draws to a close, a lotta people and a lotta websites and a lotta publications are starting to put out their “best of” selections. I might do something similar myself at some point (though I did just get a new Zelda games, so we’ll see how much time I still have for ye olde blog). But for now I’m gonna post things that others have chosen that I just so happen to agree with.
For starters, Impose Magazine has chosen its rapper of the year. It just happens to be the best possible choice:
Rapper of the Year: Open Mike Eagle
As you probably know if you read this website, Open Mike Eagle is one of my favorite musicians. Just look at the “Open Mike Eagle” Tag and see how much I post about him. Honestly I don’t think I sing his praises enough.
There are a few things that I really appreciate about Mike:
He’s ferociously intelligent, but not obnoxiously so. In addition to be terrifically clever, his lyrics are full of allusions to things from video games to obscure, academic, scholarly texts.
He’s disarmingly humble. Far from being the braggart who can only write songs about how good a rapper he is, Mike does not fear to tread into the small and mundane. His kid likes Busdriver better than his music; he washes dishes; he changes diapers. It’s not all bitches and money.
(Most importantly) He isn’t afraid to be funny. I adore musicians who aren’t trying with every song to write The Greatest Song Ever™. Sometimes you just need some fun in your life, like if you’re rapping about poop overflow in your grandpa’s toilet. His (and my) favorite musical act is They Might Be Giants, and like them his songs aren’t “jokey” and “wacky;” they’re just funny. And instead of listing high-powered rappers as his aspirations, he lists Louis C.K. and Patton Oswalt as the people he’d like to be like.
Plus he’s just such a great guy to know!
Here, listen to his song “Qualifiers” off of the Hellfyre Club’s “Dorner vs Tookie” album, a song that exemplifies all I love about Open Mike Eagle:
So cheers to you, Mike. You’re certainly my choice as well. And with a new album coming out in 2014, you’ll likely top even more people’s lists.
Mary Lambert, the (now Grammy-nominated) chanteuse behind the chorus of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s smash hit song “Same Love,” was recently on Billboard’s Candid Covers internet show thing, where she covered the 2000 song “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. If you’re not familiar with that song, here are a couple of things you should know about it:
The original Wheatus version is a pretty rockin’ power-pop song.
It’s actually one of my favorite songs. It routinely makes it onto my mp3 player mixes.
I am a bit disappointed that Mary left out the “he brings a gun to school” line, but in fairness that line was omitted from most radio-broadcast versions of the song. But I do think it’s pretty awesome that Mary Lambert thought that the lead singer of Wheatus was a girl.
I really appreciate that she completely takes this kinda power-rock song and completely transforms it into her own plaintive, sad style. I’ve never seen the point of doing a cover of a song if it’s just going to sound like the exact same song. It also isn’t done in an ironic way, like all those folky covers of hip-hop songs that appeared after Jonathan Coulton’s “Baby Got Back” cover. It turns a kind of cheeky song into something really heartfelt.
This reminds me a lot of Tori Amos’s pretty durned amazing cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (listen to that here).
For the past couple of years, underground Seattle record label Green Monkey Records has put out compilation Christmas albums that have included original Christmas songs by Three Ninjas. Threeni did them in his old-school-country style, so, true to the genre, they aren’t exactly the happiest of yuletide tunes. So here’s the latest depressing Christmas song from Three Ninjas! It’s called “Joy & Goodwill” and is about lotsa killin’ yerself:
It goes pretty well with the song that he made last year for that year’s Christmas compilation with the help of Lee Rude, called “The Birth Of Our Savior (Is the Death of My Dream)”