REVIEW: The Sounds Of Rhythm’s “A Street Corner Symphony: Under The Blue Light”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I’m a huge fan of doo-wop and acapella R&B, and this is what A Street Corner Symphony: Under The Blue Light (Rusty Key) by The Sounds Of Rhythm are offer. It looks and sounds like a group of four longtime friends, gathering together and saying “hey, let’s make an album with some of our favorite songs growing up, make it feel like the good ol’ days”. On the CD you have nice, polished takes of “Daddy’s Home”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”, “Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)”, and “For Your Precious Love”, done in a manner that sounds like you’re right in the studio or concert hall with them. If you have a love, if not need, for that classic soulful sound because you think NE-YO and Usher sound like gacks, this is definitely a CD you must buy and treasure. Turn the blue light on, it’s time to get romantic.

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SOME STUFFS: Woodsman prepare for new EP release

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Woodsman are about to go on tour to support their new EP, Mystery Tape, scheduled for released on June 1st, by Lefse. Here are the tour dates:
May 16 Quixote’s Denver, CO
May 26 Hi-Dive Denver, CO
Jun 01 Astroland Boulder, CO
Jun 05 House Show Denver, CO
Jun 07 Revlis Albuquerque, NM
Jun 08 Universe City Norman, OK
Jun 09 Cheer Up Charlie’s Austin, TX
Jun 10 The Cavern Dallas, TX
Jun 11 The Groj Fayetteville, AR
Jun 12 The Tavern Jackson, MS
Jun 14 Wonderroot Atlanta, GA
Jun 15 House Show Charleston, SC
Jun 18 tba New York, NY
Jun 19 87 Guernsey St. Brooklyn, NY
Jun 20 Copperworks Pittsfield, MA
Jun 21 Embassy Vinyl Scranton, PA
Jun 22 Believland Cleveland, OH
Jun 24 tba w/ Campfires Chicago, IL
Jun 26 Hexagon Minneapolis, MN
Jun 28 Public Space 1 Iowa City, IA
Jun 30 Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, IA
Jul 01 The Slowdown Omaha, NE
Jul 02 Replay Lounge Lawrence, KS

Now feel their 8mm vibe.

Woodsman – Sunglass from woodsman man on Vimeo.

SOME STUFFS: Mix Tape Amnesty assists in clearing your conscience

It may sound like a new electronica group, a la Thievery Corporation, but instead the Mix Tape Amnesty are an organization that… well, let their own website explain:

The amnesty was created in an effort to finally rid the country of illegally taped music. Although technology has evolved, the law on this issue has remained unchanged and these mix-tapes still constitute a threat to artist royalties. The amnesty allows otherwise law-abiding citizens to destroy evidence that could, if left untouched, result in prosecution, fines – even a lengthy custodial sentence.

If you wish, you can actually apologize to the artist of your choice. Will this become a North American phenomenon? Will Justin Bieber fans be forced to comply? You can find out more about their humorous mission by clicking to MixTapeAmnesty.ie.

REVIEW: King Rhythm’s “Hardships & Head Trips”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic With all that I listen to and review, I like to give it multiple listens so I can get a good feel for it. When something is exceptionally good, I want to take time with it. King Rhythm‘s Hardships & Head Trips (Catalyst Act) is an album that I’ve been playing quite a bit in the last few weeks, and I feel like I want to hoard it, keep this to myself. But what good is that, the great thing about music is that you want to let everyone know about it, and that’s why I do what I do.

When the album arrived, I opened it and within the cover was an album on red vinyl. Beauty. The music on it is the kind of stuff I live for, quality hip-hop that not only challenges me, but challenges itself. With a name like King Rhythm, it almost has a ska/reggae feel in the vein of people like King Tubby, but I will say that they both share a love for adventure in their music. King Rhythm pretty much does everything on this album: write, produce, mix, record, engineered, and more. The opening track goes through a bit of funky atmospherics before he rhymes over what may sound like a 3/4 time signature, but you can also hear that as 4/4 with couplets. He speaks about wanting to tear away boundaries and conventions (“Bangin’ The Wall”) and he does so by taking each line and making it sound like tools of the trade that haven’t been used in awhile. The music is a bit more abrasive in nature, almost industrial, than most hip-hop coming out as of late but this isn’t too left-of-center. “Demolition Session 95″ sounds as if Mike Shinoda hooked up with Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy, MC 900 Ft. Jesus & DJ Zero, or Front Line Assembly.

What I like about the lyrics is that there’s a sense of confidence that comes from the love of writing and wordplay, there’s a sense of composition that will make this a must-have album for anyone who enjoys composition in their hip-hop and not pre-school decoupage. Hardships & Head Trips covers those topics as part of the fabric of hip-hop and life in general. That may sound like something you’d expect from an Arrested Development album, and the sounds here are distant from what the Atlanta group were known for. King Rhythm is very much someone walking to his own heartbeat, but hopes to find those who find something in common with the great stories he has to share.

(The vinyl version of Hardships & Head Trips can be purchased directly from KingRhythm.com.)

VIDEO: M.I.A.’s “Born Free”

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

In a matter of a few days, this video has been banned by YouTube, which in 2010 makes a much bigger impact than being “banned by MTV”. Really, MTV has Snooki, their quality control was lost years ago.

Nonetheless, M.I.A. has created a music video for “Born Free” that has a heavy message with some arguably harsh imagery which may not be pleasing to some. Then again, the imagery is a punch in the face like the music itself, very punk rock and honest. Even Green Day were never this harsh.

The M.I.A. video was directed by Romain Gavras, the banning will no doubt shed a bit of light on him and his previous works. As for anyone who doubted M.I.A. for her recent comments about Lady Gaga, they’re now like Bonnie Raitt since they’re now being given something else to talk about, and it’s not love. I love the video and the metaphors it touches on.