Category Archives: New York

The Muppets “The Green Album” [NEW MUSIC]

Muppets fans get ready.  A couple weeks ago the soundtrack to the new highly anticipated Muppet movie was released.  Amazing indie rock acts takes on Muppet classics.  I love the muppets more than sunshine to the point where it is extremely awkward when people come into my office and see my collection of Muppet shit, but guess what?  I don’t care.  Muppets are cooler than skinny jeans and flannel.  Before I get into the artists and the record itself I wanna kick it off with a Muppet classic we all know and love done a little bit differently… ok, go.

Muppet Show Theme Song – OK Go

This soundtrack features 12 tracks from folks like the aforementioned OK Go to the sweet solo sounds of Andrew Bird and Rachel Yamagata and pretty much everyone in between.  These new takes on old classics are re-energizing my childhood dreams of becoming Animal when I grow up.

As you can see from OK Go’s take on The Muppet Show Theme Song people are doing things a little differently on this record.  One of my favorite songs is Rainbow Connection.  Done by Weezer and Hayley Williams of Paramore fame. They take a more straight forward approach to the tune and thats not a bad thing at all.

Rainbow Connection – Weezer feat. Hayley Williams

Singer Sondre Lerche stands out among a crowd of greats with his version of Mr. Bassman.  A country vibe mixed with great a cappella “bass” vocals his version of the tune is awesome.

Mr. Bassman – Sondre Lerche

Other great artists include My Morning Jacket with “Our World” and Alkaline Trio with “Movin’ Right Along”.  Both are hugely successful acts who have come up through the indie and jam scenes.  Another great standout is LA’s own Airborne Toxic Event with an awesome take on “Wishing Song.”

Wishing Song – Airborne Toxic Event

As a compilation this record is a gem and as a compilation involving the new Muppets movie it’s even better.  We all know and love these songs and we all know and love the artists covering these tunes.  Here’s a full track list just incase your gonna be “that guy” and not just go out and buy the record based on the awesome tracks you’ve already heard.

  1. The Muppet Show Theme” (OK Go)
  2. The Rainbow Connection” (Weezer and Hayley Williams)
  3. Mahna Mahna” (The Fray)
  4. Movin’ Right Along” (Alkaline Trio)
  5. Our World” (My Morning Jacket)
  6. Halfway Down the Stairs” (Amy Lee)
  7. Mr. Bassman” (Sondre Lerche)
  8. Wishing Song” (The Airborne Toxic Event)
  9. Night Life” (Brandon Saller and Billy Martin)
  10. Bein’ Green” (Andrew Bird)
  11. I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along” (Matt Nathanson)
  12. I’m Going to Go Back There Someday” (Rachael Yamagata)
There is a great balance between the full band blowouts and the small gentle solo acts on this compilation.  Songs to note aside from what I mentioned above are “I Hope That Something Better Comes Along” by Matt Nathanson and The Fray with the popular “Mahna Mahna”.  To end this thing properly I have to post the latter of those two tracks and then as usual with all my blogs, the last track on The Green Album.
Mahna Mahna – The Fray
I’m Going to Go Back There Someday – Rachael Yamagata
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
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Evan P. Donohue with “Rhythm & Amplitude” at The End in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

I keep finding myself at punk rock shows in Nashville, but that’s not a bad thing.  Nashville’s punk scene has grown tremendously over the last four to five years and is now thriving.  This particular show at The End was packed with a younger crowd ready to rock, and I don’t think the bartender sold less than a hundred PBRs… per hour.  With a lineup of underground Nashville bands Watusi, Spanish Candles, Evan P. Donohue, and Diarrhea Planet, this show was set up to be a wild night.  All the bands that night put on killer shows, but I was particularly interested in hearing music from Evan P. Donohue and his band.

Evan P. Donohue is a local independent Nashville songwriter and artist who has set himself apart from the typical rock bands in Music City.  He writes intelligently through stories about semi-fictional characters and experiences from his life.  With his drummer Mike Kavouras, Donohue arranges and develops music that that creatively supports and nourishes the lyrics and stories in his songs.  There aren’t too many young indie rock bands with this combination of musical excellence and purpose behind clever ideas and words.  Evan P. Donohue continues to push his music to new heights, and released a full-length debut album last year called Rhythm & Amplitute to do just that.  Check out one of my favorite songs from the album, “O Justice!”

The entire album cannot be confined to just one specific genre because I find a complex combination of feels in the music that associate with past and contemporary rock, pop, surf-rock, and Americana artists.  This rings true, since some of Donohue’s influences are T.Rex, Elvis Costello, Of Montreal, Beach Boys, Tom Waits, and David Rawlings.  Rhythm & Amplitude plays with a variety of musical styles, and the songs are a collection of reality-turned fiction stories that blend while maintaining truth as their foundation.  Evan P. Donohue’s bio states, “Masterfully crafting sardonic portraits of decidedly earnest characters, Evan P. Donohue poetically chooses his words to express the struggles and affections his often tragic characters experience by the choices they’ve faced in life. The surf-rock ballad “California Sunshine” speaks of a middle-aged man who rebels against the monotony of his life, eventually finding peace and happiness “sleeping under Starlight”, a prostitute employed at the Mexican brothel where the track gets its title.”  I really couldn’t have said it better myself!  Check out some more music from Evan P. Donohue’s Rhythm & Amplitude:

Whether it’s taking old stories and making them new or creating new truths with current realities, Donohue has something undeniably great.  His music tells tales, embraces ideas, and develops new songs that go far beyond today’s pop hits.  Nashville seems like an excellent fit for this up-and-coming artist who is set to debut more recordings this fall.  On November 11, 2011, Evan P. Donohue will be releasing a 7-inch called Jazzputin.  The record will contain two new songs that I, and every single one of his fans are very excited about.  Listen to more music, stay up to date with Evan P. Donohue, and buy an Rhythm & Amplitude!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Dot The One – Above Ground Level – First Single [New Release]

Dot The One, the most under-rated and over-talented Philly rapper probably of all time, has just released the first single off his newest project, AGL (Above Ground Level), a mixtape due to be out on 11/11/11. Dot has been working on this project for over a year now.  The single is called “Salute Me” – Just take a listen:

Dot, otherwise known as Brandon Cromwell, has been hustling crazy hard over this last year. In addition to working on AGL, he’s also been doing live shows, shooting music videos, and he even pulled a stunt called 30 Day Reign where he released a new free song every day for 30 days on his Facebook page. This dude is a beast!

AGL Promo Vid:

That video reminds me of an older song from Dot The One called “Say Hi” – This track is beyond classic:

Whether he’s writing or just freestyling, Dot The One has earned his name. His style is completely unique, and his complex and carefully crafted flow spills out so smoothly he makes it look too easy. This kid has a jewel.

Recent interview w/ Dot on inspiration:

Check out this Dot The ONE Playlist on Beat-Play. Just listen to the first track and you will be hooked. His producers are disgusting, his collaborators are nasty, and Dots not afraid to just spit straight for 5 minutes right through the hooks.

This kid brings a breath of fresh air to any hip hop fan who has been hurting lately. Finally, somebody you can get down with. That playlist tells the whole story, at least until AGL comes out in November. Judging from Salute Me, I have the feeling that this mixtape is going to take Dot’s greatness to a whole nother level. This is going to be the best mixtape of the year. <period. You heard it here first.


Check him out
!

Written by: Dante Carmelo Cullari

Chappo – “Come Home” [MUSIC] [FREE DOWNLOAD] [EVENT]

Chappo

 

Chappo consists of Baton Rouge, La.-born Alex Chappo and Seattle, Washington-born Chris Olson, who share vocals while playing rustic guitar and space-sounding synth beats. Chappo released their debut album ‘Media Machine’ in 2008, sans Chris Olson. They describes their music as a “cross pollination of indie pop and space rock. It’s The Rolling Stones in space and like The Flaming Lips without gravity. They’ve got space shoes, phantasmagorical adventures, confetti six-shooters and diamond powder-filled hourglasses.

 

Chappo

 

The bands most recent EP, ‘Plastique Universe,” was released in April 2010.  Other accolades to the band include playing at South by SouthWest, having their music featured in a new Ipod touch commercial, and designer Rawan Rihani using their song ‘Come Home’ for her ‘Nightswimming’ collection show at Glasslands Gallery for the Williamsburg Fashion Weekend.  This band has played across the United States, and will be playing at the Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn tonight!

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

 

Cymbals Eat Guitars “Lenses Alien” [NEW MUSIC]

Cymbals Eat Guitars is an awesome band name.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is an awesome band.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is loud energetic and just the right kind of music for the mood I’m in right now.  I think I’m going to get tired of continuously typing Cymbals Eat Guitars, but I’ll do it for you in the name of rock and roll.  If you like this kind of stuff and hate typing, feel free to proceed.

Rifle Eye Sight (Proper Name) – Cymbals Eat Guitars

When I’m in the mood for distortion I think I have a new band to turn too.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is that band.  They hail from the NY/ New Jersey area.  Their record comes out today and, duh, I HAVE IT ALREADY so were gonna move through this, it’s going to get loud and soft and loud and soft and you’re going to like it.

Keep Me Waiting – Cymbals Eat Guitars

“Lenses Alien” was produced by John Agnello.  His past clients include the likes of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. two bands that make evident where Cymbals Eat Guitars draws their influence from.  Dinosaur Jr. is a hometown (Boston) band for me and also one of my favorite bands of all time so when I started putting 2 and 2 together I was excited to see the resemblances between the two acts.  I was also excited to see Cymbals take their obvious influence and turn it on its head.

There is a little more pop to their music.    I can only speak for “Lenses Alien” but I will most definitely be diving into their back catalog VERY soon (as in right after I’m done writing this entry.)   High powered heavy guitars, distinct melodic vocals and great bass lines are what is driving this record for me right now.

Definite Darkness – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Appropriately enough the band started with drums and guitars.  They have grown since then and found popularity on the indie rock circuit nationwide.  As I write this and listen to Lenses Alien I’m pretty blown away.  One of my favorite tracks is the eerie tune called The Current.

It has a driving rhythm throughout under darkly distorted vocals.  It’s a far stretch from the music I usually enjoy, but for some reason it stands out for me on an album of good stuff.  The juxtaposition between that and the following partially acoustic track, Wavelengths, was a really cool transition.

Wavelegnths – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars is the perfect kind of rock music for pretty much anyone who wants a new flavor of style of music from our younger years.  Either that or if you are into guitar laden, harmonic, sonic or whatever else ends in “onic” type of music.  Lenses Alien is refreshing, loud and most of all this record is honest in the fact that even though the inspiration is obvious they have stayed true to themselves and have created awesome new music because of it.  Here’s the last track.  I love it.  A great ballad to leave us on a soft note… if your not in the mood to be left in a soft note just replay the damn thing from the top on today when you buy this record.

Gary Condit – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars are about to tour from Boston to LA and back to NY for the fall.  They play LA’s Echo on the 7th of October.  See you there chumps.

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Purity Ring – Belispeak [NEW MUSIC]

Purity Ring - Belispeak

Don’t be thrown by the band name, because Purity Ring is the truth. It seems like only a month ago that we were bumpin’ the latest from this electronic duo with the release of their Lofticries single, but time sure flys by and with 5 months having gone by we hear more! This music is the real deal, and growing quickly throughout the internet pushing them forward in their current North American tour going through October with 18 more cities to go. But the focus here is really around the incredible vibe of their latest release “Belispeak”, which perfectly captures the intricate experimental production Purity Ring has delivered in the past. I’m definitely in favor of an upbeat tempo in music so I am going to have to say this new track is at the top in my book for this group. Hopefully, with the release of a bit more music we could really see a strong push from Purity Ring at the end of this year. Lookout for the track on a 7″ to be released in October with Braids. Have a listen for yourself and be the judge:

If you have not had the privilege of hearing previous Purity Ring tracks, not a problem, because we can provide those for you as well. This is going to be a new sound you’re going to want to pay attention to in the coming months. It’d be best if you checked out Lofticries first because that was the first track that turned me onto this New York sensation. The group can be found at a number of areas like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

 

Bombay Bicycle Club – “Shuffle” [NEW MUSIC] [EVENT]

Bombay Bicycle Club

 

Bombay Bicycle Club is an indie-rock band from London.  Comprised of Jack Steadman (lead vocals, guitar), Jamie MacColl (guitar), Ed Nash (bass) and Suren de Saram (drums), the band just released their third studio album, A Different Kind of Fix.  The first single released, Shuffle, provides a microcosm of the album’s feel. Building a gentle, hooky pop song over a looping, dance-inducing piano sample, it’s, like all the best late summer sounds, seventy-five percent exuberant and twenty-five percent melancholy.  This album is different than the previous two; it incorporates more electronics and has less folk influences.  Watch the video for Shuffle to see for yourself, or see them live in Brooklyn (Music Hall of Williamsburg – Sept. 7) or Philadelphia (Theater of the Living Arts – Sept. 9) – for more tour dates check out their schedule!

 

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

 

 

Digital Native Tongues

For whatever reason, I equate a lot of my experiences as a Beat-Play company member to several verses and hooks in my favorite songs.  I was born in ’77.  So, that sweet spot has EVERYTHING to do with A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, The Jungle Brothers, Freestyle music, Gang Starr, Rakim, Big Pun, Biggie, and all of the other greats.  If you’re feeling me on this already, then read on.  If you’re a bit hesitant, then I invite you to step in; and understand why these pioneers have laid the foundation for elevated thinking and prosperous language skills.

And it goes a little something like this….

Lyrics from A Tribe Called Quest’s “Steve Biko”

Q-Tip simply rips it with:

Okay
I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
Is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
Because opinions are like voices
We all have a different kind
So just clean out all of your ears
These are my views and you will find that
We revolutionize over the kick and the snare
The ghetto vocalist is on a state-wide tear
Soon to be the continent and then the freakin globe
Theres room for it all as we mingle at the ball
We welcome competion cuz it doesnt make one lazy or worn
We gotta work hard, you know the damn card
Try to be the fattest is the level that we strive
Try to be the fattest also to stay alive

This is the feeling and the passion that is communicated in every single one of our meetings.  Whether we’re tawkin’ about our Creative Designs, our Integrated Marketing plans, our Social Media tactics, our Web Development, or whatever.  We’re very fortunate to have a really strong support network.  This is a team of entrepreneurs and innovators.  There’s a magical chemistry that we’re brewing.

I remember when I first heard Tip spit this verse, I always knew that he would forever be a voice that leads a generation.  This verse kills in more ways than one.  4 highly essential things happen in one key exchange.  First, Phife’s dish to Q-Tip is classic:

Tip educate ‘em, my rhymes are strictly taboo

Fill ‘em with some fantasies and I’ll look out like Tattoo

Then DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad just completely destroys it with the phattest jabs; he stabbed that record.    Then, Tip’s lyrics ignite the beast in just about anyone that takes their shit serious.  Peep the talented tempo and the BPM’s.  Fuckin’ Genius!  Finally, the Delivery is just pure HIP HOP.  That’s what’s up, and that’s what we’re all about.

*{pick it up @ 2:45}

 By: David Botero | Harrisburg | @DavewithMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

The City and Horses – “We Will Never Be Discovered” [MUSIC]

The City and Horses

Marc, the lead singer of The City and Horses, started the band as a side project from his New York apartment.  Since the first E.P. release in 1997, the band has evolved, played shows and perfected their indie-pop tracks.  Their last EP release, Little Finland, (the first for the Marc’s whole band) on White Shoe Records in the US, had a great review including one by Time Out New York.  Their appeal is quite simple — they make jangly, well-crafted pop songs with quirky, intelligent lyrics and quickly hummable hooks.  And that’s that.  Yet, unlike other contemporary indie bands, The City and Horses hope to remain in the shadows behind their meaningful and melodic tunes.  Check out the title track of their soon to be released album, We Will Never Be Discovered, on Paper Garden Records.

 

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

 

O.A.R. “King” [NEW MUSIC]

HOLD ON A SECOND!   I can hear you yelling at me for this post already.  Jeeze louise.  I will cautiously start this post by saying I LOVE THIS BAND so take a hike if you’re a hater.  I always have and they have always held a special place in my heart right near where my 17 year old self lives.  OAR is awesome.   Crazy Game of Poker, Night Shift, Hey Mr. Brown (NOTE:  So the title “Hey Mr. Brown is wrong and I got called out on it.  The song is actually titled “ABOUT Mr. Brown!”  Man I was wayyyyyyy off… And for the record yes I do listen to this band.  Also for the record I hate the word “about” so I changed it to “hey” cuz I can do whatever I want.  Just saying),  Ok now we’re back… City on Down and many many more are songs that we all listened to while drinking our first underaged beers or attending our first concerts (Sprite Liquid Mix Tour!  What! What!)  I honestly don’t know if it’s cool or not to love this band anymore and I don’t care.  I can hear you stripping me of the little/ any indie cred I may or may not have had.  I don’t give a shit.  The boys in OAR have just released a new record and I got to say they are sporting somewhat of a new sound with the same old roots rock vibe they’e always worn on their sleeve.  Their new release is called “King”.  Clocking in at 16 tracks take a listen as we go through this.  You might stay in love with these guys or fall in love all over again., no homo.

King – OAR (feat. Russell Simmons and DJ Logic)

WHAT?  Yea, I know, BOOM!  DJ Logic and Russell Simmons in your face, first track!  See, I told you they were sounding different these days.  As the record moves on they have embraced the pop music they are oh so good at creating and have added more production, samples and goodies.  Moving on.

Heaven – OAR

Horns are just killing it all over this record.  OAR tours with Jerry and his signature sax sound, but I think the addition of a larger horn section on the recordings really supports OAR’s cause.  I think lead singer Marc Roberge has a great voice and with the addition of great backing vocals makes him sound even better.  With Benji on bass and Chris on drums they are just building on a great root sound they have perfected over the last 10 years if not more.  The next track I love has a little island flare and once again features big horns and great vocals by Marc.

Are You Low? – OAR

As I moved through this record.  I’m in love.  Big electric sounds, samples and under it all is the OAR we all know and love.  The sound is bigger, heavier.  The guitars rock and blare like I have never heard from this band.  They are firing reggae infused roots rock on all cylinders.

Gotta Live – OAR

I think I am running out of things to say about this band, but I will say this.  Since “In Between Now and Then” I have been a fan.  Years later, I admit, I have fallen out of love with OAR and moved on to other musical tastes, but after stumbling on to these guys again I immediately remember why I was drawn to them in the first place.  Great songs, melodies and rhythms.  They are just a fun band.  If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing them live you will know ten fold what I’m talking about.  I think I saw them upwards of 10 times in high school and college and those were some of the best shows that defined my earlier years as a music lover.

Almost Easy – OAR

The dudes are currently out with Dave Matthews and their traveling caravan.  They are also wrapping up their tour and are making a stop locally in San Diego on October uno.  Road trip anyone?  Here’s the tour page, hopefully they are coming to a city near you and I’m sure they will announce more dates soon.  Here’s the last tune from OAR’s “KING” as well as a sweet bonus track.  You can buy thier record just about anywhere, even on the internet.  Enjoy the new sounds OAR is making.  I know I am.

Back to One – OAR

World Like That – OAR

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC