Tag Archives: alternative

Guster’s Caught Up in The Game’s latest “Pot Of Gold” [MUSIC]

gusterAll hip-hop beats come from great samples that are guaranteed to instantly stick into the heads of millions of listeners. That’s exactly what New York independent rock group Guster provided in their 1997 hit single “Rocketship”. It was one unforgettable guitar riff that caught the attention of star hip-hop artist The Game to be used on a track featuring Chris Brown off his latest album release The  R.E.D. Album. Now they obviously didn’t create the new Game song but they were a contributor of it so they will be receiving royalties from all sales. But they are giving to charity… which is lovely.

This is why we love our independent community! They know how and when to do the right thing. The band will be donating a portion of the money they earn from The Game’s track “Pot Of Gold” to the Crittenton Women’s Union. The band actually made a few comments regarding the new use of their creation in this written interview. When asked specifically about this track they responded:

I think we feel some flattery and some confusion.  The Game’s album just came out a week ago and the video for “Pot of Gold” already has over six million views.  Do we feel exploited? Well, we’ve been in this business a long time and it’s not our first time watching “Rocketship” get plucked from us for the glory of others.

With an incredible debut chart ranking of #1 on the Billboard 200, Guster will have a great shot at some high-level exposure, hitting the ears of youtube viewers 6.64 million times. Unfortunately the band feels differently on this matter, as drummer Brian Rosenworcel stated,

Mostly we’re flattered to have been sampled in a hit song. I don’t think it’ll send droves of people out to discover our ‘Goldfly’ album…

You’ll notice, that there is no version of this Guster song to be heard within this post, and I’m hear to tell you that you won’t find one either. That’s pretty sad, considering they have another version of their song out for everyone to enjoy without ever knowing where it came from. I mentioned something to the individual who was running their campaign, so if something comes up on Youtube like suggested, you all will be the first to hear it!

Written By: Mark Gregory Valente | @MarkwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC 

10 Awesome Independent Record Labels [LIST]

Here at Music Without Labels we do our best at providing you with some of the top independent music worldwide, which is why I’ve decide to show some love and promote the main industry that helps manage these artists’ insanely busy music schedules; Independent Record Labels! Now this list is in no particular order so their is no hierarchy of which label is better than the next. This is an independent community so it’s our job as indie people to promote quality independent music equally together. We will continue to promote the Independent Record Labels in this new series. Hope this comes as a great reference, and please stay tuned for more:

1. Toolroom records

Label Genre(s): Dance (HOUSE)

Description: Being started by one of the United Kingdoms’ largest dance DJs in Mark Knight, it was certain to be a hit immediately following their release to the world in 2003. After 8 years the label has continuously gained international recognition for it’s unprecedented release of non-stop quality, throughout the entire dance spectrum. Their focus on originality and funk influenced HOUSE has really brought them to the level they are today having taken a stronghold on their niche from the beginning.

tool room records

Artist Count: 46 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): Having had one of Music Without Labels favorite HOUSE DJs in the game made it a bit of an easier decision when trying to figure which labels should be on the list. We all know Mark Knight is a genius (the guy started toolroom! duh) but Toronto, Canada native progressive-house DJ DeadMau5 has set a whole new standard for the work ethic of a modern day House DJ, which was sure to have helped propel Toolroom Records down their long road to success. It was bit tough to pick a track here since we’ve posted DeadMau5 about 8 times on here, but it was decided that everyone enjoys some “HR 8938 Cephei”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

2. Sumerian records

Label Genre(s): Metal | Hardcore | Rock

Description: Coming from both sides of the United States in LA and DC, co-founders Ash Avildsen and Shawn Keith have managed to open the independent heavy metal market not only domestically but internationally as well with their first non-US band, Fellsilent, signing back in 2008. Sumerian was created ‘by artists, for artists’ which has continued to help ship their music to the top of the metal genre, representing 25 bands with endless potential. The labels’ ability to expand their demographic early has surely given them the edge they’ve needed in the grueling music industry of today. More recently Sumerian has worked with the video game series Rock Band to provide music to their network. Songs by Asking Alexandria have made it into the mix already in the past and you can expect to hear more in the latest production with groups Veil of Maya and After the Burial.

sumerian records

Artist Count: 25 current

Beat-Play Feature(s): A bit earlier this year we were halted by a follower on our Facebook page by the fact that we hadn’t posted metal music in awhile. After digging into some newer metal tracks I was more than pleased to come across Sumerians own Chicago, IL band Born Of Osiris with their latest single release entitled “Follow The Signs”. Since the release of the song in February the band has completed their full-length album “The Discovery” which dropped in the later days of March. Here is “Follow The Signs” by Born of Osiris:

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

3. Stones Throw records

Label Genre(s): Mostly Hip-Hop

Description: Stones Throw was created in 1996 by San Jose, CA native Chris Manak, aka DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, to originally produce and distribute music he had recorded with his best friend and fellow artist Charizma, who had been killed 3 years earlier. With that being said this label is very personal to Chris and has gained countless recognition and the overwhelming addition of 44 more artists than day one of Stones Throw Records back in ’96. The success of the label has come primarily from the approval of Chris Manak in all music represented. As the executive producer, he picks what he likes, and that’s the final decision, and main key to their ongoing success. It’s that old school vibe that keeps them alive, with artists like Mayer Hawthorne and Aloe Blacc who so smoothly bring old into the new with everything they do, from music, to merch, to design, and videos, this is a cool class of music with a lot to offer.

stones throw records

Artist Count: 44 all-time

Beat-Play Feature(s): So I had to add the “(s)” on the end there specifically for these guys because we have posted many tracks from Stones Throw and would like to share 2 with you right here. Mayer Hawthorne and Aloe Blacc are just non-stop turning heads all across America, each having albums released by Stones Throw early this year, they’ve seen much hype with their videos and multiple hit singles. With two tracks to play let’s jump right into it:

Aloe Blacc – “I Need A Dollar”

Mayer Hawthorne – “No Strings”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

4. Sub pop records

Label Genre(s): Indie Rock | Alternative | Punk Rock

Description: Created by Bruce Pavitt in the early 80s as a fanzine (non-official fan magazine of independent musicians) called Subterranean Pop this label has undergone some pretty influential transitions throughout their long journey to the top of the independent label scene. Today Sub Pop Records is one of the leading producers and distributors for independent rock, with 2 Platinum and Gold Records from past artists such as Nirvana, The Postal Service, The Shins, and Flight Of The Conchords, it comes without question why such high interest has been carried out throughout the years. Some of today’s biggest names in indie rock still call Sub Pop their home as the fans continue to hear hit after hit.

subpop records

Artist Count: 71 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): With 71 active artists it’s really tough to try and pick one out and go with it as your best choice, so this is not my best choice, just a damn good song like the long list of others Sub Pop has to offer. Fleet Foxes bring a great deal of originality to the modern music scene, and sometimes their old soul makes it difficult to appreciate at first, but with the release of their latest album “Helplessness Blues” we’ve seen a great deal of excitement stir up about the group. Here is the title track off their new album:

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

5. easy star records

Label Genre(s): Reggae | DUB

Description: These guys are an absolutely unstoppable force in the reggae scene today with an incredible talent pool in their list of artists. Music Without Labels has had the pleasure of working with a number of these artists, including Cas Haley, Easy Star All Stars, John Brown’s Body, and The Black Seeds, writing reviews and capturing live concert photos for them in our select cities. The earlier in-house productions of Easy Star All Stars brought 3 best-selling reggae albums of the decade, giving Easy Star Records the glory moment they needed to transition into that next step as an independent label. After capturing an impressive sound they knew people loved, it was at that time where they began focusing on other artists as well as themselves. Having that re-inventive reggae niche on hold in the Easy Star All Stars, bringing in progressive, classic, and modern reggae proved to be an essential decision for where they’ve come to be.

easy star recordsArtist Count: 13 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): As mentioned in the ‘Description’ above, we have done many types of promotions for Easy Star Records’ artists, from album and song reviews to live concert photography. The Easy Star All Stars brought a whole new world to the reggae scene with the release of their Beatles and Pink Floyd classic  full-album reggae/dub remixes in “DUB Side Of The Moon” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts DUB Band”.  Since it is Easy Star All Stars show here, I’m going to go ahead and choose a track by them along with a link to their concert photos. Here is one of my personal favorites by Pink Floyd and now Easy Star All Stars, “Money” (The Alchemist Remix).

Easy Star All Stars [PHOTOS]

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

6. partisan records

Label Genre(s): Folk | Alternative | Country | Experimental

Description: Being one of the younger independent labels in our list of longtime forces, this Brooklyn, NY label has quickly made a name for itself within it’s short 4 year life-span. Partisan Records brings a different style to the record label business, encouraging their artist to create and share their own sound and stories, indicative in the labels’ wide-range of genres. This sense of originality is the key to their fast growth in such a competitive market, harnessing some of the great indie artists of today in, Deer Tick, Dolorean, Holy Sons, Paleo, Middle Brother, and Mountain Man. Expect to see much more from this label in the near future including new artists, videos, music, merchandise, etc…

partisan recordsArtist Count: 13 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): It was just the early part of March when we were blessed with the joyous ring of Middle Brother and their self-titled hit track “Middle Brother”. A driven group of musicians in search of their next great sound, the band consists of John J. McCauley of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit. The fun-filled tone they bring with their first release was a sure hit, joining that classic oldies vibe with the popular folk sounds of today.

Middle Brother – “Middle Brother” 

Contact Link: Website | Facebook | Twitter

7. Alpha pup records

Label Genre(s): Experimental | Creative | Adventurous

Description: This isn’t your normal independent label. Or should I say labels? Alpha Pup Records has made it’s mark in the music industry by perfecting the art of collaboration, not only bringing artists together but harnessing 40 independent labels under one outstanding network. This is the sort of collaboration you expect from a label pumping out tracks for artists such as P-Funk All Stars, Hello Morning, dak, Busdriver and many more.

alpha pup records

Artist Count: 160 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): With such a long list of artists it’s kind of hard to miss an Alpha Pup client when promoting the independent world. We’ve featured a number of theirs including Abstract Rude, Nosaj Thing, and Shlohmo. Being big fans of electronic music, Shlohmo had caught our attention earlier this year with the release of “Places”.

Shlohmo – “Places”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

8. Hopeless records

Labels Genre(s): Alternative | Punk | Pop | Rock | Metal

Description: Spending a majority of their focus on the independent punk scene Hopeless Records has owned this sound, claiming the top spot of the punk record labels since their early 90s start. Some of the greatest artists in punk rock and metal during the mid 2000 era were represented by Hopeless. Aritsts including Avenged Sevenfold, Thrice, Yellowcard, All Time Low, and Silverstein were putting in some serious work to help take the new label to it’s forefront of being one of the great independent labels. With the recent addition of Yellowcard, it is expected to see them reach another milestone in the near future with this incredible collaboration.

Hopeless Records

Artist Count: 15 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): After leaving the spot-light they had earned through Capital Records in 2008, Yellowcard decided to rejoice with the indie world and post up with none-other than Los Angeles, California’s Hopeless Records. They followed up their longtime run of major label success with the amazing production of their latest independent album release, “When You Are Finished, Say Yes”. Here is their hit featured on The Beat-Play Experiment:

Yellowcard – “For You, And Your Denial” 

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

9. ghostly international

Label Genre(s): Experimental | New Age | Everything

Description: With 12 years in the game this Ann Arbor, Michigan label has managed to capture an entire style through the many different forms of expression art has to offer. Ghostly International isn’t just about music but the art within music and everything that comes with that art including their roles in design, clothing, technology, innovation, and publishing. They represent a plethora of genres that all seem to fit a similar expression or feeling within the overall tone or message of their art.

ghostly international

Artist Count: 15 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): I am unfortunately unable to provide any tracks from the Beat-Play Experiment archive, but you can guarantee a few tracks throughout the year. One of my personal favorites, being Com Truise, has been on the fence for an artist review for a couple months now and it’s probably about time to pull the trigger on that. To show some love to the electronic expertise of Com Truise here is his track “Pyragony”.

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

10. vicious Recordings

Genre Label(s): Dance | Electronic | HOUSE

Description: With over 18 years of experience in the dance music game, this Melbourne, Australia label has perfected the industry, producing some of the top HOUSE DJs of the world in Avicii, Mind Electric, and butterBOX. Founders and Producer/DJs Andy Van and John Course have an energy that is unprecedented in the electronic dance scene, helping them gain the attention of many up and coming house DJs from all over the world including, the US, Sweden, Australia, Indonesia, and many other countries.

vicious recors

Artist Count: 15 active

Beat-Play Feature(s): Being a huge fan of the growing HOUSE scene from Europe, Avicii has continued to capture our ears here on The Beat-Play Experiment with hit after hit. So we’ve probably featured 3 tracks so far on the blog by Avicii and it’s pretty hard to determine which one is the best, but judging by the stats, the people love to hear “ID + Vocal”. In this new dance era the progressive sound of Avicii has proven to be the best joining an eclectic group of DJs such as DeadMau5 and Benny Bennasi.

Avicii – “ID + Vocal”

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Written By: Mark G. Valente | @MarkwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Other Lives – “For 12” [VIDEO]

other livesOther Lives take the spacey vibe of their latest hit “For 12”, off their 2nd album Tamer Animals, to Mars in this incredible video journey through outerspace. The Oklahoma-based band’s added strings really build a perfect ambient setting to the enhanced digital effects of a spaceranger exploring the terrain to the forward sounds of western alternative bliss. The group consists of 5 members who play the said instruments as follows:

Jesse Tabish (piano, guitar, lead vocals)
Josh Onstott (bass, organ, Backing vocals)
Jenny Hsu (cello, piano, Backing Vocals)
Colby Owens (drums)
Jonathon Mooney (piano,violin, guitar)

You can catch these guys on tour now pumpin’ the release of their new album through TBD Records. Currently on the east coast, the group has a show in Asheville, NC where they will then be making there way out west by the end of the summer. Tamer Animals is set to release in the UK in Late August of this year.

Free download: “for 12”

Young The Giant [NEW MUSIC]

 

Young the Giant is an American alternative rock band that formed in Irvine, California, in 2004. The band’s line-up is Sameer Gadhia (lead vocals, auxiliary percussion), Jacob Tilley (guitars), Eric Cannata (guitars), Payam Doostzadeh (bass guitar), and François Comtois (drums). Formerly known as The Jakes, Young the Giant was signed by Roadrunner Records in 2009 and released its eponymous debut album in 2010.

The Jakes were formed in 2004 in Irvine, California. After several personnel changes, the group’s lineup by 2008 consisted of Sameer Gadhia, Jacob Tilley, Ehson Hashemian, Eric Cannata, and François Comtois. With one member still in high school and others attending different colleges, the band decided to put their schooling on hold to focus on music. That winter, the band won an online contest on Sonicbids to open for Kings of Leon during a January 2009 show at the House of Blues in Chicago. Two months later, the band played four shows at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. The band’s song “Texas Tea” was played during an episode of MTV’s The Real World: Brooklyn, and “Paid the Piper” was featured on A&E’s The Beast. Another song, “Cough Syrup”, received airplay on the Los Angeles radio station KROQ. After signing to Roadrunner Records in August, keyboardist Ehson Hashemian departed the band. In December, the band announced it had changed its name to Young the Giant.

Young the Giant spent 2010 touring with Minus the Bear and Steel Train while working on its debut album with producer Joe Chicarelli. After the band finished recording in early June, they played additional shows with Marina and the Diamonds, The Futureheads, Neon Trees and New Politics. Several songs—including “My Body”, “I Got”, and “Strings”—were leaked online in advance of the album’s release.On October 26, Roadrunner Records digitally released the eponymous Young the Giant album, which received a physical U.S. release on January 25, 2011. The album is scheduled to be released May 2 in the UK. Young the Giant performed on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit in January. First single “My Body” was released to U.S. radio that month, and went on to peak at number five on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The song was on iTunes as free single of the week beginning January 9, 2011, and was featured on an episode of American Idol. The band is scheduled to perform at South by Southwest in March and the Sasquatch! Music Festival in May.

Debut album Young The Giant produced by Joe Chicarelli released October 2010 on Roadrunner

keep track of these guys at their BLOG , Facebook, or Twitter

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland |@shaynewithMWL| Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC  

Here’s The RUNDOWN (4/29 – 5/6) [CHARTS]

aKING – “In the Twilight” [MUSIC]

aKING is a melodic, alternative pop-rock band based in Cape Town, South Africa.  The band formed when Hunter Kennedy and Jaco Venter from Fokofpolisiekar joined forces with friends Laudo Liebenberg and Hennie van Halen in making music that expresses their shared experience of growing up in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. aKING’s debut album, Dutch Courage, was released in 2008, yielding three # 1 hit singles. aKING is currently one of South Africa’s top rock acts, drawing capacity crowds at venues and festivals across the country.

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

Stereo MCs – “Boy” [VIDEO]

Stereo MCs is an alternative electronica group from London, England. From the few singles I’ve heard, you can tell this group definitely tries to mix it up and present creative expressions for their audience. Stereo MCs released their single, “Boy,” earlier this month. You can find out more information about Stereo MCs at their website and become a fan at their facebook home.

Kyle C. Stilley | Marketing Strategist | @stillz | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC | kyle@musicwithoutlabels.com

Here’s The RUNDOWN (4/9-4/16) [CHARTS]

beatplay vinyl cover

The Nico Blues – “Living Proof” [VIDEO]

If you don’t recall the release of The Nico Blues latest album on the blog last year I totally suggest you snag the free download and check it out. In December of last year the alternative rock group released a video to their single “Living Proof” off of ‘Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements’. These been recently entered into the MTVu’s ‘The Freshman’ contest for their music video. Please visit here and take a second to vote for them to get the chance to win and have their newest video aired on MTVu and MTV2. (NOTE: Poll is located on the right side-bar)

Here’s The RUNDOWN (3/26-4/02) [CHARTS]

Here’s this weeks Top Post RUNDOWN starting from Saturday March 26th. Click the links to view the entire post:

  • BONUS: K’Naan – Take A Minute