Tag Archives: Bands

Steve Aoki Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Steve Aoki Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA

Steve Aoki and Laidback Luke ft. Lil Jon– “Turbulence”

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Check out STEVE AOKI!!!

Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

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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

Pretty Lights Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Pretty Lights Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA

Pretty Lights– “Hot Like Sauce”

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Check out Pretty Lights for FREE DOWNLOADS

Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

Cameron Bedell, Foxes Have Foxholes, and Natalie Royal at 12th & Porter in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

Nashville is home to a lot of colleges and universities.  One of the staple schools in Nashville is Belmont University, a private school with a well-known music business program in the heart of Music City.  Belmont also has some very talented artists at its core.  Earlier this week, with the help of music business student Allen Smith, 12th & Porter presented a concert showcasing some of Belmont’s best up-and-coming artists.

First up to start the evening off right was Natalie Royal, a soulful folk rock artist from Charlotte, NC.  Natalie has passionate music, and a voice with both presence and dynamics.  She was joined by two backup singers and a violin player.  Like many of her contemporaries, Natalie writes from experiences and thoughts that come through life events.  This is a great new female folk artist with a lot of potential in the near future.

Next up was one of my favorite new local bands Foxes Have Foxholes.  This was my first time seeing them perform full band and I was super impressed with their musicianship and confidence on stage.  They had a tight band, great sounds, and most importantly, good songs.  At the core, Foxes Have Foxholes is Kyle Sapp (vocals, guitar) and Ryan McAdoo (keys, vocals).  In less then a year, Kyle and Ryan started the band and recorded a great EP available for FREE on Noisetrade.com.  Check out this official music video of a song called “Whistle Blower” from their EP.

That’s some good stuff right there.  I, for one, am excited to see where Foxes Have Foxholes take their music this year.  Check them out and download their EP for FREE!

(photo courtesy of Travis M. Ball at TMB.Productions)

Last but definitely not least was Cameron Bedell, a fresh pop-soul artist from Wichita, KS.  Cameron was joined on stage by his band called The Skunks, a ten-piece band with drums, bass, keys, lead electric guitar, rhythm guitar, trumpet, sax, trombone, and BGVs.  Wow!  It’s even better live than it sounds in words because every musician in Cameron’s band was excellent.  Cameron’s music is exciting to watch and thrilling to listen to.  His influences consist of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Jason Mraz, and John Mayer.  He has been writing and recording music since he was 12 years old, and released his first EP when he was 18.  He says that the reason why he continues to pursue music is, “Music is the best way to bring people together, and with my music I intend on bringing joy and hope to everybody willing to listen.”  Check out one of his most popular tunes called “Flower Song.”

While “Flower Song” is a laid back song, Cameron has others that will really get you out of your seat.  Just remember that if you plan to see Cameron Bedell live, you better bring your dancing shoes, cause he’s gonna get you movin’!  Make sure you check out these artists and give them your support if you like their music.  Stay tuned for more new music and shows from Music City.

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

Musicians Corner at Centennial Park in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

After sweating for a couple hours at The National Folk Festival last Saturday, I decided to head over to Centennial Park where Nashville was kicking off its free fall concert series called Musicians Corner.  Two events in one day?  Well, three actually.  I ended up going to another concert later that night, but I haven’t written about that yet.  Musicians Corner featured seven bands from 3pm to 6pm on a medium-sized stage with a decent turnout of a few hundred people at its height.  The artists that played this week were The CO, Metro Parks Jamband, Andrew Osenga, Foxes Have Foxholes, Damien Horne, Striking Matches, and Attwater.

I arrived a little late and missed The CO open up with their set, so I’ll have to catch them at another event in the future.  I did get there just in time to hear Metro Parks Jamband finish up their set with a funky sax and guitar duet.  Next up was American singer/songwriter Andrew Osenga.  He was formerly the lead singer for The Normals and is a member of the band Caedmon’s Call.  His performance on Saturday took place as part of his solo career, for which he has released four albums.  The bands rhythms and tones were super tight, and the crowd really took to his music.  After Andrew Osenga, Foxes Have Foxholes took the stage and played an acoustic set with just two of their members.  The pop rock duo serenaded listeners with a short set of a few songs that they will hopefully be performing live at their next show as a full band tonight at 12th & Porter.

The next act was Damien Horne, a pop-rock soul artist from Nashville.  Also known as Mista D, Damien has collaborated and performed with Bon Jovi, Kid Rock, John Legend, 3 Doors Down, Hank Williams Jr., Faith Hill, Robert Randolf, Jewel, Velvet Revolver, and more.  Damien is working with John Legend who when asked about Damien said, “I’ve been working with this guy who is based in Nashville, his name is Damien Horne, he’s good.  Look out for him, he’s a good song-writer and performer.  He plays the guitar too.”  You can get some free downloads of his music on his website.  Check out this video of Damien Horne performing “Sacrifice” live at The Rutledge.

I posted an article two months ago about a blues duo called Striking Matches.  They were the next band to play at Musicians Corner and they were a huge hit.  Performing as a duo with their acoustic guitars, Justin and Sarah had a great set showcasing their clever songwriting, tight harmonies, and ripping solos.  Like I said before, this is a Nashville band that you want to keep close tabs on because of their huge potential.  The last band to perform was Attwatter.

Attwater is a country band from Sacramento, CA that signed with the independent production company and label, Twenty Ten Music in December of 2010.  They were discovered through Twitter by Grammy Award-winning producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Switchfoot), the Sr. VP of A&R for Twenty Ten Music.  Check out this official music video of Attwater’s first single called “Never Gonna Happen.”

You can download the song for free at http://www.attwatermusic.com/.  Attwater’s foundations lie with Erika Attwater and Jonathan Richards, the duo songwriting team that first started the band.  Their discovery occurred after they played their first set of tunes in the Northern California Area.  With a good product and intentional use of social networks, Attwater was picked up by Charlie Peacock and the band was on its way to having a beast of a debut project.  The recordings include co-writes and musicians from some really great teams that have produced music for Carrie Underwood, Sixpence None The Richer, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Lady Antebellum, and more.  Attwater’s music combines modern country with bluegrass flavors and classic rock roots.  Keep an eye on the country charts for this band and stay tuned for an article on next week’s Musician’s Corner!

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

Kaskade Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Kaskade Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA

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Check out Kaskade!!!

Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

The National Folk Festival in Nashville, TN September 2 – 4, 2011 [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

Saturday morning and it’s time to go… to The National Folk Festival in Nashville, TN!  Sorry for the Jack Johnson lyric reference.  I couldn’t resist, even though I probably should have.  It was 100 degrees in Nashville this past Saturday, which made it one of the hottest days of the summer and a difficult day to perform outside for the dozens of artists on the seven stages under the sun.  The free festival took place at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and featured a variety of performers and artists from different cultures and heritages.  This is the 73rd National Folk Festival that presents “the folk and traditional arts that are rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community.”  The festival featured multiple genres of artistic activity including music, dance, crafts, and oral expression.  It’s a celebration of America’s cultural roots featuring over 250 traditional artists that express their art in different ways.  What an amazing concept!  Maybe this video will give you a better look at the overall idea.

I know the video was kinda lame, but it’s definitely interesting to see all those artists in one place.  This was an amazing opportunity to see art and music that you don’t typically see at major venues.  The music is all historically part of todays pop culture, but you would never hear most of the deep-rooted cultural stuff on the radio.  We’re talking PBS special at the most.  However, it was a fairly eventful day of visiting different stages and learning about the variety of folk music that exists within the city.

The most interesting part of the day for me was watching the World Percussion Traditions group perform.  They had percussion from Japan and North America.  It was bizarre at first to hear string instruments from Japan play with drums from the Middle East, congas, and a keyboard, but it sounded cool.  Then there were other acts like The Holmes Brothers that brought some great old time, gospel-style R&B music to the stage.  These guys have kept the tradition of their music for so long, and it’s nearly the same style as when they first started playing in 1978.  Talk about not selling out!  That’s some dedication right there.  They have won countless awards and have shared the stage with many of the other greats in blues and soul music.  Hopefully that can provide some encouragement to those up-and-coming artists out there to stick with what you love to play, even if it’s not Top-40 music.  Allow me to leave you with a fine piece of entertainment.  Sit back and relax as The Holmes Brothers join Willie Nelson for “Opportunity to Cry.”

The National Folk Festival will be held in Nashville for the next two years, so if you missed it this year, be sure to check it out in 2012 or 2013!

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

Washed Out “Within and Without” [NEW MUSIC]

The dawn of a new electronic musical era is upon us.  As if you didn’t already know.  Now more than ever its easy to get your hands on a synth and some fancy computer apps, a cheap mic and a mbox and you can make music for the masses.  For most this is both a blessing and a burden.  It’s a blessing because the potential is at the tip of our talentless fingertips only to be lost in a “oh man I wish I could do that” moment.  It’s a burden because of the frustration the consumes you when you hear someone doing it right.  Washed Out has recently released “Within and Without.”  If you are feeling euphoric and ready for a sonic blast from another planet throw some cans on lay back and turn it up.  This is Washed Out.

Eyes Be Closed – Washed Out

I’m sitting in my bedroom right now as I write this.  Earnest Greene other wise known as Washed Out is putting people like me in a euphoric trance as I listen to the music he is making from his.  His “chillwave” style of music caught the attention of many music bloggers like myself and propelled him to indie fame having been chose by Battles and Pitchfork to perform at their respective curated festivals.

Amor Fati – Washed Out

I’m just now getting into this kind of music.  I find it incredibly relaxing.  It’s the type of music playing at a dark LA club.  Not much dancing just something cool and ambient to listen to as you fade into the night.  I’m not really a “fade into the night kind of guy,” but hey if the tunes take you there I’m all for giving it a shot.  With that said I love the synth work and the simplicity of the drums compliment the spaceyness of Mr. Greene’s voice.

You and I – Washed Out

I normally post the album cover at the top of the blog entry, but this time it’s here:

Ding Ding Ding.  This is one of the sexiest album covers I have ever seen.  Maybe move the dude out of the way, but hey we can’t win em’ all.  I was going to bring this up earlier, but resisted.  Then I saw the album cover and realized how sexy this music is.  I don’t think I have ever said that before, but hey today’s a new day and these tunes are incredibly sexy.  Like right out of a movie where the heroin is getting out of a pool with perfect hair (somehow) or the big reveal at the top of the stairs as she blows the room away kinda stuff.  When my girlfriend get’s back from her trip I’ll throw this on and see what happens.  I think it’s a safe bet she’d call me an idiot, turn it off and put on Katy Perry.  Here’s the last track from Washed Out’s “Within and Without”.

Dedication – Washed Out

Washed out currently resides in Georgia and is also currently, and appropriately, on tour with Cut Copy making a stop in Los Angeles on Wednesday October 12.  I think I might make my way down.  See you there?

Here’s a fan made video for the song “Feel It All Around” which has been making a splash recently.

Get it?

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

CABAL live at Ceviche in Sarasota, FL [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

I said goodbye to Nashville last week for a little vacation in Sarasota, FL.  However, my music and ambassador senses were still fully intact, keeping an ear out and listening for any interesting new music that might come my way.  This has been a long weekend of afternoons on the beach, and dinners by moonlight.  You will almost always hear live music playing if you eat out for a couple meals in this town.  Whether it’s lunch at Clearwater beach, dinner in St. Armonds, or a night on the town in the Village, you’re going to see some performers.  This is when we came across a hidden gem amidst the typical beach bars of the town.  After dinner one night, we decided to have a drink at Ceviche Tapas Bar & Grill and boy were we pleasantly surprised.

Contemporary flamenco music filled the air and we were thoroughly entertained by a reggae flamenco band called Cabal.  Because of the Spanish tapas atmosphere, Cabal was in flamenco mode, and it was awesome.  Ever since visiting Spain last summer, I have really enjoyed and appreciated flamenco music, especially the guitarists. The skill level is far above your typical rock guitarists, and the feel is so precise, but also natural.  Every member of Cabal is an excellent musician and the fact that they are able to play flamenco music so well proves it.  “Individually, the band members have achieved an abundance of diverse experiences and accolades, including: Cordoba Guitar Company endorsements; a 4 star review in Modern Drummer magazine; performances with Santana, Willie Royal of Willie and Lobo, Greg Osby, and Christina Aguilera among others; tours in Western Europe, Latin America, and North America; and numerous CD recordings.”  Cabal has been able to combine their individual experiences to create a truly excellent sound with powerful vocals, ripping solos, and pocket grooves.   Check out a video of the band performing their Tango arrangement of “Besame Mucho.”

I know this is different from your typical article here at the Beat-Play Experiment, but we aim to cover a variety of genres, and this band has talent that shouldn’t go unheard.  There are a lot of bands like Cabal that don’t get much credit for their performances just because their music isn’t very popular in our current culture.  However, I think a lot of people could appreciate it.  Cabal consists of Ari McManus on vocals, Nicolaas Kraster on guitar, Christopher Austin on percussion, Jon McLaughlin on guitar, and Daniel Brock on bass.  If you’re ever in Sarasota, FL, be sure to see if this band is playing at a local spot.  Ari is a fantastic performer and creates a sensitive and fun vibe on stage.  They create a performance and atmosphere that you don’t want to miss!

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

PUJOL from Nashville, TN [MUSIC]

Alright, it’s time for some more music from Nashville’s indie music scene. PUJOL is a southern gothic rock band from Nashville, TN.  The band was started by Daniel Pujol after he moved to Nashville and began writing songs about life, theology, and family.  After growing up in Tallahoma, TN, Daniel is now a very talented punk singer/songwriter in Music City who has made a name for himself the last couple years.  His band consists of Adam Tanaka on drums, Sean Thompson on lead guitar, and Joey Scala on bass.  They’ve been described as “buds bonded by the brain.”  Other members include Dan Burns, Mitch Jones, Steward Copeland, Forever Young, Angelbaby, and The Wez.  Check out this song by PUJOL called “Black Rabbit.”

As you can hear, PUJOL has developed their own distinct sound.  From the intricate guitar riffs to the scratchy vocals, their music has true originality.  It also doesn’t hurt to have Jack White producing songs for your band.  In an interview with SPIN Magazine, Pujol said, “Jack White was very polite and professional.  It felt good to finally be in a situation where knowing what you wanted to sound like was just normal and not high maintenance. Everyone involved respected my judgment as an artist, and we all worked together to help mutually refine the single as a satisfactory meeting ground between the Third Man aesthetic and my own.”  The music is a great new take on the punky garage rock music that has been coming back with a strong underground following in major cities like Nashville.  This is a band that you should definitely see live if you haven’t already.  Here’s another one of their songs (by Stewart Copeland) called “Too Safe.”  The song is “a b-side from PUJOL’s “Black Rabbit” 7-inch, which is being released by Jack White’s Third Man Records.”  You can download it here: DOWNLOAD MP3

Daniel Pujol is an advocate for vinyl records and “almost exclusively releases music on tape, vinyl or digitally.”  In an interview done by Nashville SCENE last year, Daniel describes his very intriguing view on CDs and why he chooses not to release music in the CD format.  He has some great points that I think should be discussed by any independent band thinking about releasing an album these days.  His main ideology on the topic is basically something like “CDs blow, they’re overpriced and nobody cares.”  It’s definitely something I haven’t thought about much, and I can’t really argue with the stunning truth in his argument.  Check out this video from the interview:

Pretty interesting huh?  If you like the music and like the discussion, check out PUJOL’s music here, buy one of their albums, or move to Nashville and come see for yourself some awesome concerts.  Live music has really been coming back the last couple years, so continue to support local music in your hometown and don’t be afraid to go to a concert even if you have never heard of the band.  If you’re an optimistic adventurous music lover, you’ll usually find something that you like about the music.  Thanks for listening!

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