Tag Archives: music industry

Scott Bartenhagen [Interview] [Free Download]

There’s a lot to like about Scott Bartenhagen, a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Lathrop, California.  He’s not your typical singer/songwriter: he’s 6’7” for starters, loves Sci-Fi and draws inspiration from movie soundtracks and 20th century classical music.  A friend of mine suggested I watch a video of his song Delta Fog, and I am forever grateful that I did.  Scott’s jazz-influenced guitar playing along with his beautifully deep, soul shaking voice make for an astounding combination.  When I met Scott I was immediately drawn to his warm and quirky personality and quiet demeanor.  It was a privilege to interview such a young talent, and it’s my pleasure to help spread the word about this rising star.  Check out the video of Delta Fog below, courtesy of YouTube, and if you liked what you hear (which I know you will) you can download the song for free via the player below.

 

MF: When I first saw your video for Delta Fog I was immediately awe struck and completely blown away by the hauntingly deep and poetic sound of your voice.  I feel that you have one of the best voices of our generation, I know bold statement, but every time I listen to your songs I am instantly inspired, and amazed.  When did you start your singing career?

Scott:  Pretty freaking bold statement man, and thank you so much.  I sang “Great Balls of Fire” my junior year of high school for a 70’s school dance that the high school band put on.  Then I started writing songs, so I’ve been singing for I guess that would be about five years now, I didn’t ever sing before that I was always too afraid.

MF: Have you ever had singing lessons?

Scott:  No, I’ve never taking formal singing lessons, but I’ve had good guidance from friends that were great singers that really helped me out. 

MF:  Like I said, I feel like you have an incredible voice.  I remember the first time I watched Delta Fog, your voice gave me chills.  It was almost hard for me to believe that that voice was coming from you, it really blew me away.

Scott:  Wow man, thank you I really appreciate it that’s awesome.

MF:  I feel that writing lyrics is the hardest part of creating great songs, and you nail it on every song. Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?

Scott:  I get the inspiration from my lyrics from personal experience, or nerding out on something.  It also comes from my general love of storytelling.  My lyrics have to sound good coming out before anything else.  That’s kind of the David Byrne theory of lyric writing.  I find words that I think sound great then I use my imagination to put them into situations that make sense when they are spoken aloud.  So it comes melody first, then how the words sound, then what kind of words can I fit around those syllables that still makes a great song, and that’s why its kind of a bigger puzzle than if you were just writing lyrics. 

MF:  In my personal experience with writing songs, I feel that lyrics are the toughest part of writing any song.  If you don’t have solid lyrics then it’s going to be harder for the listener to connect to you.

Scott:  Oh yeah.  I could write like a dozen songs a day, but it takes me a week to write the words for the songs sometimes.

MF:  Yeah, that’s understandable I think it’s very hard to write solid lyrics and you do a great job writing great lyrics.

Scott:  Thanks man, As long as they’re not too contrived, or as long as they’re honest enough, even if they’re not true if they’re honest and they’re not contrived and trying to sound cool, I like it.

 

MF: What are your musical influences, and what artists inspire you to create your music?

Scott: Um, my musical influences would be, movie soundtracks, Joni Mitchell, and Jazz.  Those are the big three, but I also like singer-songwriters that influence me a lot, like my good friend Travis Vick, a local Sacramento artist. His music has a big effect on me. Also, Bluegrass players and anybody who excels at their instruments inspire me as well. That’s a tough question, because I have a whole lot of influences from a lot of different things.  Movie soundtracks are a big one.  As well as orchestral music, and 20th Century classical music is where I get a lot of my melodies.  So that’s a little bit of an idea of how I get inspired.

MF:  As far as movie soundtracks do you have a favorite composer?

Scott:  I like uh, I really like Joe Hisaishi, Hans Zimmer’s pretty cool, he’s kind of a hack, and I like John Williams as well.  Anyone who puts music to motion, I admire, because it’s all about the emotion other than the notes, it’s about evoking a feeling, which I’m a big fan of.

MF:  Is there anything outside of music that inspires you to write your songs?

Scott:  Yeah definitely. Various novels, stories that my dad tells me, great Science Fiction, um, trying to get a handle on politics.  Not that my songs are too political.  I’m not too crazy politically but politics definitely make me angry, and anger definitely inspires me.

MF:  As far as Science Fiction is concerned what specifically about Sci-Fi inspires you?

Scott:  I like all types of science fiction, usually get inspired by near future science fiction, like Blade Runner, or people like William Gibson who write Cyber Punk. It really gets my mind racing, I really enjoy it. I’ve written some songs based off of stuff like that.  A decent amount of my songs have a Sci-Fi twist on them. 


 

MF: You are a phenomenal guitar player, how long have you been playing the guitar, and what inspired you to start playing?

Scott:  I’ve been playing the guitar since about, eighth grade, probably a little bit before that.  Probably ten years.  My mom is a great guitar player so I listened to her a lot and got inspired.  Also, I think a friend of mine got a guitar down the street, and that made me really want one.  I was already playing trumpet in a band, so I figured I could move onto guitar from there.  I didn’t really get into songwriting for a long time, but learning jazz guitar definitely helped keep the fire and passion for the instrument.

MF: Have you had any professional training?

Scott:  I was a music major at Sac State, before I left.  I took three years of schooling as a jazz studies major.  I am a big proponent of taking lessons and learning as much as you possibly can, shedding ego as a guitar player and just wanting to learn.  I took lessons from a really great jazz guitar player, and I learned to play with other people in groups for a long time as well. 

MF:  Also, you mentioned you played trumpet, do you play any other instruments?

Scott:  Yeah, trumpet and tuba were my first instruments and then I moved onto the piano and guitar.  Those are the main instruments that I can play. 

MF:  I notice you have a lot of songs ready to go, are you coming out with an EP or a new album in the near future, and if so will Delta Fog be included?

Scott:  No.  I’m over the idea of albums.  Like every year you make your one album, and then you put an EP out and then you make an album that has twelve songs on it or something and then a whole year passes.  That whole cycle is formulaic and I don’t think it works any more with the way people buy albums.  So I’m kind of into smaller releases but more often.  I think that’s a pretty cool idea.  I have a few releases coming up, I have a five song project that I’m working on called Speeches, that I’m working on at the moment, still recording.  It should be done in the next couple weeks.  Then I have another small project on the way that should come out within a couple weeks as well.  So within this month I’m hopefully going to have a bunch of new stuff done for the world to see.

And I have a new group as well, with three girls from Sac State, a drummer and a bassist. The three girls are singing three part harmonies as well as playing the violin.  I’ve added six people to my group.

MF:  Wow, that’s exciting I can’t wait to hear you play with the new band.

Scott:  Yeah, I’ve already got to play some shows with this new band and they are really freaking good man, they’re really tight.  These two girls sing some amazing harmonies, and we have this bitching violin player who’s incredible, it’s tight man. I can’t wait to play some shows in Los Angeles so you guys can hear it.

MF:  What are you thoughts on the current state of the music industry, and where do you see it going?

Scott:  I think that there’s a lot of music out there. I think the music industry is pretty oversaturated with the Internet now and I think it’s high time for bands to get more creative with the way they do things and how we get music out there, and what it means to have art.  I think there are a lot of creative ways to distribute music, play shows and collaborate.  I think it’s a good thing and I think it’s going the right direction. I just need people to start giving a crap, but I guess we need to make them start giving a crap. 

MF:  As an independent artist, do you find it difficult to accumulate new fans and to be heard amidst the overwhelming amount of music that is out there?

Scott:  I do feel it’s really hard to be heard.  I feel there are so many different avenues for me to put my music out that nobody bites.  I get a good response when I play shows, but it’s hard playing venues when you don’t have a fan base.  Promoters don’t promote anymore, venues don’t want to get people in the door themselves, it all falls on the shoulders of the bands, which is I think criminal.  Live performance is not geared to help bands.  It’s hard finding fans, and it’s hard finding places that want to help musicians get fans instead of just wanting to take their money.

MF:  So which one do you think is more difficult?  Trying to accumulate new fans, or to be heard?

Scott:  I think they’re pretty much the same thing. I would like to hope/think if someone hears my music they’d become a fan.  I can’t force them to become a fan. I would say it’s harder to show my music to people in the right context.  It’s hard for people to find my music and want to listen to it, as opposed to they have to either actually search for it or they find it on some obscure online radio station that never actually works.  So I think they’re both related: it’s hard to find fans and it’s hard to try to get the people who aren’t fans yet to listen to your music to become fans. 

MF:  I absolutely agree.  It was really great to learn more about you as a musician as well as a person.  I enjoyed talking about your music, what you’re working on, and the thoughts you have about being an independent artist, as well as your thoughts as the current state of the music industry.  I am looking forward to your upcoming projects and attending your shows with your new band.

Scott:  Thanks man, I really enjoyed it as well, and I will keep you updated with the projects I am currently working on.  Great talking with you, and I will talk to you soon.

By: Mason Frank|L.A. Ambassador|MasonFrankMWL|Beat-Play & Music Without Labels LLC

 

Interview with Beat-Play CEO – Dante Cullari

Beat-Play just announced their official public Beta launch. We’re here today with Beat-Play’s founder and CEO, Dante Cullari, to tell us some more about the company.

Dante, what is the goal of Beat-Play?

Beat-Play’s aim is to provide an optimized digital infrastructure to the music industry as a whole. We want our tools to encompass a full spectrum of opportunities for artists and fans to create, promote, distribute, monetize, organize and listen to music. We understand that there is no one perfect solution that will work for everybody, so our goal is really to provide a number of options for each of the different components of the music industry I just mentioned. All of this is now made significantly easier with digital, online and social technologies, and we feel that centralizing these solutions by defragmenting music into one rich community will also be beneficial for everyone. We want to help create the foundation for a long lasting, sustainable and prosperous world music industry online, as we move forward into the future.

What does Beat-Play offer artists and fans right now?

Our first and current product addresses promotion and distribution for artists (or discovery and sharing for fans), organization and playback. Right now, Beat-Play is a streaming player that promotes music to fans with something we call Bump, which is a search based on tags, or keywords that the user enters. Listeners can use Moods, Locations, Artist Names, Genres, Activities or really almost anything, to describe the music that they want to hear. Beat-Play then creates a custom playlist for the listener consisting of both music and videos (via Souncloud, Youtube and Beat-Play itself) based on matches to the user’s tags. These playlists are updated in real time as music is continually added to the service and tagged. Fans can then save the music that they find and like into playlists, and share these playlists with their friends through Facebook.

While the current product currently offers limited functionality, our next product will focus on adding in new options, as well as improving current ones.

What are you working on for the future?

Our next product will address several issues. We’re working on mobile to improve access. The next product will also be socially integrated which again will aid in promotion and distribution, or sharing and discovery, and we hope to also include some more options for user customization. We want to make organizing and managing your listening experience better, with more custom presets, which again, will help in discovery and also fan retention.

The next big step for us then is really artist monetization. As mentioned before, we realize that one option will not be sufficient for every artist, so we’re planning on introducing things like music and merch stores, ticketing and show booking, commercial music license stores or auctions, and even advertising opportunities.

Advertising is actually something I want to briefly touch on – To quote the Facebook movie, “Advertising isn’t cool.”  In the movie that’s really all they needed to say about it before just turning their backs on it. I feel that this is an attitude that most companies have towards advertising, but nobody really wants to be the one to challenge it. On Beat-Play, we’ve come up with a way around this.

First of all, artists on Beat-Play will own their own ad space, and they can leverage their statistics on Beat-Play and on Facebook to negotiate better rates with sponsors. As far as the ads themselves, you wont see annoying and interruptive commercials, or huge flashy banners. Our ads will instead be designed to actually add to the listener’s experience by offering pieces of bonus content relevant to the artist or the music itself. It could be a music video, a cool app, or even a video game. If it’s Skrillex, maybe it’s a Dj app. If it’s Slightly Stoopid, maybe it’s a surfing game you can play while listening to the music. Also, the listeners won’t be distracted by these ads. On the player itself we’ll use something that we call postage stamp ads, because they’re just about the size of a postage stamp. If the user doesn’t want to engage with the ads, they don’t have to, and they won’t be interrupted by them. For the people who do choose to engage with the ads, they’ll get some additional content that they couldn’t have gotten otherwise, creating incentive to actually share ad content. This provides a great revenue stream to the artists, allows the fans to continue to listen to their favorite music for free potentially, and also provides some great cred for the sponsors involved. Everybody really wins, and this even has some great potential to curb piracy for artists. These are the kinds of solutions that we’re looking forward to making available to the music industry in the near future, using digital technologies to make it happen.

How can people help?

Get on board now. It’s only going to get better, and for artists especially, it’s a good idea to start gaining their fan-base here so they can get their statistics up. Even if they’re not on Beat-Play though, building Facebook statistics will still help them out, and Beat-Play could still help promote an artist if their music is on Soundcloud, Youtube or Jamendo right now. So not being on Beat-Play doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t still benefit from it, but it’s a good idea to get on there now as we’ll really be able to offer the fans a better experience with their music on Beat-Play if they do. It’s completely free, so there’s nothing lost by trying it, and for fans right now we really offer some great discovery and organization options, along with unlimited, uninterrupted free streaming. Mobile is obviously something we’re really excited about pushing out next.

As we continue to grow, we will really need help from the artists and fans to support and build this community. We need artists to upload their music and tell their friends and their fans. We also need artists to work together in helping to support and promote each other by tagging fellow artists in their own songs. Most of all though, we need artists and fans to really take ownership of this community, and take advantage of the free options we’re putting out there. This really does need to be a team effort, and I think we have the strength and the ability as indie artists to build something huge, so that we can have the kind of impact that we need in order to benefit all of the incredibly talented independent artists out there that are struggling right now, and also to impact the fans that are missing out on a lot of great music because of it. We’ve had a great response from artists so far, and we’re confident that these solutions will bring some big changes to the way the music industry operates in the coming years.

You can go to Beatplay.com right now to sign up, and you’ll be asked to login with your Facebook account. We don’t auto-post to anybody’s walls, or publish any user information, not even on the Beat-Play player itself right now, so your account will still be completely secure.

If you have issues or suggestions, please contact us! We are still in beta so we understand there’s a lot of room for us to grow, but we’re working really hard with our small team to keep up with the demand for more features. The player is best used with Firefox right now also. Again, we really appreciate the support of the independent music community that we’re getting, from both artists and fans, and we’re extremely excited to get to the next level!

Dante, thank you so much for the interview.

Absolutely, Thank you!

To get you started, here are some awesome playlists courtesy of the Beat-Play team – over 6 hours of great tunes:

Beat-Play Launch Mixtape (dubstep, house, indie, hip hop, r&b, electro, other)

 

Mellow Music Mix (Reggae, Indie, Dub)

 

 

Kendrick Lamar Mix (Hip hop)

 

 

Interview by: Kian Bardikalaie

Will Gray – Broke* Documentary – “Introducing Will Gray” [FILM & MUSIC]

Every single aspiring independent artist, band, producer, or musician should pay close attention.  We all know that the music industry has undergone extreme changes, and it continues to change in this current age of transition.  Labels are folding, music is free, and the digital age is upon us.  What do we do?  Can artists still do this, be happy, and support themselves?  All these questions and more are discussed in Will Gray’s Broke* Documentary.  However, Will didn’t just wake up one day and decide to do a documentary about the struggles of emerging artists.  He has been living it for over a decade.  Broke* is about the music industry, and what it takes to thrive as an independent artist or music executive in search of their big break.  The documentary features interviews from industry names like Don Was, John Legend, Isaac Slade from The Fray, Seth Godin, Kelly Clarkson, and many more.  After sifting through 300+ hours of footage and more than 60 interviews, Broke* has been created and directed with perfection.  In fact, the film won the Special Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival this spring.  “The film digs beneath the clichés and standard storylines to reveal an industry struggling to find a new identity and an artist who’s simply trying to establish one.”  The question: “Can a new act be “broken”?”

Will Gray is not only a great director for his documentary Broke*, but he is an amazing musician that combines folk and hip-hop to create some truly incredible, fresh, and intelligent music.  His influences range from jazz greats like Miles Davis to pop icons like Michael Jackson.  “Will Gray is an independent Hip-Hop/Americana artist who has shared the stage with acts ranging from Erykah Badu, Twista, and Jurassic 5, to Justin Townes Earle and Los Lonely Boys. His original songs have been licensed by MTV, Ford Motor Co., Warner Bros. Records, Playstation, and Motorola.”  This is music that I feel speaks to everyone musically, and conceptually.  Will Gray released his debut album “Introducing Will Gray” under the production of Grammy Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett.  Check out one of my favorite songs from the album called “Back to the Wall:”

Will Gray may be one of the most influential artists of this generation; not because his music is number one on the charts (although it certainly could be), but because he is grabbing the industry by the horns and showing the world what it takes.  As the industry continues through a transitional period, this film gives an inside look at how music executives, producers, and artists feel about its current and future status.  Will music survive the digital age?  Will true and significant art be able to endure pop culture?  What is the breaking point, if it still exists?  As music continues to thrive upon the feel-good listener, Will Gray’s music explores new musical concepts as well as lyrical concepts untouched by the mainstream.   Please explore what this artist has to offer at willgraymusic.com.  Check out the Broke* Documentary, and buy “Introducing Will Gray.”

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

Paper Route from Nashville, TN [MUSIC]

Paper Route is an American indie rock band from Nashville, TN.  This is a band that I will be following closely for the next few months as they continue touring through Europe and put the finishing touches on a new album.  With a jam-packed tour schedule, a new highly anticipated album in the works, and a strong following, Paper Route is sure soon to be a name that you will see in the top ten.  They have received the most recognition of their career with their first major release called “Absence.”  Even with the opportunity to record in a “real” studio, Paper Route decided to keep it DIY and record in a couple rigged-up houses.  Their songs have been featured in TV shows and film, and “Absence” reached #13 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart with the help of their single “Carousel.”  Check it out:

The band completed a tour with Owl City and Lights last spring, and it looks as though they are receiving some great attention now in Europe.  Paper Route is made up of Chad Howat (bass, piano, programming), J.T. Daily (vocals, keyboards, percussion), and Gavin McDonald (drums).  I think this group’s sound is so much a part of themselves that it’s difficult to describe with other music.  Comparisons would be far-fetched because the ambience of the bass and string-layered synths combine with their reverberated vocals and driving grooves to create Paper Route, and Paper Route only.  Plus, I think that this band is at a level now where they don’t have to be compared, and they can simply be themselves.  Check out this video of “Gutter:”

In addition to touring with Owl City, Paper Route has also played with Paramore, Copeland, Passion Pit, She Wants Revenge, Phantom Planet, and Jack’s Mannequin.  Paper Route will be in Northern Ireland towards the end of their touring this summer.  Since signing with Universal Motown in 2008, they have been a driving force with a second major album near completion two years after the release of their last.  If you haven’t heard their music, check it out.  If you like it, then definitely buy it, or at least stream on one of many music subscription/streaming services out there.

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

Chairs Missing Live at Soda Bar in San Diego, CA [Photos]

Chairs Missing Live at Soda Bar in San Diego, CA

Click the pic for more concert shots!

Check these guys out! Don’t forget the FREE downloads

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

City Delivered Live at Soma in San Diego, CA [Photos]

City Delivered Live at Soma in San Diego, CA

City Delivered– “When In Doubt, Pinky Out!” (LIVE)

Click the pic for concert shots!

There is something about a band that can make beautiful music on acoustic guitars and mandolins, and then pick up their electric guitars and go into a hardcore breakdown. Seriously. Do yourself a favor and listen to these guys. Their biography tells the story of a gangster rap group from Compton, CA that rose to the top of the game and then ends without any mention of a joke. Classic rock and roll.

Check them out!

Props to Kian Bardikalaie for the pics!

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

Hey Champ “Star” [NEW MUSIC]

OK dudes and lady dudes.  Get your dancing shoes on throw some glitter in your hair.  Hey Champ hails from Chicago, IL and they blend house, indie rock and disco into their amped synthtastic sounds.  Yes I know, I’m sweating just thinking about it.  Let’s get into their most recent full length release ‘Star’.

Shake – Hey Champ

As you can see these guys are a party.  With a primary emphasis on all things synthesizer, sweet beats and raging guitar this music is just plain fun to listen to.  They site “The 80’s” as an influence on their facbook page and as you can hear from the opening chords of the first tune “Shake” they aren’t holding anything back.  Dance pop/ rock at its finest.

“Hey Champ’s roots can be traced outside of Chicago in nearby Rockford, where band members Saam Hagshenas (Vocals, Guitar) and Jonathan Marks (Vocals & Drums) discovered their love of music at a young age. After Saam’s graduation from law school, Jon’s fellow Princeton Pete Dougherty (Synths) moved to Chicago, cementing the lineup of the group.”

One of my favorite songs is called ‘Cold Dust Girl’.  An upbeat summer anthem ‘Cold Dust Girl’ is a great example of the simplicity in the song writing and the bands ability to create catchy hook on top of catchy melody.  Now who wants to watch hot hipster chicks dance in extreme slow motion and make out with each other?

Cold Dust Girl – Hey Champ

I said it once and I’ll say it again.  ‘Hey Champ’ is freakin’ fun.  As far as I can tell they don’t take themselves too seriously.  Which comes through in the music not because it’s sloppy or anything like that, but because these guys are trying just have a good time playing loud and making people dance.

After listening to this record I can only imagine what a live show would be like, but I’d put a weeks pay that I walk out of there a sweaty mess.  They state on their facebook page that their band influences are Crochet, Pottery, Antiquing.  I just really glad we have something in common.  BOOM!  Title Track.

Star – Hey Champ

“Hey Champ” has ZERO tour dates listed and I’m pissed.  Hopefully they get some dates up there soon/ just play shows in my house or LA forever.  They just released an EP called ‘Anything At All EP.’ that and their full length offering ‘Star’ are AVAILABLE HERE FOR CHEAP.  At 4 bucks for the EP and 6 bucks for the record you are literally stealing from this band so I suggest you buy it before they catch on.  Here’s the last track from ‘Star’ and a video for another awesome song called “Neverest”.

Steampunk Camelot – Hey Champ

Can’t wait for this band to get back on the road and play some shows. Ummm, Synth pop rules.  (I had a harder time than I thought I would trying to end this blog… deal with it.)

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

Anvil “Juggernaut Of Justice” [NEW MUSIC]

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today.  I looked back on a couple old blogs I have written and I was reading the other awesome stuff on this site when it finally hit me.  There is NOT ENOUGH METAL on this blog!  Now I am not a metal-head by any means, but who doesn’t like to turn it to 11 and destroy shit?  There’s only one metal band in my opinion that continues to embody the spirit of what Beatplay is all about.  They are called Anvil and they have just dropped a gem called “Juggernaut of Justice.”  Do me and your neighbors a favor and TURN. IT. UP.

Turn It Up – Anvil

Anvil has come back from Metal oblivion (although with 17 full length releases I believe they have never gone away) with an amazing documentary released last year covering all things Anvil and the difficulties of relentless touring and the ideas of “what could have been” taunting a band still trying to make it huge after 20+ years and being considered one of the best in the business with out the cash to show for it.  Anvil is one of the originals, simple as that.

They have been playing fast, loud and crazy music for decades.  This most recent release dominates.  It’s non stop and in your face.

Fuken Eh! – Anvil

It’s hard to review this record.  Problem #1: my hands literally won’t stop playing air guitar and air drums.  Problem #2:  I just threw my desk across my apartment and my computer was on top of it.  Problem #3:  My elderly (expletive) of a neighbor just came up and told me to turn it down to which I said nothing and awkwardly/ slowly closed the door in her wrinkled face.  All great problems to have and my luckily indestructible computer survived so I can continue.  But first…

When Hell Breaks Loose – Anvil

Hell has broken loose.  It’s time to stand up and give these guys the respect the have deserved for years.  They have great lyrics and great hooks.

Lips is the lead singer/ guitar player.  His voice is like razor blades ripping through a wall of guitar and drums.  This band embodies metal.  They live it.  From the start of this record, title track “Juggernaut of Justice” though the final punch in the face “Tonight is Coming” Anvil just doesn’t stop.  ALL the songs are heavy.  ALL the songs are fast.  ALL of my brain cells have turned to mush.  I feel bad I wasn’t a fan/ didn’t know about this band earlier in my life.  Granted they have been around since before I was a fetus.  Who knows?  I may have just become a metal-head from the start.  Here’s the last track from “Juggernaut of Justice.”

Tonight is Coming – Anvil

Anvil currently has a couple US dates on their TOUR PAGE and are touring heavily in Europe.  “Juggernaut of Justice” was released back in May so go buy it right now.  It was recorded not to far from my house at Dave Grohl’s Studio up in Northridge, CA, which makes it even cooler in my book.  So throw the devil horns up and repeat after me.  Long Live Metal but most of all  LONG LIVE ANVIL.

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

The Green Live at Cervantes’ Other Side, Denver, CO [Photos]

The Green Live at Cervantes’ Other Side, Denver, CO

Click The Pic for More Concert Shots!!!!

The Green – “Wake Up”

Check Them Out!!!!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Operations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Carolina Chocolate Drops “Genuine Negro Jig” [ALBUM][MUSIC]

Listen up.  You’re about to get a history lesson.  Carolina Chocolate Drops hail from the Asheville, North Carolina area.  Their music is based in the great traditions of black american folk music.  If you have a set of spoons or a jug feel free to play along…

Trouble in Your Mind – Carolina Chocolate Drops

I had a chance to see the Chocolate Drops a few years ago at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.  They were billed to play the smallest stage.  Big mistake concert promoters and schedule makers.  From a distance I honestly thought there was a riot going on in that tent at one in the afternoon.  Upon further investigation I realized people were just getting down and dirty with some good ole’ fashion “dirt floor dance electricity.”(Rolling Stone)  Long story short a main stage act cancelled later that day and the Drops were chosen to fill the main stage spot.  I still wonder to this day how they went from throwing a relatively small party for a few hundred fans lucky enough to squeeze into their tent and then do the same thing not 3 hours later to a crowd of 10,000 grabbing each and every stoned attention span (The Allman Brothers were the headliners).  I think the only explanation is talent.  They have a very genuine vibe and likability.  This positivity is what drives their full length offering “Genuine Negro Jig.”

Cornbread and Butterbeans – Carolina Chocolate Drops

They shared the stage with Taj Mahal, and traveled to Europe… and joined Garrison Keiler on Prairie Home Companion.  In 2008, they received an invitation to play on the Grand Ole Opry. “The Drops were the first black string band to play the Opry”… –Band Bio

“Genuine Negro Jig” features some select albeit ballsy covers as well.  “Trampled Rose” by Tom Waits is featured toward the end of the record and “Hit Em’ Up Style” by Blu Cantrell anchors the first half of the CD and the live performances.  Two completely different artists with completely different styles of music and ranges each given the same stripped down treatment only the Drops can provide.

Trampled Rose – Carolina Chocolate Drops

 These songs if anything are out of complete respect for the old style and old school and I’m not talking about 80’s and early 90’s hip hop.  You can close your eyes and hear the songs on this record being sung around a campfires.  It’s the simplicity and clean sounding strings and organic rhythms that make this music interesting.

Hit Em’ Up Style – Carolina Chocolate Drops

I totally understand that this music isn’t for everyone.  I also think that wether you like it or not you need to give it a chance just for history’s sake.  You can be a music snob, I know I am sometimes,  but as a music fan this music needs to be acknowledged.  This band is important because they are breathing new life into a now ancient art of acoustic traditionals  born out of the South.  “Genuine Negro Jig” is a tribute to what once was and yet still is because bands like Carolina Chocolate Drops exist and keep it alive.

They are currently on tour and TRUST ME you want to be there when they dance through your town.  You don’t want to be stuck in the cloud of dust they are going to leave behind.  Tour dates are HERE.  You can buy “Genuine Negro Jig” HERE.  As usual here is the last track off the record.

On The Road Again (Traditional) – Carolina Chocolate Drops

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