Tag Archives: New York

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

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.


Caleb Hawley – Harlem, NY [NEW MUSIC]

Caleb Hawley is a pop folk artist from New York that brings more than catchy melodies and incredible talent to his music.  Caleb combines soul and passion into his music to surround his voice, humor, and songwriting.  After seeing him play this spring, I was hooked.  That’s because his intricate guitar playing and incredible sense for melody and groove in songs is far above average.  Hawley continues to impress people with his music by receiving honors in the New York Songwriters Circle Contest (2008 and 2009), the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (2009), the Telluride Festival (2010), and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (2010).  He has written and produced three albums in his career as a songwriter, and he continues to tour the country playing a variety of venues and festivals.

The real inspiration to be a songwriter came after Caleb graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Jazz Composition.  He then decided to fully pursue his passion and moved to New York City.  He has since shared the stage with industry greats such as Mark Cohn, Rusted Root, Dave Matthews Band, Shawn Mullins, and Edwin McCain.  Caleb Hawley can cover a wide range of music because of his talent and influences.  While one song may seem as relaxed as James Taylor, another may capture the soul and passion from a singer like Stevie Wonder.  Add riffs and rhythms that you might find in music like John Mayer or Dave Matthews, and you have Caleb Hawley.  Seeing him perform was definitely one of my favorite shows in the last six months.  He gave his audience energy, joy, and laughter from the first song to the last.

Caleb Hawley may have talents like some other artists mentioned above, but he has his own original style and sound.  He is an outstanding guitarist that is capable of producing riffs rarely heard by his contemporaries.  You can tell he hears the whole song when he writes it because the feel is so dialed in.  From his first album titled “Greatest Hits” to his latest “We All Got Problems,” you will hear the cleverness and the excellence that is Caleb Hawley.  From personally purchasing and listening to his second album “Steps,” I definitely recommend that you check him out.  Listen to Caleb Hawley’s music and see his tour schedule here.

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

Stacy Clark Live at The Walnut Room, Denver, CO [Photos] [Video]

Stacy Clark Live at The Walnut Room, Denver, CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Stacy Clark

Click The Photograph For More Concert Shots!!!!!

Currently Stacy is on tour promoting her album “Connect The Dots”, check to see if she’s coming to your area and show her some love!!!!

Check Her Out!!!!!!

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

Thunder Body Live at Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver, CO [Photos]

Thunder Body Live at Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver, CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Thunder Body

Check Them Out!!!!!!

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

[PREMIERE] The Nico Blues Unveils Latest Music Video to “Folk Song Number Two”

The Nico Blues have been featured by our editors on multiple occasions (See previous features). Recently, we were alerted by the band that they were on the brink of releasing a new music video for “Folk Song Number Two” off their self-released Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements album, which is still available for free download on their website.

The video features a fixed-guitar view that follows the band throughout the entire self-produced video. I often find home-made music videos to be quite endearing and this video certainly follows suit. For those who may not have seen previous posts, The Nico Blues is an alternative rock/indie rock outfit from the Tri-State Region. Their previous video to “Living Proof” was even featured in an MTVu contest earlier this year. When you’re finished viewing their latest video, make sure you swing by their facebook page to show them some love.

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

Darwin Deez “Darwin Deez” [MUSIC][ALBUM][VIDEO]

If you like catchy well thought lyrics and even catchier melodies then Darwin Deez is for you.  If not you might as well go back and take a nap in the room down the hall labeled “boring”.  Darwin Deez is a simple musician.  The songs are simple and the words are direct and as I said before, catchy.  He has three other musicians that play with him live and based on this record it sounds like fun show to go to.

The music we play is authentic, homegrown, minimal pop/rock that I write from the heart, baby.  We also like to break it down like a fraction to custom mash-ups.  What I mean is, we dance on stage between songs. — Darwin Deez.com

It’s this kind of tongue and cheek humor that lured me toward Darwin in the first place.  A few people had written to me asking to blog about him and I didn’t know how into the music I was.  Then I saw the video’s and it all clicked.  Fun is the name of the game and I’m down with that.

Darwin Deez – Radar Detector

I think Darwin has a great voice that suits his style of music really well.  He’s really funny and although I’m sure he takes his music very seriously I don’t think that he takes himself to seriously in the best way possible.  My favorite tune on the record is called “Bad Day”.  It’s all the stuff you ever wanted to say to someone you don’t like, but set to a simple melody you can’t help but bounce along.  Darwin is funny.  His humor comes through in most of his songs, especially this one.

Darwin Deez – Bad Day

Here’s a live version.  It takes a minute for them to get into the actual song, but it’s great quality and worth a look.

It took Darwin about two and a half years to complete this record with minimal equipment in his NY apartment.  He only has four strings on his main guitar and “he didn’t use the word ‘baby’ in any of his songs.”  He has a great out look on his music and enjoys the touring life and wants his shows to be a big dance party and if you don’t like it he’ll probably slap you with his curls.

If said throughout this article that Darwin’s music is simple.  I say simple, but not simple minded.  He uses appropriate instrumentation throughout the record and appropriate effects.  It’s not over done at all.  The simplicity comes from his understanding of his own songs and the realization of what limit to push the music to before it becomes un-simple, which wouldn’t do these songs any justice.

Here’s one last tune from Darwin Deez’s self titled release.

Darwin Deez – Deep Sea Divers

Darwin is currently on tour HERE.  He’ll be hitting LA’s echo on July 7th.  You can buy his self titled debut record and EP HERE.

OK fine here’s one more song…

Darwin Deez – Up In The Clouds

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

TV On The Radio – Nine Types of Light [NEW MUSIC]

'Nine Types of Light' is the band's first album recorded outside of New York.


1. This TV On The Radio album, NineTypes of Light (Interscope), isa lush and beautiful album that stands apart from the group’s previous work. Iftheir other albums had shades of dystopia and distress, this album, sung byTunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, is filled with songs about longing and love.”I like love songs. There’s nothing particularly interesting going on withme in my life to bear this work. I like the forms of love songs, thepoetry.” Kyp adds that though there might be more “positivity”on this album, it wasn’t an overall conceit they set out to do. “We’veattempted to work on themes before but they fall apart very quickly. Moreorganic versions arise because we’re sharing time or space orcommunication.”

Though Nine Types of Lightwill sound like an album full of love songs, often the true meaning of thesongs lie deeper. On “You,” Tunde sings a haunted refrain;you’re the only one I have ever loved.The sincerity of his voice sells the idea of absolute adoration. But Tundeexplains, “It’s a song about the feeling you get sometimes when you’reexpressing how much you care about someone but resorting to these beautifulsounding lies. You’re the only one I ever loved? It’s a terrible thing to sayto someone because it’s most likely not true.”

2. Nine Types of Light is the fourth albumfrom TV on the Radio. You will want to refer to it as the “fourth properstudio album” from TV On The Radio; those albums were preceded by an EP, Young Liars, and an 18-track handmadeCD called OK Calculator, that isconsidered more like a demo tape (because it was “released” by beinghidden in random sofa cushions of New York coffee shops). Enhancing nearlyevery aspect of their Shortlist Prize-winning Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain was released to crazy universal acclaim. Rolling Stone said “It might be the mostoddly beautiful, psychedelic and ambitious album of the year,” with The New York Times agreeing: “It’s more experimental yet catchier, more introspective yet moreassertive, by turns gloomier and funnier, and above all richer in both soundand implication. ‘Return to CookieMountain’ is simply one of this year’s best albums.”

Nine Types of Light is the follow-up tothe band’s gorgeous, glorious 2008 release, Dear Science, and proved to be its breakout release. It was namedalbum of the year by Rolling Stone, Spin,Pitchfork, Entertainment WeeklyandMTV; and touring behind the album, the group sold out a year’s worth oflive shows across the world. This, however, did not prevent everyone fromreferring to TV On The Radio as a Brooklyn band. That is not a bad thing. Thegroup – Tunde Adebimpe, Kyp Malone, DaveSitek, Jaleel Bunton, Gerard Smith – are indeed from Brooklyn.

3. But sometimes it’s ok to leave. The band recorded Nine Types of Light in Los Angeles, thefirst time they have recorded outside of Brooklyn. In 2010, the group’smulti-instrumentalist, producer and sometimes beat-boxer, Dave Sitek, moved toLos Angeles because that’s where the money he wanted a change ofscenery. Nine Types of Light wasrecorded at his home studio. The experience of recording away from the friendlyconfines of Greenpoint and Williamsburg wasn’t such a pleasant one, however,but not because of any reactionary dislike of LA that sometimes comes from NewYorkers. “I actually like Los Angeles a lot,” says Jaleel. “Butif there’s a bohemian part of the city, a place that can be a creativesanctuary, we were staying in a place that was the opposite.”

“It was in a high-end mall down the street from Rodeo Drive,and a few blocks from the Modern Institute of Plastic Surgery,” saysTunde. “And they were doing construction on our floor the whole time wewere there. It wasn’t so much squalor as it was…if I were a door-to-doorsalesman, it’s where I would kill myself.”

Nine Types of Light was written andrecorded in about three months – slightly quicker than they’ve recorded anyprevious album.

4. TV On The Radio do not write traditional pop songs. Often, theychange direction two or three times in one song. Distorted guitars, saunteringand reverberating bass,

TVOTR tunes are just-barely containing an explosive amount ofenergy underneath itself – and that tension is nothing less than thrilling. Ithas become somewhat of a signature of the band, particularly matched withTunde’s serene and poetic vocals. On this album, the group takes an admittedlysimpler approach to some of their songs. “Will Do,” starts out withwind chimes before giving away to that trademark buzz, with Tunde singing aboutthe yearning for his ungovernable, unrequited love of another. “I thinkthe songs on this album, to me, maybe sound simpler,” Tunde says.”But it just might be that we have gotten better at what we do.”

Other songs on Nine TypesOf Light include more up-tempo post-rock jams like “No Future Shock”(vocals by Kyp) and the ’80s-rap-beat “Caffeinated Consciousness,”which sounds like it was influenced by Big Audio Dynamite.

TV On The Radio's new disc presents their most hummable melodies and enjoyable beats ever.

5. Nine Types of Light might sound like apeculiar name for an album. Perhaps a reference to a core scientific principleon the refraction of sunlight. Or a grand ideology of film or photographytechniques. But the album title actually isn’t a reference to anythingspecific, the band says. It holds no cryptic meaning. “It’s something thatkept circling around in my head,” Tunde says. “It struck me as oddthat that phrase, when you keep it to just nine types of light, it’s excludinga billion other types of light. I like how it’s a little slippery.” Thus,no one should ask Tunde to actually list the nine types of light he isreferring to.

6. There is a cycle that a band goes through with each release thatinvolves recording an album, releasing it and then touring behind it. For agroup with a loyal and growing fan-base like TV On The Radio, that cycle canlast about two years, which is an awful lot of time to spend with people in a highly-creativeenvironment. This is what happened after Dear Science. “After the lastshow (for Dear Science), I just wanted to do anything that wasn’t this,”Tunde explains. “It was such an intense experience – not bad or goodnecessarily, just intense. I spent a lot of time after that writing and drawingpictures.” Says Gerard Smith, “It allows us to do the other things wewant to do, or to just decompress, and then come back to the band with somefocus. We don’t ever want to feel like we have to do this, that it’s a job,necessarily.”

7. As celebrated and wonderful as TV On The Radio is, the entity isnot enough to contain the entire creative thirst of its members, and the band’sfive members accomplished in the time between albums. Tunde and Gerard wroteand composed music for “The Lottery,” a documentary that looks atpublic education through the eyes of Harlem’s Success Academy annual intakelottery. Tunde also worked on a series of short films that he says may or maynot ever see the light of day. He, of course, also starred in theOscar-nominated film, Rachel GettingMarried. Gerard spent time making music on his own, producing new musicfrom the NYC-based Midnight Masses. Jaleel spent the period in between recordsmoving out from behind the drums to playing guitar again, his first instrument.He also played in the blues and gospel band, Reverend Vince Anderson & HisLove Choir (“One of my favorite gigs ever,” he says), and continuedto periodically tend bar at legendary Lower East Side bar, Max Fish.

Dave Sitek released his own solo album under the name, MaximumBalloon (DGC/Interscope), which featured friends like Karen O, TheophilusLondon and David Byrne. He played with, collaborated with and produced artistslike the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wale and Holly Miranda. Recently he announced hewould be producing and playing bass on the new album from Jane’s Addiction. Kypreleased his solo album under the name Rain Machine, and embarked on a coupleof brief tours, including a recent one with his friend from San Francisco,singer-songwriter, Jolie Holland. One would think the last thing they’d want todo during a break would be more recording and touring, but Kyp feltdifferently. He says, “I feel like every concentrated experience of makinga record, touring a record, and playing with different people, dealing withdifferent social dynamics potentially increases my musicianship and how Iunderstand music.”

8. TV On The Radio plan an extensive tour beginning just before therelease ofNine Types of Light. Theywill headline Radio City Music Hall in New York on April 13, the day after thealbum’s release.

The Movie of the Album:

Find out more @ http://www.tvontheradio.com/


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

The Haunted Continents [MUSIC]

Little known fact: while Weezer was preparing to record “The Blue Album,” they took singing lessons to practice and perfect the harmonies Rivers was writing.  Out of those sessions came a track featured as the Australian B-side for “Undone” – “My Evaline.”  It’s a short a-capella number that features the group doing their best barbershop quartet and showcases a bit of the band’s musical DNA that is usually overlooked in favor of references to the KISS and Metallica strands.

I imagine one of the two members of The Haunted Continents heard that track and wanted to see what Weezer would sound like if they’d ran with the 50s doo-wop/barbershop sound and added fuzz and distortion without any of the metal touches.  The Gaslight Anthem is blowing up with their Springsteen-in-the-50s act, so why not pay Buddy Holly a little more than lip service?

Good news: it works really, really well.  Where The Gaslight Anthem only plays with lyrical and visual touchstones from the 50s, The Haunted Continents take actual musical elements from the era and re-purpose them to create songs in a more modern indie mold.  Vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jason Downes and drummer/percussionist Matt Cascella keep the tunes catchy and sharp throughout their debut The Loudest Year Ever.  Much of the modern feel comes from the clean production and bright mix that keeps all the elements of the band’s sound balanced, but if it weren’t for that, you’d be forgiven for thinking a track like “Acceptance” comes straight out of a different time and place.

What’s particularly awesome about what the band is doing is how it can help someone like myself re-examine and re-contextualize music that was created decades before I was born.  Put tracks like “Way Down” or “Cure for the Blues,” (maybe the album’s best track – listen below) in a mix with Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters and Sam Cooke and note how similar elements of the vocal performances and instrumentation are.  Listening to opener “2nd Street Blues” take old sounds and make them screamingly fresh, makes it easy to imagine – hear, even – what a blast of exciting energy someone like Jerry Lee Lewis must have been in his time.

The album can be purchased on BandCamp here, and while dropping some cash on The Haunted Continents recorded material is well worth it (seriously, it’s the cost of a good sandwich), I’m gonna take a wild guess that they’d absolutely kick your ass at a live show.  It’s hard to listen to the grungy guitar tones of  the aforementioned “2nd Street Blues” and not imagine that thick, bellowing riff blasting off a stage and ripping the paint from the walls of a small bar.  Downes’ voice – warbling in its high register and crooning when lower – is absolutely begging to rip free.

Here’s hoping they come through LA and I can find out if I’m right.

Check out features on the band on Alter the Press and AbsolutePunk.

“Cure For the Blues”:

By: Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @ChriswithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


Fang Island.  I guess the name says it all.  One part crazy electric guitar that bites the crap out of you and one part complete and utter fun which I guess you would have if you were on an island?  Crappy analogy aside Fang Island is a f*cking party.  They hail from Brooklyn, New York but I can hear them all the way down in Los Angeles.  In their bio they describe there own sound as “everyone high-fiving each other.”  I wish I could have written that.  Here’s the fifth track off their 2010 self titled release.
Sideswiper – Fang Island
With a three guitar wall of rock Fang Island will melt your face.  They are loud, fast and promise a great listening experience.  Opening track “Dream of Dreams” starts the crescendo of pace and volume and they never look back.  “Davey Crockett” offers a brief chance to catch your breath mid disc before it takes off into a massive guitar laden trance of awesomeness.  Clocking in at just under six minutes, this song will kill your ear drums.  Turn it to eleven and be patient.
Davey Crockett – Fang Island
Their bio states that Fang Island started as an art school project.  My second favorite band, Talking Heads, came together in the same fashion.  Get me into that school immediately because I want to try some of what they’re having.
Fang Island is guitarist Jason Bartell, bassist Michael Jacober, guitarist Chris Georges, guitarist Nicholas Andrew Sadler, and drummer Marc St. Sauveur. They all share collective group vocal harmonies and the occasional hand claps…  The goal was to “make music for people who like music.”  That is, music without irony that harnesses its uplifting qualities. Just like a classic rock song or classical symphony can stir us emotionally, Fang Island exists to unlock that spirit. — Fang Island
My favorite track on this record is an instrumental with emphasis on the “mental”.  It’s called “Welcome Wagon.”  The layers upon layers of guitar mixed with all kinds of loud is kind of making me want to get out of my chair and trash my apartment immediately as I sit here and write this blog.
Welcome Wagon – Fang Island
As I listen to this record from beginning to end as I write this post it is literally making me tired.  I just want to see them live so I can see if the record holds up.  It has to right?  With that said they just came off performances at SXSW and I’m sure they destroyed the place.  Having listened to this band for a little while (their record came out about a year ago) I think it’s time to give the three guitar rock onslaught their do and buy their record.  Here’s the info and, oh yea, one more tune and video.
Daisy – Fang Island
Buy “Fang Island” HERE.
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC