For music heads, true music heads, people who live for new sounds and rhythms, it can be frustrating to hear conversations about who the best is or how so and so new/old artist is changing the world with what for all intents and purposes seems like a sub-par release. Granted, music appreciation, like all art appreciation is subjective and there is no right answer, but when you invest the time and effort to pursue pure art, dig below the surface and do the work to find something truly genuine and exciting, the frustration of the shit rising is inevitable.
Stop Sleeping is a celebration of these gems, these rare finds that have helped make music transcendent and spiritual forces in our lives, I would dare to say the artists we feature here often times have helped us to find our true north.
So while the frustration can be expected I think it is important to remember the levels of pure joy these acts have provided us, and we should let our frustration go and understand that we have been given a special gift that cannot be discounted or taken away. To truly connect with music is a wondrous and beautiful experience. It makes you a better and more appreciative person.
My hope is that the artists who we feature, while they might not have found the fortune and fame that at times comes with music, they have effected thousands of people in a much deeper way than being a curiosity piece or novelty song at ones 20th reunion. They have altered our very existence and made us look at the world in new and creative ways.
We thank you for that and will always be appreciative for your efforts.
Remember that scene in "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" where Norah's ex-boyfriend tries slipping her his groups demo-tape and they were complete crap? Well, we've all got friends who are artists or in a band, some good and worthy of our praise, others you search for compliments to give them, when in all actuality they are crap. Well since this is the Stop Sleeping column, you know I'm about to drop a band on you that deserves some recognition. With that I give you Dr. Doom Orchestra, who is currently blowing up the east coast one show at a time, and coming up Friday, July 20th will be opening up for Steel Pulse @ Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA. With their reggae/hip-hop/rock/ska/funk backgrounds they draw a diverse crowd, but all those who have seen them live agree that they absolutely kill it. In 2012, they released an 8-track album entitled "Thieves & Robots" which you can buy on Itunes or stream on Spotify. Their song "Ride Out" from their 2011 album, was the first track I was introduced to of theirs by my good friend Dave Pratt (Saxophonist) and is a perfect display of how vocalists Pete Doom and Andrea Tavares compliment one another. Check out the video below titled "Sweet Life" shot by another friend of mine. Keep up the work DDO and maybe you can come show the west coast what's good.
I wanted to hold off on stop sleeping "First Blood" because I know there's going to be a mixtape mash up One Song piece down the road and I'll be sitting there with my dick in my hands.....but Fuck it, now is the time to lean on my Blood Brothers because I've had some tragic first world work problems of late. I've compounded my darkness by listening to lots of Moby so First Blood is the one and only antidote to get me out of the grey matter and into the world of the living again. Before First Blood: I felt like pulling a Lane Pryce at work. After Blood Brothers: I want the Cold War to start up again so I can crush it with my ripping montage muscles. Thanks to Mad Decent's DJA I have the glow again. Now if only he'd churn out Volume III like he promised. What says you, Derrek Allen?
Leann Grimes, or as his Lithuanian parents call him "shitferbowelsbro", just emailed me to tell me about his new free album filled to the brim bro of remixy awesomeness. Leann, in case you aren't fa-milly, is the guy who listens to indie rock and pop and then remixes the songs he likes just because he can, AND NORMALLY BRO? They're better than the originalz yosepf. If you get the chance to steal one piece of music made out of other music today, MAKE IT LEANN GRIMES AND HIS NEW NEW "I'm Not Too Skinny"! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE REMIX OF 1,2,3's "Work"!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I have been listening to Breeze Brewin for almost 20 years. He is perhaps the greatest rapper ever. I am not even being hyperbolic. The problem is the output is sparse. He is one of those urban legends, one of those rappers that once you discover him you have found what hip hop is all about. He has the history, the cataloge and the skills. He combines the best aspects of all of histories greatest rappers and adds a little extra flare that just makes him the greatest. His voice gives me fucking chills. Whenever I see a new song from him I have to get in the right mindset and create the time to sit with it, because I know once I hear it my day is over. I will do nothing more than listen to that song all fucking day. He is an unheralded genius.
I always debate with myself whether this "Stop Sleeping" column should be about something that I'm goo goo in love with but that a whole bunch of you slobs missed while watching marathons of Teen Mom and spilling Burger King bacon sundays all down your beaters, or something that I missed while doing the exact same thing. Bacon fucking sundays, dunnie... bacon fucking sundays! In the end, it actually works fine either way. While boogie boarding the internet this weekend I stubbed my little piggy on an album that went all stealth bomber and avoided my radar. KA's Grief Pedigree is an everyman album of 90s-inspired hip hop that I just fucking fell in love with. When I shared this excitement with my Syffaleers, I got the, "Welcome to 2011, bro bro" steez. So I guess I really am guilty of sleeping on this gem. As opposed to sleeping WITH Jem and aaaaaalll the Holograms, homeboy. But I digress. So yea, Fuck me, Fuck Tim, and Fuck you. Nerd out on the dopeness that is Grief PedigreeI. Welcome to 2011.
fucking Austin, Texas. I'm so damn envious of the people who live in this city because it has to be the coolest city in America. They have great music, great craft beers, great bars, great bbq....I could go on and on. I just find out about this band called Quiet Company last week and guess where they are from? Yep, another kick ass band out of Austin. Their album 'We Are All Where We Belong' which was released in October is the bee's knees. I seriously can't listen to these fuckers with out smiling; the up-beat songs just make me so happy. Their sound takes me back to a time in the mid 90's when I listened to Toad The Wet Sprocket, The Eels and wore flannel shirts 2 sizes too big. Oh, and I absolutely love the horns on this wet dream of an album. Check it out. And Fuck all of you lucky Austiners.
Most people who can remember Faith No More during their heyday can typically recall both wearing torn blue jeans as a fashion statement and scoffing at the weirdness that was the "other" Mike Patton project known as Mr. Bungle. If you haven't gotten around to giving a thorough listen to the most underrated band of the 90s, I recommend you immediately turn off that Bieber/Skrillex mashup remix and do so.
Dem One inspires notions that make you at least consider what you're doing and where you're going. He does it without being so effusively positive that it induces vomiting, too! During the heyday-of-the-nineties he was an integral part of San Jose's Lackadaisical crew that wrecked shit. It's nice to see him progress from backpack-to-boardroom with a honed, precise, and insightful set of stories to tell. Be sure to look for The New Math out now!