JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates De La Soul’s Pacemaster Mase’s 53rd birthday.
The Joy of Violent Movement
New Video: Noble Rot (METZ’s Alex Edkins and Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh) Return with Propulsive and Trippy “Medicine”
Noble Rot is a new collaborative studio project, featuring METZ‘s and Weird Nightmare’s Alex Edkins and Holy Fuck‘s Graham Walsh. The project can trace its origins back to 2011: Walsh was enlisted to produce METZ’s 2012 self-titled full-length debut. And since then, the pair have remained in a state of creative orbit.
The duo’s full-length debut Heavenly Bodies, Repetition, Control saw its official release today through Joyful Noise. The album sees Edkins and Walsh joyously stepping outside and beyond the lines drawn by their previous work — with the album’s material being the culmination of a year’s worth of feverish studio experimentation influenced by film soundtracks, komische muzik, experimental noise, ambient, psychedelia, and more.
While their distinct musical sensibilities remain intact, Noble Rot provides the duo with a new vehicle for pushing their boundaries of sonic exploration. The album’s material will reward the listener with a songs filled to the brim with unbridled curiosity and boundless excitement — with the hopes that it’ll surprise and thrill both longtime fans and periphery lurkers alike.
Last month, I wrote about “Casting No Light,” a densely layered soundscape featuring glistening and wobbling synths, hypnotic bass lines, spiraling and looping guitar lines, and motorik rhythms are paired with chanted mantra-like vocals. While effortlessly and seamlessly meshing the long-held creative instincts of its individual creators, “Casting No Light” is underpinned by a mischievous, almost childlike sense of adventure and an irresistible groove. And adding to the collaborative nature of the project, Wire‘s and Immersion‘s Colin Newman and Minimal Compact‘s and Immersion’s Malka Spigel lend a hand, contributing bass and heavily modulated guitars to the song’s motorik pulse — before closing out with bongo drums and howling synths.
Heavenly Bodies, Repetition, Control‘s second and latest single “Medicine” may arguably be the album’s funkiest single. It’s built around a forceful motorik groove, skittering four-on-the-floor paired with off-kilter percussion, industrial screech, squeak and skronk and heavily distorted vocals buried in the mix. Much like its immediate predecessor, the song is rooted in a mischievous, childlike sense of experimentation that sees is collaborators adventurously pushing each other into a wild and trippy new direction.
Continuing an ongoing collaboration with John Smith, the accompanying video for “Medicine” featuring floating pills of varying sizes floating and undulating to the song’s motorik-meets-industrial pulse.
Heavenly Bodies, Reputation, Control is included in Joyful Noise’s The White Label Series. Currently in its sixth year, The White Label Series taps influential curators and creatives to shine a light on a previously unreleased album of their choice. This year’s list of curators is equally impressive as it includes Julian Baker, Sean Ono Lennon, Helado Negro, The Jesus Lizard‘s David Yow, Speedy Ortiz‘s Sadie Dupuis and No Joy‘s Jasmine White-Gluz, who chose Noble Rot’s debut for the series.
“Graham Walsh and Alex Edkin’s new musical partnership captures what I love most about their other musical endeavors (Holy Fuck, Metz); expansive production, musical moments of anxiety and calmness, unexpected earworms,” White-Gluz says of choice. “I love records like this that make me go ‘how did they make that sound?!’ and relisten to a song over and over.“
New Video: Gal Pal Shares Swooning “Angel In The Flesh”
Rising Los Angeles-based trio Gal Pal — Emelia Austin (she/her), Shayna Hahn (she/her) and Nico Romero (he/him) — can trace their origins back to a serendipitous meeting in college: The members of the band lived in the same dorm and on the same floor. Each member was drawn to to other by a sense of shared ambition and a desire to play music in a way that felt nonjudgmental and generative. Their initial collaborations were improvisatory, long-winded and playful — and featured recently purchased equipment, including a drum kit no one yet knew how to play. “We were learning our instruments together,” Gal Pal’s Nico Romero says. “The project started from wanting to learn how to play an write songs with other people.”
Earlier this year, the trio released “Mirror,” track that was written from an altered creative process — perhaps born out of necessity: Austin, Hahn and Romero experimented with writing in isolation, crafting songs with lyrics on their own before bringing them to the group. Featuring production assistance from Danny Noguieras and Sami Perez, the new single is also a bold step forward sonically for the band: Centered around an intricate, looping guitar riff, skittering drum patterns paired with Austin’s plaintive wailing “Mirror” is a shoegazey take on post punk that evokes both the sensation of being hopelessly stuck in a repetitive, dysfunctional pattern — and the slow-burning sense of dread, because there’s the acknowledgement of being stuck, and not knowing how to get out of a hellish loop.
Gal Pal’s Emelia Austin explained that the song ““formed from Nico playing cyclical guitar riffs over and over again. It helped me form the theme of being stuck in a pattern. I then wrote lyrics that were cut-off sentences, repeating again and again to express that feeling. For me, ‘Mirror’ is about the ways we allow our identities to be misshaped by people in our lives, how we are used as reflections for others, and the anxiety over being able to control it or not.”
Today, the rising Los Angeles-based trio announced that their new album This and Other Gestures is slated for a June 2, 2023 release. Marking their first album in six years, This and Other Gestures sees the trio now in their mid-20s and working through gender dysphoria, personal loss and the power and confusion of young adulthood. “These songs are very personal to us,” Gal Pal’s Austin explains. “We’re telling stories about different things — life, death, love, grief — all these things we’re going through and growing out of. These songs are about us processing change. Is it good, is it bad? We’re grieving, we’re celebrating.”
The album’s latest single “Angel In The Flesh” is a rousingly anthemic and swooning song that sonically is one part 120 Minutes-era MTV alt rock and late ’90s-early ’00s pop punk/emo built around buzzing power chords, thunderous drumming. enormous shout-along worthy hooks and choruses, paired with heart-worn-on-sleeve lyricism. Ultimately, the song is a sweet declaration of love, full of the sort of bravery, vulnerability and longing that’s free of the cynicism and despair of bitter experience.
“I grew up listening to a lot of pop punk and emo bands,” Gal Pal’s Nic Romero says in press notes. “I was a big fan of labels like Fueled By Ramen and Decaydance as a kid. I think this song definitely comes from that background a bit. It’s easy for me to want to sing about crushes and longing because it’s a fun feeling to indulge in and romanticize, even when it hurts.”
Directed by Ashley Kron, the accompanying video for “Angel In The Flesh” sees the band playing a dysfunctional TV sitcom family that manages to forget their dog’s birthday. The dog decides to run away — but bonds with his family when they attack a mailman to prove their love.
Throwback: Happy 70th Birthday, Chaka Khan!
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Chaka Khan’s 70th birthday.
Throwback: Happy 55th Birthday, Damon Albarn!
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Damon Albarn’s 55th birthday.
Summer Festival season is coming, y’all! And that means festival announcements.
So let’s get to it, right?
Newport Jazz Festival will be returning to Rhode Island’s Fort Adams State Park for its 69th edition. This year’s edition will continue the festival’s long-held tradition of hosting once in a lifetime performances that can only come as a result of Newport’s unique alchemy of intimacy and artistic community.
The 69th Edition will take place August 4, 2023 – August 6, 2023 and will feature an eclectic and acclaimed lineup of artists including the legendary Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Charles Lloyd, Vijay Iyer, Jon Batiste, and Kamasi Washington, as well as a collection of Grammy-nominated and-winning artists including Samara Joy, DOMi and JD Beck. The lineup also includes Big Freedia, Thundercat, DJ Pee .Wee (a.k.a. Anderson .Paak), Big Gigantic, Alfa Mist, Cautious Clay, Durand Jones, and The War and Treaty.
It’s an annual tradition for the festival to host special ensembles. And this year’s festival will include Newport Jazz artistic director Christian McBride’s annual Jam Dawn, MoodSwing, Scary Goldings featuring John Scofield, Superblue, Orrin Evans Quintet and the Bill Charlap Trio.
Specially priced 3-day tickets went on yesterday through DICE. Special pricing will be available for 24 hours ending today at 1:00pm EST. All full-prince 3-day, 2-day and single-day tickets will go on sale today at 1:00pm
Full pricing is listed below. Children under 10 are free with a maximum of 2 children attending per ticketed adult. Children 10 and over will need to purchase a full priced admission ticket. Current students aged 10-25 are eligible for student tickets. College students are required to show a student photo ID. Middle and high school students are not required to show ID. All students must enter through the student gate only. For more information go to https://dice.fm/promoters/3gng
3-Day Limited Special Priced General Admission: $239.99 (includes fees)
3-Day Full Price General Admission: $281.19 (includes fees)
3-Day Student Admission – $142.14 (includes fees)
2-Day Saturday & Sunday General Admission: $193.64 (includes fees)
2-Day Saturday & Sunday Student Admission: $91.67 (includes fees)
Single-Day General Admission: $100.94 (includes fees)
Single-Day Student Admission: $47.38 (includes fees)
3-Day Parking: $69.01 (includes fees)
2-Day Parking: $46.35 (includes fees)
Single-Day Parking: $25.75 (includes fees)
NEWPORT JAZZ 2023 LINEUP
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead with Kamasi Washington
DJ Pee .Wee (Anderson .Paak)
DOMi & JD Beck
Immanuel Wilkins Quartet
Endea Owens & The Cookout
Lakecia Benjamin and Phoenix
Big Gigantic Does Jazz
Christian McBride’s Jam Jawn
Charles Lloyd New Quartet
Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily
Superblue: Kurt Elling & Charlie Hunter with Nate Smith & Huntertones Horns
Orrin Evans Quintet
The War and Treaty
James Brandon Lewis
Redman, Mehldau, McBride, Blade: A Moodswing Reunion
Scary Goldings featuring John Scofield
Bill Charlap Trio
Charles McPherson Quintet
More artists will be announced in the future. But in the meantime, ticket information is available here.
Summer Festival season is coming y’all. And naturally, that means a boatload of festival-related announcements over the next handful of months.
So let’s get to it, eh?
Founded in 1968, Festival d’été de Québec is a massive 11-day musical festival that hosts over 150 shows featuring internationally renowned and beloved headlining artists and emerging artists from all over the world in all genres playing on multiple stages in the heart of historic Québec City, Québec’s capital and one of the oldest cities in North America.
Festival d’été de Québec’s main stage is located on one of the most notable historical sites in Canada: The Plains of Abraham, where the British and French fought a decisive battle in the Seven Years’ War. The battle not only decided the fate of New France, but also led to the formation of Canada.
From what I’ve been told, FEQ is the closest North American analog to European city festivals like Wireless Festival, Primavera Sound or Roskilde. And because of its location, Québec City is arguably the closet thing to a European city within driving distance across the Northeastern US. And if you don’t feel like road tripping, you can take one of 21 direct flights to Jean Lesange/Québec City International Airport.
The 55th edition of the festival will take place from July 6, 2023 – July 16, 2023. Featuring over 200 artists, this year’s FEQ continues the festival’s long-held reputation for being a smorgasbord for any kind of music lover. Fans of stadium/arena rock can catch Foo Fighters, Green Day, Imagine Dragons, Quebecois icons Les Cowboys Fringants and Les Trois Accords. If you want something harder and more punk, you can catch Lamb of God and Bad Religion. The indie crowd could catch Lana Del Rey, The Smile, Feist, The War On Drugs, Alvvays and Saskatchewan-based singer/songwriter Andy Shauf. Hip-hop heads can catch rising stars Lil Durk and GloRilla, the legendary Cypress Hill and Canadian emcees bbno$ and Killy. Rising country artist Zach Bryan leads a group of country artists that include Megan Moroney and Québec’s Quebec Redneck Bluegrass Project. Pitbull and Illenium will provide dance floor bangers. French outfit Christine & The Queens will offer Francophone pop tunes. Additional artists on the bill include Heart’s legendary Ann Wilson, Quebec’s Robert Charlebois, Sudan Archives and Meet Me @ The Altar.
So pass for FEQ are available. The passes are fully transferrable — fans can share with friends and family if they’re unable to attend any of the 11-days. The passes start at$140 CAD (about $103 USD) or about $12.72 CAD per day (about $9.27 per day). Passes and information is available HERE.
New Video: Easy Star All-Stars Team up with Steel Pulse on a Soulful Rendition of Bowie’s “Five Years”
Continuing their run of reggae tribute albums across classic rock, dub, indie rock and pop, the acclaimed local reggae outfit will tackle David Bowie‘s beloved classic, 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. Slated for an April 21, 2023 release through their own Easy Star Records, Ziggy Stardub is a reggae re-imagining of the beloved album, featuring guest spots from Macy Gray, Steel Pulse, Maxi Priest, Fishbone, Living Colour‘s Vernon Reid, The Skints, Mortimer, The Expanders, Samory I, and a lengthy list of others.
Pre-order packages of the album are available here, including royal blue colored vinyl along with CD and exclusive t-shirt offerings.
Earlier this month, I wrote about two of the album’s previously released singles:
- “Starman,” featuring Maxi Preist. The Easy Star All-Star rendition is a warm and soulful dub take on the original that retains the rousingly anthemic hook everyone and their grandmother knows but places it within a shuffling, reggae riddim paired with warm blasts of Rhodes, some cinematic strings and Maxi Priest’s effortlessly soulful delivery.
- “Moonage Daydream,” featuring Naomi Cowan and the legendary Alex Lifeson. The Easy Star All-Star rendition “Moonage Daydream” is a hazy dub-leaning take that makes loving nods to the original, with a full string seciton and a flute solo from Jenny Hill, that takes the place of Bowie’s recorder solo from the original. Cowan contributes a soulful, rock goddess vocal that I’d argue would make both Bowie and Tina Turner very proud. The song closes out with a trippy and inspired David Gilmour-like guitar solo from the legendary Lifeson.
Ziggy Stardub‘s third and latest single “Five Years” features the legendary Steel Pulse. Rooted in a soulful and slow-burning reggae riddim, the Easy Star All-Stars rendition lovingly retains the soaring string-driven hooks and choruses, and the weary, apocalyptic sigh-like vibe of the original.
Directed by Robert Bartolome, the accompanying video portrays the end of the world — and its eventual rebirth — on a miniature scale. It’s a gorgeous and unsettling reminder of the fate that we’re marching lockstep towards, and of the fact that nature will eventually reclaim everything once we’re all gone.
Continuing their long-held tradition of playing on April 20 — 4/20 y’all! — the acclaimed reggae outfit will be playing an album release show at Sony Hall.