Throughout a significant portion of this site’s 8-plus year history, I’ve written quite bit about longtime JOVM mainstay Charles Bradley. Bradley led a remarkable life, overcoming unimaginable adversity and heartache throughout his life to achieve success and […]
Over the course of this site’s eight-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the New York-based dance music collective ESCORT. And as you may recall, the act founded by producers Eugene Cho and Dan Balls, which features frontperson and bassist Adeline Michele as members of a core group that has at times expanded to 17 for live shows has received attention for a sound that draws from 1970s disco, soul and classic house music — and for a live show that has them as a must-see act; in fact, the members of ESCORT have played some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Sasquatch Festival, Okeechobee Festival Montreal Jazz Festival, Full Moon Festival and others — and have shared stages with The Internet, Charles Bradley, Digable Planets, De La Soul and Cody ChesnuTT.
Now, as you may recall, ESCORT’s frontperson Adeline Michele will be releasing her full-length, self-titled solo album on November 9, 2018 but in the meantime, ESCORT’s newest single “Slide” was co-written by denitia and sene‘s Denitia and the single which is centered around a buoyant bass line, shimmering synths, some Nile Rodgers-like guitar and Adeline Michele’s sultry vocals manages to recall Chaka Khan and Rufus‘ “Ain’t Nobody,” as it’s a skating rink, club friendly banger with an infectious hook. In some way, the track is a subtle yet decided change in sonic direction with the act’s sound leaning more towards 80s synth funk.
Founded by some of the originators of CMJ and its long-running CMJ Marathon, Mondo.NYC is a music, technology and innovation-based festival that within its first couple years has quietly taken the place of both the CMJ Marathon and New Music Seminar’s New Music Nights Festival. Now, as you may recall, the third edition of Mondo.NYC took place last week and it found the global, emerging music, technology and innovation conference moving a few miles east across the East River to Williamsburg, Brooklyn with The Williamsburg Hotel,Rough Trade and Brooklyn Bowl hosting daytime conference-related events hosted by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Guild of Music Supervisors,Record Store Day, and others meant to connect fans, artists, music industry professionals, business pioneers and leading names in tech and music to network, trade ideas and learn in a rapidly changing industry landscape. Additionally, the panels, talks and other events were meant to inspire young people to take control of their careers — whether they were heading towards a technological-based career, behind the scenes in A&R, marketing, promotion, management and publicity or up in front as an artist.
Live music showcases took place across a handful of venues in the New York metropolitan area, including the aforementioned Brooklyn Bowl, Piano’s, Berlin, Arlene’s Grocery, Coney Island Baby, The Delancey, DROM, Hank’s Saloon, Niagara, N.O.R.D. and Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall that featured artists from the US, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, Canada, France and elsewhere performing music across a wide array of genres and styles.
One of the artists who played during the music festival portion was the Swedish adult contemporary pop artist ELINDA, the collaborative music project of the Ekerö, Sweden-born, Stockholm, Sweden-based singer/songwriter and dancer Linda Östergren Frithiof and her husband, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mikael Frihiof. Linda Östergren Frithiof can trace the origins of her performing career as a trained dancer, studying at the Lasse Kühler Dansskola School and the Ballet Academy, one of Scandinavia’s leading dance schools. While training as a dancer, it was discovered that Östergren Frithiof had a commanding voice and once she graduated dance school, she began performing at nightclubs, cabarets, vacation resorts, cruise ships and corporate events before landing gigs as a backup singer for a number of major Scandinavian artists including Magnus Uggla, Markoolio and E-Type, Shirley Clamp, Martin Stenmarck and Charlotte Perrelli, as well as Lutricia McNeal. She’s also sang vocal demos for Celine Dion, and collaborated with the likes of Leif Larsson and Anders Borgius for Swedish artists like Björn Skifs and David Hasselhoff. (Yes, David Hasselhoff.)
Adding to a rather diverse and eclectic career path, Östergren Frithiof has played Sally Bowles in the Stockholm-based production of Cabaret and Joanne in the Stockholm-based production of RENT before joining The Original Band — The Abba Tribute, which features a number of musicians who have played with ABBA either on their records or tours. Additionally, Östergren Frithiof, was involved in the casting, choreography and scripting for the show, which has toured across Sweden and has performed in China several times, including a televised audience of more than 100 million viewers for the Chinese New Year broadcast.
Östergren Frithof, has been building up a profile as a solo artist largely inspired by the sounds, vocal styles and stage shows of Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Prince, Justin Timberlake,Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande and Bruno Mars. With her husband and collaborator Mikael, they formed a label Breaking Records and began writing and recording original material that draws from her own life, centered around her struggles and victories as an artist and mother of five. Interestingly, her MONDO.NYC set at Piano’s was her Stateside debut and I spoke to the up-and-coming Swedish adult contemporary pop artist and her husband at P.J. Clarke’s Lincoln Center location about her career to date, the MONDO.NYC Festival, her dance floor friendly, feminist anthem “Superwoman” and a lot more. Check it out.
Preview: MONDO.NYC 2018
Founded by some of the originators of CMJ and its long-running CMJ Marathon, Mondo.NYC is a music, technology and innovation-based festival that within its first couple years has quietly taken the place of both the CMJ Marathon and New Music Seminar’s New Music Nights Festival. Interestingly, the third edition of Mondo.NYC, which will take place October 2, 2018 – October 5, 2018 finds the global, emerging music, technology and innovation conference moving east across the East River to Williamsburg with The Williamsburg Hotel, Rough Trade and Brooklyn Bowl hosting daytime conference-related events. Interestingly, those daytime events feature partnerships with The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Guild of Music Supervisors, Record Store Day, a collection of international consular and export agencies and others to connect fans, artists, music industry professionals, business pioneers and veterans, leading names in tech and music to network, trade ideas and learn in a rapidly changing industry landscape as well as inspired others to become the industry leaders and up-and-coming artists of the future. Live music will take place on both sides of the East River with showcases being hosted by the aforementioned Brooklyn Bowl, Piano’s, Berlin, Arlene’s Grocery, Coney Island Baby, The Delancey, DROM, Hank’s Saloon, Niagara and N.O.R.D.
Some quick highlights include:
- RIAA hosts “Everything You Need to Know About Streaming Revenue and Policy in One Hour”
- Guild of Music Supervisors NYC Education Event & Film Fest, an immersive full-day symposium to meet, network and learn from some of the top music supervisors and industry executives in the business, that will take place at The Williamsburg Hotel, October 5.
- Record Store Day presents “A Conversation With…” Series at Rough Trade Records
- The Second Annual Marauder Radio Room @ Pianos — College stations record interviews and live sessions with Mondo showcasing artists.
- MusicTech Day @ Mondo.NYC hosted by Brian Zisk
- Northern Beat: Indigenous Canadian New Music Showcase at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with iskwé, DJ Shub with James Jones and Elisapie
- HOTS, The Hungarian Music Export Bureau, presents Breakthrough Artists from Hungary Ivan & the Parazol and Mörk
- SWISS LIVE TALENTS present KT Gorique, The Last Moan, Sophie De Quay & The Waveguards, Eliane Amherd
Mondo’s speakers include key leaders from the emerging music and frontier tech industries:
● Preeti Adhikary, VP of Marketing, FuseMachines
● Danielle Aguirre, General Counsel, National Music Publishers’ Association
● Lauren Apolito, SVP Strategy & Business Development, Rumblefish/HFA
● Shelita Burke, Pop Star/Data Scientist
● Bryan Calhoun
● Susanna Choe, Co-Founder, Peace Accelerators
● Thomas Emmanuel, US Business Development Advisor, Sonm
● David Garrity, Partner, BTBlock
● Mitch Glazier, President, RIAA
● Adam Huttler, General Partner, Exponential Creativity Ventures
● Lenny Kaye, Artist, Guitarist for The Patti Smith Group
● Scott Kessler, Director of Business Development, L03 Energy
● Tammy Khan, Partner, BTBlock
● Clara Kim, General Counsel, ASCAP
● Michael Kurtz, Co-Founder, Record Store Day
● Andrew Levine, Content Director, Steemit
● Jonathan McHugh, Director/Producer/Music Supervisor
● Arjun Mendhi, CEO, MTonomy
● Tatiana Moroz, Founder, TATIANACOIN
● Ed Morris, Co-Founder and Director, Gate Reality
● Rohan Reddy, Co-Founder, Y2X
● Emma Reeves, Executive Director, Free the Bird
● Jordan Rudess, Keyboardist/Composer, Dream Theater
● Xander Schultz, VC, Galaxy Investment Partners
● Cary Sherman, CEO, RIAA
● Stephen White, CEO, Dubset
● Bill Wilson, Co-Founder, Indie Ninja
● Brian Zisk, Co-Founder/Executive Producer, SF MusicTech Summit
● Shoshana Zisk, General Counsel, George Clinton Enterprises
Of course, I’m looking extremely forward to catching some of the incredibly diverse music offerings, including:
- Omar Souleyman (Syria)
- Laxmi Bomb (India)
- Lord Esperanza (France)
- Crosa Rosa (UK)
- Kingswood (Australia)
- Sevi Ettinger (China)
- Mörk and Ivan & The Parazol (Hungary)
- Eliane Amherd and Sophie de Quay & The Wave Guards (Switzerland)
- DJ Shub, Elisapie, Goodbye Honolulu, iskwé, Karimah, and Kielley Koyote (Canada)
- BriGuel, Girl Skin and HoneyChrome, RYAL (NYC)
- THRILLCHASER (Providence)
- The Darbies (Los Angeles)
- and a long list of others
For more information, including tickets, showcases, talks and more, go the following: https://mondo.nyc
Hopefully, I’ll be covering the events of the conference, and if so, be on the lookout for a variety of live conference through my various social accounts:
Known as a co-founder of renowned and legendary hip-hop act Ultramagnetic MCs and for a lengthy and uncompromising solo career in which he has taken up a number of aliases and personas, while collaborating with an array of emcees and producers, Kool Keith is arguably one of hip-hop’s most idiosyncratic and eccentric personalities and artists — and throughout his incredibly prolific recording career, he has continually perfected and expanded upon his inimitable flow, full of surreal and fantastical tangents, grimly violent and nightmarish imagery, sexual and pop cultural references while effortlessly and frequently switching perspectives, moods and points of view within the same song.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site, you know that I’ve written quite a bit about Kool Keith and his various solo releases, reissues and collaborations but interestingly, the imitable emcee along with collaborators Dan The Automator and DJ Qbert have teamed to revive his alter ego Dr. Octagon 20+ years after the critically applauded, revolutionary debut effort Dr. Octagonecologyst. “Octagon Octagon,” the first single from the trio’s long-awaited Dr. Octagonecologyst follow up, Moosebumps: an exploration into modern day horripilation is a bit of a return to form for the trio — but possessing a frenzied urgency that could only come from marathon 24-hour recording sessions at Dan The Automator’s studio. Kool Keith reprises his lecherous and hopelessly incorrigible Dr. Octagon, who has insane sexual exploits, performs even odder surgeries but with an impossible, outlandish surrealism that’s at points absolutely hilarious, flat out weird and other times horrifying, sometimes within the turn of a phrase; in fact, Moosebumps: an exploration into modern day horripilation’s first single “Octagon Octagon” was wryly intelligent and absurdly satirical commentary on capitalism, branding, advertising and free, as Kool Keith rhymes about Dr. Octagon being shamelessly opportunistic and greedy, putting his name on rice and beens, gasoline, tampons and anything else that would pay him over a minimalist yet menacing production, which emphasizes the Kool Keith’s imitable, almost Dada-esque flow.
“Flying Waterbed,” Moosebumps’ latest single features a slow-burning, production that’s oddly reminiscent of Scott Walker’s Scott Walker 3 as it features soaring strings, a sinuous bass line, a looped and shimmering guitar line, a mournful yet regal horn line and stuttering drums, and as a result it possesses a hallucinogenic, dream-like air. Throughout Kool Keith rhymes in absurdist non-sequiturs to create punchlines with surreal imagery — “busted kneecaps like Kobe,” “nasal so big I can fly aircraft up your nose,” references to space ships, “I’m a Martian with a Stephen Curry face” “tube socks, looking like Dr. J.” It’s drugged out as fuck, yet strangely mournful and sexy — and perhaps even more so with Interpol’s Paul Banks singing the hook.
Directed by Joel Knoernschild, the recently released video for “Flying Waterbed” is centered around the imagery of old Kung Fu movies; in fact, it features Roy Chen performing Kung Fu with a tea kettle, much to the annoyance of two unimpressed customers and in several gorgeous yet urban setups.
Currently comprised of founding duo Soulive‘s Alan Evans (drums) and The New Mastersounds’ Eddie Roberts (guitar), along with Chris Spies (keys), Kevin Scott (bass), who’s a member of Jimmy Herring‘s backing band, Adyron de Leon (vocals) and Pimps of Joytime’s Kimberly Dawson, Matador! Soul Sounds can trace their origins to when Evans and Roberts were touring together with their respective main gigs, and as Roberts explains in press notes, “The idea came about one night while we were drinking wine in a bar in DC, when I turned to Alan and asked ‘can we start a band together?’ Alan obviously shared the same sentiment, as we are here today launching the debut album!”
Interestingly, the band is loosely centered around the concept of Spanish bullfighting. A common American misconception of bullfighting is that it’s the feat off one man versus one bull; but rather, bullfighting is largely a team effort in which the matter is backed by his cuadrilla, his team, his corner — and its actually much more like boxing. Additionally, the band’s name is partially a nod at Grant Green’s Matador, which both Evans and Roberts had liked immensely. Sonically, Matador! Soul Sounds approach draws from its founders shared musical passions including jazz, funk and soul, but in a subtly different fashion than the individual band leader’s previous work.
The act’s latest single “Theme for a Private Investigator” finds the act drawing from crispy, Southern fried funk, soul and blues in a way that may remind some listeners of Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas, as Matador! Soul Sounds nods at the work of Booker T and the MG’s, as well as Muscle Shoals and The Meters while possessing an incredibly cinematic, 70s TV theme song like quality; in fact, you can probably picture the show’s protagonist and his wise-cracking sidekick strutting to their badass car, fighting bad guys, saving the girl and what not to the song, and it makes perfect sense.
The All-Star act’s full-length debut Get Ready is slated for release next week — both digitally and on vinyl, and they’ll be embarking on a national tour to support the album, which will include a March 17, 2018 stop at Brooklyn Bowl. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.
3/15 @ Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA – tix
3/16 @ Union Stage – Washington, DC – tix
3/17 @ [Pacifico Presents] Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY – tix
3/18 @ Fairfield Theatre Company – Fairfield, CT – tix
3/19 @ Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA – tix
3/21 @ The Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA – tix
3/22 @ Martyr’s – Chicago, IL – tix – tix
3/23 @ Cervantes’ Other Side – Denver, CO – tix
3/24 @ Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO – tix
3/26 @ Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – tix
3/28 @ Jack London Revue – Portland, OR – tix
3/29 @ Nectar Lounge – Seattle, WA – tix