Tag: The Knitting Factory — Brooklyn

New Video: Watch Renowned Seattle-based Emcee Grieves Entertain in Purgatory in New Visuals for “What It Dew”

Benjamin Laub is a Chicago, IL-born, Seattle, WA-based emcee, by way of New York, Colorado and San Diego, CA, who’s best known by his stage name Grieves, and interestingly enough, Laub has released four full-length albums — 2007’s independently released album Irreversible, 2010’s Budo-produced 88 Keys & Counting, 2011’s Budo-produced Together/Apart, which debuted at #112 on the Billboard Top 200, and 2014’s Winter & the Wolves, which debuted at #57 on the Billboard Top 200. 

Grieves’ fifth full-length album the Chords-produced Running Wild is slated for release Friday through renowned hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment, the label home of JOVM mainstay Atmosphere and others, and the album’s latest single “What It Dew” finds the critically and commercially successful emcee employing a complex rhyme scheme and some mischievously witty punch lines as he discusses succeeding against all odds and despite haters and naysayers over a swaggering and soulful production consisting of electric guitar, boom bap beats, brief bursts of organ and swirling electronics. But underneath the swaggering and slick production and witty punchlines is a honest devotion to pure hip hop — while pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop should sound like, look like and talk about. 

The recently released video was directed by HELICAL, the collaboration between Carlos Cruz and Thai M. Tran, the video pokes fun at the song’s more serious subject matter, as it features Grieves trapped in purgatory, and forced to entertain a shitty dive bar in perpetuity, where the regular patrons are the living embodiments of the seven deadly sins. The video ends with Grieves eventually making the best of a horrible situation, by finding something good about it. As the Seattle-based emcee explains of the video treatment “Not everything is a crisis. Some things are simple and easy. Feel good and let go with this one!”

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Madeleine Dopico is an up-and-coming Sleepy Hollow, NY-born, Brooklyn, NY-based singer/songwriter, who has received a bit of attention over the past 12-18 months or so — “Nice Boy,” which she released late last year has received just under 220,000 Spotify streams and with the release of her latest single “Me to Bleed,” the Sleepy Hollow-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has begun to receive press from both sides of the pond. Adding to a growing profile, Dopico has performed at some of the area’s most renowned and beloved venues including a residency at Piano’s in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

 

 

Just on the heels of her set at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I spoke to the up-and-coming singer/songwriter in a playful and revealing interview about a variety of subjects including some of the following:

  • the stories and influences behind her three biggest, attention-grabbing singles “Nice Boy,” “Done,” which is one of my personal favorites and her latest single “Made to Bleed”
  • how she could trace her love of music, singing and performing to being a 3 year old, who one day burst into the 4-year-olds’ daycare class and began singing “This Land is Your Land,” complete with a mic drop-like moment
  • what she ascribes to her early successes and the role her supporters have played in it
  • the careful and deliberate ways she attempts to set herself apart from a very crowded and competitive music scene
  • her songwriting process, along with her influences
  • her recent listening, which has included a deeper foray into hip-hop, along with some suggestions by yours truly
  • the moment she took the biggest risk of her life — quitting a successful and secure day job and began focusing on music
  • and much more

Just based on this young artist’s earnestness and determination to succeed, along with pop star belter vocals, I think that 2017 will be a huge year for Dopico. Check out the interview.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site back in 2015, you may recall that I once wrote about the New York/London-based electro pop outfit Stereo Off. Initially formed in 2012 as the solo recording project of frontman Sebastian Marciano, the project eventually evolved into a quintet whose sound drew from indie rock, classical music and electronic music. And by the following year, the quintet had played in a number of renowned venues across NYC including the Knitting Factory and Glasslands and had their music featured in sevaerl short films that made the film festival circuit, which added to a growing profile locally and nationally. Building upon the growing buzz, the project released their first two efforts — 2014’s New York EP and 2015’s The Long Hot Winter, which landed them a CMJ Festival appearance that year.

After several lineup changes over the past year or so, the band has settled into a trio featuring Marciano (vocals) and Niall Madden, a guitarist, who in that same period has switched from guitar to bass on most of their latest material and Bridget Fitzgerald (synths). Along with that, the band has gone through a change in sonic direction and songwriting approach that has each member frequently filling in where necessary and not always playing their primary instrument. And as you’ll hear on their sensual New Order and Yaz-inspired single “Venir” off the band’s appropriately titled, forthcoming EP III, the newly constituted trio’s sound has become more dance floor friendly as the band pairs a sinuous bass line with shimmering synths, Marciano sultry and plaintive vocals, a tight motorik-like groove and their while retaining renowned penchant for crafting tight, anthemic hooks.