By Alex Templar - MSTv
Dance music is slowly becoming the United States fourth most popular music genre; slightly trailing behind Pop, Hip-Hop/Rap and R&B.
Attributing its increased growth due to heavy radio rotation form the likes of the electronic music duo, Daft Punk w/Pharrell, Avicii vs Nicky Romerond and Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera have helped dance sale figures slightly overtake R&B in the first half of 2013.
Only Pop and Hip-Hop music have been more popular this year.
Already a significant force in the European music scene, dance music is now well on its way to becoming one of the defining sounds in the American market.
A prime example is the current #1 hit "Get Lucky" from Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams; that plus the growing usage of dance music being used as background music in several current television shows.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI states, "It's drawing in artists normally associated with other genres, such as hip-hop and dubstep. These fresh influences are giving 2013's dance music an edge which is really cutting through to fans."
Ben Turner, co-founder of the Association for Electronic Music, added: "The explosion of electronic dance music in the USA is well-documented worldwide. It's great for the UK to now be in a position to reveal statistics as strong as this to show how dance music continues to drive the UK music business forward."
The top 10 selling dance singles this year are as follows:
1. Get Lucky - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams
2. Waiting All Night - Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre
3. I Could Be The One - Avicii vs Nicky Romero
4. White Noise - Disclosure ft. AlunaGeorge
5. Need U (100 Percent) - Duke Dumont ft. A*M*E
6. Drinking From The Bottle - Calvin Harris ft. Tinie Tempah
7. I Need Your Love - Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding
8. Get Up (Rattle) - Bingo Players ft. Far East Movement
9. Feel This Moment - Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera
10. Harlem Shake - Baauer
By: Alex Templar - MSTv
Their sound opens the time-machine doors to journey listeners back to the revolutionary 1960's. Strong counter-culture music influences, with melodic sounds comparable to Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger comprise the California born duo called the Milk Carton Kids.
The two-man band and Los Angeles natives, Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale first teamed up in 2010. But besides both being from the city of angels, before teaming-up, Ryan and Pattengale were both unsuccessful solo singer-songwriters.
But, that was to change due to a simple suggestion made to Joey Ryan.
“Somebody recommended that I go see Kenneth’s show,” said Ryan.
And based upon the power of a song Ken Pattengale sang about a dying dog writing memoirs, Ryan was compelled to introduce himself to the singer after the show.
“After we met, Kenneth insisted that we try singing together,” Ryan said. “Our two guitars seemed like they were meant for each other. Our voices brought out sides of our singing that we hadn’t known before.”
That synchronicity, joined with a mutual love for folk music developed their musical creations into forming the Milk Carton Kids in 2011.
Even if folk music and its natural simplicity and unpretentiousness aren’t something the world at large associates with Ryan and Pattengale’s hometown of Los Angeles, a place thought to be glitzy and glamorous, the duo finds the general atmosphere in the show business capital encouraging.
“It’s a city where people are chasing dreams,” Ryan said. “It can be inspiring to be around so many people with big ambitions, some of whom are very talented.”
Because of these inspiring type people, that the band loves, the duo has hit the touring road. Now seeking highway and byway stories, so that they might gain more to share musically, The Milk Carton Kids are making a few stops in SE Louisiana.
We're hoping our different type of "LA"environments and unique people feeds their inspiration to create more classic, but powerful music in the future.
Get a look at Josh Ritter/The Milk Carton Kids: 7 p.m. Sunday, June 30 @ Manship Theatre 100 Lafayette St. BRLA
and 9 p.m. Monday, July 1. Tipitina’s, 501 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans.
By: Conner James - MSTv
Between numerous health scares, rumors of retiring and legions of fans clamoring for his newest album, "I Am Not a Human Being II," Lil Wayne seems to live for controversy. But in this case, the incident might be a cry out for justice.
But while shooting a video, this weekend past, for his single, "God Bless America in New Orleans," Wayne is seen walking strongly and quite some time over the U.S flag in the filming.
The outlash against him has been swift with outraged people demanding he change the video and show better respect for our nations flag. However, the title and lyrics in the song may show reasoning behind the actions.
The words can be heard in a video uploaded to Youtube by an audience member: "My Country 'Tis of Thee, Sweet land of kill 'em all and let 'em die. God bless America, This ole' godless America."
As the title might suggest, Wayne seems to be asking for a blessing of the new, more "Americanized" New Orleans. Yet as the lyrics might suggest, this new America/New Orleans comes with a high cost.
The actual video is below, so as an individual, you can judge his message and intent of action for yourself. But, as in any form of art, the general perception of the product is always open to interpretation.
Lil Wayne continues to receive negative backlash for the act.
By: Alex Templar - MSTv
Additional info from NOLA.com
Alex Brown Church, the lead singer and power behind the the grouping, Sea Wolf, considers himself a lapsed-perfectionist. In working on the band's newest album last year, Church saw fit to embrace change by concentrating on any aspect of a song that suited him at the time.
Quite a change for a man known for attacking single songs and developing them to their specific perfection. But change is what the newest album, Old World Romance" is all about.
And it appears this wind of change will make for a refreshing performance at Sea Wolf's June 15 appearance at the Spanish Moon in BR. "This time around I wrote a lot more song by not necessarily stopping and working on one particular song," said Church.
Sea Wolf's indie folk sound remains grounded in an earthiness reminiscent of big forests, cloudy seas and mountains, but that's mostly by design. Church grew up exploring the Sierra Nevadas in an "outdoorsy family."
Church, however, said he feels most comfortable in cities.-
"The reason I love the city is the people and the rich culture and art. The city is usually where artists are, and I like being around other artists," Church said. "I try to paint the stories or the places in my songs. I try to paint a picture in people's minds, and I like to choose imagery that projects me or impresses me."
Church remains the one unmoving cog in Sea Wolf, a band he first started in the hopes of having constants backing him up but the pieces never fell into place.
But being the sole constant and founder benefits Church as he controls the band's over aesthetic and sound.
"I don't have to compromise," he said.
And neither should we, his audience...
By: Conner James - MSTv
The capital city hosts its fourth year of the Bayou Country Superfest this weekend to LSU's Tiger stadium. As expected, several of the biggest names in the genre will be headlining the event.
Fans can expect the likes of Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Darrius Rucker and Luke Bryant to be hitting the main stage. But of course, with this being Louisiana and all, the party doesn't stop at the stage.
Fans can expect some serious tailgating, local music to sample and more food and drinks then can ever be wanted or needed by the most ravenous party-seekers.
But, if you're new to the honky-tonk lifestyle and are feeling the call of the range, here's a little info to make the transition a little easier. Plus, if you're unfamiliar with Baton Rouge as well, below you'll find some tips to make your more rural adventure here a little easier too.
Bayou Country Superfest is produced by Festival Productions, the same people who make the Jazz Fest a reality. But, BCS, unlike its bigger cousin, is only a one weekend event. Louisiana State University's (LSU) Tiger Stadium hosts the event and five artists per day hit the stage back-to-back. Just remember that there's no smoking in the stadium, but you can drink till you drop! And if you walk outside and that becomes vice-versa.
If you hit town and want to get the party started early, "Fan Fest" begins at 11 a.m. and runs till the main event starts at 5 p.m. Fan Fest offers live music, food and drinks all day.
Parking around the event, as expected, can be quite pricy. With prices ranging from $20 to $50, you might be faced with quite a trek to the stadium. Some hotels are offering shuttle services in coordination with the local transit system, CATS. Check with your specific hotel for availability.
If you're looking to tie on the ole feed-bag, the event will be offering the old standbys in fest food. But, since this is being held on a college campus, multiple food offerings are available within walking distance. Examples include: Walk-On's Bistreaux and Bar, Quizno's, CC's Coffeehouse, Hello Sushi, Highland Coffees, the Chimes, Reginelli's and several others.
The lineup for Fan Fest on Saturday includes: the Chase Tyler Band at 11:30 a.m., Mark Adam Miller at 1:15 p.m. and Yvette Landry at 3 p.m. Sunday's lineup includes Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue at 11:30 a.m., the Kyle Turley Band at 1:15 p.m. and Jaryd Lane and The Parish at 3 p.m.
Far to young to come to an end
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
He was only 34 years old when he was found dead in Atlanta; expired from an apparent drug overdose. The deceased name was Chris Kelly, but to millions of fans he was better known as "Mac Daddy," one-half of the youthful 90's rap group, Kris Kross.
Kelly's death is just an additional notch to the number of rappers who've died from drug and/or health related causes in recent years. The list of names, as well as their causes of death is alarming.
Since 2011, hip-pop pioneer Heavy D, singer and rap chorus specialist Nate Dogg and New York rapper Tim Dog all died of ailments in their 40s. Now, Chris Kelly was found dead last week in Atlanta at the tragic age of only 34.
Some of the genre’s elder statesmen say they’re worried about the culture’s focus on youth, current emphasis on freewheeling partying and “you only live once” ethos, as popularized by Drake’s 2011 hit “The Motto.” (see below)
“Hip-hop being a lifestyle culture ... a part of American culture, you have to be mindful that somebody is going to grow old, age,” said rap pioneer Melle Mel. “At some point somebody has to realize that hip-hop has to learn how to grow up. It’s way too juvenile and it’s been that way for too long. It’s not really worth it to literally party yourself to death. It’s like committing suicide,” he added.
The 51-year-old rapper, who memorably warned in 1982’s “The Message” (see below) about urban youth who “lived so fast and died so young,” suffers chronic bronchitis from being around marijuana and cigarette smoke when he was performing.
R.I.P Heavy D (1967 - 2011)
But lifestyle can't claim all the blame in the deaths or health issues for those in hip-hop. Producer J Dilla (32) passed in 2006 from lupus and cancer killed rappers Guru (48) in 2010 and Beastie Boy, Adam Yauch (47) last year.
Yet one of the most shocking incidents was this year's hospitalization of Lil' Wayne (30) for multiple seizures. The New Orleans native told a Los Angeles radio station in March that he’s an epileptic.
Others in the hip-hop community have began to take notice and action as they enter their late 30s and 40s. Like any good performer, they've worked out how to keep the "illusion" solid as well as their health.
Though reputed to having quit multiple times, Snoop Dogg (41) still smokes marijuana heavily. But, he's stopped drinking over six years ago. “I used to drink alcohol as a fashion statement and you’re just drinking because you’re drinking. I don’t do that anymore. I drink water or cranberry juice,” he said. “I’m not cheap. I just don’t want to do this to my body anymore. I want to survive.”
With that line of thinking being more realistic, Wu-Tang Clan founder, RZA, believes urban culture has had trouble planning for the future since the 1980's.
He posited, “They said we should be dead or in jail by the age of 25. And I think we live like that. But what happens when you make it past 25? What happens when you make it to 30? What happens when you make it to 40? Are you prepared for life now? What I want to tell the hip-hop generation out there is that: There’s a chance you’re going to become a man. Be prepared for it.”
The elder statesmen today
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
With four decades of soulful and pop sounds under their belts, legendary music duo, Darryl Hall and John Oates continue to peak in their careers.
The Philadelphia based team, first formed in 1972, found universal acclaim in the 1980's when their original rock-soul style, morphed into the higher energy pop-music sound of the decade.
Within their forty year span, the duo has created more hits then anyone can hardly count. But, fans and local music lovers alike might just get their chance to grab a more accurate tally as Hall & Oates make their New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival debut Sunday.
“It’s something that Daryl and I have always wanted to do,” John Oates said. “I’ve never even been to Jazz Fest. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do. So I’m getting a two-fer here, playing and going at the same time, which is pretty great.”
Oates, however won't just be stopping in the Crescent city for Jazz Fest and the food, he'll be gearing up to record music for his new project, Good Road to Follow. And to start, he'll be releasing new songs every month for a year, beginning in June with the song, “High Maintenance,” a collaboration with rising pop act Hot Chelle Rae.
Oates finds it nearly fated that some of the music being used in his new project is being recorded in New Orleans, and by native artists. Being a fan of the city's unique music sound, Oates recalls his treasured record collection of New Orleans artists from his youth.
“I have Fats Domino records, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Clowns, Lee Dorsey, all that stuff,” he said. “It’s soul music. It’s unique regional American music that, unfortunately, doesn’t exist so much anymore. But in those days, every region of America had a sound. New Orleans’ sound was different from Memphis and Chicago, Detroit, Philly and New York. New Orleans just had a thing. I think it had a lot to do with the city’s jazz heritage and mixed cultures.”
And with all the love Oates has for New Orleans, he promises that fans can expect nothing but the best, as far their as songs go, for the Jazz Fest crowd. The hits will be a playing - to keep it short..
“We have a good problem,” Oates said. “We have too many hits. I don’t say that in a boasting manner. It’s just a fact.
Boasting or not, fans and music lovers alike can be assured a great show as Hall and Oates help bring another enjoyable Jazz Fest to a close.
A new generation gets into the grooves.
By: Alex Templar - MSTv
Ask just about any young adult under the age of 20 what a vinyl record is and they'll probably say, "that's easy - its a CD!"
Now if you're over 30, you'll probably sigh, or just shake your head in disbelief as another bastion of your youth is forgotten.
But, things are never that bad when the area of music is concerned. A new revolution is gaining steam as the current generation is rediscovering the retro sound of the vinyl record.
Personally, I think its about time classic "sounding" music garnered its second coming. In a sense, its the same argument made for those who enjoy the look of older movies, with their jitters, static noise look and occasional skips.
Younger music listeners missed out on the additional sounds of cracking, higher "highs" and a range of audio depth that could only be gained from increasing the bass or, made easier by just listening to a vinyl recording.
Don't know the difference between vinyl and digital music sounds? Take our test with lil Stevie Wonder!!
Heard em both? What do you think? Which version sounds better? Make with the comments below!
However, change is in the air, under 25-year-olds are the driving force behind the surge in sales for vinyl records over the past five years.
Research by ICM suggests 18 to 24-year-olds are buying more vinyl records than any other age group under fifty.
The surge also coincided with the Record Store day; a mass-music push held the world over on April 20th. The event is encouraged by hundreds of musicians who release one-off singles and albums (primarily vinyl) to encourage fans to buy music in their local record shop.
And it seems the younger generation are gaining a new appreciation for the medium on the whole.
At one shop in east London, 19 year old Alex is pricing up stock for Record Store Day, he explained why he buys vinyl: "The thing about playing a CD is you put it in, press the button and it plays. This sounds a bit corny but the artist has put so much effort in with vinyl you have to get it out of its sleeve, put the needle on and I think it's respectful."
With some classic sound examples above to enjoy, do you think vinyl still has something to offer the music world?
Drop us your comments below.
Space Capone fuels the stage with the Funk
By: Alex Templar - MSTv
What, or who the hell is Space Capone?
Is it disco? No, not specifically.
Is it funk? Hmm, now you're getting warmer!
Is it a classic seventies sound of dance/R&B, or the above two mixed? Ok, I'd give that a big and resounding "yes!"
The truth be told, Space Capone is virtually a one-man show known as the Nashville-based Aaron Winters. Yet his variable sized backup band can be quite big; sometimes comprised of as many as 10 pieces.
No matter where Space Capone plays, the band’s lineup features horns, those instruments that are a quintessential ingredient in the classic soul and R&B that inspires Winters.
“That’s the one piece that has to be there,” Winters said last week. “I write songs for horn arrangements. You either have those pieces or else you’re stuck with the blues.” But above all things, Winters looks to bring back the strength of Soul to mainstream music.
However, Winters "unique" sound for Soul came about more by necessity than choice. As the lead, and often sole singer in Space Capone, Winters isn't very proud of his vocal ability.
“I write songs attuned to my voice,” he said of his limited vocal abilities. “Where I do well is more the staccato, choppy singing that Michael Jackson did a good job with. But I’ve never claimed to be a singer’s singer, someone you’d hear on American Idol.”
The Nashville living and based Winters, grew up Carthage, Ind. But aftter dropping out of college, Winters found himself drawn to the feel and welcoming musical environment of Nashville.
“Everybody knows each other here,” he said. “There are a lot of young people doing creative stuff. It’s a really cool city to be in right non. And people are always handing things to me, saying, ‘Listing to this. Listen to this.’ That’s songwriting fuel for me.”
Levine and the boys
By: The Associated Press
Maroon 5 says they’re working on a new album, but before that the pop-rockers will launch a summer tour that finds the fivesome playing outdoors.The Grammy-winning band announced Monday that they will headline the 2013 Honda Civic Tour, which kicks off Aug. 1 in St. Louis and will feature Kelly Clarkson.
“I think the live outdoor kind of summer vibe is always different than the indoor arena tour because there’s less emphasis on production and more on live music,” frontman Adam Levine said in an interview. “It’s kind of the purist form of a tour ‘cause there’s not too many bells and whistles.”
The 31-date tour wraps Oct. 5 in San Diego.
Levine says he and his bandmates are riding high off the success of last year’s “Overexposed,” their fourth album that has achieved platinum status. It features the popular hits “Payphone,” “One More Time” and “Daylight.”
“It’s so amazing to have an album people connect with and embrace. It’s a dream come true. It’s hard to believe to have lighting strike twice and three times and four times,” he said. “We’re having a moment. A good moment.”
He also says the group is working on the follow-up to that album: “We’re just getting started. We’ve got some great songs in the can.”
“The stuff we’re working on now, it definitely has gone maybe a little darker in its sound, maybe back a little bit more to what we kind of did on (our debut) ‘Songs About Jane,’” said guitarist James Valentine. “But at this point we do have all kinds of different songs and it is early.”