Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Concert Highlights

A look back at concert clips of 2014 featuring Devo, Action Bronson, Cromags, OutKast, King Diamond, Deltron 3030, Buzzcocks, Nas, Fishbone, Army of the Pharaohs, Bad Brains, Juice Crew, Black Sabbath.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quick News

For the first time since the split of Oasis, Noel Gallagher has comforting words for his brother, Liam. The former Oasis singer, whose band Beady Eye, which featured the remaining and final Oasis line-up split up in October. Noel told Q magazine, "I’m very fucking sad about Beady Eye, because I know they really wanted to make it work. I wanted it to work for them. I was out with Gem Archer the other night. The vibe I’m getting is that it was a shock, although not completely surprising.” Noel then commented on what his baby brother's next movie should be, saying, "“I’m amazed Liam has chucked it in, but he won’t stay out of the limelight for long. I think Liam should make a solo record – put his balls on the line, put his name up in lights and go for it.”

Former Beatle Ringo Starr has confirmed he will release a new solo album in either February or March. The drummer never gave a specific title or actual release date but gave a vague idea since he will be hitting the road with his All-Starr band around that time.

Speaking to AllHipHop, former Tribe Called Quest member Ali Shaheed Muhammad confirmed he is working on his sophomore solo album and a record with Adrien Younge. He said, "I’ve been working on a solo record, so that’s something for my 2015. I’m doing a couple of things. There’s a record with Adrian Younge. He and I are working on an album together. That’s slated for early 2015. I’m working on my solo record for mid-2015. It’s interesting. There’s nothing out there that sounds like what [Younge and I] are doing. It’s pretty exciting."

RiFF RaFF never ceases to amaze his fans and audience, the rapper is currently training with Hulk Hogan to become a professional wrestler. No word if the Neon Icon will be signed to WWE or another syndicate, but if you follow him on social media you can track his progress.

Lil' B took to Instagram to confirm that he and Frank Ocean are working on music together and posted a photo of the two in the studio. No word if this is for Ocean's upcoming album or for a B project of his own. 

VINTAGE CLIP: The Hold Steady on Jools Holland

We will close 2014 and open 2015 the same way, as we will be covering The Hold Steady's New Year's Eve concert / party at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. We thought before we go catch one of our favorites again in concert on a special night, let's look back at their first ever TV appearance which came in 2007 on BBC's Later...with Jools Holland. Watch the Brooklyn band go across the pond and perform "Stuck Between Stations" and "Chips Ahoy!"

Monday, December 29, 2014

Joey Bada$$ Debut Album Details

Early next year, rapper Joey Bada$$ will release his much anticipated debut, B4.DA.$$. The album features an array of stars like Action Bronson, The Roots, Elle Varner but also production by the late J. Dilla, The Roots, Statik Selektah, DJ Premier, among others.

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below:

01. Save the Children (prod. by Statik Selektah)
02. Greenbax (prod. by Lee Bannon)
03. Paper Trails (prod. by DJ Premier)
04. Piece of Mine (prod. by Freddie Joachim)
05. Big Dusty (prod. by Kirk Knight)
06. Hazeus View (prod. by Kirk Knight)
07. Like Me (ft. BJ the Chicago Kid) (prod. by J Dilla & The Roots)
08. Belly of the Beast (ft. Chronixx) (prod. by Hit Boy)
09. No. 99 (prod. by Statik Selektah)
10. Christ Conscious (prod. by Basquiat)
11. On & On (ft. Maverick Sabre and Dyemond Lewis) (prod. by Freddie Joachim)
12. Escape 120" (ft. Raury) (prod. by Chuck Strangers)
13. Black Beatles (prod. by Chuck Strangers)
14. O.C.B. (prod. by Sam I AM & The Soul Rebels)
15. Curry Chicken (prod. by Statik Selektah)
16. (Bonus) Run Up On Ya (ft. Action Bronson and Elle Varner) (prod. by Statik Selektah)
17. (Bonus) Teach Me How (ft. Kiesza) (prod. by Chuck Strangers & ASTR)

Sunday, December 28, 2014


New Jersey has a long history of working class bands, artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bouncing Souls, The Gaslight Anthem, Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, Thursday, and many others. Yet, one of the working class artists that have emerged from The Garden State in recent years has been punk heroes The Scandals. The band, who have been around for close to a decade, are recording their latest EP with Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem at Red Bull Studios New York. While the EP doesn't have a release or title, it will certainly be arriving in 2015. As we close this year, we spoke to frontman Jared Hart about his band, what the new year will bring, and recording at Red Bull with Fallon. Take a look at our interview below:
The band has been around for 10 years, after all these years what have you learned from each other being in this band?

I think the biggest thing you learn when you spend this much time with people is how to realize what bugs your friends and how they can bug you. The trick is learning how to keep yourselves in check and how to catch those quirks before they can become something else.

You are currently in the studio working with Brian Fallon on your upcoming EP, how did this relationship come about?

Brian and the Gaslight guys all came up in the same places in new Jersey that we're from. We're fortunate enough to share some of the same dives like The Court Tavern and the Asbury Lanes, and even more importantly we share a lot of the same friends that call those places home. Over the last couple of years we've played with Gaslight as well as some solo shows with Brian and it's great to be able to be friends with musicians who are on the same wavelength as you and also happen to be some of the most solid people around.

What has it been like working with him?

It was honestly one of the most productive and relatively seamless studio experiences I've ever had. Brian really puts everything he has into a project and he showed nothing short of that with us.  We were able to be completely honest with our opinions and really work together on creating the best record we possibly could. I can also say we all learned a lot of things from him that we'll be taking with us for future recordings.

Being from New Jersey and the legacy that Jersey bands have – Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Bouncing Souls, Gaslight Anthem, Thursday, and so many others. How do The Scandals uphold the legacy of Jersey rock?

I think the one thing that you can say about Jersey bands is that they write about real things. They write about things they know, things they've seen, places they've been, and people they've met. I've always loved that about Jersey bands. When I write a song I like to think about it as a documentation of the particular place and time that I'm occupying. New Jersey will always play a role in those kinds of visuals.

What is it like to be recording ​in the​ Red Bull Studios New York? How did this blossom?

Working at Red Bull Studios New York​ has been great. We've had a blast working with the engineers and crew and they've been vital to how smooth this process went. We're grateful to be a part of the Red Bull Sound Select program and they've been supporting our band in many ways over the last year and change. One of the benefits has been the ability to utilize what Red Bull Studios
​ New York​ has to offer. The Sound Select family's been amazing to us and they're definitely all on our Christmas card list this year.

It has been said that you spend more time in the van than in your own beds. What has the open road taught you?

The road's taught me a lot of things.  It's taught me how to pack light, how to sleep sitting up, how to ration food, and I've gotten better at Tetris with every van pack we do. But, most importantly I've learned that there's absolutely nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing.

You have a cult like following in the tri-state area, when you go out and do a show in another state with new faces, what is that experience like?

Playing close to home is always a blast because the shows just keep getting better. Every time we play in New Jersey the energy gets crazier and we absolutely love that. But there's something special about showing up to a place you've never been, playing in front of people who have never heard a second of your music, and then winning them over by the end of it. It's even better when those people come back to see you the next time you're in their area.

What is next for The Scandals?

We're playing some great end of the year shows with I Am the Avalanche at Bowery Ballroom in NYC on Dec. 26th, and The Stone Pony with The Bouncing Souls on Dec. 27th. After that we'll be booking some short east coast runs leading up to our tour with The Gaslight Anthem in February. Within that time we'll hopefully know what we'll be doing in terms of releasing our new EP and then by May we'll be back in Europe. We can't wait to see what 2015 is going to be like.

After 10 years together, what has been the best thing about being in this band?

The best things about being in this band are the people I've met because of it. If it all ended tomorrow I would be left with some of the best friends I could ever ask for. Whether they're from Jersey, Boston, DC, California, or Germany, I'm grateful for all of them and they've left a huge impact on my songwriting and my life in general and it all stems from music. Nothing can beat that.

Since you are on the road so much, what is one thing you cannot leave home without?

I personally never leave home without a camera. I'm always the one filming or taking pictures and I'm always happy I did when I get back home. That, and heavy doses of Vitamin C.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Another Look at 2014

A few weeks back we announced our Top 10 Albums of the Year, now, take a look at what our correspondents and photographers RICH D SMOOV and Le-La Cloutier have to say their favorite records of 2014 were.

RICH D SMOOV Top 10 (In No Particular Order):
Run The JewelsRun The Jewels 2
Flying LotusYou’re Dead
Statik Selektah - What Goes Around
Army Of The Pharaohs - In Death Reborn/Heavy Lies The Crown
Madlib  - Rock Konducta
Dilated Peoples - Directors Of Photography
Diamond D - Diam Piece
Midnight - No Mercy For Mayhem
Woods Of Desolation - As The Stars

Le-La Cloutier's Top 10 & Honorable Mentions:

1. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
2. Hozier
3. Coldplay- Ghost Stories
4. Vance Joy- Dream Your Life Away
5. St. Vincent
6. Jack White- Lazaretto
7. The War on Drugs- Lost in the Dream
8.  Alt-J- This is All Yours
9.  One Republic- Native
10. Maroon 5- V

Honorable Mentions:

1.     Taylor Swift- 1989
2.     U2- Songs of Innocence
3.     Spoon- They Want My Soul
4.     Ed Sheeran- X
5.     Sam Smith- In the Lonely Hour

20 Best Gigs of 2014

Like the last eight years we have been in existence, each year as a music site we get to experience some of the best live concerts and performances around. It is a fortunate occurrence and as we have done in years past, we picked our 20 favorite performances of the concert calender that we covered in some form. Here is our list of the 20 Best Gigs of 2014!

1 - Arcade Fire @ Barclays Center
2 - Kraftwerk @ United Palace Theater
3 - Damon Albarn @ Irving Plaza
4 - The Afghan Whigs @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
5 - Against Me! @ Webster Hall
6 - Black Sabbath @ Barclays Center
7 - Buzzcocks / Titus Andronicus @ Webster Hall
8 - The Replacements / The Hold Steady @ Forrest Hills Tennis Stadium
9 - Mastodon @ Terminal 5
10 - The Last Internationale @ Mercury Lounge
11 - Dave Chappelle / Nas @ Radio City Music Hall
12 - Action Bronson @ Irving Plaza
13 - Arctic Monkeys @ Madison Square Garden
14 - Run the Jewels @ The Jefferson
15 - Band of Horses @ Town Hall
16 - OFF! @ Bowery Ballroom
17 - Royal Blood @ The Marlin Room of Webster Hall
18 - Deltron 3030 @ Prospect Park Bandshell
19 - Zucchero @ The Theater at Madison Square Garden
20 - Interpol @ Terminal 5 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Replacements Share 24-Minute Jam

For the first time since reuniting a couple years ago, The Replacements have shared a 24-minute jam session on Soundcloud called "Poke in my Cage," take a listen!

Monday, December 22, 2014


D’AngeloBlack Messiah
After 14 years, the reclusive talent known as D’Angelo finally emerges with a record that sings the songs of our times. Black Messiah is a social exploration in lyrics, a experimentation in sound, and an exciting collection of songs that show he still has got the chops to craft some fine work. While vocally it is a far cry from his VooDoo days, D’Angelo makes up for it in the music department strumming away on guitar, slamming on his piano and bringing basslines that would be sensual to anyone. Produced by Questlove and with help from Q-Tip, D’Angelo may have kept fans waiting a long time, it was worth the wait.

Ghostface Killah 36 Seasons
Last year, Ghostface Killah teamed up with Adrien Younge and released one of the finest hip-hop albums of the last 10 years with 12 Reasons to Die, a concept record about a mafia henchmen who dies and comes back from the dead like a superhero and gets his vengeance on his killers. Now, Ghost has done it again with 36 Seasons, this time Ghost is another superhero named Tony Starks as he returns to his old neighborhood after years of being away and gives us a story that Hollywood wishes they had written. A masterful work with visual storytelling through hip-hop.

Vince StaplesHell Can Wait
The Long Beach, California, emcee has been making a name for himself in the underground for a handful of years, now, on his debut EP, Hell Can Wait, he flexes serious muscle of what is to come.

Vining Hill Smoke
The debut album from New England’s Vining Hill has been a long time coming. Smoke is a record draped in fantastic dark hooks, thumping rhythms, murky themes, but most of all, it is the last great rock record to end the year.

Oh LandEarth Sick
The Danish delight known as Oh Land gives us a record that was done totally DIY from writing and recording in her Brooklyn apartment to a crowdfunding via PledgeMusic, Earth Sick shows that doing it on your own may be your best option.

Bobby Shmurda Shmurda She Wrote
Bobby Shmurda had everything going for him in 2014, with a hot song, big career boost then things went bust when he was arrested in a gang connection and his alleged arsenal of weapons he had could get him locked up for a long time. While he has pled not guilty, Schmurda She Wrote might be the only thing we hear from him for a long time and if that is the case, it is the classic story of wasted talent. This EP is a window into what could have been a very promising career.

Parkay QuartsContent Nausea
The New York garage rock darlings Parquet Courts give their second album inside a year as the cleverly titled “Parkay Quarts.” It is another display of smart-ass lyrics, catchy riffs, and a throwback to the New York City of old.

…and You Will Know Us By The Trail of DeadIX
The ninth album from the prog, math rockers is another taste of their ability to stun a crowd using the power of a studio the same way they do it when they play in concert. IX is another offering to their growing catalogue that shows how important to indie rock they continue to be.

The hardcore side project of Davey and Jade from AFI is exactly what you may think – bone crunching and melodic but also another way these two continue to show their versatility.

No Devotion
The former members of the embarrassed LostProphets try to save face in the music world by bringing former Thursday front man Geoff Rickley on board for a new band that ventures into standard alternative rock and is an attempt at forgetting the past and healing for the future.

Calvin HarrisMotion
Calvin Harris released another Calvin Harris record – now go dance!

Wu-Tang ClanA Better Tomorrow
It has been seven long years since a new Wu-Tang record that featured all the surviving members, but A Better Tomorrow, despite it’s controversial recording sessions, internal beef among members, and musical diversity is here. A Better Tomorrow is not the same Wu-Tang that made 36 Chambers or Wu-Tang Forever, they are grown up now, some have families, some have successful solo careers, some are doing things outside of music, but together, the most disorganized hip-hop collective in history coming together is still pleasing to a fan’s ear. With all of the chaos in creating this album, for what it is worth, it is a way to possibly say goodbye with their heads held up high.

Smashing PumpkinsMonuments to an Elegy
The second installment to the Pumpkins Teardrops by Kaleidyscope triology is actually some of the best material they have released in a very long time. While nothing is groundbreaking here, the biggest surprise is that Billy Corgan has Tommy Lee pounding the drums on this record, which, could be the reason that has made all of the difference in why this record is not a total musical embarrassment for whatever incarnation Corgan has of his 90’s band.

Pink Floyd The Endless River
For the first time in 20 years, Pink Floyd fans were treated to a new album, a record that was shelved for years during the sessions of The Division Bell, and while it is nice to realize that we got new sounds from the classic rockers, there was a reason why it never saw the light of day for 20 years.

Nicki Minaj The Pinkprint
Nicki Minaj had a blockbuster 2014, no doubt about that, but Nicki is a single’s artist and this record proves that. The Pinkprint is a flat record that falls victim to the “Let’s throw as much shit on the wall and see what sticks” idea of how some pop stars make records these days.

Azealia Banks Broke With Expensive Taste
The debut album from what was once a promising voice in hip-hop finally arrives because after alleged hold-ups from her label, Banks released it herself and unfortunately the album doesn’t inspire nearly as much as her EP’s or singles did when they arrived two years ago. It looks like the once hot artist has gone cold.

Quick News

Very sad news to report, iconic singer Joe Cocker passed away this afternoon at the age of 70 from complications with Lung Cancer. Cocker, who became infamous with his Woodstock performance in 1969, was known for his raspy voice and famous covers including The Beatles' "A Little Help From My Friends" which was used as the theme to The Wonder Years. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

It is official! The Hip-Hop Hall of Fame & Museum is coming to New York City in 2017!

On June 1, Riff Raff will release two albums, The Peach Panther and The Purple Panther. The announcement was made over the weekend via Twitter.

Dave Grohl's new supergroup with Slipknot's Corey Taylor, Teenage Time Killer, will release their debut album next year. The band features Nick Oliveri on bass, Lamb of God's Randy Blythe, Corrosion of Conformity's Reed Mullin. The project, much like Grohl's death metal side project ProBot, will boat a ton of special guests. For Teenage Time Killer the band enlisted Black Flag's Keith Morris, Max Cavalera of Soulfly, Neil Fallon of Clutch, Lee Ving of Fear along with members of The Misfits, Municipal Waste, Red Fang, Goatsnake, Brujeria, My Ruin, Prong, Articles Of Faith and SUNN O))).

In a recent interview with NME, Brandon Flowers called out his band The Killers and says they should be at the level of U2 at this point. He said, "There's definitely a drive that we're lacking," Flowers says about The Killers ability to live up to their potential. "It takes a lot of work and that's fine, everybody's different, everybody's gonna have their own road that they go down. Other than Coldplay I'm not sure anybody's made the dent that U2 were able to make. They were so much a part of the landscape and the timing of when they were coming out. It's changed so much now, there's so much music out there and so much noise to compete with, it's strange times. So sometimes it's frustrating with four different people and four different personalities in this band, we don't have that whole history that U2 have of these four young kids that knew each other and grew up in the same town. It is frustrating. People actually talk about how they don't feel like they're adequate, and it's a big band. I don't feel like that - I feel like I can do it."

Also speaking to NME is Karen O. who has confirmed that Yeah Yeah Yeahs are on hiatus. She said, "We're on a bit of hiatus at the moment, so nothing yet. We have to wait to get the urge, get that itch. The time needs to be right and we're OK waiting for that, I think," she said, adding that when the band do get back together it'll be like muscle memory, this unspoken thing between the three of us where it all just… locks in."

RZA also spoke to NME who gave some insight that things are not great inside the Wu-Tang Clan. The rapper and leader of the band said, "There was a lot of opposition within the Wu-Tang circle to doing the album… I'll level with you, the chemistry's not all that good right now. We've all done this long enough to know this process isn't just like, you make an album, then that's that. It's like a presidential campaign. You don't just make the policies then sit back. You create your platform, then you gotta take it to out to the people. It's like there's an energy in the group that stops people enjoying their own success. They gotta sabotage it."

Madonna confirmed that her new album, Rebel Heart, will arrive in March. Take a look at the cover below:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Exclusive: Casa Del Mirto INTV

Italy has had a long love affair with dance music, it gave the world Italo Disco in the late 60's / early 70's before it was even a scene here in the U.S. Italians, like most Mediterraneans love to dance and love to have a good time, so it is no wonder that a band like Casa Del Mirto is causing an uproar in popularity and expectations. Founded by Marco Ricci in 2006 and after a variety of line-up changes, the band now has a solidified who and what will aid them in making themselves a global name in 2015 as they release their new album, Still, next month. We spoke to Ricci about the band, their music, and dancing across Italy.Take a look at our interview below:

The name of the band translates to “House of Spirits,” is that what you hope to project to the audience when you are playing live?

 Precisely the name of the band translates to “House of Myrtle”, Myrtle is a plant that grows up in Sardinia and, of course, it is used to made  liquors... so in a certain way you’re right! We just want that our audience enjoys listening to our live show dancing and having a lot of love, and of course it is even better if people have a bit of “Spirits” in their veins. And sure, in ours too!

Hailing from the North of Italy, the sound of the band reminds me of summers in the southern part of the country on the beaches and discothèques. How much has all of Italy influenced your work?

 Yes, our sound is not what you expected from a band that comes from the North, buried in the snow; but our sound comes out from our childhood memories, from our wishes, from the colours of the past. We’ve always been addicted to the sea and everything related to it, so there’s a lot of Italy in our work but not too much, our sound is not related to where we are but it’s related to where we would like to be, without borders.

Your new album is called “Still,” doing a dance-pop band, that is not something you want the audience to be! What does the title signify?

 Who comes to listen to us has to move his ass! :)

 “Still” is the state of mind we were into when we were recording the album, it represents the mood and the feeling of that moment. Still, like a quiet moment before the storm or a quiet moment soon after the storm. We were coming from a strange period and we needed to set up our lives. We still don’t know exactly if the storm has already passed away or if it’s still to come. It’s the same for the cover of the album: is the girl emerging from the sea or is she drowning? Up to you!

What did you do on this record that you have not done before?

In “Still” for the first time we put the voice and the melody more in evidence. In the previous works we used to hide them into the instrumental mix. We took our time to record the album, the “official” one is the fourth version of it; we’ve done a lot of research for the right sound and the right arrangement to catch the atmosphere we wanted for “Still”

The sound of the band was influenced by 90’s house and dance music, who were the artists that inspired you to start a band?

Underworld, Massive Attack, My Bloody Valentine and Radiohead.

When you hear your music, what do you think?

We usually think that the next time we should do a better job! We have mixed feeling about it, a little bit ashamed and a little bit proud, it changes by the mood of the day; our mood is like a wave, always changeling.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has not heard of you before?

Our sound is like a cocktail full of different emotions shaked in to an electronic way. Music that doesn’t need to scream because it is already inside your heart and your soul.

What has been the best thing about being in this band?

A lot of things, the most important is that we reached a sort of brotherhood and every member of the band became a part of a family. Being in Casa del Mirto and playing the music we love is like a therapy, a medicine that we use to understand ourselves and our feelings.

When can we expect to see you in America?

We’re working on it and we’d love to come to America but there are a lot of thing to manage and we need someone who’d help us in it, ‘cause we are too much scatterbrained!

2014 Best ReIssues

Each year massive box sets, reissues, and compilations emerge from top artists to celebrate an anniversary of a landmark record, highlight an artist's career, and simply see who is a casual fan and who is a die-hard fan on whether customers will buy one of these. In an effort to showcase what to spend some left over holiday money or how to use those pesky gift cards you may have gotten, we have broken down the best reissues and compilations of the year. Take a look!

Miles Davis - Miles at the Fillmore 
The third in a series of authorized bootlegs was recorded over a four night residency Davis had at the legendary Fillmore in June 1970. The four disc set features hardly any overlap and with his brilliant band of that era, Miles comes alive again. 

Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever / Rip It Up / Texas Forever / The Orange Juice
The influence indie Britrock band that paved the way for Oasis, Belle & Sebastian, Glasvegas, Stone Roses and countless others, had their first four albums remastered and rereleased via Domino and never sounded better.

Led Zeppelin - I / II / III / IV
Thanks to the vinyl craze some of the classic rock albums fans have found while crate digging have now been cleaned up and remastered and instead of hearing the hiss, cracks, and skips, of the original LP's, the Led Zeppelin reissues have by far been the best. Jimmy Page oversaw the entire project which also gave fans remastered demos and live cuts on the CD versions.

Soundgarden - Superunknown
The landmark Soundgarden record turned 20 this year and Superunknown, the grunge Gods biggest album never sounded better. Packed with B-sides, alternate mixes, demos and rehearsals, plus a Blueray featuring live performances, music videos, and documentaries.

Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Mobb Deep's 1994 breakthrough, The Infamous, wasn't the only landmark record that turned 20 this year but it was one of those records that still after all of these years sounds as fresh and as vibrant today as it did then. Also packed with this reissue are studio outtakes and demos that were never before heard until now.

Nas - Illmatic XX
The greatest hip-hop album of all time turned 20 and like Nas' Queensbridge neighbors, Mobb Deep, Illmatic's themes, discussions, and ideas sound as clear as day now as they did 20 years ago and prove why this album is not just classic but iconic. The CD reissue features remixes as well as Nas' infamous interview on The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito show in 1993.

R.E.M. - MTV Unplugged 1991 - 2001
Back in the 90's MTV's Unplugged was one of the most important and impactful programs on TV. It featured artists turn another cheek and audiences live in the studios saw their favorite bands and singers as musicians. It wasn't that they were going acoustic, it was showing what they could do with less. So many artists like Eric Clapton, Nirvana, Jay Z, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Oasis, LL Cool J, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others crafted such memorable performances they go down in music history as some of the best ever put to record. Another one of those artists, R.E.M., did it more than once and did it with such grace that this compilation of their Unplugged moments makes audiences long for the series to return to it's importance and not just show what is hot in pop culture now.

Oasis - Definitely Maybe / (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
The biggest Britrock band of the 90's reissued their classic and best albums to celebrate their debut's 20th anniversary. Following the death of grunge, no band captured the attention of the world such as Oasis, they had the rock and roll attitude that every person that starts a band want but also had the songs to back it up. While these records are timeless, it is the additional material packed in that showcases how fantastic they were and how good these records were that even so many amazing B-sides were left off.

Joy Division - An Ideal for Living
For the first time since it was released DIY in the late 70's, Joy Divisions debut EP was reprinted on wax from the original tapes and while fans have bootleged the original for decades, this 10" makes you remember that while Joy Division were known for ushering in post-punk, they were a punk band that had the chops to compete with everyone else in England's top flight. Repackaged without the original and controversial Hitler youth art, An Ideal For Living is the sound of an iconic band that many never expected to hear again.

The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen at 21
The Afghan Whigs had a huge 2014, with a phenomenal new album, fantastic live show, and return to form, it was time to celebrate the record that brought them all of their acclaim 21 years ago, Gentlemen. Fueled by the singles "Gentleman," and "Debonair," The Whigs took grunge and mixed it with R&B, classic rock, and funk. The reissues features fantastic live cuts and demos and takes you back that had this record not come during the height of the grunge era, this band could have been in the stratosphere.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Great Soundtrack: Millions

A Christmas film that features the music of Muse, Joe Strummer, The Clash, Elbosco, and Feeder? Well, Millions is not a typical Christmas film directed by Danny Boyle, as we know is not a typical filmmaker, and features not-so-typical songs you would associate with the holiday season, but only Boyle could make this work. The 2004 film was a sleeper with audiences, but has gained momentum on DVD and has been praised in the 10 years it has been released, yet, the music of the film and the not-so-Christmas tunes used is one of it's real stars.

Millions tells the tale of two tween brothers who stumble upon millions of British pounds and try and figure out what to do with it. One brother wants to spend it all, while the other wants to give it away. Yet, set in the backdrop of the festive season, the "What would you do with the money?"scenario plays with the audiences head. While that rings through the spirit of the crowd, the music rings through the audience's ears that one would never expect to associate with a film like this.

Recommended Reading: The Rose That Grew From Concrete

The music and words of Tupac Shakur have resonated more in recent weeks following grand jury decisions in both Missouri and New York to not indicate police officers involved in the killing of two unarmed African-American men. Tupac, who took the music world by storm from his debut album 1991's 2Pacalypse Now to his untimely death in 1996 at the age of 25. While his music altered hip-hop forever, the impact of his words are timeless and this was seen vividly in his book of poems, The Rose That Grew From Concrete. 

Tupac had been gone for three years until his estate opted to release the book of poems that showed that he was just as sensitive as he was a hard hitting rapper. While he may have had "Thug Life" tattooed across his belly, his heart was worn right on his sleeve without any ink and this book showcases that. In out troubled and volatile times, this book of his words means more now than ever before.

Darlene Love on Letterman

Every year before Letterman goes on Christmas break he invites the iconic voice of Darlene Love to sing her holiday classic, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," now for the final time watch Love do her festive song.

Quick News

Sad news to report hip-hop pioneer and producer Larry Smith has passed away. Smith, who was 63, was instrumental in the sounds of Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, among others reportedly died after complications of a stroke he suffered in 2007. The "King of the Beats" will be missed. Our thoughts go to his friends, family, and colleagues.

HBO has given details on the long awaited drama based on the 1970's music business in New York City. The series, which will be produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, and written by Terrance Winter will star Bobby Canavale, Andrew "Dice" Clay, Ray Romano, Olivia Wilde, and others. HBO says the show will be about the "drug and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out." No word on when production will begin or when a premiere will happen.

HBO also ordered a series that David Fincher will directed about the music video boom and business of the 1980's. The series, Living on Video, will draw from Fincher's experiences as a music video director. 

The long in-development Hip-Hop Hall of Fame and Museum has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to try and raise $1 million to open its first-ever location and a Youth Media Education center in Harlem, New York.

School of Rock is coming to the Great White Way. A musical based around the Jack Black film, will be adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and come to Broadway next year.

Foo Fighters fans in Cesena, Italy, are hoping to get the band to play their town by gathering 1,000 Foo Fans to perform "Learn to Fly." If they succeed, the plan is to craft a video and send it to the band and hope they perform in the town.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Jenny Lewis & Ryan Adams on Kimmel

Watch Jenny Lewis and special guest Ryan Adams perform Lewis' songs "She's Not Me," and "One of the Guys" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Miguel Gives Away 3-Song EP

Miguel surprised fans with a free 3-song EP. Take a listen and download it from Soundcloud.

Foo Fighters on Fallon

Watch Foo Fighters perform "I Am A River" on The Tonight Show!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick News

Incubus have just inked a deal with Island records. The band say they will release two EP's next year on their new label. The band's last album, If Not Now, When? came in 2011.

Are The Afghan Whigs working with Dennis Leary? Earlier this week, Whigs leader Greg Dulli posted a photo of him and Leary in the studio with the caption, "Yes that's Denis Leary of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. FX July." Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is the title of Leary's new FX show, no word yet if Whigs are doing the theme song or will have a part in the series.

Band of Horses have confirmed they are working with Grandaddy's Jason Lytle on a new album which they hope to have out next year.

Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova spoke to NME about how music is secondary to their message, saying, "We're not really musicians or from the music world. At that moment we just decided that we should do a punk band, and we got our friends together and tried to do a song. We did what we were able to. it wasn't brilliant, but it was enough for a political video. Our goal is not to make a political album, but the form of our statements is very important to us and the video clip form is one we like. Maybe at some point in the future we will do an album, but right now we want to make videos."

Also speaking to NME is RZA, who talked about Wu-Tang Clan's latest album, A Better Tomorrow, and said that the influential hip-hop group tried to get James Blake to work on the record. RZA said, "I tried to get James Blake to do a hook on 'A Better Tomorrow' but we couldn't make it happen in time." RZA worked with Blake on the British singer's sophomore album and 2013's best record, Overgrown.

Another person opening up to NME is Brandon Flowers who talked about the direction of his upcoming solo album. The Killers frontman said, "Even though I'm still young, you can start to get set in your ways. Change is good and there's always growth, I'm always looking for that. It's nice to steer the ship and that's what you'd think I’d do on my own album, but I'm letting Ariel take over every now and then. That's led to some really exciting things and sounds I would never have used. As I've gotten older I'm much more open to that – I'm much more open to peoples' strengths and really trying to utilise them – and that's where Ariel comes into the picture. He's really knowledgeable about every genre; it's pretty incredible what he's able to reference and pull out. It's definitely going to be different, but I'm still in the thick of it, hammering away."

Jungle on Meyers

Watch Jungle on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


December always gets two playlists, our holiday playlist at the top of the month, and like all the 11 months prior, one at the end of random musings that you can see and hear on Spotify. Take a look and listen!!

Quick News

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced it's class of 2015 - leading the pack are Green Day, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and Ringo Starr, among others. The class will be inducted in April.

Frank Turner has confirmed that he has finished recording his new album in Nashville. All that remains now is that the singer will mix the album and will hope to have it out in the first quarter of 2015.

Muse also confirmed they have finished recording their new album. The band posted a video working with an symphony in Milan, which is where they recorded The Resistance. No word on a release date yet. 

Siouxsie & the Banshees will release an 18-song best-of compilation in January called Spellbound. This compilation is allegedly the first of others to come following a renewed partnership with Universal.

Geoff Rickley of Thursday ranked his former band's albums with Noisey. Take a look at his rankings:
6. Waiting
5. Common Existence
4. War All The Time
3. A City by the Light Divided
2. No Devolucion
1. Full Collapse

The 1975 have been named the hardest working band of 2014 after they visited 29 countries this year and played 195 shows.

According to a new report in The New York Times, D'Angelo rushed the release of his surprise album, Black Messiah. The newspaper interviewed people from his label, friends, and musicians and following the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the police officer who killed Eric Garner not being indicted, D'Angelo felt that his music needed to be heard now more than ever. He reportedly told his tour manager Alan Leeds, “The one way I do speak out is through music. I want to speak out.” The label pulled all-nighters to finalize the tracklisting, artwork, and details.

The Wombats have announced that their third album will be called Glitterbug, it will arrive in the first quarter of 2015. Take a look at the cover below:

Modest Mouse have showed off the cover to their upcoming album, Strangers to Ourselves. Take a look below:

Ghostface Killah is clearly on a roll making music. After releasing the new Wu-Tang Clan album and his latest solo record, 36 Seasons, next year he will release his long awaited DOOMStarks record with MF DOOM, his collaboration with BADBADNOTGOOD, and Supreme Clientele 2. Now, to add to that list will be the second Wu Block record featuring Sheek Louch. That album, Hidden Gems, is out next month, take a look at the cover below:

Kendrick Lamar on Colbert Report

This week, Stephen Colbert will say good-bye to The Colbert Report and as he gets ready to go, one of his final musical guests was Kendrick Lamar. Take a look at Lamar debuting a new song on the show as he was backed by bassist Thundercat and singer Bilal.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Alt-J on Kimmel

Watch Alt-J perform "Every Other Freckle" and "Left Hand Free" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

James Bay on Meyers

Watch James Bay perform on Late Night with Seth Meyers!

Interpol on Conan

Watch Interpol perform "My Desire" on Conan, a cut from their latest album, El Pintor, which we named as one of 2014's Best Albums.

Monday, December 15, 2014

James Bay Debut Album Details

British singer / songwriter James Bay has announced he will release his debut album, Chaos and The Calm in March. Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below:

1. Craving
2. Hold Back The River
3. Let It Go
4. If You Ever Want To Be In Love
5. Best Fake Smile
6. When We Were On Fire
7. Move Together
8. Scars
9. Collide
10. Get Out While You Can
11. Need The Sun To Break
12. Incomplete

Quick News

Long Island emo band The Movielife have announced they are reuniting and will play a series of shows in the new year. The band, who stopped playing in 2011, spoke to Noisey where front man Vinnie Caruana said, "I thought we'd never do it again. We were pretty definitive that the last show that we played would be the last show that we played, and I think I've learned my lesson. Now that I'm in my mid-thirties, which sounds really fucking weird to me, I know that no doors really ever close. I mean, you could make examples of doors that are definitely closed, or should be closed, forever, but I don't think that things like this are one of them. You never know how you're going to feel five or ten years later."

Speaking to CBS This Morning, Michael Stipe has come out and claimed that R.E.M. will never reunite, saying, "No. That will never happen… There's no point. I love those guys very much and I respect them hugely as musicians and as songwriters and everything but I just don’t want to do that thing that people do...I despise nostalgia. I'm not good at looking back."

Modest Mouse will release their new album, their first in eight years, Strangers to Ourselves, in March.

Taking to Twitter, Smith Westerns have announced they are going on indefinite hiatus. The band, who formed seven years ago released three acclaimed records.

Mark Ronson will release his new album, Uptown Special, next month. He has now unleashed the star-studded tracklisting to his LP. Take a look:
'Uptown's First Finale' featuring Stevie Wonder & Andrew Wyatt
'Summer Breaking' featuring Kevin Parker
'Feel Right' featuring Mystikal
'Uptown Funk' featuring Bruno Mars
'I Can’t Lose' featuring Keyone Starr
'Daffodils' featuring Kevin Parker
'Crack in the Pearl' featuring Andrew Wyatt
'In Case of Fire' featuring Jeff Bhasker
'Leaving Los Feliz' featuring Kevin Parker
'Heavy and Rolling' featuring Andrew Wyatt
'Crack in the Pearl pt II' featuring Stevie Wonder & Jeff Bhasker

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2014 The Albums: Top 10

It was hard to sum up the music year that was 2014 in a genre, scene, or style, it simply was a year that was all over the map. Yet, if there was one word that could sum up the music of the year, that word is "Brave." Artists like Against Me! and our League of Their Own winners - Run the Jewels took a stance on social issues in an era when people care about what is said in 140 characters or less, they said it in songs, with music that dealt with sexuality, bigotry, racism, and activism. The "brave" idea that was 2014 could also be seem in comeback records from Foo Fighters, U2, who found ways to create records based on original ideas and found unique ways to get it to the masses - whether as a free download or on a weekly TV series. But there was also brave comebacks like Afghan Whigs, The Rentals, Death From Above 1979, who showed that they still got it and still can be the band fans expected. "Brave" was also featured in sound from St. Vincent, FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus, and even Coldplay who managed to not make a cliche "Coldplay" record.

It was also a year that had very big shoes to fill coming off an explosive 2013, yet, this year managed to deliver records that we will be talking about for years to come, as we hope to point out with this list, our Top 10 Albums of the Year.

Now, here we are, the 10 best albums that defined the year that was. As always, in short and long form.

2014 Top 10 Albums in Short Form:

10 - U2 - Songs of Innocence
9 - Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
8 - FKA Twigs - LP1
7 - Royal Blood
6 - St. Vincent
5 - Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
4 - Interpol - El Pintor
3 - The Afghan Whigs - Do The Beast
2 - Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
1 - Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Now, in long form with explanations:

10 - U2 - Songs of Innocence 

For fans a new U2 record was a welcomed gift, especially that it was free and instantly available when Bono said to go get it during an Apple conference, yet, for some fans it was an unwelcomed album and was met with major criticism. Whether you wanted Songs of Innocence or not, it became the year's most talked about album for a variety of reasons. Delivery method aside, U2 showed that they had to look into themselves and into their past to move forward and for a band that is always trying to craft a new sound and get the best out of themselves, this was clearly the hold-up for this album and why it took so long to arrive. The various producers including Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, and Flood put their fingerprint on it and let the band do what they do best. The record, one of the bands most personal since their debut, Boy and just as when they started, the songs are about holding on to innocence, even after all these years it is an idea they are still striving for as millionaire rock stars. Songs of Innocence is 11 tracks that are equally classic U2 and modern U2.

Key Tracks: Every Breaking Wave, Song for Someone

9 - Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways

The size and scope of the Foo Fighters latest album, Sonic Highways, is so big it required an HBO documentary series to tell the tale of the making of the album, which Dave Grohl told the musical tale of America’s best cities. This is their love letter to American music, no doubt about it. A different song recorded over a week in a different city, while Grohl cherrypickes his lyrics from the interviews he is conducting with musicians in those cities to craft a song inspired by metropolis they are in. While the creative force and idea of the record propels Sonic Highways at the speed of light, musically it takes on the concept of the music they are in but they make it all their own. For these eight songs that are a way for them to say “Thanks America,” Foo Fighters go from being America’s biggest rock and roll band to the best.

Key Tracks: Something From Nothing, Congregation 

8- FKA Twigs - LP1

Following two critically acclaimed EP’s, England’s latest sensation and the woman bringing trip-hop back to life, FKA Twigs released her debut album, LP1 and showcases the power, seductiveness, and creativity, that will lead her for years to come. Combining the coy and romantic ambiance of The xx, with the sensitivity of James Blake, and the production and influence of Tricky, FKA Twigs is showing British music at it’s finest right now. LP1 is a must listen and a record and an artist we will be talking about for years to come.

Key Tracks: Two Weeks, Video Girl 

7 - Royal Blood

The self-titled debut from this English duo, and 2014's Best New Artist, combines the furious musicianship of The Black Keys, with vocals reflective of Jack White and John Gourley of Portugal. The Man and mixed with the heaviness of a metal band. Royal Blood have been all the rage back home and now, with this debut, they are set to take the world by storm.

Key Tracks:  Out of the Black, Ten Tonne Skeleton

 6 - St. Vincent

Indie darling St. Vincent returned with her fourth album and her most multifaceted and diverse record to date. After recording and writing the album in Texas, it sounds much more metropolitan and cosmopolitan than where the record was conceived. This maybe St. Vincent’s finest record to date, it is clearly her strongest combining baroque influences and pushing digital rock frontiers, she has the musical and daring spirit of Bowie mixed with madness of Kanye West.

Key Tracks: Digital Witness, I Prefer Your Love

5 - Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots

Damon Albarn is a musical Renaissance Man. From his Britpop fame with Blur to his hip-hop infused / experimental outfit – Gorillaz to managing to get legends like Tony Allen, Paul Simonon, and Danger Mouse for the underrated The Good, The Bad, and The Queen; to working with African musicians on Africa Express to curating two operas to producing Bobby Womack’s best album in decades, he now returns with an album of just his own thoughts, gatherings, and expressions. Everyday Robots is Albarn’s official solo debut, he linked up with XL Records main man, Richard Russell for a moody trip into the mind of a musical genius. Albarn is never afraid to express himself and push for a record that has basically no singles, but still manages to make you feel a moment in time. Much like one of his musical heroes, Brian Eno, who guests on the LP, Albarn pushes himself to find a sound that has not yet been created and mastered.

Key Tracks: Everyday Robots, Heavy Seas of Love 

4 - Interpol - El Pintor

With their fifth record and first release with original bassist Carlos D., Interpol return to form and reclaim their spot as one of the best New York City bands to emerge in the last 20 years. El Pintor is the band at their finest, combining their dark tones with a much more aggressive polished rock sound. Easily their best album since 2004’s Antics, Interpol show that even as they have gotten older, they have not lost their edge, grace, and style.

 Key Tracks: All The Rage Back Home, Ancient Ways

3 - The Afghan Whigs - Do The Beast

It has been nearly 20 years since the last Whigs LP, but the underrated grunge gods are back with Do The Beast, and the best part about it – it doesn’t sound like an Afghan Whigs album! Not that we have anything against how the Whigs sounded in the 90’s, they were an underrated back and singer Greg Dulli is one of America’s most underrated songwriters, but the fans and fame they had seemed to fade with their hiatus. Now, recharged, regrouped, and rearranged, the Whigs brought themselves to modern times and instead of going back on the sound that gained them acclaim then, they realized it is not who they are now. Instead of making a safe comeback record, they go the distance and raise the bar to any band looking to do a reunion album – this is how you do it! We will still go out and say that this is one of the greatest comeback albums of all time!

Key Tracks: Parked Outside, Algiers 

2 - Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

How do you follow-up a record as magnificent and as mind bending as Until The Quiet Comes? A record we hailed as one of the best musical masterpieces to ever arrive. If you are Flying Lotus, you look into the great beyond. To follow-up his 2012 masterpiece, FlyLo took inspiration from the after life and what it means to die, live in purgatory, what happens to your soul, what happens to your body and explored each theme with such vigor, he has now given dying a soundtrack. Your Dead! is his Bitches Brew, thought we said that about his last released, this time we mean it. He has gone far off the musical deep end and plays with sounds, themes, colors, and ideas that not many, especially in this day and age, dare to go. This is a record for not just the ages, but for the beyond as well.

Key Tracks: Dead Man's Tetris feat. Snoop Dogg, Ready Err Not 

1 - Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues

The much delayed, much anticipated new record from Against Me! finally arrived  in 2014 and no doubt about it, Transgender Dysphoria Blues was worth the wait. The most important punk rock record since Green Day’s American Idiot and up there in importance with The Ramones debut, The Clash’s London Calling, and Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bullocks, frontwoman Laura Jane Grace reveals her transformation from the man formerly known as Tom Gable to the woman she is today. The record is heroic as it is heartbreaking, brave as it is brutal, scary as it is hopeful and most importantly triumphant as it is bold.

Key Tracks: Two Coffins, Paralytic States

So, that is it folks. The year in sound. Thanks for checking it out and hope you enjoyed the list! Take a look at our other year-end music lists below:

2014 Best New Artist

2014 League of Their Own

2014 Honorable Mentions

2014 Officially A Icon 

Yusef on Fallon

Watch Yusef aka Cat Stevens make his return to TV on The Tonight Show!

Quick News

Ghostface Killah is having a very large creative spark these days. This past week he released his latest solo offering, 36 Seasons, earlier this month, Wu-Tang's long-awaited A Better Tomorrow arrived, in February he will release his collaboration with BADBADNOTGOOD, and now he has confirmed via Reddit that he will release DOOMStarks, the long awaited collaboration between him and MF DOOM. He confirmed that the DOOMStarks record will arrive next year, but no specific date was set.

In a Tumblr Q&A Robyn have revealed that she will release a full album and EP next year. The Swedish pop sensation said she is working with keyboardist Markus Jagerstedt for the EP, "the new material I played on tour this summer is from that record."

In a Rolling Stone Twitter Q&A Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith has discussed the upcoming album his band is working on, saying, "The new album is shaping up good. We've got lots of songs, and we're working with an unnamed producer who is really challenging us to find new ways to come up with new music. We've done the "guys get in the room and jam out songs, everybody playing together all at once" thing. And we wrote a bunch of songs that way. And we're now going to try another method that will be really challenging for us and will bring new, exciting results for the band. We've written and recorded in a way that we've never done before, so the record is going great. We all have high hopes that it's going to take off and we're going to do something very different and unique for the Red Hot Chili Peppers." He then continued, ""Anything we do is going to sound like Red Hot Chili Peppers. Certainly with Anthony singing and the way that we play. We're just trying to break new ground and come up with something. All I can say is we're taking a different approach that is going to wield different results. We're going to probably write some more new songs this way, but we're also going to work on the ones that we have as well, which we've already done. We've already recorded some of the songs, just a few that we've been working on. But this is also going to be in addition to those. It's a new process. I don't know how long it's going to take. We'll have a record out next year."

 90's female grunge icons L7 have announced they are reuniting, but it comes with a catch. On their website they mention, "Here's the situation... They say to raise a child it takes a village, well to get interest from promoters for L7 to do reunion shows it's going to take an ARMY. An army of you all. No joke. Here's what we need... We need your continued enthusiasm, your spreading the word by "Sharing" our posts and getting your friends and enemies to "Like" our page. First and foremost WE NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESSES at our new website We need to reach you all directly. No spam, no problem. Let's show 'em all! Your love and support will make this happen! For those about to rock, WE SALUTE YOU. Love, L7 xo"

On March 23, Frank Black & The Catholics will reissue their entire catalog in a box set that includes demos, live cuts, and so much more. The seven-disc set will be released through Cooking Viny.

Andy Jackson of Hot Rod Circuit has announced via Twitter that the emo darlings will reunite in 2015 and will release a new record titled, Sorry About Tomorrow. Take a look at the cover below: