As a prelude to the upcoming album, “Inside out,” here is an excellent new video/single from Tigers Craving Stars called “Missouri Loves Company.” The song features light hip hop that flows smoothly and is accentuated by some beautiful backup vocals from a talented young singer, Daniela Andrade. Both the production quality and the acting in the video are superb, even though I can’t say I have any idea what the theme is, but I prefer the abstract nature of it over other videos that leave nothing to curiosity and imagination. It features a seemingly unhappy child dancer/ballerina/ beauty pageant type girl in some dysfunctional family situations, presumably dealing with the pressures adults put on the girl to be beautiful and talented, and then later there is a scene with some young women eating froyo.
These artists have some real potential, and I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more from them. They have a serious yet light and unassuming style that let’s the story do the talking.
What’s in a name? Well, for a rapper, a name or handle can give a strong hint as to what the theme of your music is all about. In the case of Florida hip hop artist, Konchynce, it’s an apt moniker. His new single “Drag” seems to promote conscientious behavior and oppose degeneracy, without coming off preachy or getting in the way of the musical enjoyment. He aims subtle jabs toward backstabbers who “chase the cheddar,” as well as other riff raff. The song itself seems like a stream of consciousness within his head. “Never ever trust these fools” he advises.
For those expecting the token obscure pop culture references that are typical of the genre, Konchynce doesn’t disappoin as he cleverly inserts some Michelle and Danny Tanner “Full House” references for good measure.
“Drag” is both well produced and performed. Konchynce is no amateur. He’s legit. This is a solid start to his upcoming album titled, “P.O.L.O.S.” Let’s hope the rest of the album lives up to his abilities.
I got the word that Brooklyn lifestyle collective known as “MOST HEYE” was releasing their debut single “Remember.” Some info from their most recent press release:
Brooklyn lifestyle collective MOST HEYE has announced the release of their debut single titled, “Remember.” The new track features the street-savvy lyrics of Sin, just one-half of the emerging New York based hip hop duo. Known for their lucid underground sound, backpack styled rap and trendsetting sneaker designs, MOST HEYE aims to capture the attention of music and fashion enthusiasts alike. The new single, “Remember,” is currently available on Soundcloud at: http://buff.ly/1xIRKUu
So I checked it out and was pretty impressed. Sin’s clever lyrics include gems like”another crab in the bucket” and “Ever since I caught my first plate northbound on the interstate” that flow easily and get stuck in your head, but that really adds to the track is the female vocal backing that’s layered underneath. It elevates the song to a higher level of musicality and distinguishes it from so many standard rap songs which are high on rhymes and short on music. You know the kind if you spent any time online checking out indie rap music. They typically feature crappy radio shack microphones and early 90s model, Boss drum machine beats(not that I don’t like those drum machines.) “Remember” is more advanced than that. It’s a real “song” with legit production and talented performers. This music doesn’t have a cheap feel to it at all, and while I don’t ever really get into the whole vague “revolution” theme that seems to incorporate itself into nearly every hip hop song, I certainly would bump this jam in my car without thinking twice about it.
The first thing that comes to mind with solo artist, “Rasplyn,” is that her appearance and her music wouldn’t seem out of place in any of the Ray Harryhausen “Sinbad” trilogy films(particularly the third movie, “Sinbad and The Eye Of The Tiger.” Her style could best be described as mythological, and she captures the dark ambiance of an alternate fantasy world extremely well.
The song “Circle Round” from the album, “Scenes Through The Magic Eye” has an organic sort of electronica backing. It starts off with a hypnotic trance and then slowly builds to a more orchestral climax. Don’t let the name “Rasplyn” fool you. There’s definitely nothing raspy about this woman’s voice. In fact, there’s really not much negative that can be said about the whole album. It really just comes down to whether you are into new age culture or not(energy healing, clairvoyance, tarot, etc.) If that kind of thing interests you on any level, even a little bit(as it does me just a tad) then you will enjoy this.
Rasplyn’s music uniquely combines classical composition with new age mysticism to create a transcendent listening experience. Her songs are available through record label http://www.mythicalrecords.com/
Rhythm and soul singer, Joseph Konty, has a new album coming out, “LoveSpell.” Impressively, it’s his 10th studio album. The title track is peppy and upbeat, while extremely catchy and groovy and the video is even better. A lot of his songs have kind of a sophisticated 60′s pop feel, especially with the backing instrumentals. It kind of reminds me musically of a band called Majestic, that I saw play in Los Angeles in 2000. “Walk My Way” definitely gives off the happy day vibe more than the other songs and it’s my favorite of the bunch. His voice sounds like an indie Justin Timberlake, minus any attitude and posturing. There’s definitely some classic motown influence in there, and it shines through in all his recordings. Overall, he does a good job of delicately balancing retro styles and aesthetics with modern sounding music.
Some of his other songs are more on the mellow candlelit dinner side and romantic like “Dancing With Me.” That one is a little too mushy for my taste, but that’s okay because I’m probably not the target demographic. The song was dedicated to his wife, after all, and not aging hipster dudes who watch old NFL games on VHS. I feel as though women would really eat this stuff up.
No doubt about it, Joseph Konty is a passionate and prolific songwriter. It would be nice if this 10th album could earn him a more prevalent spot in the national scene. Songs like “LoveSpell” are definitely worthy of some attention.
Sources confirm Francheska Stone has reached a tentative Sci-Fi movie deal with a top London producer which may explain her upcoming arrival to San Diego for Comic-Con 2015. Talent Agent and CEO of Ethereal Talent Agency will be digging the very best in genre films that will be judged by a panel of industry luminaries.
The Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival
The Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival (CCI-IFF) returns as part of Comic-Con International for its 15th year. The CCI-IFF once again features a complete schedule of films from around the world, including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Some could argue that film producer Matthew C. Martino has had a roller coaster of a year but he is now set to turn things around and the year 2014 has already began to go in the 21year olds favour.
Martino’s Lets Fly Academy has turned its business prospects around and returning into a positive trading position. Martino’s camp have now confirmed that the Lets Fly author will form his own foundation which will be called the Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund (MMBF) which will provide sponsorships for aspiring pilots and filmmakers at the beginning if their journey.
Matthew Martino quick-fire:
Residence : Brentwood, UK
Age : 21
Books : Lets Fly, Go For It
Favourite drink : J20 Apple Mango
Biggest passion : Flying
Relationship status : Single
Net worth : $200k
Tea or Coffee : Coffee
Despite many controversial reports surrounding Martino this year including rumours that he almost got deported during his US visit the 21year old is ready to make changes to his life and ‘implement change’ a close aide has confirmed.
Ah, to be young again, but would I want to be young in today’s world? Probably not. We had it better. Still, it always makes me jealous to energetic kids partying and having a good time. Such thoughts come to mind with a band called “Stretch” who released a video and single “Bringing Down The House” for their upcoming album “Awkward At It’s Finest.” The video has a long intro featuring some friendly hipster dudes(there’s even beard talk) wearing apparel that I recognize as being straight from the racks at Urban Outfitters and eagerly preparing for a small party.
Then comes the surprise, the music! Perhaps showing how out of touch I’ve become with the youth of today, I was expecting some kind of SXSW style indie rock or maybe some screamo. Yet it turns out to be Eminem soundalike rapping with an electro-indie pop feel. I think this is just a result of the heavy mix of genres people are exposed to today, which influence them. The phrase “What kind of music do you listen to?” used to be a defining question where people gave one answer. Punks listened to punk rock. Wanna-be gangsters listened to rap. Rednecks listened to country. Metalheads and heshers listened to metal. Ravers listened to techno. Average people just listened to normal pop rock. Those days are over, and now even country can be hard to distinguish from hip hop. Whether that’s good or bad..who knows?
In “Bringing Down The House,” Stretch has created a great video. It’s easily something I could see playing on the screen in the mall food court. By that I mean that’s it’s as professional as anything out there, and I could see it appealing to a wide range of people. The band was smart enough to feature some attractive girls in the video. Nothing worse than artists who keep themselves as the center of attention throughout a video thinking you are so into looking at them the whole time. Another thing I like is that even though the vocals are delivered assertively, the band is clearly having some fun and not taking their image too seriously. The lyrics are millennial to the core(Aaron Carter references etc.) The music reminds me of the kind of stuff you hear in a modern strip club, and the song is long enough that you’d get your money’s worth buying a lap dance to it. Pretty decent jam. I’d like to see more videos from these guys and hope they maintain the enthusiasm.
I’m starting to see a lot better rap music coming from Europe than the US. I’m not really clear why that is, but if I were to speculate, it just seems that they pay a lot more attention to the technical side of production and take their time to develop precision in their delivery. A good example of what I’m talking about is Masterlinx Productions.
According to Facebook “Masterlinx was formed in 2005 by Wanos Ive, a music producer, mixing/mastering engineer song writer/artist/editor etc. from Looondoon! UK!” These days, anyone with a laptop can call themselves a producer. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I heard some of Masterlinx’ jams. The song “Boss Ah the Party” is tight and professional all the way through. A lot of indie rap music is amateurish, has janky beats and wrongheaded production values. I’ve made many crappy 4-track recordings in my day so I know a legit musical enterprise when I hear it. “Boss Ah The Party” is a high quality jam in every sense. The backing track is electronic and orchestral in nature, and I would listen to it even without the vocals.
The rhymes are on the faster side of the spectrum and delivered with precision(and with a British accent.) Masterlinx also works with a popular Asian female artist, Taramati. A talented vocalist, you can hear her on the song “Body Language.” She has a soulful, somewhat assertive singing style which actually sounds fairly American. The way I judge this type of music when I listen to it is by trying to envision a scene at a club where the song would be playing. If I can realistically picture a packed dance floor filled with the type of people that are into this genre grinding down on each other, making out and and singing along to it as a catchy top 40 song, then it’s a success. With Masterlinx and his jams, I could see it.
One disturbing trend I see with artists and musicians is that they are too associated with social media. What I mean by that is that they are driving people and fans to other people’s websites like Facebook, Soundcloud, etc rather than building up their own website. Nothing wrong with building a presence on social media, but you should be pushing those people to your site, where you silicon valley internet company. Let your domain be the place where people go to find your music and engage with you, the way it used to be way back in the B.M. days(Before Myspace.)
You can build quality content now, too. Bands used to have crappy Geocities pages,(I had several, as well as Tripod and Angelfire) and just having an mp3 file play on your website was a huge hassle in terms of bandwidth and compatibility. I can’t tell you how many times I had a site set up to play music files, and I would go on a different computer to find that they wouldn’t load.
Now however, there are sites with high quality music widgets you can use that will actually host the files for you, so you don’t need to worry about bandwidth. Soundgine is one company that provides such a service. Their music players even have built in Paypal and credit card shopping cart systems so people can purchase albums and tracks right from the player itself. Pretty badass. Let’s face it, people today lack the attention span to even look for a place to purchase your music even if they like it. The players look cool, too. Just having one on your site might boost your cred a bit.
You can see some of the music players in action and try them out here. They can integrate YouTube videos as well. There are a few different styles available,(you can see them here.) and if you insist on driving traffic to Facebook they have widget options that can be put on your FB wall. I personally would recommend the “Mobility” player, as in my opinion everyone checks out and purchases music with exclusively from their smartphone(it works on tablets as well.) Desktop computers seem to be used mostly by cubical workers in corporate America now. Recreational use takes place more on portable devices.
As far as cost goes it looks like these will run you about 20 bucks a month, so make sure you think you can sell 2 or 3 albums every thirty or so days to make it pay for itself. There are some places out there that offer free players out there you can get for your site, but most of them suck as far as features, and they are usually not very aesthetically pleasing. Also, free stuff on the internet tends to be slow, filled with annoying ads and broken(anyone remember free dialup internet with NetZero.) My friend once joked that he was about to have an epileptic seizure from all the blinking banner ads after logging into NetZero for the first time(no offense intended.)
In my mind the best thing about these kinds of players is that they host the files for you. One of the reasons people use sites like Soundcloud is that to play large music files on a website uses quite a bit of bandwidth, so hosting them on your own would lead to your webhost shutting you down after a couple thousand downloads,(or bumping you up to a high cost plan, dedicated server, etc) which defeats the whole purpose of trying to make your website more popular.
Think of these types of players not just as widgets but as forms of content to build value in your band’s page. Look into these and other methods of attracting fans directly to you.