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Ed Balloon “No Smoking”

Boston’s Ed Balloon is creating future jams for the present. With a solid foundation in R&B, Balloon’s inclinations run the gamut of genres, from the eclectic Indie rock of Of Montreal to Janis Joplin, Maxwell and Jill Scott. His approach to song making–and the results–occupy that excellent middle ground, straddling classifications.

Check out “Graduate,” a standout track from his EP, No Smoking.

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Oathbreaker New Album Rheia and Song

Oathbreaker, Belgium’s all-audio solution to swimmer’s ear and constipation, drop their new album Rheia Sept. 30 via Deathwish. The menacing four piece is sure to make America Great Again as they hit the road in support (tour dates below).

With boards, mixing and mastering helmed by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta) Rheia, continues the band’s legacy of churning riffs, epic metal infused hardcore and stoic group band photos.

For a full frontal audio assault, point your browsers to the song, “Needles in Your Skin” available at https://soundcloud.com/deathwishinc/pathbreaker-needles-in-your-skin/s-jdYji

OATHBREAKER, ON TOUR:
9/28 Asheville, NC – Mothlight #
9/29 Atlanta, GA – The Earl ^
9/30 Savannah, GA – The Jinx ^
10/1 Tampa, FL – Crowbar ^
10/2 Gainesville, FL – The Atlantic ^
10/4 New Orleans, LA – Siberia ^
10/5 Houston, TX – White Oak ^
10/6 Dallas, TX – RBC ^
10/7 Austin, TX – Barracuda ^
10/9 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge ^
10/10 San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick ^
10/11 Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy ^
10/12 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge ^
10/14 Portland, OR – Panic Room ^
10/15 Seattle, WA – Highline ^
10/17 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar ^
10/18 Denver, CO – Marquis Theater ^
10/19 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room %
10/20 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews %
10/21 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock %
10/22 Chicago, IL – Subterranean %
10/23 Indianapolis, IN – 5th Quarter %
10/25 Pittsburgh, PA – Cattivo %
10/26 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts %
10/28 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus %
10/26 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery %
10/30 Richmond, VA – Hardywood Brewery %
# with Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, All Hell
^ with Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, Gatecreeper
% with Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, Homewrecker

“Black Sabbath” cover by GONGA and Beth Gibbons of Portishead

So it’s pretty much “Black Sabbath” with Beth Gibbons of Portishead singing. Not unlike peanut butter and chocolate or Oreo’s and Milk, these are two great tastes that sound great together, uh, if I can mix metaphors here.

It’s basically a note for note rendition with BG on vox.

And I will, cuz’ let’s face it, this blog is basically going to be what I review when I’m old and senile and looking to reconnect with my younger self.

Plus the Mario Brava flick “Black Sabbath” to the music. Also, it’s from 2014. Late to the party but never late to the show…

Dead Cross “Crushed Under the Wheels of Progress” (live video)

Dead Cross is a band comprised of Gabe Serbian, Justin Pearson, Mike Crain and Dave Lombardo. They played their first show at the Casbah in San Diego on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

I want to weaponize this song and toss it, lit fuse burning, end-over-end into a fascist Trump rally.

 

David Bowie “Black Star” and New Album 2016

Bowie is a musical beacon for me. A chameleon of sound, capable of creating exquisite pop, rock or even one of my favorites, 1977’s Low. His forthcoming Black Star album sounds promising. A return to the eastern rhythms and analog synth work explored on past tracks like “Warzawa” while pushing himself and his art further out.

In “Black Star” Bowie utilizes bits of broken pop in the interludes to connect the darker elements of the song, juxtaposing his pitch-shifted (at least an octave – and an octave +) vocals to great effect. At nearly 10 minutes TRT the song swings and slips, serpentine-like,  shifting into MoTown-like chorus, alleviated tension created in the verse. Flute & saxophone interweave through the track and seemingly collide near the end as the drums breakapart.

In the era of the ephemeral, “Blackstar” shines bright in substance and forethought.

Check out the gorgeously shot video for “Blackstar” below. Directed by Breaking Bad director Johan Renck.

Look, if you’re a fan of Bowie and know his work well enough, the provocative elements of the video won’t be anything new. In fact, it’s one of the best visual accommodations to a Bowie track I’ve seen in a long time.

David Bowie “Blackstar” from 2016’s Black Star

David Bowie “Warzawa” from 1977’s Low

Greyhouds “What’s On Your Mind” – Modern Soul Classic

Take a Michael McDonald-esque vocalist, 2 parts The Swampers, 1 part Funk Brothers and you’ve got a little bit of an idea of what Greyhounds are doing, aside from making incredibly beautiful songs. Keyboardist Anthony Farrell and guitarist Anthony Trube are the brains behind the group and their album, Accumulator (Ardent Records) is an album that keeps on getting better with each subsequent listen.

Doomtree “Final Boss”

The seven member Minneapolis MN collective comprised of rappers P.O.S, Dessa, Cecil Otter, Sims and Mike Mictlan, and producers Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger are known as Doomtree. Mi compañero  McG hipped me to their impressive KEXP performance and ever since I’ve been in the rabbit hole mining flows, beats and melodies. Their 2015 album, All Hands is a high water mark in the groups decade of activity. I know, I know, I’m late to the party, but I’m glad I’m here and am having an excellent time. 

This head bobbing first track “Final Boss” from All Hands is an epic, Konami code ode to the last battle — the one that demands something more than sufficient — where the “you” as the character in the song draws the strength necessary to throw the winning punch. The production by Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger is moody and progressive, gradually building through the verses and choruses. On “Final Boss,” as well as other songs on All Hands, there are nods to gaming soundtracks like the work of Yamashita (Classic Konami composer), and hard-hitting drum and bass cuts with sirens and squalls channeling Bombsquad’s Hank Shocklee.

The video is beautifully shot. Director/Editor Maria Juranic knows how to use tension, humor and subtlety to emphasize the darker moments in the video.

Director/Editor: Maria Juranic
Video Producer: Aaron Richey
Director of Photography: Andre Durand
AC: Brian Suerth
Art Director: Scott Nordhausen
Gaffer: David Underhill
Grip: Brad Lokkesmoe
Grip: Matt Kane
Sound: Owen Brafford
Make Up/FX/Wardrobe: Kristen Leigh
Craft Services: Marina Delneri
Post FX: Matthew Sattler

Tour, Merch and More at www.doomtree.net