musician

GET NEXT TO DANNIKA
May 10, 2016 11:03 am

Dannika Horvat is a multitalented musician and filmmaker from Melbourne who recently released her first single “Next to You” from her upcoming EP For Peaches. ATYPICAL SOUNDS jumped on the opportunity to speak with this Renaissance woman on her music and other projects.

Dannika_3Congratulations on your signing to Solitaire. What would you like people to know about you? Is there anything you’d like them to know about your music before listening to it?

I have always loved singing and writing music but have never played an instrument, which makes writing music pretty hard. I watched Whiplash, and although that doesn’t make being a musician seem super appealing, I bought a bass the next day and started plucking away. I’m very terrible at bass but it provided me with a platform to make music with very talented musicians who actually know what they’re doing, which has been very cool.

Your bandmates Liam and Stefan are also in the band Good Morning. How did you all come to be working together?

Liam and Stefan are my very dear friends who have been lovely enough to lend their time and talents to this little project. We all went to high school together so we’ve been mates since way back. One day I played Liam my first song on his front porch and he messaged Stefan saying, let’s make an album. I’m very grateful to those boys because they’ve had to coach me through this whole process and they’re so bloody talented, it is so much fun working with them. Also Paul Ceraso, our drummer, is one of the best people in the world. I’d be lost without my boys.

I’ve heard you describe your work as “four mates making soft, feminine rock.” What does femininity in rock music mean to you? Do you feel it’s part of a larger discussion on feminism in the music industry?

Femininity means something different to everyone, but to me, in my music it’s a sort of dreaminess with some pretty vulnerable lyrics. But femininity in music is so broad which is what is so beautiful about it. You’ve got bands like Terrible Truths, who are just kick ass women writing really incredible music that makes you feel super powerful and on top of your shit.

Most of my favourite musicians are women so as long as they get to keep doing what they love the way they want to, I’d be pretty happy.

You also wrote and directed a short film in 2014, The Summer of ABC Burns. The theme of girls being mean to each other is one that seems to come up in media frequently. Is your story based on an experience you had? Do you think it could help someone in the same age group who is questioning their sexuality?

The Summer of ABC Burns came from my own experience and addresses the sometimes toxic nature of young female friendships. I was very keen to write a film that dealt with the classic trope of best friend/worst enemy that so many girls encounter in high school.

The film definitely doesn’t set the best example of how to deal with sexuality in the dog eat dog world of high school. It’s kind of a what not to do. But I think there is a lot of power in seeing someone like you on screen, so in that way the film is hopefully helpful.

Your Tumblr feed that features your photography is pretty extensive. What do you look for when taking pictures? Are you looking to tell a story about your life, or are you looking to learn about the lives of other people? Is it some combination of the two?

It’s a combination but I am definitely more drawn to taking photos of people I know and love than documenting strangers, and that is purely because I am very shy with the lens. I like documenting intimate moments and nice days spent with great people.

What are your favorite Tumblr feeds to follow?

I’m not actually super active on Tumblr but my favourite Instagram feeds are @savage_woman, @gdayimajay, @james.pdf, @oatsthelabel, @emmacollard, @chessycarey, and @chadoner

All great people with nice photos of cool things.

Are there other artists (musicians or otherwise) in Melbourne you feel deserve more attention?

Frances Fox is a beautiful band from Melbourne whose latest EP, Electric You, is one of my favourite things to listen to at the moment. I received the tape as a gift from my housemate and I think their music is so lovely.

What are your favorite venues in Melbourne to listen to music?

I love the Tote because I had a really great Christmas Eve there last year where I saw Dick Diver and it was just the best gig. It was a million degrees and everyone was dripping just from standing there but it was very fun. It’s also really easy to ride to from my house and that’s cool too. I also like the Gasometer, it’s such a beautiful building.

What are your plans for 2016? Will you be releasing an LP? Are you working on any new films?

2016 will consist of me finishing my masters in screenwriting and hopefully making another short film. We have no solid plans at the moment to make another album but there are some songs that are very special to me that I’d love to record one day.

OSCAR’S ALL RIGHT
March 28, 2016 12:15 pm

Fresh from performing six shows at SXSW, Oscar is continuing to charm America with Monday night’s appearance at Baby’s All Right.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS sat down with the extremely well-dressed and exceedingly well-spoken musician, had a nice chat, and enjoyed 20 short minutes of relaxation before having to get up and continue being awesome.

oscar_albumOS: We’ve got some nice salsa music going on.

This is actually infinitely better than the music they usually play in this front area. You just came from SXSW. Did you fly in yesterday?

OS: Yeah, we left Austin at about 5:00 in the morning, and we got in to New York at about 2 in the afternoon.

That was me this morning.

OS: Did you just come from there?

Yeah.

OS: How do you feel?

How do you feel? Probably about the same.

OS: Yesterday was tough. I’m glad we didn’t play a show yesterday.

I don’t know how bands tour. How do you do it?

OS: With a lot of passion.

You did two official SXSW shows, did you do any others?

OS: We did one at the college dorm we were staying at on Pearl St., and then we did one for Culture Collide at Container Bar, which was really fun. We did one for Urban Outfitters, and we did one for Music for Listeners, which is a blog run by a radio station. We did six altogether.

Did you have any interesting experiences?

OS: There were a few people who knew the words for a lot of the songs, which is always really cool to see. At the last show we did, which was for Urban Outfitters, my pedalboard just stopped working, one of my guitar leads just died on me. It was really sad, but then I was like, “I can’t freak out, I’ve just got to keep playing.”, and eventually I just had to go straight in to the amp with the lead and it was ok.

I know the pedals are what make the guitar sound, you know, good.

OS: I know, otherwise it’s so dry.

What did you think of the weather in Austin? First it was oppressively hot, and then it was cold and nasty the rest of the week.

OS: It kind of reminded me of being home in London. Although London’s not ever that hot, the weather is so changeable. So it felt a bit more like home, but with more barbecued food and craziness.

You’re touring with Bloc Party in May and June throughout the U.S. That’s going to be fun, right? 

OS: It’ll be really fun. We did three shows with them in Europe, and they went really well. They’re great guys and girls, and I think it’s going to be great. It’s great playing for a big audience like that because it’s such a thrill.

And your album will be out by then as well. I have it now, because I know people…like your PR manager…who sent me your album.

OS: Hey, check you.

One thing that stood out to me about your SXSW profile is it makes a point of mentioning how you “studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s”. Other musicians from London I’ve spoken to sort of roll their eyes at Britpop because it’s not really cool there anymore, which is sad because I’m a big Pulp fan.

OS: Yeah, me too.

Is Britpop something that has influenced you at all?

OS: I think part of the background to my upbringing was all kicking off when I was a young ‘un. So it definitely would’ve soaked in somewhere and I listened equally to Oasis and to Blur as a kid. And then I got really into Britpop, and rediscovered it when I had more of an idea of what music was. Britpop was such a great moment for British culture and music, it was really exciting to see independently made music in the charts, I don’t think that would happen again. It was music made by people who had real character and a real message.

What led you to study sculpture?

OS: I went to like, 7 or 8 different schools. I ended up at a school which focused on art a lot, the arts really. So I was trained in a way to think about creation and education like that. And so I ended up applying for art school because it was the next logical step for me. I didn’t want to do music school because I was worried that it would kill the mystery and the romance of making music, and so I wanted to stay a little bit naïve. Which I think I did. So then I went to art school and I studied everything. It was a degree, so it was sculpture, drawing, painting. I tried it all out to see what was going on and what would work for me. I actually ended up doing lots of sound art; installation and sound sculpting if you had to give it a name. It just brought me straight back to music, which I had been studying and playing since I was six years old.

Is there anything you’d like people to know about your debut album before it’s released in May?

OS: I guess just to expect a variety of music that’s not all one style. It’s kind of like looking inside my head and seeing how many different things are going on, and how many different moods and cultures and genres there are going on inside my head.

Which song do you like performing the best?

OS: I love to perform “Sometimes”, because I get to jump around and be stupid. I also equally love to perform “Stay”, which was on the EP, because that one is the most emotional in the set.

Was it your idea to do a music video for “Sometimes”? So few musicians are doing music videos anymore.

OS: It kind of throws it back to the Britpop thing, because the 90’s promo was pretty fun and exciting. It really put the focus on something that wasn’t all about the audio. I think it’s nice to give someone something to look at as well as listen to. It wasn’t my idea to do the music video, but it was kind of a given since we had a single coming out.

[gestures to Oscar’s Yankees jacket]

Do you follow baseball?

OS: No. I do not, but I do love the iconography, and I like the fashion of it.

I also noticed you wear a lot of Mickey Mouse stuff. Is that something that has significance to you?

OS: I just like playing around with pop culture iconography. I think it’s like pop art; it’s fun, and it’s instant, it’s a good time. The first video game I played (which I wasn’t supposed to play, I wasn’t allowed video games growing up), but when my mom and dad split up, my dad had a Playstation, so I would secretly play that. And I played Steamboat Willie, so maybe there’s some deep connection there. There are some things you need to remember and hold dear.

What are your favorite places in London to listen to music?

OS: That’s a good question. I think on the bus and the train are really good places to listen to music. Often, if I’m halfway between finishing a track or making a demo, I’ll stop and go for a walk or go see a friend, and use that journey to passively listen to something, because it does change the context of everything and makes you realize, “Oh, maybe I should change the key of it, or it needs to be faster”. So I think transport is good, public transport. I also think listening to music in the park is really nice, because it’s sunny (it never is). And at home in my bedroom is probably my favorite place, because you can listen to it loud. And maybe dance around a bit. Or a lot.

Are there any venues or club nights you like? Where should I go when I’m in London?

OS: Village Underground is great. It’s quite a big one, it’s like 800-900 capacity, that’s really good. If you’re looking for a dive bar vibe, then somewhere like Moth Club or the 100 Club is pretty good. The Lexington is a nice one too, if you want to drink and they have really good gigs upstairs.

Do you have any last words before going onstage tonight?

OS: Blimey. I don’t think so.

Don’t trip when you go up the stairs to get onto the stage.

OS: Don’t do that, enjoy yourself, not that I have to tell myself that because it’s always so much fun.

KNOCK-KNOCK, IT’S SOUNDLY
December 28, 2015 12:36 am

How do you normally get sound effects for your video projects? Do you rip them from YouTube, or download them from less-than-legal sources? Now you can get sound effects easily and legally, no matter your budget.

Soundly is a cloud-based app, that includes free and subscription services. It’s compatible with any software that works with drag-and-drop, including Pro Tools, Logic, Final Cut, and Premiere. It also offers the option for lower resolution files for use with slower Internet connections, and is compatible with Mac and Windows.

The interface for Soundly is simple – listen to sound effects, choose one, and drop it into your project. There is also the option for dragging only a piece of your chosen sound effect to your project, allowing for tailored use of each effect. The free version includes a good selection of sound effects, like the eclectic “Man Humming” and “Head Hitting Windshield.”

Soundly was created in Oslo, by Peder Jørgensen (a musician, sound designer, and programmer) and Christian Schaanning (a sound designer with an impressively long IMDB page). Jørgensen’s personal website is charming in a way only a Norwegian programmer’s website can be charming, greeting visitors with “You are here either because you followed a link from one of my projects, or I met you last night and drunkenly exchanged numbers followed by me excitedly sending you lots of unintelligible texts for which I apologize profusely. Either way, welcome!” Schaanning’s work you may recognize from the 2014 DreamWorks film, Penguins of Madagascar and (also from 2014) Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder (How did I miss this??)

Soundly is easy to use and fun to mess around in, and would suit anyone from a working professional to a high school student looking to spruce up a video project. Not a bad first app for a startup.

MUSIC’S MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN OF 2015
December 26, 2015 12:14 am

2015 was kind of a hectic, yet exciting time in the music industry. It’s time to remember those female artists who have made a huge impact on their fans (and haters). No, I’m not talking about how Taylor Swift brought her whole girl squad at every performance and music award, and trended the word ‘squad’. I’m not even talking about how Adele’s latest album 25 made this whole generation cry. Sure, they could be great role models but there are quite a few other female artists who deserve to have some light shed on their talent and grit.

Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine)

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine  The V Festival 2010 held at Weston Park - Performances - Day Two Staffordshire, England - 22.08.10 Mandatory Credit: Nick Pickles/ WENN.com

Did you know she’s bff’s with Taylor Swift, and is officially part of her girl gang? Thanks to T.Swift, she even inspired Florence to write “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” that debuted number 1 in the top US Billboard 200. That album even received five Grammy Nominations! Even the extraordinary Taylor has some things to learn from Flo’s powerful presence. “What sets Florence apart? Everything. Every time I’ve been around her, she is the most magnetic person in the room…There are very few people I’ve met in my life who are truly electric, and Florence is one of them.” (Billboard) Suffering from dyslexia, anxiety, and dyspraxia (a neurological disorder that impairs motor, memory, judgment and other cognitive skills) (Fuse), Flo still manages to write kick-ass songs and excite the crowd until she drops. Literally. She’s had a few tumbles on stage this year but she gets up and goes on with the show. She can’t stop, and won’t stop. The band had many festival appearances this year including Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Way Out West, Glastonbury Festival, and more. I’d have to say that she won me over at Governor’s Ball when she told a girl with a “HUG?” sign to crowd surf her way to the stage and made that girl’s life.

Melanie Martinez
Since her debut on The Voice, she’s pretty much had a core fan base that supported her music and believed in her talent. Although she wasn’t the ‘official’ winner of the show, she has won over many teen hearts with her relatable, grim music. They’ve even named themselves ‘cry babies’ (you know, like the Beliebers), which come from her recent debut album Cry Baby. Along her album release, she’s been putting out music videos for every single song on her album, which she has been directing. She’s also been working with notable music connoisseurs like Babydaddy, Phoebe Ryan, and Emily Warren and she’s only 20 years young! Be sure to check out her North American tour in early 2016 and join the madness.

Sky Ferrira

skythisone
You might recognize her as Zachary Cole Smith’s (DIIV) side chick. Or as that chick who signed a record deal after she was discovered singing her own songs on Myspace. Either way, she’s a cool gal who’s not afraid to put herself out there, both physically and emotionally. But sometimes, haters hate when you express yourself through social media. She recently confronted her frustration over online bullies on Instagram, claiming that calling her a ‘slut’ or ‘bitch’ on a daily basis is NOT okay (but really, don’t you have anything else to do?) Not only did she voice her opinion on verbally abusing public female figures, but she also roasted her label Polydor for ripping off her ideas and not giving her any financial or creative support. “Maybe I would have ‘sold more records’ if I had the resources to do so. It’s completely unfair that can even get used against me…I’m talking about labels & how they all need new structure…& need to be more creative & supportive of the people that they sign.” Ouch. Sadly, this isn’t the first time her label’s fucked her over- She wasn’t so happy when Capitol didn’t have vinyl copies in time for the My Time Night Time release date, and how EMI delayed her album for years. Nonetheless, we’re hoping that she’ll have somewhat of a more peaceful and positive year in 2016, especially because her new album Masochism is being released soon!

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett: 'In interviews I feel like a bit of a doofus.'
You’re basically screwed if you don’t know who she is. Everybody note her name down because this girl from Melbourne, Australia has been nominated as the Best New Artist for the Grammy Awards 2016! And surprisingly, she doesn’t know her fellow nominees Megan Trainor, James Bay, Sam Hunt, or Tori Kelly- But that’s okay. “I don’t know who they are. I probably won’t [check them out]” (NME). Since her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, she’s gained attention from the media and indie music lovers. It was even nominated at the ARIA Music Awards this year….In eight whopping categories! Now that’s pretty insane. Unlike any other artist, her sound is honest and grungy with witty rambling lyrics. You can check her out on this in-depth article we wrote on her.

Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!)

LauraJaneGrace2
I don’t know what this petition for getting Laura Jane Grace in Star Wars Episode VIII is…But I do know that she’s a likable figure in the music industry. When her band signed to Universal, she was known as Tom Gabel. Now, she’s performing as Laura since 2012 when she opened up about being transgender. She got so sick and tired of being judged by her choices, she wore a black statement jersey on stage that read “GENDER IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT” for 60 nights. Now that’s dedication! She signed her jersey and “donated it to the group that created it for a charity giveaway.” (RollingStone) She even set up a contest where fans can win her jersey by donating $10-$15, and the proceeds would go to NPO’s. Let’s all learn from her and pay it forward. The band is currently working on their next album which will be released sometime in 2016.

Grimes

Grimes1
She never fails to surprise us with her psychedelic, pop-influenced, irresistible dream world. The Spectrum sum her up very well when they say “Grimes makes the kind of music you might expect from someone who was formerly both a dancer and a neuroscience major.” The creepy giggling, whispering, talking jibberish basically tell us that she’s nuts- but in a good way. She had an opportunity to open up for Lana Del Rey, exposing herself to (mostly) teenage girls who’ve never heard of her. In her interview with Fuse, she mentions how touring is “bad for the environment” and shows her concerns for the environment. “I think it’s real important to have real cups because we’re trying to reduce garbage…Shipping stuff around and flying 11 people around the world is quite the carbon footprint…So we’re just trying to reduce as much as possible.” She’s also a healthy eater who drinks kombucha and does not allow a single candy in her dressing room “because otherwise, I’ll only eat candy.” We’re hoping that her views on the environment and healthy will rub on to her fans, converting everyone into a bubbly and intelligent woman like her.

U NEED GIFTZ? I GIVE U GIFTZ
December 17, 2015 4:20 am

So you haven’t finished your “holiday” shopping yet, so what? You don’t need to do everything all at once. You’re a busy person, and that’s okay. We understand, and we’ve got you covered. Some of these gift ideas are way legit, and some of these are eye-rollers, but all of them are good ideas, and when it comes down to it you’re gonna have to respect a good idea. That’s called being a grown-up.

First up we have this badass hoodie.

audioengineerhoodie

It’s a good wear for sure, sturdy and stylish, but it’s true badassery comes from its “acoustically transparent” speaker cloth paneled hood. That’s right–gone are those silent, chilly days, caught between the need for over-ear headphones and the urge for a comfortable neck, scalp and upper forehead. Perfect for audio engineers, professional joggers, or anyone else who wears headphones all day or maybe just some of the time. Maybe you just like music and hoodies and you need something to wear. I don’t know, I’m just saying. Let’s move on.

Aerodrums

Aerodrums-Verpackung

This is for all the drummers out there, or at least every lonely jabroni thinking s/he can hit the sticks into something emotionally bearable. Just keep trying, as they say–it’ll sound good eventually. Of course I’m talking about the quiet and portable alternative to a real drum set, also known as “aerodrums” (or “magic drumless drumsticks” for us laypeople). These little miracles are made of plastic, electronics, and some sort of wood-like substitute that, when banged together just so, produce a realistic and totally radical drumset out of literally nothing at all. Far out! This is exactly how I picture myself in my dreams: playing drums for God in heaven–sans drums, of course–like Tommy Fucking Lee (minus the lameness, disease and actual drums. He’s diseased, right? Maybe another drummer then, I don’t know. Naming famous drummers isn’t really my thing. Travis Barker? Carter Beauford? Ringo?! Insert drummer here.) NOW IF ONLY YOU COULD AFFORD IT!

Here’s something you can afford: fruit. That’s right, put an apple in your mother’s stocking. She’ll fucking love it. “Oh how thoughtful, what a stellar child I’ve begat. Way better than your sister…” Oh how right she is. Nailed it, thanks mom.

Hey here’s another real “budget” idea (in case you’re shopping for any of your “budget” friends). It’s called not giving a fuck. Step 1: buy blank t-shirts. Step 2: buy markers. (These links are just for reference–buy these literally anywhere.) Step 3: go ham on these t-shirts. Don’t even think too hard about it. Say to yourself “this shirt is for cousin Brett” and then draw a crude, amateur portrait of Brett. Depict him realistically, with his stupid face and clothes, beside his stupid car and girlfriend. He’ll laugh, don’t worry. It’s no big deal, Brett can take a little holiday joke. Classic Brett.

You know what, I have a better idea. Draw the whole family together, but like in an infomercial or something. Real random and/or obscure, like the whole family got together to sell ladders or soap or whatever. Think of it like crazy internet photoshop, except with markers and t-shirts. Make 15 copies. Distribute periodically throughout the year.

Alright that’s enough “budget” gifts. Some people really take offense to that sort of thing. I don’t know, people are weird. But oh boy is this next gift idea totally legit. Don’t even worry. I’ll be honest–all this other shit I didn’t actually buy or use or even google that thoroughly. But the pick punch? Yeah, this I actually have. You bet your booty!

guitar punch

My brother gave it to me a while ago, and oh boy was it worth it. “Turn your old gift cards into guitar picks!” he tells me between hearty spoonfuls of pumpkin pie. It’s true, this device can turn your ordinary plastic shit into guitar-pick-shaped plastic shit. “Stop giving me gift cards!” I say, pie already thoroughly swallowed and partially digested. “But you love Starbucks!” he continues, making a fool out of himself. What an idiot. “Go fuck yourself!” I respond, reflecting the values so deeply entrenched into our society. Aren’t the holidays’ magical? Thank Jebus for the pick punch.

Straight up though, let’s keep the “guitars are cool as hell” ball rolling here. What if you’re shopping for a raging guitarist, legend of excellence? What if they polish their axe with a diaper and baby oil? We’re not ones to judge, we do plenty of weird shit when no one’s looking. Full disclosure, I only play my guitar/love-of-my-life after a deep, hearty lotioning of my fingertips. It is what it is, okay? Those strings are literally gold. No judgement, thanks. All I’m saying is what if you care about your guitar more than your actual waking life? You have 911 for if you almost die, right? Well say hello to 911 for your guitar. (WARNING: NOT A REAL PHONE NUMBER.)

Screen shot 2015-12-17 at 1.34.45 PM

That’s right, in case of emergency please buy this for your friends, family or guitar-tech nerds. They’re people too, okay? They put their pants on one overzealous, misguided leg at a time. Only difference is once they’re finished with that, they give their heart to an inanimate object. It makes sense when you do it, okay? Guitars are awesome. If you disagree, well you can just shut up.

But what if you don’t have a guitar, or you don’t like guitars, or you don’t even know what I’m talking about? What even is a guitar? What an important question, I thought you’d never ask. What even is music? Is it just an aural expression of life, like fine art is visually? Where does art stop and reality begin? Who am I, how did I get here, and where am I going? Never stop asking these questions.

And hey if you’re really out of ideas, just buy your friends booze and candy so they can look like this all the time. I mean, it worked for me.

JCwed

NEON INDIAN BACK ON THE ROAD
December 8, 2015 6:37 am

Neon Indian is finally back on the road with his new album Vega Intl. Night School and proves that it was worth the two year wait. Who knew he’d be flying halfway around the world to play for a Japanese crowd? Apparently it’s his “favorite place to be on earth.” Maybe he got some of that “popstar” quality from his father who was quite the musician in Mexico back then. Either way, I got the chance to enjoy how he rocked the crowd in Japan last week.

neonhihijk

Photo by Youka Nagase

neonindian

Photo by Youka Nagase

As Alan Palomo stands on stage you could feel the excitement in the room. People were shouting all kinds of stuff from “Neon Indian!”, “You’re awesome!” to “I love you, you’re hot!” His feet start dancing to “Annie” and shows us some bold dance moves to the reggae guitar beat and the girls in the front row are mesmerized by him. Very much like his album, it felt like a drunken memory with echoey vocals on top of the overlapping synth and flashing rainbow lights. The kind of drunken memory that I wanted to last forever. The Glitzy Hive is that song you just uncontrollably dance to like you’re at an 80’s party sporting a neon jacket. I mean, the lyrics literally say “Party, she’s at the monster party. Party, party” with the perfect beat so how could you even stay still during this song?

Unlike other musicians he doesn’t pull the kind of “bullshit” and tease his fans telling the crowd that it’s the “last song” when there’s clearly 3 more important songs that everyone’s been dying to hear. Instead he cruises through the set and tells us that the supposedly “last song” isn’t the last one because let’s face it, the encore is the best part and nobody wants a good show to end! Of course he leaves everyone’s favorite “Polish Girl” towards the end, leaving everyone on a high from all the chillwave.

Jetlagged With Milosh
October 6, 2015 1:31 am

Milosh is an elegant marriage between original electronic music and an intense personal experience. I am very familiar with making music with your significant other and both the joys and hardships that can come of it. I appreciate the fact that this artist was able to contain and create such a personal experience and add their everyday life to recording. This was present especially in their song “Do you want what I need” where in the band biography on facebook he stated he mic’d himself  “drumming on my wife’s tummy, brushing her skin; edit, cut up and reversed her laughs as we joked over the pure hilarity of it all.”

Often times I cannot relate to electronic music, but then you listen to the sheer personality of the track, and that mentality dwindles quickly. There’s a hint of Animal Collective‘s creativity and obscure recording techniques present.  Just as Avey Tare and his wife used to work together, Jet Lag seems like a long lost psychedelic brother of Avey Tare’s album with Kria Brekkan Pullhair Rubeye but in reverse.

It is very apparent that this artist feels every aspect of the music he is playing and it has been noticed by others as stated by Helene Achanzar in an interview with Rhye that Milosh is a conductor of sorts in his live element.  He is also well known for his band Rhye, who are undeniably emotional as well as felt in the video for their song called “The Fall.”  Every song he puts out cries loving tears and is very thoughtful and diverse. Not a single song sounds like another, which is rare for many bands these days.  Do not get me started on his amazing voice; it is extremely distinctive and surprisingly, he is able to hit notes that would make Mariah herself blink.

Streets of Laredo: The Kiwis of Bushwick
July 8, 2015 11:32 am

There’s something about indie folk music that makes it the perfect summer tune while you’re laying on the grass enjoying the nice weather. Streets of Laredo is a Brooklyn based band that makes you want to do exactly that while forgetting all about your problems for a few sweet moments. Their Governor’s Ball Music Festival debut officially marked their 3rd year anniversary in Brooklyn after moving from New Zealand as a three piece. “Me, my brother, his wife were a three piece for a little while and we kind of gathered members as we went on. They picked up a few more players over a couple of years to make the band “more legitimate.”

You might be thinking, why would anybody think of leaving such a beautiful country and move to Brooklyn? “I think we’ve all been in bands and we’ve all been doing music back in New Zealand. We wanted change and wanted to challenge ourselves. Throw ourselves into a big pond.” Dan continues talking about how much of a tight community it is, and that it’s a great place for musicians. “I think it kind of helps musicians to be in that culture and create relationships/friendships. LA is really different. Its cool and all but it’s not so closely knit. The music scene here in Brooklyn – there’s so many bands, so many venues, so many bands kind of doing stuff here and there. And we kind of wanted to put ourselves in the middle of it.”

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Moving somewhere halfway around the world, I expected they must have experienced some sort of culture shock or been through some struggle adjusting to the American environment. “It was really hard to order a bagel because nobody understood my accent! I would go to the deli in Bushwick and the guy just didn’t understand me. I literally just had to say bagel so many times and change the way I pronounced it. Sometimes I’ll get something a little different, but I just go along with it. You probably still can’t understand me. [laughs]”

Their performance at Governors Ball was sensational and perfect to start off my festival groove. Though they haven’t had many previous experiences of playing on such a big stage, they seemed calm, collected, and very experienced. “Man, I’ve just always wanted to play it so it was a highlight. It was a highlight for the whole band and we were so honored and humbled to be a part of the bill!”

With such talent and great musicianship, I feel as though they don’t get as much attention as they should. I go on and ask Dan about how they started getting into music. “My mom was the musician of the family who was in a women’s choir group, so she’d play guitar and sing. She would teach me how to harmonize, which was really annoying. She would pick me up after school and play choir tapes in the car and she’d make me sing along. Sometimes I’d have a friend in the car and my mom would be singing. That was embarrassing. I joined choir for a little bit but it wasn’t for me. It was a big melting pot of music. There was a lot of music around me growing up.”

Their latest EP was released in two parts last fall which outlines a narrative story of their musical journey, and their struggles of moving to a new environment. “The songs are about all of us in the process of moving here and living here for a couple of months. Then we recorded the records over in New Zealand. There’s this sort of really strong narrative adventure, missing home, and the tough emotion we used to be in especially forming a band.” Their EP cover with two dear heads fighting each other also illustrates their blood, sweat and tears. “We met a really great artist in New Zealand, Alexandra. I think she called it struggle or something, and we really liked the visual of two dears struggling. It’s that kind of narrative of struggle, triumph and heartache, and things like that really kind of buried the songs individually.”

They recently released a new song “Diamonds” so be sure to check it out!

Great Good Fine Ok talk Music, Kimonos, and the Body Diamond Lifestyle
June 22, 2015 3:51 pm

Brooklyn based synth pop band Great Good Fine Ok aren’t great, good, fine or ok. They’re pretty spectacular! Their dreamy soundscape and catchy dance tunes are something you don’t get tired of. Their latest EP, 2M2H, released earlier this year is exactly what the title is. It’s too much to handle because every single song on it is fire. I had a chance to chat with the lead singer Jon Sandler about his love for music, kimonos, and the “Body Diamond Lifestyle” before their show at Baby’s All Right on June 25th.

How did you and Luke start making music together as GGFO? 

I met Luke a bunch of times and we became friends. We actually worked together on a couple of things- he co-produced and mixed one of my songs. We always said that along the way we should do something together and collaborate. A period of time went by, and we ran into each other on the street randomly and we said “let’s do this.” That night he sent me the music for “You’re The One For Me.” We went back and forth to perfect it and then sent it to some people and realized it was something special, so we kept writing songs and that was that.

So you were in a different band before?

Yeah- pretty much my whole life I’ve been pursuing my solo music career. The stuff I was doing before was singer-songwriter, me with and a guitar which I’ve been doing since I was a kid. When Luke sent me the music for “You’re The One For Me,” it was a very synth-poppy sound and I’ve never sung falsetto before for a full song. I don’t know what inspired me, but I felt like that song needed a falsetto voice on top of it and so thats what I recorded. Not thinking that eventually it would turn into a band recording falsetto every song. Luke was kind of doing the same except he was producing for other bands and was a drummer in a band. We were both doing a lot and very busy when we started GGFO so we didn’t expect to even necessarily design it to turn into a huge thing. But obviously we were excited when it did.

I saw you at Brooklyn Bowl last year with a flashy golden robe. Where do you get your clothes from?

Most of the stuff I get are from thrift stores, but that piece I actually had it custom made. I went to the garment district in manhattan for the material I wanted and I found a girl who could help me organize making that happen, so that one’s a one of a kind. I like any thrift store that would present me with a perfect kimono or a sequined jacket! I’ve almost gotten all of them in New York City (laughs). Whenever I walk in a thrift store in New York, I feel like I already bought everything cool. When we were on tour and we were in Seattle, every thrift store there was the best thing ever. I think thrift stores in the west coast are better. I thrift shop in New York a lot obviously and I find out that they carry more conservative and wearable clothes, and not many jackets with sequins all over it, which is exactly what I’m looking for. So I think I need to go elsewhere.

Do you ever wear your outfits off-stage as well?

I have certain jackets that I only wear on stage. I think my off stage outfits are cool in their own way. My manager once told me that I never look normal(laughs). But I don’t wear the stage kimonos in real life though, just because they’re sacred for the stage if you know what I mean. It’s not that I would be embarrassed, but those are special. I’ve accumulated about 40 different kimonos, so I have quite a selection of them I can choose from.

I’ve heard that you’re a big fan of Prince. If you had one whole day to spend with him, what would you do?

Probably for half of the day I’d want to walk around and talk and just ask him questions about life. Walking, sitting, getting tea. I would want to do A LOT of talking. I’d ask him questions about the music industry. I’d also use him as my therapist- I think Prince is the kind of guy who has it figured out, and if I told him about something that was stressing me out, he would have a really good way of making me feel more comfortable. After that I’d definitely want to write music with him for several hours…Maybe even create an entire album! Then I’d probably want to go thrift shopping with him, or maybe just fabric shopping and we can go get some stuff custom made.

Do you feel that living in NYC has had an impact on your views of the music scene?

New York is so packed with musicians and artists. People that are hustling and focused. That’s definitely inspiring to be around everyday. Everywhere I look, there’s someone working their asses off, so it makes you want to work your ass off too. I’ve been here for so long, I’ve lived in Brooklyn for 10 years, so most of the songs I’ve ever written have been here. It almost feels like I don’t even remember what it was like, writing or being inspired anywhere else.

What’s the most memorable show you’ve been to?

Oh my god I have no idea! I’ve probably been to a thousand shows in my life. The only reason I know is that I have a ticket collection stored into 5 different books, so thats really tough. I used to go to a lot of Phish shows and some of those were really memorable. One of the best live bands ever.

What do you consider a ‘good’ show?

I guess its a combination of things. When you’re surprised by certain things and when the show ends and you wished that it continued for another 10 hours. Obviously there are certain shows where, musically, it’s more special than other shows. I like concerts to be a show, and not just a concert. I take that seriously. Not just getting on stage and singing songs but actually being an entertainer. If I can walk away and say “wow that was a fun show” then I’d think it was successful. But it’s weird because the last show I went to was Rhye, and they’re amazing! Actually our drummer that started with us, Zach is their current drummer. They’re just so nonchalant, sort of what the opposite of what I was talking about being showmen, but the guy’s voice is so mesmerizing and so unbelievable. Just the music itself made it one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time, so it could go either way. Theres no formula to what makes it a good show. Sometimes its magic, and sometimes it’s not, you know?

I heard you do a “Body Diamond” dance move on stage and a pre-show ritual called the “Body Deesh Deesh Deesh Deesh Diamond.” What is this Body Diamond lifestyle that you guys live?

I’m going to be completely honest with you. The body diamond just started as a dance move that we kind of did, then we thought it was cool to implement it into the band. And since, it has been thrown into a lifestyle where Body Diamond can really be a metaphor of so much stuff- of your heart, your soul, your mind and everything around you and the universe. It’s become this symbol of life and something bigger than us. Its almost like we can’t control them, they just pop-up where they pop-up. One of the most exciting Body Diamond moments was right at the beginning of the band when we were just starting out playing our first few shows at SXSW that Tove Lo was also playing at. I guess she saw us and got so excited about the Diamond that she tweeted and introduced the Body Diamond on Swedish radio. There’s an amazing picture of her doing the body diamond. And the “Body Deesh Deesh Deesh Deesh Diamond” – the drummer that used to play with us, his name was Zach Morello and we used to call him Modeesh, so that actually came from him and turned it into Deesh. And that just became our pre-show ritual.

Could you talk about something thats great, good, fine, and ok in your life right now?

That’s hard because generally right now, I’m pretty happy because I’m doing what I love. I love this band, I love writing songs, and things are really exciting right now. I guess great would be GGFO. What’s ‘okay’ is my living situation. I’m in this situation where I’ve been living in the same apartment for 10 years. It’s not the nicest apartment in the world but the rent’s really good, so I would say that that’s okay. Good and fine are tough – lets put everything else into good and fine.

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#FCKtheMJR – Empowering Independent Musicians
June 10, 2015 2:01 pm

Before you even start reading, watch this:

No major artist will get discovered, immediately get signed to a major label, and have their name plastered all over on the Billboard charts. Many of them hustle for years, even decades trying to get their voices heard. Here at Atypical Beasts, we’re all about supporting independent musicians, helping them grow out of their cocoons and getting their music reached to as many people as possible. There’s still a vast majority of people out there who only listen to mainstream music and don’t even make the effort to discover fresh new tunes. BecomeMajor is a campaign that helps these talented, independent musicians to go beyond their limits and “EMPOWER” them by getting their music heard.

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As John Waltmann (Client Opportunities Manager) sums it up, their inspiration came from a series of events that happened here and there. “First and foremost, the music industry is in a time of change. Major record labels are struggling to make a profit with the price of music getting increasingly lower and lower, to the point of being free” he explains. “In addition, we also wanted to voice that the truth is, getting signed to a major record label will not always represent success. Once you’re signed to a major [label] your music becomes a product, and depending on the label’s plan, you might lose creative power over it and are now at the disposal of creative teams backing your music and creating opportunities for you.”

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BecomeMajor decided that they would kick-off their campaign at this year’s SXSW conference since it was a great place to get themselves recognized by music industry professionals and like-minded people. With the help of their street team, they got posters and stickers saying “#FCKtheMJRS” and “Major Record Label Free Zone” placed strategically around SXSW venues, which clearly engaged fellow music enthusiasts in joining the movement.

As of now, they’ve distributed over 40,000 artists and have worked with about 4,000 independent labels so far.

So how DOES BecomeMajor actually help these artists? “We help artists in a number of ways. First of all we help them get their music to outlets worldwide like iTunes, Pandora, Amazon and emerging platforms like Tidal and Deezer. In addition, we’ve also introduced services that allow for musicians to make more money from their music and collect more of their royalties, such as Publishing Administration, YouTube monetization, Neighboring Rights and music licensing. We aim to be a one-stop shop for the music industry.”

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They’ve had great success in working with Deadmau5 (that electronic DJ with his trademark mouse helmet which I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with). “It was great to see his success from the sidelines and how his popularity grew in the scene.” They’ve also been working with Canadian Producer Overwerk. “He has been riding the indie wave for sometime now and has been doing great things with just a small team. He’s gotten several offers from major labels and have turned them down.  So we are really proud of his success and to be able to help and support him every step of the way.”

If you’re an independent musician struggling to break through the plateau, maybe applying to be on BecomeMajor’s roster will help you!  They’re constantly looking for hard working and active artists who aren’t afraid of taking risks and stepping out of their comfort zone. “We want to hear from them – we want to know what they are doing to get to the next level. What are their challenges? We want to be able to offer our services to them and fill in the blanks to any services and needs they may have.”

In the near future, you’ll see them hosting some local music events with local talented artists in the Tampa/St. Pete area. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube to get their latest updates. There’s a great chance you might find your next favorite band that you’ll be jamming to all summer!

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#fckthemjrs