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Release Radar – J. Roddy Waltson & The Business

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This week it’s really all about only one new release – Converge’s “The Dusk In Us”.  The legendary Massachusetts hardcore/metal/punk/touch of jazz band is not for most people since they are extreme all the way around.  But they feature incredible musicianship, thought-provoking lyrics and innovative song writing.  But vocalist Jacob Bannon is intense, so you will need to absorb those thought-provoking lyrics as they are passionately screamed into your ears.  This is album #10 for them and it’s been over 5 years since their last release.  The 4 members of Converge all also play in other bands, and guitarist Kurt Ballou is one of the most sought-out hardcore/metal producers in the industry. I’m such a fan of his work, I actually have a t-shirt with a photo of his GodCity studio located in Salem, MA.  There are no other notable releases worth pointing out this week, but if you’re curious I’ll be checking out new albums (with low expectations) from Gunn-Truscinski Duo, Blitzen Trapper, Tracy Bonham, 21 Savage, Kid Rock and Ty Dolla $ign.
If you read last week’s email, you may recall a comment I made about Chris Stapleton hypothetically destroying all other contestants on The Voice if he were to go on the show and sing “Either Way”.  Well lo and behold one of The Voice contestants decided to sing “Either Way” this week.  Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him, but he’s not Chris Stapleton (but he did a fine job – Blake just wanted to keep the other guy on his team because he was very unique).
 
I have written a piece about J. Roddy Walston & The Business before, but they have a new album out titled “Destroyers Of The Soft Life” and you should check it out.  This four-piece Southern rock band originally formed in Tennessee 15 years ago, but quickly relocated to Baltimore.  They initially had a few lineup changes, but have been steady lately with J. Roddy Walston on vocals/guitar/and the hardest rocking piano playing you’ll ever see, Billy Gordon on guitar, Logan Davis on bass and Steve Colmus behind the kit.  These guys have developed a huge live following, because 1) they have some great songs to play live and 2) J. Roddy Walston is a formidable presence on stage.  I’ve never seen anyone headbang playing the piano like he does.  Check out some live performance clips on YouTube to see it for yourself.  Anyway, this is just the band’s 4th proper album, and it appears that they are gunning for more commercial success with this release.  The songs are less raw and are more polished and radio-friendly.  So you lose a little of the rawness/excitement factor, but they could gain an even bigger audience.  J. Roddy Walston moved to Richmond, VA since their previous album was released (his wife is from the area).  He and the band built their own recording studio in Richmond, where they worked on “Destroyers Of The Soft Life”.  This local connection is personally nice for me because the band frequently plays in Richmond.  In fact, Thanksgiving weekend they have a 3 night stand at a local club and I’m dragging my wife, son, sister-in-law and nephew to one of the shows – promising them an entertaining evening.  The band has their own unique sound, but you’ll hear elements of My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon and The Band.  When trying to select songs to highlight from the album, I realized I had marked 8/10 tracks on the album.  So yeah, to say the least it’s a strong album (I can’t remember ever having that many songs from an album to draw from).  And none of these below are even the initial singles from the album.  At the very least, when they come around to a venue near you, go check them out.  You will be entertained.
 
You Know Me Better – The lead track on the new album, and this song sounds most like their older material.  Maybe that’s the reason it’s my early favorite song on the album.  Plus I’m sure this is going to be terrific live.
 
I Called You – The band does have a slower, softer side and this track is one example of that.  This is also an example of a more carefully crafted song that is an attempt to broaden their fan base.  Nice use of a big drum sound to really boost the choruses.   
 
Bleed Out – And here’s a mid-tempo example, but the chorus is massive.  J. Roddy puts everything he has behind the vocals on this track.
 
If you can’t be bothered to do a search on YouTube to see a performance video, here are a couple of live clips:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyd2LfJt2QA – “Take It As It Comes”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wdv5-TrUhg – “Don’t Break The Needle”

Release Radar – Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold

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We have some pretty big artists dropping albums this week, mixed in with a few up and comers.  I queued up 6 albums on my Spotify playlists to listen to.  I’ll start with the very talented songwriter/guitarist/vocalist St. Vincent’s 5th album “Masseduction” which I’m eager to listen to.  King Krule, aka Archy Marshall has dropped “The OOZ” and it’s getting a ton of positive buzz.  This London artist has been compared to Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg and can count Beyonce and Kanye West among his admirers. A collaboration album between indie “superstars” Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett titled “Lotta Sea Lice” is sure to feature plenty of understated guitar and interesting lyrics.  William Patrick Corgan (brainchild of The Smashing Pumpkins) has released his first proper solo album, “Ogilala”, produced by Rick Rubin.  I previewed this on NPR and it’s an interesting stripped down effort from him and worth checking out.  The next two albums I will listen to but not too hyped about.  Beck has finally released “Colors” but it’s getting negative buzz so far which is disappointing, but I will still listen for myself.  And Wu-Tang has a new album “The Saga Continues” but it comes with caveats.  Mathematics, the MC-turned-DJ who learned everything about production from RZA, has produced and co-written all 18 tracks on the album.  His production efforts are allegedly admirable but the verses the MCs have brought to the album are more on the mediocre side.  You will find Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Killa Priest, Redman, RZA and Capadonna on the album but they are not inspired.
 
Finally, you may not have heard the latest regarding Marilyn Manson (who I don’t like in any way, shape or form but I find this amusing).  On his latest tour, he fell off the stage in Pittsburgh allegedly breaking his ankle.  Then the next night in NYC, he had a giant stage prop fall on him, breaking his fibula in two places and requiring a plate and 10 screws and also a screw in his ankle.  He has since pushed his tour dates out and hasn’t played a show since.  So that’s all good, but now Manson is hinting that “God, whatever it might be” is trying to put a stop to things on his tour.  So evidently God is to blame for his misfortune.  If that’s actually true – then way to go God!
 
Oh, and a big thanks to Eminem for sharing his current political beliefs on a national stage – let’s continue to protect the all-important 1st amendment since the outdated 2nd amendment is unfortunately not going away soon.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LunHybOKIjU
 Image result for concrete and gold
Dave Grohl is someone I admire in the music industry.  Loves to collaborate, seems to really enjoy being a musician, went from being the drummer in Nirvana to stepping out as the guitarist/vocalist in his band Foo Fighters, made an interesting movie about a recording studio “Sound City” – I’ve even read a book about his life.  I’m a major Nirvana fan, but the Foo Fighters I’ve always been more lukewarm about.  I have their first album, but no others.  I enjoy hearing a lot of their songs on the radio.  But at the end of the day, I never fully latched onto them.  Maybe it’s the uniformity of their sound, maybe Dave’s vocals, while certainly serviceable, are somewhat limited in their depth.  But for some reason, their latest album “Concrete and Gold” is resonating and sticking with me. 
Is it a great album?  No, the second half of the album has some tracks that while not bad, are merely ok.  But it’s a very enjoyable album to listen to all the way through.  The songs are sequenced well, and there’s enough variety in the music to keep you engaged.  Plus, it’s rare to find a solid straight rock album these days.  That type of music simply is not in vogue at the moment.  So what do I love about “Concrete and Gold”?  For starters, the first 5 songs are all very strong.  You can’t help but get pulled into the record when the first half is very stellar.  The opening short track “T-Shirt” starts very slow with Dave softly singing to a few guitar notes and then, bam, it immediately morphs into some seventies sounding huge rock recording – like a mix of Queen and REO Speedwagon – before fading out like the intro started.  Then the song “Run” (featured below) immediately follows.  Another soft opening before it slowly gains in intensity before guitars rain out and launch the song into another atmosphere.  Great track.  Then the next 3 songs are all outstanding (2 of them are featured below).  And they all have a very unique vibe/sound which why this album is fun to listen to.  And it’s not like the next six songs are bad, they just can’t keep up with the first half of the album. 
“Dirty Water” has an interesting very subdued initial 2:30 before it picks up into a pretty cool track for the last half.  “Arrows” is a mid-tempo rocker that has its moments but drags some in the first half.  “Happy Ever After” is a slower song that is serviceable but doesn’t stand out.  “Sunday Rain” goes on too long at over 6:00.  “The Line” sounds like your prototypical Foo Fighters song that could have appeared on any other album.  The album closes with the title track, which has some touches of Pink Floyd on it.  It’s an interesting experiment by the band and a cool way to close the album.  So that’s my summary – first half is incredible, second half is ok but altogether it’s a fun rock album to listen to, given the variation in the different tracks and the experimentation explored by the band.  Grohl has said that in order to begin writing the album, he sequestered himself in a cabin in Ojai, bought a case of wine and sat in his underwear with a microphone for five days just writing – inspired by what was going on in the country – politically, personally, as a father, American and a musician. 20+ years into the Foo Fighters, their 10th album is a solid addition to their discography.  Enough that I actually bought the cd, and wished I had bought tickets for their show in Richmond tomorrow night.  However tickets are now approaching $200 for not great seats so that will be a pass.  I was indifferent about seeing them before I listened to “Concrete and Gold”, which speaks to the impact of the new album.Image result for concrete and gold
 
La Dee Da – Probably my favorite song on the album right now, Grohl is fired up on this track.  I don’t know what he’s addressing, but I like to think it’s a message to Trump.  From the very beginning with that distorted bass, when the guitars kick in and Dave’s vocals – it’s a powerful combination.  Dave’s screaming vocals on the chorus add a lot to the song and make my throat hurt.  Background vocals added by Alison Mosshart (The Dead Weather & The Kills).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHbeZiky9rA – live version because why not?
 
Run – The first single from the album, which is a nice choice.  This song reminds me of what I’d like to do when I hear the latest about what’s going on in the White House.  But this song has it all, soft intro which deftly leads into a high tempo rocker.  There’s a nice contrast between the alternating harsh shouted vocals and Dave’s normal vocals.  The song jumps back and forth between high tempo and very high tempo which provides a bigger impact for both parts.
 
The Sky Is A Neighborhood – I picked this track over “Make It Right” since it showcases a slightly different tempo for the band.  This is a big epic song with a huge shout-a-long chorus. Grohl again tests the durability of his vocal chords during the verses.  Mosshart also provide backing vocals on this track.  The chorus may get stuck in your head for days.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9QH5mR0TwM  can’t not post the coincidence of live versions of “Run” and “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” performed back-to-back in Berlin

Release Radar: Death From Above

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New releases continue to blossom as September wraps up – this has definitely been the biggest release month of the year.  New releases I will be checking out include (there are 10!) the 4th album from J Roddy Walston & the Business “Destroyers of the Soft Life” who are now based in Richmond after starting in Tennessee and time in Baltimore.  This legendary live band is hoping to capture some of that appeal on record  for this effort they have a new producer and spent much more time in the studio than previously.  North London indie rockers Wolf Alice have completed their always difficult second album “Visions of a Life”.  Innovative alt-metal S.F. band Primus who formed over 30 years ago are unleashing “The Desaturating Seven”, a concept album based on an Italian children’s book about color-eating goblins.  German retro psych-rockers Kadavar are sharing their 4th proper studio album “Rough Times”.  Switching over to pop, there are a number of releases this week but the only one I may check out is Miley Cyrus “Younger Now” since I’ve gained some respect for her from The Voice.  Indie rock vocalist Torres, with influences from Cat Power and PJ Harvey is dropping her third album “Three Futures” which is worth checking out.  Winnipeg punk rockers Propagandhi are getting some positive buzz for their 8th album “Victory Lap”.  Detroit indie rock band Protomartyr are presenting their fourth album “Relatives in Descent” – I haven’t been able to get into this band in the past but I will continue to make an effort with this new release since they are so highly regarded by many others.  The last two new releases are probably the most polarizing – violent noise rockers Unsane are unleashing album #10 titled “Sterilize” and saxophonist Kamasi Washington, one of the leading progressive jazz musicians/composers is sharing a new EP “Harmony of Difference”.
 
Death From Above, formerly Death From Above 1979, have just released their 3rd album “Outrage! Is Now”.  If you’re not familiar with the duo, they infuse elements of punk, rock and dance music into their heavily distorted bass and drums sound.  Jesse Keeler handles the bass/synth duties while Sebastian Grainger mans the drums and delivers the vocals.  When their debut album came out in 2004 their unique high-powered sound made an immediate mark on the music scene and help them nab opening slots for high profile bands like Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age.  The following year the duo released a remix album and then called it quits – primarily due to musical differences.  Keeler went more to the dance side, with his more recognized project being MSTRKRFT and Grainger attempted a solo career.  Five years later near the end of 2010 they reconnected personally and then a few months later in 2011 they announced that the band had re-formed.   Their comeback started at Coachella that year and they began to play more concerts over the next few years.  In 2014 they released their second album, which charted in the top 40.  That brings us to a few weeks ago when the band dropped album #3 and also dropped the “1979” from their name (I guess the previous issue with using the name “Death From Above” has been resolved).
 Image result for death from above
 
I’ve been a fan of this band since day 1 and this new album is no exception.  I jotted down six tracks to possibly highlight and there are only 10 on the album, which shows a very high quality of songs.  In fact, there’s not a song I don’t like on the record.  These guys are all about giant hooks, big sounds and mostly urgent vocals.  There’s an occasional piano or horn thrown in the mix, but mostly just drums and bass generating the  catchy cacophony.  That’s what sets these guys apart, they have hooks imbedded in their noise which I find to be a great mix of poppy bombast.  Royal Blood owes a large part of their current success to Death From Above.  When an album has such an immediate impact, I worry that I will quickly grow tired of it.  So far that hasn’t been the case with “Outrage! Is Now”.  In fact, I’m probably liking it even more after repeated listening.   So it’s difficult to pick just three songs to highlight from the album.  So I’m going to take three right from the middle of the album, tracks 5,6 and 7.  That also says a lot when the songs placed in the middle of the album can hold their own.
Image result for death from above
 
Never Swim Alone – This track hits me in a visceral way, that riff is just in your face.  Since this is easily the shortest song on the album, it ensures you don’t get tired of it before it ends.  There’s really not a whole lot to the song, beyond the riff and the propulsive beat that drives it along.
 
Moonlight – The little interlude at the end of “Never Swim Alone” allows this song to kick in with a bigger impact than it normally would have.  This track sort of jitters along precariously, like a Jenga tower that could fall at any second.  But it keeps pulling it back together before continuing along again.  Maybe that’s the appeal?  I hear a little bit of Muse in this track.
 
Statues – Big-time hooks in this track.  Maybe a little glam-rock elements.  The sound is HUGE on this one.
 

Human Performance by Parquet Courts

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Notable new releases this week are completely overshadowed by the Sunday digital release of Radiohead’s 9th studio album (could it be their last?) “A Moon Shaped Pool”.  This is all I’ve been listening to all week in the car, and it’s a pretty incredible piece of work.  It’s a moody, mellow effort and loaded with the most intricate aural effects and sounds – extremely well-crafted.  If you’re already a fan you’ll love it, if you’re not a fan you may still want to check it out.  I’m still absorbing it almost one week in and discovering new things in the music each day.  So it’s great if you want to sit and just fully concentrate on absorbing the music, but it would also work well playing in the background.  It’s not something you throw on to listen to while working out or exercising though.  The amount of devotion/obsession shown by their fanatics online is beyond crazy though.  These guys are treated like deities by their fans, and to a ridiculous level in many cases.  Hey, I’ve been a big fan of the band for 20+ years and I have all of their albums, but c’mon people, get a grip.  Yes, they are an immensely talented band and create some very unique music, but there’s no need to get overly carried away by it.  Anyway, I’m not featuring Radiohead this week and may not ever, they get plenty of attention on their own.  But if you’d like me to highlight some music from their latest album, let me know and I can put something together in a future email.  Other releases to note this week include the third album “Nattesferd” from Norwegian metal maniacs Kvelertak, Chance the Rapper’s self-released follow-up to the acclaimed “Acid Rap” – “Coloring Book” featuring a slew of guests, and a new single from Manchester legends the Stone Roses just came out Thursday.  If you’re not familiar with the Stone Roses, then go seek out a copy of their S/T debut album which came out in 1989 – and you’re welcome.
 
There’s been so many great new releases the past few weeks, that I’ve failed to tout a few albums that came out right before then.  So this week I’m highlighting the 3rd album from Parquet Courts titled “Human Performance”, which came out in early April. Parquet Courts are yet another Brooklyn band (originally hailing from Texas), that came together in 2010.  They have an indie rock sound with some jagged punk edges, and at times you can hear a lot of Pavement influence in their music.  They released their first album on cassette only in 2011 “American Specialties”, which also got a vinyl release a year later.  Their “official” debut came out in the summer of 2012 “Light Up Gold” and it quickly gained critical acclaim and they built a solid fan base as they toured to support this album.  They cut an EP in 2013 and then released their second album in 2014 “Sunbathing Animal”.  This then led to a slew of different recordings (not proper albums) including a full-length as the Parkay Quarts, a concert album, a few 7” singles and a mostly instrumental EP.  Obviously the band was working through a lot of experimentation and songwriting techniques.  Their 3rd proper album “Human Performance” is their first album with songwriting contributions from all four members (Andrew Savage vocals/guitar/keyboards, Austin Brown guitar/vocals, Sean Yeaton bass/vocals and Max Savage behind the kit + vocals).  All of the experimentation the band did between albums seems to have really paid off because “Human Performance” is their best and most focused effort yet.  Not that they don’t have their share of curveballs worked in throughout the 13 songs on the album.  But the band has kicked it into a different gear and seem to have settled into a nice groove.  It will be interesting to see where they go from here.
 
“Dust” – This is a good example of how the band has evolved on the new album.  “Dust” is a straightforward, catchy track that highlights some of the deadpan humor the band often shows  “It comes through the window and it comes through the floor, it comes through the roof and it comes through the door.  Dust is everywhere.  Sweep!  Sweep.”.  It’s executed far better than it reads!  Great guitar, a hooky chorus and some interesting keyboard work are highlights on this track. 

 
“Berlin Got Blurry” – This song starts off with a guitar that sounds like it was plucked from a western movie.  The verses then speed up and go on a different path.  Then that western guitar comes back in the instrumental breaks between verses.  During the choruses, there’s a cool keyboard burst that brings on a ‘60s vibe.  The keyboards and organ later on start playing together to fully flesh out the track.  The band packs a lot of words into the verses on this song, which is completely the opposite of the minimal lyrics in “Dust”.

 

Black Terry Cat by Xenia Rubinos

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A handful of notable new releases out today, at the top of my personal anticipation list is the new album from SoCal rockers Rival Sons “Hollow Bones”.  Also, you can find new albums from the quadruple guitar attack of Diarrhea Planet on “Turn to Gold”, alt-rock/country stalwarts Band of Horses with “Why Are You OK”, and Garbage pull out a surprisingly strong release in their genre with “Strange Little Birds”.
 
I first heard Xenia Rubinos just this past week from Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlist that’s updated every Monday and assembled based on your music listening preferences.  I often have some pretty random artists selected since my listening preferences are all over the board; I’m sure I make it pretty difficult for their algorithms.  But since I’m always open to hearing new and different music, I’ve discovered some interesting artists that were pushed to me from Spotify.  Rubinos is an excellent example of this, because I don’t think I would have come across her otherwise (although Pitchfork put up a solid review of her new album later on in the week so it may have hit my radar anyway).  Rubinos’ new album “Black Terry Cat” is her second release, and I was impressed by her eclecticism and originality.  She is definitely bringing something fresh to the table.  While Xenia is currently based in Brooklyn, she was raised in Hartford, CT in a household of Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage (and you hear this influence in her music).  She studied voice at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she met some of her backing band.  Her first album was released in 2013 “Magic Trix”, which was equally ambitious and mixed jazz, hip-hop, funk, Caribbean rhythms and electronics into her sound.  Her jazz vocal stylings with this musical mishmash creates a unique sound for her.  On her latest album, I hear some Erykah Badu influence on her vocal stylings, but it doesn’t take away from her uniqueness.  The sounds on “Black Terry Cat” highlight some good grooves, a mix of organic and mechanical sounds and solid production.  Rubinos also isn’t afraid to shy away from social commentary and politics in her lyrics, bringing an added fierceness to some of her songs.  So with the diverse influences in her music, and the ability to challenge while keeping the grooves infectious, Rubinos has crafted an album that stands out from most other releases.  Here are three tracks to check out.
 
“Mexican Chef” – A big bass line and crisp drums kick off my favorite track on the album right now.  I love how Rubinos delivers her vocals on this song as well, mixing in some hip-hop/rap with some jazz and R&B, trading off between verses and the chorus.  And the guitar wraps it all up to complete the package.  This song will get you bouncing!

 
“Black Stars” – On this track, you can hear much more of an electronic influence in the music, but it’s deftly mixed in with organic sounds of the piano and drums.  The music is very cool on this song.  Rubinos also breaks out more actual singing, showcasing another element of her voice. 

 
“Right?” – A big fuzzy organ sound dominates this song, along with a solid rhythm section (her drummer is also the producer on the album and co-writer on some of the tracks).  Rubinos’ vocals also get a spotlight on this track, which really is very simple instrumentally.  But after mixing her vocals in, the song sounds much bigger than the few elements contributing to it.  This is another good example of her uniqueness as an artist.

Remembering Prince

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R.I.P. Prince – truly one of the most original, talented and influential musicians during our lifetime. 2016 is turning into a crushingly hard year for the music world. Below are a couple of links that show just a glimpse of the talent Prince so easily harnessed throughout his career.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y – Prince decides to take over this all-star performance tribute of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for George Harrison at about the 3:30 mark of this video and proceeds to solo all the way through until the song ends – and he ends it with a flourish by tossing his guitar straight up in the air (which mysteriously never comes back down…)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NN3gsSf-Ys – Prince’s legendary Super Bowl halftime performance. A little bit of rain was never going to bring him down…

20 BEST Songs to Get High To!

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Noisy Planet presents the TOP 20 SONGS TO GET HIGH TO:

1. “Because I Got High” Afroman

2. “Good Times (I Get High) Styles P

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fJZbBcDsRQ

3. “Marijuana” Kid Cudi

4. “I Got 5 On It” The Luniz

5. “Smoke Two Joints” Sublime

6. “Stay High” Three 6 Mafia feat. 8 Ball & MJG and Young Buck

7. “Purple Haze” Jimi Hendrix

8. “Kaya” Bob Marley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLghskVhcuI

9. “One Toke Over The Line” Brewer & Shiple

10. “Sweet Leaf” Black Sabbath

11. “Reefer Head Woman” Aerosmith

12. ‘(Roll Another Number) For The Road’ Neil Young

13. “Reefer Man” Cab Calloway

14. “How High” Method Man and Redman

15. “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35” Bob Dylan

16. “Hits From The Bong” Cypress Hill

17. “You’re Making Me High” Toni Braxton

18. “Mary Jane” Rick James

19. “Jesus of Suburbia” Green Day

20. “Weed Song” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Indie labels win government grants

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You have probably heard about entrepreneurs, students and start-up businesses receiving grants from the government or some other institution. But did you know that the government is now giving out money to help promote the work of independent artists? In the United Kingdom, more than twelve songwriters and music labels have been given £200,000 by the British government to fund the promotion of their work in other countries.
About two years ago, a department of the British government called the UK Trade and Investment created a music export scheme worth £2.5 million. Their purpose was to help independent music companies and artists within the United Kingdom help make a name for themselves in other countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. There were a total of thirteen music companies chosen for this funding, including the management company responsible for “Catfish and the Bottlemen.” Other songwriters who have received grants include Georgie Dennis, Christopher Wortley, and Greig Watts. Out of all the past recipients who have received grant money, they have 10 international music awards and 13 record deals all together as a result of this funding.
Critics speculate the real reason behind this funding program for new artists. Some believe it is because the United States has taken the lead as the entertainment capital of the world and the United Kingdom wants to compete by bringing more of their artists into the music scene. However, the minister of UK Trade and Investment says the United Kingdom had £17 billion in exports from the creative sector during 2013. This Music Export Growth Scheme not only helps aspiring British musical talent make a name for themselves, but it also boosts the number of sales for music in the United Kingdom as well. In turn, this creates more jobs and boosts the British economy in the long run.
In the 21st century, there aren’t too many musical artists making names for themselves in various countries throughout the world. It seems that the only artists you hear about these days come from the United States. However, this might not be a good thing for countries in the rest of the world that have an economy worse than the U.S. Perhaps the United Kingdom has the right idea by investing money into their creative sector. After all, consumers love to spend money on creative products like music and movies. It is a billion pound industry that is continuing to grow every day. If other countries would invest in their own creative industries then perhaps their economies countries would invest in their own creative industries then perhaps their economies would grow too.  

10 songs from the last 5 years that need to be in Rock Band

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For those of you who are into gaming and rock music, you are probably familiar with the Rock Band game franchise on Xbox. The last game in the franchise to come out was Rock Band 3 in 2010. It was known for having many content offerings available for download, which stopped being available in late 2013 but then started up again in early 2015. However, fans of the Rock Band franchise had gotten to the point where they weren’t just looking for new downloadable content for Rock Band 3. They were looking for an entirely new sequel all together. The creator of the franchise, Harmonix, is finally going to satisfy these demands.
It was just announced by Harmonix that Rock Band 4 is in the works and will be released five years after the previous game came out. It is also predicted that it will have all new downloadable content available for gamers to purchase. The great thing about downloadable content in Rock Band is that you can request your own songs to be placed into the game, and then you get to play them yourself. Remember, Rock Band is all about creating your own rock band and living the life of a rock star virtually through your gaming console. But this also gives you the chance to play some of your favorite songs as a rock star and to experience the thrill of having an audience cheering you on as you play it.  
The only thing Rock Band needs to have is newer songs in its downloadable content. In fact, there are ten songs in particular created within the last five years that need to find their way to Rock Band 4 as downloadable content.

These songs are “Bucker Buster” by Viet Cong

“BlockBuster Night Part 1” by Run the Jewels

“Under Control” by the Internet

“Reflektor” by Arcade Fire

“II. Shadow” by Childish Gambino

“We Were Rock & Roll” by Janelle Monae

“Graceless” by the National

“Under the Pressure” by The War on Drugs

“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar

“New You” by My Bloody Valentine

Chances are newer gamers from the current generation would have probably heard of these songs and bands by now. If you are an older gamer from the 80s generation then you are probably looking for soft or classic rock.

Either way, you’ll still have a good time playing these songs if they do become available for Rock Band 4.

Leave a trace by Chvrches on Jimmy Fallon

Posted by | Song Discovery | No Comments

CHVRCHES-Tonight-Show1-426x351On a recent episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Chvrches performed as the musical guests on the show. The song they performed on the show was a single from their album Every Open Eye called “Leave a Trace.” Chvrches claim they had “channeled the forces of the universe” in order to get the inspiration to write the songs of Every Open Eye. Jimmy Fallon is known for bringing a lot of different variety to his version of the Tonight Show. He has become known for giving newer bands and singers a chance to make a name for themselves by allowing them to perform on the Tonight Show. Now that Chvrches has performed their single for the first time on the show, they are bound to gain more fans and popularity in the months and years to come.

Chvrches is pronounced as churches. They are an electronic band from Scotland that was created in 2011. The band consists of three members; Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty and Iain Cook. Mayberry does the lead vocals and assists with the synthesizers. Doherty does the synthesizers, vocals and samplers. Cook does the vocals, synthesizers, bass and guitar. The band came in 5th place on BBC’s Sound of 2013, which is a list that contains promising talent from around the United Kingdom. Chvrches’ debut album was released in September of 2013. It was called “The Bones of What You Believe.” And now, their second album “Every Open Eye” will be released on September 25th, 2015. For a four year old band, they have already released two albums and “Recover EP” on March of 2013. One of their songs entitled “The Mother We Share” was used in that video that opened the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, which took place on July 23rd 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
If you haven’t seen their performance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” you can find clips of their musical performance on YouTube or through the NBC website. On YouTube, check out the official Tonight Show channel that has authorized video clips from the actual televised show. This is the one that will have the best picture and sound quality as well. Once you listen to their music, you will become a fan of Chvrches right away. Thanks to the internet, it is much easier for new independent bands like this to get discovered. They will probably be watched more on YouTube than they were when they performed on the televised episode of the Tonight Show.