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The Witzard Presents: Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown, Part I (PB30 "Side A")

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Swiss Army Return with "On Top of The World" Feat. Garrett Dale of Red City Radio & Announce "Host" Single/Beer Release (A-F Records)

Swiss Army are an Alternative/Punk band hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who are currently signed to A-F Records—yes, Swiss Army are signed to Anti-Flag's independent record label! Swiss Army's current roster includes frontman Brandon Lehman, guitarist Dave Yarkovsky, drummer Chris Hawthorne, and bassist Jeff Morgan. Last year, they released their critically-acclaimed full-length debut, PARIS MOUNTAIN, on A-F Records, which was preceded by a 2016 self-titled EP. Now, Swiss Army have returned with their first official musical offering of 2019, "On Top of The World" featuring Garrett Dale of Red City Radio. It tackles topics of "both the excitement and pressure of achieving success," as ALTPRESS explains within a recent "On Top of The World" premiere feature. It seems like Swiss Army's new guitar-heavy single is being told from the perspective of someone who has definitely seen their fair share of great successes and even greater failures.

"'On Top of The World" is a walk that I've taken through the challenges of both excitement and dread that accompany any level of success. As we create and progress, with those come pressure, doubt, and the feeling that, at any point, the universe can swing its pendulum in the opposite direction, pulling everything back with it. Through that, I've learned that "success" isn't final. It's a battle won in embracing the victories to overcome the defeats," Swiss Army told The Witzard, via email. It was, also, revealed to us that Swiss Army are currently prepping their next A-F Records single, "Host." It will see a release on Friday, October 11, 2019 with two commemorative shows: first, at 4:00pm at Dancing Gnome Beer for an FREE in-brewery acoustic "warm-up" show and later, at The Funhouse at Mr. Small's for a proper full-band performance/release show to be held from 7-10:00pm. Dancing Gnome's in-brewery show will, also, include the release of a limited edition beer, called "Host," as well, which will be available in both cans and on draught at the brewery starting on Oct. 11. Swiss Army's "On Top of The World" is currently available on digital streaming platforms and their "Host" single/beer will become available starting Friday, October, 11, 2019.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Crust Brothers, blink-182's Mark Hoppus & @SimpsonsXcore Pay Tribute to The Cars' Frontman Richard "Ric" Ocasek (1944-2019)

Richard "Ric" Ocasek passed away this past Sunday, September 15, 2019. 75-year-old Ocasek was found dead Sunday at his New York City townhouse by his estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova, where he had been recovering from a recent surgery. The Chief Medical Examiner's office later reported Ric Ocasek died from natural causes; although, he suffered from both hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. Ocasek was best-known as being one of the founding members of The Cars, as well as the band's long-time lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter. The Cars emerged from the 1970's New Wave scene and were early originators of what is now commonly known as Power Pop with sonic allusions to Rock "N" Roll, Art Rock, and Rockabilly throughout. The Cars always appeared to be (to me, at least) a Punk-adjacent band, which makes complete sense because during The Cars' career, as well as after their 1988 disbandment, Ric Ocasek produced records for Suicide, Romeo Void, Bad Brains, Alan Vega, Bad Religion, D Generation, and No Doubt. Ocasek famously produced Weezer's Weezer (The Blue Album) & Weezer (The Green Album,) as well as both tracks and albums for Guided By Voices, Le Tigre, Brazilian Girls, The Pink Spiders, Motion City Soundtrack, and Shwayze. The Cars briefly reunited in 2011 for the first album in 24 years, Move Like This produced by Jacknife Lee and were later, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 by The Killers' frontman, Brandon Flowers. Ric Ocasek released seven solo albums between 1982-2005, as well as a 1996 spoken word album with Alan Vega & Gillian McCain. I would strongly recommend The Cars' self-titled 1978 debut for potential new fans, as it's filled with hit after hit from end-to-end!

Since Ric Ocasek's sudden passing, an outpouring of tributes, both musical and personal, have emerged from everyone from frequent collaborators Weezer to Def Jux founder/Run The Jewels' El-P. Here, we have collected a number of musical tributes that have been released in the days since Ocasek's passing: The Crust Brothers Cover The Cars, blink-182 co-frontman Mark Hoppus' rendition of "Just What I Needed," and @SimpsonsXcore's Simpsons-ized version of The Cars' self-titled 1978 debut. The Crust Brothers were a short-lived band active from about 1997-2000 consisting of Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Andy Cohen, Michael Dahlquist & Tim "Midgett" Midyett of Silkworm. The Crust Brothers released one album, Marquee Mark, consisting of primarily Bob Dylan & The Band covers, which was recorded on December 5, 1997 at The Crocodile Café in Seattle, Washington. According to The Crust Brothers/Silkworm bassist Tim Midgett, SM & The Brothers played three additional shows: 12/30/98 at Breakroom in Seattle, 1/1/99 "someplace in Vancouver?" and 12/31/00, again, at The Crocodile Café. Now, nearly 20 years after The Crust Brothers' disbandment, NJ-based imprint, Comedy Minus One has unveiled The Crust Brothers Cover The Cars EP recorded at the 12/31/00 gig. "The songs had to be easy to play, since we barely practiced. Those Cars songs fit the bill. Andy [Cohen] wanted to do "Double Life" because he had always liked it, as I recall. "Good Times Roll" was an easy one to add on. Everyone likes hearing that stuff," Tim Midyett told The Witzard, via email. @SimpsonsXcore & Mark Hoppus' own personal tributes can be viewed above and below, respectively.

"A couple years ago, I was asked to record a creepy cover of "Just What I Needed" for a TV show. They wanted moody and strange, dark, and drony, with space for dialogue to go over it. I went into the studio with my friend, James Ingram, and this is what we came up with. The show was cancelled so quickly, the episode never aired, but if you can imagine a grim and grizzled detective determinedly working a murder case that shook them to the very core of their being, this is the music the show requested. It's been sitting on a hard drive ever since and with the sad news of Ric Ocasek's passing, I thought I'd put it up here. Enjoy it. And go listen to The Cars."

- Mark Hoppus (@markhoppus)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Broken Machine Films Presents... Recruits Darko The Super, Emceein' Eye, Height Keech, PASSAGE & More for NOOB SAIBOT 1 (Illuminated Paths)

NOOB SAIBOT 1-4 is an upcoming series of releases from Joshua Rogers at Illuminated Paths/Broken Machine Films Presents... (or BMFP...) which I've, personally, been hearing rumblings about for quite a while now. I believe, I've been hearing about NOOB SAIBOT 1-4 from Mr. Rogers just about as long as VIPER & Broken Machine Films Presents... BOUT THA MONEY, both of which were fairly recently re-mixed/mastered by Dan "Height" Keech at Cold Rhymes Records. Joshua Rogers/BMFP... has a very unique cut-and-paste style of creating Hip-Hop, Vaporwave, and largely genre-eschewing music culled from a nearly 20-year vault of original production work curated/created by Mr. Rogers himself; using "strictly cassette-to-cassette and VHS/record-to-cassette manipulation and layering, utilizing only vintage tape decks and medium," much like BOUT THA MONEY. NOOB SAIBOT 1 was quietly released by Illuminated Paths on Friday, August 30, 2019 with NOOB SAIBOT 2-4, reportedly, soon to follow. For all intensive purposes, this very feature showcases "Make These Tunes" (Alt. Mix) [w/ Height Keech & Emceein' Eye] & "Too Much Paranoia" [w/ Darko The Super], as well as a "NOOB SAIBOT 1 AVAILABLE NOW PROMO I 2019" video below.

NOOB SAIBOT 1, however, showcases contributions throughout from Height Keech & Emceein' Eye (Speak N' Eye,) Nickk Dropkick & Ripdae La Wise, Yung BALENTS & Vitamin Wig C, MILIEU, Z M S AKA White Gucci, Darko The Super, PASSAGE, Healamonster, Zaydoc Dachiefroc, and Broken Machine Films Presents... Production, theme, and original sample mixes for the NOOB SAIBOT series were handled by Joshua Rogers of Broken Machine Films Presents... with Mixing & Mastering by Dan Keech AKA Height and artwork by Yung BALENTS. Parts 1-4 of "the NOOB SAIBOT series will feature full tracks, guest appearances, freestyles, and remixes by these amazing artists, listed here in no particular order:" Broken Machine Films Presents... Astronautalis, BYSON, Height Keech, Emceein' Eye, PASSAGE, theclosing, VIPER, MJC, ODD NOSDAM, BRZOWSKI, Faust (Ohtwo,) Club Goya, OneWerd, Darko The Super, sole, Unsung, and a slew of additional talented artists, all of which can be seen now at Illuminated Paths. NOOB SAIBOT 1 is now available digitally and on limited edition cassette directly from Illuminated Paths. NOOB SAIBOT 2,3 & 4 will be "COMING SOON!" as well.

"With Broken Machine Films Presents... at the production helm and Height with the mastering prowess, NOOB SAIBOT 1 is finally here. After almost 5 years in-the-making and 20 years curating/creating. The first of its kind fusion crossover of Hip-Hop meets Vaporwave. A plethora of artists both above and Underground, ones that have so inspired and awed, not only myself and small back alley stages, but artists that have engaged the world at large. From Hip-Hop/Rap to Vaporwave. Assembled exclusively for this 4-part cassette series.

This first run hand-made and sealed tape version of NOOB SAIBOT 1 has amazing themed double-sided artwork by Yung BALENTS (with a sneak preview of the artwork from the upcoming NOOB SAIBOT 2.) Plus, contains hidden messages, alternate effects, bonus samples, and an exclusive cassette-only track of deleted skits, instrumentals, drops, beats, and guest spots that include Dustin D. Fingers and a Super-Secret Mystery Artist! HOOKED UP. Limited to 50. NOOB SAIBOT 2, 3 & 4 COMING SOON!"

- Joshua Rogers/NOOB SAIBOT (@pathsilluminated)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Ghost Cave Crowd-funding "Grim Grinning Ghosts" B/W "We Are Ready to Believe You" Haunted Mansion 7-inch (Kickstarter)

dj BC is the recording alias of musical producer and Ghostbusters enthusiast, Bob Cronin. BC has hand-crafted critically-acclaimed mash-up albums attributed to The Beastles, Ziggy Stardust Remixed, Wu Orleans, The Santastic Christmas Collections, and most recently, Ghost Cave. He's produced four records for Big D & The Kids Table, as well as remixes for other signed artists. Ghost Cave is best described as an album full of varying styles, including, but not limited to, Alternative Hip-Hop, Reggae, Electro-Punk, and Hip-House. For the album, dj BC has recruited a who's-who of musical friends and collaborators dubbed "The Ghost Cave All-Stars" featuring Edo. G/Ed O.G. Big D & The Kids Table frontman David McWane, Z.Dimention, Grandpamini, The Doped Up Dollies, Keenon Rush, Tribe One, ATOM, Pimpdaddysupreme, Supercrunk, and more. Very recently, dj BC approached us with the unique opportunity to premeire the Evan O'Television-directed music video for Ghost Cave opener "Ghost Cave" Feat. Z.Dimention. While still promoting Ghost Cave's self-titled debut, as well as newly-minted Ghost Cave Records, we've recently been hearing rumors of a super-exclusive Ghost Cave vinyl release...

As recently as September 6, 2019, Bob Cronin posted, "Ghost Cave just got clearance from Disney to cover "Grim Grinning Ghosts" and release as 500 vinyl 7-inch records. This will be a Kickstarter for a single, with a #Ghostbusters Hip-House song featuring Tribe One, Precious Roy / ATOM & D.j. Supercrunk on the B-side. Black or purple vinyl. More info coming soon." Said Kickstarter campaign has since been fully launched with a $5,000 funding goal to be crowd-funded prior to a September 21, 2019 deadline. As of this article's publication, there are currently 61 backers with a total of $2,537 pledged, so far. For those interested in backing, there are currently five distinct reward tiers (plus, an option to "pledge without a reward"): The Bloody Single, Bloody DJ Download Remix Pack, Bloody Deluxe Package, and I'm The Bloody Producer for $10, $15, $25, $40, and $1,000 backer fees, respectively. Rewards include everything from "Purple Poltergeist" & "Midnight Black" 7-inch vinyl to an Executive Producer credit on the single. So, if you're interested in supporting this spook-tacular single, head on over to Ghost Cave's Kickstarter within the next 8 days to help support. Also, feel free to peruse The Witzard's recent Ghost Cave "Ghost Cave" premiere, as well as our comprehensive Q&A with the ghoulish mastermind himself, dj BC.

"Q: Where did this project come from?

A: I've loved The Haunted Mansion ride, history, and all associated music since I was a kid. When I started messing with my Electronic version of the composition, I realized that licensing the composition was, actually, possible! I thought this would be a cool way to make an exclusive, rare single of an unusual version of a creepy classic and, also, get this Tribe One Ghostbusters song out there in some ears, as well. ATOM's "We Are Ready to Believe You" Remix—from Ghost Cave's self-titled debut album—is the perfect creepy/funny B-side to this Haunted single."

- Bob Cronin AKA dj BC (@ghostcaveatl)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Animal Ventura Returns with Hip-Hop-indebted "No Gravity" (Pat Van Dyke Remix) Feat. John Robinson from 2017 EP Forrest St.

Forrest St. was "recorded over five days in Jersey City, NJ. Forrest St. shows the diverse music pallete of Brazilian-born, Sydney-based singer-songwriter, Fernando Aragones [Animal Ventura]. Produced by drummer/composer, Pat Van Dyke with the help of amazing NYC-based musicians. Animal Ventura's Forrest St. EP, additionally, features contributions from aforementioned "amazing NYC-based musicians," such as bassist Jordan Scannella, keyboardist David Stolarz, pedal steel player Jonny Lam, vocalist Laura Stiit, melodica player Shannon Stitt, trumpet player Richard Polatchek, tenor sax player Jeff Hackworth, trombonist Peter Lin, and other talented players.

As long-time supporters of fellow New Jersian, Pat Van Dyke AKA PVD, it's no secret, we were, also, big fans of Animal Ventura's 2017 effort, Forrest St. Now, a little more than two years later, Animal Ventura & PVD have returned with a remix of Forrest St. opener "No Gravity." Pat Van Dyke re-worked the original arrangement and recruited his Modern Vintage & Kiss The Sky collaborator, John "J.R." Robinson to add a verse and some vocal riffing. "No Gravity" (Pat Van Dyke Remix) is vaguely reminiscent of 90's Jazz/Hip-Hop, particularly, "Left & Right" by D'Angelo, Method Man & Redman. Both Animal Ventura's Forrest St. EP and "No Gravity" (Pat Van Dyke Remix) Feat. John Robinson are currently available to stream, download, etc. on your digital streaming service of choice.

"Well, I've always been a fan of [Pat Van Dyke] & John [Robinson AKA J.R.]'s collab's and when I asked Pat to produce my album, Forrest St. I had this idea of getting J.R. to sing on the opening track, "No Gravity," but for some logistical reasons, we couldn't make it work, at the time. I think J.R. was away on tour somewhere, anyway, maybe, a year after the album was out, I asked Pat if he was up for doing a remix of the song and luckily, J.R. was around this time and we were able to piece the track together. I'm super-stoked with the result and feel quite lucky to collaborate with such incredible musicians, like PVD & J.R."

- Animal Ventura (@animalventura)

"This collaboration came together, on my end, through [my] long-time collaborator and friend, Pat Van Dyke, who told me he was producing Animal Ventura's album, however, at the time, I was touring in Europe and [was] too busy to be a part of the album. Pat, then, hit me up after the album was done, etc. and played me a [rough] version of the "No Gravity" [(Pat Van Dyke] Remix) beat and I was definitely into it. Once I heard Animal Ventura's vocals and the concept, I was immediately inspired because, as a writer, these days, I am more inspired by things that pull me out of my comfort zone. It, also, helped that I recently returned from my first trip to Australia, so the awesome time I had was fresh on my mind. Float to the vibes, yo!"

- John "J.R" Robinson (@johnrobinsonmusic)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Nu-Funk Sensation Otis McDonald Returns with Hip-shaker "Body, Mind & Soul" from New Album People Music (TrackTribe)

"The sounds of Shuggie Otis & Michael McDonald inspired a man to write a song. A couple of Mondays later, that song inspired an identity. The name is Otis McDonald. The mission? Good music;" that man was "producer, engineer, drummer, singer, bassist, guitarist, and keyboardist extraordinaire" Joe Bagale, now, better known as Otis McDonald. I was fortunate enough to grow up with parents who always had a phenomenal record collection: Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, New Jersey "staple" Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Lionel Richie, and, of course, The Doobie Brothers & Michael McDonald. So, I feel as though I "get" it... The Funk, that is! While I very much enjoy all of the aforementioned artists from my parents' record collection, I'll readily admit, Michael McDonald has the voice of a silky smooth angel. Nu-Funk sensation Otis McDonald self-released a whopping 30 tracks for free on YouTube's copyright-free audio library; they have since been downloaded over 5 million times, streamed over 10 million times, and have already appeared within millions of YouTube creators' videos. McDonald has since self-released a slew of album-length projects, including September, March, Innovations In Booty Shaking Music, Vol. 1-2, Float, and Moon.

Otis McDonald's latest collection of Funk-tastic compositions, People Music, was, actually, hand-selected for the people, by the people. Back in March 2019, Joe Bagale quietly uploaded 15 snippets of 15 as-yet-unreleased tracks over the course of 15 weeks. He, then, funneled the pseudo-album down to a solid 10 tracks, which ultimately garnered the most views, Likes, and Comments, and effectively re-packaged them as a proper 10-track album. Now, Otis McDonald has returned with our first proper taste of People Music, "Body, Mind & Soul" accompanied by a music video directed by John Sippel (@vltrr.) I would, personally, compare it to something falling stylistically in-between Shuggie Otis/Michael McDonald and Mayer Hawthorne-fronted Tuxedo. Otis McDonald's latest album, People Music, will be released on TrackTribe Friday, October 11, 2019. People Music vinyl can currently be pre-ordered directly from QRATES. Scroll Down for a statement on the unique creation process behind "Body, Mind & Soul" from The Zorro of Funk, The Scarlet Pimpernel of Retro Electro himself, Otis McDonald.

"There's a fun story about the creation of this song and production: For a time, I was working with this company called YourSongmaker, which allowed any person to submit some lyric ideas and then, the company would pair them up with a song-writer/producer to create an original song. That person, also, requested that it be an "uptempo Funk track." I'm a giant fan of Prince, James Brown, and Sly & The Family Stone. So, when someone asks for something Funky, I'm gonna look to the masters for inspiration. I had six hours to do it and this is what I came up with. Having that quick turnaround/deadline forced me to not really think about it, rather than just follow my ears and get it done. Funny thing is, I co-wrote this song with a person I've never met. This guy's name is Howard Wear and I thank him for helping me channel this tune."

- Otis McDonald (@OtisMacMusic)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

KID ACNE Triumphantly Returns with "CREST OF A WAVE" Feat. NOSAJ from New Kingdom & Spectacular Diagnostics (Lex Records)

KID ACNE is a UK-based artist, illustrator, print-maker, and emcee. Many of you may recognize KID ACNE's name from Part II our recent Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown, AKA #PB30. KID ACNE submitted a blurb on Track 12. "What Comes Around" and supplied original artwork from Beck's Music Inspired Art series. "CREST OF A WAVE" is KID ACNE's first release, under his own name, since 2007's Romance Ain't Dead (LP) & Romance Ain't Beats (EP.) He has, of course, issued a number of releases since Romance Ain't Dead/Beats as MONGRELS with beat-maker Benjamin "Benjamin" Hatton, including 2016's critically-acclaimed Attack The Monolith. "CREST OF A WAVE" features New Kingdom emcee NOSAJ, as well as Westside Gunn, Vic Spencer & Conway producer Spectacular Diagnostics "behind the boards." It's the first official offering from KID ACNE's upcoming fourth studio album, HAVE A WORD, which will be released on Lex Records sometime this Fall on Friday, November 8, 2019.

HAVE A WORD will, also, boast appearances from Juice Aleem, Juga-Naut, Sebash & NEW KINGDOM, as well as aforementioned collaborators NOSAJ and full-album producer Spectacular Diagnostics. KID ACNE's "CREST OF A WAVE" single was released along with a companion grainy, old school-reminiscent music video directed by Tom Sykes & SevenPoints.Uk. HAVE A WORD: An Exhibition of Lyrics & Typography will, also, run concurrently with the release of HAVE A WORD (the album) and will be on display at 1 Norwich St, Park Hill, Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England from September 13-28th. "The aim of the exhibition is to connect the dots through the exploration of lyrics and lettering, utilising limited resources and a more D.I.Y. mindset," KID ACNE explained within a statement. HAVE A WORD will soon become available for pre-order directly from Lex Records. Scroll Down for KID ACNE & NOSAJ's previous collaboration, MONGRELS PRESENT: NEW KINGDOM - Paradise Don't Come Cheap 20TH ANNIVERSARY MIX from 2017.