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Showing posts from March, 2015

Stones Throw & @munguni Present: The Lions in the dungeon - "When It Rains" (Unplugged Video)

"THE LIONS "In The Dungeon" unplugged performing "WHEN IT RAINS" off the brand new record Soul Riot on Stones Throw Records. Thanks a ton to Ross Harris and Stanley "Babylon Burning" Gonzales for direction and sound," The Lions exuberantly wrote on their Facebook page Thursday afternoon upon the release of their first unofficial video release behind third album, Soul Riot. "Our first attempt at a proper video for "When It Rains" didn't turn out how we'd hoped, but we are actively searching for directors and have a couple in mind... We did do an unplugged performance that came out great though," Lions ringleader Dan Ubick said in a brief follow-up email preceding our recent second interview conducted for this very site, The Witzard; alluding to a filmed and since scrapped proper "When It Rains" video treatment, as well as what's seemingly amounted to the just-released The Lions in the dungeon unplugged f…

Ouzo Bazooka Infuses Mediterranean & Western Influences on Israeli Garage-Rock Single, "Children of The Revolution" (T. Rex)

"Kinrot describes ["Children of The Revolution"] as an interpretation of the emerging social movement in the middle-eastern countries: "From the social justice protests that happened in Israel during 2011 (and to this day), and all the manifestations that are changing the Middle East surface, emerged a strong connection to this song and its relevancy for today's reality," reads a pull-quote lifted from Ouzo Bazooka frontman Uri Brauner Kinrot (formerly UBK). Initially billed as "Mediterranean garage rock / Israel," I've been in touch with UBK and his social media team since about November 2013, after they saw an old featurette I did on White Denim; at this point in time, I've written about roughly 3-5 UBK/Ouzo Bazooka videos and I would best liken their overall sound to a Mediterranean-influenced brand of Queens of The Stone Age's Desert Acid-Rock infused with The Black Keys' radio-friendly Blues-Rock Americana. "The idea be…

Action Bronson & Earl Sweatshirt Team Up for Previously Unreleased Alchemist-produced Bonus Track, "WARLORD LEATHER" * (Soundcloud Bootleg)

Needless to say, it's been one Hell of a week for Underground Hip-Hop; Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, and Kendrick Lamar all dropped staggering, critically-acclaimed new albums this past Monday, March 23rd (I'm unsure why they strayed away from the typical Tuesday release day). I went out and bought hard CD copies of Bronson and Lamar's albums, but I wasn't able to find I Don't Like Sh*t, I Don't Go Outside at out local Best Buy, and I've really only had a chance to delve into Action Bronson's gloriously frantic "debut," MR. WONDERFUL. While Bronson and Lamar's TDE crew seem to have a mutual admiration for each other, the two fledgling rappers have never recorded any material together, at least not to my knowledge. But Bronson has in fact recorded a few non-album tracks with Odd Future and their reigning adolescent prince, Earl Sweatshirt; most notably, Domo Genesis' pro wrestling-referencing Alchemist-produced mixtape track, "…

Action Bronson, Chance The Rapper & Big Body Bes Re-enact Scenes from Eddie Murphy's Coming to America for "Baby Blue" (VICE Records)

Although he's been effectively dominating the mixtape scene with fully fleshed out "street albums" like Blue Chips 1-2, Dr. Lecter, Well Done, Rare Chandeliers, and Bon Appetit... Bitch since about 2008, Action Bronson has finally gotten around to liberating his long-rumored major label "debut," MR. WONDERFUL, which came out nation-wide Monday. Ahead of his 13-track album, VICE Records let loose a zany, Tom Gould-directed Spın̈al Tap-esque mock-umentary, which portrayed Bronson something to the effect of "The Great Leader," Kim Jong-Un; coinciding with yesterday's multi-formatted MR. WONDERFUL roll-out, Action Bronson partnered with the good people at the YouTube Music Awards to present the video for his Chance The Rapper-assisted Mark Ronson-produced track, "Baby Blue." It's just one of two Dap-Kings-indebted Ronson-produced tracks included within the album, the second of which showcases a Jazz-Rock sample lifted from Billy Joel…

It's About Time: Nile Rodgers Re-works Sister Sledge Out-take "I'll Be There" for First CHIC Album In 23 Years (Warner Bros.)

"It's still hard to believe I found an out-take [with] my original band @CHICorg#IllBeThere," @nilerodgers exuberantly Tweeted late Saturday night; Rodgers, who's essentially the sole founding member of Disco-Funk originators, Chic (now, somewhat confusingly billed as "CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers"), has been pain-stakingly compiling a collection of recently unearthed 1970-80's era Chic tracks along with contemporary producers like Avicii, David Guetta, and The Martinez Brothers. Chic's newly-surfaced material, tentatively titled It's About Time, seems to have been oddly enough reverse "influenced" by modern-day Disco-Funk acts like Chromeo, Dâm-Funk, Tuxedo, Mark Ronson & The Dap-Kings, and even quite ironically, buddies Daft Punk & Pharrell, who were all very likely initially influenced by Chic's genre-shaping output in the first place. "["I'll Be There"] is a moving concept for me about decisions we ma…

Will Ferrell Opens for BOOTS on The Tonight Show, Preceeding "I Run Roulette" Performance (Canvasback/Atlantic Records)

BOOTS is just about the only artist I can think of who's single-handedly worked with Beyoncé, modern day Hip-Hop heavy-weights Run The Jewels, and thinly-veiled Australian songstress Sia, yet has somehow still managed to draw comparisons to Acid-RockersQueens of The Stone Age; a comparison which @bootsonboots quickly refuted in a seemingly since deleted Tweet, instead likening himself to "future Hendrix/[Black] Sabbath." Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, BOOTS played what could quite arguably be billed as his biggest "show" to date — one broadcast to hundreds of thousands of fans scattered across the United States and Canada. Jordan Asher took the Tonight Show stage after "openers" Will FerrellLittle Debbie and Chelsea Peretti to perform a riveting rendition of his latest Motorcycle Jesus EP single, "I Run Roulette."


Asher was simply flanked by two righteously pummeling drummers backed by a barrage of strobe, summer festival-esque …

Now-Again Records' Eothen "Egon" Alapatt Waxes About Everything from Unreleased J Dilla to a "very serious project" with Paternoster (The Witzard Interview)

Following an initial batch of emailed conversations around Thanksgiving, former Stones Throw General Manager and Now-Again Records founder Eothen "Egon" Alapatt and I decided to reconvene after the holidays to conduct an all-inclusive interview for this very site, The Witzard; and now, a few months later, it has finally come to fruition. Egon worked closely with J Dilla during his final years and shacked up at the infamous Stones Throw home/studio with Madlib, MF DOOM, Jeff Jank, and Peanut Butter Wolf during the making of MADVILLAINY. Available here in its complete unedited long-form, out full emailed conversation touches on Alapatt's tenure at Stones Throw, Dilla's unreleased food-themed beat CD's, the incomplete "MADVILLAINY 2" sessions, Madlib & Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)'s rumored "Zamrock" project, Biz Markie's notorious record fibbs, and his independent publishing house, Sinecure Books. Feel free to read and repeatedly enjoy our t…

Meyhem Lauren & Action Bronson's "100 MPH" Plays Out Like an Extended F*ck, That's Delicious Bloopers Reel (Thrice Great Records)

Meyhem Lauren & Action Bronson, effectively 1/2 of defunct New York-based rap posse The Outdoorsmen (along with AG da Coroner & Jay Steele) have re-teamed for "100 MPH" from Lauren's commercial "debut," Silk Pyramids. Despite the fact that Laurenovich's entirely Buckwild-produced album was initially unleashed nearly a year ago, last May, Thrice Great Records has finally gotten around to releasing a proper video treatment for "100 MPH." Lauren's own self-directed clip plays out in a similar fashion to a colorfully tasteful mini-episode of Bronson's widely-applauded F*ck, That's Delicious web series; it's right in line with your typical Hip-Hop video bravado — fancy tricked-out cars, duffel bags full of money, flashy expensive-looking clothes, etc... until America's #1 Rap Singer, Action Bronson enters: seemingly doing push-ups alongside a glistening low-rider. Lest we forget, nothing says "Hip-Hop" quite like g…

Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One 'Duke It Out' at The New Amsterdam Vodka Tennis Classic to Become "Number One" (Tuxedo)

Not trying to brag here whatsoever, but I've been on the Mayer Hawthorne New-Wop "bandwagon" since day one; I can remember seeing him on what I believe was his first tour behind A Strange Arrangement (2009) at First Unitarian Church in South Philly. Mayer Hawthorne & The County (which then, still included Topher Mohr) essentially played a church basement to a room full of colorfully diverse concert-goers: Hip-Hop heads, "preppy" kids decked out in suits and ties — much like my buddy Brad and I, Indie Rock hipsters, and a handful of displaced Punk Rockers. J Dilla's right-hand man, DJ Houseshoes opened the night's show with a barrage of white people-friendly Hip-Hop classics including Dilla, A Tribe Called Quest, Jaylib, and "I don't know why the f*ck I'm f*ckin' with you" (which distinctively sticks out ha). After the concert, I immediately bolted back to my car to grab my pseudo-alligator skin A Strange Arrangement LP, which …

Drake Interpolates Toronto Multi-instrumentalist & BADBADNOTGOOD Affiliate, River Tiber's "No Talk" on "No Tellin'" (unsigned)

"BIG UPS TO THIS NEW @DRAKE FIRE PROD. BY @FRANKDUKES [AND] @BOI1DA FT. @RIVERTIBER ON THE PART 2 VOCALS #NOTELLIN #6HITZ," @badbadnotgood frantically Tweeted upon the release of Drake's surprise mixtape/album, IF YOUR READING THIS ITS TOO LATE, late last month. That very track, Tiber aka Tommy Paxon-Beesley's own original composition, "No Talk" went unreleased... until yesterday afternoon when The FADER premiered it; "I've been working with Frank Dukes for a minute. He made a dope sample with my vocal stem, which Boi-1da put drums on top of, and I guess Drake liked the beat and recorded to it," BBNG-affiliated multi-instrumentalist River Tiber lamented to The FADER. "No Talk" is a glitchy Electro/percussion-aided emotive track, which in its original form, honestly, doesn't sound all that far removed from your typical Emo-RapDrake beat. While it seems as though they might have sampled "No Talk"'s instrumental (or s…

Jay Electronica Willingly Leaks CD-Q Version of "Road to Perdition," 'guest starring' Jay Z (Act II?)

"Oh well, since it leaked... here's a better quality version," @JayElectronica exuberantly Tweeted early Friday morning, upon the unexpected leak of a low-quality version of his track, "Road to Perdition" 'guest starring' mentor and Roc-Nation label boss, Jay Z. It's the latest track Electronica's recorded and released 'with' Jay Z (behind "We Made It" and "Shiny Suit Theory") - 'with' in quotation marks because Jay Z's feature in question on "Road to Perdition" is more or less composed of lines sampled from his American Gangster-centric track, "Success" (2007). "Road to Perdition" in fact, first appeared on Jay Electronica's 2012 screen-grabbed 15-track Act II: Patents of Nobility (the turn) rough tracklist. Electronica's notoriously shelved album will reportedly also showcase the varied talents of Kanye, Serge Gainsbourg, Erykah Badu, Jay Z, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Pu…

The WitzTV Making The Video: Action Bronson, Mark Ronson, Chance The Rapper & Zane Lowe's "Baby Blue" (VICE Records)

Following an unexpected guest appearance on Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars' chart-topping smash single, "Uptown Funk" (Remix) last month, Action Bronson and Ronson have linked up once again to liberate the first of their two collaborations from MR. WONDERFUL, "Baby Blue;" a smooth horn-laden arrangement, almost reminiscent of Mark Ronson's formative Dap-Kings-backed early work with Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, which seems to have been lifted from songstress Natalie Prass' literally just-released Columbia Records single, "Birds of Prey." Although "Baby Blue" was initially premiered on now-retired BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe's show Monday afternoon, @ActionBronson unleashed a "BEHIND-THE-SCENES MAKING OF "BABY BLUE" IN LONDON WITH MY BROS @MarkRonson [and] @zanelowe" late Thursday afternoon amidst the latest East Coast-pummeling snowstorm, fittingly dubbed "Thor."Action Bronson & Mark Ronson's sec…

BOOTS Shares Companion 5-song Score to Self-directed & Penned Short Film, "Motorcycle Jesus" (Canvasback Music)

"[Jordan Asher] came up with his logo, a horizontal stripe with two verticals, which can look like connected crosses or, people have told him, like "a bridge, train tracks, motorcycle handlebars," he said," laments a recently published New York Times profile centered around Run The Jewels, Beyoncé, and Sia collaborator, Jordan "BOOTS" Asher. "I'm not going to reveal rightly yet what it is. But if it's got you wondering, I'm on the right path;" Asher's purposely vague statements would in fact, then lead me to believe that the title of his recent short film/5-song soundtrack, Motorcycle Jesus, is likely a clever allusion to his sparse cross-handlebars BOOTS imagery. It's the proper follow-up to BOOTS' critically-acclaimed WinterSpringSummerFall mixtape (2014), which @bootsonboots modestly self-describes as: "my objective with this body of work was not to make "rock music." It was to make new music. Something…