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Showing posts from December, 2019

Man Bites Dog Records Unwraps Happy Holidays Comp. Featuring DJ Ragz, Kount Fif & An Array of Producers from Across The Snowy Globe

Man Bites Dog Records (MBDR) is a Woodbridge, Virginia-based Hip-Hop imprint. It's run by CEO/Founder R.M.L. AKA Ryan, VP/Director A&R Roc Marciano, and main producer/studio engineer Kount Fif. Their current roster consists of Roc Marciano, AG Da Coroner, Playdough, Bronze Nazareth, Stu Bangas, Vanderslice, Esoteric, Eddie B, and more. MBDR's back catalog additionally consists of critically-acclaimed releases from the likes of ANKHLEJOHN, Copywrite, Curly Castro, Blue Sky Black Death AKA BSBD, Illogic & Blockhead, Wu-Tang Clan's Killah Priest, and Vast Aire. Earlier this year, Man Bites Dog Records released a phenomenal joint effort from Uncommon Nasa & Kourt Fif entitled City As School boasting features throughout from Guilty Simpson, Tek from Smif-N-Wessun, Sadat X, Shortrock, DJ Ragz, and Last Sons' DJ Furious P.

Happy Holidays by Man Bites Dog Records
Now, just before year's end, MBDR have returned with their second proper release of 2019; Happy Ho…

Your Old Droog Enlists MF DOOM, Matsyahu, Mach-Hommy & More for "Chanukah Celebration" Album Jewelry (Mongoloid Banks/Nature Sounds)

Just in time for Hanukkah, Your Old Droog AKA YOD has returned with his third full-length album of 2019. Jewelry was surprise-released on Monday, December 23, 2019—the first full day of Hanukkah—along with a special holiday blessing from Droog: "A Chanukah Celebration." Jewelry is the proper follow-up to both It Wasn't Even Close & Transportation, which were surprise-released in succession in a very similar fashion earlier this year. Jewelry is a sonic celebration of Your Old Droog's own Jewish heritage, which he is now officially revealing publicly for the first time. For Jewelry, YOD recruited Tha God Fahim, Quelle Chris, Preservation, Edan, and CohenBeats on the production end of things with frequent collaborator Mach-Hommy as Executive Producer. Droog receives lyrical assists from the likes of Mach-Hommy, fellow Jewish emcee Matisyahu, The Metal Face Villain himself, MF DOOM, and Tha God Fahim. Jewelry's companion cover artwork was designed by FWMJ/Frank…

The Poets of Rhythm's JJ Whitefield Speaks On The Soul-Saints Orchestra's 1994 "Santa's Got A Bag of Soul" 7-inch (The Witzard Interview)

CREDIT: Jan Weissenfeldt

"I can't believe these guys are from Germany and speak with thick German accents when not singing. Also can't believe it's a relatively new recording. They nailed it," Peanut Butter Wolf wrote within the liner notes to PEANUT BUTTER WOLF PRESENTS - BADD SANTA: A STONES THROW RECORDS XMAS. The Soul-Saints Orchestra's "Santa's Got A Bag of Soul" is featured along with a slew of festive favorites and lesser-known holiday classics hand-selected by Wolf himself. BADD SANTA additionally boasts selections from James Pants, Free Design, 69 Boys & Quad City DJ's, Bruce Haack, James Brown, and Baron Zen. The Soul-Saints Orchestra (or The Soul-Saints) was, actually, a short-lived side-project of The Poets of Rhythm; featuring Boris Geiger AKA Bo Baral, Jan "Curly" Krause, Jan Weissenfeldt AKA JJ Whitefield, Malte Müller-Egloff AKA Wolf Schlick, Max "Muggy" Weissenfeldt, and Michael "Treetop" Vos…

Bacchae Let Loose "Leave Town" from 2020 Full-length PLEASURE VISION Recorded & Mixed By J. Robbins (Get Better Records)

CREDIT: Kara Donnelly (@kza_)

Bacchae are a DC-based Post-punk/Riot grrrl, Pop Punk, and Synth Punk group consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Katie McD, drummer Eileen "O." O'Grady, guitarist Andrew "B." Breiner, and bassist Rena "H." Hagins. Formed in 2016 by four friends from various musical projects with minimal experience, Bacchae "make music with no assumptions about what a "Punk band" should sound like." Since 2016, Bacchae have self-released a home-mixed 2016 Demo and a cassette entitled Down The Drain, as well as a self-titled 5-track EP last year. Now, Bacchae have returned with the announcement of their debut full-length, Pleasure Vision, to be released next year on Get Better Records. Earlier this week, Bacchae issued the second single, "Leave Town," from Pleasure Vision, which was preceded by "Everything Ugly" this past May; "'Leave Town" is a pronouncement against predators," Bacch…

Chris Gethard Releases TAYLOR HAM, PORK & CHEESE: A COMEDIC TRIBUTE TO NEW JERSEY Comedy Album (Don Giovanni Records)

Chris Gethard is a self-proclaimed "comedian, author," and... "telephone call enthusiast," who was born and raised in West Orange, New Jersey. You may know Gethard from his podcast, Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People (Beautiful/Anonymous,) his books, Lose Well and A Bad Idea I'm About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgement & Stunningly Awkward Adventure, or roles on The Chris Gethard Show, Parks & Recreation, The Other Guys, or Broad City. Little-know fact: Chris Gethard is, also, a wrestling super-fan and was once a staff writer for Weird N.J. He was even interviewed as part of an installment of the RTF WRESTLING FANZINE! a few years back, as well. Gethard now resides in Queens, New York, but has decided to return to his roots for his latest Comedy album, TAYLOR HAM, PORK & CHEESE: A COMEDIC TRIBUTE TO NEW JERSEY. Full Disclosure: for those who may not already know, I, too, was born and raised and still reside in South Jersey with my be…

the story of the PUNCHLINE holiday classic "ICICLES" from A Santa Cause: It's A Punk Rock Christmas (2003 Immortal Records Comp.)

A Santa Cause: It's A Punk Rock Christmas sits atop the annual shortlist of "classic" holiday albums I listen to every year right around this time of year; a CD copy sits on my shelf amidst BADD SANTA: A Stones Throw Records Xmas, Bad Religion's Christmas Songs, two volumes-worth of Motown Christmas favorites, and a few additional shiny, slightly scratched up CD's. A Santa Cause has been in my collection since at least 2005, if not earlier (and I'm already on my second copy!) although, I'm not really sure how exactly I discovered it, but it's always held a special place in my cold heart. A Santa Cause boasts submissions from the likes of Something Corporate, The Matches, blink-182, Fall Out Boy, MxPx, Sonny "Skrillex" Moore's own From First to Last, New Found Glory, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Saosin, and a hidden/bonus track from Nerf Herder. One of my personal favorite tracks on the second half of the CD is Punchline's "Icicl…

DARK THOUGHTS Return with Third Frantic, Riff-heavy Full-length Album MUST BE NICE (Stupid Bag/Drunken Sailor Records)

CREDIT: Scott Troyan's "Baseball Cards"

DARK THOUGHTS are a true D.I.Y. snotty, Ramones-style Punk/Hardcore band hailing from Philly. We recently wrote about their latest 2-track 7-inch single, "DO YOU DREAM?" B/W "IT'S TOO LATE" issued by Peterwalkee Records within our new column, Punk/Hardcore On Wax. Now, DARK THOUGHTS have returned with their third—seemingly self-released—full-length album, MUST BE NICE currently available digitally exclusively on Bandcamp. MUST BE NICE is DARK THOUGHTS' third full-length released in four years and features their core line-up of Jim "Jam" Shomo, Amy "Opssnick" Opsasnick & Daniel "Danny" Cox. Collectively, DARK THOUGHTS' members are, also, part of Bad Side, Loose Nukes, Machine Gun, The Holidays, F*ck SS, Aseptic, No Qualms, and Pollen. MUST BE NICE was recorded, mix, mastered, and produced by DARK THOUGHTS & Kyle Gilbride (Bad Banana, Swearin') at his Philly-bas…

With The Quickness #1: Salad Days Director & Writer Scott Crawford Compiles DC Punk Playlist Spanning 1980's-2019 (Exclusive Spotify Playlist)

CREDIT: Dale Stewart

With The Quickness will, hopefully, be a new column here at The Witzard (shout-out to John Bachman for the column name!) to feature Punk/Hardcore playlists to be curated by people from both in and around the genres. For this inaugural installment, we've asked film-maker, music journalist, musician, and graphic designer Scott Crawford to curate a DC Punk playlist. Oddly enough, I first heard about Crawford via his @saladdazed Instagram & Twitter pages, which largely feature Punk/Hardcore memes, along with rare archival photographs. As a teenager living in the DC suburbs, Scott Crawford started a fanzine called Metrozine, who, in 1985, released a 7-inch compilation called Alive & Kicking with WGNS Recordings. It was recorded at Don Zientara's infamous Inner Ear Studios. It featured contributions from United Mutation, Gray Matter, Beefeater, Mission Impossible—featuring a 16-year-old Dave "G." Grohl on drums—Cereal Killer, and Marginal Man. S…

Swamp Dogg Unveils "Sleeping Without You Is A Dragg" Feat. Justin Vernon, Jenny Lewis, & Channy Leaneagh (Joyful Noise/Pioneer Works Press)

Jerry Williams, Jr. has been consistently been recording and releasing music since 1962 under his given name, as well as Little Jerry, The Detroit Magnificents, and most notably, Swamp Dogg. The Guardian once went as far as to lamented that "Swamp Dogg [was] the Soul genius that time forgot" within a 2006 feature. Swamp Dogg has since cemented himself as an "Outsider" Soul/Funk and has released at least 26 original albums. Swamp received a bit of a career resurgence with his 2018 album, Love, Loss & Auto-Tune was was produced by Indie/Electronic Rock mastermind, Ryan Olson. Olson is, in fact, an affiliate of Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon and has played in a number of critically-acclaimed bands, including, but not limited to GAYNGS, Marijuana Deathsquads, Mel Gibson & The Pants, Poliça, and Jason Feathers with Vernon himself. Love, Loss & Auto-Tune, as its title suggests, found Swamp Dogg embracing modern Auto-Tune technology, as well as a slightly mor…

Brian Fallon Shares Single "You Have Stolen My Heart" from Third Solo Full-length Local Honey (Lesser Known Records/Thirty Tigers)

CREDIT: Kelsey Hunter Ayres

New Jersey's own Gaslight Anthem make/made a very specific brand of Heartland Rock-indebted Punk/Hardcore; the kind of music that makes you wanna slick your hair back with some pomade, throw on your favorite leather jacket and Chucks, and go drag race some hot rods down on Main Street... Since going on an "indefinite hiatus" during Summer 2015, The Gaslight Anthem briefly reunited for a 2018 tour in honor of the 10th anniversary of their second album, The '59 Sound, however, the future of the band is currently unknown. Guitar and bass guitar players Alex Rosamilia & Alex Levine formed X Squared Productions together; drummer Benny Horowitz currently makes music as part of Mercy Union, Wax Bottles, and Antarctigo Vespucci and co-hosts The Tune-Up & Going Off Track Podcasts. Frontman Brian Fallon is currently a member of both The Horrible Crowes and Molly & The Zombies, as well as his touring band, Brian Fallon & The Howling W…

Duncecap Returns with ELUCID-produced miserable then EP with Contributions from Quelle Chris, Samurai Banana & Willie Green (Backwoodz Studioz)

Mike "Duncecap" Petrow is a Brooklyn, New York-based director, editor, cinematographer, emcee, and we are the karma kids affiliate. As a director, Petrow has directed music videos for karma kids signees/affiliates BALD AFRO, BIG BREAKFAST, Blastmaster Baker, GooGiE, Gruff Lion, Impervious Machine, Lt Headtrip, MC Eleven, and OLD SELF. Mike Petrow has, also, directed music videos for artists such as ELUCID, The Front Bottoms, Mega Ran, PremRock, Quelle Chris, Tanya Morgan, and Uncommon Nasa. As an emcee, Duncecap has self-released two EP's and two full-length projects since 2011; as of Friday, December 6, 2019, Duncecap has returned with his next project before year's end. miserable then is a 5-track EP entirely produced by ELUCID (Armand Hammer, CULT FAVORITE, Nostrum Grocers, The Lessondary) and recorded, mixed, and mastered by Willie Green at The GreenHouse Recording Co.

miserable then opener "Waste of Money" features scratches throughout provided by Samur…

Leonard Charles & Guilty Simpson Team Up to Form The Leonard Simpson Duo & Release Single "Nobody" from 2020 Album LSD (Jakarta Records)

A pair of unlikely collaborators, revered Detroit emcee Guilty Simpson and New Zealand-bred producer Leonard Charles, have joined forces to form a new rapper/producer group, The Leonard Simpson Duo. Both sharing a mutual admiration for and connection to J Dilla, Guilty & Leonard first collaborated on "Breaking Over You" for Japan-based WONDERFUL NOISE PRODUCTIONS in 2017, which we were fortunate enough to premiere right here at The Witzard. While working on his very own "Basement Funk" re-interpretation of J Dilla's magnum opus, Donuts, Basement Donuts, for HIT+RUN/WONDERFUL NOISE, Leonard Charles shared his then-progress with Guilty Simpson during a visit to his Auckland, NZ-based studio; "I asked him if he wanted to hear the versions I was working on. I was really nervous about playing it to him because I was f*cking with one of his close associates' music, but... he was feeling it and genuinely appreciated my creative approach to re-interpretin…

Preservation Releases "龍鎮 Dragon Town" Feat. YoungQueenz from Upcoming Album Eastern Medicine, Western Illness (MonDieu Music)

Yasiin Bey FKA Mos Def once said, "Three key steps to leading a rewarding and enriched life: (1) Wake up, (2) be awesome, (3) LISTEN TO PRESERVATION." Preservation, otherwise known as Dj Preservation, Dj Jun, and Jun TME is/was part of Dr. Yen Lo with Brownsville emcee KA, Sonic Sum along with Rob Sonic, Fred Ones & Eric M.O. and TME PRO. Preservation has long operated as the touring DJ for both Yasiin Bey & KA and has produced music for Mach-Hommy, RZA, GZA, Raekwon, U-God, Sean Price, Roc Marciano, Ed O.G. KRS-One, Jean Grae, Aesop Rock, billy woods, and Your Old Droog. I can, personally, recall knowingly hearing Preservation's work across the official 2013 re-worked companion to Mos Def's The Ecstatic entitled The REcstatic; although, Preservation previously contributed production work to Mighty Mos' 2006 album, True Magic, as well as the original aforementioned project, his "last" album as Mos Def, The Ecstatic (2013.)


Following a string of …

Sulu & Excelsior Return with "AntiMatter" Music Video from Second Album THE ANTIMATTER SUITE (Slow Jam King Productions)

CREDIT: Jean-Baptiste Sankara

Sulu & Excelsior AKA the one-man band/solo project of multi-instrumentalist/rapper/singer Steve "Sulu" Mallorca has returned with it's (his) second album, THE ANTIMATTER SUITE; released prior to Thanksgiving, THE ANTIMATTER SUITE is the proper follow-up to Sulu's critically-acclaimed 2016 debut, Eddie Romero. This time about three years ago, we were fortunate enough to premiere the second music video from Eddie Romero, "Dam Foo's," right here at The Witzard. Although, we've never, actually, met in real life (despite numerous attempts!) Steve Mallorca and I have become very close friends, mutual admirers, and frequent collaborators; our coverage concocted together here, for The Witzard, to date, includes two Eddie Romero-era interviews, two premieres, and countless hip-shaking tracks ranking on numerous countdowns. Eddie Romero, ultimately, ranked at No.1 atop The Witzard's Best of 2016 Countdown and nearly a year…

The Night Owls Recruit Durand Jones for Vinyl-only Donny Hathaway "This Christmas" Reggae/Soul Cover (F-Spot/Colemine Records)

Just in time for Christmas, The Night Owls have returned with a new 45 showcasing a festive cover of "This Christmas" with Durand Jones. The Night Owls (or just Night Owls) are drummer Blake Colie, guitarist Dan Ubick, and bassist Dave Wilder of The Lions, along with The Aggrolites' long-time piano/organ player Roger Rivas. Durand Jones is, of course, the frontman and namesake of critically-acclaimed Soul/Funk revival ensemble, Durand Jones & The Indications. Following "There's A Break In The Road" B/W "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" released this past July, Night Owls have re-emerged to bring us a Reggae-tinged version of "This Christmas" first popularized by Donny Hathaway in 1970 for ATCO Records. "A perfect jam to have on deck this holiday season. Side B features an instrumental version, where the Funky and grooving organ stylings of Roger Rivas keep the tune alive to be played on the dance floor [year-round]. Sur…

PICK IT UP! Ska In The 90's "Ska-cumentary" Narrated By: Tim Armstrong Now Available On DVD, Blu-Ray, Digital & VHS (popmotion Pictures)

Pick It Up! Ska In The 90's, which is being billed as "the definitive Third Wave "Ska-cumentary'" (AKA a Ska documentary) is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, digital, etc. Whether they're presently aware of it or not, anyone from about the age of about 28-45 should have either vague or vivid memories of Ska/Punk in the 1990's; most people are familiar with either No Doubt, Less Than Jake, The Mighty Might Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, or Rancid/Operation Ivy. 90's Ska is commonly known as Third Wave Ska, following in the traditions of both First Wave Jamaican and British Two-tone/2 Tone Ska through the 80's. For me, personally, I would say one of my earliest memories of Ska was hearing Goldfinger's "Superman" on the in-game soundtrack for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (1999) which, also, included selections form Dead Kennedys, Primus, Suicidal Tendencies, The Suicide Machines, and The Vandals. Pick It Up! was directed/produced by film-maker