Monday, September 30, 2019

Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary Festivities: PB30 Companion Playlist & Reading List (#PB30 Contributors' Tributes)

As many of you may have already seen, last month, we published a comprehensive track-by-track breakdown fittingly dubbed Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown, Parts I-III or simply PB30, for short. PB30 featured contributions from a talented cast of characters including fellow writers, musicians, artists, and like-minded Beasties die-hards "waxing poetic" on their favorite Paul's Boutique tracks, B-sides, and remixes. PB30 Part I (Side A) showcased Tracks #01-08. Part II (Side B) featured Tracks #09-14. & 15. "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" Suites a-i. and Part III encompassed B-sides and remixes from 1989 EP's An Exciting Evening at Home with Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego & Love American Style. Now, just about a month later, we've put together this PB30 Companion Playlist & Reading List feature showcasing Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique tributes from our PB30 contributors: Steve Baril, Broken Machine Films Presents... AKA Joshua Rogers, Jesse Dangerously, DJ Bacon, Myrrow's Outlet, POSSE IN EFFECT AKA Awkward, Emcein' Eye of Speak N' Eye, Dan LeRoy, Jim Mahfood AKA FOODONE, SM&A Prod. AKA Paolo Gilli, and AnEarful's Jeremy Shatan.


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
My Wife Thinks I'm A "Beastie Boy"

PB30 Companion Playlist:

01. Steve Baril - "Shake Your Rump" & "Looking Down The Barrel of A Gun" Remixes & Blends

02. Broken Machine Films Presents... - "B-Boys In The Cut/What Comes Around" (GutterBoy+Skank's Low Battery Boombox Mixtape Refixxx)

03. Jesse Dangerously - "To All The Girls" (1999)

04. DJ Bacon - "RUN-BST" Megamix & "Shake Your Rump" (80's Rap Mega Remix)

05. Myrrow's Outlet - BB PB EP & BB PB EP O

06. POSSE IN EFFECT (Awkward) - Posse In Effect 1-2

07. Speak N' Eye (Emceein' Eye) - "Nowwearenowhere" & "Shake It ∆"

08. unheard78 - Saul's Boutique (Instrumentals)

MEGA 320 MP3 Download here!

MEGA FLAC Download here!

PB30 Companion Reading List:

I. The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique (33 1/3) By: Dan LeRoy can be purchased here!

II. For Whom The Cowbell Tolls: 25 Years of Paul's Boutique (66 & 2/3) By: Dan LeRoy & Peter Relic can be purchased here!

III. "ASK FOR JANICE" Mini-comic By: Jim Mahfood AKA FOODONE can be purchased here!

IV. SM&A Prod. Presents: Paul's Boutique - A Visual Companion (Paolo Gilli) can be viewed here!

V. The A.V. Club's New York: The Paul's Boutique Corner (Jeremy Shatan)
can be viewed here!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Möngöl Hörde Re-emerge with First New Recordings In 5 Years "Godfrey Newman" & "Selfiestixamitosis" (Xtra Mile Recordings)

Möngöl Hörde is a London, UK-based Hardcore Punk/Noise Rock band consisting of Frank "Renrut" Turner, Ben "Awesome" Dawson & Matt "Nadir" Nasir. Both Turner & Dawson were former members of UK Post-hardcore/Punk band Million Dead, while Nasir is actively part of Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls. Following the 2005 dissolution of Million Dead, Frank Turner kick-started a now-successful solo career as a Folk Punk/Rock singer-songwriter releasing multiple albums through Xtra Mile/Epitaph and Ben Dawson currently plays drums with Palehorse, Mothlite, Queen of Swords, and Armed Response Unit. While Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls' are wildly successful and harken back to the sounds of Flogging Molly, Billy Bragg & Bruce Springsteen, I've always wanted something a bit more Punk/Hardcore-adjacent in the vein of Million Dead; so, I was extremely stoked to recently discover Möngöl Hörde's guttural, "Hardcore as f**k" self-titled 2014 debut.

"Lyrically, it's very different from what I do now, it's kind of depraved. The first song we wrote is about Natalie Portman's tapeworm using her as a glove puppet to lead an uprising in Hollywood..." Frank Turner remarked on the overall seriousness, or lack thereof, of Möngöl Hörde back in 2012. Now, five years after their debut, Möngöl Hörde have returned with a quick-strike 2-track digital EP entitled Godfrey Newman / Selfiestixamitosis. First, only available to purchase through their US/EU online store along with ANY purchase, now, the songs have been made widely available across digital streaming platforms. It appears as though "Godfrey Newman" isn't exactly "new," as it was previously featured as a Bonus Track on 2014's Möngöl Hörde. Although, "Selfiestixamitosis" is, in fact, the first brand spankin' new Möngöl Hörde recording in 5+ years. Also, in addition to the newly-released music, Möngöl Hördehave announced NÖRTH AMERICAN INVASIÖN MMXIX through December 2019. Dates for Möngöl Hörde's upcoming US Tour can be found at and both "Godfrey Newman" & "Selfiestixamitosis" can be streamed on your preferred digital platform.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Hemlock Ernst & Kenny Segal Unveil First Single "Down" from Upcoming Full-length BACK AT THE HOUSE (ruby yacht/The Order Label)

About two weeks ago, ruby yacht makers guild (AKA ruby yacht) quietly unveiled their group album/label comp. 37 GEMS. It features the rhyming and beat-making talents of R.A.P. Ferreira FKA milo & scallops hotel, SB The Moor, Pink Navel, safari al, Eldon Somers, Kenny Segal, and E L U C I D. Now, ruby yacht have, seemingly, added yet another extremely talented character to their ever-growing roster: Hemlock Ernst! Ernst is the rapping alias of Future Islands' frontman and life-long Hip-Hop supporter, Samuel "Sam" T. Herring. "Sam was rapping long before he joined a band and it's all he's really ever wanted to do... it's more than "occasional" for him... it's just that his sh*t blew up on a totaaally different tip and he's been riding that out like one of the best to ever do it," safari al (@s_afari_al) Tweeted Wednesday morning. Herring has been featured on Hip-Hop tracks billed as "Hemlock Ernst" alongside the likes of milo/scallops hotel, Madlib as Trouble Knows Me, Blockhead, Drew Scott & Pale Spring FKA Anna Notte, PASSAGE, Height Keech, Busdriver, Curse ov Dialect, Open Mike Eagle & Paul White, WORDS HURT, billy woods, JPEGMAFIA, and plenty more.

As legend would have it, Sam Herring & Kenny Segal first worked together in 2015 for "Souvenir" from milo's album, So The Flies Don't Come. "Me & Sam just had a moment where we clicked and I started sending him beats and around that period (2016,) he started recording some demos that went on to become the backbone of this project," Kenny Segal explained within a press release. From there on out, anytime Herring was out in LA, he and Segal would link up and before long, had amassed 6-7 then-newly recorded songs together during this initial period. "Then, life got in the way, as life tends to do, he had a new Future Islands project that they were touring for... I was working with [ruby yacht] and billy woods and others and the project laid dormant through 2017," Kenny Segal further explained. Now, we've been treated to the first official single, "Down," attributed to Hemlock Ernst from his first proper full-length, BACK AT THE HOUSE. It's a thundering, 4+ minute slice of piano/string-accented, echo-filled Hip-Hop; further accented by the eerie, billowing refrain/pseudo-hook, "WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO? DOWN, DOWN, DOWN..."

"Down" and the entirety of BACK AT THE HOUSE were fully produced by Kenny Segal with sparse instrumental assists from his Jefferson Park Boys collaborators, Aaron "Mr." Carmack & Mike "Papi" Parvizi, as well as Los Angeles-based artist and multi-instrumentalist Ryan "PRYVT RYN" Crosby. Hemlock Ernst & Kenny Segal's BACK AT THE HOUSE will consist of 11 tracks and is, supposedly, rumored to be released Friday, October 25, 2019 on ruby yacht in conjunction with Alpha Pup Records' off-shoot imprint, The Order Label. Also, at the bottom of this very post, you'll find a Witzard-curated Spotify playlist entitled Hemlock Ernst BACK AT THE HOUSE (ruby yacht) featuring every Hemlock Ernst/Rap-adjacent release—well, what's currently available on Spotify—from Sam Herring, so far. If you can't tell, we're EXTREMELY STOKED to hear the entirety of Hemlock Ernst's first proper Hip-Hop project!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Short Fuze, Taiyamo Denku & Augury Reunite for First W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S. Album In 10 Years BBQ & CHAOS (ChiMil Music/Cyphaden)

Short Fuze is an Uncommon Records affiliate, who I've personally been listening to and conversing with online since, at least, 2016. It was then when Short Fuze released Autonomy Music with Uncommon Nasa AKA NASA. Short Fuze & Nasa previously collaborated together on a 2010 album, Lobotomy Music, and 2011 follow-up/remix EP, Toxicology Music. In fact, earlier this year, Uncommon Nasa & Short Fuze debuted their official/re-branded collaboration as Guillotine Crowns on "Champions" on Last Sons' Nasa-produced album, CHEKHOV'S GUN. It appears as though, this whole time, since about 2009, Short Fuze has been on an indefinite hiatus from his main group, W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S., which was initially formed in 2000; in its earliest incarnation, W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S. consisted of Short Fuze & Augury, while third emcee, Taiyamo Denku joined later in 2001. During their initial 10-year run, W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S. released four albums, Seasons Change, Rules of Evolution, Rise of An Empire, and After Years of Television, as well as a 2004 compilation entitled W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S. ‎Presents: Guests of Honor.

Now, after about 10 years of each doing their own thing, Augury, Short Fuze & Taiyamo Denku have reunited as W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S. for 13 brand spankin' new, neck-snappin' tracks on BBQ & CHAOS. It boasts production work throughout from Dcypha, Agartha Audio, Black Tokyo, Audio Pilot, Ill Majestic, Grendal, Uncommon Nasa, and Dynamo with cuts across BBQ & CHAOS provided by Dcypha. During a recent email conversation, Short Fuze explained: "Taiyamo Denku & I got together one day for a recording session he helped me with. He mentioned that he had some tracks him and I recorded a few years prior. I took those tracks home and listened to them; there were four or five of them that were really good." Initially, the plan was to simply upload said tracks as loosies to Short Fuze's website for die-hard W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S. fans to enjoy... but, it soon became apparent Short Fuze, Augury & Taiyamo Demku were onto something a bit more concrete here.

"I called Denku to see if he wanted to turn these songs into an album. He was excited and on board with it. So, I reached out to Augury to see if he'd be with it. He was, also, on board. We reached out to producers we've been down with to craft the remaining sound [who] all contributed to helping us create our most complete and mature effort to date," Short Fuze explained. BBQ & CHAOS is seriously one hard-as-nails, often Jazz-indebted return to form for W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S. and honestly, it kinda just sounds like three old friends having a damn good time! BBQ & CHAOS is now available to stream, purchase, or download exclusively at However, BBQ & CHAOS will soon become available on additional digital streaming services, as well with CD's and music videos planned, as well. Short Fuze recently uploaded BBQ & CHAOS to Bandcamp, along with the rest of W.A.S.T.E.L.A.N.D.S.' back catalog; plus, an exclusive digital re-release of 2001's "local album," Seasons Change, with a new re-sequenced tracklist and updated artwork designed by DJ Jazzpants. It's safe to say, it's officially #WASTELANDSseason, my friends!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

3 Feet High & Rising: Pittsburgh Post-punk/New Wave Band Chantillion Re-emerge with New EP "Great set! Lotta energy" (self-released)

Pittsburgh-based Post-punk/New Wave band Chantillion aren't exactly a new/"rising" artist, as this column's title might suggest—they've been active since releasing 2017 single "Brassque"—but they are, in fact, new to these digital pages of The Witzard. Chantillion's line-up consists of Amos Levy on "lead synthesizer," Jackson O'Connell-Barlow on synth/vocals, Justin Pelissero on bass guitar, and Gregg Weber on drums. O'Connell-Barlow is a frequent collaborator and affiliate of Shark Tank's Height Keech & Mickey "Free" Freeland. Jackson O'Connell-Barlow currently has an active solo project dubbed MRS.PAINTBRUSH and was once in a Hip-Hop group called Grand Buffet with Jarrod Weeks AKA Lord Grunge from Shark Tank, as well. During their Grand Buffet heyday, Jackson & Jarrod were commonly refereed to as Mr. Pennsylvania, Nate Kukla & Plaps and Fred Durts, Matt Kukla & Viceroy, respectively. Weber previously drummed with Cyrus Gold and Glow In The Dark, while Pelissero played with Cyrus Gold, as well as Miracle Worker.

Chantillion's musical output, thus far, at least, is a bit more Post-punk/New Wave/World music-leaning, as opposed to Jackson O'Connell-Barlow's previous Hip-Hip/Indie Rock-leaning output with Grand Buffet. Their music is, also, commonly labelled as "Hardstyle" (ie: EDM/Electronic?) "Pittsburgh," and "Rock" on Bandcamp, as well. "CHANTILLION was born out of an interest that both I & Gregg (drummer) had in creating a Post-punk-ish band that lacked rhythm or lead guitar. I'd always wanted to collaborate with him sometime because he's such a physical player, I knew it would be a loud, cathartic experience," Jackson O'Connell-Barlow recently told The Witzard, via email. As O'Connell-Barlow explains it: Gregg Weber recruited his frequent collaborator, Justin Pelissero, to fulfill bass guitar duties; while Jackson recruited Amos Levy, an accomplished Pittsburgh-area Hip-Hop DJ and producer around town then-known as DJ Thermos, who always wanted to play synth in a live band. "It's a fun project for me to put ideas that'd never work in the context of my more eclectic home studio project," Jackson O'Connell-Barlow further explains.

Chantillion have previously self-released two singles, "Brassque" & "CROWS '87," as well as a 2018 EP laughably titled For Those About to Rock / We Will Sue You. Now, Chantillion have returned with an equally-awesome 3-track EP fittingly dubbed "Great set! Lotta energy," which, I'm guessing, was named in honor of a favorable review of a live gig. Although, clocking in at a brief 16 minutes total, Chantillion's "Great set! Lotta energy" explores a multitude of styles, sonic textures, and studio trickery. I would, personally compare it to something somewhere in-between Scissor Sisters and Franz Ferdinand. Honestly, one of the finer non-musical moments throughout the EP takes place after the main musical section of closing track "Jamminator," wherein someone suddenly exclaims, "Oh, f**k yeah, brother! It's the weekend! You know what that means... Brewdog and some HAMMM-BURGERS! HAMBURGERS AND HOT-HOT-HOTDOGS!!!" and then, "I LIKE FOOTBALL... I LIKE BASEBALL... WE LIKE BASKETBALL!" Chantillion's latest EP, "Great set! Lotta energy" is currently available to stream, purchase, or download at your leisure on Bandcamp.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Raymond Strife & iLL-Omega Team Up for "Heaven Is Empty" Music Video from Upcoming Album God's Plan (D.I.Why? Films)

Just this past Saturday night, Raymond "Ray" Strife & iLL-Omega premiered their latest collaboration/music video for "Heaven Is Empty" at Trenton, New Jersey venue, Millhill Basement. It appears as though "Heaven Is Empty" was premiered at Millhill around 8:00pm and world-wide on YouTube just a matter of hours later at 11:00pm; Saturday night's festivities, also, included live performances from Ray Strife & iLL-Omega themselves, along with King Spade, Gibby Stites, Wormtooth, and Dre Skuffs. Ray Strife & iLL-Omega are the "Rap & production equivalent of Fonzie & Richie Cunningham," as well as the self-proclaimed "Rap Iron Fist & Luke Cage." "Heaven Is Empty" is the first single to be released from Ray Strife & iLL-Omega's upcoming fifth collaborative project, God's Plan, expected to drop on vinyl later this Fall.

Their previous collaborative efforts include Preface: I Will Never Be Beautiful EP, Go for The Gusto, Tobasco Cats' #BFF EP, and most recently, Goodbye Chambersburg EP. When compared against its predecessors, "Heaven Is Empty" is a bit more of a dark, aggressive Hip-Hop/Punk song to which Strife wrote the lyrics for after being present at the Art All Night mass shooting in Trenton back in 2018. "It expresses his anger at people attempting to exploit the tragedy to jump-start platforms for their personal and religious gain." Ray & Omega recruited D.I.Why? Films to helm said music video for "Heaven Is Empty," particularly, Tony Goggles & Sara Casey. Raymond Strife & iLL-Omega's God's Plan will see a vinyl release sometime this Fall with both CD and digital releases soon to follow.

"Raymond Strife & iLL-Omega are the Trenton, NJ Rap and production equivalent of [Fonzie] & Richie Cunningham. Both were born in Trenton and raised in Lawrence, NJ only to return to their Capitol City to become a heavy part of it's music and art scene. The duo are the physical manifestation of what it means to be from New Jersey: known for being polite and outgoing off stage, on stage, their [style] is nothing short of loud, aggressive, and, sometimes, offensive, while, somehow, still being cute and charming. While Ray pulls influences from a broad range that goes from Snoop Dogg to G.G. Allin, his style is completely his own, making it hard to compare to anyone, really; combine that with Omega's unique style of moody and, sometimes, dark, but rowdy production that ranges from Jazzy to Trappy to, sometimes, abstract, the two compliment each other very well, coming up with a product all their own.

The pair are currently gearing up to release their new project, God's Plan. First on vinyl, then, on CD and digitally. The Goodbye Chambersburg EP is available now at Also, available is a previously unreleased EP with another Jersey emcee, Roebus One. Calling themselves Tobasco Cats, the EP is called #BFF, aptly-titled from their time as roommates. Ray & Omega are constantly performing together and separately, not only solo, but Ray has his Hardcore band, OVER EVERYTHING and his party band, Night Court and Omega with his other Hip-Hop group, A Mankind Complex. If you go to a show or function any night of the week in Trenton, you are likely to run into the self-proclaimed "Rap Iron Fist & Luke Cage...'"

- Ray Strife & iLL-Omega (@gutenpranken & @illomega)

Friday, September 20, 2019

New The Witzard Column ALERT! - Punk/Hardcore On Wax: SAVE FACE & GRAD LIFE's "SPLIT" 7-inch (Epitaph/Pure Noise Records)

This will, likely, be a weekly—or, at least, sporadically—published loosely structured column to help spotlight new or recent Punk/Hardcore 7-inches "on wax." I fully intend for this column to regularly spotlight new. up-and-coming, and largely "underground" artists... but who knows what it ultimately end up being. As often as possible, we'll share pre-order/purchase links or download information for said featured releases. Also, if you're part of or represent such a Punk/Hardcore band, please, feel free to reach out to us directly at and we'll send you our mailing address to send us a review copy (or even digital files) for an upcoming installment of Punk/Hardcore On Wax. It's my hope that this very column will expose at least a few angsty young teens to some up-and-coming or ever Old School Punk/Hardcore bands, if nothing else!


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Punk/Hardcore Correspondant

save face are a New Jersey-based Rock "N" Roll/Punk-adjacent band consisting of "tyler & friends," who may or may not be one Tyler Povanda, according to their Facebook page's MORE INFO section, at least. save face are currently signed to Epitaph Records with additional affiliations to Take This to Heart Records, Open Door Records, Backpack Records, and Mayflower Collective. save face, the self-proposed "world's biggest rock band," released their debut album, Merci, on Epitaph in 2018 and issued a number of various singles and EP's in years past. Fresno, California-based Graduating Life (AKA Grad Life) on the other hand, have a Facebook About section that only says, "Just Follow the Twitter because Facebook is weak, wack sh*t. @graduatinglife." It's appears as though Grad Life consists of two members, but, in true Punk/Hardcore fashion, their names are not readily available online. Grad Life is seemingly, currently signed to Pure Noise Records and has affiliations with Counter Intuitive Records, Little Elephant, and Riff Castle Records; Grad Life have released a number of albums, EP's, singles, and stand-alone tracks on said labels since initially forming sometime around 2016. save face & Graduating Life have, however, now joined forces with the good people at Epitaph/Pure Noise Records to collaboratively release, again, in true Punk fashion, a 4-track split record entitled SPLIT.

SAVE FACE & GRAD LIFE's SPLIT consists of two originals and two covers, one of each from each band: "Bummer," a save face original, a cover of My Chemical Romance's "Teenagers," "Wonderful," a Graduating life original, and a cover of "Heart A Tact" by Kid Dynamite. save face's "Bummer" received a bit of a single push from Epitaph Records, prior to the announcement/release of SPLIT, but the stand-out on their "Side," from our perspective, at least, is their second offering; essentially, a spot-on, stripped down cover of "Teenagers" from 2006's The Black Parade. While I'm not too familiar with Kid Dynamite, who were originally active from just 1997-2000—on second thought, maybe, that's why!—Grad Life's cover of "Heart A Tact" from 2003's Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems compilation album seems like a pretty faithful, roused up cover. SAVE FACE & GRAD LIFE's SPLIT EP is currently available in at least two super-limited edition multi-colored splattered vinyl editions: 250 Grad Life Exclusive Ultra-Clear with Heavy Blood Red Splatter and 250 Save Face Exclusive Ultra-Clear with Heavy Kelly Green Splatter. save face & Grad Life's separate "Sides" are, also, both available digitally... as a matter of fact, we've, actually, put together a handy-dandy 4-song SAVE FACE / GRAD LIFE "SPLIT" (Epitaph) Spotify playlist, which we've embedded below the break. I already got my Heavy Blood Red Splatter 7-inch from Grad Life, so get yours, too, while they're still readily available!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tuxedo & Benny Sings Re-create Classic 12-inch Record Covers for Ross Harris-directed "Toast 2 Us" Music Video (Funk On Sight)

It is now widely known that Tuxedo is a Nu-Funk/R&B duo consisting of one-time Stones Throw crooner Mayer Hawthorne and super-producer Jake One; however, at one point in time, surrounding the release of their 2013 Tuxedo EP, Tuexedo's members' identities were largely shrouded in mystery. I personally believe, that Tuxedo's nom de plume was, initially, a bit of a lighthearted tongue-in-cheek jab at Justin Timberlake's similarly-titled/sounding "Suit & Tie" single with JAY-Z. Tuxedo have since released three full-length albums: Tuxedo, Tuxedo II, and most recently, III AKA Tuxedo III, as well as a slew of Funk-tastic remixes, stand-alone singles, and Yuletide nuggets. For their latest single from III, "Toast 2 Us," Mayer Hawthorne & Jake One have enlisted frequent Stones Throw collaborator and multi-talented director / photographer / editor / creative / VFX artist Ross Harris. Tuxedo & Ross Harris previously collaborated on music videos for "Do It," "2nd Time Around," and "Holiday Love," as well as numerous music videos for Mayer Hawthorne's solo escapades.

Tuxedo's music video accompaniment for "Toast 2 Us" Feat. Benny Sings pays "homage to the greatest art form of our time: the 12" vinyl record cover." Harris has, somehow, managed to stylistically re-create a gaggle of iconic 12-inch vinyl record covers and amazingly managed to incorporate Mayer Hawthorne, Jake One & Benny Sings into said visual cover re-designs. Hastagged, as always, "#FuxWithTheTux," "#TuxedoTuesdays," and "#Tux3do," "Toast 2 Us" features 12-inch album cover allusions to OutKast's Stankonia (see above,) Elvis Costello's This Year's Model, Robert Palmer's Pressure Drop, Pet Shop Boys, actually. Sparks' "Angst In My Pants" B/W "Moustache" 7-inch * single, Donald Fagen's The Nightfly, The Knack's "My Sharona" 7/12-inch single, Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, and Run-D.M.C.'s King of Rock. Tuxedo's III AKA Tuxedo III is currently available to stream, download, or purchase through Funk On Sight and features appearances throughout from everyone from MF DOOM to Dâm-Funk.

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.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Supergrass Announce 2020 Reunion Tour, The Strange Ones Boxset & Release The Police "Next to You" Cover (The Echo Label/BMG)

Supergrass were a Britpop/Alternative Rock band originally active from 1993-2010, who achieved moderate State-side success with sugary early 2000's Pop-leaning singles, such as "Alright," "Caught By The Fuzz," and "In It for The Money." During their nearly 20-year career, Supergrass, also, dually functioned as a number of side-bands, including The Jennifers, Theodore Supergrass, The Diamond Hoo Ha Men, and The Hotrats; the latter even released a Nigel Godrich-produced cover of the Beastie Boys' 1989 Frat Rap single, "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" Late last week, the mysterious hashtag "#Supergrass2020" started circulating across band members' Gareth "Gaz" Coombes, Danny Goffey, Mick Quinn & Rob Coombes' various social media pages and then, Friday morning, it was announced Supergrass would be reuniting... and then, before day's end, Supergrass played their first gig together in nine years at The Pilton Party held at Worthy Farm, the site of UK super-festival, Glastonbury. Now, some additional post-weekend news concerning the status of Supergrass has emerged, as well: The Coombes Brothers, Goffey & Quinn have announced an extensive 2020 Supergrass Reunion Tour with both US & UK dates. Supergrass are playing "one final" reunion show for 2019 tonight, September 9th, Oslo in Hackney, London.

"It was the first time that we collectively felt the buzz to get back in a room together and play the songs. We're extremely excited to get out there and bring a bit of Supergrass joy to all our fans... and their extended families," drummer Danny Goffey said within a press statement. To help mark the occasion, Supergrass have, also, announced an expansive, career-spanning boxset dubbed Supergrass: The Strange Ones 1994-2008. It will feature the band's six studio albums, as well as bonus CD's containing unreleased live material, B-sides, remixes, rarities, demos, and more to additionally mark the 25th anniversary of Supergrass' 1995 debut, I Should Coco. There's no word yet if Strange Ones will contain any material from Supergrass' 2010 Can-indebted "nearly finished" seventh studio album, then-tentatively titled Release The Drones; although, Supergrass HAVE unleashed a particularly Rockin' spot-on cover of "Next to You" from The Police's 1978 debut, Outlandos d'Amour. Supergrass: The Strange Ones 1994-2008 will be released on Friday, January 24, 2020 on The Echo Label/BMG. The Strange Ones Boxset, as well as 2020 concert ticket information, is currently available for pre-order at Supergrass' newly re-launched/updated website.

"Supergrass' gloriously kinetic cover of The Police's "Next to You," featuring the band's trademark blast of howling vocals, harmonies, and raucous guitars. It is the first unreleased track from a new package, Supergrass: The Strange Ones 1994-2008. This comprehensive boxset, marking the 25th anniversary of I Should Coco, is a celebration of Supergrass' incredible career and is [to be] released on BMG on 24th January. It contains their 6 original albums on picture disc LP & CD, bonus CD's of unreleased live material, B-sides, remixes, rarities, studio out-takes, demos, acoustic versions, oddities, new mixes, a deluxe book, posters, and button badges. It also features over 6 hours of previously unreleased audio material. The boxset contains 5 previously unreleased instant grat. tracks."

- Supergrass (@SupergrassHQ)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Jumbled Recruits ALASKA, Bully Preston, ialive, Luke Sick, Torito & More for Summer Comp. AUGUST HEAT (Harford & Reckord Tapes)

John "Jumbled" Bachman was one of the many talented artists, writers, and Beastie Boys super-fans who contributed to our recent 3-part PB30 All-around Breakdown feature and now, he's returned with his second self-released full-length of 2019, AUGUST HEAT. Jumbled's first long-form project since January 2019's Padre, AUGUST HEAT is just as it sounds: 17 tracks-worth of sweltering instrumental beats and emcee-assisted vocal tracks. "In early June, Jumbled compiled a list of his heat: heavy Boom-Bap beats that meshed together to create an album," explains a press release. John Bachman goes on to define "heat (noun)" as "1. hot beats / raps, 2. oppressively hot or humid weather, 3. pressure" and then, somehow, manages to reference a JAY-Z rhyme from "Light Up" alongside Drake: "Triple entendre, don't even ask me how." Although, originally conceived as a single-emcee affair, AUGUST HEAT soon morphed into a multi-emcee album littered with Jumbled's trademark vocal sample-assisted, perfectly dusty instrumental beats. Despite the brutally hot climate this August in Baltimore and up and down The East Coast, Bachman has spent the majority of his time this Summer moving into a new home with his family; but he attests, "this hasn't dampened his desire to remain musically productive."

Jumbled has recruited a sharp-tongued squad of collaborators both new and old for AUGUST HEAT including Torito, 83 Cutlass, Berko Lover, Moemaw Naedon, Luke Sick, Dot-Com Intelligence, ialive, ALASKA, Bully Preston partner-in-rhyme Dwell, REASUN, and new-comer, Blumajk. Darian Jones AKA Blumajk (@blumajkmedia) appears to be a "Media Instructor, Videographer, and Content Creator" hailing from either Baltimore of Philly with an affiliation to Wide Angle Youth Media. Although, blumajkmedia's YouTube channel only boasts three video uploads, as of publication date, it appears as though Darian Jones filmed UllNevaNo & Jumbled's monumental #4hourtour through Baltimore in support of their 2018 collaborative effort, The Ghost of Len Bias. Blumajk appears here, amidst AUGUST HEAT, on one of the album's closing tracks, "Sixteens," which appears to be his first time gracing the mic. AUGUST HEAT is now available from Jumbled's Bandcamp page on a Name-Your-Price basis and will become available on additional digital streaming platforms later this week. I would strongly recommend AUGUST HEAT for anyone's who's a fan of either Jumbled's work or that of his latest collaborators, especially, anyone who dug his 2016 effort, [I wish it was longer] AKA WIWL. clint. AKA salk. of Dwell & salk./Napalm Def, who previously designed album covers for MAGRUDERGRIND, created the equally sweltering cover for Jumbled's AUGUST HEAT.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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


"Yo, whassup with de Beasties??!!
What gives, they split to Rio or

Yeah, yeah, everyone's favorite B
(for Beastie) Boys have taken their
time getting new vinyl out. But I am
here to tell you that the time has
c o m e t o q u i t y e r j o n e s i n ' ,
cause...dum dum dum...IT'S HERE.

So this new records oughta blow away any speculations and/or misconceptions surrounding the Beastie Boys. It's called Paul's Boutique, and it's coming out on Capitol Records -- the Beastie's brand new label. The LP is named after a men's store in Brooklyn whose low-tech radio ad -- phone number and all -- is sampled right into the LP.

The album should hit sometime around mid-July. The first 12", featuring the Boys' upstanding anthem "Hey Ladies," will drop June 30th. The sleeve picture for the 12" was done in the King's kitchen (King Ad-Rock, that is) and features his dope interior design wizardry which crosses the nation's flag with -- what else -- three naked young women. The LP cover features a 360-degree shot of Ludlow Street in fashionable Brooklyn, and we're told the accompanying packaging will be unlike anything that's been

- 1989 Capitol Records, Inc. (@CutChemist)

01. "To All The Girls" By: Jesse Dangerously (Danger Grove, The Library Steps)

"Let me strive to keep this brief and focused and all on just one-track, much like the intro joint in question... I'm hearing Marky Mark [& The Funky Bunch]'s "Good Vibrations" at the little bakery I sometimes grab lunch at, while I write this and it puts me in [the mindset] that one thing you can always say for the Beastie Boys, when you're weighing their souls against a feather to see, if they belong in paradise or your personal pantheon, is that unlike SOME white rappers of more or less their same vintage... they never did any racist hate crimes that left a Vietnamese man with permanent damage to his vision.

It's not the nicest thing there is to say about them and it's a pretty low bar to clear. But in their early days, I think, clearing a low bar is what kept them just this side of candidacy for retrospective cancellation. If they had remained the snotty boys they were on Licensed to Ill, there would be very little to remember them for, besides introducing LL [Cool J] to Rick Rubin and filling an uncomfortable and unlovely gap between early Run-D.M.C. and early N.W.A.

They weren't the first male musicians to be disrespectful to women and they weren't the first (or the most significant) Hip-Hop artists to flip it around and be pointedly respectful to women when no one was even asking. "To All The Girls" catches them mid-pivot, somewhere between the casual unthinking sexism they probably still thought was pretty funny and the ardent pro-feminist bros they strove to be later. OK, we'll say that meandering first bit is kind of like the long, slow fade, before they picked the needle back up off "Loran's Dance" and dropped it again near the top.

When John Book invited me to participate in his 10-year anniversary tribute album, I asked for "To All The Girls." I was 18, I was very sensitive, I had just scored a 7-inch of [Idris Muhammad's] "Loran's Dance" from a bin in Taz Records in Halifax and I wanted to treat it more like a sample and chop it up a bit. I thought there was some missed potential in the original arrangement (i.e. no arrangement; the one-track jack.) I didn't know how precious sample time had been in 1989, but I expected a lot from those Brothers of Dust. I wanted to be like them.

I went plunderphonic and tried to scratch in bits of other records that listed "all the girls:" "Mambo No.5 (A Little Bit of...)" "Just A Friend," Spın̈al Tap, a little Fresh Prince, a little Wu-Tang Clan, a little The Beatles. I tracked the samples in Impulse Tracker 2.14, a DOS music program that was not intended for loops and phrases, and I Frankenstein'ed it all together on my PortaStudio.

I, also, wanted to dedicate it "to all the girls." I didn't know quite how to talk about that. Thank goodness I didn't write a verse. I just pitched my voice up for some reason and said "to all the girls on The Internet... I love you." That's the part that makes me cringe now, but it is, at least, true to the source material in being somewhat earnest and poorly thought through.

What does it even mean for something to be dedicated "to all the girls?" Does it still count as well-intended, if it uses weird language like "to all the Oriental girls" in its brief duration? Why are stewardesses the only profession singled out? It's clumsy.

But it's gentle, if only until the drum fill kicks in for the next joint and gentleness was a new texture for them and for that moment, they were right on the ground floor of gentleness and soft-spoken intonation spreading throughout Hip-Hop in a wave of meditative Jazz samples and voices in lower registers.

The spell only lasts a moment. They f**k it up almost right away, but it's a refreshing start every time I return to this record. It clears the decks. Probably fine to listen to the Idris Muhammad record, though, if you want to chill for more than a few seconds."

02. "Shake Your Rump" By: John Bachman (Jumbled)

"Overall, "Shake Your Rump" is a pretty simple song (compared to other Dust Brothers tracks)—Ronnie Laws' guitar sample, drum loops, and a Rose Royce bassline for the hook. After a subtle intro, they come out guns blazing on their sophomore debut. As I get deeper into the BEASTIE BOYS BOOK, it was interesting (and somewhat confusing) to hear how they got so big, toured with Madonna, then, essentially, got f**ked over by Def Jam & Rick Rubin. Giving homage to Fred Flinstone, Sam The Butcher, and The Sugarhill Gang all in a 3-minute track—they finish each other's rhymes in true Beasties fashion. The track flows seamlessly into "Johnny Ryall," which sets the tone for the rest of the album. I bought Licensed to Ill in 1987, but didn't hear Paul's Boutique until seven or eight years after it came out (probably due to little to no radio play.) As a beat-maker, I would kill to be a fly-on-the-wall in that apartment, when they were collaborating on these tracks."

03. "Johnny Ryall" By: Pecue (Pecue Design)

"My relationship with this song has evolved over the years. Before I started making beats and studying other producers, I wasn't a big fan of "Johnny Ryall" at all. The David Bromberg sample for the main riff wasn't really hitting for me and the song itself falls between "Shake Your Rump" and "Egg Man," which are two of my favorites—so, this, actually, got fast-forwarded a lot, when I was younger. The only thing that grabbed me early on were the lyrics and story about Johnny Ryall. I always liked how The Beasties gave little glimpses of their world and, basically, immortalized the people that they ran into throughout their day. My neighborhood in West Philly had a lot of crazy characters, so I could relate here.

In recent years, I've come to appreciate the song a lot more now that I know how much went into it. The change-ups on the drums and melodies are always great on all the Paul's Boutique records, but I'm amazed at the care and attention to detail it took to put in the small things, like the Pink Floyd "wind sample" that can pretty much go unnoticed, if you don't have [a] keen ear. It just speaks to the dedication of The Dust Brothers and what The Beasties carried on, as their sound evolved on the next few albums."

04. "Egg Man" By: Dan LeRoy (The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique 33 1/3, For Whom The Cowbell Tolls: 25 Years of Paul's Boutique, The Greatest Music Never Sold)

"'Consider, for a moment, the humble egg, "the symbol of life." Some people call it Nature's perfect food. In fact, it is more than that. It is Nature's perfect explosive. Lest you think me completely uncouth, I am the son of a former high school principal. I know what eggings look (and smell) like from the victim's perspective. I know how much fun it is to clean them off a rusting 1974 Vega in the heat of July. Focusing on those humbling moments in my own egging history, however, would be to miss the forest for the trees. Or, perhaps, to miss the egg for the chicken. An egg is cheap, portable, non-toxic and non-lethal, made to be tossed in an onslaught of poultry power, and yet, under the right circumstances, equally devastating when heaved solo. Like, for example, if you tossed them from the roof of a very expensive hotel. Like, say, The Mondrian, in Los Angeles. Like, say, The Beastie Boys & Dust Brothers did, during the making of Paul's Boutique.

I remember Tim Carr, the band's late, great A&R man during this era, relating with awe how those eggs "hit like boulders" when they landed on the cars and heads of people lined up to get into The Comedy Store across the street. I remember Mike Simpson of The Dust Brothers giggling helplessly as he recounted these shenanigans, as well as the contents of a very "politically-correct" letter the Mondrian staff sent The Beasties, politely offering to help with the persistent problem of things falling out The Beasties' windows. (That letter, by the way, was just recently unearthed.) I remember the brilliant artist Eric Haze reliving an unnerving ambush by an apparent gang of rival eggers, late one night in front of a phone booth on Melrose Avenue.

And I remember Mike D, who knows better now than to say he didn't know better then, laughing in spite of himself at the memory of The Beasties' egging sprees in those carefree days, on Capitol Records' dime. (You can read all about it in my 33 1/3 book about Paul's Boutique, and a little more in For Whom The Cowbell Tolls, which I wrote with Peter Relic.)

Those escapades inspired a song, of course, "Egg Man," and in a lot of ways, it's the closest link on Paul's Boutique to The Beastie Boys of Licensed to Ill—an album which The Beasties have enjoyed such a tortured relationship with over the years that you can plausibly entertain certain conspiracy theories about its masters "going missing."

"Egg Man" is not like The Beasties' debut musically, of course. On this song, Mike Simpson & John King create one of The Dust Brothers' most sophisticated collages—a Blaxploitation homage that mashes up "Superfly," Lightnin' Rod, and Tower of Power into a should've-been 70's smash. The cherry on top is the "stabbing" string hits from Psycho, which make me imagine some long-haired rocker from The Guitar Institute, exiting the building with his axe and frozen in terror as The Beasties & Co. barrel towards him in their macked-out Lincoln Continental, firing egg after egg through the sunroof.

No, it's the spirit of the song, reflected in the proposed idea of a Beasties Egg Gun, certainly one of the 10 Inventions The World Has Tragically Been Deprived of to This Point In History. That spirit is something a 13 or 14-year-old prospective egger would appreciate, just as he (presumably "he," though, I know the history of egging, when it's written, will include some distinguished female participants) appreciated the big, dirty middle finger of Licensed to Ill.

Sometimes, I think The Beasties, who grew up in New York and then moved to LA, don't—can't—really understand how important a record Licensed to Ill (LTI) was to their fans in flyover country. They weren't all frat boys; for a lot of people, LTI was as close to Punk Rock as we were likely to get. In the discouraging heyday of Van Hagar & Whitney Houston, in a digitally-produced Dark Age, well before Hip-Hop had become respectable, The Beasties, somehow, took their big beats and Zeppelin swipes and nose-picking aesthetic to Number One! And every time they apologize for it, it's a little like, I don't know, the ghost of Joe Strummer suddenly materializing to walk back "that whole 1977 thing."

In fact, the weakest moment by far in "Egg Man" comes when The Beasties try to justify the song (and, by extension, the eggings.) "You made the mistake / You judge a man by his race / You go through life with egg on your face." OK, c'mon, man. That's like trying to say—after you were caught, of course—that you egged all the houses in your neighborhood because the people who live there don't support a minimum wage hike. Nobody believes that, including the person who said it. (And nobody ever did, unless, they were a wannabe Antifa member.)

Eggings aren't about overthrowing Trump or smashing the patriarchy or protecting the rights of your favorite endangered salamander. They're about eggs. Specifically, the thrill that a dollar carton of eggs (at least that's what they cost back [then]) can provide, when you can't yet drive and there's absolutely nothing happening in your little town because absolutely nothing ever does happen in your little town. Until you make a quick trip to the local Dairy Mart.

As Mike D said, some years ago, to allege that The Beasties had some sort of political agenda when writing the lyrics to Paul's Boutique is "giving us way too much credit." That's a brave and honest admission, because I can think of other musicians who would have claimed otherwise.So, consider "Egg Man" more than just a song about musical sophistication or residual crudity. It's an unapologetic whiff of Licensed to Ill, wafting from the wine-and-weed-infused patchwork of Paul's Boutique.

It smells a little like eggs, like those hard boiled eggs you get at a convenience store, and then, you open them in the car and everyone gags for a minute and demands, incredulous at your thoughtlessness, "why are you eating those in here? What is wrong with you?" Go ahead and eat 'em. And throw 'em. Carefully.

(Disclaimer: 1. Eggings have been in the news lately, as the source of a couple of tragedies. Just like you don't put rocks in snowballs, you don't try to hit someone in the face with an egg. 2. You don't chase someone who eggs your car, in your car. These events run counter to the ethos of egging.)

And if a little egg gets on you, as it always will, I think The Beasties gave us the best, and most practical, advice: "Here's a towel / Now, wipe." Dan LeRoy is the author of two books about Paul's Boutique, plus, The Greatest Music Never Sold, now on sale for a mere $5.90 at Amazon!"

05. "High Plains Drifter" By: Paolo Gilli (Paul's Boutique - A Visual Companion, NoSkillsPhotography)

"On a record full of outstanding tracks, "High Plains Drifter" is probably one of the best and that's already saying a lot. The beat, given the immense amount of samples used on Paul's Boutique, is, actually, pretty straight-forward and simple. It mainly uses a large part of The Eagles' "Those Shoes" and adds a slowed down moaning from "Put Your Love (In My Tender Care)" by The Fatback Band, delivering it's coup de grâce, courtesy of Adam Horovitz's 808 drum machine, which ties the whole thing together.

The result is a slow and [moody]—sometimes, even eerie—beat, that offers The Beasties a perfect playground to create one of their lyrical [masterpieces.] First of all, it's the most cinematic track on the whole record. That's the element that caught my attention first, when the album came out. I've been a huge movie geek, since I was a kid, watching Westerns with my dad (and he, quizzing me about the actors,) so the title—named after the Clint Eastwood film of the same name—immediately [piqued my interest]. Also, the references on the track abound, from Dirty Harry, Taxi Driver, and Steve McQueen to car chase exploitation jewel Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, and even The Larry Griffith Show.

Especially, this last one is a dead giveaway for the fact that "High Plains Drifter" is not at all—as some reviewers pointed out at the time—a True Crime depiction. Instead, this is a pure cinematic tale, that manages to paint a vivid story of a low-life criminal. The detailed description does not make it more realistic (in the sense of Gangsta Rap that is,) but just even more movie-like.

Obviously, this being The Beasties, the humor is an integral part of the track. That humor that got so distorted in the end on Licensed to Ill, works perfectly on Paul's Boutique. But where The Beasties really knock it out of the park is the delivery. This is some intricate sh*t, believe me. The moderate tempo of the track allows them to go totally nuts with their pick-up and pass the rhyme technique, often splitting one line in three and complementing each other on the verses perfectly. What makes the thing even more hypnotic is the constant overlapping on the rhymes. This is fluid wordplay as good as it gets. Go and listen to the track, with earphones, RIGHT NOW. It's [absolutely] mind-blowing. The Dust Brothers went full Robert Altman/Nashville with the vocals on this one."

06. "The Sounds of Science" By: Nate LeBlanc (Dad Bod Rap Pod, Needle to The Groove Records)

"If Paul's Boutique is The Beasties' Abbey Road (and I will say that they are both albums with primarily blue covers named after real places in major metropolitan cities that end in medleys of shorter song snippets) then, "The Sounds of Science" ("SoS") provides the clearest link between The Beatles & Beasties from a musical perspective. "SoS" is really two songs. In the first minute or so, The Boys free-associate vaguely "scientific" lines over descending notes based on odd interstitial moments from Beatles recordings, like the plane sound on "Dear Prudence" and the orchestra tuning on Sgt. Pepper's.

In the second half, Mike & The Adams go harder, shout-rapping in unison over the riff that sums up Abbey Road's "The End" and the drums from "Sgt. Pepper's [Lonely Hearts Club Band] Reprise," which are probably the best and most open drums from The Beatles' catalog from a Hip-Hop perspective. As a teenager, I was obsessed with The Beatles and [worshiped] The Beasties, especially, Paul's Boutique. The Beasties' constant allusions and references to other music and Pop culture ephemera taught me so much, helped me build my record collection, and frankly, made me a better person. To have them come together like this through a reverent act of sampling and homage blew my mind, at the time; something that wouldn't happen again, until a few years later when MF Grimm & MF DOOM lifted the strings from "Glass Onion" for "Tick Tick.'"

07. "3-Minute Rule" By: Height Keech (Cold Rhymes Records, Shark Tank, Height with Friends)

"I was walking home from middle school when a Goth girl came up to me and said it was her first day at our school. I was coming with this major dork style and had trouble talking to gals, but she was like, "hey, what's up with you? What do you like to do?" She said she was from NYC and that she went to raves. Was this 7th grader really going to raves in NYC? I don't know... I told her I could rap. She said, "well, do a rap now." I quickly scanned my 7th grade brain for these 7th grade bars and I panicked.

I just couldn't bring myself to spit these Mickey Mouse lyrics, so I launched into Mike D's verse from this song. She gave me props, and I reveled in the stolen valor. I had this verse ready to go because I was obsessed with it. I wrote it down on paper over and over just to feel like I was writing it myself. Everything about this song rules. I would go into detail, but we all know what it sounds like. It was cool to learn later that the crazy panned ping-pong ball sound was not a sample, but from an actual ping-pong table they brought into the studio. There’s probably 1,000 secrets like that on this magical album."

08. "Hey Ladies" By: Joshua Rogers (Illuminated Paths, Broken Machine Films Presents...)

"very much in the same vein as "girls," "HEY LADIES," this once totally over-played beastie boys staple, has risen to the ranks of being one of their most popular. i must admit, it was one of the first beastie boys videos i remember catching as a youth late nights on the mtv. the track and subsequent video's symbolism are quite mesmerizing and catchy. sets that beasties tone for their new audiences. but whereas "girls" these days might be considered dancing the line of almost sexist, "HEY LADIES" has more of a story-telling party style feel. the stories being told throughout have a real ring of truth to them, as do most beasties lyrics. they tell it from the heart and from experience. always looking to push that envelope, however. be risque. memorable. yet still keep a level of [likability] and an air of light-hearted rimming. never taking themselves and what they do that seriously."