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Showing posts from September, 2020

Blu & Fa†e Announce Open Your Optics to Optimism EP Deluxe Cassette: 4th Anniversary Edition with "UFO II" (EveryDejaVu)

Just this past Monday, Boston-based label EveryDejaVu (@EveryDejaVu) casually Shared a rather mysterious message on their Twitter page, "Hidden in the intro blurb is a pre-order for a new cassette. Today marks the 4-year anniversary of Open Your Optics to Optimism, the collaborative album between @HerFavColor & @fateproduction! To celebrate, we put together a limited deluxe cassette." EveryDejaVu were, in fact, referring to their latest Substack newsletter, EDV #3: seangran, a Curator for the People. Said "intro blurb" in question further explains: "On top of that, today is the 4-year anniversary of Open Your Optics to Optimism, the collaborative album by Blu & Fa†e. While the Blu fan-boy in me could go on for days about this album, Miles Lamensky best described it: "On Open Your Optics to Optimism, LA's Blu and producer Fa†e buckle into a DeLorean, cruising back to a time before time in order that they might gain the knowledge necessary to

QUAKERS Return with Announcement of QUAKERS II: The Next Wave & The Koreatown Oddity-assisted Single "Double Jointed" (Stones Throw Records)

QUAKERS are a Hip-Hop super-group consisting of three producers: Fuzzface (Geoff Barrow,) Supa K FKA Katalyst (Ashley Anderson,) and 7STU7 (Stuart Matthews.) Barrow is a founding member of Portishead, as well as BEAK>, and a co-founder of Invada Records, along with Ashley Anderson & Fraser Stuart. Anderson appears to have first met Barrow when they worked together on a remix, attributed to "Portishead," of Machine Gun Fell*tio's "H*rny Blonde 40." In addition to QUAKERS, Ashley Anderson is, also, an active member of both Moonrock with Michael Wright and Space Invadas with Steve Spacek. QUAKERS' third producer, Stuart Matthews, is an engineer at Invada Records and has contributed to recordings for Portishead, BEAK>, Anika, Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury, Crippled Black Phoenix, Turbowolf, and more. QUAKERS released their staggering 41-track self-titled debut on Stones Throw Records on 2xCD/LP formats in 2012. It boasted features from a wide

With The Quickness #11: A "Culturally Appropriated" Tribute to Toots Hibbert By Dan LeRoy (By Way of The Clash)

The Clash in Philadelphia on September 25, 1982 (CREDIT: Ebet Roberts) We've been running these With The Quickness playlist columns (title thanks to John "Jumbled" Bachman!) for a while now and, in my opinion, they just keep gettng better and better with each new installment. They're, generally, curated by like-minded fans and supporters of Punk/Hardcore, who more so often than not, are adjacent to the scene and not directly involved with or playing the actual music. So, this latest 11th(!?) edition was curated by renown author and well-documented Beastie Boys super-fan Dan LeRoy. An email/Twitter friend of The Witzard in recent years, LeRoy has written a number of extremely enjoyable books, including The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique 33 1/3, its "66 2/3" quasi-sequel, For Whom The Cowbell Tolls: 25 Years of Paul's Boutique, and The Greatest Music Never Sold: Secrets of Legendary Lost Albums By David Bowie, Seal, Beastie Boys, Chicago, Mick Ja

Alex Belth & illchemist Return with SOUP TO NUTS: A Hip-Hop Mix for K.O.L. Radio (Movie Dialogue/Hip-Hop Beats)

About two weeks ago, we recieved an email from Esquire Classic editor and fellow music aficionado Alex Belth emailed us with a tip regarding an upocoming mix. We've previously showcased features on a number of hand-crafted mixes constructed by Belth, sometimes, known as Al Dente, and his music-making parter-in-crime, Alan "illchemist" Friedman. illchemist is a self-described audio provider, sound designer, editor, mixer, composer, musician, producer, voice-over, mash-up artist. Alan Friedman has previously worked with or remixed C + C Music Factory, Depecche Mode, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Steinski, Vitamin C. However, in more recent years, Friedman has been tediously creating and reelasing mixes of his own, all the while, running his own studio/hub, Audiolifer. Somewhere along the way, Alan Friedman met Alex Belth and they've been meticuliously mashing up and releasing music together since the early 2000's. Alex Belth & illchemist's mixes include, b

Run It Back: Poison Boys "Mean Queen" B/W "Take A Chance" On Opaque Yellow 7-inch (Hobo Wolfman Records)

Poison Boys is a Chicago-based Glam Rock/Punk band, who have actively been touring, releasing music, and glamming it up since 2014. Poison Boys' current line-up includes Matt Dudzik, Steve "Stevie Poison" Elfinger, Josh Mitchell & Matt "Chainblaster" Chaney with touring/part-time members "Sleepy Doc" Julius & Nico "Bonesy" Bones. Stevie Poison & The Boys have previously released material on No Front Teeth Records, White Zoo Records, Dead Beat Records, and most recently, Hobo Wolfman Records. Following their 2019 full-length debut, Out of My Head, Poison Boys have joined forces with Hobo Wolfman to unveil their latest single, "Mean Queen" B/W "Take A Chance." We would compare Poison Boys' body of work to something along the lines of New York Dolls, Diamond Dogs-era David Bowie, The Darkness, The Struts, and one of our personal favorites, Hammered Satin. As a matter of fact, the B-side to "Mean Queen&qu

With The Quickness #10: Birdman Curate Birdman or: The Unexpected Virtue of An Australian THPS 1+2 Soundtrack Playlist (THPS Edition)

Birdman: or The Unexpected Virtue of A Tony Hawk Pro Skater Cover Band (CREDIT: Dallas Maurer) "'Birdman: or The Unexpected Virtue of A Tony Hawk Pro Skater Cover Band..." the ridiculous name parodied off one of greatest and most ridiculous films of the last decade says it all. What started off as a novelty idea amongst six friends with an undying passion for the greatest video game soundtracks of their teens, has now morphed into an out-of-control nostalgia joyride, shared with an army of like-minded gaming and music fans. Packing an epic arsenal of tunes from the likes of Goldfinger, Bodyjar, Millencolin, RATM [Rage Against The Machine], CKY, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Sex Pistols, and Motorhead to name just a few, they've started mosh pits at some of the best festivals in the country, including headlining the sold out Secret Garden, headlining the (also, sold out) OktoberWest with guest appearances from Frenzal Rhomb & Totally Unicorn, headlining (you guessed it

Andy Cooper Returns with "The Man" & "L.I.S.T.E.N." Music Video from Extremely New Album (Unique Records)

Andy "The Undertaker" Cooper (CREDIT: Miff Morris) Andy Cooper is an actual factual skilled (never) ill-willed hyper-fast rhyming emcee originally hailing from North Carolina, who now calls Long Beach, California home. Although, it appears as though Cooper has an extremely dedicated following Overseas, rather than here in The States; known primarily for his work with European artists The Allergies, DJ Format, Baronski, Shawn Lee, DJ Yoda, Marc Hype & DJ Suspect, The Funk League, Djar One, Smoove (Smoove & Turrell,) and more. However, Andy Cooper is, likely, best know amongst Underground Hip-Hop heads for his work with Rap troupe Ugly Duckling formed in 1993 with friends "Dizzy" Dustin McFarland & Rodney Pleasant AKA DJ Young Einstein. Trusty fans of The Witzard may be familiar with Cooper's solo work, more specifically, "The Perfect Definition" from his 2018 album, The Layered Effect, released on Rocafort Records. As you may recall, we

3 Feet High & Rising: Regional Justice Center's Ian Shelton Returns with A New Band Militarie Gun, New EP & New Music Video (Convulse Records)

Ian Shelton is the driving force behind Seattle-based Hardcore Punk/Fastcore/Powerviolence troupe Regional Justice Center. Shelton has spent time playing with like-minded bands Bully, Clarity, Drug Culture, Habitual Offender, Hiding Place, New Gods, Stress Relief, and most notably, Self Defense Family. Earlier this year, Regional Justice Center unleashed an awesoely-titled EP dubbed Regional Jurtice Center assisted by Justice "Jurtice" Tripp (Angel Du$t, Trapped Under Ice) and a one-track digital single/7-inch EP for "KKK Tattoo." Now, Ian Shelton has returned with yet another new project, Militarie Gun. Shelton's latest project clearly draws inspiration from 90's Melodic Post-hardcore and was first announced back in April with a 2-song Demo EP. Militarie Gun has now been revealed as a full 5-piece band, which, according to Stereogum Senior Editor Tom Breihan, appears to feature Drug Church guitarist Nick Cogan, Modern Color drummer Vince Nguyen, two addi

"WILD" HEIGHT KEECH Returns with New Album & Cinematic Music Video Feat. Flock of Dimes & Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner (Cold Rhymes Records)

Since re-launching Cold Rhymes Records a few years back around the time of the release of Mind Moves The Mountain (2017) Dan "Height" Keech has stayed extremely busy. Cold Rhymes' roster now includes 83cutlass, Ardamus, Darko The Super, Emceein' Eye Height Keech, ialive/Donovan Days, Jack Toft, Kate Ferencz, MISTER, Off The Meat Rack, P.T. Burnem, Param Anand Singh, (rapper) andrew. Shark Tank, Speak N' Eye, Trauma Lavern, Vans_Westly, and Wounds. The bulk of said recent releases having been produced by Height Keech himself, along with ialive (together, as Necessary People,) art direction provided by Height's sideman MISTER AKA CoolGuyBry, and mastered by C$ BURNS. Earlier this year, Height produced the entirety Ardamus' Astro Blocks with the exception of one beat, "Tunnel Light," produced by Necessary People. Plus, Necessary People made their proper production debut across andrew.'s second Cold Rhymes offering, W.O.T.W. Additionally, I BET

With The Quickness #9: Director of Animation Jim Jagger Curates Tony Hawk's Pro Skater-themed Spotify Playlist (THPS Edition)

Jim Jagger While Developing THPS4, Neversoft Woodland Hills Office in California (2002) "My name is Jim Jagger, and I am an Animation Director in the video game industry. After spending my first few years making games in The UK, I wrote to Neversoft, begging for an opportunity to work on the Tony Hawk's [Pro Skater] series. My love for the game began with "The Warehouse Demo" and by the time I had completed THPS2 I was desperate to be involved. By some fluke or miracle, I found myself in California, breathing life into my favourite game! Catching the tail-end of THPS3, I primarily worked on THPS4 and THUG [Tony Hawk's Underground]." "There can be only one place to start and that's with [Goldfinger's] "Pretending I'm A Superman." This song epitomised the game so much that my friend and former Neversoft colleague, Ralph D'Amato, used it as the title for his recent documentary of The Tony Hawk Series. With the help of direct

Gorillaz Share "Strange Timez" Feat. Robert Smith & Announce New Album Song Machine: Season One - Strange Timez (Parlophone Records)

Robert Smith has been the long-time smeared lipstick-wearing frontman of The Cure since 1978. Aside from his beloved body of work with The Cure, Smith has released a limited number of outer-band recordings on his own. Those including collaborations with, but not limited to, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Glove, Cult Hero, Crystal Castles, The Twilight Sad, blink-182, The Stranglers, KoЯn, and Junkie XL. Robert Smith has, additionally, released a number of solo recordings including "Pictures of You" (Paul Mac Remix) from the One Perfect Day Soundtrack, a cover of Kathryn Beaumont's "Very Good Advice" from Almost Alice, a cover of John Martyn's "Small Hours" the Johnny Boy Would Love This tribute comp. and lastly, a cover of Frank Sinatra's "Witchcraft" from Frankenweenie Unleashed! (Music Inspired By The Motion Picture.) It was announced earlier this week Smith would be appearing alongside Gorillaz, the long-time "virtual&quo

WalyO Returns with N​.​W​.​A. Feat. Michael Jackson - "LA Riots" Single from Re-imagined Version of Dr. Dre's Detox (OK-Tho! Records)

WalyO is a mysterious Connecticut-based producer and beat-maker. Sonically, his style of music often falls somewhere in-between remixes and mash-ups; almost like a musical version of Marvel's beloved zany WHAT IF...? comic book series. However, a press release asserts, "WalyO is NOT a remixer, instead, he creates brand new tracks by chopping up various acapellas from many different songs and re-arranges them into new verses on beats that are in the taste of the so-called artists." Following the success of his 2018 Diplomats-centric project Dipset, We Still Bangin', WalyO has returned with the first single from his next like-minded effort. N​.​W​.​A. Feat. Michael Jackson - "LA Riots" will appear within WalyO's upcoming sophomore project, his own rendition of Dr. Dre's fabled as-yet-to-be released magnum opus, Detox. Honestly, a collaboration between N.W.A. & The King of Pop is not as far-fetched as it sounds on paper... as Michael Jackson's

The Drowns Return with Triumphant Record Store Performance Video for Latest Under Tension Single "Black Lung" (Pirates Press Records)

Seattle-bred Pirates Press Records signees The Drowns have quickly become one of our favorite Punk/Hardcore bands here at The Witzard. Their sophomore album, Under Tension, was quietly released earlier this year with production work throughout from Ted Hutt (Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem.) We, actually, had the opportunity to speak with The Drowns' Aaron "Rev" Peters & Andy Wylie back in late July. At that point in time, The Drowns had released music videos for singles, "Hold Fast" & "Them Rats," as well as flexi-disc 7-inches for "Demons," "Hold Fast" (Hold Fast Demons,) "Black Lung," and "Wolves On The Throne." During this pandemic, The Drowns have stayed relatively busy with Rev & Andy Wylie both contributing remotely-recorded solo sets as part of Pirates Press' socially-distant "festival" Rock The Sofa—rather than their annual Rock The Ship event—held this p

With The Quickness #8: Pretending I'm A Superman Director Ludvig Gür Compiles Top 10 Most Essential Tracks Playlist (THPS Edition)

Pretending I'm A Superman Producer Ralph D'Amato (Left) & Director Ludvig Gür (Right) "Friends, I know it's been a little quiet on my side this past week, but, I assure you, everything is fine. Two weeks ago, my feature-length directorial debut, @thpsfilm, was released to a fantastic reception from critics and fans alike. It has remained in the Top 100 list of most-streamed films on @itunes for almost two weeks and still retains a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes . However, today is a very special day for another reason: 21 years ago, the game that the documentary is all about, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, was released. It took the world by storm and changed the lives of so many people throughout the years. I cannot overstate how much of an impact this low-budget video game made by a team of 12 people had on my life. It changed everything! So, here I am, holding up my first copy of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for the PS1 (which was released as "Tony Hawk's

Mega Ran, K-Murdock & Rob "88bit" Kovacs Discuss Forever Famicom: Diamond Edition for Album's 10th Anniversary (The Witzard Interview)

Rob "88bit" Kovacs, Mega Ran, DJ Indica Jones & K-Murdock (CREDIT: Jeff Moses) It's great when things come full-circle, especially, when they happen naturally, organically entirely on their own. So, our site has been around since 2010 and both Kyle "K-Murdock" Murdock and Raheem "Mega Ran" Jarbo were both amongst our first interviews back in our earliest aughts. We believe, we met K-Murdock through our friend and then-record store owner Jamie at Blinding Sun Records in Frederick, Maryland and we must have been introduced to Mega Ran through Kyle. While we can vividly recall helping crowd-fund their 2010 album, Forever Famicom, together as Bits & Rhymes, we're not entiely sure, if we ever covered said album here across the pages of The Witzard. Either way, it's easily one of our absolute favorite albums released during the 2010's and still amasses frequent listens to this day. We've since covered a handful of Mega Ran's sol