The Last Shadow Puppets Interview

There was a point in time where I started to wonder if The Last Shadow Puppets would ever return. The duo of Alex Turner and Miles Kane had been gone for eight years, understandably busy with their other projects. Thankfully, this year the stars aligned and the duo are back with their long-awaited sophomore album Everything You’ve Come To Expect, which was released last Friday via Domino Records.

A few months ago on a cold day in early February, I headed to the Ace Hotel to meet up with Alex and Miles, to chat over some fine cups of tea and talk about stepping back into the spotlight, the new album, how they work together as a duo, and what what exactly fans can expect this time around. I even brought up the James Bond comparisons, and what exactly it would take for them to pen the next Bond song.

Enjoy the full interview, which is posted below.

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1_M83_Governors Ball 2016

M83 at Governors Ball 2016

After a great day 1 of Governors Ball 2016, we arrived bright an early with a whole day ahead of us. Although we lucked out with minimal rain on day 1, our luck ran dry on day 2 with the 2nd half of the day plagued by some heavy rainfall that would go on to be a bad omen for the final day of the festival, which would eventually get cancelled altogether.

We started the day off with an early set from Holly Miranda whose band eased us into the day with a graceful set full of different stylings. Things got a little bit harder with punk rockers Nothing, who weren’t too happy with Miranda’s set time somewhat leaking into theirs. I could’ve down without the aggressive comment about her set, as there’s not much to be done with so many sets happening so close to one another. Things got back on track right after with a typically powerful performance from New York’s very own Torres, who always leaves me in awe with her raw intensity that is second to none.

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The Strokes at Governors Ball

For me, summer is officially in full swing with the arrival of the Governors Ball Music Festival, a staple of our summer here for the last few summers, although it’s hard to imagine a time without the festival. This year the festival was once again plagued by the ominous threat of rain and storms (with day 3 unfortunately being cancelled altogether), but we still made the best of the two great days that the festival gave us, and saw many different bands and artists across all genres.

We kicked off Friday, Day 1, with a set from young New York rockers Public Access T.V., who are definitely ones to watch, along with hot rising pop singer Meg Mac who performed right after.

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Native Gold – “Fickle

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016 Electronic Listen Stream

Native Gold

Native Gold is a LA duo comprised of longtime friends Michael Weeks and Lee Young. Last summer they shared snippets of songs that would eventually make up their debut EP A Man We All Admire, catching attention of artists such as Son Lux along the way.

They will release the EP to the world on July 5. Based on first single “Ficke,” the duo has quite a promising future ahead. The haunting track calls the mind the work of Thom Yorke’s solo album The Eraser, taking a minimalisitc approach that yields loud, memorable results that has me very interested for what the rest of the EP has in store.

Find a stream of “Fickle” posted below.

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Julianna Barwick

Tomorrow night Julianna Barwick will take her gorgeous sounds to the always reliable show space that is Bowery Ballroom for a performance with MAS YSA.

The show comes in support of Barwick’s new album Will, which was released in May via Dead Oceans. The record sees Barwick take her sound in a haunting new direction, one that will no doubt be beautiful to watch unfold in the live setting.

Tickets for the show are currently still for sale, not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.

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Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit, the project of Jordan Lee, released their beautiful sophomore record Skip a Sinking Stone last month via Mom + Pop Music.

He’s returning to New York for a pair of lives show this week, with the first show coming tomorrow evening at Mercury Lounge.

This will be New Yorkers first chance to catch these new songs in what is sure to be lovely live arrangements that will sound great in the intimate setting that is the Mercury Lounge. This is actually an early show, with openers Florist kicking things off around 7:30 (doors at 6:30). The very next night they’ll head to Brooklyn for a show at Baby’s All Right.

Tickets for both shows are still on sale.

The Story of KC and the Sunshine Band

By Will Oliver, June 20th 2016 Editorial

KC and the Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band are perhaps one of the best known bands of the disco era, charming fans the world over with their fun, upbeat and cheerful sound and their catchy hooks and brilliant lyrical stylings.

The band remains popular to this day, despite starting out more than 40 years ago and while changes to the line-up of the band and the changing tastes of the day mean that the band’s sound has changed a lot, they’re still well loved by those who remember them first time around and a whole new generation of fans.

The disco era in the ‘70s was one fraught with racial tensions and disco became something of a retreat for those outside of the mainstream – the genre was more inclusive than many at the time, welcoming the LGBT community, women and people of all colors and creeds with open arms.

It’s no wonder, then, that we look back on this time with such fondness, or that the biggest disco tracks of the ‘70s are still floor-fillers in the 21st Century. Keep reading to find out more about one of the bands at the forefront of the disco movement – KC and the Sunshine Band.

Bringing the band together

In 1973, Harry Wayne Casey, an employee of the now defunct Florida based TK Records decided to form a band. Originally called KC and the Sunshine Junkanoo Band, it comprised of Casey, the Miami Junkanoo Band and some studio musicians from the label he was working at.

The Junkanoo band sprun from a cultural tradition called the Junkanoo parade which occurs in the Bahamas and cities across the USA with Caribbean-American populations. It takes place on Boxing Day each year and the style of music is also performed at other celebrations throughout the year. This influence on KC and the Sunshine Band could be part of what sets its musical style apart from other disco bands.

Before long, Casey was introduced to Richard Finch, who was a skilled sound engineer working at TK records. Within weeks, a songwriting partnership had been formed and the pair wrote for other artists before eventually assembling KC and the Sunshine Band as it would come to be recognized.

The first couple of singles which were released by KC and the Sunshine band were Blow Your Whistle and Sound Your Funky Horn, and both performed well enough for the band’s label to record another single and album.

While they were in the process of recording these, a song titled Rock Your Baby which was written by Casey and Finch but recorded by George McCrae became a number one hit in 51 countries, and Queen of Clubs, a track recorded by KC and the Sunshine Band with vocals from McCrae became a hit in the UK, prompting a tour of the British isles in 1975.

KC and the Sunshine Band: the album

After such an auspicious start, the self-titled album KC and the Sunshine Band was a hotly anticipated release in 1975 and birthed the first big hit that the group had in North America – Get Down Tonight – which went to number one on the US Billboard Charts.

After that, the band’s star was on the rise; more hits came along with That’s The Way (I Like It), successes at the Grammy awards boosted the act’s profile further and the album Part 3 spawned yet more success. From this, I’m Your Boogie Man; (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty and Keep It Comin’ Love were chart successes.

Sadly, with the demise of disco as a genre the successes of KC and the Sunshine band began to wane, and their last number one single was (aptly) Please Don’t Go in 1979.

After the spotlight

The disco sound fell firmly out of favor as soon as the ‘70s were over and an acrimonious split in the early 80s, saw KC and the Sunshine Band part company.

It wasn’t to stay that way forever, though, and in the early ‘90s the band was reformed by Casey, with almost entirely new members, to capitalize on a resurgence in interest for disco music.

Since then the band has continued to gig and release occasional new music, including the critically acclaimed album I’ll Be There For You in 2001.

They’re more than capable of putting on a show, and for nostalgia it’s hard to beat these stalwarts of the ‘70s disco scene. If you’d like to book them for an event, the KC and the Sunshine Band agency is MN2S, so contact them with any enquiries you may have.

Hot Tunes: Music Transcription!

By Will Oliver, June 17th 2016 Editorial

Open your radio on.  Try listening to a new song. Did you get  all the lyrics correctly? Human ears are indeed very powerful in capturing sounds and speech,  but sometimes it also fails, thus for few times we create those funny misunderstood song lyrics called mondegreens.  We do end up with a good laugh when we realize that we sing the song  not out of tune, but out of lyrics.The idea of the new voice-to-text machines is to provide people with a solution to transcribe voice to text. Machine-based voice to text technology makes audio recorded material more easily accessible. Now, how about transcribing song lyrics? We saw in the IBM Watson versus live transcriptionists song lyrics challenge, that using a machine to transcribe an audio song is possible, not as good as a human professional, but still gave us decent results.  Check them here:  https://verbalink.com/transcription-services
Results: Humans still Won, Yay!

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Burger Beach Bash
Burger Records have been setting LA on fire with the ever growing Burgerama Festival. This year they finally look to bring the action to New York with the inaugural Burger Beach Bash.

It will take place at MCU Park in Coney Island, and feature an eclectic lineup that features GZA (of Wu-Tang Clan), Andrew W.K., Har Mar Superstar, Fucked Up, Pentagram, Mr Twin Sister, Milk N’ Cookies, The Mystery Lights, Cotillon and Fletcher C Johnson. The fun will go down from 2-10, and also features DJ sets by Burger Records very own Lee and Sean.

Tickets for the festival are still for sale. With the rise of Burgerama, it will be worth checking out the festival not only for its unique festival lineup, but to say that you were at the new festivals humble beginning.

For more info on the festival, head to the Facebook event page.

Ritzy 1

Plain and simple, The Joy Formidable are one of the best live bands out there right now. Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd Davies and Matt Thomas have honed and perfected their blistering live set over the years into something that anyone can enjoy. There’s so much ferocity, intensity and fun that their band name really comes to life. They make joy look incredibly formidable, but in an inviting and engaging way.
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Caesar 1

One of my perks of covering so much live music is introducing people to new bands and fantastic performers. That’s what happened on March 31 at Webster Hall’s Marlin Room. I’ve known how amazing local groups Great Caesar and Parlour Tricks are for a couple years now, but seeing someone else experience them for the first time (or the first time live) is always extremely gratifying. This particular show was an exceptional showcase for both bands, as well as supporting acts Flint Eastwood and Danielle Grubbs (who I unfortunately missed but did catch when she joined Great Caesar for their rousing finale).
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