Digable Planets at House Of Vans (May 18, 2017)

By Will Oliver, May 31st 2017 — with 1 comment Concert Photos Concert Reviews

All photos by Dave Scholten

On May 18, House Of Vans kicked off their 2017 summer edition of shows in Brooklyn with a performance from classic Brooklyn hip-hop group Digable Planets. The night also featured an opening performance from Chicago rapper Joey Purp.

Our photographer Dave Scholten was there to capture the evening in photos. Find some of his shots of both Digable Planets and Joey Purp posted below.

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Saint Etienne

Not too long ago Taylor Swift made the news when she pulled all of her music from Spotify as a protest for the way music was being distributed without adequate compensation for the musician. As she rightly pointed out, musicians need to have the ability to support themselves and the only way for that to happen in a digital age is if safeguards are put in place to ensure the expectation for a fair wage is firmly established. It would seem as though this is a contemporary issue but financial sovereignty has been an issue in the arts for as long as there have been artists.

The History of Copyright Ownership

In the 1800s a composer named Guiseppe Verdi asserted his right to manage the international distribution of some of his most famous operas. It may seem unusual to think of the composers of some of the most well-known musical pieces from more than one hundred years ago being concerned with the way in which their music was distributed, but the need to maintain artistic control and to receive monetary reimbursement for their work is an ongoing struggle.

In many instances, these types of exchanges are not part of the common history and only come to light when historical autographs for sale and other historic documents become available to consumers from private collections. Without an extensive media presence and the ability to instantly inform fans about what is going on via social media, the information was only available to the parties directly involved.

A more recent example that people may be more familiar with involves the rights to the music produced and written by Prince. He was famously intolerant of having his music distributed by methods which were out of his control. It wasn’t until his death that his musical portfolio began to be available for digital download. A quick search of his songs on YouTube will make it obvious he took unauthorized redistribution seriously, as there are very few songs available even there.

Modern Concerns

One of the reasons artists have become so concerned with the issue of musical distribution in recent decades is the ease with which it can be copied and redistributed through piracy. This represented a major concern for musicians when digital tracks first began showing up but that concern has begun to diminish with streaming services that allow people to pay only for what they listen to.

Unfortunately, the streaming services have caused some artists such as Swift, Beyoncé, Adele, and Garth Brooks to have concerns about the scalability of the economic model for their own careers and the careers of less well-known artists. Because the amount an artist receives is tied to how many times their songs are played, it means those who are not in heavy rotation or who are less well known are less likely to make a substantial amount of money with this format.

The Future of Music

While it is a valid concern that an artist will not receive fair compensation for their work if people are able to freely access it, the reality is shaking out much differently than it originally seemed it would. Instead of being a cataclysmic transformation which destroyed careers, it seems to have leveled the musical playing field and given artists a greater level of control than they have ever experienced before.

Artists no longer have to compete with those who are seen as appealing to a large commercial segment. The only game in town is no longer the radio and television airways. It isn’t necessary to have a sound that is so similar as to be indistinguishable from everything else which is being played. Artists are free to innovate and break any rules and to be as authentically themselves as they care to be. Then they can find their tribe and sell directly to those people who most resonate with their music.

Instead of limiting the number of people who can make a living, the digital revolution is giving a greater number of people to make music their career. While it may limit the number of people who are able to rise to astronomical career levels by being the only option, ultimately it is giving musicians more control of their finances and their art.




Social media has been a democratizing agent for musicians. You don’t need to have a big studio backing you and promoting your work. You can get the exposure you want from YouTube and launch your career. Several singers have been discovered that way after posting a video of themselves singing a great cover. With the right social media strategy, you could even get your music noticed and then promote and sell it yourself, cutting out the studio middleman entirely.

Sign up for a good social media management service like Social Vantage, and you can automate your posts and easily manage your presence online. Here are a few ways you can use social media to boost or maintain your career, no matter where you are in your progress:

Post Candid Photos

Everyone loves to learn more about celebrities and artists, and the media has made a huge business out of this. Fans buy magazines and check websites and social media for new pictures and scraps of information that help them learn more about their favorite artists. You can feed this desire yourself by posting candid photos from behind the scenes on your Instagram account – a photo-heavy site. You can get results on other social media sites, but you’ll see the most engagement from these kinds of photos on Instagram.

Post photos of practice, the time you’re waiting before a show, the time you’re fooling around between sets or after a show, and more.

Share News and Sneak Peaks

Give your fans a reason to follow you and to engage on social media. Let them be the first to get the news about your albums, tours, collaborations, and more. Share this information first on certain social media channels, and make sure you tease the announcement so people know to look for the information.

You can also share samples or sneak peaks of your new tracks to social media first. It will let fans know that there is a big benefit to following you and staying active on social media, and they will be more engaged.

Share Fan Covers

If you have a bit of a following, your fans might be making covers of your music. Some might send you the video directly, and others might post it on YouTube. Encourage engagement by giving a shout out to these fans. Share links to their covers and talk about your appreciation for their interpretation or your love of their technique.

Fans will love seeing you share their music on your social media! They will be much more likely to share other content with you and to engage on your channels in other ways, such as through commenting, liking, and sharing posts in an attempt to attract your attention or to engage with you. The more they engage, the more attention your channels will get, which will get you more exposure and help you reach more fans.

Come Back after a Hiatus

You may have been out of the music scene for a while. Social media is the perfect way to announce your comeback and to get your fans re-engaged. You can do all the things as above, such as sharing sneak peaks and teasing your tour dates, and you can offer fans insider tips about where to meet you or how to get special editions of your music. The more you can do to make it special for them, the more excited they will be. You just need to be engaged and be creative.

Tag Partners and Collaborators

If you get the chance to collaborate with someone great, use social media to connect with their audience, as well. Tag them in status updates and photos, and their fans will see those posts, as well. Then those fans will learn about you and may end up following you on social media, which can help them discover more of your other music and become dedicated fans themselves.

Social media is a powerful tool for anyone, but it is a great equalizer for musicians and other types of artists. Use these tips to help you reach more of your fans and to keep them engaged, whether you are just starting your career or you are trying to restart it.




Milk Buttons – “Flowers”

By Will Oliver, May 31st 2017 Indie Listen Stream

Milk Buttons is the Australian rock duo of songwriters Jackson Muir and Cameron Bower. There’s a good chance that the name is new to you, as they just recently released their debut single “Flowers.”

Both Muir and Bower have spent time in many other touring acts and have incorporated that experience and growth into “Flowers” which sounds like many different styles of rock and roll while also digging into something of it’s own. The vocals have elements of Julian Casablancas and The Strokes, but with more of a moody atmosphere and a textured psych-rock flavor.

Take a listen to “Flowers” below and stay tuned for more on Milk Buttons very soon.

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Den-Mate – “Fall”

By Will Oliver, May 29th 2017 Electronic Indie Listen Stream

Den-Mate is the project of Washington, D.C. artist Jules Hale. In April she released her new EP Entropii via Babe City Records.

The EP’s first single “Fall” shares a lot in common with another group based in D.C., our friends in GEMS. “Fall” is similar to a lot of the dark ethereal electronic sounds they create but done with her own stamp and signature sound. Hale so easily summons up this dark atmosphere and matches it with more uplifting, spiritual vocals, that shape-shift into something pop-minded, yet also darkly textural.

Take a listen to “Fall” below and take a listen to the entire EP over at bandcamp.

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Haux – “Touch”

By Will Oliver, May 27th 2017 Electronic Indie Listen Stream

Haux is the project of photographer-turned-musician Woodson Black who resides the The Berkshires of Massachusetts.

He recently returned with “Touch” an electronic fusion of folk-rock that is every bit as emotive as it is pop-minded as it is well textured in production flourishes. Something of a love song for the internet age, made with as much human emotion as possible.

“Touch” follows the release of his sophomore EP All We’ve Known last year. Take a listen to “Touch” below and head to his soundcloud to stream the rest of his work.
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Madrid producer Santiago Lizón produces under the moniker Crisopa. He recently caught my attention with his latest track, “I Am The Lord Of These Ruins.”

Opening with some soothing sounds, the song soon opens the door for some gentle rising waves of sound, that gradually build into something rather beautiful, totally overwhelming the senses. There’s a lot of emotional layers packed into this song, one that can be most easily described as eternally blissful.

Take a listen to “I Am The Lord Of These Ruins” below.

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Febueder – “Morning Yawn”

By Will Oliver, May 27th 2017 Indie Listen Stream

Febueder are an English trio featuring lead vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Kieran Godfrey, percussionist Samuel Keysell, and Toby Ingram on bass. Earlier this month they released their new EP From An Album.

“Morning Yawn” is the first single taken from the EP. Featuring a dark atmosphere that echoing vocals that sit somewhere between the worlds of Alt-J and Foals, a great thing depending on where you stand on those artists (who we both love). Smooth, confident, and sultry, “Morning Yawn” would be one well of a way to wake up in the morning.

Take a listen to “Morning Yawn” below, and if you like what you hear, grab the EP from iTunes.

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Draumr is the project of Paris-based musician Gabriel Cheurfa. My introduction to Draumr came via the colorful music video for the equally colorful track “Hydrangeas.” It’s a synth-led psych-pop gem that is like a child between Toro y Moi and Tame Impala.

Not only does the track rule through the finest explorations of dream-pop, it features a memorable video companion thanks to the work of artists Kathleen Ponsard & Ivan Herrera, members of the Chroniques Cosmiques Collective, who both animated and directed the video.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more chill track this weekend. Grab a cold one, dig in, and let your mind go wherever the hell it takes you.

Find the video posted below, along with a soundcloud embed.

Melby – “Pat”

By Will Oliver, May 27th 2017 Indie Listen Stream

Melby are a quartet from Stockholm, Sweden, who caught the attention of blogs with their single, “Human.” This year they returned with their debut EP Melby, which was released on May 19 via Rama Lama Records.

“Pat” is the EP’s single and for good reason. It’s smartly constructed with an easy-going charm that features soothing vocals over some tightly constructed riffs. It’s a pure delight on the ears, that leaves you wanting to come back for immediate seconds.

Stream “Pat” below and head to the Rama Lama Records Shop to grab the EP on vinyl, limited to just 100 copies.

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