Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:54 pm
This is simply astonishing. Watch twenty seconds and you'll be sucked into the world of Usman Riaz, an immensely talented 23-year-old Pakistani musician who will change your perception of how a guitar can sound and be played. What's more remarkable is that this Berklee College of Music whiz kid learned much of his dazzling guitar technique by watching YouTube videos at 16. He also learned what he calls "parlor tricks," like body percussion and harmonica. But the classically trained pianist also used the Internet to learn how to write and conduct orchestra pieces and make films.
Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 12:09 pm
Ian McDonnell and Dara Smith are the creative force behind Lakker. They've been recording together for the past decade. Smith, who's also a motion graphics designer and art director for a Dublin design company, produced the breathtaking visuals for "Thermohaline."
"Thermohaline" is from the band's new EP, Containing A Thousand.
Jeremiah Jae and Oliver the 2nd are cousins who grew up in Chicago and Los Angeles, respectively. Already from a musical family — Oliver's father, Phil Perry, is a smooth jazz R&B singer and Jeremiah's played keys with Miles Davis and produced a few of his records — they have formed Black Jungle Squad, a collective of relatives and close friends. "Taking it back to the days when there was a lot more crews in hip-hop," says Jeremiah. "Like Native Tongues or Boogie Down Productions. Just the vibe of different people coming together and making stuff."
For their self-titled sophomore effort, the L.A. band Warpaint spent a few weeks writing and recording in a decked out house with a geodesic dome in the high desert of Joshua Tree. With driving bass lines, beautifully harmonized vocals and confident but yearning lyrics, the quartet has crafted songs that demand your full attention.
Merchandise got its start on the Tampa punk and hardcore scene, then got weirder as artier influences like krautrock took hold. As its sound became harder to pin down, the band inspired an 18-month bidding war between record labels: This year, Merchandise finally signed with 4AD, and adventurous new material has begun to trickle out.
Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 1:57 pm
Ke$ha says that to start the day she'll brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. Nicki Minaj likes to "have a drink, have a clink" of Bud Light. And the party-rockin' hip-hop duo LMFAO like Ciroc, and they love Patron. "Shots, shots, shots, shots everybody!"
All that name-checking of alcohol brands encourages teens to drink, researchers say. Adolescents who liked songs like these were three times as likely to drink, and were twice as likely to binge than their peers who didn't like those songs.
His band's new album is called Lost in the Dream, but The War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel sounds like he's just woken up from one. While it's only the band's third record since forming nine years ago, Lost in the Dream is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors: Granduciel transforms his ambient, oft-meandering Americana into grander and more propulsive arrangements that are no less exploratory. Like private songs writ large, they reach their full intensity in the hands of his entire band.
Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:50 am
16 min 13 sec
Singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo are often at opposite ends of the volume knob. But what started as separate sets during a mutual tour, then a few walk-ons during Leo's solo set, is now an adventure in collaboration and mutual songwriting — and the birth of The Both. Months after this Tiny Desk Concert, which we recorded in February, there's an album.