I’ve never been very quiet about the Great Blue Heron Music Festival – I’ve loudly proclaimed it’s my favorite weekend of the year. A weekend of self-discovery, a weekend of new music, a weekend of freedom. With this year’s 2011 line-up posted, I thought I’d introduce you to some of the artists that will be bringing in fans from hundreds of miles to gather under the sun in Sherman, New York for culturally rich, musically diverse weekend in the woods.
Slow Mo (featuring Mic Wrecka)
The Philadelphia based, steel guitar pluckin’, rhyme-spinning tag team of Slo-Mo and Mic Wrecka will be lighting up the stage again this year! Somewhere stranded in the void of genre specificity between Robert Randolph, The Roots, Cake, and Big Audio Dynamite, the team of Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner and... Read More
Slo-Mo - County
The Town Pants - Come With Me
Donna the Buffalo - Family Picture (live)
The Sim Redmond Band - Life Is Water
David Bromberg Quartet - Last Song for Shelby Jean
The Horse Flies - Baghdad Children
Tremors rumble through my body as one side of my brain flagellates the other. “Nick, there can’t possibly be even a diamond in the rough in this unholy landscape of electronic banalities and Stupidglitterwhores.”
I exhaust myself as I quickly run out of the energy it takes to climb out of the fiery chasm. I ponder the possibility of plunging myself to self-sacrifice for the sake of the greater good, hoping that on my way down in to the chasm, the velocity of my body might create enough momentum to take out Kanye West once and for all. I spot the unmistakable glint of Kanye’s plastic sunglasses several hundred meters below and calculate my trajectory. But as I prepare to plunge in to the Grammy-tainted abyss that is as musically inane as it is culturally significant, Cee Lo Green benevolently extends a... Read More
Cee Lo Green - I Want You
Cee Lo Green - Bright Lights Bigger City
Generally, hip hop is not a genre that I’m disposed to in practice. Personally, I blame my middle-class whiteness. In theory, the concept of urban poetry delivered atop a bed of meticulously crafted drum and bass rhythm is one I can never really discount (though that may be related to my white guilt).
These things being the case, the majority of hip hop contains nothing that I would describe as technically poetry, unless there is a missing draft of Aristotle’s Poetics that includes references to ass cranking and dope running or whatever the kids are doing these days. Of course, it’s worth noting that this isn’t simply a hip hop phenomenon, but it doesn’t help me to bridge the gap, here.
Saul Williams, however, is a different story. He may not be the best rapper in the world, but his lyrics... Read More
Nine Inch Nails - Gunshots by Computer (Saul Williams)
Don’t waste your time reading this post. Go buy Wake Up! and we’ll talk when you get back… mmkay?
64 funky minutes later…
Back yet? Good. How do you feel? Little sweaty, perhaps? Sorta dirty maybe, but somehow it feels sooooo good, eh?
Don’t worry. It’s not you, and it’s not the thermostat: it’s the funk.
More than digestible (delicious, in fact), Legend and the Roots have pulled a broad sound palette from 60′s and 70′s soul to send us on a funk-a-fied journey. John Legend infuses his velvety tenor voice into the Roots’ funky flavor of hip-hop to record this neo-soul album with grooves so thick, you can cut them with a knife.
This album is even better than I expected, and I admittedly already had high hopes. The Root’s extensive catalog has proven them as... Read More
John Legend and the Roots - Wholy Holy
John Legend and the Roots - Compared To What
John Legend and the Roots - Hard Times (feat. Black Thought)
Saltillo. I’m not talking about the capital of Coahuila in Mexico. I’m talking about the one man wonder band created by Menton J. Matthews III and his unique outlook by combining orchestral music with laid back hip-hop beats and lyrics from some of Shakespeare’s greatest works such as Julius Caesar and Hamlet. A multi-instrumentalist virtuoso, Menton derives his powerful tracks from his own playing and then using Pro Tools he adds in the beats and the lyrics. He only has one album out as of this time, and its name is Ganglion. He’s still in the development phase so most of his music can be found on MySpace or on his website. Go on and listen to his first song titled “A Necessary End”.
Going into this the first time, you’re not sure what to expect from the cello riff that starts the song. Things sound a bit busy... Read More