[2014] Overstep

The Cactus’ newest album Overstep came out on February 25th on ATO Records.  This is his fourth solo studio album and clocks in at around 50 minutes.  Mike Gordon “Cactus” is the bass player for the band Phish and he likes to indulge in his own side projects.  Mike is a funky yet weird cat and it shows on every one of his solo albums and tours.  When he gets the chance to tour solo you should go check him out.  Last month I had the chance to go see him perform the new ones live in Seattle.   I enjoy his latest work and think you should give it a try!

1,2,3 is back Weather you like it or not (We like it)

When my loves 1,2,3 split up a while back, my poor lil' heart hurt for quite some time. There's nothing like watching a band that you love makes it's first few steps towards something big and then stumbling back into the dark. As music fans, we have all have had that band that you want to see make it (and to continue releasing new albums!). 1,2,3 is mine and they are back with their new album Big Weather out on May 27th via American Hermitage records. The band announced that they are going to offer a pay-what-you-can option for all digital copies, so there's no reason this album shouldn't be in your collection by the end of May!

If you had a chance to listen to their 2011 debut album New Heaven, then you will know that their singles are unpredictable, raw, and full of adventure. Please listen to this album at least once, for you will find yourself wanting to listen to it again and again. Personally, I find every song is different and defiant of traditional genres, and that is what I am looking forward to hearing on Big Weather.

It is very interesting to me that this album is inspired by a tornado that hit the lead singer and guitarist Nic Snyder's Aunt's house. 1,2,3 seems to have a passion for weather and climate changes, seasons, and the like. You hear it in their previous album in songs such as Heat Lightning. Here's to another wild ride with 1,2,3. Can't wait. Please listen to their first two new singles "Big Weather Pt. 1" and "Leave Me in the Sky With the Lawnchair" below and let us know what you think!


  The London based band, Fanfarlo, has come out with a new album titled Let's Go Extinct.  This record was put out February 2014 and is their third full length studio release.  They formed in 2006 and are an indie folk/rock band that has put out their best album yet.  Some of the songs on the album almost sound a bit "Talking Headish" including Landlocked, which is here for your ears to do the deciding.  Check out the new material and let me know your thoughts!


Sun Kil Moon

Benji is the newest album from Sun Kil Moon.  This 6th album from the band was released in early February 2014.  The band was formed in San Francisco in 2002 primarily for guitarist Mark Kozelek to vent some creativity.  Benji is an interesting and sad record worth a listen.  I heard the song Ben’s My Friend the other day and immediately liked it, so tell me what you think.

[Local/Rap] Cities Aviv - "URL IRL"

Cities Aviv has released a new album titled Come To Life. The Memphis rapper has taken a different approach in his new material than with his previous Ep's.  Come To Life sounds like more of a dance party album than a rap album. Never being one to shy away from heavy sampling, Cities Aviv has taken his sound to a whole new level with this album, but that's not a bad thing. It's definitely worth a listen or two. Plus, you gotta rep the 901, dawg.


Wisconsin based indie band Phox has been making some interesting music lately.  It kind of reminds me of The Head and The Heart crossed with The Alabama Shakes.  Although there is no official word on when their first full length album comes out, it looks like they will be hopping on the summer festival train to get their music out there. Until then, check their single "Slow Motion" and a nice live take of "Evil".

Tennessee Reppin Juicy J

I stumbled upon an interesting article yesterday and thought I would share it with the rest of you. So the short of it is that there is this company that goes by the name of The Echo Nest, a group that calls itself "the music intelligence company" for major music firms. They compiled data from Spotify which calculated the relative number of streams for a given artist for all 50 states. The results were visualized using a map of the United States.

It's important to note that these aren't necessarily the most-listened to bands in each state, but rather the bands that have unusually hight support in each state. So for example, Vermonters skew more towards Phish more than other Americans do, and Texans are bigger George Strait fans than anyone else.

To read the entire article click HERE

*Update* A new map has been released that displays each states least favorite band.

Hard Working Americans

Hard Working Americans is a new band featuring Todd Snider (singer-songwriter), Neal Casal (The Cardinals and Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), and Duane Trucks (COL. Bruce Hampton’s School of Music).  These musicians have been around the block and have joined together to lay down some solid tunes.  As you can imagine, it is some good old southern rock and great to have a few cold ones to.  I was able to catch them at The Fillmore in San Francisco and had myself a blast.  HWA came out with a debut album and it is available for purchase.  They have a few more shows left on the tour, so check out this video of them on Conan and get out to see them!

[Folk/Blues] The Shouting Matches - "I Had a Real Good Lover"

The Shouting Matches are a side project by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.  The band has enjoyed the success of their debut album Grownass Man, which has a very JJ Grey type bluesy feel to it.  Today however, I will post a song from their recently re-released EP Mouthoil.  In the true spirit of Valentines day "I Had a Real Good Lover" is some nice, depressingly beautiful, blues music. Be sure to check out Grownass Man as well.

Song Exploder

This post is a little different from our normal discussions of new, unusual, and awesome bands that you should check out. This is a really cool new podcast that I caught wind of. The name of it is "Song Exploder" and to put it simply it is

"A podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made." 

The first episode that I listened, they spoke to the other member of Postal Service (Not Ben Gibbard) and broke down the song "The district sleeps alone tonight". This will particularly appeal to super fans, audiophiles, and those of you who are interested in music production. I recommend it!

[Ska/Rock/Pop] Thank You Scientist - "Feed The Horses"

Thank You Scientist has a very unique yet strangely familiar sound.  It's like every band I absolutely loved in 9th grade suddenly formed a supergroup.  They effortlessly bounce around from tight ska horns to emo-punk choruses to hardcore-like breakdowns.  With songs averaging well over five minutes each, you never know where Thank You Scientist is going to take you.  Check out "Feed The Horses" from their newest album Maps Of Non-Existent Places below.  Welcome to your new guilty pleasure.

Ill Gates - A Summer Jam for You and Yours

Illiam B Gates just completed a tour of South Africa in September (their spring) for an amazing festival. He ended up writing an (upcoming) EP with SibotPH FatJam Jarr and a few other amazing humans.
Youngsta and Gates were both feeling fresh and kicked out a summer jam we call Orange Sky. This one is all  good times and good friends, so it's our pleasure to share it with you.
Turn the system up and let's roll...

Much love from ill.Gates, Youngsta and the Cape Town Studio Crew

Every Noise at Once

Instead of trying to come up with my own description of what this thing is it's better to simply let this thing explain itself. Just know that it is awesome and that you should check it out.

"This is an algorithmically-generated map of the musical genre-space. 
Genres and artists are positioned by code and data, adjusting for
legibility, but the underlying vectors are less interesting that the 
 juxtaposition and clusters that they produce, so the axes have been
deliberately left unlabeled and uncalibrated. You are invited to
imagine your own qualities and magnitudes that the geometry might
be expressing. I may occasionally spin the axes just to see what happens.

Click anything to hear an example of what it sounds like.

Click the >> on a genre to see a map of it's artists"