One way to truly engage your fans is to create an epic story with your music. Do not aim to just write 23 minute bursts of music that do not relate to anything else. Keep them wanting more by piecing each song together like a chapter in a book and they will be begging for the next one. Our recent discovery Richie Luna seems to be beginning his journey now.
The electronic dance music artist claims to be coming from the moon to defeat the darkness that is expanding on planet Earth. His sound is an energetic mix of positive vibes and ass shaking beats. Richie Luna understands that life here is not always happiness and rainbows but the obstacles out there can be overcome. It is a personal choice to be a positive person. Hopefully he can help you choose the right path.
The first track that Richie Luna has released to aid in his mission is “Celebrate! (The Call To Light)”. The catchy and powerful track sets forth an aura of positivity almost immediately. The fun electro beat gets the blood pumping and bodies moving wherever it is played. The chorus will be sung over and over by the crowds and emit the energy that Richie is shooting for. Go take a listen and learn more at: http://www.de
Union Square. July 11th, 2014. 8:30 p.m.
My head still swimming from the amazing news I’d just received hours before (I’ll be receiving my second scientific publication in less than two years), I surprised myself by exiting on the west side of the square instead of the east; it must have been muscle memory. Worming my way through the throngs of characters that frequent this neighborhood, I stumbled upon a volleyball circle comprised of businessmen in suits, dreadlock sporting teenagers, and seamless delivery people. As I walked by, someone passed the ball directly to my face, and I barely deflected it in time to notice the look of horror on the wall street-esque person’s face who had hit it turn into a cheer for the save. Out of a desire for not wanting to miss a second of the performance of Guided by Voices, I decided to forgo joining the circle, and continued on my way to Irving Plaza, arriving just in time to get settled before the show started.
Photo Pass: Check
Knowing the way to the photo pit and the regulations governing the sacred space: Ummm… I had no idea. Upon asking several security guards and personnel, I was even more confused, and had more questions than answers. The best course of action was to just go with it, and document the show until someone told me otherwise.
Following one guard’s directions, I arrived at the photo pit just as the first song was drawing to a close. Now, I’m no stranger to Irving Plaza, but I must say that this was the fullest I’d ever seen it, hence the battle to the front of the stage. Not only was the floor packed with GBV fans, but everyone was attempting to get as close to the front as possible, so much so that all the way to the rear bar it was belt-to-back, and all semblance of personal space melted away into sweat, cheers, and rock. After spending a good seven songs in the pit, I was escorted out by security to enjoy the show from the crowd (they informed me I was only supposed to be in there for three songs, but they let me stay longer because I was clearly having a good time. I love IP’s staff, they are the best). Having both experiences was great, because I love being in the crowd with everyone, but I also wanted to get some good shots of this legendary band.
Now… to the show. I have one word to describe the show GBV put on: Unapologetic. I mean this in an excellent way. First, they have been around for so long they could focus just as much on playing for the crowd as the music itself. They gave exactly zero #^%*$ that night. Their songs were plenty of slow moving jams with energy like a jackhammer. The entire crowd will have felt it the next day, be it in their legs, necks, or eardrums. This five-piece band featured singer/front man Robert Pollard, with the current lineup comprised of two guitars, a bass, and a nice 9+ pieces kit o’ drums. On the jackhammer topic, they blew an amp on their second song, and gave credence to the phrase “less talk, more rock” by filling the void during the repair with a bass solo, and a bass/vocal jam that they’d never played before. Why would they do that, you ask? Because they are seasoned, masters of their craft, and know exactly what their fans want.
The set lasted just shy of 2 hours. They began playing most of their newest album “Cool Planet” (the second they’ve released in 2014), and then went into their other self-described “vanity” albums (so called due to being self released; their first record deal happened after their sixth album according to Robert Pollard). Even while spending less than 5 seconds between each song, they still played less than half of their entire anthology. The stage show itself was also intriguingly unique.
GBV doesn’t need fancy technology to enhance their presence on stage. Who needs a fog machine when your guitarist and bassist smoke non-stop for two hours during the show? Who needs an effect pedal for vocals when you have a cooler full of beer onstage with you? Who needs trippy visuals when you have a bottle of Crown Royal, and an endless supply of stories that involve Ozzy Osbourne, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Wolfe? (Note: These stories were told between songs during their encore, and were quite entertaining) All in all, they did more than rock the house: They entertained. I cannot wait to see GBV again, and listen to their own eclectic mix of British punk, psychedelic rock, and garage band jams.
2 hour set at Irving Plaza: 17 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003
5 piece: Singer, 2 guitars, bass, and drummer with large kit
The music is good for hanging out with friends, ignoring “it’s showtime ladies and gentlemen!” while on the subway, or starting your weekend after a long, rough work week. Many songs can be slow to start, but the drums and bass add an energy you wouldn’t expect to the mild vibe.
Listen to more Guided by Voices at: http://www.gbv.com
*review and photos by Rob Ledesma of Indie Band Guru
Music is meant to have a meaning. When an artist is able to write music and share his personal views fans stand up and take notice. Songs that make people think will be remembered not just for the beat but for the message. One artist that has been able to harness this is Buck Zero.
The San Diego, California rapper is only 25 years old but has been working on his craft for over 10 years now. Buck Zero’s aim is to challenge people mentally with his music. He hopes to open peoples eyes to the bigger picture and encourage them view the world in a different way.
Last month Buck Zero released his third record entitled The Lucid Dream. The 8 track record is not meant to fit into any stereotype but instead shows a level of originality that is rare these days. The opener “Astral Planes” sets the tone with an exotic piano led beat accompanied by a soft flow style that seeps its way into the listener’s head. On “Dopamine” the rapping picks up some speed as a building atmospheric sound plays the contradiction. This is music that needs to be listened to on repeat. “Awakening” continues the relaxing back beat style mixed with energetic rapping that grabs your attention. Lucid Dream is an album that sets itself apart from the masses with its original style and can crossover to fans of all genres of music, Take a listen at: http://buckzero.bandcamp.com/album/the-lucid-dream
Find more details about Buck Zero at: http://www.buck-zero.com/
When an artist is able to turn his struggles into a positive force powerful things happen. Use this inspiration to drive towards your goals with dedication and a true meaning. One of our favorite rising success stories, John Blake is back again with a new track for our readers.
The talented rapper has been through the ringer in life including homelessness and a surgery that only had a slight chance of success. John Blake has come out the other side strong and determined for success. He style is not like the fame seeking phonies that are all too common in hip hop today. John aims to share a message of positivity and inspiration.
The new song “Pour It” follows along the same concept for John Blake. A genre mashing beat that is catchy and memorable accompanied by great lyrics that come straight from the heart. The emotion pours out of the track directly to anyone that will listen. Enjoy it for yourself below:
Some of the best music comes out of bands that are not afraid to relax and not take themselves too seriously. This laid back attitude comes across on the record. When music is forced it is easy to recognize and sometimes a chore to listen to. Our newest friends Totally Awesome Summer have mastered the art of letting the music flow naturally.
The synth-pop/rock band hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their music is meant for fun enjoyable listening without the need for constant analyzation. I would not call it simple though as there is a fresh take on the sound that is willing to expand out of any boundaries set by genre categories.
A few weeks ago Totally Awesome Summer released their self-titled debut album. The 12 track record is full of high energy pop rock with catchy melodies that will bounce around your brain for a while. The opener “Tootsiebelle” with its start-stop rhythm wakes up any listener to sit up and take notice. The programmed drums blend well with the synths to create a nice background for the song. The band shows a softer side on “Stephanie” with its haunting melody and laid back attitude that will mellow you out no matter what mood you were in. Totally Awesome Summer puts their tongue in cheek style and lyrics on display on songs like “Average Looking Girls” and “She Loves My Danger”. This is outright fun music. The simple melody of the closer “Losin’ Susan” will make your head bob along and want for more. Keep tabs on this fun band at: http://totallyawesomesummer.bandcamp.com/
Find the album on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/totally-awesome-summer/id886711465
Having a great voice is definitely a talent that is granted upon birth. It does not end there though, these gifts need to be nurtured and practiced to bring them to the true level that can be achieved. Lucky for us our latest find Prescott James found his calling and is now sharing it with the world.
The Jazz singer from Memphis, Tennessee grew up with the powerful soul singing of the South helping to develop his skills. Prescott hooked up with esteemed vocal coach Bob Westbrook to further push his talent and bring it to the next level. Westbrook has worked with such well-known voices as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Haley Williams (of Paramore), and Chris Young. Upon hearing Prescott James’ voice he felt his range was much like that of Frank Sinatra and worked with him to develop that sound. Unfortunately there are not many low voiced baritones out there today. Prescott hopes to fill this void.
We were invited to listen to some tracks that Prescott James released as a promotional EP to introduce his voice. The Sinatra cover of “Fly Me To The Moon” shows right away that this man has a rich toned voice that would fit perfectly back in the 1950’s. Another example is his take on the Jazz and Wedding standard “Just The Way You Look Tonight”. The best track we heard was “Live Till I Die”. The peppy sped up Jazz does not hurt James’ voice at all. The deep nuances of his voice wash over the listener in a beautiful way. We look forward to hearing more. A full debut album is expected for next year. Keep up with the talented Prescott James at: https://twitter.com/PrescottJamess