Big Black Coat >> the new Junior Boys album is re-fresh

Junior Boys >>  are back in full effect this year with their 5th studio album Big Black Coat, a followup to their 2011 release It's All True. The title cut 'Big Black Coat' is the first single of the album and although its the last track, it is a perfect summation of of the album's essence.

Junior Boys - Big Black Coat

The duo of Canucks have done it again. Big Black Coat is superb. It's crisp. It's electric. It's indie electro dream synth at its finest and it aligns with the sophisticated sound Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus have been evolving to. This is what their 5 years of fine tuning under a new label have resulted in.

Jeremy explains, 'One of the nice things about doing the solo stuff and in particular the album with Jessy, because it did so well, was that I could stop thinking about Junior Boys as being the thing I do and start thinking about it as a thing I do. That meant I could work on Junior Boys music with the same spirit as I did when it was new. It was hugely liberating and invigorated me, because I was doing things I felt really good and confident about. I was really happy with the last two Junior Boys albums, but if I look back on it, they were challenging records to make, in a way that this one absolutely wasn’t.'

The refresh is apparent in the new album and the crispness of it exudes through every track. It's mathematical yet sometimes that sustain of the heavy walls are at odd signatures to make it beautifully unpredictable.

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Perhaps predictably, my favorite track is 'Big Black Coat' but I do also really like the cover of 'What You Won't Do For Love'. Although the original song by Bobby Caldwell is unrecognizable aside from the lyrics, the soul of it is still inherent and the track explodes with so many variations of sound.

These gents from Ontario are kicking off their album tour stateside MAR-11 so it would behoove you to check them out in your city if you want some indie synth disco up in your souls and experience what Jeremy and Matt have produced 5 years in the making.

'The fact that we haven’t put out an album in a long time has been liberating in that we haven’t been so phenomenally successful that everyone knows who we are. With this album, a lot of people will be hearing us for the first time. There’s a freedom that comes from that.'

Tracklist:  1 >> You Say That 2 >> Over It 3 >> C'Mon Baby 4 >> Baby Give Up On It 5 >> M & P 6 >> No One's Business 7 >> What You Won't Do For Love 8 >> And It's Forever 9 >> Baby Don't Hurt Me 10 >> Love Is A Fire 11 >> Big Black Coat

marc

marc

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Eric Prydz will set off Palladium in LA on back to back nights in FEB

Eric Prydz >> is coming to LA this month and will be performing back to back Friday and Saturday sets at Palladium FEB 19th and 20th. The venue is perfect for what is sure to be a double dose of hot beats for those in LA who like to get down.

Eric Prydz

Prydz has been busy this past year and his momentum doesn't seem to be letting up, working with Haitian producer and DJ Michael Brun. He's on the bill for he's Coachella, TomorrowWorld and Ultra. Plus he's constantly bringing hotness remixing Alicia Keys, Tiesto, Calvin Harris, etc.

Talent aside, there's a big heart pumping too. He produced a new track in Haiti featuring Haitian artist J Perry, which is being released to raise money for Artists for Peace and Justice, a charity that gets support from other big impact people from James Franco to Olivia Wilde and Ben Stiller. The cuts just dropped last Friday and all proceeds are going to charity via Spotify's charity platform.

If you're in Southern California you need to make it out to one of these nights with Eric Prydz on the decks. You won't be disappointed.

marc

marc

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Epica >> was epic in Atlanta [Masquerade]

Epica >> took to the stage in Atlanta inside the Masquerade last night and it was -- epic. Fans of Epica poured into the music venue to the Heaven stage for the show on a cool, rainy night but the energy was high and the audience response was one many will not soon forget.

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Tiffini

Tiffini

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Stick Figure >> Putting Smiles on Faces in Santa Cruz [The Catalyst]

Taking this Thursday opportunity to throw it back, way back, all the way to last Friday night. Ok, it's not that far back but it will be worth it trust me. At least it was for me because last Friday I got to go see Fortunate Youth and locally grown Stick Figure in Santa Cruz. The bands played at The Catalyst club, a local landmark and a staple for live music and all that is Santa Cruz. Having grown up in the bay area and spent many a summer day and night on the beaches of Santa Cruz, I'm almost ashamed to admit this was my first visit. It may have taken thirty plus years but it was worth the wait.

Catalyst

Fortunate Youth was the opener, and to be honest I wasn't expecting much. They seem to be a band that follows me to every reggae festival and concert I go to. Like myself they are multiple year veterans' of California Roots Festival in Monterey as well as The Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa. Somehow our paths never really crossed, likely because I had my mind made up I didn't like them. Didn't hate their music but listening to what was available online I could file it in the same sleepy cabinet as Iration and a handful of similar bands. However, sure enough midway through their set I would recognize some songs and found myself bobbing along with the crowd; ‘Sweet Love’ and ‘Trippin’ being the most memorable. It was actually the perfect mellow warm-up to get the crowd in an irie mood for the headliners to come.

Fortunate Youth

Stick Figure is the musical brainchild of lead singer and guitarist Scott Woodruff. It's actually even more than that. The first Stick Figure albums were all him. He wrote, produced and recorded everything himself, meticulously laying down tracks one by one, manicuring every sound and instrument until it was just right. The time was now for the often shy and reclusive singer now, to leave the confines of his studio in the Santa Cruz mountains to take on a full band and tour in support of the newest album Set in Stone.

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The set started strong as the crowd's anxiousness seemed to match Scott's nervous adrenaline bringing great energy coursing through the Catalyst with old favorites, ‘Vibes Alive’ and ‘Weight of Sound’. Although the sounds were crisp and lyrics light and clear, the middle of the show took a lull. It seemed to be a combination of less familiar new material  and Scott seeming to get lost and retreat into the music himself. To his credit he pulled it back and fittingly with the song ‘Breathe’ he seemed to relax, come back out of his shell and command the stage once again. He closed out the show with strong new singles ‘Smokin Love’ which features Collie Buddz on the album, and ‘Choice is Yours’ which is a collaboration with Slightly Stoopid, also from Set in Stone.  The encore was my personal favorite, and closing song from the new CD Smiles on Faces. The penultimate track of the album was the perfect closing number. It showcases intricate melodic arrangements, strong vocals including a collaborative hip hop verse or two from keyboardist K-Bong, and most importantly encapsulates the positive vibe the band put out all evening. It really did leave everyone leaving with smiles on their faces.

Stick Figure

Looking forward to see what Scott and Stick Figure do in the coming years. As he gets more comfortable with larger stages and live performances, I have no doubt this Dave Grohl of reggae will continue to grow the already positive and supportive fan base that followed them to the Catalyst last Friday night. Give tanks and praise, and Jah bless.

 
Charles

Charles

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Alice in Winterland in San Francisco [The Masonic]

This might be the softest lineup I've ever had the pleasure of covering, but what can I say? I have a hard-on for the holidays. My first trip to the newly refurbished Masonic Center in San Francisco was originally supposed to be highlighted by Leon Bridges. However, fresh off a Grammy nomination for best R&B Album he had been chosen to accompany Ryan Gosling on last weekend's SNL. This left the lineup as follows: Zella Day, Michael Franti, Harry Connick Jr. and James Bay in that order.

Zella

Zella Day started things off to a half empty and slowly filling auditorium. The hipster princess was dressed like a Mission Street thrift store threw up their finest vintage fashions for the young songstress. She very well could  be lost in a lineup of any thousand girls from Coachella except for one thing, chick can sing. The songs and vibe had me thinking of a younger, less melodramatic Lana Del Rey. Only played about 30 minutes but solid stage presence and performance of songs ‘East of Eden’,  ‘Sweet Ophelia’, and her radio hit ‘Hypnotic’ had the middle-aged mom's club of an audience singing along to the hook. As she wrapped up, her swag, sex appeal, and sweet voice had won me over, but then she topped herself with a moving rendition of ‘Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. Swoon. All the Christmas feels.

Michael Franti

Hometown hero Michael Franti who lives in the Bayview of SF took over the jolly crowd and kept the energy going with his staple hits and positive vibes. He did get kind of preachy for a little bit, but in the wake of the Paris attack and San Bernardino shootings only a few days before it wasn't out of place or over the top. It was pretty simple: keep your head up, music is the universal language and love ultimately wins.  He also dropped some pro ganja speak on the people which always seems to be well received. You know, all that positive shit that seems cliché yet he somehow made it hit home at a time people kinda needed to hear it. He played well and long, even climbing on speakers and venturing into the crowd against securities wishes. His newest jam, ‘Once a Day’,  is another Franti classic to add to his archives and yours, check it out. He didn't end with any Christmas songs but the spirit of the season was alive and well as he closed his set to FRANTIc applause. [See what i did there?]

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Oh man, if only the concert had ended there. The vacuum left by Leon Bridges departure from the bill sucked in Harry Connick Jr. Well that vacuum should have cleaned up Harry before it spit him out in SF. Interesting note, photography of his performance was strictly prohibited and we quickly realized why. HCJ strolled out looking like he'd been on a wee bit of a bender on his native Bourbon Street merely minutes before coming on stage. His performance was as sloppy as his appearance. He only played 4 songs, and I wasn't even mad. Two songs I had, and apparently no one had ever heard, followed by a scrooge like tangent about how he wasn't doing Christmas shows this year. Then wrapped up with ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Santa Clause is Coming to Town’. All very strange for a guy who's career has been made on the songs of the holidays. Here's hoping this year, Santa brings him some time off to get his mind right, and a big cup of Christmas cheer.

After that was James Bay, or as I like to call him the poor and sad man's Hozier. He was the headliner for this winter shin dig but I'd had enough, and we left to go to the bar up the street. Sorry James Bay, and sorry Alice 97.3, just not my bag. For what it's worth all the 40+ year old single women I spoke with later that night at the bar loved him. Soooo... good on ya James Bay, and Merry Christmas! That is all. Happy Holidays from all of us at zBORED!

 
Charles

Charles

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Insane Clown Posse >> Coulrophobia in Atlanta [Masquerade]

ICP >> Masquerade went insane for Insane Clown Posse. I didn’t know what to expect when I went, I only knew what I had heard about seeing ICP live. It did freak me out a little to see so many in clown face because of my coulrophobia . Yes, I am that girl with a fear of clowns. I just think that clowns are way too happy all the time. I was very impressed with the show on the Heaven stage though.

Insane Clown Posse

Opening the show was good performances from DJ Paul (and the three 6 mafia), Stevie Mills, Young Wicked. When P.O.D. took to the stage it was very energetic and the crowd even sang along to ‘I’m Alive’, it was a great moment. It was time for Insane Clown Posse to hit the stage.

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The roar from the audience was loud. ICP is very energetic and it was great to see such wonderful band and audience interaction. The bright colorful lights gathered with ICP tossing Faygo root beer flavored soda at the audience. They brought the Dark Carnival to life on stage! Seeing everyone dressed in some way as clowns was exhilarating [even if you have a fear of clowns]. This was a fun night and will be remembered well, even if I can't sleep ever again.

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Tiffini

Tiffini

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Lagwagon >> Falling Apart in Scottsdale [Pub Rock]

Lagwagon >> rolled back into the desert for a super fun show in south Scottsdale on Tuesday. It was the first time the band has played Pub Rock Live and perhaps the first time even south of Tempe. Although the setting wasn't Yucca or The Clubhouse or The Nile, etc., punk rockers still conglomerated on a school night, an intense pit broke out for the entirety of the show and Lagwagon set a Blaze on the joint and melted our collective fucking faces off to reinforce that punk is not dead.

Lagwagon

Punk may be getting older but is alive and well. That was abundantly apparent as Lagwagon sold out yet another show on a seemingly endless life tour for the band 25 years after its inception. Joey Cape and company have been doing this a long time and we've been there with them every time they come to town be it late night at our favorite dive or in the middle of a 115-degree day at Warped.

The band's second song of the night was a perfect way to describe Lagwagon in 2015. You remember 'Falling Apart' from 2003-ish, right? Yeah! Then you know that the song is all about playfully describing getting old a la wheel chairs, blown out knees, osteoporosis, glaucoma and neurosis yet still rocking the fuck out. Who's got a smoke for the Caper?

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This feat isn't just limited to Lagwagon, though. Kudos to all the other grown-up skate-punk souls of mischief who came out for the Fireball-PBR combos, loud riffs and mosh pits. Punk is not dead. We have offspring now and mean hangovers and a lot of shit to do tomorrow morning but we are still kicking and we'll see you at the next show.

P.S. Joey claims he'll never be on stage when he's 50 but he's gotta be pushing that mark by now and let's hope he's still doing this  when he's 100 because I want to shit my pants with him and to the music I grew up with.

P.S.S. I got to chat with Joey before the show about all sorts of random interesting stuff. Be on the look out in the next few days when I post my interview with him.

marc

marc

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