New Sounds: elsphinx- Cellar Door

Albany, New York MC elsphinx is about to focus your wandering 3rd eye. On the heels of his upcoming June 5th Pigfood Records release, Brain Cave Deluxe, we’re treated to the visuals for “Cellar Door”. It’s a trippy ride to the deepest corners of el’s mind. Put your chips on the table and let it ride on this record.  We’re all in ’round these parts.

Pre-order the record here. Crazy visions…

B.B. King Dead at 89

The New York Times is reporting that blues guitar legend B.B. King has died at the age of 89. According to his daughter, King died in Vegas where he was attempting to recover from dehydration and exhaustion which caused him to cancel shows this year.

Legend has it that B.B. was playing a dance in Arkansas in the late 40’s when a fight broke out toppling a lantern full of kerosene. King raced through the burning venue to retrieve his guitar. Later, it was revealed the fight was over a woman named Lucille. From that moment on he and Lucille would go hand in hand.

It was stories like these that made King such a master blues man. I had the privilege of seeing him many years ago at The Palace Theater in Albany. It was one part blues show, one part story session. He talked as much as he played, and it didn’t matter because both were worth every penny.

Red Pill: Look What This World Did To Us

Detroit rapper Red Pill‘s daily grind is fuel for our savage journey to the heart of the American dream. Look What The World Did To Us, his recent Mello Music Group release, examines the unfortunate path some have taken at the hands of our misguided education system and the corporate slave-salary culture.

The record is a chilling revelation that we’re nowhere close to a level financial playing field. Life is hard, and Red Pill isn’t afraid to craft bars about depression, 9-5 struggle, and alcoholism. His work is a haunting reminder that in order to make a change, you need to identify the problem; and his (and ours) run deep. This hefty dose of reality makes for an experience where you don’t simply hear the music, you internalize it.

Red Pill’s contrary take on hip hop’s current trend of the non-stop party weekend is refreshing, reminding listeners that true art is born from true experience. We all don’t drive fancy cars, rock heavy chains, or step with half naked models. We rise, work, grind, sleep, and repeat. Look What This World Did To Us is more than an album title, it’s a call to arms.

Built To Spill: Untethered Moon

Built To Spill’s music is a testament to dedication. They take long breaks between records (haven’t put out a record since 2009), write/record/scrap full projects, tour when they want to, and somehow manage to stay gold in the eyes of both fans and critics.

An indie jam band of sorts, Built To Spill banks on the genius-machine that is frontman Doug Martsch. His furious pen has steered the ship since their 1993 debut. A Built To Spill record is always an experience; a loose concept adventure exploring life, loss, and love. Even with an entirely new rhythm section (this is bassist Jason Albertini and drummer Steve Gere’s first record with the band), Untethered Moon is no different.

Moon feels like Martsch’s open letter to aging out. He’s unsure if the connection between Built To Spill and the outside world still exists, but he’s dialed in and determined to find out. With no shortage of guitar theatrics and swelling tempos, it’s clear there’s no reason to doubt the band’s relevance in 2015.

You can see Built To Spill tour Untethered Moon with Death Cab For Cutie on a few random west coast stops this summer. I’m catching the Portland show on July 8th.  Old heads rejoice.

New Sounds: A$AP Rocky f. Rod Stewart, Miguel & Mark Ronson- Everyday

ASAP AlternateA$AP’s highly anticipated sophomore record,  A.L.L.A., has been pushed back to June 2nd…these things happen. But what normally doesn’t happen is a collaboration as unlikely and savory as “Everyday” featuring Rocky, Rod Stewart, Miguel and Mark Ronson.

Rocky claims this upcoming album is his return to roots. “Everyday” is the Harlem MC switching up flows on Mark Ronson’s clever creation, flexing and double-timing over the samples the entire way. Everything I’ve heard from A.L.L.A. has been worth talking about. Prepare for a collection of bangers.