B. Dolan is an explosive, confrontational hip-hop lyricist and performer from Providence, RI who first came on the scene in 2008. Starting with a lo-fi, apocalyptic concept record titled “The Failure,” Dolan floored listeners with tracks that were at turns personal, poetic, sweeping and strange. Years ahead of it’s time stylistically, it was released by Sage Francis’ Strange Famous imprint, where fans began slowly gravitating to the album and to Dolan’s intense live performances. One of those fans, producer Alias, would become the sole collaborator on Dolan’s 2010 follow up “Fallen House, Sunken City”, an underground rap opus that was praised by critics and fans alike, cementing Dolan’s place in the landscape.
Turning to hip-hop’s favorite unofficial format to explore different styles and experiment, Dolan then released a three part mixtape series titled “House of Bees vols. 1-3” Political mixtape tracks like “Film the Police,” “Which Side Are You On?” and “The Devil is Alive” would become some of the rapper’s biggest anthems, while an exhaustive worldwide tour schedule won an army of fans for the unlikely bearded emcee from the Northeast.
Ecstatic, vital, and brilliantly unhinged, Guerilla Toss promotes positive energy and twisted spirituality through the less-traveled path of brutal, intelligent, live rock and roll dance music. Like a hurricane of healing bliss, a Guerilla Toss concert is more of a ritual than a performance. It is the unique pairing of musical voices and backgrounds that makes Guerilla Toss such a special party band. But they are more than that – GT gets real when you pay close attention. Their music is inspired by both tragedy and beauty, drug addiction/mental illness and the re-birth of the soul through spiritual practice and psychedelic drug healing – helping the listener overcome these mind-fuck hardships.GT had a productive 2015, releasing their acclaimed DFA debut Flood Dosed, which cemented support from folks ranging from punk icon Henry Rollins to Busy P of Justice’s Ed Banger Records. The band also relocated from Boston to NYC. “We felt like it was time to move closer to our favorite active bands and artists and they all just so happen to live in NYC!” This didn’t slow the pace of their live performances – between road trips to universities and DIY Festivals, they have a de-facto residency at Brooklyn’s premiere underground venue Palisades and scored opening slots for The Juan Maclean and Mission of Burma.Eraser Stargazer was written and recorded in 6 weeks of winter isolation in upstate New York. Fans of the group will hear all of the beloved hallmarks of the Guerilla Toss sound – solid bass grooves, squealing guitars, and kitchen sink percussion. Each instrument now occupies its own part of the audio spectrum, with vocalist/poet Kassie Carlson’s spirited incantations brought into focus. Album centerpiece Grass Shack is a perfect example of this leaner, yet tougher Toss. It traverses nearly seven minutes of game-show-winner keyboard stabs, mutant funk basslines, and time signature changes – all grounded by Peter Negroponte’s virtuosic drumming. Carlson describes the themes of the song as “A deep analytical depiction of a small unit of time, with heightened senses, Ripping yourself out of bed even though it might be harsh and overwhelming. Seeing patterns in the little things that make life beautiful.” Heavy subject matter permeates the rest of the record – but that doesn’t mean it’s a downer. Lead single Diamond Girls casts Carlson as a no-wave cheerleader over instrumentation reminiscent of DFA alumni Black Dice and The Rapture, culminating in the group’s catchiest chorus yet. Album closer Doll Face On The Calico Highway is the perfect summation – angular guitars, bells, and low-end vibrations interject and decompose as quickly as they appear, until a hissing cymbal is all that remains.Japanese Breakfast
A side project from her work as front woman of Philadelphia indie punk band Little Big League, Michelle Zauner released a tape in June 2013 under the solo moniker Japanese Breakfast. The tape was titled June and boasted thirty tracks written and recorded every day of the month. A stark deviation from Little Big League’s guitar- based indie rock, it showcased Zauner’s dark lyrics, unique vocals and inherent knack for pop melody.
Two bedroom pop cassettes later, Japanese Breakfast returns with its first full- fledged LP and vinyl release, Psychopomp. The album explores Zauner’s experimental interests and hosts a wide range of sound: jarring anime samples, minimalist ballads, rhythms and synths reminiscent of Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac paired with the moody intimacy of Mount Eerie. After the foundation of the album was built, Zauner enlisted Ned Eisenberg to coproduce and embellish the record. Eisenberg helped with the mixing and production of the album. Psychopomp revisits and revamps lo-fi tracks and adds chilling new songs to fall in love with.LVL UP
“Hidden Driver,” the opening track of LVL UP’s third album and Sub Pop debut Return to Love, never stops moving. What starts with unassuming guitars and vocals adds new lines, depths, and intensity, until its unrestrained, triumphant finish. “God is peeking, softly speaking,” repeats the chorus, working through the relationship between spirituality and creative inspiration, and introducing a band that is always pushing further.Featuring guitarists Mike Caridi and Dave Benton, bassist Nick Corbo, and drummer Greg Rutkin – is a true collaboration, a band that takes the stylistically distinct ideas of four members and brings them together into something new. Caridi, Benton, and Corbo write and sing equally, bringing their work to the group to be fully realized, resulting in an album built on different perspectives but a common drive.ESKIMEAUX
Eskimeaux is the recording project of songwriter and producer Gabrielle Smith. Smith started using the moniker in 2007, releasing experimental and noise albums through 2010, and developing the sound over the years into the realm of more structured songwriting (2011’s Two Mountains), EDM (2012’s Eskimeaux), and more recently, as evident in her new album, O.K., beat-driven and poetic bedroom pop. Eskimeaux is a founding member of The Epoch, a Brooklyn-based songwriting and art collective.SHARPLESS
“Sharpless is the project of Brooklyn native Jack Greenleaf, who began writing music in earnest after he went away to school in Chicago. His 2011 debut (+<) served as an ode to the power pop of Weezer, so much so that the band name comes from a character from the same Puccini opera that gave them Pinkerton. The recently released The One I Wanted To Be moves away from that, trending towards jubilant and gorgeously layered pop songs that borrow from influences as varied as J-pop and Broadway show tunes. Lyrically, it’s all about adolescent displacement: “I always thought the adults would be the ones to know/ I always thought I would figure out where to go.” It’s marked by a jaded optimism, a realization that you’re not fitting into whatever expectation of yourself that you had and an eventual acceptance of that fact.
The album was pieced together over a three-year period along with some help from his friends, most notably Montana Levy, who contributes vocals to most of the songs. He’s a member of The Epoch, a collective of artists that’s been on a roll this year with fantastic releases from Small Wonder and Bellows. The One I Wanted To Be is an accomplished collection of majestic pop, just as appropriate to be blasted at full volume as it is to be left wallowing in the background.” – StereogumIZZY TRUE
Truuuely amazing lounge room troll now based out of Philadelphia, PA. “Nope” on Don Giovanni Records.SAMMUS
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is an Ithaca, NY based rap artist, producer, and PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus “has a gift for getting a message across.” Now ready to make her Don Giovanni debut (while remaining tied to NuBlack Music Group), she is poised to cement herself as an artist who consistently thinks outside boxes and dances across lines (and does other neat things with geometrical figures).
Alter is a musical project that wears many faces. Founded in early 2014 by Steven Dewey and Wolf Weston, Alter is an outfit dedicated to exploring the full scope and absurdities of the duo’s abilities to write, produce, and perform. Steven Dewey is a record producer, engineer, and film composer with a breadth of experience in music and sound, and Wolf Weston is a lyricist, performer, producer, and vocalist with an instinct for creating music audiences respond to. With the recent addition of Jason MacDermott and his skilled, energetic percussion, together they function as one piece determined to make music that is meaningful and open to definition. Having a wide range of influences across genres and an unwavering, passionate, work ethic, Alter strives to blend these interests and capabilities while displaying a distinct, noteworthy, sound and a powerful intent everything they do.
Imperials is a rock band with indie and emo undertones. The sound fluctuates between loud and soft dynamics, featuring accordion, brass, synthesizers and dual vocals. Imperials formed in 2013, and is continuing to grow in its members and experimentation.
Hits Like a Girl is a Chicago based experimental music duo. From a distance they fall into a sonic register akin to an inexplicably luminous grey. A closer vantage point, however, reveals the textures of clouds, made visible by fleetingly diffuse yet optimistic sunlight.
HLAG combines lush vocal harmonies with intensely deliberate guitar work and disembodied sounds apprehended through field recording. The resulting sedimentary rock of sound is underscored by minimal drumming that acts as though it’s commanding one’s heart to beat. The duo references traditions of Slowcore, along with with elements of noise and drone to create an auditory experience that simultaneously registers as minimal and maximal. Their layered sound dissonantly coalesces with lyrics that project the dialogical language of intimacy upon the tempestuous forces of nature.
Music written and/or recorded by power psych trio Spazzare.
Ithaca-based musicians Luca Greenspun, Christian Henry, and Jackson Quinn Gray have been writing and recording as a trio since they were five years old. They are now bringing their music to the stage with talented guest stars Juge Greenspun, Jacob Friga, and Kieran & Liam Makepeace of The Makepeace Brothers to perform catchy and danceable, yet nuanced and unique pop songs that incorporate a wide variety of styles and influences of the 20th century.
[pronounced “ben-juh-MIN-toh”] Bedroom pop songs that celebrate wallowing in your bedroom, from singer-songwriter (and Tweehouse co-founder) Benjamin Torrey.
An instrumental duo, formerly known as _____
Reverent irreverence from a swampy heart n soul.
otodojo is a sound place for learning
I’ve been a lover of hiphop and music in general since I can remember. When I was 13 I started rapping in my head, walking outside. I just rapped for run you know, or to pass the time. Yet, I never shared my freestyles. Though I listened to female emcees, the only people I saw rapping in my neighborhoods, friend circles, or schools were men. From that, I figured it wasn’t for me. I was always looking for a deeper meaning within music. I longed for it. And when I couldn’t get it on the beat I’d dive into the minds poets, playing collectives like The Strivers Row endlessly on youtube and other social media outlets. These poets really cultivated new ways for me to see the world. They taught me what I couldn’t learn in school or at home. While Brooklyn bred my experiences and molded my intellect, The Row taught me about the pain and joy I felt and showed me how to expressed the motions of life I could never seem to explain. They taught be about Nina simone and Amiri Barraka. They taught me about black excellence in a world that dismals black voices everyday. They changed my life. As I got older things just got blurrier. But through every breakdown I had a breakthrough. I’ve learned so much about the systems around me and my social structural position within them. As I fueled it became harder and harder not to make music. I always wished my poetry could be heard with the beats that infused my mind. After my performance at the first ever Malaika Apparel Co. showcase, a friend, Dill Magnetic the Shaman encouraged me to start making music. That 2016 winter, I completed my first song, Do You. That’s when I knew I wanted to do this. No second guesses. No regrets.
Location: Unknown | Age: Unknown | Skill: TBD
Underground Emcees; Damiano Malvasio and Magnetic The Shaman join forces to create “Flocarious”, one of the illest duo’s ever assembled in hip-hop.
Motorcyclez is a pop act from the small world of supermarkets and laundromats. Dive into this colorful discomfort.
Lyric heavy Antifolk/folk punk solo artist with several different vocal styles. Content ranges from serious and depressing to satirical and disturbing.