Not Too Close

As Alex Clare’s website points out, you can tell a lot about someone by asking them what the greatest album ever made is. What is Clare’s answer? The album that first comes to his mind is Radiohead’s OK Computer. But upon further thought, Clare admits that OK Computer may be the best album ever made based simply on production, but musically, it isn’t his top selection. After musing over a couple different choices Clare decides In The Key of Life by Stevie Wonder is the greatest album ever made.

Agree or disagree, it’s clear that Clare has great tastes regardless and it’s no wonder he has exploded all over the electronic, alternative and pop music scene.

Alex+Clare+AC04Alex Clare first caught the attention of the masses when his smash single “Too Close” was used in an Internet Explorer commercial. That commercial may have single handedly saved his career and any musical aspirations he had.

A strict Orthodox Jew, refusing to perform on the Sabbath and high holy days, Clare was originally signed with Universal Island Records. After the label discovered how truly devoted to his faith Clare was, (he had to decline an opening slot for Adele because it was at Passover) the label dropped him. A lack of significant album sales and radio play also contributed.

It wasn’t much later that Clare received the call from Microsoft and his career did a 180. The success of the commercial and single lead to Island Records “groveling” for Clare to return to the label.

Alex exclusively told BANG Showbiz: ”They were groveling and very apologetic, it was brilliant!”

Originally from London, the hometown of dubstep, Clare is known for his infusion of dubstep and electronic sound into alternative music. Fun fact: Clare dated Amy Winehouseamy-e-alex in his early days as a musician after meeting her at a performance in North London.

Clare grew up with guitar-based songwriting and perhaps the electronic influences in his music can be explained by the production team of Clare’s first and only album The Lateness of the Hour which consisted of Diplo and Switch.

Alex Clare will be playing in the northwest April 25th at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, April 28th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Canada, April 29th at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle and April 30thth at The Knitting Factory in Boise.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg this Thursday between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Introducing ‘Burgstock 2013

For a town known for its hay, Ellensburg sure has some talent. 88.1 The ‘Burg will showcase local musical talent of all genres at ‘Burgstock 2013, April 27th at Prosody Events. The event will include local bands as well as awesome prize giveaways throughout the night. These prizes will even include a pair of Sasquatch 2013 tickets!

We’ll be blogging about all the bands playing and today that will start with BLACKBURN.

BLACKBURN is a young band that met in spring of 2012 and have been gaining stride ever since. The group is made up of three young gents who actually met in our own Ellensburg.

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Brody Blackburn fronts the band as the lead vocalist and guitar player. Although his degree is in English, the man set his sites on a solo music career during his early college years. He produced his first solo album as a freshman in college and roughly five years later had produced three solo albums with several musicians from the central Washington region.

Finally, in 2012 he met two musicians who wanted to take music as seriously as he and BLACKBURN was formed. Brody hasn’t looked back since.

Wes Chamberlain lays down the bass for the band, plays piano and also does backing vocals for the group. Chamberlain’s first instrument was the piano and he eventually moved to drums, saving up his allowance to buy himself a kit. Like Brody, Chamberlain started out alone in his quest to start a band so decided if he wanted to make a full band sound he would have to make the full band himself and started playing the guitar to accompany the beats he’d lay down on the drums.

After Chamberlain met Ben McBride the two “automatically clicked” and began working together on a music project. The two then met Brody and Chamberlain finally felt he had met guys with similar aspirations. The three have been making music ever since.

Benjamin McBride rounds out the group and plays the drums for the band. The CWU senior is a Public Relation major and while he hopes to one day work as a PR director for a record label for now he is focusing on building BLACKBURN up to the point of national tour status.

Blackburn will be bringing its alternative rock sound to ‘Burgstock 2013 with the hope of claiming the top prize in this battle of the bands contest. More blog posts on the other bands will follow.

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Bob Dylan Noticed

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, (and we know you all have) you’re familiar with Dr. Dog. The ‘Burg is giving away tickets, they’re awesome, blah blah blah. Well, if you’ve been paying attention you know that Dr. Dog is co-headlining with a pretty cool band named Dawes. Let us tell you about the indie-folk band that landed a tour with Bob Dylan.

Dawes

Dawes is an American rock band out of L.A. made up of two brothers, Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith along with Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathairn. The band was originally named Simon Dawes, but things were adjusted when Blake Mills left the group.

Dawes released its first album, North Hills in 2009 and its third album Stories Don’t End will drop April 9th of this year. The album was recorded in the Blue Mountains of North Carolina and the folk-rock sound is that of The Avett Brothers and Delta Spirit.

New York Daily News gave Stories Don’t End four out of five stars and reviewer Jim Farber said about the album:

“Goldsmith’s melodies, and the band’s playing, have the plucky touch and melodic rapture of ’70s L.A. folk-rock. From the spry beat in ‘From a Window Seat’ to the doleful tune in ‘Just My Luck,’ there’s a sure sense of composition that both recalls a classic era and speaks to any.”

This relatively young band is getting bigger and bigger and is opening for Bob Dylan at a series of concerts across the country.

Dawes is co-headlining with Dr. Dog at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle on April 26th and again in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom on April 28th.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg for two chances to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Who is Dr. Dog?

Indie music has a place at every college radio station and that is why Dr. Dog is welcome at 88.1 The ‘Burg. The Philadelphia based group formed in 1999 had as many as 20 “honorary members” and their wide range of influences can be heard in their two EPs, one live album and seven studio albums.

Dr-Dog

The most recent Dr. Dog album Be The Void was released February 3rd 2012 and was followed up by the Wild Race EP in August of the same year. Album reviews for Be The Void were solid with consequenceofsound.net stating that “Like a fine wine, Dr. Dog gets better with age.” and Paste Magazine rated the album a 7.5.

Though sometimes categorized as “psychedelic rock” you can also hear folk, blues, soul, and bluegrass in their sound. We recommend checking out “Lonesome,” “How Long Must I Wait” and “Over Here, Over There” off the Be The Void album.

Dr. Dog will be co-headlining shows with Dawes on April 26th at Showbox at the Market in Seattle and April 28th at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland.

Listen to The Umbrella Boat Show on 88.1 The ‘Burg this Monday between 1 and 3 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Wub Wub

Although dubstep has become immensely popular in the U.S., let’s not forget where the genre originated. In the late 1990s, dubstep was born in South London, England. The term “dubstep” was first coined in 2002 in Croydon, London but its actual roots are a little tough to pinpoint. Dubstep is the merge of dozens electronic music genres and its origins can be traced back to the growth of the Jamaican sound system party scene in the early 1980s.

Because of its London roots, it’s no surprise that some of the top dubstep acts in the world come from England. This includes North London based 4-piece act Modestep. The band includes brothers Josh and Tony Friend who cover vocals, keyboards, turntables and guitar between the two of them. Matthew Curtis is on drums and other percussion while Nick Tsang rocks the guitar.

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The quartet debuted in February 2011 with “Feel Good,” which reached the Top Ten of the U.K. dance chart and crossed into the Top 40 of the main pop chart. Although they had previously released singles and remix EP’s the band’s debut album Evolution Theory wasn’t released until February 12th, 2013.

In an interview with contactmusic.com, Modestep guitarist Nick Tsang had some insightful things to say about the dubstep genre and electronic music scene. When asked whether he thought the relatively young genre of dubstep would survive and thrive, or slowly go out of style, guitarist Tsang responded:

“I think it’s been around longer than people think, it’s just been lurking underground until recently when pop artists have started taking influence from that kind of sound. We’re trying to put a live twist on the traditional sound of dubstep, we’re trying to make it more rocky and I can see more genres spawning out of this frankly, in the same kind of way we’ve done. A lot of the genre seems to have become more dance-orientated so I don’t know where it will go next, we might even see a jazz take on things soon, who knows. But I definitely think its influence will go on and it will be here for a while to come.”

Wherever dubstep goes next, it’s clear it will be around for a while and its loyal fans around the world will attest to that.

Modestep will be playing with Mimosa on April 15th at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle and April 16th at Roseland Theater in Portland on April 16th.

Listen to Electropolis on 88.1 The ‘Burg this Friday between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Touch of the Irish

If you’re a basshead and you live in the northwest, you know about Lucky 2013. This event is back and is preparing to give attendees a party at the end of a rainbow. This year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be at the WaMu Theater like years past and the venue will be transformed to an Emerald Isle. Shamrock-ing music, Irish folklore inspired performers and green décor will flood the theater as the party rocks from 7:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.

The Crowd at Lucky 2012

The Crowd at Lucky 2012

The event will feature around 23 artists but The ‘Burg has our own picks for who to look forward to.

So we have to talk about Pretty Lights. The headliner for the show is a one man outfit. Derek Vincent Smith is originally from Fort Collins, Colorado and his “The Illumination Tour” kicked off in 2012 with a sold-out two-night stand at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado with Lucky 2013 expected to sell out as well. Pretty Lights made history when he teamed up with Bassnectar to put on the first-ever electronic music show at the historic Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. A new Pretty Lights album is expected this year.

Pretty Lights

Pretty Lights

The electronic fans at The ‘Burg were stoked to see Seven Lions on the lineup his year. Supposedly a man of few words, Jeff Montalvo, the face behind Seven Lions, lets his dupstep do all the talking. At only 24 years old Seven Lions’s popularity has skyrocketed among trance and dubstep fans. Introduced to the electronic scene in 2007, Seven Lions is still a newbie to DJ-ing but you can’t tell from his music. Interestingly enough the dude used to be in a metal band. We’re glad he made the transition.

Seven Lions

Seven Lions

Our third pick for Lucky 2013 is R3hab. This up and comer has worked with artists such as Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Jennifer Lopez, remixing tracks and producing. R3hab definitely creates music you’ll want to dance to. House music is meant to make you move and R3hab understands that. The Moroccan import isn’t too hard on the eyes either.

R3hab

R3hab

Lucky 2013 is March 15th at WaMu Theater in Seattle.

Listen to Electropolis on 88.1 The ‘Burg TONIGHT between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win tickets. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

 

 

 

 

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Horrorcore, Hip-Hop, Gangsta Rap, Awesome

Aaron Dontez Yates is better known by his stage name Tech N9ne. His stage name originated from the TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun, given to him by rapper Black Walt due to his fast rhyming style. (Tech is short for technique and 9 is the number of completion. That’s why he says the technique’s complete so often.)

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Born in 1971, Yates began rapping at a young age. He used rapping to help him remember things such as the letters of his own name. The road to fame has been a tough one. Yates never met his father and his mother suffered from epilepsy. In 2003, Yates’s best friend Brian Dennis was shot and killed by his girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend. These experiences, although traumatizing, have made Tech N9ne into a powerhouse rapper who spits lyrics that are relate-able and often moving.

Early in his career, Yates was a member of a group called Black Mafia. Yates continued to bounce from group to group and was a member of 57th Street Rogue Dog Villains, Nutthowze, and The Regime until releasing Anghellic as a solo artist on JCOR Records.

Tech N9ne’s horrorcore gangster rap has frightened some but intrigued many. He has a cult like following and over his 12 year career as a solo artist and 24 year career as an established rapper has worked with Lil’ Wayne, Eminem, Linkin Park and other high profile artists.

“They call me devil worshipper because I’m different. I give you music for my core…I raise my middle finger to everybody who judges me because my core audience is there for me,” Tech N9ne said. “They will always love me, but I’m trying to reach others, too. It’s not over. My music is supposed to be for everybody, but some people just don’t get it.”

Tech N9ne will be performing in the northwest on April 4th at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene, April 5th at Roseland Theater in Portland, April 6th and 7th at Showbox SoDo in Seattle and March 9th at The Knitting Factory in Spokane.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg this week for a chance to win tickets to the April 6th show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Metalcore Remains

A War You Cannot Win dropped on November 6th, 2012 and is the sixth release by melodic metalcore band All That Remains since 1998 when the group formed. The album has received mixed reviews. Some fans claim the band has sold out because the new album is more “radio friendly metal” with only the slightest hint of core. Previous albums have been more metalcore so hardcore metal fans may be disappointed.

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All That Remains guitarist Mike Martin says the newest album is a step of maturity.

“I just think when you do something for 10, 12, 15 years you can’t help but learn a little bit along the way and I think that’s one thing this band continues to get better at with every album,” Martin says. “It’s not a physical thing where everybody has to get a 100 times better at their specific instrument – I think collectively the songwriting gets better with each one.”

Old fans should be able to appreciate the steps All That Remains has taken in their newest album. While perhaps softer than previous albums, A War You Cannot Win is still an illustration of the great songwriting All That Remains is capable of. A War You Cannot Win is especially great for those just becoming interested in the metalcore genre and the band itself.

Now on tour promoting the album All That Remains is playing in the northwest on March 24th at The Knitting Factory in Boise, March 30th at The Knitting Factory in Spokane, March 31st at Roseland Center in Portland and April 1st at Showbox at the Market in Seattle.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg tonight for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook for details and updates on how you can win.

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No Pity for the Majority

KMFDM is not just a random jumble of letters chosen by a group of people to represent their band. KMFDM in fact is an acronym for Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid. If you’re wondering what the heck this German phrase means just look at the title of this blog.

Techno/electronic and heavy metal are categories of music that are very specific. You either love the genres or you hate them, there aren’t a lot of in-betweeners. KMFDM decided to throw caution to the wind and pioneered the crossover genre referred to as industrial rock in 1984 when the band formed. Becoming one of the first industrial rock groups isn’t the only unique thing about KMFDM that we love. The band also features male and female vocals.

KMFDM (1)

29 is ancient in band years and KMFDM has certainly been around the block. Their most recent works titled WTF?! dropped in 2011 and is their 30th album to date when including live and greatest hits albums. Many fans claim WTF?! to be their best album in the decade.

Metaldominion.com described WTF?! as: “an album containing 11 songs of hard-edged brutality that stabs you in the ear with a persistency that to be honest has very few equals around at the moment.”

KMFDM will be playing in the northwest on March 8th at Star Theater in Portland, March 29th at The Knitting Factory in Boise and March 30th at Showbox SoDo in Seattle.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg this week for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Get Your Satisfaction

It takes a level of cool to listen to THEESatisfaction. While their music clearly has hip hop tendencies it could better be described as funky- feministic–psychedelic-afro soul. With hints of jazz themes and traditional African rhythms one can’t help but close their eyes and get lost when listening.

THEESatisfaction

The duo is made of singer Catherine “Cat” Harris-White and rapper Stasia “Stas” Iron. The two write, produce and perform their own original material. Known for their fascination with numbers, wordplay and outfits that are perhaps funkier than their music the two see themselves as windows to what it’s like to be an African-American woman today.

“We like to just play with different concepts of who we are as humans and then who we are as black people and how it varies,” says Cat, “Who we are as black women and how different it is to what is pumped into the world every day, it just varies so much. Everyone is different and, I can’t speak from everyone’s standpoint, but for myself as a black woman, I think it’s important to show how many varieties there are. From our shapes, to our heights, to our facial expressions, our complexions and everything like that. It’s very important to just explore that.”

THEESatisfcation call Seattle home and the two met at the University of Washington in 2008. Stasia saw Cat perform at open mic nights and eventually got the courage to speak to her. The two have been unstoppable ever since.

THEESatisfaction will be performing a 21+ show in Seattle at Neumos on March 22nd. Kingdom Crumbs, who is on the Sasquatch 2013 lineup, will be performing with them.

Listen to The ‘Burg for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook page and ‘Burg App for details and hints in how to win.

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