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From the underground to the inescapable, our roundup of new music that must be heard.


Album: The Time Has Come - Cassie Ramone

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Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls were around just a few years before breaking up--seemingly for good--in 2012, but they continue to exert a powerful influence in the form of side projects and hotly anticipated solo records, the latest of which is Cassie Ramone’s debut LP, The Time Has Come. According to Ramone’s label page at Loglady Records, the album has already sold out its initial colored-vinyl pressing, and the likelihood of bummed-out VG fans hunting down records is a fitting analog to the slightly sinister nostalgia that suffuses Ramone’s sound and lyrics. This is washed-out, acoustic dream-pop that’s perfect beach music for after Labor Day.



Song: “If I’m” - Sea Oleena


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Sea Oleena’s new single “If I’m” flows in the same vein as Cassie Ramone’s empty-boardwalk eeriness, but here the medium is more melancholy than menace. A piano loop paces Oleena’s ruminative (and, it must be said, hard to find meaningful) lyrics, creating an immersively haunting vibe that vanishes just as it gets going. You’ll listen to this one over and over trying to catch it. 



Song: “Cosmic Vibrations” - Foxygen


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LA psych-rock duo Foxygen have shared the official audio of single “Cosmic Vibrations” in advance of October’s new release, ...And Star Power. With a feedback-heavy intro, the group’s retro sound is jolted from the ironic stupor of their earlier records, giving way to a keyboard-heavy, shamelessly Doors-y track that suggests a newly dark take on the band’s American classic rock influences.


Album: Semi Precious EP - Semi Precious

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London producer Guy Baron’s undergraduate Semi Precious project (he started recording under the name as part of his thesis at the University of London’s Goldsmiths College of Art) has taken shape in the form of a new EP available to stream on SoundCloud. Baron’s two-track arrangements and expertly pitched vocals make for a debut that draws surprising depth and emotion from stray sounds and samples a more conventional producer would overlook.


About the author: Spencer Shawcross is a freelance writer in San Francisco. He hearts the TL and its many music venues. 

Whether you're a born and raised local or a lost Bay Area transplant looking to find the best tunes in the city, we've picked out this week's best live shows in our home town of San Francisco for you to check out.



Ghost and Gale + City Tribe + Travis Hayes at Brick & Mortar (Tuesday)

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Free Show 

May this be a reminder to black out your calendar on the first Tuesday of the month. Wood Shoppe has been bringing in great FREE monthly showcases and are not disappointing this round. Three local acts make up the bill covering the entire folk-rock spectrum. Travis Hayes brings his honest whiskey soaked adventures. City Tribe gathers the best elements the likes of Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes. And Ghost and Gale add a dramatic edge fit for the ending sequence of any of the 800 dystopian youth novel adaptations currently in theaters. 


She Keeps Bees + Shilpa Ray + Little Sister at Brick & Mortar (Wednesday)

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The Brooklyn based rock duo return to the Bay as their latest album fast approaches its release on the 16th. One could draw comparisons to a reverse White Stripes, an angrier Sharon Van Etten, or an easier target of Cat Power. Regardless, the simple blues rock formation takes hold of you with a raw sound that translates best when seen live. Go early and check out a new East Bay garage act in Little Sister.


Together Pangea + Guantanamo Baywatch + Blood Sister at The New Parish (Thursday)

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Fair warning, have a good hard listen to Together Pangea's new album Badillac before crossing the threshold of this one. Touring partners in crime and my favorite band name in recent years, Guantanamo Baywatch, build you up to the main rumble with a barrage of surf induced grit and grime guitar. This will be a rock show so be ready to get close to some people, don't fear getting PBR on your shoes, and consider wearing a hard hat.


Everyone is Dirty + Sister Crayon + Li Xi at Rickshaw Stop (Friday)

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This is the perfect chance to jump along to Oakland's Everyone is Dirty as they release their debut album via SF label Tricycle Records. The foursome quickly instills thoughts of Pixies and Sonic Youth and travels between your favorite '90s grunge and alternative. Ripe with fuzzy guitar and shared vocal duty between violinist Sivan and guitarist Christopher this is a local band to pay attention to since being a standout on the Live105 Local Stage at this year's BFD at Shoreline.


LA Riots at Ruby Skye (Friday)

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For anyone concerned about a lack of club  nights making this list recently, this will remedy your desire for losing control at the hands of a dangerous West Coast DJ. The LA based (obviously) producer is far from a stranger of the SF club scene. Repeatedly praised as a indie-electro DJ throwing in unexpected samples and remixes, the description still fits well. If you are overdue for a few hours of non-stop dancing, hit up this SOL REPUBLIC Savior of Sound for a good time.


About Mike: Habitual Bay Area show-hopper and new music junkie. Currently Artist Relations at DeliRadio and occasional DJ at KALX. Follow the music based ramblings on Twitter.

Meet Marlon and Ralph, the electro house masterminds behind Bassjackers. We got a chance to pick their brains about upcoming releases, memorable tour moments, and their favorite summer jams. Brace yourself, things are about to get out of control as Bassjackers take over the soundwaves. Get to know our Saviors of Sound in this interview and dance the summer night away to their awesome summer playlist. 


SR: So what do you guys have planned for the rest of the summer? Any tours, new releases, or vacation plans going on?

Bassjackers: We just had a release on August 18th on Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s imprint Smash The House. After that we have a remix coming up for Dannic on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings. On the touring side the summer is always packed with festivals and club shows.


SR: After all the summers you've spent working on music, what's been your most memorable music related summer experience?

Bassjackers: Back in the days when we would go on vacation with our friends in Spain we would always play the same songs and albums on repeat. When chilling at the pool, before club, at the after party. After the vacation Ralph always made an aftermovie and used those songs as a soundtrack. These songs would be stuck in your head forever. The music varied from rock to hiphop to dance.


SR: How did this musical pairing come about? It seems like a lot of DJ duos were first friends in college or something like that.

Bassjackers: Marlon started DJing in college and Ralph had been producing music on his computer since high school. At some point we decided to join forces. This was the start of Bassjackers.


SR: We want to know a little more about what kind of artists you guys are into lately. In your opinion, who's really killing it and producing great music?

Bassjackers: New kids like Jay Hardway and Thomas Newson are releasing some serious bangers lately. We play a lot of their stuff.


SR: Got anything particularly interesting on your tech and hospitality rider?

Bassjackers: Not really. Our riders are pretty basic.


SR: We're really interested in what you guys have in store next. What are you guys working on now and when can we expect to see some new music?

Bassjackers: We are always working on new music. Besides the releases we mentioned before there is another solo track due for October. We have lot of unfinished projects/collaborations that we hope to release later this year.

 

SR: I'm sure you guys have experienced some pretty crazy or memorable things behind the scenes at your shows. Are there any moments from before or after a show that you'll never forget?

Bassjackers: Sometimes we do meet and greets before or after the show and its amazing to see the impact that our music has on our fans. For example sometimes fans burst out in tears of happiness. This is probably something we’ll never get used too but it is a great feeling to know that what we do makes people happy, gives them strength or motivates them.


SR: Do you have any pre-show rituals? Even if it's jogging around the stage, there's got to be something you do to get the blood pumping.

Bassjackers: Before a show I (Marlon) usually want to chill for like 10 minutes in the dressing room have a drink and just clear my head. Then 10 mins before set I want to check out the stage and the vibe. And then its GO time!!


SR: Now describe your sound in two words. Choose carefully.

Bassjackers: ENERGY BASS


SR: So what does an average day look like for you guys?

Bassjackers: A random Tour day would be: Wake up, go to the airport, fly out to the next location and get your pickup to the hotel. Get some rest and exercise. Do a lil preparations for the show. Then have diner and go to the venue. Maybe some interviews or meet and greet. Then it’s showtime. After the show interview and or meet and greets and then back to the hotel or after party or straight to the airport for the next show.


SR: Where in the world can we catch you next?

Bassjackers: You can find our tour schedule on our website. Check it out.


SR: There's so many up and coming producers out there trying to put themselves out there. What advice do you have for the new kids on the block?

Bassjackers: Work hard, have fun.


SR: A huge part of music these days is how you market yourself, how do you guys set yourselves apart from the hoard of producers in the industry?

Bassjackers: We try to take ourselves not too seriously while at the same time we take this very seriously. Get it?


SR: As technology becomes more prevalent and more advanced, it's becoming easier for people to make hit music out of their bedroom. What are your thoughts on this?

Bassjackers: It’s good that there's easier access nowadays to make music. This way more people will be able to do it and the bigger the chances that great talent will expose themselves to the world.

 

Let them take you to house heaven with their crazy summer playlist:


Also check out the new videos for 'Derp' and 'Like That':





Music from this week that channels your feelings and speakers from 0-100 like the famous words from your boy, Drake.


“Hey QT” - QT

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Last week, UK game changing pop producers SOPHIE and A.G. Cook debuted a teaser from their collaborative project QT. As we eagerly waited for more, XL Recordings released the full four minutes of their single “Hey QT” earlier this week and it is beyond cute. “Hey QT” brings you to an elated dance club with kittenish bits to anthemic future pop vibrations -- an overall synthetically perfect experience.


“Mountain Dew” - TOYC x TIMBAH (DJ Milktray Remix)

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In the middle eastlands of England, TOYC and TIMBAH contributed a track for Nightwave’s brand new label Heka Trax titled “Mountain Dew."  The release came with a remix from Glasglow’s young up and comer DJ Milktray. Milktray reworked “Mountain Dew” by sedating and elaborating the depth of the production, adding a layer of the smoke machine to this funky caribbean dance track.


“Ahhh Shit” - G-Unit

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As if G-Unit’s return wasn’t great enough already, their new video “Ahhh Shit” should further back that statement. Rated R for police brutality, graphic violence, and explicit language, the music video in “Ahhh Shit” contains disturbing clips of real police injustices as the whole team gets political and 50 cent delivers painfully powerful words of “put your hands up you still getting shot." 


“Young” - abhi//dijon

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Coming out of a bedroom somewhere in Maryland is the R&B unison of abhi//dijon. The boys just self-released an EP and ending the collection is this 82-second tearjerker reminiscently titled “Young." If there’s any song I’d like to be personally dedicated to me, this would be high up on that list. Let abhi//dijon make up all of those lost romantic sorrows. 


About the author: Briana Cheng has a lot of feelings that she sometimes writes about but mostly she takes twitter screenshots of online dating apps, follow her @banacrisp.

This spotlight is a monthly feature showcasing some of our favorite independent record labels. As a relatively new label with its first official release that came out earlier this month, we spoke to the Chicago boys in The-Drum about their new project, Lo Motion. Brandon Boom and Jeremiah Meece started this record label to help debut local acts as well as their friends and it is clear through showcasing Dre Green’s sultry R&B talents, this is all just a bright beginning for Lo Motion. 

Get to know the label with a little sample:


Check out the interview below as Boom and Meece discuss everything you need to know about Lo Motion from the beginning to now and the future.


You guys are both in The-Drum, can you briefly describe how you became friends and started this project?

Brandon Boom: We had been friends for a few years before we started The-Drum. The idea initially was to just produce for other people, but we quickly learned that we need to get our names out there if we wanted to produce for anyone. So we turned some of the beats into full songs and just started making songs almost daily for about 6 months before we posted anything online. Then another 4 before we started sending anything to blogs. So by the time we came out it was pretty developed. Although the first song we ever made together is the first song on "Contact" which is our fourth release so I feel like that says something about our early ideas.

Jeremiah Meece: We met at a party and exchanged numbers with a promise of if one of us ever found DMT we would call the other. I was approached to produce for this R & B singer and I hollered at Brandon about doing it with me cause I knew he produced but more importantly he had grown up with R&B, where as I came to it much later.


What is the vision for your label Lo Motion and how did it develop?

BB: Mostly from just producing a lot of people and feeling like we could start a label. Also there being no labels like it in Chicago. The vision is to start with music and try to expand to other areas we think are cool. The main vision for me right now is to get everyone to listen to Dre Green’s debut EP.

JM: We had talked about doing a label for a really long time. We had almost done a tape label but then decided against it, and that was several years ago. This came out of realizing that there wasn't a good vehicle for a lot of amazing music our friends were working on yet and us wanting to get that stuff out there. Our vision is pretty extensive but I don't really wanna tip our hand too early. Lets just say there is a lot more to come.


For people that haven't heard the first official release, how would you describe Dre Green's record?

BB: I would describe it as really fucking good. I’m not good at describing things, but if you are into R&B at all or production you would probably like it. She worked super hard as did everyone and kept on all of us. She is super driven and I really like working with her.

JM: I would describe it like dreamy, sexy modern R&B just slightly weirder.


Can you tell us how you met/found her?

BB: She found us! Well it’s more of like being in a group of friends. She knew we produced music and she was living with Kit’s girlfriend. She just asked us one day. It’s not like there was a moment when we found her like singing in the street and there was an 'ah ha' moment and we ran to the studio. Then after “Neymar Night”, we were like let’s do this. Then when we started Lo Motion we were right in the middle of making stuff for her so it all happened very naturally.

JM: I met her through Kit, they were roommates at the time. She came up to me at a show and said I'm a singer and I was like cool we can try and do something. I didn't really think much about it till we got together, I gave her a couple beats and she came back with amazing vocals for them. These were tracks that were not easy to write over, like "Useless" on the EP. So I was hooked from there. Oh and then “Neymar Night” came out and it was wrap, like wtf this girl is gonna be amazing.


There are a few different scenes in Chicago and it seems like there is a big support system. What do you think of it?

BB: I don’t like scenes. I don’t want to be grouped with other people I may not know or approve of. That’s the biggest thing for me. Its like “oh you live in Chicago, you must be friends with Hoobastank”  Ummm… no. Lots of great music gets made here but I’m not supporting all of it and I’m not friends with every person here in hopes that they post my album on Facebook or something. I like things to happen naturally I’ve learned that forcing stuff or trying to be in a scene doesn’t work for me personally. Like right now I’m listening to the Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin album, which I understand that not many people are interested in that, so I hang alone a lot.

JM: I feel like we've covered that so many times that I'm kinda eh, whatever really.


I hear a lot of R&B from the compilation and Green's record, who do you guys think is the future of R&B?

BB: The future of R&B…. I would need to take like 9,000 ancient drugs to answer that question. *takes 9,000 ancient drugs* Looks like its Ska + R&B + Hoobastank.

JM: I don't think any one person is the future of R&B but as far as the mainstream Jeremih is amazing. Twigs and Kelela are killin it. The Rahel album we're getting ready to drop is going to blow people away. The future is unclear but bright for R&B in my opinion.


How do you guys discover music nowadays?

BB: I recently re-downloaded SoulSeek after not having it for like 6 years and it’s still exactly the same and awesome. Nodata.tv is another big one. All the usual blogs and sites we all read. YouTube sidebar being a constant source of inspiration. Also getting into labels and seeing what other stuff they are putting out. Discogs k-holes…etc.

JM: The Internet.  It's like when I used to go to CD Warehouse or Cheapo Discs and just dig through CD after CD trying to find something cool. But now it's weird little blogs and sites that just post music without any description and you have to go to some weird Russian site to download it..


What are you guys doing for the rest of 2014 at Lo Motion?

BB: Hopefully a The-Drum EP, Khallee’s EP, another compilation, parties in Chicago, and some shirts.

JM: Working on a bunch of releases. There's the JODY EP that's already done, then we got Khallee's solo record, there's the Rahel album, both Brandon and I have solo records in the can. A The-Drum album. Honestly way too much to list here.


This one is just for fun but if you can describe Lo Motion as a plate of food, what would it be and how would it be arranged?

BB: This.

JM: Sushi Boat surrounded by Durian and Rambutan


You can follow The-Drum on Twitter @TheDrumChicago and check out their label Lo Motion on Soundcloud.


About the author: Briana Cheng has a lot of feelings that she sometimes writes about but mostly she takes twitter screenshots of online dating apps, follow her @banacrisp.

Sure, you know Bonnaroo, SXSW and Coachella, but that’s really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to music festivals. There are plenty more hot tickets that offer fun ways to discover new music and share the passion that these communal experiences offer.


A few festivals that fly under the radar but offer an amazing time include:


Beale Street Music Festival, May 2015, Memphis TN 

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Part of the Memphis in May International Festival2014’s eclectic lineup included Kid Rock, Alabama Shakes, Foster the People, and Patti Labelle. With such a wide variety of acts, there’s definitely something for everyone. Plus, one word for ya: barbecue. Nom city. 

Here's the most recent lineup:

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Festy, Oct. 10-12, 2014, Nelson County, VA 

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Combine music, camping and craft beer culture and you have bluegrass-influenced Festy, headlined by The Infamous Stringdusters. Throw in the Gorg scenery and sustainable efforts and you have all the makings of a great weekend. 

Here's this year's lineup:

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Firefly Music Festival, June 18-21, 2015. Dover DE

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Nicknamed the Bonnaroo of the East Coast, this past year’s lineup included Foo Fighters, Outkast, Imagine Dragons and the Arctic Monkeys. Hipsters and Yipsters are drawn not only for the great music, but also the craft beers (are you sensing a theme?), hammock hangouts, and arcade games.

Here's the most recent lineup:

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North Coast Music Festival, Aug. 29-31, 2014, Chicago, IL

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Billed as “Summer’s Last Stand,” this festival blends electronic, hip hop, dance, jam and rock into one tidy weekend. Acts include Snoop Dog, Bassnectar, and Kid Cudi.

Here's the slated lineup for this coming weekend:

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Treasure Island Music Festival, Oct. 18-19, San Francisco, CA

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Right in our backyard, Treasure Island Music Festival has got an amazing lineup this time around, replete with a breath-taking view of the SF skyline. Festival favorites Outkast, Zedd, Massive Attack and more headline this weekend on tiny Treasure Island, just past the Bay Bridge. We recommend you take a boat there, because boat party. 

Check out this year's lineup:

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