Turbo Suit: Out Here

Out-Here_artwork-1024x1024At first listen, Turbo Suit‘s Out Here transports you to another place. It immediately brings you to some huge field with new and old friends while you bask in all of summer’s glory and dance the day and night away. Maybe because warmer weather is closing in, and festival fever is rampant, but with it’s grandiose infectious sound, Out Here is sure to ramp up your excitement for the coming spring and summer months.

If Turbo Suit’s creativity evokes such strong feelings from a recorded electronic album, it’s pretty much a guarantee these seven songs with translate incredibly well live.

Over the past years the funkronica trio – comprised of David Embry on production and vocals, Nicholas Gerlach on tenor saxophone and EWI, and Jeff Peterson on drums – established themselves as Cosby Sweater, with the release of four albums and an abundant amount of touring. With growing negativity towards the word “Cosby,” the band morphed out of Cosby Sweater and into Turbo Suit earlier this year.

Out Here represents this evolution and shows the trio transforming into something that is fresh, fast, and stylish. Musically, the band has brought it to the next level with their new material. So, it only makes sense to “suit up” in a new vessel that showcases the band’s evolution from Cosby Sweater to Turbo Suit….

For the entire review head to Vinyl Mag!

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Vinyl’s Top Favorite Moments of Electric Forest 2014

IMG_9607Imagine a place where you can immerse yourself in total freedom. A place where responsibilities of the daily grind are abandoned and your inner child is encouraged to come out a play. Inhibitions, judgements, and preconceptions dissolve away with every smile and hug exchanged with a stranger. And that worldly concept of “stranger” fades as old and new friends become a part of this forest family and community.

Envision a world where Mother Nature’s beauty is enhanced by the audible and visual delights of artistic wizards; an environment where all human senses are stimulated and the concept of time is nearly nonexistent. Whether a newcomer or Electric Forest veteran, this festival is something special to all of those touched by its magic.

Over the four days at the Double J Ranch, we were truly treated to the splendor of such a treasured venue and special event. It is a challenge to fully describe what is experienced at Electric Forest and although many times impressive, photographs do not do this festival justice. Days later we are still taking everything in and we have comprised a list of our top favorite moments from this year’s Electric Forest.

Sensational Covers: Some of our favorite covers of the weekend came from Umphrey’s McGee, The String Cheese Incident and from the ever surprising Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident. Umphrey’s orchestrated the party Thursday night at the Sherwood stage with their stellar two-set show that included their concoction of “Come As Your Kids”-Nirvana’s “Come as Your Are,” and MGMT’s “Kids”- and Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” during the second set. The following day, and first night of three of Cheese’s Electric Forest performances, Cheese served up a funky danceable rendition of Chromeo’s “Bonafied Lovin.” Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” The Police’s “Spirits in the Material World,” Fela Kuti’s “Zombie,” and Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless were also performed by Cheese over the weekend. When it came time for the Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident, we came with an open mind and we were impressed with the collaborative efforts that produced some of the best covers of the weekend including Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” The Beatles’ “Something,” along with some Bob Marley and, of course, some Fugees throwbacks.

Totems/Rage Sticks: Love them or hate them, totems are here to stay. There seemed to be a lot more totems this year than previous years and the more the totems the more chance for creativity. Some of the top totems seen this year included one with Bubbles (from Trailer Park Boys) with some kitties which read “God, this place makes me frisky.” Another which spoke the honest truth read, “F**k Real Life,” and we cannot forget to mention the totems that read “CARL??” Props to everyone who got their creativity on with these, sometimes annoying, rage sticks and brought a smile to our faces.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Some of the best moments of the weekend were spent wandering in the Sherwood Forest both during the day and at night. A headliner in its own right, the forest is a pleasure for the senses. From getting lost in the art instillations, to the conversations with new friends, to (the occasional) losing track of time laying in our hammocks staring up at that blue Michigan sky peaking through the tree tops, to just sitting and watching the ever changing visuals make the forest come to life every night, and to even stumbling upon Super Tall Paul’s show after that second night of STS9 and hearing him break out in The Jungle Book’s “I Wanna Be Like You,” the forest is a magical universe all on its own. Differing worlds between day and night, taking time to explore and fall in love with Sherwood Forest alone is enough to make you never want to leave.

Wish Upon A Star: Now, this may be more of a personal favorite moment for us at Vinyl but one late night walking through the “secret” exit of the forest heading back to camp we happened to look up at the night’s sky and see a shooting star over head. If that doesn’t validate how enchanting this place is, we don’t know what else does.

READ THE ENTIRE LIST OF FAVORITE MOMENTS OVER AT VINYL MAG

Interview w/ The Revivalists {{Pre-Electric Forest}}

a3-1024x682As we get prepared to make the pilgrimage to Rothbury, MI, for, in our opinion, one of the best music festivals in the country, we called up George Gekas (bassist) of The Revivalists to hear what he had to say about their upcoming performance at this year’s Electric Forest and what he believes makes this, and so many other festivals and venues, so special and universally cherished by music fans and performers alike.

Vinyl Mag: What do you consider to be some of The Revivalists’ key elements to a live performance?

GEORGE GEKAS: I’d probably have to say energy. A lot of people say we give off a high level of energy, and it’s just because we love to do what we do. We’re the kind of band that, the more people we are in front of, the more energy we are going to give off. We love to have crowd participation at 100 percent if possible, and the best way to do that is to show that we’re up there having a good time and giving it our all.

VM: If you could describe The Revivalist’s music in one word, what would you use?

GG: One word is tough…soulful-rock. I know that sounds kind of generic, but we’re a rock band.

VM: Who/what would you say have been the band’s biggest influences?

Read the entire interview at Vinyl Mag

Electric Forest 2014 Survival Guide

 

I remember my firsct time. A little nervous, a bit of uncertainty and a natural high off of the excitement and anticipation. My mind was consumed with what I was about to experience and with questions about whether or not I was really prepared. Ready or not, we had arrived.

After a good 12 hours and two days on the road, we were finally creeping through the organized sea of cars entering the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, MI. The energy, the happiness and the pure bliss of everyone arriving at Electric Forest that day is nearly indescribable. Leading up to this weekend attending my first music festival – let alone my first Electric Forest – many friends found it hard to fully describe the Electric Forest experience. The most common depiction was always something along the lines of, “Just wait. You’ll see.”

During my initial walk-through of Sherwood Forest, it hit me. I remember turning to my best friend and with the biggest smile on my face just stating, “I get it. I finally understand.” In that moment, I understood why this festival is so special and why those who attend make the effort to return year after year.There’s something magical and freeing about being at Electric Forest that can only be fully appreciated after experiencing this festival first hand.

This year I’m returning to the forest and thought I’d share my own take on surviving Electric Forest for the first time.

AS A DISCLAIMER- This is in no way a complete or even necessary guide for all. I will be the first to admit I am a creature of comfort, and many of my suggestions will reflect that. I also encourage anyone to feel free to share their own suggestions.

GENERAL FESTIVAL TIPS

Expect Nothing and Be Surprised: Do not set expectations for yourself. Do not go in telling yourself this will be the best weekend of your life. Just let it happen, because it will naturally happen on its own. It’s good to keep a schedule in mind for what artists you want to see, but don’t follow it too strictly. You never know what you might experience or who you will meet by just going with the flow and not following a  fully scheduled-out day.

Take Care of Each Other: Hopefully you are going with friends you can count on. Keep an eye on each other, know your own limits and know when to step in if you think someone is in need, whether it be friend or someone else at the festival. The med tent is your friend, and without sounding too mom-ish, it’s better to get help before it’s too late. Stay safe out there!

Water: Drink it. You do not realize how dehydrated you can become between all the walking you’ll be doing, all the sun you’ll be basking in and all the alcohol you probably will be consuming. My best advice: buy yourself a CamelBack or some other hydration pack. Having such a pack is easy to carry, and you’ll have water that’s easily accessible throughout the day. Electric Forest provides water refill stations throughout the campgrounds and within the festival venue.

Hammocks: Bring one or you’ll be disappointed you didn’t. ENO Hammocks are my preferred go-to, and if you forget, I’m sure reps will be on site and ever-willing to sell you one.

For the entire guide visit VINYL MAG

 

TBT: Silversun Pickups

The-Singles-Collection-Cover-700x700In the dreariness of a lingering winter it easy to yearn for those warmer days and nights. So for this week’s TBT it only seems appropriate to talk about one band that can shed some sun on this not-feeling-at-all-like the first day of spring. The Silversun Pickups is one of those bands that takes me back to 2006 when I spent my summer in California interning for SUFER Magazine. “Lazy Eye” was all the rage and I played it over the shared iTunes account at least once everyday, if not more.

The Silversun Pickups are no strangers to throwing it back and taking advantage of their past musical accomplishments. Last month they released The Singles Collection which included songs from past albums and EPs. In addition this nostalgic track listing, we were gifted a new single, “Cannibal.” If you haven’t heard it yet, may I suggest you do so now.

Children of the Stones: ‘The Stars and the Silence’ LP Review

Extended Play, the first EP released by the collaboration of Mark Van Hoen (of Black Hearted Brother, Seefeel, Locust, Scala) and Martin Maeers, has proved only to be a tease- the best is still yet to come.

Children of the Stones is the new project from Van Hoen and Maeers, and they will release their upcoming LP, The Stars And The Silence, on March 25th. Joining them on this album are Rachel Davies (Esben & The Witch), Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Black Hearted Brother, Mojave 3, solo) and Al Forrester, plus Angus Finlayson, amongst other friends. For over 30 years, Van Hoen has been creating and innovating the electronic music genre. With the help of vocalist Maeers, it seems that The Stars And The Silence is the next step in the right direction and perhaps just what electronic music needs.

Where the EP, Extended Play, displayed a bleak sadness, The Stars And The Silence explores a lightness that can be found within the shadows of love’s darkness. “Love’s Last Loss” is a subdued and humbled testament of what was and a realization of a love and life that will no longer be. The composition of this first track is somewhat a cut and paste of appropriate sound bits, bleak glitchy transitions, oceanic dream, and mournful raw emotion. “Love’s Last Loss” is an appropriate choice as the start of this album as it introduces the listener to Van Hoens’ use of technology as a catalyst for creativity and expression…

Check out the entire review at Vinyl Mag

 

 

TBT: Paul Oakenfold

paul oakenfoldIn a throw back to last year’s SXSW and to the late 90s and early 2000s, Paul Oakenfold is an original. As an English record producer and trace DJ, he is a pioneer of electronic music. He is a two time Grammy nominated DJ, remixer, and his expertise in an array of electronic genres and professional knowledge of the actual sounds and components of dance music make him the innovator that he is. Oakenfold’s popularity and style paved the way for many dance DJs to follow. In the world of club/house/trance music, Oakenfold is a legend.

In addition to hearing his music on New York’s dance radio (103.5 KTU) back in the day, last year in what was the upstairs of Buffalo Billiards in Austin,  I had the opportunity to see him work his magic. With SXSW 2014 in full swing, I found it only appropriate to reminisce about last year and remember this artist who has inspired others and has helped electronic music become what it is today.

In light of last night’s events down in Austin, I send prayers and my deepest condolences to all of those affected by the tragic and senseless events that occurred.

 

TBT: Ms. Lauryn Hill

lauryn-hill-largeIt was early 1999 or late 1998, can’t quite remember, and I had just left Sam Goody (remember those?) with my 1999 Grammy Nominees CD. That CD was the epitome of the end of the 90s. From Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy is Mine” to Madonna’s “Ray of Light” to Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” this was pure 90s gold. Although many artists featured on this album were and still are some of the best artists in the industry, Lauryn Hill is one of those artists who has been making a come back recently.

Ms. Lauryn Hill has been bouncing back from her controversial three month incarceration for tax evasion. Upon her release from prison last October, she has put out a new single and is hitting the festival circuit  this summer; not extensively, but enough to make us notice her again. Her inclusion on the Electric Forest lineup  is what brought Ms. Lauryn Hill into recent light and sparked a personal curiosity in what will be witnessed and heard at the “The Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident” set; an obvious collaboration with the String Cheese Incident.

Take a listen and transport back to 98-99:

A Chat With Junior Prom: INTERVIEW

img-junior-prom-ep_100648449004After making waves last fall at CMJ, just fresh off of tour supporting Panic at the Disco, an EP released a couple of weeks ago (Feb. 4), working on their full length, and preparing for SXSW, Mark Solomich and Erik Ratensperger are two very busy individuals. Mark and Erik formed the Brooklyn-based music duo Junior Prom after grinding in bands, rehearsal spaces, and venue halls across the city. Their single “Sheila Put the Knife Down” and the 2013-2014 ESPN College Basketball anthem “International” are both included on their debut Junior Prom EP.

With so much going on, we’re grateful these two took time out of their busy schedule to talk about their EP, the Panic at the Disco tour, and their enjoyment of pop music- no guilty pleasures here!

Vinyl Mag: I’d love to start off and hear about your creative process for this EP.

Mark Solomich: In essence when we started, it was about a year of writing and playing together before we ever played a show, before we played for anybody really. So it took us a long time, trying different things and experimenting. Over the course of that time we made a whole album and scratched it, and then we made this EP. We made this EP after having written and recorded almost thirty songs. It really was a process of trial and error until we finally came across a sound we liked. We were trying to do something new, but really it was a matter of playing in rehearsal space, taking it home and trying different things on the computer, and really experimenting with the sounds; trying to make the guitars not sound as hard and some vocals not sound like vocals. It was a lot of fun and it was free because at the time we did not have a label yet, and we hadn’t booked a show yet.

Erik Ratensperger: And on top of that it was just us instead of a traditional band. It was just the two of us  working on this and trying to figure it out. We both come from bands, we’ve played in bands all our lives, and we’ve arrived at this point where we decided to take things in this direction and this presented new challenges for us on both the live and the production end.

VM: “Sheila Put The Knife Down” and “International” are getting a lot of recognition, I’m a big fan of “Run Around The Back,” I think it’s a great song- Do you guys have any tracks you are particularly proud of or tracks that are your favorites?

MS: When you play songs live, you feel like “I know this one really brings out people.” So that kind of makes you enjoy that song more, but I think like the song “Big Timer” people really react to that song because it’s neat and just the vibe of it….

Check out the entire interview at Vinyl Mag

Watch Junior Prom’s video for their single “Shelia Put The Knife Down”:

 

Head and the Heart Video Premiere- Watch Now

HeadAndTheHeart-byDylanPriest2The Head and the Heart have been one of those bands that I fell in love with at first listen. I first wrote about them about two years ago after seeing them perform at the 40 Watt in Athens, GA. A couple of months after that I was able to catch them on tour with DMB. Since these two shows I have been waiting to see the next creative step for them. I can say I am not disappointed.

The Head and the Heart premiered their new video for “Another Story” on BuzzFeed earlier today.