Friday, May 24, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DIPLO/EUROPA!

DIPLO
EUROPA
12" Colored Vinyl
(Mad Decent)

Available NOW!

Born Thomas Pentz, Jr., DJ and producer Diplo is a Grammy-winning man-about-town. Not only has he released music under his own name, he’s also a member of Major Lazer, LSD (with Sia and Labrinth), Silk City (with Mark Ronson), and Jack Ü (with producer and DJ Skrillex). He’s also known for his work with M.I.A., Gwen Stefani, Die Antwoord, Britney Spears, Madonna, Shakira, Beyoncé, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Trippie Redd, Chris Brown, CL, G-Dragon, Bad Bunny, MØ, Poppy, and Bausa. To say that Diplo is a prolific artist would most certainly be an understatement.

Monday, May 20, 2019

TOPIC RECORDS' 80th Anniversary: An EXCLUSIVE interview!


In Celebration of Topic Records’ 80th Anniversary:

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A 
with 
Glen Johnson 
(Project Manager with Proper Records Ltd who oversees Topic Records)


STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: Topic Records, the world’s oldest independent label, is celebrating their 80th Anniversary in 2019. While the machinations of the music business have changed over the years, has Topic’s core musical focus remained the same?
GLEN JOHNSON: Ostensibly, yes.  The emphasis has always been on preserving the voices and songs which may have otherwise gotten lost and to create a space for those that hear those songs to make new recordings of their own.  So, there’s an archival element coupled with a curatorial one. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: RAHSAAN PATTERSON/HEROES & GODS


RAHSAAN PATTERSON
HEROES & GODS
(Shanachie Records)

5.17.19


Remember when The All-New Mickey Mouse Club (1989-1994) gave us a new generation of young stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling and others? Well, if you weren’t paying attention, the syndicated TV series Kids Incorporated (1983-1992) was introducing to the world to new talent as well. Some of the soon-to-be-stars that made their first national appearances on the show include Stacy Ferguson (AKA Fergie), Martika, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mario Lopez, Eric Balfour and the subject of this blog entry, Rahsaan Patterson.

Friday, May 10, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: B.B. KING BLUES BAND/THE SOUL OF THE KING


THE B.B. KING BLUES BAND
THE SOUL OF THE KING
(Ruf Records)

5.10.19

Blues music has been a crucial part of American history for nearly 150 years. Originally, the Blues genre grew organically from Folk, spirituals, and African work songs. Since the dawn of recorded music, Blues has traveled around the world, inspiring millions of musicians in the process. The musical blueprint for the Blues remains virtually unchanged a century and a half later yet musicians find new ways to interpret it year after year. Much like an amusement park ride, the basic structure itself never changes yet it is experienced differently by each person that rides it. The Blues can be performed by down-trodden acoustic guitar player or a glitzy big band and have the same effect on the listener. The Blues informs almost every other style of music – from Rock ‘n’ Roll to modern Country and Jazz. The Blues is understood and misunderstood in equal measures. The Blues can make you sob but then turn around and drown you in joy. The Blues, in the hands of the right musicians, is magical.  And one of the greatest Blues musicians/magicians was – and remains – B.B. King.

Friday, May 3, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: NEW FOUND GLORY/FROM THE SCREEN TO YOUR STEREO 3

NEW FOUND GLORY
FROM THE SCREEN TO YOUR STEREO 3
(Hopeless Records)

5.3.19


Regardless of what the Billboard charts might insinuate, Pop Punk – AKA Punk Pop - was not born in the mid- ‘90s. The roots of the genre first came to prominence in the late ‘70s thanks to bands like Ramones, Buzzcocks, The Dickies, and The Undertones. The blending of the raw power of Punk Rock and soaring, sing-a-long melodies reignited the Indie scene and made Punk more -for lack of a better term - consumer-friendly. Pop Punk was not watered-down Punk aggression – it was just more focused. Bands soon realized that they could get their messages across if they packaged them in tight, melodic musical blasts. Add a little bit of harmony here, a catchy hook there, and, voila, Pop Punk was born. Pop Punk was never about playing it safe – it was about communicating to their audience via raw and urgent Rock ‘n’ Roll and melodic hooks. The movement’s popularity weakened a little bit over the next decade but in the late ‘80s, bands like Descendents brought Pop Punk back to the surface. And then came the ‘90s…

Friday, April 26, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: THE MOUNTAIN GOATS/IN LEAGUE WITH DRAGONS


THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
IN LEAGUE WITH DRAGONS
(Merge Records)

4.26.19

The Mountain Goats don’t seem like a band that celebrates anniversaries. However, if they did, they’d be celebrating their 28th year of existence in 2019. Let that sink in – 28 years! Singer/songwriter John Darnielle formed the Mountain Goats in 1991, the very same year as Operation: Desert Storm, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and the death of Freddie Mercury. Time has marched on and, just like our lives, The Mountain Goats have evolved, matured, and experienced many changes. A lot of talented folks have passed through the Goats’ ranks as members or collaborators - including Kaki King, John Vanderslice, Annie Clark, Franklin Bruno, and many others – but Darnielle has remained the band’s only constant member. And like all of us, he has changed throughout the years. Much like every small town in any Smalltown, USA, the core foundations of the Mountain Goats’ sound remains the same while everything around it has changed. That is what we call life…

Thursday, April 25, 2019

FILTHY FRIENDS: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with Corin Tucker


ONLY LOVERS ARE BROKEN:

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A 
with 
FILTHY FRIENDS’ Corin Tucker

EMERALD VALLEY is the second album by Filthy Friends, a band spearheaded by Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck.