BogglesWorth boggles the mind with his electronic music

“Scottie’s California Cornflakes” is the newest single from underground electronic music producer BogglesWorth. It reminds me of the time I was caught inside a video game in the 1980s that was a combo of Tron and Back to the Future. Okay, that never really existed (or did it?!) but I can dream, right? The song has “sick drops” and a “hot beat,” so enjoy it–

Utilizing digital/analog synths, BogglesWorth revels in being “bizarre, peculiar, awkward and just a bit weird.” Good– the world needs more people like that! With “Scottie’s California Cornflakes,” BogglesWorth is already accumulating quite a fan base, who comment that the song is “so dope” and “hypnotizing.” He performs around Los Angeles and Southern California, though he likes to maintain an air of mystery so you probably won’t see what he looks like in person– at least not easily.

This summer, BogglesWorth will release his EP entitled NERVE. Its official release is 7/1/15 but pre-order is available starting 6/10/15 via BogglesWorth’s website. Also, keep connected to this up-and-coming producer/music maker via Facebook and Twitter. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Groovy rap from J-Hutch

J-Hutch (born Jason Hutchison) is a Michigan native rapper with groovy rap songs like “Can You” and “2 For 5.” Besides being a music performer, J-Hutch attended school for a degree in Recording Arts, and the production on his tracks is top-notch.

This Friday, May 22nd, J-Hutch releases his fourth studio album, Only The Strong Survive, on iTunes, Amazon and 36 other online stores.

Discover more about J-Hutch at his website here.

Ed Layne Rocks

Ed Layne rocks. Drawing upon classic rock influences like Led Zeppelin, Yes, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, and Rush, Layne manages to create potent rock songs like “Sea Is Raging” on his debut album. Take a listen here:

What impresses me most about Ed Layne is his musical versatility and prowess. He’s a talented lyricist, vocalist, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, drum sequencer, mixer and producer.

Download Ed Layne’s rock music on CDBaby or iTunes. –Mark Weber Music Blog

10 tips for bands

10_tips_for_bands10 tips for bands

In a perfect world, music bands would never break up; they’d be a well-oiled yet still spontaneous machine, beloved by fans from the first few months of gigs til the ripe old age of a legend like Mick Jagger or Tina Turner. However, a lot of bands have a lot of problems, so it’s no wonder that very few last a long time and can be successfully making money and pleasing fans over the course of several decades. That said, there are some things your band can be doing to help create a positive reputation that’ll help your career. Here are 10 tips for bands on how to be the best music band you can be:

10) DON’T BE LATE It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing for 2 people, 200, or 20,000. You need to be “on time.” Many musicians are late. When one musician is late, the whole group suffers, and the audience will suffer. The leader of a band should “dock the pay” of anyone who is late to rehearsals or gigs, because when one person is late, all the other guys and gals in the group either have to wait around (time is money) or practice/perform without them (awkward).

9) CALL AHEAD Sometimes gigs are booked months in advance. People at “the venue” may have come and gone since the booking. It never, ever hurts to call the venue a day or two before the scheduled gig and “check in” with the people in charge, just to confirm the time and ask any last minute questions/give any last minute answers.

8) SOUND CHECK Many bands make the mistake of spending way too much time doing the soundcheck, and then still having problems once playing in front of a crowd. If you’re lucky enough to have a sound guy working with/for you, they like to check drums first, then bass, guitar, keys, and finish with vocals. Make sure your band members are “in the room” so they’re “ready to go” when needed– the worst thing is when a sound guy has to wait around for the one musician who is no where to be found, or the one musician who stays too long on stage testing their equipment over and over again when it was fine the first or second time.

7) MORE MUSIC, LESS TALK Unless your band is known for telling personal stories, remember to concentrate on what people came to see and hear you for: your music. If you want to talk with the audience, you can do that after the show while signing CDs, t-shirts and posters they’ve bought.

6) NO GAPS Have you ever been to a show where the musicians stalled for what seemed like an endless five minutes and you were like, “Just start the song already?” Yep. Happens a lot, but that’s not a good thing. You have a limited amount of time with your audience. Why waste precious minutes on stalling or nonsense chit-chat that you might find funny but they may not? It’s very important to have a show that flows from song-to-song, keeping the audience’s attention. We live in a culture where we expect immediate gratification; an audience can only “wait” for so long before they get frustrated and then form a negative opinion about your band.

5) NO MESS A venue owner or manager will always remember a sloppy band. Why? Because he or she notices everything about how a band operates. When a band leaves their gear blocking the aisles/blocking doors/etc., that’s bad. When they keep their cords and gear and boxes tidy, then “all is right with the world.” Think of it this way– if you had a houseguest who left wet towels on the floor and crumbs all over your couch, would you want them back? The neater the band, the better the reputation among venue organizers. It’s better to be the band helping pick up trash from the floor after the show than to be the band that “came in and left us a total mess to clean up.”

4) NOT SO LOUD I have been to many concerts where the volume was way too loud for human ears. It’s no secret that many musicians experience hearing problems and deafness. It’s very common for audiences to be right in front of massive speakers cranked up to their highest possible volume. It doesn’t have to be this way. In the long run, you’d be better off as a band turning the volume to a level that won’t cause hearing damage for you or them.

3) YOUR WEBSITE A band without a website today makes no sense. If you’re a band, you have to have one. You can have a “Twitter” account and a “Facebook” page, and those are “okay,” but it’s best to have your own website with your own domain name– one that you can totally control. Your website is like having an ambassador who will hype your band to anyone, anywhere in the world 24-7. The site should have your bio, gig info, some pictures/videos, links, and a contact page/email address.

2) KNOW YOUR (TIME) LIMITS I was at a club in New York City where my friend was scheduled to play at a certain time. The band before her decided to do “just one more song,” which cut into her performing time. That sucks! Nothing says rude like overstaying your welcome at a gig with multiple acts.

1) HAVE FUN Finally, remember this: it’s called “PLAYING.” Certainly making music is better than digging a ditch. Make time for your band to hang out aside from music so that you’re friends in real life, and enjoy each other’s company. Why? Because that camraderie is one of the reasons people come to see/hear you! When you’re having a great time on stage with each other, it totally translates to the audience, who, in turn, also have a great time! –Mark Weber Music Blog

These were 10 tips for bands; in the comments section, leave more!

Cordelia from On the Water

While most people think of folk music as happy hippies from the 1960s or Bob Dylan before he went electric, folk music of today is remarkably diverse. Take, for instance, the “dark folk project” Philadelphia-based band known as On The Water. Their fifth album, Cordelia, manages to incorporate Jesse Sparhawk’s harp playing on the title track in a way that makes total sense, as both a man and a woman sing about lifting a stone from the ground in the garden to slip into one’s pocket. Thematically, the songs on Cordelia cover things we all go through– from adventures with friends to bouts with depression. In other words: life. Founding member Fletcher Van Vliet also touches on the theme of loss. As the band’s songwriter, he put to music his thoughts about the unexpected death of his father from cancer. Listen to the heartfelt harmonica on the song “Gatekeeper,” followed by the intensely sung lyrics about being alive with the wind whipping across one’s face, feeling change coming. On the Water’s music is visceral. It’s like painted canvases come alive and grab a hold of the listener. I especially like how Cordelia has been described as having “an orchestral-folk meets grizzled-ballads feel to it.” True. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Galianos Faction Island Dreams

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Galianos Faction’s fun new song, “Island Dreams,” was written by Michael A. Galianos, a singer-songwriter from Bergenfield, New Jersey. Galianos has recorded an EP and two albums and counts The Beatles and The Beach Boys among his influences. To hear the bright, rockin’ “Island Dreams,” which features female singers with nice harmonies, visit CDBaby and give it a listen today. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Pianist Michele McLaughlin offers solo piano Undercurrent

Pianist_Michele_McLaughlinPianist Michele McLaughlin learned to play the piano through her own experimentation. After seeing and hearing George Winston in concert at the age of 8, McLaughlin fell in love with dreamy, spacious piano playing. Later on in life her mom encouraged her to share her talent– and today McLaughlin has released more than a dozen albums.

Great creativity can come from heartbreak, and pianist Michele McLaughlin masterfully uses her playing for expression. “It’s my therapy; time with the piano and composing or writing music is how I get my stress, sadness, and joy out.” Of all the emotions that she channels so effortlessly into music, the melancholy of life has been a draw for her loyal fans, who are eager to have someone express audibly what they have felt internally. “The sad music is my favorite kind of music,” she says. “I write a lot of happy songs and waltz-y songs in ¾ time, but my fans and I are of like mind– the favorite pieces are the sad and dark ones. They share with me how the music has helped them through challenging times.”

Her latest release is called Undercurrent and it “reflects the feeling of joy and sadness that come with making changes in life and how you shouldn’t judge anyone by the face they put on in public.” Hear beautiful piano pop music from Undercurrent, available at the website for pianist Michele McLaughlin here. Fans of “solo piano” will be enchanted by her sounds! –Mark Weber Music Blog

Hard rock fans will appreciate Feed The Root from the band Within

Hard_rock_fansHard rock fans should download “Feed The Root” here, from the band Within. Here are the lyrics to the song:

Deep inside and intertwined there lies a burden we won’t escape this time, by blindly following, trusting in nothing. In your eyes I feel that we were to be deserving, but we play the fool. Suffocating, accepting entropy, impermanently alive. Deep inside this hollow temple lies something that’s so judgmental. Angry, terrified, that I may not make it on the other side. In your eyes I feel that we were to be deserving, but we play the fool. Saturated, accepting entropy, impermanently alive- Come down and show us how to live… Come down and show us where to begin- Come down and show us how to live… Come down and show us where to begin- I Want Life Forever. In your eyes I feel that we were to be deserving, but we play the fool. Suffocating, accepting entropy, impermanently alive.

Within is a four piece hard rock/progressive metal band from Dallas, TX. The band’s influences include Tool, Metallica, CCR, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I think hard rock fans will appreciate “Feed The Root” and other songs from this up-and-coming band. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Bunny Sigler

Bunny Sigler reminds me of Ronald Isley, Smokey Robinson, Little Anthony and other male singers who excel at singing love songs and aren’t afraid of using their falsetto voice when needed. Bunny Sigler, known for helping craft the “Philly Sound,” and working with such artists as The O’Jays, Gamble and Huff, Patti LaBelle, and, more recently, Jay Z and OutKast, may be in his 70s but shows no signs of slowing down. His latest offering, Bundino, has 14 diverse R&B tracks with a little something for all ages, from hip-hop to ballads. I especially like the danceable anthem, “Stand Up,” which encourages people to stand up for what they believe in. Also of note is the fun song about Southern cookin’ entitled “Buttermilk and Cornbread.” –Mark Weber Music Blog

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NO GHOSTS from The Sunless Sea

NO GHOSTS is the debut EP from The Sunless Sea. The artist behind the music described its development like this:

“Late last year, I kinda fell off the planet. While I was gone, I wrote an album. I sat down, wrote an entire album, recorded the entire thing, and when I turned around, it was actually pretty f-ing cool. This record is really important to me, and it’s by far the most honest I’ve ever been artistically.” Hear it here:

Up In The Lights by Seldom Seen will get you dancing

“Up In The Lights” by Seldom Seen will get you dancing. Hear the new club smash hit song here:

An independent pop/hip-hop artist from Long Island, Seldom Seen has opened for multi-platinum artists B2K and Akon in Munich, Germany. He co-wrote the song “Sweat Tonight (Shake it Baby),” used as the theme for the Munich-based fitness company Flexi Sports in their official fitness music mix. Also, Seldom Seen’s “It Might Be Worth It” was featured on Blue Mountain State on Spike TV. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Steven Tyler Country Music

Steven_Tyler_Country_MusicSteven Tyler Country music maker? He is known as one of rock music’s most famous singers. So, it’s interesting to hear that Steven Tyler Country music fans will enjoy the singer’s Country album this year. Did you know he lists the Everly Brothers and the Carter Family among his earliest influences? What do you think: do you want to hear Steven Tyler Country music? –Mark Weber Music Blog

Black Girls Rock

Black girls rock.

Generally, when you think of rock stars, you think of white men. But there have been black women who’ve daringly made a stylistic leap from their pop/R&B roots into the “heavier,” “more masculine” world of “real” music– “rock music.” For some odd reason, white men have a hard time accepting anyone but fellow white men as being true rock stars, when in reality, the world is much bigger than just white men. Indeed, black women can like rock music and they sure can make rock music. Here are some examples where black girls rock.

“Prejudice? Wrote a song about it…like to hear it? Here it go: Free Your Mind!” En Vogue, the funky divas of soul, proved black women rock with their huge hard rock 4-part harmonious 1992/1993 hit, “Free Your Mind.”

“What I really wanna know is– Are you gonna go my way?” If you saw the music video for “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz in the 1990s, you saw Cindy Blackman rockin’ the drums. Blackman earned her right to be considered one of today’s top drummers. While she enjoys recording jazz albums, she’s always ready to rock, too, and is married to (and performs with) Carlos Santana.

“I’ve got the stuff that you want, I’ve got the thing that you need, I’ve got more than enough to make you drop to your knees, ‘Cause I’m the queen of the night!” Whitney Houston– God rest her soul– was known for ballads and dance-pop songs, but around the same time she was known for “I Will Always Love You,” from The Bodyguard soundtrack, she had a hard rock hit with “Queen of the Night.”

“Black cat, nine lives, short days, long nights, livin’ on the edge, not afraid to die, heart beat, real strong, but not for long, better watch your step or you’re gonna die!” Janet Jackson wrote “Black Cat” herself and figured since she grew up listening to rock music from the likes of Led Zeppelin that she could pull off her own hard rock song– and she did. It hit #1 on the charts.

“I know it’s only rock-n-roll, but I like it, I like it, yes I do!” Tina Turner is, hands down, one of the most famous and beloved rock stars in the world. She has done it all– country, disco, R&B, and, of course, rock, where she found huge success with her strong voice, dance moves, and legendary legs. It has been said Mick Jagger got his signature dance moves from Tina.

“Didn’t it rain, children? How it rained. I said it rained!” Sister Rosetta Tharpe didn’t look like your typical rock star back in the 1960s, but white kids in Europe loved this strong singer playing her guitar and mixing Gospel with blues and rock. If you didn’t know her name, now you know…

Black girls rock and if you can think of others you’d like to include, post in the comments.

–Mark Weber Music Blog

The Jets Band

The Jets band had a huge hit, “Crush on You,” in the 1980s. The Tongan family had massive but short-lived success…

Today, The Jets band can be found playing county fairs and casinos. I still like The Jets band and think it would be cool for them to have a hit song again. If you miss The Jets band, leave comments. –Mark Weber Music Blog

whatever_happened_to_the_jets

Amai Ne’s Dark Horizon

Amai Ne’s rock-metal song “Dark Horizon” has lyrics you need to read:

I’m back in my prison
back in my shelterThere’s a fear inside of me
I scream it quietly
in this torrent of emotion
it haunts me everyday

I hold my pillow tight
against this rising tide
I hold my pillow tight

namida, fall like rain
susurinaki, drowning me
kanashii, over my head
like a dark cloud with no silver lining

I feel so alone
I don’t know where to turn
I keep it all inside
so that no one knows

From the corner of my room
it’s such a lonely view
but it comforts me
from the demons that I keep

I stare into the darkness
when no more tears remain
hide under my blanket
to escape the pain

I hold my pillow tight
my hopes and fears collide
I hold my pillow tight

kowai, I’m so scared
kowareta, broken wings
tsukare, close my eyes
I’m tired but I can’t fall asleep

I feel so alone
I don’t know where to turn
I keep it all inside
so that no one knows

From the corner of my room
it’s such a lonely view
but it comforts me
from the wars inside of me

Can’t see beyond this dark horizon
though I’m trying everyday
and I don’t know if my heart can take it
but I think I’ll be okay

rousoku no kage wa utsukushiku

I feel so alone
I don’t know where to turn
I keep it all inside
so that no one knows

From the corner of my room
it’s such a lonely view
but it shelters me
from the storms inside of me

The song/video makes me think of all the young girls, worldwide, who are victims of the sex slave trade. Can you imagine how they feel? Amai Ne’s song gives us all a glimpse into those feelings. –Mark Weber Music Blog

#AmaiNe #DarkHorizon

Aminita Satori leaves corporate world to make artistic music

Aminita Satori was part of the corporate world, producing soundtracks on major TV ad campaigns for companies like McDonald’s, Budweiser, and Verizon. But, the artist inside Aminita Satori had to be let out of the business world, so Where Language Fails brings together elements of chillwave, electronica, ambient, and hip hop music in an intoxicating way for those who like artistic music uncontrolled by corporate interests. Hear for yourself here:

Turning you on to new and interesting music makers

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