A couple of years ago, I was offered a small role in the upcoming film Remember To Forget, the directorial feature-length debut of short filmmaker and improv comedy actor Stefan Gill. My experience on the set was fun, and upon seeing an early cut of the film, his vision really struck a chord with me. As our friendship grew (and as I began to pay attention to his Facebook feed), I began to learn quite a bit about the man, and one of the most intriguing things I found out was about his former life being raised as a member of the Straightway cult from the Houston, Texas area. I am only partially familiar with the organization, but if you are interested, be sure to click the image above for his personal tales. If you’re more interested in his current creative endeavors, you can use the short film Everything That Is You as an introductory point, and dive deeper from there.
The homie Feral the Earthworm has never been the kind of person to hold back, but usually he takes his ability to hyper-focus and break a topic down with amazing eloquence and turns it on outward stimulus. With the release of Sludge Covered Branches (throwies), however, we find Feral the Earthworm taking a seat directly in the eye of a storm that he has experienced his entire life, speaking frankly on personal issues that have not only shaped who he currently is, but continue to haunt him. It would have been understandable if his recent reduction in materials could have been chalked up to COVID-19, but Feral bravely chose to continue being forthright and brutally honest by sharing his volatile family experience with his listeners. If you’re not afraid of a bit of realness mixed into your entertainment, dig this latest edition of throwies, leave a like and a comment, and share it around for those that could use a heavy dose of reality.
Looking for a bit of modern singer/songwriter magic that sounds about 30 or so years out of place? Maybe a little bit of an outsider anthem? Look no further than Jack Henry‘s latest single, the soundtrack-worthy Stranger. A celebration of personal fulfillment, anonymity, separation from the pack and a list of benchmarks never meant to be met, Stranger and its post-Punk, pre-New Wave feel hearkens to the days of The Smiths, INXS, Modern Lovers and much much more. Definitely do yourself a favor and search this one up on your favorite streaming service or digital storefront.
When it comes to the brave new musical frontier that is Nerdcore, the range of diverse artists can be breathtaking. One of my favorite outfits of all, however, is the power-packed trio of Bitforce, a heavy-metal band with a penchant for beefing up the chip-tunes we’ve all come to know and love from our gaming experiences. With their latest album, the self-titled Bitforce, set for release in December, the band has started releasing singles, and the first is the triumphant sounding Wildfire Fox. I’m always down for the way that Bitforce is able to reshape and beef up songs I’ve come to know and love from countless hours of gaming, so I’m definitely excited about their upcoming release. Check out the new track, pre-order the full length if the single moves you, and always support your local creatives!
When it comes to hustling and making moves in most any industry, those that succeed are the ones that make moves while everyone else is sleeping or relaxing. With this in mind, Austin-based mainstay DowrongLilBully tapped the prolific producer Eric Dingus for an anthem about that very move-making mindset in the form of Wolves. From it’s moody, movie-like soundtrack to Dowrong‘s ruminations on hustling that sit squarely between spitting bars and vibing on the track, this song is an instant banger from the moment you press play. Definitely check it out on your favorite streaming service or digital storefront, and support your local creatives.
Disillusionment is not a rare state these days, and that seems to go double for those with any aspiration, creative ability or personal drive. With so many supposed opportunities having been skewed by COVID-19, it’s not surprising that artists such as Kydd Jones have continued to thrive. As Left Earth demonstrates, Kydd has always been one to thrive in spite of obvious opportunities like hustling, street culture or drug selling. Over an interestingly manipulated, organic element-based beat (it’s hard to explain, but give it a listen), we find Kydd spitting a short set of lyrics talking about why he will continue to thrive regardless of the state of things for those held down by gravity (the Earth‘s, or otherwise). If you need a shot of inspiration, this one is for you, so definitely check it out, support if you can, and spread this word far and wide.
Even as the world makes small steps towards opening itself in some sort of normal sense after the waves of COVID-19 we face, musicians are exploring old and new alternatives to keep their fanbases satisfied. The San Antonio-based live outfit Stereofiend recently decided to go the route of an old industry standby by dropping a live album, but with most venues closed during the period of time they decided to do so, they opted for the next best thing : live from the studio. The result, in this case, is an intimate view of Stereofiend in the moment and in the pocket with one another, minus the distractions that come with a live audience, resulting in what feels like a jam session put together especially for the listener. The songs we all know and love are there, we get a small view into the inter-band banter that those familiar with Stereofiend are used to, and until we’re allowed to enjoy one another’s company again, this will be the closest we get to a live show for a while. Definitely check it out, support if you can, and share it around for all to enjoy.
As we hit the 2/3 range of one full year under the shadow of COVID-19, many of us are wondering if there will be a return to normality, and what that supposed new normal will look like. Many creatives, like BoomBaptist for example, are working on trying to keep things as normal as possible by finding inspiration in the madness. According to BoomBaptist, COVID The Earth is ‘a little surprise release comprised of songs inspired by this insane once in a lifetime experience we’ve all been facing through the pandemic.’ For those seeking some sort of sonic remedy to take their mind off of everything, I highly recommend this instrumental journey. Check it out, cop it if you can afford to, and spread it around for others to experience.
As October came to an end, the homie Evolve decided to bless the masses with a pair of connected projects : SIDE A: CONVERSATION PIECES and SIDE B: SINNER’S PRAYER. On top of both having stellar album artwork that is immediately striking, EVOLVE‘s hardline observations can be found all over both projects, with his deliberate and proud delivery of truth coming at the listener relentlessly. Both albums have a somber feel to them, although CONVERSATION PIECES relies on more introspective, lush, piano-driven beats, while SINNER’S PRAYER definitely has the more sinister sonic edge. With a production line-up consisting of Shots Dupre, Jony Escoe, Junk Room Beats, Purple Villian, Jones Got Music, The Process, Awdazcate and Lord Damage, these two distinct audio feels have enough variety amongst themselves to carry you through both projects. For those with money burning a hole in their pocket, this is definitely worth supporting, but even if the money is tight, these albums are certainly worth your time, attention and shares, so be sure to support however you can.
Everyone’s favorite trope exploring, politically radical, rhythmically gifted rap crew is back for election season. Dem Beach Boys figured the best way to wrap up Donald Trump‘s recent term would be to drop No Place Like Home, a damning examination of how the cultural temperature has shifted from warm to well past the boiling point over the last four years. Be it racial divides, denying immigrants basic civil rights, or the gradual growth of a police state, Dem Beach Boys check all the hot button boxes with clever, biting lyrical darts. This one isn’t for the satirically-challenged, so if you’ve got a thick skin and aren’t smooth-brained, check it out, leave a like and a comment, and kick up some dust by sharing it around.