As the United States, not to mention the world at large, emerges from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear we have all been impacted, but it is unclear in what ways this impact will manifest itself. The homie Attic Ted is one of the first local artists to explore and address this directly with his upcoming project The Pandemic Single, a two-song exploration from his perspective. For those that missed it, one of the songs already has a music video out :
The songs are available to stream currently on the Attic TedBancamp page, and on August 1st, a run of 1,000 12″ records will be available courtesy of a recent audience investment campaign. Regardless of whether you’re a die-hard Attic Ted fan and supporter, or you simply dig the Lance McMahan artwork on the front of the project, this is one that collectors shouldn’t sleep on.
A couple of weekends ago, Fake Four Inc. hit up myself and a number of my labelmates to participate in Fake Fourantine 2021, the second Twitch-based online festival they’ve held in light of COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic has had on the world at large. While everyone did their thing, the homie (and split-LP cohort) Anthony Maintain turned in a rather exceptional performance, complete with wonderful black and white captures of several visually striking areas to perform his trademark beatsmithing and rhymesaying. If you missed the stream, don’t sleep on this performance… it’s inspiring in all the right ways. Leave the homie a like and a comment, spread it around, and support your local creatives!
Like the vast majority of us, the fellas of Bogan Villa and the homie Marcus Morales have been patiently waiting for COVID-19 and the ever-changing shelter-in-place orders to be a thing of the past. As professional musicians, it can be tough when not only your livelihood but your main outlet are suddenly taken away from you. As 2020 came to an end, however, both parties decided to combine forces for Quarantine Blues, a topical jam session clocking in at just over ten minutes. If you’ve got the time, give it a listen… if you’ve got the funds, cop it in support… regardless of what you choose to do, share it around so others can enjoy!
Despite the lasting effects of COVID-19 and its crippling impact on the live music industry, there are a handful of artists who have continued to persevere in spite of, and Chris Conde is a shining example of this steadfast dedication. Over the majority of 2020, Conde found ways to stay in the public eye, be it video releases, live stream performances or acoustic performances. As 2020 transitioned into 2021, Conde made the announcement that an album was coming on Fake Four, Inc. in the spring, and if the Lazerbeak-produced Mariposa is any indication of what’s to come, then hip-hop heads should prepare themselves for more of Conde‘s signature honesty and insight over some high energy production. Definitely check out the video, run up the numbers and engagement stats, and support your local creatives.
from the digital desk ofFake Four, Inc.andMikal kHill :
“Two Weeks Notice was originally proposed by Tribe One (Niles Gray) in 2015 in the same way most of my duo projects have started… we were doing shows together constantly and started hyping each other’s sets and eventually decided we should just create a project that way. Niles is known for taking an incredibly long time to write, once spending literally 16 hours agonizingly rewriting the same 4 bars at my kitchen table, but we managed to create our first album in two weeks, while simultaneously booking the tour. Ceschi asked us to create a Freecember release a few years ago and we had already been working on two LPs off and on since 2015 so we knew we had more than enough material. Once again, though, we found ourselves scrapping everything we had in advance and ground out 6 new tracks on the spot for our first Christmas-Day release as a duo. I think the result is an EP to speaks to our isolation in the age of COVID-19, our lives as fathers and husbands and also as two emcees still at the top of their game, over some of my best production. Thanks for listening.”
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.
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.
Many people are finding themselves having to face problems that have always existed while trying to survive in the shadow of COVID-19. For Suzanna Choffel, who self-admittedly knows her problems are lesser compared to those of many out there struggling, found that these times brought up ideas she explored in 2019 while preparing for the birth of her second daughter. During her first pregnancy, the red tape and games of health care opened her eyes to the true nature of the American health system, how politicians give lip service to the industry, and how it impacts women in particular. These ideas manifest as Good Problems, a dual attempt for her to recognize the bigger problems in the world and to inspire those going through them. As if this effort was not enough, $1 from each sale of this track will go towards the ACLU and their efforts to even the playing field and make life a bit easier for everyone. Support if you can, but definitely give this one a listen regardless of whether you can support or not, as Suzanna Choffel‘s immense talent cannot go ignored.
From the digital desk of Urban Heat‘s Jonathan K. Horstmann:
In the spring of 2020 I started working on a collection of songs with the intention of going into the studio with Jonas Wilson (Mr. Pink Records), as was our practice with previous releases. COVID-19 had other plans, and my family found itself needing to leave Texas to quarantine in North Carolina with my wife’s family. Jonas and I decided I would finish the songs remotely and send them to him for mixing. This meant driving to the East Coast in a car packed with my wife, daughter, dog, outboard studio gear and a ton of synths. Nearly 2 months later we returned to Texas with finished songs, one of those being Running Out of Time.
I think we’ve all been changed by the experience. Quarantining with your family teaches you a lot about yourself, your limits, and how to be patient. Recording on your own provides insight on your choices, how you make decisions, and how to forgive yourself.
When it came time for a video we got the band together for a socially distanced shoot. Everyone’s parts were filmed individually in a home studio and cut together. I filmed Kevin and Pax, and my wife Hannah stepped in when it came time to film my parts.
A couple of Fridays ago, the homie Protextor had me on as a guest for the Protextor’s Playhouse segment of Coldtowne Theater Company‘s Twitch-based programming, ColdtowneTV. Over the course of 20 or so minutes, Protextor and myself talked about life during COVID-19, video games, the creative process and much more. Check out this interview (and the whole broadcast if you’re up for being entertained), and be sure to check out ColdtowneTV every Friday night for more entertainment.