Archive for March 2008

Introducing…Adam Tensta (and his genre-bending sound) to America

with 3 comments

See there’s this album I’ve been listening to for a while now. I seriously enjoy it. It’s got a new and unique sound. The album’s called It’s A Tensta Thing (2007). The only problem is that when I tell people about it, they get turned off before they even turn it on. Why? Probably because the artist, an up-and-cummer (to use porn vernacular), called Adam Tensta, is a Swedish rapper. And evidently, those two words just don’t play well together.

But before you get all freaked out, don’t fret, he spits only in proper (big-A) American (little-g) gangster English. And frankly, he spits very well — somehow seeming to have been born without a Swedish accent. Tensta, whose real name is Adam Momodou Eriksson Taal, (Gambian father, Swedish mother) takes his surname from his ‘hood, a largely immigrant-filled suburb near Stockholm, rather than from his absentee father who he refers to as “Mr. Invisible” on the now-requisite “ode to mama” track, “Incredible,” which features a chorus from Isay, whoever the hell that is.

In interviews, Tensta, 24, has claimed mid-90s Nas and Mobb Deep as early influences (Ed. note: Well done, young Adam!), along with another famed grassroots struggler, Bob Marley. These influences are evident in Tensta’s lyrics, which, while running the marathon from heartfelt and vulnerable to brash and boastful, never let him stray too far from his two main topics: his tough, but clearly cherished, 80s/90s upbringing, and the current racial and political climate of Sweden.

Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Jonathan

March 29, 2008 at 12:32 am

Good Ol’ American Soul

with 2 comments

In a dimly lit back corner of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, a television interview with Ray Charles plays on loop. His is an unexpected face among the other inductees. The museum’s walls pop with tributes to such country giants as The Carter Family, Hank Williams, Garth Brooks, and Dolly Parton. Yet, the Ray Charles exhibit somehow gets its own floor. Not bad for an R&B singer.

In that back corner of his floor, Charles talks about his love for country music and about the impact of his hugely successful album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962); how he famously spurned the advice of his label, cut the record, and became one of the most successful crossover acts in history. In between his signature “ya dig”s and “groovy baby”s, Charles, in his trademark sunglasses and dark suit, defends his actions with a statement as epic as his album. “See, there’s only two types of music in this world: good music and bad music.” His label couldn’t have guessed that Modern Sounds would stay number one on the Billboard charts for twelve straight weeks and take home a Grammy. But Ray, you’re an R&B singer; they’re not going to buy a country album from an R&B singer. The suits are right, they wont buy it. Unless, of course, it’s good.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by JustJake

March 28, 2008 at 10:17 am

Show @ The Smell feat. Abe Vigoda and friends

leave a comment »


After a mentally exhausting few days, I was more than delighted to finally get back to the Smell for the first time in a month or so. The amount of press that place has gotten in the past year is beyond nutty at this point. After going there the first time about two years ago, I would never have imagined to see the Smell written up everywhere, The New Yorker, Pitchfork,Vanity Fair, and to name a few. Even with all the new found press though, the crowd hasn’t seemed to have changed all that much, and the intimacy between bands and fans hasn’t changed a bit. This place is still just as special. How many people can say they can see some of their favorite acts in a tiny venue with less than 100 people with any regularity. One of my favorite parts of going to the Smell is getting their early for the undercard. I can’t even begin to name how many of my favorite bands/artists that I first saw opening for a band there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by RocksRocksRocks

March 27, 2008 at 5:59 am

Tera Melos-Accepting Deaf

leave a comment »

Tera Melos

Wow. On Thursday night at the local Silverlake Lounge, I had my face melted by an awe inspiring performance from the band Tera Melos. To me, this is what life is about. After following these guys fairly regularly since discovering them on a music forum, I was delighted to finally catch a performance of them in person. This 3-piece band who seemed to not have a fraction of the fan base they deserve, have the exact energy that I seek in a band. They can shred with virtuoso skill, hit a beautiful melody, and then jump into a spastic thrash all in the same song. If I were to actually bog down and attempt at genre description(I’d rather not, but….), I would say they are progressive math rock fusioned with parts metal, punk, and post-rock. Got it? Good. Their albums don’t quite capture their live energy, but still showcases their amazing abilities. They tend to be more calculated recorded while their show seemed a bit more of a controlled chaos.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by RocksRocksRocks

March 24, 2008 at 12:10 am

New Vinyls- Lou Reed(Metal Machine) + Plugz (Better Luck)

with one comment

So in the past two weeks I’ve bought three vinyls that I’ve been looking quite hard for. I haven’t given them the spins they deserve yet, but I’m getting there. While collecting records, I’ve realized I’ve become somewhat obsessed with getting the original/first pressing. That obviously makes my search a lot more expensive and tedious, but more exciting too. The feeling I get when I grab an original pressing with an 8 buck sticker at Ameoba is so rewarding (Black Flag-Damaged, Butthole Surfers-Brown Reason to Live…etc). Seeing them sold on E-bay for a lot more is also fun to see, but I have no interest in selling them. Beyond their obvious monatary value, I think there is a bit of romanticism in first pressings. It’s a piece of history. It’s what was released when the artist had no idea if more than 10 would sell. THAT, is exciting to me. Re-pressings just don’t hold that quality. I dont feel the same connection with the history in re-presses. That being said, below are my 3 recent purchases, one an original pressing, another an original German pressing, and the last a total repress.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by RocksRocksRocks

March 21, 2008 at 10:36 pm