The funny thing is at the Examiner website, my topic is Canadian music, which is a large and broad topic, however, I’m not allowed to write about anything else. This of course leaves out many great musicians/indie bands out there. So, I’ll use this blog to put up some cool new “foreign” music that I’m not allowed print at the Examiner.com/Canada.
You know that saying, “when you least expect it, you get it!”, well that saying goes far in explaining how I got introduced to this next band’s music. Normally, it’s myself trolling through the internet, music sites, listening to songs, looking for that group that just shines & sparkles. Oftentimes it’s few and far between. This time the band, found me on Twitter. I usually find my way listening to most of what people send me, but realistically I only time to write about a certain number of acts.
There are many ways to look at indie: just starting out & trying to find their sound; those that are starting to turn heads & have the talent, and are gigging like mad to make it (at this time they are pretty much ready); Indie/underground groups that have been around so long that they are very respected, but shameful they didn’t break through into the mainstream.
I would class the Junior League band in the second category, as they certainly are up and coming, but they bring a throwback roots/americana/country/acoustic sound. The Lissy Rosemount (the singer) stands out from the pack as her soulful voice that is truly unique, & the band has that polished sound that comes with many performances together. Anyway, you can check out their videos for yourselves. I chose: South Carolina Blues and Kiss You In The Morning b/c. they are more their “music videos”, the other clips are more raw performances.
Junior League Band- South Carolina Blues
Junior League Band – Kiss You In The Morning
If you want to see more, or leave a comment with them, check out these links:
Junior League Band’s Official Homepage: http://www.juniorleagueband.com/
Junior League Band’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JuniorLeague
Junior League Band’s Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/juniorleagueband
Junior League Band’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/JrLeagueBand2
Name: DJ Lemon8
Genre: Progressive House/Techno/House
Album: N/A as far as I know, but his new website is coming soon!
Record Label: Bandung-Armada-Plus8-Bedrock-Basic Energy & more
From: Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Overall Rating (out of 4): 3.5
Musicality – The music of this Techno/Dance/House pioneer is extraordinary. The beats are steady, straightforward, and constantly pounding (drive the floor of any dance floor). The interweaving beats create complex rhythms within the music. The mixing of the synthesizer notes and the throbbing/driving bass music, keep DJ Lemon8’s music very vibrant & exciting. Surprisingly, there is a complexity in each track, and each one has a completely different vibe (not all the same).
Singing – The vocals are much like most dance/techno tracks, with a female voice weaving in and out of the song, repeating phrases. The vocals are distinguishable, but not the driving force of the tracks. The main thrust of the singing is to have the vocals pop in at key moments like the chorus/hook, and provide memorable counterpoints to the thundering music underneath the vocals.
Lyrics – The lyrics are simple enough revolving around the themes of the title of the songs.
Flow/Rhythm – Incredible flow and rhythms! You can almost feel yourself inside a club (I provided links to DJ Lemon8’s performances). The progressive nature of DJ Lemon8’s music is such that the beats, build, switch, and interchange at such precise moments that make it so contagious to listen to! The bass parts at many times counterpoint or “fill” the gaps of the drums, to create a marvelous “full” rhythm section. It is also worth noting, that DJ Lemon8 doesn’t rush into his creative climax in the track, but let’s it build like a rising wave, where we await the impending the crescendo!
Freshness – DJ Lemon8 is a trendsetter and pioneer in dance music, so it comes as no surprise that his music sounds so fresh. There is a clean crispness to his music, not sloppy, and always interesting to listen to the first through ten times listening to it.
Technicality/Recording – The mixing and recording of Lemon8 music is near flawless. Everything is on and sounds tight. DJ Lemon8 definitely shows his expert mixing skills with careful listening to all his tracks!
Visuals – DJ Lemon8 uses primarily an image of himself in most of his photos/profiles. Sometimes the photos are in a glossy colorful look, but other times it’s a simple photograph of himself. It’s fine, however, one thing he could do to improve, would be to make a “brand” or logo of his DJ Lemon8 name itself. That would help spread his name a bit more visually, but that’s a small thing.
Top #2 Songs:
1. New York New York (Just an amazing track with powerful techno beats, and cool breakdowns)
2. Greed – Strange World(A great track that just builds and builds, adding layers until you hit the frenzied climax, that will probably have you dancing!).
*Bonus: More Live Performance by DJ Lemon8
3. Triple Funk (Funky djembe-like rhythms with driving high hat percussion, makes this a crazy busy track. The synthesizer melodies just make it trippy.)
~ Jason Chu
Name: Princess Superstar
Genre: Visual/Experimental/Zouk/Flip Flop
Major/Indie/Unsigned: The Corrupt Conglomerate Inc. (Indie)
Album: Mitch Better Get My Bunny (Demo tape, 1994), Strictly Platinum (1995), CEO (1997), Last of the Great 20th Century Composers (2000), Princess Superstar Is (2001), My Machine (2005), The Best of Princess Superstar (2007)
Released: Grandmaster Flash – The Bridge: Concept Of A Culture (Compilation of artists) March 2009
Overall Rating (out of 4): 3.5
Musicality – Princess Superstar is experimental to say the least! Her music transitions through genres of music within a song. Mixing her DJ techniques to add twists to conventional beats. The backing samples and effects are just the right amount without overdoing it. Her breakdowns, bridges, and interludes always seem to progress the song and take it somewhere. It’s great when you see artists really improve over time when you look at his/her body of work. Full marks here.
Singing/Lyrics – Her raps, rhymes, and lyrics are ridiculously good! Her rhymes are so funny and intelligent, yet they are tight and on point. She really knows how write a song and rhyme that is distinctly her, nobody else could say it the same way.
Flow/Rhythm – The tunes are very creative hip hop that is slightly outside of mainstream, which means she really experiments with her songs to show her wide range of skills (DJ/emcee/rapper). Kudos!
Freshness – She definitely has an original style and ultra creative music that mixes elements of hip hop/old school/DJ work to make a unique hybrid sound.
Technicality/Recording – Solid recordings, but some songs are mixed to different levels to vary the sound. It’s interesting experimenting, but sometimes the quieter songs lose some crispness, but oh well.
Visuals – As far as I know, she doesn’t have a Youtube page, however, her many fans have posted videos of her performances. On Myspace she has a great page with songs, links, updates and some real cool pictures! She also has her own website (all web links at the top), which she shares more songs, but most importantly has a blog that she posts in regularly (i.e. healthy food eating stuff, etc.). Finally, she has twitter too!
Top 2 Songs:
Very difficult to choose 2 top songs, since every song is pretty good, but since I have to, I decided to choose these 2 songs
1. My Machine (An amazing track with a cool bass/beat rhythms mixed with her super high quality rhymes, lyrics, and rapping) Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any video of this song.
2. Perfect (Exceeder) – Mason vs. Princess Superstar (Just an amazing remix of a song where the original was superb already! This song shows more of her DJ qualities)
2. Bad Babysitter (Uses a real cool jazzy hip hop loop. A very interesting funny lyrics, with a goofy video to go with it!)
~ Jason Chu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.