Monthly Archives: May 2008

Hello My Name Is…with E.A.R.T.H., Sankofa, and Glue

This week’s edition of “Hello, My Name Is…” on BreakThru Radio focuses on 3 talented hip-hop outfits that have been staples in rotation here on BTR for quite some time. We’ll talk with E.A.R.T.H., Sankofa, and Glue, to find out the stories behind their unique monikers.


E.A.R.T.H.

E.A.R.T.H. are a talented hip-hop troupe who call California home. The group is comprised of comprised of NOE, Double Negative, Sinister XL, and Write Words. BreakThru Radio has been big fans of the group since we got our hands on their track “Feelin’ Good Feelin’ Great”. We were hooked and the track has received many spins here on BTR.

We talked with XL and Write Words of E.A.R.T.H. and got the details behind the acronym which is their brand.

BTR: How did the name E.A.R.T.H. come about?

XL:
E.A.R.T.H. stands for Everything Around Revolves Thru Hiphop. Two cliques join together to become E.A.R.T.H. But the word E.A.R.T.H. was too simple, so we thought of an acronym and Everything Around Revolves Thru Hiphop.

Write Words: E.A.R.T.H. reflects us, as a group, from different backgrounds, different ethnicities. We’re E.A.R.T.H., the place you live in.


Sankofa

Hailing from Fort Wayne, Indiana, a seemingly unlikely spot, Sankofa is another creative and talented rhyme spitter that has received much attention from the BreakThru Radio DJs.  We talked with Sankofa and found out the origin of his personage.

BTR: Where and why did you take the name Sankofa?

Sankofa: From way back before I ever thought about rapping, and was killing time posting imaginary raps on places like the Guillotine, Sethro’s, Tha Landz, Davey D’s,  and the Honeycomb Hideout.  Back then, I had a Vibe subscription and my information must have gotten sold to marketers catering to businesses mailing out promotional brochures promoting black health magazines.  One such brochure introduced the Akan term “Sankofa” which was defined as “learning from the past and building for the future.”  As I felt the term fit, I chose it.  Years later (back in ’98), I started recording and kept the handle.


Glue

Adeem, djdq, and Maker are the three men behind the hip-hop trio known as Glue. They produced innovative beats and clever rhymes that are so contagious you cannot help but bounce to the beat.

Adeem took time to give us the goods behind the trios name.

BTR: Why the name Glue?

Adeem: It stands for “Girl Let’s Understand Each other”, and it was given to us by DJ Z-Trip.  It’s just as random as we are.

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Blogger of the Week: Rock Sellout

For those that don’t know, we have a featured blogger every week. This week, it’s Rock Sellout. Our featured blogger will be posting all week to the BTR site, so stay tuned! Here’s the post for today:

Before I serve the meat, I wanted to toss a few potatoes on your plate: I’m pleased to report that Rock Sellout has been asked to be BreakThru Radio’s “Blogger of the Week”. This is the first of five posts that will appear on their site this week. Stop by and check them out, specifically our friend Jack Rabid’s (The Big Takeover) show. Fair enough?!

Joy Division fans will once again have a reason to dance (and celebrate the irony). The biographical film Control will hit store shelves on June 3rd. If that wasn’t enough of an Ian Curtis fix, you can get your hands on the Grant Lee directed documentary Joy Division on June 17th.

Did that news create a smile big enough to push the cheeks off the sides of your face? Maybe this will: I have a copy of each DVD to send to one lucky winner!!

What you’ll win:

1. Control DVD: Fighting a personal battle with epilepsy, romantic troubles with his wife and girlfriend, and the overwhelming success of the band, Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division, commits suicide at the age of 23, the night before embarking on an American tour.

2. Joy Division DVD: Interviews with band members Bernard Summer, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and other individuals, blend with archival footage and more to offer a chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band Joy Division.

How you can win them: Share your favorite Joy Division memory in the comments section…I’ll pick my favorite comment and send the DVDs to one lucky reader. Easy enough, right?!

I’m looking for creativity here, kids. Don’t tell me the song “Love Will Tear Us Apart” changed your life and expect to win. Tell me where you were when you first heard it, how you were feeling at that particular time, etc. Get the picture?

As much as it hurts to write this: US entrants only. Contributors of Rock Sellout and BreakThru Radio are not eligible to win. Contest ends Sunday, June 1st (12pm CST).

To read more, visit Rock Sellout

Loveless Records on BTR

The Loveless staff

For us BTR DJs, nothing is more exciting than the addition of a new record label to the music library. Every independent label we add is home to a unique microcosm of music, often with its own ironclad central theme, ideology, or mission statement. We’re happy to present the latest label showcase: Loveless Records. Hosted by DJ Jezz of “Get Into the Van” fame, the show features some great tracks from The Shackletons, Voyager One, Bundle of Hiss, and much more. Check out the show here! To learn more about Loveless, be sure to check out the feature article on BTR, as well as visiting Loveless online!

00:00 Jezz Intro
00:42 Slower California – Voyager One
06:16 Stray Dogs – Orbiter
10:22 Spiderbite – The Drop
15:37 Jezz Announcement
16:32 The Breaks – The Shackeltons
19:02 Dagger Bones – Los Halos
25:10 Christina – Pris
29:34 Even The Oxen – Jonny Polonsky
33:45 Jezz Announcement
34:25 Jesus Christ Made Seattte Under Protest – The Mellors
37:52 Red Letters – The Ruby Doe
40:51 Amputhetic – Pris
45:05 Ash Wednesday – Bundle Of Hiss
50:34 Jezz Announcement
51:13 Stupid Is – Carrie Akre
54:45 The Ship – The Shackeltons
57:33 Ocean Grey – Voyager One
61:15 Blue Star – Los Halos
65:11 Jezz Announcement
66:13 Why Bother – The Drop
69:35 Plaid Lined Jacket – Tom Brosseau
73:48 Back & Forth – Carrie Akre
77:43 Paper Tiger – Orbiter
81:25 Let Me Out – Jonny Polonsky
84:23 Your Movement – The Shackeltons
88:26 Jezz Announcement
89:08 The Future Is Obsolete – Voyager One
92:35 End.

BTR Live Studio: Tall Firs

New York based folk-rock trio Tall Firs joins BTR this Friday. The group stopped by our studios to perform an electric set this week. They have a brand new record out entitled “Too Old to Die Young” out on Ecstatic Peace Records. DJ Jeff K had a chance to talk with the group about the new record and and the recording process. Be sure to check them out live in your neighborhood this summer!

00:01  DJ Intro
01:03  Hairdo
04:20  Hippies
09:00  Look Out St. Mike
11:57  Interview with Tall Firs
14:54  Blue In The Dark
18:41  So Messed Up
22:25  Secrets and Lies
26:49  Us and Our Friends
29:07  Interview with Tall Firs Pt. 2
33:20  Loveless
36:58  DJ Outro

Alternative Summer Music Festivals!

Sure, there is Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Sasquatch, but don’t forget about Monolith, the Forecastle Festival and the Rock City Festival!

If you’re reading this, it’s probably not much of a gamble to assume you are an insatiable music fan. I might even guess you dig seeing live music. So, I can easily conclude that many of you are looking forward to attending the ever growing number of festivals that have popped up over the last few years. There’s Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Voodoo Music Fest, Sasquatch, Virgin – those seem to be the ones with the biggest names attached to play and get most of the fanfare. Not to mention they also put the biggest dent in your bank account.

While those events seem to get the most ink, there are many multi-artist shows that are eager to expose fans to more music than most people can digest over a long weekend. Some have been around for a few years and are considered to be sure bets in terms of the quality of acts they book; others may be more obscure and unproven. Checking out a festival with a vast number of new acts can be a complete disaster, but if you’re the type of person that likes surprises, then you probably won’t be disappointed. You might miss out on seeing Pearl Jam, but you will be exposed to an exciting variety of new sights and sounds, and you might just discover your new favorite band. Plus, there will be fewer people singing along.

Here are a few to check out:


8th Annual Village Voice

SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL
at Coney Island, NY on Saturday, July 19, 2008

STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
THE HELIO SEQUENCE
BEACH HOUSE
TIMES NEW VIKING
JAGUAR LOVE
THE DODOS
ANNUALS
FILM SCHOOL
PARTS & LABOR
DRAGONS OF ZYNTH
THESE ARE POWERS
…and more to be announced

In my experience I have never been disappointed with this festival. It has earned immeasurable respect since its inception. The line-up consists of international, national and local bands, featuring indie rock veterans and emerging artists. It takes place on two stages in historic Coney Island. While some of the line-up may seem foreign now, this show has a stellar track record with booking bands on the verge. Sure, this show tends to attract a huge audience, but if you can stand the crowds the payoff is it’s free!


FORECASTLE FESTIVAL

at the Riverfront Belvedere in Louisville, KY, July 25th – 27th, 2008

METHOD MAN,
DISCO BISCUITS
Z-TRIP
DEl McCOURY
EKOOSTIK HOOKA
TORTOISE
DR. DOG
DEVIN & DARKO OF SPANK ROCK
SNOWDEN
MARGOT AND THE NUCLEAR SO & SO’S
CATFISH HAVEN
FILM SCHOOL
…and more!

Proudly claiming to be twice as big as last year’s show, the Forecastle Festival combines music, art and activism to entertain and inform. The line-up is very diverse, loaded with indie rock, jam bands and rap. This show tends to attract a largely Midwestern crowd, so expect the vibe to be laid back and be ready to make a few friends. This year organizers plan to introduce music industry panels, and two new festival stages. The event will also feature an outdoor extreme sports park, personal empowerment panels, an environmental film showcase, and other activities.
Advanced tickets range from $15 – 20 per day, day of show $18 – 23. Two-day and three-day passes also available, as well as a limited number of VIP.

DETOUR’S ROCK CITY FEST
at the Majestic Theatre Center and Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, June 12 – 14, 2008

MATT & KIM
VHS OR BETA
THE DEATH SET
SLOAN
THE VON BONDIES
THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW!
TIGER CITY
MASON PROPER
BAD VEINS
…and more!

Curated by Detour, an online magazine, the Rock City Festival aims to mesh the best of Detroit’s underground music scene with a number of exciting national acts, with over 50 scheduled to perform during the three day event. There’s no doubt that attendees will be inundated with a vast amount of new and interesting acts. Non-locals that will enjoy this event the most are the ones that don’t mind doing a little homework before they get there, and schedule their time wisely. There is nothing worse than realizing that while you suffered though something that you hated, your new favorite band played at another venue.

MONOLITH FESTIVAL
at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO, September 13 and 14, 2008

DEVOTCHKA
TV ON THE RADIO
SILVERSUN PICKUPS
BAND OF HORSES
VAMPIRE WEEKEND
NEKO CASE
THE AVETT BROTHERS
CSS
TOKYO POLICE CLUB
THE BRONX
TILLY AND THE WALL
MICKEY AVALON
DEL THA FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN
CUT COPY
THE FRATELLIS
SUPERDRAG
THE KILLS
HOLY FUCK
WHITE DENIM
JOHN VANDERSLICE
DARKER MY LOVE
…and more!

In only its second year, Monolith Festival offers a stellar line-up at an incredible venue. While last year’s  event was held the same weekend as Austin City Limits,  this year Austin’s show has been pushed back (most likely to avoid the blistering heat) so music loving road dogs can now attend both! The show will feature over 50 bands on 5 stages. Camping is an option, but if that’s not your style, their website offers discounted hotel & lodging information. Tickets are fairly reasonable at 59.95 for single day and $110 for two day passes.

-Rachel

Show Review: British Sea Power @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

You never know what to expect from a band whose album you have listened to ad infinitum, but have never seen live. The stage show can seem daunting, and the fear of disappointment can be great. As I entered the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see British Sea Power, these were my exact thoughts. The show was sold out and crowded; I was anxious for the band to start.

I was first turned on to British Sea Power in 2003, after their debut release, The Decline of British Sea Power. They put out their sophomore album in April of 2005 and I have to admit, I barely listened. The songs I did check out  were excellent, but I did not dedicate much time to their second effort. Finally, this past January, I received, Do You Like Rock Music? here at BTR. It was fantastic! I constantly listened to tracks such as “No Lucifer”, “Waving Flags” and “A Trip Out”.

The show was supposed to start at 10PM, so I showed up at 10PM on the dot. I had no interest in any of the opening acts, and I wanted fresh ears for British Sea Power’s set. BSP did not take the stage until 11PM, and the crowd begin to get rowdy, which is to be expected.

Finally, the band took the stage, all 6 of them. I had heard about a concert the group had played in January of 2008, in which one of the members, Phil Sumner, who plays clarinet and keyboards, was hospitalized after stage diving into the crowd, at Leeds Irish Center in England. He had jumped off of a PA and landed head first onto the floor below the stage. He had a concussion, a broken tooth and got stitches in his face, but ended up playing with the band the very next night. This type of act seemed like only something a real rock and roller would do, and it made me very excited to watch the actual ‘stage’ show.

Unfortunately, this did not happen, and the band kept things very tame. As for their performance, which was strong, I felt bad for them. It seemed as if their sound was way too big for the venue. Was it the sound engineer? I am not sure. All I know is that other than their large sound being left to a small venue engineer, I was impressed.

I would have loved to see them in an open air space. I do not mean, stadium, but more of an amphitheater or a colliseum. Normally, this would not be something I would admit to, but in this case I think it would be perfect.

Catch British Sea Power on tour!

May 16 2008  Lee’s Palace – Toronto, Ontario
May 17 2008  The Tralf – Buffalo, New York
May 18 2008  Mr Smalls Theatre – Pittsburgh  Pittsburgh
May 19 2008  Maxwells – Hoboken  Hoboken, New York
May 29 2008  Primavera Festival – Barcelona, Spain
Jun 20 2008  Southside Festival – Stuttgart, Germany
Jun 21 2008  Natural History Museum – London, United Kingdom
Jun 22 2008  Hurricane Festival – Hamburg, Germany

Artist of the Week: Gus Black


Formerly known as simply “Gus,” you may have heard this artist back in the day on the Scream soundtrack, covering “Don’t Fear The Reaper,” but since then Gus has been hard at work on some of the best original songs we’ve seen from a singer/songwriter. Featured on other programs like Smallville, Californication, Alias, and more, Black’s music has been all over T.V. and is now all over BTR!  He’s now going by his full name, Gus Black, and he’s also signed to Cheap Lullaby Records – one of our favorites here on BTR – and the home of other standout artists like Teitur and Joan As Police Woman.

Hailing from Los Angeles, Gus currently enjoys critical acclaim in Germany – this adopted European has been very successful in this market, recently having his new album selected as “album of the day” on a Hamburg radio station. Having been featured in several publications, including a write-up in Rolling Stone Germany, Gus’ tender voice and acoustic guitar will no doubt reach many more with this 5th and latest effort, Today is Not the Day to F#@k with Gus Black.

Like many modern troubadours, Black often relies on bare-bones acoustic tunes to evoke emotion in his audience. He does this effectively, wistfully describing all the usual woes of akin to many singer/songwriters. However, unlike most, Gus Black is also capable of creating staggering rhythms and lush melodies, which exist alongside Black’s charismatic performance style. Be sure to check out Gus Black on BTR- we’ll keep you updated on tour dates as they are announced!

Today Is Not The Day… will be available on iTunes May 20th, and is also available via Cheap Lullaby Records.

Catch Gus Black Live!

9/18- Paradiso- Amsterdam, The Netherlands