Tag Archives: btr

New Contest, New Music, New Everything on BTR!

Hey BTRers!! We’ve got more fun stuff to win this month on BreakThru Radio with perhaps the easiest contest ever invented!! All of July, we’re asking our listeners, who is your favorite BTR artist? All you have to do is post a comment to our Facebook page naming your favorite musician who we play on BreakThru and at the end of each week, we’ll randomly select one winner! The prize? A brand new pair of Urban Ear Headphones!  Head over to BreakThru Radio on Facebook for full details!

Next, I wanted to give some love to all of our blog supporters we have out there- check these blogs and websites for new music and bands, all the news updates you want from the indie world, and more fascinating music stuff that you can’t find any where else.

Perfect Porridge is  a blog based out of Minneapolis, MN but it covers music scenes all over the country. Bands send them albums and tour schedules to review, and they’ll post cool videos/articles sent to them by other sites. Our buddy Greg at Perfect Porridge really dug the Cassettes Won’t Listen video where he performed “Perfect Day” off his new album, Evinspacey. Check the post here and be sure to check back with Perfect Porridge every day for new, exciting content! Thanks Greg, and all at PerfPor!

Cassettes Won’t Listen

Jayce over at Pledge Music  was also diggin’ our stuff recently. They posted a link to a video we made of Tracy Bonham in one of our Live Studio Sessions where she really kills it with her beautiful violin skills. PledgeMusic describes what they do better than I ever could, so I’ll let them do the talking: “PledgeMusic provides fans and artists the opportunity to work together to make new records and raise money for charity. By combining new social networking technology, old school music biz know how and an irresistible menu of exclusive incentives, fans can visit the site to hear great new music, enjoy and share unique experiences with the artists they love and actively participate in the release process.” Sounds great to me! Don’t forget to keep up with PledgeMusic- maybe they’ll help you out someday!

Tracy Bonham

And we couldn’t possibly forget Shawna at Sound Vat,  who loved the Toronto band Dinosaur Bones that we featured a couple weeks ago on Live Studio. Sound Vat is a platform for all things Canadian, but specifically the Canadian music scene and all it has to offer- probably way more than you think! Keeping tabs on Sound Vat will ensure you never miss the great music coming out of the northern-most parts of North America, but for now, definitely hit up her posting of Dinosaur Bones!

Dinosaur Bones

More to come from the BTR Blog, but so long for now!











BTR Artist of the Week: Sage Francis

Paul “Sage” Francis, born in Providence, Rhode Island, has carved a musical niche for himself that blends his background as a spoken word artist with his interests in hip-hop and alternative rock. Contra to the bravado and self-promotion often exemplified in traditional hip-hop, Francis’ music offers insightful musings on the human condition. He started his career as a member of the Providence Poetry Slam community, competing in nation poetry slams during the late 90’s into the early 2000’s. His debut album, Personal Journals, covered a rich palette of musical tastes, from gritty street hip-hop to rock to spoken word. Since then he has established himself as a songwriter whose metaphors and wordplay, along with his alternative rock sensibilities, has helped to craft the indie rap genre.

He followed the release of Personal Journals with several creative endeavors, namely two more albums, A Healthy Distrust, Human the Death Dance, performances at the Bowery Poetry club, as well as the continued development of his record label Strange Famous Records in which he has recently added musicians, B. Dolan and Curtis Plum. Francis’ latest musical offering, LI(F)E (Anti- Records 2010) is his most polished album to date. For this LP, he shares songwriting credits with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla on “Three Sheets To The Wind” and “London Bridge”, as well as several other collaborations with Granddaddy frontman Jason Lytle, the members of Calexico, DeVotchKa, and Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. To add to the list of notable collaborations, the album’s cover art features the work of Shepard Fairey, best known for his iconic Barack Obama “HOPE” poster during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Following a statement on the label’s website (anti.com), the title LI(F)E is an amalgamation of life and lie, and as quoted from Francis:

“What about life is a lie? What we’re told about God is a lie. What we’re told about race, gender roles, beauty, war, food, drugs, sexuality, capitalism, history, the nature of humankind…a gang of lies. I feel it in my gut, I think it in my brain, I write it with my hands and I speak it with my mouth. That’s what makes Li(f)e the general theme of this album.”

Currently, Sage Francis is midway through a 31-date tour of the U.S. and Canada alongside label mate, B. Dolan.

Tour Dates:

May 24 — Englewood, CO —  Gothic Theatre
May 25 — Salt Lake City, UT — Urban Lounge
May 26 — Missoula, MT — Badlander
June1 — Seattle, WA — Showbox SoDo
June 2 — Portland, OR — Berbati’s Pan
June 4 — San Francisco, CA — The Fillmore
June 5 — Santa Cruz, CA — The Catalyst
June 6 — Los Angeles, CA — Henry Fonda Theater
June 7 — Solana Beach, CA — Belly Up Tavern
June 9 — Pomona, CA — The Glass House
June 10 — Tempe, AZ — The Clubhouse
June 11 — Tucson, AZ — Club Congress
June 12 — Albuquerque, NM — Sunshine Theater
June 14 — Dallas, TX — Granada Theatre
June 15 — Austin, TX — Mohawk
June 16 — Houston, TX — House of Blues
June 18 — Orlando, FL — Club at Firestone
June 19 — Atlanta, GA — The Loft
June 21 — Carrboro, NC — Cat’s Cradle
June 22 — Washington, DC — Rock and Roll Hotel
June 23 — Baltimore, MD — The Ottobar
June 24 —  Philadelphia, PA — Trocadero
June 25 — New York, NY — Webster Hall

Link to this article:

– Ugonna Igweatu

New Show: Major Playaz Radio with Ms. Drama

Ms. Drama is the latest addition to BTR, and she’s kicking off her very first edition of Major Playaz Radio today. She’s chatting with Grafh of Queens, NY and playing some exclusive tracks, so tune in and keep it on BTR. Grafh is the president of Black Hand Entertainment, as well as their flagship artist. Learn more about both Ms. Drama and Grafh on the program.

Ra Ra Riot @ Bowery Ballroom 3.7.08



Ra Ra Riot is certainly a band that has come a long way. Since I last saw these Syracuse University grads perform, they’ve had quite the year.  From an amazing tour with Vampire Weekend, to recording a brand new full length album, to the tragic death of drummer John Pike, there’s no doubt Ra Ra Riot has grown over the past year.

Their live shows have always been energetic, but the energy at Bowery Ballroom on Friday, March 7th was beyond any expectation.  Friends and family, along with fans of all ages joined Ra Ra Riot for their first-ever sold out show at the Bowery: a goal most bands will never reach. The Bowery show marked an ending to one leg of their tour before the band continues on to SXSW and various national dates.

Kicking the set off, vocalist Wes Miles delivered a haunting solo performance of “Ghost Under Rocks,” a song written by John Pike. Midway through the tune, new drummer Cameron Wisch joined Wes onstage to continue the song, followed by the rest of the band. They then launched into an energetic set featuring some re-worked versions of songs off of their self-titled EP, as well as some new tracks that will be found on their full-length album, due out later this Spring.

Ra Ra Riot was on point that night, delivering song after song flawlessly. Smiles were everywhere- I overheard some show-goers who had never before seen the band gush over the string arrangements and vocals.  True to form, Ra Ra Riot shined live in a way that recorded material simply cannot translate. A special chemistry was evident- perhaps because this show was so special for the band.

Standout new tracks were the uplifting “Oh, La” and both versions of the tune “Ghost Under Rocks” (the full band performed the song a second time later in the set.) One of my personal favorites was their interpretation of Kate Bush’s “Suspended in Gaffa,” a cover I’d heard but had never seen performed live. The re-worked versions of “Can You Tell,” and “Dying is Fine” were also crowd favorites.  I was very glad to have been apart of this very special evening, and cannot wait to check out another Ra Ra Riot show!



Day 2 of the festival and we’re still amazed by just how many people are in attendance! Our day started with a free wine tasting in Austin, which included a very strange cooking demo.  We think it may be on TV at some point.  After that, it was off to the British music at sxsw tent for some BBQ, which tragically was gone by the time we got there. Either way, it was off to the Digital Freedom showcase at Cream Vintage, all Washington D.C. bands! – we were able to catch Pash, a band that you can hear on DJ Mojo’s show.

Their showcase was amazing- I saw Jukebox The Ghost for the second time and got one of their supercool T-shirts (which I wore to bed last night for those that were dying to know.) We had them on BTR Live Studio back in September. Seriously, they are good- and very nice!  I parted ways with my fellow DJs at that point, trying to get into the Vampire Weekend show- sadly, I took a bus, waited for an hour to no avail- the venue was at capacity and the people at the door for whatever reason wouldn’t let people in as others were leaving. Dude at the door, if you’re reading this, what gives?

Defeated, I went to the New Zealand music tent for some free food and wine.  Rodney Fisher, Pig Out, The Ruby Suns played- New Zealand really has some amazing acts (and the best food so far!) After that, I was off to the NME showcase, where I was able to catch scottish band The Dykeenies. Then I went downstairs to see singer/songwriter Wisely, who wowed the crowd with his melodies. You can hear Wisely on Front & Center with DJ Jeff K.

I then headed over to Mohawk Patio for a marathon rest of the evening. Bodies of Water, who I had never seen before blew me away! Their vocalist was amazing! Then it was time to see the much-anticipated Evangelicals. I had heard about this band awhile ago and couldn’t wait to check them out- they were an energetic blast into my night, but it was getting too loud for me- luckily Bon Iver was there to cool it down a notch. I took a little break inside during the next set, boy was I tired. Then…Black Mountain

Also, I need to apologize to the Canadian gentlemen who for whatever reason thought I was a woman by the name of Beth that he had met a few nights before. I know I shouldn’t have played along. I know it was wrong to hide my nametag and totally crush your dream of getting with this “Beth.” I don’t know what band she is in, but I probably shouldn’t have told you that “we” weren’t playing for the rest of the festival.  In my defense, it was completely hilarious.

After all that fun I needed to get to sleep.  Friday promises to be just as huge!

-Annie (not Beth)