Tag Archives: music

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!











AOTW: Chico Mann

While guitarist Chico Mann takes a break from his band, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, he has developed a multi-layered, electronic fusion sound that’s been blowing up dance floors in New York City and Miami. Mixing Afro-beat, freestyle, Latin, and synth-heavy electronic beats, Chico Mann has brought sounds of far away and far past, with music of the future, just beyond our reach, and called is “electropical.”

Born in NYC to Cuban parents, Marcos Garcia was exposed to music and the business from birth. His father owned a Cuban music record label and his mother often wrote compositions for the artists whom he signed. Garcia was involved in piano and guitar lessons from very young, and though he was told to steer clear of the music industry, it seemed to be his fate. In 2002, after a few jam sessions with Antibalas, he was asked to join the band permanently and has been developing his sound ever since.

The new artist Chico Mann released his first solo album, Manifest Tone, Vol. 1, in 2007, and the following two volumes in May and June of 2009. In doing this, he introduced the world to a fusion of sound as blended as the city he hails from. “It’s an expression of uniquely American music in the sense that it has all these different elements hooked together in one stew. It’s also very urban, very Latin and very multicultural in that it draws from African and funk music,” he says in an interview with James Rawls for Spinner.

Now signed to Wax Poetics records, Chico Mann is releasing his second full-length album, called Analog Drift, on November 16th. These twelve club-tronica, Latin-Afro-freestyle tracks are impossible not to dance to, his cover of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” is just one example.  He recently wrapped up the promotional tour, which included a stop at South By Southwest, and plans to be back on the road in 2011. For the time being, check out chicomann.com to buy the digital CD, join the mailing list, and keep up to date on this revolutionary new artist.

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– Carly Shields

Running with Music

I’m DJ Meredith and I’m here to provide you all with high intensity music from genres all over the world with the hardest beats that will keep you entertained and get you through the most strenuous workouts with ease. I’m here every Monday.

I was at the NYC Marathon Expo last Thursday to chat with runners about listening to music and their running. Watch the video here:

Listen to today’s show dedicated to all those who ran the NYC Marathon.

The right music can increase your performance, keep you focused, and can help you stick with your training program. The effects of music on the performance of athletes has been well documented by research.


– DJ Meredith

Liner Notes: The Marriage Between Music and Sports

It is past mid September already, and as summer washes into fall more and more each day, a lot of us are ending with the summertime fun and falling into the traditions of autumn. In America, there is one pastime that is as synonymous with fall as Christmas is to Winter—the good ol’ game of football. Now what does a radio station that features break out bands in New York City have anything to do with football? The answer is, “not much;” at least not on the surface anyhow.

BreakThru Radio does not even have a sports section, let alone any programming dedicated to sports news. This week’s edition of Liner Notes does not seek to give you a top ten list of 2010’s college football teams, debate the NFL’s upcoming games, or discuss who I think will win the World Series of Baseball. What I do intend to do is to make you think of the relationship between sports and music in a way that perhaps you haven’t before.

Arguably, sports and music account for one-half of the four institutions that most greatly effect and influence modern popular culture (fashion and technology being the other two). So what is the relationship between these two faculties? How does one play off the other? Are they interrelated, or are they two separate customs that have nothing to do with one another?

Sports, specifically college sports, have come to incorporate popular music into everything they do. Music is played by the bands at half time; during the warm-ups it is used to motivate the athletes; and sound clips from the day’s current top forty are inserted during breakage of play to keep the level of intensity and excitement high in the stands. Whether you are aware of it or not, music and sports are tightly braided pair.

One of the leading academic experts on the matter is University of Toronto musicology professor Kenneth McLeod. Pointing out in many articles how “music and sports connect in a number of ways: aesthetics, marketing approaches, and performance strategies,” McLeod asserts that the relationship between sports and music is a way many societies “construct gender and racial identity.” The role of pop music in sports, and vice versa, subconsciously assists in the creation of masculine and feminine roles in our society as well as separate and tie racial identities. Hip-Hop—Basketball—Black; Country—Nascar—White; Cheerleading—Football—Feminine. These are all samples of what McLeod is referring to.

Let me give you another example. Think of a recent Nike or Gatorade advertisement you saw on T.V. Now ask yourself not only how these companies use music to sell their product, but also how the music chosen creates the image of a professional athlete. Popular music is a marketing tool that is wisely used to inspire its viewer. A viewer will watch the sixty-second spot and make a subconscious connection between the athlete/sport and the music being played. What emerges is a blending effect, or what McLeod refers to as “sport-rock crossover” (although I would argue the connection goes beyond the genre of rock and into the other genres as well). For those of you who work out, how many of you do it to music and why do you think that is? Is it because you aim to imitate the image of your favorite athlete you saw on the Gatorade commercial? Or is it because the Gatorade commercial inspired you to workout and you imagined your workout to be just like the one you saw in the commercial?

Moving beyond advertising, how many of you have ever been to a live sporting event? Was there a band? Did the fans involve themselves in chanting or singing hometown ra-ra songs? Did the MC of the game play popular tracks in between plays and periods? Perhaps more prominent in soccer than any other sporting culture is the existence of the fan-chant; the world recognized “Olé” perhaps being the strongest example. In a lot of college football games here in the U.S., marching bands have recently evolved to include a mix of traditional marching songs with modern day popular tracks. Just look at this video of the Delaware State University marching band doing a medley of “Sweet Dreams” by Beyoncé, “One” by Mary J. Blige, “Death of Autotune” by Jay-Z, and “Boom, Boom, Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas as a prime example.

The last thing I will say on the matter is about the relationship between music and racial identity. Because I was a football player in college, the locker room is a scene I know all too well: one stereo; sixty young men from all different walks of life who are all trying to get jacked up at the same time for the same event. When I was playing ball, it was a constant battle between my black teammates wanting to hear DMX’s “What’s My Name” and my white teammates wanting to hear “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit. Of course what happens over the course of a season as a team bonds with one another, is that both songs come to motivate both groups of players and a cultural or racial fusion occurs. Sports and music bring together black and white. A little cliché for today’s time, I know, but this phenomenon has been around since the fifties and sixties and has played a major role in the coming together of two groups of people (look at the film Remember the Titans as an example).

So if you are a big music fan, and care nothing for sports, that’s fine. But don’t think that the music you make, or the music you like, doesn’t have an effect on athletes and the culture in which you live. Sports culture is massive all around the world, and what becomes popular in music sometimes does so because of a giant push from sports. Even ultimate indie hipsters in their skinny jeans and horizontally striped French navy tank tops can’t bypass the relationship between the two. As strange as it may be, world’s apart in style, there is still a common denominator between the Dallas Maverick fan and the Arcade Fire Fan.

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– Kory French

Setlist: Electric Ride

“The Electric Ride is that feeling that you need,” DJ Wayne Ski tells me when I ask him what kind of music goes into his show. Wayne Ski’s referral to the necessity of the music I listen to makes me chuckle. In some ways he is right. We all need a little Electronica in our lives.

There is something both fresh and nostalgic about Electronica. It is a genre of music that you can relate to almost anywhere in the world. Whether it is one of the massive clubs you have been to in London’s East End, a beach party you attended while backpacking through Eastern Europe or Australia, or if it reminds you of that hometown bar only a few dared go to in the middle of nowhere America, everyone of us associates Electronica/Dance music to something. Not that I am able to fully articulate what DJ Wayne Ski means when he says it is “a feeling I need;” but I can speculate. Music is meant to be both a part of the present and remind us of a bit of the past. For the listeners of this station, Electric Ride provides that perfect balance.

“This show takes after the mid to late 90s underground house music scene,” Wayne Ski explains. “It is like those old late night college radio sounds we all used to listen to, rather replayed or fresh, mixed in with today’s best Electronica sounds. It’s music inspired by legendary DJs like Louie Vega, David Morales, Kenny Dope, DJ Spinna, and Frankie Knuckles, just to name a few.”

Electronica and Dance music have taken a lot of heat in North America over the years. Why this is, I can only hypothesize. Perhaps it is because we like to think of ourselves more rooted in a folk tradition that helped to define our culture in a time when America lacked such a thing. What it means to be “American” is a topic of continuous debate amongst scholars and professors all across this country still to this day. Sticking close to the music that originated from this side of the Atlantic seems to somehow, incorrectly, better define who we are as Americans. As a result, the sounds of Electronica are often sidelines as Euro-trash and not worthy of mainstream airplay.

Wayne Ski dispels that myth. Being American is about feeling good and celebrating. Just listen to what he has to say about it during one of his breaks: “We gonna vibe out. We gonna have a good time. We gonna celebrate. If you know what a celebration is; it is what it is. This is what the Electric Ride is about—where music makes you feel good. Right? Where music makes you feel good.”

The Electric Ride is a program that exists to help you find your own feel-good groove, and stay there. Let everything else go. Forget about life’s problems and listen to the music. This is the tradition of American music, whether it is the Blues, Jazz, Country, or even Rock n’ Roll, which is a fusion of them all. It’s about finding your groove, gathering what’s around you, and settling in for the ride: “I put the show together according to the groove I’m in. I gather the records together, load them into Scratchlive, buckle my seat belt, and the rest is history.”

Yes—his history. Our history.

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– Kory French