Tech N9ne: Aw Yeah? (InterVENTion)

My hometown hero Tech N9ne, the rap god from Kansas City, unleashed his new single, “Aw Yeah? (interVENTion),” which serves as the intro to his upcoming album, Special Effects, due out on May 5. The new album follows up 2014’s Strangeulation, which debuted atop the indie and rap charts, and in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. 

Until now, Tech N9ne has never released an intro to his album as a single because he prefers to leave the audience guessing about the overall direction of the project. He made his first-ever exception to that rule with “Aw Yeah? (interVENTion)“ because, according to Tech, “the world needs to hear this.” 

It’s easy to understand that sense of urgency when you hear his bars, which touch upon pressing issues like inequality as well as Tech’s irritation with his musical peers. 

The song is opened with low, rumbling whispers that will eventually propel you into an opera/beat ensemble as Tech starts to rap. Check it out.

I’m a long-time Tech fan, but I really love this single because not only does it sound great, but its lyrics also differ from a lot of the other rap and hip hop in the music industry today. I like that Tech chose to write about different social problems that aren’t traditionally addressed in the entertainment industry, such as the events in Ferguson, Staten Island, Libya, Benghazi, Syria, Nigeria and Australia. Tech’s not holding back.

Also, in the middle of the single Tech mentions Jamaican rapper Zuse. Reportedly, Zuse is accompanying Tech on his Special Effects tour, along with artists Chris Webby, King 810 and label mates Krizz Kaliko and MURS.

"All my Technicians who have been patiently waiting for this, get ready for your minds to be blown! We made some dreams come true on this album. You WILL NOT be disappointed. It’s a beautiful thing.” -Tech N9ne

Watch for Tech’s Special Effects to drop in early May, and keep your eyes peeled for his upcoming tour dates.


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Sasquatch! 2015: The Lineup

It’s here! The lineup for Sasquatch! has finally been released! This annual music festival is held at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington every Memorial Day weekend. That’s May 22-May 25; mark your calendars!

Every year thousands of music lovers from all over the world flock to The Gorge for this festival. Known for it’s scenic back drop and diverse lineup, Sasquatch! has become a gathering spot for fans of all types of music.

Check it out-

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This year the festival is featuring headliners Kendrick Lamar, Led Zeppelin legacy Robert Plant, Modest Mouse and Lana Del Ray. Personally, though, I’m looking forward to seeing St. VincentSylvan Esso, Thunderpussy and Dan Mangan + Blacksmith

Still not convinced? Get this: Sasquatch! is also known for its comedy side-shows. This year’s list includes names like Doug Benson, Leslie Jones, Cameron Esposito and more. 

Great music and funny people? Sasquatch! 2015 is a no-brainer; count me in.

Looking for the perfect opportunity to submerge yourself into Washington’s beautiful greenery, too? You’re in luck. Considering this venue is pretty remote and there aren’t any huge cities nearby, most of the festival attendees choose to campout in the designated camping ground near the amphitheater. 

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Tickets will be on sale starting February 7 on the festival website and a regular 4-day pass will cost $350. Grab yours before they sell out!

I’ll see you out there (stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, DJ Desman reviews the Sasquatch Launch Party)

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George Ezra’s Grand Debut

English singer/songwriter George Ezra blessed the United States with the release of his debut album on Tuesday, January 27. Don’t be fooled by his baby-face, though; Ezra sings with a voice deeper and more complex than the ocean itself.

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The 21-year-old’s debut studio album, Wanted on Voyage, can be found here on Spotify. This album was released in Europe last June, so you may have heard “Budapest,” the album’s biggest hit, being overplayed on radio stations nearly everywhere.

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Ezra has been compared to other male solo artists such as Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, but I think he deserves vast distinction due to his shifting musical style and the creativity and detail of his lyrics and music videos.

George Ezra’s hard-to-define style kept me on my toes while listening to Wanted on Voyage. For example in his track “Stand By Your Gun,” Ezra reminds you of the ‘80s by using his deep, thunderous vocals to contrast beautifully with an array of groovy synth sounds. As a whole, Wanted on Voyage is rather unpredictable, but it’s Ezra’s deep, sweeping voice that connects the tracks and completes the album.

On another note, George Ezra’s music videos are thought-provoking and beyond creative. The video for the first track on this album, “Blame it on Me,” tells a story alongside the song’s audio that will make you laugh, cry and feel incredibly thankful that you aren’t in George’s position.

You can find more music videos from Wanted on Voyage on Ezra’s YouTube channel here.

He has a great voice, catchy songs and killer music videos. George Ezra is a contemporary jack of all trades. What’s not to love?

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Sleater-Kinney is back!

I was born in the 90s, but, more importantly, so was Sleater-Kinney.

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Just over 20 years ago Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss got together in Olympia, Washington and joined their musical forces and created the punk rock genius that is Sleater-Kinney. By converting their riot grrrl movement experience into music, this Pacific Northwest-based girl group was known for proudly vocalizing their feminist and liberal perspectives. The band released seven studio albums before (unfortunately) announcing their indefinite hiatus in 2006.

Luckily, though, they’re back! After nearly a decade of silence, Sleater-Kinney came back to life on Tuesday, January 20 and released their eighth studio album, No Cities to Love. Listen to it here.

Sleater-Kinney’s lengthy hiatus made room for some fresh collaboration and resulted in an empowering, catchy-as-hell album. I love this album because it combines Brownstein’s outrageous guitar skills with Tucker’s intense vocals in a way that will make you want to dance around and dismantle the patriarchy at the same time. The distinctive sound of No Cities to Love will allow long-time fans to reminisce on the good old days and give new listeners the opportunity to step outside of their contemporary comfort zones.

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“The core of this record is our relationship to each other, to the music, and how all of us still felt strongly enough to about those to sweat it out in the basement and to try and reinvent our band,” said lead vocalist Corin Tucker.

The band is currently on a world tour, too. If you like what you hear and you want to see Sleater-Kinney live and in the flesh check out their website for tour dates here.

Thanks, Sleater-Kinney, for reigniting the fiery grrrl power in all of us.

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