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  1. ATMOSPHERE @ HOUSE OF BLUES (LIVE REVIEW)

    atmosphere

    My last trip to catch Atmosphere at the House of Blues some five years back marked the last time I would see the enigmatic wordsmith Eyedea perform before his untimely death. Following inspired sets from both acts, commuting attendees were forced to depart the eastbound Orange Line at 12th & Imperial due to what the conductor described as “excess blood” on the trolley floor.

    Things seemed destined for bloodshed once again on Thursday night [September 4] after two fights and several near fights at a sweaty, sold-out House of Blues. A chaotic scene arose in the 20-minute gap between opener and headliner with patrons shoved, drinks spilled, elbows thrown, hair pulled, unchecked aggression, and general confusion. At least three people were kicked out before Slug and co. took the stage.

    Atmosphere has often introduced the world to young Twin Cities talent on the road, and the North of Hell Tour is no exception. The 21-year-old St. Paul resident deM atlaS began the night unknown to most in the crowd and ended it with a couple hundred people singing along to the infectious chorus of “All We Got,” one of the best rap songs of 2014. DeM’s blending of styles old and new and elastic, tongue-twisting delivery has drawn comparisons to ’90s West Coasters, such as Freestyle Fellowship and the Pharcyde. The Atmosphere co-sign that helped launch the careers of Eyedea, Sage Francis, P.O.S. and Brother Ali looks well spent on deM AtlaS, who brims with a charisma and energy on stage well beyond his years.

    “I hope you’re wearing adult diapers…cuz we’re all about to shit ourselves,” Minneapolis-based Prof warned the audience before performing one of his bouncy, uptempo tracks.

    Continue reading at San Diego Reader

  2. DEM ATLAS - "ALL WE GOT"

    "All We Got" marks deM atlaS’ first official single on Rhymesayers Entertainment. Catch him on tour alongside Atmosphere and PROF beginning May 14. Dates below.

    May 14 - Saskatoon, SK - O’Brians Event Centre
    May 15 - Calgary, AB - Flames Central
    May 16 - Calgary, AB - Flames Central
    May 17 - Edmonton, AB - Union Hall
    May 18 - Regina, SK - The Exchange
    May 20 - Winnipeg, MB - Garrick Centre
    May 25 - Shakopee, MN - Canterbury Park (Soundset)
    May 28 - Kitchener, ON - Wax
    May 29 - London, ON - London Music Hall
    May 30 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre
    May 31 - Montreal, QC - S.A.T.
    June 1 - Ottawa, ON - Ritual Nightclub
    June 4 - Halifax, NS - Marquee
    June 6 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
    June 7 - Clifton Park, NY - Upstate Concert Hall
    June 11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls Theatre
    June 12 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot
    June 13 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
    August 29 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks
    September 5 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium (SOLD OUT)
    September 6 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium 

  3. ATMOSPHERE @ HIGHLINE BALLROOM (LIVE REVIEW)

    Atmosphere celebrated the release of their 8th album, Southsiders, with a sold out show Tuesday night at the Highline Ballroom. The record marks a return to form for Slug and Ant following the lone mediocre LP of their career, 2011’s The Family Sign. The live instrumentation that served Atmosphere so well on the road briefly grew to overshadow Ant’s contributions in the studio, but they’ve thankfully reverted to an older formula on Southsiders. Veteran producer Ant’s signature keys and soulful samples are back in the mix, and Slug sounds right at home, riding the beat to familiar themes of love and death as well as newfound perspectives attained from being a father of three comfortable with his place in hip hop and life.

    The surprise opening guests for the evening wound up being none other than SFR’s gruesome twosome,Sage Francis and B. Dolan, who also headline later this month at Le Poisson Rouge. The Epic Beard Men performed “You Can’t Win” and Sage tore through a blistering rendition of “Vonnegut Busy,” the lead single from his forthcoming LP, Copper Gone, as well as staples “Damage” and “The Best of Times.”

    Following Sage and Dolan, Atmosphere and touring DJ Plain Ole Bill delivered a career spanning set culminating in a three-song encore from Southsiders. After performing the brilliant booze-soaked “Arthur’s Song,” Slug invited an eager audience member on stage to freestyle with him to close out the evening.

    “I truly hold sorrow in my heart / For every heart that never got carved into the bark / I wish that everyone could leave a mark / But every part wasn’t meant to be a piece of art” – Slug (“Arthur’s Song”)

    There was a familial vibe to the night, with a raucous sold out crowd rapping bar-for-bar with Slug and visibly losing their shit upon the beat drops to classics such as “Scapegoat” and “God’s Bathroom Floor.” After two decades in the game, few do it half as well as Atmosphere.

  4. ATMOSPHERE - "KANYE WEST"

    Once upon a time, about 10 years ago, it seemed plausible that Kanye West could appear on a song with the Minneapolis underground rap institution Atmosphere. Kanye was bringing backpack-rap aesthetics to the mainstream, and Atmosphere were, for a while there, the greatest and most popular backpacker group in the world. It didn’t happen. And now, 10 years later, Atmosphere have a new song called “Kanye West” on their forthcoming album Southsiders (which also features the single “Bitter“). The song isn’t about Kanye West at all; instead, as rapper Slug says, it’s about “loving something so much that you submit to the moment.” In classic Atmosphere, it’s a weirdly cathartic piece of emotionally incisive boom-bap, and you can hear it below.

    Southsiders is out 5/6 on Rhymesayers.

    via stereogum

  5. ATMOSPHERE - "BOB SEGER"

    Indie rap kingpins Atmosphere released the one-off track “Bob Seger” back in July and now have visuals to accompany the moody, evocative piece, one of their strongest individual songs since 2008’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. Slug had the following to say about the Andrew Melby-directed clip:

    "(The video is) about how the legend of Paul Bunyan began. Babe wasn’t really a blue ox, it was a blue axe. But the northern accent made it sound like ‘ox’. Blue from the blood of the evil Canadian soldiers. It was filmed on the northern Minnesota iron range."

    Atmosphere is currently in the middle of their annual Welcome to MN Tour alongside Toki Wright, Big Cats, No Bird Sing, deM atlaS and Jimmy2Times. Catch the remaining dates below.

    2.13 - Duluth, MN @ Clyde Iron Works (sold out)

    2.14 - Rochester, MN @ Mayo Civic Center Auditorium 

    2.15 - Fargo, MN @ The Venue at the Hub 

    2.17 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue (sold out)

  6. ABSTRACT RUDE + MUSAB - “PLAN C” FEAT. SLUG & TOKI WRIGHT

    The Ganzobean-produced “Plan C” is taken from Abstract Rude + Musab’s debut collaboration, The Awful Truth.

  7. THE UNCLUDED - “ORGANS”

    Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson's debut collaborative LP, Hokey Fright, has spawned some cool videos. This one might be the best.

  8. ATMOSPHERE - "BOB SEGER"

    As they get ready to kick off their summer tour, Atmosphere has released a new track by the name of “Bob Seger”. Stream below.

    Tour Dates:

    July 10, 2013 – Albuquerque, NM – Sandia Amphitheatre | Buy Tickets
    July 11, 2013 – Phoenix, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre | Buy Tickets
    July 12, 2013 – Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre | Buy Tickets
    July 13, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV – Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan | Buy Tickets
    July 14, 2013 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl | Buy Tickets
    July 18, 2013 – Stateline, NV – Montbleu Outdoor Stage | Buy Tickets
    July 19, 2013 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre | Buy Tickets
    July 20, 2013 – Chula Vista, CA – Sleep Train Amphitheater | Buy Tickets
    July 24, 2013 – Eugene, OR – Cuthbert Amphitheatre | Buy Tickets
    July 25, 2013 – Boise, ID – Idaho Center Amphitheater | Buy Tickets
    July 26, 2013 – Missoula, MT – Big Sky Brewery | Buy Tickets
    July 27, 2013 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Great Salt Air | Buy Tickets
    August 1, 2013 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom | Buy Tickets
    August 2, 2013 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads | Buy Tickets
    August 3, 2013 – Council Bluffs, IA – Stir Cove | Buy Tickets
    August 4, 2013 – Des Moines, IA, Simon Estes Amphitheater | Buy Tickets
    August 8, 2013 – Boston, MA – Bank of America Pavilion | Buy Tickets
    August 9, 2013 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summerstage Lot | Buy Tickets
    August 10, 2013 – Philadelphia, PA – Festival Pier @ Penn’s Landing | Buy Tickets
    August 11, 2013 – Baltimore, MD – Pier Six Pavilion | Buy Tickets
    August 14, 2013 – Richmond, VA – Pocahontas State Park | Buy Tickets
    August 15, 2013 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues | Buy Tickets
    August 16, 2013 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater | Buy Tickets
    August 17, 2013 – Charlotte, NC – Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre | Buy Tickets
    August 21, 2013 – Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle | Buy Tickets
    August 22, 2013 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre | Buy Tickets
    August 23, 2013 – Cocoa Beach, FL – Cocoa Riverfront Park | Buy Tickets
    August 24, 2013 – Boca Raton, FL – Sunset Cove Amphitheater | Buy Tickets

  9. THE UNCLUDED @ KNITTING FACTORY (LIVE REVIEW)

    06.01.13

    On a humid Saturday night in Brooklyn, Hamell on Trial loosened up a sweaty, enthusiastic Knitting Factory crowd with 1937 Gibson-fueled anarchist punk ballads about media manipulation and alternative lifestyles. Between songs, the middle-aged showman spoke of a Syracuse bartending gig in which he dealt with all manners of drunkards and junkies and was once called to the restroom to remove a pregnant woman who had been smoking crack in the stall. Hamell does not judge the lost and doomed though, as evidenced by a set highlight in which he sang: “I love sluts / Crazy, drugged up sluts that stab your guts.”

    The Uncluded’s fourth official show brought New York natives Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson back to familiar Brooklyn stomping grounds alongside multi-instrumentalist James Lynch for an hour-plus showcase of their debut album Hokey Fright. Lynch provided bass, ukulele and practically everything else save for an acoustic guitar and xylophone handled by Dawson.

    If there’s a thesis on Hokey Fright, it comes in the form of Aesop’s proclamation on “Earthquake”: “There’s been a fundamental loss beyond comprehension.” There are no reliable maps to find one’s way out of grieving, something Aesop explores vividly on his debut collaboration with Kimya Dawson as well as last year’s Skelethon. The Uncluded project brings out a different side of Aes, with Dawson’s next level quirkiness extracting much of the same from the Def Jux veteran. Five years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the über-abstract emcee rapping “Here’s where it goes from bad to worse / I heard meow meow meow that cat has worms.” A catalogue of songs about death warrants a comedic intermission here and there.

    Continued at CONTRA

  10. THE UNCLUDED - “DELICATE CYCLE”

    You should be excited about The Uncluded. Why? Because the duo is composed of indie hip hop maestro Aesop Rock and notable indie rock iconoclast Kimya Dawson of Moldy PeachesJuno soundtrack and all of her awesome solo albums fame. The group released a couple tracks during Record Store Day last year and now have their debut album Hokey Fright coming out May 7 on Rhymesayers. Catching Kimya sing and Aesop flow over acoustic guitar is a hard to describe aural treat that we’re looking forward to more of.

    via mtvu

  11. BROTHER ALI - “WORK EVERYDAY”

    Earlier this week, OccupyHomesMN.org premiered Brother Ali's new video for “Work Everyday.” Watch the new video above, featuring Tom Morello, Jackson Browne, BK-OneSlugP.O.S.I Self Devine, and members of the community.

  12. THE UNCLUDED - “SCISSORHANDS”

    Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson will be releasing their debut collaborative LP, Hokey Fright, on May 7 via Rhymesayers. Aesop's delivery meshes surprisingly well with acoustic guitar.

  13. P.O.S. - “WEIRD FRIENDS”
     
    P.O.S. premiered a brand new video for “Weird Friends (We Don’t Even Live Here)” feat. HOUSEMEISTER over on OkayPlayer.com today.  The video was directed by Ryan Kron Thompson and Daniel Hoffstrom and produced by Picture Machine Productions.  This single can be found on the critically acclaimed album We Don’t Even Live Here, which also features appearances by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Astronautalis, and fellow Doomtree members Sims and Mike Mictlan.  Past singles include “Bumper,” “Fuck Your Stuff” and “Get Down.” 
     
    Thematically, WDELH is a natural progression from the anti-establishment fury of previous releases Ipecac Neat (2004), Audition (2006) and Never Better (2009). It marks a new stage in the evolution of the unchained artist once known as Pissed Off Stef.  One thing’s sure: P.O.S. is comfortable in his own skin — even as the world burns around him.
  14. THE UNCLUDED (AESOP ROCK + KIMYA DAWSON) - "EARTHQUAKE"

    Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson Form Band the Uncluded, Announce Album, Share Video

    Photo by Chrissy Piper

    Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson are not strangers. Dawson appeared on Aesop’s 2012 album Skelethon. Aesop made several appearances on Dawson’s 2011 album Thunder Thighs. The duo have formed a band: The Uncluded. Their debut album is called Hokey Fright, and it’s out May 7 via Rhymesayers. Watch the video for first single ”Earthquake” below.

    Hokey Fright is 16 tracks long recorded entirely by Aesop and Dawson, though James McNew of Yo La Tengo appears on one track, “Delicate Cycle”. 

    The band name the Uncluded is inspired by Michael Bernard Loggins’ book Imaginationally. It means “to keep the things you don’t appreciate out of your life,” according to a press release. ”This record helps to tell the story of two people who are finding therapy through making art together.”

    Here’s the album cover for Hokey Fright:

    Hokey Fright:

    01 Kryptonite 
    02 Delicate Cycle 
    03 TV on 10 
    04 Earthquake 
    05 Organs 
    06 Superheroes 
    07 Jambi Cafe 
    08 Bats 
    09 Scissorhands 
    10 Eyeball Soup 
    11 The Aquarium 
    12 Teleprompters 
    13 Alligator 
    14 WYHUOM 
    15 Boomerang 
    16 Tits Up

    via pitchfork

  15. AESOP ROCK, BUSDRIVER & JUGGAKNOTS @ IRVING PLAZA (LIVE REVIEW)

    02.09.13

    On Saturday night, indie rap heads traversed the post-blizzard snow drifts surrounding Union Square and packed Irving Plaza from merch booth to balcony for Aesop Rock’s second NYC gig in the past six months.

    Juggaknots, a New York hip hop crew in existence since the mid-90′s, were a surprise late addition to the lineup. Emcees Breeze Brewin and Buddy Slim split the crowd down the middle for some 90s’ style call-and-response interspersed with old tracks from the Clear Blue Skies days and newer material such as the unreleased “Road Rage.” Breeze Brewin ran through his verse from Company Flow’s “The Fire in Which You Burn” and rapped about Molly Shannon’s Superstar (yes, an ecstasy reference) before Juggaknots’ 30-minute set was up.

    Los Angeles underground hero Busdriver kicked off his set, oddly enough, with “NoBlacksNoJewsNoAsians” from last year’s Beaus$Eros record. While he is a rapper prone to abstraction and obscure references that can generally be deciphered after a couple listens, “NoBlacksNoJewsNoAsians” is a song I could listen to for the rest of my life and still have no clue what the hell it’s about. Right off the bat, you could see Busdriver was happy to be in New York. He appeared far more animated than he was at his marginally attended summer performance at Santos Party House, while diving into songs from his Anti- releases Roadkill Overcoat and Jhelli Beam. “The Troglodyte Wins” poured from the speakers as a paint-like psychedelic backdrop danced across the projection screen.

    “I’m so ill that I’m more than often ill-received,” Busdriver spit on the glitchy, punchline-heavy “Fire Hydrant.”

    If his tongue wasn’t so firmly in his cheek, you might mistake some of his one-liners as misogynistic. Though his Flash Bang Grenada track “Moisturizer” does encourage one to rub lotion on their buttcheeks, it’s all metaphors and giggles at the end of the day.

    Busdriver’s experimental post-rap catalogue continues to evolve and get weirder, with love-it-or-leave-it results. Downtempo tracks like “Take This Step with Me and Never Come Back,” from Arguments with Dreams, pay dividends on the risks being taken, and “Werner Herzog” is downright hilarious. The acoustic guitar of “Unemployed Black Astronaut” and “Split Seconds” highlighted a diverse, high-octane performance from Busdriver. His blistering, machine gun cadence on “Me Time” wowed the audience before he closed his set with the flute bounce of “Imaginary Places.”

    One of the dopest album intros in recent memory, the misanthropic “Leisureforce,” announced the arrival of Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. A lively crowd obliged the SF emcee’s request for crow SFX at the end of “Crows 2” and one brave individual submitted his dome to Busdriver’s electric clippers during “Racing Stripes,” now a staple at Aesop gigs. Speaking of bad haircuts, Aesop came through New York sporting an unapologetic art school mullet, which he noted his mother has given him grief for. He traded bars with Rob Sonic on “Dokken Rules,” a Skelethon b-side set to lo-fi funk with rap’s first (and hopefully last) Guy Fieri reference. “Nickel Plated Pockets” and “None Shall Pass” were welcome additions, as attested to by pretty drunk girls rapping along while sitting on dudes’ shoulders like Spring Break ‘97.

    Continue reading at Daily-Spots.com