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BAMM.tv Featured Artist: Thao And The Get Down Stay Down

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‘Get down, stay down’ may sound like a direct command (imagine your clichéd ‘give me fifty’ drill instructor barking it in your ear) – but such straightforward bludgeoning really isn’t the style of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, the San Francisco act who just happen to be BAMM.tv’s new Featured Artist.

This isn’t to say that there’s no immediacy to their music. Thao Nyugen and her mainstay cohort Adam Thompson (the band members have previous included Frank Stewart and Willis Thompson) have crafted a body of work which – while loosely fitting within umbrella terms like alt-rock and folk-rock – opens up with multiple listens to reveal rewarding intricacies, unique vocal and musical flourishes, and melodies within melodies.

You may think you’re getting everything with a surface listen – and an enjoyable surface listen it definitely is – but sentiments like ‘you are a dead man/I just have to shoot the gun’ (‘Body’) and ‘I come back because the punches always hit the same’ (‘Trouble Was For’) show off a beguiling complexity. Think of similar creative multi-taskers like Broken Social Scene, Jim Ward, Cat Power, Fiona Apple and Feist – not a bad line-up to be mentioned alongside – and you’ll be close.

Or, y’know, just listen to them. (click ‘more’ to continue)

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BAMM.tv Featured Artist: Diana Gameros

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Time for another BAMM.tv Featured Artist: a selection of great music, exclusive articles and prize giveaways (among other things) from one of our favorite up-and-coming artists. This month we put San Francisco singer-songwriter Diana Gameros under the spotlight …

Soulfulness is a hard thing to quantify. People are a varied breed, and experience tells us it would be foolish to go all-out and categorise emotional response – music that leaves one listener cold may well prove to save the life of another. Music may be universal but the gamut of reactions works on a far more personal level – an innate form of relativism that both unites and separates us all.

Sometimes, though … sometimes you just have to appreciate the resonance of an artist. Opera may not do it for you, but you can’t help but quiver at the bombastic authority of a tenor or soprano. Heavy rock could well be the last thing you’d listen to, but you’ve have to be a cultural zero-mark not to marvel at a virtuoso guitar solo. As for emotive, Latin-tinged, classical acoustic songwriting? That might be outside your sphere altogether, but – frankly – if you’re not massively moved by the heart-stopping performances of Diana Gameros, then you might as well nail that coffin lid down now.

Luckily – here at BAMM.TV – we are big fans of emotive, Latin-tinged, classical acoustic songwriting. And we’re even bigger fans of the heart-stopping performances of Diana Gameros.

Stick around, and you might just find out why.

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BAMM.tv Featured Artist: Geographer

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Introducing BAMM.tv’s Featured Artist feature: a selection of great music, exclusive articles and prize giveaways (among other things) from one of our favorite up-and-coming artists. This month we put San Francisco three-piece Geographer under the spotlight …

Crack open the dictionary for a second. There’s something interesting about the definition of the word Geographer – “one who partakes in the study of the earth and its features and of the distribution of life on the earth, including human life”, and also charts an “ordered arrangement of constituent elements.”

Now, we’re not going to pretend that this definition is news to you (we hope you’ve proven yourself to be something of a smartypants by downloading the BAMM.tv app anyway, so we’re sure your literary skills are up to scratch). But think about it. Or – to be more specific – take a listen to Geographer’s music, then think about it.

Ordered arrangement? Yep – carefully crafted ciphers through which all sorts of melodic twists emerge. Constituent elements? Yep – an amalgamation of different sounds, instruments and genres fused to a cohesive and gripping whole. Human life? Oh yeah – like all great music, there’s a helluva lot of universal soul in there.

Not that they’d be so analytical about it. “We want to make good-sounding records,” they state, “and we want to play for people.”

So: are you one of those people yet? And if not, why not?

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BAMM.tv exclusive: ‘Thank Ya’, Con Brio

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How do Con Brio manage to combine their expert grasp of funk, soul, jazz and blues into a simmering whole and make it all seem so effortless? We’re stumped. Hopefully you’ll be similarly amazed when you check out this killer impromptu performance of ‘Thank Ya’, shot while on the road to SXSW 2011 and dragged out of the BAMM archives ‘classic’ folder for your enjoyment.

Aaaaand if you’re a San Francisco local, you can catch these fellow San Francisco locals at The Mezzanine this Friday. Details can be found here.

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