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Archive for the ‘SXSW 2011’ Category

Bamm.tv Featured Artist: The Flashbulb

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Meet electronic mastermind Benn Jordan. He’s a man of many different names, collecting pseudonyms the way a hyperactive 90s kid collected Pokemon. You may also have heard him referred to as (deeeeeep breath now) Acidwolf, CHR15TPUNCH3R, DJ ASCII, Dr. Lefty, Dysrythmia, FlexE, Human Action Network, Lucid32, rapemachine, rnd16, 66x or Q-Bit.

For the purposes of our Featured Artist celebration, however, we fixing our beady eye on Benn’s most well-known alterego: The Flashbulb.

Benn is particularly direct when it comes to the origins of Flashbulb. “In the mid-70’s,” he recounts, “Lee Jordan and Denise Richardson met while vacationing in Virginia. Many sexual instances later Denise noticed she was more nauseated than usual. 9 months later the band was formed, but did not record music for another 14 years.” In other words: it’s just him. Flashbulb is a one-man operation, and Benn is the brains and talent behind it.

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BAMM.tv Featured Artist: Wallpaper.

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Anyone familiar with reviewer shorthand will know the meaning of the term ‘wallpaper music’. It’s often used to describe the output of MOR giants like Coldplay or Maroon 5 – it’s background stuff, ambient dinner party noise, inoffensive and barely noticeable chatter which uses music more as a pleasant crutch than a blazing center of attention.

Sooooo … if you were a frenzied hip-hop electro-pop mastermind who drops beats like John McClane drops bad guys, you probably wouldn’t want to associate yourself with the word. You’d call yourself ‘Explosion Beast’ or ‘Annihilator’ or ‘Dance Yourself Sick’. That would be the predictable thing to do. The thing is: Ricky Reed – the producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist behind Wallpaper., our brand new Featured Artist – is anything but predictable.

Interested yet? Want to read on as we get all Home Depot on your ass and really start examining Wallpaper.? Or are you just a big old Doo-Doo Face?

(Note: Doo-Doo Face is the title of his first album. It’s just a joke. We’re not really calling you a Doo-Doo Face. Unless you’re a sadomasochist and are into that kind of thing. This is the internet, after all).

Anyway. Let’s continue (after the jump …)

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BAMM.tv Featured Artist: The Soft White Sixties

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Not to paraphrase Monty Python (we’ll leave that to boring people at parties the world over), but what exactly did the Sixties ever do for us? Baby boomer music critics and one-time rock icons will collectively scurry to tell us that it was the single greatest period in all of human history, but did the rest of us really miss out on that much? There seems to be an overhanging cultural consensus: that anyone born after 1970 missed the party in the private treehouse club.

Yet … one can’t deny that the Sixties had something. An oomph. A verve. A kick-out-the-jams aesthetic that the decade has come to define as its own, no matter how wet and wild pop culture has become in the ensuing years. That’s why the Soft White Sixties are so perfectly named.

It would be misleading to label this San Francisco four-piece a ‘retro act’. While their storming, groove-laden R&B does channel many musical elements that evoke a knee-jerk association with the Sixties, it’s more about the attitude of that decade than anything else. That whole ‘we’ve got guitars and anything is possible, so fuck you and dance’ feel.

And is there anything the modern era needs more than that?


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BAMM.tv Featured Artist: The Stone Foxes

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Blues, rock and country – they’re labels so simultaneously vague yet culturally ingrained that sometimes they seem to have lost all meaning. Pretty much any guitar based album in existence – and, to some extent, a number of genre-fusing hip-hop and electronic projects too – carry elements of this all-American heritage, be they proudly displayed as centerpiece artistic choices or tucked away as subtle undercurrents. Whether it’s sound, attitude, aesthetic, or a combination of all three … there are certain touchstones guitar music will always have to adhere to. Its just part of the deal, folks.

With this in mind, it’s easy to come to a natural conclusion: that to define a band as ‘blues-rock’ with hints of ‘country’ is to render them somewhat unremarkable. A drop in the ocean. A thumbprint on a skyscraper. In some cases (hell, let’s say in most cases) this wouldn’t be too far from the truth. In the case of California’s foot-stomping avengers The Stone Foxes, however, listeners can rest assured that their sound – while steeped in the vast, winding heritage mentioned above – is far from generic. Let’s put it bluntly: a rock to the head has always been a rock to the head since the first brawl between two cavemen. That doesn’t mean a perfectly-placed rock to the head in 2012 doesn’t carry with it a real fucking impact. Some things just don’t seem to mellow with age.

The Stone Foxes throw out rock with a capital R, blues with a capital B, and country with … well, maybe an odd smattering of uppercase font. Put it all together, and you’ll no longer be interested in literary deconstruction anyway – you’ll be too busy (in the time-honoured fashion of another American tradition) throwing your hands in the air like you just don’t care.

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Thao’s Favorites From The BAMM.tv Vault

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Hope you’re enjoying our season of cool stuff from our Featured Artist Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – and we really hope you’ll keep your beady eyes on BAMM.tv towards the end of this week, when we’ll be unveiling an exclusive competition to win some personalised merchandise from the band themselves!

In the meantime, we’ve got something else very cool to share – we asked lead singer Thao Nyugen to pick her five favorite performances from the sprawling (and awesome, and amazing, and exclusive, and numerous other descriptive terms) BAMM.tv archives. Here are her choices:

Will Sprott – A Dog Will Love You When Nobody Else Will

A dog will indeed love you when no-one else will. Unless of course they’re those hell hounds from the end of Ghostbusters. You want to avoid those.

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