edu[MUSIC]ation: Amplification

am⋅pli⋅fi⋅ca⋅tion [am-pluh-fi-key-shuhn] –noun

1. The act or result of amplifying, enlarging, or extending.

So why am I titling this post amplification? Simple, I’ve come across several not-so-well-known bands that play with some of the biggest sound I’ve heard. So big, that I often wonder what has prevented them from having a larger fan base. These bands amplify their sound, grow in size, and it’s only a matter of time until they grow on you as well.

Deccatree

I first heard Deccatree in the small coffee shop of my university. They were playing a simple set on a weeknight for the small crowd of college students. Some studied, some listened, some talked in the back. I was there helping my friend work the sound. As soon as they started, my head turned and I was captured. As their set progressed, I wondered who landed these guys, they must be big. Then I wondered why I hadn’t heard of them before. In reality, they weren’t big, and I had never heard of them before. Their set ended, they wrapped up their instruments and set out with the several friends they had brought along to support them, apparently in case things didn’t go over well with the crowd. However, the line to buy their small amount of merchandise was decent, and I was right there buying this album to listen to.

It’s been several years now and I keep finding myself coming back to their album. Their songs just seem to fit into “the soundtrack of your life,” if that can be a genre? Take a listen to a couple of their songs below, check them out, and tell me if you don’t agree they have a sound bigger than their fame.

So, I can’t find any links to their songs…at all. Check them out on myspace or youtube. I recommend tracks “Belong”, “String Song”, and “Battle of Life”.

Elevaters

Again, a band living up to their name and certainly elevating their music. Also again, a band I came across in college. I need to go out to their shows more often….
The Elevaters have a very unique sound. I would call it a mix between reggae, rap, hip-hop, and certainly spoken word. All these combine into one experience that you just want to ride along with. Did I mention I was their first crowd surfer? Also, they are a chill band to sit around and talk with. Check out their song “The One” ( my favorite) and “Lady Love” , but also check out their entire album which you can stream at their website. Other selected tracks from Rising are “Row Your Boat” and “Dangerous”.

The Elevaters- The One

The Elevaters- Lady Love

Miniature Tigers

I stumbled across the Miniature Tigers from an mp3 grab-bag handed out at the Bwank! blog I used to visit. Sadly, the blog is no more. However, they’ve gained some notoriety it seems, since I can successful search the buzz sphere and find mention of them (the previous two bands not at all). the Miniature Tigers have a quirky sound that isn’t quite indie-pop or electronic. It’s somewhere between there, and it’s this fuzzy area they’re exploiting. Certainly gathering my attention (and other bloggers attention) this band is producing catchy songs with interesting beats, background sounds, and lyrics. Check out “Dino Damage” and “The Wolf”.

Miniature Tigers- Dino Damage

Miniature Tigers- The Wolf

KiD CuDi: Man on the Moon Album Review

Finally, all the hype of KiD CuDi’s album can be put to the test. It’s been a long time in the making, with several mixtapes, live recordings, and freestyles across the web, the public has a full length album to rate CuDi on.

And a full length album is what the kid delivers. 15 tracks that do just what CuDi’s album needs to do: tells his story, his own way. Everything I read about Cudi up until now has been mostly about his producer Kanye, and the influence West has on CuDi. We hadn’t heard anything from CuDi’s point of view, until now. Man on the Moon tells the story of the dreams and nightmares of CuDi’s rise to fame. It’s not an album where every track stands alone, instead, CuDi uses the whole album from one song to the next to tell his story, literally, with narration between and on top of some songs.

But what about the music? I’ll agree with what I see in a lot of reviews (those same ones that only mention Kanye West) in that Man on the Moon is similar to Kanye’s 808’s & Heatbreak. However, CuDi surpasses even Kanye at this genre of electro-beat smooth rap. Cudi does this in what I’ll summarize in one word: Versatility.

CuDi mixes creative beats from some of the top beat makers (Ratatat) with background vocals from indie stars MGMT, and a host of other guests that chime in all over the album. CuDi’s raps are mixed to electro-beats yes, but also to beats with some funk and soul roots such as “Enter Galactic” or even a more alternative guitar driven “Up Up and Away”. Undoubtedly, the album starts off slow, a little too slow for my taste, but in realization of the story told, progression of the album, it works. There are the hit singles thrown into the middle of the album (“Day N Night”, “Sky Might Fall”, and “Make Her Say”) which add to the story told.

All in all, Man on the Moon is the perfect debut for CuDi. Breaks away from Kanye, creates his own sound, and most importantly tells his own personal story. All this in an enjoyable listen.

KiD CuDi (ft. Ratatat and MGMT)- Puruit of Happiness

KiD CuDi- Up Up and Away (The Wake and Bake Song)

KiD CuDi- Enter Galactic (Love Connection Pt. 1)

Owl City Review

Is that the new Postal Service?

Nope, it’s Owl City, seeking to nudge into the teen market niche The Postal Service carved out. It’s hard to tell a difference with the elecctronic pop and repeat drum loops, and the faint, poetic vocals of the singer. All in all, he’s got a grip on the style though. Apparently relying on Myspace to gain grounds into this niche, he’s made it pretty far and gotten some air play with the new single “Fireflies”. I’ll admit, it’s a good song to chill-out to, but I fee like it’s missing one key element to bring it to the fame of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”. For this reason, I’ll keep my ears perked for something great, and in the meantime I’ll have to check out his new album.

Owl City- Fireflies

Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears

With a name like that, I couldn’t resist the post. Don’t worry, they’ve got the music to back it up.

Funk, soul, rhythm, and a touch of James Brown to bring it all together. Joe Lewis and The Honeybears present an incredible album that gets you off your feet and dancing. Bringing back the old style with a great new funk-y sound is the Honeybears, with vocalist Joe Lewis leading the barrage.
Their music is quickly bringing them mainstream, and nothign is holding them back.
So get up and start listening to their new album “Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is” right away!

Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears- Sugarfoot

2009 Summer Concert Review

It’s labor day, so officially summer is over. Although I still have a few concerts to attend this month, I’ll do a quick wrap up of the summer concerts I attended.

Incubus at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

I’ll admit, they aren’t the most popular band on the scene right now. But I’ll be damned if they didn’t put on one of the best concerts I’ve ever been too. Rarely do you find a band that can outperform the sounds on their CDs live. Incubus delivers just that and more. If you ever have the chance to see them live, do not hesitate! Just listen to the videos below!

Incubus 1

Incubus 2

DJ Fergie Ferg

Not once, but twice I got to see DJ Fergie Ferg in action this summer. Taking over house parties and local bars, Ferg provides the beats with style. Rumor has it he’s working on something big to release later this year!

The Airborne Toxic Event


This is the band I was most excited to see this summer. They’re songs had just hit the scene and were getting radio play and I am a huge fan. Not only are their lyrics extemely poetic, profound, and sometimes funny, their music and sound backs up a surreal experience. Not the best band in matching their CD sound to a live performance, but it’s good enough to live up to my expectations of the band and more.

check out their best song, performed live!

That about wraps up the concerts I was able to get to this summer. I wish I could have gone to Street Scene, but I hear the knock-out performance was the Silver Sun Pickups, which I saw up close and personal live. That was the best concert I’ve ever been to.
On the docket for the rest of the year is DMB coming up, and Pitbull later this month.

Trey Songz-Swagga Like Songz Vol. 2 Mixtape Review

I really need to keep this updated. My love for music is not reflected in this blog. Massive updates commence!

I wanted to post a picture, but you can just tell he’s too into his own image. So, let the music do the talking.

Once again, it’s a smooth rap style. Some good beats and original rhymes make this a good listen. The album isn’t anything special, I really only have a few songs I like to listen to, the rest are forgettable or sound alike. Not to say it isn’t worth a listen, but if you want the highlights, I’ll be happy to oblige:

Trey Songz- Invented Sex

Trey Songz- First Date Sex (Birthday Sex Remix)

Trey Songz- D.O.A. (Death of Kellz)