Saturday, March 31, 2012

[Listen & Watch] Josie Charlwood Takes On Electric Feel

Josie Charlwood hails from the Brighton area, UK and was brought to our attention from our new friend, Thomas from UVA. Charlwood uses the process known as looping to transform a solo act to a full band experience. This gal is no stranger to instruments and just by watching a few videos off of her YouTube channel, it's evident that she's been doing her one-woman show for a couple of years now. 

Her voice is eloquent yet reserved. She's an easy listen, and although I wish she'd go one step further vocally and let it all out, I find myself playing her take on MGMT's Electric Feel over and over. Enjoy an easy listen, watch the live music video after the jump, and if you like your Josie Charlwood experience, visit her website and throw her a few bucks for more of her tunes.

Electric Feel (MGMT Cover) - Josie Charlwood

Purchase Josie Charlwood's music HERE

Friday, March 30, 2012

[Read, Listen, & Plan] Music On The Mountaintop 2012

We featured Music on the Mountaintop last year, and we're doing it again this year for obvious reasons. This eco-conscious music festival is the epitome of what Beat Dropping is in terms of what types of music we are trying to promote. The festival prides itself on showcasing an eclectic range of mountain based music - from bluegrass to alternative rock. They just released the dates (August 24-26) for their festival in Boone, North Carolina for the fifth year and have also provided us with an unexpected twist... 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

[Download & Read] Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

I was recently sent Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real's new single, Wasted, and some details about their soon-to-be album that shares the same name by our friends at Miles High Productions. And damn I'm glad they contacted me. Let's put some emphasis on the name Nelson for a second (although I'm sure Lukas is tired of hearing this). This guy just happens to be the son of the great Willie Nelson, and he's certainly playing like it. Lukas has the voice, the swagger, and instrumental talent of his father, but is carving his own path. His new single with his band Promise of the Real is a testament to this, and we can only assume that the full length album (set to debut next week on April 3rd) will continue to bring them success. 

Hey here's a fun fact: Neil Young is mentoring the band. Since this is a piece of writing, you can't see my expression on my face, but trust me, I'm melting. I can't ask for a better set up and I don't see how anyone can pass up the opportunity to grab this album when it debuts. Lukas explains the meaning behind this 14 piece project:
“Wasted is a snapshot of this last summer on tour when I wrote most of this music...It was the summer of debauchery. I was socializing a little too much and not really being true to myself. So the whole record was a snapshot of me making one of the many mistakes I’ll likely make throughout my life. There were a lot of pressures on the road and there are a lot of people who view touring as just one big party. I started staying out until 4 in the morning. It was like summer camp. It took a toll on me. I soon realized I wasn’t really being myself and I had a big wake-up call and it’s during that time that I wrote this record.”
If you've got an ear for good music and can sniff out potential like we can, I'd mark April 3rd down as a day where you drop a few bucks for a sure-to-be great album. Keep an eye out for Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Reals; we'll be featuring them again after their album release, interview and all. 

Wasted - Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

(Click the above link, then right click and save as to download)

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real's 
music HERE

[Download] Reptar Releases New Song From Upcoming Album

Reptar, who recently released Sebastian in order to promote their upcoming album, "Body Faucet," has just debuted another. Orifice Origami is just as fun as Sebastian, and has left me filled with anticipation for this album, set to debut on May 1st. They're giving this one away free of charge on their Facebook page, so be sure to download copy for yourself. I'll let the boys take one this:
"It is about exploring the possibilities of our physical and social forms. How do we place limitations on where our bodies and minds can take us? There are casio keyboards. There are marshall half stacks. Also there is piano recorded in Scotts room on King Avenue. Love y'all forever and thanks for listening."
I'll admit that Reptar may be an acquired taste for some, but I have no doubt that most of you will grow obsessed quickly. Like I said last time, these guys, with their awesome name and outrageously independent attitude, are cool. Liking their music is only natural.

Orifice Origami - Reptar

Download Orifice Origami HERE

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

[Listen & Read] Birdy, A 15 Year Old Wonder

I'm a little embarrassed that I'm just now covering Birdy in her entirety. I featured a remix that uses her cover of Bon Iver's Skinny Love a long time ago, and sadly never focused on her again. What the hell have I been doing? Arguably the best current cover artist, Birdy is a stage name for the 15 year old singer/songwriter , Jasmine van den Bogaerde. She's from the UK and has been doing this whole singing thing since the age of 12. I'm trying to stay calm about this, but to hell with that; reality has to be shitting me. This girl, according to her website, will turn 16 in May. In my opinion, and much of the UK's opinion, she has already become one of the most pure and talented young talents out there. Her voice doesn't even make sense at her age, like she shouldn't be able to sing like that. 

But she does. And here are some possible theories as to how: 
1. She's an alien. Long shot, but worth questioning. I have no evidence so far, just a hunch. 
2. She had a vocal chord transplant around the age of 9 (given three years prior to her debut; she had to warm up first) 
3. Jasmine got her stage name after her parents began calling her Birdy whenever they fed her. She would open her mouth wide, just like a baby bird. Birds can sing. By the transitive property, Birdy is actually a bird. 

I'll be the first to say that none of what I have just written makes sense. That being said, I think it's imperative that you visit her website and read her story. This young lady is amazing and will be at the top of the music industry some day. She came out with her first album in November of last year and it consists of a random selection of covers. Its beautiful and worth every penny. Her next album, unnamed and lacking a debut date, will be the opposite - all originals. And that is truly amazing. 

Skinny Love - Birdy

People Help The People - Birdy

Purchase Birdy's Music HERE
Hit the jump below to view her live performance of Pheonix's 1901

[Download] Tony Lucca's Rendezvous With The Angels

Tony Lucca is one of my favorite singer/songwriters, so when I received an email from NoiseTrade telling me that they would be exclusively sharing his album "Rendezvous With The Angels" for free, I couldn't stop from smiling. The 'exclusive' tag that NoiseTrade has put on the album seems to mean more than just being shared on their website; it tends to suggest its a limited time offer. Hopefully I'm wrong. But assuming so, the dumb and delayed might suffer from this deal. If you're reading this however, you're probably of the latter and eager to download the next new thing. So why are you still reading? Go download it.

Lucca, for those of you who are pop culture junkies or just curious, is currently performing on NBC's The Voice and should win (I'm a little bias). Regardless of whether or not that happens, Lucca will undoubtedly continue to grow into a successful musician. Be sure to keep an eye out for him - his ever changing facial hair should make it fun at the least.

Like Love - Tony Lucca

Download "Rendezvous With The Angels" for free HERE 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[Download] Live Track Tuesday: The String Cheese Incident

I’ve been meaning to post this next live recording for quite a while now and was just reminded to do so when I heard that SirusXM’s radio station, JamOn, named it “Jam of the Year.”

The String Cheese Incident, a six-man band based out of Telluride, Colorado, has managed to make quite the name for themselves over the past 20 years. With a base layer of bluegrass covered in bits and pieces of rock, jazz, and funk, these guys are well worth a listen (although I'm sure you already know).

This track was recorded back in December at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. I apologize for the minute and a half of chanter, but trust me, before you know it, String Cheese starts into Rosie - a song that keyboardist, Kyle Hollingsworth, and his daughter wrote. The song is pretty elementary; it's about a spider they found in their house (explained by the lyrics, “Rosie, I have no fear for you. Rosie, I know who you are.”) But the talent is far from elementary. The crew smoothly transitions into a cover of Chromeo’s, Bonafied Lovin’: a song that also deserves recognition.

This is looking to be a big summer for String Cheese, so if they end up in your area, be sure see them. You can find their tour schedule here. Enjoy

Rosie Bonafied Lovin' Rosie (Live at Aragon Ballroom, CI) - The String Cheese Incident

Purchase The String Cheese Incident's music HERE

Sunday, March 25, 2012

[Download] The Bomb Shelter Sessions - Vintage Trouble

"Live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth'd, pelvis-pushing juke music." 

Their name says it all - Vintage Trouble is a fast paced soul and blues band based out of Los Angeles. This four member band won't hesitate to get in your face, and in fact they seem to thrive on their rambunctious style. Ty Taylor, the lead singer, serves as the ring leader as he jumps, dashes, and contorts his body around every stage they play on. Hell, the band is so devoted to being loud and brilliant that they're selling their own line of women's underwear (Gentleman: 95% cotton thong for $10 coupled with their new album, and you have yourself a perfect gift for that special someone). In short, don't expect to lay back and relax to Vintage Trouble. Their music will have you moving around on first listen guaranteed. 

The group came out with a new album titled "The Bomb Shelter Sessions" earlier this month in the UK, but doesn't debut in the United States until April 24th. Luckily for the stingy and impatient, NoiseTrade teamed up with Vintage Trouble and has brought us four of the 10 tracks on that album for free. They're spunky, they're funky, they're Vintage Trouble.

Blues Hand Me Down - Vintage Trouble

Download NoiseTrade's Sampler HERE
Purchase Vintage Trouble's Album THERE

Thursday, March 22, 2012

[Download] Long Cold Lonely Winter - I Dream In Colour

I'm a creature of comfort. I fear big changes and I'm perfectly content sticking within a niche for a while. Occasionally, however, I'm either forced or have some minor-scale awakening that compels me to try something new. Be it a foreign food or sky diving (let's not get ahead of ourselves; that's a ways down the road). Well I'm having one of those minor-scale compulsions right now - and I mean minor. I like my American based music. It's familiar and it's what I've grown up with. Foreign artists always trigger some red flashing warning somewhere in the depths of my mind that in many cases hinders my ability to enjoy. 

Not this time. Granted, I Dream In Colour is only from across the pond, the members speak (rather sing) English, and they barely have accents, I have momentarily overcome my mental blockade against musical xenophobia. How cultured of me. The song below is a recent release entitled Long Cold Lonely Winter, and it is a foot stomping, momentum gaining track. It's foreign, and I love it.

Long Cold Lonely Winter - I Dream In Colour

Download and purchase more of 
I Dream In Colour HERE or THERE

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[Download] Sunday Lane and Thick As Thieves

I'm a big fan of groups that mesh hip-hop with acoustics. In today's age, with the crap (dubstep and frat rap) kids listen to today, hip-hop seems to be largely relatable throughout many age groups. Whether we like it or not, hip-hop is our generation's music. Groups that can take rap and incorporate it into rock, however, have a special ability to relate to and bring together multiple audiences. In short, this kind of music is unique and it works well. 

I recently interviewed Sunday Lane, a young talent with an amazing voice. Her solo career is not the focus this time however, and I'm gonna hold true to the promise I made her: I'm featuring her band Thick As Thieves. And yeah, you guessed it, its a band that incorporates hip-hop really well. They recently finished up a national showcase for NACA in Charlotte, North Carolina. The end result, as they're hoping and as it should result in, is an increase in exposure around college campuses all over the states. 

Nick Richey, the rapper of the group, has a really unique voice and flow - think of Nas, but more 'umph' - and Sunday's soulful, and increasingly sassy voice has created an entertaining mix. Their music is new, and it is refreshing. The five member band recently debuted a four song EP and have made it available for free, alongside a remix to Wonderwall, on their website. Stream my favorite below and then visit their site in order to grab the entire project. And hey, don't be shy if you like their sound: email if you want them to come to your college.

Freight Train - Thick As Thieves

Download Thick As Thieve's free E.P. HERE

[Listen] Covering Your Wednesdays: Levon Helm

My favorite band of all time is The Band. I honestly can’t count the number of times I have watched "The Last Waltz," and I've always been intrigued by not only The Band’s music, but their story as well. Many would say that Robbie Robertson is the “front man” of The Band, but I’d like to disagree. There’s no way that some Canadian wrote songs such as The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Up On Cripple Creek and The Weight (even though he has claimed authorship on most of The Band’s songs…you can read a good article about this topic here).

The real man behind these classic hits is Levon Helm: a native from a small town in Arkansas who has done more for music in my opinion than all others in his field. Levon played the drums for The Band, but also provided a deep country, yet soulful voice for the five-man-band.

Even though the Band is long separated, Levon is still rocking. He has released numerous solo albums, including two studio albums in his later years. Today’s track is a cover of The Grateful Dead’s Tennessee Jed from Helm’s album, "Electric Dirt."  In this classic tune, Levon manages to take it and really spin it around with more of a swing feeling filled with horns and some other groovy instruments, all while keeping it in his “roots.”

If you like what you hear, be sure to check out more of Levon’s work. Also, if you’re lucky enough to live up north near New York, I would highly suggest you look into attending one of Levon’s Midnight Ramble’s that are hosted in his cabin in the upstate. From what I hear, it is quite the experience and I definitely plan on making the trip myself. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out the recently released live album, "Ramble At the Ryman," which is a recording from a weekend up in Woodstock featuring acts such as Sam Bush, Sheryl Crow, John Hiatt, and Buddy Miller, all with of course Levon Helm on the drums. Enjoy

Tennessee Jed (Grateful Dead Cover) - Levon Helm 

Purchase more of 
Levon Helm's music HERE

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

[Listen] Matthew Mayfield - Simple Man

Just in case there are any late night music junkies that don't visit the site until after every other possible task has been completed, here's one more track (and coincidentally another cover) for your Tuesday. I've featured Matthew Mayfield before, and you can bet that I'll be talking about him for as long as he's making music. His voice is filled with cracks, its rustic, and it's powerful. That's a deadly combination and can make for some pretty moving music. Case in point: Mayfield's cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man. This one's not an easy task, but of course you wouldn't know that because Mayfield has managed to make this one his own. Lay your head down tonight and forget your worries; be a simple man for once.

Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover) - Matthew Mayfield

Purchase More of 
Matthew Mayfield's Tunes HERE 

[Download] Live Track Tuesday: Blues Traveler

We've been absent for a little while, we know, and we apologize. March Madness kept us glued to the television and work kept us thoroughly lacking in the motivation and inspiration departments. We're back this week, however, and excited to share music we're overdue on. 

If you're not a fan of Blues Traveler, get out. Leave now, and don't think about coming back. If you're not a fan of Sublime, that is understandable, but since this is a cover of them done by the harmonica junkies that are Blues Traveler, you will undoubtedly enjoy this week's Live Track Tuesday. Covering a legendary song is almost always disastrous; if its already perfect, why mess with it. I say almost because if the artist covering the legend is also a legend, the outcome can be something special. Blues Traveler's version of Sublime's What I Got is just that; it's soulful, it's bluesy, it's everything that you would imagine it would be coming from their infamous style. I apologize for the sub par sound quality, but I guarantee you'll be downloading this one. It's like a legend, dude.

Oh and they're currently on tour with the Barenaked Ladies, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, and Cracker. Look up a show date near you and go if you have any wits about you.

What I Got (Sublime Cover) - Blues Traveler

Download this one for free by clicking the down arrow to the right.

Purchase Blues Traveler's Music HERE

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[Download] Covering Your Wednesday: Yonder Mountain String Band

Here’s a great cover that should cover all of your bases for the day: Yonder Mountain String Band’s rendition of The Talking Heads’ Girlfriend Is Better. Honestly, any Talking Heads cover is a piece of gold such as Widespread’s ruin of Swamp, but when you throw in a banjo, a mandolin solo, and some Yonder, everything just gets better. I hope y’all are enjoying this beautiful day and that this track makes it even more enjoyable.

Check out and download more YMSB music HERE

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

[Listen] Amos Lee - Windows Are Rolled Down

It’s Wednesday: a day many refer to as, “Hump Day,” as we’re finally making it over the hump of the workweek. If you’re in the same situation as Hobbs and I are, this knowledge may be the only thing that’s keeping you going. But if that isn’t enough, here’s a track from Amos Lee that should help you keep on trucking. It has that upbeat and almost “everything will be ok” feel to it, which with the workload that I’m dealing with at least, is definitely necessary. So if you’re currently slamming your head against your desk at a loss of what to do, stop for a second, play this song and just remember that it’s Hump Day. You’ll have no worries in just 48 hours. Enjoy.


Purchase this song and more music 
by Amos Lee HERE

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[Listen] Sebastian by Reptar

So Reptar is a cool band name. Not only does it remind you of the boney mascot for the Rugrats, but in some unexplained way, it defines their sound. It's a perfect fit. I'm betting most of you haven't heard about these guys before, so go ahead and visit one of the coolest websites ever created, ever. How genius is that? I can tell you're thoroughly impressed with their website, so on some subconscious level, you should be hooked on their music before you even listen to it. 

But who wants to guess? Reptar released their newest track, Sebastian, a couple of days ago, and it's everything they stand for - indie greatness bundled up in an electronic rock. The track comes as an addition to their already debuted EP, "Oblangle Fizz Y'all." I don't know what that means, but since I'm already subconsciously addicted to everything Reptar has to offer, I think it's the coolest project title ever. Damn these guys are cool. Enjoy

Click the down arrow to the right to purchase and download
Purchase more of Reptar's music HERE

Monday, March 5, 2012

[Download] More Monday Studying: Big K.R.I.T.

I wanted to go off of Hobbs’ last post for the introduction of this next track. I completely agree with Hobbs on needing something “upbeat” every now and then to get the books rolling when you’re hitting writer's block or whatever it may be; but I also believe that a sort of complimentary type of music is necessary to make your studying experience optimal. After hours of frying your brain with calculus, cell biology, finance, etc., I am a firm believer that some sort of a “cool down” is needed. 

Luckily for us, Big K.R.I.T. (I know what you may be thinking when you hear that name, so please bear with me) just released his new mixtape today called 4Eva N A Day. The highly anticipated mixtape is comprised mainly of Big K.R.I.T’s southern rap style, but also has a selection of slower, more (should I say it?), groovy tunes that are perfect for the kind of study-recovering that I am talking about. Here is Wake Up featuring Willie B on the saxophone. So while you’re cooped up in your respective study area, try out both Hobbs’ and my own remedies for your Monday studying; you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy.

Wake Up - Big K.R.I.T.

Download the rest of Big K.R.I.T's new mixtape HERE

[Download] Monday Studying: Carlos Serrano

I'm overwhelmed with work this week. Usually Monday Studying is reserved for the ambient and acoustic, but with a week like mine, sometimes the funky and upbeat is the way to go. Think of it as a pace setter; there's no time to sit back and leisurely complete some math problems. You need to be checking off the to-do list without wasting time. Carlos Serrano, a DJ based out of San Diego, has an answer for those stuck in the library, surrounded by a fort made out of books (which sounds awesome until you realize you have to read all of them). 

I hope you're not too sick of hearing Adele remixes and mashups; we've tried to steer clear since most are butchered. Even if you are tired of hearing her golden voice, you need to give Adele one more shot. This mashup is funky, it's unexpected, it's Daft Punk. I guarantee you'll be bobbing the head back and forth within seconds of first listen. If you're not, then something isn't wired properly in ya head. Procrastinating or not, you should be listening to this track in your book fort. Have at it

Something About The Fire - Carlos Serrano

Click the down arrow to the right to grab this one for free.

Download more of Carlos Serrano's remixes and mashups HERE

Sunday, March 4, 2012

[Read] An Interview With Sunday Lane: Music, Hair, and Snakes

I recently had the pleasure of asking Miss Sunday Lane a few questions and have decided that I've developed a crush (Sunday doesn't know this; well I guess now she does). Unfortunately for you and your better enjoyment, I held back in the interview. We did, however cover some interesting topics such as her lions mane hair and fear of snakes. If you're interested, which you should be because she's an amazing artist (I'm not being obvious, am I?), hit the jump to read through our dialogue and download some of her best...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

[Download] Blending Your Thursdays: GRiZ

Here’s a soothing blend of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” by Grant Kwiecinski, who lucky for us simply goes by the name, GRiZ. The Detroit native keeps that famous guitar lick going while throwing in some heavy beats, while not forcing them on the track, which I like a lot. GRiZ is able to keep these beats coming, while smoothly transitioning into a more glitchy approach to this classic around the 2:30 mark, killing it in the process. I hope you enjoy this track, and that it helps you start your weekend off the right way – early. You can find more of GRIZ’s work on his Soundcloud page and keep up to date with him through facebook and twitter. Enjoy.

Behind Blue Eyes (GRiZ Remix) - The Who 

Download more GRiZ remixes HERE

[Download] Blending Your Thursdays: Sound Remedy

Repeat after me, subtle is better. There's nothing I hate more than a remix or mashup with an obnoxious amount of bass and glitch. Dubstep is not music in my opinion, and I'm glad some DJ's recognize the fact that subtle additions rather than overwhelming wobble make the best remixes. Sound Remedy (for the most part) is an example of an artist who can remake a track with the perfect amount of instrumental additive. He's masked and unnamed but he can spin a track and flip it on its head, but will leave you with enough of the original to maintain a nostalgic feeling. Take the following remixes, in which Neil Young and Nirvana are given modern makeovers. Again, subtle is better...see for yourself my friends.

Old Man (Sound Remedy Remix) - Neil Young*

All Apologies (Sound Remedy Remix) - Nirvana*

Download more Sound Remedy HERE
*Don't get your panties in a wad if the music doesn't stream instantly, be patient..