Tuesday, July 31, 2012

[Listen] Carson Henley's Daring "100 Hours" Album

[Sounds like: Joe Cocker, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder]

Daring and successful. Carson Henley, a Seattle native, had just enough money to rent 100 hours in a recording studio - just enough time, in his young, determined mind, to create one of the catchiest albums of the summer. Undoubtedly inspiring and irresistibly funky, "100 Hours" is a 7 seven track work of groove-based art that was released at the end of June. The artist, the self-proclaimed "redefined Joe Cocker," is only 26. Clearly he's not letting his young age, nor limited funds and time, get in his way of creating great music. 

“I wanted to push creativity to the limit and I knew the magic would come," say Henley. "We managed to create an environment that was both organically conducive to my writing process and unbelievably intense and rewarding at the same time.” 

Working with friends, such as accomplished singer/songwriter Allen Stone, Henley managed to weasel out an album that was once the butt of all jokes...now is right about when all the naysayers have grown quiet. "100 Hours" is not only well produced, but it also makes us think Henley has learned how to channel the likes of Wonder and Winwood. Bottom line: "100 Hours," quick paced and groovy one moment then slow and soulful the next, is a must grab album for those looking for new music with an old school vibe. Stream the title track, Fire (which also happens to be one of the best of the summer)below and then hit the jump afterwards to watch a short documentary on the making of the album... 

Fire - Carson Henley

Stream "100 Hours" HERE
Buy the whole album or just Fire THERE

[Interview] An Interview with Mary C & The Stellars: Music, Italy, and T-Rex Arms

[Sounds like: Fitz & The Tantrums, Adele, Etta James]

My expectations were not met when I interviewed Mary C from the energetic band, Mary C & The Stellars half a month ago. In fact, my expectations were exceeded. Hailing from New York City and damn proud of it, Mary is a vocal talent who, until recently, suffered from overdue fame and attention. And although half a month ago I could be considered part of the guilty public who had never heard of Mary and her band, I’m proudly featuring them now and joining her rapidly growing fan base. Their next show is on August 28th at the Cape Cod Jazz Festival, which you can learn more about via their Facebook page.

I called Mary on her cell phone at noon on a Friday. I half-expected her to be chasing down a taxi - too busy to talk to me and too caught up in her recently found fame to want to. In the last few months, Mary C & The Stellars have been featured on MTV, AOL, and countless music blogs around the country. Proving me wrong, however, there were two rings and an answer. 30 minutes later, I hung up thinking Mary is pretty damn cool. Hit the jump below to read through our conversation, see how she proved me wrong, and discover a new talent that should make artists like Adele more and more nervous...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

[Listen & Download] Trampled By Turtles Release Free EP

[Sounds like: The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Yonder Mountain String Band]

Trampled by Turtles, the recent bluegrass and root-music powerhouse, has released a free, 5-song EP appropriately titled "Burn For Free" on NoiseTrade. Although this is not an official EP and is offered exclusively on NoiseTrade, we thought we'd share it with you. We know y'all grovel over anything mentioning the word 'free,' so this one is like throwing a dog a bone for us. If you're a TBT fan, then chances are you already have each of these tracks, but for some of you who may not be familiar with the Minnesota-based band, this may be a crash course on a warm-hearted roots band.

Download the "Burn For Free" EP HERE

Trampled by Turtles' album, "Where Is My Mind," was a huge success and has ultimately catapulted the band alongside (and then past) the likes of The Infamous String Dusters, Old Crow Medicine Show, and even the Avett Brothers. This free EP serves as a review of this album, as well as their latest project, "Stars and Satellites," which debuted in April. Despite only being a mix of previous songs, we can fully appreciate a reminder of just how good these guys are. Stream the entire "Stars and Satellites" album below, hit the jump to view a MUST WATCH short-film of TBT explaining themselves, and then head on over to Noise Trade to grab your free EP.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

[Listen & Remember] The Recycling Bin: July 2012

We're starting a new monthly feature called "The Recycling Bin." We'll be revisiting 3 artists from Beat Dropping's past each month not by regurgitating the same write-ups and linking to the previous posts, but will rather spotlight the archived artists as if we were discovering them for the first time: different (although in some cases the same) music and a new perspective. Part of this new perspective we'll be taking revolves around various themes coming in the form of a single question. This month we're re-familiarizing ourselves with artists Jay Nash, Cas Haley, and Sean Hayes, and we asked them what their dreams are in life. A simple question that received some complex responses. Hit the jump below to rediscover some of Beat Dropping's past artists and learn a different side of them...

Friday, July 13, 2012

[Read] A Lesson By Honest John and 5 Albums To Buy

Technology, despite it's daily ability to make our lives easier and more efficient, is slowly destroying something I, as well as those over the age of 40 (call me an old soul), love. It's a little bit ironic seeing that technology is what made them possible, but the obnoxious advancement of digital music has made collecting CDs and vinyl records obsolete. Why pay extra and wait for a CD to come in the mail when, with one click, you can have the same album instantly digital in front of you and for much less? This is where Honest John steps in...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

[Download & Watch] (Personally) The Most Anticipated Film of The Year [UPDATE]

UPDATE: We're sharing an exclusive deal of 25% off when purchasing the physical, just click the picture below.

It's a year old, but RAC's remix of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero's Janglin caught my ear this morning for the first time. As per usual, RAC uses their wide arsenal of musically-altering-but-not-overwhelmingly-so talents to slightly transform a song from great to greater. This track, despite how well executed it may be, is not the focus of this post, however. It's merely the catalyst. The real focus is on Emmett Malloy and his film, "Big Easy Express." Follow the jump after the remix below to learn more about the (personally) most anticipated film of the year... 

Janglin (RAC Mix) - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

[Listen & Read] Blues Traveler's 11th Album: "Suzie Cracks The Whip"

Rock & Roll's little brother, you know, the one that's a little more folky, strikes an uncanny resemblance to John Popper. Popper, the frontman for the notoriously jam and harmonica oriented Blues Traveler, has undergone a musical facelift, however. The little brother isn't so little anymore, and folk rock has exploded over the past couple of years, drowning out the once exciting group. 

So what do Popper and the rest of the Travelers do in order to restore their rightful spot at number one? They make their 11th album but with a new vibe and style to it, all while collaborating with a production team used to working with the likes of Katy Perry and Gym Class Heroes. Although risky (and upon first listen, sometimes questionable), it's not a bad idea for the band to stretch their limits. After all, it has been 18 years since they made their grand entrance into the music world with their forever greats, Run Around and Hook. "Suzie Cracks The Whip" is a rejuvenated, almost reinvented, Blues Traveler, and although we may have some beef with a few elements, we're digging the overall product...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[Listen & Download] Born at the Right Time: A Beat Dropping Playlist

[Sounds like: folk, rock, soul, and indie music]

Everyone seems to think they'd be better off living in the past. They say times were easier and filled with better music. And although we inevitably have our classics from preceding decades, I want to make my case for the present day in age. We may not have The Beatles anymore, but we do have something much more predominant and special today: singer/songwriters, folk, and indie tunes. There are more artists labeling themselves singer/songwriters now then there ever has been, and folk is on the brink of worldwide domination. 

It's for good reason, too. While endless surges of wannabe rappers flock to the recording studios and slowly kill music as we know it, singer/songwriters, folk artists, and indie do-it-yourselfers are keeping it in tact. We live in an age blasting real music that doesn't hesitate to steal you away for hours at a time. Respect will indefinitely be owed to the likes of Hendrix, Dylan, and Richards, but let us not forget we were born at the right time. Here are 25 songs to prove it... 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

[Listen & Watch] Introducing Canyons: Indie Dance Folk?

[Sounds like: Xavier Rudd, Breakbot, The Lumineers]

I wish I lived in Australia purely for their music. Aussies know how to jam out and do so with sounds only they can produce. From soft spoken dudes like Xavier Rudd to the more flamboyant John Butler Trio, Australians do it right. As of an hour ago I was introduced to a unique duo from down unda. They call themselves Canyons and their latest album, titled "Keep Your Dreams," was released in October of 2011. Destined to make a statement, this album encompasses a wild assortment of sounds, bouncing from dance to psychedelic folk (as far as we know, these guys just invented a genre) in an instant. Hit the jump to read more and listen to some of the coolest Aussie sounds around... 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

[Download & Listen] Jeremy Fisher's "Mint Juleps"

[Sounds like: Matthew Barber, The Steel Wheels, Timmy Curran]

Googling his name will only give you pictures of a toad from a children's story. Adding the word "music" after his name, however, will lead you directly to Fisher's new website, as well as his new album, "Mint Juleps." Damn glad we can think on our toes...

Fisher's voice is fairly simple, but it's this simplicity that reels you in for an easy listen. Coupled with his easy strumming, Fisher creates a project that is similarly styled like Ivan & Alyosha's work. Their sounds are much different, but the two groups do a good job of eliminating distractions. It's Fisher's voice, a few acoustics, and the occasional harmonica blow. Nothing more. Consequently, "Mint Juleps" is an enjoyable album for those who truly love folk. And although he may lose us on a few songs (such as I Lost My Baby, in which he switches up styles, including a whole new language), Fisher has us hooked. 

He's known for show-hopping on his bike - an unintentional symbol of his simplicity. Man, guitar, bike. That's all Fisher needs in order to prove he's more than just a toad in a children's book. Stream the downloadable track below, and then head over to Fisher's website to stream and purchase the entire album.

Built To Last - Jeremy Fisher

Stream and purchase "Mint Juleps" HERE

Friday, July 6, 2012

[Read & Listen] A Short Talk With Troup: The UK & Mickey Mouse's Teeth

[Sound like: Brandon James, Vince Gill, Tommy Stinson] 

Troup. is an interesting mesh of talent from both sides of the pond. The band is based out of Los Angeles, but front man, Alex Troup, hails from Wales. His British influence is undeniably present in the new band's work, but their overall sound is growing closer and closer to that of an American-rooted rock band. Their debut album, titled "Last Chance For Romance," is a testament to this. I'm most interested in a specific song off the album, however, which was sent to us by our friends at Cheeky Nasty (It's a management company, I swear). 

It's called Mickey Mouse Teeth and I have listened to it numerous times since it fell into my lap. And despite my obsessiveness over it, I still don't fully understand what it's about, hence my eagerness to ask Troup a few questions. Hit the jump below to read through my brief chat with Alex Troup about the UK and the song...