Category Archives: 2012

Mr. Invisible (Charlotte, NC)

Mr. Invisible - Nice Touch

“Mr. Invisible… never fails to grab everybody’s attention and get their bodies rocking. It would be impossible to describe how much talent projects from them. Slinging their bodies back and forth naturally to their beats, Ill-Use and Aswell spit rhymes with such precision; they could make the illest MCs look like amateurs…”

Creative Loafing

Mr. Invisible is a team of two MC/producers based in Charlotte, NC. Known for their energetic live shows infused with demonstrations of high technical proficiency, Mr. Invisible has been rocking crowds with their brand of progressive hip-hop music since 2005. Up-tempo beats, fast raps, and B-boy inspired breaks are the backbone of the group’s sound.

Mr. Invisible draws heavy inspiration from old school rap as a foundation, then stands on it blasting futuristic weapons in the form of live beat production and sample manipulation.
These components, mixed with wide-ranged rhymes referencing quantum mechanics, underdog determination and a love for all the elements of hip-hop, create the music known as Mr. Invisible.

Mr. Invisible’s group members, Justin Aswell and Ill-Use are responsible for both vocals and production. Together they demonstrate flow that’s simultaneously easy and relaxed, quick and nimble over intricate beats performed live. They are known to international audiences via their popular YouTube channel, which has over 2 million views. Mr. Invisible is sponsored by Native Instruments, a Berlin-based maker of hardware and software for musicians. The group starred as a centerpiece of the 2010 marketing launch for Native Instruments’ MIDI production platform, Maschine.

Widely considered a pioneer in the emerging field of live drum machine performance, Justin Aswell recently starred in an educational series, teaching drum machine performance techniques for Dubspot Electronic Music Production and DJ School in New York, NY. Aswell is a classically trained musician who holds a degree in percussion performance from the University of North Carolina.

Mr. Invisible has toured with Doomtree, DJ Vadim and One Self. They have performed with Atmosphere, Astronautalis, Dead Prez, EPMD, J-Live, Little Brother, Mac Miller, and Wu-Tang Clan among many others. They’ve also rocked massive crowds at key electronic and hip-hop music events such as Low End Theory in Los Angeles and the A3C Hip-Hop Festival in Atlanta.

Links:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud
Youtube

Dorado (Birmingham, AL)

Dorado - Molotovs

One of the ongoing alternate universes of Birmingham, Alabama’s, Through the Sparks, on the same book case, with Cosmo Vac and Grey of the Eighties.
Live, Dorado often includes members of Through the Sparks, but is other times a Smothers Brothers set up with Jody Nelson and bassist Jay(son) Taylor.
The songwriting is lyric-based and aims at something that might be called “new traditional folk music” but has no sonic restrictions. It’s sort of like what would happen if the Traveling Wilburys had let a 1980s Bob Dylan do all the singing. The debut record “Modern Man: Second-hand Stories” is set for release in the late summer/early fall.

Members:

Jody Nelson
Greg Slamen
Jay(son) Taylor
Shawn Avery
James Brangle

Links:

Facebook

Floco Torres (Macon, Georgia)

Floco Torres - Catch Me

“I was set to go to a Floco Torres concert. Who is Floco Torres? That’s your first problem” — Stephen Kearse

New Jersey native Floco Torres is a 24-year-old emcee who parlayed an early bad break with the music industry into an award-winning extended stay down South. After learning—on the tail end of his 15-hour drive—that a record label internship had evaporated, he couch surfed with family in Macon, Georgia, once the home of music legends like Otis Redding, Little Richard, James Brown and the Allman Brothers. No stranger to tough luck, he immediately went to work and earned his first award for Best Local Hip-Hop less than a year later. This past summer, he came out on top of the Gateway Project music competition, taking home a grand prize package worth $50,000 and later releasing a new EP, “10,000 Hours,” to celebrate his victory.

The EP came on the heels of “Floco’s Modern Life,” a full-length album on indie label Random Family Records, which was recorded with a live band and funded by his fans through Kickstarter. His music videos—both self-made and the professionally produced “Cherry Street”—have garnered tens of thousands of views and gotten his work noticed in several magazines, blogs and websites. His most recent mixtape, “Ralph BIGhead,” was presented by B.o.B’s concert DJ, Shawty Slim.

A smart, provocative and playful lyricist, Floco Torres slings references as divergent as the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” highlight reels from ESPN’s Sportscenter, the books of Malcolm Gladwell, Nickelodeon cartoons and Petula Clark’s greatest hits. And he hammers it home with a flow that glides over any beat thrown his way. As good as his studio work is, it is his stage show that has endeared him to a growing number of fans because he never holds back. He leaves it all on the field when he’s done. The fact is, whether you’re listening at home or at a concert, no one will work harder to make you feel the music than Floco Torres.

Links:

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Youtube

Alvin Fielder Houston Quartet (Houston, TX)

Alvin Fielder is a pioneering jazz drummer, an important educator, and one of the founding members of the enormously influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians cooperative. Born in Meridian, MS in 1935, Fielder studied pharmacology at Texas Southern University from 1953 to 1956. During his years in Houston, he worked with various jazz and R&B groups including the Pluma-Davis Sextet, the house band at the legendary Eldorado Ballroom. He then moved on to Chicago, where he joined an early version of the Sun Ra Arkestra and played with musicians like Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson and Muhal Richard Abrams, with whom he organized the AACM in 1965 and appeared on its debut LP, Roscoe Mitchell’s “Sound” in 1967. Fielder returned home to Mississippi in 1969, where he ran the family pharmacy, worked to desegregate the schools, and developed the Black Arts Music Society. BAMS brought countless jazz improvisers to Jackson and inspired a new generation of the city’s musicians (including a young Cassandra Wilson). In 1975, Fielder began working regularly with New Orleans saxophonist Edward “Kidd” Jordan. The association breathed new life into his career, and since then he’s appeared on a handful of potent and critically acclaimed releases.

In the 2000’s Fielder started reconnecting with Houston through projects with David Dove and Nameless Sound. The “Houston Quartet” with Dove, Jackson, and Smith was formed to play an afternoon potluck on Christmas Eve Day, 2010. The location was The 3rd Ward Art Space LaBotanica, just downstairs from the ElDorado Ballroom where Fielder cut his teeth as a young drummer while a pharmacy student at Texas Southern.

Links:

Website

Wisdom Teeth (Birmingham, AL)

Wisdom Teeth - Of Corpse!

We are an emo/pop punk band started in Birmingham in October 2011. We played our first show January 8 2012 with Daniel Ryan on bass and vocals, Zane Lake on guitar and vocals and Dan Walker on drums. We recorded our first album with that lineup over the course of that winter. Since then we’ve changed our drummer to Jake Lovett. We’ve played shows with bands like Dowsing, Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate), Bomb the Music Industry!, Light Years, The Clippers, Literature and Rodeo Ruby Love

Links:

Facebook
Bandcamp

Tollie Jones (Birmingham, AL)

“Tollie Jones is a comedian, actor, director based out of Birmingham, AL. Tollie garnered critical acclaim by bringing his unique, cerebral approach to open-mic and showcase stages all over Birmingham, as well as for his alter egos, Horny Harry (the self-proclaimed Horniest Man in America) and “Good Times” Fellatio McNarrin (a manic-depressive lounge singer whose only flaw is an addiction to “good times.” And opium). His stand-up covers from John Malkovich to anti-depressants. Also, punctuation marks. Sometimes, professional wrestling.”

Links:

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Twitter

Natural Child (Nashville, TN)

Natural Child - Ain't Gonna Stop

“They’re a lot more fun than the Black Keys or Kings Of Leon or the few other bands that supposedly carried the torch for real rock in the past decade, and For the Love of the Game shows Natural Child maturing rapidly upon the classic rock radio moves of their debut 1971, and settling into their own skin a little bit.”

— Get Bent

“…YEAH, WELL, NOW THEY SOUND LIKE BOB DYLAN, THE STONES, STOOGES, NEIL YOUNG, WAYLON JENNINGS… WELL, EVEN WILLIE. I GUESS THEY’VE BEEN AT IT FOR A COUPLE YEARS NOW. BACK IN SUMMER OF ’09, BACK WHEN I MET EM, WEZ AND ZACK WERE EATIN WEED BROWNIES AND THEY REALIZED THEY NEEDED SETH IN THE BAND.

WELL, THEY DECIDED THEREFORE AND THEN TO START THE GREATEST ROCK N’ ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD–NATURAL CHILD. PROBABLY KNOWN AS MUCH FOR WHAT THEY SAY AS WHAT THEY DO, THEY’VE EARNED A REPUTATION OF GIVING AUDIENCES THE STRAIGHT DEAL. WORLDWIDE. THEY ARE CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF BUYING BILL WYMAN’S BASS AMP FROM 1970. GOD BLESS EM.” -Leon Russell

Links:

Facebook
Bandcamp

Androcles and the Lion (Athens, GA)

“To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect with Androcles and the Lion. All I knew was that they were from Athens. I was shocked and impressed with what I heard! Everyone was throwing out names of artists or bands that they thought Androcles and the Lion sounded like… but the sound that was most prevalent was fearlessness. It takes huge cojones to come into a “dive” bar that you’ve never played in before and throw down a solid set of slow jams and set the place on fire (metaphorically speaking).”-

WeAreTheUpstate.com

Androcles and the Lion formed in August 2010, after songwriters, McKendrick Bearden and Austin Harris, moved to Athens. The pair met while studying music at LaGrange College. To pass the time while working on composition projects the two began writing songs together. Upon graduating from LaGrange and moving to Athens, they were introduced to percussionist, Paul Stevens. In August 2011, the group released their debut EP, “As Far As Blindness Could See.” The album was recorded at Chase Park Transduction in Athens with engineer and producer, Drew Vandenberg. Androcles and the Lion is McKendrick Bearden, Austin Harris, and Paul Stevens.

Links:

Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp
Myspace

Twin Tigers (Athens, GA)

“I’m a sucker for anything loud and brooding and shoegazer-y, especially if it reminds me of Joy Division. These Athens, Ga., youngsters are better at overdriven guitar antics than most and are propelled by a very strong rhythm section. Bassist Aimee Morris is seriously fun to watch onstage, too. I love it when you can plainly see that someone just totally gets off on playing rock ‘n’ roll.”

— The Toronto Star

Hailing from the always fertile Athens, GA scene, Twin Tigers are ready to unleash their dynamic sound unto the universe. Along with other elements of the past five decades of rock music, Twin Tigers blend noise textures with pop structure and shoegaze overtones shaping a sound that’s all new.

Formed by co-workers at the Michael Stipe-owned Grit restaurant, guitarist/vocalist Matthew Rain and bassist Aimee Morris began Twin Tigers as their previous bands dissolved. In February 2008,Curious Faces / Violet Future EP was released to great reviews. The band quickly started building a solid fan base throughout the southeast and played shows with Deerhunter, Dead Confederate, Jay Reatard, Black Lips, Dungen, Woods, Snowden and A Place to Bury Strangers.

After a slew of revolving guitarists and drummers the band debuted its current lineup with guitarist Forrest Hall, opening for Les Savy Fav at the Earl in Atlanta only a few weeks before their first trip to SXSW 2009. Upon returning from SXSW, the band began recording an album with Joel Hatstat in Athens, GA.

Following the wrap up of their full length, the band was chosen for a nation wide tour with Minus the Bear and the Antlers in the fall of 2009, toured with the Hold Steady in the spring of 2010 and is hitting the road all summer with Interpol. Twin Tigers’ debut album Gray Waves is out now via Brooklyn based Old Flame Records.

Links:

Facebook
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Myspace

Tetsuo (Murfreesboro, TN)

“I was just lost in the electrifying drum beats and their stage presence.”

— Lynn Torres (9:29 PM Blog)

Tetsuo is a punk/hardcore band that formed in the chaotic Murfreesboro, TN rock scene in 2010. They have slowly gained respect regionally over the course of hundreds of concerts. Tetsuo’s main environment is the house venue. Their first album, These Crystals Don’t Burn, has become a local cult classic and their hard-rock tinged second album was also well received. Tetsuo is songwriter/guitarist Ardis Redford bassist Spencer Blake and drummer Austin Coppage.

Links:

Facebook
Soundcloud