Small Reactions play situational pop songs. Relying on the minimal instrumentation of guitar, bass, vintage organs, and drums, the quartet is equal parts new wave and post-punk, drone and surf.
Ultimately, however, genres are of little import. The band themselves prefer the term “nerve pop” to describe their music. The phrase comprises the frenetic energy of the late 70s new wavers and Bob Dylan’s shaky foot circa 1965. Sonically, they resemble equal parts “Chairs Missing”-period Wire and early Stereolab. Lyrically, they reside somewhere in the “new domestic” school.
Live shows, played to the absolute tipping point, express a sense of urgency, affectation, and a blur of electric noise. Songs refuse cadence naturally and the band will not stop moving.
C1UB:A.M. is a hip-hop collective hailing from Birmingham, AL and consisting of 3 members — Love N Sin, WhoSaine Jett, and ChriStyle. While still under the radar, their aggressive performances at open mic nights has landed the C1UB some opening show slots for big name artists such as Curren$y, Big Krit, Hopsin, Bubba Sparxxx, Mod Sun and more.
ChriStyle and Love N Sin formed the group in November of 2011 with Jett joining shortly after its birth based on common interests. C1UB AM’s sound varies between many styles of hip-hop, from North to South. You can expect drum driven production topped off with melodic encounters and in house production. Lyricism is a primary focus, and the C1UB is commited to getting their point across by delivering their lyrics with energy and focus. Wake up to the tune of the C1UB:A.M.!
On “Rome”, Birmingham, Alabama’s Through the Sparks conjures up a mighty indie-rock groove, something with the swagger of Spoon when it’s strutting its stuff
— Pop Matters
Through The Sparks is a Birmingham, Alabama-based rock band formed in 2003. They first received critical success following the release of their first full length LP, Lazarus Beach, in 2007 and have steadily released music with a new LP expected later this year.
Cash Lansky (Label 316, Murs 316) is an independentartist from Tucson, Arizona. Cash was hand picked by the Living Legend himself, Murs, and asked to be an artist on Murs’ label, Label 316. Cash has toured with the likes of Murs, Jabee, Kosha Dillz, Curtiss King, Mayday, and Mursday. Cash has been a part of several music festivals such as Viva PHX and SXSW 2014, as well as featured on a “Team Back Pack Cypher” for 2015 Cash is gearing up for another mixtape and album release, as well as plans for a tour with some of his Label 316 label mates.
The Regiment — Battle Cry (prod. by Apollo Brown).mp3
Modern day hip hop has become a battleground where binged out messiahs of materialism have often gained the upper hand, but MCs OSI and IseQold of the Regiment are the positive force for change in music.
OSI and Ise define the Regiment as “a number of people fighting for a common cause.” When the cause is something as vast as Hip Hop culture there are no individuals that can get the job done alone. OSI and IseQold now lead The Regiment and legions of music lovers wanting quality work are willing to join the battle. Dealing with the everyday struggles of trying to make it in an often brutal world, The Regiment leaves the gold plated fantasies to others. Taking cues from artists as diverse as KRS-1 and J-Dilla, the crew mixes the uplifting with the painfully truthful alongside production reminiscent of the days when people of all ages could listen and enjoy musical truth.
Chad Fisher has become one of the most sought after musicians in the south. He cut his teeth playing the trombone in the rich soul and jazz scene of Alabama and Mississippi, performing with local and regional bands, as well as soul legends The Temptations, Four Tops, Muscle Shoals’ The Swampers, and a host of others.
He is currently touring with St. Paul and The Broken Bones, including the band’s recent dates opening for The Rolling Stones.
He can also be heard on songwriter Jason Isbell’s record Live in Alabama, and appeared on Isbell’s recent performance on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center.
Fisher’s own band of all-star musicians is becoming known as one the region’s best. His songwriting is full of vocal melodies and harmonies inspired by the country music he heard as a boy, but combines the textures, horns, and rhythms of soul, afro-beat, and rock to create a unique and exciting music.
Star Mic is becoming a rising star. His witty lyricism coupled with a sick flow over dope beats also proves why he was the 2013 ASCAP freestyle contest winner.
— DJ V.I.P., hiphopsince1987.com
They say everyone has the ability to be a genius, born with a gift, or not. Michael Ashby “Star Mic” was born in Jamaica Hospital, Queens, New York as an only child. A quiet, yet commanding presence speaks to his aura. A beacon radiantly screaming a bright star the minute you hear Star Mic rhyme. Mic began rapping before he was 13, 11 years old to be exact. He didn’t take it seriously at the time until he put out his first project ‘From Queens To Everywhere’ in 2010. Many might ask when Mic first fell in love with Hip Hop and an interesting story was when, New York Radio Hot 97 dj and car fanatic Funk Master Flex introduced Star Mic to the world by calling him every day on his popular evening segment called “Air it out”. Star Mic daily activity intrigued Funk Master Flex so much that Star became a regular on the segment every night. Ironically a few years later Star Mic won Hot 97 Dj Monsee’s talent competition in New York. Beating out artists twice his age with a commanding stage presence, Star Mic captivates audiences when he performs. Showcasing an ability to make songs, records, rhymes better, and high powered at an age when most artist are just touching their talent surface. Star Mic has released three critically acclaimed mix-tapes; ‘From Queens To Everywhere’ parts 1 & 2, ‘Teenage Romance Love Story’ & his latest project ‘TEAR$ Over Diamonds’ which will be out soon! Star Mic appeared on the “Scream Tour” in 2011. Performing alongside some of today’s most promising up and coming young stars such as; “Mindless Behavior”, “Diggy Simmons” “Jacob Latimore”, “Juwan Harris”, and others. Star Mic has so far been on a journey to follow his dreams, and showing progress.
Rob Alley, “a trumpet player with an ambrosial tone whose most singular gift is his adroitness at the art of improvisation.”
— Mike Overall, Occasions Magazine
Solid Sender: An improvisational quintet making sounds inspired by late 60s/early 70s Miles and the NYC super-group Sex Mob, with directions in music by Rob Alley. And grooves. Yes, grooves. Lots of them. Deep ones.
The band consists of Alley 62 mile trumpet and directions in music, Andy Nevala – Fender Rhodes piano and pedals, Matthew DeVine – Wurli and pedals, Chris Kozak – electric bass and pedals, and Mark Lanter – drum set and a different kind of pedals. (A quick Google search will yield a plethora of information as to the band member’s prior high jinx. It’d be a waste of your time and space here.) Hope to see you out there. We’ll be. Out there, that is.
In an internet age where information is coming to us at light speed, how does one bridge the gap between real life and our pixelated version? Stay Tuned to find out.
One of the few live acts to successfully marry the concept of Audio and Visual – and quite possibly the only live Hip-Hop act to do so – Stay Tuned was the most fitting name for the outfit, based initially on their love for all “sub-genres” of Hip-Hop and music as a whole, and the influence those styles have had on them. This was first reflected in the recorded music made, taking Boom-Bap, Dubstep/Electro, Hardcore, Downtempo…righteously, whatever moved them at the moment, and crafting live sets as such. Boston MC, Akrobatik pointed out to the duo that he admired how they’d bounce around sonically in their live sets, which was also metaphoric for the ups and downs that were faced in the industry itself. The light bulb flashed. MC Mane Rok figured “Stay Tuned” would perfectly describe the musical path taken-of which grew when the live set coupled itself with the visual portion, leaving the group’s then DJ-DeeJay Tense- as the program director controlling a live video feed with his turntables. This continued to grow and began to come full circle, influencing how overall ideas and themes for albums came to fruition. The first being the fictional story of a serial killer (with an underlying theme questioning media practices) in the form of “Murder He Wrote: A Love Story.”
The Stay Tuned moniker would allow the group to have interchangeable parts. Akin to the idea of channel surfing, letting them invite special guest performers, making each show unique. The channel surfing idea has now come to full bloom in their self titled EP released 1/24/15 (simply take a listen to understand), which was also the official introduction of the groups new DJ, DJ AWHAT!! (formerly of The Pirate Signal,) and the change itself begs the listener to…well…Stay Tuned.
**NEWS FLASH** Another update has come the way of Stay Tuned in that they’ve officially added frequent collaborator and long time fellow L.I.F.E. Crew member Ichiban in to the fold. The trio officially released “After This Break”(5/2/15), a mixtape only found in physical format at live shows as well as having begun to work on a new 7 song EP. Stay Tuned.
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“A common complaint among those who follow new rock and pop is that there’s too much good music to take in. An intimate festival like Secret Stages confirms that’s so by emphasizing discovery rather than highlighting a dizzying cavalcade of established artists and newcomers rocketing toward the top. In a convivial atmosphere among eager, open-minded fans, Secret Stages illustrated that what’s bubbling beneath contemporary music’s densely populated surface is worthy of attention, too.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Secret Stages finds a way to blend every slice of Birmingham life. And doesn’t hesitate to remind you that uplifting something new still manages to honor the past.”
“If you want to find the unheard sounds of young, Southern musicians, the best place to do it these days is Birmingham’s annual Secret Stages Festival.”
—The Bitter Southerner
“In this age of instant gratification, the concept of a music festival where the main goal is for patrons to discover new bands – rather than see bands they already know and love – is risky to say the least. Yet here we are, in the fifth year of Secret Stages, and it’s going as strong as ever.”
“Secret Stages is already a far, far better music festival than anyone dreamed it might be.”
—Black & White
“…one of the biggest bangs for your buck you’re likely to find anywhere.”
"This festival is one of my favorite regional events. Most of these bands have yet to break out of their respective local scenes…It’s a great chance to wander around and discover a bunch of new music."
“Secret Stages succeeded in having more depth in regional and national indie acts than the recent Soundland (aka Next Big Nashville) and had the out-of-the-box feel that SXSW had 15-20 years ago.”
“Secret Stages is a testament to the vitality of the music landscape.”
“…one of the most exciting new music festivals in the Southeast”
“Despite the lack of marquee headliners, that are used to draw large audiences and boost attendance, Secret Stages continues to be a breath of fresh air in its commitment to local artists and their promotion. This ethic has proven to be effective as more and more people each year choose to attend Secret Stages.”
—The Blue Indian (Macon)
“It would have been anybody’s guess that Birmingham would host the best Indie Festival in the Southeast.”
—The Nashville Bridge
“With so many new or little-known acts coming to town, Secret Stages is shaping up to be Birmingham’s best event of the summer for discovering new music.”
“…At so many shows and festivals, the artists play their set and then get out. Not so with Secret Stages. I shook hands and spoke with nearly every act I saw. There’s a personal element to Secret Stages that I really haven’t seen anywhere else.”