Latest Blog Posts

by Kevin Korber

23 Jul 2013


Jake Portrait has found himself in the middle of everything.

The Portland native has recently moved to the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and he finds himself surprised at his new home’s place in the indie music world: the offices of Jagjaguwar Records and Captured Tracks are on his block, and musician Brad Oberhofer (of Oberhofer) is a neighbor. It’s a surprising situation for Portrait to be in, but not an unfortunate one: the musician/producer/engineer is currently having a pretty good year so far as the bassist of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the solo project-turned-band of Portrait’s friend Ruban Neilson whose new set II has become one of the most talked-about indie rock albums this year.

by Imran Khan

25 Apr 2013


His stage name translates as “Rotten World” but lately, life for Mondo Marcio has been pretty sweet. One of Italy’s top rappers, the artist has for the last decade been helping give form to a highly misunderstood genre of music in his home country and selling loads of albums in the process. A once callow teenager taken in by the world of hip-hop, he has now blossomed into a fully assured individual who works steadily to reinvent the genre through a particularly Italian perspective. Six proper albums into his career, Mondo (whose real name is Gianmarco Marcello) has now cultivated a style that incorporates everything from electronica and R&B to orchestral pop and dancehall reggae into his rumbling, bass-saturated brand of hip-hop.

Born in Milan, the 26-year-old struggled with a difficult upbringing that saw his home-life in disarray and at the mercy of Social Services. With such an inauspicious start in life, the rapper was left to fend for himself, trying to keep afloat, rather unsuccessfully, with school and the troubles of a broken family life until inspiration finally hit. With courage and a burgeoning sense of curiosity, Mondo abandoned the everyday routines of teenage life for the more dangerous and exciting turns of the music world. Adopting a stage name that would reflect the youngster’s outlook on life, Mondo quickly worked his way up, spitting rhymes and cutting tracks, honing his craft until he could manage to put together a solid collection of work to bring to the masses. After releasing a demo, which he shopped around to a number of music execs at independent labels, the young Italian soon caught the attention of those in the growing circles of the hip-hop communities in Italy. A proper debut was released in 2006 and since then, the platinum-selling artist has been churning out albums that have further carved a niche in the thriving and vibrant scene of Italian hip-hop.

by Imran Khan

23 Apr 2013


Lori Carson spent the last three decades immersed in the life of song, sketching out the details of her most personal explorations in a series of chord progressions, overdubs, and musical meters. Her music introduced the world to a highly introspective and sensitive woman who seemed to be communicating a life’s worth of trouble and joy by way of the guitar. Carson’s first effort, 1990’s Shelter, was a shy entrance into a world dominated by excessive noise; hair bands were dying out, hip-hop was just cresting in the mainstream, and British dance music had started to expand beyond the borders of the UK. Shelter was brave, in that it forced Carson into a lone confessional space with only her guitar. At the time, female singer-songwriters brandishing guitars were far and few between, and the industry hadn’t much time for young women making big confessions in very small ways. Carson’s music defied those misconceptions. Her musings may have been secretly intimate and, therefore, easily ignored, but her no-nonsense storytelling approach and convincing sway with melody and inflection ushered those who did listen into her small, private world.

Anton Fier, founder of the Golden Palominos, took notice and invited the singer to appear on two of the band’s most inventive and forward-thinking albums, This is How it Feels and Pure.  Both albums explored electronic textures in a rock-band set-up, with Carson’s breathy cooing and warm acoustic guitar giving a sensual shading to each of the seductive numbers she appeared on. Following her stint with the Palominos, Carson would return to recording solo, turning out quietly devastating works, like 1997’s Everything I Touch Runs Wild, recorded mostly in the calm privacy of her apartment. Wild, the album in which the artist was finally received with some attention outside of her cultishly small fanbase, borrowed some of the influences heard on her collaborations with the Palominos, along with some of their guest session players (most notably Bill Laswell). A string of albums would follow, exploring various reaches of folk, pop, and electronica, and Carson remained musically active whilst still keeping a low profile and on the margins of commercial success.

by Imran Khan

2 Apr 2013


I first discovered Hannah Marcus’ music nearly ten years back. Hearing the opening strains of “Laos”, a track off her last album, Desert Farmers, I was nearly frozen in place. I wasn’t sure how or why, but something in the song called to me on a deeper, more private level than any other song I had heard. It seemed to invade such a personal space within me where I held deeper, undisclosed emotions and, yet, it wholly belonged in that space. After half an hour’s worth of hearing the song on repeat, it found a home in me and it has since never left.

What especially caught my attention was Marcus’ utterly strange and distressing way of turning a phrase, sounding out a word with an inflection so alien, it startled and seduced in equal measure. Her songs were like doors to other worlds that explored the ideas of situational love and lives configured by loss and abandonment. In Marcus’ songs, people struggle not to survive but to simply exist; survival and the pain endured is merely an afterthought. To be able to encapsulate the heady and emotional complexities of human drama in the span of a pop song is an achievement in itself. To pen an indelible melody to accompany her striking visionary world is leaps and bounds over the moons of many songwriters.

by Sachyn Mital

27 Mar 2013


Last year, the Brooklyn band Red Baraat was ranked #8 amongst the Top 50 Coolest Desis by Desiclub. The dhol ‘n’ brass band has seen a rapid rise in their success and repute, having performed this year at an inaugural ball in Washington D.C., during Mardi Gras in New Orleans and then several shows at South by Southwest in Austin. The festive season doesn’t end there, however. Red Baraat is holding a celebration for the Hindu holiday of Holi with two Festival of Colors shows, one in Philly on March 28th and another the following night in New York City. While the throwing of rang (colored powders) may not go over so well with the management of an indoor club, the energy from the band won’t need to be toned down.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Doctor Who': Casting a Woman as the Doctor Offers Fresh Perspectives and a New Kind of Role Model

// Channel Surfing

"The BBC's announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor has sections of fandom up in arms. Why all the fuss?

READ the article