1.21 GIGAWATTS: New Brooklyn-Based Arts & Culture Magazine

1.21 Gigawatts is a NEW bi-monthly arts and music magazine based in Brooklyn, NY made by a group of Brooklyn based artists. It’s a full size, 32 page, full color magazine. Focused mainly on the New York music and art scene. Every issue includes a free downloadable playlist as well as an original piece of artwork in each copy.

The core staff all met while interning at PAPER Magazine, and after being inspired by what they saw and learned at the magazine they decided to create a publication that covered the Brooklyn scene and community. They have also picked up other staff members along the way including filmmakers, fashion students and others.

The first issue will include articles on Oberhofer, Bear in Heaven, The Yellow Dogs, Life Size Maps and artwork from the whole staff as well as a few other New York artists.

Here is the link to the Kickstarter campaign:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dannykrug/121-gigawatts-magazine
Get involved, all the cool kids are.

FS – Half Android album review

Brooklyn based dubstep producer/composer/musician, Fred Sardolini (better known as FS) recently released his new LP Half Android on Play Me Records.

In this release, his skills as a composer and artist gleam through the album’s diverse sound.  It’s not a surprise to find out he’s been playing different kinds of music since he was ten.  Every track offers an eclectic variety of sounds sampled, which creates a layered mix unique to most electro-glitch artists.  He also features former Root’s member Rahzel, and fellow dubstep artists Calvertron and Reid Speed. 

With mixed in melodies laced into the complex beats, heavy drops, and dynamic danceable rhythms, the album is a must listen for all your electro lovers. Incorporating the sounds of hip-hop, reggae, and jazz, the album provides an all inclusive sound.

Check out “iLLest Android,” “Lazers N Bass,” “Dub Combination,” and “Dial 999.”  Keep your eyes and ears out for this rising artist.


Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable interview

Hailing from North Wales, The Joy Formidable has won the hearts of rock music lovers with their album, The Big Roar. Thankfully, they will be playing at New York City’s Terminal 5 on March 28th.  I spoke with lead vocalist/guitarist, Ritzy Bryan.

I love the band’s name. How did you choose it?

It appeared in the first few weeks of writing back in North Wales; it could have been a lyric or a song title, but it felt like it captured more of the spirit in general.

You have some remarkable characteristics in your music (thick and textured melodies, riffs, pop hooks etc) that make you guys truly unique. Did you have any particular influences that helped inspire your sound?

We’ve always written in a bubble, we’ve never analyzed or referenced it to anything else. We’re passionate about music and we’re very open to all styles and genres, there’s only good or bad music ultimately. We’re inspired by artists that are themselves, that are dynamic, that have something to say, and that show a bit of heart.

I know you guys put a lot of emphasis on being a really good live band , over the past couple years, how do you think playing live has changed with the evolution of technology? Is it ever frustrating when people are fidgeting with their iPhones taking pictures?

Technology has to be embraced, it’s exciting and it has the ability to enhance the live shows if you strike a decent balance. We welcome what technology brings to our stage, but it can’t take the place of the soul and the sweat and the spontaneity.

How has coming from Wales made an impact?  Do the music trends differ in Wales compared to the U.S.?

We’re from North Wales. We had rural upbringings and music was a retreat. It’s a quiet area… There’s a lot of talent, but not a huge legacy of bands who have broken through to wider audiences. We didn’t have a lot of references, nothing to compare ourselves to and I think that brings a greater sense of creative freedom and a tenacity to shake things up. We don’t really pay attention to music trends on either side of the pond.

You have several sold out shows throughout the U.S. and plenty of major music festivals under your belt, all within a couple of years.. Did you initially anticipate any of these exciting things when you first started the band?

We didn’t give it any thought to be honest.  From the start, we were driven by the chemistry of the songwriting and the connection we had as a band. None of us were having an easy time.  This band was and still is our sanctuary and our distraction.

What are you listening to these days?

Not very much, we’ve been finishing our second album and that usually silences our listening habits.

What are your future plans?

We’ll be releasing our second record this year, that bodes to keep us busy.

For more information, check out www.thejoyformidable.com

Young the Giant at Terminal 5

I’m not surprised Young the Giant immediately sold out their show at NYC’s Terminal 5. Considering they are fairly new to the industry (their self titled album released in October 2010), YTG have made quite the name for themselves. Their tracks have quickly climbed to the top of the Billboard charts, performed at MTV’s 2011 VMA’s, and their songs have been featured in several television shows.  This talented Irvine, California crew have set a bright path.

Lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia soothed the audience with his mesmerizing vibrato.  His wide range of pitch and tambourine skills were clearly demonstrated throughout the night.  As he rhythmically moved across the stage, shaking his tambourine and passionately singing on top of beautiful guitar riffs, it was obvious as to why the band reached fame so quickly.

If there were three words to describe their show, they would be energetic, unique, and beautiful.

Energetic: One of the most animated lead vocalists I’ve seen. In “Guns Out,” during the lyrics, “Where the stars meet the sky,” he was literally close to touching them.  Also, on their last and most famous song (“My Body”) Gadhia did a bit of crowd surfing, making all the women on the verge of bursting out into tears of joy.

Unique: YTG incorporated a wide range of high and low notes and have embraced the ‘eternal summer’ sound that many bands attempt to reach. The hooks, along with the quartet, cello, chimes, and two mic set up (one regular, one for echoes), were the perfect combination for their layered melodies.

Beautiful: Not to sound too poetic, but it was a sea of pretty sounds.

Two years ago, they played at Lower East Side’s Pianos, and now they played a sold-out show at Terminal 5.  At this rate, Madison Square Garden here they come!


Nero coming to NYC!

Everyone is waiting with heavy anticipation for March 31st. On this beautiful Saturday night, two of the biggest names in the EDM industry are performing at the Roseland Ballroom. Nero and Dillon Francis are conjoining forces to take on North America on their ‘Second Reality Tour’.

In short (forgive me for sounding cliche), but it’s going to be undoubtedly epic.  Debuting at number 1 in the UK album chart, Nero’s album, Welcome Reality, has received acclaimed reviews. Some of the singles on the album including “Promises,” “Crush on You,” “Guilt,” and “Me & You” which have all been remixed and played throughout clubs around the world.

If you haven’t heard of this talented London duo, immediately check into reality because the ‘Second Reality Tour’ is going to be a night you don’t want to miss.

For more information, visit http://us.thisisnero.com/tickets/.

…we heart Oberhofer…

It’s very simple; no one can get enough of Brad Oberhofer. He broke out with the fresh sound that everyone had been craving to hear. Now, this Tacoma bred-Brooklyn based artist is rollin’ with the core music crowd and gaining notoriety by the day. Luckily, you can catch him at the Bowery Ballroom March 21st. Every one of your pennies would be worth it.

What’s the difference between Washington State’s versus Brooklyn’s music scene?

Oberhofer: I think Brooklyn’s music scene is just more expansive! There are so many places to play, so many neighborhoods to hang out in, and more potential friends!

You blew up after the release of o0Oo0Oo.  Were you surprised at how quickly everything evolved?

Oberhofer: I don’t think I really noticed!

So you play all the instruments separately on your album?

Oberhofer: Mostly. The rest of the band plays on the record too! Matt Scheiner plays some guitar parts, Dylan Treleven plays some bass, and Pete Sustarsic plays drums.  I also had my friend Kristine Kruta play cello, my friend Tessa Sacramone play violin, my friend Cicourel Hanly play Oboe, and my friend Natalie Young play flute. (Steve Lillywhite played a percussion track here and there.  They’re all super talented.

I read you started playing music in 4th grade.  From that point on, did you always know you wanted to be a professional musician?

Oberhofer: No, it took a while!

I also read you used to freestyle rap. Would you ever incorporate any freestyling/hip-hop elements into future tracks?

Oberhofer: Maybe, I haven’t tried yet!

You have recorded some beautiful love songs. Is that one of the main themes present in your music?

Oberhofer: I love a lot of things, I figure it must.

My friend told me about the epic time when you performed a cover of Kanye’s Runaway at Spotify’s show at Mercury Lounge. Are you ever going to release that version?

Oberhofer: That sounds fun!

Congrats on Coachella! What an honor….On a scale from 1-10, how excited are you to perform at the festival?

Oberhofer: 10!

I always ask a random question, do you have a favorite karaoke song? 

Oberhofer: I don’t pick favorites, but I did Space Oddity the other night and it felt really nice.

interviews music videos press releases

Keeping it classy with The Darcy’s | The Darcy’s Interview

The Darcy’s, the Toronto rock quartet, recently released their new album, AJA and are starting their first U.S. tour. I caught up with guitarist/vocalist Jason Couse, the day before they headed to their first stop in California.

So how’s the touring circuit been?

Couse: It’s good. We haven’t really done this much year. We had one night off in Montreal, we then drove all the way through there and back, which was a nice taste for what was to come in the next two weeks. We’re just getting started for the season, and it’s going to be action adventure for sure.

Do you guys have a favorite song to play during shows?

Couse: Recently, we’ve been playing Home at Last off of AJA. It seems to be a good mood setter for the set.  Also, for us it helps us all connect to each other and feel warmed up and ready to cook for the rest of the time. That’s kind of the top track right now. 

Is Steely Dan one of your band’s main inspirations?

Couse: Yeah, in an indirect way. It’s kind of the music that we all grew up with our father’s playing in the car and they were like, “Listen to this! You will learn to love this one day.” The interesting thing about Steely Dan is there is a very lustrous shine to it that people find it hard to break through. It’s kind of mischievous sometimes. Learning it as kids, we kind of took it for granted.  It hasn’t necessarily influenced all the music we have made but it comes down to their attention to detail, and their constant reinvention we respect in a big way. 

What was your decision to release your album for free?

Couse: There are a lot of bands that are trying to put up music right now. Us, as a relatively young and new band, it’s really important that we try to maximize our exposure and grow as much as we can in our own way.  We try to have as many people as we can hear us, rather than make a couple dollars off a record. This way, we will be exposed to more people which is important to us because we didn’t work on AJA thinking about how much money we can make. Rather, it was us pouring ourselves into a creative project and trying to realize it was fully possible. After working that hard, you want people to hear it. You want it to be accessible to them. That’s what it’s made for, made for sharing. 

The tough thing about that is there’s a lot of resources going into a rock band including touring, traveling. You need a van with lots of equipment, time off work, etc. It’s gets tricky at a certain point, but it’s all with a greater purpose in mind. 

How does the crowd differ come Canada to the US?

Couse: We have yet to play a show in the US. Our first show will be in San Diego at the Casbah. Most of us have never been there at all, so we have four days to drive down from Ontario to San Diego. 

So is your name inspired by Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice?

Couse: Yes and no. We kind of stumbled into the name.  There was a point when we were all in English Literature class together and we were reading that book at the same time. Alot of the work that we were reading for that time period was kind of dry, but when we ended up reading that book, we found him as an interesting character. That’s something that kind of fell into place and all of a sudden, we had a different artistic idea and different lineup and aesthetic. It has been with us a long time.

How is his character present in your music?

Couse: I guess you could say it in that way. In general, his demeanor and aesthetic is aloof and cryptic.  He was well-dressed, chose his words cautiously, but yet quite the cutting guy.  He’s a cool dude. He knows that he has something to offer and the way he carries him self through that, although he comes across as arrogant, he is still modest in a way. I think all those are interesting qualities. We are similar in that we don’t want to give too much away. 

I love your music video, Don’t Bleed Me.  How did you guys come up with that?

Couse: Mike, the guy who directed it, had an apocalyptic scenario in the works for a while. He had been sitting on this idea and originally wanted to do it for a different song of ours. It was more fitting for Don’t Bleed Me and kind of through the process of us scouting locations and brainstorming different ideas to include in the video, there was a lot of discussion. Sometimes you have a video in mind when producing a song but there seems to be a massive gulf between what you write and when you work on the idea.

What’s the future for you guys?

Couse: Well AJA is fairly fresh, considering it just came out a couple weeks ago. We are going to be preparing for tour for a while, and also keeping busy with using our spare time for writing another album that’s coming along. We got a ton of ideas.

press releases

Scott Matthew at Rockwood Music Hall

In a small and cozy dimly light red room at Rockwood Music Hall, Scott Matthew graced the audience with his presence and talent.  The crowd quietly listened to the Australian born New Yorker play his new album, Gallantry’s Favorite Son, at his record release partyThe drums and bass were pushed far back as we listened to Matthew gently strum his ukulele.  There’s nothing more classic than watching a passionate musician only with his guitar, if there only was a fireplace crackling to the side, it would have been the perfect setting on a cold winter’s night.

The intimate environment went well with his personal songs about love and life’s complexities.  He sang some melodramatic melodies about past relationships, threw in some whistles and lightened up the mood.  It’s difficult to categorize his voice which makes it truly is unique and endearing. It features a touch of rasp, but yet feels pure, filled with vibratos and crescendos that create the right mix for his gentle folky ballads.

If you’re in the mellow mood, Gallantry’s Favorite Son is definitely worth listening to.

press releases

Getting funky with The Asteroid’s Galaxy Tour

The Asteroid’s Galaxy Tour (once again) rocked their performance in NYC and played at the Irving Plaza.  It wasn’t too long ago where they played at the Bowery Ballroom. There were several similarities within the shows: the size of the venue, the wooden floors were shaking from the uncontrollable movements of the crowd, Mette was stunning as always, and their standout jazzy tones captured the audience’s heart. The one major difference was that they just released their new album, Out of Frequency, that day. We were all in for one big surprise….

They opened with a long instrumental introduction before Mette walked onstage.  Waiting in anticipation to see her ensemble, considering her role as a boundless fashionista, I instantly admired her look.  Looking as if she stepped out of Marc Jacobs’ Daisy ad, she wore a vintage inspired navy blue dress with a lace collar, pieced with Janis Joplin-looking sun glasses.  Accompanied by the intricate lighting, her blue dress beamed through the entire performance, literally. There are pictures to prove it.

Throughout the show, they played a variety of their old and new songs.  The six member band produced multiple layers of heavy jazz, classic funk, followed with a pop-rock twist, while incorporating a high-hitting perfect pitched voice.  I call the latter mix, “The Asteroid’s Galaxy Tour’s formula,” and it has yet to be topped.  They give an effortless attempt to master the funky and fun, yet casual and hip show. They played their classics; Sun Ain’t Shining No More, Golden Age, Sunshine Coolin’, Around the Bend, and ended with Push the Envelope.  Some songs they rocked from Out of Frequency included Major, Heart Attack, Suburban Space Invader (which they played in concert for the first time).

I’ve expressed my deep rooted love for this talented band because they are truly a jewel within the music industry and fresh breath of air.  My only question remains, when are they coming back to NYC?

interviews music videos

Pretty Good Dance Moves Interview

Pretty Good Dance Moves are about to release their new full length album, Limo, on February 7, which is divided between 8 different magical Movements.  Luckily, they have residency in New York City’s venue, Pianos, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check them out.

Are you excited for the touring circuit?

PGDM: We are excited to get on the road and out of NYC for a minute. You know the best part about leaving is coming back. I’ve been locked in the studio all winter working a few different projects so it will be fun getting out with some PGDM tracks again.

What’s your favorite thing about being on tour?

PGDM: Meeting new people and playing every night. Good combo.

Can you talk about the 8 individual Movements in the album? 

PGDM: The record was originally supposed to be 1 track with no breaks but we decided we should give the option to skip around.

Did you ever have the urge to title the songs differently? 

PGDM: TNo, not at all actually. If we break the record up into “tracks” we can’t title them because then it would be defeat the purpose of what we are going for. We didn’t want to release singles but a full record to be listened to from cover to cover.

What are the main differences between Limo and PGDM EP? 

PGDM: The EP was just a handful of tracks we  picked from about a dozen that we recorded one winter.  The tracks all had there own thing and it was more synth popped. Limo has it’s own vibe. Originally, it was going to be an instrumental record (till Sabina blew us away). We didn’t go in trying to make songs, but just surrounded ourselves with Moogs, a prophet, Wurlitzer, bass guitar, drum set, sequencer, Juno etc… And whatever we had after weeks of tracking is what we would go with. Just experimented.

I love the playful theme of your video “Dancing Demons.” Do you have any ideas for upcoming videos?

PGDM: A 32 minute long music video directed by Antoine Wagner that’s shot here (in NYC) and in Paris. It’s the first video we didn’t do completely ourselves. It’s in the editing phase now, and it looks good.

What are the perks of being an electronic based band? 

PGDM: Hmmm, probably the best stuff we have ever recorded we have never released because it’s too “out.” We are saving it for a different project I guess. This band is great because it’s a collaborative project and we get to work with different people. My favorite artist/record is probably Edan’s “Primitive Plus.” We would love to step in that world next. That would be sick. Growing and getting better.

I have to ask, what would you say is your favorite dance move? 

PDGM: Copter.