Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jack Johnson - En Concert -2009-
(Acoustic, Rock, Surf)

From: Haleiwa, Hawaii

The new live CD/DVD by Jack Johnson has him playing live from Bonnaroo with Eddie Vedder to Paris and all across Europe. There are fan favorite cuts such as Bubble Toes and newer tracks like Sleep Through The Static and all sound pretty damn good. The live vibe translates very well to the disc with great musical interaction within the band and with guest musicians. This is a surprisingly good and very enjoyable live set by Jack and his pals. The best I have heard him sound live.....well EVER. Any JJ material is better than none so I will chillax with this set of tunes and wait with anticipation until the next studio offering.

Jack Johnson - Sleep Through The Static

Jack Johnson - Country Road w/ Paula Fuga

Jack Johnson - Constellations w/ Eddie Vedder

Jack Johnson - The Horizon Has Been Defeated / Mother & Child Reunion

Jack Johnson - En Concert Trailer

Manna - Flamma -2009-
(Reggae, Roots, Dub)

From: Bodø, Nordland Norway

Manna is a roots reggae band from Bodø in the north of Norway. They started out as Irie Darlings in the early 90s. The band is full of reggae veterans and has put out some of the best reggae I have ever heard on Flamma. While I cannot understand the lyrics, the music is so good you don't need to. You just FEEL the music. Seriously some of the most melodic, tight reggae rythmns and vocals you will find in the entire world. Put this record on from start to finish and enjoy!

Manna - Flyg Ut Av Babylon

Manna - Kikerter Og Ris

Manna - Ikke Stopp Musikken

Manna - Tross Alt

Monday, October 26, 2009

Among Criminals - Happy History -2008-
(Rock, Reggae)

From: Philadelphia

Among Criminals are a politically-charged Reggae, Latin-Rock band and are as much about the message as they are about the music. They blend Clash style Reggae, 90's and progressive rock with an Afro-Cuban feel. Songs on Happy History range from catchy, pop-like grooves, laidback rhythms to driving/demanding political rock. Among Criminals constantly changes their sound from track to track, they are Sublime or State Radio one minute and Incubus the next. Very intriguing band who will only get better as the albums keep on coming.

Among Criminals - Don't Tell Us

Among Criminals - Bare Handed Hit Man

Among Criminals - Memories

Among Criminals - Fears Perpetual Disguise (This Will Never Burn)

Stephen & Damian Marley - The Mission -2008-

From: Jamaica

I featured this song on Stephen Marley's "Mind Control" but it was an acoustic version. I thought I would post the powerful real version as well. I absolutely love this video by The Marleys. Not only is this an awesome track but it really carries a message with it in hopes of some real change.

Stephen & Damian Marley - The Mission

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Kooks - Konk -2008-
(Rock, Indie, Britpop)

From: Brighton, UK

Singer/guitarist Luke Pritchard, lead guitarist Hugh Harris, bassist Max Rafferty and drummer Paul Garred have quickly come to be regarded as a classic British song-writing outfit, able to stand alongside The Kinks, Oasis, Coldplay or any number of others you care to mention, simply because they understand what makes pop music great. The Kooks make some of the most catchy and accessible indie-pop available. Konk, their second album will appeal to those who enjoyed the catchier, hookier elements of their best-selling debut Inside In/Inside Out. The Kooks are a little more pop than indie this time out and some of the tracks may sound contrived, but the simple truth is that these are some damn infectious tunes.

The Kooks - See The Sun

The Kooks - Always Where I Need To Be

The Kooks - Mr. Maker

The Kooks - Shine On

Katchafire - Say What You're Thinking -2007-
(Reggae, Dub)

From: New Zealand

Here is a fantastic 8 piece reggae band from Hamilton, New Zealand who is definetly not as well known as they should be. Deep roots, soulful horns, jazzy fills and some real lover's reggae which would make Gregory Isaacs smile. Katchafire pumps out a sound that is full of pop choruses, softly stinging rock guitars, surging basslines and crisp clear vocals. Their sound is a mix somewhere between Steel Pulse, UB40 and and fellow countryman Fat Freddy's Drop. The production is top notch and the album flows nicely with song after song that seem to be engineered to lift your mood.

Katchafire - Say What You're Thinking

Katchafire - Mr. Flava

Katchafire - I Dubb

Katchafire - Meant To Be

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Lonely Island - Incredibad -2009-
(Comedy, Hip-Hop)

From: New York

The Lonely Island is comedic collaborative of Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer who all work for Saturday Night Live. "The Dudes" as they call themselves are freaking HILARIOUS! Take a listen.

The Lonely Island - Jizz In My Pants

The Lonely Island - Dick In A Box (ft. Justin Timberlake)

The Lonely Island - I'm On A Boat - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Zox - Line In The Sand -2008-
(Alternative, Rock, Indie)

From: Rhode Island

Zox is Eli Miller - (guitar/lead vocals) Spencer Swain - (violin/vocals) Dan Edinberg - (bass/vocals) and John Zox - (drums). Produced by John Goodmanson (Death Cab for Cutie) the 11 songs on "Line in the Sand" are equal parts 80s college radio, modern indie rock, and timeless folk. The band’s legendary live show has long been a dynamic mix of playful mayhem and emotional contemplation; this album is the first to capture both extremes. Previous albums hinted at more of a reggae/folk influence, but this new album definitely has the band heading in a more pop oriented direction. It was really a new and cool sound to hear a reggae rhythm with a classically-trained electric violinist in the place where most bands have a lead guitarist. However "Line In The Sand" is a very approachable album with many good cuts. Really like all four tracks featured here. If you like what you hear, check out their previous LP's as well.

Zox - Line In The Sand

Zox - When The Rain Comes Down Again

Zox - The Wait (Part II)

Zox - Goodnight

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sandpeople - Long Story Short E.P. -2009-

From: Portland, Oregon

Sandpeople is a 10 member hip-hop crew from the Northwest. "The Dapper Mob" is another one of those hip-hop tracks that has caught my ear. Great beat and flow to the song and Sapient handles the vocals. Musically this is one sweet track. Wish more hip-hop/rap would sound like this.

Sandpeople - The Dapper Mob

The Black Seeds - Solid Ground -2008-
(Dub, Reggae)

From: Wellington, New Zealand

Solid Ground is the follow-up to The Black Seeds stellar third album Into The Dojo. These New Zealanders effortlessly blend reggae, dub, funk and soul into one of the most cohesive, danceable and singalong sounds you've ever heard. Led by guitarist/vocalist Barnaby Weir, The Black Seeds are an eight-piece band who know how to layer guitar, keys and horns atop a foundation of bass and percussion while keeping things sounding raw and live at the same time. The Black Seeds manage to play beyond the normal boundaries of reggae and make a sound all their own. Plus Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame used to be part of the family. How cool is that. Just really good music here folks!

The Black Seeds - Come To Me

The Black Seeds - Slingshot

The Black Seeds - Take Your Chances

The Black Seeds - One Step at a Time

State Radio - Let It Go -2009-
(Rock, Reggae, Folk, Punk)

From: Boston, Mass

"For generations of great American songwriters, the music and the message have been inextricably linked. Word and deed are one in the same, and the only thing more moving than the rousing call to action is the evocative melody that transports the words like a shell casing. These are fire-breathing poets of justice who sing about ordinary people in extraordinary ways, and can turn the world inside out with three chords and the truth. These are the tenets by which STATE RADIO’s Chad Stokes Urmston, Chuck Fay, and Mike “Mad Dog” Najarian are driven, and they once again flex that strength and sense of purpose on their third album, LET IT GO. But this is no soapbox symposium."
I have been featuring tracks from this album for months and it is finally here. The album of the year without a doubt! State Radio fuses Bob Marley style grooves with Rage Against the Machine intensity along with a splash of punk rock and folk to create a fresh and unique sound. The album is full of stand out tracks from start to finish and kicks off with “Mansin Humanity,” which is about the Armenian genocide which is catchy as hell. "Doctor Ron The Actor" invokes the spirit of The Clash. "Bohemian Grove" is pure reggae goodness. Let It Go continues the evolution of SR's sound but the bridge between all the records has always been Stokes’ transcendental storytelling, which continues to mature and evolve on Let It Go. This is a FANTASTIC album by a Great Band! Get This One NOW!!!

State Radio - Mansin Humanity

State Radio - Doctor Ron The Actor

State Radio - Bohemian Grove

State Radio - Still & Silent

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Various Artists - Sons Of Anarchy North Country EP -2009-
(Rock, Blues)

E.P. of songs that have been featured in the FX biker drama Sons Of Anarchy. Really liked these two tracks. "John The Revelator" is a very cool and gritty track by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers. The other track is a soaring and epic version of Bob Dylans' "Girl From The North Country" by the usually metal minded Lions. This E.P. is only available on iTunes. By the way, really good show.

Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers - John The Revelator

Lions - Girl From The North Country **Download**

Joe Neptune - No Time To Grow Up -2008-
(Rock, Folk, Pop)

From: Victoria, Australia

Joe Neptune is the side project of Nick Vorrath and Jarrad Brown from the awesome band The Custom Kings. No Time To Grow Up is a really nice little compilation of surf, folk, experimental pop and just enough of that Custom Kings style of rock that I for one am so fond of. This is a beautiful folk album layered with a myriad of instruments and voices. "I Shall See My Love No More" is an instant classic - just a beautiful folk song that I can't stop playing over and over. The title track is standard CK fare and "Here Now, Waiting" has a very groovy baseline and vocal harmonies. Any new material from these boys is always welcome!

Joe Neptune - No Time To Grow Up

Joe Neptune - Drift Away

Joe Neptune - Here Now, Waiting

Joe Neptune - Just Go Indigo

Joe Neptune - I Shall See My Love No More **Download**

Clifton Williams & The Blue James Band - Will -2008-
(Rock, Folk, Reggae)

From: USA (Somewhere)

Clifton Williams and the Blue James Band are a skillful rock-n-roll, reggae, and folk infused band who is known for their complex and catchy live shows. Willams' puts out a very warm, rootsy and organic sound reminiscent of Dispatch (Jack Gauthier produced) and DMB. The songs on Will "echo the free spirit and joy for life at the heart of Clifton Williams and the BJB." Liking the reggae feel to "Believe" and the acoustic work on "Down This Path."

Clifton Williams - Believe

Clifton Williams - Down This Path

Clifton Williams - All I Need

Symbiosis - Symbiosis -2008-
(Roots, Rock, Reggae, Dub)

From: Melbourne

Lead by Micka Etheridge and Fraser Montgomery, Symbiosis put out a very solid self-titled debut album last year. Dishing out a plethora of musical styles, Symbiosis serves up a mix of uplifting soulful rock-reggae grooves. Stand out tracks are definitely the groovy "Rise Up" & the spacey reggae tinged "Lover." Sounding like a mix of The Beautiful Girls and The Police, but at the same time showcasing a diverse and unique song-writing and performing talent. It is a shame that this up and coming band has called it quits for the time being or as they put it "Gone Fishin." We can only hope to hear more from these boys in the future.

Symbiosis - Rise Up

Symbiosis - Stuck In Traffic

Symbiosis - Lover

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Fumes - Sundancer -2009-
(Alternative, Blues, Rock)

From: Sydney, Australia

Ever since The Fumes exploded onto the Aussie rock scene in 2004 the infamous Blooze(Booze & Blues/Get It)Rock duo have left slack jaws and ringing ears in their wake. And now, with a vengeance comes The Fumes' second album, Sundancer. Produced by Detroit-based garage-originator Jim Diamond (The White Stripes), the album not only sees them hone their dirty blues-rock, smokin' grooves and classic '70s-style gritty rock, but capture perfectly the ferocious, stripped-down audio assault that they deliver live. The Fumes have come out swinging on this one. To Watch a live show of The Fumes, click on the album cover above.
For fans of The White Stripes & The Black Keys

The Fumes - The Letter

The Fumes - High City Limits

The Fumes - Cuddle Up With The Devil

The Fumes - Sundancer

Elijah Emanuel - Persistence Of Vision -2005-
(Reggae, Roots)

From: San Diego

Elijah Emanuel is a bilingual reggae artist based out of San Diego. This is his second album which has songs in both English and Spanish. Very roots oriented album with lyrics pertaining to persistence and religion and even some politics. Very good reggae album with plenty to offer the casual or hardcore reggae listener. You can pick this album up at

Elijah Emanuel - Roots In A Rootless World

Elijah Emanuel - Song of Persistence