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Algiers and Le VICE Play Bottom of the Hill - 6/23

The San Francisco based indie-pop soul band, Le VICE will be performing live at Bottom of the Hill in support of the Atlanta based grungy soul musical outfit, Algiers. We certainly recommend you attend this show because you're going to get to experience a night of a super cool pastiche of new American music.

Both band's musical styles are dipped in soul like a thick layer of chocolate on a Klondike (do they still make Klondike Bars?), but the soft center of Le VICE's style is more pop-R&B oriented in comparison to Algiers' who has a very rigid, rough 'round the edges rock style going on within its compostional core. These bands should be experienced live because listening to their recordings is just going to make you sit and ponder what exactly your ear drums are dancing to.

It's summer time! Make your way out into the fresh night air and check out Algiers and Le VICE's interpretations of thrilling soul music at Bottom of the Hill on June 23rd!

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Matrixxman Gears Up to Release New Album - Homesick

The Bay Area based post-electro artist, Matrixxman is gearing up to release his debut album entitled Homesick on July 10th. Matrixxman's style of EDM doesn't really play by the rules. Its choppily smooth computerized music embodies creative sonic inconsistencies (not the beats but in regards to a fixed genre specific style) that makes his music's style intriguing and attractive. 

Before digging into the steely, handcrafted technoisms of Homesick, you need to know a few things about Charles Duff, the Bay Area artist behind Matrixxman... He's also a voracious information junkie, soaking up government conspiracies and contemporary science-fiction like a proper X-Files fanatic. These cultural reference points are as integral to the background of Homesick as Detroit, Chicago, and Berlin's musical legacies. Across the record's versatile track list, Matrixxman uses the language of machines and dance floors like a hungry pulp novelist, weaving together his divergent narratives and characters under one sprawling dystopian sky.

Check out the lead single from his upcoming album due out on Ghostly.

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Album Review: Lemme Adams - Black Flamingo

The San Francisco based alternative surf rock band, Lemme Adams released a new EP last week. The five track album is entitled Black Flamingo and is a strong follow up to their debut album Gorilla Back.

Lemme Adams, as a band is able to incorporate horns into their dark surf rock sound in a super tasteful manner. The horns never bleed over into playing cheesy ska riffs or come off sounding overly "Mariachi", even when performing music for the Latin themed third track, Venezuela. Jordan Miller's bassy tribal drum beats and Adams' signature vocals make the album familiar and warm in regards to the musical style relating to their previous release. Nonetheless, Adams as a songwriter wrote more about what was going on around him while maintaining a bit of subjectiveness in this collection of songs. You can still pinpoint Adams' perception and opinion about what he's lyrically describing, but he's less emotionally direct than his writing was in the last album.

Adams has the ability to write incredibly cynical songs that don't put you off or seem unnecessarily confrontational. The title track of the album (which houses some nice faux improvised jam outs) along with the second song, Hella seem to be about general disillusionment with social popularity. Both songs talk a lot about friends, and Hella seems to point out "friends" inconsistencies and trivialness. Hella is a Californian slang term that means "a large amount of" and can be easily overused in conversation. The irony of the word is not lost on Adams in regards his parody of how many times the word can be said and heard if one is in a group of young people in Cali.

The third song, Venezuela captures the sunny feel of the South American country as Adams sings about not being able to escape the sharp sunlight. Christmas Spirit goes along with the band's weird theme of writing and performing Christmas music all year around, and of course, Toys, the song of the band's award winning music video has finally made its debut on a recording.

Great record. Good job! Take a listen to Black Flamingo!

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Etana Performs at Mezzanine - 6/6

If you want to catch a unique show, check out Etana at Mezzanine! Her music is gorgeous and it will give you a chance to check out some music that may not be "the usual" in regards to local shows. We love local bands forever, but everyone's got to stretch their wings a bit. You won't have to stretch far. Make your way down to Mezzanine in San Francisco on June 6th!

The soulful Jamaican vocalist who has been described as "reggae's Jill Scott" (NPR) or"reminiscent of India.Arie" (Essence) - dropped her fourth album I Rise on Oct 28, 2014. The album was helmed primarily by the legendary Jamaican multi-instrumentalist and producer Clive Hunt (Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, Rolling Stones, The Wailers, Grace Jones, Jimmy Cliff). It hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Album chart, making Etana one of the three Jamaican female artists ever and the first in nearly two decades (since Diana King and Patra in the mid-90s) to land this highly-coveted chart position. I Rise follows Etana's critically-acclaimed albums Better Tomorrow (2013), Free Expressions (2011) and The Strong One (2008). With poised assurance, she continues to evolve spiritually, mentally, emotionally and musically and carry the torch as reggae's leading lady.

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Attend a Screening of Nas Executive Produced Indie Film Shake the Dust in Berkeley, CA

You can check out the awesome indepdenent film that shares how hip hop and break dancing has crossed International borders and touched the lives of young people all over the world. Shake the Dust gives a very intimate look at hip hop youth culture in Uganda, Columbia, Cambodia and Yemen. This film is very compelling and we totally recommend you check it out!

From executive producer and Grammy-nominated rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones and journalist-turned-filmmaker Adam Sjöberg comes the buoyant, globe-trotting film SHAKE THE DUST.

With a propulsive soundtrack of international hip-hop samples, music from both emerging emcees and established superstars like Nas, Common and Talib Kweli, as well as some of the most jaw-dropping breakdancing moves ever committed to film, SHAKE THE DUST is an inspiring tribute to the uplifting power of music and movement. By highlighting the stories and moves of some of the most talented breakdance crews in the poorest urban neighborhoods of Colombia, Yemen, Uganda, and Cambodia, Sjöberg weaves together the stories of rappers, DJs, and b-boys across three continents, revealing how breakdancing today acts as a positive force for social change.

June 3-6 — Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, Berkeley

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