Sunday, July 13, 2014

REVIEW: FIVE ALARM FUNK SLAYS LEE'S PALACE / JULY 12, 2014

Have you ever walked down a street and been lured into a bar by a magnetizing unknown force?
That totally happened tonight.

The magnetizing force?
- Five Alarm Funk.
The bar?
- Lee's Palace. 
The time?
- A few hours ago. 

I don't know much about how or when Five Alarm Funk formed and I can't give you any details about their back story other than the fact that they are all good looking dudes, they're amazing musicians and they're from Vancouver. However, what I can tell you is this; once you've heard one minute of the music that they play -  no matter how far you are, no matter where you are, no matter who you're with and no matter what you're doing - you'll be hooked. They are too dope.

On a personal level, I've had a ridiculous amount of writer's block over the past month, mainly because I haven't heard any new music worth stopping my time to write about and other-wise because I'm typically busy as shit. However, a single show by this before unbeknownst-to-me band has willed me out of my writing stump and into dumping just buckets and buckets AND BUCKETS of praise onto these guys.

Seriously, I did not expect to hear something so good at random tonight. I didn't. They play a unique and overwhelmingly out-of-the-box style of funk music that I really have a problem defining as solely funk. It's undefinable really, even if they are called Five Alarm Funk. Much like a five alarm chili, there are so many ingredients here that makes this band's music mad delicious.

From what I counted there are 9 members in this band; three percussion-based, three wind-based, and three string-based. You can just tell, by the way that they play, that each of them is a talented, almost legendary instrumentalist in their own right and on their own terms. Together though, ohhh together, they are insane! They blend of a variety of funk and soul styles. You get a real feel of some African tribal rhythms, some ska/rock stylings, reggae flavour, latin american funk, afro-cuban type funk, deep James Brown sounding type soul, bluesy guitar moments shit I can't even explain all the different types of sounds that I heard tonight. Not to mention, outside of the music, these guys play with so much energy. It was pure, raw power.

There's this scene in Gladiator, I think it is, where the horse is running at full speed to bring the Gladiator back to his home and is running so fast and with so much power and strength that when it reaches it's destination it just collapses and dies. That's the feeling you get with this band. They play with this power that you can just breathe in, you can just it feel all around you, it's palpable and everyone in the room was moving, jumping and dancing. It was incredible. Five Alarm Funk gave everything they had to everyone who was present, without holding back any personal energy for themselves. They killed it.

Now mind you, as much as I'm hyping them, I have never heard of this band before, but I will never forget what I experienced tonight. It was something pure. I didn't see a sea of phones recording anything, there was no pretension, no bullshit, it was just a really good time. Hopefully you'll be lucky enough to experience it one of these days.

Check out their track, Wash Your Face below.



Check out the Five Alarm Funk official website by clicking here.
Follow them on Facebook & Twitter by clicking here and here.
Get at them on that SoundCloud tip by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TORONTO SPOTLIGHT: [NEW] BURNYKUN - PAUSE FT. $AYA

So it's time for a new post and this is a linkup link-hop talking about 20 year old Toronto producer, drummer and beat-maker extraordinaire, Burnykun. New to the game and making music suitable for a night out with your boo or a solo chill, there's something here waiting to be blown up.

I heard this track by Burnykun recently called Pause and I just thought it was very forward thinking. It just sounds like Toronto (if that makes any sense). The beat's dope, and the vocals by young Toronto songstress & bass player Saya Gray are beautiful, raspy, and understated. It's sexy and it's definitely worth a listen.



Check out Burnykun on SoundCloud by clicking here.
Follow him on twitter and facebook by clicking here and here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

TORONTO SPOTLIGHT: CATCHING UP W/ THE JOHNNY RED EYES

Hey y'all so this past Saturday, I got to hang out with Brian and Eric of Toronto's punk outfit, The Johnny Red Eyes. It was a great conversation recorded in High Park (yet again) in a weird gazebo thing.


Technical difficulties pursued as usual but we powered through them. Those guys are so chill and are extremely passionate about what they do. We talked about their upcoming album, MoonMasters, out June 27th, their upcoming album release show at the 460 on the same date and the stressful process of mixing and mastering their music on their own!


Not ones to shy away from talking about the effort and the teamwork that went into their recording of MoonMasters, we also talked about their plans for touring, their 2013 nxne experience, the concept behind their new single and video, Vincent Vegas, as well as the evolution of their sound and what people can expect from them in the future.

Check out their new video for Vincent Vegas below.



Check out the spreaker web radio recordings below.
Ignore all the clicking/shuffling - the floor is no place to record - we're learning new things everyday.
Interview includes two new tracks: Vincent Vegas & Pigs 'n Panties - check it.



Be sure to pick up MoonMasters when it comes out June 27th!
Click here to check out The Johnny Red Eyes bandcamp page.
Follow them on soundcloud, twitter and facebook by clicking here, here and here.
Enjoy our previous chat by checking out this old post by clicking here.
Join spreaker web radio by clicking here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

MIX MADNESS: THE DILAPIDATED SOUL COMES TO TEA (CURATED BY: KENTGOWRAN)

As far as sludgy, death metal, doom metal, alt industrial metal goes; this playlist is the business. It's so dope. Probably one of the best metal playlists I've heard in awhile. Heavy and mind-blowing I thoroughly enjoyed this, every single track. So much so that this mix needs it's own post. It's face-meltingly good. My face melted. Let your face melt too.




Check out the other 307 playlists by KentGowran on 8tracks by clicking here.
Check out our 8tracks pages by clicking here and here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

VIDEO: tUnE-yArDs - WATER FOUNTAIN

Good morning.. So one of the albums I've been bumping non-stop since it's recent release has been the new tUnE-yArDs record Nikki Nack. Released May 6, Nikki Nack a fun record with wildly danceable music that's filled with sounds you don't typically hear on a record by some white Americans. Real talk, it's a crazy fun record to listen to.

This video for Water Fountain in typical tUnE-yArDs style is cute, funny and engaging. It's got a cool retro feel and it urges you to think and dance.  Check it out.



Check out the tUnE-yArDs website by clicking here.
Check out Nikki Nack on Rdio by clicking here.
Check out Nikki Nack on Spotify by clicking here.