Archive for December, 2011

Tired of people raving over how great Mac Miller and Sam Adams are?  How about you take a listen to an up and coming college student from the University of Wisconsin-Madison?  Stork Music got a chance to snag an interview with the talented rapper—make sure to check him out on Facebook and download his album for free!

Q: Who are you?!
A:  Hello, hello.  My name’s Sandy Harkness, but my stage name is Cofax.  I’m originally from the Milwaukee, WI area but I attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Q:  When did you start being involved with music?
A:  I’ve been doing music my entire life.  At age 6 I begged my parents for a violin even though we had grand piano already.  I stuck with that for about seven years until I realized that it wasn’t too impressive to 13 year old girls that I knew how to play ten different minuets.  So, I picked up the guitar and messed with that for a couple years but never really put in the effort it took to become great.  It just wasn’t my jam, ya know?  High school soon followed and that’s the first time I picked up the mic, but it was as a joke.  My friend Josh and I started a group called the “The Mentality” and we made a few gag songs that sophomoric freshman in high school thought was funny.  Looking back, it was pretty bogus, but it was also the beginning of my songwriting–so I guess it was a good way to start.  I picked up the pen again just last fall and found that I had something to say and I was pretty good at saying it.
Q:  Who/what are your inspirations?
A:  Well, it’s definitely rap music, but I’d like to think it stands alone in terms of originality.  I don’t try to emulate anyone and do my best to spit from the heart.  So that’s where I think I’m most different from other rappers.  I’m not here for money or fame, but rather to just make something that is true and that is mine.  You won’t hear anything in my rhymes that doesn’t pertain to me, and I feel like that’s not true for a lot of other artists.
Q:  How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?  What makes you different from other artists?
A:  Well, it’s definitely rap music, but I’d like to think it stands alone in terms of originality.  I don’t try to emulate anyone and do my best to spit from the heart.  So that’s where I think I’m most different from other rappers.  I’m not here for money or fame, but rather to just make something that is true and that is mine.  You won’t hear anything in my rhymes that doesn’t pertain to me, and I feel like that’s not true for a lot of other artists.
Q:  What’s your songwriting process like?
A:  Most rhymers use a pad and a pen.  I use my Macbook, which is kind of weird but I find it easier to revise my lyrics.  Plus my handwriting is bogus.  When it comes to sitting down and writing a song,  I usually start by listening to the instrumental 5-10 times so I can get a real feel for it.  Then, I kind of haphazardly start rhyming and writing what I feel.  A beat always makes me feel a certain way, so I want to write to that emotion.  From there, I just go.  I usually write a 16 bar verse to start, then a 4 or 8 bar hook and then a few more 16’s.  I like my hook to be dictated by the first verse.  Then I can write my next verses based off of those two components.  I’m not sure of this is an unorthodox way of writing, but this is how I’ve done it since the beginning.
Q:  What is your hope for the future?
A:  I’ve just recently given up on the idea of working a 9-5 desk job.  I know this is where the money is, but it’s definitely not where my heart is.  If music pans out, great.  But I have my creative hat in a lot of different circles.  I own my own clothing line and that is starting to pick up steam.  I also write a lot and plan on starting a novella soon.  So I guess, it’s my hope that one of these creative outlets turns into something bigger than myself.  I want to create something that other people can enjoy, whatever that may be.
Q:  Who would be your dream collaboration, and why?
A:  I’d love to collaborate with Zion I.  If you don’t know them, go download their discography and give it a listen.  It’s a collaborative fashioned much like the way Atmosphere is with a producer and an MC.  Amp Live has to be one of the greatest beat makers ever, and he doesn’t get nearly as much love as he should.  Zumbi is the rapper in the group and his flow is crazy, but it’s his lyrics that make him great–“With or without a record label my rhymes forever stable on the premise.” To share a stage with them would be insane.
Q:  What’s something strange or interesting about you that most people don’t know?
A:  My real name is Alexander, but have gone by Sandy my entire life.  I got a lot of flak when I was little for it, and I still do from the more ignorant of the people I meet.  Whatever, I think it’s raw.
Q:  Any closing statements?
A:  We all have strife and tribulations, one way or another.  So for the individual, remember that you are not alone.  Keep your fitted’s brim to the sky and everything will be groovy.
Make sure to give him a listen!
~T

Lupe Fiasco’s Friend of the People

Posted: December 24, 2011 by omerrrrrr in Misc

I can’t get enough of Lupe Fiasco. His mixtape Friend of the People follows his album Lasers released last March. His first albums, Food and Liquor and The Cool were themed around growing up in the ghetto. Lasers and Friend of the People follow the activists and protesters around the world. He is a huge supporter of Occupy Wall Street, which he even references in my personal favorite song in the mixtape, End of the World. He was even interviewed at an Oakland protest, which you can find here:

It isn’t just about the music for him. He is genuine in what he raps about, which isn’t all about drugs and women, like a lot of other hip hop artists. Overall, I don’t think the mixtape is at the same caliber of Lasers, but End of the World is my favorite song right now. Check it, yo!

~O

Although it’s easy to become stuck listening to the same bands on repeat, it can just as easily become extremely boring. Once you’ve gotten to the point where all of your bands are listed as “similar’ to each other it can be difficult to leave that familiar circle of bands. Finding new bands not only prevents you from becoming bored, it expands your music horizon, allows you to find and follow the growth of smaller, unknown bands, and opens up new concert opportunities. If searching “bands similar to..” on the internet just isn’t cutting it for you anymore, these next few tips are vital to your music life.

1. Ask your friends:

Asking around “the old fashioned way” is a method for discovering new music that many overlook. Simply asking your friends, or even strangers, what they’re listening to can help you find new bands, or even rediscover old ones. Friends who have similar taste in music may have found bands you haven’t had the time to. In addition, they probably got music suggestions from their other friends, who got music suggestions from their friends. By asking other people for recommendations, you open doors to many different musical influences. Asking your friends for new music, as well as sharing what you’ve found with them, will help you to constantly update your music collection.

2. Don’t ignore the suggestions from YouTube or  iTunes

When jamming to your favorite bands on YouTube or iTunes, divert your eyes to view the suggestions. Even though the suggestions often contain bands you already listen to one have heard of, clicking on them can lead you to other suggestions and so on until you end up with a band you’ve never heard of. Experimenting with the suggestions is a simple way to browse bands that are related to one you like.

3. Use the right sites

Google searching your favorite bands is only so efficient, but using specific sites that generate  music suggestions just for you can be quite handy.Make sure to try (all mentioned sites can be used for free)

Lastfm.com

Lastfm.com is extremely user friendly. Search for your favorite band, album, or song, and instantly find information on it. For the artists, you can find lists of similar artists as well as a short bio. Each similar artist is also ranked in similarity. (super similarity to lower similarity). A radio can also be played, similar to on Pandora, of your selected artists and artists similar to the one you selected.

Gnooosic.com

On Gnoosic, all you do is enter three of your favorite bands. Then, Gnoosic provides you with band suggestions. On the suggestions, you must indicate whether you like, dislike, or don’t know the band Gnoosic is recommending. Many of the suggestions are unfamiliar, so Gnoosic does a respectable job providing you with truly new music.

Music-map.com

Music map is a great tool for visualizing how similar the suggestions are to the desired band. You enter one band and a web of suggestions surrounds the band name you entered. The closer a band is to the band you entered, the more similar it is. Clicking on any of the suggestions changes the map to fit the new selected band.

Tuneglue 

Tuneglue is very similar to the music map. You enter a band, and click “expand” for  suggestions. On any of the suggestions, you can also “expand” to find suggestions.  Any suggestions that fit multiple bands will connect.

4. Don’t get stuck in a genre

If you insist on expanding your music library only within a certain realm, you won’ get very far. Nobody is saying you have to attend a country ho-down if you’re enthralled by the rap scene, but dabbling in other genres can yield some interesting results. To get some valuable suggestions from a different genre you can talk to friends with other music tastes, listen to different radio stations, or browse the internet.

5. Go to a random concert

Going to concerts of your favorite bands is a great time, but it also surrounds you with the same fans and bands that you’re used to. Attending a concert of a band you’ve never listened to, don’t like, or don’t know can be a beneficial experience both musically and socially. Hearing a band live fist can add an element to their music that you wouldn’t have experienced by hearing them through scratchy speakers (even if your speakers are brand-spanking-new, it is not the same a concert scenario).

6. Revisit old favorites

It is easy to get trapped in the “new” of finding new music. One simple, often overlooked, method of finding new songs is by checking out bands you already know. In all likelihood, at least one of the bands you listen to has produced something new  that you aren’t aware of. It’s difficult to keep up with hundreds of bands but if you are seeking some new songs from a comfortable genre, revisit old bands.

Hopefully these tips will inspire new branches on your tree of musical interest. If you desire, submit your own suggestions on how you find great, new music.

~R

It’s been a while since the show, but we just wanted to make sure you guys saw pictures from the Yellowcard Tour with Go Radio! Unfortunately, Every Avenue’s van broke down so they didn’t make it to the show. Boo!

To make up for it, the guys in Go Radio played a 45-minute set. Winning! Check out the photos from the show here!

Also, check out all three parts of the great interview we had with Alex.

We talk to Alex about the deluxe edition of Lucky Street and the Goodnight Moon video!

#mymodelfriendsteve is briefly explained by Derek and the Misfits fight with Jerry Only is summed up.

Word association where Alex describes every member of Go Radio in one word!

It was only a few months ago that the sweaty summer event known as Warped Tour made its mark with mosh pits all over the United States. If you’re one of the few who literally count down the time until the next Warped Tour, you’re in luck. Vans Warped tour has already announced the first five bands!

The first five bands that will be attending the 2012 Warped Tour are:

In addition to the bands, Warped Tour has also announced some of the dates for the 2012 tour. If your favorite band hasn’t been announced yet, do not fret. There will be many more bands announced in upcoming months. Also, there are opportunities for input. Either go to the Warped Tour Facebook Page or the Warped Tour message board to tell them what bands you’d like to see.

Get those fists ready for this year’s Warped Tour, it is already showing sings of  being one of the best music events yet. Tickets can be purchased starting April 6, 2012, make sure to get them early.

In addition, take our poll to tell us what band you’d like to see added to this year’s Warped Tour! The band with the most votes will get an album review from us.

 

~R