Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes: The Modern Day Bowie

As a fan of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and other “riff rock bands,” as he puts it, Barnes is not afraid to go big. Evidence of that comes within two seconds of the opening track, “Bassem Sabry.” With its heavy guitar riff, it’s more reminiscent of “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath than an Of Montreal song, but as soon as his vocals kick in, it goes into a disco beat. This is typical of Barnes. He loves to experiment with all types of music and often incorporates several genres into one track. Often described as a “modern-day Bowie,” Barnes doesn’t shy away from this comparison at all. It’s clearly a compliment.

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New Music Monday: Courtney Barnett — Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

This week, Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett has released her highly anticipated sophomore album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (which for brevity’s sake, shall be referred to as Sometimes from here on out). The patently Australian chill that was present in her first album still rings true, while lazily wandering into new musical territory. There’s a warmth present in her tunes that beg for the album to be enjoyed on a couch, or front porch. Even the punchier tracks like “Dead Fox” or the lead single “Pedestrian at Best” have a “neighborhood BBQ” vibe to them.

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J Boog: Compton’s Reggae King

March 20, 2015

If music is a universal language, Jerry “J Boog” Afemata has mastered that language through reggae. Born in Long Beach, California and raised in Compton as the youngest of eight, J Boog worked to make his sound a collaboration of family influence and personal freedom. With the help of reggae artist Fiji in 2005, J Boog produced his debut album Hear Me Roar. Joining up with Wash House Music Inc, he worked with reggae family legend Ambassador Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage, island producer and artist Don Corelone, and international reggae star Yami Bolo to put out his Billboard charts topper Backyard Boogie in 2011. He won Best New Entertainer at 2012’s International Reggae and Music Awards. He continues to produce singles that make their way to the top charts for reggae and put out his latest EP Live Up in 2014.

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