Monthly Archives: April 2014

Behind The Sound: Mayer Hawthorne

Hey Soulsters! Check out the video below of singer, songwriter and soul artist, Mayer Hawthorne discussing his musical influences and his process of developing his sound. I found this video pretty interesting and wanted to share it. I always like to get information of the production and concepts of the artists that I listen to (I LOVE to read liner and production notes). Too bad they didn’t feature any of his music in the video, but I have discussed it in my previous post on his live show here. Take a look and let me know your thoughts?

Annual Record Store Day!

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Hey Soulsters! I want to remind you that Record Store Day is here! “What is that?”, you ask. Record Store Day is the annual international celebration of independent record stores. It will take place this Saturday, April 19th! All record stores all over the world will participate with activities such as exclusive vinyl releases, live music events, giveaways, etc. to pay homage to this medium of music.

This day is certainly near and dear to me because the institution of the local record store helped nurture my love for music. Growing up in New York, going to a record store was the norm for me. Music was all around back then and having so much access to it (whether it was radio or my Dad playing his music first thing every morning) filled my days with color and light. I just had to have the latest hit or new song that I heard being played on the radio. New York DJ’s had the pulse on what was hot at the time and the local record store owners seemed to be right in sync with them. Whatever, I was looking for or heard the day before made my trip to the store a success the next day. That record would already be there waiting for me. Oh, those were the days! Back then it was Rock & Soul Records on 7th Avenue in New York City. That was my spot! I would go there after school as a teen trying to find the latest songs I heard from DJ’s on my local radio station. (or sometimes cut class to go) and get lost there in the various collections and selections. It was my musical haven. I would spend hours there.

I rediscovered that love for record stores when I moved here to Atlanta and came across Moods Music in Little 5 Points. I met Darryl Harris, the owner, while perusing his collection of Soul, House, Jazz, R&B, Acid Jazz, Imports, Old School (the list goes on and on…) and I was soooo gone. He is so knowledgeable and can recommend music that you would love. This local record store has EVERYTHING a music head could want. They even have what you don’t know you want. It’s definitely a neighborhood music staple. I appreciate this place so much.

We need to support these businesses in this day and age of the digital download. This day is just our way of showing our appreciation for what they mean to the community and their way of reminding us that they are STILL here. If you are lucky enough to have a local record store in your neighborhood or area, stop through and show some love. I’m sure love the color of green or made of plastic would be accepted!

See Moods Music flyer below for Record Store Day below:

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Moods Music is located at 1131 Euclid Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 653-0724 http://www.moodsmusic.net

New Music – Black & Sexy TV: “That Guy Mixtape Vol. 2”

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So while on hiatus I’ve been on YouTube following my favorite web series, Black and Sexy TV’s, “That Guy”. Let me tell you this series has me on the edge of my seat literally! It follows the every day ‘hood adventures of best friends, Judah (as seen through his camcorder), Deon, and Mike along with a supporting cast of colorful and real characters that round out this playful and engaging series. This is an independent production written, directed and produced by the super talented Jeanine Daniels, who also plays Deon. I have fallen in love with this show and can’t wait to tune in every week. The season finale aired last week and boy was it a doozey!

While watching this series along with many of the others (“Roomieloverfriends”, “Hello Cupid”, “Yellow“) that Black and Sexy TV offers (for free I might add), the music lover in me just couldn’t help but find myself groovin’ to the music that plays throughout each episode. I mean, the music is really off the chain and accompanies the scenes so well. If I’m not mistaken, I believe Ms. Daniels also has a hand in choosing the songs that will be in the show…if I read the credits correctly. Well she definitely knows music, what’s hot and how it can frame a scene. Many of the songs highlighted throughout the series serves as a platform for incredibly talented independent artists to have their music heard on the popular YouTube channel. Black & Sexy TV is giving these artists much needed exposure and love which I can certainly appreciate.

Now they have released free downloadable mix tapes for their series’ in the past and this current release is the second for “That Guy”; it’s also the best one so far. It has a mix of Soul, R&B as well as Hip Hop. I was so happy they decided to put out a soundtrack to this particular episode. These songs are bangin’ and I’m sure there was a high demand for the music from the fans this go round. Songs like, “Love Love” by Belvi, “Slip Away” by illCamille, “Cravings” by GTW and Befang, and “Crusin’ Down LaBrea” also by Belvi are my standout favorites on this offering. Just real chill and laid back sounds and vibes. Love it!

You can find the free downloads for the “That Guy” Mixtape, Vol. 2 here as well as free music downloads for their other shows. Good music and it’s FREE! Is that awesome or what?

Check out the Black and Sexy TV channel on Youtube here. The season finale is available here. This episode is $3, however, it’s 45 minutes long and if you are a fan of the show, it’s definitely worth that and more. Support these folks and what they are trying to do with independent film and music!

Love Love by Belvi

Concert Vibes

Hey Soulsters! I know it’s been a while. I’ve been taking care of some business that needed my full attention. Now that it’s pretty much taken care of, I can get back to this site on a more regular basis. No worries though…I did find time to attend some pretty cool shows during my hiatus. Here are a couple that I would like to share with you.

Mayer Hawthorne with Quadron
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I actually discovered singer/songwriter, Mayer Hawthorne while watching a show on VH-1 (can’t remember which, probably a bad reality show to pass the time). They highlighted his single at the time, “Her Favorite Song” and the smooth groove of this song grabbed my attention right away. I went on to look him up online and came across his video for this song. “Another Blue-eyed soul artist”, I thought to myself as I watched the video skeptically. I enjoyed the concept of the vid though and I was already sold on the song so I went ahead and checked him out on iTunes. I was hooked from there. He is currently on tour for his latest album, “Where Does This Door Go”, a mix of Soul, R&B, Pop/Rock and a little Hip Hop. I have had this album on repeat the later part of last year so when I found out he was coming to Atlanta, I couldn’t wait to check him out. He’s been hailed as the new Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke, but from what I’ve heard so far from him, I don’t quite agree with that comparison. Listening to this album and his two previous offerings, he’s got his own thing going on. He has toured with Erykah Badu, and Amy Winehouse and his influences range from Curtis Mayfield to J. Dilla.

This show was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t realize how many uptempo songs this guy has! I found myself jamming to his music most of the night. Even the songs that I wasn’t familiar with had me at hello, ha, ha.

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Quadron is another artist that I heard on a TV show that I had been watching. I went about looking for them in the same way as Mayer Hawthorne. What a gem I discovered when I found their latest, “Avalanche”! This group is out of Denmark and consists of lead singer Coco O and musician/producer Robin Hannibal. Coco O’s vocals are so soulful and beautiful in whatever she sings you can’t help but be drawn into their sound. During the show, I couldn’t help but marvel at how effortless she sounded and how close to the recordings her performance was. Their music productions are solid and so melodic that this duo has so much to offer true music lovers. Even though they are on a major label, you don’t hear too much about them in mainstream radio. It’s really a shame. I beg you to check out their latest as well as their self-titled debut, “Quadron”.
See a couple of videos from this show below.

Check out Mayer Hawthorne here.

Check out Quadron here.