Noisey feed for https://noisey.vice.comenThu, 22 Nov 2018 00:21:22 +0000<![CDATA[Christine and the Queens' Mashup of Rihanna and Kate Bush is Breathtaking]]>, 22 Nov 2018 00:21:22 +0000Héloïse Letissier's latest album as Christine and the Queens, Chris, carries with it a sense of vulnerability that's present in all of history's best pop music. It's a disarmingly fluid record despite being impeccably structured and conceptually tight, and clearly aims at taking a place in the pantheon of great pop records. Letissier's single-minded, auteurist gaze is something she shares with a lot of pop's great visionaries, among them Kate Bush and Rihanna. Today, she's made that homage a bit more overt through a cover of Rihanna's ANTI highlight "Kiss It Better"—featuring an interpolation of Kate Bush's debut single "Wuthering Heights"—performed for BBC Radio 1 in the Live Lounge.

Letissier flexes her strong grasp on pop structure in her double-headed cover, which feels entirely natural despite the fact that decades, oceans, and subgenres separate the artists she's covering. Her voice has none of the grit of Rihanna's, and none of the glassiness of Bush's; but her coy falsetto still manages to get out a pretty stunning mashup. Sometimes this stuff can be cringeworthy, but Letissier's tastefulness knows no bounds. Listen for yourself:

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pa5axyShaad D’SouzaNoisey StuffPOPRihannaKate BushInternet Videos Of Particular ImportanceLive LoungeChristine and the QueensHeloise LetissierKiss It BetterWuthering Heights
<![CDATA[Ask a Lawyer: What Do 6ix9ine's New Charges Mean for His Future?]]>, 21 Nov 2018 23:45:16 +0000

Just weeks after a handful of ongoing proceedings took 6ix9ine to court in two states, he has again found himself in the crosshairs of law enforcement. A press release issued by the United States Justice Department on Monday announced that 6ix9ine (along with five of the alleged co-conspirators who the indictment claims are Nine Trey Gangsta Blood gang members) had been indicted in federal court in New York on an array of previously undisclosed racketeering, assault and firearms charges. Tekashi 6ix9ine—whose real name is Daniel Hernandez—has made headlines in recent months as he faced legal charges in multiple jurisdictions, including for several assaults: against a teenager in a mall in Texas and against a police officer in Brooklyn, as well as for a violation of his 2015 plea agreement for using a child in a sexual performance.

What exactly are these charges?

The Justice Department laid out eight counts against the group of men in their indictment, Hernandez is named on six of them:

1. Racketeering Conspiracy—this charge alleges a violation of the “RICO” Act. The RICO Act allows for heightened penalties for crimes committed in the context of ongoing criminal organization (in this case, the organization is the Nine Trey gang). Meaningfully, introduction of this charge means that Hernandez could be found guilty for crimes that he ordered or knew about by virtue of being a part of the gang, but which he may have not actually committed.

2. The next count charges Hernandez with “using and carrying firearms, which were brandished and discharged, in connection with the racketeering conspiracy”—this is pretty self explanatory. Of note though, it comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.

3. Counts three through five charge Hernandez (and others) with participating in an armed robbery that took place on the west side of Manhattan in April of this year, and

4. The final count charges Hernandez “with agreeing to shoot an individual who had shown disrespect to Nine Trey, resulting in an innocent bystander being shot,” in Brooklyn on or about July 16, 2018.

Although there don’t appear to be any drug related charges, the indictment alleges that the gang’s pattern of violence was executed in part “to protect the gang’s narcotic business” and notes that members of the gang “enriched themselves by committing robberies and selling drugs, such as heroin, fentanyl, furanly [sic] fentanyl, MDMA, dibutylone, and marijuana.”

How does this affect his earlier court proceedings?

Since Hernandez is currently on probation with regard to two assault cases, this arrest and pattern of continuing criminal activity could violate either parole agreement and land him back in court. This would be his second time violating parole with regard to the 2015 charge, so it is probably likely that a court would be less forgiving than it may have been in the past. TMZ also reported that he would face immediate jail time for violation of last week’s parole agreement stemming from the officer assault—but that doesn’t mean much as Hernandez’s most recent bail offer—surrendering his passport and $1.5 million dollars—was denied on Monday. The judge who denied his bail said that he saw his decision as a “close case” but erred on the side of caution because he thought Hernandez would be dangerous if released. He pointed specifically to an FBI raid in September of an apartment Hernandez had been renting where authorities found an AR-15 and stolen goods that connected him to the victim in the April robbery.

Other than that, penalties for the earlier charges pale in comparison to the ones set forth by the DOJ here, so while it doesn’t look good, his earlier crimes may not increase his jail time if the recent charges are successful.

What about those threats against him?

On Saturday, prior to the indictment, federal authorities brought Hernandez into their NY offices to inform him that they had, via wiretap, intercepted threats made against Hernandez’s life. The threats came after his Breakfast Club appearance in which he had claimed his booking agent was stealing and attempting to extort him. In the same interview, he publicly fired his manager (also one of his co-conspirators in the indictment) and announced he was canceling his tour.

Officers offered him protection services which he summarily declined—but the US attorney indicated after the indictment that authorities tailed him anyway for following two days. When they found out that he intended to travel outside of the jurisdiction to Connecticut, “prosecutors opted to ‘charge the case rather rapidly.’”

Why is this time different?

Well, for one, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the investigation—raising the stakes quite a bit higher than a state criminal investigation. Federal charges also carry more weight than if the charges had been brought in state criminal court—James Cohen, a criminal law professor from Fordham University told USA Today that “Federal courts are seen as a more sympathetic venue [for prosecutors]” and that “sentencing is, generally speaking, harsher in federal court.”

What could be next?

One thing is for sure, these charges ratchet Hernandez’s pending legal troubles into uncharted territory for him. Speaking to XXL this week, Hernandez’s lawyer stated that he believes the charges are excessive and will eventually be dismissed; he is appealing the refusal of his client’s bail. If he’s successful, and his client is in fact an innocent bystander, Hernandez could be vindicated. One implication of the racketeering charge is that if Hernandez is found guilty of it, his mere association and presence with others who may be guilty of actually committing crimes could be enough to incriminate him. Because of this, Hernandez faces an uphill battle in defending himself against this charge before addressing others.

Even before his arrest, Hernandez seemed aware of the fact that his connections would eventually bring him down—in his Breakfast Club interview he alludes to regret for hiring “his people” for managers and security instead of professionals; “it all came down on me.” In that same interview, he claimed that he was afraid of only two things “God and the FBI.” Indeed, one of them was onto him.

Jessica Meiselman is a lawyer and writer based in New York. Follow her on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

ev3vbwJessica MeiselmanEric SundermannColin JoycecrimeHip-HopFeaturesrapAsk A LawyerLaw Stuff6ix9ineTekashi 6ix9ine
<![CDATA[Give Thanks for This Full-Length Tribute to Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Emotion']]>, 21 Nov 2018 23:43:39 +0000

Maybe you have great taste and a sense of what's right and wrong in this world, and that has led you to understand that Carly Rae Jepsen is indeed a pop genius upon whom too much praise cannot be heaped. Maybe, like certain members of the Noisey staff who will for now remain nameless, you are soulless and wrong about everything and intent on killing my buzz, and all of that has led you towards some sort of delinquent Jepsen agnosticism. I don't care. This blog is for everyone. It's never too late to repent.

Below is an album by a Boston-based group called Something Merry, about which I know almost nothing. They've put out a couple of charity holiday compilations over the past couple of years, but the only one I'm interested in right now is this full-length tribute to Jepsen's Emotion. There are a few strays on here, but there are also some brilliant moments like Future Teens' frazzled cover of "Run Away With Me," The Superweaks' pop-punk "Gimme Love," and Tufts' unexpectedly muted version of "When I Needed You."

All the proceeds from the record go to Immigration Equality, who provide free legal advice to LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants in the United States. It's pay-what-you-can, so buy the thing. Make it one of your good deeds for Thanksgiving. In return, you can completely give up on trying to be nice to whichever family member you dislike the most.

Follow Alex Robert Ross on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

gy7yjbAlex Robert RossEric SundermannemotionThanksgivingcharityNew musicCoversCompilationtributeCarly Rae Jepsenimmigration equalityalex being rightother members of the noisey staff being wrong
<![CDATA[With "Zombie Bastards," Weezer Finally Confirm 'Black Album' Details]]>, 21 Nov 2018 23:42:40 +0000

Weezer have released breezy, upbeat, radio-ready pop song called "Zombie Bastards," the video for which you can watch at the top of the page. It's the second single from the long-awaited Black Album, which they've finally confirmed is due to be released on March 1. TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek produced the whole record.

Weezer will also kick off a co-headline tour with Pixies in March. They'll hit Madison Square Garden early on, and TV On The Radio will be in support for the full US jaunt. Check out the dates here.

Here's the suitably gloomy artwork for the Black Album:


Alex Robert Ross is a zombie bastard on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

43933bAlex Robert RossNoisey StaffTourPOProckNew musicweezerPixiestv on the radioDave Sitekrivers cuomozombie bastards
<![CDATA[Three Hospitalized After Pusha-T Show in Toronto Erupts Into Onstage Brawl]]>, 21 Nov 2018 23:41:57 +0000Three people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries last night after a Pusha-T concert at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto suddenly erupted into a brawl. Fan-shot footage from the event appears to show drinks being thrown onstage during the performance before a handful of audience members attempt to rush the stage.

Push went backstage while security tried to handle the matter, but he returned soon after to perform "Infrared," on which he takes subliminal shots at Toronto superstar and verbal sparring partner Drake. A separate video shows Push saying that someone "paid" people to "throw beer" at him. He also played "I Don't Like" and "The Story of Adidon"—the song that started his summer altercation with Drake—before the show closed.

Noisey has reached out to representatives for Pusha-T for comment. We'll update this piece if and when we hear back.

Follow Alex Robert Ross on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey CA.

xwjwydAlex Robert RossNoisey StaffHip-HopCanadaTorontorapDrakePusha TBrawldanforth music hallNoisey News
<![CDATA[AJ Tracey's Gone Back to His Grime Roots With "Doing It"]]>, 21 Nov 2018 23:20:42 +0000One thing about AJ Tracey is that he's from west London. You'll know this because he consistently reps the area in his tunes, like in this year's comeback track "LO(V)SER" where he lets listeners know what clothes he wears when he's in Ladbroke Grove (white in the summer, black in winter).

Because of his strong connection with his home, it made sense that he invited a bunch of fans (200 very lucky ones) to a skatepark in Ladbroke Grove yesterday evening, where he announced the release of his self-titled debut album. I can't lie about how cold it was, it was freezing and perhaps those fans won't feel as lucky when they're waking up with a voice like Young Yeezy's most gravelly hooks. But I will say I'm 75% more about announcing an album with a live event over throwing up some kind of post on social networks. Plus fans got a small, intimate performance out of it.

The announcement was followed up this morning with new tune, "Doing it", where AJ Tracey brings more shine to west London, the newfound riches he's bringing there, and also more generally cockiness about his abilities – "Now I've got a house in the west / now I put the ice in my chest"; "I'm the actual best / gang ting, I'm from actual west", etc. Where "LO(V)SER" reaffirmed the 24 year-olds knack for writing a chorus that goes, "Doing It" will likely please younger purists as it sees AJ going back to his grime roots, spitting over an icy production from Swifta Beater. Watch below.

AJ Tracey's debut album is dropping February 8, 2019, and will be followed by a world tour with UK dates in March.

You can find Ryan on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.

59v9gqRyan BassilNoisey UK Staffdebut albumNEW SONGDoing Itaj traceyNoisey Newswest londonBay 66
<![CDATA[The Stories Behind Homemade Mixtapes People Have Been Given]]>, 21 Nov 2018 23:20:20 +0000In the 90s, my mum dated this guy who was big into mathematics. Around this time, I can remember her crouched over a tape recorder in her bedroom, with a microphone in one hand, in absolute hysterics. She’d put Abba’s “I Have A Dream” on cassette, and was re-recording her voice saying “angles” every time they sang “angels” over the top. Afterwards she put it in an envelope addressed “to Mark” and posted it to him for his birthday. Sometimes I think about this series of events, and wish somebody would do something like that for me.

That said, I’ve received a few homemade mixes over the years. Most of these arrived between the ages of 12 and 15, and involved emo songs with very long names that had been discovered on MySpace, ripped from Limewire and burned onto disc by a miscellaneous boy with a thick fringe and multiple belts. These days, though, things like that aren’t so regular. We make playlists on Spotify or Soundcloud, but not really for each other? The only time a person might make a cassette or mix CD for someone would be as a nostalgic gesture – more for romance or novelty than for genuinely sharing tracks.

But they’re nice, aren’t they? There’s a certain intimacy in making a mixtape. They say, ‘I care about you enough to carefully select some songs that speak to the specifics of our relationship’. They say, ‘I'm happy to buy some blank tapes and spend an evening methodically recording songs onto them via a two-slot cassette player’ or ‘You are worth the effort involved in illegally downloading MP3s, risking viruses, and burning them to disc.’ They take time and consideration. Which, in this economy, means something.

And so, because mixtapes are intimate things, it makes sense that behind each of them lies an individual, intimate story. With that in mind, I decided to ask a bunch of people about the homemade mixtapes they’ve been given and why.


Image courtesy of Nathan

Me and my friends love the Real Housewives franchise, so they made me this mix CD full of songs from it. Whenever I listen to it (which I do, quite often) I always text the friends who made it for me and kind of narrate my experience. It's always different! Different things make me laugh on every listen. Also some of the songs are actually decent, like Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kandi's song “Fly Above” (she did write “No Scrubs” and “Bills, Bills, Bills” after all) and Porsha's song “Flatline”.

The inclusion of a Real Housewives of New Jersey daughter singing a disturbingly upsetting song about her family's feud at her sister's birthday party is really the icing on the cake for me. What thought went into this mixtape! The hours of converting and downloading YouTube videos into MP3 files! I find it very touching and hilarious, which I think makes for the best mixtape.

You can follow Daisy on Twitter and Phébe on Instagram.

This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.

zmd4myDaisy JonesNoisey UK StaffPhébe Lou Morson90SromanceCDMixtapesNostalgiaCompilation2000sImportant Questions Raised By...mix cdsHomemade Mixtapes
<![CDATA[This Person Is Determined to Make a Ska Version of Every Song, Ever]]>, 21 Nov 2018 00:41:59 +0000Ska has always remained at the cultural fringe in North America. Despite its mainstream heyday in the mid-1990s, ska has never taken too seriously by critics and fans alike, the butt of self-deprecating compilations like SKA...Doesn't It All Sound The Same?, and the ironically named Ska Is Dead Tour. Though ska scenes are today still kicking and skanking around North America, including niche pockets in Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, and San Diego, the genre is still very much an underground movement that often remains in the crosshairs of online trolls.

Enter Skatune Network, the one-person band fighting to redefine the possibilities in ska, one cover song at a time. Launched by 23-year-old Florida musician Jeremy Hunter, who uses the pronouns they/them, Skatune Network flips some of your favorite tunes into full-on ska remakes: From 80s pop ballads (George Michael's "Careless Whisper"), to emo anthems (My Chemical Romance's "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"), to R&B jams (The Jackson 5’s “ABC”), no genre is left un-skanked. Hunter even reworks songs and theme music from popular movies ( The Rocky Horror Picture Show), TV shows ( The Office), and video games ( The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time). Their musical mission is clear: to make every song ever into a ska song.

In the two years since launching, Skatune Network has gone from novelty to niche favorite, with more than 60 ska cover videos that have collectively garnered nearly one million YouTube views. Hunter’s mushrooming online fanbase counts tens of thousands of followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, their YouTube page is flooded with positive and encouraging comments: “Accidentally came across this and I’m so glad I did; this dude is fucking nuts. Much love brother ,” reads one message. The range of genres, and combined with Hunter’s self-aware exploitation of meme and internet culture, like Steven Universe and Adventure Time stan communities, has given Skatune Network exposure well beyond ska and punk circles, with Hunter culling suggestions from fan comments and even bands. (The cover for La Dispute was a request from the band itself.)

The Skatune Network project began as a gag, when Hunter posted “Feliz NaviSKA,” an intentionally “bad ska cover” of the 1970 bilingual Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad," to Facebook in late 2016. To Hunter’s surprise, the cover blew up, earning thousands of shares and views, and hundreds of comments and likes across their social media within a single day. They followed up with a ska version of the New Year’s Eve standard “Auld Lang Syne,” which reached nearly a quarter-million views, according to Hunter. “At that point, I knew this could be a thing, and I made a YouTube channel off of it,” Hunter says, and Skatune Network was born.

Their commitment to the craft is nothing short of impressive: Hunter, who studies music composition at Santa Fe College and works as a freelance composer and musician, rewrites the individual parts of each original song, and then records the reinterpreted version across multiple instruments, including trumpet, saxophone, trombone, keyboard, guitar, and vocals—all from the comfort of their bedroom studio. The resulting creation morphs a simple, dime-a-dozen idea into a meticulously elaborate recording and performance that fall somewhere between bratty punk, dub-tinged ska, and loungey jazz, and often all three in one single track.

For Hunter, who grew up a dedicated band kid and fixture of the South Florida ska and punk scene, ska is more than a novelty genre or viral moment. “I certainly think it's one of the most dynamic genres of music out there; its versatility is incredible,” Hunter says. “You can get all the aggressive, fast energy as you can in punk to all the slow, jazzy vibes in more traditional styles. The genre is very open to fusion, which allows me to mix styles of many other genres and still keep it with the ska sound.”

In a couple of weeks, Hunter is taking Skatune Network on the road with the project’s first shows as a full live band (November 30 in St. Petersburg, FL, and December 1, in Orlando, FL). Ahead of the debut gigs, Noisey checked in with Hunter to discuss their ongoing (and dare we say, brave?) mission, their experience as a black person in a predominantly white music community, and their thoughts on the future of ska.

Noisey: How long does one full video take to create? From rewriting the music into a ska song format, filming and editing the video, and then uploading the clip online.
Jeremy Hunter: If I did it all in one sitting, and it was a song I was 50 percent familiar with, it would all probably take me about seven to eight hours. The longest a video has taken me is two weeks [a melody of The Bluecoats' marching shows], and the shortest a video has taken me is two hours [Blink-182's "Dammit"]. It all depends on how hard the song is. "Space Oddity" by David Bowie was a song I was not super familiar with; that one took me like four or five days to do. It also depends on how much I have to change the song from the original.

Are there specific genres that are easier to convert into ska covers?
Pop punk stuff, like Blink-182 and Green Day, is so closely related to ska; it lends itself very easily to covers. I feel like pop music also lends itself very well to covers, just because pop music is very simply structured. The "Video Killed the Radio Star" [from The Buggles] cover was very easy to transition into ska. My "Emotion" by Carly Rae Jepsen [cover was] very easy to transition into ska. Also, I do a lot of emo covers, because emo people really support my covers. Those are sometimes easy, sometimes tricky. It varies more by the artist and by the song than it does by specifically the genre.

Do you literally believe you can make anything into ska?
I think if I try hard enough [and have] enough time. There's only one song I've ever bailed on, which is "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire. I was going to do that in September, but I was short on time. That's a song I don't wanna fuck up. That song is so iconic. It's like, if it's not done right, it shouldn't be done.

It's OK— Taylor Swift already fucked it up .
Exactly! I saw that. And I was like, "You know what? No." I don't want people sharing it like, "Why the fuck did you do this?" If I'm doing it, I want people to be like, "Yo, hell yeah! That was spot on." I feel like there are two ways to [doing a cover]. There's one way [where] you have to match [the] energy [of the original]. The only other way I could do it is [if] it's so completely different, it's matching the energy or topping it, but in another way. "Bohemian Rhapsody" [by Queen] is another example. People have told me to do that song, but that song has such an energy and such a high performance and intensity, you can't just cover it. It has to match that energy, whether it's in the way Queen matched it or in a completely different way, but still at that level.

Given the long creative process it takes for each cover, how long do you think it'll actually take you to complete your mission of "making every song ever into a ska song"?

Oh man! I don't even know. [Laughs] Sometimes I think about it and sometimes I'm like, "Damn, what if there are just no more songs to cover? What if I just hit that point where it's all been done?" I feel like that'll never happen. That's because new music is always being created; new music is also being written at an exponential rate. Now we live in an age where anybody can upload music through the internet for free, so it's much more accessible. That being said, there's way more music out there for people to listen to now versus 20 years ago. I think because of that, it feels like there's way more music being written and available to people. So I feel like I'm never going to run out of music to cover. Also, I don't make the mistake of covering everything that's a banger at once. People keep saying "Toto" by Africa. That's definitely coming; that's been on the list since day one. But I'm saving it for when the time is right.

You're putting a lot of time and effort into this project. What are you getting out of all of this?
I do make money through Patreon. I do make money through selling merch. And I do make money through YouTube ad revenue. It's not enough for me to quit all of my other stuff and only do [this project]. But it's enough where it's helping me achieve the rest of my expenses and costs through other things. And a lot of exposure came through Skatune Network. Also, it's helping me brand myself and build a social capital. I also have plans to grow more as an online content creator and do more than just covers, but that comes with time.

But also another reason, it's just fun. Ska is something I've just genuinely loved for so long, and people love when you're doing something you love on the Internet. People always ask me, "How do even make money through YouTube?" My answer is always, "You'd be surprised at how willing people are to support you." There are always people out there who are willing to support you. That's what makes it kind of worth [it]...people are willing to support me enough so I can do this thing that I love and people are loving the content that I'm putting out.

The ska community in North America is largely white. You are not a white person. What's your experience been like in the ska scene?
For the most part, it's been pretty good. But there have also been moments of people being rude to me or patronizing me, like thinking I don't know anything about punk. There [was] a time where I was at a [punk] show when someone came up to me and asked why I was there. A lot of people [might] be like, "Maybe he was just trying to talk to you." But would a white dude go up to another white dude at a show and ask why he's there? The answer is no; that doesn't happen.

You look at me and you assume that I'm different. I'm wearing a band shirt, I'm wearing jeans and Vans. For the most part, I "look the part," which I think there is no "looking the part" in punk. But if you had to make a part to look, I would feel like I would "look the part." So why are you approaching me and asking why I'm there? And it's not the only time I've had issues with that.

Have you ever felt like an outsider in the ska scene? Or do you generally feel accepted?
For the most part, I feel accepted in the ska community and most punk regions that I go to. Where I live in Gainesville, the type of punk shows that I go to are pretty diverse; they're typically not always all white dudes. But whenever I'm on tour playing ska shows and stuff, typically it's more white dudes. But I've never really felt not included in those situations, which is good. There have been moments where it just feels kind of weird, but not weird because people are making it weird. It's just like a "weird because I'm the only black person at the show" type thing.

There's a lot of diversity in ska, but people don't really realize it. Other genres of music are quick to talk about it and make sure it's a thing. There is something I've heard a lot on tour, where ska people tend to have a mentality of "race doesn't matter, we're all on this planet." Yeah, race doesn't matter as far as capabilities of a person of color versus a white person. But you can't just say race doesn't matter and erase people of colors' experiences. Not being malicious, and [people] don't realize this all the time, but you're erasing the experiences that people of color face when you say things like, "There's only one race, that's the human race." OK yeah, but that's not gonna stop a cop from killing a person of color. Saying there's only one race doesn't change the fact that people of color have to approach what they say and think and do in public differently than a white person. There clearly is more than one race if that's happening.

Why do you think the ska community is not addressing certain issues, compared to the punk scene or some other scenes?
Back in the 90s, we had a lot of diversity and a lot of forward thinking. You had the whole Ska Against Racism [Tour of 1998]. Ska was always a very anti-racist [thing], tracing back to the second wave. You've always had racial diversity in ska and you've always had people saying "fuck racism" in ska. I feel like as a society, we've progressed more. Back in the 90s, it was kinda just like, "Fuck racism, yeah let's kill it." And now it's kind of like, "Fuck racism, but we can't just squash it." It's not like a bug. You have to find out what the causes of racism are. I feel like the ska scene has kind of dwindled away and hasn't really been present. It's still kind of stuck in like a 90s mentality, where it's just like if you just say "fuck racism," it's gone, but it's not gone. Other scenes have had the chance to progress and grow over the last 20 years. Meanwhile, there's only been a handful of ska bands that have formed and have been successful over the last few years. There are people in ska that I know who are very woke and aware, but I've noticed that they're also connected to other forms of punk, not just ska.

You're other ska band, We Are the Union , just went on tour with Reel Big Fish , who are largely responsible for making ska mainstream in America in the 90s. Do you think we'll ever see another "ska moment" or ska revival in America in the future?
I think it will be popular again at some point. With the whole 90s nostalgia thing popping up, ska, sooner or later, has to come back. I think part of the reason why it never really has come back is because there's never been a new band to take that spot. Bands form and then they get mildly successful and then they break up. No one's ever kept going. I feel like knowing the right people and making the right connection, that's definitely something that could happen again. I feel like it won't be exactly the same as it was in the 90s, but that's fine. Things don't have to be exactly the same.

Skatune Network perform their first-ever shows as a full live band November 30 in St. Petersburg, FL , and December 1, in Orlando, FL .

John Ochoa is a Los Angeles-born, Brooklyn-based editor and writer. You can find him living his best life on Twitter .

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

wj3nwbJohn OchoaAndrea DomanickFeaturespunkSkaCoversInternet ExploringSkatune Network
<![CDATA[This Is What Dreams Sound Like]]>, 21 Nov 2018 00:34:21 +0000 Free Radicals is Noisey's column dedicated to experimental music. Each month, we take a look at the trends emerging from the fringes and why they're meaningful.

"OK, how is electronic music made?"

The composer Michele Mercure poses this question, sitting in front of a humble home studio’s worth of gear splatter-painted with knobs, dials, and plastic keys. Then there’s a sigh, a beat, a repetition of synth arpeggio, and the question repeats or a variation of it does. Over the course of a four-minute “electronumentary,” directed by her partner Mary Haverstick and released earlier this month, Mercure never really offers an answer. Occasionally, she starts to explain, but doesn’t really finish. She says things like “I can tell you that electricity runs through...everything,” or she’ll list some of the component parts involved in her compositions: filters, diodes, capacitors, etc.

But sitting in that chair, dressed like a member of Kraftwerk on a casual Friday, the looming question mostly just loops and repeats, turning what is ostensibly an interview into a strange piece of music in its own right. It’s both playful and a little unsettling, much like the music Mercure has made over her last few decades as a composer. However opaque a gesture it may be as an interview, the overall message of the video is clear, to explain this stuff robs it of some of the magic—the best way to understand is to just experience it.

A couple of weeks before that short film released, Mercure sat in the lobby of VICE’s Brooklyn offices reflecting on the strange and solitary music she started making in the early 80s, which has recently resurfaced due to a pair of re-releases by RVNG Intl. and their sublabel Freedom to Spend. Last year, the latter imprint reissued Eye Chant a collection of hallucinatory songs and electro-fragments originally released in 1986, that slowly became a legend among collectors for the spectral logic of its songwriting. If you want to snag an original copy today it’ll likely run you hundreds. A couple of weeks ago RVNG also released Beside Herself, a compilation that draws pieces from four cassettes she released in the era, including ghostly synth works, tape collages originally intended as theater scores and other oddities. It’s mystifying stuff, even for Mercure. “It’s been really interesting listening to it and then trying to figure did I do that?” she says.

That’s in part because time’s passed and her manner of working has changed. Now, she tends to work with computers and arrange in software. But back when she made the stuff on Beside Herself, it was necessarily analog and lo-fi—recorded at home, where she had the time to experiment, to cut and paste tape loops, to workshop the strange techniques that fueled her work.

There’s also a slightly stranger reason why she might be fixated on where this music comes from. Dreams appear frequently in the titles of her work—there’s a piece on Beside Herself literally called “Dreamplay 2” and some songs from another release called Dreams Without Dreamers—because the ideas for her music often came to her while she slept. Melodies, textures, and structures would present themselves while she was in liminal states, then she’d wake up and lay down those tracks while they were still fresh in her head. In some senses, you imagine that’s why she poses questions like the one that drives her “electronumentary.” Where does this music come from? How is it made? You can list the materials or explain the frequencies and the physics, but there’s something that’s hard to capture in words, some spark that’s hard to bottle.

So that’s exactly what we tried to do that while sipping on cups of coffee for the better part of an hour—to find out exactly drives Mercure’s fantastical compositions.

Michele Mercure

If you were focused on doing things a really DIY way and living in this place that had a local scene but wasn’t New York or LA, do you feel like your music took on a character of solitariness?
I’m not as shy as I used to be, but back then I used to be pretty shy. I was kinda fine with being in a small city doing what I was doing and putting it out into the world from there. My work’s always been a little solitary sounding and dark sounding. Maybe growing up as an only child affected that in some way.

Obviously Beside Herself is a compilation, but do you remember any of the stuff you were thinking about that was driving this work back then. Did you even work that way?
I’m sure there were specific themes. There is a piece on Eye Chant called “100% Bridal Illusion” and the name comes from a kind of wedding gown [fabric] which I found to be really bizarre. There’s so many layers there. At that time I was going through the ending of a relationship and I’m sure that played into that particular song.

There’s all kinds of things that affect me. Stories affect me. Things I hear in the news. Right now, I’m putting together a concept record that has to do with a spy in the Cold War. It’s very dark.

What have the last few decades held for you? Obviously you’ve still made quite a lot of work since then.
I’ve fallen into everything. I never really had a grand plan. It was more...let’s just keep making art. Let’s keep creating. Making low-budget films, you wear many hats. It’s like, “Oh, well, I can do that too.” I’ve also found that love many of the hats that I wear. I love dialogue editing. I can get lost in sound design for films. All of that is very creative to me and makes me happy.

It’s about being open-minded.
Absolutely, that’s what keeps you happy. It’s an essential life skill.

Colin Joyce is an editor for Noisey and is on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

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<![CDATA[Hard to Kill’s "Torino" Video Is a Stylishly Deep-Fried Scenic Wonder]]>, 21 Nov 2018 00:33:03 +0000 The visual stylings of Toronto’s Hard to Kill are often intentionally distorted to match their equally gravelly music, and the final installment of their accompanying videos for this year’s self-titled debut punctuates that approach. DATKNOX’s clip for ultra-smooth closing track “Torino” is shot in LA and finds Hard to Kill members Teddy Fantum and G Milla enjoying the snowy mountains while dressed like bike racers and cruising the streets. The whole thing’s been processed to kinda look like one of those deep-fried Instagram memes, but in a much cooler, less overtly funny way (the fiery closing images are really something). More than that, it’s another example of how these guys are putting their stamp on the city’s rap scene going into the new year.

"'Torino' is the final piece of the visual story we've tried to narrate with our four videos," says the group over email. "The car crash at the end of the song symbolizes the end of the ride that is the Hard To Kill album and we wanted to create that in a visual form. Dylan (DATKNOX) had an amazing vision and did an awesome job of bringing the end of this chapter to life. H2K 2019." Watch the "Torino" video above.

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This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

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