Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sydney Hip Hop December 2013


Hip Hop Arcade & Karaoke- Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
Now taking over all your Wednesday nights in December, the Street Fighter II tournament is really heating up. There's still time to register new players to fight for your spot in the final taking place in a few weeks.  Then as always get up for some karaoke, ie try not to ruin your favourite song, while your friends all secretly laugh at you.
Arcade- 7-9
Karaoke 9-11
DJ till late
FREE Entry


Exile and Choosey- GoodGod Small Club, Liverpool St
LA based producer, Exile (Blu & Exile), pairs with an up and coming emcee from his record label, Dirty Science, for a short Australian tour. This fun packed party will include performances by local artists The Tongue, Chasm, and DJ Naiki
Doors 8pm
FREE Entry via RSVP link

Bam Bam- The Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale
Bags Packed Tour, supported by Dylan Joel
Doors 8pm
FREE Entry

BRKYLN Presents- Bar BRKLYN (downstairs Hotel Steyne), Manly
The only place to get your hip hop grind going in the Northern Beaches! This week we've got the mighty DJ Prolifik on the ones and twos all night, come get social!
FREE Entry


World Supremacy Battlegrounds Festival 2013- Sydney Olympic Park
This weekend come bear witness to the biggest hip hop street dance competition in the Southern Hemisphere.  In it's ninth year, this has become a three day festival running from the 6th-9th and now includes hip hop dance, beatboxing, singing, and street ball competitions. This is a massive event attracting thousands of dancers from around Australia as well as New Zealand, The Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Guam, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji and South Africa. If you want to spend a great day or two and see who really has the skills grab tickets through the link below.
Tickets $35-$70

Bush Fire Benefit- Katoomba RSL, Blue Mountains
A plethora of homegrown artists from the Blue Mountains have come together to support the community in its time of need.  In wake of the devastating fires that have ripped apart local communities, these wonderful artists are giving their time and energy to give something back:  Hermitude, Urthboy, Thundamentals, Dialectrix, Tuka, Jones Jnr., Tenth Dan & Grub, Joe New, A Blank Canvas
Doors 7pm
Tickets $30 with 100% of the profits going to Red Cross Disaster Relief & Recovery
Sorry folks, this one sold out early.

Raine Supreme DJ Set- Play Bar, Surry Hills
One half of the audio visual outfit NTSC, Raine is quickly becoming one of Sydney's most hardworking DJs. He has been lucky enough to share the stage with many of the hip hop legends both local and international. Let him take you on a journey through his mix of hip hop funk and soul tracks, and you're sure not to be disappointed.
4pm- Midnight
FREE Entry


Australian Beatbox Championships, Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre
Ever been curious about what they call the 5th element of hip hop? As part of the World Supremacy Battlegrounds Festival, the best beatboxers in Australia will go head to head in a knockout elimination to determine the best in the country.  You will hear sounds you never thought possible to come out of a human body.  The winner will be heading overseas to represent Australia in worldwide competitions.
Tickets available at the door

Destino First Birthday Party- Abercombie Hotel, Broadway
Can you believe it's been a whole year since our first Destino experience together? Come celebrate the beginning of summer and all the beautiful days and nights you will surely spend with friends. It will be a day to remember with live art to view and purchase, DJs, friends, and fresh cold beers to cool you down.
FREE Event

Loose Change- Civic Underground
The event that was originally scheduled for this date has been moved to JANUARY 18th.

NJE- Valve Bar (Agincourt Hotel), Ultimo
NJ is certainly one to go all out for his fans.  Always on the grind this one, if he's not in the studio or rocking a private house party, you can catch him busking down central station.  Don't miss the launch of his 3rd LP "Like Food for the Soul." Heaps of supports including Untaymable, DJ Riley & many more
Doors 8pm
Tickets $20 on the door


Hip Hop Arcade & Karaoke-Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
A great mid week break for you and your best friends in a super chill environment.  Street Fighter II semi finals, last chance to get in on the action. Register here. Then as always, all your favourite hip hop tracks karaoke style.
Arcade 7-9
Karaoke 9-11
DJ till late
FREE Event


Joyride- GoodGod Smallclub, Liverpool St
To celebrate the release of the final EP in his 3 part series, this beatmaker and soulful crooner breaks away from his One Day fam to embark on his first solo tour, hitting three cities.  Called The Gentleman's Trilogy tour, it will include music from the 3 EPS: HonourableChivalrous, and Valiant. This music doesn't neatly fit into one genre but hip hop heads are bound to be impressed by the beats.  Plus I wouldn't be surprised to see a few special guests pop up on the night.
Doors 8pm
Tickets $10

BRKYLN Presents- Bar BRKLYN (downstairs Hotel Steyne), Manly
The only place to get your hip hop grind going in the Northern Beaches. This week there's an extra special, top secret international guest DJ.  You won't want to miss out on seeing one of the old school hip hop legends at this intimate, exclusive, secret show.  This is for all those who have ever been kicked out of the house by Uncle Phil.  If your Parents Just Don't Understand why you listen to hip hop, come celebrate it! Message me at the link above if you need more details.
$30 presale and $50 on the door
(Presale tickets available from Sugar Lounge or Harlem in Manly)

Hip Hop Thursdays - Name This Bar, Darlinghurst
A new hip hop night for emerging hip hop artists to showcase their talent.  This week features MC Concept, Bay Side Wreckers, and Sleepwalkers.  This bar has a great atmosphere and a relaxed environment that caters to all types.  So come on down if you feel like curling up on a couch with a nice cold beer and a few friends after a long day at work.  Take some time to admire the artwork (and feel the grassy walls) . But don't worry you will soon be up on the dance floor, with hip hop acts as good as this there's no way of avoiding it.  I'm especially keen to see Bay Side Wreckers this week.  Don't let the "emerging artists" part fool you, they are certainly not newcomers to the scene.  They have multiple releases under their belt as well as touring with some of the big names.  With a dynamic and unique style, they cross genres with ease.  Tonight will be the perfect energy boost to get you through the end of the week. Don't worry it's okay to be slightly hungover on a Friday.  Get there early for drink specials.
FREE Entry
8pm- late

Joey Bada$$- Metro Theatre, Central
Supported by the Underachievers and Remi
Doors 8pm
Tickets $60
If you haven't got tickets you're out of luck cause this one is SOLD OUT! 


Looptroop Rockers and Sage Francis- HiFi Bar, Moore Park
One of the biggest acts to come out of Sweden's active hip hop culture, Looptroop Rockers tracks cover a wide variety of topics.  Their outspoken political views have earned them recognition all over Europe and their chillen skater style on other tracks has seen them fit in nicely with the California crew for Rock The Bells, the largest hip hop festival in the US. Sage Francis was one of the first independent hip hop artists to gain national acclaim in the US. He is well known for his off beat, dark humor and his spoken word poetry rapping style.
Melbourne group Tenfold will also share the stage along with local legend Ozi Batla.
Plus this one takes place on Friday the 13th so it's bound to be a special night, full of an interesting mix of characters.
Doors 8pm
Tickets $55


Let's Get It On Music Forum- Information and Cultural Exchange, Parramatta
This is a free music information session run by industry professionals for those that want advice on distribution, legal copyright issues, and how to sell and promote your music. L-FRESH THE LION will be running his own workshop, so don't miss out on some valuable advice.
11am- 2pm
FREE but reserve a place here

DJ Jazzy Jeff- Ivy Pool Club
First time performing in Australia in over 5 years! Includes Forever Hip Hop Street Art exhibition including a whole bunch of feisty female artists for your viewing pleasure.  Should be a good time if you like your hip hop with a side of class.
Tickets $40 - use the code "Stayfly" when booking to recieve $5 off

NTSC- Play Bar, Surry HillsEver wonder what it would be like if your favourite DJ had a visual aspect to the show as well?  What if all those images that you imagine when you close your eyes and listen to music on your own could come to life in a live show?  It's not a new concept, but if done right, it can change what is already a great show into an unforgettable experience.  This new duo has individually amazed audiences for years.  To see them together will make it a night you are not sure to forget in a hurry.  This is a great bar as well.  It's a basement with art completely covering the walls, the sound is great too, the environment feels like one that really fosters creativity.
4pm- Midnight
FREE Event


RAIN: A Festival for Bushfire Relief- The Basement, Circular Quay
An appropriately named mini festival bringing together musicians, artists, and DJs who will be donating their time and energy in order to give money back to the surrounding community who has been affected by recent bushfires. A wide range of artists from many musical genres including- Soul of Sydney DJs, DJ Shantan Wantan, Broken Thought Theory, Big Village Allstars, Alice Terry, Stayfly artists and many more....
From 1pm- until late
Tickets $20- all proceeds go to the Salvation Army,
Wildlife Rescue and other and other charities that support victims of the recent NSW bushfires.


Hip Hop Arcade & Karaoke- Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
Street Fighter II final! See who takes home the ultimate prize, plus bragging rights forever.
Arcade 7-9
Karaoke 9-11
DJ till late


BRKYLN Presents- Bar BRKLYN (downstairs Steyne), Manly
The only place to get your hip hop grind going in the Northern Beaches. This week check out our host State Advanced with his own live funk band, Sloppy Joe.  This much fun doesn't usually come free!
FREE Entry


Waka Flaka Flame- Hi Fi, Moore Park
This Atlanta rapper is making his first appearance in Australia to promote his new album Flockavelli II. Love him or hate him, this rambunctious Southern rapper has a unique style and is said to throw a hell of a party at his shows.
Supports: Halfway Crooks DJs, B-Wise & Mistah Mez
Doors 730
Tickets $65.50


Big Village Xmas Party- The Standard, Darlinghurst
The 4th annual, this is the party to celebrate your holiday season.  Forget the drinks with co-workers, and the awkward morning/ year after, come chill with a great group of people that are sure to you a fantastic time, and they're not likely to gossip around the office about you after.  They have an allstar lineup planned, just don't plan on doing anything the next day because the way these guys party, it's like taking straight shots of absinthe to the head, you might wake up in a week wondering what happened.
Lineup: Suburban Dark, Reverse Polarities, Rapaport, Tenth Dan & Grub plus DJs Roleo, Klue and Migz
Doors 8pm
Tickets $15

The Chop- Play Bar, Surry Hills
This is the opening night of a brand new bi-monthly hip hop event designed to promote and foster the Sydney beatmaking scene. Here you will enjoy the talents of well established beatmakers/producers as well as up and comers.  All performances will be live so you can bear witness to the raw talents of these somewhat under-appreciated artists. DJs will also be spinning the best hip hop, funk and soul hits.
FREE Entry


One Day Sundays- The Projects behind The Vic, Enmore
If you haven't made it to one of these monthly events yet, then ask yourself what am I doing wrong in my life? Always a blast; there is plenty of outdoor space to chill in, live art, DJs, amazing food, basketball tournaments, all in a relaxing, friendly atmosphere.  What else could you need on a Sunday afternoon?  This one will round out your year nicely and has a Christmas barbecue theme.
Guest DJs- Sampology, Morgz, Skoob, Shanton Wantan Ichiban and Resident DJs- Joyride, Adit, & Raph
FREE event


BRKYLN Presents- Bar BRKLYN (downstairs Hotel Steyne), Manly
Christmas got you climbing the walls?  Need an excuse to get away from the family, or maybe a fun friendly place bring them along to, to show them why you love the hip hop?  It's a great night to head up to Manly to check out the Northern Beaches only hip hop night, especially if you don't need to worry about work the next day! This week features local DJ/ Producer Pro/gram.  Haven't heard of him? Check out his unearthed page here.
FREE Entry


The Roots- Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park
This is by far the most anticipated event for me this year. These guys have made a name for themselves through years and years of hard work. They have pushed hip hop forward in many ways with their experimental style. And I think it's safe to say they take their place among the legends of hip hop who stand today.
Supported locally by Urthboy
Doors 7pm
Tickets $90

Vent- Valve Bar and Venue (Agincourt Hotel), Central
Sydney's newest hip hop night will take place on the last Friday of each month.  This is the first night! So come out and make it a great one! This should be a relaxed night where new and experienced artists can get down together and have some fun.  Each night's activities will be followed by a free open mic and of course a cipher.  Izzy and the Profit will be hosting, with DJ Maniak holding it down on the decks.  This month's acts include Jae Druitt, King Shifty, B.C., and Wizdm.  It's bound to be a fun filled night so come on down and support these local artists.
Doors 9pm
$10 on the door

Until next time peeps, stay cool! <3

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Local Hip Hop Happenings in November

Here's your reference guide for all your local hip hop events in Sydney and surrounds for the coming weeks. If you want me to add anything click the "Message" button above and let me know about it!



Snapback X Stayfly- Newtown Hotel, Newtown
Stayfly is a collective of women artists of all types based in Sydney. This week they will be offering up their finest female emcees for your listening pleasure.  Also there will be live art going on throughout the venue. Since it's a Halloween party dress up is encouraged, or have your face painted on the night. 
Starts 8pm
Hip Hop Cinema & Hip Hop Karaoke- Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
7-9pm Showing: Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In the Hood (Marlon and Shawn Waynes) and as always followed by Hip Hop Karaoke 9-11pm- look through the songs on offer or bring your own lyrics and the DJ will dig up the music for you! This night of hip hop fun is now on every week! Great atmosphere, cheap drinks, friends, and funny times!


Thursday Night Hip Hop, BRKLYN Bar (Downstairs Steign), Manly
For the first time ever, bringing you a regular hip hop night to the north shore!  Always offering up fresh and exciting music; this week features State Advanced with his live band Sloppy Joe.
Starts 8pm till late



Thundmentals- Baroque Bar, Katoomba
My personal favourite Australian hip hop act in the final show of their "Smiles Don't Lie" tour.  I'm highly
anticipating the new album coming next year.  If you haven't seen them yet Katoomba is a great place to start a potential love affair with this group.  New school hip hop with a solid knowledge of and basis in the classics.
Supports: Loose Change, Tenth Dan & Grub
Tickets $23.50


 L-FRESH the LION- Spectrum Theatre, Darlinghurst
What other Australian emcee do you know that's been endorsed by KRS-ONE? This one is of a special breed.  Intelligent and revolutionary; this guy really understands what hip hop is about.  This time with his live band. Not to be missed.
Supports: Reverse Polarities, Jae Druitt
Doors: 8pm
Tickets $11.73


Hip Hop Arcade- Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
New for the summer! Classic Arcade game tournaments on the big screen.  This is the second round of the Street Fighter championships. To register or for more information: here.
7-9pm tournament
9-11 karaoke
11-midnight DJ


Thursday Night Hip Hop, BRKLYN Bar (downstairs Hotel Steyne), Manly
Dope hip hop on the north side
8pm till late
acts tba


Broken Thought Theory- Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst
Recently back from a run of shows on the west coast of Canada, this group is coming back fresh with some new music.  If you've yet to see this group live, you're in for a treat.  Especially at a venue like this, it's a big one!  Maybe the roaming dinosaur will make an appearance. 
With: Stone Monks, Callithump, and Cartoon
Doors: 8pm
Tickets $13.20

Salt-N-Pepa- State Theatre
It's always great to see a classic act like this if you have the chance!  These legends paved the way for female emcees everywhere.
Doors: 8pm

Home Brew- The Basement, Circular Quay
New Zealand group with a highly energetic live show and highly entertaining personalities.  I seriously wouldn't miss this one. 
Supports: Loose Change and DJ Morgs
Starts at 11pm

Newtown Festival, Camperdown Memorial Rest Park
Best festival in Sydney, and something to look forward to all year!  Art, music, workshops on writing and sustainability.  There's even a dog show!
Hip hop acts on the lineup:  Home Brew, Tuka & The Basement Big Band, Sketch the Rhyme, Jones Jr, She Rex, and more
Starts early morning till late afternoon
Gold coin donation (funds raised go to Newtown Neighborhood Centre which provides vital community support services locally)
No BYO, but please bring your own water bottles as no plastic bottles will be sold


Hip Hop Cinema/ Karaoke 
Now you can rap your way through the classics with all your friends to support/ laugh at you every Wednesday night! 
Movie tba
7pm- late


Thursday Night Hip Hop, BRKLYN Bar (downstairs Hotel Steyne), Manly
acts tba

Suburban Dark- Name This Bar, Darlinghurst
Mindreader Tour with special guests Jeswon, Rapaport, and many more Big Villagers
This isn't your typical hip hop.  This is heavy, dark hip hop beats, heavy drum and bass with an electric twist. 
Supports: Tenth Dan & Grub and DJ Migz
Doors 830pm
Tickets $15 presale


Big Sean- The Hi-Fi, Moore Park
It's this Detroit rapper's first headline show in Australia.
Doors 8pm
Tickets $64.00


High Focus Records UK hip hop tour- Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst
Smoke My Tour huge roster of artists includes: Dirty Dike, Fliptrix, Jam Baxter, Edward Scissortongue, and DJ Sammy B-Side supported by locals Rapaport and P-Smurf
Doors: 8pm
Tickets 43.90


N'Fa Jones- Beach Road Hotel, Bondi
You might remember him from 1200 Techniques, he's been out of sight for quite a while now but he's back with a new album Black + White Noise soon to be released early next year.  He's been working with some big name producers and that combined with some soulful singing, it's certainly an act worth checking out.
Starts at 7pm

Hip Hop Arcade/ Karaoke- Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
7-9 Street Fighter Tournament Semi- Finals
9-11 Hip Hop Karaoke


Thursday Night Hip Hop BRKLYN Bar (downstairs Hotel Steyne), Manly
Dope hip hop night on the north side.
acts tba


True Vibenation- Spectrum Theatre, Darlinghurst
Dressed to Chill tour
Show includes live beat making, live horn section, spontaneous freestyles and reggae influenced hip hop supports: Suburban Dark, Dutch, Mailer Daemon
tickets 11.40


Jill Scott- Enmore Theatre, Newtown
Due to a quick sell out, a second show has been added for the 25th
Supported nationally by Jones Jr


Hip Hop Cinema/ Karaoke- Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
7-9 movie tba
9-11 Karaoke
11-12 DJ


Thursday Night Hip Hop, BRKLYN Bar (downstairs Hotel Steyne), Manly
acts tba


Elefant Trak 15th anniversary- Metro Theatre
Come to the biggest party of the year! Elefant Trak celebrating 15 years in business! Look out their now in their unruely teenage years so anything could happen! 
Hermitude, Horrorshow, The Herd, Jimblah, Sietta
Doors 630pm
Tickets $43.90


Elefant Traks 15th anniversary continued- Red Rattler
Such a big party they couldn't fit it all into one night.  You're out of luck if you haven't already got tickets for this smaller venue as tickets disappeared within a couple of days. 
Acts: Urthboy, Sky'High, Ozi Batla, The Last Kinection, Jane Tyrrell, The Tongue, Joelistics

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Not Necessarily New Music

Music suggestions for people who like good music...
...some albums I've been hitting repeat on in the last few months

Jon Connor- Unconscious State
Been bumping this album since it came out in July.  The features on here will have you saying, wait how come I don't know this guy yet?  Just to name a few.. Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5'9, Danny Brown, Smoke GZA.. But even with such a large number of guest spots none of them outshine him and they all seem to fit in nicely without seeming like too much.  Maybe you have heard of this talented rapper before from his previous mix tape "The People's Rapper" which is all Eminem beats.  He remakes each track in a unique and interesting way.  I especially like "Stan" which he does as a letter to Tupac, Biggie, and fellow Flint rapper MC Breed.  If you haven't heard of Jon Connor yet, a quick YouTube search will keep you busy with his videos for days. Jon Connor has versatility.  He picks a wide variety of beats and is able to rap in a number of different styles, even changing it up mid track, but the best thing about Connor is his passion.  You really believe that he's real and feel what he's saying.  There's a heavy southern influence on this album with a lot of trap- type beats.  Being from Flint, Michigan I think gives him a unique perspective in that he takes inspiration from all parts of the country- tying together east, west, and southern styles, not feeling tied down to represent for any one side of the typical hip hop feud.  Rather, Flint has it's own dark past that he can draw inspiration from.  With this his sophomore album and a great back catalogue of mixtapes to sift through already, I think we can expect that there's much more to come from this man.
My favourites: In My Sleep, Take the World, Rise Up

J. Cole - Friday Night Lights
Basically I can't get enough J. Cole these days.  I listed this mix tape as it's the one I play the most often right now, but I'm also spinning the Warm Up and Born Sinner regularly as well.  J. Cole is a superstar now, and he came upon it in all the right ways.  He's an inspiration to bedroom emcees and producers everywhere.  He did it all himself.  He made his own beats and spit lyrics on them that are not only clever but heartfelt and relateable.  And all this while going to university and graduating with honors.  His heard work and determination lead to him being discovered by Jay Z and signed to his label.  If you haven't heard much of his work yet I wouldn't suggest you start with his first album after being signed, "Cole World" as it's got a totally different feel to the rest of his work and it feels like he's trying to hard to make it commercially viable.  Start with Friday Night Lights and you'll be hooked on Cole for sure.  There's something for everyone here and it's real hip hop that's really easy to listen to.  As someone who is half black and half white he's the perfect one to bring these two sides of hip hop together.

My favourites:  Enchanted, Before I'm Gone, 2Face, Home For the Holidays

The Roots- How I Got Over
This is my go to album for just about any mood.  On a cold winter morning, it can brighten me up.  On a sunshiny day it can make me feel optimist and energized.  It can also match the rain and make me feel broodingly thoughtful.  There's not a lot of music that has this kind of versatility.  This is real bring people together type of music, even people that aren't particularly hip hop oriented to start with.  It ties together many genres of music.  It's hip hop with funk and soul and rock within it. Needless to say this is one of my favourite albums as a whole and I hear their live show is quite extraordinary as well, I'm excited to see these guys for the first time come December.

My favourites:  Walk Alone, Now or Never, The Day, Dear God 2.0

Theodore Kennedy-  Overcoming By Escape
One thing I look for above any other when listening to new music is passion.  The more the artist feels what they are saying then of course the more the listener will connect.  It probably helped that the first time I heard this was with the artist himself, it was the first time I met him, but when he showed us his music he was so incredibly over the top with passion that I couldn't help but be drawn in.  It wasn't to do with any sense of arrogance, in fact he was incredibly modest.  It's just that when he showed us his music he came alive in a way that was incredible to see.  He was so open and so happy to share with us and to see us responding positively.  The music really came to life for me and I can still hear that passion when I play it back now. You can tell that he doesn't make music for any reason but for himself, he does it to face his own demons, and you know he's been through a lot.  This is emotional hip hop, but it's edgy as well, angry.  This is zone out and watch the rain fall music. This is the kind of music that will get you into that deeply thoughtful, reflective zone where you face everything that you've been struggling with emotionally, get it all out by the end of the album and then feel so much better.  You'll have yourself all figured out by the time it's over.
This is the first EP from this artist, released just recently on an equally new local independent label, Newtown Research and Development.  He is only 20 yet he does his own beats and production as well as rhyming.  I feel a lot of potential in this one.

My favourites: Many Nights, Real Right, All Out

Bliss n Eso- Circus In the Sky
If you know me at all then you know I'm a hardcore Bliss n Eso fan.  They helped me to get through one of the hardest times of my life, and it wasn't just their music.  These guys are creatively inspirational and genuinely good people.  Just meeting them left me reminded that art is powerful and there are people in this world that not only want to change it but will.  And it's because I believe in them so much that I have to say this album was a bit disappointing.  Of course the production is beautiful and the beats are epic, but I guess what I'm looking for from them is something more revolutionary.  More songs in the line of "Addicted" and "The Seas Is Rising" but more.  As the top Australian hip hop artists in the game, it's their duty to bring this movement forward.  This album seems to be directed toward a much younger audience, and while it is important to teach kids and show them the way, it's also important to make sure there's something in there for the older fans as well. We're looking for something different, not just clever word play, but world changing lyrics.  The new production sounds amazing, but a couple tracks in their old, grittier style wouldn't go astray either.  All that being said it's still one of the best albums to come out of the country this year, it's just not quite where I know they could be. You know a great idea for these guys would be an OutKast Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below split, two solo albums would give us some great insight.

My favourites: I Am Somebody, Pale Blue Dot, Life's Midnight

                                  Link Me!
Jon Connor - watch this video
J. Cole - preforming with Eminem on Australian tour in February - tickets
The Roots - December 28 Hordern Pavillion, Sydney tickets
Theodore Kennedy- download the EP for free
Bliss n Eso

That's it for now, but stay cool, cool cats! More to come.
Love you all.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Who is Astronautalis?

.... He might be your new favourite rapper... 

Guest blogger: Ren Butler
Check out her other work here

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”  - Aldous Huxley 

This is a little piece about a guy doing some things inexpressibly unique, and winning over audiences left and right. Astronautalis is a wandering storyteller with an affinity for paying homage to whiskey, history, and science. If you’re looking for your more ‘boom bap’ kind of hip hop, he’s not your guy. If you want to hear some incredibly artfully crafted rhymes about all manner of fact and fiction, I’d highly suggest you check out some of his tracks, such as the one below!

For mobile version: videos displaying incorrectly, check these links:
The Wordsmith and his Sons

This is Our Science

It only takes a few seconds of the first track of his latest album, This Is Our Science, to clearly hear that this man pulses creativity through his veins where most only have mere oxygen. Though painstakingly well crafted, this album is nothing if not personal. But what about all those history and science references, you say? Somehow I genuinely believe he has some kind of personal connection to the stories of his forefathers and some badass old scientists. Just watch any clip of his live show and you’ll see. This latest album has shades of his past sound but if there’s one thing to expect from Astronautalis, it’s that no two tracks (let alone albums) will be similar. He toys with musical sensibilities and influences from all over the globe as well as genres. His sharp wit, fast tongue, and impeccably eclectic sampling tastes are sure to fill your ears with wonder. Not only can he create some insanely impressive tracks in a studio, you might be surprised to know that the energy he brings comes from years of almost non-stop touring. This guy has been A LOT of places. He’s played tiny clubs in Eastern European countries you’ve probably never even heard of! While being in a new city, sometimes country, every night would drain many people, it is the life that fuels Astronautalis’ creative fire. To really know the full extent of this guy’s ability you must witness a freestyle of his. There are plenty to partake of on youtube but there’s nothing like the real thing. When might he make it down to the land of Oz? More on that later.

I have to admit, I found him one of the least profound ways an artist can be discovered, wasting time on YouTube. The track he does with P.O.S. ‘Story of My LIfe’ came upon a playlist and I was hooked before it was over. I then spent most of the rest of that afternoon looking up tracks and videos of his. Where was this mysterious bard and when might I be so lucky as to cross paths? While I once lived only a few hours drive from his hometown, now I live on the other side of the planet. He currently resides in Minneapolis, MN. I thought for sure it would be years before I’d get the chance to see him live.  But then I discovered, there is talk of him making it down here as early as this summer!

My excitement of this news was quickly followed with the realization that it’s really difficult for an indie act to book a solid tour from overseas. This is where he needs your help!!  Post your best photo and video invitations for Astronautalis to come and perform in your town on the facebook page listed below or tweet us the link and we will make sure he sees each and every entry personally!  Every entry will make a difference as it will help Astronautalis to book his shows in the places where he has the most support.  So get to it! Oh and before I forget… the person with the most creative entry is up to win a VERY SPECIAL prize indeed.  It’s kind of a secret.. but I can’t wait to tell you! The winner will get to partake in a personal video
chat with the man Astronautalis himself! And since you know he’s a dope freestyler, of course this little chat will include a personal freestyle session just for you based on topics of your choice.  And all this will be just a sample of what you will experience when you finally make it to one of his live shows.  While there are no guarantees about which shows will be played in the future, this is a guy that follows the love so the more people that enter from your town, the better chance he will be able to book a  gig there.  It’s that simple! So help him help you.  If you never ask, he will never know and may just pass you by...

Learn more about the Bring Astronautalis to Australia competition by liking our Facebook page!
Also on Twitter @AstroDownUnda

#AstroDownUnda on Instagram

Learn more about Astronautalis himself here:
Official website

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Upcoming Events October 2013

As we get the news that yet another hip hop event in Australia has been cancelled...Rap City ....as well as Australian hip hop festival Sprung not going forth in Melbourne.. we ask ourselves, is it becoming hard to find our daily/ weekly/ monthly dose of LIVE hip hop? 
Well I'm here to tell you, fear not! The next month Sydney is chock full of hip hop goodness!! Plan your calendar around these gems...

decisions, decisions...
October 4   Mantra- Annandale Hotel    Mantra's third album kicks off with a bang! Telling Scenes touches on some deep emotional issues. And as always this emcee is a top story teller. I've lost touch with Mantra over the three years in between his last album and now. But I'm excited to rekindle this relationship. This is intelligent hip hop with a feel good vibe. I'm excited!
Tickets $18.40
Doors 8pm

Mind Over Matter- Spectrum, Darlinghurst
With this being their first national tour show in over 2 years, “Somebody's Love” tour celebrates the release of their third album. I've never seen them myself but I hear they are really fun live and kinda funny if their you tube videos are anything to go by. Or at least funny looking.. something like that. Supported by P Smurf and Black Magic
Tickets $11.73
Doors 8pm
facebook event
Thundamentals- Carmen's Nightclub, Miranda
Thundamentals being mental
Busy working on their personal side projects and writing material for their new album, the Thundakats haven't been all together on stage for almost a year. Touring for their new single "Smiles Don't Lie" they kind of cheated us out of Sydney show by playing at FBi's 10th Anniversary Party and then a mid- week Bondi show. But with supports like Loose Change, Elemont, and Bay Side Wreckers, it might be worth the trek south. This is still part of Sydney after all.
tickets $21.95
facebook event
Doors 8pm

Spit Syndicate- Hotel Gearin, Katoomba
On the road for their "Money Over Bullshit" tour, celebrating the release of their third album, “Sunday Gentlemen” back in February. Any excuse for a party, really. These boys are on a massive tour of the country and when they do it they do it hard. I think the name is actually supposed to be ironic, cause I wouldn't really call any of them gentlemen. But they definitely bring a good time. Their big Sydney show isn't till November 2nd at the Hi Fi bar but if you have clashes that night it wouldn't be a bad idea to catch them in the more intimate Katoomba venue.
Tickets $18.90
facebook event
October 5th    Bagels, Beers, and Beats- Helm Bar and Bistro, Central
If you're in the city on a glorious Saturday afternoon like this one is sure to be and you're up for something a bit different, or if you're a native New Yorker like me and you're just dying for a real bagel, check out this Brooklyn inspired spring block party. Along with bagels done right (heavy on the cream cheese) you can try Brooklyn Lager, a Brooklyn inspired cocktail, or any of whatever kind of alcohol gets you going. On the entertainment tip, DJ and MC Sam Dynamite will be spinning some of your favourite Brooklyn beats and there will be live art to boot! Sounds like a great afternoon spent to me!
Event runs from 12-4pm
Tickets $25  include two bagels and two beers or one cocktail + entertainment
October 6
Mind Over Matter- Batemans Bay
If you miss MOM in Sydney over the weekend, why not plan a trip south over the long weekend and catch them in on of the most beautiful parts of the country. Supported by Stik'move, Azza D and Knott Enuff
Tickets $10 presale/ $15 at the door
facebook event

October 9th & 23rd
Hip Hop Cinema & Hip Hop Karaoke- Flinders Hotel, Surry Hills
Fortnightly hip hop fun night. Can't wait for the weekend? Need a place to chill out with cool like minded people mid week? Good music, good people, classic hip hop inspired films and docos, and don't forget the popcorn. All free! Films shown 7-9 during happy hour, karaoke starts after that.
Free event!
facebook event cinema
facebook event karaoke
October 10th
Thursday Night Hip Hop- Bar Brooklyn, Manly

You know how you are constantly taking the ferry north week after week to attend all those dope hip hop
State Advanced
shows in Manly?  Yeah... me either.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've never even been to one hip hop night in Manly, but I do know a lot of people who live in Manly who make their way out to the city week after week.  Well that's all about the change.  State Advanced is all set up to host a weekly hip hop night the first one being this night. With DJ Prolifik (Bustacap, Broken Thought Theory, High Noon) on the turn tables this will certainly be a night that you don't want to miss, whether you're a local or you have to make the trek from the city.  Who knows what local talent will be up in the coming weeks, so keep this one in your sights.
Free event!
Facebook event

The Roots- Hordern Pavillion
This is just a reminder to get your tickets for this incredible night which is happening on 27
th December!!
I don't want you to miss out!Tickets $89.80 On Sale at 9am

Speech Therapy 2- Work-Shop, Ultimo
This isn't your typical hip hop set.  This is 3 top Sydney emcees Mute (Reverse Polarities), Rapaport (Loose Change), and the Tongue in a poetry slam type format.  They will be doing freestyles, raps, and spoken word.  So come check out Big Village X Elefant Traks for something a bit out of the ordinary.
Strictly Limited Capacity!
Tickets- $20
Facebook event

October 17th
Sketch the Rhyme- The Basement, Circular Quay
If you haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat.  This gameshow type hip hop fun experience breaks the mold in all categories.  It combines live art, live beats, and freestyle rapping into friendly hip hop games enjoyed by young and old alike.  These emcees have to be quick witted to succeed but rather than a battle format where they are pitted against each other, the friendly competition here sees them working together more to move the storyline along. This is something that has to be seen to be believed. This time featuring guest emcees Joe New and EaRelevant.
Tickets $18 presale/ $22 at the door
facebook event

BV Brew
October 18th Big Village Brew- Factory Theatre, Marrickville
As if they cool factor wasn't through the roof already, this local Sydney independent label, bursting with talent, has revealed they have another trick up their sleeve, and it's cool refreshing and tasty! Come join the party and get toasty on their new brew!
tickets $10 prepaid, $15 on the door
facebook event
Katchafire- Big Top, Luna Park
If you're feeling some roots raggae tunes with an R&B and funk tip, then get your dance on with this hot New Zealand act. Upgraded to the big top at Luna Park due to massive demand, this group is known world-wide, especially in the California roots scene. So if you're feeling something a bit more funky with a bit of hip hop thrown in check this group out for sure.
Tickets $51
facebook event
Sticky Fingers- Manning Bar, Sydney University
I've never seen these guys before but I hear that seeing these Newtown locals preform is a show that is not-to-be-missed. And with a video like the one below I would tend to agree.
Tickets- $18.90
facebook event

October 19th      West Coast Icons Tour- The Hi Fi
DJ Quik and Kurupt are coming together to tour Australia for the first time. Hitting both Sydney and Melbourne, these legends are two of the West Coasts most influential and recognizable figures. If you had any doubt about that last claim, realize that Quik has recently been named “The Number 1 West Coast producer in the history of hip hop” ahead of even Dr. Dre. Kurupt is a long term collaborator of Quik and a main figure of Death Row Records (one half of The Dogg Pound). This pair is set to bring the house down, and you wouldn't want to be the one that missed out. This is a real testament to hip hop history and we're lucky to see this collaboration brought to life in Australia.
Tickets $75.50 / VIP 105.50
facebook event

True Vibenation

True VibeNation- The Basement, Circular Quay With a funky reggae- hip hop feel, this group has always been a fan of live instruments, and live experimentation! As always they will be bringing their horn section, and for one night only they will be joined by Brisbane 9- piece brass band, Bullhorn for one special night at this iconic Sydney venue.         Tickets $19.80            facebook event
Doors 730pm

Mr. Ruckman- Oxford Arts Factory basement
He's been tearing emcees apart in battles as Kade MC for nearly a decade, he's back and better than ever with a new name and a new attitude.  Now that he's more than proven his abilities, he sits comfortably in a position where he can express himself creatively without giving too much thought to how he will be perceived in the community.  He's cocky enough to be comfortable in his own freakishly tall body and insane/ genius head space.  Don't miss this class act as it's his last show before he ships off to Melbourne.
Free Entry!
facebook event
October 25th    
Mr Grevis- Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst
Western Australian emcee Mr Grevis, with Drapht as his mentor, has just released his second album and is set to start his first national tour. This may be your chance to catch him first in a small limited capacity venue. Who knows you might even get a peek at local singing sensation and heart breaker, Joyride, while you're there for their song “So Beautiful.” I haven't heard much from this guy yet, but he's worth a peek.
Tickets $12.00

Facebook event
November 1st    
 Thundamentals- Baroque Bar at Carrington Hotel, Katoomba
This is the last show on the tour for these boys, and though I'm sure we'll see much more of them over the summer (notably at Falls Festival dates this year) this is a great time to check them out. These boys always put on an amazing show with a lot of love and good vibes, they are my top Sydney pick and with the hometown love behind them, what could go wrong? I mean aside from Katoomba police out in force like last year...
Tickets $23.50
November 2nd
L-FRESH the LION- Spectrum, Darlinghurst

Off the success of the debut album and the single "One"getting into rotation on Triple J, it's time to bring the whole band on the road for the first time! And to do this they really need your help. L-FRESH the LION has set up a Pozible campaign which you can donate to, to help cover their expenses. Because being in a musical group isn't about making money after all, it's about spreading the love and sharing the good vibes. If you want to support a good cause, then help this intelligent and socially aware group of people spread their music and love so that they can touch a wider community in Australia. You might even be handsomely rewarded for your goodwill. Then head to the show, nod your head and become one with everyone in the room while you listen to this conscious H.I.P. H.O.P. This Sydney show is bound to be a special one, with support act Reverse Polarities just announced! In my opinion couldn't ask for a better combo of artists.
Tickets $10
facebook event
Doors 8pm

Spit Sydnicate- Hi Fi Bar
As I mentioned already this is the big hometown show for these boys Money Over Bullshit tour. If you're up for a big party that will most likely include all of the One Day team then get in early cause this will be a sell out for sure.
Tickets $22.40
facebook event

Don't forget to LIKE us on facebook! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

King Amongst Many

Review: Horrorshow "King Amongst Many" album

Released: 2 August 2013                
Elefant Traks

I have to admit right now, on my first listen, I didn't "get it".  Although I enjoyed Horrorshow's first two albums immensely, I have since moved on.  The first couple listens I skipped through the majority of the songs thinking Horrorshow had disappointed me by only providing more of the same, emotional and soft hip hop that doesn't push any boundaries or take a stance on anything too controversial.  But at a second glance I realised that I was looking at it the wrong way.

It wasn't until a very late night walk with the dog down near Blackwattle Bay with the air thick, damp and heavy as it is before the rain, my quiet and reflective mood finally latched onto the music and the words. What was revealed to me was something beautiful, dense and meaningful.  The meaning behind the words finally stood out to me as though I was stepping out of the fog, and the music provided the perfect backdrop for them to whirl around within.  So what I'm saying is don't set this album aside if at first you're not in the mood to embrace it, cause it definitely has the potential to come back and surprise you.

This is not a lighthearted album.  This is a deeply pensive, listen alone in your room with the lights off type album.  Not that there aren't tracks would work in a concert setting, but it's not dancing music. This is sway on your feet with your lighters in the air music.  This is the type of music that will make us take a collective breath and just listen, which I think holds much more power than the type that we want to cheers beers to. This isn't The Party Life, in fact there's not one party track here.  This is exactly the type of music that works for Horrorshow. This is In My Haze type music.

While leaving the party songs and more festival orientated songs alone, you would think that the JJJ crowd might not take to it as readily, but the doesn't seem to be the case at all as Horrorshow fans and new fans alike have seen the album debut at #2 on the ARIA charts. Like it or hate it, it's refreshing to see that this album didn't have to  follow the well defined formula in order to achieve success.  In fact, from the first album right on through to this one, Horrorshow duo never seem to be making music for anyone else at all, simply combining beats that sounds pleasing to them with lyrics that allow the emcee to express to us the inner workings of his mind.

That being said, is it on par with the best beat makers in the world? Not by a long shot. Are the lyrics revolutionary and showing us a brand new perspective? Not for the most part.  But these two are definitely growing as artists and their music has a place in the Australian music scene and in worldwide hip hop. Though it's not everyone's cup of tea, in terms of emotional content this album is ace.

The first listen we had of this new material was during the Hilltop Hoods "Speaking in Tongues" tour.  Dead Star Shine was a chilling anthem that made us all stop dead, so to speak.  This was a year before the album came out and it had a great response.  However the chorus on the finished version leaves much to be desired.  I think the effect over Solo's voice lessens the emotion, to where it sounds boring and dull.  And that carries on through most of the chorus' on the album.  I think as a rule, Solo could work on the expressiveness of his voice, both in singing and in rapping.  Though the evenness works one one level, it does make all the songs sound far too similar.  And though I love Adit's knack for picking samples, the beats could use more variety as well. Having a few songs with more of an edge to them and a harder hitting beat would surprise us and keep us interested.

The song that stood out to me first was Down The Line.  This is story telling at it's best.  So emotional it nearly made me cry although it's not a particularly sad.  Through a story about his ancestry, Solo tells us the importance of family, something that speaks to everyone universally.  This is the only track with a female singer as well, Sarah Corry, and possibly the only song that really has the chorus it deserves.  The recording of his grandmother at the end is beautiful.

I think the album overall has a few too many guest spots and Suffa could have been cut out for me.  I don't think he adds anything to the track he is on called On The One Hand and in fact I think he draws attention away from Grieves who is the first international guest that Horrorshow have welcomed to share in their art. They have chosen well here; Grieves and Solo have a similar hip hop style in that their songs are deeply personal and emotional.  I want to like this track the best because it's Grieves but in truth it bores me a little.  I was expecting more of a standout on this one, but whatever that sample is that comes in as the outro of this song, I love that better than the rest of the track.  A beat more like that would have excited me more.  Not to worry though, I think Grieves and Horrorshow could have a beautiful thing going and I definitely wouldn't mind seeing a further collab if this kid ever makes it out to Australia.  (If you want to know more about Grieves check my links at the bottom and stay tuned.)

Surprisingly out of the whole album the song that turned me off the most is the first single.  This is actually what kept me away from the album a long time.  I don't think it has the right effect, it doesn't catch you right away and it is not memorable.  A terrible choice in my opinion.  All it does is remind me that we're ready to see something different from these guys.

The absolute best and most important song on the album, and the one that makes the listening all worth while is Own Backyard which features newly signed Elefant Traks artist, Jimblah.  This track tells of a young white male's perspective of racism in Australia, how he goes from simply believing what he was taught in school to discovering the truth of Australia's bloody past for himself.  Then Jimblah comes forward to tell a tale which we never see in Australian hip hop.  A black perspective of continued racism in this country.   Stunningly poignant, the harrowing last line reminds us, "They tried to wipe us off of the face of the earth dude, need proof? Look around you."

 More than a lyricist who throws out catchy puns and one liners, Solo is a poet spinning a story that makes you feel you are in that moment with him if you listen closely enough, and that's something I hold  highly.  Honesty as well is a trait that is not optional for me, he's certainly not trying to represent anything that he is not, the downfall of many of the more popular hip hop artists.

Horrorshow is on tour! 
Their next few dates are:

Thu 19 Sep

Fri 20 Sep *
Metro Theatre

Sat 21 Sep *
Sprung Festival

Thu 26 Sep
Corner Hotel

*all ages
For a full list of tour dates and ticketing information click here

Link me up
Elefant Traks
Horrorshow official site / Facebook page
Jimblah official site / Facebook page
Grieves official site / Facebook page