Red Baraat have been added to the lineup to this year’s XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru, the weekend of July 26-28. Formed in 2008, the eight piece band from Brooklyn is led by internationally acclaimed dhol player, drummer, and composer Sunny Jain. Known for their incredibly powerful live performances, Red Baraat blends hard driving North Indian bhangra rhythms with elements of jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip-hop. The music is a eclectic mixed bag of influences and its “extreme Bollywood” grabs listeners from the moment the band plays its first note of a song. The band released its debut album, Chaal Baby, in 2009, and its recent album Shruggy Ji this past January. Below, watch a couple of videos including an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert with the band and download “Burning Instinct.”
Gotta Hear Song Of The Week
XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week is “Southern Sky” by Tupelo, Mississippi native and (now) San Francisco based singer-songwriter John Murry from his new album, The Graceless Age. In February, 2013 Murry was selected as one of David Dye’s World Cafe: Next emerging artists to watch. Murry’s album has received critical acclaim from Billboard, the Wall Street Journal and Daytrotter, and Mojo Magazine just recently gave it a highly coveted 5 out of 5 stars review. Writing about the record, Mojo’s Andy Fyfe says The Graceless Age is ““a Southern gothic Americana symphony that twists beautiful, maudlin melodies around the dramatically brutal story of Murry’s personal fall.” Based on Murry’s addiction to pain pills which led to his wife and daughter leaving him, a heroin habit and an overdose that nearly killed him, the record is dark and emotionally taut, lyrically haunting, yet redemptive.
Download the song here.
Watch the video for the song below.
This week’s Gotta Hear Song of The Week is a cover of Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty duet, “Stop Draggin’My Heart Around,” by singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten and the Austin band Shearwater. The cover was released for Record Store Day this past Saturday on Sub Pop Records as a special limited edition 7-inch single. It was originally recorded for the A.V. Club Undercover video series.
This week’s Gotta Hear Song Of The Week is “Fighter” by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell from their forthcoming album, Love Has Come Around. You can stream the song below. The album is being released on April 23rd on Rounder Records. Produced by the legendary musician and producer, Peter Asher, the album features guest performances from Esperanza Spalding, Waddy Wachtel, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek), and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Steve and Edie are playing the Kimmel Center, Verizon Hall on Thursday, June 27th. Go here for tickets.
Stream Steve and Edie’s album in its entirety here.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are a hip-hop duo from Seattle who have taken the music world by storm since the independent release of their 2012 album The Heist. The week of the album’s release in October, 2012, it debuted at number two on the Billboard Top 200 charts, right below the number one album of the week, Mumford & Son’s Babel. The band’s incredible debut promptly caused a lot heads to turn. Both music fans and music industry folks who weren’t aware of the duo were asking “Who are Macklemore & Lewis.”
Since the release of The Heist, the duo (rapper Macklemore and producer/DJ Ryan Lewis), have been on Saturday Night Live, recorded an NPR Music All Songs Considered Tiny Desk Concert (watch below), are selling out venues all over the country, and have universally received overwhelmingly positive reviews for the album and their energy. The popularity of the album and band show no signs of slowing down. In fact, last week, the duo’s song “Thrift Shop” had its 12th week as number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, setting the record for the longest-running No. 1 rap song in the chart’s history.
But while “Thrift Shop’s” popularity continues to build, the song “Same Love” (featuring Mary Lambert) is the song from the album that has music fans and supporters of LGBT rights around the world uniting around its message. Thank Ellen DeGeneres who put the song on a broader public stage when she invited the rap duo to sing the song on her show last October. The song became the theme for the Washington State Referendum 74 movement, which ultimately led to the approval of and legalization of the same-sex movement in the State. About the song, Macklemore told Kurt Anderson of Studio 360 that misogyny and homophobia “are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip-hop culture. It’s 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip-hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.”
Neither gay or African-American, Macklemore is using rap music to bring people together with an important message. “Strip away the fear/Underneath it’s all the same love/About time that we raised up.” Below, listen to the song and be sure to watch the video for “Same Love.”