With 20 years in the industry under his belt, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson released his eighth album Last of the Great Pretenders last summer via Vanguard Records. After scoring a platinum hit with 2007′s succulent pop ballad “Come On Get Higher” (and playing the XPoNential Music Festival in 2008), Nathanson’s fanbase expanded greatly. Tonight, the Massachusetts native takes to the World Cafe Live stage for a show benefiting WXPN’s Musicians On Call initiative that brings musicians to the bedsides of hospital patients. Watch “Kinks Shirt” below and get tickets here.
Up against well-known local hip-hop acts Ground Up and Moosh & Twist, Whitney Peyton‘s victory at last night’s Tri-State Indie Music Awards was unexpected. This isn’t the first local triumph for the rapper who has been rounding up countless local awards for her work since 2010. Peyton has even performed alongside Jadakiss, Kid Ink, Jim Jones, and more solidifying her status as more than just your average rap newcomer.
With her raw energy and fast flow, Peyton comes across as the female Machine Gun Kelly mixed with melodic influences of Missy Elliott (check out the hooks on “Made You Look” and “Boom Ba Yay”). The best thing about her, which comes across immediately when you listen to her rhymes, is that she’s not trying to be anyone else but Whitney Peyton. Clearly, hip-hop fans recognized this and awarded her for it. Fresh off the release of her new album, On the Brink, Peyton will blaze the TLA stage this Friday. Get tickets here and watch her video for “Woopty Woo Woo” below.
Painting, drawing, writing, singing—you name it, Brandon Boyd does it. Add “making shimmery psychedelic pop” to the bowl of talent, which by now you’d think would overflow but it doesn’t: it just fits. But Boyd isn’t really a pop artist. He’s a rock musician, best known as the frontman of Incubus, who experiments without losing himself. However, we can still lose ourselves in Boyd’s new grooves, like many fans did Wednesday night at the TLA.
Boyd kicked off the night with the title track from The Wild Trapeze, his 2010 solo effort , then the quirky power ballad album opener “Jet Black Crow” from his 2013 collaborative project with rock producer Brendan O’Brien, Sons of the Sea. Drawing from both records, the night found Boyd juxtaposing the raw desert cuts from The Wild Trapeze (i.e., “Dance While the Devil Sleeps” and album standout “Runaway Train”) with the grand and melodic, Beatles-inspired pop of Sons of the Sea (i.e., “Untethered” and single “Come Together”). The transition from acoustic self-esteem booster “Courage and Control” into vocal-driven “Avalanche” was seamless with the latter propelling Boyd’s voice to new heights.
These quieter moments give him more space to show off the incredible set of pipes that can be overlooked amidst intricate guitar riffs that often become the centerpieces of Incubus songs (with the exception of their last studio offering, the dark and brooding “If Not Now, When?”). Boyd and his band finished up with “Lady Black”, a ballad which called for a softer vocal delivery as he pines over unrequited love.
Returning to the most familiar, comfortable place for the rocker, things get loud for the encore. The chorus of “Great Escape” grips you by the collar and begs you to listen as Boyd sings: “say what you want of me/unkind and amplified/ cry or bat those eyes, you’ll never change my mind” over a loud guitar. Clearly, he’s resolute about one thing: he’ll do what he wants whether it’s making alt-rock with Incubus, crafting pop music with Brendan O’Brien, or wearing his burnt orange grandpa cardigan.
Veteran hip-hop four-piece Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will play at the TLA tonight. Bone Thugs have been relatively quiet lately aside from September’s catchy “Everything 100″ single release that has kept fans eagerly anticipating a new LP. They’ve always been melodic enough for the radio and gritty enough for the streets; a recipe that shot them to stardom in the mid-’90s. Watch “Everything 100″ below and get tickets here.
The Lawrence Arms have released a new song and video ahead of their upcoming album Metropole which will be released on January 28th via Epitaph Records. The new clip for “Seventeener (17th and 37th)” finds the Chicago natives sifting through identities ranging from 80s punk stars to clowns. It’s a fun, upbeat celebration of being young and free no matter your birth date. Pre-order the new album here and get tickets to their show at the TLA on March 6th here.
Pittsburgh native Mac Miller will celebrate the release of his new album Live From Space tonight (and tomorrow night) at Atlantic City’s House of Blues. The new disc features tracks from his latest album Watching Movies with the Sound Off through which Mac showed a more mature, pensive side of himself in contrast to the playboy party anthems featured on his 2011 debut Blue Slide Park and earlier mixtapes. Get tickets here and watch his video for “The Star Room” below.
Hip-hop duo Mobb Deep are back and plan to release their eighth album The Infamous Mobb Deep in the spring of next year. The new LP will include a remastered version of their 1995 record The Infamous (an early celebration of its approaching 20th anniversary) with unreleased tracks from its recording session and a separate collection of brand new tracks from the New York emcees. They will kickoff a concurrent tour at the top of next year and play the TLA on March 28th. Get tickets here and watch the remix video for their classic hit “Quiet Storm” featuring Lil’ Kim.
Chicago indie rockers Their/They’re/There will play at First Unitarian Church tonight. The band is a collaboration of Evan Weiss from Into It. Over It., Mike Kinsella from Cap’n Jazz and Matthew Frank from Loose Lips Sink Ships, and its tour comes in support of the band’s new EP Analog Weekend. Check out their new video for “New Blood” below, read more in Beth Ann Downey’s interview and get tickets here.
Hip-hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will play the TLA on January 25th. Discovered by late West Coast rapper / N.W.A. member Eazy-E in the early ’90s, Bone Thugs began crafting their melodic rap music (with spit-fire fast lyrical flows) in a time where the genre was still shifting from gangster themes and rebellious attitudes. The Ohio natives are best known for their 1995 album E. 1999 Eternal which yielded hit singles “1st of tha Month” and “Tha Crossroads”, the ode to lost loved ones which won them a Grammy award in 1997. Despite Layzie Bone’s departure back in August, the group is still pressing on as fans await new material. Tickets for the show go on sale here Friday, December 13th at noon.
Indie-pop duo Cults will take to the TLA stage tonight. The New York natives released their sophomore album Static in October on Columbia Records and it has impressed fans and critics. Bullet Magazine recently included “So Far” from the new record on their “Indisputable, Definitive Best 53 Songs of 2013″ list. Get tickets to the show here and watch them perform “Always Forever” from their WFUV Session below.