Afentra's No Costume Party
IAmDynamite, Mona, Strange Talk
Kansas City, MO, 64111
Watch & Listen
The Limousines are an Electropop band based in the Bay Area, California. The band consists of songwriter and vocalist Eric Victorino, and multi-instrumentalist and producer Giovanni Giusti. The band has had comparisons drawn with MGMT.
Victorino, who had previously performed with rock band Strata, stated that he was "tired of band politics" and "needed another outlet, one that wasn't quite as dark and heavy". Giusti and Victorino started the Limousines after communicating online and exchanged lyrics, music and recorded vocals online.
The band played at Live 105's BFD concert, Treasure Island Music Festival 2009, opening for Duran Duran's show at Mountain Winery. In 2009, the band received local and some national radio airplay and chart success on Sirius/XM's Alt Nation with the song "Very Busy People". In late 2009, they independently released their first physical record, The Scrapbook EP, on dual 7" white vinyl. It features four songs originally available only as MP3 demos: "Scrapbook 1998", "Plans Are Just Coincidence", "New Year's Resolution", and "ithinkican".
The band released their debut album Get Sharp on July 27, 2010 through iTunes and Hot Topic on indie label Orchard City Books and Noise. The album most notably features the songs "Very Busy People" and "Internet Killed the Video Star".
It would be reasonable to suspect a band who borrowed their name from the works of Friedrich Nietzsche might just be yet another pretentious act arriving on the scene but, when it comes to the rock and rhythm duo IAMDYNAMITE, it would be safer to assume the exact opposite. In truth, the choosing of the name might just be a perfect example of the bands playful and self effacing sense of humor. At ﬁrst listen it becomes clear, IAMDYNAMITE, with their thunderous beats and crunching power chords, are actually the antipretentious and with American cynicism at an all time high, the timing of their arrival could not be more perfect.
IAMDYNAMITE are Christopher Martin (Guitar, Vox) and Chris Phillips (Drums/Vox). The high energy duo had been cutting their teeth in the Detroit indie rock scene with their own unique sound that some have described as "2 guys that sound like 5." In the Fall of 2011 the band set out on their ﬁrst coast to coast tour.
Armed with a single guitar and basic drum kit, IAMDYNAMITE have quickly established themselves as a rock and roll force to be reckoned with. The musicianship is solid, the tunes are irresistible and infectious and their energy on stage has been appropriately described as "feverishly fun". The band's distinctive sound is inﬂuenced, in part, by what Drummer Chris Phillips calls "the power rock of the 90s", while Guitarist/ Lead Vocalist Christopher Martin points to "strong melodies and lots of energy" as a primary focus for the songwriting. Though some may assume a band made up of only two instruments might be rather limited, the big explosion of sound
they bring to the stage has inspired more than a few critics to observe, "IAMDYNAMITE are two guys who sound like ﬁve".
In 2008 IAMDYNAMITE caught the ears of uber producer Matt Noveskey, which eventually led to Noveskey producing the band's ﬁrst EP and subsequently their debut full length album SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC, set to release on March 13th of 2012. Noveskey's objective in producing the album was simple, he explains "We didn't want to do something they wouldn't be able to pull off live and we didn't want to do something that didn't sound like them, the live show is so energetic and we really wanted the album to be a true representation of that, which is why we recorded on analog tape with very minimal layering." As for the band's unique sound Noveskey believes the vocals are key, "The harmonies are sort of the nucleus of the whole thing really, sure you've got the bombastic drums and the big 70s guitar but the harmonies are really what this band is all about, there's almost a shade of The Beatles or Beach Boys to it."
SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC was recorded at Willie Nelson's famous Pedernales Recording Studio in Spicewood, TX, approximately 30 miles outside of Austin. For both the producer and band, Nelson's studio proved to be the perfect creative environment for the task at hand, Noveskey offers, "It was really great, it's detached from everything, out in the middle of nowhere and it's got this really cool vibe that allowed us the opportunity to get lost in our own little world. We really wanted to do it old school, two weeks straight with minimal distractions."
SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC includes the irresistible "Stereo", the dirty blues infused shredder "Ms. Jones", the infectious crowd pleasing "Hi Lo" and the urgent rocker "Where Will We Go", a tune that drives so hard it should come with the disclaimer, Warning: Song may inspire speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.
The transition from small rock clubs to the larger concert venues is an exciting new adventure for the rapidly up and coming band, as Chris Phillips explains, "It's cool to have everyone's attention and not be competing as much with televisions and chatter, the audience interaction is a lot more fun and our sense of humor seems to come across more in this type of setting. We've been giving a lot of what we call our "sweaty hugs" to lot's of new friends we've been meeting on tour."
The buzz IAMDYNAMITE have been generating on the road in 2011 is more than evident online. Nearly every day, the band's Facebook and Twitter accounts grow substantially with "likes" and raves from new fans who saw the dynamite duo the night before and the iTunes downloads of their new album, SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC, are also increasing dramatically as a result. IAMDYNAMITE's frontman Christopher Martin puts it into perspective, "It's really been great, we're playing so many cities we've never played before and the response has been amazing. We've always been a "word of mouth" band and that's still the case, just on a much bigger scale. We're not overhyped by a big label push, we're just laying some great groundwork on the road, which seems like a really natural way to do it, people are talking and that's really awesome, it's always cooler when you ﬁrst hear about a new band
from a friend."
Add it all up and there can be no doubt, the fuse has been lit and IAMDYNAMITE are ready to explode!
"You begin to wonder, are we the townspeople or are we the monster?" says Nick Brown, the band's front man and producer. The pastor's son named the group after his grandmother, Mona Brown, who was a worship leader in the same denomination as Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. MONA is a four-piece band that carries a rock and roll attitude based in spiritual roots whether they are playing to 9 people in a dive bar or 90,000 at a festival. Brown, along with fellow Dayton, OH native Vince Gard and Kentucky boys Zach Lindsey and Jordan Young come swinging once again with Torches & Pitchforks, a sophomore album that demands attention.
The band has not done too shabby over the last couple of years. Inking a deal with Universal Music Groups Mercury/Island Def Jam Records and then releasing its self-titled, critically acclaimed debut album proved to be just the beginning for the four Midwest boys. Mona earned them a spot on the BBC's prestigious "Sounds of 2011" and saw them named MTV Awards' "Brand New Honors for 2011." MONA climbed into the Top 40 in the UK and leapt into the Top 20 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart after its US release in February 2012. The band also went on to TV appearances on Later...With Jools Holland, The Tonight Show and Conan, not to mention two years straight of international tours which has helped them fully develop their, "leave it all on the stage" attitude. While headlining plenty of shows along the way they were also invited on the road with the likes of Robert Plant, Arcade Fire, Noel Gallagher and Kings of Leon and at this point MONA shows no signs of slowing down.
"We want our music to be heard by more and more people, but our responsibility is to be truthful to ourselves," says Nick. "We try to have a song for every human emotion, which I still call the 'Three F's... Faith, fucking and fighting.'"
Torches & Pitchforks wrestles with the idea of 'who is really good and who's really evil?' and lives up to the imagery of frightened villagers chasing after the town monster. The songs depict a dualistic world and walk a thin line challenging the listener to find solace only in the music itself and not rely on old familiar ways or the new modern life.
Recorded and produced by Nick in his Nashville home and mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Sly and the Family Stone, Chris Isaak), MONA prove they are not afraid to take artistic risks, even if the pressure is on for commercial success.
Blending scorched earth rockers like the lead single "Goons (Baby, I Need It All)," the gauntlet-dropping, Led Zeppelin inspired "Cross the Line" and self-declared "summer drunk song," "Wasted," are the yin to the yang of emotional back and forth relationship songs "Freeway" and "Like You Do." MONA touch even more emotions with the rockabilly chugging of "Darlin," the "take you to church" gospel title track "Torches & Pitchforks, a tribute to all blue collar workers with "Late Night" and the epic, Beatles-esque, six-minute closer "Love Divine," with Brown channeling John Lennon's primal scream. If that wasn't enough, "Truth," "Me Under" and "L.L.L." in addition to head space changing interludes take the listener on a 48 minute journey to contemplate all things human.
Once again with the dualism Brown says "our band motto is, 'Dead Serious, Just Kidding.'" "Rock and roll can change the world, but we're also just two pieces of Ohio white trash and two Kentucky rednecks making noise. We don't have any expectations as to what the album will sell or how critics will view it, but as artists we are really proud of it and I think our fans will be too. I want MONA to be a band that matters. If people do latch on to us, I don't want them to think they are wasting their time. We want to touch all emotions and be a part of the soundtrack to their lives." .....and encourage everyone to have a little fun along the way."
It's fair to say Strange Talk is passionate about pop, right down to the lyrics tattooed across the forearms of singer Stephen Docker. You can hear this passion and precision in their debut single 'Climbing Walls', a song that took them from a bedroom studio in Melbourne to shooting a film clip on a over-sized chess board in the middle of the Mojave desert.
Strange Talk is Stephen Docker, a former classical violinist from the Australian Youth Orchestra, and Gerard Sidhu, a DJ/Producer. At a house party in Melbourne, drunken bonding over pop heroes Michael Jackson and Queen – as well as new production outfits like Justice and Starsmith – inspired them to combine their musical abilities towards a sound that was classic in its approach but forward thinking in its production. The spark that flew was the track 'Climbing Walls'. This revved up dance pop track delivers what Neon Gold calls "an unwavering refusal to settle for mediocrity… with vocal chops that will set hearts on fire" – being the first melody ever written by Stephen, and his debut singing behind a microphone!
'Climbing Walls' hit No.1 on the Billboard's Uncharted Charts, No.1 most popular on Hype Machine, airplay on Radio 1, Triple J and Nova (as well as being Unearthed by Triple J), and receiving over half a million views on YouTube.
The Riot Room
Wed, January 28
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