Jimmy Lloyd reviews: Hank And Cupcakes

HANK AND CUPCAKES

By Jimmy Lloyd

“Bad Ass”, doesn’t even come close to describing Hank & Cupcakes. They are “Super Bad Ass”!

I remember the night in October 2009 that I saw them for the first time at Crash Mansion on Bowery. They were rather unassuming when they took the stage, but then WHAM!!! …the first crash of the cymbals for “Ain’t No Love” exploded into the room and into the atmosphere beyond. It took me all of about 3 seconds to recognize that this was something different, something never before seen.

I watched their set with astonishment. This sexy chick drummer playing her drums STANDING UP with fury and proficiency, her vocals bellowing, the hooks emanating from her pipes, wrapped themselves around my eardrums like some kind of deadly snake in a tropical rain forest. This is Cupcakes! She slithers, she screams, she proclaims…..she is there to show the world what she can do.

These songs come from somewhere mysterious, mystical, and enchanted. She plowed through that set like a hurricane disguised as a tornado and made no excuses for it. Hank is the epitome of humble. He is some kind of magician – a scientist of sound, an Einstein of bass and pedal technology. Quiet, contemplative and seemingly out of place, but sharp…sharp as the fangs on that very same venomous rain forest snake. He and Cupcakes are aware of everything around them. They know their game. They are tight. They are practiced. They are here to stay and are on a trajectory for greatness.

The sounds that this 2-piece drum-and-bass ensemble produce defy logic and would give a listener the impression that they are, at the very least, a 5- piece band. How they do it is unknown, but what they are doing is clear to see. One night, Cupcakes let me know about a new song they were about to unveil called “Jimmy” based on a conversation we’d had at Norwood about a week earlier. (This is by far one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard, but of course, I’m biased….) From the opening strains of “My name is Jimmy and I gotta a TV show… My name is Jimmy, Ji Ji Ji Ji, Jimmy”… the song takes off like Apollo 11 on a mission of destiny. The song progresses quickly through a hairpin labyrinth of pop hooks and bass chops and then descends down into a maelstrom of whirling dervish-like overdrive until its climactic apex. Whenever I hear it I always feel a lump in my throat.

I’ve seen them perform live many times since that first night at Crash Mansion and they just keep getting better and better and better. Dynamic, progressive, perceptive, capable and unmatched, Hank & Cupcakes are here to stay. They are good people too. Mark my words, they are set to conquer whatever landscape they lay claim to!

(original post here)

Emily Danger: Peace Arch

Emily Danger is back with a new video! The indie chanteuse is back with her equally awe inspiring band and they have a new EP! The first single, Peace Arch, not only demonstrates maturation in musicianship but also shows further growth by the band’s creative director, John Patrick Wells. The video is as imaginative and unique as fans have come to expect from Emily Danger, but in drastically different way than the band’s other visual offerings. Lead singer Emily Nicholas spends much of the video struggling against what seem to be her own self imposed constraints. Shots of the band playing live add dimension and make viewers wonder what exactly will become of Nicholas when they next see her on the endless sea of white fluff. During a glorious crecendo she frees herself, and WOW does she free herself. No one in the world can sing like Emily Nicholas and the only person she’s trying to best is herself- which is precisely why she’s so damn incredible.

 

Nick’s Picks: Stone & Space “Apollo”

Got another new one from hip hop duo Stone and Space. This video is for a track called “Apollo” (produced by DJ Cannon) filmed by RoyalRae.

I love how this video starts with a camera mounted above the front wheel of a bicycle, while the background sounds like a spaceship.

Then in comes the beat: a Nintendo-sounding bouncing melody line that leads into a tight kick and snare with perfectly synchronized lyrics. And a solid electronica hook in the second half of the verse under each rapper.

These guys have great lyrics and flow. Just tight as hell with more 90s references than a Tribe song. And the video is like a portrait of San Francisco and all the quirky characters the duo see as they ride around town on their bike. Um, Stoney anyway. I think Spacebar just drives on this one.

Anyway. Great beat. Great flow. Great fucking song.

Damn I love these guys.

Jimmy Lloyd reviews: Dorie Colangelo

DORIE COLANGELO

By Jimmy Lloyd

If the adage is true that still waters do in fact run deep, than Dorie Colangelo is the personification of this age-old proverb. She is quiet, calm, perceptive and intuitive.

In person and upon first meeting her, one would have a hard time recognizing what lurks beneath. She comes across as anything but intense. She is warm and friendly. She is pleasant. But… when she takes her guitar to the stage she becomes a super-charged vessel of emotive transparency. Her songs explode with a quiet strength and reveal an immortal soul filled with feelings of loss, love, longing and hope. She is uncontrived. She is unassuming. She is in the moment

The tenderness of her voice invites the listener into a world that appears to be the serene calm in the midst of a violent and mysterious storm. Her playing style is simple and effective and compliments her lyrics and vocal delivery in a way that one could not possibly be trained to do. Dorie is a natural and was born to do this.

She is a precious stone in an age of plexiglass and twittered-up hype. She neither pretends nor asks of you. She doesn’t have to. She simply gives. Her songs, her presence and her spirit.

Dorie commands a stage like a female version of Zarathustra atop her Ziggurat as if at an old-time  Zoroastrian tent revival. Behind her and off in the distance….the tinge of an orange hue illuminates the night as glittering dust rains down from the heavens. And I am there, with her…as her friend… to pay my respects to the Gods.

(original post here)