02 April 2011

[new] Pictureplane- Book Four

Travis Egedy is a master of dance and synth trance, and also one of the nicest people i've ever met. He hails from Denver, with a commitment on changing the perspective of everyone who hears his music. In 2009 Dark Rift was released, and blew my mind. Pictureplane finds the time to write new music, run his own venue at his house, drop mixes, and tour all across the world performing his tunes. Above is a track he's shared called "Book Four". Upcoming album entitled Thee Physical, is scheduled for summer release. It shows the powerhouse coming back strong on hip-hop influenced, mind blowing trance. Pictureplane continues to take over the game.


art/official presents: Michael James of My Graveyard Jaw


I always wondered what it would take to be a local celebrity in New Orleans. Obviously, you would have to be a talented musician, but it takes a lot more than that to be noticed in life, let alone in this city.

Art/Official recently sat down with Stix, the man behind My Graveyard Jaw and Michael James and His Lonesome, in order to get to know the kind of person that gets facial tattoos, straps a tambourine to his boot and uses a Samsonite briefcase as a kick drum.

Stix was even nice enough to let us record an Art/Official exclusive of the song below, which was he had yet to name when he played it for us.

Born in Carmel, California, he grew up with a single mother and two other siblings. By “grew up” we mean only kind of — he was out of there at 16 when he met a girl, but only after his sister had to kidnap him to sober up (oh, to be young).

He ended up in Oregon, hitchhiking the entire way, and was invited to stay with some hippies. They were working on saving old-growth forest from loggers, and he joined their cause. When he climbed his first tree, his hands were so beaten up he had to stay up there for three weeks while they healed. Nevertheless, he must have liked it, because he ended up living in trees for four years. The group he worked with was pretty fucking successful, too; Michael told us they saved every forest they fought for.

For interactive fun: drink as much whiskey as you can in one gulp, press play on this song, and then read the rest of the article.

All good and crazy things, however, must eventually come to an end. Stix tired of political activism, left his girlfriend, and joined the circus. He was involved in two separate circus shows. One was called “The End of the World Circus” and was sometimes performed for children. The other was called “The Know Nothing Circus Family Sideshow,” and was, uh, not for children. Stix describes one troop member lying on a bed of nails while performing autofellatio. One woman in the troop would hang a six pack of tall-boy Busch beer cans from her labia. While tree sitting in Eugene, Stix had heard about a guy who put things down his urethra — nails, screws, etc. Stix began trying this himself. But he used a drill. “I would hook the drill up to a PA so people could hear it,” he says.

My Graveyard Jaw- I Just Don't Know (from his self titled album)

He eventually found himself in NOLA as an incredibly precocious 23-year-old, where he began to focus on making music. He played with Meschiya Lake for a bit, but they split. He tried playing with some other friends, but that did not work out either. “I said, ‘Fuck it, I’m playing alone.’”

Aaron, founder of Art/Official, first discovered him upstairs at the Dragon’s Den about 4 years ago:

The room was dark, but the man in the corner immediately caught my eye. He sat relaxed with his back against the wall. His broad shoulders and large beard made him look like the kind of guy who could kill me in a second if he wanted to. His energy was different from anything I had ever experienced — calm, yet mysterious. Immediately my eyes darted to the make-up he was wearing: two small triangles under his eyes and small stars above them. I was to learn later that this clown makeup is permanent. In front of his left foot sat an old suitcase with a kick for a drum behind it, and on his right was strapped a tambourine. He would rock his feet up and down to create a rhythm. He began to strum the guitar that sat in his lap. The music seemed somber. Then he opened his mouth. What came out was a voice like none I have ever heard. It had a soul to it that screamed of more heavy life experience than I could fathom. My heart sank. It was beautiful.


Aaron isn’t exaggerating. Michael James’ voice genuinely haunts you. You want to describe it as freak folk, which would be a fitting label considering his character. But what we’re looking at here — and I hate myself for making this comparison — is music that would be perfect as the theme to True Blood. Haunting, soul-filling folk that makes you feel like you’re drunk as hell and waist-deep in a bayou.

My Graveyard Jaw- ?? (from the album Old Man vs. The Dirt)

That kind of biography is intimidating, but Michael James — like of all us — is more than “simply” a former radical environmentalist and sex sideshow performer. He has young daughter, Lucy, and he now channels all of the circus and ecoterror energy into passions for taxidermy and fatherhood. This is the heart of My Graveyard Jaw’s newest album Coming Winds. It's not about taxidermy (though that would be cool), but maturity — coming to terms with your place in society after running away from home, living in trees, and using power tools to insert things into your dick.


My Graveyard Jaw used to be a one-man band, but he was recently joined by Scott Potts and Denise Bonis from the Zydepunks, New Orleans’ zydeco-punk outfit. Michael’s solo act is still around, Samsonite briefcase and all, but it goes under the moniker Michael James and His Lonesome.

Anyway, you can help him out. They have a page over at Kickstarter and they are only $120 away from their goal of $1500. If they meet their goal within the next three days, they will be able to get Coming Winds pressed onto vinyl. If you donate more than $20 you can get one of those records, signed by all three members of the band. For $100, he will play a show for you; and for $200, he will write a song about you.

Update: Success! My Graveyard Jaw met their goal of $1500 at Kickstarter.  Come see them play with the Zydepunks at the HiHo Lounge this Saturday, April 9th.

Interview conducted and compiled by Aaron Saltzman
Article by Jeffrey Silberman
Video by Helen "Isa" Rogero

01 April 2011

BONES Dance Party feat. Ricky Powell

Templum Group, Poor Boy Productions, and Frank 151 are happy to welcome the man, the myth, the Rickster to New Orleans.

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 BONES Dance Party will be hosting Ricky Powell upstairs at The Maison, 508 Frenchmen Street. The night starts early with THE BUG OUT!, a showing of Ricky Powell's prints (for sale) and a slideshow/lecture/could-be-stand-up by the man himself. If you are unfamiliar with Ricky Powell, here's a 101 in his own words:

"Ricky Powell, native new yorker, considers himself as an 'Individualist', who lives as an observer and commenter of culture (he takes photos, writes, does video, and pops shit at his local deli if/when anyone's around). He is currently commemorating a Silver Anniversary(Quarter Century for dummies) of taking 'Professional Photos on a hang-out tip' with his 'World Famous Slide Show'...delivering his anecdotes a la Dean Martin/ Redd Foxx styley...He has 5 photography books published (the new one published by Frank 151 is his favorite) and 10 basketball trophies, from the 70's. and still does the hustle..."

If you would like to meet the man responsible for some of the most timeless photos in Hip-Hop history and listen to the extremely funny stories behind them all, then mark the date on your forehead. And remember, do not be late! Doors open at 8p.m., The BUG OUT! Slide Show begins at 9:15 with BONES and the DMC Judges showcase thereafter. Tickets are $10. Don't miss this, New Orleans!

30 March 2011

Generationals: Actor-Caster Out Now!

I got the following email from NOLA's own 60's-inspired indie pop band Generationals this morning:

Hi everyone,

Our new LP Actor-Caster is now available (links below), so we thought we would drop a line.

Ted and I spent most of last year working on this record and we're very proud of it. I think it's the
best thing we've done yet. (Here's a video of us actually working on it in the studio in DC last
summer, seems so long ago:

A few months ago we started a video collaboration with our friend Albert Birney who directed the video for "Ten-Twenty-Ten," the first single from Actor-Caster. We love this video, Albert did a fantastic job and we hope you like it too.
Ten-Twenty-Ten video:


Get the album in all shapes and sizes at www.generationals.com
Stream Actor-Caster via official YouTube playlist here.

Generationals will play a show at JazzFest on Sunday, May 8 at 3:10 on the Lagniappe Stage.


I had dirty dreams last night. This track compliments them nicely. The name of this tune is "Find Me," and features some lady called Anneka. The artist is a new bassy electronic producer called Goldrush from L.A. Beyond that I know very little. It has this glitchy, bass thing I seem to love here and there. Simply beautiful. Crank your sub. Thanks to my great buddy Sloane for sending this over. Lots of love.




29 March 2011

Ex Ex and James Blake and All Sorts of Weird (NSFW)

Hanging out on the internet the other day I found this video. You'll love it.

ex NSFW from Douglas Burgdorff on Vimeo.

[new] fleet foxes lp leaks


I was lucky enough this morning to wake up to the exciting news that one of my favorite bands' sophomore effort, Helplessness Blues, had leaked. Within a few minutes I was able to get a good internet grip on the album and listen to it from beginning to end.

The album opens with the honest and beautifully clear voice of Pecknold posing this question: "So, now I am older than my mother and father when they had their daughter. Now what does that say about me?" Pecknold has gotten a bit older since Fleet Foxes first hit the scene and it's clear that he's spent a good deal of time thinking about life. An attitude of existentially drenched reflection persists throughout the entire album, and is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The sound may be somewhat different, but the reason I love this band remains the same; I know I'm not alone in my self-scrutiny, and that makes me a little more comfortable in my own skin. Hell, I'll even go out on a limb and say it makes me happy to question my own existence incessantly.

If you have the means to do so, get your hands on a copy of this album immediately (and buy it, of course, when it drops officially on May 3rd), and if you aren't, prepare yourself mentally for one of 2011's very best.

If you haven't already heard this track, be ashamed of yourself.

- J.G. Cheney

28 March 2011

[new] Booker T. Jones: "Representing Memphis" [ft. Matt Berninger and Sharon Jones]

This one really resonates with me. I proudly call Memphis, Tennessee home, and The National are my favorite band --- put those two things together and it makes me one very happy guy. And that's exactly what legendary Stax recording artist Booker T. Jones has done. For his forthcoming album The Road From Memphis (Out May 10 via Anti-), Jones has recruited The National's lead singer Matt Berninger along with Sharon Jones, Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Lou Reed, and The Roots. The result is sure to be a glorious amalgamation of old school soul and the best of today's indie scene. Matt Berninger's baritone has never sounded so soulful, and it harmonizes perfectly with the croon of modern day diva Sharon Jones. Good ol' Pitchfork has the stream of the album cut "Representing Memphis" here.

Also check out Booker T. playing with The Roots here on "Everything Is Everything:"

And you've heard this one before...

Tulane Girls Sadden Fans!

Snoop kills it...


This past Tuesday, Snoop Doggy Dogg graced Tulane with his presence in McAlister Auditorium. I'd seen Snoop once before, and while I usually try to avoid concerts of stars as large as Snoop, his show was worth making an exception for. The man knows how to entertain. He’s done music, TV, movies, commercials, and even a “Girls Gone Wild” DVD (which he signed my copy of!). Years of experience in the entertainment business have clearly paid off, as he was able to keep the crowd energy at a ten all night.

Snoop played a great mix of his tracks, both new and old. It’s amazing how many Snoop songs I know without realizing it. He's been around for so long and produced so many great tracks that his music has wormed its way into our collective unconsciousness. I found myself singing along to almost every track without even thinking about it, and so did most of the crowd. Mystikal made a surprise guest appearance and performed a couple of ditties including “Shake Ya Ass” with Snoop. Ace! I could go on forever about how great the show was, but that's not the point of this article. Something happened at the show that put a massive damper on my evening. I can’t stop thinking about it and I have to get it out somehow.

After an incredible display of booty shaking by one lucky fan, Snoop began playing “Sensual Seduction” and a pack of about thirty Tulane girls joined him onstage. They lined up towards the back, in front of the band, and began to… move their knees. What in the world?!!?!?!?!?

Call me crazy, but if you are invited on stage with Snoop Dogg, DANCE!!! I’m talking drop it like it’s hot. Hotter than hot. Hands on the ground, butts in the air. Hump the floor. Whatever, just do SOMETHING rather than act like it’s a Tuesday night at the dumb Boot. Some girls didn’t even move at all until one of Snoop’s boys told them to dance. I could not believe my eyes. It was so pathetic.

I want to extend my apologies to all Tulane girls. I have been a semi-fan of you all for years now, but after last night, I am saddened. All your reputations were tarnished Tuesday evening whether you could help it or not. This is a day that will live in infamy.

I leave you all with one piece of advice. College is about loving oneself and being comfortable to really show the world who you are. Grab life by the balls. If you are given an opportunity like dancing for Snoop, embrace it to the fullest. Drop the insecurities. No one cares, and no wants to be a part of them. Confidence in everything you do will get you ahead in life. Until next time…. SnnnnOooooOOOOOOooOOoOooPPP!!.

*Note: This article was also published in the Tulane Hullabaloo. Check it out here!


Snoop Dogg's 11th (!) studio album Doggumentary will be released on March 29. Check out one of the tracks from the awesomely-titled LP below:

Always dancing,



surfer blood [live]

Surfer Blood-0090

The Parish has done an excellent job recently of really helping me get into an appropriate summer mood (as if the weather wasn't enough). The small upstairs concert hall at the House of Blues has been host to many impressive acts like Tennis, Holiday Shores, and Surfer Blood in the past two weeks alone.
Last Wednesday a surprising crowd came out to see Florida beach indie-rockers Holiday Shores and Surfer Blood do what they do best. As a huge fan of Holiday Shores' debut record, Columbus'd the Whim, it was much to my chagrin to hear only two songs from the 2009 gem. But even in the shadow disappointment, I was thoroughly impressed with the bands overall delivery. Many of the Shores tracks, performed live, are given liberties by the band to develop and evolve, allowing them to become entities of their own and go places that may not be experienced otherwise. Though this tended to account for a playlist composed of many longer pieces, an atmosphere of depth and timelessness, reminiscent of the Doors, was achieved.

Holiday Shores-9798

The energetic and talented musicians that make up Surfer Blood were nothing short of extraordinary. When a band drenches their music in as much reverb as these guys do, it's always hard to know what you should expect live. But rest assured hipsters, my skepticism has been put to bed and I'm a believer; the delivery of their music live, along with their onstage antics, is impeccable. The setlist, as expected, was made up predominantly of hit tracks from their acclaimed 2010 debut release, Astro Coast. However, the set was also littered with several new tracks that makes giddy as a little girl to get my hands on their forthcoming EP, I'm Not Ready. The future is bright for these young men; put on your sunglasses.

*Disclaimer: I couldn't help but throw in this sweet picture of me getting down onstage with Surfer Blood. Thanks for the photo, Josh.

Surfer Blood-0247

- Article written and composed by J. Cheney
- All photographs by Joshua Brasted
For more pictures from the show,
check out Joshua's Flickr.

[new] Holy Other- Touch

Brand new track from Berlin mastermind/producer Holy Other. Touching on drawn out bass lines and warped vocals on repeat, this song is a bit creepy. The samples echo into each other in such a way that makes you feel desolately abandoned, but still hopeful. He will be dropping a new 12" in June on Tri Angle entitled U, a follow up to last years haunting We Over, also released on vinyl with a limited run.


THIS is New Orleans!

Most people outside of New Orleans have probably never heard of New Orleans Bounce music before. It's a type of rap with an electronic beat that causes one to want to do nothing except shake your booty (giving momentum to the rest of your body) as fast as possible. The music is played loud over a PA system, as a large black transvestite rap/sings over the beats.

In New Orleans, the queen of Bounce is none other than Big Freedia. She brings the wildest parties wherever she plays. If you have not gotten a chance to experience a bounce night, head down to Siberia (on St. Claude St.) for any of their bounce nights and embrace it. This is a must!

art/official plans to do a large spotlight on bounce music in the near future, so I will leave more details to come. Until then enjoy Big Freedia's debut music video for her track "Ya'll get back now!"