BRBRCK, (pronounced Berberock) is Mike Berberich, the Scranton-born, Brooklyn-based MC with the kind of lyrical talent and ardent wordplay that’s hard to come by these days. Honest talent isn’t the only thing that sets BRBRCK apart from other hip hop artists. His genius is matched with a live band that definitely adds a jazzy bass line to his music. This “rapping white boy from Brooklyn” also writes and produces all of his own music. How rad.
He just released a music video for his new single, “Hood High”. This track has everything; Jazz, Blues, Rock ‘n Roll, and Hip-Hop, all in one song. It probably has the catchiest refrain that I’ve heard in quite some time: “We gettin’ hood high, we gettin’ hood high, we gettin’ hood high…”. It will have you cruising on another level. Just as the video portrays, it’s a tune that will perfectly accompany the activity of sitting on a stoop in Bedford Stuyvesant and *smoking*. It’s a song that will have you feeling supa fly, even if you’re totally not supa fly.
BRBRCK has performed at numerous live music venues in New York City including Arlene’s Grocery, Tammany Hall, and The Delancey. He’s super passionate about his live performance. In a video interview, he says, “I wanna turn it into a party-I wanna push that energy to the back wall.” He doesn’t care if you’re a Hip-Hop fan or not, “if you like energy, if you want to feel something you haven’t felt before, check out BRBRCK.” I don’t know about you, but all that sounds pretty enticing. Who doesn’t like a concert-party?
For those of you who like to feel energy vibes from a live Hip-Hop performance, you’re in luck. BRBRCK will be performing at Tammany Hall on Friday, March 14th, with Midnight High, Justin Henry and B&X. You can buy half price tickets in advance HERE.
Hidden in the Sun is a San Francisco band, that mines heartfelt songs, from the rich well of American storytelling and roots music. Lead singer Lizzie Clapper divulges personal experiences in poetic phrases, grounded by the beautiful folk, blues and rock piano stylings of Ciara McAllister. The style is steeped in tradition, which seems to be losing ground in today’s musical landscape, which is heavily over saturated by cut rate DJ’s remixing lowest common denominator pop hits. It is refreshing to see that some acts are holding on to what makes music so special to everyone, the ability for the sound, the voice and lyrics with substance to move the not only the body, but the mind and the soul as well.
This music was the basis for the style and sound that put San Francisco on the map back in the ’60s. Here is some press from music writer, John Wooley, who obviously felt that same energy.
“To my ears, Hidden in the Sun sounds a lot like the San Francisco psychedelia that came along in the late ’60s and really kind of started that whole album-rock/FM radio thing. All four songs from the EP Smoke Signals — and especially the first two — have the kind of vibe that first knocked me out back then, when radio started playing bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, and, of course, Big Brother and the Holding Company. In fact, Lizzie’s phrasing and vocal approach reminds me at times of both Janis Joplin and Grace Slick in their primes.”
Watch the band perform “Three Flavors of Five” below, and make sure to come out this Saturday, February 15th to The Connecticut Yankee to see them perform! It is sure to be a bright spot in what’s been a foggy streak over the last week plus. Show up by 10pm to see Jacob Jeffries Band and The Whiteboards. You can purchase half price tickets, for $5, in advance of the show here.
Wax Cactus is an up and coming San Francisco rock band, birthed from the tough streets of the Tenderloin. Despite their gritty origins, the band has been able to find a delicate balance between hard rocking heavy hitters and sweet soulful songs. Their attention to song craft, as well as technical prowess and showmanship, align them with the style and philosophy we still adore from classic rock legends like Neil Young & Crazy Horse and the Grateful Dead. Rather than coming off like a retread of those great bands, the band has forged a sound that hearkens to that golden era, yet remains refreshing in the current state of over processed, cookie cutter acts that dominate the musical landscape.
They’ll be joining their funky friends, Sans Pablo, this Saturday night (2/9/13) at The Connecticut Yankee. Give a listen to the band live below, and make sure to head down to the venue to check them out. Show starts at 10pm. Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance here.
Moxie Kids are an indie rock duo based in San Francisco. Chris and Kyle are lifelong friends who have been writing music since the age of 11. With many years of experience together, and many years logged playing in other bands, the two have reconnected and spawned a new project that seems like it was destined to be. Pulling from the blues and rock’n'roll, as well as garage and disco-punk, the band has forged a fresh sound that rests it’s laurels on solid songwriting and proficient playing. Make sure you come out to The Connecticut Yankee tomorrow night (11/9/12), to watch the band open at TurnStyle Music Group’s first show in San Francisco.
Watch the band rock their song “In the Storm” live below.
So from melody driven bands carrying the essence of psychedelia and the spirit of California, we will shift gears to bands whose psychedelia is more overt, heavier and darker. The first time I posted about Sleepy Sun, the song was one of their lighter, more acoustic based tunes, that definitely draws from the same vibe as Devendra Banhart’s freak-folk. Unlike Banhart, who primarily stays in that zone, Sleepy Sun leans more on rock, yet it differs from Howlin’ Rain, Blitzen Trapper and The Mother Hips as it’s ties to blues and other roots styles is much less direct. The sound is obscured by more stylistic use of effects and darker tones.
Below is a trailer that shows the band hard at work in a studio in the iconic desert near Joshua Tree. They are gearing up to release their third studio album, Spine Hits, on Tuesday, April 10th. I heard about this first from the nice folks over at Relix. From what we hear in this brief clip, it sounds as if the band is pushing their sound in slightly different direction. It will be really interesting to see if it retains enough of their core, while incorporating enough new ground to be a success.
The band will be touring the country in anticipation and support of the new album. Here are some dates in the Northeast:
To close out our week, I want to offer one more artist operating in the cross section of psychedelic music and more traditional forms like folk, rock, blues and soul. Devendra Banhart has been on the cutting edge of this revival, releasing his demo album, The Charles C. Leary a decade ago. His trippy-hippie tone poetry style of freak-folk has garnered him much critical acclaim and a loyal indie fan base. Check out the video for “Seahorse” below. The song starts out with some pastoral folk and transitions to a bossa nova/tropicalia feel, finally resulting in Crazy Horse styled guitar jam that is absolutely revelatory.