Occur Goes Global - The Music of Greece

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 1:31 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Greece is the word, when it comes to the arts. Culling from the ancient traditions of the great Greek philosophers and fictional sirens, these Hellenic musicians are making their mark in a country rich with the arts.   The Cave Children If Wayne Coyne and Co. dialed back on the Flaming Lips’ weirdness, they might give birth to the Cave Children. This Athens art-rock outfit excels at calliope daydreams and Beatlesque melodies. Their latest single, “Alpha Male,” is... READ MORE

6 Outrageous Artist Contests and Promotions

Monday, March 13, 2017 at 6:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music     When a band or musician is promoting a new album, they often go to great — and wacky — lengths to garner attention. Some use sex appeal; others provide exclusive or free downloads; and still others incentivize through fan contests. New Mexico superheroes the Shins are going for the third option by giving away their original touring van. It’s a brick-red 1990 Ford 350, tricked out with a loft and rescued from a cattle ranch.... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Ghana

Monday, March 6, 2017 at 12:36 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music One of the first sub-Saharan nations to claim its independence from colonial rule, Ghana has a thriving, powerful music scene. Its many tongues and tribes have contributed to an array of commanding hip-hop and rock collectives, including these five that are enthralling us. Check ’em out.   La Drivers Union Por Por Group   Incessant honking is a familiar, often obnoxious, everyday element of the Los Angeles commute. But when it comes from Ghanaian drivers, it sounds joyous and... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Germany

Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 11:23 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music How can we ever thank this thoroughly modern country for its monumental strides in music? From Kraftwerk to Can to Zedd, Deutschland has led the charge in numerous genres. Here are five bands and artists from the European country that are furthering their nation’s instrumental revolution.   The Polluters   These hard rockers have relied on Luck for their Arctic Monkeys-leaning sound. Their EPs—2014’s Lucky Six and 2017’s Lucky Seven—complement each other with swagger and perspiration, tackling “Corruption and... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Georgia

Monday, February 20, 2017 at 12:00 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Georgia on my mind — and I don’t mean the Southern state Ray Charles so adored. Also known as Sakartvelo in its native tongue, this former Soviet satellite straddles East and West. Russia still exhibits phantom power in the conservative values of the country, but a vibrant rave and pro-LGBT-rights scene is gaining a foothold in Tbilisi. Here are five bands and artists whose messages should be heard.   Bedford Falls Moody with a hint of folksy lightness,... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of the Gambia

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 9:34 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music It’s a perfect time to explore the music scene of the Gambia, as the country transitions from the bullish presidency of Yahya Jammeh to the lead of Adama Barrow. Most of the performers on our list aren’t overtly political (save for tenacious rapper Gee), but they all seek unity for their metamorphic nation. Here are five Gambian musicians who are sparking our interests.   Jaliba Kuyateh and the Kumareh Band Dubbed the King of Kora, Kuyateh comes from... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Gabon

Monday, February 6, 2017 at 1:28 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music The central African nation of Gabon is considered one of the more stable economies and governments of the continent — where even its First Families get involved with the arts and mercantilism. Here are five artists from Gabon you should know, covering spine-tingling R&B to classic emphatic fanfare.   Patience Dabany A former First Lady with a calming androgynous voice, Dabany has stretched her creative career well into her 70s. She started out as a dancer and wed... READ MORE

What We're Digging Right Now: Jakuzi

Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 2:01 AM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music We’ve got awhile before we reach Turkey in our ongoing Occur Goes Global series, but a particular darkwave duo has captivated us so much, we had to introduce you to their tunes now. In a nation that was nearly torn apart by a coup in 2016, the men of Jakuzi are sticking out their necks to sing of sorrow and of fluid identity.   Their debut album, Fantezi Müzik (out March 24 on City Slang), carries on the... READ MORE

7 Killer Records Released by Couples

Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 10:07 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music     When you give your heart to another, it’s not usually literally. But indie rock couple the Finks practically did that when singer Orenda (of Azure Ray) underwent extensive cardiac surgery. She recovered well, thanks in part by the support of husband Todd (the Faint), and so they were able to realize their dream of releasing music together. The result is Closeness (apropos), and their first EP, Personality Therapy, is out Feb. 24 on Graveface.   This extended... READ MORE