Occur Goes Global - The Music of Guatemala

Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 7:43 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music A civil war may have shaped the course of Guatemala’s history, but so has the ingrained music of the Spanish and Mayan peoples. Amid native woodwinds and percussion thrives a resistance that comes from song. Here are five notable music acts from the Central American country.   Trastorno Fresh off their first album, Pasa el Tiempo, this searing punk quartet serve it up organically. If Face to Face spiced up with more hardcore vocals are your thing, Trastorno... READ MORE

Occur Goes Global - The Music of Grenada

Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 7:04 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music This Caribbean nation might only have about 100,000 residents, but it’s rife with music. The carnival soundtrack of soca, the elation of gospel… it’s all represented here in our collection of five favorite artists from the island.   Sabrina Francis Francis has a voice that makes you say “Damn” aloud and go wide-eyed at her subdued yet powerful performances. Paired with contemplative lyrics about taking the bitter with the sweet, and emulation of icons such as Adele, this... READ MORE

5 Awesome May-December Musical Pairings

Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 9:17 PM
Melissa Bobbitt

  Music Chuck Berry, one of the architects of rock ‘n’ roll, died March 18. Known to perform concerts well into his late ’80s, the “Johnny B. Goode” guitarist and singer was not about to go quietly into the night. Just before his passing, he recorded CHUCK (Dualtone), an album full of fierce collaborations between the legend and his disciples (Tom Morello, Gary Clark Jr. and more).   CHUCK got us thinking about other oldies but goodies who teamed... 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