Tag Archives: Music’s Greatest

The Brilliance of KIMBRA

Rarely does there come along an artist such as KIMBRA.  Sincere, down to earth, intelligent, sophisticated, complex, brilliant, beautiful, talented, daring, and innovative in a world of imitation, Grammy Award winning KIMBRA has styles ranging from pop, jazz, blues, dance, acid house, rock, and beyond.

Seeing clips of KIMBRA perform live, you will soon discover what a genius this woman is; with not only perfect vocal control and an amazing, soulful, elegant voice, and a brilliant songwriter and performer, but also, as a live audio engineer, instantly dubbing and mixing her voice and beats in front of the crowd.

KIMBRA extends this innovative talent to her website, and now, her next video too, with a brilliant website where fans can create their own beats on their keyboard through the interactive site, record them, have them emailed back, and enter them to be considered for KIMBRA to mix into her next song, as well as taking video clip submissions from fans to create her next video. Meanwhile, referencing a unique bit of trivia concerning David Bowie, in her letter below.

In addition to staying in touch with her fans on social media like some artists do, with most having their assistants do this, KIMBRA uniquely types out personal letters to her fans, and has them emailed out directly to everyone on her email list, which is a nice touch of a kind gesture from this sweet, and genuine, great artist.

A letter from Kimbra to her fans: 

So I am currently writing to you from Wellington, New Zealand (Aotearoa) where I am stepping into quite a new territory! Not in a landscape sense of course (NZ will always be my spiritual home) but I am starring in a movie out here! It’s a film that is set in my hometown of Hamilton (anyone out there from The Tron?!) and I play & perform a lot of the music in the film (which is made up of classic New Zealand songs that we grew up with) plus a little bit of dialogue, so it’s a new adventure, learning the ropes of a film set and learning so much, I’m all wide-eyed like my first day on a new job. When these sorts of opportunities come up I’m sometimes really good at coming up with a bunch of reasons to say no but it was liberating to realize the only reason that would hold me back from saying yes, is fear.

I’ve spoken a bit about jumping straight into your fears as a way to transcend them. Although acting isn’t completely foreign for me (it was in fact an early love of mine before music!), it’s out of my comfort zone and requires me to let go and serve the vision of the director as opposed to being very hands on as I am with my music videos. It’s such a good learning process, to be one instrument in a larger symphony. The movie is called Daffodils, not only will it have a bunch of amazing music which is performed throughout, but I think it’s gonna be a little tearjerker. And it’ll give you a VERY good insight into the New Zealand life aye bro! ;)

I get back to New York next week & I’m pretty excited to get back into some domestic life for a hot second before we begin another long run of dates. There are so many shows coming up & you’re the first to know ALL the new dates! Check them out!!

Sat 4/21 BALTIMORE, MD @ Light City Music & Arts Festival
Thu 4/26 WASHINGTON, DC @ The Anthem # with BECK
Fri 4/27 ST LOUIS, MO @ The Pageant ^ with ODESZA
Sat 4/28 INDIANAPOLIS, IN @ Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn ^ with ODESZA
Tue 5/1 CHARLOTTLESVILLE, VA @ Sprint Pavilion ^ with ODESZA
Thu 5/3 PITTSBURGH, PA @ Stage AE ^ with ODESZA
Fri 5/4 CLEVELAND, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion ^ with ODESZA
Sat 5/5 BIRMINGHAM, AL @ Concert Hall @ BJCC # with BECK
Wed 5/9 RALEIGH, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Thu 5/10 CHARLOTTE, NC @ Charlotte Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Fri 5/11 LOUISVILLE, KY @ Iroquois Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Sat 5/12 NASHVILLE, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater ^ with ODESZA
Mon 5/14 ATLANTA, GA @ Terminal West * with SON LUX
Tue 5/15 NEW ORLEANS, LA @ Republic * with SON LUX
Thu 5/17 DALLAS, TX @ Trees * with SON LUX
Fri 5/18 SAN ANTONIO, TX @ Paper Tiger * with SON LUX
Sat 5/19 AUSTIN, TX @ The Mohawk * with SON LUX
Mon 5/21 SANTE FE, NM @ Meow Wolf * with SON LUX
Tue 5/22 DENVER, CO @ Bluebird * with SON LUX
Wed 5/23 SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ Metro Music Hall * with SON LUX
Fri 5/25 PHOENIX, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom * with SON LUX
Sat 5/26 SAN DIEGO, CA @ Belly Up Tavern * with SON LUX
Tue 5/29 KANSAS CITY, MO @ Madrid
Wed 5/30 ST LOUIS, MO @ Delmar Hall
Thu 5/31 COLUMBUS, OH @ A&R Bar
Sat 6/2 MONTAUK, NY @ The Surf Lodge
Fri 7/6 MONTREAL, QC @ Festival International De Jazz De Montreal
Sat 7/7 OTTAWA, ON @ Ottawa Blues Music & Arts Festival

These shows are gonna be a blast!!

What an honour to tour with such amazing acts, BECK, ODESZA, SON LUX. Can’t wait to share the stage with these guys. All my upcoming dates are for sale at my WEBSITE!

It’s been a second since I announced the Hi Def Music Video Submission comp so I trust you creatives have been buzzing about making sweet art, I can’t wait to see them start coming through. REMEMBER – it can be just 10 seconds of the song if that’s the bit you love & have a visual idea for it! Don’t have to come with something for the whole song, ha!! Now that I’m working on a film set I recognize how much time goes into even one minute of footage so don’t burn out & just send me something short & sweet! The submissions will close on the day of album release (April 20)!!!

You can access the submission directly by just heading to my WEBSITE also!

So, since you guys are working hard on making stuff, and your interest in my collaborative gestures mean so much to me, I thought I’d return the gesture by setting myself a challenge….. remember the Primal Heart Interactive WEBSITE? Remember the sweet beats you made by triggering audio samples form the SITE and making your own groove that you could share or have emailed to you? Well, I’ve decided to pick my favorites from the beats you made & make a new song out of the sweet new grooves you made using my sounds! I’m planning on editing up a bunch of them and creating a new lyrical / melodic piece to work over the beats you made. FUN RIGHT?! I love you guys and want to make you something special, can’t primrose it’ll be genius but I’m gonna try to make something dope and you’ve already done half the work! ha.

In terms of lyrical direction, I’m thinking of maybe even sampling words from the record itself on a random selection process and recreating sense (or nonsense) from the various jumbled words. I remember Bowie used to close his eyes and point at a word in the newspaper then repeat it multiple times until he had a random selection of words which would then turn into a sentence and eventually a somewhat psychedelic or incredibly mundane springboard to a new song! Haha. Brilliant.

As you know I released a new song and music video last month called “Version Of Me”. It’s really moved me to see how many people have been impacted by the lyric and the video. It was quite emotional to create but it makes it all worthwhile when I know have I reached someone going through something similar. It also helps that I worked with people i trust so deeply, it was such a safe environment to explore something so tender. Here’s a video to show you a little more of how the day went.

(see her official website for the video and sign up)

Well, I better get back to this movie set but I’m sending love to all of you who are following these emails and taking the Primal Heart journey with me. I can’t believe the album comes out next month! so soon!!! I have so much planned for you.x

Till next time.
Love,
K I M B R A

Visit the Official Kimbra Website at:

http://www.kimbramusic.com/splash

Textual content  by KIMBRA and image of KIMBRA;  (c). 2018, Warner Bros. Records. Words by Hollywood Sentinel are (c). 2018, Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved. All KIMBRA music is (c).2018, Warner Bros. Records, all world rights reserved.

Phantogram On Fire

Anyone that states that music is not as good as it used to be needs to catch up with the times. Thanks to artists including Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grimes, Warpaint, Autolux, Lana Del Rey, Empire of the Sun, and many more, music today is as great as ever.
One of the most brilliant bands to emerge in the past decade–Phantogram is a part of music’s greatness today, and the band soars. subnormal magazine names them one of the Top 10 New Artists of our Time. From pounding bass beats, melodic, swirling kaleidoscopic freak outs of searing guitar, trippy, hypnotic keyboards, brilliant songwriting and lyrics, and a sultry, perfect voice by the drop dead sexy Sarah Barthel, combined with a vast myriad of great, artistic videos, Phantogram is in a class by themselves, and like none you have ever heard. Stellar geniuses,and masters of their killer sound, they are a legendary new band that just make us want to dance.  –Bruce Edwin, subnormal magazine

Phantogram: Biography

Three, Phantogram’s third studio album, the duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel take their sound in an intriguing, darkly shaded direction, adding new textures to their signature style.

Three represents a new creative peak that Phantogram has been building towards for nearly a decade. Carter and Barthel first broke out in 2009 with the cinematic Eyelid Movies (Barsuk) – recorded in a barn in Saratoga Springs, NY (near their hometown of Greenwich) – and after a buzz-building EP (Nightlife, Barsuk) and much touring, Phantogram opted for a change of scenery by recording their expansive second LP, 2014’s Voices (Republic),in Los Angeles with co-producer John Hill (M.I.A., Santigold).

In between Voices (which spawned the hits “Fall In Love” and “Black Out Days”) and Three, Phantogram have certainly kept busy. They contributed to The Flaming Lips’ The Terror, A-Trak’s “Parallel Lines,”and Miley Cyrus’ Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, remixed Charli XCX, and were sampled by Kanye West and A$AP Rocky, as well as a collaboration project called Big Grams with OutKast’s Big Boi. Following the release of a critically-acclaimed self-titled debut album in late 2015, Big Grams has proved to be a festival mainstay in 2016 – entertaining huge audiences with compelling sets riddled with Big Grams’ psychedelic hip-hop, and rounded out with the two acts’ mashups of each other’s hit songs.

Despite the full schedule, Carter and Barthel find themselves far from creatively tapped-out. Recent collaborations pushed them musically and Three displays a surging energy and appealing experimentation, effectively showcasing a band reaching for and achieving new aesthetic heights.

The album was recorded over the past year at co-producer Ricky Reed’s Echo Park-based studio. Finding inspiration in unlikely places for a band increasingly heard on commercial alternative and pop radio, Carter found fresh perspective in AfroBeat and ‘60’s R&B when creating the steady beats that form the foundation of the album. Despite the new influences and a strong experimental motivation, Three still unmistakably sounds like Phantogram, with plenty of thick, buzzing beats and snaking melodic lines to sink your teeth into.

Three is a triumphant record, but it also bears the mark of personal tragedy. During the recording process, the band suffered a devastating loss when Barthel’s sister (and Carter’s close friend since childhood) Becky passed away of suicide. Work on music stopped immediately, but then as the duo slowly returned to the studio the aftermath of their personal loss (compounded by the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, two of Phantogram’s greatest musical heroes and inspirations) began to reverberate throughout the process, imbuing the album with varied shades of complicated, human emotion that Carter refers to as “Finding the beauty within tragedy.”

“It’s about heartbreak, and having to push forward and move on—and how challenging that is,” Barthel states. “It’s made us the people we really are, and it’s a huge part of what this record means to us.”

Along with exploring new emotional territory, Three also finds Phantogram breaking new sonic ground. The album’s eclectic, bold songs swerve from pop-inflected bangers (like lead single “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” and album-closer “Calling All”) to the skipping melancholia of “Answer,” which strikes a perfect balance between loping hip-hop rhythms, understated balladry, and gauzy indie-rock. Meanwhile, more experimental, psych-influenced pieces like “Run Run Blood,” the harrowing Steve Reich-sample-driven “Barking Dog,” and “Funeral Pyre” (a re-working of longtime live staple “Intro” that, fittingly, opens the album) somehow are perfectly at ease alongside the darkly beautiful, cathartic ballad “Destroyer,” all capturing themes of heartbreak, anguish and perseverance; second single “Same Old Blues,” the smoky, menacing duet “You’re Mine,” and the icy determination of “Cruel World” bring listeners back to the sample-heavy, synth-driven Phantogram sound that has found them an extensive, dedicated fan base.

An iridescent record that glows with warmth even as it explores the desolation of personal pain, Three is the latest chapter in Phantogram’s impressive ascent to the forefront of music—as well as proof that nothing, at this point, can hold them back.

 We’re still obsessed with the amazing single “Fall in Love”, and its brilliant video, here below:

Biography and video courtesy of Phantogram / Republic / UMG, copyright 2017, all rights reserved.

PAUL KANTNER

Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner will be greatly missed. I had the honor to meet and hear this legendary guitarist with Jefferson Airplane live, many years ago, as a guest of Janis Joplin’s band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Paul Kantner was amazing. When I first heard his work on “White Rabbit,” and (Don’t you want) “Somebody to Love,” I was blown away with his bands phenomenal sound.

About Town

 Swarming Orchids will be rocking the stage this Saturday at Bar Sinister in Hollywood.  Soriah will be joining them on stage as opener, with Askelon Sain up first.

Grimes Releases New Video

The brilliant multi-media recording artist and producer Grimes shares the official video for ‘Venus Fly,’ which she released to the world recently.  Hollywood Sentinel named Grimes as one of the Top 10 Greatest Artists of Our Time last year, and ‘Venus Fly,’ brilliantly mixing house, drum and bass, dance, techno, trance, and more, solidifies that decision. Directed and edited by Grimes, the video also features Janelle Monáe. ‘Venus Fly’ is now live online. ‘Venus Fly’ is taken from Grimes’ critically-adored album ‘Art Angels’ (4AD). Last year, Grimes toured for the album, selling out venues and headlining festivals around the world. Regarding her outstanding directing, Grimes says of the video, “We used the Phantom cameras to create a feeling of time suspended.” Check out the video here:

New Movies

Their Finest

Image, copyright, 2017, Warner Brothers, all rights reserved.
With London emptied of its men now fighting at the Front, Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) is hired by the British Ministry of Information as a “slop” scriptwriter charged with bringing “a woman’s touch” to morale-boosting propaganda films, in the motion picture from Warner BrothersTheir Finest. Her natural flair quickly gets her noticed by dashing movie producer Buckley (Sam Claflin) whose path would never have crossed hers in peacetime. As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and a colorful crew work furiously to make a film  that will warm the hearts of the nation. Although Catrin’s artist husband looks down on her job,  she quickly discovers there is as much camaraderie, laughter and passion behind the camera as  there is onscreen.
GRAMMY® AWARD-WINNING  MEGHAN TRAINOR RELEASES NEW SONG “I’M A LADY” FROM “SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE”
GRAMMY® Award-winning MEGHAN TRAINOR will release her new song “I’m a Lady” from Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming film Smurfs: The Lost Villagetomorrow on Epic Records worldwide. The accompanying music video will premiere next Friday, March 3.
Trainor also announced that she will be voicing one of the new characters from Smurfs: The Lost Village, SmurfMelody, in the fully animated film.
“I’m so excited to be singing ‘I’m a Lady’ for this movie,” said Trainor.  “It’s a song that I love and am very proud of, and I can’t wait for the world to finally hear it! Getting to play a small part in the film with my character, SmurfMelody, makes this all the more exciting! So happy to be a part of the Smurfs family!”
 This content is copyright, 2017, and other respective parties wherein indicated, Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.