K-UTE Radio’s very own DJ Dum Dum Boy interviews the independent singer-songwriter, Scurrow Scurrow the Squirrel.
It’s important for me to find new releases to listen to, especially when a new semester is underway. Sometimes, however, I like to look back at the older tunes that inspire me, or those I never gave a proper chance. The following playlist includes a little bit of all three.
“House of Woodcock” by Jonny Greenwood
Jonny Greenwood just received a nomination for Best Original Score for his work on Phantom Thread, and it’s not hard to see why. “House of Woodcock” gives a small but beautiful sample of the soundtrack, with luscious arrangements of strings building atop a rubato piano line. The result is both stirring and decadent, a perfect match for the film.
Joni’s music has been around for a while, it was only in the last month that I committed to diving into her discography. Hejira was my first stop, and from the moment the first track “Coyote” played I was hooked. Subtley is the key here, as Joni masterfully uses her voice to weave around a cyclical groove, sustained by Jaco Pastorious’ mesmerizing bass work. For any of those looking to ponder the meaningful-meaningless of the snow (or lack thereof), look no further than the unabashed glaze of this album.
“Repeater” by Fugazi
Unlike Joni Mitchell, Fugazi carries their subtleties in a much more present manner. So, where does one begin with their discography? Look no further than their (ironically) titled, and first formal album, Repeater. The title track “Repeater” in particular sets a precedent for the unrelenting pace of the album, with screeching guitars and sticky-sweet bass grooves playing over a rolling drum line.
“Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying” by Belle and Sebastian
The wistful nature at the core of Belle and Sebastian’s music has always given their work a weight that puts it above the average selection of jangle-pop. Nowhere is this better exemplified than on “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying”. Coming off the band’s second LP If You’re Feeling Sinister, the song slowly builds upon Murdoch’s graceful melodies and acoustic guitar with bass, percussion, and trumpet until reaching a crescendo both stately and emotionally resonant.
“Jesus, etc.” by Wilco
How do you take influences of the western contemporary, ranging from country to folk, and recontextualize them for a suitable, modern musical context? Look no further than Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This is an album that thrives on brutal honesty, poetic semantics, and the inevitable washed-out heritage of the 21st century American. The resulting tracks, like “Jesus, etc.”, both surprise and reward in ways few songs can.
Looking for more music to start your week off right? Check out my other playlist here.
Sam Lachow is a producer, songwriter, rapper, videographer, director, and editor of video and music.
Raised in both Seattle and New York City he’s been making videos since elementary school, and as a seventh-grader began a group called Shankbone. Sam began directing and producing music videos with Shankbone and went on to create videos for various other artists.
Then in 2011, Sam released his debut project as a solo artist, “Brand New Bike”. Produced entirely by Sam, the album utilized many live instruments from musicians based in Seattle and New York. The next year Sam released 2 EP’s and produced/directed dozens of music videos from the projects on his YouTube channel, which now has over 7 million views.
I had an amazing chance to attend his show with Rittz when they rolled through the Complex on November 9th to talk about his successes within his music. Check out the interview below!
First off, how are you doing?
I’m doing so good, man! We just had a really great show at the Complex. The crowd was amazing – it was fun!
Glad to hear that! Do you like Salt Lake City?
I actually really do! I don’t like the weird laws, but it’s a beautiful place. The crowd’s always turnt up.
What inspired you to get into the rap game?
It started out as a complete hobby! In 6th grade, I started a band called Shankbone – it was me and two other Jewish kids because a shank bone is a Jewish dish! Then people started really liking it and that’s when I realized I was good at it. So I just kept doing it and then I went to college in New York, and at the same time, I knew I wanted to make music for a living.
When you got into rapping, were there any musical instruments that inspired you to do what you do now?
I’m a drummer! I love live music so in my beats, I try to incorporate live music. But I’m not really good at any instrument, so I hire people that are really good at them and I tell them what I want. I was lucky to go to a high school where there was a great jazz band, so I know a bunch of incredible musicians.
Growing up, which artists did you look up to?
For rappers, I’m a big flow man – lyrics are great, of course, but I’m into the flow. For example, you can’t write a good drum solo. I would say I look up to Notorious B.I.G. and Andre 3000! I also love Devin the Dude, who’s not as known, but his beats inspire me a lot.
Touring with Rittz, how does it feel? How did you gain the opportunity to join this tour?
It’s not the most entertaining story, but we found out Rittz was going on tour and he doesn’t have a big following up in the Pacific Northwest, but my following up there is big. So we struck a deal with him that if I went on the tour, we would bring a shit ton of people out to the Pacific Northwest shows. Meanwhile, he has a huge following down here, and we had never met, we just talked online! But we decided to do it! He’s a cool dude though! He’s been in the game for a long time and he’s got amazing stories. I’ve been learning a lot from this tour!
Out of all the songs you produced, which one would you say is your favorite and why?
I go by what I still tolerate and listen to because I’ve heard my songs so many times. I love “Dreams of Gold” though because it’s just really good! I remember making it by a collaborative effort and it was a good time in my life!
If you were to give an aspiring rapper a piece of advice, what would you say to them?
Make sure that it’s a complete passion! It can’t be something you’re doing because you want to become a famous rapper because that’s one in a billion. You have to do it because you love doing it. I would do it even if I wasn’t making a living for it. It would be something I would do all the time. Don’t think about making a bunch of money because fans can tell if you are making real music or if you’re just trying to be a “rapper”.
What was the most recent TV show that you binge-watched?
Curb Your Enthusiasm! It’s my favorite show! People compare me to Larry David a lot because random shit will annoy me. My dad reminds me of, Larry David!
Give Sam Lachow some love and follow him on all his social outlets!
Rawr! Snarl! Crash! These are the words that come to mind when listening to the band 68’. The group is comprised of Josh Scogin on vocals and guitar, and Michael McClellan on drums. Their sound is self-described as rock n’ roll with a kick in the pants, but it’s not exactly easy to put this bluesy rock duo in a box. They definitely peddle a heavy rock sound, and I really wouldn’t expect anything less given Scogin’s past screamo endeavors with Norma Jean, and as The Chariot’s metalcore front man.
Two Parts Viper is the group’s sophomore album, released earlier this year, and it’s intense to say the least. The entire album embodies the essence of rock n’ roll and it’s just as intense as their first album. Upon the departure of Matt Goldman on guitar, Scogin has added McClellan on drums, which has better enabled the two-man group to take their sound to the next level. Each song incorporates complex instrumental interludes alternating catchy riffs with vocals and lyrics that give you that fast-paced rock n’ roll vibe.
Tracks worth noting include “Life is Old, New Borrowed, and Blue” which metaphorically punches you in the face with the abrasive riffs battling it out against badgering one liners. The turbulent nature of the song conjures up a restlessness that makes it almost too much fun to sing along to. “Death is A Lottery” is another song on Two Parts Viper that successfully hammers out an intense melody and artistic instrumental construction which compliments the lyrical composition to produce an intense display of chaotic harmony. Memorable lines such as “Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, death is quick, but it can last so long” are passionately poured out in an abrasive ballad.
The track “Apologies” is another favorite on the album, and it’s one that showcases the artistry of both members. This song creatively paints a rock n’ roll picture with steady drum lines and Scogin’s bluesy angle of delivering crashing lyrics only to be broken up by an interlude of spoken word which embodies the poetry in such a way that’s sure to appeal to most rock n’ roll rebel personas.
Every song on the album hits like a hurricane, and, the band is even better live. I had been sleeping on the new album for the last six months until finally discovering the awesomeness that is Two Parts Viper. However, once I became keen to its rock n’ roll mastery, I’ve been listening on repeat enough to redeem myself from my negligent misstep. And recently I was rewarded for my intense fandom as I realized that the band would be opening up for The Bronx playing here in Salt Lake City, which I had already scored tickets to.
The performance was incredible and it was not merely two musicians giving you their best songs to promote their latest album, it walked the line of performance art. Scogin and McClellen performed in a symbiotic trance that had the energy of a killer punk show and the depth of a complex piece of art. They masterfully abused their instruments, while performing in sync to produce the most chaotic display of musical art I’ve ever seen. The performance was so intense and awe-inspiring, I hardly enjoyed the main act that played after them, and as I left the show, I knew that I had just witnessed something special, something rare, an unbelievable display of talent. And with that, I can honestly say, Two Parts Viper rocks, but if you get the chance, don’t miss them live.
I love the month of October. Utah is beautiful, you can pull out your old sweaters, and of course Halloween. Aside from the jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and candy, the sounds of this season are amazing. Hearing creaking doors, howling wolfs, or whispering winds can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Music is the greatest thing to create a mood, and the music inspired by Halloween does just that.
During the ancient Celtic festival Samhain, people would light fires and wear costumes to scare off ghosts. That night they would play dark folk music. These haunting tunes, known as souling songs, are still played in parts of Europe today. Children go out in groups singing these souling song and begging for treats.
Dark classical music is often associated with Halloween for its mysterious overtures and frightening melodies. Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony number 5 in C Minor” are iconic songs recognized by many as the first Halloween songs. Dozens of other composers from Rachmaninoff to Vivaldi have taken a crack at capturing the eeriness, suspense, and gloom of this beloved time.
In recent years, horror films and their accompanying scores have been a new way to showcase scary music. Movies live and die by their soundtrack. Good horror films have soundtracks that put you on the edge of your seat and make the film enticing. Films such as Psycho, The Shining, and Saw have powerful musical themes which add to their popularity and success. Other movies like Jaws and Ghostbusters feature songs that have become so popular they stand alone. The Nightmare Before Christmas and A Clockwork Orange are two of my personal favorite horror film soundtracks.
Halloween has also made its way into the rock and pop world over the last few decades. Bobby “Boris” Picket’s “Monster Mash” was released in 1962 and was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 prior to Halloween of that year. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was listed as the most successful music video by Guinness World Records and is in the Library of Congress. It’s safe to say that people love scary music.
Aside from the two Halloween songs that everyone knows, many other artist have been inspired by the horrors of Halloween. The Cure’s “Lullaby” from the album Disintegration (1980), is a haunting track and the one of the darkest from the gothic-rock band. They sing an ominous tale of the always hungry Spiderman.
David Bowie’s song “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” features screeching guitars and sharp piercing chimes. Bowie sings of running scared from the horrors of monsters. Other songs inspired by this holiday include The Ramones “Pet Sematary”, Morrissey’s “Ouija Board, Ouija Board”, and Alice Cooper’s “Feed My Frankenstein”.
Although Halloween lacks full length albums, like Christmas, there is a wide variety of music that features themes of fear, fright, and horror. For centuries, this music has been revered by several different cultures. Today it is the music of October, the music of Halloween. It shows how music can create powerful emotions and is one of the reasons why this time is beloved by so many.
Despite what you may have heard, the metal genre of music is no stranger to Salt Lake. There’s an overflowing line up of local thrash metal bands with a strict metalhead following, including some SLC’s favorites: Visigoth, Deathblow, and Necrowolf along with several others who frequent the regular venues downtown on what seems to be a monthly, if not a weekly basis. There’s also a little black metal thrown into the mix with the band Darklord, and some progressive metal from Deathrone the Sovereign. Then there’s Silence of Mortuary headbanging their way from a faraway land called Moab. These are just to name a few of the many metal bands playing Utah’s local metal scene.
Even if you wouldn’t necessarily classify yourself as a metal fan, I still recommend you catch a show or two if you’re in the mood for a little hardcore headbanging fun. However, most of these bands are still considered relatively ‘new metal’ The metal genre has been going strong for the last 40-something years and this is worth noting because what is considered old metal has helped shape each facet of the genre today.
Speaking of metal that’s been around forever, I was unexpectedly put on the guest list for the first show of the Exodus tour. The show took place at Music Metro Hall and I was excited to see a band whose career spans over the last 30 years.
The night was a fun one with Deathblow and Villain getting the metal heads hyped before the main act took the stage. As the show began, I noticed that there was a shift in the proximity of the audience from the stage. Some people were taking several steps back almost retreating as far back as the bar located on the other side of the venue. Trusting my intuition, I followed suit and I was glad that I did. Frequenting the amount of punk rock shows that I do, I am no stranger to the ways of the mosh pit, but for some reason, I didn’t really understand what that meant when one is attending an actual headbanger show. And with that, Exodus stepped out on stage and in an instant, they were bringing all the headbanging energy beginning the set with fast guitar riffs strummed in sync with flailing waist-length hair as the crowd moshed with the same intensity.
As each song finished, the singer Steve Souza riled up the audience by appealing to their metal obsession and yelling out “You’re all just a bunch of rowdy metalheads, aren’t you?” Which of course produced a heightened reaction with said metalheads bumping shoulders and yelling their allegiance back to the metal gods. The band went on to play numerous songs from what seemed like a sampling from every album put out during their 30-year discography. I even witnessed Souza asking the audience which album they had not gotten to yet. And by the end of the show, I realized this was a fan based band- one that plays solely for its fans. One that tours for decades off the same songs that propelled their success in the first place. They understand who makes a rough metal head tour life worth every show played, and of course- it’s the fans.
The sixth studio album from Circa Survive is upon us, and since its recent release, my love for them has been revived! They’ve always strived to be viewed as more than an era-defined band that blows out the same catchy guitar riffs and for years. They want to embody more artistry in their music- To exist in their space as an evolving expression of art.
But, that’s not to say that they don’t have songs that have been replayed repeatedly, in fact, they have plenty of songs that live in their fans hearts. Songs in which the band is somewhat obligated to play on every tour in respect for their loyal following who hold these certain songs close to their heart as cherished symbols that affected their lives and personal growth at some point in their coming of age. However, these same fans have also completely embraced their art form as growing and changing expression.
Circa Survive fans are loyal and in-tune, which is good. Because they’re certainly a talented band that deserves such devotion to their art. But, there is something I love about Circa Survive, and to me, it’s not readily available in everything they’ve put out.
With that said, the new album has once again been nuanced with their signature ethereal sound, but this time it also incorporates different elements reminiscent of their first album Juterna, which has surprisingly piqued my interest.
The new album Amulet is a dream filled with prolific lines and a beautiful juxtaposition of hard and soft. The drums and guitars produce a more complex sound than prior work and Greene’s vocals ebb and flow from delicate to growling screams, these refreshing elements combine to tell an emotional story that’s easy to get lost in a surreal daydream up until the very last track.
Beyond my observations regarding the refreshing newness of the album, Anthony Green himself has spoken on how he feels about the band making new music. – “Some of these songs are so f–king fun to play live, and I really look forward to getting to play these songs. That’s what excites me. That’s not to say I don’t feel similarly about the older material, or that I am not grateful for how that material has helped us, but it’s just like – when we play that stuff it’s the same as it has always been. But this material is new, and the connection I feel to it is exciting and fresh”
Green’s own views on his music are infectious and perfectly relates to how I feel about the new album. I like the old stuff, but it’s exciting to experience them once again put effort into tweaking their sound for a different vibe. Their excitement is shining through on every track and reaching me with a renewed sense of meaning and it’s a sound I can’t get enough of.
Hailing from Mexico, the duo of Boombox Cartel, aka. Jorge Medina and Americo Garcia, have been making waves and taking names for the last few years; including putting on a stunning performance on the main stage at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, FL. Earlier this year, the duo took a hiatus. However, they don’t call it a comeback, saying ‘The Cartel never left…’ They exploded into 2017 with their release “Jefe” and have been taking dance floors by storm ever since!
The first time I saw these two live was at Foam Wonderland 2016 in Salt Lake City, UT, where they opened up for Brillz and Borgeous. I had never heard of this duo before, but they took me away by storm when I heard their first drop. I knew that these two had potential and that they were going to get huge in the EDM world… and I was right! With that being said, I had an incredible chance to talk with Amerigo, himself, and chat about his love for music and how the cartel all came to be!
Amerigo and Jorge are both Mexico-based while Amerigo was first born in South Texas, then moving down to Monterrey in Mexico, where he and Jorge first met and attended middle school, high school, and even college! It was shortly after when Amerigo and Jorge moved up to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend music school, where they then joined forces and decided to make music together. However, Jorge does not have an American visa, so he cannot perform at shows in the states just yet, but all of that is currently in the works.
They decided to name themselves ‘Boombox Cartel’ because it was just a bunch of stoner music kids creating ideas. “They were all like, ‘you guys make music, y’all are like a boombox and then you two are from Mexico, y’all are like the cartels’”, says Amerigo from Boombox Cartel. “It was super dumb but we stuck with it and decided to make music under that name!”
After the ‘Boombox Cartel’ was named, Amerigo and Jorge started sending their music to everyone: blogs, DJ’s, other producers, etc. along with spreading the word locally. “All of a sudden, our music became international,” says Amerigo. “You just have to start small – be passionate about your art keep pushing your limits!”
Ever since then, the boys have been headlining shows since 2012, and then states that it is easy to headline your own show. “You just make music and put it out, and eventually, you will get booked,” says Amerigo. “Headlining shows is fun – it doesn’t matter what time your set is or even who you are, it’s just all about the music.”
Boombox Cartel has recently released their latest EP, Cartel, where it consists of a group of work of two-and-a-half years! Amerigo says to imagine fifty songs and then having to eliminate forty-five of them. “It wasn’t hard to narrow it down, however, because there were ones that stood out and felt the best,” says Amerigo.
Amerigo then states that his favorite song off the Cartel EP would be “Phoenix”. “It doesn’t consist of just the drop, like what you usually hear in most EDM music,” says Amerigo. “It’s just a song that takes you somewhere! It’s also very fun to listen to, not just in a club, but at home or basically anywhere.”