The world of music blogging has become vast and complex in the last few years. While thousands of sites exist, only a few have made an impact large enough to actually change the face of music. Arguably, the front-runner in such a change is Daytrotter.com. The sites daily updates and frequent and exclusive live recordings from indie all-stars have made the site a hot ticket.
But perhaps what makes Daytrotter the most unique and memorible is the earthy and beautiful illustrations of the featured artist that appear on every article and live set. Behind the vast archive of these drawings is artist and graphic designer Johnnie Cluney.
First some brief info thanks to Daytrotter:
“johnnie has gone through many mediums as an artist and has finally settled on all of them. while johnnie is not drawing for daytrotter, he is working on home recordings for his music project “quiet bears,” and spending lots of time at home with his wife bambi, and their two cats (peekaboo and ella.).”
Like Illord, Cluney finds a distinctive way to combine an artists sound with their portrait. Pastels and plaid for calm strumming and splotchy and jutted sketches for louder tunes.
His work combines the smooth strokes of water color with the realism of graphic design to create a inventive way for art and music to walk hand-in-hand.
The expanse of Cluney’s work is astonishing as a quick look through the archive section of Daytrotter presents almost every indie heavy-weight in their distinct style. Matched with her signature empty speech or thought bubbles, one can almost feel the artist in detail in front of them as Daytrotter’s live recordings play.
While he has other work as a graphic designer, I would say his job at Daytrotter means Johnnie Cluney has one of the most fun jobs in music journalism.
Here’s the advice:
make some tea (with nectar honey and coconut milk), listen to the Six Parts Seven (or think of any band you like), curl up pretending your laptop is a nice book, peep Johnnie Cluney’s graphical interpretation of the artist of choice, be chilled.
For further studies:
Even after their quick Daytrotter set, Equal Vision signed band The Snake, The Cross and the Crown has been on the road for a little while now with little to no attention (other than the fleeting kind).
Fortunately, we have the poets over at Equal Vision Records (… they are Californians after all):
“They listened and played and sometimes didn’t play (because sometimes music is no fun if you have to do it). They didn’t clean their dishes after they were done with them. They often forgot to take the trash to the street. They would get mad at one another for the reasons roommates get mad at one another; they would get mad at one another for the reasons bandmates get mad at one another. They had never been more of a family.
They finally went into the studio in April 2006 and created the last album they would make before moving away from California. When they were done, they decided to call it Cotton Teeth: ten songs reflecting the family/frustration/hope/worry/love that they all shared in their time under one roof, with two cars and one good shower. They played to be honest. They played to be heard. But most of all, they played songs to be with each other, because the world simply sounded better that way.”
That being said, check the following for the band in one of it’s quieter, more mellow incarnations:
Good Kinging, as always,
Heres a review from Cokemachineglow.com:
“Samiyam’s lineage is blatantly obvious upon first listen, so I won’t spill much ink over Dilla comparisons, or place him in context with the million and one other Dilla-ites who have flocked to LA on some sort of pilgrimage to join in an indie producer movement that has bred results both nauseatingly derivative and genuinely enticing.
What does warrant mentioning is that Samiyam is superior to most of those other LA beatmakers, due in part to his markedly more variable production style. Rap Beats observes Samiyam as an ADD-riddled toddler treating his record collection like a box of new crayons, snatching a brief sequence of strings and toying with it for all of 60 seconds, then discarding it for a menacing organ or amiable horns. It’s the right and logical approach for his repetitive compositions, which would surely grow tedious if stretched to any great length. Rap Beats is, at its core, more of an exhibition of talent than anything resembling a cohesive statement, which I would surmise is its exact purpose. That the album never strays from a singular purpose—laying out prowess as focused on variety as it is quality—makes it a pretty easy pill to swallow.
Samiyam’s frantic pace, on the whole, yields some solidly interesting chunks and the collection impresses more than falters: the playful interplay between keys and an acoustic on “Rooftop” delights and “Sideways” performs better than the sum of its parts as Sam stretches a harp and sloppy cymbals to favorable effect; even the lesser tracks merely border on bleak, never veering into egregious cliché.
But what truly anchors the album is its handful of direly urgent gems. “Super Chronzio Bros. 2” is Infamous-era (1995) Havoc filtered through bad trip brutality and NES murder victims. This 8-bit bullshit has been peddled to death by a laundry list of would-be Warp signees, but Samiyam avoids the novelty, the nostalgia-dependent approach that often renders his peers’ work so lifeless, spacing warped blips within a fleshed-out structure of sound rather than sampling Castlevania and throwing some drums underneath it. This monster is the $400 sandwich of your dreams (or nightmares, depending), stacked to the sky with burbling percussion, inebriated clicks, and chrome-plated handclaps beneath layers of sinister hiss and morose, manipulated conversations. Samiyam is setting fire to toxins, evaporation circulating them throughout the uncomfortably small room he’s constructed. The slightly lesser closer “Untitled” pushes, drunk, an organ down a flight of stairs and watches it transform into an equally sinister accordion saved by Kevlar-piercing snares and maniacal undertones.
Hanging these two standouts next to each other, it’s still a bit unclear as to what Samiyam’s greatest asset is, exactly. “Super Chronzio Bros. 2” drips of judiciousness boasting labored concision, but the album’s final track revels in simplicity, smacking of guttural veracity. Then, upon examining the remaining beats here, it becomes apparent that Sam may still be figuring out such quandaries for himself, occasionally misstepping to varying degrees throughout—MIDI mistakes (the vapid “One love”) and the occasional poor sample choice (the lethargic “Wrap up”) mar an otherwise intriguing glut.
On that inconsistent front, Samiyam’s enticing entry mostly succeeds in circulating a buzz, acting as a sandbox in which he gosh-durn toys with a whole slew of sounds and brandishes his considerable skills. If Samiyam’s debut foray into beatmaking serves as the proverbial springboard from which he launches more nuanced, cohesive efforts, he could continue to stand out amongst the crowded LA hip-hop scene for some time to come.”
Affluent political MC Immortal Technique has finally announced his final installment to the “Revolutionary” series.
URB Mag writes:
“It’s been about five years since Immortal technique last dropped Revolutionary Vol. 2. Aside from bashing the “Dubya,” educating people about all the political fuckery that goes behind closed doors, and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Eminem and Mos Def — everyone’s favorite political rapper has been working on his latest The Third World, which has long been rumored to be the final volume of his “Revolutionary” series. Set to drop on June 24, the album will feature cameos by Chino XL, Rass Kass, Crooked I, while the production is handled by frequent Immortal Tech collaborator Green Lantern, Buckwild and Scram Jones.”
Back to blogging with this…
“This recording was made in Tepoztlán, Morelos, México during the months of January and February 2008. In Tepoztlán, a place known for Aztec Magic and Extra-Terrestrial Sightings, a temporary studio was created in a mountain villa called Valle Místico at the outskirts of town. It was produced by Conor Oberst with much help from engineer and long-time associate Andy LeMaster. A special band was assembled for the recording, known amongst themselves and to friends as The Mystic Valley Band. It was there at Valle Místico that Conor and the band lived and worked for that time in near perfect harmony, often unaware of the hour or the day. The result is his first solo album in thirteen years, following Water (1993), Here’s To Special Treatment (1994) and Soundtrack To My Movie (1995). In that time he has recorded and performed in many bands and musical projects including Commander Venus, Park Ave., Desaparecidos, and most notably Bright Eyes, his main musical vehicle for the past decade.
Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band will be touring in support of this album throughout the summer and have already announced an appearance at September’s Austin City Limits festival.
Track List in full:
1. Cape Cañaveral
4. Lenders In The Temple
5. Danny Callahan
6. I Don’t Want To Die (In The Hospital)
7. Eagle On A Pole
9. NYC – Gone, Gone
10. Valle Místico (Ruben’s Song)
11. Souled Out!!!
12. Milk Thistle”