Tag Archive: “Featured”


Chicago Hip-Hop really is something that you can’t mess with or deny. Throughout the years there has been a surge of quality music you’ve probably never heard. Everyone knows of Common, Lupe Fiasco, Chance The Rapper, Rhymefest and Kanye but artists like Longshot, Psalm One, Copperpot, and Modill; these are artists who released amazing albums. One such notable artist is Thaione Davis. I first discovered his music based off of an E.P. in 2004 entitled Situation Renaissance which blew my mind. How was it that his cadence always brought me back to the same tracks over and over. The cuts were rough, with production by longtime collaborators like Kenny Keys and others but it was hypnotic.

It wasn’t until 2009 when he released Still Hear that it was game over. Obviously the title was a play on words but it’s the 15 tracks that would mark this album as possibly one of the greatest albums most people have never heard. It’s a gritty album, with production handled completely by Rashid Hadee, and flows in one direction: higher and higher. In all honesty, the album is beautifully scripted, dealing with love, heartbreak, money (or lack of), inner-city life, and teaching youth. It’s everything you want to hear from someone that has something to say. The album may have been released in 2009 but after listening to “Confessions Of An Adolescent” which Hadee begins with news clips of shooting deaths in Chicago set to a soulful backdrop one could imagine Marvin Gaye singing on, the relevance in 2017 still makes it strong. When Thaione begins his story, life just gets completely twisted. Sad but amazing.

This isn’t where Thaione Davis’ music begins and ends, he has a heavy repertoire of releases which come highly recommended. And just know one thing, Thaione Davis continues to release music, baring his soul. He has a purpose.




Thaione Davis

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The One That’s Like Inception

On this episode: Luke starts a nasty rumor about beloved Canadian Recording artist Drake, Brian can’t stop talking about Chris Gethard, there’s a segment inside of a segment inside of a segment, Luke and Brian talk about Zelda, Brian can’t stop talking about Idris Elba, Brian swears for the first time ever on the podcast and Luke needs a neckbrace after head banging too hard to all of Brian’s songs.

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One That’s Like Inception

Hiccup – Lady MacBeth and Miss Havisham from Imaginary Enemies out March 24th on Father/Daughter Records

Fleet Foxes – Third of May / Odaigahara from Crack Up out June 16th on

Real Life Buildings – Tare from Significant Weather out April 21st on Lauren Records

Spiral Stairs – Dance (Cry Wolf) from Doris and the Daggers out March 24th on Nine Mile Records

Downtown Boys – Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas) out now on Sub Pop

No Vacation – Mind Fields from their upcoming album due in June on Topshelf Records

B Boys – Energy from Dada out May 19th on Captured Tracks

PWR BTTM – Big Beautiful Day from Pageant out May 12th on Polyvinyl

On Sunday March 19, Matt Pryor (of the Get Up Kids) and Dan Andriano (of Alkaline Trio) visited Woodlands Tavern in Columbus, Ohio. Matt Pryor’s daughter, Lily Pryor, and Columbus’ How To Survive In The Woods supported the show. Photographer Jeremy Ward was there to capture the action.

Lily Pryor





How To Survive In The Woods:







Matt Pryor





Dan Andriano





Dan Andriano and Matt Pryor


(Photo by Cory Piehowicz)

From day one, the narrative of Little Hurricane has echoed the tale of a momentous journey: Their story began in San Diego, where Little Hurricane formed. Having recently resumed playing drums after an eight-year hiatus, Celeste “CC” Spina placed a musicians-wanted ad on Craigslist. Among the myriad of respondents was Anthony “Tone” Catalano, a studio engineer who’d worked with artists ranging from John Paul Jones to Gwen Stefani. The two musicians were neighbors who had never met, and bonded over mutual interests including the blues, unusual and vintage gear, and their individual experiences playing in high school jazz bands.

A year later, Little Hurricane won three San Diego Music Awards, including Album of the Year for 2011 debut Homewrecker. Little Hurricane’s explosive live show soon landed them slots at major festivals including Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, and garnered media attention from outlets including Rolling Stone, which profiled them in an extensive behind-the-scenes piece at SXSW 2012.

Little Hurricane has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, both as a headliner and main support for artists including The Specials, Manchester Orchestra, and John Butler Trio. Television music supervisors also took a shine to Little Hurricane, featuring the duo’s songs on shows including Gossip Girl, Revenge, Mistresses, and ESPNs First Take. In addition, a quartet of Taco Bell TV commercials has showcased three Little Hurricane originals, as well as the pairs spirited cover of Starland Vocal Band’s 1976 U.S. chart-topper “Afternoon Delight.”

With so much history behind the band, their new record, Same Sun Same Moon (out April 14 via Mascot Label Group) is a nod to its predecessors Homewrecker (2011) and Gold Fever (2014) while taking a resolute turn with its intention. These twelve new songs retain the honesty and immediacy of Little Hurricane’s earlier work, yet they also incorporate new timbres and a broader emotional scope, changes that underscore the band’s desire to transcend its dirty blues roots and connect with a wider range of music lovers.

The band will support the record via tour dates (http://www.littlehurricanemusic.com/tour-dates) that begin in April and Ghettoblaster caught up with the duo to discuss marriage, writing the record, and having unique experiences. This is what they told us.

How has being in a marriage influenced being in a band together and vice versa?

The band brought us together so its really developed side-by-side.. I can’t imagine one without the other.

When did you begin to write Same Sun Same Moon? 

We started writing songs three years ago, right when our last record was released.

What catalysts were influencing you as you wrote the album?

We always challenge ourselves to push the boundary of what sounds two people can produce. This album is no exception. The best part is it will always sound like Little Hurricane since its just us two.

You had an interesting experience while you were recording SSSM.  Can you tell us about that?  What happened during those 17 hours, and what impact did that experience have on the record?

Yeah, well it is hard to explain in words, but the experience helped me see things in a different way and I tried to explain it with music. The track “Moon’s gone cold” is about that experience.

What are your proudest moments on the record?

The track “Mt. Senorita” was a fun track to bring together. Also, learning to play the trumpet for a few songs felt like an accomplishment!

Will you be touring in support of SSSM?

Yes! A full North American tour plus Europe is currently on the books.

Has it been legitimizing to get attention from mainstream press?  How about to have your music licensed for television?

Not for me, I’m my toughest critic and the biggest hurdle is making music that I like. So it’s nice but not legitimizing. TV placements are great, I think music can be discovered in so many ways now and that is a good thing for both those who make music and those who listen to music.

What is the ultimate impact you are hoping the record has on your fans?

This album I really thought about what my place in the world is as a “musician.” Am I just an entertainer? No! I think music has such a deeper purpose in society and worldwide as a human language. When you really think about it music can’t be explained- why it causes certain emotions, causes people to move and dance. Anyways, I think besides being fun to listen to this album should inspire unity and remind us that we are all in this together and under the same sun and the same moon.

What are your loftiest goals for Little Hurricane?

Hmm, sounds silly but we’ve always dreamed of being able to play a show where we just walk on stage and play music. No sound check our setting up gear. So I guess to have more roadies etc. Haha!

(Visit Little Hurricane here:






(Photo by Bryan Taylor)

From Austin, Texas, Drip-Fed whips up a tension that just devastates: diamond-bright punk twang and heavy low-end clash with frontman Jeffrey Blum’s severely depressed vocals. This is anthemic and desperate music, for fans of Black Flag, Fucked Up, Culture Abuse, Ghostlimb, and the like. Under the Wave Blanket was recorded and mixed by Keith Hernandez, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Full of Hell).

Drip-Fed’s new seven-inch, Under the Wave Blanket, is out on Red Flag Records amd Ghettoblaster caught up with Blum to discuss the effort, depression and abusers. This is what he told us.

What is it about Drip-Fed that makes it a rewarding endeavor for you?

I think we’re doing something unique and genuine. That is more rewarding on a personal level than any kind of other success. Sure, I want a lot of people to hear our music, but the reward for me is creating art that I know is coming from an honest place. Everything else is background noise.

Were there themes that you were specifically hoping to tackle with Under The Wave Blanket?

Depression, drugs, chronic pain and health problems can be found in almost any Drip-Fed song whether it’s conscious or not. That’s what a lot of my life revolved around so that’s what ends up in the lyrics. Under the Wave Blanket sways more positive because it focuses on overcoming those situations.

What are your proudest moments on Under the Wave Blanket?

“The Shivers” is the best song we’ve ever written and a good indication of the direction our sound is moving towards. I’m very proud of that song.  I’ve always played in hardcore and metal type bands where I just stacked riffs on top of each other. I’m finally trying to write some fucking songs. I’m proud of James and John for recording with the band for the first time. I’m proud of Nathan for continuing to be the second best bass player of all time (RIP Lemmy).

What are you hoping that people take away from listening to the release?

I hope people find it refreshing and hear something different than your standard punk band. I hope someone listens to it in their car with the windows down and feels okay for a few minutes. I hope a kid finds it in the used bin at End of an Ear in 20 years and is pumped about it.

You have both suffered from depression and witnessed the impact it has on lives during your day job. How do you stay balanced?

I don’t. I’ve accepted that I’ll never be fully balanced, but music keeps me from falling over.

What kind of toll does the job take on your condition?

Probably more of a toll than I’m aware of. Dealing with such heavy subject matter 40 hours a week will weigh on anyone, but the reward is definitely strong.  I’ll remove a child from an abusive environment, help a disabled person pay their electric bill or talk to someone who is suicidal and it reminds me that it’s a job that needs to be done.

What is your best advice for someone who is also suffering from or living with depression?

Don’t be ashamed to seek help if you need it. Depression can be just as serious as any other mental illness and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Find some means of expression that gets those feelings out instead of suppressing them. If you don’t have mental illness then stop questioning if someone else’s is real or not.

How do you feel about people that abuse children?

Anyone who abuses someone in a vulnerable position is scum of the earth.

Milo Yiannopoulos was recently in the news for some comments he made about pedophilia and sexual abuse? Do you have a strong opinion about that controversy?

I try not to give too much time or energy to people like that. They’re mostly relevant because of shock value. If he truly believes the horrible shit he says then he deserves the worst. Also, fuck Breitbart.

Will you be touring anytime soon?

We’re playing some Texas dates and hopefully a tour up the west coast this summer. We will definitely be playing outside of Austin more frequently.

What is SXSW week like for those of you that live in Austin?

This is the first time in a while that I’m not playing a single SXSW show. Honestly, I’m extremely relieved. Over the past couple of years it has become more of a burden to play than a pleasure. The shows can be worth it, but as a small band you often end up playing at 2PM in some weird venue to a handful of uninterested people. Plus like 70 thousand extra people come into my city for a week and make it hard to just live my normal life. I’m sure there’s still great shows to see and free drinks to be found, but the whole thing doesn’t feel the same to me anymore. I’m probably just bitter though.

(Listen to Drip-Fed here: http://drip-fed.bandcamp.com/
Buy the cassette and vinyl, here: http://shop.redflagdiy.com)

Merging neo-psyche and baroque pop influences, along with sharp songwriting, the Dallas-based duo Corner Suns captivate those who are fans of artists such as The Zombies, Magnetic Fields, and The Shins. Corner Suns – John Dufilho (The Apples In Stereo, The Deathray Davies) and Brandon Carr (The Earlies) – released their self-titled debut in January; memorable vocals and pop hooks offer listeners some incredible tunes.

“My original idea for this record was for it to be really heavy,” says Dufilho. “I wanted to make something that sounded like Black Sabbath, but I realized that I had no idea how to write songs like that.”

“It’s true, our psychedelic Black Sabbath concept was a misadventure,” Carr jokes. “My voice was still muddled from the years off, but John helped me find it again, and the songs really began to come together.”

Today Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering Corner Suns video for “The Rattle In The Room” – the most recent single taken from the self-titled album. The track also features vocals from singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe. Locals in Dallas will quickly take notice on the location of where the video was shot, Good Records.

“It was just one continuous shot,” says Dufilho. “One angle, start to finish. I zoomed in, changed colors, used fish eye lenses, mirror imaging, stretched, pushed and pulled until the image matched the one in my head, ha!”

Visit the band here:


(Photo by Connor Beitel)

The story of TOMA is one of self-discovery, with four men from Austin, Texas joining forces in search of their own unique place in the musical firmament. Keyboard/vocalist Waldo Wittenmyer, drummer Jake Hiebert, bassist Neil Byers, and guitarist/vocalist Willy Jay are a true collective, with each gentleman playing an integral role in every musical decision they make.

With that unified front in place, TOMA was free to explore a sound that combines the best elements of some of the best music of the last 40 years. Their debut full-length, Aroma (out March 31, 2017), is a tuneful, spirited record that marries the complexity of ‘70s idols like Todd Rundgren and Squeeze with the neo-psychedelia of the Elephant 6 movement. It’s loose-limbed power pop of the highest order. When it came to recording this debut, the members of TOMA approached it in the spirit of pure collaboration, with the added voice and instrumentation of James Petralli of fellow Austin band White Denim, whom the band counts as a fifth member.

Having already staked their claim in the music world of Texas, next up for TOMA is a full court press on the rest of the U.S. with plans to tour through much of 2017

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering “Lights On In The Kitchen,” which you can enjoy below.

(Catch the band live:

Tues. 4/18 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

Wed. 4/19 Asheville, NC – The Compound

Thurs. 4/20 – Salem VA – Parkway Brewing Company

Fri. 4/21 Washington, DC – The Velvet Lounge Sat.

4/22 – New York City – Rockwood Music Hall Sun.

4/23 – Philadelphia, PA – Pentajawn

Visit them here:

http://www.thebandtoma.com https://www.facebook.com/thebandtoma/ https://www.instagram.com/thebandtoma/)




TASTY (Ian Graham, Jay Sparrow) is a young two piece trash pop outfit from Columbus, Ohio, taking cues from the whole of traditional rock and roll. Traces of almost every modern era from mid ’50s teen rockers, ’60s girl group chants and ’70s three chord punk purity can be found imprinted on short bursts of concentrated energy being ricochet off of dingy midwestern basement walls that would make Phil Specter spectate how two people can possibly fill so much sonic space.

If you’re sick of watching statues on stage, TASTY is not to be missed live-causing havoc, giddy angst and anxiety for the future everywhere they play. In fact, the band has a couple of forthcoming dates on the books (below) and are booking a tour for late spring/early summer.


Their first s/t tape is to be released on Superdreamer Records on March 24 and today Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering the band’s video for “Witching Hour,” which you can enjoy below.

TASTY- Witching Hour *Official Video* from Superdreamer Records on Vimeo.

(Catch the band live here:

 3/25- *Tape Release Show* Sick Weekend @Ace of Cups Columbus OH w/ The Gories, Dirty Fences, Liquor Store

3/27- @Urban Artifact Cincinnati OH
Late Spring/ Early Summer Tour TBA

Visit them here:




It’s pretty redundant to say music is ubiquitous because, well, you know, everyone’s heard at least one song in their lifetime. There’s a lot of unoriginal, reworked styles of music and plundered melodies that some artists blatantly lift from others and call their own. It’s the same with television and films, as the idiot box turns box office smashes into revamped series and movies are constantly being rebooted with lackluster motivation and effects. I’ve been meaning to go see Hugh Jackman’s final performance as Logan for the past couple of weeks but who knew it would STILL be sold out? It’s one of the few times I’d make a wholehearted effort to see a film that’s bringing the conclusion of an actor’s most popular role and a comic that had been a part of my youth. What does all this have to do with why you’re here anticipating with gleeful fervor the next item at hand we’re about to discuss? Absolutely nothing. The detail expressed with nothing so pertinent stresses that attention deficit.

There’s only one item at hand released today that I’ve been listening to over and over again. At first glance, or listen, you may think Zaga Zaga is just another international band that plays aggressive music to distract from any real musical talent they might have. That might be something someone closed-minded might think but Zaga Zaga is more than just a noisy band. The self-proclaimed “post-hardcore” band hails from Tel Aviv Yafo, Israel. This self-titled release is the band’s first full-length album and it rips their contemporaries to shreds. I know that comparisons are cheap but I’m not above making them. Zaga Zaga takes the best of the genre, mixes it with crazed dynamics and then pieces it all together for an unrelenting 11-song explosion.



The band opens up the album with “Black T,” with dueling guitars and a full-frontal rhythm section. The band is eerily reminiscent of early day Today Is The Day, where everything is explosive and unrelenting and the stop-starts are all rhythmically on point. It’s the same throughout the album, which is expressed best on “Animal House” and flaunts briefly with a catchy melody that dissipates quickly. The 11-song album comes and goes much too quickly, and there isn’t one track here that passes the 2-minute mark. But that’s ok, you simply have to hit the repeat button. Zaga Zaga has a lot of good to offer up here. I want to hear more. Again and again. And again.

Zaga Zaga

The One With God Talk

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One With God Talk

Jay Som – Baybee from Everybody Works out now on Polyvinyl

Benjamin Booker feat. Mavis Staples – Witness from Witness out June 2nd on ATO Records

Bonny Doon – Relieved from Bonny Doon out now on Salinas Records

Dear Reader – Tie Me To The Ground from Day Fever out now on City Slang

Flasher – Winnie from an upcoming 7 inch on Sister Polygon Records

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still from Woodstock out sometime this year

Michael Nau – Good Thing from Some Twist out June 16th on Suicide Squeeze

GRMLN – 27 Kids from Discovery EP out April 7th on KCRW