iO Exclusive Interview: Patrick Pedraja

January 30, 2010

When faced with a life-threatening diagnosis, many people struggle to remain positive. 14-year-old Patrick Pedraja’s only thought after being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, however, was how he could help other people. “I saw a TV show about a girl who passed away because she couldn’t find a marrow transplant, and I said “MOM! Let’s go do a marrow drive.” She was like “OK, cool!” And it kind of turned into this big national marrow drive with 32 cities and signing up people all over the country.”

The ambitious teenager founded Driving For Donors to travel across the country and sign up as many people as possible for the national bone marrow registry. Many leukemia patients are in dire need of bone marrow transplants but are unable to find a match due to the low numbers of registered donors. Since its inception in 2007, Driving For Donors has added thousands of new matches, raised funds to cover tissue processing fees and has already saved five lives.

For the next few months he will be teaming up with Hopeless Records and Sub City on the Take Action! tour to raise awareness for the cause. 10% of the proceeds from all ticket sales on the tour will go to further the work of the charity, and concertgoers will be able to sign up for the registry onsite. inner Orange was able to speak with Patrick about his work with the charity and the tour, and gain insight into how he stays motivated.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mumpsy Does Smashing Pumpkins 1.28.10

January 29, 2010

This will be a quick one, as I am off to West Palm Beach to manage a photo event AND log/capture tapes for a documentary…

But Mumpsy! Covering Smashing Pumpkins!

It was a night enjoyed by all, as evidenced by the set list:

Cherub Rock
Bullet with Butterfly Wings
Geek Usa
Zero
Today
1979
Rocket
Rhinoceros
Drown
Hummer
Disarm
Tonight Tonight
Mayonaise

An extra mic on stage allowed for fans to jump up and join in:

They brought back Chris on violin for a few tracks as well, and introduced new guitarist PJ. The boys practiced these songs for three weeks, after what started as a joke, and it paid off. It was also the bassist’s birthday, and they all looked like they were having as much fun playing the Pumpkins as we were re-living them.

Thanks to @BackBooth for hosting the magic.

iO

The Tenant, Surfer Blood, Monotonix 1.26.10

January 27, 2010

Lineup: Basements of Florida, Yip-Yip, The Tenant, Surfer Blood, Monotonix, Waxfang

What a great night! Parafora Presents celebrated their third anniversary of organizing consistently stellar artist lineups @BackBooth to a packed and appreciative house. The roster of bands was diverse enough for any and all indie tastes, and you were guaranteed to run into at least five of your closest friends. DJ @Waxfang apparently broke his back the week or so prior but was still in attendance, keeping the crowd amped during the downtime in between sets. I’m disappointed that I missed Basements of Florida AGAIN (got there late, sue me), so I’ll have to make it a point to go to a show specifically to see them in the near future.

Yip-Yip went on second, to a crowd that didn’t quite know what to do with them. I had been looking forward to witnessing their art rock presence, and I have to say I enjoyed the experience. Their extensive gear cases obstructed them from view, hiding their matching berets, white jumpsuits and matching 80’s Oakleys. The vocalist even called saxophonist a stupid asshole for missing a downbeat at one point, while the hipsters stood and stared. 3/5 stars, for the win!

The Tenant holds a special place in my heart and it was great to see them play to a hometown crowd, especially with vocalist Brad Register’s move to Austin, TX to manage a bar down there. They played all the best tracks from their Visitors/Is Listening EP/7″ set, and even held our attention while they switched out their faulty kick drum mid-set. The sound was great all night but was especially apparent during their set, where you could actually hear the nuances of Register’s keyboard playing. 5/5 stars, as always.

I was highly anticipating Surfer Blood‘s turn on the BB stage, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how tight the songs were live. Vocalist John Paul Pitts looked prepubescent in a striped polo and crew cut, but his raspy howl and effortless instrumentation won over the packed house. A week after the release of Astro Coast, their first LP, the college dudes were jubilant and happy to be playing their “new” music to welcoming ears. 4/5!

Monotonix. All I can say is that the atmosphere in the pit was one of the best of my adult life. Picture three Israelis in short shorts playing in the middle of the crowd with no barriers. They wove their way through the pit area and into the bar, and even led the masses outside onto Pine street where vocalist Ami Shalev jumped from a street sign into their waiting arms. So much love, so much music. 10/5 stars!

Happy birthday, Parafora Presents! It was a fantastic evening. Here’s to many more!

iO

Quick Track: Dananananaykroyd

January 22, 2010

I start many a morning by flipping through my RSS reader for some new music to get amped about. New Hot Chip remix? Sweet! Laura Veirs got a mention? Awesome! Lesser known names rarely grab my attention immediately, but this morning I was jolted awake while waiting for my flight to Houston, TX by one (extended) word: Dananananaykroyd.

I may be late to the bandwagon on this one, but I have to say that the name alone made me stop and smell the roses. I’ll admit I took a second to count the correct number of “nana’s”, as well (two). A fitting ode to a Ghostbuster.

On further review, these Glaswegians get even more charming by the numbers, with six members, two drummers, two vocalists and a whole lot of gang vocals. A quick generalization pegs them as early Brand New meets Foals, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to the whole catalog yet. They have a full LP, Hey Everyone, as well as a handful of EPs and 7″ singles under their belt. Plenty of music for a first-timer, so I know what I’ll be listening to over the weekend.

Take in this breath of fresh air and catch them live when they head your way!

“Chrome Rainbow” (Download MP3)

iO

OK GO vs EMI

January 21, 2010

OK GO has always been a band known for its inventively creative viral videos. Think back to those impeccably dressed men you witnessed on treadmills, or caught dancing in your backyard back in 2006. Well, those same impeccably dressed gentlemen have returned with a new album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, and a new video for “This Too Shall Pass,” but EMI does not want you to be able to freely share it. They have disabled the embed feature of the video on YouTube, and are in the process of suing Vimeo for allowing for an embeddable version.

Frontman Damian Kulash posted an open letter about the situation on the group’s forum Monday night, shedding some light on the issue. “We make our videos ourselves, and we keep them dirt cheap, but still, it all adds up, and it adds up to a great deal more than we have in our bank account, which is why we have a record label in the first place… Musicians need [record labels] to survive so we can use them as banks. Even bands like us who do most of our own promotion still need them to write checks every once in a while.”

Their record label, EMI/Capitol Records, gets paid a small sum every time a viewer watches one of their copyrighted works on YouTube. However, when a video is embedded on another blog, YouTube does not count those plays and EMI does not get paid. With the declining state of the current music industry, losing more money is not what the record company wants to do, even at the expense of virtually guaranteed viral marketing.

Kulash is mildly sympathetic to the plight of the record label, however, and offered up his thoughts in an interview with NewTeeVee.com:

“…I try to slam the label as little as possible. I mean, they’re in a completely impossible position. They were incredibly slow to react and definitely dug their own graves to a large extent, but that doesn’t mean that the people who are actually working at the desks at our label right now are bad people or doing the wrong thing. Most of the people we work with at the label are disgusted with their embedding policy. But it’s a big massive system that takes a long time to turn around.”

For a band that prides itself on its connections with fans and intense dedication to its art, I highly doubt that the band members really feel all that bad about the state of their record label. They most likely just need to keep up appearances so they don’t get dropped from the roster. The band could technically just repost the video under another YouTube username and provide an embed code that way, just as they have done by posting the video on Vimeo. The record label is clearly scrambling for every penny they can get, but I don’t see how preventing fans from sharing the video across social networking platforms actually helps them recoup any money. It is just drawing traffic away from YouTube, where they make money, to Vimeo, where they are not. But really, who thinks logically anymore?

Be sure to check out the video in question:

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.

Also, download a free MP3 of “This Too Shall Pass” on the band’s website.

iO

News ‘n Shows

January 14, 2010

Back in action on a Thursday!

Tiesto Feat. Tegan and Sara video released!
“Feel It In My Bones” is amazing with the Quin twins’ vocals, and the video is just as trippy. I am in lust all over again.

T-Mobile in Trouble
Enjoy your ringback tones while you can, as T-Mobile may be forced to pull the plug on the popular service. Performing rights society BMI has brought them under fire for alleged copyright infringement, according to Film Music Magazine. BMI claims that they tried to arrange licensing agreements with the cell phone giant for many years but that none ever materialized. The other major carriers have all negotiated terms for their ringback tone programs and are not named in the lawsuit. We’ll see how this one unfolds…

New M.I.A. album in the works
The Twittosphere was aflutter a few days ago with the release of a new song/video on M.I.A.’s twitter page. “Space Odyssey,” allegedly an attack on the New York Times, is a cut off of her highly anticipated new album, due out this summer.

MUST-SEE SHOWS

January 26
Parafora Presents! Party @BackBooth – $8/$10 – 8 pm – 18+
The Tenant, Surfer Blood, Basements of Florida, Yip Yip, Monotonix
DJ Set by Waxfang

Parafora Presents is celebrating their third anniversary, and will be doing it in style! This lineup is insane and it is shaping up to be a hot event. Get your tickets @ Mother Falcon Clothing in Thornton Park for $5 until tomorrow!

February 9
Cold Cave @BackBooth – $6/$8 – 8pm – 18+
w/ Nite Jewel, Technobox, Emily Reo

Former Give Up The Ghost frontman Wes Eisold has emerged from his cave, no pun intended, and will be embarking on a full tour with new side-project-turned-main-event Cold Cave. Be there!

February 11
Take Action! Tour @ House of Blues – $12.65/$15.35 – 6 pm – All Ages
We The Kings, Mayday Parade, There For Tomorrow, Rocket to the Moon, Call the Cops

iO blog will be covering this event and interviewing the bands. Sure to be a great time, and 10% of all ticket sales benefit 13-year-old Patrick Pedraja and his amazing charity, Driving for Donations!

iO

P.S.
I have edited the Mariah Carey video, and it is funny, but I think the public uproar over her drunkenness has subsided. I’ll wait until she strikes again and break it out.

Tomorrow’s Project

January 7, 2010

I was planning on doing a story on the now-defunct Orlando area band Rory, but that will be saved for tomorrow. The public has called for the remix of Mariah Carey’s drunken acceptance speech, and I have vowed to fill the void. Still thinking of ways to creatively approach the mix… Do I go the way of Nosaj Thing? Diplo? Oakenfold? Or just go for humor over substance? Only time will tell…

Until tomorrow!

iO

Quick Track: The Knife

January 6, 2010

I experienced this epic opus just this morning, and it has been the best 11+ minutes of the first Wednesday of 2010. (Everyone loves lists and categorizations, right?)

The Knife “Colouring of Pigeons” (Download MP3)

A cut from their soon-to-be-released operatic soundtrack, Tomorrow, In A Year, it swirls with instrumentation and arrangements straight out of a Bjork performance art piece. Set time aside for the experience, as it is a must-listen in its entirety. Described as a “Darwin, electro-opera,” the opera itself is best categorized as… Well, I’ll leave that up to you.

iO

Buzz Band Weigh-In: jj

January 6, 2010

in honor of this week’s buzz band, jj, i feel as though i must adhere to their creative vision and type the weigh-in in lowercase. tourmates of fellow buzz band the xx, they were recently signed to label secretly canadian and will be releasing their second full-length, nº 3, on March 9th.

so what is it that makes a buzz band so special? why do they fill blog after blog with everyone’s two cents? i will try to deconstruct the hype by way of three categories: originality, gimmicks, and message. are they attempting a current genre with a fresh way of thinking, or are they latching on to a current trend? are they singing about trite, overdone concepts? i will rate each on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “ridiculously over-rated” and 10 being “deserving of the hype.” scales start at 10 and all negative comments are deducted first. positive comments may then be added to increase the value. scores remain at 10 if all comments are positive, regardless of point values.

second opinion
pitchfork‘s take on the band’s second album is that “it’s a gorgeous ode to chemically-assisted euphoria, or an effective, shimmering simulation for those who keep their intoxications on the legal side.”

ORIGINALITY: 8
definitely trendy (-3): “things will never be the same again” and “from africa to malaga” meander over an eclectic afro-pop backbeat, much like the new tracks on Vampire Weekend’s Contra (-1). the opening bars of “my love” bring to mind the blips and bleeps of the postal service with less of the pop sentiments(-1). almost like sketches of stripped-down portishead demos (-1). vocalist elin kastlander is drowned in so much reverb (-1) she has essentially created her own boys’ choir of harmonies (+1). in terms of the whole package, jj does have a unique sound (+3). kastlander’s voice is interesting (+1) and recognizable (+1), but limited in terms of range (-1).

GIMMICKS: 5
“ecstasy” is an ambient wonderland that takes off on lil’ wayne’s “lollipop.” by reworking an immensely popular single, they are then heard by atypical fans searching for the original track, boosting their “plays” or “listens” without much promotion (-5).

MESSAGE: 10
the lyrics hit home and make you think (+3). ruminations on life and love are typical (-1), but lines like “the ship will still sail on long after i’m gone” show deeper thought processes at work (+1).

buzz band rating: 23 (out of 30)
not necessarily deserving of the hype but not a terrible band by any means, jj will have plenty of time to hone their sound with a new album in the works and a 2010 tour on the way.

iO

New and Love

January 6, 2010

Another bitterly cold day in Florida. Yes, actual and scientifically measurable cold, not just “Florida cold.” It’s 32 degrees outside!

NEW
I first experienced John Paul Ramos at his good friend and self-described shake-a-billy singer-songwriter Rachel Goodrich‘s show @BackBooth on December 27th. (Check out Rachel’s video for “Light Bulb” and be amazed!) According to his sister and keyboardist, Camillie, the band had only practiced a total of 7 or 8 times in order to get ready for their last-minute show addition, with help from a few other well-known local musicians. Peter Baldwin provided back-up vocals, and Kevin Cash of Mirror Pal (fresh off of playing with his main project the night before in the same venue) showcased his prog-pop guitar prowess. They handled a Daft Punk cover with ease, and their original material was surprisingly catchy and melodic for only having been written a few weeks prior. The talented bunch do not have any recorded material just yet, but a YouTube video of their closing number, “Juventud,” has surfaced to give you a taste of their sunny Latin-infused, indie dance-rock.

LOVE
Nada Surf will be back with a new covers album “if i had a hi-fi” on March 25th and a slew of North American and European tour dates… Of course there is no stop for us here in the vast cultural wasteland that is Orlando, which should be disappointing but is to be expected. New York City gets three consecutive dates, each one featuring a different NS album IN FULL! Those jerks. The band will tackle gems from a range of classic artists, including the Moody Blues, Depeche Mode, Kate Bush and more.

I shall celebrate from my own little corner of the world with a classic jam that brings me back to memories of my college roommate and our tiny apartment. Aw, fuck it. I’m gonna have a party!

Nada Surf “Blankest Year” (Download MP3) off The Weight is a Gift

iO