Gun Party Interview for Examiner

Before you get all "is this blue-collar, shoot-em-up rockabilly music" on me, check out Gun Party's Bandcamp player below.

Now that you know what's going on, here's the interview I did with this group. Although it's just an excerpt, get to know the deets behind their debut album.
Our drummer loves, loves, loves Radiohead. I am more of a fan of female punk singers and bands. Our guitarist really, really loves loud garage rock. Our bassist is more of a Harry Nilsson fan. It all just kinda merged into this clusterfuck of rock music that kinda turned out awesome!
How has merging all those different styles been like when it comes to creating the first album?
It could be a really interesting process. Some of our songs came way more organically than others, and some time we didn’t really notice we have different tastes in music because we seem to have one when we’re able to go into the studio. A lot of the songs, like the “Kite Flights,” we’ll work on for months and the original form was all over the place. It was very much rock and roll, but it was all kinds of things – punk, then it was blues rock, and then it had loud, garage-y guitar tones – and it wasn’t making a lot of sense. It took many, many weeks and us sitting down tweaking a lot of things. What really did it was when we went into the studio to record it and having somebody else listen to it. They were able to tell us how it was running into each other. The main thing of us having so much of a difference is that it takes us a really long time to figure out which is appropriate and which is perfect for the song we’re doing. Ultimately, it worked out, and now “Kite Flights” is my favorite song.
Whenever I’m listening to the album, what should folks look out for within the content and lyrics?
There’s a theme to each song, but not easy to pick up on. We try to not be completely random with our lyrics – it’s usually about something, sometimes they’re about someone, but they all have themes. If you keep listening, you’ll pick up on them. Like “Runaway” is a break-up song, so I’m sappy and crying. “Kite Flights” is a self-destruction song, and it doesn’t make sense at first but it’s within the way that song builds as well as lends itself to the lyrics which lets you know how feisty it is. In “DBV,” which stands for Dead Bitch Vagina, is simply about a stalker in a hotel room. They’re all over the place, but each song has a consistency with the lyrics...
 Read more, like how they formed out of being a joke band and exactly how did they come up with the name, by clicking here!

Something Old, Nothing New: Black Folk Music as "Innovative"

I ranted a little bit on my Tumblr about this topic before, but this issue hasn't been toppled enough.

Black folks and Americana music seen as "game changers" - as the Huffington Post's Black Voices calls The Carolina Chocolate Drops - just because they tote a fiddle or a banjo discredits the word innovation.

Not that this band lacks creativity or talent, but the article came off as "oh look, Black people with banjos. That must be alternative," which gives Black culture yet another pounding against our foundation. The definition of innovation, change, remix, etc does not necessarily root in the right now, but if you let Black media (and really all folks of the press) tell it change comes as a matter of what's present. While that may be true for some things, that cannot hold true for music because of how far back the existence of music dates.

Now, if HuffPo placed emphasis on CCD's abilities to merge beatboxing with their Americana sound, this would be a different article. Additionally, if the rest of the selections weren't based on what simply looks different, this blog post probably wouldn't exist. However, this mindset has run rampant far too long.

Black culture right now, at least according to the media, is centered around the rap and corporate game. This short-changes everyone else and everything else Black folks are capable of doing: playing guitar, singing opera, harp and other ambient music, and so much more.

I get it. Singing and rapping is hot in the community. I get it. Blogs revolve around popular keywords, Google trends and social media topics. However, when will Black media expand to other audiences and cultures, not expose what's already here and what we already know?

Overall, Black media in general have cornered the term innovation to what is alternative and downright gimmicky. Looking at Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and CCD, one would think no Black people spit Atheist rhymes or can play a mean fiddle. That's far from the case because, if we wanna be real, we were among the first people ever to do those things.

While I don't wanna start a complete history lesson (because it's way too easy to look up the history of my points from this blog), I still worry about the cycle of our culture. I already know the world and cultures we live in acts in a chronological circle, but the circle seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

To read the story I'm talking about, click here!

Interviews on the spot: Richelle Brown for Examiner

One thing I've began to enjoy is catching an artist fresh off the stage. They're guard is slightly up because they know all eyes (and investigative ears) are on them, they have prepared answers for the press - before their self-proclaimed wicked performance and they're still on cloud 9 after said-wicked performance.

This got the same result.

After her performance for one of SMKA's Through The Rabbit Hole concert series, I interviewed Richelle Brown AKA Cornbread for my Get To Know Q&A series for We talked about how she got her name, her influences and her upcoming projects. Here is an excerpt from our discussion where we talked about her nickname, which became her pen name - Cornbread.

... I call my music electro-funk because it’s electronically done and we summon up the funk gods. It’s funky, it’s gonna make you stank, it’s gonna make you dance, it’s gonna make you sing, it’s gonna make you wanna love somebody, and ain’t nothing better than love! And funk. Love and funk!
Let me ask you this, if it’s along those lines. You’re nickname is Cornbread. Where did that come from?
Oh gosh, that name. When I was in high school, there was this new guy that came to school and he was so cute. All the girls liked him because he was super thugged-out. As I was walking down the hallway, and all the girls were looking at him, he looked up at me and was like “What’s up Cornbread?” I was like “First of all, my name is Richelle, it is not Cornbread, and don’t you ever call me that again.” I had to let him know but then every time he sees me in the hallway, he’d yell “Cornbread!” and I yell back “That’s not my name!” I started asking people why does he keep calling me that, and come to find out he was calling me Cornbread because I was thick and was not a skinny girl. They said that people who eat a lot of bread get thick or whatever. Fast-forward to college, I was in my first class and the teacher was asking an icebreaker question like “What’s the weirdest pick-up line you ever had?” I was 17, and I couldn’t think of any weird pick-up lines except for that because I wasn’t able to date. I told the story, and when I told them that they started calling me Cornbread because they liked that name. When I got my first job, or any time somebody from my school would see me somewhere, they call me Cornbread. Then other people hear it, and they wanna call me that too because it’s easy for people to remember. With my brand, Space Age Hippie, it fit.
That’s really cool how it stuck with you and grew on you...
 Read more by clicking here!

Thurzday of U-N-I Interview with Frank151

While covering the Atlanta Indie Festival, I got to see one of my favorite now former group U-N-I member Thurzday perform. Of course, after his set he sat down with me to talk about his favorite Atlanta artists, his new album - which is out today, go cop L.A. Riot - and then I got to let out some lame yet witty U-N-I/you and I jokes. He was cool about it, as well as cool about talking about leaving the group.

Here is an excerpt of the interview. Check out Frank151 for the full article!

So where are you at? Let's talk about this new project.

It definitely pulls inspiration from the '92 riots, and also basically I'm at a burn-and-rebuild stage right now. Left the group, and I had to almost re-brand myself so that people know I'm a force. I burnt down the old image, and it's me re-establishing myself. I'm also putting out quality over quantity, so this thing I put out really represents where my mind is at and all the people that are pushing me right now. It's not a historical project, it just touches on a lot of life situations and, well, real shit.

Ok, so you said you left the group. So does that mean no more U-N-I?

We'll see.

I mean, you and I - as far as I'm concerned - seem ok, as long as you keep doing dope stuff, but U-N-I is ka-put?

Ha! As of right now, we're not doing the group thing anymore. I'm just really attached to doing my solo work. The sounds that I am making are really big, and I'm really digging the music I've created and the producers created lately. I definitely appreciate where U-N-I got me and all the accolades we've received, but right now it's time for me to do me.

Well, I'm glad you appreciate where I've gotten you. Ok, I'm done with the lame U-N-I jokes! With performing, how were you digging the Atlanta atmosphere?

My boy DJ Z reached out to me wanting me to come and rock. He's been supporting all the records I've released so far, so I really wanted to help support that movement. I brought my DJ Ro Blvd. to join me, and I'm glad to be out here.

A Photo Recap of Atlanta Indie Festival

I had the privilege of covering Greedmont Park's annual Atlanta Indie Festival for Frank151, and I took hella photos. I am so proud of the results - like the ones when I covered the Soul Train Awards - that I want to share all of them!

Check out the full recap of the event on Frank151 Atlanta Backwoods League.

Featured in this slideshow is:

Project Pat
CyHi da PrynceGrip Plyaz
Karima Harrison from Noot d' Noot
Tuki and Go Dreamer from Hollyweerd
Thurzday from U-N-I
and much, much more!

Sidenote, plus a bonus photo, I went to the Arts Beats & Lyrics show the night before as the purveyor of awesome that I am, and got recruited to take a photo in front of a person's work because of my "I Grew Up On Hiphop" shirt. Lo and behold, it was for a friend of mine! Check out all of her Rhythmic Images pictures by clicking on her picture of me!