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Doo-Wops and HooligansIt's better if you don't understand; just listen and have a good time. That's the response Bruno Mars will give you with a smile when asked to describe his sound and music. He would much rather sing, perform and write his songs than talk about them, but that is becoming more and more unavoidable these days. It might seem that Mars appeared out of nowhere, co-writing, producing and performing on B.o.B's #1 Nothin' On You followed by Travis McCoy's chart-climbing Billionaire, but he makes one thing clear: It's not an overnight success.
Mars is a multitalented singer, songwriter, producer and musician who feels most at home when he's performing. Born to a musical family in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was practically raised on the stage. His father, a Latin percussionist from Brooklyn, organized a Vegas-style revue that featured the entire family, including his mother, a talented vocalist. When a four-year-old Mars observed his family performing Motown hits, doo-wop medleys and impersonations for enthusiastic crowds all over his native Waikiki Beach, I was jealous! says Mars with a laugh. My dad put me on stage and I remember singing an Elvis song and that was it. Ever since that moment, I've been addicted.
As soon as he graduated high school, Mars left Hawaii for Los Angeles with dreams of launching his career as a performer. Those dreams got put on hold, however, when The Smeezingtons, the songwriting/production team he founded with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, suddenly took off. The pair has crafted major hits for a diverse roster of talent, including Flo Rida's Right Round, Travis McCoy's Billionaire, Brandy's Long Distance and K'Naan's Waving Flags, which was the theme song for the World Cup.
On the heels of Nothin' on You and Billionaire and as a preview of what's to come from Bruno Mars, Elektra Records released a 4-song EP aptly titled It's Better If You Don't Understand. The title is taken from a lyric to The Other Side; one of the songs included that features Cee-Lo Green and re-teams Mars with B.o.B. In preparation for this, his full length debut, Doo-Wops And Hooligans, Bruno recently released his first single Just The Way You Are.1. Grenade
2. Just The Way You Are
3. Our First Time
4. Runaway Baby
5. The Lazy Song
6. Marry You
7. Talking To The Moon
8. Liquor Store Blues (feat. Damian Marley)
9. Count On Me
10. The Other Side (feat. Cee Lo Green and B.o.B)$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
24K MagicBruno Mar's highly-anticipated third LP, 24K Magic, is set for release via Atlantic Records and features the title-track and new hit single, 24K Magic.1. 24K Magic
4. That's What I Like
5. Versace On The Floor
6. Straight Up & Down
7. Calling All My Lovelies
9. Too Good To Say Goodbye$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Uptown SpecialUptown Special, the fourth album by producer-songwriter-musician Mark Ronson, is a tale of several cities, a wide range of collaborators, and a road trip deep into the American South. However the story of Ronson's latest project really starts back when he was New York's hottest DJ.
In the late 1990s into the early 2000s the New York club scene was percolating with booming hip-hop and glitzy R&B. In those days before he emerged as a multi-talented musical force Ronson manned the turntables of many great parties. "It was a fun time to be playing music," he says. "At clubs like Cheetah you didn't have to play a hip hop record until 1a.m. You could play early '80s classics by Chaka Khan, Boz Scaggs and Michael Jackson and rock the crowd. I'd play Steely Dan's 'Black Cow' at 11:30 and it world work. Then, at 1am you'd play 'Hypnotize' by Biggie and the crowd would go wild. I come back to those memories."
This mix of vintage R&B and pop with contemporary hip-hop is what made Ronson a star DJ. "I never get tired of hearing records like Earth, Wind & Fire's 'Can't Hide Love' next to 'Rock the Boat' by Aaliyah," says Ronson. "I wanted this record to feel like hearing that kind of musical mix on great New York club night."
Uptown Special has all of the flavor of a night with Mark rocking the ones and twos with funk, soul, and psychedelic pop in a style that echoes classic productions by Quincy Jones and Steely Dan, and funneled through its creators sophisticated understanding of arrangement and melody. Of his three previous albums Mark feels like Uptown Special is closest in spirit to his 2003 debut, Here Comes the Fuzz, which came directly out his DJ experience. "The difference," Mark says "is I was reaching for things musically I wasn't quite ready to execute. With all the experience I've gained over the years I had the maturity and knowledge to really pull this together."
The first single, "Uptown Funk," features GRAMMY® award-winning superstar Bruno Mars on vocals and drums, who sings with passion and plays drums with fire that will bring funk back on the radio. Joining Mars on the track is Mark on guitar, Mars' bassist Jamareo Artis and Jeff Brasker on keys. Mark produced Mars' massive hit single, "Locked Out of Heaven," where they developed a close musical kinship. "As a live performer no one out here now puts on a show like Bruno," says Mark. "This record has that same intensity. When you hear him sing you are always aware of how much he puts into a performance." Mark was so taken with the single's power that it inspired the album's title.
Though Ronson is now based out of London, most of Uptown Special was recorded in the United States with stops in Los Angeles, Memphis and Mississippi. Most of the music was recorded with live musicians with Mark anchoring the sessions on guitar, while surrounded by a complimentary mix of gifted young players and R&B vets. Several musicians, who worked with Mark on his historic production of Amy Winehouse's multi-platinum Back To Black and his own breakthrough album, 2007's Version, rejoined him for this album, including drummer Homer Steinweiss, bassist Nick Movshan and guitarist Tommy Brenneck. Also making guest appearances on 'Uptown Special' are bassist Willie Weeks (who played on Stevie Wonder's classic Innervisions) guitarist Carlos Alomar (who created the familiar guitar riff on David Bowie's "Fame") and drummer Steve Jordan (member of the John Mayer Trio).
Mark Ronson's Uptown Special is a unique blend. It's an album with a serious literary pedigree matched to down home greasy funk. It features a progressive pop vocalist from Australia and one reared in Mississippi, the spiritual root of American music. Hot young contemporary players dominate while some tracks are spiced with legendary musicians. It's a mix that reflects the musical taste and life experience of its creator.1. Uptown's First Finale
2. Summer Breaking
3. Feel Right
4. Uptown Funk
5. I Can't Lose
7. Crack In The Pearl
8. In Case Of Fire
9. Leaving Los Feliz
10. Heavy And Rolling
11. Crack In The Pearl pt. II$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Unorthodox JukeboxIn October 2012, Mars premiered the first single, Locked Out of Heaven, from his highly-anticipated sophomore album Unorthodox Jukebox. On October 20th, Mars made his comeback to national television when he joined the elite club of hosts and performers for Saturday Night Live alongside the likes of Mick Jagger, Justin Timberlake and Elton John. Mars not only showcased his comedic talent to the millions watching, but also debuted the first live performance of Locked Out of Heaven and premiered a brand new song, Young Girls, from the historic stage in New York City.1. Young Girls
2. Locked Out Of Heaven
6. When I Was Your Man
8. Show Me
9. Money Make Her Smile
10. If I Knew$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
2 LP Black & White Split Vinyl
BLACC HOLLYWOOD marks the third full-length label release from Wiz Khalifa,The GRAMMY® Award-nominated rapper, and includes the hit single, "We Dem Boyz." Wiz will herald BLACC HOLLYWOOD by headlining this year's "Under the Influence of Music Tour."
Wiz's first major label debut, ROLLING PAPERS, which was released in March 2011, spawned the multi-platinum hits "Black and Yellow," and double- "Roll Up" and "No Sleep." Wiz earned himself two nominations at the 2011 Grammy Awards thanks to his breakout hit "Black and Yellow," in both the "Best Rap Song" and "Best Rap Performance" categories. Khalifa then joined forces with Snoop Dogg for MAC AND DEVIN GO TO HIGH SCHOOL SOUNDTRACK, the collaborative soundtrack album for the film "Mac and Devin Go to High School." The album featured the hit single "Young, Wild & Free" featuring Bruno Mars, which has gone on to become 3x-certified Platinum, and a top 10 success on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart.
O.N.I.F.C. was released December 2012, debuting at #2 on the Billboard "Top 200 Albums" chart and #1 on Billboard's "Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums" and "Top Rap Albums" charts, and #1 on iTunes' "Overall Albums" and "Top Hip-Hop/Rap Albums" charts. Wiz earned himself a nomination at the 56th Annual GRAMMY® Awards for his Platinum-certified single, "Remember You," Ft. The Weeknd in the "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" category, adding to a career total of 5 nominations.LP 1
1. Hope (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
2. We Dem Boyz
4. KK (feat. Project Pat & Juicy J)
5. House In The Hills (feat. Curren$y)
6. Ass Drop
1. Stayin Out All Night
2. The Sleaze
3. So High (feat. Ghost Loft)
4. Still Down (feat. Chevy Woods & Ty Dolla $ign)
5. No Gain
6. True Colors (feat. Nicki Minaj)
7. We Dem Boyz Remix (feat. Rick Ross, ScHoolboy Q & Nas)
8. You And Your Friends (feat. Snoop Dogg & Ty Dolla $ign)$27.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Free The UniverseAfter releasing their landmark LP Guns Don't Kill People Lazers Do in 2009,the heroic production
duo of Diplo and Switch found themselves boldly marching forwards toward the end of the aughts,
conquering major milestones. Now, as the sole executive producer of Major Lazer, Diplo continues
to spearhead the current dancehall revival movement with the upcoming release Free The Universe.
The recording includes exciting collaborations with Bruno Mars, Tyga, Flux Pavillion, Wynter
Gordon, Shaggy, Wyclef, Ezra Koening from Vampire Weekend, Dev and more. Spin called the LP's
first single Get Free featuring Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, a meeting point between
Jamaica,West Africa, and Brooklyn.
Diplo (AKA Wesley Pentz) has risen through the ranks and has asserted himself as one of the most
pioneering producers of the time. Through unending curiosity and exploration of the vast multitudes
of the world's musical heritages, Diplo has managed to seamlessly connect the global underground to
the audio mainstream. He is the Grammy-nominated founder, owner and head honcho of Mad
Decent records, which has not only garnered widespread critical and audience accolades since its
inception, but has also deservedly earned a hefty reputation as a vanguard of groundbreaking releases.1 You're No Good (feat. Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Danielle Haim & Yasmin)
2 Jet Blue Jet (feat. Leftside, GTA, Razz & Biggy)
3 Get Free (feat. Amber of Dirty Projectors)
4 Jah No Partial (feat. Flux Pavilion)
5 Wind Up (feat. Elephant Man & Opal)
6 Scare Me (feat. Peaches & Timberlee)
7 Jessica (feat. Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend)
8 Watch Out For This (Bumaye) (feat. Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green)
9 Keep Cool (feat. Shaggy & Wynter Gordon)
10 Sweat (feat. Laidback Luke & Ms. Dynamite)
11 Reach for the Stars (feat. Wyclef Jean)
12 Bubble Butt (feat. Bruno Mars, Tyga & Mystic)
13 Mashup the Dance (feat. The Partysquad & Ward 21)
14 Playground (feat. Bugle & Arama)$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UntamedFeaturing 11 songs, all co-written by Cam, Untamed was produced by GRAMMY®-winner Jeff Bhasker (Bruno Mars, BeyoncÉ, FUN., The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift) and Tyler Johnson (Ed Sheeran, OneRepublic, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Mikky Ekko).1. Untamed
2. Hungover On Heartache
3. Mayday Cam
4. Burning House
5. Cold in California
6. My Mistake
7. Runaway Train
8. Half Broke Heart
9. Want It All
10. Country Ain't Never Been Pretty
11. Village$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Amid The Noise And HasteDC-natives SOJA are thrilled to announce the release of new album "Amid the Noise and Haste" via ATO Records. It is band's fifth full-length and was produced by multiple GRAMMY award winning Jamaican producer Supa Dups (Bruno Mars, Eminem, Rihanna, John Legend). Featured
guests include Michael Franti, Damian Marley, J Boog and Collie Buddz.
Jacob Hemphill (lead singer/guitarist) and Bobby Lee (bass) met in the first grade in Virginia. The two instantly became best friends, finding common
ground through their love of hip hop, rock and reggae, which they performed together at middle school talent shows. Throughout high school, they met
Ryan Berty (drums), Kenneth Brownell (percussion) and Patrick O'Shea (keyboards) and formed SOJA. Rafael Rodriguez (trumpet), Hellman Escorcia
(saxophone) & Trevor Young (lead guitar) joined the band when things started to heat up.
Over the course of the past few years, SOJA has sold more than 200,000 albums, headlined shows in more than 20 countries around the world,
generated over 3 million Facebook fans, 60 million YouTube views, and attracted an almost Grateful Dead-like international fan base that grows each
tour, with caravans of diehards following them from city to city.
SOJA will be hitting the road this month with stops at Hangout Music Fest and California Roots Festival and will follow with a national run of amphitheater
performances on the Soulshine tour with Michael Franti & Spearhead, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall.1. Tear It Down
2. Your Song ft. Damian Jr. Gong Marley
3. I Believe ft. Michael Franti and Nahko
4. Easier ft. Anuhea and J Boog
5. Shadow ft. Trevor Young
6. Once Upon A Time
7. Promises and Pills ft. Alfred the MC
9. She Still Loves Me ft. Collie Buddz
12. Treading Water
13. Lucid Dreams ft. Nahko$21.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
"Blond and boisterous, music's newest hot chick" - Teen Vogue
"Artist To Watch" - Esquire
"Blown away by her voice" - Perez Hilton
"Dangerously Catchy" - Entertainment Weekly
Pop, blues, soul, and rock'n'roll singer/songwriter/guitarist/ banjoist Elle King announces today that her debut album LOVE STUFF will be released on RCA Records.
Elle worked with acclaimed collaborators on LOVE STUFF including Jeff Bhasker (Fun., Kanye West, The Rolling Stones), Eg White (Adele, Sam Smith), Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., U2, Crystal Castles), Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney), Martin Johnson, and Dave Bassett, among others.
Her single "Ex's & Oh's" was #1 Most Added at AAA radio upon release and has received tremendous praise: Billboard raves "Mix Duffy's vocals, the Black Keys' urgent rhythms and a hook and tempo that recalls P!nk's So What, and you have Elle King's catchy and clever RCA debut." Perez Hilton writes: "She's like a modern-day Janis Joplin! Elle King is the real deal! A true talent!" Muumuse declares: "Elle King, the man eatin', shit talkin' spitfire of your dreams or nightmares. (Boys: You've been warned)."
LOVE STUFF showcases Elle's powerful voice, tremendous songwriting, playful spirit, and bad-ass ways with lyrics that chronicle bad boyfriends, passionate relationships, and heartbreak.
Elle has toured with Of Monsters and Men, Train, Ed Sheeran, Michael Kiwanuka, and many others. With the release of her critically acclaimed 4 track EP,THE ELLE KING EP, Elle made her network television debut with her single "Playing For Keeps" on the Late Show With David Letterman (click here to watch her performance).The track was featured as the theme song for VH1's "Mob Wives Chicago" and chosen for the national TV ad campaign for Mad Men. With the release of her EP, Elle has been featured by Esquire, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, and many more.1. Where The Devil Don't Go
2. Ex's & Oh's
3. Under the Influence
4. Last Damn Night
5. Kocaine Karolina
6. Song of Sorrow
7. America's Sweetheart
8. I Told You I Was Mean
9. Ain't Gonna Drown
11. Make You Smile
12. See You Again$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-NET-7716xGood Old War
Broken Into Better ShapeBroken Into Better Shape finds Good Old War pushing their musical boundaries to the limit. Road-weary from two years at sea, the trio (Keith Goodwin, Tim Arnold, Dan Schwartz) set out to write an album full of songs that were not limited to sounding perfect in a live experience. They bunkered down in Goodwin's toddler-toy-filled house and struggled for half a year to find what they were looking for. Around this time, drummer Tim Arnold left the band for Atlanta, where his fiancÉ was pregnant with their first child. Arnold's DNA remains in the band and his fingerprints are still present as a writer on some of the tracks on the record.
With half of the album's songs now written, Goodwin and Schwartz began experimenting with other writers and producers. In New York City, they dreamed up the ultra-inspirational "Fly Away" with writer Emile Haynie (fun., Bruno Mars). A trip to Los Angeles found them improbably paired in a writing session with Zimbabwe-born urban producer T-Collar, where a hook was crafted that the band were eager to take to the studio. It would become their first single, "Tell Me What You Want From Me."
Broken Into Better Shape became the record that it is in Nashville, where the band wrote and rounded out songs with producer Jason Lehning (Alison Krause & Union Station, Mat Kearney, Dolly Parton) and with the aid of a terrific group of musicians and writers. Whereas much of the band's earlier work had been written individually, this album would end up being a grand collaboration.
The result is the band's proudest moment, an album of lush, well-crafted songs with no filler, ten songs whittled down from a pool of over forty.1. Tell Me What You Want From Me
2. Fly Away
3. Never Gonna See Me Cry
4. Broken Into Better Shape
5. Small World
6. Broken Record
7. One More Time
8. I'm The One
9. Dark Days
10. Don't Forget$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SOULROCKERMICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD today announced their upcoming (and ninth) studio album SOULROCKER will be releasedvia Fantasy Records, their first album for the label. SOULROCKER features the new song "Crazy For You" a joyously upbeat rhythmic pop song that highlights Franti's soulful vocals and encompasses his socially conscious outlook.
In creating SOULROCKER-co-produced with Jamaican producers Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor (son of reggae luminary Freddie McGregor) and Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin Quee (known for his work with artists like Bruno Mars and John Legend)-MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD have introduced a new sensibility to their potent hybrid of hip-hop, rock, folk, and reggae: a gracefully arranged take on electronic music that more than fulfills the band's mission of making impassioned music you can dance to. Along with harnessing the Bay Area-based band's dynamic energy for a more powerful impact than ever before, SOULROCKER again shows Franti's singular ability to channel frustration into music that's both thought-provoking and triumphantly hopeful.
"Right now is a very challenging time for people, for our nation and the planet," says Franti, a longtime activist and past recipient of Global Exchange's Domestic Human Rights Award. "But I really believe that music can help fight war and violence and hatred. The world needs that more than ever now, so my intention with this album was to make music that could bring people together."
While each selection on SOULROCKER began with Franti working out melodies on his acoustic guitar, many of the album's songs ultimately evolved into beat-powered tracks that reveal a close and nuanced understanding of the electronic genre. "One of the first records I had as a kid was a Kraftwerk seven-inch that I got from the giveaway bin at the UC Davis radio station KDVS," recalls Franti, who grew up in Davis, CA. "We always do a DJ set at the end of our shows, and I wanted to try bringing in those dance and electronic elements but still keep the organic instrumentation that I've always loved."
Franti's message of positivity-minded political consciousness, once an outlier in music, has found momentum in the mainstream in recent years-a phenomenon that compelled him to push his artistry even further on SOULROCKER. "I feel a deeper sense of purpose in music today than I ever have in my career," he says. "The album's really about me challenging myself and growing, and just trying to make the most inspiring music I possibly can for this intense, crazy and wonderful time we're all living in."1. Crazy For You
2. My Lord
3. Get Myself To Saturday
4. Summertime Is In Our Hands
5. We Are All Earthlings
6. Still Standing
7. Good To Be Alive Today
8. My Favorite Wine Is Tequila
9. Once A Day
10. We Do This Every Day
11. I Got Love For Ya
12. Do You Feel The Way That I Do?
13. Love Will Find A Way$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Sound Of ChangeThe Sound of Change can't come from external forces, it has to emanate from within. For Dirty Heads, evolution beyond their reggae-rock roots has developed over time and is manifested on their new album "Sound of Change." Due out summer 2014 via Five Seven Music, the album boasts some of the groups' most diverse and ambitious work to date. "Sound of Change" takes a literal meaning with the production of this album, as the band links up with Grammy award winning producer Supa Dups (Nina Sky, Bruno Mars), Buddah Shampoo (Ty Dolla $ign), Niles (of hip hop duo, The Cataracs), Ward 21 (311, Major Lazer reggae collaborators) and long-time friend and collaborator, Rome (Sublime).
The feel-good vibe associated with their sound was not forgotten. Sonically, "Sound of Change" amps up the groundwork laid by previous albums. Fine-tuned alternative choruses work harmoniously with hip-hop influenced production that seams the songs together. Universal themes of compassion, reflection and happiness are at the core of "Sound of Change." "We wanted the songs on this album to touch on the things we deeply care about and the people we are inside" front man Jared (Dirty J) Watson asserts, "but then we want to address the other side - when the weekend comes and we need to let go and just rage." Who can't relate to that feeling?
Vocalist/Guitarist Dustin Bushnell (Duddy B) is constantly looking to connect the dots between the live show with the album tracks, often mentally mapping out the live elements as the songs are being recorded. For the touring cycle surrounding the release "Sound of Change" the band plans to bring a live show that will energetically compliment each new track. Dirty Heads have racked up their miles bringing that live experience to fans across the globe for over a decade. "Now that our lives are touring we get to see the world," both Watson and Bushnell agree, "we're taking stories and vibes from around the world and making this album is the culmination of that."
The band's breakout 2008 album "Any Port In The Storm" included the chart-topping hit track "Lay Me Down" which features current Sublime frontman, Rome. The track had an incredible run for eleven weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts, laying a solid foundation for their follow up sophomore album "Cabin By The Sea" which was released in 2012. Dirty Heads then began their musical metamorphosis with their 2013 acoustic album "Home - Phantoms Of Summer," allowing time for their metamorphosis embodied in "Sound of Change." Their previous work featured contributions from talent such as Del The Funky Homosapien, Matisyahu, Rome (Sublime) and guitar legend Slash.
"Sound of Change" is a melting pot of all the band members' experiences and musical persuasions, addressing both serious and lighthearted subject matter in their signature way. On the lighter side of the spectrum, "Burn Slow" (Produced by Rome, featuring rapper, Tech N9ne) showcases the hip-hop oriented side of the band. With anthemic choruses and a feel-good aura, Watson boasts the song is the perfect soundtrack for those times when you're "having a good time, going out with friends and realize that sometimes you just need to chill." The retro sound and sexy lyrics of "Hear You Comin," highlights Watson's soaring vocals in its hook. The first single, the metaphorical "My Sweet Summer" (produced by Niles from The Cataracs) is, in reality, a song for all seasons. An undeniable groove underlines the lyrical lament. The title track "Sound of Change" is the key manifestation of the artistic maturation of the band. "The world is always changing political and social outlooks and on a broader scale, look at the changes within yourself" Watson reflects, "the song is about embracing the change life is going to bring no matter what, because that change is inevitable." Though there is diversity on "Sound of Change," as a body of work, it is cohesive in a way only Dirty Heads can achieve.
As a full six-piece unit, frontmen Watson and Bushnell are joined by keyboardist/vocalist Shawn Hagood, percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa and bassist David Foral. This lineup is hell-bent on grabbing new ears with "Sound of Change." Their own journey can be heard within the album- all you have to do is sit back and listen.1. Sound Of Change
2. My Sweet Summer
3. Medusa (feat. Ward 21)
4. Burn Slow (feat. Tech N9ne)
5. Franco Eyed (feat. B-Real of Cypress Hill)
6. End Of The World
7. One Hand
10. Hear You Coming
12. Dark Days
13. Running For Your Life$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now