“Missing Person” – The new album by Warren Cuccurullo (Duran Duran, Zappa)

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Zero The Kidd: “Waves” – a willingness to carve out his own lane

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Grand Rezerva: “Nowhere Bound” pumps adrenaline into the unsuspecting listener

The talented Swedish band Grand Rezerva – comprised of Michael C. Svensson – Vocals, Andreas Lundberg – Guitar, Mattias “Tiz” Nilsson – Guitar, Thomas Helgesson – Drums and Zoak – Bass – succinctly deliver bare-knuckled, catchy hard rock that’s captured with crystal clear production. The band wastes little time in making its intentions clear on the latest single, “Nowhere Bound”. Grand Rezerva’s simmering movement around the verses facilitates a sense of building momentum through the bridge that reaches a point of release at the chorus. The band has creatively shoehorned itself into 2019’s contemporary active rock radio ballgame, with a classic

J Tizzle: “The Chill Zone Vol 3” – The taste is smooth and distinguishable!

As living things, we need a steady supply of certain ingredients to survive. In music, the formula is undeniably similar. A song requires both rhythm and pitch. For the musically hungrier amongst us, these ingredients are not enough. We need to add extras, such as mood, atmosphere, emotion and groove. Unfortunately, even with the proper ingredients and extras the results are not always as expected. Stagnancy spreads within the craftsman, as well as a lack of skill or emotion. Luckily one, by the name of J Tizzle (Jeffery Townsend Sr.), avoids these annoying traits. Within his songbook exists all of

Heavy AmericA: “Motor Honey (Peace)” – It’s rock. Pure and simple.

A couple of years ago, the bands to emulate in modern rock were those that flooded the radios with wickedly catchy upbeat power pop tunes. Then came the neo-metal-driven climate, where even the tame end of the spectrum became heavier. On their new single, “Motor Honey (Peace)”, Boston based three piece rock group Heavy AmericA, proves themselves among the best in the alternative rock genre with a track loaded with hooks for mainstream appeal, but with an energy and drive that keeps them from sounding like mere imitators. The new release which has all the potential to climb the rock

Scotty Seed: One of the more original and thoroughly enjoyable alternative listens of the year!

Proud of his Italian heritage and his role in the LGTBQ community as a queer artist, Scotty Seed is a musician based in the East Village of New York City. Obsessed with art, including fashion and music, Scotty, originally a Jersey boy, started taking songwriting and production seriously in his twenties. Influenced by elements of industrial, pop, grunge, PC music, electronic, and screamo music, he counts artists like Crystal Castles, Marilyn Manson, Hole, David Bowie, Madonna, and Depeche Mode among his inspirations. Fighting an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, making music provides him with an escape from his mental health

Suburbs: “Sound of the Sea” – a rewarding new project

Suburbs is an indie rock band from Scheveningen, Netherland launched in 1995. The band that has its roots in the eighties and nineties achieved national exposure when they won the national contest “De Grote Prijs van Nederland” (The Grand Prize of the Netherlands), the largest and longest-running music competition in the country.  As of the summer of 2013 Suburbs has started a new chapter. Lead singer Arie Spaans and 2 early band members set to work to bring their old sound back. The following year they started dropping singles and video clips leasing to their mini EP “Masters” in 2016.

Martone: “Erogenous Zone” keeps the adrenaline and emotions flowing!

It was 5 years ago that pop superstar, Sam Smith, stepped up to the plate and showed the world that love songs don’t have to be heteronormative to be beloved. Smith came out publicly, stating that he wanted to be clear on what his album was about. “It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know.” He was also completely aware of how important his success is to the public narrative. Hearing your humanity represented and validated by pop culture is important, and many LGBT supporting musicians have since been stepping up to share their experiences. The

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Albert J: “Grow” embraces both aural diversity and true inspiration

Albert J (formerly known as f.o.c.u.s.) is an American hip-hop recording artist residing in Tampa Florida. Moving through Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, California and now Florida, Albert J got to experience a lot of diverse music and inspirations. From bands ranging from Sigur Ros and Coldplay to Linkin Park and Incubus, as well as many Hip-Hop influences from DMX, Kid Cudi, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, Albert J grew up with a wide palette of sound. His 3 mixtapes “Youth Religion” (Dec 2013) “Remember” (March 2014) and “YR2” (April 2015), garnered serious attention in the Hip-hop scene, finally leading up

Mike Dubose and The Dissidents Interview

Music fans worldwide can’t get enough of Mike Dubose and The Dissidents. Legendary singer-songwriter James McMurty calls Dubose a “fierce performer and fearless man.” Iconic Austin DJ (KLBJ & KGSR) Loris Lowe has compared the group’s work to Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

Mike Dubose and the Dissidents were formed in Austin, Texas in 2006. Born with cerebral palsy, Mike was told he would never be able to play chords on a guitar. Believing that “can’t never did anything”, he decided to challenge the world by teaching himself to play guitar with open tunings at age 13, thus developing his own unique sound and style.

In his career Mike has shared the stage with Son Volt, Wilco, Elliott Smith, the Foo Fighters and Yo La Tengo, as well as Steve Earle, Pete Seeger, James McMurtry, Tish Hinojosa and Lucinda Williams. Currently, Mike Dubose and The Dissidents are comprised of songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Dubose, bassist Diana Bruschke, guitarist Tom Cuddy and drummer Susie Martinez.

Mike-Dubose-collageHow long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?

Mike Dubose: I’ve been writing songs and playing guitar since I was 15, doing it professionally since I was 19, so 23 and 19 years respectively.

Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Mike Dubose: My very first musical influences were The Beatles, Leonard Cohen and when I was 10, “Appetite For Destruction” came out, so Slash and Izzy Stradlin were huge influences! Except I didn’t just want to play guitar, I wanted to write songs and sing ‘em! I’ve always said Appetite For Destruction made me want to be a singer/songwriter/guitarist, “Never Mind The Bollocks” and “Nevermind” showed me that I COULD. When I was writing songs in my bedroom as a teenager, I discovered Bob Mould, Warren Zevon, Steve Earle, Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar.

When did you first lay your hands on a guitar , and why did you choose the guitar anyway?

Mike Dubose: I picked guitar because I’d tried drums and bass, but I couldn’t write songs on ‘em! I first laid my hands on a guitar when I was maybe 10. I physically couldn’t play it because I was born with cerebral palsy and that effects my fine-motor coordination so standard tunings were impossible. It wasn’t till 5 years later when I picked up a friend’s acoustic tuned to open E that I realized that I WAS able to play guitar, albeit in alternate tunings.

How did you get to open for acts like Wilco, Elliott Smith, and the Foo Fighters? And what did you learn from those experiences?

Mike Dubose: There was a legendary club in Austin called Liberty Lunch. I’d gone to lots of shows there as a teenager and made friends with the staff. When Missing Ingredient made their first demo, I gave it to them as a gift, not as a “will you book my band” overture. Imagine my utter surprise when we started getting headlining gigs there as well as opening for Wilco, Elliott Smith and The Foos, among many other renowned acts. I learned 2 lessons: Never say never and the most talented people are the nicest and most down-to-earth folks. The gig with Elliott Smith started a friendship that lasted until his death.

After ‘Missing Ingredient’ disbanded in 2000, you went solo sharing the stage with Steve Earle, Pete Seeger and Lucinda Williams among others, yet you said you needed a band. Why was that?

Mike Dubose: Well, with Lucinda and Steve I had Lucinda’s band! Don’t get me wrong, I like the intimacy and stripped down nature of solo shows, but I love playing with bands. There’s more electricity, power and sonic dimension, plus there’s a part of me that simply wants to ROCK!!

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How did the first incarnation of Mike Dubose and The Dissidents come about, and who the current members are?

Mike Dubose: After I got off the road with Lucinda in 2005, my friend/mentor/entertainment lawyer Craig Barker told me that I should market myself as a singer-songwriter and “stop trying to be in bands.” I’d played with session players during my stint with Lucinda and even though they were great, backing players, unlike band mates, rarely gave creative input on my songs. So I decided to split the difference and form a band like Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, where the band is an actual band, not a backing band. It was Bush’s second term, so I came up with the name Mike Dubose and The Dissidents. There were a few false starts, but nothing happened. Later that year my surrogate older sister Mileah Jordan (the manager of the aforementioned Liberty Lunch) unexpectedly and tragically passed away. I performed solo acoustic at a wake/tribute. Her ex-boyfriend’s then-band also played, and his drum kit was still set up behind me. 3 songs into my set, he jumped on the drums and started playing along, just improvising. It sounded great! After my/our set, a guitar player approached me about forming a band and said he had a roommate who played bass. That bassist, Diana Bruschke, is the finest bass player with whom I have ever played, is the last founding Dissident and one of my closest friends. So the first lineup was Diana on bass, Rob Cooley on drums, guitarist Larry Graves and me. As far as the current incarnation, it’s absolutely magical. Diana’s STILL on bass, and our longtime friends and cohorts Susie Martinez and Tom Cuddy play drums and guitar. We’ve known each other, been in bands together and shared bills since the 1990s. From our first rehearsal that elusive mixture of perfect musical and personal chemistry was there in spades. Cuddy put it best: “This band is special. I am not speaking as a member, I am speaking as a long time rock and roller and natural bands like this do not come along often. WE are as surprised as anyone how good we sound but we really are that good. It is some kind of force of nature.” Finally, once again all four current members knew and loved Mileah.

Tell us something about your songwriting processes. Do you lock yourself up in a room and ‘work at it’ or do songs arrive while you’re really busy doing something else?

Mike Dubose: I write all my songs on acoustic guitar. I play acoustic guitar every day and write complete musical parts for songs, but lyrics are inspired by a build up of extreme emotions: joy, pain, heartache and anger. The water backs up, the dam breaks and a bunch of songs pour out. Currently, I’m pretty content, which to me is the horse latitudes of creativity, but being betrothed, the state of the world, politicians and the death of quite a few loved ones has me feeling the pressure building up again.

On which one of your songs do you personally think you delivered your best performance so far, from both a technical and emotional point of view?

Mike Dubose: There’s a live version of a song called “Head Above Water” on which I really nailed it, according to Diana. It was played in 2012 at a tribute concert for a friend of mine named Leslie Cochran. Here’s the YouTube link if you want it: https://youtu.be/rU42N04C-O0

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How did working with Leonard Cohen bassist, producer and musical director Roscoe Beck come about?

Mike Dubose: Roscoe’s involvement is one of the best fruits of the collaboration between me and my friend/head of my current record label Bill Teags. He played my/our stuff for Roscoe, Roscoe dug it and since I’m a huge Leonard Cohen fan, Roscoe’s involvement is incredibly artistically-validating.

What do think is the best piece of advice in this business you received and actually followed so far, and one piece of advice you didn’t follow, but now know that you should have?

Mike Dubose: The best advice was given to me by my friend and Missing Ingredient drummer Dirk Reel: “Play every musical style/dynamic that feels right to you.” That’s allowed us, be it Missing Ingredient or Mike Dubose and The Dissidents to never be pigeonholed, which is great! The one I wish I followed (and do NOW) is “always copyright everything as soon as you write it.”

The new technology has completely changed the way the music business works. Do you still purchase physical CD’s or is it all about downloading digitally now? And which was the last CD you actually purchased?

Mike Dubose: I still buy vinyl! I download a lot of music, but I still purchase CDs. The last one was Motorhead’s new record, “Bad Magic.”

In today’s music world filled with samples, beats, loops and all the manipulating software to go with it. Do you think it is still necessary for anyone to learn to play a musical instrument, like you did ? 

Mike Dubose: Absolutely!

What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and/ or attain significant commercial success?

Mike Dubose: Since this is an independent label/DIY deal, raising capital to record, manufacture, distribute and publicize our next release is a huge obstacle.

What is your current music release called and where can fans find it?

Mike Dubose: My current release is a solo acoustic CD called “Head Above Water” that can be purchased via CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, or me! The band’s stuff is all over the web, most of it is downloadable gratis. Just Google Mike Dubose and The Dissidents!

Any specific touring, recording or collaborative plans for the near future?

Mike Dubose: We are going to self-finance an EP in the not-too-distant future, and tour behind that. I want to follow the Hendrix, Blondie, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Bill Hicks route of going to Europe first and then touring the US. It’s not a question of if that happens, it’s when. We’ll figure out a way to pull it off!

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