HR Live At CBGB’s 1984 – an essential part of alternative music and punk culture

HR is most well known as the lead singer of revolutionary reggae punk rock band Bad Brains. In their day Bad Brains could have been easily mentioned in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, such was their greatness. Yet the band has evolved many times in its long history, playing across many genres of music including jazz, hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae. HR has been making music since 1976 with Bad Brains, and along the way until today, he has been acclaimed for his reckless punk screaming just as much as he has

Callum Crighton: “The Rose” – a strong ear-catching melody

Even while everything I know about my musical taste should violently reject the cheese-camp synth pop and adorable mainstream swoon songs of the 80’s, I’ve enjoyed that music ever since I was first tricked into listening to the smooth, velvety crooning of the Brit pop chart invasion during that period. I can’t really explain why I loved that music so much, I guess for the same reason people eat cheesecake: It’s loaded with sugar, almost unbearably sweet, and probably isn’t the healthiest for you, but goddamn if it doesn’t make you feel so good inside when you eat it up.

Virgil Blue: “Pain Of Loss” – gorgeous washes of sound

Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will

Big Chris: ‘Bad Timing’ – high quality production and seamless transitions

After a successful release of his last single ‘F The World’ in Summer of 2016, UK based RnB artist and producer Big Chris releases his newest album ‘Bad Timing’ available via all major media providers. Recorded by Big Chris and John Robinson at Clique Studios, London and Miami Live, Miami. The album mix was finalized by Mixbytrip at Circle House Miami. Inspirations of The Dream, Mike Posner and R Kelly can be heard throughout. This album has some really original, unique, futuristic cuts on it, as would be expected. Big Chris is a more audacious artist than most in the R&B game right now, because he says what

Shellee Coley: “Story Like This” – a maturity that is mesmerizing!

Shellee Coley is a Texas-based singer-songwriter that has released three full length albums. Her current focus is a 5 song book of musical meditations called The Becoming Project that is being released one song or “chapter” at a time by the independent label Red Tree Music Group. Essentially, Shellee has created a unique style that blurs the boundaries between genres and categories. There are recognizable influences from classic songwriters like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Lennon & McCartney and Bob Dylan, as well as from some more current acts. Coley is able to absorb them all, and filter them through her own sensibilities

All Atomic: “? ? ? (Track With No Name)” builds multiple climaxes and movements

All Atomic is an electronic music producer and artist from Bristol, UK. He has just released his debut for indie label Pink Dolphin Music, entitled – “? ? ? (Track With No Name)”. The majority of listeners will agree that this track is perhaps one of the best examples of wickedly detailed and technically rich techno and house out there. If that is a mouth-full, it should be. All Atomic has defined the amazingly intricate form of electronic dance music that weaves clever beats into unusual and unexpected sounds to create a masterpiece of rhythmic movement and audio ecstasy. It’s

Ice photographer Lliam Greguez Releases Two Acoustic Prog Punk Albums

New York City, New York – Greguez is not only a man who hits the ice with his camera in hand, but a musician who tackles an apartment studio to collaborate in a mix of acoustic and synthesized sounds. So much sound in fact that he’s released not one, but two albums to mitigate some of the imbalances that surround us. Musically Greguez is well-rounded, using its’ power to heal as a trained creative arts therapist at a handful of children’s hospitals in the New York City Area. In conjunction with this work, he unloosed his experimental tendencies to assemble

ReachingNova: “IT’S ABOUT TIME” reconciles the vices of entertainment with art

The Bronx, NYC creative, ReachingNova is without a doubt one of the smartest, all-round great underground rappers on the block right now. His album “IT’S ABOUT TIME”, features powerful themes and gives amazing personal perspectives on some deep rooted issues and aspirations which inevitably reflect everything happening around ReachingNova, but could so easily apply to any ambitious human being on a serious daily grind, no matter what walk of life they’re in. Each track is superbly produced, and none feel like they don’t belong on this collection. What seperates ReachingNova from his contemporaries is that he’s found way to excel at

Cosmic Zimmer: “Drunk But Not Wasted” – genuinely captivating and moving

Dutch National, Cosmic Zimmer is originally from the Dutch Caribbean and has lived in multiple places. An IT, Commerce and Robotics specialist, he has been making music for 13 years and got his first music lessons from a teacher who studied film scoring at the Berklee College of Music. Cosmic Zimmer was convinced to use his musical talents by a Viennese gastronomy legend and friend, Martin who advised him to record an album. This led to the 10 track collection, “Drunk But Not Wasted”. 70% of the album’s instrumentals were produced during 2014 in Vienna, Austria, while the rest were

Arman Ayva: “R U worried?” inhabits different rhythmic cultures

Canadian based Arman Ayva clears up any loose ends by declaring himself “another freaking lunatic” right off the cuff. I can’t vouch for the fact that he really is “another freaking lunatic”, but I can establish the fact that he is another typical independent artist embracing the 21st Century technological music idiom. Avya has no musical background. By day he is a suit and tie business analyst in the banking industry. In his spare time he first crossed his creative paths with the art of photography before discovering a $100 keyboard and GarageBand. “I have no intention to compete to

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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