Portugal. The Man Talk Charity, Danger Mouse, & Taco Bell [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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Portugal. The Man
Evil Friends

Portugal. The Man have managed to stay busy and successful these past 10 years with seven studio albums and five EPs. The four-piece band has played sets at big-name festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo, and will continue their performance streak with a multi-city tour through the US with Grouplove.

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, Portugal. The Man returned to San Francisco for the first stop of their tour: a special benefit show for StubHub’s Next Stage Concert Series. All ticket sales for the show will go to three Oakland schools through The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which helps fund music programs in underserved schools.

After their soundcheck, Portugal. The Man held a meet and greet with the opening act, a band from one of the Oakland schools. When the high schoolers left to play a soundcheck of their own, bassist Zach Carothers and keyboardist Kyle O’Quin talked to us about working with Danger Mouse, their Sumatran Tiger project, and Taco Bell.

TMN: Tell us about Alaska.

Zach: That’s where I’m from and where John and I met, and it was a huge inspiration to be up there. Obviously the natural beauty and isolation is really attractive, but the thing it lacks is direct influence. There’s not a huge art scene up there, not a huge music scene. So when we moved down to Portland, where we lived now, we got flooded with all this amazing underground media. We were going to shows every night for $3, seeing these little bands. It really inspired us to get out there and go for it. We decided to go on tour and we haven’t really stopped.

TMN: Nice, do you go back often and play a show there?

Zach: Yeah, at least once a year. At least. We try to go back twice, but it all kind of depends what the schedule is like. We always go back up for Christmas, so we play a show around then.

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[Love Rock] Jesse Ware – Say You Love Me

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Jessie Ware
Say You Love Me

There is almost nothing as wonderful as a female vocalist with a voice that will pull on any listener’s heartstrings. She carries a certain touch on every word, on any lyric that causes you to close your eyes and just listen as she conveys her story to you through her intimate song.

Jessie Ware is precisely one of these unreal female vocalists, with her powerful gusto and yet soft, affectionate tone, this London artist continues to show why she is such a force to be reckoned with in a good way. Her latest release, ‘Say You Love Me’ off her upcoming Album ‘Tough Love’ due out in October, is a love song for the masses. In it, Ware describes a love where she just wants her lover to want the love she has to give, the perfect line ‘I don’t want to fall in love if you don’t want to try.” Besides the strong instrumental melody, Ware even adds in a bit of a Gospel Band vocals to give this song an extra emphasis on all things love. After this song, we are anxious to hear everything Ware has to share in October.

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[Ticket Giveaway] Little Daylight, Young Rising Sons, Motion Trap – Larimer Lounge 8/15

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It’s that time again. We have a couple of hot little tickets in our ninja glove covered hands, and we really need to hook one of our lucky fans up. This time around, we’re offering up two tickets to what is shaping up to be one hell of a show at Larimer Lounge. Opening up will be local Denver outfit Motion Trap, who are an instrumental electronic act. Playing the middle will be one of our new favorites, Young Rising Sons, who will provide catchy indie rock anthems left and right. If you haven’t checked them out yet, it won’t be long before you’re not only familiar, but also unaware as to how you know every lyric to their songs.

Closing out the night is Little Daylight, who are coming in all the way from Brooklyn NY. This trio (Nikki Taylor, Matt Lewkowicz, Eric Zeiler) have seen tremendous success in the blogosphere with choice remixes of artists like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and The Neighbourhood, and also have garnered a significant following through their infectious synth-driven pop originals.

Winner will be contacted by email tomorrow, Friday (8/15) at 10:00AM Mountain Time. PLEASE CHECK YO EMAIL, PEOPLE. This is the only way we can get a hold of you. If the winner does not reply by 11:00AM, we’ll go onto the next person.


UPDATE: Contest is closed. A winner has been notified via email


There are a few rules, of course:
- You must be 18 or over to enter.
- You are responsible for transportation.
- You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the door.
- You must sing “I’m a Little Teapot” in a Ron Burgandy-esque voice while waiting in line.
- We were kidding on that last one. However, if you do accomplish that, you will forever live in TMN contest infamy.



Good luck, ninjas!

Motion Trap
Styrofoam
Young Rising Sons
High
Little Daylight
My Life
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[TMN Interview] A quick chat with Meg Mac about ‘Rolling Up’ her sleeves

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We got to have a quick chat with the lovely and talented Oz artist Meg Mac about her latest song release, along with the beautiful music video. After chatting with her, we are even bigger fans.

TMN: Meg! First off can I just say, personally and from the lot here at TMN we are huge fans of that wonderful voice of yours :) Let’s talk about this song you released, “Roll Up Your Sleeves.” It is one of those songs you love to wake up to in the morning, to start the day with a bang and take on the world. Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind this song?

MM: Thank you guys! I started writing this because I was trying to understand why it is easier to pretend you don’t give a shit. Doing the right thing is hard sometimes and I was stuck on this thought. By the end I felt like I was writing this song to myself, to know that the most you can ever do is choose to do the right thing and then I think that everything has to be alright. Hope that makes sense!

TMN: And can you give us a quick history about you as a musician? Hailing from Down Under, we have noticed a large surge of musicians from your part of the world who really are taking over in a way. When did music first enter your life?

MM: I think I have the usual growing up and loving music/wanting to sing all the time story. But I started songwriting at about 17 and I was hooked on it. I could not get over the idea that I could be the first person in the whole world to sing these lines and things I was writing. I was kind of taken over by being able to make something no one sung yet. It was overwhelming, all the possibilities and I am still addicted.

TMN: The video for “Roll Up Your Sleeves” is simply stunning, really. Just your face, black and white, belting out this incredible song. I commend you for making a video that really is about you and the song. Where did you come up with this concept?

MM: Thank you, I was so happy with how it turned out. The song means a lot to me and is so real to me, I wanted to just sing my song so you knew I meant it.

TMN: Finally, can you tell us what we have to look forward to next from you?

MM: Shows! I want to sing these songs for everyone before I get moving on recording all my new stuff.

Watch her video for “Roll Up Your Sleeves” below and make sure to check out all things Meg Mac in the future.

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[Rock] Amber Run – I Found

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Amber Run
I Found

Oh man.

You know when you hear a band for the first time, and all you can feel is shivers running down each inch of your spine because the music is just that powerful? It is one of the most magical feelings when listening to a good song or a good artist.

I got to hear Amber Run for the first time the other day and their hauntingly beautiful song ‘I Found’. The five gentlemen from Nottingham, UK want you to know, they are here to make music that is timeless, rather than cool in the moment music. “We’re not writing edgy music that sounds like 2014 – it’s music for the whole decade, not just for now. We want people to be coming back to our music in 20 years.” And the thing is, their music is a sound that could move from this generation to the next easily. Their stunning vocals combined with their calm melodies combine for a sound that makes you feel, well, just a little bit of everything. Have a listen for yourself and see why these rockers will capture your own ears as well as many ears to come.

 

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Alt-J – Every Other Freckle

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Every Other Freckle

Alt-J‘s upcoming album is shaping up quite nicely. Earlier today, the U.K. alternative rockers released the third consecutive quality track from the project. In tandem with the other two songs we’ve heard thus far, their latest offering helps crystalize expectations for their highly anticipated sophomore record.

Each glimpse has featured a different dimension to the band’s sound–“Hunger of the Pine” full of sultry, powerful longing and “Left Hand Free” feeling more upbeat and catchy. “Every Other Freckle” presents yet another facet falling in between the other tunes in terms of energy but incorporating some of the vocal patterns found on An Awesome Wave, most notably “Breezeblocks.” The range of styles presented in these first singles suggests that we can expect a versatile and engaging mix from This Is All Yours, which is available for pre-order on iTunes and drops on September 23rd.

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[Alternative] Paramore – Ain’t It Fun (Kavalier Cover) feat. Molly Williams

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Kavalier (Official)
Ain't It Fun (Kavalier Cover) feat. Molly Williams

We were just about to share a different song by Kavalier when this popped on our radar. Molly Williams has always dazzled us with her sublime talent but we were blown away when she made the pop crossover and joined Kavalier on this Paramore cover. “Ain’t It Fun” maintains the upbeat, airy vibe of the original, however something must be said of Sean and Jake’s reconstruction of this track, especially the almost distorted bassline by Sean. This is just one of many features in their cover series so be sure to keep tabs on the Kavalier boys as well as the gorgeous Molly Williams.
 

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