[Live Review] Skylab – Mission Blackout



If there’s one thing you need to know about Denver, it’s that it has a kick-ass music scene. Between Beta, Triad Dragons, a plethora of smaller promoters, and the best live music venue in the country, this city has it going on. Skylab – Mission Blackout was a perfect example of what I just described.

A look at the headliners is reason enough to guess that this show was epic. Gareth Emery, Zedd, and Porter Robinson graced the space-themed stage, and each one threw down an impressive set. Porter’s was especially filthy, which made the steamy room drip with energy even more.

By now you know that Dragon and Jontron are buddies of ours, which means this next part shouldn’t surprise you. One of our favorite parts was them closing the night out. They flew in Lea Luna for a live vocal performance. This added a unique twist onto a rager of a night. At the end of their performance, we all got to stand onstage and boogie as they closed up shop.

If you’re in or around Denver, and you haven’t checked out a Triad Dragon’s show, you’re sorely missing out. Make sure to catch the next one.

Big shout out to Blurred Pictures for the screengrabs from their upcoming video.

Porter Robinson
Language
Zedd
Spectrum (feat. Matthew Koma)
Dragon & Jontron
Blackout
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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Frank + Derol Interview

Frank + Derol
Barely Love You Too
Frank + Derol
Barely Love You Too (HiDeaf vs Halatrax Remix)
Frank + Derol
Apparition

This has been an absolutely ridiculous month here in Denver. There’s honestly been too many shows to go to, and it’s feeling like the trend is not going to let up any time soon. First up on our list of “must-see shows” for this week is LA indie duo, Frank + Derol. These two lovely ladies (Codi Caraco and Brandi Cyrus) first struck a chord with us back when they released “Barely Love You Too.” Since then we’ve been digging on their whole EP.

Before we head out to their show though, we wanted to get to know them a little better. Check out our email conversation of love songs, Thom Yorke, and a baby tiger unicorn eating ice cream on a rainbow. Totally serious on that last part too. A baby tiger unicorn eating ice cream on a rainbow was discussed.

If you’re in Denver this Thursday, come out and catch their show at the Hi-Dive!

TMN:Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. First off, how did the two of you come to develop your sound?

Codi Caraco: We have had some different musical influences throughout our own lives. I grew up studying and learning classical piano. I was also surrounded by a lot of Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and the Beatles. as well as 90′s alternative music. i really love electronic interesting weird sounds.

Brandi Cyrus: I grew up watching my dad play country music, which had a huge influence on me. He is an incredible performer and so passionate about what he does and I admire that so much. As I got older I listened to a lot of 90′s pop, alternative rock, and even some folk/americana bands.

CC: I think our different influences and interests just formed our sound. We have a musical understanding together. There was also a lot of trial and error.

TMN: Your track lo-fi indie pop track “Barely Love You Too” has garnered good response on the blog front. Talk to us about that track. How did it come to be?

CC: I think people usually think this is a breakup song. It’s actually a bit of a love song.

BC: It’s definitely a special song. It started with this concept of how do you tell someone ‘I love you’ without saying it so blatantly. You really have to listen to the song as a whole to get the meaning behind the chorus.

TMN: Talk to us about your musical upbringing. Were you encouraged to play instruments at a young age?

CC: I was very encouraged at a young age, my family is very musical. I was surrounded by music since I was born. I started piano when I was about 5 and from then on studied classical piano. My parents pushed me to practice and keep going. At the time I wanted to quit and had moments of hate towards piano but now I am so grateful they made me stick with it.

BC: Music was always around me, but my parents never forced any of us into it. I actually had a lot of other hobbies as a kid, and then when I was 18 I decided to pick up the guitar on my own and learn how to play. After I taught myself some chords, I asked my dad for help and he would sit with me for hours and we would just play and play and play.

Continue reading after the jump… Continue reading

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[PREVIEW] Ellie Goulding – Halcyon (Deluxe)

Does Ellie Goulding really need any introduction? We here at The Music Ninja have been championing her for months and months, so we’re more than happy to present a preview of her ENTIRE album Halcyon — the “Deluxe” version, even! It officially dropped today via Interscope Records, but if you’re still on the fence about buying it, we’re here to try and convince you otherwise. So check it out below and then purchase it here!

Ellie Goulding
Dont Say A Word

Ellie Goulding
My Blood

Ellie Goulding
Anything Could Happen

Ellie Goulding
Only You

Ellie Goulding
Halcyon

Ellie Goulding
Figure 8

Ellie Goulding
JOY

Ellie Goulding
Hanging On

Ellie Goulding
Explosions

Ellie Goulding
I Know You Care

Ellie Goulding
Atlantis

Ellie Goulding
Dead In The Water

Calvin Harris (Ft. Ellie Goulding)
I Need Your Love

Ellie Goulding
Ritual

Ellie Goulding
In My City

Ellie Goulding
Without Your Love

Ellie Goulding (Ft. Tinie Tempah)
Hanging On

Ellie Goulding
Lights (Single Version)

Make sure to read up on our past Ellie Goulding coverage, such as her song “I Need Your Love” feat. Calvin Harris, her cover of fun.’s “Some Nights,” and her video for “I Know You Care“.

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Meg Myers – CURBSTOMP (Video)

meg_myers_AR_04611

Los Angeles’ sultry songstress Meg Myers has released a set of visuals for her song “CURBSTOMP”. Directed by Grammy-winning Trish Sie — who worked on OK GO‘s treadmill video for “Here It Goes Again” — the video is set in a dreamlike world made of cotton and colorful plush animals. Myers gets a little roughed up by the toys, but it’s nothing she can’t handle. You can also stream the song below!

Meg Myers
Curbstomp

Don’t forget to check out our past interview with Meg Myers right here.

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[MP3 Playlist] The Trap Dojo: Volume #8

It’s Tuesday and that means relentless 808′s to the face from some of the biggest names in the Trap game. Starting with a Festival worthy remix from Party Favor of Birdy Nam Nam‘s track “Jaded Future”, sampling some catchy rap lines with massive booming synths. Aylen remixes the classic James Bond “007 Theme” and features some epic samples from the movie and re-works this one flawlessly. Next is “Swerve” from Baauer off his most recent EP titled Dum Dum, and he murders this one with all sorts of funky sounds. Loud Flavor brings the most unique track on this playlist that you don’t want to miss titled, “Here They Come”. This remix from Savant has it all, from filthy Trapped out drops to massive Dubstep infused wobbles that keep you guessing throughout the whole track. This morning San Diego representers Kicks N Licks sent over their newest release and it features some filthy 808′s mixed with some hard rap samples for an all around good time. Cardo releases this LoveTrap tune on Fools Gold Recs. and its got some sexy melodies that hit at all the right times its titled, “My Old$chool”. The trap Dojo wouldn’t complete without some tuneage from ƱZ, and he remixes Foreign Beggars track “Goon Boys”. 12th Planet and Antiserum team up to deliver an extremely massive Trap Step tune titled, “Bass Salt” that your neighbors should love. Cheers.

To DOWNLOAD todays entire Trap Dojo, CLICK HERE. 

In case you missed the last couple weeks, click on the links below to check out these massive posts.

Trap Dojo #6

Trap Dojo #7

Birdy Nam Nam
Jaded Future (Party Favors Gettin Wasted Remix)
Aylen
007s Theme
Baauer
Swerve
Loud Flavor
Here They Come
Blood Command
High Five For Life (Savant Remix)
Kicks N Licks
Keep it Raw ***Free Download in Description***
Cardo
My Old$chool
Foreign Beggars
Goon Bags (ƱZ Remix)
12th Planet & Antiserum
Bass Salt
Dem Franchize Boy
Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It (MitiS Trap Remix)
Rusko
Somebody To Love (Blitz Gang Remix)
eSenTRIK
Collapse
Peaches
Burst! (ƱZ Remix)
SBTRKT
Wildfire (Alex Young Bootleg)
Kanye West
Love Lockdown (DJR Bootleg)...   {{FREE DL}}
DJ Belly
Make Dat Ting Clap
XX
Intro (KO Remix)
Major Lazer
Original Don (Dj Sliink Remix)
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[Indie] Lost in the Trees – Villain (I’ll Stick Around) (Video)

In 2010 we received All Alone in an Empty House from North Carolina natives, Lost in the Trees. Today, it’s A Church That Fits Our Needs, and it’s wonderful. It’s been likened to the intense abstract nature of Radiohead and the sentimentality of Bon Iver‘s For Emma, Forever Ago. The album is no doubt emotionally intense and riveting. The depth of each track is quite expansive and it simply gets a listener thinking. “Villain” is an excellent example of these notions. It’s straight forward in it’s poignancy and really gets on a provocative level of abstract tenderness. The video here captures well the air of the track. It’s interestingly beautiful and intriguing. But just don’t take my word for it, watch it and see for yourself.

Get your copy of A Church That Fits Our Needs now via ANTI-/Trekky Records!

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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Interview with Vacationer, Part 1

Vacationer
Everyone Knows

Vacationer
Good As New

Vacationer
Trip

On Vacationer‘s blissful electro-pop album, Gone, we are transported to another place. Maybe it’s a sun-soaked beach, a glimmering ocean, or a majestic mountain. Maybe it’s a Berlin club, the Eiffel Tower, or a highway across America. Wherever it is, there we are eased into shaking off the chains of worry and stress, and allowed to unwind and let go, relax and indulge. If we need a trip, Vacationer will take us there.

Vacationer is made up of Philly-based frontman Kenny Vasoli and Brooklyn’s electronic outfit Body Language. One cool Wednesday evening, I met with Vasoli few hours before the band’s set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I had been a longtime fan of his work — he previously fronted a band called The Starting Line, a Drive-Thru Records group on the forefront of the pop-punk scene during the early 2000s — and was a little fangirl-dazed upon first meeting him. But he was nothing but cool, humble and animated, exactly as I remembered him from my teenage years. Geeky 15-year-old me would never have thought that I’d be talking to Vasoli about a new electronic project 10 years later. It’s funny to think that things like this come full circle, but there we were.

The Cameo Gallery performance space and the restaurants nearby were buzzing with noise and chatter that night, leaving us a little perplexed at first as to where to conduct the interview. But finally, we found a quiet, albeit odd, spot: a bench right outside the venue. Leave it to us to make the sidewalk a professional place of business.

While most of Brooklyn seemed to walk by us and stare, we talked at length about the band’s beginning, the new venture into electronic music, their Downtown Records debut Gone, his favorite vacation and more. So, without further ado, here is Part 1 of my interview with Vacationer:

TMN: So, forgive me for starting the interview this way [laughs], but I have to tell you that I was a huge Starting Line fan in high school. As a teenager I grew up on everything Drive-Thru Records.
KV: That’s beautiful.

Are you ever hesitant to talk about that band when discussing Vacationer?
I’m not really hesitant about it, but I don’t wear it on my sleeve. I don’t list it as credential. I like for this [Vacationer] to stand on its own.

Can you take me through a timeline of how Vacationer began?
The point of transition for me was after I went to Bonnaroo in 2011. I had two new Person L demos that I was really excited about. One was sort of a Talking Heads-influenced, rolling beat dance song, and the other was a Thom Yorke, Eraser-era electronic-backed song. I gave them to some friends of mine, like Anthony in Circa Survive and the Manchester Orchestra guys, and also sent them to my manager, Matt, who used to play guitar in The Starting Line. But he said the demos weren’t speaking to him, which made me re-evaluate what kind of output I was doing. I really like making music with Person L, but it’s so frantic in its focus.

Were you a fan of electronic music at that time?
Well, even before that I was listening to tons of electronic music and really getting into the whole shoegaze electronic scene. I was heavily into Beach House and The Radio Dept, and all their sweet-sounding soft records. I wanted to do something like that for fun. I didn’t know where it would lead to, I just knew that I wanted to make something that’s not loud and not me yelling my head off [laughs]. Something easily facilitated in just one room, where I wouldn’t need a bunch of players, just a few people helping me with beats and whatnot. That’s where the inspiration really came into play.

Then I asked Matt if he knew anybody in Brooklyn that might want to co-write and produce new music with me. He sent me a list and some links to artists like Penguin Prison, MDNR and Body Language. Body Language was the one I was really stoked about so I asked him what their deal was. Turns out they worked out of their own studio and had written with Passion Pit. I love Passion Pit! So I went up to Brooklyn and we started messing around with some stuff. I wanted to do electronic music that was somewhat organic. Inspired by this one Four Tet song, we put together a four-on-the-floor kickdrum and simple bass line, and after awhile the song turned out to be Gone‘s “Great Love”. It was really cool and I was so excited to do something electronic. I watched Body Language work and it was such an eye-opening and learning experience. They seemed to be excited about the way I sang and did my melodies. Every other weekend we did sessions together and after a few months we had enough material for a record.

That’s amazing that you all were able to come together right away.
It was a real wonderful work of coincidence that we were able to communicate and produce so well and so quickly. I really didn’t know what it would be like since it was the first time ever I was stepping into the electronic world. I was afraid, but after the first session they really got an idea of what I liked and would email me loops and clips that they put together. I’d be like “These are awesome!” and throw a mic on my guitar and play along with them. I’d then throw on some vocals and additional loops on the clips, which would prepare us enough for our next Brooklyn session.

Coming from a more indie rock scene, how would you say the creative approach is different when tackling electronic music?
It’s a lot less pressure for me because I don’t have to be the one to always come up with the initial idea. There are so many ideas being thrown my way from Body Language. And all it takes is that one idea and that’s enough for me to start, it’s the first puzzle piece for me to picture the rest of the song. The hardest thing for me is to stare at a completely blank page [laughs]. Once you have an idea, it’s like a word association game. It gives me a glimpse that I can take inspiration from.

Continue reading after the jump… Continue reading

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