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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 3 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:

Ex Hex

Oh, Mary Timony. She’s unfailing in every one of her rock ‘n’ roll efforts, from the Mary Timony Band to Wild Flag to Autoclave and Helium back in the ’90s. Be it nuances of math rock or jangle-pop or punk, Timony’s stellar touch is steadfast. Maybe the only thing we can fault her for is not having started her latest project, Ex Hex, much sooner. Due October 7 on Merge Records is Rips, their first full-length, and it’s a start-to-finish stunner with blistering riffs battling candied vocals against a pace like a brisk, self-assured strut.

Oomori Seiko

There are two sides to Oomori Seiko, and the one that’s easier to find online doesn’t paint a complete picture of her. Watching one of her official music videos reveals a woman wearing colorful clothes spinning around bright backgrounds, while synth-driven pop music plays in the back. But before she became an idol, she was making a name for herself in the Japanese birthplace of punk, Kōenji. She started her career playing only acoustic guitar, delivering emotional performances that normally saw her voice become by turns a sad whimper and an angry yell.


Out September 1 via Kitsuné, Frances’ debut single “Fire May Save You” is a slow-building piece of pop that rises and falls on the strength of her understated soprano. A confessional at heart, the single’s melancholy musings of could only be served up by an honest spirit. From note one, Frances proves that she’s the woman for the job. No howls when a sweet coo will do. No ornate orchestration or promise of sweaty backing dancers — who needs’ em when a gentle repetition of the chorus/title is enough to evoke a tidal wave of emotion?

Jesse Royal

At just 24-years old, Jamaican singer Jesse Royal has been performing music for almost his entire life. As a youth, Royal would sing in a church choir while his grandma played the organ. By his teenage years, Royal was regularly covering Ziggy Marley tunes with his long time friend Daniel (and son of Ziggy). Now, almost a decade later, Royal has become one of the top artists to watch amidst an exciting reggae revival that has taken over the island by storm, and reggae fans worldwide.

The Yours

Sonic Youth’s prolific career may have come to a tragic close, but Hong Kong five-piece The Yours keep their angst alive and kicking in their sophomore release, Teenagarten. Where their 2012 debut The Way We Were was an assortment of lo-fi lullabies, Teenagarten  is an apoplectic wake-up call from the dark underbelly of hormonal hell. Recorded in Beijing by the godfather of Chinese alt rock, Yang Haisong of P.K. 14, their album aptly captures the tone-bending tension of late ’80s-early ’90s college rock and revives it for a new generation of moody indie rockers.


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Win Tickets to See Calle 13 in NYC!

by MTV Iggy | 4 days ago

We know our Iggy fam likes loves Calle 13. Like, a lot. That’s why were offering our Twitter followers a chance to see the iconoclastic hip-hop duo live during their five city US tour. We’re giving away one pair of tickets to see Residente and Visitante for their New York, DC, and San Francisco dates.

First up is at night in New York City at the Best Buy Theatre on September 6. To attend the concert at the Best Buy Theater, you must be 16 years old or accompanied by an adult. To score tickets, all you have to do is follow MTV Iggy on Twitter (unless you are one of the awesome people who already follow us), retweet our tweet about the contest and then tweet your favorite Calle 13 lyric at us. One winner will be chosen at random for each city. You have from now until 5pm on September 4 to win! The winner will be announced early Friday morning (September 5).

All Dates

9/6 – NYC, Best Buy Theatre

9/26 – DC, Echostage

9/27 – Philadelphia, Merriam Theater

10/8 – San Diego House of Blues

10/10 – San Francisco, The Warfield

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The Game Recruits All-Star Cast in Tribute to Slain Teen, Michael Brown

by Suzy Exposito | 4 days ago

Racial tensions hit a boiling point in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson almost three weeks ago. In mourning the young man’s death, many civilians, journalists and public figures took the streets to peacefully demonstrate against police brutality, especially against black communities.  Police responded to demonstrators with tactics not even utilized by the US military, including rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets. Meanwhile Wilson remains unaccountable (and even rewarded) for shooting Brown, an unarmed teen, while Brown continues to be vilified on the internet after his death.

LA rapper The Game  joins the ranks of musicians taking a stand against injustice in his powerful new track, “Don’t Shoot.” A deeply moving collection of verses against racist violence, the track features some of the biggest names in hip-hop. The roster includes Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Currensy, Problem, King Pharaoh & TGT. It’s now available for purchase on iTunes and all proceeds go to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund. You can also listen to the track below.

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Listen: Kamp! – “Early Days” (Throwing Shade Remix)

by MTV Iggy | 5 days ago

Kamp! serve their electropop with a large helping of dance floor ready attitude. But under Throwing Shade’s careful guidance, the Polish trio’s entry in the summer club hit race (a long-shot for sure, but hey — we like underdogs) becomes an abstractionist ambient anthem. Her version isn’t so much a remix as a complete dismantling, the London producer taking the bits she loves and stitching them into a cozy sonic crazy quilt.

Take a listen below to Throwing Shade’s rerub below. Kamp!’s new EP Baltimore is now on Cascine. —Words by Laura Studarus

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Okmalumkoolkat Releases Afrofuturistic New Video for “Allblackblackkat”

by Suzy Exposito | 5 days ago

After years of making experimental rap magic in Dirty Paraffin, South African MC Okmalumkoolkat (AKA Simiso Zwane) is flying solo now and is full of surprises. As a follow-up to the first single off his debut EP, “Holy Oxygen,” the global rap innovator is back with “Allblackblackkat,” a sinister infusion of hip-hop, ambient electronica and maskandi.

Directed by Chris Saunders, the music video is a rather haunting work of art, incorporating the Afrofuturist aesthetics of jazz legend Sun Ra into Zulu cultural symbolism, culminating in a modern-day South African gothic. Saunders says:

“We enter a night ritual scene at an indoor swimming pool, the ritual based loosely on a Zulu cleansing ceremony, which is performed before a funeral to a male member of the family (A situation Smiso experienced as a child).”

Watch the video below, and check out the rest of his Holy Oxygen I EP on Affine Records.

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Bad News Boys: King Khan & BBQ Show Do One Last Tour Before New Name

by Suzy Exposito | 7 days ago

Farewell to King Khan & BBQ as we know them. After allegedly getting “served” a “lawsuit” by German “historic” eatery, “KING KHAN UND BBQ,” the dastardly Canadian duo will release their upcoming 2015 album under their original 2003 moniker, Bad News Boys. But as their one last hurrah, you can still catch them as King Khan & BBQ on their North American tour with long-time friends Black Lips, starting September 10th. Check out their new video, “We Are The Champion,” followed by their tour dates below:

Mark Sultan solo:

09/04 – Hardware – Buffalo, NY
09/05 – Beachland – Cleveland, OH
09/08 – Wherehouse – Fort Worth, TX

The King Khan & BBQ Show:

9/10 – Tipitina’s – New Orleans, LA*
9/11 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX*
9/12 – Ghost Town – Manor, TX*
9/13 – Granada Theater – Dallas, TX*
9/15 – Ready Room – St Louis, MO*
9/16 – Blue Moose Tap House – Iowa City, IA*
9/17 – First Avenue (Mainroom) – Minneapolis, MN*
9/18 – The High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI*
9/19 – Logan Square Auditorium – Chicago, IL* SOLD OUT
9/20 – Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL*
9/21 – The A&R Music Bar – Columbus, OH*
9/23 – The Southgate House Revival – Newport, KY*
9/24 – Magic Stick – Detroit, MI*
9/25 – Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON*
9/26 – Club Soda – Montreal, QC*
9/27 – Port City Music Hall – Portland, ME*
9/28 – Paradise – Boston, MA*
9/30 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY*
10/1 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY*
10/2 – Black Cat – Washington, DC*
10/3 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC*
10/4 – The Goat Farm – Atlanta, GA*
10/6 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA
10/7 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
10/8 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
10/10 – Dante’s – Portland, OR
10/11 – Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA
10/12 – Electric Owl – Vancouver, BC *

* with Black Lips

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Blonde Redhead’s Ninth Album Barragán Now Streaming on NPR

by Isabela Raygoza | 8 days ago

It definitely seems like a while since we heard from Blonde Redhead — they last graced us with their ethereal, beat-driven LP, Penny Sparkle, which dropped in 2010. So, of course we’ve been in a state of anticipation for new tunes from the New York-based dream pop band, since it was announced this June. And hearing their latest and ninth effort, titled Barragán, Blonde Redhead proves the trio still has what it takes to conquer yet another decade. When the band first began, it paralleled with noise bands like Sonic Youth and Soundgarden, but today Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amadeo Pace truly have developed their own unique brand of glittering ambient rock. You know it’s them when you hear them.

Listen to Barragán, which premiered last night  on NPR’s First Listen. The album drops September 2nd. You can pre-order it here.

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 10 days ago

Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote for the next Artist of the Week! Choose between the following:


When we first met Marlene, it seemed the R&B princess-in-waiting was determined to take us back to the 1990s. But with the release of her debut EP Indian Summer, the Swedish chanteuse has effectively dragged the decade’s ethos into the new millennium. Her high-octane dance tune “Bon Voyage,” which seems both radio and club ready. But under its slick production and ear worm chorus chanting is a series of twisted beats that sit closer to countrywoman Fever Ray’s dark world than the Top 40 charts.

Jah Vinci

It’s been nearly a half-decade that Jah Vinci has been a regular presence on the Jamaican dancehall scene, but 2014 might be the year he becomes a star. Originally part of Vybz Kartel’s Portmore Empire/Gaza crew, the dancehall artist branched out on his own a few years ago after confessing to Jamaica’s IRIE FM that he felt stifled as an artist with Gaza. Now in 2014, all that hard work and traveling is finally starting to pay off with a pair of excellent new singles off his debut LP, Ghetto Born which hit the streets this past July.

Palenke Soultribe

Today cumbia infiltrates dance floors all over the Northern Hemisphere and keeps introducing the originally-Colombia-based genre to a whole new global audience. While for many it was just a passing fad — the exotic third-world rhythm du jour — for others, it was a doorway into the rich Afro-Colombian culture and its various genres and subgenres (vallenato, champeta, currulao, etc). For those who grew up in Colombia, like Palenke Soultribe, it was a chance to explore their own roots and display them with pride for the world to see — and dance to.

Self Defense Family

The Self Defense Family is quite a big one. Formerly known as End of a Year, the family’s grown to encompass about 16 members scattered across the United States, United Kingdom and Iceland, swapping out members for every recording and/or tour. (And there are many). Borrowing sounds and progressive concepts from the DC hardcore punks who brought you “Revolution Summer,” the Family shifts their station wagon into first gear and steers it into jangly post-hardcore territory, reversing into protopunk with some 1970s rock licks.

Alex & Daniel

Daniel Riveros, formerly of the indie folk duo Taller Dejao — but most commonly known as Gepe — has teamed up with Chile’s prince of pop, Alex Anwandter, for the duet of your Iberoamerican pop fantasies. Thankfully for their off-stage friendship, the chemistry created between these two lovelies in the recording studio is all too worthwhile. Daniel’s well-crafted composition and sublime fusions of Andean folk with indie pop, along with Alex’s pristine production abilities combine for an effortless and remarkable team debut.

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