Vote for Milwaukee’s Will Phalen and The Stereo Addict to open for Mark Ronson, The Virgins and The Drums!

Are you looking for a special event to celebrate New Year’s Eve? How about a show with Mark Ronson, The Virgins and newcomers The Drums in Chicago?  Wouldn’t be cool to see a Milwaukee band open up for this event?  Well you can help get Milwaukee’s Will Phalen & The Stereo Addicts to open up for Mark Ronson (producer for Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”). Beck Beer sponsored this event and is also holding a contest to pick the opening act, and Will Phalen is one of eight choices.  So go support a Milwaukee artist for once in lifetime opportunity. (note: you must be a member of Facebook to vote)

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Are You Feeling This: Wiley, Cut Off Your Hands, Chester French

Lots of songs never make it to the radio that are getting lots of attention online.  Live tracks, sanctioned and unsanctioned remixes, mash-ups, overlooked gems by unsigned artists.  Every week on “Are You Feeling This,” we invite you to hear what the buzz is all about.  You tell us what you think.  Vote in the Are You Feeling This poll, leave a comment, send us an e-mail.

The winner of last week’s “Are You Feeling This” listener poll ….Larytta – Tous Mes Amis”

This week on “Are You Feeling This”: A first listen to something brand new from Then we have new music from the UK rapper Wiley with a song featuring Mark Ronson protege Daniel Merriweather which is also produced by Ronson, New Zealand band Cut Your Hands, and a Neptunes remix of Chester French’s “She Loves Everybody”.

Take a listen below and let us know what you think by voting in the “Are You Feeling This” listener poll.

Wiley – “Cash In My Pocket feat. Daniel Merriweather” produced by Mark Ronson (via elitaste)

Chester French – “She Loves Everybody (Neptunes Remix)” (via RCRDLBL)

Wale’s Video Shoot at my Alma Mater: Howard University

One of my favorite rappers, Wale is shooting his video for his anthem Nike Boots at my Alma Mater Howard University (Class of ’96 – boy I am getting old) during their homecoming. Wale’s forthcoming album is being produced by Mark Ronson (producer of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black), and should be out later this year or early next year.

Freebie: The Charlatans, “You Cross My Path”

Remember the band The Charlatans UK.  They had a big hit back in the 90’s with “The Only One I Know”. Mark Ronson covered it on his album Version which I highty recommend you get. They are back with their 10th studio album entitled “You Cross My Path”.  I had an opportunity to catch them live back in my college days in DC at the original 9:30 Club.  They put on a great live show. Based off of this track, they still got it.

Grab the title track and let me know what you think

The Charlatans –  “You Cross My Path” (download)

Buy the Album at iTunes

Freebie: Fader Magazine’s Tribute to Aaliyah

One of my favorite magazines, The Fader is doing a special tribute to singer Aaliyah who unfortunately passed away in 2001. The issue features interview with Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Mark Ronson, DJ Blaqstarr, Damon Dash, Andrew WK, Beth Ditto of the Gossip, Method Man, Kid Sister, and more. She left the world before her prime and who knows what she could of have accomplish.  You can grab The Fader at your favorite local bookstore or you can download it now.  The Fader even put out a special mix compiled by DJ the Honorable Caps. You can grab the mixes here

Trivia: Trent Reznor of NIN was supposed to work with Aaliyah, but had a schedule conflict.  Aaliyah was a big fan of Trent.

Wale: The Future of Hip Hop?

Wale and Lohan

I have been a big fan of Wale for sometime now. I always been amazed not only with his talent and his willingness to work with different producers, but his marketing skills. Skills that the music industry could learn from. The fact now is that he is signed to Interscope and his album will be produced by Grammy winner producer Mark Ronson(best know for producing Amy Winehouse’s album). What Wale has accomplished with out a label has been amazing. That pretty much says you really don’t need a major label. For all those artists dreaming to get signed to label, don’t bother. Do it yourself! At the end of this post there is cool video from Current.com.

Here is a post entitled Wale 101 I wrote way back when on the Rhythm Lab blog. You can also find it on Wale’s blog on his MySpace page as well. If you haven’t download the 100 Miles and Running mixtape, go do it.

This post was originally going to be about the new single from Wale, “Nike Boots”. I will post it at the end. I been observing the anomaly that is Wale or better yet the marketing behind him. Wale is a marketing genius. Without any major label support, he has been able to create such huge buzz, that within a year he has appeared on MTV VMAs, become a prodigy of Mark Ronson, written up in the latest Rolling Stone Magazine, and basically got music blog world on lock.

So what can the slow, and incompetent music industry can learn from this?

One. Have a passion and a belief in what you are making. Major labels don’t take the time to put the real effort in backing releases that they release. It takes groundwork. They hope ringtones, and paid apperances on MTV will help an artist.

Two. Take some damn chances for once. Wale has done this from incorporating the live sound of GO-GO, to working only with local producers instead of getting the big names to sell a record. You know what, it is paying off. Major Labels very rarely take chances on artists that are not easy to market (i.e J*Davey) or to sell a record, they just get a hot producer to produce the track and look instant hit.

Three. If you truly in believe in your music (and its good), give it away for free. The rest will fall into place. Wale released his mixtape 100 Miles and Running for a free download, and it spread like wildfire. On the other hand, the industry went after DJ Drama for distributing mixtapes which help promote artists. You know what? I like shooting myself in my foot too.

Four. What the hell. Why bother? Before the industry even enrolls in Wale 101, they have already flunked. I am going to take a page from Donald Rumsfeld playbook. The major labels and RIAA are part of the old music industry which is irrelevant and tired. We are just waiting for someone to pull the life support.

Oh yeah, that ringle idea that you came up with brilliant. I am going to shell out $7.00 for a cd with a single and a ringtone. Damn. Your marketing department must be filled with Harvard graduates (on crack). If this is what you can do to help save the industry, just stick to suing little kids for illegal downloading (your good at it).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Don’t Sleep On: Wale

wale

Here is another artist in my series, “Don’t Sleep On”. His name is Wale and he is a rapper from my old stomping grounds of Washington D.C. I been playing his music on the Rhythm Lab for a while now. I think he is one of the freshest sounding MCs to come out in a long time. He also incorporates the sound of Go-Go into his music.

From Wikipedia:

Go-go is a subgenre of funk which originated in the Washington, D.C. area during the mid- to late-1970s. A handful of bands contributed to the early evolution of the genre, but singer/guitarist Chuck Brown is credited with having developed most of the hallmarks of the style.

He has just appeared on the cover of the latest issue of Urb Magazine along side the French Duo Justice. He is currently working with super producer Mark Ronson (producer behind Amy Winehouse, and Lily Allen). He even opened up this past year’s MTV Video Music Awards. He also has mixtape called 100 Miles and Running available as a free download. I see big things for Wale in 2008. Also check out this article in the Washington Post on Wale.

P.S.: Also check out Tabi Bonney. He is another great DC rapper with a style all of  his own.

Wale featuring Tawiah – All I Need (produced by Mark Ronson) Tawiah will be another Don’t Sleep On artist in the mean check this out.

Wale – Breakdown

Wale – Nike Boots

Budos Band – Chicago Falcon Remix feat. Wale (produce by Eli and Ronson)