27 January 2012

Heath McNease INTERVIEW!

Because he is so super cool, we got to interview one of MTYMNHKA's favorite rapper/singer-songwriters Heath McNease. Please go help and donate to his next album, Thrift Store Jesus. It is totally worth it.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.   
Well....my name is Heath Daniel McNease. I was born in the swamps of south Georgia. I'm a trained actor who happens to be making music full time. And i shave every square inch of my body 3 times a week. Seriously...EVERY inch.

In 2011 you released 3 albums. Is 2012 going to be as prolific as last year?
Maybe. It's hard to say. I don't try to force music out. I'm just blessed to be able to do music every day, so i'm allowed to be a little more prolific than some. but...since i'm indie...i'm also required to be more prolific in order to stay alive. gotta keep the tunes coming. I'd say i'll definitely put out 2 records this year. But I dunno about 3.  We'll see what kind of inspiration i can conjure.

Tell us a little more bout your next album, Thrift Store Jesus.
Thrift Store Jesus is the first really serious album I've done. There aren't a ton of knee slapping moments in this one. But it's the most open and honest i've ever been in the realm of hip hop. i feel with "Shine On" and "The House Always Wins" i was able to do quite a bit of that. but just not as an emcee. I'm truly excited about this record. But it doesn't have the novelty appeal of the mixtapes i did in 2011. It's way more mature. It's gonna hopefully make people think.

Can we expect a single or some cover art anytime soon? *wink wink*?
Haha. honestly if the cover was ready...i'd show it to you. But i don't have the artwork finalized yet. when you work on a shoestring budget...you gotta go at other people's pace. But it is LITERALLY the worst painting of Jesus you've ever seen. that's the album cover. it's just a horrible painting that someone gave away at a yard sale. He looks like Richard Marx.

Having recording 6 albums with a record label and without, which would you say is better (label or indie)?
i'm sure there are some awesome label situations, but mine wasn't one of them. i'm sure there are better indie situations than mine. and i'm sure there are ones that are less convenient than mine. I'm doing indie, because it gives me the freedom to give my stuff away for free right now. and that's important to me as i gain a fan base...earning their trust. I'd certainly look at a label deal if it was a good fit for me. But i think it's case by case. Labels would have to be really hands off with me, because i put out a lot of stuff and try a lot of things. i also don't think about radio or appeal. i just write what i feel like writing. and it would take a label that had the foresight to understand why that works in the long run.

Do you have a certain plan for your hair in 2012? 
haha. it's gone. all gone now. I feel so free again. But my neck and ears are freaking freezing. It's been two years since they've seen the light of day. But since the rest of my body is hairless...it feels good to be streamlined again. like a cute little dolphin.

There's an awesome video of you playing a Panic! at the Disco cover on a ukelele. Will the ukelele ever make a return?
yeah. i play the uke at all my live shows. i've got a ukelele song on Thrift Store Jesus. the more comfortable i get with it...the more i do with it. it's such an amazing little instrument. so it's definitely got it's place in my material.

If you could tour with anyone in the world, who would it be?
The Beastie Boys, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson, or Sigfried and Roy. Roy's got sequin swag.

While you are often advertised as a christian musician, how would you describe your music?
i'm certainly a christian. i'd say it's the most important thing about me. and i love leading worship and serving the church in any and every way i can. but i'd  hardly consider the music i make exclusive to believers. i think people who like music appreciate open and humble music. when i was rapping Wu stuff and Nintendo stuff...i was just trying to have a good time. There was no gospel presentation. I just write what's on my heart at the time. I don't try to shy away from topics or unnecessarily embrace them. i'm just a conduit for whatever's happening in my head at the time.

Would you ever release a vinyl album?
I'd love to do something like that. i'd love to press some of my stuff on vinyl. but that's just a really limited fan base for me at the moment. i'm doing all i can just to give my stuff away. so to go through the trouble and expense of pressing vinyl for an extremely limited vinyl consuming clientele...it'd be counter productive at this point.

What was the last album you listened to before answering these questions?
4 Thieves Gone Wild by The Avett Brothers. 

Why does Playdough never where a shirt?
haha. he's just comfortable with himself. it's all about context, you know? if you're on a nude beach and everybody's nude...it's all good. but if there's a dude with a turtleneck on...he sticks out. Playdough's just the opposite. other people have clothes on, and he's just shirtless...letting it fly. you gotta respect being that uninhibited. block it out...block it out, and have a good time. have a great time. just get out there and throw something against the wall. if it sticks...go with it. if it doesn't...leave it there. that's how he does it. just touch one soul. just touch one heart with your physique. it's the greatest gift of all.

Would you say people like your acoustic albums or rap albums more?
i think people are just more familiar with me rapping, because that's what i've done more of. so i have more rap fans. but there are people who heard my acoustic albums, and had no idea that i rapped until later. my live show is a lot of hip hop, so that's probably what people expect. so i don't know if it's preference. i think its just expectation. if people are rap fans...i don't necessarily expect them to care that i'm making singer/songwriter albums. and vice versa. but if they like both....then that's great for me. 

REVIEW: Errors

REVIEW: Errors-Have Some Faith In Magic

Rating: 8.8/10 or, 88 Pink Ice Creams out of 100 Gloss Drops.

I'm feeling the magic alright. Sorry for the positivity.

Brief Synopsis REVIEW
Oh, a indie glam-pop album. That's always a good time. Errors is a British group, and this is their debut record. And this band, this album, is probably gonna become one of those albums that your glad you just found. This LP has the pop vibes of Battle's album Gloss Drop or early Of Montreal, the experimentation of Animal Collective, and the noises from The Flaming Lips Embryonic. 

23 January 2012

REVIEW: Gonjasufi

REVIEW: Gonjasufi-MU.ZZ.LE
Genre: Experimental  Hip-Hop, Beat Production.

Rating: 8.5/10

Hello mere mortals. Welcome to MTYMNHKA. We still need interns btw...

Gonjasufi is a popular underground MC that really grabbed the world when he was featured on a Flying Lotus song and released a very well received debut record A Sufi And A Killer. After The 9th Inning EP that came out in November or so, Sufi has released a mini-album MU.ZZ.LE. Hey, what can I say? I like it.

Sufi continues to make a very interesting impression using vocal effects, amazing beats and production, and guitar appearances. The lo-fi production style reminds me of the Lavinia's Hands tape made by Living Ghost last year. The songs are very catchy and admirable. I like the fact that there are some 60's influences here too. "The Blame" reminds me of White Album-era Beatles. I actually like this album more than many hip-hop albums I've heard in a while.

While a lot of people do complain with this album that the songs are far too short, I kinda disagree. I think the songs are short and sweet and they hold my interest wonderfully. I enjoy it a lot. Definitely a favorite of the year so far. Good job again Gonjasufi.

22 January 2012

Loud Music INC

So, while browsing Bandcamp last night, I suddenly started looking through all the metal and punk I could find. Here's 5 releases I found.

Vakunoht-Gargin's Start
Gagarin's Start Cover Art
A very cool Hard Rock album from a British 3-piece that is nice and loud.

wheels within wheels-The Shift
The Shift Cover Art
This isn't a nice treatment of black metal that bands like Liturgy and Wolves In The Throne Room give you. This is a grinding, dark and atmospherical piece of music.

Submerge-Guillotine Single
Guillotine Cover Art
Fast played instrumental punk. What more could you ask for?

Olde Growth-Olde Growth
Olde Growth Cover Art
A foot stomping southern metal album that only uses bass and drums. So catchy too.

Gestorben Cover Art
While kinda poorly produced, this debut is a good way for someone to find out what Liturgy combined with Wormrot would sound like.

21 January 2012

Fay Wrays

Fay Wrays is a 6-piece group from Fresno, California. The drummer Eli contacted me about putting their album into my blog. Well Eli, hear it is.

The Fay Wrays last album, Strange Confessor is a super cool album that I'm glad Eli passed to me. It passes lots of genres and sounds, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoyed experimental punk albums from the last few years like Iceage's New Brigade or F*cked Up's David Comes To Life. Just an awesome punk album. I'm gonna be excited for what these guys do in the future.

Thanks very much to Eli and Fay Wrays.

20 January 2012

Monzie Leo blows our mind.

One of MTYMNHKA's close friends is an awesome Kansas-turned-Chicago Artist named Ben Rumback. About 6 months ago, when he was in town to do a little art camp thing, we got to meet his bro-in-law, Joel. Joel, who came in wearing an Electric Wizard t-shirt, seemed like a cool guy. It turns out he was in a local band. After trying and trying to remember what Joel said his band name was, I couldn't remember. But, thanks to our other friends I Heart Local Music, our search is complete. It turns out, Joel's has an alter ego named Monzie Leo, who holds the main place in his band Monzie Leo And The Big Sky. After a show at the Replay about a week ago, I'm very intrigued and disturbed. These guys are a 3-piece group w/ one guy on drums and fiddle (he is actually in a band named Cloud Dog, a band of equal weirdness), a guy on washbucket and an odd variation of a stand up bass, and Joel (Monzie) on main vocals and acoustics. This music is just intense, poetic, raw, beautiful, and scary. Check it out. It's out there.

IHLM Article

Sean Moeller Interview

Here's my interview with Sean Moeller, the creator of the amazing website Daytrotter. Enjoy.

Me: I know it's a stereotypical way to start an interview, but tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sean: I'm a married man with three kids. I buy lots of books, more vinyl
records than books, subscribe to a lot of magazines, get some golf in when
I can, cheer for the Chicago Cubs when it's proper, like old barns and old

professional wrestling (the good stuff), work a thousand hours a week, run
occasionally and try to keep my head on straight.


Me: What is Daytrotter?

Sean: Daytrotter is a music website that's an analog recording studio, that's 

a website. We exist to capture and preserve all of the great musical
artworks obscure or known that are currently operating in the work. The
sessions that we tape are made available on the site and remain there
forever. The idea is to make sure that the cream either rises to the top or
at least has a chance to never be forgotten about by a culture that burns
through great art faster that you can spit.

Me: How do you find out about all of these bands and artists?
Sean: It's a whole host of ways these days -- bands we've worked with in the
past, fluke luck, diligent and never-ending looking. ears open wide and
stuff like that.

Me: Who have been some of the most memorable artists that you've met?

Sean: It's a 3,000-way tie between everyone. It's really kind of incredible
how all of them are memorable in different ways. I've scarily retained the
most minute details about so many of them. I feel lucky.

Me: Is the Daytrotter movie ever going to happen?
Sean: No comment.

Me: Will Daytrotter ever release more Records again?

Sean: Yeah, that's the plan. We've got one upcoming one this spring and we'd
like to do more of it. I think getting more of these recordings out into
the physical world is a good thing. I like these recordings and I like the
physical world more than most.

Me: You're someone who clearly goes to a lot of shows. What do you look for
in a good show?

Sean: I actually don't get to a lot of shows. Not anymore. When I was
attending the University of Iowa for college I did. There was always
something good happening in Iowa City. Where we are right now, the great or
even good shows are few and far between. We have a bit of a plan to change
that. Ask me a year from now if I go to a lot of shows. Or, phrase it just
the way you did and you're likely to get a different answer.

Me: Tell us about the decision to make daytrotter not free anymore.

Sean: It was sort of a decision and absolutely a necessity. Since we began the
site almost 6 years ago, every month has been bigger than the last and with
the added traffic, our costs have soared. The traffic and just the nature
of essentially keeping multiple recording studios running 365 days a year
to be able to achieve our mission of making sure we can preserve and
showcase all of these great artists really racked up the bills. We were
losing our asses and the advertising game was a crapshoot and is a mess. It
wasn't working for us. We decided to let the people who love the site and
appreciate the work that we do in shedding light on these wonderful artists
decide if we worth supporting. We wanted to keep the membership very low
and so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It's been
reassuring and we're not going to let any of these people, or any of these
people making these songs down. We're going to work even harder.

Me: How do you feel about today's music industry?

Sean: I think it's as exciting as it could possibly be. I think there are so
many d*mned opportunities for bands. It's all becoming something that can
work again.

Me: Is it better to release music for free, or for money?

Sean: People have to eat and live.

Me: Is vinyl the best? 

Sean: Absolutely. It's special.

16 January 2012

Concert Review: Dubb Nubb w/ Carey Scott and Andrew Frederick

Intimate Music + Pizza = Win
At a Wonder Fair show, one can usually expect to see: cool people, great musicianship, members of the band you came to see, and just overall awesomeness.         
Last Monday night was the return of Pizza Power, a concert series made by MTYMNHKA's favorite local label Whatever Forever. It used to be shows at a house, but due to an outrageous noise fine, the label needed a new place to host the pizza shows. Wonder Fair was the answer. On Monday, we got to catch St. Louis/Columbia natives Dubb Nubb at the return of Pizza Power. It met every expectation I really could think of for a WF/WF/PP show.

Carey Scott

After a crowd got wrangled in and the pizzas were being made, Carey Scott came out in a cool shirt and with a guitar. The building was silent. He played a very emotional, brief and intimate singer/songwriter set. Carey had an amazing voice and guitar skill and I'd hope to hear an LP from him sometime soon.

Dubb Nubb

Dubb Nubb was kinda the main act I came to see on Monday, and they didn't disappoint me. They played a lot of my favorites from their awesome 2011 release Sunrise Sleepy Eyed (which I got a signed CD of), like "Johnny", "Tennessee Mountains", "Don't Ever Find Me", and "Kindergarten Wedding", but also some other cool ones like "Pitter Pat" and "New Bones". The three Mizzou sisters really brought some great playing, loud vocal combinations and cool percussion. These guys remind me of a WAY folkier version of Tegan And Sara. Theses guys are nice and great performers. I loved it. And +, they brought a button making station. That is awesome.

Andrew Frederick (of Oils)

About 20 minutes after Dubb Nubb went up, everyone who was left (including Dubb Nubb) was sitting or standing to watch Andrew Frederick play. His primary project is the band Oils, who I have listened to and liked, but i didn't quite know what to expect from his set. Um, and it was probably one of the most interesting sets I've ever heard. It was rather comical and silly, but also ad an occasional seriousness. But, no matter the subject matter, the audience was content and enjoying it. And so did I.

At the end of the night, this was an amazingly intimate, cool and amazing show. I enjoyed it. I got an Oils shirt and new CD (which I'm not going to get the chance to review [sorry Andrew}) and a Dubb Nubb CD. I met all of the bands, Karma Vision members, and a manager of Whatever Forever, and writer for the Pitch. I had fun, and loved it alot. I recommend seeing these people in show sometime when you have time.

Photo Gallery: Dubb Nubb

Carey Scott

Dubb Nubb

Andrew Frederick (from Oils)