The Shondes + Against Me! Winter Tour (Photos Galore)

Dear Internet,

Hi, it’s Zach. Sorry I haven’t checked in in a while, but I’ve been kind of busy. Highlights have included working a gig for Drake, hanging out with Solange and her band while I mic’ed them all up, producing and performing on the new Keith Cooper record out of the Soul Shop in Boston, MA, and producing my first hour of PRI distributed radio for Afropop Worldwide. The second half of 2013 was nuts, and I’ll cover that in a forthcoming post…

But the big thing right now is my current gig playing guitar for The Shondes on their winter tour with Against Me!. It’s a real trip playing such big, beautiful venues, watching Against Me! own the stage every night, hanging out with Inge Johansson (who’s playing bass for AM! on this tour, and played with The (International) Noise Conspiracy, holy shit), and sidekicking for such talented stage-performers as Louisa and Eli of The Shondes.

Photos after the jump.  Continue reading

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South Africa Today

1.-Spoek-Mathambo-1

The episode of Afropop Worldwide that I produced with Morgan Greenstreet went live today. This is the culmination of my trip to Los Angeles earlier this month to cover the South African Arts Festival. Major thanks to Leigh Ann Hahn from Grand Performances for all her help, Grand Performances for putting on the festival, Morgan Greenstreet for his help and impeccable taste, and Mike Jones from Studio 44 for his editing expertise. The episode airs in the Tri-State area on 91.5 at 11pm Saturday night, and noon and 11pm on Monday.

Up next, heading to Vassar tomorrow morning to work a concert for Solange. Life is cool.

Silly Shaggy Shit

Shaggy dropped a collab with Ne-Yo today, and  I was lucky enough to catch it quick off his twitter. “You Girl” is a tasty little treat, and  I had a fine time writing it up for Afropop.

Click this shit for the whole story, homie.

Click this shit for the whole story, homie.

Well, in the process of researching the track, I stumbled onto this gem:

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 8.00.42 PM

God bless you, Dr. Finklestein.

New Chance the Rapper video- Everybody’s Something

You know what this guy does really well? He curates his beats better than most of the jokers out there right now, he flows for real, and he utilizes an ultra-sentimental sound with a high degree of skill and finesse. “Everybody’s Something” is a top-notch track with an imaginative and emotionally evocative video to match. Big ups to Chance for furthering the Chicago sound of the early 2000’s now that Kanye has dropped the gospel-tinged mantel that he used to hold so high.

COOL ALERT: Pop Up Record Store at Lorimer LStop

COOL ALERT: Pop Up Record Store at Lormier L-Stop

Say what you will about the over priced, over rated, elitist, cooler-than-thou, hipster mecca that is Williamsburg, but a pop-up record shop in the subway is rad anyway you cut it. Stop by The Newsstand tonight at 7:00 for a hyper-limited edition copy of Palm Wine‘s new mix, If-Me-No-Call-You-No-Come.

Some Days Are Cooler Than Others: Yesterday I Wrote About Bubblebutts for Afropop Worldwide

I write part-time for Public Radio International’s Afropop Worldwide, which is a treat and a challenge and generally kind of hilarious. Where else can you both make a bet on whether or not the new Femi Kuti record is worth a listen and get into a knock-down drag-out fight over the top ten best Beatles covers, you know?

Where else do nerdy little white boys like me get to write about videos like Major Lazer’s “Bubblebutt”? Continue reading

Okay, Let’s Talk About Kanye

What happened to the Kanye who wrote killer hooks? What happened to the Kanye who spit crazy intelligent, insightful, and hilarious rhymes? What happened to the Kanye who sampled tunes that were rich in both groove and historical significance? That Kanye hasn’t been on the scene for a good three years now, and even though his evil twin has had plenty of commercial success and spent lots of time in the limelight, who cares? He’s not the same guy that gave us “Jesus Walks”,  “Diamonds From Sierra Leone”, “Stronger”, or even “All of the Lights”. I’m not asking him to never change, because half the fun has been watching this guy morph and shift and turn into the infinitely more challenging artist that he became at several points throughout his climb. But I am asking for tracks better than the two he debuted on SNL last weekend. Continue reading