Hypoluxo Returns From New York for Radio-Active Records Show

Categories: Interview

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Benjamin Bockrath

Hypoluxo is a band on the move.

Born on the mean streets of Lake Worth and currently based in New York, the young indie rockers have already completed two excellent EPs -- It's A Beautiful Day To Live and Feelings -- that they will promote with an East Coast tour beginning February 2 at Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale.

Samuel Cogen, the band's singer and guitarist, explained Hypoluxo's origins to New Times. "I was playing bass with a few other local bands (Novajoven and Paleo Eskimo). I started playing guitar on the side. Never performing in public or in a band. But I wanted to develop the songs."

Conveniently, he ran into an old drummer pal Marco Ocampo on a sojourn to Tennessee for Bonnaroo, where they quickly bonded and decided to make music together. Inconveniently, Ocampo was moving to New York.

But what's a thousand miles between friends and musical soulmates?

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Reel Big Fish: "We're a Little Ray of Sunshine on People's Lives"

Categories: Interview

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Christina Mendenhall

Ska music is made for dancing and parties and fun, which often leads to fans' buying their favorite band drinks. Drinks they sometimes have to turn down if they're gonna make it to the next town alive -- because they're professionals who care about their craft.

Didn't expect to hear that about a ska band, right?

Reel Big Fish hits Revolution with Less Than Jake and Authority Zero on Wednesday, bringing with it the experience to know just how hard they can party in order to make sure the party is on-point for their fans.

"You learn how to do it after a while," says RBF trumpet player Johnny Christmas in a phone interview from the second stop of the tour, in Lawrenceville, Kansas.

Not that Christmas doesn't love beer and whiskey -- he does -- and he'll calmly enjoy a drink while talking to fans. Hell, the band brewed a Reel Big Fish beer while it was in Denver. The band just wants to make sure everybody gets the show he paid for.

"I'm old enough to know my limits. People think it's not rock 'n' roll, but you've got to take care of yourself. I'm here to do a job and play the best I possibly can... I'm not there to drink as much as possible and throw up in my shoes."

See also: Slideshow of Reel Big Fish at Revolution Live in 2012


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Galactic at Hollywood ArtsPark: "A New Orleans Throw Down"

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Photo by Zack Smith

A group of college kids with a passion for jammin' and a desire to funk -- that's how NOLA's funkmeisters Galactic got their start in the music biz nearly two decades ago.

"We were all, myself, Rob [Mercurio, bassist], Jeff [Raines, guitarist], and Stanton [Moore, drummer], in school in New Orleans around the same time," recalls keyboardist Rich Vogel. (Harps and horns player Ben Ellman joined later.) "We were all kinda in the clubs checking out music and learning about the local music scene."

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, "home of the funk," Vogel jokes, the keys player moved to the Big Easy to study history and music at Layola University. A "historically informed funk musician" at heart, he fell head over heels in love with the sounds of the city.

"I used to hear them [Rob, Jeff, and the rest of the jam crew] play at house parties and dirty little bar gigs. At one point, I struck up a conversation and said, 'Hey, I think you need a keyboard player,' and they said something like, 'Do you think it should be you?' I said, 'Yes, definitely!' They said, 'Come over.' 

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Paper Diamond: It's About Getting "Work Done but Still Knowing How to Party"

Categories: Interview

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Alex Botwin is about to make it rain, but not in the usual way.

You may better recognize the Coloradoan by his professional moniker Paper Diamond. Under this name, he's spent the past four years releasing multi-instrumental neoclassics via Pretty Lights Music and worming his way into the hearts of festivalgoers nationwide.

He's about to release a new EP, Rain Drops, and a concurrent tour that will drip its way into Revolution Live on Thursday. He named the album in honor of his mission to "control the weather" -- no strippers were involved.

"When [my friends and I] are talking about making it rain on schedule, it's like every day, we get up and do work on music and art," Botwin says. "It's about having fun, being superinspired, and trying to inspire people; getting all your work done but still knowing how to party."

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Lucinda Williams on the Late Miller Williams, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, and Earliest Musical Memories

Categories: Interview

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Courtesy of All Eyes Media
Alt-country darling Lucinda Williams

A line Lucinda Williams likes to sing that she borrowed from her poet father is: "The temporary nature of any precious thing, that just makes it more precious." It was just one of the many bits of advice, momentary musings, or poetic observations that her father, Clinton inaugural poet Miller Williams, gifted to her in his life.

On New Year's Day, Miller Williams passed away at age 84. When we spoke with her, Lucinda was doing a day of press interviews, and that's all anyone wanted to talk about. "I just did an interview right before this, and that's all we talked about, so it's just hard," she paused, causing her unmistakable, tender Southern drawl to trail off. "It's just hard to talk about, but I don't mind; we can go ahead."

In D.C., prepping for a performance at a tribute show for friend Emmylou Harris, journalists almost expected Williams to access and distribute that fresh heartache and dredge the mines of her grief because it comes across so beautifully and effortlessly in the 36-year catalog of what she calls "heartbreaker songs."

"Heartache comes from all kinds of places, like my dad's death. That's a lot bigger of a heartache than losing a boyfriend."

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood: "We're the Farm-to-Table Psychedelic Rock Band"

Categories: Interview

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood

When Chris Robinson first rose to prominence singing with the Black Crowes, he seemed to embody the rock 'n' roll spirit considered long dead. Though the band he started with announced yesterday that it was calling it quits after all these years, time has not changed the man himself.

Calling from Southern California a few days before his newer band, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, performs at Sunshine Music & Blues Festival, it was like Robinson was shot to 2015 straight from the 1960s. He was free, fun, and unselfconscious. It seemed every line of dialogue he uttered was worthy of a headline, none more so than when he spoke about why the Brotherhood formed.

See also: Sean Chambers Is Coming Out "Guns A-blazing" at the Sunshine Music & Blues Festival

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Bedside Merges Jazz and Roots Music with EDM: "Funky Sounds for Funky People"

Categories: Interview

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Trace Barfield and Travis Acker of Bedside in the mix.
Musicians used to argue that dance and electronica weren't "real music," but you don't hear that opinion much anymore. Things have changed. Musicians are changing, and every day, another kid sells his guitar for a solid state drive and a synthesizer.

"The technology caught up with us, too, and what we wanted to do," Travis Acker says, one half of bedroomy dance-duo Bedside. Together with trumpeter Trace Barfield, he fuses his background as a rock and roots-music band member into the sounds of the future.

"It's not just about a clip track with all these really raw beats on it," he says. "Now, we can really create music with soul and with a vibe."


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Sean Chambers Is Coming Out "Guns A-blazing" at the Sunshine Music & Blues Festival

Categories: Interview

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Courtesy of Sean Chambers
This is one cool blues dude.

"I could have thought of hundreds of guitarists I'd put in front of me," blushed Sean Chambers when asked about the time the U.K.'s Guitarist Magazine named him one of the 50 best blues guitarists of the century. "We were in England touring with Hubert Sumlin, who was Howlin' Wolf's guitarist. Hubert took us all over the world. My band would open up for him, and then we'd back his set. I guess someone took a liking to me," he surmised.

Though Chambers may be humble about his place in the pantheon of blues guitar, he is a proud Florida native. Born in Melbourne, where his father worked at the Kennedy Space Center, he lived in the Tampa area for a long while and now calls Fort Myers home. In spite of being happily married, Chambers is still an expert in this sad genre.


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Melissa Sandoval: From Mortuary Science to Live Music

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Louis Lauro with LLP Captured Dreams Photography
Singing in the ocean is better than singing in the rain.

About two years ago, singer/songwriter Melissa Sandoval was on the brink of a record deal in New Jersey when the offer went sour due to circumstances out of her control. But what seemed like a big disappointment at the time actually became the spark she needed to produce her own album, Memory in the Sand, in Delray Beach.

She's been performing her own originally produced music in South Florida for the past few months and has big plans on the horizon. But this Delray diva actually started out her career 19 years ago in New York City. The songstress comes from a close-knit El Salvadoran family, and her parents were her biggest supporters.

Her diva-strength voice echoed through nightclubs before she even got to middle school.
"The person that inspired me the most to just get up there and sing was Selena," Sandoval says. "As a little girl, I loved her, and I wanted to be just like her. When I was performing at 10 in bars and clubs, I used to dress up like her. That was a big part of the reason I decided to start singing."


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Humming House Brings Indie Americana to Funky Biscuit

Categories: Interview

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Humming House
Humming away.

Though its sounds harken to the folk music of Ireland or the bluegrass of the Appalachian Mountains, you've probably never heard anything just like Nashville five-piece Humming House.

Crafting music with the mandolin, fiddle, and upright bass, singer Justin Tam can see how Humming House might be typecast as bluegrass or folk. But he thinks there's more variety to its music. "We play a form of Americana music, but we grew up listening to Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire, so there's definitely some indie rock in us."

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