'Pray Daily. Love Openly. Live Simply': The Sound of Crown Heights Rapper ScienZe

Categories: Interviews

Via YouTube
Crown Heights' ScienZe, born Jamal Monsanto, became fascinated with hip-hop at nine years old, when he first heard his older brother -- nine years his senior -- rap with his friends in their family home. From then on, a young Jamal took to writing lyrics in his head, something he believed to be normal for everyone. Jamal's brother was his real inspiration to pursue rapping; as Jamal began to take rap more seriously, he first went by the name Warlock. He then teamed up with his brother to form a producer duo called the Brudaz Grymm. After a while, Jamal went solo, landing on the name ScienZe, which stuck with him.

ScienZe made the move to a full-time rap career in 2009 by dropping his debut project, The DopeNESS Vol. 1. Since then he has released seven solo projects and one collaborative effort (as Divine ScienZe), and now he's set to drop his latest solo work, #BringBackElla, on Tuesday, October 21. Tonight, ScienZe performs at the Red Door's CMJ Showcase with King I Divine as the duo Divine ScienZe. Before his show, we spoke with him about his Ella movement, positivity in hip-hop, and the movie 500 Days of Summer.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time: The Complete List

More »

Buster Poindexter Is All Around Us, Always

Categories: New York Dolls

YouTube Screen Capture
Buster Poindexter is a refined gentleman.
On Tuesday, October 21, at Café Carlyle, the great Buster Poindexter performs. Poindexter is best known for "Hot Hot Hot," the one song that subway-platform steel-drum performers play that isn't outrageously irritating, but -- far from the one-hit wonder he's sometimes chalked up to be -- his impact on pop culture is all around us. While even novice music trivia buffs might have some inkling of his punk-rock past, what may come as news is that Buster Poindexter (or his sometimes credited real name, David Johansen) has touched each of our lives in some capacity or another. Let's take a look at the ubiquity of Buster Poindexter.

See also: The 50 Most New York Albums Ever Recorded

More »

Farewell, Fan Landers

Categories: Fan Landers

Not Jessica Hopper
If you follow either her or Pitchfork on Twitter, you may have already guessed what's coming next: Fan Landers is no more. Its author, Jessica Hopper, has been hired out to greener pastures to tend more copy as Pitchfork's senior editor and editor in chief of its slick, new-ish print product, The Pitchfork Review. And though it pains us to say goodbye to her column, which has run every week in this space at the Voice for well over two years, we couldn't be happier for her.

Every week here she'd help bands sail the rough, unpredictable waters of the music industry with the kind of sage advice we desperately wished we'd had back when we were in a band, which was frequently our only note when she'd turn the column in every Monday -- "I wish there was a resource like this back in the day!" She's helped many an act in her time as Fan, whether she was advising them how to use Twitter, or how to better budget; she always shot straight and pulled no punches. Let's take a look back at some of our favorite Fan Landers columns, shall we?

More »

The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week - 10/20/14

Categories: Feature

The Allman Bros are taking over Beacon again. Not all of these dudes made it.
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

More »

Zola Jesus - Webster Hall - 10/19

Photo by DeShaun Craddock
Better Than: Being stranded in the Russian wilderness

As Zola Jesus, Nika Roza Danilova has spent six years honing a very singular craft that's mostly unlike anything else in music. Approaching her vocal performance squarely from a pop diva angle, she's often gone on to obscure or juxtapose it with moody, abrasive compositions that have earned her cred in goth and industrial scenes. Her releases on Sacred Bones Records all followed this formula, beginning in 2009 with The Spoils, then continuing through 2010's breakout Stridulum and its attendant EPs as well as 2011's Conatus. Each LP saw her advance from lo-fi bedroom recording to progressively polished, orchestral production, so it was fitting when she partnered with Australian avant-garde composer JG Thirwell to record neo-classical variations on her old material for last year's Versions. She's a performer who consistently thinks in terms of the bigger picture, and with her latest release, Taiga, Zola Jesus has gone full-blown panorama with an epic, wide-angle lens.

See also: Zola Jesus's Taiga: Antinatalism in the style of 2000s-era J. Lo

More »

The Iron Sheik Is Ready to Roast Everyone's Nuts

He will break your neck, make you humble.
No one can dish it out quite like the Iron Sheik. And, even though he's no longer in the ring, he's still smacking people down. The legendary Iron Sheik is more into giving a complete and total verbal lashing these days, and on October 30th, he'll be stepping into a different ring but still promises to deliver the ultimate beat down when he hosts "Roast Rumble: The Ultimate Insult Fest" at Carolines on Broadway. With your chance to see the legend in the flesh coming up, we got the details on what to expect from the event and then got him to roast a few people as well because, hey, it's only right. Right?

See also: Lana Del Rey Fandom Is Exactly the Same as Pro Wrestling Fandom

More »

My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way Made Me a Better Person

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Gerard Way
Last month Gerard Way (frontman of My Chemical Romance, the reigning emo band of the 2000s) released his first solo album, Hesitant Alien. It's the first music we've heard from Way since MCR released Danger Days in 2010 and then (tragically) split in 2013.

Seeing his name pop up on the interwebs again gave me butterflies.

See also: Ten Things My Chemical Romance Fans Can Do RIGHT NOW to Cope With the Band's Breakup

More »

How Well Do You Know These Rock Star Movie Cameos?

Categories: Quiz

Anthony Kiedis, Point Break (1991)
Not all cameos are equally coveted: a good cameo creates an undeniable rush (I know that person!) that widens the eyes and forces the viewer to blurt out the musician's name when he or she appears on the big screen, like Anthony Kiedis in Point Break. An even better cameo is when the musician is cleverly disguised or appears so briefly it leaves you puzzled, and forces you to rewind. (Was that just Alex Van Halen in Robocop?!) A bad cameo, like Vanilla Ice's dance routine in 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret Of The Ooze, is a mockery. Despite which kind of cameo we find, one thing is certain: we always enjoy seeing a familiar face in unfamiliar territory.

Let's test your knowledge where movies and music collide. Can you correctly name which musician appeared in the following films? Check your answers on the last page.

See also: Can You ID These Bands From Their Famous Typefaces?

More »

Zola Jesus's Taiga: Antinatalism in the style of 2000s-era J. Lo

Categories: Feature

Jeff Elstone
Nika Roza Danilova is burdened by the unknowable. That's why she became a musician. "I needed music as a way to process my own sort of larger questions that I feel like I just can't possibly answer," says the 25-year-old vocalist known by names she borrowed from a French philosopher and the son of God.

Zola Jesus' newest album, Taiga, debuted earlier this month. It's a collection of meditations on those larger questions--"Man versus nature, man's position in nature, and the synthesized world versus the natural world"--informed, Danilova says, by the philosphy of Norwegian metaphysician Peter Wessel Zapffe. (He's a famous antinatalist--someone who believes, essentially, the human race should be extinguished.)

See also: Zola Jesus Conquers The Guggenheim

More »

The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 10/17/14

Categories: Weekend

Damien Rice
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

More »