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World

Time: 
19:00
Band name: 
BLKBOK
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
Facebook.com/BLKBOKmusic
Venue name: 
Rockwood Music Hall
Band email: 
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Paula Maya Stays True To Her Roots in “Corcovado”

Brazilian music standout Paula Maya stays true to her roots in her new single “Corcovado- Ao Vivo.” Her dynamic vocals are accompanied perfectly by light percussion and jazzy, acoustic guitar. In the world of contemporary music, there’s so much pressure to be “modern” and assimilated to current trends, yet Maya proves that you can still be grounded in tradition while displaying originality and uniqueness. 

Given the quality and nearly flawless execution of the recording, it’s hard to believe that Paula Maya’s latest release is actually a live performance. This decision ultimately enhances the listening experience of “Corcovado.” The faintly audible sounds of chatter amongst the audience makes the listener feel like they are at some hip, Jazz cafe on the streets of São Paulo. Releasing this single as a live performance is admirable not only because of the impeccable vocal delivery and tone, but also because of the overall ambience that enables you to be transported into an alternate reality. 

One of the ways in which Maya straddles the line between contemporary and traditional is by singing half of the song in Portugese and the other half in English. It would be easy for her to be a purist and only sing in Portugese to satisfy cultural norms, but singing in English as well makes her music more accessible to a wider audience. Not to mention, she sings in both 

languages quite beautifully. 

Additionally, Paula Maya’s band deserves a huge round of applause for their utilization of dynamics, subtlety, and flat-out skill. The percussionist plays soft and smooth, without missing a beat. The bass and keyboard players know when to take a back seat to the vocals and when to showcase their talent. And the guitar playing is a perfect example of why Brazil is home to some of the most underrated guitarists in the world. The jazzy chords and mesmerizing guitar solo are reminiscent of Brazilian greats, such as Yamandu Costa and João Gilberto, the latter being the original songwriter of “Corcovado.” The musicianship surrounding Maya undoubtedly accentuates her talent even more so. 

Paula Maya’s spin on “Corcovado” embodies the classic saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Clearly, traditional Brazilian music is an exceptional form of art as is. Maya and her band know that they don’t need to overly modernize the music that represents their culture, yet she uncannily conveys a sound that is fresh and worthy of being played on contemporary streaming outlets, even in the United States. Paula Maya knows exactly what type of artist she is and she absolutely owns it.

 

-- Quinn Donoghue

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VALE explores playful sentiments in their new release En El Pecho

Two young sister-goddesses of VALE release their new single and music video “En El Pecho.” The musicians are twins, Valeria and Valentina Perez, who not only wrote the lyrics and music, but also served as creative directors for the music video project.

 

 

With enchanting guitar and Colombian flavored sounds, the release showcases their angelic voices and songwriting. The spanish song is not limited to spanish-speakers because the chorus is mellifluous and memorable: “Canta, canta! Siente, siente! Que el corazón nunca nos miente. Baila baila, a tu manera. Llevame a donde tu quieras.” You could put it in google translate or maybe you took enough spanish in school to know they’re saying: Sing, sing, feel, feel that the heart never lies to us. Dance, dance in your own way. Take me wherever you want.”  


Their songwriting skills extend beyond a catchy chorus as their lyrics speak of exploring hidden landscapes in a lover’s chest (pecho), and the value of letting go as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. 


Check out the music video to see manifested joy and purity in two young artists frolicking amongst blue skies and bounding in a green meadow. Their outfits are hip with sheek sunglasses and their coordinated colors complement the nature that surrounds them. The video conveys youthfulness in the sweetest way as bare feet kick at the sky. VALE brings us this uplifting tune, En El Pecho, just in time as a summer soundtrack for music lovers to sing, feel and dance with.





World

Time: 
6pm
Band name: 
Barbara Mártinez
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://m.facebook.com/barbaramartinezofficial/
Venue name: 
Leesta Vall
Band email: 
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Mars Rodriguez: Up until "The End"

Mars Rodriguez is an independently-operating, Los-Angeles-based, Nicaraguan-American singer-songwriter-producer-multi-instrumentalist and so far her early releases are living up to that multi-hyphenate description. Mars released her first full-length last September, Don't Wait for Nothing, and over its 30 minutes you never have to wait too long for some new sonic wrinkle or other musical ingredient to be thrown into the mix which makes for a compelling and propulsive listening experience. And while I may be reading too much into things here, I could see how this restlessness could possibly derive in part from being part of a population displaced by political crisis and state violence.

If forced to come up with my own original hyphenate to describe Mars Rodriguez's music I think I'd go with "Café-Tacuba-meets-Shirley-Manson-meets-Massive Attack" because that at least hints at the stylistic eclecticism and the multilingualism and the mix of grungy guitar, power pop melodies, trip hop ambience, dub- and psych-inspired production, rock-en-espanol rhythms and drum machine rhythms. It's one of those albums meant to be taken in all at once in full, a continuous sonic journey.

Take the album-opening instrumental track "Tous Les Jours" for example, which starts off with almost a full minute of ambient planetarium-style celestial sounds before launching into a funky percussion loop that wouldn't sound out of place in a Chemical Brothers song and then a fuzzed-out zig-zagging melody that brings to mind Radiohead's "Myxomatosis" or it does to my mind at least. After a minute or two the fuzzone starts to disintegrate and get swallowed up by swirling echo effects. Then the whole thing topples and transforms into a slower, stripped down groove--but with vibrating tones and reverb-drenched voices still hovering overhead before fading out to sounds of distorted radio signals and sine waves.

From there each subsequent song on Don't Wait for Nothing explore a new direction or two. One of these directions is the "potential pop crossover hit" and there would seem to be at least a couple on the album--like "Now" with it's singalong refrain and motivational message and steady build to a big finish--but always with a quirky touch or two to keep it more on the alternative side of things. Mars's new single released on Friday ("The End") continues down this path of pop music with frayed edges--evoking Brian Eno one moment and Republica the next, with the listener exhorted to "exit your mind". And with all this talk of ends and exits, here's to new beginnings because I'll bet Mars Rodriguez has some more interesting ideas in store. (Jason Lee)

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