Here I am again, bringing to you some of the, as Mos Def would say, bright lights from distant stars. Three more talented hopefuls working hard to make their name and music heard. Be sure to check out the MySpace pages of all those featured here to make sure you can get down with these folks like I did.
Looner- Hollywood, CA
My homegirl Nancy B. from Two Sheps That Pass… (yes, that’s the name of the company, Google that shit) is the one who turned me on to this lovely little duo hailing from Hollywood. Looner is interesting, because of its husband and wife love of Angel Roche Jr. and Zoe Roche, and because of the mention they have received from one of the biggest names in Reggae music.
Not long ago, the duo was picked by Ziggy Marley himself to perform at the Roots Rock Reggae Festival 2008. Their hit song Dutchie, borrows heavily from the 1981 Musical Youth chart topper of the same name; But this time around, it adds a woman’s touch to the vocals, which is a welcome addition.
I haven’t seen the band live yet, but it must be a marvel of true talent, as even in the live shows, it’s only the two of them doing it all. Live sampling mixed with their live instruments makes for some good clean fun I’m willing to wager.
At the very least, get over there and listen to their single I Love My Tamogotchee! (Yeah you all remember those little bastards) and also the cover of Dutchie, which has been in my singles rotation for weeks now. Here's their MySpace!
Jon Williams- Livermore, CA
It seems like The Bay is one of the only heavily contending areas for the west coast these days, and with Jon Williams, you’re listening to the cream of the crop.
It started back in 2003 when Lindsay M. introduced me to this rock/punk outfit called Normal Like You, of which Jon is the lead singer. After creating one of the best indie albums in my collection, the band went on to make another album in 2005 entitled Planes Trains and Automobiles.
The bands members have all been working on their own thing, the most interesting to me, is lead singer Jon’s latest side project, Of Shape and Sound. He has taken his top notch lyrics writing skills (he is easily on my top 10 lyric writer list), and ear for blending sounds from multiple genres to bring us his beautifully composed solo release.
I’ve been a long time supporter of Jon and his work, and I’m still campaigning to make sure him and the rest of the NLY (Normal Like You if you’re nasty) boys get what they deserve. Listen for the rock/soul/kinda-spanish-sounding single Runaway, if not for the badass breakdown at 1:55, with BoysIIMen type echoing to follow it. Or Shape and Sound, a soul-rapping composure set to a futuristic beat. Bricks Were Not Made to Be Thrown also gives us a future-folk feel to it that can’t be overlooked.
If rock is more of your thing, don’t worry, Jon has that shit locked down with NLY’s latest politically charged single, We Are the Rock. Both his album and the NLY single can be found on his MySpace, so check it out.
Ronald Jenkees- Some Southern State, USA
Ok so a lot of people are making the claim that YouTube celeb Ronald Jenkees is a fake, but I don’t think so. The guy may seem really goofy, but any guy who says that Timbaland is one of his favorite producers is a smart man.
Ronald hails from some city in the south I’m going to guess, because of the accent. Behind the Hype’s own Meeper got me into the young lad. He’s known for wearing different hats in every video, thick-ass glasses, and tearing the keyboards to shreds. Someone once told me (I won’t call you out Chris R. don’t worry) that Fruity Loops (the program, not the cereal) was not good for production. But the first person I heard to really fight that claim was Reflection Eternal’s DJ Hi Tek. Now we have Ronald Jenkees showing the dissenters what’s really good.
I’m going to go ahead and say in a few years, this guy is going to be heard all over the place, with cameos with (hopefully) the underground rap scene, and then in the mainstream club arenas.
Recently, Ronald released his new album of beats to bump, entitled Disorganized Fun. If you don’t want to buy it (although I really want you to bump this in your hometown), then at least check out his multi-million-hit songs on his YouTube channel.
And if that is too daunting a task, then just check out the video of my homeboy ripping it up on Throwing Fire, a song I like to start my day with.
Until next time my friends,