Justin Timberlake’s New Single, “Suit & Tie,” Breaks Records


Justin Timberlake is bringing sexy back again, but this time with suits and ties.

In its opening week, Timberlake’s new single, “Suit & Tie,” featuring Jay-Z, has already broken records.

The song debuted at No. 14 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart and broke the record for the most first-week plays on the radio in the chart’s 20-year history.

“Suit” was played 6,045 times in between Jan. 14 and Jan. 21 and beat the previous record holder, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” that had 4,602 plays when it was debuted.

On top of this, Timberlake’s new song now holds the position of being the highest-debuting song by a male artist in the Pop chart. “Suit” topped Jon Secada’s “If You Go” from 1994 that debuted at No. 19.

Only Mariah Carey’s song “Dreamlover” was released at a higher spot on the chart at No. 12 in 1993. “Born This Way” ties with “Suit” for being the second highest-debuting song at No. 14.

“Suit & Tie” is Timberlake’s first release since “FutureSex/LoveSounds” in 2006. It gives you a taste of his new album, “The 20/20 Experience,” that was produced by Timbaland.

“It was probably the best time I’ve had in my career… Just creating with no rules and/or end goal in mind and really enjoying the process,” Timberlake wrote in a letter to his fans on his website.

Timberlake said that he never expected him messing around in a studio to go anywhere and that his new album was inspired by songs from his childhood and new music that has influenced him since then.

“Suit & Tie” has gone somewhere. Upon its release, the Twitter world went crazy with mixed reactions to the single. Now, the hashtag #suitandtie is trending and the support seems to outweigh the criticism.




Get Ready To Put On Your Marshmallow Pants: An interview with Gardens & Villa


Gardens & Villa is a five-piece, indie-pop band from Santa Barbara, Ca. They are signed to Secretly Canadian record label. The band consists of Chris Lynch on vocals and flute, Shane McKillop on bass, Levi Hayden on drums, Adam Rasmussen on synthesizers and Dustin Ineman on the keyboard.

For two weeks in 2010, the band camped in the forests of Oregon, behind labelmate Richard Swift’s studio to record their first, self-titled album. The band made an oath to always play live instruments when they performed.

Photo by Alex Silva

This past fall, Gardens & Villa had the chance to tour with Polica, making a stop at the first CounterPoint Music Festival in Atlanta. Here is what Rasmussen and Lynch had to say about flutes, electronic music and their unique sound.

Can you explain to me how your band got formed? 

Adam Rasmussen – Gardens & Villa started sort of as a four-piece. The band before that was three people and the three of us went to them [the remaining members] and ended up in Gardens & Villa. 

What kind of mood or emotion do you try to convey with your music?

Chris Lynch – I would say melancholy and serenity, oscillating back and forth.

Do you guys do DJ sets at all?                                

CL – We do dabble with some of the DJ arts and have gatherings with friends.

And that’s the extent of it? Do you DJ shows?

CL – We don’t technically do shows.

AR – We have a side project with electronica DJ Hero. We’ve only played one show, but we’re gonna play another one.

What song of yours is the most memorable and you like the most?

AR – They’re all kind of dreams and reflections, so sometimes you hear them differently depending where your mind’s at. All of them have had an influence on me from an outside force.

CL – I think that my favorite song to play most of the time is “Orange Blossom” just because it’s a different sort of groove than any of the others. It has some bass nastiness that none of the other songs have and I really like that.

AR – Ya, it’s also nice. People seem to be excited about that jam.

CL – It’s always fun. And usually, when we started out, people showed they were always thinking positively of us.

How did working in the forest influence your music? Would you do it again for future albums?

CL – Yes and no. No because we didn’t really have that much food.

AR – Or showers.

CL – We didn’t have a kitchen. We didn’t have food. We didn’t have proper sanitation. So, it was very much like we were transported a couple of centuries back in time.

AR – It definitely lessened some of the distractions of cleanliness and appetite. We, definitely, were able to kind of go out of our heads in a way and come to a different place. I think recording records is a lot about that kind of stripping yourself of the things that are not the music, instead of allowing it to pass through you, like the wind. And the force is constantly breathing, so it encourages you to do the same.

Why have you incorporated a flute into your music? Why did you decide to bring that into the band?

CL – The flute was never a conscious decision or something we planned out. It was actually “Orange Blossom” that was the first song that we started [to use the flute]. I just happened to have a flute in the room while Shane, our bass player, was playing the riff and Adam started the keys melody. It was really spontaneous and I was like, “Oh, flute. Right here.” Boom. Pick it up. Play it in the mic. It just added this weird element that we never really thought about. It was nothing premeditated. It was completely spontaneous. Then, after that, we used it for different songs and it became a different shade of color of sound that we could bring in that could mix with the synths really well, but it’s an acoustic instrument. It’s a very old, spiritually inclined instrument as well. We thought it brought a cool element.

That’s interesting. You’re one of the only live bands here. How did you end up at Counterpoint, especially because it is so heavily electronic based, and have you ever been to the dirty south before?

AR & CL – We love the dirty south.

You do? Have you ever been here before?

AR – Yes.

CL – We love it down here. We’ve played here like five or six times.

Have you ever played in Florida?

AR – Once.

CL -Yes, Tallahassee.

No way. I went to school in Tallahassee.

AR – Tom Petty is from Florida. There’s a ton of music out of there.

So, how did you end up here as a live band at an electronic music festival?

CL – Um, we don’t know. We’re kind of in this weird zone of being straddled between genres. Also, our mentality is like play with whomever. We don’t want to be isolated in some box of genre. We like to play music with any genre, whether it’s hip-hop, reggae, punk, electronica, whatever. We like to expand our horizons [laughs]. Do you have anything to say about that? (directed towards Adam)

AR – We definitely feel weird as the only…

CL – No, I mean there’s a couple other indie bands.

AR – Polica, Washed Out, Crystal Castles. And Crystal is pretty heavy on the electro. And maybe both of those bands are bridges between what we’re apart of and what more true electronica groups are doing. I think they both can communicate the same thing. People come to see bands play…

CL – Cross-pollination.

AR – Ya, exactly. That’s what I’m trying to say.

You said you were working on a new album. What can we expect from it?

CL – Expect to have your mind blown.

AR – Expect certain urges to put your marshmallow pants on.

How will this album differ from the first?

AR – I think we’ve had almost more time to develop the jams and the material that we’re considering right now and been able to live with it a lot more. I think the first record was written during a time when we were all working jobs and trying to create this thing. It was like our first expression of where we’re coming from. So with this second record, having more time on it. We’re not working jobs like we were. Not because we don’t have to, but we’ve just found a way to scrounge, found a way to exist in the crevices of Santa Barbara. And even the crevices of Santa Barbara are pretty beautiful.   

CL – The music is maturing a little bit. Our ability as song writers is developing and we’ve toured so much in the last two years that we’ve seen so much music that it’s influenced us a lot. We have taken on all these different characteristics from touring and playing with all this music we love. Some of the songs are experimental. Some are more straight-up rock ‘n’ roll songs. Some are more electronic based. There is a lot of flute as well.

AR – So with all that touring and new experience, I think our palette for inspiration and the colors that we are working with are, perhaps, modifying or maturing, getting a bit more dynamic.

What music are you listening to now? Any new artists you want to share with us?

AR – Maybe some artists from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s that are new to us. Remember that Alice Coltrane record? (directed at Chris)

CL – Ya, I do. As far as contemporary stuff, we’ve been listening a lot to Shabazz Palaces.

AR – They’re phenomenal. Also, Peaking Lights is a source of camaraderie and inspiration for us.

CL – We’re touring with Polica. Did you know that?

No, I didn’t. That’s awesome. Congratulations.

AR – They have been a definite source of inspiration as far as contemporary music and having the opportunity to meet them and fall in love and now we’re try things out. 

Ok, last question: If you could pick one artists of all time that you could perform with, who would it be?

AR – Wow.

CL – That’s intense. I mean, you would have to separate it into sub-categories.

Ok, I’ll make it easier. Fifties, ’60s and ’70s. 

AR – I’ve always wanted to play bass for The Meters.

CL – Earth, Wind & Fire.


Keep an eye out this year for Gardens & Villa new album.

via Bionic Beatlab

Do live instruments matter in EDM?


Electronic dance music (EDM) is here to stay.

The rise of the genre has gained momentum and popularity over the years, especially among young adults.

So, now that we’re drifting away from the normal concert experience of a live band and trading it in for one or two people behind a DJ booth with multiple electronic machines, the issue of if concerts are live or pre-recorded has come to the forefront.

Instead of condemning the ones who just press play, there are a few electronic artists that stand out and stray from the norm by implementing live instrumentation into their sets. Even though a DJ can manipulate sounds live, adding an actual instrument drastically changes the experience and the sound.

One of these artists will be in Gainesville this weekend.GRiZ, or Grant Kwiecinski, is relatively new to the EDM scene. He lists some of his influences in soul, funk and glitchy bass. When he performs, he not only is in control of computers and controllers but a saxophone as well. Sometimes, he features a friend, Dan Hacker, on a guitar.

While utilizing the practicality and portability of electronic music and the organic sounds of a sax and guitar, GRiZ is able to create a heavily jazz-influenced electro sound.

GRiZ will be performing at The Vault Nightclub, 238 W University Ave., on Sunday. Tickets are $12 online.

Another musician influenced by funk, soul and jazz is Gramatik, or Denis Jasarevic. From the far reaches of Slovenia in Europe, Gramatik found his way to America and Pretty Lights Music label.

He not only uses his friend, Ales, in his sets for live guitar, but also in his recorded tracks.

“It’s open to a lot of improvisation on his end. I’ve noticed that my fans all appreciate that because they love electronic music, but they also really like to see live instrument elements,” Jasarevic said in an interview.

Emancipator, also known as Doug Appling, is a musician that features violinist Ilya Goldberg in live settings. He released his first album at the age of 19 and his music was featured in the Beijing Olympics.

Rolling Stone said, “You can feel his energy when he performs. His face lights up and you can see how much he enjoys the music.”

Not only do I think that this reaction is because of the live instruments involved, but I believe that it is more prominent among EDM musicians who apply these instrumentals in their shows.

While artists like Orbital and Chase and Status, the first to pioneer this live instrumentation, get forgotten about, acts like Big Gigantic and Death Crew 77 continue to present music in a way that departs from the traditional dance music scene.

This departure spurs creativity and a new, exciting way to listen and experience electronic music.



The Heavy Pets perform Saturday with new format


To keep those Florida “winter” beach vibes going — minus the beach — check out The Heavy Pets, a five-piece band based out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Heavy Pets will be performing at The Jam, formerly PUERTO tä’gwä, on Saturday. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

“It’s going to be a very different format from any show we’ve done before,” said Jeff Lloyd, guitarist for the band. “For this run, we’re going to be working with a DJ.”

The night is going to be a collaboration between the different artists performing. Lloyd said that because all of the musicians know each other, they will be guest appearing in parts of each other’s sets.

Never done before with The Heavy Pets, the music will not stop for one band to set up. Instead, sets will merge into one another.

“The music is going to be seamless. From the beginning of the night to the end, it will go through three different acts and it’s not going to stop,” Lloyd said.

Made up of two guitarists, a keyboardist, a bassist and a drummer, The Heavy Pets fuse jam, reggae, rock, jazz, nu-disco, and rhythm and blues. The band’s debut release, “Whale,” launched them into radio stardom on Sirius and its self-titled album made The Huffington Post’s “Top 10 Albums of 2012.”

They just started a new video series called, “Everywhere Sessions.” It documents their everyday life, jam sessions and soon, live concerts.

“We have a huge backlog of material that we’re looking to get out there and ‘Everywhere Sessions’ is a great excuse for to crank out that material,” Lloyd said.

In terms of the live performance, what should one expect from a Heavy Pets show?

“I expect people to have more fun than they thought they were going to have. We try to keep it really high energy and really jam scene,” Lloyd said. “You should expect a pretty high level of musicianship and some real catchy tunes that you’ll, hopefully, take home with you and remember for a really long time.”





Mmm… The smell of fresh air, an unpolluted and refreshing river, mountains in the background —what more could you ask for? Maybe a phenomenal music lineup? Yes. This May 30 – June 2 marks the 10th annual Wakarusa Music Festival in the Mulberry Mountains of Ozark, Ark.

Five stages with 100+ bands, Wakarusa has flown under the radar up until a couple of years ago as attendance numbers have continued to grow over the years. Always switching things up, Waka has scheduled Widespread Panic and indie band Dispatch as headliners this year. Known for it’s diverse lineups in the past, the festival has also arranged for some new names to join the Waka family while still staying true to its roots with bands like Umphrey’s McGeeYonder Mountain String Band and STS9.

From Snoop Lion, Amon Tobin, Felix Cartal and Emancipator to Gogol Bordello, Zeds Dead, and Of Monsters and Men, this years lineup welcomes a wide selection of first timers to the festival. They are also bringing back some Waka favorites like The Black Crowes, Gramatik and Quixotic. The lineup is encompassed with artists from all different types of genres, making the event that much more attractive.

Among the various activities you can embark on, Waka provides so much to do and see if you’re looking for a break from the music. Disc golf, fishing, hiking and canoeing are only some of the many options available.


This year’s featured live painters and interactive art installations have yet to be announced, but will be revealed soon. General admission tickets are currently priced at $154 and camping passes are sold separately.

via Bionic Beatlab

GRiZ performs only Florida show in Gainesville on Jan. 20th


Grant Kwiecinski has been the driving force behind GRiZ since his first release, End Of The World Party, in 2011. He is the 21-year-old from Detroit that made headlines in 2012 when he teamed up with Gramatik to create a new electro-soul duo called Grizmatik. As GRiZ, Kwiecinski is in control of the computers, controllers and a saxophone. He sometimes features Dan Hacker, aka Muzzy, on guitar and pedals.

Brought to you by The Funk, WRLD ENT, Limitless Entertainment and Parental Advisory, GRiZ will be performing his only Florida show along his current tour in Gainesville on Jan. 20 at The Vault Nightclub. No school the following Monday means that there is no reason to miss this show. Support includes DJ Styles, DJ Pillager and DJ IllTerror. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12 online HERE.

GRiZ is a breath of fresh air in the electronic music world. With more and more new music starting to merge and sound like the same thing, GRiZ returns to sample-based techniques with soul, funk and glitchy bass being listed as some of his influences. Do not take some of his dubstep-like sounds to mean he is a dubstep artist. Jazz seems to be a major drive in the music-making process for Kwiecinski. GRiZ continues to amaze people who have never seen him live before, like myself, as he travels North America.

“What I do have is an endless imagination of the future/now, unrelenting will, constant fascination, and a heart that has no capacity to stop loving and trying,” Kwiecinski wrote on his website.

Check out his latest album, Mad Liberation, and download it for free at www.mynameisgriz.com.

via Bionic Beatlab

HARD Knows How to Pre Party


Only days after they produced Dog Blood’s first performance in Detroit, HARD Events threw an amazing show in Fort Lauderdale: the Holy Ship Pre-Party. People from all over the country and the world flocked to Revolution Live to start their voyage off not by sea, but on land.

Photo from HARD Events

The pre-party was open to the general public, but for some reason, you weren’t able to buy tickets online unless you had the promo code that was only sent to the people attending Holy Ship. Compared to last years event, this year was extremely organized. By 10 p.m., the dance floor was already packed with people ready to rage.

And rage they did. I missed The Knocks because if I had shown up that early, who knows if I would’ve made it through the night. The lineup was played out of order. Jack Beats, one of the headliners, went on after 12th Planet and Alvin Risk, an up-and-comer, went on right before A-Trak — a weird switch that differed from what had been posted on Facebook just hours earlier.

I was able to see most of 12th Planet. While I expected a very dubstep-oriented set from him, he surprised everyone by dropping some really good electro and trap. It was a nice diversion from my expectations, but he still played some very heavy dubstep and mainstream stuff, like the Knife Party remix of “Save The World” by Swedish House Mafia.

With such heavy music, comes heavy dancers. A mosh pit formed and took up about a quarter of the dance floor. Boys threw punches that purposefully missed their opponents face as girls looked on in amazement and took a step back to be sure to not get involved.

One of the guys from Jack Beats came onto the stage and started setting up. He played a strong set from the beginning to the end. It was completely different than when I had seen both of them Halloween weekend at Grand Central in Miami. Being able to create a new and different set with every show you play is a trait that every artist should possess. Jack Beat’s sound is one that is recognizable to any electronic music lover and their live remixes are intricate and thought out. Although performing solo, he knew exactly when to bring in that signature Jack Beats sound at exactly the right moments. Throughout his set, he touched on almost every genre, not leaving anything out. Everything from their own original productions to dubstep to house to techno to trap was played and you could tell the crowd was pleased.

Alvin Risk was next. While I’m not the biggest fan, I do think that he is a talented musician and that’s one thing electronic music needs more of. In my opinion, half of his set was really good, but the other half was full of generic material and obvious drops. Every time I have seen Alvin Risk DJ, he has played his remix of “We Are Young” by Fun. The crowd seemed to be enjoying the music though and the atmosphere was hot and fun.

Finally. The moment I had been waiting for. A-Trak is one of my all-time favorite performers and I was excited to see what he had in store. His sets are energetic and raunchy with a heavy underground twist on a pop-culture-driven style. This set was a little different, although he did feature his trap rework of “Heads Will Roll” (A-Trak Remix) by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He played some trap, some electro and some rap off of the new Fool’s Gold compilation Loosies. With incomparable scratching skills and versatile song selections, A-Trak never fails to amaze me with how much work he actually puts into his sets. He has proven that he is not one of the so-called ‘button pushers” of electronic music.

While a lot of the attendees of the pre-party were going to embark on the trip of a lifetime the next day and there was no way that this pre-game would compare to the following three days, I love how Hard gives everyone the chance to join in on the fun. I met people from Texas, France and New Zealand. Last year’s pre-party was a ton of fun, but this year was an all-out rager. Hopefully, I’ll be on the boat next year.

via Bionic Beatlab