Chimurenga Renaissance – Kudada Nekuva Munhu Mutema EP (Brick Lane Records)

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Listen Now: “Crazy (Feat. H-Bomb)”

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“A voice that merges KRS-One’s dancehall cadences with the chanted lyricism of the Last Poets or Watts Prophets.” – SPIN

“By their name alone, one can assume that they’re looking to shake ish up, but a deeper look into the rawness of their sonics unveils they’re devotion to the dirt.” – OkayPlayer

“The beat is luxurious, absorbing an array of influences from reggae, jazz, and African mbira music, all while peppering in prominent spacey synth and splashes of sampled, distorted vocals.” – Consequence of Sound

“A trapped-in-the-system lament that adds a reggae edge to Shabazz Palaces’ disoriented take on rap.” – Stereogum

“a dazzling kaleidoscope of melodies and textures.” – Seattle Stranger

“I’ve been listening to a lot of Shabazz Palaces, Chimurenga Renaissance, and Death Grips” – Mos Def

Kudada Nekuva Munhu Mutema means “Proud to be Afrikan” in Zimbabwe’s native language of Shona, and is the title of the new Chimurenga Renaissance EP. This body of work is the result of collaboration with Jacob Mafuleni & Tonderai Ndava of the Mbira group based in Zimbabwe – Mbira DzeMuninga.

It’s the culmination of traditional, sacred, spiritual Mbira music adjoining with revolutionary, soul influenced, and genre defusing hip-hop. Both groups juxtaposed in the vision to delve into their spiritual music connection handed down to them through their ancestors.

It’s both the future & the past; birthing the now untampered by any ideology, free of fear. It is six million terabytes trying to clench timeless tradition until it blasts it to the Ceder Riverside projects while interpreting codes & algorithms transformed from robots to sonic translators creating a positive feeling of happiness & freedom.

Focus Tracks: 2, 3, 6, 8, 9
FCC: 1, 5 (Radio Edits Included)


Diamond Rugs – “Voodoo Doll” (Sycamore / Thirty Tigers)

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Listen Now: “Voodoo Doll”

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“Voodoo Doll is a swell rocker with a little sharp-toothed New Wave sheen and some growlin’ sax.” — Nashville Scene

“Diamond Rugs, the gritty rock’n’roll outfit that includes members of Deer Tick, Black Lips, Dead Confederate and Los Lobos, wasn’t a one-album kinda supergroup. They’ll make it official this February with Cosmetics, an 11-track follow-up to their 2012 self-titled debut. The album includes tracks named “So What,” “Motel Room” and “Blame,” so even if frontman John McCauley seems to have settled down, his tunes have not.” — Paste

“With a big rhythm section and melodies that expand to take in influences including 1950s country music and 1960s British-Invasion rock, Diamond Rugs is a band that’s determined to avoid easy category, a consistent point of view or even a signature sound.” — NPR

In rock journalism, the term supergroup is often doled out a little too easy. But Diamond Rugs fit the bill in the most valiant ways – Deer Tick’s John McCauley & Robbie Crowell, former Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, Dead Confederate’s T. Hardy Morris, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and Six Finger Satellite’s Bryan Dufresne.

On the band’s new sophomore LP, Cosmetics, each musician maintains the distinct personality you loved about ‘em in the first place, while at the same time locking in like puzzle pieces, feeding off each other in a way that’d make most full-time bands jealous as hell, and leaving in their wake a breezy, wide-open, unpretentious set of rock & roll songs that beg you to dance your ass off.

Like Diamond Rugs’ debut—and some of the most classic records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s Cosmetics was cut to 1-inch 8-track tape. “When you have a three-piece horn section, guitars, bass, synthesizers, organs, multiple vocals, and you gotta fit it all on 8 tracks, it makes you think,” St, Pé says. “I call it the art of deconstruction. Nowadays, there are so many possibilities to punch everything in. But when you take all that away and force yourself to make it work on 8 tracks—if you give yourself those limitations, you kind of have to live with things as they are. But those imperfections are perfection—and they’re a big part of Diamond Rugs’ sound.”

There’s a tasteful self-imposed restraint at play on Cosmetics, even as the band beckons you into the wild, off-the-cuff abandon of its epic bar-band anthems. This is the work of a gang of one-time upstarts who are now seasoned pros in full command of their musical powers. They’ve been through a whole lot, and because of it they know what’s important, how to have a good time, when to push the limits, and when less is more.

“It’s not the notes you hit,” St Pé says. “It’s the notes you don’t hit, and D.Rugs do this extremely well. That’s one of the things I love about these guys.”

Focus Track: 1
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Future Brown – “Room 302 (Feat. Tink)” (Warp)

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Listen Now: “Room 302 (Feat. Tink)”

GOING FOR TOP 200, RPM & HIP HOP ADDS

Together as Future Brown, Daniel Pineda and Asma Maroof of Nguzunguzu, J-Cush, and Fatima al Qadiri are set to release their self-titled debut record this February. They’ve already shared two epic tracks from the album; the hard-hitting “Talkin Bandz” helmed by the one and only Shawnna alongside fellow Chicago native DJ Victoriouz, and the Spanish-lyric, reggaeton beat of “Vernáculo” featuring Maluca’s commanding vocal. Future Brown are now sharing their second collaborative track with rising rapper/singer and Timbaland protege Tink. Their first pairing yielded the epic “Wanna Party” and the new track “Room 302” lives up to the hype and shows lightening can strike twice.

The rest of the album shifts from the high-tension grime inflections of Ruff Sqwad members Rapid and Dirty Danger and Roll Deep affiliates Roachee and Riko Dan to the haunting R&B of Kelela, Ian Isiah and Tim Vocals. Johnny May Cash, YB and King Rell from Young Chop’s 8TMG appear on “Killin Time”, while Chicago’s vital bop scene is represented by it’s resident superstars Sicko Mobb, who’s twisting auto-tune flow laces “Big Homie”. After tapping New Orleans’ rising star 3D Na’Tee to appear on the “Wanna Party” remix, Future Brown and 3D return with “MVP” alongside NY singer Tim Vocals. And Kingston’s Timberlee steps up for some especially carnal dancehall chat on “No Apology.”

Focus Track: 1
FCC: 2


Two Gallants – We Are Undone (ATO)

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Listen Now: “Incidental”

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On February 3rd, the San Francisco based guitar-drum duo Two Gallants are set to release their 5th studio album, We Are Undone , on ATO Records. While singer and guitarist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel have stayed true to the two-person format since their acclaimed 2004 debut, The Throes, their sound has evolved considerably over the intervening years. Following 2012’s The Bloom and the Blight, We Are Undone is the band’s second release on ATO. Thematically, the album ranges from songs that attempt to make sense of the dramatically shifting social landscape of their home town, to the illusion of authenticity, impending environmental collapse, and romantic estrangement. Sonically, the thrash blues of songs such as “We Are Undone” and “Some Trouble” is balanced by the austerity of ballads such as “My Man Go” and “There’s So Much I Don’t Know.”

Focus Track: 2
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Carmen Rizzo – Illumanado (Electrofone)

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Listen Now: “How I Feel (Feat. Cody Mauser)”

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Illumanado is the 6th studio album from the two-time Grammy nominated Los Angeles-based producer Carmen Rizzo, whose associated acts range from Coldplay to Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Dido, AR Rahman, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Rizzo’s former band Niyaz. This new album is ambient and romantic, setting the tone for a mesmerizing soundtrack. Rizzo recorded Illumanado in various exotic locations across the globe, including the Republic of Buryatia, Siberia. The record features collaborations with Nicodxmvs and Cody Mauser, as well as with longtime collaborator Jamie Muhoberac and may be Rizzo’s best work to date.

Focus Tracks: 1, 4, 5, 3
FCC: Clean


ADDS for 1.27.2015:

Cheerleader – “The Sunshine of Your Youth” (Bright Antenna)

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Listen Now: “The Sunshine of Your Youth”

GOING FOR AAA & MODERN ROCK SPECIALTY ADDS

With an anthemic but dreamy sound, Philadelphia quintet Cheerleader have found themselves compared to the likes of Vampire Weekend and Bruce Springsteen and hailed by NYLON as “the love child of Passion Pit and St. Lucia.” The band release their new single, “The Sunshine Of Your Youth,” amid heavy anticipation of their freshman album of the same name, due out May 19 on Bright Antenna Records.

Focus Track: 1
FCC: Clean


José González - “Leaf Off/The Cave” (Mute)

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Listen Now: “Leaf Off/The Cave”

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José González has released his striking single, ”Leaf Off/The Cave,” from his upcoming album Vestiges & Claws, due out on Mute on February 17. This past weekend, Gonzalez performed the song with a seven-piece band a 27-person choir at Sweden’s popular award show P3 Guld.  A video of that performance can be seen HERE.
Vestiges & Claws is González’s first album in seven years and was self-produced in his home as well as Svenska Grammofonstudion, both in Gothenburg, Sweden. It consists of years’ worth of musical sketches that in other hands might naturally sprawl wildly in sound and style, but on Vestiges & Claws, he has created a collection of songs that cohere just about perfectly, ensuring his position as one of the most important artists of his generation.
In November 2014, NPR announced the arrival of Vestiges & Claws by premiering its first video for the song “Every Age.” This song was used in the January 22 episode of Parenthood.
González will begin his North American Tour in support of the new album on April 6 in Philadelphia. This will be his first solo tour on these shores since 2008. After Philadelphia, the tour will have him performing in most major cities including New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Iceland’s singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Ólöf Arnalds, will be the support act for the entire tour.

Focus Track: 1
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Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – Worker (Royal Potato Family)

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Listen Now: “Betamax”

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While navigating 20 years, 16 members, 25 albums, and countless tours around the world, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has become an institution in modern music. Defined by evolution and change, the band has invented its own language, one that permeates JFJO’s sound regardless of configuration. Although there is no Jacob or Fred, the last 20 years have indeed been a Jazz Odyssey.

With a nod to their history in place, it didn’t take JFJO long to return to the ideal that’s led them to where they stand today. That is to surge forward, fearlessly and freely, in line with their creative impulses. Thus the electrifying trio of keyboardist Brian Haas, guitarist Chris Combs and drummer Josh Raymer followed their muse into ever-evolving terrain to write and record Worker. Incorporating indie and electronic music influences within their process, the 11-track effort is a meticulously crafted, intricately woven, genre-defying statement. But don’t let its precision fool you: This is visceral live music, played by sentient beings. Worker probes the nexus of modern and primitive, fearlessly merging analog and digital sounds (all the bass on the album comes courtesy of a pair of Moog synths), composition and improvisation with real-time sequencing. As it’s been for 20 years, JFJO’s musical instincts light the way. So it goes, and rightfully so, on this perpetually inspired jazz odyssey. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s Worker available now via the Royal Potato Family.

Focus Tracks: 3, 4, 8, 10
FCC: Clean


Tomás Pagán Motta - Tomás Pagán Motta (Eight Gang Switch)

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Listen Now: “I Don’t Care”

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After releasing two albums under the pseudonym The Petticoat Tearoom and garnering critical acclaim for his “stirring and well-crafted songs” (Hype Machine), Washington, D.C.-based songwriter Tomás Pagán Motta has produced a stunning eponymous debut set for an early 2015 release.

Defined by Motta’s “warm and intimate vocals” (Beats Per Minute), the upcoming self-titled album raises powerful questions on opening your own truth in a world of vague conformity and unlimited access to information. With expressive compositions like “Up and Away” and “I Don’t Care”, Motta examines the idea of searching for purpose in an increasingly complex world.

“The recordings hit a natural flow. In my mind, it seemed to echo the effortless variegation in nature. Winter was coming while we laid it all down in several days. It just poured out, all the expression, and found its layers quickly.” ”

My life is a straw in a hurricane of leaves, yet I’m compelled to express anyway for some reason and I’ll endure to do so. To endure is divine, isn’t it? The songs morph and move and change, like all of us. So it’s just a feeling, a movement captured.”

Tomás Pagán Motta was born in Maryland of Caribbean heritage and raised for some time in Puerto Rico. He started his exploration into music playing the trumpet in an attempt to emulate Arturo Sandoval. As a young adult, a thirst for expression began to overwhelm him. Motta spent many years as a journalist, but his most vital outlet remained songwriting. He formed The Petticoat Tearoom in Baltimore and began showcasing his music. Now on his own, Motta’s creations still bring him hope and purpose, and help him to reflect on the world around him.

Focus Tracks: 2, 1, 8
FCC: Clean


Redtenbacher’s Funkestra – Dr. Hypenstein (Wooden Hat)

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Listen Now: “Dr. Hypenstein”

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On Dr. Hypenstein, Redtenbacher’s Funkestra brings their danceable brand of funk to 2015, laying down 13 of their funkiest grooves yet, from the fluty can’t-stop-your-feet sounds of the title track to the heavy crunch of “Swagger,” then letting the atomic dogs out with “Cave Canem” and the percolating “Funktionality.”

London-based bassist, composer, arranger and bandleader Stefan Redtenbacher is the mastermind behind Dr. Hypenstein, which includes the bass-driven “Bass Face” and “Bassbulator,” the dare-you-not-to-move “Right On It” and “Supergalactic,” and expands on previous material to incorporate electronic sounds in all the while standing proud with the history of funk.

This is the eighth album from Redtenbacher’s Funkestra, which regularly performs at (and packs) London’s legendary 606 Club and other established London venues. Guest musicians have included Fred Wesley, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, “Doc” Kupka, Lee Thornburg and Lenny Pickett from Tower of Power, Eric Krasno of Soulive, Stanton Moore of Galactic and the horn sections from Prince, Incognito and The Brand New Heavies.

The Austrian-born Redtenbacher fell for Herbie Hancock and Maceo Parker early on, then studied at the Vienna Conservatory and Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and has recorded and performed with legends including Steve Winwood, Jack Bruce, Amy Winehouse, Lulu, Mica Paris, and Herb Alpert.

Focus Tracks: 1, 2, 13, 12, 11
FCC: Clean


Various Artists – Rhythm & Dub (Rhythm & Culture)

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Listen Now: Thomas Blondet – “Un Amor (Kaleidoscope Jukebox Dub)”

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Rhythm and Culture is a label that celebrates eclecticism as a defining element of its sound. But what holds this wide range of stylistic elements together is a single common thread; the influence of Dub.

Rhythm and Dub highlights the most dubbed-out tracks from the label’s catalog both past, present, and future. The compilation begins with Farid’s modern classic “Sunday Paper,” and is followed by the Archives (a band originally formed by Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton) “Ghetto Gone Uptown” dubbed by Rhythm and Culture’s Kaleidoscope Jukebox. Dub Africa’s “Babylon Don’t Know” features vocalist Lenny Kurlou, and several of Thomas Blondet’s tracks feature collaborations with Subatomic Sound System, and dub-tastic remixes by Zeb (Tu Va Partir), and Christos DC (Dil Da Jani).

As the artists of Rhythm and Culture continue to innovate, creating the music of the future, Rhythm and Dub is a nod to its roots.

Focus Tracks: 9, 6, 10, 4
FCC: Clean


Zomba Prison Project – “I Have No Everything Here” (Six Degrees)

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Listen Now: “Please Don’t Kill My Child”

GOING FOR AAA & TOP 200 ADDS

In the summer of 2013, Grammy-winning producer, Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, TV on the Radio) and his wife, Italian photographer and filmmaker, Marilena Delli, traveled to the border of Malawi and Mozambique specifically to document and record the music of prisoners at the maximum security prison in Zomba. While in search of artists, the pair had previously traveled to Rwanda, South Sudan, Palestine, Nairobi, and Algeria— amongst other countries— and these efforts produced multiple albums, often the first ever released internationally from the respective regions and/or in their local languages.

Zomba prison is a dilapidated brick structure that resembles a factory from a Dickens novel and was built in the 19th century. Designed to hold 340 people, today it houses over two thousand. Plus, many of the guards also live on the grounds, just outside the walls. The head of prisons allowed Brennan and Delli access for the project in exchange for Brennan’s offering a series of classes on violence prevention to inmates and guards. They were then embedded within the compound and sworn to secrecy, at one point nearly being detained for taking photos in a forbidden area of the prison (i.e., see the shot included on the actual physical CD). At another moment, they were caught in the middle of a brawl and witnessed a prisoner being beaten after trying to escape through the main door.

“There is a stark difference between the male and female sides of the prison. The men have an organized band and were very particular about how they were to be recorded. The women on the other hand are without instruments— except for drums made from buckets— and they claimed to not write songs. But, in fact, without much encouragement, the women stepped forward one- by-one with stunningly personal tunes like ‘I Kill No More’,” reports Brennan. The majority of prisoners have been given life-sentences. Their crimes range from murder to theft, and the music-making is a multi-generational affair with some members as young as their early twenties, while a few select others have reached more than sixty years of age (the latter being a very advanced number since the life expectancy in Malawi remains about half of what is found in the Western world).

Focus Tracks: 3, 8, 2, 6
FCC: Clean


ADDS for 1.20.2015

decker. – “O.D.B” (Mescal Porch)

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Listen Now: “O.D.B. (Radio Edit)”

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decker. creates an expansive palette of folk, gospel, rock and psychedelia and will release Patsy on February 17, 2015. The album’s title track made its way online last month and at the end of last week, The Bluegrass Situation premiered the mesmerizing desert psych-folk artist’s Wu-Tang inspired, “O.D.B.”

Cameron Matthews of TBS says, “The rootsy rambler “O.D.B.”, off the group’s upcoming record Patsy, has just enough swing to make you ‘just dance / If you caught up in the holy ghost trance’.”

Patsy is bookended (save for a quick intro) by “O.D.B.” and “Ol Dirty Revival,” two themed tracks that lean gospel revival over psychedelic guitar folk. Musical outliers here, in a way similar to Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street,” they fit Decker’s vision of people betrayed by the outer, unknown dwellers of their social, artistic and professional circles.

Patsy is the follow up to 2013’s much-hailed “desert gospel masterpiece,” Slider. Recorded at WaveLab Recording Studio (Neko Case, Iron & Wine, DeVotchKa) in Tucson, Patsy veers from quiet shuffles to noisy guitar jams and horn-driven ballads, but never becomes quixotic or difficult. The Phoenix New Times says, “The band’s intensity, its ability to tap into spooky Old Testament terror as well as pastoral Verde River amble, is what sets it apart from the ever-crowded indie folk populace.”

decker. will be on the road tour extensively in the new year and the first run of dates are confirmed and can be found below, wiht many more to be added. A popular live act, decker. has shared the stage with Local Natives, Dr. Dog, Deer Tick and Keller Williams.

Focus Track: 1
FCC: 2


Emmy The Great – S EP (Bella Union)

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Listen Now: “Swimming Pool”

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” … a unique worldview and clever, mocking lyrics. Her smart digs at pop-culture icons are dispensed with a sweet voice that subtly exudes sarcasm” – NPR

“This Hong Kong-via-London singer’s lyrics teem with off-kilter details, and modern folks arrangements are unexpectedly pungent, warm and swaddling” – The New York Times

“A Cosmopolitan gamine with a gift for winsome melody” – SPIN

“One of the boldest young writers in pop.” – The Guardian

“One of our favourite people on Earth.” – Noisey (Vice)

“Inserts such personal and particular references that you feel like you know her.” – Interview

Where previous recordings have been introspective, reflecting the deepest concerns and confines of Emmy’s own mind, S EP looks outwards. Written in cities – Salt Lake City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, LA, New York and London – during an itinerant period in Emmy’s life, the songs track the resulting personal changes and invite us to explore the rapidly advancing world around us.

“My previous recordings were a reflection of my internal world, but this is a record of me trying to engage with the outside. Over the course of travelling and touring for the last two years I inhabited many cities and landscapes. While I wrote this EP and the album that will follow, everything changed. As I wrote the songs I began to reflect more and more the world that I saw around me, incredibly bright, technologically breathtaking. I am curious about being a person in this world, and I tried to write that into the music.” Emmy explains.

An impressive cohort of talent signed up to assist Emmy’s latest creation. Wild Beasts’ Tom Fleming joins Emmy for lead single “Swimming Pool,” a haunting siren-song that submerges us in an affluent montage, replete with rippling keys and dream laden bass. The sweet musings of “Social Halo” question our role in an increasingly self-aware world, the resulting social anxiety and the fleeting moments of reality that revive us from its ever quickening pace. “Solar Panels” builds to a crescendo of synthesisers as Emmy reflects on what it is that keeps us going before “Somerset (I Can’t Get Over)” seeks a lover’s attention – “Come outside,” she sings. “Let’s talk about something that’s real, like, please don’t get over me.”

Recording was split between LA, with Ludwig Gorranssen (Haim, Childish Gambino), and London, with Dave McCracken (Oh Land, Beyonce). MIA’s MD Neil Comber mixed the final results.

Focus Tracks: 1, 2, 3
FCC: Clean


Jon Hardy & The Public – Restless City (Self-Released)

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Listen Now: “Something’s Gotta Give”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

“Could Jon Hardy Be 2015′s Sturgill Simpson?” – Mike Seely, No Depression

“ … a bruised, tough and beautiful statement of rock n roll resolution.” – Roy Kasten, KDHX

Combining the sonic textures of The War On Drugs, straight and hard storytelling of Bruce Springsteen and the angular guitar work of Local Natives, Restless City is a stinging treatise from Jon Hardy & the Public.

St. Louis based Hardy landed on the title Restless City well before Ferguson and the rest of the greater St. Louis area became an international flashpoint for civil unrest. The title track itself is a tour of the town and its many scars; gunshots disrupt a summer’s revelry, and a mother grieves over her gunned­down son in a lyric that is both oddly prescient and sadly evergreen. Over the course of 10 songs, Hardy strains to reach beyond his own familiar streets to an entire world simply working to survive.

Working with producer Benjamin Balcom (Atlas Sound, Cass McCombs, CAVE) the album’s genesis was of a series of recording caravans between St. Louis and Chicago. After traversing the midwest for nearly eight months, the band handed mixing duties to Jason Kingsland (Belle & Sebastian, Youth Lagoon, Band of Horses).

Focus Tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 10
FCC: Clean


Intended Immigration – Una Cartina (Wooden Hat)

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Listen Now: “Una Cartina”

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Intended Immigration, known for its ability to cross borders, decades and genres while blending modern electronica with influences from across the world, is on the move again.

On its newest release from Wooden Hat Records, Una Cartina, the multicultural assemblage of musicians presents its passport for visits to Argentine tango palaces on the title track, “Tangodeur,” and “Tout Tourne” (featuring French-Moroccan vocalist Fatiha Hammou); Brazilian beaches on the fluty “Promenade A La Mer,”; and speaks the international language of love on the haunting “Is That What You Need” (featuring the vocals of Chinese-Swiss-American-French Verena Wiesendanger), the trippy “Gekoepfte Utopien,” (“Beheaded Utopias”), co-authored by German/Turkish poet/novelist/DJ Gülbahar Kültür, and the sophisticated “Noctambule.”

The creative force behind Intended Immigration is Swiss-born musician and producer Thomas Feurer, who has also contributed to neo-retro remixes on albums by his all-time heroes Herb Alpert and Quincy Jones. Thomas honed his majors and minors at the American School of Modern Music in Paris and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and also studied law at the University of Zurich. He currently lives in the New York metropolitan area. He is fluent in English, German, French and Schwiizerduetsch, and has been rumored to yodel when enjoying fondue.

Music by Intended Immigration has appeared on compilations in Europe and Japan; in U.S. TV shows including The Newsroom (HBO), Black Box (ABC), Ugly Betty (ABC), Better Off Ted (ABC), Love Bites (NBC), and the soon-to-be-released Backstrom (FOX); in the film Every Day (with Helen Hunt and Liev Schreiber); and in advertisements by Suave, Chobani and Macy’s.

Focus Tracks: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9
FCC: Clean


Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – “Little Boys With Shiny Toys (Daptone)

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Listen Now: “Little Boys With Shiny Toys”

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It’s been over a year of peaks and valleys for Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. In early May of 2013, while preparing for an October release of Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones, the 57-year-old singer of the band, was unexpectedly diagnosed with a precancerous tumor that needed to be removed. Album release plans were immediately shelved and in June 2013 Sharon underwent a massive surgery called a “Whipple Procedure”. Post-surgery, Sharon’s diagnosis was revised to Stage 2 Pancreatic cancer and a six month course of chemotherapy was prescribed.

Throughout this experience, Sharon stayed strong by communicating with her fans, family and friends remaining focused on the release of her next album. While still undergoing chemotherapy, Sharon and her Dap-Kings performed on a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, filmed a music video and began to rehearse for upcoming tour dates.

On New Year’s Eve 2013, Sharon underwent her final chemo treatment and all signs pointed to a full recovery. Those words couldn’t come soon enough; Sharon was tired of convalescing and needed to get back to the stage where her boundless energy thrives.

On Jan 14, 2014 Give The People What They Want was released. On January 22nd, 2014 Sharon was declared cancer free and her chemo port removed.

Throughout this point in time, she would attend to a heavy promo schedule and move forward with a fabulous year filled with accomplishments, love and mostly a new appreciation for life.

Here’s a look back at the year Sharon Jones fought to have and how it culminated on December 5th, with a Grammy Nomination for Best R&B Album – her first ever at the age of 59.

Read more here.

Focus Track: 1
FCC: Clean