Mac Miller and Premature Death in the Music Industry

On September 7, 2018 Mac Miller joined a list of musical stars to die way too young. Mac was found dead in his home after an apparent drug overdose.

The 26 year old rapper was a staple during my late high school and early college years. He was one of the most popular rappers on the scene, and had a high level of success at a very young age.

The death of Mac Miller was saddening for not those just interested in the rap industry, for everyone. It is always so painful to learn of the death of someone so young, and had so much more to live.

It has seemed like there have been many premature deaths in the music industry this year, with the deaths of Avicii, XXXTentacion, and now Mac Miller. Each of the causes of death were a little different, with Avicii’s death being ruled a suicide, XXXTentacion being murdered, and Mac Miller dying of a drug overdose.

Out of these deaths the two that appear to be the most similar are Avicii and Mac Miller. In both of those situations the artist appeared to be battling some inner demons, with Avicii wanting to escape the pain he was in and Mac Miller battling with substances that alter his state of mind. Both of these artists lives could have been saved, they were in dark places but that does not mean that the darkness would last forever.

The world is mourning Mac Miller. He is being described as a very sweet and talented man from fans to fellow rappers. His quest for sobriety and battle with drug abuse ended tragically, and hopefully others battling with similar issues can seek and reach out before it is too late.

RIP Mac Miller

New Single: Right Place, Right Time by Inspired & the Sleep

We interviewed Inspired & the Sleep a few weeks ago, and the band has now released a new song called “Right Place, Right Time”.Right Place, Right Time is a new sound for the band, and it seems like they may be headed in a new musical direction. The song has a very chill vibe, which goes along with the theme from the song of forgiveness. Here is what the band has to say about the new single:

Right Place, Right Time is our anthem for forgiveness and heartbreak. It recollects a period in my life where I was deeply in love with an individual that, simply put, didn’t feel the same way about me. I spent so much time, energy, and thoughts into resenting this girl and whoever she wound up with. This song is about the introspective dialog of predicting/hoping for the perfect time and place to communicate my apologies and best wishes. Letting go is ultimately the only answer in order to move on.”

Twenty One Pilots Release New Single “Levitate” and Reveal Track List for ‘Trench’

Today Twenty One Pilots released a third single and music video called “Levitate” from the upcoming album “Trench”.
The music video for “Levitate” is a continuation of the story line in the first two music videos, “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and the Niners”,  which were released on July 11. “Levitate” consists of fast paced rhymes and continues the eerie theme from the first two videos. In a tweet the band confirmed that “Levitate” is the final video of the series.

The band also released the track list for the highly anticipated album set to be released on October 5 — the countdown is on! Twenty One Pilots has been waiting for over three years to release a new album, so the anticipation has been and continues to build.

1. Jumpsuit
2. Levitate
3. Morph
4. My Blood
5. Chlorine
6. Smithereens
7. Neon Gravestones
8. The Hype
9. Nico and the Niners
10. Cut My Lip
11. Bandito
12. Pet Cheetah
13. Legend
14. Leave the City

Concert Review: Birdtalker at The Great Scott in Allston, MA

Had the chance to attend the Birdtalker show last week at The Great Scott in Allston, Massachusetts. The Great Scott was neat a venue. When you walked in it looked like you were walking into a bar, but looking further back there was a open space and a stage. It was my first time at the Great Scott, and once I walked in I knew that the concert would be  an intimate experience later in the evening.

When waiting for the concert to start, I saw some of the Birdtalker band members milling around. The bassist,  Jesse Baker, sat next to us at the bar for a few minutes.

Birdtalker started the night with the upbeat hit “Graveclothes”. They played many of the songs off the new Album release “One”, but also played older songs from the first EP “Just This”. Dani Green shared that she wrote “Autodomesticated Animal” when she was very angry about how women are viewed and treated. Throughout the night, Dani shared how grateful and overwhelmed she and the band were by people knowing their music and singing along, all the way up in Massachusetts. Each member seemed like a genuinely good person and like they were having fun together, which made it a very cool experience.

The band finished off their time on stage with another upbeat hit, “Free Like a Broken Heart”. The crowd cheered for the encore, and as a fan of Birdtalker I feel like we got more than we asked for. The band came out looking like they were headed for the merch table but asked for the fans to clear some space in the middle of the floor. Everyone stood in a circle around them. They then belted the powerful song “Want” with no instruments and just vocals, just like the studio version. My favorite lyrics “Count the beggar man’s life precious as my own/ Offer my back for my brother’s load/ I want to have eyes of love” were even more powerful when I could see Zach Green singing them. The intimate experience that I expected when I walked into the Great Scott was more than I could imagine. The powerful lyrics, the small crowd, small all just seemed right.

Exclusive Interview with oblio: New Single Announcement, East Coast Shows, and more!

Had a great time speaking with oblio, an alt-rock trio from Long Beach, California last week. The guys, Alex, Blake and Free, broke some news about upcoming music that they are working on, discussed the new single they released this spring “Batting Cages”, and talked about the upcoming shows on the East Coast this August. Excited to see what is to come for this band!

What was the inspiration behind your new single “Batting Cages”?

Blake: Lyrically, I have a hard time articulating the meaning of “Batting Cages”. The lyrics have no linear story or moral, which is unusual for us. Its kind of a series of satirical vignettes, meant to jab at contradictions in our relationships. It usually gets a good reaction from fans, which is really rewarding.

We love a lot of punk and hardcore, and lately that’s been seeping in to our sound quite a bit. Musically, I think Free came up with the idea for the main riffs and verse, and I came up with the chorus later… At some point we just decided to play it all fast and heavy. We wrote it just before Alex joined the band, but he did contribute really badass bass lines to the final recording.


What does the name “Batting Cages” come from?

Free: Mostly from the “punny” nature of this song, the “hedgehog’s dilemma” of not allowing people too close to you, and lines in the chorus: “I don’t want to be a bearer of rage, I would rather be a batter in a cage. Throw your heart at me.”


You guys are playing two shows on the East Coast after primarily playing on the West Coast. Are you excited to come to the East? What led to the shows on the East Coast?

Free: Oh yes. Super excited! Originally, Blake is from the LA area, and I’m from Boston. After a previous band we were in, we got together and wrote a full album in the basement of my family’s house. Things felt really natural and we were churning out songs, so eventually I moved out to LA to fully commit to the band. Thats the short version of how oblio was formed. Blake and I are cousins (Alex & Blake were childhood friends), so we actually have a lot of family and friends on the East Coast that have never even seen oblio play live yet.


When can your fans expect another single or new album release?

Blake: We’ll be putting out a new standalone single titled “The Quiet Song (That Fades Out)” in just a week or two!

Free:  We’ve been kicking it around for a while. We never found a place for it on a full album or EP, so its been through a few creative edits to get it right.

We’ve also been at work on our 2nd full-length album for about a year, and we’re almost done recording it. Hard to say anything about it at this point, but I will say it’s a stronger “rock” record. Where our previous release “Autophobia” spread across a really surprising gamut of genres and stylistic endeavors, this next release feels like a solid punch of songs that fit together “stylistically”, instead of “conceptually”.


What is a lyric from your music that sticks out to you?

Alex: It’d be from the song Shunned; “Jesus is my only friend and I treat him sh*t, but his hand’s on my glass turning water to gin…”

Free: From the song Wisdom, off our first LP Autophobia: “With a mouth that has none to oppose, truly wisdom is knowing: the self is the greatest of foes”

Blake: There’s another line in our song Shunned; “I act so broken, I just might break.” Simple, but I’m really proud of the honesty in that one. We all love the lyrics in that song. Hahah.


What is your favorite song right now?

Alex: “Easy Love” by Wood Lake.

Free: I went through a huge Ghost phase recently, a little late to the party, I know, but I’ve been recently ingesting their entire discography up until the recent new album, and though Blake was listening to this on repeat about a year ago, I still can’t shake the feeling that the massive rhythm in Ghost’s “Cirice” is going to stick with me a while longer.

Blake: “Steph” by Headbed. They’re probably the coolest band I know in our local LA scene. We’ve played shows with them a few times, and they’re just wonderful. Definitely check out their EP “Tremble”.


Lastly, what is one of the most memorable experiences that your music has taken you?

Alex: I have a vivid memory of taking turns showering in a truck stop sink and only having two shirts to wear because all my clothes got stolen on the first night of tour (Someone broke into the van). It was a long tour but people were so helpful. Also some employees at a Starbucks heard our story and gave us a ton of free food and stuff.

Free: We got pretty drunk one night and carved our names into the back of the black Fender Tele that serves as oblio’s “main guitar”. It’s nice to see that carving when we pick it up to play.

Blake: We did a show once where the people up at the front started all dancing together to our song. Any musician would say “that’s why we do what we do…” It was a beautiful moment.

If you are interested in seeing oblio on the East Coast,  check them out on:

Friday, August 3, 2:30 pm – Inside Out Stage at Soulfest in Gilford, NH

Thursday, August 9, 7:00 pm – The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA





Artist Spotlight: Inspired & the Sleep

Recently, I had the privileged of interviewing Max from the San Diego indie rock band Inspired & the Sleep. The band released a new single this spring called “First Time”. The track is very personal to the band as it is about a DUI in a relationship and how it brought the couple closer together. Here is Max from Inspired & the Sleep:

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would your dream location be? (This can be anything from a beach that you love or a huge arena or Red Rocks, etc).

Oh man, I mean there’s tons of venues and places I would wanna play. Not sure if I could give exactly one dream venue cause I’d like to play them all and I feel like you could have just as an amazing experience playing a some basement house show over some huge arena. I will say I would like to play other countries, we’ve been talking about getting over to Europe and I’ve always wanted to play Japan I hear that’s a surreal crowd.

Where do you look for your inspiration when writing songs?

It’s not really tangible. It just comes when it comes. And I would say it all comes from the human experience. One thing I will say is I tend to write about past events in my life years after they happen for some reason.

The single “First Time” was released in April, do you have any other new music you are working on?

We do! Can’t really disclose what’s to come or when, but there will be new music this year so look for that 🙂

You guys were the winners of the 91X San Diego Battle of the Bro-Am competition and are playing at Bro-AM this weekend in Encinitas, California. Congrats! Are you pumped for that experience? Have you attended Bro-AM before?

That show was amazing! There’s so much love and positivity going around with Switchfoot’s crew, fans, and causes. It’s truly inspiring. The event saved over 250k for charity towards kids in need in San Diego which is just insane. Also I’ve been a huge fan of Sure Sure for sometime now and it was an awesome experience to share the stage with them and meet those dudes :). And yes, I’ve been to the Bro Am many many times starting back when I was in high school.

What is a lyric from your music that sticks out to you?

‘And there’s that night that we drove drunk, you went to jail and my heart sunk. Cause it’s my job to keep you safe’ – That’s probably my favorite lyric from ‘First Time’ just because it’s straight honesty. Not trying to hide behind metaphors or complexity. Just truth.

What is your favorite song right now?

Hmm well that’s always just changing, but I would say ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ by Sampha is this week’s favorite jam.

Lastly, you guys have been making music for a couple of years now, what is the memorable experience that your music has given you?

I would say my most memorable experience isn’t defined by a single event, but rather the ongoing experience of being able to make art. Music is what gives me purpose in my life and If I didn’t have that outlet I don’t know where I would be.


We look forward to this new music by Inspired & the Sleep, and here is the new track released in April, First Time:




Macklemore Cuts Ties with Ryan Lewis and Releases New Single 

After a few days of anticipation on social media Macklemore has released a new song “Glorious” featuring Skylar Grey.

With the song release Macklemore also unveiled that he will be releasing a new album, and in doing so broke the news that he is parting ways with the producer that he gained so much popularity with, Ryan Lewis.

The two are in good terms, with Macklemore citing that they mutually decided that they were both in need of some “creative space”.

It will be interesting to see what differences the next album will have without the influences of Ryan Lewis. This new song sounds similar to the general sound and pattern that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis has had in the past.

Macklemore states that Ryan Lewis will have some annoumwnts soon, and it will be cool to see what kind of projects he works on after spending nearly a decade working with Macklemore.