I never did like Oxford-blue shirts and khaki pants. I wore that combination just about every day for four years when I worked at Blockbuster Video to - in-no-way-whatsoever - pay my way through college.
I also wore a band-aid to cover up my earring so costumers couldn't see it. That, I still say, made no sense at all. So...why am I bringing up this story? Well, I'm self absorbed like every other human in the world, and secondly Blockbuster Video just officially closed its doors forever.
Digital killed video. DVDs killed VHS. VHS killed Beta. It's the circle of life.
All of these sad facts of life are popping in my head thanks to Bay-based duo The Limousines. Two years ago, they dropped their song "Internet Killed the Video Star," and it really is a song for the times in which we live in. With Blockbuster gone, and Netflix and iTunes king, it made me wonder if the tandem of Eric Victorino and Giovanni Giusti might pen a follow-up "Netflix Killed the Blockbuster Star" in the future or something like it. During an informal interview in New York City earlier this month, I posed that in-no-way-serious question but before you watch it - along with two plugged (not acoustic) killer tracks they performed for A-Sides exclusively - I should plug what the electro-rock stars are doing. Why? They may very well be the best gift a dance floor has received since Gloria Gaynor threw men to the curb.
Victorino and Giusti are touring in support of their new album "Hush," which dropped earlier this fall; recently wrapping a tour with Nashville alt rockers Mona. On Nov. 7, the band made a stop at The Studio at Webster Hall, and took time out prior to their show to talk about touring, their music getting pants to dance, and yes, the fall of Blockbuster. Watch the interview that took place from inside the coat check room on the bottom floor of the iconic Webster Hall below. Yes... you read that right.
* Check the band's live version of Undercover!
Thanks to artists like Miguel and Frank Ocean, a renaissance of quality R&B music has been hitting your radio dial, and I mean that figuratively because no one probably has dials anymore. Add rising B Smyth to the list of artists killing it in the genre. The artist dropped a well-received EP The Florida Files, and its first single "Win Win," which features Future, is tearing it up. Earlier this month, I conducted a brief interview with the star covering topics such as the state of R&B, the fact he earned his stripes by gaining fame via uploaded cover songs that went viral, and his recent collaborations with 2 Chainz and the aforementioned Future. Read on.
YouTube played an integral part in your early success. Where do you see the service taking artists in the future?
I see them doing the same thing in the future. It will keep elevating onto other social networking like Vine, Instagram, [and so on.]
Much has been made about the arguable sad state of hip hop... what's the state of R&B in your mind?
I feel like it's growing, each and every day. There's a lot of new young talent emerging right now in the R&B game.
You have collaborated with many artists. What did you learn from each one?
On the EP, I only collaborated with Future, which was a learning experience in its self.
Is a full-length album in the works?
Definitely, I am in the process of wrapping up the album now. I just dropped a new record called Twerkaholic. I am looking forward to making it my official first single off the album.
Patty Smyth has your last name. Any relation? Please realize I'm kidding...
Yeah. We go way back like four flats on (a) Cadillac.
A-Sides "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve"based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and listened to and liked (phew), posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and - most importantly - the songs my 1 1/2+ year-old son gravitates toward. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank):
12. "Bitter Rivals" (LW-10) - Sleigh Bells
11. "25 Bucks" (LW-9) - Danny Brown featuring Purity Ring
10. "Chain My Name" (LW-8) - Polica
9. "Gold" (LW-7)- Sir Sly
8. "Lazer Gunz" - Clementine and the Galaxy (Their video is better than Laser Cats.)
7. "Don't Save Me" (LW-6) - Haim
6. "Avocado, Baby" (LW-5) - Los Campesinos!
5. "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)" (LW-4) - Arcade Fire
4. "Bad Blood" (LW-3) - Bastille
3. "Ain't Your Right" (LW-2) - Sky Ferreira
2. "Holding On For Life" - Broken Bells
1. "Reflektor"(LW-1) - Arcade Fire
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. A-Sides theme song performed by Blondfire.