“on this hill” – the latest from t-pain – is a thought-provoking, emotional ride

“on this hill” – the latest from t-pain – is a thought-provoking, emotional ride

It is basically a prerequisite that you must love T-Pain if you work with imperfect Fifth. Whether you enjoy his vocal stylings – autotuned or his incredible natural vocal range -, his entrepreneurial brain, or his giggle, there is something about him that is so delightful. Just consider it: have you ever met someone who had beef with T-Pain?

If you’re looking for a wholesome, emotional departure (about an emotional departure) from T-Pain’s quintessential party anthem vibe, “On This Hill” is it. But, more than intensely different from prior singles, this one really envelops the listener in its captivating melody. Thought-provoking lyrics evoke bold thoughts, exploring boundaries, and a sense of acceptance in pain.

“On This Hill” truly captures what it is like to have competing values or opinions – interests that clash and red flags that no one can ignore. While there is a sense of loss and heartache in the song, there is also hope for new beginnings that you can actually feel through his empowering option to hold to his own values.

His drive to hold true to who he is and the song’s dedication to self-love brings “On This Hill” to us during Mental Health Awareness Month. In honor of this, T-Pain has teamed up with Talkspace to provide free therapy to his fans for up to a year.

The video is tastefully and purposefully intimate. A soulful live performance in a cozy setting with vocal accompaniment that feels as though its acoustic resonance could move mountains. Take a peek below, and be sure to see your favorite performer on tour this summer. (T-Pain will be EVERYWHERE!)

MANSION IN WISCANSIN PARTY TOUR DATES:
May 29 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall *
May 30 –Dallas, TX  – South Side Ballroom *
June 4 – Waukee, IA – Vibrant Music Hall * SOLD OUT
June 6 – Windsor, ON – Caesars Windsor  The Colosseum *
June 8 – Milwaukee, WI – WISCANSIN FEST @ The Rave/Eagles Club ^ SOLD OUT
June 11 – Columbus, OH – Kemba Live! * SOLD OUT
June 12 – Pittsburg, PA – Stage AE * SOLD OUT
June 13 – Doswell, VA – Meadow Event Park *
June 19 – Los Angeles, CA – Juneteenth Celebration @ The Hollywood Bowl
June 21 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony SummerStage * SOLD OUT
June 23 – New York, NY – Central Park SummerStage *
June 25 – Baltimore, MD – Pier Six Pavilion *
June 26 – Charlotte, NC – Skyla Credit Union Amphitheatre *
June 27 – North Charleston, SC – Firefly Distillery Lawn *
June 29 – Atlanta, GA – Lakewood Amphitheatre *
June 30 – Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing Company * SOLD OUT
July 2 – Jacksonville, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre * SOLD OUT
July 3 – Miami, FL – The Fillmore Miami Beach *

* with LARussell, NandoSTL & Young Ca$h
^ with Akon, Dillon Francis, Pink Sweat$, Soulja Boy, LARussell, Ying Yang Twins, Yelawolf, Waka Flocka Flame, Flyana Boss, Myaap, Young Ca$hChayo Nash, NandoSTL & Djay Mando

T-PAIN FESTIVAL & VEGAS RESIDENCY DATES:
May 25 – Napa, CA – BottleRock Napa Valley
May 26 – Las Vegas, NV – Ayu Dayclub (residency date)
June 1 – Kansas City, MO – Tacos and Tequila Fest
June 14 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
July 11 – Las Vegas, NV – Zouk Nightclub (residency date)
September 1 – Las Vegas, NV – Ayu Dayclub (residency date)

PARTY AFTER DARK TOUR DATES:
Wed Aug 21 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
Fri Aug 23 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
Sat Aug 24 – Hershey, PA – Hersheypark Stadium
Sun Aug 25 – Queens, NY – Forest Hills Stadium
Thu Aug 29 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center
Fri Aug 30 – Tinley Park, IL – Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre
Sat Aug 31 – Milwaukee, WI – American Family Insurance Amphitheater
Sun Sep 01 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Music Center
Wed Sep 04 – Clarkston, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre
Fri Sep 06 – Buffalo, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater
Sat Sep 07 – Syracuse, NY – Empower FCU Amphitheater at Lakeview
Sun Sep 08 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Broadview Stage at SPAC
Thu Sep 12 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health At Jones Beach Theater
Fri Sep 13 – Hartford, CT – Xfinity Theatre
Sat Sep 14 – Bangor, ME – Maine Savings Amphitheater
Sun Sep 15 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center
Wed Sep 18 – Burgettstown, PA – The Pavilion at Star Lake
Thu Sep 19 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
Sat Sep 21 – Ridgedale, MO – Thunder Ridge Nature Arena
Sun Sep 22 – St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Wed Sep 25 – Salt Lake City, UT – Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre
Fri Sep 27 – Ridgefield, WA – RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater*
Sat Sep 28 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre
Thu Oct 03 – Chula Vista, CA – North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre*
Fri Oct 04 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre
Sat Oct 05 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater

* with Special Guest Lil Jon

danielia cotton’s spin on “kiss an angel good mornin'” is fresh for summertime

danielia cotton’s spin on “kiss an angel good mornin'” is fresh for summertime

Genre-bending Americana artist Danielia Cotton is squaring up to release a tribute EP titled Charley’s Pride: Songs from a Black Cowboy Vol. I. In anticipation of that, she is sharing songs from the release in the lead-up. The first single came on Charley Pride’s birthday in March, and yesterday, the second hint of work was released with “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'”.

Cotton’s spin on the song brings a bit of brightness to the classic, with her signature soulful crooning taking center stage.

Explains Cotton: “The lyric, ‘Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’, and love ‘em like the devil when you get back home,’ speaks to the dichotomy of a woman with respect to the parts of herself she displays within her relationship to keep things fresh and new. The playfulness of the track musically and vocally reflects this, while the hook is infectious as a summer hit you play to let your hair down.”

What a wild time to be exploring this dichotomy, and a beautiful time of year to release such an amazing cover.

The song in its original form is being recognized this month as it is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame at Grammy Museum’s inaugural Grammy Hall of Fame Gala and concert on May 21, 2024.

guitar center hosts rockwalk honoring gary clark jr.

guitar center hosts rockwalk honoring gary clark jr.

On May 1st, well-known Los Angeles Broadcast Music Journalist Nic Harcourt made a very special induction into the Guitar Center RockWalk. The Guitar Center in Hollywood hosted the special private event honoring four-time Grammy®  Award Winner Gary Clark Jr. After the ceremony, he performed for the first time since his genre-bending full-length JPEG RAW dropped.

RockWalk is held to honor musicians who have fostered impactful growth in rock, blues, and R&B music. The induction included a handprint ceremony amidst other legendary prints and proof of artists like Queen, Carlos Santana, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and others. This was the first time in 6 years that the RockWalk ceremony happened, with the last inductee being 2018’s Sheila E. As big fans of Gary Clark Jr. – whose work has similar energy to legendary musicians like Dean Martin, The Temptations, and otherwise – we were ecstatic to find out about the revival of this event.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gary Clark Jr. into the esteemed ranks of Guitar Center’s RockWalk inductees,” enthused Guitar Center CEO Gabe Dalporto. “His extraordinary talent and contributions to music make him a perfect fit for this honor. Gary’s induction is a testament to his incredible impact on the world of music, and we were pleased to celebrate his achievements at this year’s ceremony. His handprints are a prestigious addition to Guitar Center’s RockWalk, alongside the legends who have shaped the industry.”

I am honored to be the latest inductee into Guitar Center’s RockWalk. This recognition holds immense significance for me, as it not only reflects my unwavering dedication and love for music but also acknowledges the respect and admiration of my peers and fellow musicians, who I also equally love and admire.

ajr leaves jaws on the floor after energetic takeover of t-mobile center

ajr leaves jaws on the floor after energetic takeover of t-mobile center

It hasn’t been historically easy for me to figure out what to do for my birthday. Usually, I use the fact that I am an identical twin to find ways to celebrate. Plus, both my brother and brother-in-law have birthdays during the same week as us. April is a crazy time in our household!

But when I heard AJR was planning to be in my hometown on my birthday this year, it was a no-brainer that I would be there. Not because I’m a superfan. (Admittedly, I’m not.) Not because I know their catalog extensively. (Oops, I am a very casual listener.) Actually, it was because the band’s energy felt like the right one for my birthday. Well-paced songs, often dark honesty blended with pop hooks, quirky entertainment value. I had caught a glimpse of their live set at Bonnaroo in 2019, and had wanted to see their full creative capabilities. So, my mom and I got tickets together. (Because she has wildly good taste in music and is a phenomenal show buddy.)

AJR is another three-brother band comprised of Adam, Jack, and Ryan Metz. They are more than just your average “We tried choreographed dancing and it’s still stiff,” “We dress alike for our image,” or “We play instruments but we don’t use the space to entertain” groups. They have approached their work very differently than many others, to maintain their individuality and spark as a group the whole time. As their music catches fire with even more people, they acknowledge and appreciate their successes as it happens.

Dean Lewis opened the show for them, bringing his brand of Australian power ballad to the people of Kansas City. While he may have unbuttoned a few too many buttons on his shirt, his rendition of Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” was really well done, and his vulnerability on stage allowed him to connect with the early crowd.

As is the case when you head to a comedy show, be prepared for AJR to exist outside of the box a little bit. Crowd interaction, scripted stage moments, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into their creative process… So many more examples of dynamic storytelling aside from the incredible musicianship are in store for you. The show’s eco-impact – supported by Adam Met’s efforts as a climate activist – is notable alone, as they sell sustainably packaged water and donate a percentage of each ticket sold to Planet Reimagined. Their VIP experiences are almost as dynamic as the show itself. During an AJR show, they drive cars, dine in restaurants, skydive, do shadow puppets, and perform from unexpected heights. And that’s just some of it.

There is a performed breakdown of the song “Way Less Sad” during their set. This was one of the most fascinating elements of their show. It allowed AJR to play with prepared prose and do a little set work. Seeing this – and hearing them talk about having a theatrical musical style – was a super relatable moment as a child of the 90s raised on musicals and art. It seems these brothers had nurturing upbringings embracing the arts and they work really well together. I see myself in that, and want to lead a more collaborative existence like that.

If you are heading out to see The Maybe Man Tour and don’t have context, there is a sad piece to their set. They talk about the inspiring advice their dad gave them before he passed last year. It is fresh in their minds, their lyrics, and their hearts as they approach the topic. I warn you because waterworks are almost unavoidable. Even surrounded by confetti and giddy, happy hearts of almost every age. (It was kind of like a daycare in there at times.)

Check out the remaining AJR tour dates here.

kiss bang shares their love for sxsw… and their atx bucket list food destination

kiss bang shares their love for sxsw… and their atx bucket list food destination

Modern pop outfit Kiss Bang is forever imprinted onto our minds as exceptionally fun convention/festival-goers. The duo took to the @imperfectfifth Instagram account during SXSW 2024 to give us a glimpse into their spring break fun. Not to mention the fact that they were attending SXSW as performers. (But really, do go on.)

We got to throw a few post-fest questions their way. Results below.

You approached strangers. You ran around. You tried to win things – and WON! What was your FAVORITE experience during your iF takeover? 

We really did do it all haha! I think the best part of doing this takeover was really getting to explore SXSW. It felt like we went straight from one show to the next so this really gave us the opportunity to check it out.

Was there another experience that exceeded expectations during your trip to SXSW 2024? 

We would say our last show at Hotel Vegas. It was the day of our EP release and performing to a packed out venue was the best feeling in the world.

Who was the best artist or act that you discovered (besides your damn selves) this year at SXSW? 

We would have to say Shannon and the Clams! We had a chance to stop by their set and we’re blown away. 

What was the best food you ate that week? (For real, always need suggestions.) 

Terry Black’s!!! It was on our bucket list before we got to Austin and did not disappoint.

Any highlight moments from your SXSW performances you’d like to share? 

One of our favorite moments was watching people who’d never heard us before singing along to our songs by the second chorus. With the EP only being out for a couple of weeks, it was incredible to see how quickly people were falling in love with this band.

What else would you like to share that’s coming down the stretch for Kiss Bang? 

More music and more shows!!! We are so excited for what’s coming up 🙂

ferry townes’ new audible treat “t.g.f.k.” is a stupid cute ode to friendship

ferry townes’ new audible treat “t.g.f.k.” is a stupid cute ode to friendship

Julia Gargano is a mad talented singer-songwriter hailing from Staten Island. Her musical project, Ferry Townes – a clear homage to the Staten Island Ferry – blends her effortlessly sultry vocals with thoughtful lyrics and stand-out melodies. (I mean, if you have yet to hear her first single “Be Here”, check back in and agree with me later.)

Today, Ferry Townes releases her sophomore single. A mid-tempo release, Gargano’s raspy tinge on a wide range of notes is nothing short of captivating. This track is specific, incredibly moving, and entirely about a relationship that means a lot to her.

“’T.G.F.K’, which stands for ‘Thank God For Kyle’, is about my bestest friend,” explains Gargano. “The initial idea came from being so grateful that our relationship is what it is- that we’ll never have to fall in love and break up, but we will just be friends forever.”

The video is a true love letter in itself. Julia and Kyle are depicted throughout, having so much fun just living their lives in support of each other. The warm lighting, casual dancing, and adventure really make it feel like a montage in a romance film. And, if we are being honest, it totally is. How many relationships mean more to you than the ones you have with your best friends, truly?

Celebrate friendship this spring with the beautiful vocal stylings of Ferry Townes.

“but holy shit we had to wait 4 hours outside”| a post-sxsw chat with dvtr

“but holy shit we had to wait 4 hours outside”| a post-sxsw chat with dvtr

While SXSW 2024 was too fast and too wild for many of us, Montreal-based duo DVTR – expertly comprised of Demi Lume and Jean-Cimon Tellier – kept us guessing during their fun takeover. Always ones to engage an audience, we deeply enjoy their humor and urge you to go see them live. For now, do everything you can to learn everything you can about them. We were lucky enough to have Tellier answer a few post-fest questions for us, below.

You always have such fun takeover topics planned. What made you choose your approach this year, and ultimately sharing free things you acquired?

We love free stuff and there’s a lot of free stuff usually at SXSW so you know, we didn’t have to think a lot. At first, we wanted to film ourselves doing an escape room thing downtown but it was too expensive. Then we wanted to do like an alligator tour thing but it was too expensive. So we chose the free stuff.

What was the BEST free thing you got during your stay in Austin? 

All the free shows everywhere all the time, we mean, that’s better than free Coca Cola.

You encountered Nobro during your takeover. What was that experience like?

Meeting Nobro was not that big of a deal because we see them all the time in Montreal. An ok experience overall.

[laughing] Well, it was exciting for viewers! What a thrill, to be part of such a creative community! What was the best food you ate at SXSW?

So we tried to go to Franklin’s BBQ one morning but holy shit we had to wait 4 hours outside. So we went to Micklethwait BBQ, waited 0 minutes, and had the best meat ever. Much better plan. 

Any highlight moments from your showcases?

We don’t remember anything. It all went too fast, too late, too much booze and whatnot, so we were too fucked up most of time. So no highlights, no.

Well, our highlight was absolutely your takeover. (Sorry, it’s the truth!) What else is coming up for you? 

We’re going to the UK and France in a couple of weeks for a tour. Can’t wait to see if they’re more troublemaking people than peeps in Texas. We love troublemaking gents.

____

Keep up with charming duo DVTR here. (And check out their archived takeovers and reels on our Instagram!)

the miracle of finding parking | a post-sxsw chat with bad bad hats

the miracle of finding parking | a post-sxsw chat with bad bad hats

SXSW 2024 was one for the ages. Our good friends Bad Bad Hats had 5 showcases and didn’t find themselves with much downtime between everything else going on that week. We were lucky enough to adventure with them when they did a takeover on our Instagram account. So, we wanted to wind down from the week with a few quick questions and feelings of admiration and fulfillment for all of the fun.

You ate tacos. You pet dogs. You sampled new La Croix. What was your FAVORITE experience during your iF takeover?

The migas tacos from Veracruz are an all time fave, but my favorite part was definitely hanging with our friends (whose dogs we were petting!) at their lovely Austin home. We’re grateful that music lends us the opportunity to visit friends all around the country.

Was there another experience that exceeded expectations during your trip to SXSW 2024?

We found parking every day! A miracle!

I’ll say! Who was the best artist or act that you discovered this year at SXSW?

We loved checking out Snacktime, so fun. And we enjoyed hearing and meeting Airu from Spain. We gotta get over there to a play show sometime!

What was the best food you ate that week?  

Everything is so tasty at Loro. The brisket on the burger?? The salsa with the wonton chips?? Don’t get me started on the cocktails!!

YUM! You played at least 5 showcases during SXSW. Any highlight moments from your performances? 

We were so pleased with the turnout at all the shows. We know there are lots of bands to see so we’re honored when people come by to check out a set. I had to bust out the kazoo at a few shows and show off my skills. 

What else would you like to share that’s coming down the stretch for Bad Bad Hats?

Our new album is out April 12th! So excited for people to hear it. And we’ll be hitting the road in May to start the first leg of our album release tour. Come see us in a city near you!

___

See Bad Bad Hats ASAP at one of their tour dates.

deconstructing demetri martin: demetri deconstructed

deconstructing demetri martin: demetri deconstructed

Demetri Martin released a new Netflix special on Tuesday, the first of two to be released on the streamer this year.
Before it had been out for 24 hours, I watched it twice.

For those who knew me 10-15 years ago, this hardly comes as a shock. My family enjoyed his comedy when I was is teenager. I believe we were eating Ben & Jerry’s pints for dinner and watching Demetri when guys from a neighboring school came over and asked us (the twins) to homecoming. (My parents were cool and once in a while, we got to eat ice cream for dinner. What of it?) It’s no surprise that lines of his dry comedy are what we both chose as our senior quotes in the yearbook. My sister even surprised me one year with tickets to his show for our birthday.

I didn’t realize until now how much I was missing Demetri’s unique brand of comedy. Sure, I have always followed him on social media, but he’s not one of those comedians who lives on his page either. He has built a seemingly quiet life with his wife and two children in California, releasing books, acting, writing, producing, and doing voiceover work between comedy gigs. Yes, we got a well-formed special every few years (2004, 2007, 2012, 2015, 2018), but we have been left to clips, quirky one-liners, and small peeks into his personality since the last special – Demetri Martin: The Overthinker – released in 2018.

So when Demetri Martin: Demetri Deconstructed popped up on my television, I waited mere hours to enjoy it with my parents. And then I went upstairs and watched it again.

First of all, the effort he puts into his intros is actually admirable. If you’re wondering about his use of black and white in his latest special, it’s explained before he even takes the stage. He uses his voiceover talents to help the audience identify his thought process, recognize – and relate to – his idiosyncracies, and make layered jokes. It seems to allow him a structured vulnerability, the affinity for “off-handed” comments that are planned, but well-timed comedically.

Demetri’s choice to incorporate drawing and other forms of art he enjoys in his set is – and has always been – bar none. Sure, iconic comedians have brought additional talents to the stage. (Acts like Bo Burnham, TIm Minchin, and others enjoy singing during their comedy acts. I’ll be watching Steven Martin’s doc soon, and have always admired his picking talents.) Demetri has always drawn representations of his jokes. His method includes charts, graphs, and tables, not-so-subtle reminders that his comedy is very unique.

I have to admit, I didn’t see subpar ventriloquy as the new trick in Demetri’s toolbelt I would enjoy. His spot-on impersonation of a demon from hell – and I have to specify that it is not the devil – was impactful because of its silliness and relatability.

Demetri is also known for using music in impactful moments. It is common knowledge/widely thought that he would play guitar and other musical elements throughout his sets so that executives at Comedy Central and elsewhere couldn’t edit his material to their liking for public airing. In this way, he kept more of his artistic integrity on jokes that were always widely family-friendly. Now, the threat of artistic integrity might not exist as much for Martin. But he does incorporate fun jazz beats throughout his set, giving impact to the punchlines and guiding the audience into a more relaxed and intimate-feeling environment.

While I don’t want to give away any big pieces of his set, I will say that this special commands your full attention. Jokes about Bitcoin, tic tac toe (brilliant, in case anyone is wondering), crowd work, self-deprecation, industrial strength scented trash bags, logistics, and well-known phrases can be expected. Lighting is artfully used to enhance his dramatic readings of hilarious, “mysterious” thoughts. And he accomplishes all of this while looking like – and having the energy of – someone much younger than himself.

If you love curious, intricate, silly humor that you can quote around (most of) your family, Demetri Deconstructed will accomplish this for you. Check it out on Netflix now.