On March 23, 2015, Sweden’s Erik Hassle played a sold-out show at Pianos in New York. The show was announced at the last minute, making it even more impressive that fans packed the house for the criminally underrated pop/soul singer. Erik Hassle is currently supporting New Zealand’s Broods (see video I shot at one of their first ever US shows here) and decided to book a solo gig where he showcased several new songs in front of an adoring crowd, which also included his parents and many of his friends from Sweden. Erik Hassle has a hell of a voice, very soulful and his dance moves on stage will make you fall in love with him.
I would normally be posting a video I took at the show, but sadly the Youtube police are after me at the moment for copyright infringement – despite the fact that I don’t make a penny from my Youtube account AND I post concert videos with the intention of turning my readers onto music they probably would not be exposed to without my site. Thanks for sticking up for me (and all the others that are in a similar position) bands, managers, etc – NOT! Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?!
Erik Hassle – Pianos
So in the absence of a live version of “Innocence Lost,” which I would have loved to have posted, you should definitely check out that song. It’s amazing! If you want to see the video, you can come over to my place. Ha! As an alternate plan, for my international readers, you can see a little clip of “Fuck The Pain Away” on my Instagram account. In addition, you can hear samples of many Erik Hassle tracks on his official website (link will open in a new window). Before his final song of the night “No Words,” Erik mentioned that the song will be available as a single in the next few weeks, so be on the look out for that song. It was great! Follow him on his Soundcloud page for updates.
Erik Hassle is supporting Broods on the following dates, so make sure you don’t miss his set (because it will likely be as good if not better than the main act).
03/25 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY
03/26 – Trocadero Theater – Philadelphia, PA
03/27 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
03/28 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
03/29 – Masquerade (Hell Stage) – Atlanta, GA
03/31 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
04/01 – Trees – Dallas, TX
04/02 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
Erik Hassle Pianos Setlist
Thanks for a great show Erik. Can’t wait to see you again!
Great news music fans! Penguin Prison is back! After touring the world as a DJ and producing remixes for the likes of Lana Del Rey and Imagine Dragons (just to name a few), Chris Glover and his band Penguin Prison have announced their second album “Lost In New York,” which drops on May 5, 2015. Penguin Prison debuted a handful of new tracks at a sold out show, their first full band show in 2 years, at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on March 12, 2015. If you liked the funky and extremely catchy dance/ pop songs on their debut, you will not be disappointed with the material on “Lost in New York.” Pre-order the new album at this link (which will open in a new window).
You can stream the new track “Try To Lose” below.
After the show, Chris revealed that Penguin Prison will be playing Music Hall of Williamsburg some time during the release week for “Lost In New York,” so be sure you don’t miss it. Welcome back Penguin Prison! We’ve missed you!!!
Penguin Prison – Rough Trade Setlist
The setlist was:
Calling Out (new song) / Golden Train / The Worse It Gets / Try To Lose (new song) / Multi-Millionaire / Caught In A Daze (new song) / Never Gets Old (new song) / Don’t Tell Me (new song) / Show Me The Way (new song) / Don’t Fuck With My Money.
Photo by G. “I Won The Internet!” art by Troy Gua.
Rebel Heart vs I Won The Internet!
Hello! Remember me? Since we last spoke, I released my third book, “I Won The Internet!” which is available now on sites like Amazon.com. I took a break after the release of the book to do some promotion and also to get my nervous system back. For 5 years, I’ve been going out pretty much 7 nights a week in search of letting you all know the best art and music you should focus your energies on. To this day, there is not another website on the internet that has ever done the things I have done – experiencing, photographing and writing about all the content that appears on their site. It’s really sad to me that the world isn’t any the wiser as they continue to read sites written by people who rip off and re purpose content off the web and try pass it off as their own, but that is not my problem – it’s yours for supporting it! Readers have kindly been nudging me to return to this site for a few months and the love has been overwhelming. I thank you kindly for your love and support. You shouldn’t consider this my full return to According2g.com, but I will try pop in from time to time and let you know what’s up. You can also follow me on Instagram or Twitter @according2g for updates.
What better way to kick things off than with one of my favorite love-to-hate subjects – Madonna. I’ve been a fan of her since the beginning of her career and to her death, I will probably always be interested in what she’s up to. What I despise about her is that she has never lived a “practice what you preach existence,” and pretty much anyone that has been around her that has not signed a non-disclosure agreement rarely has a nice thing to say about her. It’s a shame since she is always singing about love and peace, but it fascinates me that people (myself included) continue to be captivated by someone whose only care for you is how she can carefully take your money. If you think that sentence is egregious in any way, you are in serious denial and you need help.
Regardless, I go into all of her albums with an open mind, because I will not lie, when her music ‘does it’ for me, it makes my world a happier place and I will always be grateful for that, and this new album has those moments from time to time, although fleeting. Her 13th studio album “Rebel Heart” has been a disaster since before the album even had a title. In December 2014, before the record even had a release date or a title, 13 songs in perfect quality, but in demo form, leaked to the internet in full. To try and do some damage control, Madonna oh so kindly, finished up 6 tracks and let people who pre-ordered the album have those songs instantly. She called it her Christmas present to fans. Insulting since her real fans (the people still interested in supporting her career) downloaded the songs for free days before (deny it all you want, but you and I both know that is the truth – not just for her but for any veteran act), but I digress…. In the interim, she announced the full album would be 19 songs long (except for a 26 song deluxe edition) and would be released in March of 2015. Before the end of 2014, an additional 19 songs leaked in full, so the grand total of songs that were “out there for free” at this point was 32. Madonna’s PR team went on a manhunt to find the person that hacked into her computer and released these songs into the wild and a person was captured. Leaks over, right? Not! A few days later, the finished version of the deluxe edition (25 songs) leaked onto the internet in perfect quality. And before the official release of the album, an additional few songs leaked, bringing the grand total number of tracks (including multiple different versions of certain tracks) to over 50! Makes you wonder – was the leak a publicity stunt? Is she having trouble with her mega-deal and she wants out? Rarely any information “officially released” these days is the truth, and so many of her fans are sheep that actually believe she’s a kind hearted person, so we may never know the truth.
It’s a good time to be a fan because there is certainly a lot of material to choose from and some of it is her best work in over a decade. Whoever sequenced the album and chose certain producers did a really crappy job as many of the demos were great and subsequently ruined by over (or under) production. Also many great songs were scrapped from the official release in favor of much worse songs. She’s been pulling the ageism card in interviews to try and gain sympathy and attention for the album, and to some extent she is right – the world caters to the youth and that sucks – but awesomeness always rises to the top. Frankly I think, Madonna looks amazing “for her age” (since she went there). Her plastic surgery doesn’t look as scary as it used to and she works out so much, she has a really great body. I am not really sure if I enjoy seeing her put her tits and pussy on display anymore, but sex sells and that’s always been part of the winning formula for Madonna, so why stop now?
After the jump, see my brief track by track review, as I try and make some sense out of this mess.
I am so proud of Sam Smith! In August of 2013, he was playing to 250 people at Mercury Lounge and less than one year later, he headlined the legendary Apollo Theater! The very sold out show took place in Harlem on June 17, 2014. The blue-eyed soul singer is 21 years old and in this important year of his life, he’s traveled around the world and back, had a few club hits by lending his voice to songs by dance duo Disclosure, was outed by the media after he matter-of-factly mentioned that the songs on his album were about a guy that didn’t love him back (how come the media doesn’t make straight people do this?), and of course on June 17, 2014 his debut album “In The Lonely Hour,” was released officially in the USA and will be battling with Lana Del Rey for the #1 spot this week.
During the show, Sam Smith thanked the crowd multiple times and mentioned how mind blowing it was to share the same stage that so many of his heroes (including Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson) have performed on. He told the stories of the songs before they were played with his tight band (that featured 3 backing singers and a string section), and he played nearly every track from “In The Lonely Hour” whilst also throwing in “La La La,” a stripped down version of “Latch,” “Nirvana” from the EP with the same name (and below, you can see a video of it) and for the final song of the night “Stay With Me,” Sam Smith brought out Mary J. Blige to perform the song as a duet, which of course was the perfect cherry on top to a fantastic evening. Apparently the show was being recorded, so let’s hope for a DVD or live album because the show was EXCELLENT!
Mary J Blige and Sam Smith
I wish Sam Smith tremendous success and I have no doubt that he will be a name you won’t be forgetting. And now… let Sam Smith take you to Nirvana!
The setlist was:
Intro / Nirvana / Together / Leave Your Lover / I’m Not the Only One / I Told You Now / Like I Can / Restart / Good Thing – Berlin / La La La / Lay Me Down / Money On My Mind
Latch / Make it To Me / Stay With Me (with Mary J. Blige).
On the first day of June 2014, I attended the New York City premiere of Jellyfish Eyes, the directorial debut of artist Takashi Murakami at the Film Society at Lincoln Center. It had long been a desire of mine to meet Murakami and the universe gave me a freebie as I arrived for the premiere to find Murakami standing in the lobby of the venue meeting fans, signing autographs and taking photos! (and see below for a really awesome photo of Gail getting Murakami’s autograph). Thanks Universe! Murakami was wearing a Kurage-Bo hat and after seeing the film, you realize that Kurage-Bo (translated into English – “Jellyfish Boy”) is one of the main characters of “Jellyfish Eyes.”
Kurage-bo and Geoffrey Dicker. Photo by Gail.
Set in a post-Fukushima world, “Jellyfish Eyes” follows young Masashi who, after his father’s death, moves with his mother to a small city in the Japanese countryside. But when he discovers that their new apartment is already inhabited by a pint-sized, gravity-defying creature that he names Kurage-Bo, Masashi begins to pull back the curtain on this sleepy town and finds that very little is what it appears to be.
Luxor and Geoffrey Dicker. Photo by Gail.
The kids all have cellphone like devices that control these strange creatures called F.R.I.E.N.D.s and before long, you realize that a battle of good vs. evil is about to unfold. I won’t tell you what happens, but I will tell you that during a Q&A with Murakami after the screening, he revealed that this story will be part of a trilogy, so look out for those to hit theaters in the future.
Without further delay, an awesome photo of Gail getting Murakami’s autograph!