My Top 8: The Phenomenauts

Phenomenauts We continue our My Top 8 series this week with the Phenomenauts.

Oakland, Calif., certainly can feel like outer-space sometimes, but that city also plays host to a very special cosmically minded troupe, the Phenomenauts. Blending pop-punk, rock 'n' roll and new wave, the fivesome set their eyes on the stars, literally, with loads of space and sci-fi themed tracks like "Make a Circuit with Me," "I Am Robot" and "Galactic Pioneers." The band's fans and the band itself, naturally, rock some mean-lookin' space-inspired duds.

While these galactic rockers may not board an actual spacecraft just yet, their inspiring song "Infinite Frontier" from the latest album "For All Man Kind" scored entry onto NASA's STS-124 shuttle mission to the International Space Station, which launched on Saturday (May 31). It will allegedly be spun as the astronauts' wake-up call. The track also got a video treatment, due to premiere this week. The group will perform at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., on June 7.

The band took time out to explain to Jaded Insider who is in their MySpace top 8 and why.

The Phenomenauts are more than just us in the band; we on stage are just the Alpha Squadron. The MySpace Top 8 consists of Phenomenauts Cadets in uniform from around the globe. Many of these cadets are pictured wearing their own home-made gear, or are in interesting places like the Great Wall of China. We frequently change which cadets to feature on our Top 8 so different ones have a chance to meet other like-minded Cadets from all over the world.

Our Cadets come first, dominating the top 8, but our MySpace account actually has a "Top 40."  After the cadets, there is a section of earth bands we have toured with and have a lot of respect for, followed by a section of bands we are friends with from our local California sector. These are all bands that understand our official slogan of Science And Honor, and active participants in fighting to make the world a better place.

June 2, 2008 in My Top 8 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

My Top 8: Headlights

Headlights We continue our My Top 8 series this week with Champaign, Ill.'s Headlights.

In the colder days earlier this year, we were pleasantly toasted by the blazing indie pop-rock of Headlights at New York's Mercury Lounge. Comprising Tristan Wraight, Erin Fein, Brett Sanderson, Nick Sanborn and John Owen, they are one of the few bands from recent memory that actually look and sound like they're having fun playing together live.

The group released "Some Racing, Some Stopping" this winter via Polyvinyl, a killer collection. Currently -- and as always -- the band is on the road; they're opening for Mates Of State for a spate of dates, as well as touring with the Submarines and hitting a few festivals.

Below is a smattering of the band's top friends on MySpace, and why they're there.

we are on tour with these guys right now.  they are quickly becoming great friends and we LOVE their spooky pop music.

common loon-
a newish local band from our home town champaign, il.
seriously good song writing and harmonies.  new record coming out on ideal utopia records.

the beauty shop-
another amazing band from good ol' champaign, il.
john hoeffleur is the man behind the tunes.  some of the best outlaw rock we've ever heard.

the living blue-
these guys recently moved to chicago.  great friends of ours that make psychedelic garage rock.  so good.

you've probably already heard of aloha.  we think they're one of the most unique and talented bands on the polyvinyl roster.

you think battles is good?  check out maserati.

caleb engstrom-
this guys voice will shake you to your core.

our homies from champaign.  john our new guitar and noise maker is also in this band.  their new record 'rabbit in the kitchen with a new dress on' is dark and awesome.

the best looking band in the midwest.

via audio-
our buddies from way back when.  these guys will get yr feet movin.

May 29, 2008 in My Top 8 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

My Top 8: Riskay

RiskayWe continue our My Top 8 series with Florida's own Riskay.

By now, you've seen it, and likely quoted it and wonder if it works. That's right folks, Riskay's "Smell Yo D*ck." The video has been making heavy rounds on YouTube, Perez Hilton (who has posted a video of himself singing the song) and your little cousin's Bebo profile page. It's a cheating song, plain and simple, and a gross one at that. Riskay make no qualms confronting her lover on his wrongs, and her method of revealing his indiscretions is disquieting at the least, hilarious at best.

The Drama Queen checked in with Billboard to tell us who is in her top 8 on MySpace.

1) Steven Wesley - This is my 1st cousin, who is a football player for the University of Miami. I'm very proud of him for getting a full scholarship to attend college so I added him as #1 in my friend's list.
2) Real - He's my label mate on I-4 Trackblazers label and he also raps on my song, "Smell Yo D*ck."
3) Lil Chaney Bee - This is my lil cousin, and is now on l I-4 Trackblazers with me. He raps on my song "Krispy Kreme."
4) Bigg Baby - He's the CEO of I-4 Trackblazers and a longtime friend of mine. He was the one who gave me my chance to shine.

5) DJ Quest - He is one of my favorite DJs and he produced the beat for "Smell Yo D*ck."

6) Aviance - She is also on I-4 Trackblazers and she sings the chorus on "Smell Yo D*ck."
7) Killa Kim - She's a close friend of mine that is doing the rap thing as well. We both know how hard it is to be females in the game so we keep each other motivated to keep going.
8) H Vadil - He is another one of my favorite DJs. He is a DJ on Wild 98.7 in Tampa and he is a supporter of me and my music. He interviewed me on Wild 98.7 and it was fun.

May 12, 2008 in My Top 8 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

My Top 8: Flobots

FlobotsThis week we continue our My Top 8 series with Flobots.

Prior into delving into the Boulder, Colo., band's MySpace Top 8, we first reference the "Influences" section of the site. Few other bands can namecheck the Roots, Bach and Tool in one breath, but if anybody is allowed, this patchwork troupe is. They have the beats, a string section, and a hard-rock bent that appeals to a wide enough berth of people to put them onto our Heatseekers chart with their newest "Fight With Tools" (Universal Republic), peaking at No. 12 thus far.

The band also rolled out their video premiere for the track "Handlebars" at the URepublic Web site this week.

Below, emcee Jonny 5 tells us who is in the band's Top 8 and why:

1. Flobots Street Team:
Our street team is different. We're looking for people who want to do voter registration and get active in their community...

2. Born in The Flood
One of Colorado's most respected and talented bands...

3. Basementalism
A mainstay of the Colorado underground hip-hop scene and supporter of ours since the beginning...

4. Heyday
Lovable and talented. Also they bought a trailor and vlogged about when it broke on the highway.

5. The Littleague
Our friend Neil is a respected Denver emcee who put together a genuinely dope hip-hop album for kids.

This emcee/activist, founder of the Colorado Hip-Hop Coalition, helped inspire and encourage our model of music-based activism.

7, Bop Skizzum
If bands are significant others, this band is guitarist Andy's decadelong pre-flobots love.

8. Paper Bird
Prepare to be swept away by these amazing ladies and the textures this band lays down

May 6, 2008 in My Top 8 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My Top 8: Frightened Rabbit

Frightened_rabbit This week we continue our My Top 8 series on Scottish rock troupe Frightened Rabbit, who are far fiercer than their grossly timid name suggests.

On April 15, Fat Cat released the digital-only version of the band's "Midnight Organ Fight" in the U.S.; yesterday (April 29), it hit the shelves. The set itself is a crumbling, raw collection of songs on hissing heartache, a mix of punk, pop, rock and folk that explodes feral emotion without regard to delicate language or sensibility.

It's beautiful and often angry, with a rhythm section as precise as it is loud and a double-guitar attack to knock your ex straight off of his/her pedestal. Opening track "Modern Leper" is worthy of a few hundred listens on its own. Verse, chorus, chorus revamp,  instrumental breakdown... the major chords dropping to the minor... the crescendo... the aftermath. It's like "Mr. Brightside" with less-tended facial hair.

Lead singer/guitarist Scott Hutchison delivers his epic brogue with words that skipped the whole pen-to-paper bit -- its like a very clever stream of consciousness, all the stuff you wish you'd said at the time of the break but were too tired/dumbstruck/drunk/sad to sputter.

Lucky us, the quartet is performing in the U.S. again starting May 24 and will also be supporting the excellent French Kicks for quite a few dates.

Hutchison took time out to tell us about the band's Top 8 on Myspace.

  • FatCat Records - These ladies and gentlemen helped us to make our second record and for that they can call themselves our bestest friends.
  • The Twilight Sad - Our  favourite band on the planet, now and until the end of time. They are of course a set of absolute cocksuckers.  You can't have everything.
  • 30 Milkshakes - This guy and gal management  machine are knocking on doors all over the USA canvassing for the election of Frightened Rabbit as presidents of charming indie rock.  YES  they wear rosettes and YES they kiss babies and tiny dogs, but this has nothing to do with us.
  • We Were Promised Jetpacks - The best new band in Scotland (and therefore the UK) right now.  They are taking a break because their drummer went to Germany to study flowers and bricks, but they will be back to melt face in the summer. They should consider  themselves very lucky to be in our top 8 after the incident involving the sale of pirated copies of our new album down at The Barras. Be careful boys. Be very careful.
  • Rock Plaza Central - They made our second favourite record of last year (Are We Not Horses?) and also happen to be traveling on the good ship  30milkshakes!  We hope to be playing some shows with them in the UK this  summer. 
  • Ross Clark - A great friend, a true gentleman and a chemistry scholar.  He also writes some of the most honest and heartfelt songs around.  He's in there because of all the Central Belt adventures we've had at rock shows/concerts/fights.
  • Zoey Van Goey - It may seem like damning with faint praise, but I think everyone who has ever met them agrees that Zoey Van Goey are the NICEST band in the  WORLD! Matt, Kim and Michael John also write the most charming and  wonderful songs so if you get the chance to see them, I guarantee they will melt your heart like a fondue thingy.
  • Right On Dynamite - Three chaps from Brooklyn with the greatest line in stage props I've ever seen.  They have it all - The Good Luck Aquarium, The Good Luck Frog and  the Good Luck Armadillo.  Its like Pink Floyd but LUCKIER! We hope to get some shows together soon so we can embark on the Good Luck Tour!

April 29, 2008 in My Top 8 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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