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A night at the Old National Centre with great music.

Bad Suns and SomeKindaWonderful Wow At Old National Centre

As we made our descent to the Deluxe room at the Old National Centre in Indy, Dane Regnier and I were ready for a good show. When we got to the back of the crowd it was obvious there was a generation present that we were no longer a part of. The room was full of teenage hopefuls with an obvious passion for music. They were most obviously there to scream their faces off to New Politics, and that is exactly what they did when the up-and-coming band took the stage. Dane and I rather were there on a mission to enjoy Bad Suns and to check out who SomeKindaWonderful could be.

Enter SomeKindaWonderful. Holy shit what a show! I have to start with that because they were freaking incredible! True entertainers of our time. They weren’t there just to sing and move around, they legitimately put on one of the best performances I’ve ever seen live. As a band they formed back in January 2013 according to their Wiki page. In their almost 2 year timespan I feel as if they’ve spent a lot of time coordinating their movements on stage, and it really shines.

The lead vocalist Jordy Towers and the backup vocalist Sarah Dyer have this almost erotic connection on stage. They were born to perform together. Matt Gibson seriously reminds me of how the grown-up version of ‘Squints’ from the Sandlot should look like. Those specks and the way he moves his 6″4 frame with a ukulele in hand will never be forgotten. Sarah Dyer is the third piece that creates this tantalizing trio. She has the voice of an angel,  no exaggeration needed. Her independent and divaesque presence on stage is inspiring. As Dane put it after the show, “SomeKindaWonderful can jump from playing a bassy power ballad like “Reverse” to the poppy “Honeymoon” in the blink of an eye and make every song memorable”.

The Bad Suns shattered any thought or idea Dane and I may have had before they began their set. It is way too easy to see these guys as just another rock band incorporating pop into their sound to better appease the masses. That thought is so false I’m disappointed in myself for even thinking it. The band wasn’t too sure about us either. This was their first show in Indiana and their lead singer, Christo made a surprising statement on stage, “We weren’t sure what to expect coming to Indiana, you guys are fucking awesome”. As a band from the coast of California their live set takes us back to times when kids still rocked out in their garages, and I am certain Bad Suns has seen practice in a few garages. Whoever got the privilege to be these guys’ next door neighbors experienced music magic.

There was a moment during the set when Christo Bowman dangles on the edge of the stage and, like a true rockstar, jumps off of his high dive into the arms of the crowd. I can remember feeling my eyes light up with a rush of excitement and I truly wish I could have been outside of myself to see my face. That is how music should feel, and these guys nailed it. To blend that true rock and roll vibe with modern, relevant style takes skill and finesse. The Bad Suns are that band.

At the end of Bad Suns set, and of our peaked interest, we decided to stay for 3 songs of New Politics. They may be mainstream, they may have the hearts of hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, but I will never tire of an entire room jumping up and down to tracks like ‘Tonight You’re Perfect”. Well done with the energy level in such a small room, guys!

-Britney
@britney_oneTnoA
@caktusapp

Pacific Dub

Pacific Dub – Everyone Needs That Cool Vibe Band

They’ve had a number one album on iTunes, several sold out shows at incredible venues, and they’re sometimes referred to as PDub. They’re a rock reggae band from the pacific coast and call Huntington Beach in Orange County home. Which would make sense because I feel like I’m on the beach in the Fall weather of Indiana as I listen to them. Their last album was released in 2012 ‘Tightrope’ and I’m jamming every song. It has the best sounds of rock, reggae, and a little rap.

‘You & Me’ and ‘Best Of All Time’ are two of my favorite tracks off this album. We were lucky enough to get to see them on the Vans Warped Tour 2014 where we got to launch our app and they got to play every tour date. So whether you’re hanging out somewhere on the beach or are in one of the landlocked cities of the U.S., this band is going to give you that feel good vibe. They are our featured artist of the week and they are on Caktus! Much love guys and keep doing your thing.

-Britney

Jung Youth – A Voice For Our Generation

If you take a listen to this track that Jung Youth released about a year ago you may think to yourself that this is the next kid that’s going to make it. You would be absolutely right, Justin and his producer Nephew are on their way. He’s from Nashville and has a way with words. His Facebook states that IT’S BIGGER THAN HIP HOP. His talent and outlook on his career are prime examples of how much bigger than the game he really is.

His EP, Flirkin’ dropped late last year and the album is easy listening with pop and old school R&B undertones. Each track has a different vibe which shows us how diverse his realm of talent really is. He is our featured artist on Caktus this week. So go listen to his album, it’s legit to listen to in any situation, download it on iTunes and enjoy until he comes around again to blow our minds.

We dig the talent behind your passion JUNG YOUTH!

-Britney

Artists On Caktus – Holden Harris

Holden Harris, born and raised in Louisiana, has loved music since he knew what the concept of music was, and has a pretty strong Instagram game (i.e. #yogawithsparklers). He can be considered a producer but has also experimented with rock and pop music. With talent like his you don’t need to label what he does. He creates energetic music that gets crowds going! I’m currently jamming his track ‘I Am Legend’.

Check out this up and coming artist not only on Soundcloud but on Caktus as well. Good luck with your upcoming shows, Holden!

-Britney

Artists on Caktus – Bad Suns

“It’s pretty incredible what you can accomplish with time, work, and patience.”  -frontman Christo Bowman

The Bad Suns are an alternative rock band from the hills of Los Angeles. Formed in 2012, the foursome is new to the music scene in more than one way. The guys are all 19-22. But do they sound like it? Absolutely not! You’ve probably already heard their best single to date, Cardiac Arrest. The rest of their debut album, ‘Language and Perspective’ is killer as well!

They have a chill and cool Indie vibe to their sound. I can picture someone enjoying their music while driving down the coast of Cali on Hwy 1. Maybe that’s where they get their inspiration? Well you can ask them for yourself because they start their tour tomorrow October 21 in Atlanta, GA!

Take a listen to these talented musicians on #Caktusapp and go see them on tour, your ears and souls will be happy that you did. Have fun guys and best of luck in your travels from Caktus!

-Britney

 

 

Indie Rap

When I think of Indie Rap I think of artists that I had never heard of before until just last year. Artists like Watsky, Chancellor Warhol and most recently Lil Dicky. I know I may have been under a rock as far as the Indie scene goes but believe me, my world is now open to so many more possibilities in music. All three of these guys have different styles but they all have the fact of being independent artists in common. Watsky did create his own music label which also sponsors him, Steel Wool Entertainment.
What makes these artists so great is that most of the world hasn’t even heard of them yet! There’s so much talent. I don’t know if they want to hit the mainstream rap scene, that’s an article saved for another time. But I’m telling you the beauty of their music is that it’s like finding hidden gems. When you discover their sound your heart will start racing and you will think to yourself “How have I not found this guy yet!?”.

Lil Dicky is a cat named David Burd from Philly. He’s actually a comedian in disguise as you can hear in one of his latest tracks that came out this year.

Not only is he talented, he is creative beyond our own imaginations. He didn’t have dreams of growing up as a rapper. He believes its crazy to even consider himself a rapper. And that’s cool. He gets to put his own spin on rap because who the hell wants to sound like everyone else? I think we hear enough about clubs, women, and alcohol in a general sense enough on the radio. Also, since the dude is completely independent go support him at his Kickstarter! He already has a ton of support, more than the original goal of $70,000 which is awesome. But this man needs to keep going! Keep doing your thing, David.

Chancellor Warhol is a rapper with true talent and only has 2,381 followers on Twitter. Less than 2,500 followers! What!? He has been dubbed king of the Nashville Rap scene. Music Row Magazine is a great Nashville publication who has featured him as well as worked with him numerous times. He just came out with a new album ‘Paris Is Burning’ which Red Bull Sound Select did a pretty cool article over. I’ve jammed the album numerous times in just one day. It’s exciting to see someone come up in a city with a music scene that doesn’t fit the mold of the music he creates. He’s definitely not country.
Check out his new album on Soundcloud.

It’s an extremely exciting soundscape for independent rap right now. Artists are realizing that they don’t need giant music conglomerates to make good music. And that’s making their music even better. When you have to put all of your energy into your sound because you know no one else is going to get you to where you want to be, that’s when the best music is made. Rap as a genre has so much freedom as far as different styles and expressions of individual tastes go. I’m stoked to see who else can make it into the limelight without the backing of huge labels. Time spent banging on your craft and honing your talent really shows in this genre.

-Britney

Indie Pop

Have you ever heard of New Musical Express (NME) or C86? If you haven’t then you don’t know about the birth of Indie Pop (for the record I didn’t either). New Musical Express got its start as a newspaper publication that focused on rock, alternative, and indie genres. I’m sure it was an incredible publication because if you have any sense of musical taste you know how rocktastic the British music scene was in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. To this day their website is still INCREDIBLE.

So, in 1986 NME released a cassette tape named C86 and on that tape held the first true tracks of Indie Pop. To this day the album is still a fantastic listen. Yes I listened to the entire thing on my new Bose headphones, which made it even more cool.
One of my favorites is from a band called Primal Scream with their track ‘Velocity Girl’. It’s short, sweet, and groovy.

Another favorite has to be from The Pastels with’Breaking Lines’. It has a great 60s vibe.

As far as Indie Pop today goes, it is actually dubbed Indie Pop and no longer C86 (that’s how iconic that album was by the way). There are still songs with great 60s vibes and there are songs that have a vibe all their own.

One of my personal favorite Indie Pop artists now has to be GRMLN. Not only does the name rock but the music is eclectic and different. The tracks are perfect to listen to on a road trip, chilling at home, or as the background music for a sweet pal get together in maybe a backyard with a bbq and some brews. Whatever your fancy, the upbeat tracks go along with it. A lot like how Caktus goes with any situation where music is needed!

One of my fav tracks is ‘Teenage Rhythm’ fresh off the full-length album ‘Empire’ which was released last year.  Thank you Soundcloud and Carpark Records for supporting this stellar artist, Yoodoo Park

 

A little update for you guys, Caktus Music is currently at the Tech Cocktail conference in Las Vegas! We were selected as one of the best pitches at Tech Cocktail in Chicago and we are so stoked for the opportunity to further spread Caktus to the masses. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to get all of the action going on in Sin City as well as to check out all of the other awesome startups that are attending alongside us.

Keep on jamming this week and make Indie!

 

Indie Alternative

In this day and age we can consider Independent music to be somewhere between mainstream and underground. Mainstream is obviously the songs that are marketed to the public, usually through large music labels that have the financial means to do so. In many instances the music can pushed and pushed until people are literally sick of hearing the same song. I personally could go the rest of my life without hearing ‘Sail’ again and be perfectly happy.  Underground music has everything to do with freedom of expression and not fitting into a certain mold of musical notes or marketing plans. Sometimes there are no marketing plans, just good music. Independent music would be the middle ground where songs and artists are able to hit it big without resorting to music labels. While their music can certainly go mainstream, the attitude towards how it is produced and shared is not.

Indie rock has been through many stages in its definition in relation to music. It started out as a term used to refer to music labels and subsequently came to be known as a genre of alternative rock. Grunge bands of the 90s were only the beginning as well as a great era of music. These bands began achieving success and started to blur the lines of what indie really was. Then the ‘The’ bands hit the scene in the early 2000s. The White Stripes, The Vines, The Strokes, and The Hives. They brought the old school guitar sounds back to Indie.

Today, Indie is definitely mainstream. But not in the form of air time or band appearances on daytime tv or sold out shows at giant arenas. The indie scene is alive online. Its not right in front of our faces and thats the beauty of anything falling under the very broad term of Indie. For example, search the term Indie Music Blog on Google and you’ll find pages upon pages of Indie bloggers themselves writing about the music they love that is not readily available to the mainstream scenes.

A lot of the music I found in these blogs could fall under the genre of Indie Alternative or Indie Rock. Which is pretty cool because that means the ghosts of the 90s grunge bands are still alive. One of the most killer blogs I’ve seen in a while is Gorilla vs. Bear by the way.

The hours I spent in an internet link rabbit hole looking up new music for this post kept bringing me back to the awesome Sir Sly. This fantastic band just released a new album on September 16 as well. While they are a band under the Interscope Records label, they have that vibe where the music is more important than the money. After all, they recorded their debut album ‘Ghost’ which debuted last year at one of their homes.

So here it is, the new album of Sir Sly and favorite Indie artist of our captain Dane for the moment. Enjoy it and revel in the days of early Indie Alternative.

-Britney