Monday, October 31, 2011

Nitzer Ebb - Music


I interviewed Nitzer Ebb for Skinnie Entertainment Magazine back in 2010. I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I had been listening to the band since high school.

Now all I have to do is interview Skinny Puppy and Front 242 to complete the Jasen T. Davis industrial music trifecta!

Nitzer Ebb

When Nitzer Ebb was first created in 1983, band members Bon Harris, David Gooday and Douglas McCarthy began composing industrial music that combined punk lyric ferocity with stripped-down, synthetic beats and sounds that had everyone on the dance floor moving to this new style of machine-made music.

That Total Age, their first big album, was released in 1987, becoming part of an industrial revolution in music as bands like Front 242, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle and Meat Beat Manifesto suddenly became mainstream.


Nitzer Ebb saw huge successes with tracks like “Join in the Chant” and “Let Your Body Learn.” These two songs got people on the dance floor, and their militaristic garb and live energy earned them fans in the U.S. and Europe. Touring with Depeche Mode and performing for a wide variety of audiences gave Nitzer Ebb more depth than later, half-baked pseudo-industrial bands that seemed popped up like mushrooms before vanishing completely.

Showtime, their next big album, became a signature work that showed how Nitzer Ebb had gone beyond their simplistic origins to utilize other sounds, from rock guitar riffs to jazz melodies and blues beats, all the while creating music that was uniquely their own. “Lightning Man” and “Getting Closer”, two of the most popular hits from Showtime, became club anthems that packed the floor.


Later albums had more rock appeal, probably because the audiences Nitzer Ebb entertained were packing stadiums instead of smaller venues. The band raged throughout the early 90’s, but by the time Big Hit was released in 1995, Nitzer Ebb ground to a halt for a combination of reasons, both business and otherwise, and later tour dates were canceled.

For a time the group went into hibernation, with various members of the band quietly working on side projects and pursuing goals more related to production…but the beast was just taking a break.

Decades later, the original lineup has changed, with Jason Payne on drums, but Nitzer Ebb is still the same band only smarter and more experienced, having produced albums with big industry names like Marilyn Manson and Billy Corgan. Touring strong throughout the 2000’s, their new album, Industrial Complex, promises to be an opus created not in the sterile environment of the studio, but inspired by performances for live audiences while on the road.

Once again Nitzer Ebb has proven they can infuse powerful machine music with an organic cool that can make you move.


What originally brought Nitzer Ebb together?  Does this idea still motivate the band, or do you all now have different reasons to team up and create music?

DM: We were in our mid-teens when we started the band and had been going to live shows for a few years seeing bands like Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Souxsie and the Banshees, Southern Death Cult, Neubauten and Malaria! among others. That was a great way to be introduced to live music and we just felt that it was completely possible to do this ourselves. Those shows gave us a great sense of self belief, and once we started playing then the excitement of creating and the thrill of playing just spurred us on. It still does.

When Nitzer Ebb was first creating music, what were the band’s early influences?

DM: Well I mentioned a few with the previous question but added to that there was a very important influence in Cabaret Voltaire, then others such as DAF, Killing Joke, Theatre of Hate/Spear of Destiny, Hard Corps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and many more…

What are Nitzer Ebb’s influences, now?


DM: Erm, that’s a toughie… without sounding arrogant I don’t really have influences in the same way as I had when we started the band. What I mean is that if I am influenced with music I create it is from a subtle mixture of many different elements ranging from a variety of mediums. Fine art, film, media etc

Tell me about your next album, Industrial Complex.

DM: Very productive, relaxed and fun. We had a large space in East LA and worked over the course of about a year coming in each day with a “clean sheet of paper.” We deliberately limited the amount of technology we used so as to approach the album in a similar way as we did with the first album. What we ended up with is a very heartfelt honest collection of songs that are a joy to play live and make all of us feel incredibly good about where the band is at.

How has so much time in the L.A. music scene shaped the band’s direction? Has working on other projects, including producing, added to Nitzer Ebb’s over all style and sound?

 JP:   Working on other projects has definitely had more of an impact.  We all continue to grow, musical and otherwise, which in turn is beneficial to how we all work together.

When Nitzer Ebb first appeared on the scene, there seemed to be only a handful of other industrial bands. How did you view your contemporaries, back then?

DM: We were particularly na├»ve about our contemporaries in as much as we assumed they would be as happy to have us around as we were to have them… not all reciprocated… hahaha! There were/are some stellar people involved with bands such as Clinic and The Young Gods were always very friendly, others not so much…

How did they view you?

DM: I couldn’t possibly comment. I read in an interview with Gabi from DAF that they are “most proud of Nitzer Ebb out of all their offspring,” hahahahah!


What is the future of Nitzer Ebb?

DM: Right now we are going to finish the US tour, then go to Mexico City and then South America. We take a break in LA over the Christmas period then it’s back to Europe for more shows. There are a few collaborations on the cards for 2011 and a few special events, then who knows?

Will we be able to hear the music of Nitzer Ebb used as a soundtrack in future motion pictures?

DM: We have been lucky enough to have a number of tracks on US television shows and definitely are looking to getting some movie soundtracks to create music for.

During the time the band was not actively touring or creating new albums, the sound of Nitzer Ebb has endured, and continues to quite popular in the modern music scene. Why is this?

DM: We have always put a lot of effort into the sound and approach to our music and I think that effort is what has seen us in good stead.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Los Angeles Update #1 - OWS


"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, 
then they fight you, then you win."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Not a lot of people noticed the 99% Movement when the group first started organizing. The mainstream media interviewed a few people and threw in some jokes. A month later, a person gets shot in the head with a grenade launcher in Oakland. How time flies.


Like most U.S. citizens I feel that most of the government has been stolen by big business, right-wing political extremists, and the 1% that only wants to make a profit off the hard work of normal tax payers without giving back to America.


Like most Americans I'm a normal citizen who's somewhere in the political middle. I'm writing about Occupy Los Angeles because the mainstream media can and will only do so much. Our government only works if every citizen is involved in the political process. 


I spoke to a media rep for Occupy Los Angeles, who led me on a tour of the camp.The mood down at LA City Hall is not like Oakland or New York City. Nobody seemed particularly angry at the police or the local government. The frustration is directed at the system, the banks, and the lack of influence normal people seem to have when it comes to running the country. 


Most of the stories I heard had a lot of passion. Each person had many reasons for being there. Most of all, they wanted to get involved, and they want change.Otherwise, the energy of the place was positive.


Compared to Oakland and San Diego, the police at Occupy Los Angeles were casual. Aside from a police helicopter that occasionally hovered in the distance within view of the camp, there wasn't any sort of confrontational tone. A block away from OLS, you wouldn't even know it was going on.


The people organizing the protest have a pretty sophisticated set up. Walking into the back tent I saw servers and monitors and other equipment connected by bundles of cable. There was even a car battery plugged into something that needed juice. Solar panels keep it all going.


A media rep for the movement explained to me how right now, the camp has positive currency. As long as this positive currency exists, they can be there. Once the currency runs out, a police crackdown would be inevitable. 


He explained that many little things chip away at this positive currency, and as it's exhausted the Occupy Los Angeles demonstration runs out of time. Garbage lying on the ground, pointless graffiti, a lack of portable toilets and the wrong people causing trouble will end the existence of the camp prematurely.


The movement needs food, portable toilets, support, cleaning products, and more participation by the American public. When weirdos show up, leech off the resources, scare off the more constructive protesters  who'd otherwise stay, and walk around looking like the kind of individuals cops should be arresting, it does more damage to the movement than five flash bang grenades.


History has proven that as long as a non-violent, peaceful, committed movement persists, it will win. Because the 99% Movement has held on, they are getting noticed. People who hate politics, hate the Tea Party and know they are being screwed without knowing why are waking up. They have a voice, after all.


A month after political protests like these appeared around cities in America, the movement has already won. People are showing up to the protests, including police officers, military veterans and anyone who wants real change. The media is paying attention. Even politicians are offering their support. Washington, D.C. is listening.


Here's how you can help to bring real participating democracy back to the American government. Money, letters of support, supplies...everything counts.

You can donate to Occupy Wall Street, here.

You can donate to Occupy Los Angeles, here. They recently posted this request on their Facebook page:

"We are in need of a few things to stay within health department code:pump soap for hand washing, pump hand sanitizer, 5 gallon water bottles w/ spigot. Please help if you can. Donations are now accepted at the welcome tent on 1st Street.~OF"

Here's a link to their Amazon wish list. 

The mayor has been incredibly supportive of the protesters. You can support him right back, here.

Governor Jerry Brown could take out Occupy Los Angeles with a single phone call. Write him a letter and thank him for the support.

A letter to the LAPD in support of the demonstrations and a big donation to the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation will help the movement. Remember, cops are also the 99%.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Muerto en Vida" at Cactus Gallery and Gifts - Art


WHO: Sandra Mastroianni, Owner
WHAT: 7th Annual Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Exhibit
WHERE: Cactus Gallery and Gifts, 4534 Eagle Rock Blvd. Eagle Rock, CA 90041
WHEN: October 8, 2011 to November 8, 2011
WHY SHOULD YOU GO?: To enjoy the spirit of Halloween from a whole new angle with gothic Mexican art. 

Art by Ivan Godinez

I love living in Los Angeles because you don't just get one Halloween, you get two. The Day of the Dead celebration has it's own iconography, but the art goes beyond the usual witches, vampires and Frankenstein's monsters to reveal a world that is gorgeous in it's arcane significance. The imagery is unique to Southern California...a melding of the ancient and the modern. 

Art by Ulla Anobile

To the tourists it's just skulls, graves and candy. But under the surface, beneath the imagery, there is a deep symbolism at work. Beyond religion, culture, celebration and ritual, ancient Mesoamerican customs still survive after more than 5,000 years.


Cactus Gallery and Gifts will be presenting the 7th Annual Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Exhibit. The exhibit is open to the public and features paintings, wood cut-outs, sculptures, dolls, photographs and other visual media celebrating a holiday dedicated not just to death, but to life, family and nature. 


One popular symbol is a beautifully dressed woman with a skull for a head, parallel to the European Grim Reaper. Carved, painted, tattooed and illustrated, this solemn, elegantly clad figure has many names: La Catrina, la Flaca, la Huesuda, Fancy Lady and la Pelona, but she is popularly known as La Muerta...Lady Death.


La Muerta is not a symbol of dread and fear, she is a reminder that life is for those who live it and love it the most. To celebrate death is to celebrate life by embracing the beauty of what is just a step in the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. 


To one who has lived their existence to the fullest, with all of their heart, La Muerta is a figure to be admired. When the Spanish observed the Mesoamerican people in what seemed to them to be a morbid, ghoulish festival of death worship, they failed to see the underlying cultural context.


To people back then the holiday was a way of reconnecting with the spirits of lost loved ones and understanding the beauty of life's transience. La Muerta is a visual reminder of this ancient holiday, as families wash the gravestones of loved ones who have passed away, make offerings to their remembrance, and party like there's no tomorrow. 


To the Aztecs she was worshiped as Mictecacihuatl, a goddess who was placated with offerings of food and drink to allow the souls of those who had died could journey onward to Mictlan, the realm of the dead, where they could finally rest. It's gratifying to think that as we eat, drink and be merry, thousands of years later she's still around to enjoy the fun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Us3 Questions Authority with Lie, Cheat & Steal - Music


The people of America are angry. A handful of very wealthy, corrupt business interests exploited their political connections to con the citizens of the United States out of billions of dollars. Even though our taxes bailed them out, the healthy economy we were supposed to get for our investment never materialized due to the cabal of wealthy politicians who continue to benefit both politically and financially by aiding in America's economic disintegration. 

It's a great album, but not a very nice way to treat the nation. 

U.S. citizens have taken to the streets, and bogus "economic advisers" like Herman Cain, Paul Singer and any talking head the Fox News Channel can summon are doing their best to paint the crowds of people demonstrating against criminal greed in American politics as some sort of violent, fifth column terrorist threat.


"I've arranged this press conference for 
the purposes of informing you all that 
I do indeed drink the warm blood of babies.
Cute ones."

The founding fathers of our country had seen similar problems plague Europe during their own time, and commented on the sinister harm private interests like corrupt banking corporations could do to the well-being of the United States of America.

If it had been up to Wall Street, the Declaration of Independence 
would have had a 32% APR.

In 1802 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

"If I were alive, Chase, I'd challenge you to a duel!"

John Adams didn't like banks either, and said, “Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.”

You have to admit, this guy looks about as Caucasian as it gets. 

Lie, Cheat & Steal by Us3 highlights this sentiment with lyrics that illustrate the hypocrisy and careless criminal behavior which helped put the economy in the biggest ditch since the Great Depression.


Us3 is a band produced by Goeff Wilkinson that fuses hip-hop and jazz in conjunction with original samples from Blue Note Records and the skills of talented musicians like DJ First Rate


Wilkinson isn't afraid to go on the record as he describes his latest production:

“I’ve become increasingly disillusioned by the people we, as children, are traditionally brought up to look up to. Politicians, police, business leaders, sportsmen, religious leaders, etc all seem to be up to their eyeballs in corrupt practices. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening at an increasing pace. Is this what a democracy should look like, where it’s ok to lie, cheat & steal your way to the top?”



Oveous Maximus has the kind of name you wish your parents had given you and is also a rapper, producer and spoken word badass who regularly brings down the house on HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Raised in Puerto Rico, he honed his vocal talents working his way up in the New York City club scene.


Wilkinson has not only enlisted Oveous Maximus to provide lyrical support for Lie, Cheat & Steal, he's also brought on Akala, a UK super talent who won the Music of Black Origin Awards in 2005 for "Best Hip-Hop Artist." He's put out three albums, including 2010's DoubleThink, and has performed in Vietnam, Africa and Brazil. 


Lie, Cheat & Steal is not just a solid hip-hop album featuring two lyricists who are at the top of their game, it's a series of devastating jackhammer blows to an economic power structure that has been kicking in our collective faces for the past decade. 


Wilkinson's use of authentic jazz recordings by original American artists going back past the 1950's, courtesy of Blue Note Records, is what gives Us3 the signature sound the band has cultivated since their first EP, 1993's Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)


The brilliance of these melodies has not faded with the decades, and he incorporates that brilliance into his arrangements, combining all that jazz with the best lyrical ability Wilkinson can find. The results play for themselves, and Us3's Lie, Cheat & Steal is a good album to inspire any fan, political dissident or otherwise.

Monday, October 24, 2011

311 and I - Music


I'm not the kind of person to google myself all the time, but I can promise you that, before I met my awesome wife, I probably tried to google every attractive woman I'd ever met.

For their minds, of course.

I'm all grown up now, so I get to write for Culture Magazine and interview 311. One of my wife's best friends really likes this band, and once I got caught up on their work I couldn't blame her.

When the time came to post this blog, I ran a google search: "311 and jasen t. davis," and got my article on the first hit at The Weed Blog, so that guy really knows what he's doing.

My IMDB account was also there on the seventh hit (I'm not going to talk about acting because this isn't that type of blog) so maybe I should cough up that $160 when my next film comes out.

I was incredibly honored to interview this group. They've put out a lot of albums, played thousands of shows and and have made millions of dollars. Over the phone P-Nut was cool and extremely friendly. I always say that, but when a band like 311 is gregarious it's kind of life-affirming.

Oddly enough, you can't find this story on the Culture Magazine website even though google says the article is there. So now it's here.
...


311

They weren’t the first band to combine rap and rock (Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit) and they weren’t the only act to steep their musical stew in reggae and dancehall vibes (read: Sublime, No Doubt), but 311 has managed to remain a highly successful and distinctive powerhouse since the group exploded in the ’90s.

With a diehard following and an annual 311 Day held every (you guessed it) March 11, the Nebraska-by-way-of-L.A. band (which also features vocalist/guitarist Nicholas Hexum, vocalist S.A. Martinez, drummer Chad Sexton, bassist P-Nut and guitarist Tim Mahoney) is successful on its own terms. The band just kicked off their Unity Tour and is performing Aug. 20 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine (alongside Sublime with Rome, DJ Soulman and DJ Trichrome.

CULTURE recently got the opportunity to speak with P-Nut (real name: Aaron Charles Wills) about a new album in the works and his expanded role in its creation—he’s writing songs!

311 got big through self-promotion before the Internet became the monster it is today. Do you think bands today have it a lot easier compared to how it once was?

I don’t remember how we got the money to do all that. It was just dumb luck. It was an exciting time, being able to go to high school as a junior and sell a CD of my band when most people I knew didn’t even own a CD player. Now, so many bands can promote themselves on the Internet. I hope that helps things to become more independent and less corporate.

What would you like to say about the next big album?

I’ve been let into the sacred circle of songwriting, so I’m enjoying writing lyrics for the band, and I’m very proud of what I’ve done. It makes me feel appreciated. That was a point of tension, but now it’s been released.

I had once wished the album were a little longer. Chad, our drummer, has always been down for short albums while I am more for longer albums. We’ve always respected each other’s opinions and now I totally get it. There’s no need to have a gigantic album. This is a great album because every song deserves to be there. I totally get it now.

Maybe I’m just more excited about the continuation of our career, but the new album really feels like a return to form for us. It feels like it’s the band at full power. Before, we could be excited about chords and quick changes, but there’s something really special about everything in this album.

Let’s talk about 311 Day.

311 Day started by word of mouth. Fans would get together and listen to 311 every March 11. It was just, “Let’s hang out and listen to our favorite band.” In 2000, we did our first 311 Day. We played 46 songs for one show just to see if we could. We did 68 songs in a row in Vegas last year for 311 Day. When I’m onstage all that emotion coming from the audience, all that intensity . . . it makes me get stronger. I could play all day if I had to.

What are your thoughts on cannabis?

I dedicated our second album (Grassroots) to Shiva, the Indian god who brought cannabis to Earth. I wanted to help people look at it from that perspective.

Right now, by imprisoning people for using cannabis we aren’t taking care of those who grow up in a terrible situation, and it’s easier to imprison them instead of informing them. When you send people to prison, you are making them into better criminals. Concentrated criminality.

I can understand a person abusing marijuana. I don’t mind that I will probably not use it as much [now] because I’m a father, but I wouldn’t have been the same person if it wasn’t for having used marijuana.
If I choose to relax in a certain way, who is the government to tell me how I should do it? I’d smoke out in front of the President. Well, that’s a terrible quote, but you know what I mean.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Libya, Qaddafi, and Business As Usual - Comedy

Amon Tobin - Music


Amon Tobin samples music to create songs the way Rembrandt used color to create art. He has an ear for finding that single perfect element in a song and understanding where it could go. The result is electronic music that is both familiar and mysterious, punctuated by once disparate elements that are as energizing as they are inspiring.

Tobin moved from Brazil to Britain when he was 10. Growing up in Brighton, he began to compose and mix hip-hop, refining his techniques throughout the early 1990s. In 1996, he released his first album, Adventures in Foam, launching a career that has taken him, quite literally, across the world.


Even with the current success of his latest album, ISAM, the journey is never over. “I guess it’s more [of] just a personal exploration of sound, and what’s possible with sound and music,” he tells CULTURE. “In composing each song I try to find the hardest thing to do and do it. It’s about overcoming obstacles.”

The DJ confesses that it’s not just the work, though. It’s also the art. “It’s a love affair,” he says. “With music, I try to explore as much as I can.”


ISAM is worth falling in love with, and fans will discover the album to have a much more acoustic touch, compared to Tobin’s previous works.

“This latest album I’ve been working on is based on acoustic instruments that I’ve learned how to play and make songs [with]. It all started a long time ago when I became interested in the context of changing a piece of music for greater effect,” Tobin says.

“Let’s say you have a drum solo and a piece of jazz music. It’s going in a certain direction, so you take a few beats from that drum solo, you take some pieces of the jazz music, and then you place it in a musical environment that is vastly different, with an entirely different speed and an entirely different style, but the original energy of the music is there.”

He’s moving beyond sampling with ISAM. “Over time my samples got smaller and smaller and now I’m now more interested in affecting the sound, transforming the sound. The sound’s origin is less important.”


Tobin’s latest album contains an organic quality that can often be missing from electronic music. “Everything done on the album was supposed to be there. I based the songs on ideas that had come out of instruments I used. It’s emotionally driven. It’s based on rhythms and melodies.”

And, he’s still exploring new realms of sound. For Tobin, it’s a journey, not a conquest. “I don’t look at albums as challenges, as if they are a problem to be solved. I’m driven by curiosity about music. That’s my enthusiasm. Music is something to explore.”

Tobin’s international tour for his latest album features a 3-D electric art show designed to make the audience feel like they are part of the music. “It’s an electronic show that doesn’t apologize for being electronic . . . What I’m trying to do is make it about the record, but I’m going to incorporate myself into a visual element. I want the audience to enjoy something they see as well as hear. It’s a cinematic experience.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Knoits Rock Modern Punk - Music


I covered The Sounds for Inland Empire Weekly, and ended up covering the band for Skinnie Entertainment Magazine a few months later. These guys are really great people to hang out with, and we ended up getting drunk and partying a couple of times. 

Southern California punk rock, especially bands working with local producers like Dr. Strange of Dr. Strange Records
...

The Knoits are a punk band straight out of Southern California, made locally famous after fighting their way to the semi-finals during the annual Battle of the Bands at the Chronic Cantina in the City of Upland.

Exhausted by the flaky antics of the rest of their group, brothers Sal and Marvin Oyarzabal kicked them out to make a two-man band, with Sal on guitar and lead vocals while Marvin handled the drums. With nothing pulling them back, they’ve gone forward ever since.


The music is solid where it counts and gritty where it needs to be, delivering punches and hooks with vocals that remind one of the light of good times with bros and the dark of the urban sprawl.

After only two-and-a-half years, the band already has serious credentials, citing influences like Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Operation Ivy, Lars Henricksen and the Bastards, Guttermouth and Seven Seconds. When Eddie Casillas of the legendary Voodoo Glow Skulls tapped them on the shoulder to record their music, the two went straight to the studio and have been hard at work ever since.

Their latest album, Drunk Murder, is an album you must possess if you value modern punk. Your only hope is to hit up www.myspace.com/knoitskillkids and be somewhere near Riverside, Fullerton or Escondido when next they appear.

Friday, October 14, 2011

IamOmni - Music


I went to the website for L.A. MC Omni, and was instantly impressed. Stark black, white and crimson, just like Matt Wagner's Grendel

I know he looks good, but trust me, he's bad.

Omni's hip-hop has always been very authentic. However, like all good artists he has a definitive style. Before I go on, I'd like to point out that the IamOmni's album cover looks like an aggressive version of the cover of Welcome to My Dream by MC 900 ft. Jesus.

Nope, that's not scary at all.

I'm not going to blog about MC 900 ft. Jesus right now except to say that his name is awesome. Plus, "Falling Elevators" is the kind of song you wish they'd play during the opening credits of a horror flick.


Omni's latest album, IamOmni, has quite a few songs that seem straight out of a big-budget, Hollywood action flick. His music drips with that particular distillation of cool which can only be cultivated in L.A. and he's delivered a solid LP.

Tricky, a hip-hop artist and producer who frequently rocks the U.K., has employed his veteran skills to give Omni's album a sterling production value worthy of any James Bond film.

I have to admit I really don't know what's going on here, 
but who cares, it looks cool.

There's a clean, ice-cold quality to Tricky's touch. "Murder Weapon" builds off of a familiar tune, "The Peter gunn Theme" and goes further, instilling the original theme with modern cinematic tension.

Even the video has a aesthetic drama to it.You can hear how IamOmni benefits from the UK producer's artistic influence.


Tricky has perfected this tone over the years. "Evolution Revolution Love" is a heavy slab of noir-hued, creeping hip-hop that benefits from all sorts of eerie energizing the song, including the vocals. 

The music video for the track is dark and a little dangerous, too. There's a particular shade to the urban night only film can capture.

The UK always gives us regular, high-voltage blasts of fresh musical influence to give America something new to rock to, from The Beatles, AC/DC, The Sex Pistols, The Who...

Oi! Oi! Oi!

All of this works because Omni delivers on the lyrics. He raps with empathy. He can deliver both honesty and dread, making this last YouTube treat, "Magic" dreadfully enjoyable to hear and watch.

Tiki Lewis has an achingly beautiful voice as well, and her own gorgeous vocals give "Magic's" scary night some silver moonlight.

For mysterious reasons modern scientists have yet to uncover,
Tiki Lewis tends to make everything wonderful.

The guitars in the song are tight and controlled. It's a scary, wailing dirge, the last sound you'd want to hear in a graveyard, but wicked cool for an October nightclub.

The music side of the Internet is a vast treasure trove of good music that you still must sift through to find something worth having. I got lucky. IamOmni is a diamond.