The Hood Internet
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
June 22, 8 p.m.
$10 advance, $18 day of show
pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758
Though Steve Riedell and Aarone Brink are rarely in the same room, the two just released their seventh mixtape and remixed more than 500 tracks. While Riedell resides in Chicago and Brink in North Carolina, the mash-up duo known as The Hood Internet spent the past six years collaborating via the real Internet, remixing tracks that cut indie-rock with underground hip-hop and releasing them regularly to a growing fan base.
Reidell and Brink met in Chicago in the mid-2000s when they both played in the rock band May or May Not. The two became friends and started to experiment with remixing songs, and what started as a side project quickly became something more. In 2007, they began a blog under the moniker "The Hood Internet" as a platform to release the mash-ups they were creating for fun. That April, they unleashed "I'm a Flirt (Shoreline)," a remix of R&B star R. Kelly's "I'm a Flirt" and Canadian indie rock collective Broken Social Scenes "7/4 Shoreline." The remixed track caught attention all across the Internet, and has held it ever since. Despite all of the attention, The Hood Internet planned to keep creating, whether people noticed or not.
"A lot of times on the Internet, things get bursts of attention and it doesn't necessarily mean that it is something worth pursuing," Reidell said. "We were having fun doing what we were doing and people happened to like it. We would do it even if people didn't pay attention."
Their growing popularity came with invitations to play live shows just a few months after they launched their blog and started releasing mash-ups.
"(Our first live show) was at a place in Chicago called The Subterranean. It was a total disaster. We really didn't know what we were doing, but we got the hang of it pretty quickly after that," Reidell said.
Now, The Hood Internet tours heavily and recently played live shows in Brazil and South Korea.
What sets their tracks apart from the hordes of forgettable mash-ups released on sites like Soundcloud and YouTube? These guys don't just put song A with song B to create a semi-clever remix. Reidell and Brink having been playing in bands and writing music since they were teenagers, and they understand the anatomy of a song. The Hood Internet surgically removes elements of existing tracks and reconstructs a whole new beast. Most of their remixes pull songs from the indie genre and hip-hop, weaving guitar riffs, tight beats and juxtaposing vocals. Their significant arsenal of creations include '80s pop queen Cyndi Lauper vs. British crunk rapper Dizzie Rascal, rap legend Ghostface Killah vs. catchy indie-rock outfit Spoon, '90s hip-hop heavy weights Ma$e vs. Puff vs. B.I.G. vs. electro-pop artist Penguin Prison and hundreds more.
"Sometimes it comes from a notion about melodic or rhythmic similarities, other times it's a trial-and-error process, and very occasionally it's based on a title with a bad pun," Reidell said of the creative process.
Remixes have been around for decades, but thanks to a handful of artists, the past few years has seen mash-ups gaining credibility as an actual genre and craft. Remix artist Girl Talk, who composes one track using samples from dozens of songs, is largely credited with inspiring others that followed suite, and his work has been recognized by Time magazine, Wired and Rolling Stone.
The Hood Internet has seen its remixes performed live by the artists the duo samples from, notably in 2008 at the BRIT awards when English indie rock duo The Ting Tings performed its song "Shut Up and Let Me Go," with vocals from R&B artist Estelle's song "American Boy," exactly the same way The Hood Internet cut the two tracks together. Most recently, R. Kelly performed one of THI's mash ups live.
"In some ways, it's nothing new: people have been incorporating other people's words and melodies into their own compositions for a minute now," Reidell said. "But in the modern landscape, you see things happening, like R. Kelly performing his own vocals over one of Phoenix's songs at the Coachella festival (in April)."
To hear it for yourself, go to www.thehoodinternet.com.
Cyndi Lauper vs. Dizzie Rascal
Just A Friendomania (Biz Markie vs. Phoenix vs Classixx)
Kanye West vs. Daft Punk
Drake vs. Kavinsky
Big Tymers vs. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Photo: Ebru Yildiz
The Joy Formidable with Silversun Pickups
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
June 12, 7 p.m.
sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232
Wolff's Law is anatomist Julius Wolff's theory that states bones adapt to the amount of pressure put on them. Meaning that over time, as the amount of stress on a bone increases so does the bone's strength.
It's also the name of The Joy Formidable's latest album, and a perfect metaphor for what the band's members were going through at the time.
"It's about healing the relationships," said Ritzy Bryan, vocalist and guitarist. "I became quite estranged from people in my family, going through the grieving process of losing people ... It's about finding a need to look inside a little first, and then change the future. Sometimes we need to reconnect and question and challenge the roads we take."
Currently, the band is on tour into September, but not just in support of the new album. The trio also happens to just really like touring.
"We're a band that enjoys staying on the road whether we have a new album out or not," Bryan said. "All the traditional cycles ... we don't like to look at things like that. But it has been fun to integrate the new material into the set."
Touring is not just an enjoyable experience for the band's members, however. They also understand how important touring is to their fans.
"I think we're really conscious of our fan base, kind of a very honest appreciation," Bryan said. "I think that's why we try to keep touring. Yeah, we're sleep deprived, but it's also a hell of a lot of fun. It's a lifestyle that definitely keeps you alive."
"I find it a big turn off when bands complain about being on the road," Bryan said. "You can't treat it like a job. It's not a job. It's a great way of life. There's a real truth and honesty about it, getting out there and playing live without all the bulls**t that tries to creep in."
During the incessant touring, The Joy Formidable will make a stop at The Intersection to support Silversun Pickups.
"We've got a great relationship with them, kind of a mutual respect," Bryan said. "We're delighted that we can meet up again and share some stages. They're a great band and really great people."
Ever since the 2009 release of Daisy, iconic alternative/emo band Brand New has fallen off the Midwest map with a touring hiatus, severely wounding the patience of the band's passionate following. With rumors of a new album throughout the past two years and nothing to show for it, fans have been left with empty hands and broken hearts. But now, when all hope had seemed to be lost, news of a long-awaited comeback has been sent from the genre-defining gods that brought you "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows" and "Jesus Christ."
Brand New is finally returning to Michigan during a short Midwest/East Coast tour at the end of the summer, making a stop at The Intersection on Sept, 14. With serious talk of a new record with focus on older and sadder days, we can expect to hear some new material similar to 2006's The Devil and God... at the Grand Rapids show. With this being the first return to the stage anywhere west of Pennsylvania in years, the Intersection will likely be packed with the all-grown-up, diehard emo fans that have been delicately waiting for their return to the mosh pit.
Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 23rd at noon and are available at The Intersection box office and sectionlive.com.
The People's Temple wsg The Amoebas, Kastanza, Cardboard Swords
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
May 3, 8 p.m.
$8 advance, $10 day of show
pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758
In 2007, two sets of brothers out of Perry, Mich. got together and decided to make some music. But they weren't reaching for the polished, over-processed sound that saturates the airwaves today. Instead, these four embraced the raw, unrefined style of 1960s garage rock, with some psychedelia thrown in for good measure, and formed The People's Temple.
Given their focus, it's no wonder they found themselves on the radar of Third Man Records, Jack White's independent record label out of Nashville. So in July 2012, the band – which Third Man Records calls one of "the most intriguing and rawkus bands currently blowing up the rock-n-roll underground" – traveled to Tennessee to record a live single.
"We drove all night to get down there," said Lead Guitarist Alex Szegedy. "It was really fun, and it was actually our first live recording we've ever done. We got to listen to it right after recording. It was very interesting."
That live single, which included the songs "Never More" and "Miles Away," was released under the Third Man label on 7-inch vinyl in February. Add that to the band's already impressive discography, which includes three EPs and two full-length albums, as well as a consistent touring schedule, and it's safe to say these guys keep busy.
"Right now we're just trying to go out and spread our name around," Szegedy said. "We have a whole other bunch of May dates ...We'll be sticking around the Midwest and the deep south, take a month off, then go out to the west coast in July."
Yet even with that kind of schedule, the band is looking at more recording.
"We're going to be putting out another single in July," Szegedy said."I don't know about a third album yet. We have a lot of material, just nothing specific in the works right now. What we do have is not necessarily very good, or at least what I consider very good ... We'll see, you never know. Right now we're just trying to keep playing shows and keep going."