J Fernandez Announces Dates 
With Unknown Mortal Orchestra
First Single "Read My Mind" on FADER
Debut LP 'Many Levels of Laughter' on Joyful Noise - 6.9

Listen to "Read My Mind" on FADER

Drawing inspiration from the chaos of his neighbourhood in Chicago, the colourful world and imagination of J Fernandez is captured in his debut album Many Levels of Laughter. With lyrics reflecting the profound (emotional mushroom trips), the mundane (dentist visits, board games) and life's other curiosities (sleep apnea, Craigslist encounters), it’s an album steeped in DIY origins, but offers a superior exploration of sound that’s all set to wrap J Fernandez in a far worldlier embrace.

Born to Filipino immigrant parents, J (Justin) Fernandez relocated to the Windy City from his native Little Rock, Arkansas in the early aughts to begin work for the U.S. map company Rand McNally. Spending his spare time navigating his own personal world of musical endeavours, he created three unique and accomplished early EPs Olympic Village, No Luck and Memorize Now that placed him alongside label peers Best Coast, Mount Eerie, and Dirty Beaches whilst winning him praise and comparisons to everyone from Syd Barrett, to Robyn Hitchcock and Ennio Morricone.

Many Levels… was written and recorded in the rudimentary studio in his apartment, situated above a stained glass window workshop run by his nihilistic and elderly Russian landlord in his adopted Humboldt Park neighbourhood - a setting that was filled with his collection of salvaged gear, built up over the years from scouring Craigslist ads from every city he’d visit. “In the summer there are a lot of Puerto Rican parades and festivals in the area which can make recording at home complicated,” admits Fernandez of working through frenzied interruptions via improvised EQ tinkering. “If you isolated any of the vocal tracks from the album, you’d probably hear a bit of that in there... you can probably hear the sound of my landlord working on stained glass in the background.”

Fernandez’s songwriting draws on disparate influences from Terry Riley to the annals of early electronic music, pop and psychedelia, not to mention Can, Yo La Tengo, Jim O’Rourke, Electric Prunes, James Burke’s ‘Connections’, Carl Sagan, Bas Jan Ader, the winter in Chicago, and Adderall. Listen closely to ‘Markers’, you can hear manipulated found sounds of the outside world behind looped Casio keyboards.

Elsewhere the mellow jazzy tones of ‘Filled With Joy’ recall the energy and sonic sound of 90s Argentine band Babasonicos whilst the layers of broken Moog string synthesizer on ‘Apophis’ is played backwards and perhaps hints at a sound of the future. “I dreamed I was floating out of my living room and over the freeway and blood started coming out of my mouth. I woke up and needed a root canal,” he says of ‘Holy Hesitation’.

Enlisting friends Matt Fields (saxophone) and Michael Gillilan (additional drums) to help reinforce Fernandez’s own love and expertise for creating loops, heavily built around Vox Jaguar organ, bright guitar, horns, and tape delay, Through J Fernandez’s precision in mapping a well-trodden DIY path, whether hand-printing artwork cassette tapes or packing up and hitting the road for long drives to play far away shows, what he’s created is a sound that exists well beyond its years, and pushes well beyond the outer limits.

Tour Dates
05.01 Bowery Electirc - New York, NY
05.02 Waking Windows Fest - Winooski, VT
05.05 Al's Bar - Lexington, KY
05.06 UFO Factory - Detroit, MI w/ Fred Thomas
05.07 Bell's Brewery - Kalamazoo, MI
06.04 Lee's Place - Toronto, ON ^
06.05 Pike Room - Pontiac, MI ^
06.06 Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL^
06.08 Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis, MN ^
06.09 The Waiting Room - Omaha, NE ^
06.10 The Firebird - St Louis, MO ^
^ w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
01. Between The Channels
02. Markers
03. Read My Mind
04. Casual Encounter
05. Filled With Joy
06. Holy Hesitation
07. Souvenirs
08. Apophis
09. Melting Down






Skoota Warner

Skoota Warner To Release New Album 'Vignettes' June 23rd 2015

Featuring DJ Logic, C-Rayz Walz, David Fuiczynski, Hot Tuna and More

April 22nd, 2015 - New York, NY Skoota Warner has been called "The Drummer's Drummer" due to his ability to play anything from ballads to rock, funk to R&B, pop to hip-hop, jazz to blues and everything in-between. All of these influences, and the help of a few good friends, created his new solo album 'Vignettes.' 

The musicians who collaborated in the process are as diverse as one could expect from DJ Logic to Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna who said “Skoota Warner is one of the very best rock drummers I have ever worked with, and I’ve worked with plenty over the last 50 years. Whether Skoota is behind the kit or in front of the band… quite simply, he gets it done… every time!  That’s right… every time! It was an honor for him to ask me to play on his session. I’ll do it again any time!"
Recorded at OWG Studio and Home Studios in New York City ,  ‘Vignettes’ is a collection of songs that Skoota describes as an eclectic mix of rhythms and genres of music that have greatly influenced him:  “It’s a labor of love composed of snippets of everything I love.”  A truly collaborative effort with a diverse group of guests, the album was created both via file sharing and live in the studio.

Also on the record is David Fiuczynski of Screaming Headless Torsos:  “Working with Skoota is an absolute blast!  He plays with this infectious joy and has the greasiest, most beautiful pocket in the business!  As far as I’m concerned, Skoota is the Cadillac of drummers!!!”
Click here to play Man Of Value (Cleared for posting):

After high school Skoota moved to New York City to chase his drumming dreams. He started out as a street musician playing for tips in front of The Plaza Hotel.  Here, he caught the attention of Pepeu Gomes and Baby Consuelo, Brazil’s top pop artists.  At only 18, Skoota left for Brazil where he played gigs with Pepeu and recorded several albums.  

After two years, he returned to New York, sharp from his South American experiences, landing him gigs with blues musicians Johnny Copeland and Johnny Johnson as well as joining the house band for the famed Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night; backing up R & B, Funk, and Hip-Hop talents such as Keith SweatBig Daddy KaneBiz MarkieDoug E. Fresh, and Special Ed.  Skoota became known for his impromptu breakbeat rhythms on stage.

In 1989, Omar Hakim, New York’s premier session drummer chose Skoota to be the drummer for hisRhythm Deep Project. “Skoota nails it,” said Hakim. “He’s a Drummer’s Drummer!”

In 1996 Skoota released his first solo record 'NGA Style' on Popular/Radikal Records which charted on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles.  The same year, he and three other friends formed the band Ra, an alternative metal band that saw success with the release of their first EP after WAAF in Boston championed the band by putting their track Do You Call My Name into heavy rotation. This led to their debut album for Univeral Records 'From One' getting to #14 on the Billboard 200 in 2003. 

Since the nineties, Skoota has played for some of the hottest artists of all time - SantanaThe B’52's,Lionel RichieCyndi LauperMary J. BligePatrick Stump, the Brecker BrothersMatisyahu,Yerba Buena and Philippe Saisse. He was also a member of Dave Koz & The Kozmos, the house band for The Emeril Lagasse Show. In 2009, he began touring with Jefferson Airplane founding members, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady of Hot Tuna fame and also currently plays in Cyndi Lauper's band.

Why such a long wait to make another solo album? Skoota explains: "I write music all the time and really missed recording and producing my own songs. I’ve experienced a lot personally and musically over the past twenty years and felt the time was right to put out another CD.  Getting to work with my very talented friends was fantastic and made the project come to life."

 Vignettes Tracklisting:

1. Odyssey 

2.  Man of Value (Feat. C-Rayz Walz and Sahaj Ticotin)

3.  Still in Love (Feat. C-Rayz Walz and Kelli Sae)

4. Deserving Heart (Feat. Kelli Sae)

5. MoBo (Feat. David Fiuczynski, DJ Logic and Kelli Sae)

6. Al and Oscar

7.  U Oughta Know (Feat. Donna Angelle)

8.  U Oughta Jam

9.  Ensemble of ArtJah (Feat. DJ Logic)

10.  B.I.G. C-Rayz (Feat. C-Rayz Walz and DJ Logic)

11. Before I Let Go My Zydeco (Feat. Donna Angelle and Sara Devine)

12.  About This Love (Feat. Kelli Sae)

13.  Changes (Feat. Karen Bernod and Kelli Sae)

14.  Quimfuze (Feat. David Fiuczynski, DJ Logic)

15.  Without a Melody

16.  Nothing Left  (Feat. DJ Logic, C-Rayz Walz and Kelli Sae )

17.  Mo' MoBo (Feat. Hot Tuna)



What does it mean to be a Detroit Music Award Winner? Having won my 3rd award in the last 2 years I believe I am now qualified to give an answer.

 Anyone with a pulse on the planet knows that Detroit is now and has always been a mecca breeding ground for outstanding world class musicians.  If you don't agree just research any major band of yesteryear and today including all genres and you will find at least one band member that is from the Detroit area. Don't forget to include individual artists (didn't think I needed to mention that but okay) Some 25+ years ago (I don't have exact specifics) someone decided that these musicians deserved to be recognized and celebrated in their home town and thus the Detroit Music Awards was born.  I only learned of these awards about 5 years ago and was surprised to find out that the event had been around for so long.

Not only is it an event that awards musicians for doing great things in music, it is also one of the biggest networking parties of the year for musicians. I have certainly benefitted from each experience since the first time I was nominated in 2012. Since then, I have had the pleasure of working with so many wonderfully talented musicians from the area who are local and national artists.  The experiences, opportunities, and education that I have received and still going through is something you could never find in a book or classroom (although I heavily support proper education).  The greatest feeling I get from it is the amazing respect that most of us have for each other and the musical families that have been created. 

I don't really say much but I wanted to share these thoughts with you.  And, on that note I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to my city, my wonderful musical relationships and to the endless support given to me by all which has allowed me to be a recipient of such an honor and  to be successful doing what I love best....spreading joy through song. I wish all of my fellow musicians here and abroad all the success in your journeys and many blessings along the way.  I only ask that you give thanks and pay it forward.  Blessings to all.

P.S. If you are in the Hamtramck area tonight, you can catch me with one of my bands 'Constant Velocity' at the Fowling Warehouse located at 3901 Christopher st from 9 to 1!  Ciao!!




It was a great night and I knew it would be a great night from the moment I arrived late to a sold out Cliff Bells with a Suge Knight type of door man who kept slamming the door on nominated artists who didn't want to miss the chance at receiving the award and giving their acceptance speech.

When I saw the door being slammed on the head honcho Howard Hertz i knew I'd be in soon and that guy would be tossed out... after 3 minutes we were in.

As I walked in  Isaw my friend and fellow bassist Ralphe Armstrong winning an award then Critical Bill won one next and I was like I want to win one. 

After a few more categories I heard the lady say "for best Urban Musician the winner is T MONEY GREEN" and I was like yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

On to the Fillmore where we were up for Best Urban Recording" with my Home Detroit City.......stay tuned for part 2



© 2015 Marty Rickard


What has become a very sweet trend at the prestigious Detroit Music Awards continued again this year as veteran Christian rockers SWEET CRYSTAL grabbed two more awards at the 24th annual gala.

"No, this really doesn't get old…or even expected" says founding member Marq Andrew Speck(keyboards/lead vocals).

"The voting for these awards come from all walks of the music scene in Michigan and what it says is that our associates, our compatriots, our peers in the business recognize both the sincerity of what we do and what we represent in our music and message…and that recognition is a blessing to the three of us that have been in the band since its inception."

Taking home the 2015 awards for Outstanding Gospel/Christian Act ( a 4th time in 5 years for the band; SWEET CRYSTAL was ineligible per DMA rules in 2014 because they had won it 3 years in a row) as well as Outstanding Gospel/Christian Recording for their song "Foot Of The Cross" (this song from the recently released EP "QUAD" also just won a 2015 Global Music Award in the Rock category). 

"This makes lucky number 12 and 13 for the band" cites guitarist Bill Blatter, also nominated this year for Outstanding Gospel/Christian Musician. "We just might have to add a second shelf to hold them - high class problem we're thinking."

Along with drummer Steve Wieser, the band is taking none of this for granted.; they even took the time to thank their engineer/editor Chuck Alkazian (Pearl Sound Studios, Canton, MI) for making their sound "even sweeter" with his work on 'Foot Of The Cross' (Click Song Link To View Speech).

"This is who we are, this is what we do" concludes Speck. "We've got a message, a ministry that we've been given and as long as we can put this into music, then that's what we will continue to do."

And with the 25th anniversary of the Detroit Music Awards just one year away, here's betting the SWEET CRYSTAL train will make plans to be there as well. Sweet, very sweet indeed.

Follow Sweet Crystal online via
Twitter, Facebook, CDBaby and now BandCamp




VAMPS, the Japanese rockers that will perform at the Royal Oak Music Theatre on 4/21.

The rock band, formed by and featuring HYDE (L’Arc~en~Ciel) and K.A.Z (Oblivion Dust), recently released their latest studio album called Bloodsuckers on March 24. Songs on Bloodsuckers include "World's End," a UK single in 2014 used in the Sony campaign for the Xperia UK mobile, and "Vampire's Love," which is not just a Top 3 single in Japan but also the song selected to launch Hollywood blockbuster, Dracula Untold, in that market.

Bloodsuckers sees VAMPS pushing their take on contemporary hard rock to exotic new heights, blending melody and message over 50 minutes of dramatic, impassioned music.

VAMPS are currently on tour with Sixx:A.M., on a rare tour of the U.S.


BBC Radio 1’s latest resident and breakthrough star Hannah Wants will be embarking on her first headlining tour this month, and will be performing at the Garden Theater in Detroit on April 24th.

Most recently, Hannah has earned the accolade of Best Breakthrough DJ from both DJ Mag and Mixmag in 2014, as well as Mixmag’s coveted title of Star of the Year, making herself the undisputed one to watch in house music.

What Hannah wants, Hannah earns, having a record amount of sell out shows over the last twelve months. Hannah has set herself apart with her solidly built reputation for her live DJ sets, and has dramatically risen from self-taught DJ to an unquestionable worldwide name on the house and bass music scene. This year welcomes her brand "What Hannah Wants,” which Hannah has implemented through various festival takeovers, as well as DJ competitions where she has hand-picked rising talent to join her on all legs of her tours.





Clinton Township Michigan, May 2nd Journalist103 hosts Detroit’s Hottest Young MC’s. Included in the nights performances will be a live cypher. Journalist103 best known for his 2010 release “The Left Gas Mask” and his debut solo album, "Reporting Live", which was released by the New York-based independent, label BabyGrande Records in 2012.

In which HipHopDX stated Gas Mask "captured a nostalgic prestige with Journalist playing an integral part as the mouthpiece of the group's movement.", Also on hand and headlining the event will be REDD, who’s 2014 mixtape “Rising Star” is making waves on the indie circuit. Jamsphere wrote “For me REDD can be seen as one helluva hardcore lyricist. He can battle aggressively, inject humor into a song, tell stories, and make you think all at the same time with ease and gusto. And REDD displays all that and then some on this mixtape.” Followed up with a great card including Chad Kush, Family Grind, Damien Christian, CP & Willie Green.

Tickets are $10 at the door
Ages 18 and over
May 2nd doors open at 8pm
Sponsored by Raw Radio X ADHB Show
& Stewart Artist Management

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