BUKU Music & Art Project 2015: A Guide to Must-See Artists

On March 13 and 14, gear up and get ready to head to New Orleans for a groovy, unforgettable music and art experience unlike any other. Set in a post-industrial independent art community not far from the historic French Quarter, BUKU Music & Art Project is a one-of-a-kind festival that effortlessly blends hip-hop with indie rock and electronic dance music.

BUKU creates an incomparable atmosphere of creative “kulture” within Mardi Gras World, offering six NOLA-style stages with views of the Mississippi River, Crescent City Connection Bridge, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, Market Street Power Plant and Mardi Gras float warehouse. The vibe of the festival is influenced by local underground street culture, modern art deco and the history of New Orleans. The festival is full of innovative installations, live graffiti and avant-garde industrial and interactive creations.

An Interview + A Show with Dylan Pratt

It’s rare to find a musician that is so vocally moving and lyrically affecting, yet so humble and reserved about that very fact. Case and point, Dylan Pratt. An Arizona native who “makes coffee for people” has been opening up for JD McPherson on his national tour, heading back to the desert on March 13th. Playing his first New York show at Bowery Ballroom last Wednesday (a sold-out one at that), Dylan was quietly nervous, yet modestly excited when Joonbug spoke with him on a shady staircase backstage just an hour before he hit the stage.

With Seattle and sorrow behind him, Dylan moved back to Arizona to put all his energy into his music. Playing consistently in Phoenix at venues like the Crescent Ballroom, and cold calling his way outside state lines, he has been playing in support of Beg For Fire, as well lots of new stuff he’s been working on since then. “I’m trying not to have to be miserable to write…I just hope people like it.”, and after witnessing the reception of a hard-to-please NYC crowd, it was obvious that they definitely do.Dylan’s latest project, Beg For Fire, was released in 2013, with Lifters & Leaners and Four Songs before that. An 11-track story chronicling his time spent in Seattle following love, but inevitably falling into heartbreak, Beg For Fire is raw, truthful, and emotive. The connection between Dylan’s own subjectivity within his songs, and the objective realities of relationships in life, is unwavering. The success of songs like “Honest Kind of Luck” and “Poisoned Fruit” showcase Dylan as a uniquely voiced talent that should not be overlooked in the growing realm of indie/folk singer/songwriters.

Jarren Benton Brings the Excitement on Slow Motion Tour

Since gracing XXL's Feshman Class cover last year with his "Dirty Dozen" cohorts, Funk Volume signee, Jarren Benton continues serving us with his unyielding creativity with a side of #idgaf and innovation, heard on Slow Motion EP (January).

True to its name when compared to the crazed, overzealous Slim Shady-esque content heard on his debut LP My Grandma's Basement, Slow Motion focuses more on Benton's golden era tinged lyricism sans any verses about entertaining the company of an "insominaic cokehead" or "shoving a prick into a brick oven."

The Glitch Mob Drops New Music and Announces International Tour

What does The Glitch Mob's Love Death Immortality Remixes LP sound like? Let's just say that if The Wachowski Brothers were to make a fourth sequel to The Matrix, 'Skullclub' and 'Mind of a Beast' off of the album would be ideal selections for the soundtrack.

As a revamp of the group's sophomore album Love Death Immortality (February 2014), which peaked at #13 on Billboard's Top 200 after its release, the new set features an edgier sound with amazing surprise performances from dance heavy-weights Bassnectar, Plaid, Nadastrom, Mord Fustang, Si Begg, and Emalkay.


Get excited people: rising Canadian-born R&B phenom, PARTYNEXTDOOR, will be making his way across the country’s major cities next month for his PND Live World Tour. The artist, also known for his sexually charged live performances and mesmerizing vocals, made his debut on the music scene with swanky EDM-infused R&B tracks like 'Let It Rain' and 'Shy Ink,' released under his real name, Jahron Brathwaite. It was only a matter of time before Brathwaite's music caught the attention of Young Money Cash Money Billionaires artist/pop culture master, Drake, who quickly inducted the singer as the first signee of his OVO Sounds record label.

Echosmith Embarks on International Headlining Tour

Ferris Bueller has gone on the record saying that life moves pretty fast, and despite the fact that the four siblings who make up the indie pop group Echosmith may be too young to have seen the 1986 classic, they’re living proof of that mantra.

Like most music groups of their generation, Echosmith rose to prominence thanks to the Internet. More specifically, YouTube. Starting by posting covers of popular songs of the time like “Lights” by Ellie Goulding and “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele, they quickly moved on to original content, catching the eye of Warner Bros. Records. Soon the teenage siblings found themselves on the Vans Warped Tour and later, opening for Owl City. Next came a debut album Talking Dreams whose modern youth anthem “Cool Kids” went on to be certified platinum with over 1,200,000 sales in the US, catapulting the virtually unknown band into the national spotlight. Now, the Sierota siblings are headlining their own tour and coming to a city near you.

Bells & Robes Brings the Groove to AURA's Silent Disco
From March 6 to 8, AURA Music & Arts Festival will invade the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park with sincere souls and smooth sounds. The sixith annual primitive camping festival presents three days of diverse, feel-good music across five stages, with a stacked late-night silent disco to keep the groove going strong.
The line-up features tons of fresh talent, but attendees will not want to miss up-and-coming act Bells & Robes. Hailing from Gainesville, Fla., Bells & Robes is an electronic dreamwave duo comprised of Luke Sipka and Dean Spaniol. Since their formation in summer 2012, Bells & Robes has evolved to create a transcendental auditory experience that feels somewhat like a dream. Their ability to combine soft, funky sounds with a danceable rythtmic wave will keep the crowd stayin' alive all night long. No strangers to Suwannee, the duo performed in Live Oak, Fla., at Purple Hatter's Ball in 2014 and plans to return to the forest to add spice to the silent disco. Bells & Robes has previously performed alongside acts such as Beats Antique, Emancipator, Odezsa, Papadosio, Reptar, Break Science, Stokeswood, The Heavy Pets, Antihero, Dynohunter and Sounduo, and at multiple festivals in the southeast. Their recent EP, "One Should See Sound", was released exclusively on Grooveshark in September, and was widely successful in the local jamtronica scene. The album embodies their belief that music should meld the senses to create a unified, heightened festival experience. In spring 2015, Bells & Robes will be joining Dynohunter on the road for the The Nomad Tour, which is set to hit states such as Colorado, Califronia and Florida.
Chris Brown on Between the Sheets Tour w/ Trey Songz

Multi-platinum-selling, Grammy award-winning, Billboard chart-topping: Chris Brown can claim it all. Now you can catch the talented (and controversial) hip hop superstar on tour with another industry heavyweight, Trey Songz.

Though the two mega-stars planned to embark on their BETWEEN THE SHEETS Tour on January 28th in Hampton, Virginia, Chris Brown’s legal troubles delayed the tour to February and forced the duo to reshuffle show dates. Now back on schedule to hit more than 20 major cities in North America, Chris Brown and Trey Songz – joined by Tyga - promises to bring fans a dose of the talent that has made these stars mainstays in the genre.

The Diplomats Announces Upcoming Tour

It is official, The Diplomats aka Dipset are back! Following their reunion freestyle on the Funkmaster Flex show last month, as well as dropping singles 'Have My Money,' and 'Victory Freestyle,' the iconic Harlem based hip-hop collective announces the launch of their Pledge of Allegiance Tour, set to begin on February 24th at NYC’s B.B. King Blues Club & Grill.

The nationwide tour, led by cardinal group members, Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freeky Zekey, will be hosted by Hot 97’s DJ Funkmaster Flex and DJ Drewski. Check out the current listings below and stay tuned for additional tour updates.

WHAT TO DO Photo courtesy of: Alexandria Clark
AURA Music & Arts Festival Extends Atmospheric Allure to Live Oak, Florida

Written by Ashley Lombardo and Alexandria Clark

It’s that time of the year again. Gather up your beanies and bundle up in your favorite scarves to prepare for a glorious return to the magical Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. From March 6 to 8, spend the weekend in Live Oak, Fla., getting funked up and enjoying an array of diverse musical acts that can only be attributed to a classic AURA style.

Here's how it happens: after concluding your not-so-quick supply stop at the Busy Bee, you return to your vehicle and squeeze in among a sea of snacks, cozy blankets, freshly chopped fire wood, a pop-up palace and particularly positive vibes. You follow the narrow and nearly deserted road until you finally make it to the last mile, where you pull into the breathtakingly beautiful music park. Pop your tent under a canopy of cypress and oak trees shaded by Spanish moss and get ready to experience a packed schedule of AURA festival music and flow.

An Interview & A Show with Mainland

Whiskey, tacos, barbeque and gangsta rap are just a few of Brooklyn-based band Mainland’s favorite things – and the band is one of ours. When now-best friends, and then-un-joined musical forces Jordan Topf (lead crooner) and Corey Mulley (guitar) met at a party in 2010, they knew the formation of a band together was inevitable. As California natives-turned-New York locals, Jordan and Corey enlisted fellow Golden State'ers Alex Pitta (bass) and Dylan Longstreet (drums) to spread the sound, because, as Jordan says, “What’s better than playing in a band with your best friends? Not a whole lot.”