Music Archives


Oct201113
01:27 PM
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Available as a free download from Lapdance Academy, Breathe In, Breathe Out from Knoxville TN's singer-songwriter Gene Priest is a beautiful slice of indie-folk/alt-country for the mope-ster set.  Trust me, I know: I produced it and performed on every track.

Ordinarily, I also handle all of the album art for Lapdance Academy, but when Gene brought me the sketches from UK illustrator, Adam Lister, I was definitely willing to step aside.  As you can see from his portfolio, Lister takes a major cue from traditional tattoo imagery, explaining, "Ever since I was a nipper all I wanted to do was draw, now swapping out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for skulls [and] snakes."

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Lister has promised to make prints available in the near future so, if you're interested, contact him through his site.  And while you're waiting for delivery, be sure to download Breathe In, Breathe Out!.


Oct201111
01:52 PM


In response to my personal motto, "I rather be snotty than get stupid tattoos," the members of the Canadian punk band Cold Warps have released this video as an homage to bad choices. But the laugh is on me as I cannot get that "Stupid Tattoos" song outta my head all day. I also see it becoming an anthem for hipsters everywhere.

As reported by Halifax's The Coast, Cold Warps are re-releasing their first two EPs as a full LP on Noyes Records. For more on Cold Warps, check their Facebook page
Jun201122
01:45 PM


Thanks to an overwhelming childhood obsession with "Weird Al" Yankovic, I didn't listen to pop music until I was about 11-years-old.  Sure, I knew the melodies to pop songs, but you would have been hard pressed to convince me that Michael Jackson's "Beat It" was better than Yankovic's "Eat It."  For a dorky kid with a penchance for Dungeons & Dragons, there was no way anything offered up by the King of Pop was gonna surpass fat-suits and goofy lyrics.

While I've come a long way (though, I still despise pop music), my repressed inner nerd has arisen like a phoenix from the ashes.  Thanks to a great deal from Amazon MP3 (follow them on Twitter to get the scoop on daily deals), I bought my first "Weird Al" album in over 20 years, Alpocalypse.  Ordinarily, I wouldn't admit this to anyone but, as you can hear in the video above, Al does a version of B.o.B.'s "Nothin On You" called "Another Tattoo" - and it's amazing.

I'm pretty sure there's a couple of dorky N&S readers out there who appreciate this - and how can you not, with lyrics like:

No part of me's blank, I'm really ink-obsessed
It's like an art-show the moment that I get undressed
At every job interview they're just so impressed
'Cause I got all my ex-wives on my chest.

(The album is available for just $3.99 in the Amazon MP3 store and for the usual rates on CD even Vinyl(!) format)

UPDATE: After a little more digging online, I found this video - I have no idea if it's officially linked to Al, but it's a lot cooler than just the cover art video I had originally posted.  Any info on the animator(s) would be greatly appreciated - just click the email link in the upper right column.
Jan201118
12:00 AM
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I've released three new singles today on Lapdance Academy and, as is always the case, you can download them absolutely free!

First is a re-release of "Lady on the Low" from 2007's Bedlam Nights which has been bundled with a big-beat remix by Bridgeport, CT producer, Touch.  Next up is my cover of "Once in a Lifetime" by the Talking Heads (previously released on the Coverville tribute compilation) and last, but certainly not least, is Seraphim - a pair of traditional American spirituals featuring guest vocals from Emily Zuzik, Matt Whyte of Earl Greyhound and even our fearless Editrix-in-Chief.

So quit sitting on your thumbs and head to Lapdance Academy where you can stream, download and, yes, make a donation!
Dec201012
12:25 PM


I'm having a perfect Sunday with a few of my favorite things: brunch, Bloody Marys, and bluegrass. While no one is taking my food and drink from me, I will share the music.

I'm loving this song Femme Fatale by Birmingham's The Toy Hearts, released on their third album also titled Femme Fatale, which is a blend of bluegrass swing and "gypsy jazz." This gorgeous video for the song was shot at Dawnii Fantana's Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour in Birmingham. If you're not familiar with Dawnii's stellar tattoo work, check it here. The video features my friend Clare Goldilox, who does her hand-poked dotwork magic at Painted Lady, and at times, on the low in the seedy underbelly of society. [She'll deny the latter.]

Clare sent me the video because my Black Tattoo Art book makes a brief cameo (see below). I was stoked but even more so to find a new band to brighten my weekend.

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PS: I'm thinking of making "Music Sunday" a regular or semi-regular feature, so if you have a particular song and video you want to share, especially with a tattoo theme, send me links to marisa at needlesandsins.com.
Oct201012
06:13 PM
Around 5am tomorrow morning, I'll feebly attempt to wake up, pull on a crusty pair of Levis and welcome Gene Priest and The Cardinal Sin (remember when I interviewed them a few months back?) into my home.  Not that I run a home for wayward musicians, or anything, but the boys will be traveling up from Knoxville, TN, tonight to do some shows and recording with me and my band over the next few nights.

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Tomorrow night, we'll be jumping off at Fat Baby in NYC, with Gene starting at 8pm (I'll be sitting in with him on a few songs on lap-steel guitar) and my own band following up at 9pm.  The first 10 people to pay the $7 cover and tell the doorman they're there for "Brian Grosz" will get a complimentary copy of my 2007 album, Bedlam Nights.

The following night we'll be up at Two Boots in Bridgeport, CT, for a FREE show and then we'll wrap it up with a super-special secret-show somewhere in the northeast on Friday night - stay tuned for details on that one!

Marisa and I hope to see you out at Fat Baby tomorrow night - we'll have plenty of Needles and Sins and Lapdance Academy swag available for all!
Sep201017
10:13 AM
Thanks to our esteemed colleague Jay Fingers, it was brought to my attention last night that rapper Lil Wayne has a new video out for a song called, "I Am Not A Human Being." Admittedly, I have no love for the syrup-slurping, Rikers Resident, but Jay was quick to point out that the video features Wayne's latest ink acquisition: a collection of stars and a set of kissy-lips done up in UV (blacklight) ink.

We've discussed black-light tattoos before with our coverage of the Lost/Dharma Initiative tattoo and the difficulties associated tattooing with UV ink (the artist needs to work under a black-light while creating the piece) - but I think we should go to Wayne himself for his insight on the process:


So... what have we learned, children?  Well, apparently tattoos hurt and letting someone paint on you makes you a "bitch."  

Getting green, day-glo stars around your eye, however, is 100% Gangsta.

(In my opinion, the song itself leaves much to be desired - I don't know what producer in his right mind allowed Wayne to wait 90 seconds at a stretch to hit such a poor excuse for a "hook" - but if you're interested, the music video is embedded after the jump)
CONTINUE READING....
Aug201003
04:06 PM
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Is this tattoo related?  No.  No it's not (unless you consider the fact that Marisa and I have had this track blasting on a continuous loop at the Needles and Sins Compound today whilst much booty-shaking has taken place).  Regardless, it's just too damned good of a song NOT to bring it to your attention.

Multi-instrumentalist Alex Walker teamed up with Brooklyn soul-singer Len Xiang and MC Kobie Powell (remember him from Us3 back in the 90s?) to give us "Gotta Lose" - a soul/hip-hop track that is easily replacing anything I had previously considered to be my "Summer Jam of 2010."

Not only is it available as a free download at Lapdance Academy, but Alex has decided to make the instrumental/vocal stems available (as well as an Apple GarageBand file) and publish the track under a Creative Commons License.  This enables all of you remixers/producers/masher-uppers to hack away at the song to your heart's content - and select remixes will be given fresh cover-art (courtesy of yours truly) and added to the Lapdance Academy catalog.

Personally, I can't wait to fire up the synths and drum-machines this weekend and get my "hard-house, hyphy, ragga, shoegaze" remix on...
Jul201023
09:11 AM
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Not too long ago, I was introduced to Gene Priest (above, right), a brilliant musician and tattoo-collector out of Knoxville, TN.  He was playing drums for a handful of bands at the time, but I was truly blown away once I heard the demo-recordings of his solo work that he was churning out on an acoustic guitar in his spare time.  Fortunately, I was able to convince him to let me produce the tracks (and add a couple of instrument tracks, myself) and just last month, we pushed his four-song EP, "Living To Die" (mixed by Scott Minor of Sparklehorse) out into the ether as a free download on Lapdance Academy Records.

"Free-floating art-folk (think Vic Chesnutt) on the four-song Living To Die... with disciplined songwriting [and] particularly long, billowy melodies that take a while to sink in but are inescapable once they do."
-- MetroPulse.com

I also got a chance to talk to Gene and his backing band, The Cardinal Sin, about their tattoos.  Some questions they took seriously and some, well... let's just say that I've taken the piss out of plenty of journalists over my own musical career...

[interview after the jump]

CONTINUE READING....
Jun201025
11:37 AM


To be filed under Oh no they didn't, the video for Detail's first single "Tattoo Girl (Foreva)" has just been released, and it is what you'd expect out of a rap with lyrics like "Tattoo girl, you are forever stuck on me." Not even T-Pain, Lil Wayne and Travis McCoy could stop this lyrical train wreck. Probably the worst part is that the tattoos on the video girls are CGI--and even the digital "art" is ridiculous. I think I spotted one actual (blown-out) tattoo on a background girl, maybe.

This is not the first rap ode to tattooed shorties. Who could forget "Tattoo" by Twista featuring Legit Ballaz? [Well, you can't forget something that you didn't know about in the first place.] I'm almost sorry to bring it to your attention, but there are just too many similarities between the videos. Again, the dancing CGI tattoos and WTF lyrics; oh, but there's just a bit more booty poppin. If you're going to exploit women, why not women with real tattoos just like our industry mags do?

*sigh*  
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EDITOR IN CHIEF:
Marisa Kakoulas
CONTRIBUTORS:
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
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