the wonderful Kendra Morris: Live and on Vinyl

exclusive live footage of the soul singer, her records and more!

isn't it crazy? ode to the one that'll drag you down/ isn't it crazy? ode to the one that'll let you drown/ wait for the call, it'll come by tomorrow. your banshee, your lust. indifferent sorrow. honey, don't run 'cause there's nowhere to go. she's got your number. she's got your code.

Kendra Morris - Banshee

Kendra Morris has so much soul. i developed a deep love for her music back in 2012 when her full length debut Banshee dropped on Wax Poetics Records. i'm far from an expert on funk & soul styles, i know most in the hip hop & punk type realms but love all types of music - dope is dope, nuff said! while it's great to have expertise in specific things and obsess about them to a certain level, balance is key; as i progress in life i've made a conscious effort to broaden my musical horizons, which i've found immensely beneficial to my mental or spiritual health. in this life we experience such a wide web of moods and emotions, it only makes sense for the music and art we consume to mirror that. so with that in mind i've been slowly building up my record collection in other areas besides my main focuses, and Kendra is definitely a star in my funk/jazz/soul type section. after bumping the Banshee 2LP on the regular for 5 years, i finally got to catch her rock a live set last month at Sonia (formerly TT the Bears, part of The Middle East in Cambridge, MA). i got a bunch of exclusive footage; first peep her breakthrough hit 'Concrete Waves' which DJ Premier remixed:

i got into Banshee around when it dropped, thanks to a co-worker homie who hipped me to her music; i think he was familiar due to Jeremy Page, Morris' co-songwriter, producer and guitar player, who is also in hometown band That Handsome Devil. i was so into Banshee and satisfied with it that i honestly didn't need to hear anything else from Kendra Morris for years, it consistently gets play on my turntable. however in 2013 she dropped another 2LP, Mockingbird, also thru WaxPo but this time completely comprised of cover songs, which i slept on until catching her live - copped it immediately after the show, and its excellent! my favorites on there are probably her takes on Chris Issac's 'Wicked Game', Lou Reed's 'Walk On The Wild Side' and Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Sun' and she does Radiohead, David Bowie, Isaac Hayes, Rolling Stones - dopeness all around. i will say i dig her original material the most, but Mockingbird is very clutch, and admirable how she takes on a wide span of source material - it's also going to come very much in handy in my next installment of the Originals vs Covers _ronitape mix series! then in 2016, she successfully returned to form with the Babble EP which i copped from her at the concert on cassette - however fear not fellow vinyl junkies, that release isn't done yet, nudge-nudge-wink-wink... peep all 3 of those excellent slices of soul in their physical form from my collecsch bellow:

another video i filmed at the Sonia show: 'Pow'

some photos from the concert:

and last but not least, witness Kendra Morris belt out her siren song 'Banshee' bringing down the house below! if only my video could truly do her powerful & beautiful voice justice, she absolutely killed it... watch her go IN at the end, so badass. excited for whatever else Kendra has in store for us, she crafts timeless, quality music which draws on the past without sounding dated, an extremely talented singer/ songwriter who's work i keep coming back to. support her music here & catch her live if you have the chance!

i was swallowed by the noise: new BOSS HOG live & on vinyl

Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer's band BOSS HOG are back with their first album in over 15 years. peep the Brood X vinyl & my exclusive video footage of their badass Bawsston show!

Boss Hog have returned with their first full length album since the year 2000. it's called Brood X and is straight up slammin', immediate contender for best rock record of the year in my humble opinion. i just had the immense pleasure of witnessing them perform it live, they murdered the set from which i'm still basking in the glow of days later. before we get to the albums, see what i'm saying with this video i filmed up front at their recent concert at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA. the song is "Ground Control", one of the new album's freshest bangers:

so whomst be Boss Hog, you ask?

the blues-punk-rock 5-piece centered around ultimate powercouple Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer which began back in the late 80s in NYC as Pussy Galore were winding down prior to the founding of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. i grew up listening to the JSBX at a super young age thanks to my guitar teacher who blessed me with a copy of their classic 1994 album Orange around when it dropped - he was probably getting bored with all the alt-rock/post-hardcore favorites of mine i kept having him teach me that were all the same power-chords, so he laced me with the Orange CD and very successfully opened my young mind to a whole different experimental realm i had not yet explored. if you were wondering, i no longer know how to play guitar because i later cut the end of my finger off in the cutterheads of the jointer in high school wood shop class while simultaneously becoming so obsessed with hip hop that it became almost the only genre i listened to for years, so i stopped playing my Ibanez... but that's a whole 'nother story. though i pretty much stayed rocking the Blues Explosion ever since i was put onto them back then, i never got around to peeping Jon Spencer's other groups until the past 5 years or so during which i've gone back heavy into the punk & rock realm. my Sonic Youth obsession led me to their homies, the Jon's first group, eighties NYC noise-rock-anarchists Pussy Galore, which featured Spencer's eventual wife Martinez as a member for a point, back when she was still a teenager. Boss Hog seem to be the lesser known of the Spencer groups, and it's harder to find most of their records - while i have the majority of the JSBX & Pussy Galore LPs & EPs, which i'll post up on here later, i still have work to do tracking down the older Boss Hog releases! we're just going to focus on that new new anyway...

the Brood Star EP & Brood X LP, both out now on In The Red Records:

i had no idea Boss Hog were active again when i fortuitously stumbled on their freshly released, rejuvenated reunion EP, Brood Star, while diggin' in the crates at one of Boston's local record stores a few months back, and was blown away by how dope it is. though it's their first record in 16 years, there is nothing dated or dusty sounding in the 4 tracks, featuring the stompers 'Wichita Grey' & 'Disgrace' plus the more experimental 'Devious Motherfucker' & 'Nymph Beat'. its vinyl was cut at 45rpm and is loud as fuck, by the way! then a few weeks ago, the Brood X full length LP dropped, taking it to another level; it's a concise ten-track front-to-back beast of a record, packed with nothing but heat. while Boss Hog are in that punky bluesy rock'n'roll realm JSBX also inhabits, they sound very different, with the vocals mainly by Cristina Martinez who is the ultimate badass frontwoman, leaving Jon Spencer to secondary vox while focusing on guitar, flanked by Hollis Queens (drums), Jens Jurgensen (bass/guitar) & Mickey Finn (keys). the whole band is super tight as a unit, with Hollis Queens' drums being a standout feature - i feel like you could make a killer break record out of her work here, adding more of a funky, hip hoppy feel to their sound, plus she held it the fuck down at the show, singing while rocking the ill drumbeat simultaneously, respect! other tracks i'm feeling especially on Brood X include 'Black Eyes', 'Shh Shh Shh' & 'Rodeo Chica', though there are no songs i would skip, it's all dope. however, one track stands out from the rest, with a special, different type of sound & power, and that is most definitely the haunting concluding track, '17', in which Martinez channels the thoughts & emotions of her younger self, blending into the shadows of the eighties NYC noise punk world:

"I was swallowed by the noise."

'17' sends shivers up my spine on the vinyl, so i was really hoping they would play it live, and sure enough it came as the 2nd of 3(!) encore tracks with the crazy ill arrangement you see in the video above. at first i was bothered that Cristina is obscured by the shadows for most of the video, but then realized it went so perfect with the lyrics and theme of the song... swallowed by the noise. 

Boss Hog floored the crowd, slaying their set with a non-stop barrage of heater after heater; if you ever have the chance to see them, don't miss out! in the slideshow above are a few still shots i snapped, and the cherry on top was groupie-ganging up on Cristina & Jon after the set - they were super cool and took that final pic with my friends and i, completely making the night. cop their new records & if you dig the videos, share 'em with yr friends! stay boss