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The Mid-Week Beat: Happy Birthday Mike D and Phife Dawg!

Today is the birthdays of two prominent contributors to the so-called “Golden Age of Hip Hop” – Mike D of the legendary Beastie Boys and Phife Dawg of the equally influential A Tribe Called Quest.

Mike D was born Michael Diamond on this day in 1965 in New York City. Born into an upper-middle class Jewish family, young Diamond was drawn to the gritty, urban hardcore punk scene that was starting to blossom around clubs like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City.

In 1978, at the age of 13, he co-founded The Young Aborigines, an “experimental-hardcore” band with Diamond sitting in on drums. Eventually, Adam Yauch (later dubbed MCA) would replace Jeremy Shatan on bass and Diamond would move from drums to vocal duties. In 1983, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) would join the group on guitar and they would eventually change their name to the Beastie Boys. The group released the legendary Polly Wog Stew EP in 1982 and it would be their only release as a hardcore punk band.

** WARNING! This video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. **

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Tuesday Tease: The Burly Beat!

Music and burlesque are natural bedfellows. I mean, it’s pretty hard to shimmy without some sort of a backbeat right? The neo-burlesque scene has made a concerted effort to take burlesque sounds away from the bump & grind/jazz/r&b/rockabilly soundtrack we tend to associate with classic burlesque, incorporating almost every genre of music imaginable. Now you can see a burlesque show that incorporates hip hop, classic rock, electronica, hell, I’ve even seen burlesque dancers perform to classical music! The sky’s the limit when it comes to a performers chosen soundtrack.

While music is omnipresent at burlesque shows, it’s not always the focus. So, this week, I’ve decided to feature burlesque events where the music is the star. It could be a tribute to a well-known artist or a show built around an original soundtrack, we got it all and these events span many musical genres: classic burlesque striptease tunes, the music of Meat Loaf, the cartoon music of the Animaniacs, hip hop and Celtic punk among others.

Doesn’t matter if you’re on the West Coast, East Coast, the sultry South or the UK, the burly beat goes on. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15

Hot Patooties: A Burlesque Tribute to Meat Loaf!Brooklyn, New York   Whatever happened to Saturday night? In 1975, with these immortal words, Meat Loaf (née Marvin Lee Aday) made like a bat out of Hell, bursting out of Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s freezer and into the American consciousness. In the almost 4 decades since he has not only sold more than 80 million albums worldwide – he has also collaborated with Cher, been called Robert Paulson, had Michael Bay direct 3 of his music videos, and, in the ultimate sign of a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll, been the subject of both a Behind the Music AND a VH1 biopic. In honor of this, some of New York’s finest burlesque and variety performers have come together to celebrate the man whose voice is synonymous with both losing your virginity and losing the person you lost your virginity to. Victoria Privates and Creamed Stu are thrilled to present Hot Patooties: A Burlesque Tribute to Meat Loaf! Starring Jo Boobs, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Evelyn Vinyl, Apathy Angel, Victoria Privates, Creamed Stu, Scary Ben, Loose Wayne, and Dick Jones. MC’d by the golden throat of burlesque, Broadway Brassy! Stage kitten and go-go by Gemini Blitz.

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Mid-Week Beat: 2013 – The Year of the D.I.Y. Musician?

2013 is starting to look like a very good year for D.I.Y. musicians.

There was once a day when most musicians longed to be “discovered,” which really meant “marketed and paid very, very well” simply for performing, creating and sharing their art. Those musicians had no interest in becoming entrepreneurs, and gratefully allowed others to take the reins of the business side of their career, in exchange for a cut of the profits. Using that model, both the artist and the fans were paying quite a bit for the privilege of finding each other. Most times, it also meant compromising your artistic vision in order to become more accessible to a mainstream audience.

Today, it has become easier for a gifted artist to keep control of the reins of his or her career: booking gigs and tours, selling recordings, interacting with fans and avoiding the “middlemen” of the industry. Artists can do this armed with nothing more than a solid work ethic, a laptop and a sufficiently large core of faithful supporters and fans.

A recent example of this is Seattle rapper Ben “Macklemore” Haggerty and producer Ryan Lewis. The duo have taken a D.I.Y. approach to gradually building a fan base. They shot and edited their own video for “Thrift Shop” which now boasts more than 50 million YouTube views. Macklemore and Lewis avoided signing with a major record label, turning down potentially large advances to put out “The Heist,” their second album, which debuted at #1 on iTunes and #2 on the Billboard charts. In the past, it would have been literally unheard of for a self-released album to achieve this level of success. Also, Macklemore and Ryan decide for themselves which shows they will play and which services they will buy/use to promote themselves. By doing this, they stay true to their art, and the messages they are sending through their music.
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