Archive
Zach Schepis
On the nostalgia of doo-wop and technology’s ability to capture the past.
Reflecting on the lost art of writing letters and the value of print over digital.
BTR talks with a leading nano-scientist about turning a long-awaited dream into reality.
BTR staffers determine whether or not intimacy can be created through staring into one another’s eyes.
From ouija boards and pagan rituals to run-ins with potential murderers, BTR staffers share their strangest moments. Buckle up, it's going to get weird...again.
Super Week - BTR staffers weigh in on their favorite crime-fighting, planet-saving superheroes. Surprisingly, Batman and Superman didn't make the list!
Glenn Donaldson tells BTR about sketchy Craigslist communion and the importance of supporting quality songwriters. He also speaks of his prolific band, The Skygreen Leopards.
On sketchy Craigslist communion and the importance of supporting quality songwriters.
Thousands of years ago, the only animals capable of hunting giant herbivores were equally gigantic carnivores. Get an up close and personal look at these crazy beasts!
Listening to Worthless, the effervescent brainchild of Curtis Godino, is a bit like watching one of the madcap’s liquid light shows. Warped reflections of instrumentation echo and burble to the surface; harmonies stretch like endless taffy into the land of ebb and flow.
It’s not without a hint of irony that the Brooklyn trio Dances--who self-admittedly “formed from the skull of a rat”--can trace their roots back to a far gentler image of serendipity.
On unlikely communion and boundary-pushing pop.
Mystery Week - To the naked eye, the place looks no different than any of the other looming office buildings or retail spaces. But unlike its slumbering neighbors, there’s something quite different lurking on the second floor of 163 Varick Street in Manhattan, NYC.
Zen Anton is a songwriter who cuts straight to the marrow. His music carries an honesty that shrugs in the face of vulnerability, bearing all for the listener--who might struggle to disentangle the bones from guitar strings. It’s clear that this form of storytelling is a part of him, and that there is nothing else he would rather choose.
In the second installment of his experience taking Addium during a 30-day trial period, BTR staffer Zach Schepis talks about whether or not the experimental pills provided him with boosted cognition. He also reflects on the withdrawal experienced from caffeine addiction.
It’s true that Heartracer are unabashedly retro at their very essence, tapping into the ‘80s mainstream vein like true artisans of nostalgia. But it’s an homage that manages to expand beyond mere imitation of its predecessors.
On the current state of pop music and revisiting the golden age of the ‘80s.
BTR writer Zach Schepis decides to try an experimental new brain-enhancing drug called Addium in the first part of an ongoing series. Very little research is available on the supplement; only first-hand experience will tell.
Fear Week - Tracing the evolution of fear tactics that have taken root in the presentation of our daily news cycles. David Altheide tells us about how a history of violence conveyed through the media has come to isolate our society.
For Richmond, Virginia’s pop-bombastic The Trillions, the progression from their debut 'Tritones' to last January’s 'Superposition' is the difference of three years and one hell of a musical evolution.
On raising a son while rocking the bass and the benefits of taking your time.
Four best friends from Richmond, Virginia, comprise the rock collective known as Manatree. In some capacity or another they’ve been writing music for nearly a decade now. A couple of the members have even known one another since preschool.
Bond Week - Everyone is familiar with mushrooms, with their stems and caps serving as the poster children for fungi worldwide. Research suggests that mushrooms can create underground networks to help plants communicate.
Perfection in the studio with lifelong friends
Mobile Week - The state of New York is a stark exercise in living, breathing contrast. Groups are rallying to secede Upstate New York from New York City.
There’s something to be said for the hard-working bands in the “indie-rock community” (whatever the hell that means, at this point) who have managed to rise above the teeming echelons of no-namers--many of which will forever remain buried in the netherworlds of the underground music blogosphere. Then there comes along a group like White Laces.
On touring with The War on Drugs and the democracy of songwriting
He’s tall and wily. He flails across stages with a manic glint in his eyes; he plays chess and not checkers. His songs are explosive, short, and sweet, like a hand-grenade appetizer. Juan Zaballa (better known by his stage name Tall Juan) is an eccentric artist.
Colombian big band leader Gregorio Uribe has become a colorful fixture of New York City’s vibrant Latin Jazz community. His debut album 'Cumbia Universal' is set to drop Oct 2, but the arrangements have tasted air for close to a decade now.
One man’s musical journey from the streets of Brazil to the heart of Manhattan’s jazz community
Stress Week - Those who enjoy the challenges of NYC may argue that the competition is beneficial for betterment and that the rewards are ultimately worth the struggle. Here’s how we handle the stress in our own lives.
Stress Week - A strange new technology three years in the making called Thync can purportedly alter a user’s mood. Vibe Squad representative Audrey Orozco came to the BTR offices where Third Eye Weekly hosts Zach Schepis and Lisa Autz tested out the technology.
A group comprised of seven Berklee College students who are fusing traditional surf-rock elements with dreamy pop hooks that make it impossible not to dance.
The kind of rock and roll dolphins would make... if they could!
Even in mathematics, there are exceptions to every rule. Lilith, a power trio based out of Boston, Massachusetts, manages to embrace the zany perfectionism of the genre while simultaneously eschewing some of its esotericism.
On fusing together the worlds of math-rock and pop
Open Week - BTR talks with Free the Nipple freedom fighter Rachel Jessee. She’s an actress, model, performer, and NYC’s GoTopless spokeswoman. She shares her experience from the NYC parade and some insights into how we can all do our part to spread more awareness.
Open Week - There are many types of grand openings, including restaurant debuts and movie premieres, and some members of the BTR staff have had a chance to check out a few. From nerdy midnight movie premieres to band documentary releases, not to mention the re-opening of The Westcott Theater to a Central Perk pop-up cafe, these are the grand openings attended by BTR staffers.
Blowing the walls off of expectations and any kind of timidity with stylized punk and razor sharp commentary, Boston's Tomboy are making more noise than a raucous self-detonating bomb. But it’s a bomb with intent.
On female Christian rock bands and fusing politics with art
Abdu Ali left his community in Baltimore to seek inspiration in Brooklyn, NY. What he discovered, however, was far from what he was searching for. After returning to his roots, Ali reflects on the destructive environment that he left behind and shares with BTR some insights into what he learned along the way.
Drawing from some of the heavy, darker elements of the local scene and fusing them with pop sensibilities, the band has created an album that’s catchy as hell while still revelatory.
On drunken French antics and the paradox between sentiment and satire
Surface Week - Pushing against the crassly consumerist culture that permeates journalism and the magazine world, 'Delayed Gratification' was born. It’s a quarterly publication dedicated to stories that never made the limelight, and providing thorough coverage to those that only captured our attention spans briefly.
Bent Knee is intent on twisting influences and genres into something that, ultimately, ceases to resemble the original shapes that formed it. They devise cataclysmic song structures with the wit and veracity of a malfunctioning robot intent on destroying its master.
On controlled explosions and Japanese karaoke
School Week - While teachers are necessary for many lessons, there are some skills we can learn alone. We at BTR have taught ourselves how to play the sitar, sew, and stir fry.
The Fayetteville, Arkansas group of rag-tag musicians create songs that walk the fine line between suggestive complexity and a simplicity that makes everything not only palatable but rip-roaring fun.
Moving on after the loss of a band-mate and escaping stereotypes of the South
Try to imagine an apathetic Buddy Holly who just moved to Brooklyn from the countryside, loves to get drunk, and sing pop numbers with a loose gang of garage twangers. If you can imagine that, you might have something close to Flower Girl.
Excess Week - A revolutionary new immersive experience is currently in the works that could forever alter the ways in which we interact with our entertainment. BTR takes a sneak peek inside the world’s very first immersive virtual reality theme park.
A healthy dose of P-Funk style bass whallops and groove with elements of R&B, synth-fed glam, psychedelic squabbles, and sounds that seem like the ghost of Freddie Mercury is twisting its way through the madness? Toss it in, hit blend, and you've got Danny James.
On what’s hip, virtuosity, and the musical family
While Mondo Drag drifts close to home for lovers of late '60s and early '70s psychedelic rock, there are plenty of nuanced surprises and enough kick-ass chemistry at work to satiate even the most skeptic contemporaries.
The resurrection of classic 70s hard rock has arrived, and it’s still fresh!
Mexican-born 3D printing artist Fernando Sosa creates Donald Trump butt plugs to combat racism. He couldn't believe that the GOP Presidential candidate says those distasteful things, and currently, the plug is generating quite a buzz.
Capable of a lullaby’s croon, lamenting cries, and powerful defiance, Lila Rose has a far-reaching voice with range and conviction. She is a daring singer, songwriter, and visual artist.
On the interconnectedness of all life and freeing the nipple
Roots Week - While there is still no proven theory to explain exactly why deja vu occurs in epileptics or healthy people, scientists have pinpointed the temporal lobe of the brain as the seat where it occurs. However, there is also a persistent version of deja vu when people aren’t aware that it’s occurring.
The Wandering Lake bring forth a spirited offering of electric-tinged folk that has a way of summoning sentimentality and nostalgia without ever becoming weighed down by it.
On not disappointing your professor and the music of nature
Reality Week - The violin is practically another appendage for Roger Frisch. He’s a musician in the truest sense of the word; if he’s not performing every day there is no satisfaction. Frisch tells BTR how he even performs when he's undergoing surgery.
If you haven't heard the band Heat yet, get ready for some ultra-wavy, head-bobbing pop-perfection. BTR spoke with frontman Susil Sharma about how the band formed, their songwriting process, and playing a Madonna cover.
Drum loops bend, twist, and crackle; swinging pendulums cast echoes and distortions off of a landscape that seems to shift before the ears have time to catch up. Let us introduce you to Gibberish out of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
On otherworldly sounds and deliberation versus spontaneity
It started on the back porch of a party and has grown into unbreakable friendship, music and more. Ditch Cat, out of Fayetteville, Arkansas, is "gettin' it done," country with an edge.
On gettin’ it done, country with an edge, and bringing it all back home.
Shawn James & The Shapeshifters isn't just another rag-tag ensemble of conventional string dusters. They may build expectations by resembling their Arkansas-based, traditional-playing contemporaries, but these rogue bluegrassers have discovered a noticeably harder edge.
Rock and roar if you’re a badass bear playing the heavy metal banjo!
Composer Gizem Gokoglu's output is immeasurably diverse, including soundtracks to short films, re-scores of cinema classics, and original compositions for jazz orchestras. She talks to BTR about writing film scores and making music from afar.
David Block of Human Experience is not the easiest person to get a hold of. He just wrapped up a festival in Bali. He premiered one of his sets to an eclectic audience numbering in the thousands and representing close to 50 different countries. We finally pinned him down for an interview and it was worth the wait.
Being in a band is a bit like being in an open relationship--if you don’t have complete honesty chances are it’ll fall apart. Golden Drugs out of Oakland, California has found the perfect relationship balance.
Telekinesis, beauty versus horror, and getting high on the sun
Never mind the Lords of Dogtown--here’s a different platoon of riders from the concrete vistas that you should know about. Over Lord, Theory Lord, and Splice Lord talk hand-me-down accordions and the connection between skateboarding and music.
Yes, you read that right. Dish + Drink has in fact traveled to the beautiful country of Thailand and back again with the help of BTR's own Zach Schepis. He recounts his journey, which includes the spiciest curry he's tasted to date.
Rain Week - There seems to be a general division of camps between those who relish the experience of a rain storm and those who pray for nothing more than a larger umbrella. But the calm immediately following a downpour carries with it a universally soothing aura. BTR consults a bubble expert about new findings that reveal the secret behind rain’s distinct scent.
For Jason Baldock and Gemma Dietrich of the British neo-soul inspired duo Rope Store, an underground bunker surrounded by three feet of concrete makes the perfect muse for songwriting.
The benefits of writing a song in a day while underground in a Cold War bunker
Jared Garcia of Thieves and Gypsys discusses the band's start. Garcia also talks dropping out of school to follow music and expanding the sounds of a trio.
On dropping out of school to follow music and expanding the sounds of a trio
Andrew Vladeck, principal songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist for the band Fireships, is currently on tour to promote the group's new self-titled release. Vladeck talks about being a singing park ranger and getting by with a little help from your friends.
Capturing the spirit of the desert and embracing what it means to be an outlaw.
Capturing the spirit of the desert and embracing what it means to be an outlaw
Budding songwriter Megan Burns is Flamingo Pink! When she's not directing a theater production of 'Mary Poppins' at the Santa Fe Performing Arts Center, she's also co-directing the artist collective known as 'Meow Wolf' and running her own clothing alteration company Tiger Deer.
Weaving electronic lullabies and finding love in the heart of nature
BTR sits down with two members of the Minnesota-based quartet Sick of Sarah. Jesse Farmer and Jessica Forsythe discuss new material, leaving their old label, and being the first band to release an album with BitTorrent.
Nacha Mendez' boasts a long line of musical accomplishments and rich diversity of collaborations that she has made possible over the years. She’s created garage rock with her family, played in a salsa band, studied flamenco guitar under the tutelage of Manuel Granados, and traveled with Robert Ashley’s avant-garde Opera Company.
A chance discovery that would lead two songwriters from different parts of the world together
Christopher Norman is a singer/songwriter and electronic music producer. Utilizing ethereal samples, soulful melodies, and a smattering of Minimoog synthesizer sounds, Norman sculpts music that is meant to be sifted through layer by layer.
A man in love with his Minimoog and chopping up cellos
Take two blokes from successful indie Brit bands and throw them together to paint their masterpiece, or rather, their ultimate painting. Jack Cooper and James Hoare, leading members of Veronica Falls and Mazes, discuss their newest collaboration.
Nerd Week - Entomology professor Bradley S. Vinson and mechanical engineering professor Hong Liang created a project aimed at augmenting roaches with technology that allows them to be remote-controlled. The aim is to maneuver the roaches into hard-to-reach areas.
David Berkeley sits down with BTR about living on the island of Corsica and merging the worlds of literature and music. His newest record, 'Cardboard Boat', is slated for release in late September.
Living on the island of Corsica and merging the worlds of literature and music
Climate Week – BTR asks Ken Johnson from the Solar Industry Association of America if solar energy can win the battle with fossil fuels. He talks about ongoing tax breaks for fossil fuels and developments in solar technology.
Christy Hays is getting lost in the world and bringing back the stories of others. She might have started writing songs at the age of 14, but it wasn’t until she turned 27 that Hays decided she wanted to be a professional songwriter. In the time between, she fell in love with nature. After attending college for forestry Hays moved directly to Alaska where she could lose herself in the wilderness.
Getting lost in the world and bringing back the stories of others
New Jersey-based songwriter Rylan Stowe talks to BTR about changing band lineups, 2015 plans, and his songwriting process. Stowe also offers some insight into the inspiration for songs off his most recent EP.
Care Week – In the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, Mary Visconti works to better the community. Armed with needle and thread, she created KnitLAB--a fiber arts workshop aimed towards supplying creative opportunities to underprivileged children in the impoverished surrounding neighborhoods.
There’s a fresh slate of new highway signs to greet visitors as they wind along country roads into the state of Montana: pictures of lonesome mountains glazed with ice, tremulous elk with gazes fixed upon the horizon, and tumbleweeds rolling back and forth across the plains.
Hello and welcome to Discovery Corner on BTR! This week we'll be checking out Magpies--a band based out of Missoula, Montana that's equal parts garage fuzz meltdowns and bittersweet harmonies and hooks.
Monitoring Week – Lipsmark LLC brand owner Mark Phillips tells BTR about his legal battles in the past year trying to get powdered alcohol onto shelves in the US. Phillips recounts his efforts with the Alcohol and Tabacco Tax and Trade Bureau in ordered to get his product, Palcohol, approved.
(Explicit content is present in this article.) The band on why they say the name isn’t harmful and opening our third eyes to the beyond.
An interview with Dustin Hill from the band Black Pussy, about psychedelics and unearthing songs
Stevie Pohlman from Portland-based rock band Mope Grooves sits down with BTR to talk about abandoned high schools, best-friend yetis, and making mix-tapes for 13-year-olds. Mope Grooves recently finished a US tour and is planning to reissue their last release, 'Weird Girls'.
Class Week - A man in Paraguay works with children and transforms garbage into musical instruments.
There are many waves, but only a single ocean.
A talk with Roger Sellers about being a one-man band and creating cosmic layers
Unprepared Week - Pew Researcher Lee Rainie discusses our digital footprints and what they reveal.
How sickness led to the sinister, sincere, and silly sides of a budding Austin rock band.
How sickness led to the sinister, sincere, and silly sides of a budding Austin rock band
Adventure Week - Katie Spotz, the youngest person to ever solo row across the Atlantic, shares her journey.
On naked garbage bag jams and serious humor.
On working with the Flaming Lips and Bon Iver, samples on samples, and shoe gazing from the future.
On working with The Flaming Lips and Bon Iver, samples on samples, and shoegazing from the future
New Economy Week - Canada’s #1 female entrepreneur shares what it takes to become successful.
On opening for Sonic Youth, deconstructing, and hustling to make music.
Taking it to the streets of Detroit to talk with Turn to Crime's Derek Stanton about experimenting and making the music in your head
On the similarities between insects and romantic courtship while throwing snowballs through hell.
On folk noir, Spaghetti Westerns, and learning the harmonica.
The smoky tumble and roll of the Whiskey Folk Ramblers create their own genre, 'folk-noir'
Hacking Week – A healthcare information technology specialist weighs in on whether our medical records are safe.
Playing the cello like a drum, first love, and finding your home on the road.
An exploration of folksy Irish roots through the heartbreaking beauty of cellist Alana Henderson
Goth-trap, department stores, Greek mythology, and Christina Aguilera?
Selfie Week – A chat with the co-founder of Selfie on a Stick about the product’s craze.
Toting the line between Zen and zoot and realizing the band is family.
How to balance Zen and partying, becoming professional, and playing some kickass rock and roll
Outlier Week - We talk with the first ever official human cyborg about what it’s like to hear colors.
On companies fueling artists, layering perspectives, and taking the time to do it all right.
On companies fueling artists, layering perspectives, and taking the time to do it all right
A sixteen year-old who makes dope jazz beats, writes love letters to fans, and eats limes with the skin still on.
Disruptive Week - Why the subjective nature of harsh words isn’t the same as it once was.
On marrying your singer, ditching the drums, and finding your spirit animal.
College Week – How all the “isms” from school translate into contemporary culture.
Playing with heroes, discovering music across continents, and stirring the jazz “soup.”
A talk with jazz bassist Francesco Marcocci about exploring world influences and jamming with giants
Millennials Week - Will the first all-online horror movie 'Unfriended' reinvent the genre, or bring more of the same?
Being a boss of bossa nova while bringing the noise.
Roots reggae meets bluegrass meets Eastern philosophy and the importance of family.
What do you get when you combine bluegrass, reggae, and a whole lot of soul? Grayak!
Inspired Week - A closer look into one of NYC’s premiere underground party circuits.
On making a song good enough to play by yourself and reading young-adult British sci-fi novels.
Featuring Wil Farr--lead guitarist and vocalist from Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! Treading the line between 'A Wrinkle in Time' and Bruce Springsteen.
The all-girl band from Spain trade feelings to sing, riff on ex-boyfriends, and love Bill Murray.
Fitness Week - A UFC mixed martial arts fighter chats about his journey and offers extreme workout tips.
Sidestepping the Hollywood legacy of his family to blaze a songwriting trail of his own.
This week I feature Jesse Macht, the singer songwriter from LA whose brother is the star on the series 'Suits'
New Year's Week - According to unfortunate reports, ‘tis the season for grand theft auto.

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