Two days ago, an article went up about a 10 year old producer named Aiden Jude (VIEW POST HERE). I’ll be the first to admit, that post should have never happened. Immediately after it went live, I was sent a barrage of messages and emails on my Facebook account and to my personal email. They all held true with the same refrain, “Shane, what the f**k is happening with Earmilk?”
I didn’t have an answer, because I won’t have an answer, and cannot have an answer. Nor would I want to. Since Earmilk was launched five years ago, almost 15,000 different posts have gone live on the site, and some featured artists are bound to be better than others. If you feed songs into a website long enough, you’re bound to develop a Bell Curve, and it just so happens Aiden Jude is going to occupy the left hand side of the aforementioned curve.
As of this writing, he has also been permanently scrubbed from the site. A mistake was made, and it was corrected. We're listening.
You see, I’m notorious for being an outspoken Earmilk guy. Way back in 2009, I started writing here under the name California Cornbread. That was when the site was smaller, and we had far fewer writers. Some of you who were readers in 2009 are still here today. For that, I want to personally thank you on behalf of everyone who has flown the Earmilk flag.
I left in 2012 to do other things – but I’m back now. Today is day one in a new era for me, and for Earmilk as a whole. I have Earmilk tatooed across my chest – so I take this a little more seriously than some other people here.
Today we’re officially launching Earmilk Voices. Think of it as a return to our roots, because we heard what you said. We know why you were here in the first place. You’re fans of great music, and that’s what Earmilk has come to be known for over the past five years. The reason you even saw that (horrible) post was because at some point you decided to become a regular reader of Earmilk – we did that with the songs and artists we got right. Please try to remember that when you’re trashing a fourth grader on our Facebook page. (Seriously. Think about your comments for a moment. That kid is in the fourth grade.)
Do you remember almost two years ago when you first heard about Cherub, Nashville’s fun, and semi-dangerous dance pop duo? I do. My good friend Briana Cheng wrote about them, and featured this single for Doses and Mimosas, the day it came out. What’re they doing now? Well, I’m proud to say I got to know Jordan and Jason after I moved to Nashville, and their first major label album will be out with Columbia, this summer. We got that right, because you trust us.
How about G-Eazy? I remember when his manager Matt first emailed me, asking to feature his music. I believed he was a hit from the moment I heard it. I also remember when current Earmilk Editor Alyce Currier went to Boston to interview him at a show there – when he was still drawing 40 people to a show. In fact, if you can go back far enough, you’ll remember G-Eazy was one of the artists Earmilk featured on stage at our “Blog Party” with Good Music All Day at A3C in Atlanta. That same night, I spent all night at the Clermont Lounge with Matt, G-Eazy, and his videographer Tyler Yee. I’m glad to say I still know and talk to those guys on a weekly basis. G-Eazy is now selling out nationwide tours, and doing songs with E-40. No big deal, right?
During my time in Eugene, Oregon, I met up with a guy named Will Wiesenfeld, better known as Baths. At the time, he was making highly experimental electronic music, but I really believed in what he was doing – I mean, he was opening for Yeasayer, so I figured he couldn’t suck. We featured Baths before any other blog, thanks to Leeor Brown and the good people at Friends of Friends, who have also been behind other artists Earmilk has generally been quick to post. Leeor was the guy who got me hip to Shlohmo, long before he was doing songs with Jeremih – which we also featured first.
Back in 2010, my ex girlfriend an I once took a road trip to see a band called Houses. They were tiny at the time, on tour with The One AM Radio, doing a west coast drive to LA. That’s when I made friends with Dexter and Megan, because I really believed in their music. Now they’re signed to some tiny label you’ve never heard of that does block parties. I think they’re called Mad Descent? Mad Dessert? I’m not sure, but I hear they’ll be a big deal soon.
If you’ve been reading Earmilk long enough, there is no doubt you remember Wobble Wednesdays, run by none other than Croydon – AKA my honorary little brother Jeff Lawrence. That’s because we’re not just writers who post mindlessly. Earmilk is better than other sites (in my opinion) because we all actually like each other. We’re friends who spend real time together, drinking, enjoying other herbal remedies, and laughing about life. We get to know each other, and talk about music. I got Jeff into witch house, and Jeff went and turned it into Tarot Chords – a feature that didn’t really last long, but opened you up to some truly new music.
At the time, not many sites were taking the risk of featuring artists like BLVCK CEILING, who we’ve always covered here at Earmilk. He fell into the same lines as artists like SALEM, where it wasn’t quite trap, but it wasn’t quite anything else either. But there is something to be said for taking risks where WhyteRing, oOoOOO, Purity Ring, and other were. It’s because of those artists that young women like Grimes could break through and show us her talent. They paved the way, and I like to believe it’s because sites like Earmilk were willing to break the mold and say, “This is actually new. You should check this out.”
The best indie writer I know is Ronnie Evans. He got his start here at Earmilk before moving on to other aspects of the music business, but he was the guy who I credit with finding Conor Youngblood, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, and Oliver Tank. Here we are three years later, and those names still carry water in indie. I think that means something, far above and beyond us posting one house track by a 10 year old kid.
Earmilk Voices, where I’ll be writing, with a small handful of other writers, will be different than what you’re used to seeing with Earmilk, but it will also be what you’ve come to expect. When we were having the meetings a few months ago to launch Earmilk Voices, everyone on the call agreed that Earmilk’s readers had grown up with us. It’s strange to think about our readers that way, but that’s what happened. We’ll be delivering music as we always have, but we’ll also being delivering some thoughtful editorials, with real insight on what’s happening. I’m not just going to interview artists anymore – because that’s what the other blogs are doing. We didn’t get where we are by being like the “other blogs”.
Now that I’ve said my peace about where we are, I’d like to share some stories with you.
I met LP at a house party in Los Angeles about two years ago. She was short, dressed like a pixie, and had a fantastic, tiny little afro. Her personality was glowing, and I could just sense something special about her. While we were talking about my fried chicken recipe, something insane happened: Marlo Stanfield walked up and started staring at me.
Well, sort of. If you’re a fan of The Wire, Marlo Stanfield was a murderous drug dealer, and his character was played by Jamie Hector. It just so happened he was at the same party, but for a moment, my inner thoughts immediately focused on hoping I hadn’t shorted him on his money. I stared back at him, before I realized he was looking at the ass of a woman standing behind me. I turned around to admire the aforementioned ass. He and I gave each other the “ass appreciation nod”. I have never felt so cool in my entire life. Marlo Stanfield and I shared a moment.
Two minutes later, LP and I were back to talking. She introduced me to her friend K’Naan, which was also weird, because in a series of five minutes I had met three extremely talented people, and the best I could talk about was my fried chicken recipe. I hope they liked me.
Today, I came across this song on Break on a Cloud, a music blog run by a fellow Nashvillian, Rob Bragdon. Why are we friends? Because of Earmilk. We know each other because of this blog. I trust his taste, just as you trust ours. LP’s album is due out soon. Check her site or something? I dunno, I’m just a blogger. Go figure it out on your own.
I can’t choose one song by D.A. Wallach. The former Chester French member put out these tracks anonymous a few months ago, enlisting the help of Tyler, The Creator for his video direction. Then, he disappeared, because it’s almost impossible to find someone who goes by D.A.
After some digging, I figured out who he was. I emailed him. He seems like a nice guy. He informed me he’s recording his solo album, so love these songs in the meantime. I think it’s about as close as you’re going to get to The Beatles, since… well… The Beatles.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICFJKsW963A
You’ve seen Deniro Farrar on Earmilk before, but not like this. DKAD delivered a murderous beat, and Denzel Curry opens up this SXSW-shot, feature video. Then, Deniro Farrar jumps in with his style that others in hip hop just can’t touch. He is to rap what Mike Trout is to baseball – a pure phenom, with natural skills and gifts that you can’t learn or teach. His gritty, street-level math espouses the virtues of fearlessness. “I ain’t worried ‘bout shit.” Indeed he’s not.
His new EP “Rebirth” dropped yesterday from VICE/Warner Brothers. Forget everything you think you know about who is “next” in hip. Because this isn’t hip hop. This is rap. This is music you can feel good about setting as the soundtrack for your next felony. He’s not worried about shit, because he doesn’t have to be. Every other rapper should be though – because he strikes me as the type of guy who gets what he wants.
This song isn’t new, but not a single blog covered by Hype Machine grabbed it – even seven months later. Yung Sherman is a mystery to me, and it was hard for me to pick just one song he’s done. This track is a tongue in cheek rave-meets-wtf track. I’m not sure what genre to put it into, but it’s a brilliant, late 90s style rave banger. This is the sort of EDM music I grew up listening to, back when I used to get Global Underground CD’s. It’s rave music, with some 808 kits. It shouldn’t work but it does, and I love it.
Andre Nickatina is a legend to anyone that grew up within a 100 mile circle of The Bay Area. He’s putting out his new album on May 27th, and it will undoubtedly be exactly what we’ve come to expect from the artist formerly known as Dre Dogg. Yeah, this song is over a year old, but I can’t find a major music blog that covered it, so here we are catching up.
Richie Rich is another Bay Area (Yay Area) cocaine rapper, known for going over the finer points of oral sex, insufflating cocaine, and gilding oneself with chains and watches. His feature on this track is so cold, I can’t tell if i’m excited, or if my nipples are always this hard.
Once again, I repeat: If you’re a rap fan, and you don’t get Andre Nickatina’s new album on May 27th, I really can’t do anything else for you. You might want to start listening to Nickelback or something. This site just might not be for you.
Earmilk Voices is here, right now, fresh from the Earmilk titty. Day one, we’ll be joined by your favorite girl, rapper Kitty Pryde, now writing for us – woo hoo! She’s become a friend of mine over the past few months, so I’m glad she decided to help us out. My old friend of almost a decade, Clyde Lovelette, will be coming over from Fansided. Ramon Ramirez from The Daily Dot/Consequence of Sound/Bro Jackson will be coming aboard too. We’re going to have great writers, covering great music, and also branching out a bit as well.
Consider our post of a 10 year old (allegedly ghost produced) DJ a low point, and try to look at all the great tunes we’ve delivered your ears. On behalf of everyone who has ever written for Earmilk, thanks for coming back every damn day for new music. Your tastes have changed, and we have too. Let’s continue to grow together. Let’s keep it fun, and remember why we were here.
Also, let’s try not to trash on fourth graders. Just saying. That’s probably not a cool thing to do.