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Modern Men

Don Drapery

Don’t let the name fool you ” Don Drapery isn’t a hotshot curtain maker who works at a company called Sewing-Cooper. It’s a Columbus, Ohio, band made up of two enterprising musicians: Jason Turner and Dan Gillis. In fact, the only obvious thing the band has in common with Mad Men is its love of retro. Vintage R&B and surf guitars trade time with post-punk angles and rhythms in Don Drapery’s catalog of songs. Folks In Charge is a loose-limbed, herky jerky rocker brimming with a rough sort of joy. On I Can’t Apologize, the duo combines ’50s-era pop tropes with modern-day sentiments like, You say everything sucks. From the spaghetti guitars of No Place To Raise A Child to the sparkle and distortion of Hard To Survive, Don Drapery gives a callback to rock’s glory days without losing their footing in the modern age.

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Needle In The Haystack Artist Takeover: Ma'ayan Castel

If you haven’t already checked out this week’s Needle In The Haystack artist shame on you. Ma’ayan Castel is a Hebrew beauty with the voice to match. You can check her out on MTV Music and download a free track of her hit “Now I Don’t”, but no one can tell you about her influences and aspirations better than Ma’ayan herself. Read on…

Quick! What….

…is playing on your iPod right now? The Black Keys, Tinariwen, Muse . . .

…do you and your bandmates disagree on? McDonald’s.

…do you agree on? Coffee.

…did you dream about last night? My dog Luna.

…is your favorite meal on the road? Anything my mom cooked.

…is your favorite dance move? The Butterfly!

…instrument do you wish you could play? The Sitar, I took a few lessons in India, enough to totally cut my finger but not nearly enough to count. In India they practice most of their lives before they go out and perform¦. just like young bands today¦ Not!

My name, Ma’ayan, is Hebrew for wishing-well. Hard to pronounce, I know. My parents obviously had no idea they would end up moving my sisters and I to the States.  I’m a singer, songwriter, musician and somewhat of a synth-tweeking-geek.  I have been making music since I can remember. Probably around the same time I learned to read and write I also learned to press play/rec on my trusty little tape machine. The first song I heard that changed my life forever was “Creep” by Radiohead! I was on a ski trip with a few other families, all of us teenagers piled into a car probably looking to do something we weren’t supposed to, and I remember looking out the window at the stars when the song came on and I felt my skin start tingling, then when that crunchy guitar hit, my heart just exploded and I knew.

I have been influenced by so many different artists and styles of music from The Police to Nina Simone,  Queen to World and Electronica.  The last couple of years Ihave been playing a ton of shows in New York and Boston and the experience has really shaped my writing. I always think about the live aspect because I find it so real and exciting, and my fans have been so amazing to me that I love putting on a great show for them.  It’s really been interesting to be able to connect with young hip-hop kids, hipsters, mothers, daughters, artists, musicians, and the occasional creepy old man¦ haha! I’ve had the privilege of opening for some real cool acts too like VV Brown or having artists I respect like Wyclef Jean, calling my song “Now I Don’t” a smash.

My dream scenario as a musician is doing shows like Coachella or Glastonbury with a sea of people going crazy, singing along, or scoring a Sophia Coppola film for example. I also wouldn’t mind making a hot music video with “Don Draper” of Mad Men….  but I have to keep my feet on the ground because this is not the easiest climate for independent musicians. Being an independent artist means doing everything yourself, and I mean e-ve-ry-thing. It’s a lot, but I have been lucky to have great fans and to find a musical soul-mate in my writing partner and producer Leo Mellace. We have very different musical backgrounds but that is exactly what makes the magic happen. Right now we are working on a new project that I’m really excited about and I actually have to stop here because I’m heading to the studio to record vocals.

-Ma’ayan Castel


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Ellen starts music label, signs Greyson Chance

Greyson Chance on Ellen

OK, remember last week when we made up that big lie about wunderkind Greyson Chance being signed to Interscope? Kidding! Yeah, looks like that was just one of those Internet rumors. Sahhrrry. Chance was actually signed by Ellen DeGeneres ” he’ll be the first artist on her brand new label, Eleven Eleven Records. We’re not sure if Eleven Eleven is actually an imprint of Interscope or an indie, and until we’re sure, we’re not saying a word.

Ludacris builds playground for Atlanta school kids

Ludacris

That Luda, bless his heart. When he’s not going door-to-door reminding people to fill out their Census forms, he’s providing for the children. This past weekend the rapper joined volunteers to help construct a playground for Venetian Hills Elementary School in Atlanta. The charity event was a collaboration between KaBoom ” a national nonprofit that provides play areas to underserved areas ”The Ludacris Foundation, United Healthcare’s Do Good. Live Well campaign and EIF’s iParticipate program. Look, we knew how low he could go, we just never knew he was such do-gooder to boot . Hats off to you, Mr. Bridges.

The Bad

Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato break up

Sniff. Sad. Moving on ¦

Lady Gaga tested for Lupus

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga revealed to the London Times this week that she underwent testing for Lupus after collapsing from exhaustion and cancelling shows in March. But when it comes to the results of those tests, she’s keeping her lips sealed. I don’t want anyone to be worried, she explains. The singer lost an aunt to the disease, which is genetic and causes the body’s immune system to attack itself. Lucky for all of us little monsters, Lady Gaga is superhuman and immortal. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

The Ugly

Liza Minnelli sings Single Ladies for SATC2

Liza Minnelli

Looks like Liza Minnelli will be croaking out Beyoncé’s hit in the new Sex and the City movie. According to SATC2 promos, the 64-year-old performer tackles the number during a wedding scene. And, since Minnelli has a brand new replacement knee, maybe she’ll even attempt to do the choreography, too. That would be infinitely better than watching the chicken dance.

Key of Awesome spoof Owl City in Electronic Wuss

Ugly for Owl City, but hilarious for the rest of us.  Musical parody group, Key of Awesome,  delivered a sonic smackdown to the maudlin vomit that is “Fireflies” with their spoof, Electronic Wuss. Enjoy.

Miscellany