The Lift Up: Debut Live at Mojo Main

Whatuppers Party Peeps,

So, all of my East Coasters in the Philly/DE area should check this out.  There’s a new band in town called The Lift Up.  It comprises of 3 members who were in the Indie Rock outfit The Situation.  If you remember The Situation (classic indie pop) then you will definitely want to peep their debut show tomorrow (Friday May 11th) at Mojo Main in Newark, Delaware.  That’s on Main Street, in the University of Delaware town.  If you are old school, you know the location.  It was the East End Cafe.  SwitchFlip was lucky enough to catch up w/ the frontman Joe Castro.  Castro is well known in Philadelphia as a fine painter/artist who owns Red Attic Studios.  We know him as a guitar slingin’ musician who has a penchant for heavy chords as much as pretty Johnny Marr-esque (of The Smiths) fret runs.  However, if you are feeling nostalgic and think they are gonna play old tunes from The Situation days, don’t hold your breath.  The lads in The Lift Up have a brand new bag of tricks and songs to unleash.   Let’s not blab anymore, let the man speak for himself and his band.  Here’s the official 10-question SwitchFlip interview w/ Joe Castro of The Lift Up.

THE LIFT UP

SFM:  Who are The Lift Up and what’s this band about?

TLU:  The Lift Up is a three piece modern rock garage band. John Paul Travis on drums, Larry Zappaterrini (LAZ) plays bass, Joe Castro plays guitar and sings. Some might remember us from our former band, The Situation. Going for energetic literary pop songs yet we still firmly believe in rock-n-roll. I don’t know what else to say – just trying to be the most sincere pumpkin in the patch.

SMF:  What type of genre (if able to categorize)?

TLU:  That’s always a tough question. Is “high school mix tape” a genre? I think we subliminally draw influence from our past groups as well as other three piece bands – Dino Jr., The Jam, early Cure, Husker Du, fIREHOSE, The Crickets. You can throw a little Ramones, The Smiths, Stone Roses, Tom Waits, The Clash and Dylan in there too. “Genre” is really just a record company marketing term anyway. Music is music. People listen to songs, not genres.

SFM:  How does this differ from your former band(s)?

TLU:  Well, the biggest difference is that I’m singing and writing the songs this time around, which has been a satisfying challenge. If nothing else, I’m most proud of the lyrics. Singing has limited my guitar playing slightly, but we still have moments where I get to break out. And since we have less to work with, it really gives Larry and John Paul room to shine – they’ve stepped up for sure and I’m excited for people to see that.

SFM:  We know you as a painter/artist. However our head honcho knows you as a musician and friend. What’s your relation to SwitchFlip?

TLU:  I met D-How through Delaware’s small and incestuous music scene. I was playing guitar in a band called Nero, and he was the drummer/co-founder of The Verge, which was fronted by Christopher Tucker, who I would later form The Situation with. I think we bonded over a mutual love of the Manchester music scene and classic hip-hop. Damon’s a good dude, just a fun loving cat with a heart of gold. Much respect.

SFM:  You are a multitalented artist. Which do you prefer? writing/performing music or painting? and why?

TLU:  I enjoy both so why be limited? Honestly, I think they feed off each other. If I get burned out making music, then I’ll work on a collage or a painting, and vice versa. For me, playing music is much more of a physical release, especially live, where you’re feeding off the energy of an audience. Generally, making art is completely solitary and much more meditative, which I also enjoy, so a balance between the two is key for me. And the devil makes work for idle hands, as they say.

SFM:  Where’s this debut performance being held? Will you have more shows lined up in the Philly area?

TLU:  Our debut show is Friday May 11th at Mojo Main (formerly the East End) in Newark, De. All three of us grew up in Delaware, and the East End/Newark has been a second home, so it felt like the proper starting point. We’re definitely hoping to line up some Philly gigs as well as NYC sometime soon. Would love to get back to Cali at some point so get your couches ready.

SFM:  All members have been signed in some capacity before. What’s the mission of The Lift Up?

TLU:  The mission is to just try and write the best material we can, put it out there and hope people connect with it. No plans for a reality TV show or anything. A guest spot on Letterman would be pretty sweet though.

SFM:  What’s Philadephia’s music scene like these days and how will The Lift Up fit into it?

TLU:  We’ve been out of the mix for a while so I don’t know what our place will be. In previous bands, I never really felt connected to any particular scene or anything (classic loner). I really don’t know – I hope Philly digs it. I’d hate to have to move.

SFM:  Are you putting together any recordings and will it come out on Red Attic, your website and business outlet for your other art mediums?

TLU:  The plan right now is to play a few shows, write a few more tunes and then hopefully get to recording this fall, with the goal of putting out some vinyl for early 2013. Whether we release it ourselves or a label puts it out remains to be seen. Only Kreskin knows for sure.

SFM:   What to you want to tell the world in 3 sentences?

TLU:   “All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with ‘winning or losing this game of chess.” -Marcel Duchamp

Check out The Lift Up on Friday May 11th, 2012 at Mojo Main.

-SwitchFlip Media

M.I.A. : Bad Girls

Happy Friday Earthlings,

Here’s the new long-awaited single from M.I.A Riding the controversial coattails of her  Super Bowl XLVI halftime performance featuring Madonna, M.I.A. finds herself with another catchy chart topper.  The video rolls action packed with clever stunts and neo-middle eastern swagger.  Oh by the way, if you haven’t heard, Madonna isn’t too happy about the M.I.A. incident now known as “Fingergate“.  The Material Girl accepted her apology, but officially stated that M.I.A’s actions went against the positive unified energy of the performance.  The NFL will pass the network fine along to M.I.A.  We smell a publicity stunt, as her single just dropped the week of the Big Game…whatcha think?

-SwitchFlip Media

WZRD: Brake

Whuusshuupyo,

It’s been a while since “Cudder” put out something that we really stand behind here at the SwitchFlip Headquarters.  However, this WZRD project shows CuDi’s growth by collaborating with Dot Da Genius and floating into uncharted rock territory.  This recording of “Brake” sounds a bit live and the immediacy of the track n vocals give it an edgy sound.  We heard they’ve released the track list to their upcoming debut album aptly titled after their band name.  Let’s cross our fingers for a “pushed back” February 2012 release.

-SwitchFlip Media

Baths: Lovely Bloodflow

Whatido Wurld,

Shout out to my bro Nobody Famous for rekindling us w/ the music of “Baths” 2010 release “Cerulean“.  Will Wisenfeld  (aka Baths) is a local SoCal LA native whom used the moniker “Post-Foetus” back in 2009-2010 with his itunes release “The Fabric” and Low End Theory performances  here in LA. This young hipster’s style is an experimental chillwave ambient hip hop style ala Flying Lotus-meets -Washed Out. Perhaps even his rarely oft falsetto is reminiscent of D’Angelo sippin’ that purp underwater.  Peep the story in the video..it’s really fresh how the message is separate from the music, yet it still blends well simultaneously. #SwitchFlipCertified for shizzle.

-SwitchFlip

Jay-Z and Kanye: Watch The Throne

Watch The Throne (Click to Stream)

Whatitdo Wurld,

Here at the SwitchFlip Headquarters, we had to take the first half of the week to let all the “hoopla” settle before diving into a review for this Epic Mega-Star Collabo, appropriately titledWatch The Throne.  As musicians and artists first, SwitchFlip crew sat down w/ this album and threw it into repeat rotation to see if it was what we hoped for.  We were not let down, as Jay-Z and KanYe West present another piece of work that takes the genre to another level!  The assortment of producers on this album makes it refreshing (RZA, Q-Tip, the Neptunes, Swizz Beatz, Pete Rock, No I.D. etc) , as all the songs are individual soundscapes.  Jay n Ye sharpened their lyricism on each record to address all the issues of their collective plight and make an honest album depicting the dichotomy of dual heavy crowned kings sitting on The Throne.  We crossed our fingers, knocked on wood, and they delivered. A few of our personal faves are “New Day”, “Welcome to the Jungle” “Otis” “Murder to Excellence” & “Who Gon Stop Me”, but there’s something for all of our moods. Plus it depends if you have the deluxe issue or not (“Illest Motherfucker Alive” is bananas)  Anyhow, I’ll let my good peeps over at ESM and FreshNerd give you a review and the whole album to stream.  

SwitchFlip Certified….Watch The Throne.

-SwitchFlip

Jay-Z and Kanye in studio creating “Watch The Throne”