Sunday, October 19, 2014

Oct. 16 show: Last Call/Drunken Logic/Armory of Horror

Max and Matt with Last Call

The rap/rock band Last Call plays a live set and tells us about their performance at the Last Band Standing finals at the Hard Rock Cafe. This South Shore-based five-piece also has a show on Halloween.

The indie-rock five-piece Drunken Logic will be performing as part of the Berklee showcase at the CMJ music festival next weekend, and they've also got a mini-tour beginning on Oct. 20.

Matt Martino, a regular on Citywide, returns to talk about his Armory of Horror haunted house, which he designed himself. It'll be at the Armory in Somerville starting Oct. 24.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Boston-based author Brian Coleman releases "Check the Technique, Vol. 2"

Featuring interviews with: Ice Cube, 3rd Bass, Stetsasonic, Mantronix, Naughty By Nature, Raekwon, Mf Doom (Kmd), Dr. Octagon, Dj Jazzy Jeff, The Coup, Edo G, Lord Finesse, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) & Talib Kweli, Kool G Rap, Black Sheep, Company Flow and dozens more.

Foreword by Adam Mansbach (Go The F*ck To Sleep & Rage Is Back). Cover artwork by Romanowski.

“My circle of liner notes junkies runs deep, and we spend many hours dissecting the chapters in Brian Coleman’s Check the Technique series. FINALLY someone has put in perspective the stuff I have been DYING to know about!!!! I can’t get enough.”
– Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

“A fantastic guide for all we do.”
– Chuck D

Check the Technique Volume 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (Wax Facts Press), by veteran Boston-based music journalist Brian Coleman, is the follow-up to 2007’s acclaimed Check the Technique (Villard / Random House), which has sold more than 11,000 copies to date. For background and information on Coleman and the series (including ordering links), visit:

Presenting never-before-told, behind-the-scenes histories ranging from influential ‘80s masterpieces like DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper and 3rd Bass’ The Cactus Album to ‘90s classics like Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Mos Def’s and Talib Kweli’s Are Black Star and Dr. Octagon’s Dr. Octagonecologyst, the book’s approach is one that Coleman calls Invisible Liner Notes – retracing the story of an album step by step, in collaboration with the artists themselves.

Weighing in at 544 pages, the 25-chapter book includes lively, in-depth, provocative interviews with more than 80 artists, DJs, producers and industry insiders. All in all, 325 hip-hop songs are discussed and dissected, by the artists who made them.

As Coleman explains, “This third edition of my Check the Technique / Rakim Told Me series is the one that I am proudest of, by far. The interviews are deeper than ever before, the chapters are longer and more in-depth, and I have spent months gathering the 350-plus images that are included in the pages which really bring the stories of these amazing albums to life.”

Coleman’s past two books have sold more than 13,000 copies worldwide and received worldwide acclaim amongst both music and literary / cultural critics.

“Brian Coleman gets props for the exhaustive effort it took to interview the writers and producers of three dozen seminal hip-hop albums for Check the Technique. He doesn’t merely compile fresh liner notes and anecdotes from stars like Q-Tip, Chuck D and Too $hort. He captures hip-hop’s spirit from the ‘80s to the mid-‘90s, when inner-city kids discovered music through samples crammed into SP-1200 drum machines, learned the biz from shady contracts, and built their personae from their stage names up. Most admirably, Coleman sits back and lets these born storytellers talk.” – Entertainment Weekly (Neil Drumming).

“Rock historiography is full of lore about the making of canonical albums, but there hasn’t been much like that for the rap world – until now.” – Village Voice (Michaelangelo Matos).

Brian Coleman is a music journalist and historian who has authored three nonfiction music books: Check the Technique Volume 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (Wax Facts Press, October 2014); Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (Villard / Random House, 2007; Shinko [Japan], 2008); and Rakim Told Me: Hip-Hop Wax Facts, Straight From the Original Artists. The ‘80s (Wax Facts Press, 2005). In the ‘90s and early 2000s, he promoted avant garde jazz while moonlighting as a hip-hop journalist, contributing hundreds of articles and reviews to publications including XXL, Scratch, Wax Poetics, URB, CMJ, the Boston Herald and Metro Newspapers.

Coleman resides in Boston and runs Good Road, which encompasses a PR agency, apparel brand and record label. For more information, visit and

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oct. 9, 2014: Magnatite/Brian Coleman/Dan Masterson

Matt Zappa chats with Dan Masterson

All the way from Texas, the band Magnatite is in Boston for a show, and before they hit the stage, they join Citywide for an exclusive live set and interview.

Author Brian Coleman returns to talk about his new book, "Check the Technique, Vol. 2." In this new self-published title, he explores more stories behind some of the most popular hip-hop artists to ever take the stage.

Dan Masterson rounds out the show with a look at his upcoming performance in the finals of Last Band Standing and what it took to get there.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Oct. 2, 2014: My Missing Half/The Grownup Noise/Kevin O'Malley

Matt Zappa sang with the Grownup Noise during their live set

My Missing Half, one of the bands performing at Rock and Shock, treat us to a live set and test their skills at Matt Zappa's Rapid Fire game.

The Grownup Noise have a new album out, "The Problem With Living In The Moment," and they tell us the tale behind the songs. They also rock a great live set with members Paul Hansen, Adam Sankowski, and Aine Fujioka.

Kevin O'Malley,author of the new fantasy novel, "Queen Of Us All," tells us the very real inspiration for this tale--his own daughter, Lily.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Citywide Blackout, Sept. 25, 2014: The Foresters/Ryan Lee Crosby/Ellie Ann

Ryan Lee Crosby

All the way from Connecticut, The Foresters join us for a live set, followed by all the info on their new album, "Sun Songs," which is being produced by some local talent in Boston. Plus, local music supporter Kierra Walsh joins us as a guest co-host.

Ryan Lee Crosby's got a brand new album, "Busker on the Broad Highway," coming out this fall,and he tells us all about the recording process. He also plays a couple live acoustic tunes, which is no to be missed.

Singer/songwriter Ellie Ann returns to the show with a new tune, "Take That," which we debut and hear what went into writing it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Citywide Blackout, Sept. 18, 2014: Band Without Hands/Last Band Standing/Alex Navarro

Matt and Max with Band Without Hands

Rock foursome Band Without Hands played an amazing live set and talked about their soon-to-be-released album and upcoming shows later this month and on Halloween.

JoeG and Wireless Mike Flynn previewed the Last Band Standing competition, which showcases 24 great local acts out of 500 submissions. This is part of the New England Music Awards, an annual showcase of the best New England musicians.

Alex Navarro played a few acoustic tunes from his new solo project and discussed the challenges of becoming a full-time paid musician. He's also in the process of recording a series of music videos as part of the BC Campus Sessions.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sept.11, 2014: Zombie Frogs/Talk With Me/George Woods

Zombie Frogs

 The instrumental metal/prog band Zombie Frogs joins us with a killer live set at the start of the show. They've got shows aplenty and new tunes in the works. BONUS: after the end of the show, we've got an exclusive interview with the band in the WEMF studio.
Filmmaker Peter Cannon is next with his PSA series "Talk With Me." This project, which Peter has a close connection to, looks at the issue of teen suicide, the causes, and the effects. It's part art project part outreach campaign. It's designed to inspire teenagers suffering from mental illness and suicidal thoughts by showing them representations of what a suicidal mindset could look like.

George Woods and Heather Smist
George Woods and Heather Smist return to talk about the return of "Heartbeat: A Modern Dance Rock Concert." This show was at the Oberon last fall, and it was such a huge success, that George and the crew behind it are bringing it back for another run.