Posts filed under Music

Artist Spotlight: Ants Ants Ants

Ants Ants Ants

Ants Ants Ants is an emerging Portland band that’s challenging music genres in their own way. Channeling the likes of The Beatles with psychedelic ‘70s vintage rock sprinkled on top, the musical group sets themselves apart in how their content is designed — keeping both kids and adults in mind. It’s a mergence that doesn’t happen often in the music world where content can be both appreciated by kindergarteners as well as their parents.

Comprised of Johnny Clay, who played with The Dimes for over 10 years and Dave Gulick of Derby, Ants Ants Ants became a new venture for the two artists. The creative project became an opportunity to craft music for a completely new kind of audience altogether.

“I think the best part about writing these songs was that there weren’t really any constraints,” says Gulick. “You could write about anything; that was really liberating and a blast to do. I think it’s easy to overthink things while you’re writing music, so simplifying things was such a breath of fresh air.”

With the freedom to begin exploring new creative territory, Ants Ants Ants became a liberating chapter in Clay’s and Gulick’s lives. The duo found themselves returning to “the basics,” embracing a new songwriting process by welcoming input from Clay’s kids. The idea was to step back and allow the content to develop more organically, preserving its genuine and relatable qualities.

“I think we both approach the songwriting process like we do in our other bands,” says Clay. “Kids are smart and they know when something isn’t authentic. We really want to write great songs that they can relate to lyrically without sacrificing the production or the music. That’s what our favorite songs from our childhood did.”

The inspiration for the band’s premise came from Gulick’s and Derby’s own childhood influences, recalling how the songs from The Point by Harry Nilsson and Schoolhouse Rock made such an impression on them as children. Alongside the material they were inspired by when growing up, Ants Ants Ants taps into the pressing questions that kids can’t help but be intrigued by.

Ants Ants Ants

“For me, most of these songs were inspired by the things my kids say or questions they ask,” says Clay. “I’ll never forget when my oldest asked what the biggest animal in the world is — when I told her it was a blue whale she didn’t believe me. So we looked it up together and that inspired the song “Blue.”

With an unlimited source of inspiration living under the same roof as Clay, Gulick notes how the ideas are useful jumping off points for their project. Clay’s oldest daughter even inspired one of Gulick’s latest works, a song that’s about a giant eating an ice cream cone.

This sort of imaginative world that Ants Ants Ants brings to life paints a clear mental picture as each song unfolds. But for listeners needing more of a clear guiding visual, the duo work closely with Chris Purdin, an animator who’s collaborated with Laika and Cartoon Network. Through Purdin’s illustrating expertise, he brings to life the cheeky and incredibly imaginative world of Ants Ants Ants. The animated videos are filled with pops of color and an array of characters, it’s work that would fit right into a segment on Sesame Street or Nickelodeon.

Ants Ants Ants proves an artist can have a creative mission to mix up genres while remaining true to their listeners. When it comes to putting their material to the test, both Clay and Gulick can rely on the kids in their lives to bring on the honest feedback.

“If I catch my eight year old singing the song to herself later, that’s usually a good indicator,” says Clay. “Or if we’ve recorded a demo and they keep asking to hear it. When Dave first sent me the demo for “Morning Song,” my five year old wanted to hear it every morning before school. We knew that was a good sign!”

The age range that Ants Ants Ants’ music taps into varies, allowing the artists to explore a variety of subjects and storytelling formulas. An example of this are the songs “Why Why Why” and “Helicopter Leaves” — older kids and parents can more easily identify the well-constructed hooks incorporated into the songs. Songs like “Six Pickup Sticks” vibe a bit better for younger listeners, the rhythmic and repetitive nature designed for learning purposes.

For new listeners of Ants Ants Ants, we recommend beginning with “Are We There Yet?” The song exudes a touch of CCR and ‘50s vintage rock while painting a picture of an endless adventure. Energetic, playful, and still educational, it’s a song that touches on every youthful person’s memory of family road trips.

Ants Ants Ants has debuted their new album Why Why Why this year. The band is currently working on writing new music for their next album — listeners can expect a bit of funk with their upcoming work.

Want to check out more artist spotlights? Read on below!

Posted on July 17, 2018 and filed under Spotlight: Artists, Music, Marmoset, Artist Spotlights.

Top Picks: We're Obsessed with These Vintage Labels

  Sly Stone, musician, songwriter, and producer of the 1960s/1970s. 

Sly Stone, musician, songwriter, and producer of the 1960s/1970s. 

With the surge of vintage revival, it's old school jams, rock 'n' roll, and soul commonly rise out of big feature films and hit television soundtracks. There's something special about feeling the time warp via sound, it's much like getting a sneak peek into a different generation and cultural vibe. 

Being admirers of music — all music, especially rare vintage — Marmoset set out on a quest to help timeless, amazing oldies see the light of day once more. And so our Artist & Repertoire team delivered BIG. 

Now with over 550 vintage artists from record labels like FervorSecret Stash, Goldband, Cleopatra Records, Saxony, and the Hadley Murrell Collection, listeners don't even need to dig through dusty crates in their estranged uncle's basement. The range of these record labels are especially unique in that our vintage music is mostly not available for standard click licensing — instead, you'll want to reach out to our Creative Music Licensing team to begin that conversation.

We spoke with our Repertoire & Roster Coordinator, Farnell Newton to find out what vintage work listeners should check out. Check out the list below:

"Fatback" by Mr. Wiggles  /// "I Judge the Funk" by Black Ice /// "All Thru the Night" by Eddie Horan ///

"Tonight, I'm Gonna Fall in Love Again" by The Teardrops ///  "Ain't No Time For Stoppin" by Fat City ///

"Do Your Stuff" by Count Rockin Sidney /// "Big Boy" by The Jackson Five /// "Lowrider Rap" by Poor Boy Rappers ///

"Rosina" by Carl Coccomo /// "Afro-Funk" by Peter King 

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Want to check out more mixtape and music highlight articles? Read on below. 

Let's Make a Movie! Marmoset Sponsors StudioFest

Marmoset StudioFest Sponsorship Filmmakers Music

Centered around music licensing and creating original music, Marmoset is no stranger to helping filmmakers license and/or compose original music for their creative projects. It's something that goes hand in hand with our overall  initiative — equipping visuals with the best soundtrack imaginable, all while having our artists' backs along the way.

Our effort to stay involved in lending our services to filmmakers (and other creatives) is why we jumped at sponsoring StudioFest, an event that's reimagining how festivals operate to better support its artists. 

Think of it this way — with most festivals centering around short form mediums, it's challenging for filmmakers to figure out what happens next once the festival circuit finishes. Even if a short film is well received, the hurdles for branching into feature filmmaking are endless. And we're not even brushing the topic of budgeting for a 90-minute movie. 

This all being said, there’s often no place for artists to flex their creative muscles between this transition from short to feature length filmmaking. It’s a big leap for many (unless you have industry connections). Identifying such an industry gap, we knew we had to contribute to the cause, which is why we're joining forces with StudioFest.

The groundbreaking festival’s mission is to support filmmakers and writers in developing their debut feature. It's a one-of-a-kind experience for newcomers to dream larger, being able to bring their art to life on the feature length scale. StudioFest is set to host five short filmmakers and five feature-length screenplay writers  at the Graham and Co. Hotel in the Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia, New York. At the end of the festival, one film director and one screenwriter will receive the opportunity to partner with StudioFest in making their first feature film. 

Where does Marmoset come in? Music being our expertise, we’ll work alongside the winning filmmaker by licensing music to incorporate within their feature film.

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What do you need to know:

  • Finalists must be able to travel to Phoenicia, New York for the festival. All 10 finalists will need to attend and participate if chosen.

  • To enter, candidates must be new to the feature filmmaking game — this means to be eligible, filmmakers cannot have made a feature  film or written a feature script in the past. It’s strictly an opportunity to newcomers and a way to even the playing field.


  • Regular deadline: July 8th, 2018 — $50. Late deadline: August 3rd, 2018 — $65

Where to Submit Your Application:

Want more information? 

Want to read more on Marmoset's community outreach? Read more below!

Posted on July 3, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Community, Marmoset, Music.

Portland's Summer Scene: Catch These Shows Around Town!

It's official. Summer has arrived. 

If you're not listening to music while floating down a body of water or while relaxing on a warm beach — in the company of several hundred other people — is it really summer at all?

Whatever you decide to do over the next couple months, don't forget to support your local music scene. We've got the complete Portland list below so you can get up and go! For each performance, we've curated summer visuals to capture what each artist's vibe resembles.  Which one aligns with your summer vibe? 

Marmoset Tribe Mars

Who: Tribe Mars

Where: Mississippi Studios

When: July 6th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Soulful and hip-hop rooted, Tribe Mars can best be described as smooth and easy-listening.  Walking on clouds, Tribe Mars creates a feeling of transcending above everything. Like a long sweat-drenched hike with no end in sight, there's an elated moment of tranquilness as you emerge above nature, the city, all life below you. Listen to  "Soul Syrup" to channel a revelatory change in scenery. 



Who: Jeremy Enigk

Where: Doug Fir Lounge

When: July 11th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Orchestral rock, relish in the rebellious and carefree soundscape of Enigk's work. "Late of Camera" emotes that feeling of hopping chain linked fences to sneak into closed swimming pools — it's that adrenaline pumping moment before jumping into the cool water. 

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Who: Lemuria

Where: Holocene

When: August 5th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Indie rock with a dash of punk, Lemuria is a group that's constantly reinventing themselves and their sound. Songs like "More Tunnel" make us feel in touch with our confident side. Just like being immersed in the vast ocean before surfing to shore, it's that moment of letting self-doubt go and owning the waves.


Who: Blossom

Where: Mississippi Studios 

When: August 24th, 2018

Buy Tickets Here

What the artist sounds like: Both fiery and cool, Blossom's vocals are timeless while still being at the top today's game. The laid back mood that permeates off of Blossom's music channels our summer cruising vibes. "Video" is that partial sun-kissed feeling with our feet hanging out of the car window — it's about kicking back and enjoying summer's fleeting moments. 

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Posted on July 2, 2018 and filed under Community, Marmoset, Music, Shows.

June: New Music Mixtape

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Just like diving into a swimming pool (or lake, beach, whatever body of water you prefer), our June new artists and music mixtape will make a splash. Dad jokes aside, we welcome several new artists this month to our family, handpicking some of our faves to June's New Music Mixtape. Listen below or search for them on our roster

These emerging artists include electronic/indie rock, Slow Corpse — their dreamy melodic vibes channeling the pluckiness and whimsical vibes of Elton John's Honky Château. 

  • If you only listen to one song by Slow Corpse, make it this one: "Cruel

Other newcomers include composer Valdi Sabev — work that sounds equally transcending and modern. From rising crescendos to steady energy, there's a variety to choose from depending on your project's needs.

  • If you only listen to one song by Valdi Sabev, make it this one: "Formless"

Straight out of Nashville, Tennessee, JM-N joins June "new" list with their modern pop sound. Think Ariana Grande meets Sia with the band's powerful demonstration of vocals, to poppy upbeat synths. we're excited for this dynamic group as they only released their debut album last year (2017).

  • If you only listen to one song by JM-N, make it this one: "Be Alright"

  Northwest composer and Marmoset artist, Jim Casella

Northwest composer and Marmoset artist, Jim Casella

Portland based composer, Jim Casella provides a examples with his work — from worldly synth (check out "Tooth Traffic Montage") to jazzy percussions. Here's an artist who knows how to keep you on your toes.

  • If you listen to one song by Jim Casella, make it this one: "Running Late"

Switching gears, we look to newcomer (new to Marmoset), Abstract Source. Serving listeners a mix of energetic EDM to electronic orchestral music, notes of soulfulness can be found throughout their work.

Electronic beats artist, Lewis Harris' music is a combination of dance, lo-fi, and hip-hop. Mostly instrumentals, listeners can find traces of Harris old school hip-hop inspiration within his work. 

  • If you only listen to one song by Lewis Harris, make it this one: "Argyle"

Our must-listen-to picks for fresh vintage are "Congratulations" by disco sensation, Angela Davis, "Burning Love" by Tim Chandell. Want to hear more? Head over to June's New Music Mixtape for other new music this month. 

Want to discover more curated mixtapes? Check them out below. 

Posted on June 29, 2018 and filed under Music, Mixtapes, Marmoset.

'Future of What' Digging into Portland's Hip-Hop Scene

  Photo: Riley Brown — Members of Portland's hip-hop community coming together for 'Hip Hop Day' 2017 in Portland, Oregon. 

Photo: Riley Brown — Members of Portland's hip-hop community coming together for 'Hip Hop Day' 2017 in Portland, Oregon. 

Perhaps you've already heard of Future of What, an educational podcast that covers every topic imaginable surrounding the music industry. The talk show gives outliers and insiders alike the stage to dive into subjects that may not always get a mainstream kind of exposure, nonetheless, are equally important.

Take this April episode as an example, where Fabi Reyna, founder of She Shreds magazine discusses the decline of the electric guitar along with problematic marketing trends (geared predominately toward a specific gender — spoiler: it's not female guitarists). 

The series being hosted by Kill Rock Stars president Portia Sabin, listeners can occasionally catch LIVE tapings of episodes throughout major cities. If in the Portland area, you'll want to catch the upcoming segment sponsored by Marmoset. Moderated by both DJ Klyph ('s Welcome to the Neighborhood) and Portia Sabin, this upcoming episode will focus on new happenings and the transpiring evolution within Portland's hip-hop scene. 

This special edition is not only an opportunity for aspiring artists and hip-hop supporters to network, but to also learn from the diversely experienced panelists. From O.G.ONE to Karma Rivera to Rasheed Jamal, the discussion will explore the city's music scene and what this means for hip-hop specifically. It's an exploration and much-needed conversation that Jamal is helping spearhead through his own music and of course, events like this. 

"I attended the Portland Grammy Summit back in February where there was a hip-hop panel," says Jamal. "It was informative, but it felt as though they were preaching to the choir. More than that, nobody from the city who creates hip-hop was there. At that moment I sparked the conversation that became this panel, which is also be open to the public."

  Rasheed Jamal, hip-hop artist and organizer of Future of What's hip-hop 101 event

Rasheed Jamal, hip-hop artist and organizer of Future of What's hip-hop 101 event

With Jamal organizing the hip-hop 101 event, he aimed at assembling real influencers, organizers, and artists who could directly involve themselves within the discussion. It's something that doesn't always happen when community events such as this are organized — either important topics being lost in the shuffle or the same one perspective opinions and vices voiced over and over. 

There's no question how Portland's music landscape is ever-changing and those shifts being very closely linked to whats unfolding in our communities. So why not get those on the front lines of change more involved? That's what Jamal is helping to fix.

"I want people to feel energized after this. If people can leave this panel inspired to take action, this will be a success," says Jamal. "My aim is to produce a ripple effect and to influence folks to believe in themselves and to put their energy into solutions."

How can others support the music community and initiatives like this this? Jamal says show up and participate — whether that be asking questions or just listening to learn.

"We want the youth, the experienced, the novice, and the experts to come together and share ideas," he says. "To learn from one another and to move forward to throw similar events and give one another a sense of professional development."

Get your tickets ahead of time and bring your questions to the Q&A. Proceeds will go toward the Friends of Noise organization.

Want more? Check out more community themed posts below.

Posted on June 28, 2018 and filed under Marmoset, Music, Community.