Saturday, September 18, 2010
There's really nothing to say about this band except the first time I saw them, they made me wish I had been born and raised in Texas. I immediately wanted to hoist a state flag, buy a cowboy hat and gargle whiskey. I'm not kidding about this. I stumbled upon them at a place called "Hole in the Wall" on the UT Austin Drag and have since seen them 3 more times. They are simultaneously hysterically funny and sentimental Americana. Country music has never been so filthy.
There is truly nothing like the Beaumonts, who, contrary to what you might think from their name, are actually from Lubbock, Texas. Highlights include "Big Fake Boobs," "Let's Get Drunk," "Burn 'Em Down," and "Mayonnaise." As great as these tracks sound, the band simply must be experienced live.
Sample lyrics: "Well...my dick is so short that I piss on my balls, And my belly looks like it belongs on Santa Claus, I might be hideous baby, don't be so smug, 'cause I got money for drugs."
"She don't mind taking out her teeth and giving me some gum, Double A, R.P. I'm in love."
Enjoy it right here. If you like it enough, buy it and give these fellas the money they deserve.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Classixx are a couple of remix ninjas from LA that are blowing up just about every spot there is to blow up lately. Case in point: their remix of YACHT's "Psychic City" was included on the "How To Make It In America" soundtrack and is now exponentially more popular than the original track. Remixes for Phoenix, Major Lazer, Mayer Hawthorne and others followed, each rivaling if not outshining its source material. All in all it's pretty incredible - with exactly 3 original songs to their name, Classixx are everywhere.
What makes a Classixx remix so amazing is that they don't adopt the style of the song at all, they bring that song into their world. So while other DJs are content rearranging a band's furniture, they're in the backyard torching the whole damn house. Their older tracks (like "Cold Act Ill" above) owe a lot to French house in general and Justice in particular, but their more recent remixes have located a mellow vibe all their own. It's a style I can only describe as California 80s noir - like driving down the coast at night, palm trees and the Pacific hanging in the air. Quickly becoming "the Classixx sound", it's like drugs for your ears, man.
Below are 10 tracks for your listening enjoyment - be sure to wait for the Major Lazer glass bottom dub, one of the sexiest joints you'll ever hear and one of my top remixes of all time.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Guess what kiddies: Grandpa's back with more good time oldies. Today I bring you the real King. Forget that King of Pop crap (R.I.P. Michael [from your father's abuse and your lawsuit hush $]); this is the only King that matters. Most people our age fail to understand why, for example, Bob Dylan said the first time he heard Elvis' music was like "busting out of jail." As someone who's been to Graceland three times, (No...seriously, that's true.) I feel somewhat of a responsibility to educate, so I shall try my hardest.
In early December of 1968, NBC aired the now infamous Elvis "Comeback Special." Out of the spotlight for a while due to military service (where he first encountered amphetamines), a long courtship and eventual marriage to Priscilla, the art of the Hollywood movie-record tie-in, and a newfound affinity for and immersion in gospel music, Elvis reemerged in primetime for a carefully orchestrated return to form that drew 42% of the television viewing audience. The concert signified a changing of the guard in popular music. No longer content to milk it, Elvis desperately sought the relevancy he had lost, remarking to his producer that he'd "never sing another song that I don't believe in" and was "never going to make another movie that I don't believe in." Elvis the Hollywood puppet was no more. Elvis, always a staunch, God-fearing Christian, was tired of appeasement. He wanted to scare the straights, but he wanted to do so on his own terms.
As a clarification, Elvis was vehemently anti-drug. President Nixon, in a desperate attempt to improve his image among the nation's youth, posed for a photograph with Elvis and made him "Federal Agent At Large for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs," a specially created position. In Elvis' mind, there was nothing "druglike" at all about the doctor-prescribed painkillers and doctor-approved pharmaceuticals he regularly abused. By contrast, Elvis was extremely upset at the suggestion by some that he was partially responsible for 1960's drug culture as a result of his influence on some of its most popular acts. This has been suggested by many as the single biggest reason why Elvis got it together for this concert. And thank God he did.
About a year after the show, Elvis returned to a Memphis recording studio and created this album, From Elvis in Memphis, regarded by many as his seminal masterpiece. It contains well-known Elvis tunes like "In the Ghetto" (the original hip-hop chorus?,) "Suspicious Minds," and the somber, eloquent ballad "Long Black Limousine." As a nod to the changes in popular music which had occurred since Elvis last attempted to make relevant popular music, the album also includes a wistful take on The Beatles' "Hey Jude," which just might bring a tear to your eye. Simply put, I cannot recommend this album enough. Check it out and you'll see why Rolling Stone ranked it as the #190 Greatest Album of All Time. Most importantly, you'll see why the King will live on forever...
Friday, April 30, 2010
Once again, the weather has turned. Which of course means I'm listening to soul music, it's like a tic. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have released a killer album on that old standby for delicious music, Daptone. I used to feel she was something of a novelty act, sounds like music you like from a time you like to imagine, but not something I'd sit down and listen to. Live act, awesome, albums not so much. Her latest is about as gritty and pure as soul gets. Try to listen to this and not FEEL it. The title track and Better Things To Do are absolute dynamite...as is the rest of it.
Second up, Erykah Badu. I was a huge fan of Baduizm and her earlier stuff, but I got a little lost with the outer-space, aliens stuff she got into around the millenium. That's not to say it was bad, just not my cup of tea -- very dense, very out there. Well she married the two in her latest effort and it's so effortlessly listenable, I have run through it a few times in the last week. She's still talking about aliens, but she's also talking about the real world and real life...which is a relief. It's smooth, it's full, it will actually make you pause and run those lines over in your head a few times and the music just rolls you along. Very much worth a listen.
The whole shebang
Friday, April 16, 2010
Happy Friday errbody, hope you've all been killing your respective games this week. I've uploaded my work mix to 8tracks for you all to enjoy - just a bunch of jazzy beats to zone out to. What do you rock out to 9-5?
1. J Dilla - Donuts (Intro)
2. Damu the Fudgemunk - Colorful Storms (Ruff Instro)
3. Flying Lotus - Massage Situation
4. DJ Cam - Gangsta Shit
5. Dela - Stakes Is High
6. Samon Kawamura - U Nu
7. Four Tet - This Unfolds
8. Jel - All Day Breakfast
9. Nicolay - Light It Up
10. DJ Alibi - Tenth Round
11. Freddie Joachim - She Reminds Me
12. Sorcerer - Jump Rope
13. The Field - A Paw In My Face
14. J Ralph - One Million Miles Away
15. 40 Winks - Highwaves
16. Madlib - Two for Pay Jay
17. Rip One - In The Sky
18. Pete Rock - A Little Soul
19. 40 Winks - It's Here
20. J Boogie - Oceanic Lullaby
21. DJ Soulscape - Height 423
22. Quantic - Archipelago
23. Madlib - Slim's Return
24. Diplo - Sarah
25. St. Germain - Sure Thing
26. Waajeed - Starz
27. J Dilla - Mash
28. Lone - Sea Spray
29. Muneshine - Intergalactic
30. Johnny Alpha - Modern Women's Short Stories
31. Sound Providers - Autumn Evening Breeze
32. Quantic - Prelude to Happening
33. Mojib - Whimsical Lifestyle
34. Dimlite - Count Your Sunrises
Monday, April 5, 2010
Just picked up this album from Javelin entitled No Mas. These two cousins from Brooklyn have had a busy year opening for Yaesayer, rocking out with Mos Def and getting their debut album out. Just like the cover art to their album, these songs are mostly a fun cut and paste job of light hearted obscure samplings. While this album is laced with great move your feet to the beat summer tunes- I kinda wish this there was more of a flow between songs- a la The Avalanches album, Since I left You. That being the case-there are some ups and downs from song to song. Standouts for me have to be the dreamy Moscow 1980 & 60's Motownish Tell Me, What Will it Be. Give it a whirl, take it for a ride, tell me what you think...
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Some of you may remember a particularly intoxicating tune on Justice's Cross album a few years back, The ppaarrttyy, featuring some chanting/rapping/singing by a deadpan, take-no-shit chick. That chick was Uffie. Word on the street is Ke$ha copied her whole shtick from Uffie, who has a sort of fuck you attitude crossed with some hot beats -- basically Peaches updated for a new generation (not that Peaches needs much of an update). There's no good explanation as to why you want to keep listening to her, she's not a great lyricist and she knows it, but dammit this song is awesome.
And if you haven't heard Sleigh Bells yet, check it.
This show was recorded in early 07 I think. All in all, this show/record is A LOT of fun.
On the One - Live
Sunday, March 28, 2010
To get the ball rolling I've thrown together a mix of the top stuff off of my IPod for your enjoyment, and you can find me on 8Tracks here. I also recommend checking out this chick and this chick while you're at it. Let's get a little audience participation going - what are your top jams?
1. Gotye - Learnalilgivinanlovin
2. Wu-Tang Clan vs. The Beatles - Cutting It Up
3. Electric Wire Hustle - They Don't Want
4. Francis & The Lights - Night Watchman
5. Tanlines - Real Life
6. Small Black - Despicable Dogs (Washed Out Remix)
7. MillionYoung - Chlorophyl
8. White Hinderland - Icarus
9. Toro Y Moi - Imprint After
10. The Hood Internet - Save Me Concubine (Ghostface Killah vs. Beirut)
11. Bibio - Bones & Skulls
12. Bonobo - All In Forms
13. Delorean - Stay Close
14. Beach House - Norway
15. The Black Seeds - Love Is A Radiation
16. Plantlife - Your Love
17. Raashan Ahmad - If I
18. DJ Deckstream - Can You Let Me Know (feat. Lupe Fiasco and Verbal)
19. Blu - Since
20. Fashawn - Stars
21. Spiro - The Sky Is A Blue Bowl
Thursday, March 25, 2010
From J.D. Ryznar showcasing them in several episodes of the web series Yacht Rock to Chromeo becoming best friends and performing with Daryl Hall, to others dressing up as them for Halloween, Hall & Oates have become indie idols over the past several years. Given the fact that their music is catchy, danceable, and oh so smooth it's perfectly understandable and in my opinion very well deserved. If you disagree go back and listen to She's Gone and I Can't Go for That or better yet just ask Method Man what he thinks. This past week, their indie stardom was elevated even higher when The Bird and The Bee released their new album, "Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates." While more mellow and not nearly as dancey as the originals this album is definitely worth a listen for any self proclaimed fan of the Philadelphia duo. Enjoy!
Once upon a time in the halcyon days of 1970 in the Land of Southern California, lived three brothers whose passion for the Beatles, surfing, and the psychedelic movement lead them to create one of the oddest, most totally radical tripped out albums of the 1970's. Combining elements of rock n roll, jazz, and funk the album was titled BFI (Blue Forces Intelligence). Unfortunately this album was so weird and different that record labels, having never heard something like this before, decided to shelve it. The brothers, who were now going by the name The Dragons, were so dismayed that they decided to disband and go their own ways. BFI would never be released.
Fast forward 37 years to an English DJ (DJ Food of Ninja Tune's) digging through some crates in a record store. He stumbles across a piece of buried treasure- a soundtrack to an old 70's surf movie which just happens to feature The Dragons "Food for My Soul." Completely blown away by the fresh and innovative sounds coming through his speakers he decides he must track down the artists who forged this tune and learn their ways. Eventually DJ Food manages not only to locate one of the long lost brothers but also the original mix tapes. After listening to the mix tapes in their entirety, DJ Food realizes that this is just too good and decides to releases the tapes on the Ninja Tune label for the masses to hear. At long last the brothers achieved their dream and BFI was released to critical acclaim. A joyous cry erupted all over the musical world and everyone lived happily ever after.
All story telling aside- this is one dope album. Listening to it one hears elements of Frank Zappa, The Doors, and Air, not to mention some really bizarre sound effects (babies crying, Japanese rhythms, funk vocals!). Oh yeah and that sweet sweet organ player, who lays down the nastiest of grooves throughout each song...he went on to become the Captain....totally nuts, I know.
Disclaimer: It should be noted that the above song is probably the most "normal" one on the album.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This married duo from Quebec has made one very impressive record. Their third to date, surrounded by musicians, but the brainchild of this couple and it comes on big. Big sounds, big production, big ambitions. It sits somewhere between indie rock and shoegaze. They have that big wall of sound thing going on, full productions and My Bloody Valentine style ear-assault. But it's a little more reserved, more melodic, with some space for the listener to settle in and get comfortable. My problem with shoegaze is often that it's so intense and overwhelming that I can only deal with about two songs before I need a few minutes of total silence. This album really paces itself more -- they don't overwhelm you, it brings you along as opposed to just knocking you over. Not to mention the music really is just superb -- the vocals are beautiful and finely tuned, the songs intricate and compelling. As soon as it starts, you want to hear more, always a good sign.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
More car time has given me the chance to catch up on some old episodes, and they had Black Francis/Frank Black of the Pixies on to discuss Doolittle a few weeks back. It was absolutely fantastic -- I've never heard Black interviewed before, so maybe he's that garrulous and effusive all the time, but I sort of doubt it. The interview truly provided a fascinating look into the mind of the man and how the whole thing came together. Most hilarious moment: when Black bitched about festival fans bouncing an inflatable shark at one of their shows and he stopped the performance to confiscate the thing.
Anywho...you should listen to it, the podcast is free and awesome.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Every now and then I get the special urge to leave the synths and turntables so often heard in todays music behind, crank the speakers up to 11 and do jump kicks off my couch. Fueled by the surf and sunshine of Southern California, The Soft Pack's debut album fulfills just this fever. With only 10 songs and a total listening time of 32 minutes this is a garage rock sprint from start to finish.
The also do a pretty good deadpan cover of Phoenix's "Fence's"
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It's probably a sign of the times that one of the most significant cultural moments of 2010 centers around a 17 year old chick from Berlin. That's author Helene Hegemann, whos bestselling book caused an uproar in Germany because it plagiarizes not just sentences but whole pages from a lesser known novel. What's really interesting, though, has been the country's complete non-response to the scandal: the book was a finalist for the prestigious Leipzig Book Fair prize despite Hegemann admitting to the plagiary. Her response "there's no such thing as originality anymore, just authenticity", with its implied shrug, neatly sums up the attitude of our whole generation.
Authenticity also seems like the right place to begin talking about a band that calls themselves Local Natives. That shrug of a name, paired with the fact that this is a rustic folk outfit from the backwoods of suburban L.A., had me prepared for the worst. And with an aesthetic that so clearly apes several other bands (Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, and Yeasayer, just for starters), these dudes sure know how to paint themselves into a musical corner. In fact, the affectations are so prominent - the 3 part harmonies, the jittery percussion, the thick reverb, even a goddamn Talking Heads cover - that it's not hard to imagine Local Natives as something spit out by an indie rock hitmaking algorithm. The influences aren't even disguised or rearranged - the pages have just been ripped out whole.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the hipster gristmill. Though the Natives' style still got immediately saddled with the lazy labels we've come to expect ("west coast Grizzly Bear", "Andrew Bird-inspired"), the songs themselves were embraced. Which is why it's interesting to contrast these guys against, say, Band of Horses, who were cruxified not even 3 years ago for the same creation-by-constellation. And like "Cease to Begin", when you take "Gorilla Manor" as its own world its a pretty fascinating place to be. This is a band that refuses the idea of a lead singer, who's first single was written by their drummer, and who look as comfortable banging on the side of a storage shed as they do in the studio. And their 12 uniformly radiant songs, emerging fully-formed yet warmly ragged, might just be the perfect spring album. This is shit to bloom with guys - enjoy it all.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Anyways, this is a soundboard February 2nd, 1993 recording of the Dave Matthews Band performing a hometown show in Charlottesville, VA at Trax. The band included a full-time keyboardist at this point. If you've ever been a fan of DMB in any capacity, I urge you to download this and give it a listen. It will definitely surprise you. The band is unpolished to the point of unrecognizability but it's not tough to see how things would quickly escalate from an opening slot on the H.O.R.D.E. tour to teenage high-schoolers insisting on a first-name basis. ("How many times have you seen Dave?")
Highlights include a solo acoustic version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," a bitchin' "Halloween," an actually-meant-something "Dancing Nancies," and the since-nonexistent final keyboard outro to "Two Step" that's eerily reminiscent of the breakdown in Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain." Hopefully it makes somebody's day...
Monday, March 1, 2010
New Edition-Cool It Now. So fly. So Fresh. Plus that kid in the orange can dunk.
George Benson - Give me the night
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George Benson-Give Me the Night. This guy is so silky smooth it's absurd. I mean the dude can play guitar and rollerskate backwards, all while delivering the sweetness.
Mary Jane Girls-Candyman. My love for this group is endless...well at least on a Saturday nights it is. It's impossible not to move your feet to their songs. See also: In My House & All Night Long
Sunday, February 28, 2010
I think one of the most fun things that comes with being a fan of music is rediscovering an album that you haven't listened to in ages and being reminded just how amazing it sounded when you first heard it. This happened to me this past week when The Police's debut album, Outlandos D'Amour, came on randomly and I was immediately reminded of it's brilliance. Fueled by the punk scene of the late 70's and combined with a heavy dose of reggae and early 80's new wave, this has got to be one of the all time best debut albums by a band.
The first three songs on this album are just such an infectiousness powerhouse of rock that it's impossible not to overstate their greatness. Stewart Copeland's hard pounding punkish drumming sets the tone from opening notes of Next to You and doesn't let up until the closing of Masoko Tanga. So Lonely is a perfect composition, once again showcasing Copeland's drumming skills, Sting's lyrical ability and a sick guitar solo by Andy Summers. Roxanne, though used and abused over the years by radio stations everywhere, still has to considered a classic rock n roll tune by critics and fans alike. This album also provides a wonderful juxtaposition musically and lyrically combining groovy up tempo beats with songs about heartbreak, suicide, and sex with blow up dolls- making this the happiest sad album I have ever heard.