Thursday, December 20, 2007
This short sampler is their latest output, and it is funky as fuck. Daptone Records is a small label based in Brooklyn, and whose main group the Dap-Kings were the backing band on Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black". Here, some top DJs take their best tracks and blow them out into beat-driven grooves, while maintaining that throwback feel. And, the really cool part is that Scion has been offering the sampler for free off their website, just because.
I mean seriously, why do they still bother making cars?
Scion Presents Daptone Records Remixed
Sunday, December 16, 2007
And musically, this is probably the most fascinating rap album I've heard this year - way more than "Graduation", for instance. Check out this disgusting beat on "Little Weapon":
Lupe Fiasco - The Cool
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Some of us were there, some were not. But those who were, will never forget it. I don't really know who these guys are or where they came from, but there they were, in the back of the bar, yelling "Show me your tits you fucking cunts!" It was spiritual. Needless to say, yes they are campy, yes they are outrageous, but yes they also rock (seriously the guitarist can shred). Fortunately they offer their album for free download, so here it is. However, it does not really capture the magnitude of the live performance.
Semi Precious Weapons - We Love You
Saturday, December 8, 2007
One thing about music that fascinates me is how people seem to gravitate towards certain instruments. Personally, I've always been a sucker for the horns - without getting too spacey about it, there's something about the raw, unamplified power of them that embodies the way that music can physically affect you - and that's dope.
So, with that, I offer up two brass ensembles for your consideration. The first some of you might have seen busking in the subway stations and parks here in NYC. Called the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, they are made up of 6 brothers from Chicago plus a drummer. Here's a feature the NYT did on them awhile back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTQa_aU7pfE. Currently they are touring Europe as Mos Def's backup band, which is SICK, so lookout for their return stateside in a few months.
Buy their Albums on ITunes
The Youngblood Brass Band is made up of 9 white dudes from Wisconsin, but you'd never know that by listening to them. Less jazzy than Hypnotic, they draw inspiration from the classic New Orleans brass sound and are more "jammier", for lack of a better word. They are all amazing musicians - in particular, the tuba player busts out some ridiculous basslines. Have a listen:
Youngblood Brass Band - Unlearn
Friday, December 7, 2007
Talib Kweli - Eardrum
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Radiohead - In Rainbows CD2
Okay but actually I like this guy - very Jamie Lidell like but a little more blues on it. He's somewhere between Prince and John Lee Hooker. It's interesting. Needless to say - check out the myspace page - especially Seconds of Pleasure. Plus I like that crazy ass guitar he's sporting.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
After consuming two turkey sandwiches today for lunch I slowly began to fall deeper and deeper into the grasps of the dreaded tryptophan. As it overpowered my body it became increasingly difficult to maintain my posture and not fall into a sleepy daze. With one eye barely open, I realized something needed to be done quickly if I was gonna make it through the rest of the day. That's when I noticed in my inbox an email from one of my good buddies entitled "THAT NEW SHIT-JUST GOT NEWER!" Struggling to the move the mouse, I mustered all of my remaining strength and downloaded the two tracks. Upon listening to them I was immediately jolted from my comatoic state to the upbeat sounds of The Beastie Boys, Flock of Seagulls and Outkast. These come straight to you from DJ Rndm up in Boston. Get pumped!
Also, continuing in the mode of discussing sweet shows we've recently seen...just saw Broken Social Scene performing parts of the lead man Kevin Drew's latest album as well as some old favorites. These guys are more than worth a listen. They manage to go from that end-of-the-world-tremendous-crescendo huge sound (4 guitars on stage help in this manner) to a completely pared and stripped stunning minimal style in an instant - and they pretty much have the audience in the palm of their hand the whole time. Indie shows have a tendency to be hit or miss - like maybe you want to sit down after the 5th song - but they managed to sustain pace and energy and make spine-tingling music.
Finally - I was in glorious StL over the holiday, and low and behold, what is the first article I stumble across in the RFT? See for yourselves...pictures and all.
Monday, November 19, 2007
This is a group unlike many others. Titled The Polyphonic Spree, their instrumentation is based upon a choir of double digit numbers, a pair of keyboardists, a percussionist, drummer, bassist, guitarist, flautist, trumpeter, trombonist, violinist/violist, harpist, French horn player, a pedal steel player, a "theremin" and an electronic effects person. They provide a full, fun sound that is good to listen to and I'm sure would be a treat to see live. Enjoy.
The Polyphonic Spree
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This is for those who aren't quite ready to fully commit to the jam scene, but are somewhat enticed by hippie chicks who haven't shaved since Gerald Ford was in office.
Soulive - Next
Salutations from the Hippie Land!
it appears i've stumbled into this world of "tight beats" and "fly rhymes" - very different from the world where we don't shower for 7 weeks and sit out in fields for 12 hours, letting the power of the chill tunes sink into our brains and let the sick vibes overcome our bodies. Hmm, perhaps that's just the hallucinogenics kicking in... Perhaps its time my culture extends our proverbial "piece" pipe to the hip hop/rap/electronica world in the hopes that one day we can all join hands, heal the world, save the environment, blah blah blah.
I've been digging through my hippie possessions and I've uncovered something from the history books... ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the live recording of the first ever WILD concert, at the world famous Brookings Quadrangle in 1969. The performers were a little known troupe from San Fran known as the Grateful Dead. For your listening pleasure, the band that needs no introduction... Grateful Dead @ WILD 1969
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
From glancing over the recent posts it seems hip-hop has dominated the blog. So as a natural front runner, I'll add another lyrically powered yet musically comforting album to the mix. The artist of record here is Consequence. He clearly has studied under Kanye, who has a number of appearances in both producing and rapping on the album. Furthermore, the title, "Don't Quit Your Day Job," harks back to the theme of Kanye's first album of College Dropout. And unfortunately, those skits that try to add insight into the artist are ever present. There are of course good things that come with Kanye as a mentor, like that sweet sound that touches your soul while still a part of modern day hip-hop. So without further ado, enjoy this solid album that contains a few gems that you will no doubt be singing in shower, car, subway, maybe all 3 at once.
Monday, November 5, 2007
So, naturally, I'm a real big fan of Caribou. Basically, think of the Zombies tastefully remixed by the Chemical Brothers, and you're in the ballpark. The beauty of this album is that they are a bunch of great pop songs first and foremost, and forward-thinking musical statements as a bonus - too often bands confuse those two (see: Amnesiac). Another great aspect of this album is the seamless blend of organic and artificial sounds...retaining the 60's instrumentation while simultaneously embracing the rhythmic complexity of modern music is one of this album's major achievements. Definitely somewhere in my top 10 albums of the year list.
Caribou - Andorra
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Rained In: By Johnny Cocco
Thursday, October 25, 2007
G-Chat message sequence from earlier today...
So here's the post. Seven months late, but better than never.
This is a music blog. Musicianship turns me on... which is why I've chosen to share the latest release (March 2007) from a group of musicians with three successful albums under their belt- 2 platinum, 1 gold - in AUSTRALIA.
In 2003, mindlessly watching an episode of "Pimp My Ride" while grinding out a pointless business school homework assignment, South Korea's princess of pop music journalism, SuChin Pak, showed up on screen for her usual MTV News segment. To my surprise, rather than ANOTHER lame story about 50-Cent's latest quibble with Ja Rule, it was a showcase about a folk/roots/jam band tearin' up the scene in the land of kangaroos. After scouring the web for download after download, I was hooked.
The John Butler Trio has been right under everyone's nose (or not, if you've discovered them) for a good four years now, appearing on US National TV multiple times - Live Earth, Leno, etc. - and Bonnaroo in both '05 and '07. He's actually already slated for the '08 Bonnaroo show.
But, check out the MySpace stats:
John Butler Trio - Total Profile Views: 909,607
Soulja Boy (aka US Hip-Hop's lamest new sensation) - Total Profile Views: 18,570,327
So, despite 5+ years of great work in Australia, John Butler is still relatively little-known in the mainstream US public. Blame it on his genre. Blame it on the record labels. Or, the best option, save the blame game and just LISTEN.
This is world-class musicianship... and FUN music with a good display of lyrical prowess. John Butler is a master of his art, and whether you are a fan of his particular genre or not, you can't deny that he makes "good music," as Kanye says.
I've attached a share for the March 2007 full album release, Grand National:
In the CD, the frontman, John Butler, is credited with contributing:
Vocals, Acoustic/amplified open back banjo, 11-string, 6-string, resonator lapsteel, and Weissonborn lapsteel guitars, Baritone tricone resonator guitar, Nylon string acoustic guitar, Banjo, Mouth harp, Harmonica, Ukelele, Yidaki (Didgeridoo), and of course, Electric guitar.
He's joined by his upright (and electric) bass player and percussionist.
I'm also going to post a link to YouTube video of a guitar solo piece called "Ocean":
Hate to sound like a classical musician on a non-classical music blog, but please take a moment to appreciate the dynamics and the building of a musical theme in that short instrumental, which he plays on a simple 12-string acoustic. It really takes you for a ride. The timing of the video to sound is half a second off, but it really doesn't detract from the effect (also check out his 1-inch long curly fingernails). Also, note that the version of "Ocean" played in this video is different from the recorded version, just in case you ever were to venture that deeply into his library of work.
Also, here are some random tracks from other albums:
Hello - http://www.zshare.net/audio/4450189f050b3a/
Betterman - http://www.zshare.net/audio/4451201088c072/
Zebra - http://www.zshare.net/audio/4451223ab42e90/
L'Chaim, Mr. Leventhal.
P.S. For you New Yorkers, you can check out his live show at the new venue, Terminal 5, on November 10th. I believe tickets are $25-ish and part of the proceeds go to saving the environment (typical Australian hippie stunt).
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
But here's the thing: this mixtape doesn't suck nearly as much as it should. Actually, its pretty captivating, because the sparse acoustic arrangements add a surprising amount of immediacy and intensity to the rappers, highlighting their lyrics instead of burying them in noise. Unfortunately, the tape is only 9 tracks long, but every song on here is worth your time.
Dert - Sometimes I Rhyme Slow
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This one's called "Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold Suite" and is from a Neil Young archival release that just came out a few months ago. It's from a solo acoustic show in 1971 just before Harvest came out. For the uninitiated, both of these songs are on Harvest, in this exact order. Neil also gives a lengthy explanation before the songs that's pretty awesome:
This one's by a band called My Morning Jacket which I don't believe gets enough credit, though I'm sure some of you are probably into 'em (Larson?) Anyways, they're pretty rockin' and this is off of their last album, Z, which came out, I think, in '06. It's called "Off the Record."
Finally, this last jam is an oldie but a goodie. It's by a legend who goes by the name Frank Zappa. Alot of people don't know that Frank Zappa NEVER TOOK A DRUG IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE. But...in fact, that is the 100% truth. He subsisted on coffee and cigarettes. Anyways, hopefully this'll help turn some people onto him that maybe never were... It's called Catholic Girls and it's on his 2 Disc mini-rock-opus "Joe's Garage." Sample lyric: "Catholic Girls, with their tiny little moustaches..."
Hope this brightened up someone's day. Keep the good tunes comin'.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Then, out of fucking nowhere, came Wu-associate Hell Razah.
Holy balls, this album is good. Unbelievably good. Razah's flow reminds me alot of Method Man in the best of ways, and lyrically he can clearly hold his own with anybody from the Wu. But as good as Razah is, and he's dope, its all a bonus next to these stupid-hot beats from production duo BSBD. Literally, the first 10 tracks are all insane, one incredibly intricate beat after another, until its almost numbing...then you go back and listen and realize that each one would be the best track on nearly anyone else's album. Think of a perfect combination of Kno from the Cunninlynguists, RJD2, and the Alchemist. Yes, that good. If you own a Wu album, download this now.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I've been meaning to post this for a while - I saw these guys open for Peter Bjorn and John and basically couldn't stop laughing through the whole set. So they are these French, middle aged, white guys who play a particular brand of electro-funk pop. But what's hilarious is that the lead singer sort of whisper-raps his way through all the songs with some pretty interesting lyrics. After a while though, it really grows on you. Some good supplemental listening for sure.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
"Altitudes" from Chitlin Circuit Mixtape
"Love Joint Revisited" from The Listening
"Lovin It" from The Minstrel Show
"Shake It" from the True Notes Comp
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
If that track got you down, snack on their next and final track on the album. The sun comes up with "The Repudiated Immortals." It is a light close to a good album.
Friday, October 5, 2007
It's through a free website called divshare - some quick instructions:
1. goto http://www.divshare.com/ and sign up
2. upload a song just like you do on zshare
3. after it is done uploading, click on the "more options" button
4. copy the code next to "embed"
5. when you are ready to put the player in your post, click over to "edit html" in the top right corner, paste the code, and when you go back to "compose" you should see a black rectangle where the player will be
really simple, fast, and free - plus as an added bonus all the songs you upload will be available for you online through their website whenever you want them.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
1) Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - The Spark that Bled (Piano instrumental cover of a Flaming Lips song from Soft Bulletin...just beautiful, may or may not appear in Howie Show EP. 3 as a result of its awesomeness.)
2) Bright Eyes - Classic Cars (off his album that came out last year, Cassedega, which isn't totally amazing ridiculous awesome, but this song's pretty great; "the best country singers die in the back of classic cars.")
3) Old Crow Medicine Show - Tell it to Me (an ol' fashioned bluegrass honky-tonk barnstomper all about, you guessed it, cocaine!)
This blog's a good thing you guys got goin' here. Anybody got some good concerts comin' up soon they're psyched for? I'm going to the Bridge School Benefit show on 10/27 in San Fran: Neil Young, Metallica, Eddie Vedder & Flea, Tom Waits w/ the Kronos Quartet, Regina Spektor, etc...
I saw Dinosaur, JR a few weeks ago for free. That was pretty rockin. The opener was these guys, Band of Horses, who I dug. Anyone with me on Dino Jr? Talk about ol' school; those guys might even predate RUN-DMC.
It has some nice, synth, drum machine minimalist production and the lead singer's voice is pretty accessible. Anyway...I like it. You might too.Take a listen:
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Heres a taste of the new single... "walls":
And a bonus off the first album (Ill up it if there is interest its sick) "Shelter":
Seriously though, this is a dope album. Dude takes the pulse and crescendoes of 90's trance and infuses the sounds of indie hip-hop (vocal cuts, vinyl scratches and textures). The songs take a while to develop, so those of you lacking in patience may find it repetitive, but for me it has this hypnotic quality thats great for bumping at work, gym, etc. - when I want some music to get lost in.
"A Paw In My Face"
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Also, I know at least a couple people on this forum went to see the Kings of Leon this weekend. Ridiculous - these guys played so tightly, the sound was spot on and so hard the whole way through. Really impressed. They have the chops - they've made three completely different albums to date and they're like 22. Maybe.
Uh sorry not to expound more, but I'm kinda drunk. Just listen.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Every exec in my office left work early yesterday for a preview of "American Gangster" in the world stage downstairs... Needless to say I wasnt invited.
Why cant I post as a link....?? Oh well copy and paste bitches... and dont act like you arnt gonna, even you Lev...
Heres a bonus for you new from the ROC... "Rocafella Billionares" by "The Philly Freezer" Freeway. (FEATURING "HOVA"... so it's worth the download)
Roctober is coming bastards... but it got pushed back to Roc...vember???
Here is some sick hip hop comming by way of Lupe Fiasco repping the 1st and 15th in Chi-City its a song off the new album, but not the first single... The chorus is stuck in my head probably 80% of my life these days. Interesting, sharp, flows on point, and its not about selling coke or killing people. When are rappers gonna start rapping about doing coke, that will really help propel the ghetto into ruins, I mean come on guys... well Juelz does, and he is quite the trend setter.
Read my response to the Kanye post you Bastards I have alot to say I write like a hiphop website with worse spelling.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Shout Out Louds are a band from Sweeeeden that haven't really blown up here...but they should. Here is one of their songs (remixed). This guy's got an awesome voice and if you like, I'll put up the rest of the album.
(Shout Out Louds - Impossible)
"Our Pen's Out of Ink"
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The lyrics, the content, are almost more suggestive than explicit. She seems to say a lot without trying very hard. And the beats are pretty ridiculous ("my beats are too evil" yeah). The Timbaland track is so sick...mellow, smooth, the whole thing is on skates. The Clash sample she lifts on Paper Planes is amazing, tweaked and spaced out and sounding not at all like the Clash - using gun shots and cash registers to get the point across (who needs lyrics anyway?). Overall the whole thing is just hard - no other word. The rawness and mix of sounds, from all over the globe, recall an excitement and creativity from the early days of hip hop - experimental, less glossy and stylized - I wish more rappers were so unconcerned.
Plus I just think she's a badass. (http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/44529-mia-confronts-the-haters)