Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Let Me Ride: An Electronic Rain Mix

This past Friday heavy rains swept the East Coast, forcing a lot of us to stay in doors. For my friend John, this provided him with an excellent excuse to spend the whole night inside creating house mixes fueled by drinking copious amounts of Red Bulls & Vodka (frankly I don't see how this differs from most of his Friday nights). Anyway, here is his latest live mix recorded last Friday night. As an aside you can catch him next Friday at the Leopard Lounge in NYC spinning fun party beats. Enjoy.

Rained In: By Johnny Cocco

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

Oi! Oi! Oi!

G-Chat message sequence from earlier today...
Brandon: plee you need to post to strictly bangers. howie needs some non-rap music
me: alright maybe during my lunch break.
Brandon: atta boy

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:
- http://www.zshare.net/audio/4450189f050b3a/
Betterman -
Zebra -

Enjoy all.
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

Honky Cat Sunflower

Am I the only one who posts non-rap music on here?

All seriousness though, that thing you just threw up is pretty sweet LarsDog. I dug it anyways. Instead of rap or flamenco, it's just plain flap! Ya heard!?!?


Dert - Sometimes I Rhyme Slow

The gimmick is pretty simple: take samples from Jose Gonzalez's all-acoustic Veneer and mutate the melodies into slow-burning hip-hop songs. Kind of like The Grey Album, but with way shittier source material.

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

Some Songs I Promised

This one's called "Tell it to Me" by a modern bluegrass band called the Old Crow Medicine Show:


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'.

Strictly bangers,

-Easy E

Thursday, October 18, 2007

BSBD and Hell Razah - Razah's Ladder

Since Em and Dre have more or less evaporated, ODB got dead, and Nas and Jay are basically going steady, there has been a serious shortage of old-school, gritty hiphop. This led me to think that maybe rap had turned a corner, and had started assimilating completely into "pop" music (ex. Kanye, Timbo). Losing its edge, mainstreaming. Not necessarily a bad thing I guess, but disappointing for someone like me who prefers rap albums from the mid-90s to almost anything that comes out today.

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

Fujiya & Miyagi

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

Electronic Relaxation

This has been up all over http://www.brightyoungthings.com/ and has been getting huge play all over the city this past weekend. This was done on the fly, no post-editing and STRICTLY VINYL: "GET PUMPED FOR THE WEEKEND" A Classic Mix done by Chris Burns:


1) NYC Peech Boys - "On a Journey"2) Central Line - "Walking on Sunshine (Levan Mix)"3) Advance - "Take Me to the Top"4) Loleatta Holloway and the Salsoul Orchestra - "Seconds (Shep Pettibone mix)"5) Candi Staton - "When You Wake Up Tomorrow"6) Instant House - "Aweda (Joe Claussell Raw Shelter Mix)7) Raze - Break 4 Love8) Man Friday - "Real Love (Paradise Garage mix)9) Tribal Son - Spearchucker10) Cultural Vibe - "Ma Foom Bey"11) Chip E - "Like This"12) Sharon Redd - "Love How You Feel (dub)"13) Feel "Got to have your Lovin'"14) Lenny White - "My Turn to Love You"15) Turelli - "Mekano"16) Claudja Berry - "Work Me Over"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Radiohead - In Rainbows

Got my first chance to really pound this last night, and I gotta say, as someone who has absurd expectations of Radiohead to begin with, I was absolutely blown away. It is incredible to me how they continue to grow so much as a band album by album, always building on their sound in ways that are both completely logical and completely unexpected. I've heard comparisons to the Beatles' White Album and Jay-z's Blueprint, and I think they're dead on in terms of refining a band's sound down to its most bare, powerful essentials. Finally they've stopped trying to be something "else" and have embraced being Radiohead, which is such an amazing and ballsy thing to do when you're on your 7th album. Definitely think it will fight OK Computer and Kid A as one of their best.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Blockhead

Here's the new Blockhead album for anyone who wants a copy, and since my handicapped first attempt at posting an entire album went so poorly, heres the FlyLo debut as well as his ep that dropped recently. Blockhead on top.



Little Brother

Straight out of Durham, NC comes the best underground rap group of the past 10 years (depending on whether you count the Clipse as underground). Combining the flow and intelligence of groups like Tribe, De La Soul, and Pharcyde with the east coast production style of Premier and Pete Rock, these three dudes are totally changing the rap landscape as they begin to achieve some mainstream success. Producer 9th Wonder is absolutely sick, and rappers Phonte and Big Pooh are as anti-gangster as they get - just a couple of goofy, hilarious guys genuinely enjoying what they do. If you like what you hear, they will be performing at the Highline Ballroom Oct. 20th with Brother Ali and Psalm One. Should be one dopeass show. Some love:

"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

Fly(ing) Lo(tus)

Boys and girls, this shit is fire. Dude is an LA cat, great aunt is Alice Coltrane, who was John C's wife meaning he's also the nephew of Mr. Sax himself but for some reason all the sites just mention his aunt, so i dunno if theres something that implies, but either way, check it out, incredible. This is half of his first album, 1983, i can't figure out how to put an entire album up on one link, so if anyone knows hit me up. Until then, here are some tracks. get some.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Of Montreal and October

I love the month of October. It is my birthday month and it also brings back great memories of cool, green Florida autumn. In the soundtrack of life, Of Montreal's "October is Eternal" certainly gets play time during this month. This track comes at the tail end of their 2005 release The Sunlandic Twins. This track is somber. In places it wanders and in other places it makes me want to rip my shirt off. Listen to it and treat yourself to a Learian moment.

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


A few of you have asked how I put these in my posts:

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

A Few Things

As the lone honky cat sunflower on this blog, I figured it about time for me to jump on this bandwagon. I'm at work absent my external HD so I can't upload anything till I get around to it, but I just wanted to throw shoutouts to a few songs I've been feeling particularly hard as of late...

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.

The Blow - Paper Television

So I'm going to this concert tonight, and thought I would share the love. Let me preface this by saying, this is chick rock. But really good chick rock. Not so much mournful and soulful, but with an electro-indie edge. More Peaches than Ani.

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

Bedouin Soundclash

Hey guys...wierd. Their first cd was awsome. Yes they're Canadian, but I fell in love with this band's first album thanks to a girl with one pigmentless eye (Wayne's World 2 anyone) that was doing drugs in my old bedroom. Apparently there pretty big up north and in england...They are very chill sound sort of reminicint of sublime and the police maybe some 311, but with a more modern, organic, and maybe even a little more folkey aproach. Basically white boy dub (+a black bassist) with a taste of Ska (dont run #1). They are definitely taking a step in a more mainstream direction on this album (dont run #2). They remind me of Kings of Leon, in that they are young marketable and make anthematic indie rock... and I feel like I should hate them for that (look out fraternity houses world wide #3). But check them out they're really good and I have a feeling there gonna blow up, so get in on it before they make it big and you have to act too cool to like them.

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":



The Field - From Here We Go Sublime

So, who's down for some MINIMALIST TECHNO?

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"