Friday, December 19, 2008

R.I.P. Duane

Try to follow my logic here. Eat a Peach : Duane Allman ::: Sublime (the self-titled 1996 album) : Bradley Nowell.

Translation time: Duane died during the recording of this album in a motorcycle accident just as Brad died during the recording of the Sublime record, albeit from heroin he was using to make his music better. Some would argue the heroin helped alot, but that's another debate for another time.

This is a classic fucking album. Some point to Live at the Fillmore East which came out just a short time before this one. However, this one has some live tracks on it, in addition to some studio staples which are now veritable classics. "Melissa" is the best known track here, but "Blue Sky" and "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" are also pretty well known if you know your way around the classic rock radio dial. I present it here because I think it's a cohesive work and one I often put on when I want to be in a good mood. Hope it cheers one of ya'll up.

To all our readers all across the globe, from Germany to D.C. to Chicago to NYC: Merry Christmas and a happy strictly bangers.

The Real Stones

Man oh man, what I wouldn't give to be one of you guys, downloading the Rolling Stones' seminal Exile on Main Street and hearing it for the first time in 2008/09. This album is as raw as it is polished, as carnal as it is subtle, as country as it is rock and as hard as it is soft. It can be all of these things because it is a true masterpiece. I'm not sure if it's widely regarded as the Stones' masterpiece by all, but it is certainly regarded as such by me. And I, as you may or may not be aware, am the supreme arbiter of all things relating to taste.

Lotsa classic tunes on here that you're probably already familiar with, from "Tumblin' Dice" to the Keith Richards-sung "Happy" to the oft-covered "Loving Cup." The album as a whole is nothing short of intensely cohesive, especially when you consider that this was a double LP (4 sides of music) when it came out. For you trivia nuts out there, Beatles rooftop pal and organist/performer in his own right Billy Preston appears on a bunch of these tracks also. Continuing the trivia fun, track 3, "Shake Your Hips" is a tune written by Slim Harpo most recently made famous by a man named Robert Randolph and his friendly Family Band.

Give it to your dad for Christmas. He'll thank me but want to know what you did with his vinyl collection... Get it here...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gang Gang Dance

Here's a reasonably new album that I have been enjoying of late. Gang Gang Dance - another Brooklyn band with a very eclectic mix of sounds to say the least. They released their 4th album this August after 3 years without a full-length studio LP and it's certainly worth your time. There are some interesting tribal, shoe-gaze, electronic, funk elements that overall make for something listenable and unusual - and often, downright awesome. At least one song sounds like MIA, another like M83, they're kind of all over the place. But they are more or less out there on their own, doing something very different that's simultaneously very accessible.

Listen: Saint Dymphna

PS - for all you folks in the NY area, David Byrne is performing at Radio City in the near future. Get on it. Saw his show a month ago in DC and the man is back! Full stage production, dancers, choreography, and his voice is like a bell. Excellent show, worth the dough. Not to mention, the new album is unbelievable and I hope you haven't slept on that one.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One More For Ya

As if the one below wasn't enough...The El Michels Affair: these guys are off the Truth & Soul label so that should tell you a little about the sound. They've been sampled on the recent Wu-Tang album and bring that old soul/funk sound to the table. Very enjoyable - though I don't actually own any of it yet.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Menahan Street Band

It's been a brisk weekend of borough hopping for this humble DC dweller. Fortunately I managed to pick up a brilliant band in my travels. Hot off the Daptone label (well to be specific, the Dunham label, an imprint of Daptone), these guys are part Budos Band, part Amy Winehouse's backing band, part Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and all funky rhythm. The live show (which is coming to Brooklyn on the 20th for you lucky natives) is supposedly kick ass and involves a suite of horns and percussion filling the stage. Give it a listen - very cinematic, very urban, makes for some very easy listening.

Enjoy : Menahan Street Band

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Johnny Osbourne - Truths and Rights

Maybe I'm alone on this, but I always feel a strange draw to reggae in the winter. After stumbling onto this album via my Toots and the Maytals Pandora station, I've been totally addicted to it for a few weeks now (I hope the dude who invented Pandora is swimming in a pool of cash Scrooge McDuck style, its the best thing on the internet ever). As I later discovered, Truths & Rights is considered by many to be the best reggae album ever made. It's not as polished as Bob, and vocally and lyrically closer to 70's R&B than anything Jamaican. Songs like "We Need Love" and "Jah Promise" are just pure ragged soul, and makes me feel like I'm in a hammock somewhere on a beach outside of Kingston, listening to Johnny and his band off in the distance. It's a pretty pleasant thought when you're freezing your ass off. Also, this album is thought to be the birth of dancehall, so if you were wondering who to thank for Shaggy, Johnny's your man.

Johnny Osbourne - Truth & Rights