Friday, July 31, 2009

Allen Toussaint

Even if you've never heard of the name, you've heard the music - think of a certain chocolate-themed deodorant commercial. Like Nick Drake and Volkswagen, my man Allen has been getting serious shine from his incidental inclusion in a TV ad. And for good reason - this album is a perfect snapshot of 70's New Orleans R&B. The rhythm here is incredible - every instrument popping with an organic snap that modern throwback bands just seem unable to recreate. And beyond that distinct voice, Toussaint was actually one hell of a pianist. The last 5 tracks of this are instrumental, and far more interesting to me than the pop songs that come ahead of them. This dude is funky elegance personified, and his laidback style should fit in perfectly with some lazy summer afternoons.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Who's on First

Pete Townshend, lead guitarist/principal songwriter for The Who, although not really known for his solo work apart from "Let My Love Open the Door," is actually fairly prolific in this regard. Who Came First, (get it?) was his first major label attempt at a solo record. It's definitely no Nebraska. It's got some fun, guitar-driven synth-rock on it, including "Pure and Easy" and "Let's See Action." Many of the songs on this album were going to be on Lifehouse, another of the Who's classic rock operas, abandoned in the 1970's and 1980's and eventually released in the last several years.

The album cover is kind of well known in its own weird way. I'm curious to know if any of you recognize it from something or other. None of these songs are really classic rock radio staples, with the lone exception being "The Seeker." An alternate demo version appears on the remastered + bonus version provided here. "Evolution" is the only song which Pete doesn't sing, with a guest appearance by Ronnie Lane from the Faces (Hot Rod Stewart's original band.)

Thoughts? Who's on First!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Two sentence review: Boards of Canada disciple listens to Madlib, J Dilla, and Flying Lotus and likes what he hears. Using that stuttering urban glitch as a filter over his own pastoral folktronic sound, he produces an album as schizophrenic as it is refined, exploding with textures and flavors like I imagine a fine French wine does.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Iron & Wine, kind of

It's odd approaching a b-sides and rarities collection from a guy whose initial recording budget was approximately the cost of a fifth of Jack Daniels. It's not like Sam Beam had to find a place for all those house remixes he commissioned. So no, there's nothing revolutionary here - just music by dudes with beards for dudes with beards. But here's the thing that hits you somewhere along these 23 tracks - this outtakes collection is better than most of the regular albums you'll ever listen to.

The 2 CDs are split up between the whisper quiet strumming of the "Creek Drank The Cradle" years on the first and the more robust "Shepard's Dog" sound on the second. I think the second CD is much better than the first, but that's of course all about which side of Sam Beam you prefer. And although I wouldn't substitute most of these songs for their counterparts on I&W's proper albums, the unquestionable quality across the board serves to underline what a remarkable musician this one man is. Finally, the closing track "Trapeze Swinger", which is essentially a 9 minute repeated refrain, might be the best thing Sam Beam has ever done. Listen while stroking your beard, real or imagined:


I also have a bit of blog news to share, check this out:

Estimated blog worth of $1380??? Not too shabby, friends and colleagues. Give it a few more months and we'll start talking IPO...

I've got a ton of new music I'm excited to get out there, so I'm going to try to post more often - roughly every other day - to try to keep up. Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you all keep tuning in.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Oh man is this some exciting shit. As most of you probably already know about, I'm proud to introduce Ontario's finest and latest Cash Money signee, Aubrey Graham aka Jimmy brooks aka Drake aka Drizzy.

The former Degrassi star ended a recent bidding war with several major labels, opting to sign with Lil Wayne and his entourage of Young money stars this spring for an untold number of millions.

And let me be the first to say, wheelchair or not, Jimmy does not disappoint. This is his latest mixtape effort, So Far Gone, produced and frequently guested by wayne and his cash money crew. To say he can flow would be scratching the surface. To say he's multitalented would not do him justice. Although the pop oreinted R&B hooks aren't my bag, I've gotta admit this dude is catchier than the Beatles. Not really, but no bullshit its hard to stop singing any of this. And on top of that, he raps with the likes of vets across the board and literally blows Wayne out of the water every time they do a track together. There's really no comparison on any duet i've heard. Although he raps mostly about star studded activities and raking in the millions (what else would a wayne protege have on his mind?) the kid actually has been a star since he was about 13, stopping the hearts of millions of teenage girls when he was unfortunately caught up in a classic high school tragedy with a bitter outcast and a loaded gun. Ah, Jimmy we'll never forgive Rick. That bastard.

Anyway, with lines like "i never get attracted to fans, cause a eager beaver could be the collapse of a dam" and "Everybody talks and everybody listen, but somehow the truth always comes up missin" drake is a force to reckoned with on the mic and this mixtape has not only some fire flow but solid production from front to back. Try tracks 5,6,8,11,18. You'll be happy you did.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


In honor of the late great (twisted and quite possibly pederast) Michael Jackson, I wanted to throw up a little known track. Manu Dibango's B-side single, "Soul Makossa," was considered by many to be among the first disco tracks to find its way into the mainstream. Named after the Cameroonian dance makossa, Dibango's single has a now familiar snappy backbeat. Dibango successfully sued Jackson for copyright violations on "Wanna Be Starting Something." The now infamous "Ma ma se ma ma sa ma ma coo sa," can be heard nearly verbatim on Dibango's song. Dibango is actually suing both Rihanna and Jackson for the same copyright violation on her recent single. Anyway, I'm always curious to hear influences and particularly afro-pop, so have a listen.