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Showing posts from April, 2012

James Petralli Re-covers Tascam Portastudio: "Fun Friday" (White Denim Facebook)

Seems as though White Denim's primary singer-songwriter, James Petralli decided to partake in one of Middle America's most cherished pastimes over the weekend: "Spring Cleaning." Like all too many of us, Petralli was rooting through his Austin, TX garage and quickly dug up a lost treasure... Tascam Portastudio fully in toe, Petralli then took to Facebook, asking White Denim's trusty fans to submit classic songs that they'd like to hear covered. By late Friday evening, James Petralli re-emerged complete with a 6-track zipfile, Fun Friday: Elvis Costello, Ween, Neil Young, Stevie Wonder, King Crimson, and White Stripes' "WEAReGOinGTObefriENDs" (2002). Arguably a tad bit more laidback than White Denim's usual rapid-paced, Jazz-Fusion output, Fun Friday was recorded straight to Petralli's handy Tascam Portastudio over roughly 5-6 hours... further topped with a few Austin Jenkins-crafted guitar riffs. It should also be of particular note tha…

Shake, Rattle & ROAR: The Lions - "Untitled CD-R" (Advance Review, Digital)

"This one's an exclusive for the Stones Throw Digital Discography subscribers: It's a sampler of a few tracks off the upcoming album by The Lions, which we're planning to release this Summer. We've made just a few of these CD's, strictly for non-commercial use. The Lions are a 12-member Reggae group from Los Angeles."

- Stones Throw @ drip.fm

(1) Seemingly the title track from their upcoming debut, "This Generation" was quietly premiered on Stones Throw's J.Rocc-curated Podcast #70 (January). The Lions meld together their vast musical "chops," employing a gaggle of original Roots Rock Reggae-reminiscent sound effects. Pretty sure "This Generation" discusses the fact that kids these days, while often misguided, are getting back into tasteful music and means of playing: 12" vinyl... Check out the Dub [remixed] version up above.

(2) "Roll It 'Round" plays out like a clever mix between Motown and 2 Tone, com…

Tougher Than Nigerian Hair: The Very Best - "Yoshua Alikuti" (Village Beat Re-make)

Love him or hate him, we must all admit that Lil Wayne is indeed an ever-lasting Pop Cultureicon figure. Quite the prolific musician, I personally his collective output to that of Bob Dylan: You either "get it" or don't, no one's really in the middle. Aside from it's preceding lead-up mixtapes, Tha Carter III is generally regarded as one of Lil Wayne's strongest albums. The Very Best simply list their FacebookInfluences as "Lil Wayne and Phil Collins." Interesting!?


Malawi-born singer, Esau Mwamwaya and Johan Hugo (Radioclit DJ) are gearing up up release their sophomore album this Summer, MTMTMK; The Very Best's long-awaited follow-up to Warm Heart of Africa has been in-the-works for the past 2 years... slowly recorded across Sweden, New York, and Malawi has now finally come to fruition! "Yoshua Alikuti" was filmed by Village Beat throughout Kenya's capital city, Nairobi. It basically showcases Esau & Johan doing their best Lil …

Guess Who's Back, Back Again?: Mr. Moot & The... - "Change My Ways" (Trenton Mix CD-R #2)

Mr. Moot was raised by a pack of flesh-ravaging wolves. So, his life wellness & survival skills are damn near stone sold immaculate, as should be expected. "Moot" is actually derived from the ancient Native American term for SWAGnificent and his favourite rapper is either Bob Dylan or DMX. After compiling a 10-12 song setlist culled from his comprehensive 100-200 track backcatalog, Mr. Moot & The... played one triumphant first/last show down in Miss' Basement (April 2011). It was recorded to tape, but the film reel has seemingly been lost [or stolen by supervillains]. All that's left are the lone shards of magical memories captured by the chosen few in that basement on that very night!


Mr. Moot started out making "Hip-Hop beats" around 2000-02, which has now morphed into something entirely different. He usually laments about the trials and tribulations of The American Dream: Trying to simultaneously attain love, money, bitches, POWER, drugs, and pizz…

Axis, Bold As Love: Interviewing Baltimore's David Jacober (Friends Records)

(1) Do you dig much Hip-Hop? If so, what were a few of your favourite new artists/albums of 2011?

I really like that new-ish Young Jeezy [-feat. André 3000 & Jay-Z] track, "I Do" and lately that has kept me waiting for it to come on the radio again. I also like that new song by Cash Out called, "Cashin' Out." I wasn't too excited about any new Hip-Hop artists this past year, much less could I tell you about an entire album from 2011. For the record, Lil' Wayne is the rapper that I am most impressed by currently (he is insanely prolific) and I do have all of the Baltimore Hip-Hop stations saved as presets in my ride. 92Q is what's up.

(2) How would you describe the overall sound of the new Dope Body record, Natural History? Cause "Lazy Slave" is pretty Hardcore, dude!

It's a little difficult to try to describe an overall sound of Natural History because of it's wide range of moods and styles. Some songs are more Sunburst-Classi…

Rooftop Concert, 2012: Diarrhea Planet - "Warm Ridin'" (Nashville House-Party)

Diarrhea Planet are exactly the kind of dudes I can get down with: hard-partying, guitar-drenched, Southern gentlemen with a Punk Rock edge! I must admit, I regularly talk with 3 of it's 6 Nashville-bred members through email, of course. Casey, Hodan & Evan C. Bird are really great dudes who really haven't let their recent wave of fame get to the heads and definitely appreciate their adoring fans. Since first hearing about their Infinity Cat debut, Loose Jewels over @ Prefix last October... I've worked "hands on" with Diarrhea Planet on a few assorted pieces for "The Witzard."


Fresh on the heels of their recent SXSW 2012 appearance(s), Casey & Hodan mentioned a few upcoming happenings through email: Diarrhea Planet are currently in the studio... writing and recording material for a new 7" single, flexidisc, Infinity Cat LP #2, and a Titus Andronicus split! While nothing really has a concrete release date just yet, all 4 of those forthcoming…

PARTY ANIMAL Playlist: Loren Moter's "Hardcore Punk" Selections (Bay Area Punk)

Dayglo Abortions - "Stupid Songs"

My favorite Canadian band of all time. This is the opening track on Dayglo's 2nd and most popular album, Feed Us a Fetus. For anyone not familiar with this groups work, this is probably the perfect first impression. If you dig this, look up "Stupid World" off the same aforementioned album. Side note: These guys sound exactly like the records live; They're really on top of their live performance!

Feederz - "Taking The Night"

Some bands mix music and performance art perfectly - This is one of those bands. Singer Frank Discussion opened fire on an audience with a machine gun full of blanks, got banned from 924 Gilman St. for wearing euthanized dogs like a stool and flinging it into the crowd, and stole Jello Biafra's wife (that last one I don't think was an "artistic statement" as much of it was just a dick move).

The Lewd - "Climate of Fear"

The Lewd are one of a long list of bands who migr…

High5Collective Presents: Frank Ocean - "Thinking About You" (Def Jam Re-release)

(1) I really dig the high concept, mysterious/vagueness & Frank Ocean cameo behind "Thinking About You!" But the video might be a little hard for some viewers to follow... Can you please walk us through it's perceived concept?

No way... The video is how it is, the intention is for the viewer to pull the meaning that they want from the video. To us, explaining it would sort of ruin the concept and self relate-able emotion that is evoked in most people.

(2) I remember when "Thinking About You" was originally uploaded to Vimeo & then Def Jam soon yanked it. What made then now decide to adopt it as the track's Official Music Video?

No idea, we were just as surprised yesterday when we saw it popping up all over the internet.


(3) How did you guys initially get in touch with Frank Ocean to film his cameo? While small, his role as a nurse seems pretty pivotal to the video's overall concept. How much input did he really have in "Thinking About You"…

Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do: Major Lazer - "Get Free" (Amber Coffman)

While Philly DJ-producer Dilpo and his record label, Mad Decent have been an instrumental part of the ever-growing Electro House/Dubstep scene(s) since roughly, 2003... Most people really don't even realize how familiar they are with Diplo's discography: "Paper Planes," Kid Cudi, "Run The World (Girls)," Usher, Die Antwoord, Wale, Chris BrownBusta Rhymes, and even an upcoming Reggae album with Snoop Dogg. Dilpo's current passion project, Major Lazer was started out as a collaboration with Switch - who effectively jumped ship in Dec. 2011. Major Lazer is represented by a cartoon frontman who's basically a "bionic Jamaicansuper-commando and nightclub owner who fights zombies and vampires on a rocket-powered skateboard."


Diplo is currently hoed up in Kingston, Jamaica earnestly working on the proper follow-up to Major Lazer's well-received Indie Rock breakthrough, Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do (2009). The untitled album is rumore…

Scientists Discover Cancer for Cure?: El-Producto - "The Full Retard" (Fat Possum)

For all intensive purposes, El-P and his Brooklyn-based crew, Company Flow (1992-2002) essentially spearheaded the formation of East Coast Underground ["Indie"] Hip-Hop. Company Flow has since disbanded and El-P recently dissolved his own record label, Definitive Jux. But El-Producto is still fairly active as a producer, solo artist, graphic designer, etc. Fresh on the heels of his upcoming solo album, Cancer for Cure (May 22nd), El-P has carefully re-aligned himself with the Brooklyn scene that he once helped create. Much like a returning, hard-partying frat boy, El-P now rolls with Indie Hip-Hop's finest up-and-comers: Das Racist, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Danny Brown, Killer Mike, Nocando, Aesop Rock, Despot, Cannibal Ox, and... The Mars Volta? El-P most recently lent his production talents to Das Racist and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire's breakthrough efforts, Relax/Lost In Translation; Even spitting a few memorable bars, for good measure. El-P & Killer M…

Eric Clapton Interviewing Jimi Hendrix: "RAP SHOW" (Himanshu & Kendrick Lamar)

The good people over @ VICE recently asked Das Racist to host an interview show of "rappers interviewing rappers" for their new music channel, noisey. Himanshu & Kool A.D. will reportedly alternate weeks hosting "RAP SHOW;" Episode #1 was uploaded just this past Friday [The 13th] and features Heems sitting down with Compton's favourite rapper, Kendrick Lamar. Imagine if Eric Clapton interviewed Jimi Hendrix and they talked about... notepads, lucid dreams, black hippies, "The N word," Home Improvement, 80's babies, and essentially everything BUT music. Well, this is exactly like that. Pretty cool concept nonetheless. I just hope that Das Racist & Kendrick Lamar decide to record and release a track together! Future episode of RAP SHOW will feature Himanshu & Kool A.D. interviewing Wiley, Tyler The Creator, Bun B, Killer Mike, Mystikal, Gunplay, etc. Make sure to go pick up [download] copies of Relax, Nehru Jackets, and The Palm Wine Drin…

#whitegirlproblems?: The Pretty Reckless - "Make Me Wanna Die" (Taylor Momsen)

Taylor "Cindy Lou Who" Momsen and her [teen] angst-filled Alternative Rock band, The Pretty Reckless are gearing up to join Marilyn Manson'sHey Cruel World... Tour. Momsen has been on "indefinite hiatus" from her infamous Gossip Girl acting gig since roughly 2010. But she's made good use of her new-found downtime, re-inventing herself and perusing her Rock "N" Roll fantasies along with The Pretty Reckless. Taylor Momsen says she's creatively influenced by Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The White Stripes, and Oasis; She's reportedly been messing around with music since the age of 8 and upon signing with Interscope Records (2009), has recruited a variety of band members, which now include: Ben Phillips, Mark Damon, and Jamie Perkins.


The Pretty Reckless' discography currently consists of one album and 2 EP's. The bulk of which, including full-length Light Me Up, were written-recorded along with famed producer Kato Khandwala. Som…

Late Night with The Ting Tings - "Hit Me Down, Sonny" (Captain Kirk Version)

I picked up a copy of The Ting Tings second album, Sounds from Nowheresville a week or 2 after it's March US release date. Pretty solid album, just not as instantly catchy as "That's Not My Name" or "Shut Up & Let Me Go." But hey, those are the kind of anti-calculated breakout hits that happen unexpectedly, very 10 years or so. The Ting Tings played Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night (April 11-12th) in support of a string of recent state-side tour dates. While not exactly a radio single, Katie & Jules ROCKED OUT to "Hit Me Down, Sonny." Dancing frontwoman Katie White was sporting some sort of sexy, mish-moshed little ensemble: trucker hat, red/white "sailor" T-shirt, mysterious buttons, booty shorts, and knee-high lace leggins. Jules de Martino was directly to the left of White on guitar & back-up vocals, behind the band was a dormant drumset. You can almost immediately tell that while "Hit Me Down, Sonny" isn&…

Salt-N-Pepa Present?: Death Grips - "I've Seen Footage" (She's So Heavy)

"I've Seen Footage" is the latest per-release track from Epic Record's upcoming album, The Money Store (April 24th). Looks like Death Grips' new label has let them unveil 5-6 of the album's 13 tracks ahead of it's release date... viral promotion. I'm pretty sure that "I've Seen Footage" samples and re-purposes size-able chunk of Salt-N-Pepa's hit single, "Push It" (1987). Lyrically, it's just as aggressive as the next Death Grips track, but "I've Seen Footage" is probably their most commercially viable track yet... as "mainstream" as Hardcore Hip-Hip about handling shit "with a lead pipe" and seeing some kid's "head blow off his shoulders in slo mo."


5 tracks from The Money Store are currently available for download over @ Death Grips' website, Third Worlds. "I've Seen Footage"'s companion music video is rumored to be released this upcoming was release…

Return of The Guitar Solo: Ty Segall & White Fence - "Scissor People" (Live @ Room 205)

2 hard-working Garage Rock revivalists hailing from good ol' San Francisco, CA are plotting the triumphant comeback of Rock "N" Roll's long-forgotten elementary "guitar solo." Ty Segall & Tim Presley (White Fence) recorded the bulk of Hair sometime last year. The resulting album is essentially 8 tracks-worth of feedback-drenched, dirty Psych Rock with Segall on drums/rhythm guitar and Presley taking on lead guitar/bass riffs. Hair's first audio sampling, "I Am Not a Game," was just unveiled back on March 27th. Ty Segall's most recent effort [and commercial breakthrough], Goodbye Bread was released last Summer, while White Fence unveiled Family Perfume (Vol. 1) just last week.


Another one of Hair's tracks was unveiled yesterday afternoon: "Scissor People." Recorded live @ Room 205, Ty Segall & White Fence were joined by musicians-friends, Mikal Cronin (bass) and Nick Murray (drums). Man, "Scissor People" is …

Pieces of a Man: Drake & Rihanna - "Take Care" (Woodkid, Florence + The Machine)

Having re-listened to it over the past few months, I must admit, Tom Breihan was right... Take Care is hands down, Drake's strongest [full-length] effort since So Far Gone (2009). My personal favourite track and quite arguably the album's shining moment, "Take Care" has a deeply-rooted history. Originally penned by Blues singer-songwriter Bobby "Blue" Bland way back in 1966, Gil Scott-Heron re-appropriated "I'll Take Care of You" on his thirteenth record (2010). I'm New Here was liberated through XL Recordings, produced by labelhead Richard Russell, and features a wide array of newly-adopted musical stylings. Roughly a year later, Jamie xx was commissioned to produce a Dubstep-inspired remix album, We're New Here. Drake's Boom-Bap version of "Take Care" is essentially a refurbished edit that beefs up the Tribal drums and subs in Rihanna for Gil Scott-Heron on the hook.


Nearly 6 months after it's original release, we fi…

Sun-Drenched Eye Candy: Warriors of Radness - Bikini Contest (Jack Coleman)

Yo, compadres! Check it out: Here's a delectable little helping of "eye candy" just in time for Easter! Warriors of Radness present their vintage-looking footage of this year's Bikini Contest, held just a few months ago. Skillfully judged [and coarsed] by Rad Brad, the 3-minute clips is chock-full of plenty of catfights, beautiful cleavage, and sun-drenched debauchery. Just in time for the onslaught of Summertime, "The Warriors of Radness world is one of leisure and comfort"(Selectism). If you like what you see, surf on over to RESERVE STORE to pick up 1 of 2 limited edition T-shirts, based off stills pulled directly from "Bikini Contest." Enjoy, my friends! Be sure to have a happy & safe holiday along with your loved ones. God Bless America... and those da*n revealing bikini's!

Stakes Is High: TOOTHPASTE - "1996" Mixtape (Kassa Overall Trailer #1)

1996 was quite the memorable for fans of both Hip-Hop and Pop Culture. Just ask the members of TOOTHPASTE, Kassa Overall & TECLA. The pair are currently readying a mixtape, aptly titled 1996; It's poised to be "AN ODE TO THE PAST AND AN ODE TO THE FUTURE" (Kassa Overall) and will feature raps/hoops over beats culled from various 1996-bred hits... featuring New York's finest up-and-comers: Big Baby Gandhi, DVS, Chaz Van Queen, Tavi, and K-Bob. TOOTHPASTE's upcoming mixtape will most likely be composed of beats culled from landmark Hip-Hop albums that were originally released back in 1996: OutKast, Aaliyah, 2pac, Jay-Z, The Roots, Tribe, Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, Nas, and Lil Kim.



I really enjoyed Kassa Overall's latest commercial effort, Stargate. Skillfully apping over top of a size-able amount of current Pop Radio staples... a vein in which I figure 1996 will essentially mirror. From what I hear, TECLA is making some pretty note-worthy waves in the Indie …

Record Store Day 12" EP: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. - "We Almost Lost Detroit" (Gil Scott-Heron)

Throughout it's opening scenes, native Detroiters Daniel Zott & Joshua Epstein can be seen driving around familiar Motor City streets in a big green van while wearing Detroit Tigers jackets; Andrew Smart [director] then pans across various hard-working townspeople singing along with "We almost lost Detroit this time." Filmed over 3.5 days @ some 26 locations, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. have skillfully morphed Gil Scott-Heron's vivid re-telling of near nuclear destruction (1977) into a story of "progress. About setting things right. Coming together as people and moving forward." Since including "We Almost Lost Detroit" on the tail-end of their debut album, It's a Corporate World, the track has almost become an anthem of sorts for both Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. and working class America.


Glimpses of quite a few popular Detroit "hot spots" can be seen within "We Almost Lost Detroit:" Burn Rubber, Supino Pizzeria, and recently re…

Hope In Dirt City: Kendrick Lamar & Dr. Dre - "The Recipe" (Cadence Weapon, Re-review)

"No matter what he does or with whom he does it, Kendrick Lamar always manages to put his stamp on a track. He is a force of personality who can influence even the static logoified personage of old Andre Young, whether through vibe or straight up writing his verses.

The Rap Cognoscenti has a low opinion of ghostwriting. I don't have a problem with it, as writing like this is often a collaborative process and has been going on forever, like Tony Asher writing lyrics with Terry Sachen and Brian Wilson. I don't feel less emotionally invested in the line, "I can hear so much in your sigh" because Wilson didn't write it. Dr. Dre is known to work like Michelangelo, getting other dudes like Scoop DeVille to paint the ceiling for him when he is the one behind the blueprint. He sounds excited for the first time in years!

Much has been written about the precedents for Kendrick Lamar's style (with him, "style" must be italicized), writers combing through Sw…

Where My Kitty Cats @?: Awkward Silence - "School Yard" FREESTYLE (Nasteski Productions)

Freestyling over a Nasteski Productions beat pulled from YouTube with just 54 views, Doffa & Hippie Paw properly lace up [and double knot] "School Yard." It's companion music video was self-directed by Awkward Silence around Millville with a hand-me-down SLR camera, borrowed tri-pod, and pink flickering HD effects. Concept-wise, "School Yard"'s loose plot revolves around a murderous Teddy Bear and a porcelain bride-to-be victim. Hippie Paw describes the overall experience as "BASED as fuck!" and adds that, "We POWER cooked in the woods, smoked trees & smokes hoes... basically, all I remember was Dr. Zaius [dog] sitting on my lap and then I got a boner."Zombie Gang are currently working on a wide variety of projects: Wreck Room's debut, Doffa's solo freestyles, an OF Tape 2-like group album, and an assortment of VERY RARE tracks from "the vaults." Scoop up Awkward Silence's premier mixtape, The Hair & Th…

Pass The Dutchie: Vex Ruffin - Crash Course EP (Influences Playlist)

Let me do my best to try and preface this here post a little bit for clarity's sake: I first got in touch with Vex Ruffin (Twitter) last October while on vacation in Ocean City, MD after an EPIC FAILed night out at beach-side bar/club Seacrets... Anyways, Vex and I exchanged email addresses, talked for a bit, and then suddenly fell out of touch. It was really no one's fault, but I still managed to pay semi-close attention to Vex Ruffin's rising career with Stones Throw. Fast-forward to roughly 2 weeks ago (March 2012): I decided to go out on a "limb" and hit Vex up again on Twitter. Fresh on the heels of Eulogy EP and V.E.X. Lamina Radio (Vol. 1), I figured I'd ask Vex Ruffin if he'd be willing to curate a custom playlist for "The Witzard." And a few messages/just as many days latter, here it is - Crash Course EP (Inspirations) Playlist. It plays out like an amateur mix CD from a guy who grew up listening to DMX and The Cure: Shouts to Ryan Afr…

Nigerian-American Gangster: kechPhrase - "Can I Flow?" (The Witzard Premier) *

Ever since it's 1975-80's inception, "the struggle" has been a consistent, underlying genesis of Hip-Hop. But anymore, the originality's long gone in mainstream Hip-Hop; These days, everyone's so manufactured and "cookie-cutter." The genre's final hope just might rest within Das Racist's collective of Brooklyn-based artists, producers, labelmen, etc. My attention was first drawn to [rapping college student] kechPhrase last Summer when he made a few original beats for Kool A.D. Since then, I've paid close attention to his career's gradual progression and I'm happy to say that we've stayed in touch throughout his blooming wave of early success. Chalking his past releases up as a test run, kechPhrase is prepping the release of 2 BIG companion projects: Slight Progress EP and Slight Progress (3rd World Dreaming).


"Can I Flow?" is the latest track from Slight Progress EP and shouts to Ikechi Nnamani for letting me premi…