Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Grand Don't Come for Free: The D.O.T. - "You Never Asked" (Danny Brown, Grime?)

I guess it's pretty safe to say that The Streets & The Music were 2 of the BIGGEST British Rock bands to break on "this side of the pond" [America] since The Beatles/Rolling Stones' 1960-70's Classic Rock heyday; After 10+ years of well-received hits, Mike Skinner recently dissolved The Streets (2011) and around the same time, The Music decided to call it quits, too. Skinner has since teamed up with The Music frontman, Rob Harvey, and now they're producing new music under the group name "The D.O.T." Following the online pre-release of a few rough demo singles, it seems as though The D.O.T. are ready to unveil the debut full-length, And That (Oct. 22-23rd). Man, I can literally remember it like it was yesterday... when I first heard The Streets' witty, back-handed rhymes on "Fit But You Know It," which was released on some random Rolling Stone/Budweiser comp. ha.

While Mike Skinner & Rob Harvey have self-released a handful of simple clips, "You Never Asked" is the first one that's really managed to draw MASSIVE amounts of attention from both fans and critics alike. Mike Skinner, a season rapper-producer, is really taking a backseat on this one... Having crafted a shit-ton of Hip-Hop Meets Dance Club stylized beats for Rob Harvey to smoothly croon over. Slightly disjointed ["headless"] versions of Skinner, Harvey, and guest vox from Clare Maguire and Danny Brown are almost haphazardly strewn across The D.O.T.'s music video. "You Never Asked" houses what seems to be the 2-3rd time that Mr. Brown has rapped on a Grime-tinged British track in recent memory. Once again, The D.O.T.'s long-awaited debut (And That) will be released on Mike Skinner's own imprint, The Beats this upcoming Oct. 22-23rd.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You Shook Me ALL Night Long: Jack Davey - "Howl at The Moon" (L0-F!, Side A)

Jack Davey is pretty widely known as the fashion-forward, genre-blending frontwoman of "Hip-Hop" group J*Davey, but now she's decided to branch out on her own... forging a solo career as a slightly more Rock "N" Roll-tinged sultry Funk-Soul songstress. Fresh off the heels of their long-awaited and [finally] self-released proper album, New Designer Drug and following the birth of her new-born son, Davey is readying her solo debut in 2 distinct parts; ILLAV8R is planning to liberate L0-F! Side A on Oct. 2nd, which Jack Davey simply describes as "a girl, her shitty guitar, and introspective songwriting." It's follow-up, Side B will see a Nov. 6th release, feature more instrumentation/advanced guitar techniques, and was produced by Joey Strat of The Knux. L0-F! Parts 1-2 will then be re-released together in a DELUXE edition with 3 bonus tracks on Dec. 11th!

"Howl at The Moon" mysteriously appeared in my Inbox late yesterday afternoon; Actively being pushed as L0-F! Side A's lead single, it's now up on iTunes and accompanied by director Devin Joplin's stark black-and-white clip. Jack Davey taught herself how to play Fender Strat on which the track's titular guitar riff is played ... mildly reminiscent of Blues-Rock virtuosos Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf and it's thumping drum lick kinda reminds me of Iggy Pop's dance-able Post-Punk [cult] classic, "Nightclubbing" (1977). Jack Davey's 2-part Rock EP was "[recorded] in her Koreatown apartment's walk-in closet during the few moments her newborn baby was asleep" and during the process, she was inspired by the likes of Nirvana, Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Bessie Smith. If you know what's good for your eardrums, mark 3 these dates down in your cell phone calendar: Oct. 2nd, Nov. 6th, and lastly Dec. 11th (L0-F! Side A-B).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dubstep Girls Are The Worsest: Trimbal - "Confidence Boost" (James Blake Harmonimix)

James Blake is basically the "Iggy Pop" of imported First Wave Dubstep, before it got all sugar-coated and mainstream [corny]. While it's a little unclear as to when it was originally stripped down and mixed together, "Confidence Boost" is a James Blake Harmonimix of a track that was first released back on Soulfood, Vol. 2: Lyriks (2007). Blake has brutally remixed Grime emcee Trim's hard-hitting composition into something completely different... Skrillex could definitely learn a few things! Although, Pitchfork went on to point out that this isn't just a mere remix, it's a newly-recorded, suped-up version. Let's just call it "Confidence Boost (2.0)," for argument's sake and man, this is a CRAZY/cool breed of Hip-Hop that's in a category all of it's own! James Blake is quite arguably the most Soulful white dude in contemporary music since Hall & Oates made their ever-lasting mark on Soft Rock back in the late 1970-80's!

James Blake (2001) was honestly, one of the most Soulful, atmospheric albums I've ever heard and now I'll listen to damn near ANYTHING he puts out. It seems like James Blake manged to flip a sample of Trim rhyming, "strike a pose" ... that's now been pitched up and re-appropriated as the song's eerie integral hook; Blake is indeed a Funky-ass white man with a serious helping of Soul and Passion of The Weiss really said it best, "[his] music is infinitely better when he works with black voices." Rollo Jackson directed the Monday afternoon liberated music video for "Confidence Boost," which features brief cameos from both Trim & James Blake. The pair's Confidence Boost/Saying 7" will become widely available on Sept. 24-25th through Blake's label imprint, R&S Records.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Looking Down The Barrel of a Gun: Pharoahe Monch - "Damage" (PTSD sampler)

Pharoahe Monch, the guy behind "Simon Says," has unofficially announced the sheer existence of a new album; "Damage" is the first released track from his upcoming project, dubbed PTSD. It's actually just a quick sample/teaser of the full track, which will be released on Thursday, Sept. 27th. "Damage" is the final piece in a 3-part series of tracks that're being told from the perspective of a bullet. Pharoahe Monch has slowly issued parts 1-2 over the past 18+ years, "Stray Bullet" and "When The Gun Draws" ... articulately played out on Stress: The Extinction Agenda (1994) with his old band, Organized Konfusion and his second album, Desire. Since Monch has always managed to remain a pretty [socially] "conscious rapper," I wouldn't be too surprised if PTSD was liberated just in time to co-align with the all-important Nov. 2012 Presidential Election! Briefly taking to Twitter, he manged to adequately describe his forthcoming project as, "a (MD) Multi-Media Deployment and is the follow-up to W.A.R."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Day In The Life: Diplo & JAHAN LENNON - "About That Life" (Mad Decent, Untitled?)

It's not really about Diplo or Zeb Malik, 2 left-field multi-instrumentalists hailing from the heart of Philly. It isn't even about stupid, in-descriptive genre classification(s). It's just "About That Life:" The plain and simple, every day is Saturday type of GOOD SHIT! The Mad Decent labelhead and super-producer who has semi-recently worked with Beyoncé, No Doubt, Usher, and Kid Cudi is finally gearing up to release his long-awaited follow-up LP to Florida (2004). Teaming up with JAHAN LENNON aka Zeb Malik from PO PO fame, who amidst inner-band fighting, have now disbanded after liberating their "debut album," DOPE BOY MAGICK (20012) ... Diplo has self-described "About That Life" as a Psychedelic Southern Gospel jam. Along with "Express Yourself," it'll eventually appear on Diplo's untitled 2012-13 solo record. Somehow making use of a bunch of instruments that're even pretty "weird" for adventurous guys like Diplo & PO PO: hand percussion, acoustic guitars, bongos, tambourines, flutes, and more trippy-sounding shit.

If you asked JAHAN LENNON how it went down, he'd tell you that "About That Life" was "basically [filmed while] hangin' in NYC w/ @LILINTERNET & @diplo for 24 hrs. and of course, the shit u can't see." LILINTERNET & Jack Cearnal co-directed the video, which was partially commissioned by KarmaloopTV. It features a bunch of quick, flashy images of JAHAN LENNON & Diplo surrounded by beautiful women, trippy color schemes, Christmas lights, wearing John Lennon sunglasses, draped in American flags, and a buncha other more [Hippy] shit! While "About That Life" was unveiled earlier today as part of Mad Decent's very own Jeffree's micro-imprint, it's also set to re-appear on Diplo's upcoming comeback album, which I'm sure will full materialize soon enough an feature some great guest verses. But for now, go ahead and download a FREE copy of "About That Life," compliments of Mad Decent/Soundcloud.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Biz Markie & Wayne Coyne - "I Can't Believe It's Really Happening" (Volcom Fwends 2)

Biz Markie has gotta be one of the most awkward rappers male vocalists in the history of music. But with that said, "Just a Friend" quite easily ranks within my [imaginary] Top 50 favourite songs OF ALL TIME list! Markie recently logged a few recording sessions with fellow Psych-Rock weird-o, Wayne Coyne. Together, Biz & Wayne managed to conjure up "2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)" along with Ke$ha, which was the lead-off track from The Flaming Lips' semi-recent Record Store Day comp, Heady Fwends. Now, they've teamed up with skate clothing brand, Volcom to create a child-like Yo Gabba Gabba!-inspired T-shirt line for adults ha. Volcom then commissioned Markie & Coyne to self-design a bunch of signature T-shirts along with Dave Grohl, Jack Black, "Napoleon Dynamite," Mark Mothersbaugh, and their forward-thinking kids.

"I Can't Believe It's Really Happening" is the second track to materialize from Biz Markie & Wayne Coyne's collaborative sessions, and it looks like parts of this one were recorded directly to Coyne's iPhone. The track is essentially about the very Volcom/Yo Gabba Gabba! dual-branding that it's promoting; as Biz Markie sloppily laments, "Volcom & Yo Gabba Gabba!, together @ last - Like chocolate & milk. Like macaroni & cheese. Like hamburgers & pickles..." While Wayne Coyne laces up a nursery rhyme-like tinkering piano beat, Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Jon Heder (Napoleon), all quickly flash across the screen wearing their Volcom Stone T-shirts. "I Can't Believe It's Really Happening" is set to appear on a LIMITED ED. red 7" backed by a new [reunited] Rocket from The Crypt. There's a couple ways that you can get your hands on a copy: Being 1 of 100 lucky contest winners, buying select T-shirts online after Oct. 2nd, or simply downloading it for FREE via email.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rock "N" Roll Ain't Noise Pollution: Peanut Butter Lovesicle - "In The Zone" (Dirty Pride EP)

Peanut Butter Lovesicle are a band made up of 2 Jersey-bred brothers, Jake & Mike D'Arc, and their cousin, Timmy Miller who somehow effortlessly manage to combine the Classic Rock bravado of Led Zeppelin with Cage The Elephant's brand of Country-Rock SWAG. "In The Zone"'s opening riff reminds me a little bit of The Cars' smash hit, "Good Times Roll" (1979); While the lead track was just released to the masses yesterday, Peanut Butter Lovesicle plan to liberate it's companion EP, Dirty Pride nation-wide on Sept. 25th. The band's new EP was "recorded in an 1869-built church in Hudson, NY using 2-inch tape, few overdubs, and minimal digital." Production work was handled by Henry Hirsch, who's previously worked with the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Mick Jagger, and Madonna, and the tracks were then engineered by Rachel Alina. Featured below is Peanut Butter Lovesicle's [other] Blues-drenched, Gossip Girl-soaked video-single: "Black-Eyed Blues," which was originally released back during Winter 2011.

PBL UPDATE: "We are actually playing a pre-release show at Yesterday's on Saturday night [Sept. 22nd] in South Jersey as a warm up to our NYC release shows! We will have the new CD's before they come out... It's in Marmora and we go on at 9PM. We'll play a few mixed sets and one set will be the pure [Dirty Pride] EP set. If you're around, check it out!"

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fool's Gold Presents: Sweet Valley - "ETERNAL CHAMP" (WAVVES Beat CD-R 2)

Now, this one should really apply to the gamut of college co-eds: Indie Rockers, Hip-Hopheads, Skater Punks, gamers, stoners, Hipsters bloggers, etc. ETERNAL CHAMP is a 13-track Instrumental Hip-Hop collection that's simply based around a bunch of samples pulled from Old School 1980-90's video game soundtracks. After a quick first listen, I hear bits and pieces of Sonic, Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and random 8-bit arcade games. Brothers Nathan & Joel (KYNAN) Williams, acting together under the Sweet Valley moniker, recently recounted to Pitchfork that "The second one took a bit longer because we took a lot of samples straight from video game stuff. So, we had to play to certain levels to get the sounds that we wanted. We did a take that's all from Ocarina of Time, the N64 game." Nathan's the founding member of beloved Indie Punk band WAVVES and KYNAN is an amateur beat-making Hip-Hop producer.

"Sweet Valley is a Bermuda Triangle-like place, where cannabis crumbs, spilt beer, record dust and that mysterious shit you had to blow out of game cartridges all collect as if pulled by some gigantic junkyard magnet. Sweet Valley is a blood pact between two brothers, Nathan and KYNAN Williams, gone awesomely off the rails." (Bandcamp)

The Williams Brothers worked on ETERNAL CHAMP intermittently with their debut album - Stay Calm, which was just released on Fool's Gold Records last month. Nathan is currently mixing & mastering the new WAVVES album (2013) and Sweet Valley have supposedly managed to record and stock-pile 9 albums-worth of material! Nathan & KYNAN are headed out on a short Heathcliff Berru-organized US Tour running from Sept. 17-Oct. 26th with GZA and Killer Mike, where that'll perform separate DJ and guitar-backed MC sets. Adult Swim unveiled WAVVES' most recent single, "Hippies Is Punks" as part of their Summer-long singles series; Let's assume that it'll grant us a sneak peek into WAVVES LP #4... which Nathan, John [Hill] & Stephen self-funded, own 100% of the rights, and are currently shopping around to labels for an imminent release.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This Is It Boys, This Is War: fun. - "Some Nights" (Simon, Garfunkel & Kansas Remix?)

My old college friend Dani was telling me about "Some Nights" a couple weekends ago @ the bar, vaguely describing it's overall style as "Afrobeat." I have to admit, right off the bat, I wasn't entirely convinced... But after a few repeated listens, I was soon convinced that fun. was much more than a mere One Hit Wonder ("We Are Young"). For fun.'s recent [second] album, they enlisted the help of Kanye-affiliated Hip-Hop producer, Jeff Bhasker. Fine-crafted over roughly 9 months, Some Nights was liberated to the masses way back on Feb. 14th; The experimental recording sessions were truly a first for both parties, who generally lean towards opposite ends of the Hip-Hop/Indie Rock spectrum. Currently signed to Fuel By Ramen, fun.'s intricate 3-part sound is made up of Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff. The band's first album, Aim & Ignite (2009) was highly revered by fans and critics alike.

While it's essentially a complex short film, "Some Nights"' companion music video chronicles a group of Civil War soldiers, ironically backed by a fun. performance, and a story of war-torn love that's DEEPLY affected by the battlefield. It's also worth mentioning that fun. & Jeff Bhasker seamlessly manage to interpolate lines from "99 Luftballoons," as well as soundbite send-ups to both Simon & Garfunkel and Kansas. "Some Nights" is an utterly great Pop composition because it's so [subtly] far-spanning... working in all sorts of studio sheen and instrumentation: background guitar solos, Tribal drum rhythms, and even Auto-Tuned hooks! For the production of their Some Nights project, fun. really decided to step out of their comfort zone... employing Civil War re-enactors for their video shoot, revealing a vast Hip-Hop influence through Jeff Bhasker, and those damn Fela Kuti-inspired thudding "Tribal" [African] drums. Some Nights is now available in record stores nation-wide, for your convenience; It features fun. and a bunch of their Hip-Hop-leaning friends-collaborators including: Janelle Monáe, Jake One, Emile (Kid Cudi), and the lush string work of composer, Larry Gold.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nash Edgerton Presents: Bob Dylan - "Duquesne Whistle" (Dark Comedy, Shakespeare?)

Bob Dylan's been on "The Never-Ending Tour" for about 40+ years straight now... rapidly releasing a new album every couple years and continually re-inventing himself as the "new Bob Dylan" for a fresh generation of youngsters. Sept. 11th saw the release of Dylan's landmark 35th album - Tempest, which is pretty impressive since he's 71 now! I always say that Bob Dylan's music is a whole lot like Lil' Wayne's prolific output; You either love it or hate it. A couple of my favourite albums from his damn-near expansive backcatalog are easily Blood On The Tracks, Nashville Skyline, and Blonde On Blonde. It was an utterly AMAZING experience, when I saw Bob Dylan live @ Temple with my dad and buddy Jeremy a few years back on the Christmas In The Heart album tour (2009). Aside from a bunch of random grizzly-voiced old/new tracks spanning the bulk of Dylan's discography, I really only recognized about 4-5 staple tracks puled from Highway 61 Revisited (1965). Over the course of Bob Dylan's long-running career, he's managed to re-tweak, personalize, and pioneer a whole bunch of assorted musical styles: Folk, Country, Blues Rock, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Bluegrass, etc.

Tempest bares slight resemblance to the title of Shakespeare's final play, "The Tempest" and and features a running vein of Mariachi neatly inter-woven throughout. The title track is a massive 14-minute composition that's about Titanic [Leonardo DiCaprio] and "Roll On John" is a tribute to John Lennon, which goes on to reference lyrics of a few classic Beatles songs. For all intensive purposes, "Duquesne Whistle" is the album's lead single, it's companion music video was directed by Nash Edgerton, and debuted exclusively over @ The Guardian late last month. Bob Dylan appears as part of an interesting street gang, who really don't do much of anything besides wonder around the dark city streets, but always seem to be in the right place @ the wrong time. "Duquesne Whistle" (clip) is a stripped-down mix that falls somewhere in-between a Dark Comedy & Romance. The lead character is a whitty young man, chasing after a cute woman he that crosses paths with day after day; He ultimately comes to his gruesome demise after running into a man on a ladder ... who let's just say, has some connections. So, head on over to your local record store and pick up a copy of Bob Dylan's new album, Tempest!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zach Hill Family Band: Death Grips - "@deathgripz" (Adult Swim Single)

Death Grips are a compelling Experimental Hip-Hop band hailing from Sacramento, who somehow manage to comfortably straddle the "line in the sand" between underground/mainstream. Essentially fronted by Indie Rock drummer Zach Hill, the band also includes Stefan "MC Ride" Burnett and producer-keyboardist Andy Morin. Since transitioning from next door neighbors to bandmates in Dec. 2010, Death Grips self-released a STELLAR, sample-heavy mixtape called Ex-military and Death Grips EP. Going out on a serious limb, LA Reid signed them to Epic Records and together, they announced a MASSIVE 2-album plan for 2012. The Money Store was liberated to the masses on April 21st and it basically duals as their major label debut; It's gotta be the most weird, un-commercial, and aggressive label-funded project released since Neil Young's disastrous "Techno" album, Trans (1982).

Death Grips' latest track, "@deathgripz" was supposedly written/recorded during the album's formative sessions and ultimately, left off it's final 13-track sequencing. MC Ride has said that the track has no real stringent attachment to either The Money Store or NO LOVE DEEP WEB, which is now slated for an Oct. 23rd release. Death Grips ended up cancelling an entire tour that was originally set to run from May 18-July 1st, to work on finishing up NO LOVE instead. "@deathgripz" is actually named after the band's Twitter handle and showcases MC Ride "slowing his roll" a little bit... dialing back his usual shout-rapped flow over top of Zach Hill's drum-based, mildly Dance Club beat. Released just the other day in conjunction with Adult Swim, it'll appear as the final track in their 2012 [online] singles collection. Following Death Grips' D.I.Y. approach of recording real-life soundbites and producing unique output on a bare-bones budget; Their latest music video for "Double Helix" was completely filmed with just a couple SUV on-board/rearview cameras!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Search & Destroy: Iggy Pop & Ginger Baker - "Lonely Boy" (The Black Keys)

Iggy Pop & Ginger Baker are a couple of nearly unfathomable Rock "N" Roll legends; The kinda guys that are libel to have hooked up with your mother, grandmom, and sister back in their 1960-70's heyday! Iggy Pop is quite arguably considered "The Godfather of Punk" ... having slept with David Bowie, essentially invented the stagedive, cut himself with shards of glass during a live show, and then notoriously labelled as "crazy" by none other than Alice Cooper! Pop then then came into prominence with The Stooges, while Ginger Baker was the righteous drummer for Cream, Blind Faith, and more taste-makers. Film-maker/writer Jay Bulger attempted to capture the over-indulgent life and times of the now 73-year-old Jazz drumming madman in his documentary, "Beware of Mr. Baker" ... Bulger ultimately got to score interviews with Ginger Baker's friends-collaborators, chronicle his assorted hobbies, and when he finally got a chance to talk with his idol - Jay Bulgar managed to get socked square in the nose!

In a simple twist of fate, Ginger Baker & Iggy Pop have now linked up to record a faithful cover of The Black Keys' semi-recent hit single, "Lonely Boy." Cleopatra Records got a bunch of Blues/Rock "N" Roll vets together, and coaxed them to cover Black Keys tracks, which were then strewn together across Black On Blues. It's almost an ass-backwards concept, because I'm sure @ least a couple of these guys helped shape The Black Keys' Blues Rock-based sound. Oddly enough, "Lonely Boy" was actually released as the lead single on The Black Keys' 7th and most recent album, El Camino. But with that said, it's an AWESOMELY-executed cover... Ginger Baker's drumming is just as on-point as it was on "White Room" (1968) and Iggy Pop still OWNS that "get-into-a-black-tie-event, shirtless" Punk Rocker steez! Black On Blues has been available for your sheer consumption [enjoyment] since about mid-July. Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney are supposedly already working on their untitled 8th studio album, which is roughly slated for a March 2013 world-wide release.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

There's a Tear In My Beer: Daughn Gibson - "Reach Into The Fire" (Shabazz Palaces)

For starters, Daughn Gibson's voice kinda sounds like an oddly appropriate mix between Johnny Cash, Barry White, and a bowl-full of coarse gravel; a style which is more than likely a direct result of teenage years spent drumming with assorted Philly and New York-area Hardcore Punk/Metal bands and the 10 years' time traveling cross-country in a BIG empty mac truck, blasting radio-transmitted Country music. When Daughn Gibson moved from his childhood town of Narazeth, PA to Carlisle in late 2010-11, he recorded what eventually ended up being All Hell ... simply created because "there weren't as many like-minded musicians to start a band with." Gibson's close friend Matt Korvette from Pissed Jeans pressed up a limited LP release of All Hell on his home-grown Indie label imprint, White Denim.

Daughn Gibson then decided to follow that up with a 2-track 45 and Bandcamp digi-single simply titled, "Lite Me Up" in conjunction with Dull Knife (June 2012). After recently wrapping up a string of dates, Gibson is headed back out on a US Tour, spanning from Oct. 29-Nov. 7th. As of late, the grizzly-voiced singer can proudly call Seattle's infamous Sub Pop Records home, having signed a deal with the Indie label just a few months ago. To coincide with his BRAND NEW allegiance, Daughn Gibson recorded and released "Reach Into The Fire." While it reflects his previous musical stylings, the track cleverly builds upon Gibson's glitched-out Country/Electro R&B ... The label categories Daughn Gibson as both a crooner and "sound sculptor" and he self-produced the bulk of "Reach Into The Fire," which pulls samples from 2 of his new-found labelmates: Shabazz Palaces & Tiny Vipers. In the meantime, he and Sub Pop are working together to sculpt what will become his sophomore album and label debut, set for a 2013 release!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Taylor Swift - "We Are NEVER, EVER Getting Back Together" (Furries Live Band?)

It kinda sucks, but it's just that time of year... with school back in session and all sorts of new-found "eye-candy" everywhere, highschoolers and college co-eds nation-wide are spontaneously breaking up with each other! Man, now even Taylor Swift has jumped on the fast-track to singlesville with the release of her latest single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." While it could really be about almost any of her assorted ex-boyfriends from roughly 2010-12, it's more than likely either John Mayer or Taylor Lautner. I feel bad for T-Swift sometimes - All these dumb boys, always being so mean to her and stuff. But seriously, I hope she finds what she's really looking for in a companion sooner than later! Taylor Swift made sure to give the track a BIG, glitzy world premier make-over on the 2012 MTV VMA's the other night (closing performance). Like many 20-somethings her age, Swift has a new blossoming love interest to go along with this new Fall season: The esteemed Mr. Conor Kennedy.

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" will appear within Taylor Swift's upcoming fourth studio album - simply titled Red, which is currently slated for an Oct. 22nd release; Parts of the VMA performance casually echoed "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"'s colorful music video... re-using the furry animal costumes for Swift's live band. It's continuous take video clip was directed by Delcan Whitebloom and the track itself was co-written along with producers Max Martin and Shellback. Like most of Taylor Swift's songs, "We Are Never..." was partially based on real-life events/experiences: Penned almost immediately after a fiend of one of Swift's exes came into the studio, lamenting about rumors of a possible reunion with an old flame. Swearing to never again repeat the vicious cycle of "break up, get back together, break up, get back together," Taylor Sift teamed up with the infamous production duo for this little piece of sheer Country-tinged Bubblegum Pop.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hard Bop In The Paint: BADBADNOTGOOD - "Pretty Boy Swag" (Soulja Boy Remix)

It's pretty wild how a forward-thinking Free Jazz group like BADBADNOTGOOD can take something as "played out" [commercial] as Soulja Boy and re-arrange it so FRESH TO DEF! I got a YouTube email alert from BBNG's channel earlier today, complete with a still video, which was neatly linked directly to their "Pretty Boy Swag" (Remix). While it's their first LEGIT [un-]official remix, I'd almost have to say, for lack of a better term... that what BADBADNOTGOOD do "on the reg." is already pretty remix/instrumental-rooted. The guys of BBNG really seem to teeter the line between Classic Blues-Jazz textbook knowledge and a keen 1980-2000's Hip-Hop know-how!

Chester, Matt & Alex somehow managed to add all sorts of swaying, Jazzy pauses and commas to the now stripped-down "Pretty Boy Swag;" Largely accenting Soulja Boy's weirdly endearing Ringtone Raps, which I was first turned on to through Girl Talk's 2006-10 mixes. BBNG would later go on to say that their main intentions were to "make soulja boy sing on that one... pretty happy with what we came up with!" BBNG #1-2 were released to Bandcamp a few months ago and are still available for FREE download. It's 2 collections that're chock-full of inventive, Jazzed out Modern Hip-Hop standard covers: Earl Sweatshirt, Kanye, James Blake, Lil B, My Bloody Valentine, Gang Starr, and Flying Lotus. Rumor has it that BADBADNOTGOOD are currently chipping away @ their third album, quite appropriately titled "BBNG3" (2013?)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Talib Kweli & Z-Trip Present: "Attack The Block," mixtape (Sharp Cheddar Review)

Talib Kweli's latest mixtape, Attack The Block is a loose [street] album that's loosely based around a British Sci-Fi Thriller of the same name (2011). Kweli does his best to bridge that gap, effectively re-appropriating film dialog for his intro track, "Attack The Block!!!" Talib Kweli has always been a fairly active, politically-conscious rapper ever since he first burst onto the scene with Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (1998). Surprisingly, Attack The Block was actually released a few weeks earlier than expected... on Sept. 3rd, Labor Day Weekend instead of Sept. 18th. Co-presented along with DJ Z-Trip, the mixtape really is a generous offering - 18 tracks deep, 6 solo Kweli raps.

It looks like Talib Kweli has managed to rope in some serious favors and scored guest verses from Black Thought, Skyzoo, Das Racist, Lil' Wayne, Killer Mike, Posdnuos (De La Soul), Ryan Leslie, Mac Miller, and Ab-Soul ... In addition to production work from Oh No, S1, 9th Wonder, Don Cannon, Boi-1da, and many more! Talib Kweli has somehow always managed to comfortably teeter the fine line between backpack-wielding Indie Rapper and champagne-popping Rap Super-Star. Right now, he's currently prepping a "reunion mixtape" with Mos Def Yasiin Bey dubbed Black Star Aretha, a long-awaited solo album called Prisoner of Conscious, and supposedly [Mad]Liberation #2. I'd almost assume that those 3 separate Talib Kweli projects'll be released in that very order, my friends!

Sell The Kids for Food: Jonwayne & Scoop DeVille - "In Spite" [-feat. Kurt Cobain?] *

Jonwayne must've tracked down a copy of that bare bones Nirvana - "In Bloom" (a capella) mp3 when it leaked way back in 2008. I'm pretty sure that Jonwayne chopped up and remixed Kurt Cobain's POWERFUL, echoing vocals into a broading Boom-Bap track, which has now been cleverly re-titled "In Spite." Wayne quietly uploaded the track to Soundcloud just a few days ago under the musical moniker, "Digital Diamonds" and fellow rapper-producer Scoop DeVille is the other 1/2 of his new Rap Band. All of the new track's assorted, miscellaneous parts are essentially built and anchored together around Cobain's skeletal vocal performance.

"In Spite" somehow manages to inter-weave Kurt's heart-felt wail right against Jonwayne/Scoop DeVille's rhymes, effortlessly blending in like a deep-rooted hook. I wonder what Digital Diamonds have in store for us next... a mixtape? Joint album? They've gotta be up to something, since the pair also semi-recently collaborated on Jonwayne's massive posse cut, "Night School." Surf on over to YouTube and check out some of Jonwayne & Scoop DeVille's slightly more mainstream output(s): "The Recipe," CASSETTE, "Sit Down, Man," Oodles of Doodles, etc. Jonwayne is currently hard @ work piecing together his debut Stones Throw full-length (2013).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

To Be a Rock and Not to Roll: The Black Keys - "Little Black Submarines" (Speakeasy)

Way back in June, The Black Keys somehow managed to cram 50-60 hand-selected close friends, family members, and super-fans into notorious Nashville "speakeasy" [dive bar], Springwater Supper Club for a TOP SECRET show/music video shoot. After running through "Little Black Submarines" a few times, the night's festivities quickly transformed into an hour-long make-shift set. Having already re-enacted nearly every go-to Rock "N" Roll cliché in the book: bikini-clas hotties, animal puppet hi-jinx, brawling children, dancing salesmen, .gif short films, etc... The Black Keys opted for a FRESH approach - Live, loud & housed within one seedy-ass club!

"Little Black Submarines" is one of The Black Keys' ultimate hidden treasures buried deep within their most recent album, El Camino (2011). It's a retro-style Blues Rocker that honestly, kinda reminds me of either Led Zeppelin or Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Local Philly area station Radio 104.5 has been heavily spinning "Little Black Submarines" for quite a while now and I've been patiently waiting to finally feast my eyes on The Black Keys' officially-sanctioned music video. Man, I gotta say, photographer/film-maker Danny Clinch's unique vision really hits the nail right on the head! Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney's next release will materialize in the form of a Black Keys/RZA collabo track: "The Baddest Man Alive," which will appear on the soundtrack to his directorial debut, The Man with The Iron Fists (Oct. 23-Nov. 2nd).

"There was a storyline, but it didn't work out... We all just sort of kind of mutually agreed that it should probably just be the performance and not any of the other extra stuff... Luckily, we had live footage, so we turned it into a live video. We just sort of said, "You know, it was fun kind of performing here @ [Springwater Supper Club] with the fans. Why don't we just have it be that?'"

- Dan Auerbach (Rolling Stone)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors: Big Boi & Theophilus London - "She Said OK" (Softcore?)

While André 3000 has been busy "recording a solo album," hawking Gillette razors/beard trimmers, and re-covering Hendrix covers ... Big Boi's somehow managed to record & release 2 solo projects and produce the bulk of an album for Modest Mouse. All of this has collectively happened since OutKast's long-lost last album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was released (2003) and on the heels of a long-rumored new album from the group, which no one really knows "if or when that will ever happen." Big Boi is currently putting a few final touches on his second solo LP, Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors; This one's essentially the sequel to Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty and it's currently slated for a Nov. 13th wide release.

"She Said OK" is a mega-sized sultry cut that's co-piloted by Big Boi and Brooklyn Hipster R&B rapper Theophilus London, along with background crooner Tre Luce and Soulful producer Chris Carmouche. Big Boi cleverly laces up the laid-back beat with a bunch of sexual innuendos and rather slick double entendres. "She Said OK" now has a softcore, slightly NSFW music video directed by Alexi Papalexopoulos to go along with the digital wordplay. For the most part, it features Big Boi strewn across a curvey woman's lower regions, while she's covering up her boobs with her hands and he continues to [effortlessly] rap, barely flinching, the entire time. Big Boi recently told SPIN that Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors will also feature collaborative tracks with the likes of Little Dragon, Phantogram, A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, UGK, and Big K.R.I.T. Vicious Lies... is planned for a Nov. 13th release, while André 3000's upcoming Hendrix film - "All Is By My Side" and God-willing, that new OutKast album should be out by mid-2013!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fight for Your Right to PARTY: 2 Chainz & Kanye - "Birthday Song" (Andreas Nilsson)

2 Chainz' new-found friend & collaborator Kanye somehow managed to link up a music video shoot with Swedish film-maker, Andreas Nilsson... who's actually an affiliate of West's very own "DONDA" collective/design house, set up in memory of his deceased mother, Donda West (2007); Active members of the DONDA team also had a hand in designing the simplistic "2 Chains"-sporting cover art to go along with Based On a T.R.U. Story, the Atlanta rapper's major label debut. Andreas Nilsson is just one of roughly 20-30 multi-talented individuals, who are highly skilled in the areas of architecture, graphic design, music, film, production, A&R, writing/publishing, social media, app design, etc. (Twitter.) Under Kanye's slightly "high brow" wing, 2 Chainz then enlisted Nilsson to direct the music video clip for the pair's single, "Birthday Song." The Swedish director has previously worked with the likes of Miike Snow, Yeasayer, and The Knife.

I'm almost positive that Andreas Nilsson filmed the entirety of "Birthday Song" as one continuous camera shot just a few weeks ago in Yonkers, NY. Basically, that means that 2 Chainz, Kanye, and all of the crazy/wild talent [and scenarios] had to be pre-orchestrated and ready to be filmed "Bing, Bang, BOOM!" - one shot with no pauses or cut-aways. Andreas Nilsson fittingly described his own video production as "Beetlejuice meets Deep Throat" and it kinda has that fucked up Funhouse type of vibe running throughout. "Birthday Song" features a certain level of crazy-ass hi-jinx that's almost too wild to properly describe on paper, but here goes nothin': 1 Chainz, "big booty ho's," sexual birthday cake, quad-lap dances, Kanye's boobie trike, clown jumping, a slip-N-slide, "The Bad Bitch Contest," and plenty of fat/phat asses! It's something you really have to see for yourself to even believe... 2 Chainz [formerly Tity Boi's] major label debut, Based On a T.R.U. Story is now out nation-wide.