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Showing posts from December, 2013

New Year's Eve Anthems, 2012-13: Drake & Soulja Boy - "We Made It" (Freestyle?)

Right around Thanksgiving, one Aubrey "Drake" Graham made a pretty lofty promise to release 4-6 new tracks online before year's end; not unlike the four-song combo-pack released online nearly three months ahead of his latest album, Nothing Was The Same. The first in a series that's since been effectively dubbed New Year's Eve Anthems, "We Made It" is in fact a Soulja Boyfreestyle remix, with a Kenny Powers-led intro: "The only thing I'm seeing I'd like to put an amend on... perhaps a little more room here for the fixinsssss!" It previously appeared on Soulja Boy's recent The King mixtape, sans Drake's added lyrical assist. Thematically, "We Made It" has a similar underlying tone to "Started from The Bottom" and Drake's unhinged fierce delivery seems to be cut from the same cloth as his former "Versace" remix. "Drake probably has almost an album's-worth of stuff recorded that he could …

Annual Stereogum Holiday Cover: Sondre Lerche - "Wrecking Ball" (Miley Cyrus, 2013)

It's become something of an annual tradition; every December, Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche picks his favourite year-end track, re-records his own unique version, and sends it over to Stereogum's headquarters. This yule tide season, he's conjured up a sparse acoustic-laden cover of "Wrecking Ball," effectively eliminating any remaining ounce of TWERKIN', debauchery, and mega-studio sheen. But in it's own right, "Wrecking Ball" is an incredibly well-written, dare I say... modern day power-ballad (for lack of a better term), and maybe Sondre Lerche's version can help some naive-minded listeners finally see that! In recent years past, Lerche has sent Stereogum staff writers a few interesting Animal Collective, Owen Pallet, and Beyoncé covers.


"I had trouble finding [a song] that I felt truly motivated to interpret. So, while "Wrecking Ball" may not be my very favorite song of 2013, it turned out to be the one I woul…

El-P & Killer Mike Present: Run The Jewels - "A Christmas F**king Miracle" (Joey Garfield)

Alongside modern day Aggro-Rap masterpiece Yeezus, Run The Jewels' self-titled/untitled premier album is quite easily amongst the "Best Albums of 2013." While Killer Mike & El-P have already unleashed a number of music videos behind the album, I haven't really bothered re-posting anything since "36" Chain" because they've all been uploaded to semi-unreliable, non-YouTube video platforms. But needless to say, Run The Jewels let loose a new holiday-themed video Saturday night, just in time for Christmas; album closer "A Christmas F**king Miracle" now has a companion retro holiday card-indebted video directed by Joey Garfield, who previously starred as Dreadloctopus in the Beastie Boys' infamous late-90's smash-hit, "Intergalactic." According to Joey Garfield's own Ghost Robot posse-site, "He has created memorable music videos for RJD2, The Cool Kids, and Lupe Fiasco, and ads for Dos [Equis], Pepsi, Visa, and

Less Than Bromance: Dustin Wong - "Foggy Cliffy Night Drive" (Thrill Jockey Records?)

After establishing what could best be described as a budding "bromance" with seasoned Less Than Jake bassist Roger Lima (@lessthanRAJ), experimental guitar virtuoso Dustin Wong simply Tweeted a rough new track, along with a quick micro-message: "some new sounds from a week ago : )." It's 2:34-worth of guitar-drenched hiccups that Wong's dubbed "Foggy Cliffy Night Drive" and essentially, the latest output to be added to his ever-growing post-Ponytail solo discography. Fresh on the heels of the conclusion to an expansive three-album arc, Meditation of Ecstatic Energy (2012), Dustin Wong seems to already be working on the proper follow-up to his latest September-released Thrill Jockey album. A self-proclaimed guitar loop and pedal innovator, Wong recently lamented to Ad-Hoc, "I had a show about a month ago [August] where I was using three loop pedals with different set-ups; it was all improvised, looping guitar and vocals. I was actually runnin…

Four Tet - "gravediggaz SID rmx 2000?" (Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide)

Fresh on the heels of collaborative full-length albums with Omar Souleyman and Neneh Cherry, Post-Rock and Electronic multi-instrumnetalist Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) unleashed about 10-15 tracks upon hitting 100,000+ Twitter followers Monday evening; "let me go through the hard drives and see what's there..." The bulk of the tracks included on what we'll just call Twitter 100k CD-R, for the sake of convenience, were all written-recorded between 1999-2012, according to Hebden's calculations. Four Tet then continued to liberate a generous batch of rarities and unheard remixes, which includes but isn't limited to solo fragments, on-again-off-again pseudo-band Percussions, and Welsh musician David Wrench, as well as a Grimes re-work and separate Atoms for Peace and Gravediggaz remixes. "gravediggaz SID rmx 2000" is a slightly glitched-out remix of "Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide" from their 1994 Horror-core debut record, 6 Feet Deep (link bel…

Murs & Curtiss King - "Christmas Rules Everything Around Me" (C.R.E.A.M.)

It's pretty safe to say that Hip-Hop doesn't exactly have the same type of strangle-hold on semi-traditional Christmas music that most other genres do; I mean, besides "Christmas In Hollis" and Peanut Butter Wolf's hand-selected Badd Santa "mixtape" (Stones Throw), I'm not really too familiar with a whole lot of Boom-Bap-infused yule tide carols. But with that said, Felt-affiliated and White Mandingos quasi-frontman Murs is a self-proclaimed Christmas nut who's "always wanted to make [an] X-mas song. ["Christmas Rules Everything Around Me"] is corny, it's silly, it's fun, and I LOVE it!" It's inherent acronym, C.R.E.A.M., is a stylistic send-up to Wu-Tang Clan's similarly-titled genre-defining 1994 banger. Rising Inland Empire-based producer Curtiss King conjured up a "so soulful, don't you agree" holiday-accented beat, while Murs laces up a couplet-filled tale of Christmases past: "This ti…

Are You Experienced?: Charlotte Gainsbourg & Beck - "Hey Joe" (Pitchfork Premier)

It's kinda funny, because I just finished showing my beautiful girlfriend a few "Bonnie & Clyde"-era Serge Gainsbourg tracks just the other day, which I bookended by saying that his now-grown-up daughter Charlotte recorded a couple albums-worth of material with mid-90's Slacker-Hop kingpin Beck "Loser" Hansen; and now, today, by sheer coincidence, here's a new Charlotte Gainsbourg & Beck track, "Hey Joe" (a sultry Hendrix cover). It's from the soundtrack to often controversial film director Lars von Trier's hyper-sexed-up piece, Nymphomaniac. Gainsbourg seemingly stars as the leading lady in said art-film, which'll debut in two separate parts across select North American theatres, between March 21st and April 18th. Here, "Hey Joe" has gotten a breathy, semi-haunting re-work that still retains the Blues-Rock backbone of Jimi Hendrix's highly popularized 1966-67 cover. It has Beck's signature half-assed gui…

Rolling Stone Presents: Red Fang & Fred Armisen - "Blood Like Cream" (Relapse Records)

While it would seem like Portland-based Sludge-Metal band Red Fang just accepted a big-ass super-check from Pabst Blue Ribbon to fund their awesome new video "Blood Like Cream," it's still arguably the best music video I've seen in about 2 weeks. Former SNL funnyman, and smashin' Punk-Rock drummer in his own right, Fred Armisen co-stars alongside the band's four members and an angry mob-full of zombies; But not just any zombies... flesh-eating AND beer-guzzling zombies with a thirst for destruction! The Rolling Stone-premiered havoc centers around a local watering hole, where Red Fang and a quickly dismembered Armisen are forced to go toe-to-toe with a slew of blood beer-thirsty zombies. "["Blood Like Cream"] is about the stress of balancing a touring lifestyle with having a family back at home, but who wants to see a video about that?" frontman Aaron Beam recently lamented to Rolling Stone. "Boring! Instead, we have a video featuri…

Robin Thicke & Ron Burgundy - "Ride Like The Wind" (Neo-Yacht Rock?)

Depending on who you ask, Ron Burgundy is quite arguably actor-comedian Will Ferrell's coveted career-defining role and in recent weeks, he's somehow managed to supersede the confines of a mere film role; appearing alongside Daft Punk on an MTV EMA's promo, partnering up with Dodge to sell some 2014 Durangos, manning real-life news broadcasts, interviewing football mega-star Peyton Manning, getting his very own Ben & Jerry's flavor, etc. Tuesday afternoon amidst the impending East Coast snow storm, "Ron Burgundy" teamed up with Blue-Eyed Soul crooner Robin Thicke for a buttery smooth cover of "Ride Like The Wind." The original Christopher Cross version was released way back in 1979-80, and his self-titled Soft Rock magnum opus it appears within famously beat out Pink Floyd's equally great The Wall for an Album of The Year Grammy later that year. Christopher Cross' track, as well as Robin Thick & Ron Burgundy's new version are bo…

Peanut Butter Wolf Presents: The Stepkids - "Bitter Bug (Pyramid Vritra Remix)

Needless to say, "Bitter Bug" (Pyramid Vritra Remix) isn't exactly rapper-producer Hal Williams' first time re-imagining a track by fellow Stones Throw labelmates The Stepkids; Williams previously remixed Troubadour album track "Desert In The Dark" with Odd Future shoot-off, The Jet Age of Tomorrow. While working on his upcoming 2014 Stones Throw debut, Pyramid Vritra managed to conjure up a heavily Funk-laden, Hip-Hop-infused remix of "Bitter Bug," which was originally released as a play-able postcard 45. North of the 4-minute mark, as the track slowly draws to a close, Williams effectively chops-n-screws the Hell out of "Bitter Bug."The Stepkids seem to have already been flirting with the idea of a semi-Hip-Hop crossover; previously working with Pharoahe Monch, Homeboy Sandman, and now one of Stones Throw's newest signees, Pyramid Vritra. That's one area in which Stones Throw seems to be consistently lacking, inner-label colla…

Philly Concert Review: King Krule at Johnny Brenda's (December 7-8th)

Rest assured, 19-year-old Londoner King Krule (aka Archy Marshall)'s stage "antics" might best resemble that of a young red-haired Elvis Costello, Woody Allen's über-neurotic film work, or even a slightly awkward teenager performing at his high school talent show: senseless flailing around the corner-centric stage, random fist-pumping along with drum beats, grizzly-voiced wailing, top button-unbuttoned debauchery, etc! Philly's infamous hole-in-the-wall venue Johnny Brenda's, which I'm pretty sure is an old apartment or home, only added extra character to King Krule's righteous 11 o'clock set. As far as I can tell, Marshall and his 3-piece band played the bulk of King Krule's roughly 20-track discography -- including "Easy Easy," "Has This Hit?," "Baby Blue," "A Lizard Estate," "The Krockadile," "Bleak Bake," and plenty more unheard mumbled song titles. But from what I can tell, I do…

Stereogum Presents: Peter Morén - "Constant Reaction" (Broken Swenglish, Vol. 1)

1/3 of Swedish Indie-Pop group Peter Bjorn & John, Peter Morén is gearing up to release a series of Swedish-to-English EP's in the coming months; his four-track Broken Swenglish (Vol. 1) will see a Monday, December 9th digital-release on the band's Swedish-based collective imprint, INGRID. Stereogum premiered a new, previously unreleased Peter Morén track called "Constant Reaction" late Tuesday afternoon. It's a guitar-drenched romper of a track, which is a little bit more Rock-oriented that Peter Bjorn & John's typically super-chill output. "Constant Reaction" is more of less an aggressive six-string musical response "that plays [out] like The Smiths, if Morrissey had a lot more protein in his diet." Peter Morén personally sent Stereogum a little bit of introspective background info on it's creation: "I wrote this after the awful shootings against a youth-camp in 2011 on the island Utöya outside of Oslo [Norway]. I had n…

Mediterranean Garage-Rock, via Israel: UBK - "I Got You" (Uri Brauner Kinrot)

About a week ago, I got an interesting email from a woman named Emma, which started out with "I saw you recently featured White Denim [on your blog], and thought you might find UBK's (Israel) new music video interesting." Down towards the bottom of the message, it also lists his music likely well-suited for fans of The Black Keys, Hanni el Khatib, The Black Angels, and Classic Rock super-group Cream. Uri Brauner Kinrot (UBK) previously toured the world with a Balkan surf guitar-tuba-drums power trio and an infamous New York Punk band; his debut solo album, Ouzo Bazooka, is a stylistic "mix of East and West, Martin and Morrison [that] sends you on a psychedelic high, a journey in time and space." Lead single "I Got You" is a scorchin' hot, down and dirty Rock "N" Roll romper with companion visuals directed by Guy J. Bolandi, which follows a gaggle of beautiful women performing post-apocalyptic ceremonies on the terribly oblivious frontma…