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Showing posts from 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…

Justin Timberlake, J. Cole, A$AP Rocky & Pusha T - "TKO" (Black Friday Remix)

Mr. Sexyback himself, Justin Timberlake, unleashed a surprisingly Boom-Bap-ified remix to his latest 20/20 Experience 2 single, "TKO" late Black Friday evening, which is slowly becoming a FREE music-giving holiday. Timberlake somehow managed to recruit J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, and his former "Like I Love You" collaborator, Pusha T (Clipse). While it might kinda seem like part of a larger label-contrived chart-topping master-palm, Justin Timberlake is actually an avid late 1980-90's Hip-Hop aficionado; case in point, The History of Rap (Parts 1-4) with Late Nite host-buddy Jimmy Fallon. Roots band leader/drummer Questlove [Jenkins] simply Tweeted, "#TKOremix so official! @JTimberlake, @PUSHA_T, @ASAPRockyTRILL & @JColeNC (w/ that post-"Control" flow) = COTDAMNY," which almost instantly piqued my interests enough to go check it out!


It's very well-produced, which is rare for an after-the-fact remix of this caliber, but "TKO" (Rem…

Ma Dukes & Akomplice Present: Joey Bada$$ & J Dilla - "Two Lips" (unreleased beat)

18-year-old 90's Hip-Hop revivalist and head PRO ERA wordsmith Joey Bada$$ recently described his still brief discography in 140 characters or less, "1999 was the debut. Summer Knights [EP] was the "holdmedown" people. But B4.DA.$$ [full-length] will be the break-through!!!!!" While Bada$$ previously laced up a few Dilla beats on 1999, "Two Lips" marks his first Yancey family-approved, non-Pirate Bay'd instrumentals, which he promises is only the first of his upcoming posthumous J Dilla "collaborations." The fruits of their labors, "Two Lips" 7-inch (with optional Dilla-themed T-shirts or sweatshirt) will become widely available through Akomplice, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey's newly-formed record label/streetwear company, at 12 noon on November 29th. It's pretty amazing that even though "Two Lips" was essentially harvested from a vault-full of unused beat CD-R's, it still sounds like it was hand-c…

Bound 2 Falling In Love: James Franco & Seth Rogen - "Bound 3" (Kanye & Kim Parody)

Hyper-productive actor/director and sometimes writer/artist James Franco recently teamed back up with his This Is The End/Pineapple Express co-star and long-time buddy Seth Rogen to film a shot-for-shot re-creation of Kanye & Kim's grandiose "Bound 2" video, which debuted online just last Tuesday. From what I understand, Franco & Rogen are currently on-set filming The Interview (out Oct. 2014), supposedly centered around "an attractive talk show host and his producer [who] unwittingly get caught up in an international assassination plot" ... and this is what they've been doing in-between takes! "Bound 3" really doesn't do anything at all to help put to rest James Franco's oft-questioned [homo]sexuality, including but not limited to passionate lip-locking, romantic middle American landscapes, endearing bro-hugs, and a few vaguely insinuated dirty scenes. Lest we forget, this isn't exactly the first time Franco's had to chan…

We Are from LA Presents: Pharrell & Friends - "24-Hour Happy" (Despicable Me 2)

Pharrell has long surpassed anyone's expectations who previously pigeon-holed him as a Snoop Dogg & Jay-Z-affiliated Neptunes producer, on-and-off Funk-RockN*E*R*D frontman, or mere smooth-voiced hookman; he single-handedly co-fronted 2 of the summer's biggest mega-hits, "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines" (but you already know that much). Pharrell has recently started flexing his original soundtrack/composer chops as well, working on the original Despicable Me, it's sequel Despicable Me 2, and a rumored Amazing Spider-Man 2 super-score with composer Hans Zimmer, Mike Einzinger (Incubus), former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and Dave Stewart (Eurythmics). Fresh on the heels of Bob Dylan's inter-active "Like a Rolling Stone" video, Pharrell and directing team We Are from LA unleashed the world's very first 24-hour music video for Despicable Me 2 single, "Happy" online Thursday-Friday. It reportedly features quick-strike appear…

Nick Catchdubs Presents: Danny Brown & Sleigh Bells - "Brown Bells EP" (Terminal 5 x 2)

Fool's Gold Records co-founder and sometimes club-ready DJ Nick Catchdubs recently took it upon himself to conjure up a Danny Brown/Sleigh Bells mash-up couplet, dubbed Brown Bells. It's in honor of the slightly odd pairing's 2 upcoming gigs at Terminal 5 (New York), November 22-23rd. While I'm not really the biggest mash-up champion, unless it's either Girl Talk of Danger Mouse, Catchdubs did it right; releasing a 2-track EP complete with cleverly-titled "Diggin' Demons" & "Grown Up Rivals," which sound more like a tried-and-true in-studio collaboration! Nick Catchdubs of course left in plenty of recognizable fragments from "Dip/Demons" (Diplo Remix) and "Grown Up/Bitter Rivals." When you consider Danny Brown's guest-list of fairly unexpected collaborations on his recently-released OLD album (ie: Purity Ring, Charli XCX, BADBADNOTGOOD, etc.), an anthemic full-fledged Sleigh Bells team-up doesn't seem all that…

Give Me One Reason: Action Bronson & Party Supplies - "Amadu Diablo" (Unplugged)

While it kinda looks like it could've been made fro about $20-30, Action Bronson & Party Supplies' new VHS-indebted "Amadu Diablo" video is really nothing more than an endearing (albeit weed-fueled) tribute to the long-forgotten glory days of MTV; Rik Cordero self-desribed it as "found footage from the 90's now playing @ComplexMag" aka Blue Chips 2 Unplugged aka MTV Unplugged. "Amadu Diablo" starts off with producer Party Supplies (Justin Nealis) wielding an acoustic guitar seated across from Bronson himself, long skinny joint in hand. Action Bronson 1/2 sings 1/2 raps "Amadu Diablo" while Nealis haphazardly strums along: "Every day I'm walking with my head up / Don't let up cause it's a set-up / Like Albanian marriage, from Haiti to Paris / The bath was 90 degrees / Tapping Heinies with ease (shit!)" The track slowly morphs into "Give Me One Reason," the 1990's era Tracy Chapman hit which it …

The Ellen Show Presents: Kanye & Kim Kardashian - "Bound 2" (Charlie Wilson)

The lone Soul-based track on Kanye's recent Death Grips-inspired Aggro-Hip-Hop album Yeezus, "Bound 2" essentially made me commit record-diggin' treason and buy a bootleg LP on South Street against my better judgement, which ended up being f*#king scratched mid-way through the coveted track! After performing it on a number of late night variety shows, Kanye finally debuted the official Nick Knight-directed "Bound 2" music video on Ellen Tuesday morning. It's a semi-strange trip across America's lush countryside, with new-found fiance Kim Kardashian awkwardly seated backwards on the front of Kanye's BITCHIN' motorcycle; Ellen kinda forgot to Tweet-ion [mention] that Kim's essentially topless and somehow, sans nipples, too. Knight manages to artfully inter-splice in images of wild horses, a Bald Eagle, Kanye in double flannel, and a bunch of all-American imagery that counter-echoes Kanye's Wes Lang-designedConfederate-leaning Yeezus T…

Oh My Lorde: Scott Bradlee, Postmodern Jukebox & Puddles The Clown - "Royals"

for their latest video-remix treatment, Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox recruited Puddles The Clown (aka Big Mike Geier), a 7-foot-tall sad clown and Atlanta-based performance artist with a voice not unlike Tom Jones; together, they recorded a sprawling "throwback"-style cover of Lorde's recent mega-hit, "Royals" in Bradlee's living room. It's a pretty amazing track, nonetheless, which wouldn't have been entirely possible without Robyn Adele Anderson, Cristina Gatti, Adam Kubota, Allan Mednard, and of course, Puddles' gold-plated vocal chords. "Royals" is far from Postmodern Jukebox's first go-round; in fact, they've recorded genre-shifting covers of everyone from Robin Thicke to Katy Perry and even laid down an entire Nickelback album, A Motown Tribute to Nickelback! Bandleader-pianist Scott Bradlee has composed a staggering mix of re-arrangements, including all sorts of broad-spanning styles: Doo-Wop, "Grandpa St…

Jimmy Page Presents: The Notorious B.I.G. - "Hypnotize" vs. "Ramble On" (Ramblize Remix)

Former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page Tweeted "on this day, Biggie Smalls" along with a web-link Friday morning; He's pieced together what kinda sounds like a semi-unfinished mash-up between "Hypnotize" and "Ramble On" that's been dubbed "Ramblize." 90's Hip-Hop heads might recall that this isn't exactly Page's first forre into Hip-Hop, as he previously re-recorded parts of "Kashmir" for Godzilla break-out hit, "Come with Me" with none other than Puff Daddy [included below]. "Ramblize" somehow teeters that fine line, where if it sucked (which it doesn't), it'd still be pretty cool simply because of the sheer fact that Jimmy Page remixed a Biggie track! From what I understand, Page recently uploaded a similar Snoop Dogg/Led Zeppelin mash-up of "Drop It Like It's Hot" (credited to Led Dogg). Lest we forget, Led Zepplin's now-deceased mondo-drummer John Bonham has been …

Death Grips Channel Bob Dylan for "Government Plates!?" (Third Worlds, self-released)

Although it might seem like a pretty mis-matched pairing at first, Bob Dylan & Death Grips have more in common that you or they'd really like to admit. Dylan was the first Folkie to "go electric" and Death Grips have largely forged their own ground in their Proto-Rap sub-genre; Dylan never really adhered to generally-accepted social norms and the same could be said for deathgrips; Both artists make the kind of music that you either love or hate, there's no middle-of-the-road fans. Uploaded late Wednesday afternoon without any prior notice, Government Plates is Death Grips' fourth overall album (counting Ex-military) and the second self-released in such a guerrilla manner. Death Grips simultaneously uploaded 11 motion picture/music videos to YouTube, one for each album track, which may be part of drummer Zach Hill's long-rumored short film. "You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for, it's your brand new l…

Privilege, Superiority, and Misconceptions: Lily Allen - "Hard Out Here" (Regal Recordings)

Even though she released a new John Lewis-backed Keane cover just the other day, British Indie-Pop star Lily Allen has finally returned with "Hard Out Here," which could be a sonic indicator of her forthcoming third studio album. It's titular refrain goes something like "Forget your balls, and grow a pair of tits / It's hard, it's hard, it's hard out here for a bitch" and Allen addresses jarring topics such as body image, media-propelled sexism, super-sexed up video vixens, non-equality, injustice, etc. "Hard Out Here"'s companion Christopher Sweeney-directed video essentially conveys everything that Lily Allen whole-heartedly despises about Hollywood/London elite: plastic surgery, TWERKIN', Robin Thicke, wasteful champagne-pouring, ridiculous weightless ideals, wildly expensive cars. It's done in a very tongue-in-cheek way though, whereas if you didn't know any better, you might think that Allen was a terribly misguided…

White Denim & The Bottom Dollar String Band - "Pretty Green Mash" (Downtown Records)

Purchased on a whim and the sheer strength of two Southern-fried rockin' Blues-Funk teaser singles, White Denim's recently released sixth album, Corsicana Lemonade is without a doubt one of this past year's late-blooming sleeper hits; While I've always seen White Denim's name strewn across various Indie Rock-leaning blogs (especially Gorilla vs. Bear), I'd never really given the Austin-based band a legitimate shot. It's just a solid, no frills 10-track Rock "N" Roll album that's equal parts Black Keys and Creedence (with some added Psych-Rock flavor). But in true Southern Rock fashion, White Denim recruited The Bottom Dollar String Band for "Pretty Green Mash," a reduced version of their lead Corsicana Lemonade single. From what I understand, the track's included on a "Pretty Green"online/tour-exclusive 10" EP, along with B-sides "Under mi Pretty Green" and rough album closer "[Looking for] a Place …

John Lewis Presents: Lily Allen - "Somewhere Only We Know" (The Bear & The Hare)

Quasi-retired British songstress and walking firecracker Lily Allen has finally made a triumphant return to music, in one of the least Punk Rock ways humanly possible; covering "Somewhere Only We Know"(Keane) for a super-early John Lewis Christmas web-ad. But somehow, it really works and Allen's airy vocals synch up well with the playful, old school-looking Bear & The Hare animation work. Since releasing her sophomore album, It's Not Me, It's You (2009), Lily Allen got herself a husband and 2 kids, stared acting a bit, launched a record label imprint, changed her name twice (Lily Rose Cooper), and recently appeared on Pink's latest single, "True Love.""Somewhere Only We Know" is a pretty drastic shift from Allen's former potty-mouthed brand of Reggae-infused Indie Pop, which could very well echo her forthcoming third album. According to NME, Lily Allen recently lamented that "it's not an earnest "I'm a mum" …

Ride The Lightning: Broken Bells - "Holding On for Life" (After The Disco, short film)

After what even most die-hard Shins fans would consider a pretty lackluster album attempt, frontman James Mercer has reunited with producer-buddy Danger Mouse aka Brian Burton to write and record a new Broken Bells album, After The Disco. Broken Bells (1) was essentially Mercer's "solo" debut and once again, he's comfortably playing the Run-D.M.C. to Danger Mouse's Rick Rubin; who seems to play best with others, ie: Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, The Black Keys, Beck, Portugal. The Man, etc. Lead single "Holding On for Life," which was previously included within an album teaser, has been self-described by Burton as a mix between late 1980-90's Dr. Dre or Ice Cube and Bee Gees-style falsetto. After The Disco will become available this upcoming January 14th and will feature micro-appearances from Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes) on horns, Daniel Lupi-orchestrated string arrangements, man-made drum machine fills by Brian Burton himself, and "some back-up si…

DISTILLED & BOTTLED by BANG YA HEAD: MED, Blu & Mayer Hawthorne - "The Buzz" (Madlib Beat)

While chances are kinda slim that this was recorded all at once (but you never really know with Stones Throw), Rappcats gave cyber-birth to an amazing-sounding MED, Blu, Mayer Hawthorne & Madlib track, "The Buzz" around 12-1am Tuesday-Wednesday morning. Not unlike The Burgundy EP, MED & Blu share vocal duties, Madlib produced the beat, and Hawthorne's relegated to the buttery smooth hook; an unreleased Dâm-Funk track will also appear on flip Side B. The Buzz 12" EP will include two vocal tracks, bonus beat, instrumentals, and a cappella. It's currently available for pre-order today (November 5th) at either Stones Throw or Fat Beats. Let's talk about the sheer talent Stones Throw managed to wrangle yup for "The Buzz:" prolific underground king Madlib chopped up a beautiful Boom-Bap-infused Soul sample, the label's former Blue-Eyed Soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne on the hook, and MED & Blu, two of the most talented and criminally under-…

A Stable Sound Presents: Cut Chemist, Chali 2na & Hymnal - "Work My Mind" (Funk Off)

Brainfreeze 45 extraordinaire and Jurassic 5 DJ Cut Chemist was temporarily locked up for unspecified reasons in recent years, but now he's back with a long-awaited new [compilation] album, Funk Off; partially previewed during "an excellent mix for the Stones Throw Podcast called Cassette Culture using four cassette decks and tracks from a release he was working on called Funk Off," it's a quasi-collaboration with 1980's French New-Wave groups Vox Populi! & Pacific 231. Cut Chemist unleashed two non-album singles leading up to Funk Off's October 29th release, "Outro (Revisited)" and "Work My Mind." The latter is essentially a re-imagining/remix of [Vox Populi!] album track "Alternative Fresh," which features select verses by Jurassic 5 frontman Chali 2na and Hymnal. "Work My Mind" is more or less a self-described "future-primitive analogue thriller," complete with a music video directed by Delaney Bishop, …

An Early Review: Action Bronson & Party Supplies - "Blue Chips 2" (VICE Records)

"If you want to laugh, cry, jerk off, take a shit, this is the music you want to have playing," Action Bronson recently told Rolling Stone of the general aesthetic for his upcoming VICE Records (Warner Bros.) album. "This is for when you're comfortable with who you are - whether it's your dick size or your tit size," which is actually a pretty good assimilation of Bronson's overall musical feel. His rap schemes are more often that not littered with vague references to mid-90's sports, pro wrestling, gourmet food, exotic women, "wax" [weed], etc. Action Bronson has somehow managed to release 7-8 albums/mixtapes over the course of the past few years, and I think it's justifiable to ay that his just-released Blue Chips 2 (November 1st) just might be his magnum opus. Even though a handful of Blue Chips 2 tracks were pre-released as early as January 2012, Party Supplies' slightly left of center anti-Hip-Hop beats are pretty fucking im…

Tougher Than The Rest: Peanut Butter Lovesicle -"Jealous Minds" (Ice Box/Palace)

Ocean City, NJ's finest Brooklyn-transported Rock "N" Roll revivalist outfit, Peanut Butter Lovesicle (PBL) recently returned back home to record their latest single, "Jealous Minds." Drummer-frontman Timmy Miller and brothers Jake & Mike D'Arc laid down some righteous-sounding basic tracks at Ice Box/Ice Palace; "Jealous Minds" was produced by Andrew Wilson and PBL also included a special Soundcloud shout out to local record store, Grass Roots Music, for good measure. Sonically, I'd equate the band's new track to modern day Prog-Rock in the vein of Wolfmother or even along the lines of The Black Keys, but it's a pretty Aggro-Metal affair (post-spaced out intro ha). "Jealous Minds" was preceded by Dirty Pride EP roughly a year ago, from which one track in particular, "Black-Eyed Blues,"Peanut Butter Lovesicle and their all-star team somehow managed to land a featured spot on Gossip Girl. While there are seemingl…

Rock "N" Roll Halloween: Yelawolf & DJ Paul - "Black Fall EP" (Shady Aftermath)

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Just in time for All Hallow's Eve, Yelawolf & DJ Paul unleashed a 5-track FreEP, Black Fall late Wednesday night. The former Three 6 Mafia producer crafted some pretty sinister-sounding beats using primarily Rock & Metal samples; so far, I've heard Metallica, Pink Floyd, Muse, Michael Jackson, and Black Sabbath (Dio). I never really used to like Yelawolf's hillbilly-tinged brand of Southern Hip-Hop, until I heard his genre-blending collaboration with singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, The Slumdon Bridge EP. It's a truly timeless Alt. Hip-Hop EP that I would've gladly paid good money for and I guess Travis Barker & Eminem's separate Yelawolf co-signs didn't hurt either. Leaked pre-release single "Light Switch" expertly manages to sample English Prog-Rock band Muse's radio-friendly hit "Uprising," while elsewhere, "Thriller" and Pink Floyd are sampled on one track. Yelawolf & DJ Paul previously wor…

Late Night Presents: Chromeo & Death from Above 1979 - "Sexy Socialite" (White Women)

Chromeo, David "Dave 1" Macklovitch and Patrick "P-Thugg" Gemayel, are without a doubt two of the forefathers of now über-trendy futuristic-leaning Electro-Funk; they've been making smooth Space-Funk together since the mid-90's, but somehow only unleashed their first album, She's In Control, as recently as 2004. While Chromeo's fourth album, White Women still lacks a solid release date, that indeed hasn't stopped them from kicking a promotional campaign into full gear! After releasing two teaser singles within the last few months, Dave 1 & P-Thugg stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday-Wednesday night, along with fellow Canadian buddies Death from Above 1979 and "The Sexy Socialites" (a fully fleshed out Gospel choir). The recently reunited 2-piece have seemingly been delegated to Chromeo's backing band, while Dave 1 & P-Thugg took on the role of a 1980's-minded Back to The Future-like Electro-Funk band, comple…

Tyler, The Creator Presents: An Anonymous Band - "Glowing" (Harvest Records)

The Witzard was formed on three sonic pillars: Punk, Hip-Hop, and Indie Rock, which just so happen to be my personal go-to genres. And I guess you could say that I often times tend to favor Hip-Hop, but I really enjoy all three genres and it's always nice when they end up colliding organically. Case in point: Odd Future manager Christian Clancy initially introduced Tyler, The Creator to an Indie Rock band, who wishes to remain anonymous, after playing it for him on a plane a few months ago. Tyler liked the song so much, that he agreed to write and direct a video for the band's track "Glowing," under his Wolf Haley alias; "What people take from it is up to the viewer, I suppose," Clancy told NPR Monday night, "Controlling the narrative seems contradiction to the point. For me, it's a challenge to the assumption that ignorance is bliss, and that challenge is a timely as it's ever been."


Even though it's an anti-Hip-Hop super-satura…

The Albanian-Jewish Rick Ross: Action Bronson & Party Supplies - "Practice" (Blue Chips 2, Leak)

Editor's Note: I'm very proud to announce that I finally decided to purchase "thewitzard.com" last night. While the new site is currently under construction, thewitzard.blogspot.com and thewitzard.com are essentially one in the same. So, in a certain respect, this is my "inaugural" Action Bronson post ha... But make no mistake, Bronson is hands down one of my favourite rising emcees and Blue Chips (March 2012) is quite easily his most readily accessible project. "Practice" is the latest leak from his upcoming Blue Chips 2 mixtape with buddy Party Supplies, which is set to hit The Internet this upcoming Friday, November 1st. "I'M SUPPOSED TO BE THE FRANCHISE PLAYER, AND WE TALKIN' BOUT PRACTICE!?" beckons the voice of former Sixers all-star Allen Iverson (circa 2002) during the track's intro; and then, before you know it, "Practice" effortlessly morphs into a horn-laden Smooth Jazz in-debited BANGER!


I can vaguel…

Bon Appetit... B*tch!: "VICE Eats" with Action Bronson & Big Body Bes (Marea, New York)

Right on the heels of his long-awaited, nearly 2 years in-the-making Party Supplies-produced mixtape, Blue Chips 2 (November 1st), Action Bronson has teamed up with VICE Records' sister site, Noisey for VICE Eats; a hyper-realistic weekly web-series "where [they'll] travel the world with Action Bronson and his motley crew of associates to check out the finest dives and dimes of the restaurant scene." Lest we forget, Bronson was a former Art Institute of New York-trained chef, who quite regularly seasons his dense wordplay with a dash of Food Network-friendly speak. Most likely commissioned by Warner Bros.VICE ultimately sets out to follow "Action and his rotating cast of dinner companions [while they] dine in a wide range of remarkable spots to give us their honest opinions - both on and off the plate." It was seemingly preceded by 2 far lesser-known VICE Eats micro-segments, dating back to this past August or early September.


The inaugural episode docu…