Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp: Passion Pit - "Constant Conversations" (Juicy J Remix)




I met up my older cuz Josh and his girlfriend Jessie @ Philly's outdoor amphitheater, The Mann Center for a Passion Pit show back in June 2010, backed by Tokyo Police Club/BRAHMS. It was the tour that took place between albums #1-2, Manners and Gossamer, which I still haven't heard a whole lot of... Chunk of Change EP (2008) was supposed to be a surprise Valentine's Day CD-R, but I remember when Kanye posted "Cuddle Fuddle" to his now-defunct blog. Manners was chock-full of Michael Angelakos' high-pitched wail and Electonica-soaked Pop sensibilities. It managed to spawn a number of memorable hits including: "Sleepyhead," "Little Secrets," "To Kingdom Come," The Reeling" and remixes for everyone from Katy Perry to Beastie Boys.


"Yes, Juicy J rapped on "Constant." And it does make sense because it's fucking awesome," Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos Tweeted late Thursday afternoon. Stoner Rap pioneer and labelmate Juicy J was supposed to appear @ a recent Madison Square Garden, but an impending blizzard thwarted that one as revealed through a liberated voicemail fragment. "Constant Conversations" has now been morphed into a slightly more street-smart tale about a twisted, ill-fated relationship with a conniving woman who's "body classic like John Wayne and her pussy hit hard like Ron Artest." Then Passion Pit proceed to get all White-Soul and finish out the track as it plays out on Gossamer, which is conveniently available for purchase/download now. Juicy J's third solo album, Stay Trippy is tentatively slated for an April 2013 release and it should feature singles "One of Those Nights" with The Weeknd and "Bandz a Make Her Dance."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Noisey & Nick Walker Present: Hanni el Khatib - "F-A-M-I-L-Y" (Han Cholo Biker Gang?)


Hanni el Khatib is the first natural-born American from a family of Palestinian and Filipino immigrants, who bravely heads up his own one-man band on a mission to revive 1950-60's era Rock "N" Roll, classic cars, Greaser chic, and straight razors. Khatib is a talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter/producer who's equally influenced by the stylings of Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Iggy & The Stooges, Black Sabbath, Johnny Burnette, etc. as well as Blues, Garage Rock, Soul, Folk, and Doo-Wop. Hanni el Khatib linked up with similarly-minded Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach to record his second album, Head In The Dirt, which Innovative Leisure's putting out on April 30th. The pair recorded 11 tracks down in Nashville, soon after Khatib opted to "erase everything he'd become comfortable with and to make an album out of only raw instinct and inspiration."


Head In The Dirt's lead-off single, "Family" now has a RIGHTEOUS companion sex, drugs & Rock "N" Roll-fueled music video. Guerrilla director Nick Walker shot the Hanni el Khatib-less clip @ Wright Ranch (Malibu) back in January 2013. Walker's featured video description continues, "I had written that treatment 3 years ago in a notebook with other ideas and concepts. After a few conversations with Hanni [el Khatib] about different video ideas, I sent him over some scans from the notebook with a few different ideas. A year after receiving these, he asked me if I was still interested in doing the 'Wild Asian Motorcycle Sex Gang' video, and I said, 'Of course!'"

In a nutshell, it stars a scantily-clad sex obsessed biker gang that consists of Snoopy, Mousy, Joker, Spider, and Sad Girl... we're talkin' about downright wild cats that somehow manage to shave, drink booze, ravage chicken, get it on, and basically ACT A FOOL whilst driving down a dangerously curvy mountain-side strip of road. Hanni el Khatib is headed out on tour with Cold War Kids & The Black Angels from March 2-May 17th, which is set to cross through SXSW and Coachella.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Return of The Thin White Duke: David Bowie & Tony Visconti - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"




David Bowie quietly unleashed "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" late Monday night; It's the second pre-release single from his long-awaited/rumored album - The Next Day, which is slated for a world-wide release this upcoming March 8-15th. Bowie has been largely in-active for the bulk of the past 10-12 years... recording with TV on The Radio/Scarlett Johansson, morphed into a fashion icon, re-interpreted in Portuguese for The Life Aquatic, hanging out with Snoop Dogg and Alicia Keys, just growing old gracefully, etc. Producer-bassist Tony Visconti recently called The Next Day "quite a Rock album" that was secretly recorded between 2010-12 with Earl Slick, Gail Ann Dorsey, Sterling Campbell, Zachary Alford, guitarists Gerry Leonard/David Torn, Tony Levin, and saxophonist Steve Elson.


Italian film-maker Floria Sigismondi directed "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"'s companion music video, which co-stars actress Tilda Swinton as David Bowie's middle-aged wife alongside [androgynous] Saskia de Brauw and Andrej Pejic. The Thin White Duke's somehow managed to flip the whole concept of celebrity on it's head by seemingly juxtaposing an average American couple against a forceful, slightly stalker-ish famous couple that just won't quit. Musically, the track's vaguely reminiscent of Young Americans (1975) and tender Rockers like "Rebel Rebel," "Suffragette City," and even "I'm Afraid of Americans." Columbia Records will pair singles "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)/Where Are We Now?" will be released as a LIMITED EDITION 45 for Record Store Day (April 20th).

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Baddest Man Alive: Patrick Carney Plans "Bieber In Space" Concert? (Twitter TROLLING)


It's already been about 2 weeks since The Grammys aired, by the festive beef/drama is surely still going on. Early last week, a TMZ reporter asked Patrick Carney, whose band The Black Keys nabbed 4 Grammy awards, why he thought the academy didn't nominate Justin Bieber for an awards... to which Carney replied, "He's rich, right? I mean, I don't know. Grammys are like, for music, not for money and he's making a lot of money. I don't know - he should be happy, I guess." That's a pretty tame, politically correct response, but Bieber soon Tweeted "the black keys drummer should be slapped around haha." Patrick Carney quickly retaliated by changing his Twitter handle to "Justin Bieber" last weekend [Feb. 15-17th]. Tweeting @ terribly mis-led fans, harboring harsh responses, and ultimately Rick-Rolling unsuspecting Bieber fans with a NEW WORLD PREMIER, which actually ended up being "Recombo DNA" (1977). When he's not busy PWNING 18-year-old singers, Patrick Carney has been holed up down in Nashville with bandmate Dan Auerbach, writing-recording the next Black Keys album; Danger Mouse is expected to co-produce the record, which could be completed as soon as March and it'll hopefully see a Summer 2013 release.


#TwitterNewsBreak: Patrick Carney briefly re-assumed his "Justin Bieber" cyber-identity this past weekend as the Canadian Popstar's Twitter feed was coincidentally hacked and 17,000+ Tweets were temporarily deleted. But The Biebs graciously left Carney one tasty little nugget, ripe for TROLLING [fucking with] before checking out Saturday night, "I wanna do a concert in space" lol ha ROTFL jk. I randomly stumbled upon @patrickcarney's stream of Bieber-fied Tweets last night as I was surfing the web and this shit right here is comedy gold, my friends! With that said, here are a few of the best/worst, SWAGGY, hilarious, and downright pathetic Patrick Carney/Bieber clone Tweets from the past 24-36 hours:

"The rings on Saturn remind me of my really super cool rings I wear on my finger[s] lol! that someone convinced me to waste my money on YOLO," "I am in space doing a concert and my Twitter stopped working so I had to use my former clone's lol #yolo," "If there is life on other planets I bet they would think it was cool a computer helps me sing. If not they would like my necklace I bet," "I can see the whole Earth lol! It's all green and blue and sorta grey with some brown and white, it kinda dope! Swag."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Style Is Impetuous: Sean Price & Pharoahe Monch - "BBQ Sauce" (Duck Down)


Sean Price is a former member of 90's Underground Rap crews, Heltah Skeltah/Boot Camp Clik (who supposedly worked on 2pac's last project). My old Shop Rite buddy, Jarrad Jenkins first turned me onto Sean Price around like 2005-06, who had only released Monkey Barz and Donkey Sean, Jr. [mixtape] @ that point. Price's third solo album, Mic Tyson has been in-the-works since 2009 and after numerous delays and pushed back dates, Duck Down finally unleashed the album back in October '12. Evidence & DJ Babu produced the latest video-single pulled from Mic Tyson's 15-song tracklist, "BBQ Sauce." It does a pretty damn great job @ showcasing the Brownsville, BKLYN native's criminally under-rated sharp tongue, un-matched cadence, and witty rhyme schemes.


Pharoahe Monch co-stars in it's companion Todd Angkasuwan-directed music video, which super-imposes Sean Mandela into a number of historical events, TV shows, school sports, etc: NASA "Aural Redenbocker," Jeopardy Championship, An Evening with The Rolling Stones, Johnny Carson, Miss America vs. Miss USA Pageant, and 3 Nobel Prize wins. "This @SeanMandela x @pharoahemonch video for "BBQ Sauce" is the greatest video since "Thriller" [though]," lamented Ghetto Fabulous blogger BIG GHOST. If you haven't heard Mic Tyson by now, maybe you should re-evaluate your life a little bit because it's seriously one of the best Hip-Hop albums I've heard in the past 5... even 10 years!

Friday, February 22, 2013

HIMANSHU & JUSTIN HANTZ PRESENT: Heems - "Desi Shoegaze Taiko" (Blade Vamp-Rave)


Bad-ass vampire/vampire slayer flicks have been a pretty solid Hollywood mainstay for the bulk of the past 50+ years; We're talkin' about shit like Dracula, Interview with a Vampire, The Lost Boys, Blade, Buffy Vampire Slayer, etc. - NOT those pussified, glistening love-stuck "vampires" from Twilight or whatever! While I was a little too young for The Coreys' Lost Boys (1987) and even Blade's late 90's reign of terror, I can vaguely remember Sarah Michelle Gellar's sheer ass-whooping hotness... I guess former-Das Racist swordsmen Heems is a champion of OG vampires, too because from what I understand, his latest music video for "Desi Shoegaze Taiko" re-purposes Stephen Norrington's opening scenes from Blade (1998).


It's basically a Wesley Snipes-less scenario with a room-full of white people gettin' downright Funky @ some sort of weirdly awesome [and bloody unsanitary] vampire rave/BLOODBATH, which appropriately dates the movie itself. Amateur rapper-producer Mike Finito somehow managed to flip Yuck's Lo-Fi/Noise-Rock jam "Rubber" for "Desi Shoegaze Taiko"'s primary, fuzzed out beat and the video was supposedly "DIRECTED BY HEEMS & JUSTIN HANTZ." Nehru Jackets and WILD WATER KINGDOM, Heems' STELLAR 2012-13 mixtapes, are now both available for download online. Coincidentally, former bandmate Kool A.D. released a video for "Moneyball" today, too; It's one of nearly 40 tracks housed on his latest post-Das Racist mixtape double album, 19-63.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pretty & Ridiculous Disco-House: John Grant - "Black Belt" (Pale Green Ghosts)




Just a few short years after the demise of his long-time Alternative Rock band The Czars and soon after his 1970's-inspired debut solo album Queen of Denmark (2010), John Grant decided to move from Colorado all the way to Iceland on a whim. Grant had initially planned to record it's follow-up, Pale Green Ghost, with his buddies from Midlake once again. But while vacationing over in Iceland sometime between 2011-12, John Grant linked up with Electro-producer Biggi Veira (Gus Gus) and the 2 almost immediately recorded "Pale Green Ghosts" and "Black Belt." Bella Union/Partisan Records will co-release Pale Green Ghosts this upcoming May 13-14th world-wide. "If Queen of Denmark is Grant's 70's album, channeling the spirits of Karen Carpenter and Bread, then Pale Green Ghosts is his 80's album," recounts label Bella Union in it's lengthy featured biography on John Grant.


John Grant & Biggi Veira's inaugural tracks recorded together have coincidentally enough been released as Pale Green Ghosts' 1-2 punch lead-off teaser singles. "Black Belt," which debuted over @ Stereogum back in January and now has a suped-up Dungeonesse Remix, could most likely be categorized as modern Disco-House about a "pretty and ridiculous" chick; Grant manages to weave an intricate, wordy tale centered around a vicious-sounding ex-lover with a "Black Belt in BS." Title track "Pale Green Ghosts" on the other hand, is supposedly about the former addict's struggle(s) living with HIV and references [pale green-colored] Russian olive trees sprouted along the string of I-25 that runs between Denver and Boulder. Friends-musicians McKenzie Smith/Paul Alexander (Midlake), Chris Pemberton, saxophonist Óskar Gudjónsson, and Sinead O'Connor all appear within Pale Green Ghosts in one facet or another.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Look How Strange I Get: ANTWON & Froskees - "3rd World Grrl" (Crank Yankers, 2013)




ANTWON's beat-making buddies usually seem to conjure up some pretty emotionally-driven, hard-hitting borderline "Industrial-Rap" rhythms; But every once in a while, Nature Boy Gang'll unleash a couple sun-soaked 90's New Jack Swing-reminiscent jams like "Darby Crash" (stacy Remix), "LIVING EVERY DREAM," and now "3rd World Grrl." Since being re-released late Tuesday afternoon, the latter is currently serving as ANTWON's second IN DARK DENIM (Greedhead) video-single... now has a hilarious [companion] puppet-assisted Live Circus & Alessio Avezzano-produced/directed clip to go along with it. Built around dimly-lit scenes of ANTWON rapping straight into Avezzano's camera, which are then juxtaposed against his puppet counterpart living his every sex, drugs & Rock "N" Roll-fueled fantasy surrounded by an entourage full of beautiful hunnies. ANTWON, channeling Rico Suave, smoothly raps during "3rd World Grrl"'s final minutes: "Third world girl, I want you in my world. I'll touch you wherever just to make your toes curl. You my third world girl, diamond and the pearls..." His latest 11-track mixtape, IN DARK DENIM, is now available for download over @ FADER/Mediafire, presented by Greedhead.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Re-used Jackson/Harrison 4032: Phoenix - "Entertainment" (Alternative Thriller?)


Phoenix somehow managed to get their hands on what most music fans and audiophiles would consider damn-near "The Holy Grail" of modern recording equipment: Michael Jackson's infamous Harrison 4032 recording console, which was used to make Thriller! Guitarist Laurent Brancowitz found the console included within a surprisingly no frills auction and eventually haggled it's owner, Clayton Rose down to a fair $17,000 [from $32,000 asking price]. Frontman Thomas Mars immediately had Rose ship Jackson's Ping-Pong table-sized Harrison 4032 across the pond and over to Paris so that Phoenix could begin mixing their new album, Alternative Thriller Bankrupt! Last week, the band unveiled the companion "just peachy" cover artwork, 10-song tracklist, and a world-wide release date -- April 22-23rd. DJ Zane Lowe debuted Track #1, "Entertainment" on his BBC Radio show Monday afternoon, which was then followed by a home-made YouTube lyric video soon thereafter. It sounds like a nice, gradual progression from [fourth album] Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009) that's fresh and different enough to be something NEW; "Entertainment" seamlessly manages to meld together elements of Synth-Pop, New Wave, Rock "N" Roll, R&B, Arena Rock, EDM, and traditional Chinese music, etc.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

David Fincher Presents: Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z "Suit & Tie" (Roc-Nation Tour?)


It looks like America's favourite triple-threat, Justin Timberlake, is finally ready to make his long-awaited return to his first love, crafting smooth panty-dropping R&B. Timberlake linked up with his fellow entrepreneur-music mogul buddies, Jay-Z & Timbaland to produce comeback single "Suit & Tie." The Social Network director David Fincher's the man behind the camera lens for "Suit & Tie"'s swanky, black-and-white Luxury Rap clip, which echoes last week's Motown/big band-reminiscent Grammy performance. The 20/20 Experience (March 15th) is currently available for pre-order in a number of special packages, ranging from $10.99-35. Renowned fashion designer-director, Tom Ford fabricated the various 3-piece suits, 2-piece tuxedos, black leather loafers, and other high-fashion accessories worn on Timberlake's recent single cover and pre-release "Suit & Tie" lyric video.


While laying low during the 6-year period between FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006) and The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake has been sharpening his acting chops, record producing, wifed up Jessica Biel, attempted to re-invent MySpace, started up a clothing line, etc. Timberlake debuted a few additional new tracks @ The Grammys and over Super Bowl weekend: "Pusher Love Girl," "Mirrors," and "That Girl." okayplayer points out that RCA Records' PR team tactfully managed to unleash "Suit & Tie" JUST in time for black tie awards season, Fashion Week, spring weddings, Valentine's Day, and prom/graduations nation-wide in a few short months! Rumor has it that Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z are planning to head out on a 10-15 date joint tour in support of The 20/20 Experience following it's upcoming March 15th release... But I guess only time will tell, as an official announce has yet to be made from either Timberlake or HOV's camps.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

St. Valentine's Day Massacre: Pissed Jeans - "Bathroom Laughter" (Bloody Info-mercial)



Roughly 10 years and 4 albums deep into their career now, "Bathroom Laughter" is only Pissed Jeans' third music video!; Not too far behind behind Thrash Jams like "False Jesii, Part 2" and "I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)" (2007-09). Matt Korvette, Brad Fry, Randy Huth, and Sean McGuiness unleashed Honeys, which was recorded @ Milkboy Studios (Philly) with producer Alex Newport, on Sub Pop this past Tuesday, Feb. 12th. For you un-familiar slackers, Pissed Jeans kinda sounds like late 80's experimental Black Flag, complete with fuzzed out guitar licks and 1/2 sung-shouted vocal fragments. It's director Joe Stakun's demented riff a late night knife set-selling info-mercial gone terribly wrong, which somehow morphs into a bloody rotten mess!


We're talkin' about VMA-worthy performances from Mark Proksch (The Office), nerdy My Life As Liz [Lee] dame, up-and-coming actress Leigh Myles, and Philly wrestler Dragonfly. Frontman Matt Korvette plays a dimwitted weatherman and his fellow Pissed Jeans bandmates appear throughout, too; The band fielded fan-submitted YouTube commenter questions from 12-12:30 ET Tuesday afternoon and after a few near misses, I finally got a "I would love to do a one-on-one interview for your [AWESOME] blog, The Witzard. See you Friday!!!!" response from Korvette. After a few early listens, Honeys, an album about the life & times of an aging Punk Rocker/Middle American, is actually pretty damn sweet and genuinely relate-able. Pissed Jeans are currently wreaking havoc across the nation... starting with a hometown Honeys record release show @ Underground Arts Friday followed by 9 scattered dates, running from April 12-20th.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reoccurring Dreams Presents: "Adam Lempel & The Heartbeats" (13 Big Ones)



My buddy Adam Lempel hit me up on Facebook last week, asking if I'd be down to write up a Witzard review on his new band, Adam Lempel & The Heartbeats' upcoming Reoccurring Dreams/Friends Records debut. The answer was obviously, "FUCK YEAH!" I met Adam and his fellow bandmate, Brendan Sullivan (WEEKENDS) backstage in the make-shift green room [church pews] @ a Surfer Blood show in South Philly (2011). Needless to say, following a few texts and emails, I had an advance copy of "Adam Lempel & The Heartbeats" safely nestled in my Inbox. After a few listens, I gotta admit, it's a pretty far departure from WEEKENDS' feedback-drenched brand of improvised Noise-Rock, but The Heartbeats managed to compile an almost INSTANTLY catchy Folk/Pop Rock record!.. mildly reminiscent of The Beatles, Beach Boys, Fiona Apple, Weezer, Simon & Garfunkel, Pixies. "It was recorded by Chris Freeland who also recorded Wye Oak and Lower Dens," Lempel explained in an email. "I have a bunch of friends helping out: Amanda Glasser (Silent Whys) singing on a couple songs, Tiffany Black and Kate Barutha (Softcat) singing back-up, and Kate is even playing cello on a couple songs." While Adam Lempel single-handedly recorded all the guitar/drum tracks, he's recruited Matt Lampart and Russell Imwold to play drums as part of The Heartbeats' 6-piece live band.


Adam Lempel & The Heartbeats' record is gonna be released on CD-R/digital [mp3] on Lempel's home-grown Baltimore-based imprint, Reoccurring Dreams this upcoming Valentine's Day and probably on cassette through Friends Records around March 8th. He's been slowly but surely leaking the album's 13 tracks to Soundcloud over the past few weeks and I've decided to showcase a few of my personal favourites, for the purposes of this review. "You Belong with Me" was also the lead-off track on The Heartbeats' similarly titled Bandcamp EP, which was unleashed @ the top of January 2012. It kinda reminds me of that cheese-tastic Beach Boys/Doo-Wop girl group, complete with layered harmonies, Pop-laden guitar licks, and a re-telling of long lost Summertime love.

Adam Lempel himself simply described "Echo" as the first track written for a since abandoned split cassette with Sara Autrey (Which Magic); A rough idea, initially proposed to house mirrored songs on the same topics, delivered from both female and male perspective(s). "Echo" is a beautiful song that features Amanda Glasser and Adam Lempel, who doesn't even come in til nearly the second 1/2, trading off breathy verses. I eventually ended up picking "B-Train" as my third track selection because it sticks out in my mind, dude in part to that simple repetitive guitar riff... there's actually 2 guitar licks back-to-back, I think (one right after "I can't wait til the B-Train comes," too). If you listen closely, there's a lot going on here: beachy vibes, dueling guitars, crashing cymbals, 2-part harmonies, distorted hand claps, etc. WEEKENDS, one of Adam Lempel's other bands are planning to release their third album [New Humans] later this year, but until then, definitely check out The Heartbeats. It's a great sun-soaked listen you won't regret, trust me!


B train by Adam Lempel & Heartbeats

Saturday, February 9, 2013

R.I.P. James "J Dilla" Yancey: DJ Rhettmatic - Whatupdoe Mix, Vol. 3 (1974-2006)



"Today is February 7th, 2013, which means it is the birthday of one of the greatest Hip-Hop producers of all time, James Yancey aka J Dilla; Today, he would've been 39 years old. It's incredible that every month of February for the last 8 years that Dilla's life & music is celebrated around the whole world. It's also bittersweet because he was taken from us in such an early age when it looked like he was really get ready to take the world by storm. I [was] been very lucky & blessed to be part of his close circle of friends when he moved to Los Angeles. Not only was he was a talented individual and one of the nicest & humble guy I ever met, he was also a private person... You definitely [didn't] want to get on his nerves LOL!!

I know there's a lot of Dilla Tribute mixes out there, and me personally, I don't think there's anyone that can out top a Dilla mix that was made by my fellow Beat Junkie & the 3rd member of Jaylib, the Funky President himself, J.Rocc. The only one who can possibly come close would be our good friend, Houseshoes. I already made 2 mixes a few years ago, but I was inspired again to work on another one. I tried to finish the mix late last night but got real tired... I just finally finished this mix before the day was over. I definitely was trying not to repeat songs like I did on my previous Dilla mixes but sometimes you can't help going back to his classic catalog. Anyways, here's my third installment of my "J Dilla Whatupdoe" mixes, a 30-minute vibe mix. Unfortunately, we also lost another musical legend a few days ago... Mr. Donald Byrd, and I actually added the original "Think Twice" song to the mix as well as Dilla's version, in paying homage to the legendary musician. Rest in Peace to Donald Byrd and Rest In Peace & Happy Birthday to one of the greatest... J Dilla!"

- DJ Rhettmatic (Beat Junkies)



New Jack Swing: Kool A.D. Kinda Apes Lil B, #BASEDGOD's "SWAG" on 19-63 (Bad Review)



I'm just gonna go a head and be brutally honest for a few minutes here: Yeah, I'm a faithful Kool A.D./Das Racist/Heems fan, but Victor Vazquez (Kool A.D.)'s latest output, 19-63 plays out like a disjointed sloppy fucking mess! It's a double mixtape that stretches across nearly 40 tracks, largely culled from material that was previously written, recorded, and left-over from 51 (2012). Honestly, 19-63 sound like a couple haphazardly slapped together rarities comps, which I guess they kinda are to an extent, because there's absolutely NO track-to-track flow. Kool A.D.'s only [partial] Saving Grace are the 2 mixtapes' feature-heavy tracklists; We're talkin' about cats like Open Mike Eagle, Busdriver, Spank Rock, Cult Days, Ad-Rock, Meyhem Lauren, SKYWLKR, Lakutis, Kassa Overall, Mike Finito, Amaze 88, and quite a few more. Since Das Racist's break-up a few months ago, Kool A.D. moved across the country from New York back to California to focus on his Twitter art and music.


"Eroika," for example [above] and a large chunk of 19-63 sound suspiciously like Lil B's stream-of-conscious rapping style, chock-full of "BIEBER" shouts and random non-sequitors. But I really can't be too mad, cause it's a 38-track FREE double album... some of Kool A.D.'s stand-out tracks include: "Exotishe Kunst" (Kanye), "Red Wine," "Lush," "WOW (Bay Shit)," "Cheeba Cheeba," and the Krispy Kreme/Skinny Boys-sampling 19 intro, "Knowledge Born." Here's the semi-creepy found footage music video for one of my favourite tracks, "Exotishe Kunst," which is essentially a "New God Flow" freestyle that was uploaded back in July 2012. 19-63 tracks "All Skreets" and "Kriss Kross" have similar DIY-style clips, while "Eroika," "WOW (Bay Shit)," and [Cult Days'] "Attitude" have slightly more professional-looking videos. Kool A.D.'s fourth and final Bay Area bus line-referencing mixtape, O should be out pretty soon-ish, along with Vazquez's Hardcore band, PARTY ANIMAL's long-rumored album, too.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cool Summer Records Presents: AAN - "Mystery Life" (Rising, Portland)



"AAN is a fearless experimental Pop band from Portland, OR mixing heavily textured guitars with rich vocal harmonies," according to Facebook. Frontman Bud Wilson decided to start a band with friends-musicians Jon Lewis (drums), Reese Lawhorn (bass), and Jeff Bond (guitar). AAN, which is pronounced like a hard Boston-accented "on," managed to self-release a number of CD-R's throughout the city starting around 2007. 6 years and a few well-received singles/EP's later, AAN are finally ready to unleash their long-awaited debut album, tentatively titled Amor ad Nauseum. I almost hate making open-ended analogies like this... But most of the time, Wilson's vocals sound a lot like a near-perfect hybrid mix between Jeff Buckley and Pavement's sloppy brand of smart 90's Indie Rock.


Stereogum (Claire Lobenfeld?) scored an for AAN's latest, Mike Wilson-directed music video, "Mystery Life." It's titular plot revolves around the age-old shtick of lead character, Bud Wilson, running from The Grim Reaper for his/her dear life. When he first spots a quick glimpse of Mr. Reaper, Wilson effectively trades in his longboard for a motorcycle behind a train. Next, Bud Wilson really tries to ditch The Grim Reaper by cliff-side, mini-boat, rickety pier, etc. The 2 unlikely friends eventually end up bonding over a pizza and pitcher of beer, before "making it rain" @ a dimly-lit stripclub. Bud & Grim soon end up @ an amusement park with 2 saucy dancers, whizzing through a Loop de Loop roller coaster, and escort them by way of taxi back to their apartment. Stay tuned 'til "Mystery Life"'s final scenes, which I'm pretty sure co-star(s) Wilson's fellow band members: Jon Lewis, Reese Lawhorn, and Jeff Bond [undertakers].

Sludge-Caked Pop Nuggets?: DJ DOG DICK - "Identity EP" (HOSS Records)



Fresh on the heels of his recent un-characteristically chill Matmos sing-song feature, DJ DOG DICK unleashed Identity EP out of nowhere mid-Wednesday afternoon [Feb. 5th] to the wide-spread surprise of The Internet(s). @NoiseyMusic not-so-ironically managed to describe the 4-track EP as, "sludge-caked Pop nuggets from the weed-chocked outskirts of Rap & Noise" in just 140 characters or less. DJ DOG DICK (Max Eisenberg) was 1/2 of Baltimore Noise-Pop ensemble, Dog Leather and currently performs art installations/live shows along with Pictureplane, who're often simply billed as "DICKPIC." Eisenberg supposedly recorded the bulk of Identity EP in Far Rockaway [Queens] while dealing with the Earth-shattering aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.


It's really a disjointed precursor to The Life Stains LP, which HOSS Records finally has plans to release this upcoming May. DJ DOG DICK somehow harnesses a wide-spanning, unique soundscape on Identity EP: Hardcore Punk, Electronic, Hip-Hop, Rock "N" Roll, Noise-Pop, 8-Bit, Psych-Rock, etc. The Life Stains LP was mixed down and ready to be sent off for mastering around Dec. 10th, according to Max Eisenberg's personal Facebook. Here, I'll let DJ DOG DICK himself have the last word, "DJ DOG DICK "IDENTITY" ep for FREE download until [Feb.] 11th... that's a picture of me at my Bar Mitzva (Soundcloud link)." It seems that Eisenberg also felt the need to make it 100% TOTALLY clear that Identity EP/Life Stains LP share absolutely NO similar material, aside from sheer sonic DNA cross-sections, I'd imagine.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

next level rappin': Antwon - "Still Guarded" (Greedhead Valentine?)



Antwon is a rare breed of genre-blending rapper, even in this diverse Internet Age; The San Jose-based emcee "cut his teeth" playing bass in a number of East/West Coast Hardcore bands throughout the early 2000's. Antwon's currently gearing up to release his fourth independent project since 2011, In Dark Denim - which is the proper follow-up to last year's critically-acclaimed END OF EARTH and his first mixtape assembled along with Greedhead (Heems') creative backing. Track #11 of 11, "Still Guarded" was unleashed post-Hump Day, just in time for your rowdy weekend festivities and roughly 2 weeks a head of In Dark Denim's slated Valentine's Day [Feb. 14th] release. Antwon properly laces up a hazy Chillwave/Cloud Rap-tinged Cities Aviv-produced beat, which ends up sounding like a glitched out Biggie impersonation.


While it doesn't even last 2 minutes, director Romoface (Uncle Dee) somehow manages to make "Still Guarded" look like a low-budget snuff film: bikini-clad cat/women, porcelain bowls full of milk, abstract kitty art, general weirdness, hard-hitting Hip-Hop beats, etc. I just downloaded nearly Antwon's ENTIRE discography over @ Bandcamp/Soundcloud... COCAINE & HENNESSY EP, END OF EARTH, END OF EARTH (REMIXZ), END OF EARTH // Pre-album Tracks, FANTASY BEDS, My Westside Horizon, and what I'm calling "Soundcloud CD-R *." It's almost fucked up to simply label music this progressive Hip-Hop, which Bandcamp tags as next level rappin' ha; Whatever it is, go do yourself a favor and download Antwon's albums before the Hipster sleaze get(s) a hold of 'em!

Friday, February 1, 2013

New York State of Mind: Action Bronson - "Strictly 4 The Jeeps"/Kool A.D. - "Eroika" (Twitter Art)



If you don't know who up-and-coming New York rappers, Action Bronson and Kool A.D. are by now, you're not a true Hip-Hop fan. No need for introductions @ this point. Figured I'd just bite the bullet and do a combo Bronson/Kool A.D. post, for all intensive purposes... "Strictly 4 The Jeeps" is built around 2 hard-hitting samples: Biggie's "Juicy" (Juicy Fruit) and EPMD's LL Cool J-featuring "Rampage," which in turn samples Lowell Fulson - "Tramp" (1967). Harry Fraud linked up with Bronson to craft a few loosies in the past, but they're gearing up to release a full-length [mixtape] sometime during 2013, Saab Stories. Action Bronson manages to successfully flip EPMD & LL Cool J's terribly cheese-tastic early 90's hit, into a certified BANGER that'll indeed knock the shit outta any trunk, boots, CD player, etc. Fraud lifted Lowell Fulson's Funky Blues-Rock guitar lick and EPMD's "slow down, baby" hook. Lyrical example: "I'm a hero in my home town, baby. Stop talking, just go down, baby. Shit on my chest, shoot colors like a Care Bear... Pearl white like what you sniffin' in your sinus? The finest vaginas demolished by my dick."



Kool A.D.'s first post-Das Racist track, "Eroika," on the other hand, leans a little closer to SWAGGER jackin' than a simple homage. He recorded 51 across the Bay Area, CA and largely draws from Lil B's whole "Ellen DeGeneres" phase (2010-11). But I know for a fact that Victor Vasquez is a die-hard Pop Culture fiend, who's overall style is kinda influenced by Pop Art [Warhol]; Almost seamlessly blending common-place items and re-shaping them into a brand new artform. Kool A.D.'s rapping in front of a giant green screen, broadcasting a wide variety of images including: Justin Bieber, Garfield, Madonna & Britney kissing, "making a lotta art like Keith Haring," and other abstract found footage. Kool A.D. is gonna release a 38-track double album, 19-63 complied from 51's left-over out-takes next Thursday, Feb. 7th. It's tracklist includes 2 previously released joints, "Exotische Kunst" (New Gold Flow) and "Attitude" with Cult Days; Kool A.D. roped in hard-hitting verses from his rapping-producer friends: Amaze 88, Bill Ding, Spank Rock, Lakutis, Mike Finito, Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle, Meyhem Lauren, Pictureplane, Kassa Overall, Ne$$ (Weekend Money), a previously unreleased Ad-Rock/Das Racist beat, and much more.