Tuesday, April 29, 2014

VICE MUNCHIES Special: Action Bronson - "F*©k, That's Delicious" (web-series trailer)

Action Bronson is currently hard at work recording his long-awaited major label debut for VICE Records, which is only a fragmented section of a huge multi-media company that's presently involved in world news, music, fashion, network TV, and now foodie culture. The offspring of an Albanian immigrant and Jewish New Yorker, Bronson was a former New York-area gourmet chef before he started rapping just about six years ago. Now, Action Bronson has teamed back up with newly-formed VICE MUNCHIES for what's poised to be a quasi-follow-up to their ill-fated series, VICE Eats; F*ck, That's Delicious will debut online this May and intends to "capture Action's culinary adventures on his on-going world tour." MUNCHIES uploaded an all-too-brief trailer early Monday morning and judging by said trailer, episode 1 will likely highlight dining spots he discovered while on Eminem's recent Rapture Tour through New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. While it's only about a 2-minute long video preview, Bronson's premier F*ck, That's Delicious trailer features all sorts of scrumptious good eats from his self-described "trip around the world in two months" and stops at hometown favourites Paesano's Philly Style, O.B.'s BBQ, and Clive's Cafe.

Action Bronson penned a surprisingly well-written companion piece for MUNCHIES, fittingly entitled "The Action Bronson Way to Eat Around The World," which name drops globe-trotting restaurants like Eddie's Sweet Shop, Sky City Casino, Depot, Ms. G's, "Michael White's chophouse," and Nando's; "If I could describe what F*ck, That's Delicious means, it is literally a feeling. There are no other words to describe what you just ate. You just have to curse and be vulgar and violent, you know what I mean," he further elaborates. Nah Right recently complied five mouth-watering vaulted video clips of Chef Bronson in the kitchen preparing seared ahi tuna, Thanksgiving left-over sliders, zucchini blossoms, risotto and fried veal brains, and lam-burgers in honor of his upcoming web-series. Action Bronson's most recent project was Blue Chips 2 (November 2013) with frantic genre-fusing buddy Party Supplies and there really isn't any form of solid release date for his Warner Bros/VICE Records debut... But I'm pretty sure he'll end up releasing a FREE collection of new material for hungry fans sooner than later.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Daytrotter Presents: Asher Roth & The Love Planet - "Tangerine Girl" (RetroHash Live)

Let's just say, for argument's sake, that Kanye's recent Aggro-Hip-Hop meltdown of an album Yeezus is a 10 on a scale of mid-career re-defining albums, which would then put Asher Roth's long-delayed and well-matured second album, RetroHash at a solid five. It's technically a "Hip-Hop" album at it's beat-centric core, but Blended Babies' genre-blending production work ultimately helps Roth effortlessly bob and weave throughout a gaggle of assorted musical styles; "It's a classy little nugget — very unique — a little Prince, little Jazz, all Asher. You should be proud regardless of what happens commercially. You've created something distinctly you. Almost a concept album. Really good," as Asher Roth's father David wrote in a praise-filled April 22nd text message. It's been a fairly long tumultuous road for RetroHash, which has been about 3-5 years in-the-making and was tentatively titled both The Spaghetti Tree (entirely Pharrell produced) and Is This Too Orange? at various points in time. Roth's amateur film-maker cousin conveniently visiting from Seattle, Zac McConnell was ultimately responsible for chronicling Asher Roth and his band The Love Planet's recent string of pre-release dates. In honor of RetroHash's world-wide [web] release this past week, McConnell edited together a video of The Love Planet's recent stop by Daytrotter for a special in-studio session, which is only available to download for paying members, expertly spliced together with live performance footage and mini-tour hi-jinx.

"For me, at that time, I had just met my current girlfriend. That's kind of where the lyrical context comes from. I met her Monday and I was thinking about her all week... Kind of talking to myself more or less, almost like a journal entry. And it turned out to be a kind of a funky, Classic Rock, Disco-era record — I think that's a lot of fun... it fits perfectly with what we're doing with RetroHash, which is a progressive, fresh record with a lot of ode to our influences in music: Classic Rock, Jazz, Blues, and Hip-Hop," Asher Roth recently lamented to local CBS News on the real-life inspiration and influence behind "Tangerine Girl." For all intensive purposes, "Tangerine Girl" has been effectively morphed into a beefed up nearly 7-minute slow jam for Asher Roth & The Love Planet's April 23rd Daytrotter Sessions, which were recorded at The Rat Cave down in Brooklyn, NY. It's kinda like I was telling my beautiful girlfriend just the other day, sometimes music, or just art in general, is more about quality over quantity; three of my absolute favourite high-concept albums from the past year or so... Yeezus, Tomorrow's Hits, and now RetroHash are all a sparse 10 tracks or less. Former musician and current walking train-wreck Justin Bieber (ha) put it best in 140 characters or less, "if you like good music, download Asher Roth's album on iTunes. 5 stars @asherroth," which is now available for your listening pleasure.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A-Trak & Armand Van Helden Present: Duck Sauce - "NRG" (co-starring Jon Daly)

A-Trak & Armand Van Helden, better known as super-DJ duo Duck Sauce, finally released their long-awaited full-length album, QUACK earlier this month; included within are previously released neck-snapping singles "aNYway," "It's You," and "Barbara Streisand" amongst a gaggle of newly-crafted Disco-Funk revival jams. Duck Sauce's wonderfully ridiculous new video for "NRG," which was previously remixed by Skrillex, Kill The Noise, Milo & Otis as well as Hudson Mohawke, premiered on the front page of Buzzfeed Wednesday afternoon. Director Dugan O'Neal ingeniously cast Kroll Show funnyman and RHCP2014 mastermind Jon Daly as a cheesy late night info-mercial pitchman, who's seemingly mesmerized A-Trak & Armand Van Helden (who oddly enough appear as his back-up pitchmen, too). The NRG product being sold in the clip is a magical "everything gel" that can supposedly fix over cooked left-overs, help you find the beat, fix romance problems, headaches, repair poor vision, open any door, and plenty more pointless non-sequitors. Not entirely unlike the bulk of their collective output, Duck Sauce employ a sampled female vocal for the pseudo-hook comfortably nestled at "NRG"'s break-beat-friendly center; "Every song on QUACK has a sample and it can take months to clear them," A-Trak recently explained to Buzzfeed, as to why the album seemingly took so long to materialize and come out. Long-standing crate-diggers and world class DJ's in their own right, A-Trak & Armand Van Helden ultimately discovered their perfect old school sample, Melissa Manchester's 1985 maxi-single "Energy," on YouTube of all places. QUACK, an arguably Hip-Hop-inspired record, is now available for your listening pleasure on CD and digital-based formats from A-Trak's own label imprint Fool's Gold Records.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Beatles... Asher Roth - "Last of The Flohicans" (Federal Prism)

"'Last of The Flohicans" in many ways embodies RetroHash as a whole. Loss. Transformation. Rediscovery. "Flohicans" is basically a reminder to myself. To remember what it's like to lose faith. To rediscover yourself and ultimately become better. Growing up," Asher Roth wrote in a highly inspirational do-not-reply fan club email just the other day. Just about a week ahead of the release of his nearly five years in-the-making second album, RetroHash, Roth unleashed a fourth and final pre-release track; "Last of The Flohicans" was produced by genre-blending production team Blended Babies, like the rest of the album, which will finally see a wide-release this upcoming Tuesday, April 22nd. Asher Roth has lyrically progressed leaps and bounds since the "I Love College" days and for those who might be unfamiliar, his stellar mixtapes Seared Foie Gras, Pabst & Jazz, and The GreenHouse Effect (Vol. 2) are quite an appropriate representation of exactly what he's been up to these past five years. But anyways, "Last of The Flohicans" is a pretty down-tempo, mildly Blues Rock-inspired hard-hitting beat sprinkled with 90's West Coast Hip-Hop reminiscent underones. With that said, it's actually kinda crazy that RetroHash is the singular creation of one rapper/producer team, especially considering the jarring differences between each of Roth's four recently released tracks; "Pot of Gold" is a chilled out summertime jam that's almost reminiscent of TV On The Radio, "Tangerine Girl" immediately reminds me of an old school Disco-Funk roller rink-ready anthem, and lastly "Fast Life" [below] more or less sounds like a modern day "What's Goin' On" re-hash (no pun intended ha). After a quick glance at RetroHash's 10-song tracklist, the only thing noticeably missing is a quasi-sequel to Asher Roth and rhyme-slingin' buddy Action Bronson's former Pabst & Jazz mega-collaboration, "Choices." But fingers crossed, maybe they'll end up ultimately reconvening on Bronson's forthcoming VICE Records debut.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I've since appended a hyper-link to a very interesting behind-the-scenes video with RetroHash album cover designer and reinvigorated graphic artist John Van Hamersveld; who's note-worthy credits include Exile On Main Street, Magical Mystery Tour, cult film Endless Summer, Hotter Than Hell, and concert posters for Cream's 2005 reunion shows. Asher Roth unknowingly bought Hamersveld's iconic "Pinnacle Indian" at a flea market, which eventually became one of the album cover's early sources of inspiration, along with "John Lennon," and Andy Warhol's "Roses." Long story short, Roth's associate and frequent producer Dave Appelton ended up living right next door to John Van Hamersveld, who ultimately took direct inspiration from his own "Pinnacle Indian" piece when designing RetroHash... or as Roth himself perfectly puts it, "Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Beatles... Asher Roth." Happy Easter & Passover, my friends! (4/19)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Noisey Presents: Open Mike Eagle - "Dark Comedy Morning Show" (Mello Music Group)

Sharp-tongued Los Angeles by-way-of Chicago emcee Open Mike Eagle has been self-described as an underground "Art-Rap" hero; recently having signed a purported three-album deal with Indie Hip-Hop imprint Mello Music Group. Noisey premiered the second single from Eagle's upcoming fourth album, Dark Comedy, which is currently set for a June 10th release, Tuesday afternoon. "Dark Comedy Morning Show" was supposedly the second to last song recorded for the new album... "It took me a long time to write because I kept wanting to sing this Stereolab song on it that was way out of my range," Open Mike Eagle revealed on Twitter. "Dark Comedy Morning Show" was seemingly influenced by Open Mike Eagle's recent stint with traveling comedian Paul F. Tompkins and additionally features production work/vocal accompaniment from rising multi-instrumentalist Toy Light. Sonically, it's very emotive of 90's Indie Pop, something not totally unlike what Weezer & A Tribe Called Quest might have come up with back in the day; "in this one, me and @Toy_Light are like regis and kelly. behind a table that's too tall on stools that are too high." Prior to announcing the sheer existence of Dark Comedy, Eagle most recently unleashed a joint album with his crew, Hellfyre Club - Busdriver, Nocando, Milo, Rheteric Ramirez, KAIL, Taurus Scott, VerBS, and The Kleenrz - the mysteriously titled Dorner vs. Tookie, which initially housed his then unknown lead-off single, "Qualifiers." Long before the final sequencing of Dark Comedy and Open Mike Eagle's recent affiliation with Mello Music Group, he and producer Taco Neck Alwayz Prolific headed down to a 24-hour laundromat and recorded a largely improvised on-the-fly version of "Qualifiers" with a little help from the good people over at Beats, Frames & Life.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sacred Bones & Consequence of Sound Present: The Men - "Different Days" (Helge Mundt)

While I wasn't exactly a fan of The Men until about two months ago, I had heard that they generally put out records at a Beatles-like pace, every year to two years tops; their most recent album, Tomorrow's Hits, the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed 2012 collection New Moon, is my first experience with The Men. It's an album I bought on the sheer strength of three of eight pre-release tracks, a vinyl package which came complete with a black-and-white numbered faux-review splattered cover, limited edition crimson red vinyl, giant fold-out poster, Tomorrow's Hits iron-on shirt decal, and more included goodies. Sound-wise, it's an interesting track-by-track trip through a wide variety of styles ranging from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-like Blues-Rock boogie, feedback-drenched Electro-Punk, Bob Dylan reminiscent Country-Rock jams, a sparse piano & harmonica ballad, twangy hyper-speed Rock "N" Roll, righteous Post-Punk, etc; at it's best, Tomorrow's Hits is haphazardly splattered with sonic undertones of both Springsteen and pioneering jam-band Phish along with various shades of Dylan. While my personal favourite horn squawk-accented monstrosity of a Neo-Classic Rock track, "Another Night" has yet to receive a proper music video accompaniment, The Men unleashed the prize-winning fan-directed video for "Different Days" last week. The Men and their label, Sacred Bones ultimately chose German-born director Helge Mundt's treatment as the contest winner, who received a special one-of-a-kind Tomorrow's Hits test pressing and his "Different Days" video creation gets an official stamp of approval (a coveted Sacred Bones YouTube upload). "Mundt's video follows a bearded, skateboarding photographer as he spends his days snapping photos and his nights swigging vodka in his living room. He later falls from a tree, hurting his ankle, and then spends most of [the video] drunkenly dancing in his apartment," as contest web-host Consequence of Sound perfectly puts it. Tomorrow's Hits is now available at your local record store/Best Buy and trust me, it's one of the most enjoyable, varied records I've heard in quite a long time!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Maker Music & DatPiff Present: Girl Talk & Freeway - Broken Ankles EP (Illadelph Halflife)

Not entirely unlike it's highly-revered Classic/Indie Rock predecessors Sgt. Pepper's and The Blue Album, sample grand-wizard Gregg Gillis aka Girl Talk ultimately intended for his latest body of work, Broken Ankles EP to function as "a continuous mix and it intended to be listened to as a while with gap-less playback." The Pittsburgh native then recruited veteran emcee Freeway from the neighboring suburb of Philadelphia to overlay gritty complex rhyme schemes atop his multi-layered 6-track mini-album, which somehow still manages to sample everyone from Aretha Franklin to Nine Inch Nails. For the purposes of this very EP, Girl Talk & Freeway have both slightly modified their respective styles, but not to the point that it's beyond recognizable or would endanger alienating long-time fans. I'm actually a little surprised at how good most of Girl Talk's beats sound; they're 100% full-fledged Hip-Hop beats with sufficient room for additional hooks, rhymes, melodies, etc. unlike his typical sensory over-load mash-ups. While Waka Flocka delivers a genuinely ferocious tough-as-nails mid-song guest verse on lead single "Tolerated," Young Chris and Jadakiss (over a fragmented portion of "Hurt") appear elsewhere. Girl Talk & Freeway recently told XXL that they have about "20 other songs that [they] recorded that are not making its way to [Broken Ankles]" and that they'd definitely like to release a full-length together, if this one does well. Broken Ankles EP is now available for FREE download from DatPiff and trust me, I've been driving around with a CD-R of this thing for a few days, it's a certified whip-banger!

Monday, April 7, 2014

MTV true life, jersey shore: Party Supplies - "4 More Months 2 Go" (non-album track)

Since unleashing their Fool's Gold debut upon the terribly unsuspecting world-wide web this past August, Party Supplies have released four non-album tracks to Soundcloud, which are now available for FREE download. It's unclear as to where they'll appear; quite possibly Fool's Gold's rumored CD/LP re-issue of Party Supplies' self-described "greatest album in rock n roll history," Tough Love. Blue Chips #1-2 beat-maker Justin Nealis, along with newly-recruited second member Sean Mahon, uploaded a new track titled "4 More Months 2 Go" to Soundcloud about five days ago. Not unlike their other recent records, "4 More Months 2 Go" could be best described as vaguely Adult Contemporary-leaning Neo-Classic Rock mixed with mild Disco undertones or as @xpartysuppliesx recently described in 140 characters or less, "our sound is something like a cross [between] tommy bahama and mtv true life: jersey shore." I'm just guessing here, but judging by the title, "4 More Months 2 Go" could very well be alluding to July... what many see as the last hoorah of summer or even Independence Day (July 4th). Justin Nealis & Sean Mahon uploaded a brief web-statement Monday afternoon, which further clarified, "to make this song, we started by slightly interpolating and looping an instrumental section of Andrew Gold's 1977 hit song "Lonely Boy." This loop became a platform for us to explore what is now this song. Please enjoy and all respect due to the songwriter Andrew Gold and his family. RIP Andrew Gold." Regardless of where it's destined to eventually end up, "4 More Months 2 Go" is currently available for download over at Party Supplies' Soundcloud page, along with recent FREEBIES "(Searching for) A Crazy Love," my personal favourite "Security," and "Danny Boy." While he's proven time and time again that he can rap on almost any beat, I'd really love to hear fellow Blue Chips partner-in-crime Action Bronson rap on some more crazy outlandish-sounding Party Supplies beats like this; and maybe we will, if that rumored cross-genre "Jericho" project ever actually comes to fruition!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Downtown Records Presents: White Denim - "At Night In Dreams" (Brian K. Jones gifs)

It's probably just some sort of weird subconscious coincidence, but the track I'm about to review is titled "At Night In Dreams" and man, did I have a colorful dream last night: I was attending some sort of St. Patty's-themed little people marathon race in my hometown, where all the runners were either dressed like leprechauns, nuns, or priests... But they could party harder than any binge-drinking testosterone-filled frat dudes! Anyways, White Denim is currently one of my favorite bands, but my first exposure to their music wasn't even a proper White Denim album; frontman James Petralli released an unofficial "solo album" a few years ago, which featured Portastudio-recorded covers of Elvis Costello, Ween, Neil Young, Stevie Wonder, King Crimson, and White Stripes album deep cuts. Needless to say, White Denim's most recent record, Corsicana Lemonade quickly became one of my favorite Rock "N" Roll albums of 2013-14! It's 10 righteous no-frills tracks were jointly produced by Indie Rock legend Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and frequent collaborator Jim Vollentine, who previously worked on D (2011) and Spoon's critically-acclaimed Gimme Fiction. Following the release of lead single, "Pretty Green," White Denim have decided to unleash Corsicana Lemonade lead-off track, "At Night In Dreams" as their second proper single. After a few days worth of social media build-up, they unveiled the companion Brian K. Jones-directed video on April 1st; it's basically composed of four deranged-looking "dancing" gifs of White Denim's four respective members -- Joshua Block, Austin Jenkins, James Petralli, and Steven Terebecki -- dressed as cowboys juxtaposed against various colorful backgrounds. Downtown Records released Corsicana Lemonade this past October on compact disc and virgin vinyl and it's defiantly well-worth a $12-20 investment.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tiger Beat Revisited: Cloud Nothings - "I'm Not Part of Me" (Carpark Records)

It almost pains me to admit it at this point because I thoroughly enjoy their respective newer output(s) so much, but WAVVES and Cloud Nothings are two bands that I just didn't get upon their initial Indie blog break-out nor did I enjoy their purposely lo-fi brand of bedroom-recorded Scuzz-Rock. While veteran rapper-producer El-P is without a doubt a Cloud Nothings super-fan, WAVVES frontman Nathan Williams seems to be a little more vocal admirer; Dylan Baldi recently woke up hungover in Paris to a random text from Williams to the effect of "Yo, wanna make a record together?" He further described their nearly completed Dylan & The Dead-esque album to Exclaim! as something in-between Cloud Nothings & WAVVES with "another [sonic] element that wasn't present in either of our music before." Cloud Nothings finally unveiled the companion music video for their January-released lead single, "I'm Not Part of Me" yesterday, coincidentally the release date for their new album, Here and Nowhere Else. Frequent collaborator John Ryan Manning's ingenious slumber party-centric clip appropriately starts out from the groggy morning-after, essentially rolling backwards through four teenaged girls' mildly crazy night; Manning adds all sorts of neon-colored scribbles to convey shock, excitement, and feelings of OMG while the girls capture the moment with a group selfie while singing along to "I'm Not Part of Me."

What happens next includes pretty typical sleepover fair: talking about boys, nail painting, failed French braid attempts, a playful pillow fight, and the ingesting of some sort of mysterious recreational substance. Now, that's when shit gets increasingly more interesting... Wes Borland-esque blacked out pupils, a skeleton-assisted Cloud Nothings Rock Band, trying to catch a Slim Jim attached to an RC helicopter, using iPhones as utensils, and all sorts of general weirdness. Keep an eye out for a a quick milli-second glimpse of Cloud Nothings' leading men on bedazzled winged iPhones during "I'm Not Part of Me"'s EPIC tripped-out closing sequence. It's a pretty jarring video treatment, which almost casts Dylan Baldi and his recently upgraded Cloud Nothings power-trio as Indie Rock super-gods, since their whole sound is a fairly obvious homage to late 90's-early 2000's Alternative Rock: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Smashing Pumpkins, Jawbreaker, etc. Here and Nowhere Else, recently dubbed Stereogum's annual Album of The Week, is now available in a number of listening formats on Carpark Records/Mom+Pop.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Allen Cordell Presents: Girl Talk, Freeway & Waka Flocka - "Tolerated" (Broken Ankles EP)

While I've been an avid supporter of Girl Talk aka civilian engineer Gregg Gillis' hyper-disoriented (s)mash-up style since the initial media on-slaught of Night Ripper (2006), I never thought I'd see the day when he'd commit a full-fledged collaboration with a real-life rapper to wax, let alone former Roc-A-Fella affiliate and Philly native, Freeway; to the best of my knowledge, Gillis hasn't worked alongside an emcee since his 2011 Pitchfork Selector-initiated Jim Jones track, "Believe In Magic." It seems as though Broken Ankles is just a small chunk of a recorded, albeit unreleased, body of work, the first of which will become available for FREE download this upcoming April 8th. "Tolerated"'s Allen Cordell-directed video treatment is loosely inspired by late 90's Brit-hit "Bittersweet Symphony." "I just thought it'd be cool to do a video where the premise is me and Freeway walking down the street and people coming at us more or less," Gregg Gillis recently told the good people over at online publication XXL. "The song is kind of am anti-hater sort of song. I thought it'd be cool to have a bunch of people bumping into us and give us a hard time," he continued. It starts out as just harmless cold shoulders and stink faces, but quickly morphs into plenty of hand-to-hand combat and gruesome bloodshed. Cordell's cinematic genius shines through as Freeway literally throws a severed arm into an open doorway, which is miraculously caught by Waka Flocka, who automatically starts rapping his ferocious verse; "Ain't no tellin' how far I'ma go / You know I got a karate choppa wit me, watch out you a pro / if you get too close, disrespect me do the most / knock you out, beat you wit a lead pipe til you convulse..." Girl Talk, on the other hand, showcases his own milli-second-splitting beat-shifting skills right around 2:10 as "Tolerated"'s stuttering beat shifts into a Run-D.M.C. inspired slightly more Boom-Bap-leaning drum pattern, which eventually eases back into the stock beat after about a minute. Girl Talk & Freeway's premier 6-track EP, Broken Ankles will be available for DatPiff download this upcoming Tuesday, April 8th.