Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

Third Man Records Presents: The Dough Rollers - Gone Baby Gone 12" EP (Josh Homme-produced)

Just the other night, during one of my post-Christmas cyber "record-diggin'" sprees, I picked up copies of The Whooliganz & The Dough Rollers 12-inches, bands whose sounds couldn't be further apart; aside from the fact that both groups feature the talented off-spring of Hollywood elite (Scott/James Caan and Harrison/Malcolm Ford). While they previously self-released a seemingly long out-of-print 2010 10-track album, The Dough Rollers have recently co-aligned with Jack White's Nashville-based imprint, Third Man Records. "The Dough Rollers formed in 2008 when Malcolm Ford and Jack Byrne first decided to put their passion for American roots music to work by trying their hand at earnest, neo-revivalism," reads a recent Third Man press release. "But [with] the addition of Graham Norwood on bass and Kyle Olson on drums, their sound evolved, loosening, swarkening, and darkening... [occupying] the sometimes salty, sometimes sweet spot smack dab in bet…

Pharrell Reunites with Defunct Funk-Rock Band, N*E*R*D for "Squeeze Me" from The SpongeBob Movie (Sponge Out of Water)

"We're trying not to think too much in a cartoon sense, but more just like a psychedelic, otherworldly type of thing. If you want to draw a parallel, maybe think of what The Beatles did with Yellow Submarine," Chad Hugo, one half of hit-making production team The Neptunes, recently told Variety about their forthcoming work on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. "Squeeze Me," which was released online Friday afternoon, is the first track accredited to N*E*R*D since their 2010 group album, Nothing; Hugo, Pharrell, and Shay Haley's critically-acclaimed Funk-Rock fusion side-band has remained largely inactive over the past 4-5 years since its release. While Pharrell seemingly confirmed that N*E*R*D's "nature-based" fourth album has been in-the-works since around 2013, nothing of any magnitude has yet materialized. But to their credit, "Squeeze Me" is a jangly Caribbean-infused track that's likely comparable to something along …

Hip-Hop Stocking-Stuffer: Blu & Homeboy Sandman - homeboy sandman is the sandman EP (Bandcamp)

homeboy sandman is the sandman by blu
"I understand you've been running from the man that goes by the name of the sandman," echoes an eerie back-laid sample delicately lifted from America's 1971 Folk Rock album track, "Sandman." It's actually the lead-off track from illusive super-producer from Blu and seasoned underground rapper Homeboy Sandman's surprise four-track download-able EP, homeboy sandman is the sandman. While they've previously worked together on a number of non-album tracks, most notably "Atlantis," which was released on Stones Throw this past June, this marks their first cohesive long(er)-form project. homeboy sandman is the sandman EP was released with little to no release information, aside from "homeboy sandman is the sandman produced by blu" and a handful of vague Bandcamp genre tags: "hip hop, hip-hop/rap, nwc rap, Los Angeles." It's largely a Jaylib-style rapper-producer affair, aside from a…

Red Bull Music 20 Before 15 Presents: iLoveMakonnen, Ezra Koenig & Despot - "Down 4 So Long" (Remix)

Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig has had a pretty buzz-worthy year; having appeared on genre-blending tracks with Major Lazer, SBTRKT, Chromeo, @Seinfeld2000, and even a duet with Karen O on the Her soundtrack. Koenig's latest outer-band activity includes a Twitter-esque "rapped-sung" verse on new-comer iLoveMakonnen's Red Bull Music-backed "Down 4 So Long" Remix, which was released over the weekend along with 1,000 free downloads as part of their 20 Before 15 singles series. "@iLoveMakonnen5D and @despotroast (Despot) could both put out greatest hits albums and neither one has ever made an album," @arzE Koenig affectionately Tweeted about his fellow collaborators and new-found buddies upon "Down 4 So Long"'s release. Koenig and Despot's appended verses add an air of fun and familiarity to Makonnen's "Down 4 So Long," which is reportedly about the accidental shooting death of his high school friend; "Summer…

RCA Records Presents: Miguel - "nwa.hollywooddreams.coffee EP" (Untitled Soundcloud EP)

Not entirely unlike the three-volume Art Dealer Chic EP set released leading up to his 2012 commercial break-through, Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel suddenly uploaded a three-track EP to Soundcloud in the wee hours of Friday morning; seemingly titled either nwa.hollywoodreams.coffee EP or WILD EP, similar to the tattoo scrawled across Miguel's knuckles on the rather suggestive album cover. It's a painfully brief 10-minute burst of guitar-fueled Soul-Funk/R&B, part of which okayplayer effectively refers to as "a swagged-out Spaghetti Western with Curtis Mayfield wheeling and dealing on the score, driven by fuzzy guitar and total impropriety." EP opener, "NWA" features Snoop Dogg-affiliated Philly rapper Kurupt atop a stuttering 808 drumbeat and slinky guitar-accented quasi-rocker flanked by Miguel's seductive hook and bridge refrains, "she just wanna ride with a N.W.A... Got you walkin' with a gangsta lean." "NWA" is then followe…

Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Bilal & Anna Wise Debut "Untitled" (The Colbert Report)

"You are the last Colbert Report musical guest. Honored to have you on, but keep in mind: Paul McCartney, R.E.M., Jack White, and Nas were your opening acts," Stephen Colbert cleverly quipped at Kendrick Lamar during their pre-performance interview on last night's show. Lamar premiered a brand new "Untitled" track reportedly produced by French beatsmith Astronote; its world-premier performance was delivered by a pick-up band consisting of bass virtuoso Thundercat, Terrace Martin on sax, and back-up vocals from Soulquarians affiliate Bilal and Sonnymoon sogstress Anna Wise. In stark contrast to Kendrick Lamar's previous Isley Brothers-indebted "i,""Untitled" is more of a sparse experimental, Jazz-leaning affair, which seems to be a multi-faceted narrative; "In Lamar's story, an Asian man tells him to worry about his health and not his career, an Indian man recommends he invest in real estate, the black man reveals "nookie i…

D'Angelo Emerges from Self-Imposed 15-year Sabbatical to Unleash Black Messiah & "Sugah Daddy" (Red Bull Music/RCA)

"Black Messiah is a Hell of a name for an album. It can easily be misunderstood. Many will think it's about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I'm calling myself a Black Messiah," illusive Neo-Soul/Funk singer D'Angelo explained in a statement at his Sunday night Red Bull Music Academy & Afropunk-hosted listening party. "For me, the title is about all of us. It's about the world. It's about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah... Black Messiah is not one man. It's a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader," he powerfully continued. Black Messiah, once tentatively titled "James River," has been in-the-works for nearly 15 years; imminent release details suddenly began to trickle out over the course of this past weekend. While a brief 16-second Black Messiah teaser trailer first surfaced Friday afternoon, 1,000 downloads of piano-laden comeback single "Sugah Daddy&q…

Disbanded Noise-Rap Group, Death Grips Unleash New Single, "Inanimate Sensation" (Third Worlds)

Even though they amicably disbanded back in July, experimental Noise-Rap group, Death Grips still have an as-yet-unreleased double-disc album in their back pocket; part one of the powers that b, eloquently dubbed ni**as on the moon, was released for FREE download online prior to their break-up. "Death Grips just uploaded a video," read a stock YouTube email which suddenly appeared in my Inbox late Tuesday night... "Inanimate Sensation - Disc 2 - Jenny Death from the upcoming double album "The Powers That B,'" it continued. The entirety of "Inanimate Sensation" is strewn across a fallen NBA Jumbo-tron and it was supposedly directed by Death Grips themselves. Its bonkers, unconventional Hip-Hop beat vaguely reminds me of something that could've soundtracked Saturday morning/after school cartoons like The Animaniacs or even Looney Tunes and isn't all that dissimilar from Daft Punk's now patented brand of Future-Funk.


"Live show on…

Mad Decent Presents: Diplo, Ed Droste & Rostam - "LONG WAY HOME" (Ty Dollar $ign Remix?)

"[a] beach boys meets ty$ kinda vibe," @diplo Tweeted early Thursday afternoon, attempting to best describe his latest Soundcloud upload, "LONG WAY HOME;" a quasi-remix, or more so a loose cover, of Ty Dollar $ign's non-album single, "Stand For" re-recorded with Grizzly Bear/Vampire Weekend members Ed Droste & Rostam. "its about time that indie rock acts started to co-opt rap beats," Diplo lamented in the track's short-lived Soundcloud description, which Pitchfork points out, was imminently deleted. I was just telling my beautiful girlfriend, in terms of sheer line-blurring concept, "LONG WAY HOME" vaguely reminds me of Vampire Weekend's middle-of-the-road Indie Rock/Hip-Hop hybrid track, "Step (Wintertime Remix)" featuring appended verses from Danny Brown, Heems, and Despot.


"Stand For," the structural basis for "LONG WAY HOME," was actually co-produced by Diplo & DJ Dahi and is suppos…

Have Yourself a Funky Little Xmas: Tuxedo - "Wonderful Christmastime" (Stones Throw)

"Tuxedo Xmas jam dropping for all my gentiles (Santa emoji)," @MayerHawthorne Tweeted in the wee hours of the morning, preceding his newly unmasked Disco-Funk duo's yuletide single. "Happy Holidays from Tuxedo. Original by some guy named Paul McCartney," reads the Soundcloud description scribed beneath "Wonderful Christmastime." While most of us have known it since day one, about two years ago, Hawthorne and producer buddy Jake-One just recently revealed themselves as Tuxedo, along with their self-titled Stones Throw-backed album announcement. Jake-One manages to keep the majority of the former Beatles' holiday track intact, but adds a little more Disco-Funk/kazoo-fueled Hip-Hop swing to "Wonderful Christmastime;" while Mayer Hawthorne delivers his now signature buttery smooth New-Wop vocals, without disgracing McCartney's arrangement and even appends a couple Prince-level high notes, for good measure. Now, mind you, this isn't …

James Franco's Art School Band, Daddy, Recruits The Smiths' Bassist Andy Rourke for "This Charming Man" (VICE Records?)

Actor, comedian, author, director, painter, scholar, cell phone salesman, and apparent sleep-less human, James Franco has seemingly decided to add yet another "notch to his belt;" he's currently finishing up a full-length album with his art school band/multi-media project, Daddy. Franco formed daddy with fellow forward-thinking Rhode Island School of Design classmate Tim O'Keefe around 2011. Daddy's formative Motorcity EP and companion "Love In The Old Days" Remix EP were recorded on location in Detroit during the making of James Franco's 2013 Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz The Great & Powerful and featured a Polaroid of his scantily-clad Spring Breakers co-stars on Motorcity's cover. Franco and Tim O'Keefe even went as far as to recruit local golden-voiced legend and Motown founding father, Smokey Robinson for additional vocal duties on early video-single, "Crime." "We took a 10-poem sequence called "The Best of The Smith…

Purity Ring Suddenly Drop Unannounced New Track, "push pull" (4AD/Last Gang)

Purity Ring have kept a relatively low profile since releasing their major label Dream-Pop debut, Shrines, nearly two years ago; aside from a handful of Electronic-tinged remixes crafted for everyone from Soulja Boy to Lady GaGa and non-album tracks recorded with Danny Brown and Jon Hopkins. Purity Ring have reportedly been working on their as-yet-untitled second album for about a year or so no and then, all of a sudden, without any rhyme or reason, they quietly uploaded a brand new track late Wednesday night. "push pull" was crafted at the hand of in-house producer Corin Roddick and has seemingly already won over the approval of frequent collaborator, @xdannyxbrownx, who ecstatically Tweeted, "nothing short of amazing!!!!!! ... I love these guys." It really seems like the next logical natural progression for Purity Ring as a band, a little less murky and lo-fi, but still just as glitchy, jittery, and eerily beautiful as their early material; "You push and you…

Mayer Hawthorne Returns to Stones Throw: Tuxedo Full-Length LP (Prod. Jake-One)

It's been widely speculated since their mysterious 3-song Tuxedo Funk EP drop that illusive Disco-Funk duo Tuxedo were in fact composed of New-Wop crooner Mayer Hawthorne and his producer buddy, Jake-One. It's also been a sort of "music biz" insider joke since day one that Tuxedo's name itself was a discrete, yet tasteful, jab at Justin Timberlake's then just-released "Suit & Tie" and apparent assimilation of Hawthorne's whole old-school-meets-new-school Doo-Wop shtick he's adopted in recent years. "The Tuxedo collaboration began with an exchange of mixtapes back in 2006. The fruits of a long-standing kinship were three tracks that mysteriously showed up on Internet doorsteps nearly two years ago. In between personal projects, these three tracks became a full album's-worth of Tuxedo," Stones Throw exuberantly wrote in a December 1st album press release. "[Tuxedo] are descendants of the one-word moniker family of Funk,…