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Showing posts from February, 2015

America's #1 Rap-Singer, Action Bronson Super-slam Dunks on Godzilla & Assorted Madness in "Actin' Crazy" Video (VICE Records)

"Kanye, Mark Ronson, Lana del Rey, and Kid Cudi collaborator and hit-making super-producer Emile Haynie has finally unleashed his debut "solo" album, We Fall, after nearly 24 years in the music industry..." is roughly how my Emile Haynie"Falling Apart," his creation which features vocal assistance from Brian Wilson and Miike Snow frontman Andrew Wyatt, piece would have likely started, until I suddenly hit a brick wall with its overall direction. I'm sure Haynie's star-studded album is great, but I just simply lost interest in writing about it; although, maybe a We Fall-centric piece will materialize itself and grace the pages of The Witzard in the not-so-distant future. Enter: a typically slow, bone-chillingly cold Friday afternoon, at which my attention was forthwith reverted towards America's self-proclaimed #1 Rap-Singer, Action Bronson's latest Noah "40" Shebib-produced single, "Actin' Crazy." Its official VICE…

Ben Lee & Squeak E. Clean Recruit Zooey Deschanel, Ben Folds, Sean Lennon & more for "A MIXTAPE FROM BEN LEE" (name-your-pri¢e)

A MIXTAPE FROM BEN LEE by BEN LEE
"This album began as an exploration of songwriting. I decided to write songs for different voices, and invite these singers to perform them. My dear friend Sam Spiegel (Squeak E. Clean) offered to produced the record I had conceptualized, and we began working on the collaboration in earnest in 1998," Ben Lee recently wrote in a long-form message on his newly-launched Bandcamp page. A MIXTAPE FROM BEN LEE is more of a "mixtape" in the loose sense of the term; leaning more towards the direction of a 90's radio-to-cassette mix(ed)tape, rather than a modern-day Hip-Hop loosies promotional collection. Spiegel self-describes the 11-track project as "the first album that [he] ever produced over 10 years ago," which boasts vocal appearances from Zooey Deschanel, Empire of The Sun frontman Luke Steele, former The Bens bandmate Ben Folds, Sean Lennon, Azure Ray, The Cardigans songstress Nina Persson, and Gelbison, amongst a wid…

Put Your Pants Back On: Stones Throw's Resident Recluse, James Pants Re-emerges with "Artificial Lover" (Savage)

"I just emailed [Peanut Butter Wolf]: "Would you like to go record shopping?" And I couldn't believe it, but he wrote back and said: "Sure." So, his show [in Austin] happened to be the night of my prom, so I took my date to his show, her name was Cindy Huckabee. I took her to the show and I met Wolf and was still wearing my tux and we just kind of hung out for the next few days," James Pants lamented to Red Bull Music Academy concerning his first chance meeting with Stones Throw label-head, Peanut Butter Wolf. Pants' debut album, Welcome (2008), which garnered famous fans such as Tyler, The Creator, Gary Wilson, and Mayer Hawthorne, more or less helped spearhead what I'd loosely refer to as Stones Throw's post-Jaylib "outsider artists" movement. James Pants' first album in four years, Savage, was reportedly "inspired by Martin Denny flourishes, royalty-free breakbeats, Gary Wilson, and Hamburg's infamous Golden Pude…

9/11 & Heartbreak: Heems & Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange - "Home" (Megaforce/Greedhead Records)

"When Dev [Hynes] was 'Lightspeed Champion', he had a little-known rap MySpace called 'Ni**a Bullshit' (2010). This was when we first started talking about a collaboration," rapper Himanshu Suri (professionally known as Heems) recently revealed to Rolling Stone concerning his latest collaboration with singer-songwriter/producer, Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange. "I wrote some of the lyrics in college at Wesleyan, some before Das Racist in Bushwick, and most of it in my engineer Daniel Lynas' old studio with Dev [Hynes] in Dumbo," Heems continued. "Home" was adequately described by one anonymous writer as "Dev provides fluttering guitar-work while Heems opens his chest cavity, removes his still-aching heart, [and] drops it on the floor in front of you;" the subject matter throughout Heems' forthcoming major label "debut" EAT PRAY THUG has been self-described as "much more personal than [Himanshu Suri's] previ…

Action Bronson & The Alchemist Recruit Philly-based Guitarist Curt Chambers for "Terry" (MR. WONDERFUL pre-order)

Just about one month ahead of his VICE Records "debut" MR. WONDERFUL, Action Bronson has unleashed a fourth track from the album; "'TERRY" PRODUCED BY @Alchemist, [PtHILLY'S OWN] CURT CHAMBERS ON GUITAR, @ChauncySherod WITH THE SOUL AT THE END = PERFECTION." It's the latest pre-release single VICE has strategically "leaked" from MR. WONDERFUL, which was preceded by "Easy Rider,"Party Supplies duet "A Light In The Addict," and "Actin' Crazy," as well as non-album track, "Big League Chew.""Terry" reunites Action Bronson with his Rare Chandeliers (2012) producer buddy, The Alchemist, who hand-crafted a "jazzy, diminished chord walk with a prime boom-bap shuffle" as okayplayer poetically puts it. "Life's ironic and it's simple / Smoke good, f*ck, eat, drink, / Drive a nice car, wear all green mink," which has been forever embodied on "Terry"'s vib…

SNL 40 & Adidas Present: Kanye, Sia & Vic Mensa - "Wolves" (dj-windows98 mash-up)

Not only did he appear within a self-satirical SNL 40 Wayne's World sketch dealing with last weekend's Album of The Year winner Beck's near GRAMMY's acceptance speech-shattering events, Kanye additionally performed an emotional three-song medley towards the end of last night's 40th anniversary primetime special; Kanye appeared on stage, laying sprawled out across the stage floor under a dimly lit/low-hanging ceiling set-up performing "Jesus Walks" into a microphone dangling above his head. West slowly arose for the second segment of his medley — a fragmented chunk of his recent genre-blending collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney, "Only One" (suspiciously sans McCartney). For the third and final portion of his SNL 40 performance, Kanye was joined on stage by former Kids These Days emcee Vic Mensa and mysterious "Chandelier" songstress and in-demand producer, Sia for a dark, brooding animalistic performance of "Wolves."


The C…

Mark Ronson Recruits America's #1 Rap-Singer, Action Bronson for "Uptown Funk" Remix (Columbia Records)

"WOOOOOOOOO, "UPTOWN FUNK" REMIX BLASTIN' OFF RIGHT NOW ON @HOT97 [WITH] MY BROTHER @MarkRonson," @ActionBronson exuberantly Tweeted Thursday morning, not long after his Freako Rico-designed, Bloodsport-inspired MR. WONDERFUL cover artwork made its debuted across The Internet. "Uptown Funk" is quite arguably the most instantly recognizable track culled from Ronson's New Age Soul-Funk chart-topping "solo" album, Uptown Special; in recent weeks, it's bombarded daytime/late night TV, countless movie trailers, numerous commercials, and radio waves nation-wide. Mark Ronson painstakingly decided to cut out "Uptown Funk"'s lush extended intro, which okayplayer reports took some eight hours to create, to properly retro-fit Action Bronson's newly-appended replacement verse.


While Ronson, Bronson, and Bruno Mars' genre-blending collaboration may seem like a head-scratcher to the average listener, it should make perfect s…

Stones Throw Music Library, Vol. 3: Guilty Simpson & Oh No - "Ghettodes" CD-R (Now-Again)

THE SIMPSON TAPE is actually not Guilty Simpson & Oh No's first collaborative project, contrary to popular belief; "This past year [2010], around the same time Madlib was creating his remix of Guilty Simpson's Ode to The Ghetto for his Madlib Medicine Show #1 release, we had Oh No remix the tracks as well, using samples from the Now-Again catalog. Oh No's collection, Ghettodes is not meant as as 'album', but you put [all] 14 tracks together, and you might as well call it that." Stones Throw quietly "leaked" a number of Ghettodes tracks out to savvy crate-diggers between 2008-10 including The Whitefield Brothers-sampling "American Nightmare," "Piglets," "Futuristic," "What to Do," "Y'all Scared," "Dreads," and "Killer." Just the other day, while I was perusing through Now-Again/Stones Throw's Discogs label pages, I stumbled upon "Stones Throw Music Library, Vol…

Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, ?uestlove, Herbie Hancock & Adam Blackstone - "Thinking Out Loud" (GRAMMY's Super-group)

Aside from a series of pretty lackluster mismatched performances and Kanye's attempted hi-jacking of Album of The Year winner Beck's spotlight, the only legitimate stroke of "real artistry" at this year's GRAMMY Awards came from Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Herbie Hancock, ?uestlove, and legendary bassist Adam Blackstone. Sheeran's GRAMMY-assembled super-group performed a spirited live rendition of his latest x single, "Thinking Out Loud;" making best use of recent Late Late Show hosts guitar playing-talents, The Roots drummer/bandleader's "chops," and the classically-trained Jazz pianist's gentle stroke of the ivory keys. It seems as though Ed Sheeran and John Mayer (both reported exes of Taylor Swift) have put aside whatever differences they might have had, effectively becoming "the weirdest friends ever," to paraphrase Leslie Mann from The Other Woman. I, for one, would definitely not mind hearing a John Mayer Trio-esque f…

"Jethro Tull meets Death Row:" Your Old Droog Unleashes Rock-Themed KINISON EP (Soundcloud Download)

"Last year, a mysterious rapper named Your Old Droog came out of nowhere with a self-titled mixtape. He sounded so much like Illmatic-era Nas that people thought it really was Nas, rapping under a Clockwork Orange-inspired pseudonym. Well, no, as it turns out, Your Old Droog is just some white guy from Coney Island," Stereogum"Hip-Hop Head In Chief" Tom Breihan wrote in a recently penned Your Old Droog-centric piece. Following a whirl-wind year, which showcased two 2014-issued releases, Your Old Droog [LP], critically-acclaimed Your Old Droog EP, and a handful of non-album singles, Your Old Droog unleashed an 11-track Rock-themed KINISON EP late Wednesday afternoon. It's littered with inventive Rock "N" Roll samples ranging from Johnny Cash to the Beastie Boys ("Pass The Mic") and at least 40+ cleverly inter-woven references including Sam Kinison, Pornos for Pyros, Rage Against The Machine, and Sonic Youth (track titles); in addition to lyr…

F*ck, That's Delicious Presents: Action Bronson Unleashes Alchemist-produced Mr. Wonderful Loosie, "Big League Chew" (VICE Records)

'"Did I do a perfect dive?" is such a popular debate (well, I'll give it a 9.3). I'm the hottest shit since B2K... I got an old soul and young legs. I'm like a good horse," Action Bronson effortlessly rhymes on his latest Alchemist-produced non-album track, "Big League Chew," which premiered during the eighth episode of his MUNCHIES/VICE web-series, F*ck, That's Delicious (Roasted In Santa Monica). "This is just another one they're gonna shoot down because it doesn't have a f*cking hook. It doesn't have anything that they're looking for, the radio... f*ck that, if this was '96, it would be hot," Bronson begrudgingly laments during the episode, which additionally features appearances from actor-turned-rapper Simon "Dirt Nasty" Rex, B-Real, Big Body Bes, and apparent FTD super-fan, Chef Mario Batali. @ActionBronson went on to further describe "Big League Chew" as a "CUSTOM-MADE SONG FOR …

Stones Throw Records Presents: Tuxedo & J.Rocc - "Do It" (Flaunt Edwards Edit) FLAUNT EDWARDS WAS HERE

"Tuxedo is Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One. The mysterious Flaunt Edwards (AKA J.Rocc) has taken their track "Do It" to his chopping block, and here's what emerged;" Not entirely unlike his Stones Throw label mates Madlib, Quakers, 7 Days of Funk, and Folerio, J.Rocc secretly moonlights as Disco-Funk-indebted DJ, Flaunt Edwards. Although, his sparse alternate discography only includes a few highly sought-after releases: Flaunt Edwards Was Here, a smooth 5-track collection of Soundcloud-issued edits and two seemingly untitled 7-12"s on Puff Puff Records (2013). "Do It" (Flaunt Edwards Edit) marks J.Rocc's first thinly-veiled remix creation unleashed following a nearly two year-long break. It's a Funk-drenched extended edit of the premier pseudo-single from Mayer Hawthorne & Jake-One's Tuxedo Funk EP/Tuxedo's "debut album, [which] will be released on Stones Throw a month from today, March 3, 2015." Ahead of their long-…