Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey Flips Electric Wire Hustle's Kiwi Funk-R&B Album Cut "Chaser" for "Marigolds" (A Country Called Earth)

While he's remained relatively silent since releasing The Ecstatic (2009), Mos Def aka Yasiin Bey has seemingly completed his forthcoming G.O.O.D. Music "debut" while shacking up overseas. Bey has recently re-emerged from his self-imposed exile and decided to unleashed a pair of unexpected André 3000-style features for A$AP Rocky's At.Long.Last.A$AP as well as Eric Biddines and producer Paul White's newly-minted Golden Ticket project. His latest presumably non-album loosie, "Marigolds" skillfully re-appropriates New Zealand-based Kiwi Funk-R&B duo Electric Wire Hustle's 2009 self-titled album track, "Chaser." It's almost aesthetically reminiscent of Yasiin Bey's long-aborted Top 40 Underdogs cover/freestyles initiative; wherein he boldly took on radio-friendly Kanye & Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, and Chief Keef beats and ruthlessly flipped them on their heads. "Marigolds," on the other hand, was supposedly "cut in one take, no filler, but all chaser, at Kenny Allen Studios in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia" according to Soulquarian-affilates okayplayer; "making this a true-blue inter-continental Funk connection from some of OKP's favorites in the game."

Yasiin Bey was soon set to emerge from his now-native South Africa and embark on a nation-wide co-headlining US tour with fellow veteran emcee Freeway, but the whole jaunt has unexpectedly been cancelled, including a stop at Philly's own Union Transfer. It's largely unclear as to why concert promoters cancelled the tentatively-titled "Summer Recess Tour," but The Guardian reported that Bey is apparently unable to gain re-entry into the states from South Africa, for whatever reasons. "I played [Kanye] some new material and the whole song played and there was no words... he goes, "let me hear that again," Bey recently lamented during an in-depth Beats By Dre interview, which would lead me to believe that we'll hear his long-rumored G.O.O.D. Music "debut" sooner than later. And I'm beginning to wonder if we'll ever get a chance to hear Mos Def's equally long-rumored OMFGODBKNOLA and Zamrock-centric shelved projects recorded alongside top-notch super-producers Mannie Fresh and Madlib.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Biz Markie & Big Daddy Kane Present: Rhymin' Paul Simon's "Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard" (Warner Bros. 1988)

"Ladies and gentlemen, check this out... a spectacular event in rhymin'. It might seem insane, but the Big Daddy Kane is rockin' in the house with Paul Simon... and my man Biz Mark down in the park. Even Spud Webb plays a cool part... in the video, "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,'" Big Daddy Kane effortlessly raps over a stuttering beat provided by human-beatbox, Biz Markie. While it may seem like a fairly odd pairing at first, Simon, Kane, and Biz were actually all label-mates at Warner Bros. Records at the time of "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard"'s 1988 Negotiations and Love Songs re-release. Not entirely unlike Simon's Lorne Michaels-concieved "You Can Call Me Al," which co-starred then SNL cast member Chevy Chase just two years earlier, "Julio" boasts a staggering amount of star-power, in its own right: hit-making rappers Big Daddy Kane & Biz Markie, former NBA point guard Spud Webb, baseball legend Mickey Mantle, football persona John Madden, and Main Source rapper-producer Large Professor all make cameo appearances throughout the 1980's B-boy-reminiscent schoolyard-shot clip.

It's really a great 1970's Paul Simon Folk-Rock composition, accented by South American instrumentation (Brazil's cuica, in this case) although, I have to admit, the first 25 seconds of "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" have to easily be the most groovy... err, blatantly Hip-Hop-indebted moments of "Rhymin' Simon"'s still on-going 50-year career. Despite the fact that the Kush Groove-evocative flame-accented graffiti, over-sized speakerbox, and apparent abundance of athletically-inclined urban youth seem a little bit misplaced, "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" really is a wholesome music video treatment; befitting Paul Simon's whole hard-working singer-songwriter image. This will be my last freshly-written post in a good while, my trusty readers; as my beautiful girlfriend and I are headed off to Poland for about two weeks for her cousin's wedding and some overseas sight-seeing!!! But if you're staying within the Bridgeton-Vineland area, Paul Simon's long-time Simon & Garfunkel vocal partner, Art Garfunkel will be playing a one-night only concert at Millville, NJ's own Levoy Theatre this upcoming Thursday, June 25th.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dan Auerbach Readies The Arcs "Solo" Album with Leon Michels, Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon & Kenny Vaughan "in His Corner" (Nonesuch Records)

"I've spent enough time thinking about [making songs for radio] with The Black Keys, not that we ever wrote songs just for radio. I just don't want to ever think about that stuff again. With The Arcs, we were just trying to make music that loves up to the kinds of standards that we love: old soul records, Captain Beefheart, newer Hip-Hop records. The songs are really experimental, but not over your head," Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach recently told Rolling Stone. Auerbach unleashed The Arcs' debut boxing-inspired single, "Stay In My Corner," back on May 2nd to coincide with Mayweather & Pacquiao's monumental prize fight; in addition to all-female Brooklyn mariachi band Mariachi Flor de Toloache, The Arcs additionally showcases the musical talents of long-time studio buddies Leon Michels, Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon, and Kenny Vaughan. Initially billed as a Dan Auerbach "solo" album, the newly-assembled band reportedly wrote and recorded some whopping 75 tracks in just over two weeks between Los Angeles, Nashville, Manhattan, and Queens-based studios, which were eventually whittled down to Yours, Dreamily's 14 genre-blending tracks.

Despite the fact that a "Stay In My Corner" 45 b/w "Tomato Can" has been circulating throughout independent record stores nation-wide for the past month, NPR has just now gotten the opportunity to premier the slow-burning A-side single online Tuesday afternoon. NPR's Stephen Thompson fittingly described "Stay In My Corner" as something along the lines of "a slinky, timeless feel, propelled with alluring ease by Auerbach's falsetto and a lush instrumental backdrop befitting The Arcs' roster." Thompson then goes on to note that bandmate Leon Michels has previously performed with Wu-Tang Clan-covering Soul-Funk outfit El Michels Affair and co-founded Truth & Soul Records, while bassist Richard Swift has performed as a utility player for The Shins, as well as producing records for Damien Jurado and The Mynabirds and has "released a half dozen albums of his own." Ahead of Yours, Dreamily's highly-anticipated Friday, September 4th world-wide release, Nonesuch Records have unveiled a multitude of assorted album pre-order packages including first-come-first-serve signed vinyl, limited edition T-shirts, 1-inch Arcs button packs, a "Stay In My Corner" 45, an "Outta My Mind" 45, and either CD, LP, or mp3 copies of Yours, Dreamily.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Peanut Butter Lovesicle's Cousin-Duo Timmy Miller & Jake D'Arc Unleash 2pac & BlakRoc-influenced "Care Less" (Milky 22's EP)

"Ohh, what to do with childhood memories of frequenting overpriced boardwalk shops for gaudy sterling silver chains with dragons? You wait 12 years to flush them out in song form," newly-formed cousin-duo Jake D'Arc & Timmy Miller (Milky 22's) lamented within their Facebook band biography; a sentiment I can all too much relate to, having grown up frequenting "The Jersey Shore" summer after summer as a kid, much like D'Arc & Miller, who spent their summers down in beach-side town Ocean City, NJ along with brother/cousin Mike D'Arc. While on a brief hiatus from full-time band, Peanut Butter Lovesicle formed with D'Arc, Timmy Miller & Jake D'Arc managed to sporadically record some eight tracks in just one week's time at their Ocean City-based live-in studio space, The Ice Box; five of those eight Summer 2014-recorded tracks have recently been collected, mixed, and mastered by Jake D'Arc & Mike Tarsia as their debut Milky 22's EP, which will see a proper release this upcoming June 16th. Milky 22's EP will reportedly host an interesting fusion of Hip-Hop, Rock, and Reggae, which the band fittingly self-describes as "an aggressive elixir of Hip-Hop dipped in some [Rock N Roll] sauce and smothered in groove."

Milky 22's debut single, "Care Less" premiered on their newly-launched Soundcloud page Tuesday morning; upon my first listen, it kinda reminds me of what I think a possible Rod Stewart & Snoop Dogg collaboration just might sound like... equal parts 90's-reminiscent G-Funk and guitar-drenched Blues Rock. "Care Less" is quite frankly, the perfect beginning of summer playlist jam for your pool-side relaxin', beach BBQ's, weekend parties, etc. if you're into anything from 2pac to BlakRoc (The Black Keys). "We were rehearsing with a close childhood friend one day and he had called Jake "Milk Snake," since he used to catch a bunch of snakes in his youth and he looked at Timmy's arms and said, "you must have 22-inch pythons there" [and just like that,] Milky 22's was born," the band half-jokingly explained, when asked about the real meaning behind "Milky 22's" ha. Milky 22's self-titled 5-track debut EP will see a FREE release on their aforementioned Soundcloud page next Tuesday, June 16th; in the meantime, feel free to check out Peanut Butter Lovesicle's pre-hiatus smash single, "Black-Eyed Blues," which was previously featured on an episode of popular teen drama series, Gossip Girl.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

okayplayer & DJ Soul Present: Biggie Smalls & J Dilla - "Kick In The Door" (National Donut Day Remix)

"Consider it a gift from us to you, who yearn for the Dilla-fide treats wherever, however you get them. So, grab yourself one of those delicious donut holes, put your feet up and bless the air to this certified heater from the gawd, every bit as sweet as the day itself," okayplayer's own "Voodoo & Old Donuts"-inspired wordsmith Michael Eric Gonik (@zogotsoul) transcribed within a National Donut Day-centric piece published prior to the weekend. Gonik is of course, referring to Biggie Smalls & J Dilla's posthumously-released collaborative remix, "Kick In The Door," which until now, has never seen a fully untagged, full-length release; it's something of fabled Hip-Hop Holy Grail to 99.9% of digital "crate"-diggers and Dilla completists, like yours truly. Rumor has it that Biggie & J Dilla had initially intended to collaborate in the mid-90's on a Jay Dee-produced Busta Rhymes track tentatively titled "The Ugliest" aka "Dangerous MC's."

Despite its sheer colossal hit-making potential, Biggie's semi-combative verses were reportedly aimed at then friend turned bitter rival [read: "frenemy"] 2pac, an ever-growing beef which Busta didn't particularly want to get involved with, so the track was shelved and ultimately withheld from a proper release. However, "The Ugliest" would in fact, later end up re-surfacing on Biggie's posthumously-assembled album, Born Again (1999) with a Nottz-produced beat instead of Dilla's, but the original version can be found online with a little bit of persistent diggin'. Not entirely unlike "The Ugliest/Dangerous MC's," J Dilla's characteristically out-of-sync "Kick In The Door" (Remix) has thus far only seen a very limited release; first appearing on DJ Soul's okayplayer-hosted 20-track Assorted Donuts tributary one-track mixtape (2007). Damn, listening to this piece of pure sonic gold, one can only imagine what sort of neck-snapping nuggets these two fallen Hip-Hop luminaries could have cooked up together, had their poetically-accented lives not been cut short way too soon.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Death Grips Present: The I.L.Y.'s NIN & The Strokes-indebted "I've always been good at true love" Album (Thirdworlds Download)

Death Grips have somehow already managed to "break up" via a napkin and "reform" in a matter of months, signed an Epic Records deal and purposely leaked private emails to get dropped, posed for a mysterious backstage picture alongside Robert Pattinson & Beyoncé (above), recruited Björk to contribute vocals to Disc 1 of their "comeback" album, The Powers That B, were surprisingly name-dropped on Rachael Ray by comedian Fred Armisen, bailed on a whole string of scheduled shows Axl Rose style, and licensed "You Might Think He Loves You for You Money But I Know What He Really Loves You for and It's Your Brand New Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat" for an Adidas Predator sneaker commercial... so, it would make sense that the newly-reformed Death Grips would need something of a fresh start; long-speculated Death Grips-affiliated Twitter handle @bbpoltergiest shared a cryptic zipfile link to a 9-track album called I've always been good at true love credited to The I.L.Y.'s. The most popular Reddit user-speculated theory is that The I.L.Y.'s "are a band featuring Death Grips' Zach Hill on vocals, and production from Andy Morin [Flatlander], along with Tera Melos' Nick Reinhardt on guitar," as Consequence of Sound reported upon the surprise album's Thursday morning release.

While their involvement has yet to be 100% confirmed, overzealous fans have noted I've always been good at true love's striking similarities to drummer Zach Hill's pre-Death Grips "solo" work with Hella and MC Ride's heavily speculated vocal contribution to album closer, "All She Does Is Kill Sh*t." It has been additionally noted that album opener "The Sickest F*ck of Them All" bears resemblance to a shirt worn in Death Grips' "I've Seen Footage" (2012) music video, as well as being the tentative title to Hill's seemingly long-aborted Death Grips-soundtracked film; leading many fans to believe that The I.L.Y.'s are in fact Death Grips, some sort of thinly-veiled side-project, perhaps an opener for their upcoming "comeback" US Tour, or possibly even Thirdworlds Records' latest mysterious signee. Regardless of The I.L.Y.'s affiliation with Death Grips (or lack thereof), I've always been good at true love is an intriguing listen, which almost instantly reminded me of a NIN-indebted Industrial Rock meets early 2000's The Strokes-leaning Indie/Garage Rock sound peppered with their own unique blend of Experimental Aggro-Rap, and it's definitely worth firing up a FREE download.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dr.'s Tom Morello, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson Rush Tim Commerford Into Surgery In Blood-curdling "Voodoo JuJu" Video (Future User)

"I got the idea for the video after I ruptured a disc in my back and needed emergency surgery. As someone who often goes under the knife, I've always been a bit overwhelmed by the process, paperwork, approvals and costs. Luckily, I have insurance, but it got me thinking about all the people in this country who can't afford medical treatment. I read an article recently that said there are over 40 million uninsured people living in The States, which is insane," former Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave bassist Tim Commerford lamented in a press release accompanying his latest blood-curdling music video, "Voodoo Juju." Commerford assembled his politically-charged musical outlet, Future User, sometime during 2013 following the disbandment of his post-Rage super-group, Audioslave; Timmy C, multi-instrumentalist Jordan Tarlow, and drummer Jon Knox have previously attempted to self-describe Future User's unique genre-blending sound as "Progtronic" (an interesting mix of Electronic and Prog-Rock).

"I talked my doctor into letting me shoot the surgery, then explained the concept to Tom [Morello], who was totally into the idea. And of course, you can't talk about universal health care without bringing Canada into the conversation, so I called Geddy [Lee] and Alex [Lifeson] and asked if they'd be part of it and was blown away when they said yes. And all that footage of my back being opened up is real, no joke," Commerford continued in a statement the band shared with Blabbermouth. "Voodoo Juju," in the end, is a satirical representation of America's money-hungry healthcare system, inter-splicing footage of Commerford's rather graphic spinal surgery along with stock footage of Dr. Van Drusel aka Tom Morello, Dr. Geddy Lee, and Dr. Alex Lifeson. Future User's Brendan O'Brien-assisted, hashtag-ready debut album #SteroidsOrHeroin is now available for your listening pleasure on CD-LP from Middle Ring Partnership; its previously-uploaded videos have featured noteworthy cameos from Commerford's headline-snatching buddies John McEnroe, Lance Armstrong, and comic book legend Stan Lee.