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Showing posts from January, 2012

"One of These Days:" The Life & Times of Dave Grohl (Post-Grunge Foo Fighter)

Born in 1987, I really can't say that I remember the events surrounding the tragic deaths of Biggie , Kurt Cobain , and 2Pac . But I do recall that these people meant a lot to many adoring fans and that everyone was really sad. Over the course of the past 15-18 years since, I've grown to know and love the music of 2Pac & Biggie . The older I get, the more I grow to appreciate Nirvana (Nevermind) and now I [fully] understand Kurt 's vast artistic vision. I must say though, that I'm a bigger Foo Fighters fan, hands down! In no way would I ever "knock" Nirvana 's legacy... maybe simply because of age, Foo Fighters is the band that I've grown to know, love, and favor instead. We all know that lead Foo , Dave Grohl used to be Nirvana 's drummer and prior to that, he ripped it up along with legendary DC Hardcore band, Scream . I can honestly say that I vividly remember watching the "Big Me" video on MTV way back when (1995), and ha

Man of Words/Man of Music: D'Angelo & The Testimony - "Space Oddity" (Le Zénith Bootleg)

After 12 long years of "soul searching," The Soul Man is [FINALLY] back in the building! Following a successful Occupy Music Tour opener in Stockholm , Sweden, D'Angelo continues his quick, yet effective comeback jaunt across Europe . The place was Le Zénith, Paris, France - last night: D'Angelo & The Testimony proceeded to rip through a dusted off selection of his greatest hits... this including "Brown Sugar," "Untitled," "Devil's Pie," and "Chicken Grease." Later in the show's setlist, the band even treated the crowd to a number of Funked up new jams . Then, The D'Angelo -led Testimony kicked off a familiar acoustic-driven tune penned by yet another reclusive Rock "N" Roll legend, "Space Oddity" (1969). With such a spot-on cover in toe, it almost makes you wonder if a [slightly updated] David Bowie -assisted version of "Space Oddity" will appear on D'Angelo

TEENS FOUND SLAIN: Heems & Mike Finito - "WOMYN" (HITCH 2... Saved By The Bell)

Himanshu "Heems" K. Suri is really the only [rapping] person who can ACTUALLY pull off sounding so smart/dumb all @ once, without coming off as a complete and total toolbag. It almost seems like "WOMYN," which was the premier track debuted from Nehru Jackets (June) and still my personal favourite... is being told through the voice of Saved By The Bell 's very own "AC Slater." Indeed, yet another fine Pop Culture reference from America 's favourite brown Indie Hip-Hopper ! Remember that one time that Jessie told him that girls don't like being called "chicks" and would much rather prefer "women" instead? Well, this is kinda like after that, when Slater [trying his absolute best] continued to use "women" in the totally wrong tense. OK well, maybe that last part didn't really happen on Saved By The Bell . But it's highly plausible and that what Heems & Mike Finito Lakutis proceed to do her

New Wave Cloud Rap: MondreMAN - "Belly of The Beast" (M A N EP & Remix Tape #100)

For all intensive purposes, MondreMAN is the "Rakim" of up-and-coming Oakland "Cloud Rap" duo, Main Attrakionz . Aside from the fact that they quite obviously love weed, beer, Pro Wrestling , and "airy" [ Ambient ] beats... little else is known about the illusive rapper/beatsmith team, nor their Green Ova crew. Since bursting onto the Indie Hip-Hop scene back in 2010 along with fellow stream-of-conscious artists like Cities Aviv, Danny Brown, Lil B , Clams Casino , A$AP Rocky, Das Racist , and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire ... Squadda B & MondreMAN have branched off to record separate solo projects. MondreMAN liberated his latest effort, M A N EP back in December, which has easily become his most well-received release. Surf on over to Main Attrakionz' Bandcamp page to pick up selections from their newest batch of solo, group, and Killa Beez -esque releases. During his latest promotional push behind M A N EP, MondreMAN released a comp

WAVVES & Former Jay Reatard & The Reatards Bassist Stephn Pope "Just Wants His Pants Back" (The Witzard Interview)

(1.) I'm currently reading David Rosen's companion book, on which the TV show is based. Being a fresh-out-of-college writer at a similar life stage as the main character - Jason, I can relate very well to his short-comings. What's your take on I Just Want My Pants Back's overall story? I have not read the book but I did get to see a bunch of scenes in the first season when we were writing the music for it. As far as I can tell it's pretty dead on about how people our age act. Everybody is depressed. Everybody "self-medicates" with drinking and drugs. And everybody f*cks everybody in their social group. (2.) So, what was your first experience composing a score like? Maybe describe the writing process a little bit for the fans. It only took a few days to do this. The first day was definitely really awkward. Nathan and I sat in a room with like 15 different people involved with the show and watched scenes from the first season over and over again. Th

Odd Future 8-Track Sessions: BADBADNOTGOOD & Tyler, The Creator - "Orange Juice" (2008-12)

For their latest "viral" cover selection, the boys of BADBADNOTGOOD decided to flip one of Odd Future 's most seasoned tracks, "Orange Juice." The now Jazz -tinged number originally appeared on Wolf Gang 's premier mixtape, The Odd Future Tape (2008). It should be noted that BBNG initially emerged under the guise, "The Odd Trio" and have since been closely linked to the righteous Hip-Hop crew. A wide array of Jazz -stepped OF covers have been included on their numerous releases, as well as a few previously-released "viral" videos of similar nature along with Tyler, The Creator himself. But wait just a minute there, partner... both BADBADNOTGOOD and Odd Future are currently working on a wide assortment of various projects - specifically "BBNG 2" and The Odd Future Tape, Vol. 2 (respectively). Eager fans can also expect to see/hear Tyler 's second third album "WOLF," Frank Ocean 's long-awaited

VICE & Project X Present: Snoop Dogg "PARTY LEGENDS" (Episode 1)

VICE loves to party. And so does Snoop Dogg . For its newest video series, "PARTY LEGENDS," VICE teamed up with the upcoming feature film, Project X , and rounded up its favorite celebrities with legendary party pasts; Asking them to tell us their most ridiculous party stories... then we animated them. Boom! In the first [episode] of VICE 's "PARTY LEGENDS," Snoop Dogg goes to the Playboy Mansion , hangs with some Bunnies , drinks from his Pimp Cup , and then SHIT HITS THE FAN. - Meka @ 2dopeboyz

Play That Funky Music: Vanilla Ice - "Ice Ice Baby" (Hipster-Fried Indie Rock)

Whether you love or hate his music... one can @ least acknowledge the fact that Rob "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle has been one of Pop Culture 's most consistent figure-heads for the bulk of the last 20-some odd years. Now, we all know and love "Ice Ice Baby" and... well, yeah, that's really it. Onlookers from both sides of the coin can most likely relate a story of great joy and/or disdain to Vanilla Ice 's 1990 break-out single. if nothing else, Van Winkle seems to be a driven, hard-working entertainer, who has ultimately re-invented himself time and time again. Vanilla Ice was essentially one of the first white rappers to break into the mainstream market, along with the Beastie Boys , of course. "Ice Ice Baby" is based around a sampled chunk quite notoriously pulled from Queen + David Bowie 's cross-over hit, "Under Pressure" (1981). Vanilla Ice has always teetered the fine line between irony and reality. naturally, Ice a

Bittersweet Symphony: A$AP Rocky - "Wassup?" (VICE Records & Andy Capper)

Yeah, sometimes Hip-Hop seems pretty sexist, egotistical, and uninspired @ times. But everything doesn't always have to be über-complex and life-shattering... so, yeah whatever! I feel as though A$AP Rocky's latest music video: "Wassup?" is miles away from uninspired; In fact, it's highly-conceptual and well thought out. A collaboration with London -based Journalist/Editor , Andy Capper (VICE) , laid over Clams Casino 's typically lush production work, which showcases Rocky's creative side. The track stems from A$AP Rocky 's nearly instantly popular post-label contract mixtape, LIVELOVEA$AP . Dually billed as co-director, Pretty Flacko displays his "acting chops" and pays tribute to a few of his favourite films: The Warriors, Scarface, Willy Wonka (1971), Belly , and Enter The Dragon . Purple background tints, plenty of "40's," scantily-clad women, weed, Benjamins , etc. are of course thrown in for good measure. A$AP

America's Next Top... Rap Singer: Action Bronson - "Strictly Business" (Parts 1 & 2)

Based on the slight amount of information [conveniently] provided on the vast inner-workings of The Inter-Web , one can assume that frequent collaborators, Action Bronson & Statik Selektah are putting the finishing touches on an upcoming New Jack Swing -themed mixtape. The premier offering from said tape, "Strictly Business" (Parts 1 & 2) was liberated to the masses earlier today, in honor of Selektah 's 30th birthday. Delicately constructed around a Swinging, Jazzy sample which may very well be pulled from a cappella Gospel group, Take 6 . Action Bronson properly laces up the beat with his notoriously "gully," intricate rhymes schemes. Just take a quick listen and see/hear for yourself. New Jack City: Chopped & Screwed is amongst a number of projects that Bronsonelli is currently working on; Expect it TBR ahead of "the pack," sooner than later, and unveiled along with Party Supplies -driven Blue Chips (Fool's Gold ).

War with The Dragon: Jay Electronica - "Dimethyltryptamine" (Dilla Beat CD's)

Jay Electronica is quite arguably the most prolific, storied, and mysterious rapper(s) of our current generation all rolled into one; A man who's painfully short backcatalog speaks nearly endless volumes. Aside from a few batches of tracks with unknown origins, Electronica has only released about 5 single-worthy tunes since quietly appearing on the scene in 2004: 16-minute [debut] opus "Act I: Eternal Sunshine (the pledge) ," "Exhibit A (Transformations)," "Exhibit C," "Shiny Suit Theory," and "The Announcement." Since Act I 's initial release (2007), it's proper Nas -assisted follow-up has often been long-rumored, time and time again. Frankly @ this point, I'm beginning to wonder whether or not it even exists. Soon after signing to Jay-Z 's very own Roc-Nation label in 2010, Jay Electronica announced the supposed completion of "Act II: Patents of Nobility (the turn)" via Twitter . Don't hold

Paint By Numbers: Django Django - "Default" (Bandleader & Pop Artist, David MacLean)

Currently on a quick promotional jaunt for their upcoming self-titled debut, Django Django recently took some time off to finalize and release their latest music video: "Default" was initially shot by Dan Brereton and executed as a fairly simple performance clip, which showcased the band's unique sound. I'd categorize Django Django 's overall sound as something like: Pop -tinged Post-Rock music. Slight touches of Hip-Hop [sampling] are also noticeable throughout. Drummer and bandleader, David MacLean then rifled through some 4,000 printed stills... went in and hand painted colorful accents over top of his favourite shots, which Brereton re-shot and animated to create the final cut of "Default." The resulting music video is mildly reminiscent of a-ha 's seminal hit, "Take On Me" (1985). An equally-infectious and nearly just as note-worthy "Default" (Walls Remix) is available for "Like" [download] over @ Dj

French-Fried Arena Rock: Justice - "On 'N' On" (Alexandre Courtes' Space Jam 2.0)

Gigantic scantily-clad floating ladies, skeletons, shaded band members, diamonds, and of course, geocentric shapes: All present throughout Justice 's most recent music video. "On 'N' On" is very much comparable to Justice 's Arena Rock -inspired sophomore album, Audio Video Disco - Complex, yet amazingly simple pieces of work, which @ any given time, you aren't entire sure if they paying homage or mocking a few of your favourite things. Now don't get me wrong, Audio Video Disco was hands down one of my personal Top Albums of 2011 ... maybe it's simply the language barrier, but I'm never entirely sure how to take what Justice is doing. Admittedly un-talented "musicians," Xavier de Rosnay & Gaspard Augé essentially taught themselves how to play the album's featured instruments and then pain-staking dis/re-assembled it's primary components. Needless to say, Justice's Audio Video Disco is now available and undoub

Party & Bullshit: STS GOLD Rush - "We Threw a Party" (Drake Care This Weekend)

I've really been meaning to dub up a GOLD Rush -themed STS post for quite some time... easily a solid week or 2 now. The latest edition of Sugar Tongue Slim 's weekly jam-flipping series is "We Threw a Party." Based around short, choppy vocal samples culled from a couple of Drake & Beyoncé 's most recent radio hits. Drake 's previously somber, pity-filled romp, "Marvin's Room" has now been transformed into a celebratory, albeit brief tune... just in time for the weekend! David Mack recently filmed the companion music video @ this year's OKP Holiday Jam , which sports quick cameos from the likes of The Roots Crew, Shaggy , and Big Daddy Kane . Fans should expect the complete GOLD Rush (mixtape) to drop in early February over @ STS's own personal "gold claim" [website].

Master of My Make-Believe: Santigold - "Big Mouth" (Switch & Buraka Som Sistema)

After a lengthy 4 year-long "hibernation," Indie Rock 's favourite Philly -bred wanderlust wonder child, Santigold has finally emerged with some new, buzz-worthy music in toe. Nearly out of the blue, "Big Mouth" was released for FREE download yesterday to wide-spread critical and fan acclaim alike. Santigold 's PR rep. later stated that the track is merely a promotional [teaser] single; But you would never know so from the looks of it's accompanying over-the-top, glammed up cartoon-ish music video. The high-ppofile audio/video talents of Switch , Buraka Som Sistema , and director Cody Critcheloe were brought in for back-up assistance in Round #1. Between albums, Santigold managed to work with a wide array of distinctive collaborators including: Christina Aguilera , Q-Tip, Jay-Z , Lily Allen , M.I.A. The Lonely Island , Pharrell, N.A.S.A. Beastie Boys, Julian Casablancas , and Karen O. Master of My Make-Believe was additionally out-fitted with

Cold Day In Hell: Madlib & Freddie Gibbs - "Thuggin'" EP (Medicine Show #13: Black Tape?)

Although I really can't relate to the gun-slinging experiences outlined by the average rapper these days... as an aspiring, young Journalist , I can however, relate to the sheer "hustle," which is commonly detailed throughout Hip-Hop . Especially the sort of hard-as-nails actions seen across Freddie Gibbs' recent Madlib -produced lead single, "Thuggin.'" Indie director, Jonah Schwartz (DD172 Films) has now teamed up with "MadGibbs" to produce a truly chilling visual accompaniment for the hard-hitting track. Over the course of the music video, Freddie Gibbs proceeds to surprise attack, murder & pillage a number of "sinners:" drug dealers, pimps, hookers, etc; Therefore it might be particularly fitting to dub "Thuggin'" as Crack Rap. Madlib & Freddie Gibbs' debut collaborative 6-track EP is now available over @ Stones Throw and they're currently working on a proper full-length album together. The

Power of Equality: Yasiin Bey for MLK Day - "Nig_as In Poorest" (Kanye & Jay-Z Remix)

The Artist Formerly Known as "Mos Def," Yasiin Bey has finally taken a long-overdue break from his day job (film actor) to make an undoubtedly triumphant return to his first true love: Hip-Hop . In what appears to be The Soulquarian 's premier offering under his newly-adopted guise, Bey proceeds to remix a familiar Top 40 hit. "Niggas In Poorest" is the first in a series of socially-conscious Top 40 Underdog freestyles... and Yasiin Bey drastically flips Kanye & Jay-Z 's uncanny "radio single" (2011) on it's head. The weekly series will seemingly re-appropriate some of the year's finest Hip-Hop/Mainstream hits, albeit in thought-provoking, new light. The formerly lavish tale of over-indulgence has now been morphed into a painfully accurate lament of modern-day society. Of course though, @ it's stereophonic heart, "Niggas In Poorest" is in fact a politically-driven, racially-charged social commentary released

Fork & Spoon Potluck: Those Lavender Whales - "Growth In Question" (Lunch & Recess)

Drummer-turned frontman Aaron Graves started writing Folk -driven Pop tunes somewhere between Columbia, SC and Nashville during college. He adopted the musical moniker "Those Lavender Whales" and started writing, recording, and self-releasing songs with friends. By the time 2006-07 rolled around, Graves had assembled 3 hand-made EP's , which were recorded with a troupe of borrowed instruments and a rotating cast of surprisingly talented acquaintances. Roughly during the same time span, Aaron Graves formed a "loose collective" with local musicians, Chris Gardner and Jordan Blackmon . After a solid batch of self-released projects, Fork & Spoon began operating a a legit record label in 2010. Jessica Bornick (drums) soon linked up with Graves & Gardner, rounding out Those Lavender Whales' current line-up. The band's most recent output, Tomahawk of Praise is being marketed as their proper debut full-length. Filmed @ one of Fork & S

"You Know What I Mean:" Cults @ Union Transfer, Philly - Friday The 13th (Live Review)

Madeline Follin was even more beautiful and sultry live in concert than I could have ever even imagined! Her voice was a tad bit deeper than on record, but I think it actually sounded better in a larger-scale [concert] setting. A drummer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist were brought into the fold to help beef up the band's sound, just for the special occasion. Follin belted out each and every passion-filled note as if she were a seductive, slithering Jazz songstress playing a gig @ a hoppin' Lounge joint back in The Roaring 50's . Cults proceeded to rip through the entirety of their 11-track Columbia debut. A few appended tracks were also added into the mix for good measure: "The Curse" (Cults 7" EP) , a BRAND NEW Leonard Cohen cover, miscellaneous noodling and banter. At the imminent close of said blistering set, guitarist Brian Oblivion muttered something to the effect of "Fuck that corny shit where the band walks off stage, pretends t

I Just Want My Pants Back: Wavves - "Hybrid Moments" (Glenn Danzig Misfits)

Wavves were always that obnoxious Indie band that just irked me. To be completely frank, I think that Wavves (2008) and Wavvves (2009) sounded like complete and total shit... and their instant success/immense mass media cover-age simply dumbfounded me. I'm open to nearly all forms of music, but theirs just seemed like musically-backed noise. So, when King of The Beach -related tracks started leaking online back in 2010, I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard! It seems as though head Wavve Nathan Williams is staying true to his reckless roots, while toning it down just a tad but @ the same time, in an effort to become a little more "mainstream" commercially viable . In the months since, Wavves have managed to pick up Jay Reatard 's old band, "The Reatards," performed on national TV with GZA , released follow-up effort, Life Sux EP ... and inked a licensing deal with MTV ! Nathan Williams' official title @ the music television network

Brutalize Me with Music: Peanut Butter Wolf Presents... Jonti - "Sine & Moon" (Re-mastered)

Sine & Moon 's deep "roots" date way back before any seasoned listener would ever even believe: The mid-1990's. "Saturday Night Songs," the album's inaugural track, was recorded by Jonti Danilewitz in his homeland of South Africa Australia @ the ripe, young age of 13. Essentially a collection of old, new, re-mixed/mastered, and appended tracks, which starts out with that first song Jonti ever recorded. Jonti initially configured the album in the form of a mix CD commissioned by Stones Throw and released back in August 2011. Essentially, a wide array of 13 [15] genre-jumping 4-track records; Plus an MF DOOM -esque rapped co-starring appearance from partner in crime, Jonwayne (2007) to top it all off. Since it's original release, Jonti has been hit up with such an abundance of fan requests for individual tracks... that Stones Throw decided to re-release an updated, albeit FREE version of Sine & Moon . In preparation of the Jan.

Southern Hospitality: Diarrhea Planet's Jordan "Hodan" Smith (Loose Interview)

(1.) What are some of your favourite Punk records - sources of inspiration, if you will? As far as Punk is concerned probably Latterman 's "We are still alive..." and Against Me!'s "The Disco Before the Breakdown." Truth be told though, I don't know if most of us still listen to Punk that much anymore. There is a lot of Punk bands that are really fun to see live but it's hard to relate to a lot of the anger that the bands portray and write about. (2.) Can you briefly discuss Diarrhea Planet 's use-age of Pop & melody? Sure. I know that we all have always been suckers for a good/memorable hook within a song. I feel like most of the scene that we participate in here in Nashville is based more heavily upon hooks and attitude than anywhere else. The "Punk" or probably more appropriately "DIY" scene here is different than any other I have ever been part of in that the bands still portray aggression and attitude

Where's The Beef?: Common vs. Drake - "Stay Schemin'" (Aubrey Diss Remix)

Hip-Hop "Beef" is essentially a long-forgotten art form/promotional exercise. Infamous beefs of the per-Internet Golden Boom-Bap Era (1980-90's) include: 2pac-Biggie , Nas-Jay-Z , "The Bridge Wars," LL Cool J-Kool Moe Dee , and "The Roxanne Saga." A carefully designed marketing tool, beef is usually kick-started when one rapper does/says something that the other doesn't exactly agree with. Beefs are usually all in good fun and most times, end in a truce... One exception however, is the tragic deaths of former friends, 2pac & Biggie . Recent Internet -based beefs have included: Kanye-50 Cent , Nicki Minaj-Lil Kim , [The] Game -everyone, Eminem-Canibus (Mariah Carey) . In what may very well be the first size-able Hip-Hop beef of 2012, Common released a diss track aimed @ Drake just yesterday afternoon. Common-Drake 's feud stems back to Nov. 2011 when Common released "Sweet." The third single from The Dreamer/The Believe