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Showing posts from February, 2012

"After The Gold Rush:" Sugar Tongue Slim - #GOLDRUSH (Top 40 Roots Mixtape)

Sugar Tongue Slim (STS) is a criminally under-rated "Atlantadelphia" -bred rapper and honorary Roots Crew member. From what I can tell, his first recorded appearance was on The Roots' Indie Rock -tinged dark/light "concept album," How I Got Over (2010). STS additionally represents 1/5 of Money Making Jam Boys and his solo output [thusfar] includes: Demand More I-II , Sole Music EP , The Illustrious , and a gaggle of assorted Remixes & Indie Rock flips. After slowly leaking out short, weekly music videos over the course of the past few months, Sugar Tongue Slim finally unveiled his latest Starting Line-Up -produced mixtape effort earlier this morning: GOLD RUSH . It's basically a collection of 15 Top 40 flips (2009-11), which are often slightly re-appropriated with STS' unique storytelling and acute Boom-Bap flourishes. STS and his team of certified in-house gold diggers [producers] hand-selected singles from contemporary artists such as B

Converse Space-Funk Jam: Gorillaz, André 3000 & James Murphy - "DoYaThing" (Music Video)

I've been a hardcore music fan for about 10-15 years now; An admitted lover of all things Hip-Hop, Indie Rock , and Punk (Pop Culture). OutKast, Gorillaz , and LCD Soundsystem have been atop my list of favourite artists for some time and were quite arguably the 3 most eclectic musicians of the last decade! So, much to my delight it was pretty exciting to hear about Converse 's latest "3 Artists, 1 Song" installment: Damon Albarn , André 3000 , and James Murphy. "DoYaThing" premiered online earlier today, in conjunction with the release of 4 SPECIAL EDITION Jamie Hewlett -designed Gorillaz "Chucks." Pitchfork 's very own Ryan Dombal reports that while in the studio over 3 days back in September, the eclectic trio also recorded a Dirty 12-minute version of "DoYaThing" in addition to the [previously released] Radio Edit. Gorillaz are set to debut a companion music video and the long version online in the coming weeks. "DoYa

Steve Jones Presents: Arctic Monkeys - "R U Mine?" (Non-Album Single, 2012)

3 righteous Sheffield, England blokes collectively known as "Arctic Monkeys" initially burst[ed] onto the music scene in early 2006 along with the release of Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not . It's essentially a concept album that follows young club-goers, I can still remember picking up a CD [single] copy of "When The Sun Goes Down" @ Hot Topic ha... and the album eventually ended up becoming the fastest-selling debut in British history, even ahead of The Beatles' Please Please Me (1963)! Arctic Monkeys even seem to record @ a lightning-fast speed that's comparable to Classic Rock 's figureheads; Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Matt Helders , and Nick O'Malley have managed to release 4 albums and 2 EP's over the course of their 10-year career. All the while, recording material with various side projects , Punk bands, award-winning rappers, and deep in the desert with Josh Homme . Arctic Monkeys quietly unveiled the

Death Grips Sign to Epic Records, Release "Get Got" & Prep 2 New Albums (The Money Store)

Against all odds... Sacramento 's very own Experimental Hip-Hop/Thrash Punk band, Death Grips have now dotted the "I"s and crossed the "T"s of a major label deal with Epic Records. MC Ride (Stefan Burnett) and his motley crew released their second single in just as many weeks, "Get Got" along with the titular announcement just yesterday afternoon. Death Grips previously revealed their plans to liberate 2 full-length albums throughout 2012 and now, we have the semi-complete details: The Money Store is slated for an April 24th release, which will be preceded by a limited-run vinyl pressing on April 21st [ Record Store Day ]... with No Love close behind and expected during Fall '12. Together, the pair of righteous records will act as the proper follow-up to Death Grips' exceptional genre-bending self-released mixtape, Ex-military (2011). Death Grips' in-house producer, Andy Morin will seemingly step behind "the boards"

Blue Escape & Soul Food: Willis Earl Beal - "Evening's Kiss" (Black Tom Waits?)

I'm quite pleasantly surprised to admit that in today's world of over-saturated online [Hipster] "Journalism," no one else has snatched up the term, "Renaissance Man" to aptly describe Chicago -bred singer-songwriter/artist, Willis Earl Beal . He gained an initial burst of notoriety and a pseudo-cult following after hanging a number of hand-drawn flyers, complete with his digits, up around town. Beal managed to slip away @ some point in between 2007-09, moving down to Albuquerque, New Mexico , assembled a pick-up band of local musicians, and record a demo CD-R chock-full of simple Blues ditties. After a whirl-wind of media coverage, Willis Earl Beal soon inked a deal with XL Recordings off-shoot label, Hot Charity in 2011-12... a hodgepodge of un-sequenced CD-R's and hissing cassette tapes would eventually wind up being Beal's debut "album:" Acousmatic Sorcery , which the label plans to release on April 3rd. Willis Earl Beal pain

The Windy City Soul: Action Bronson, Rockie Fresh & Macie Stewart (Kids These Days) - "Dear Heather"

While on a recent holiday [trip] to "The Windy City," Action Bronson managed to link up with a number of Chicago 's finest up-and-coming musicians: Dangerously accurate rapper Rockie Fresh , sultry songstress Macie Stewart (Kids These Days) , and talented beatsmith Thelonious Martin . Bronsellini proceeds to lace up a descriptive tale of passion, lust, and debauchery over Martin's sparse Jazzy , brass-tinged beat... which is effectively bookended by a modest helping of Rockie Fresh's SWAGGER-filled flow and a dash of Macie Stewart 's Soulfully smooth croon. Quite aptly titled "Dear Heather," the sum of it's various parts essentially equate the story of a joyous fan encounter a la Eminem 's nearly 12-year-old hit, "Stan," but this time complete with a foxy little lady! Action Bronson & Friends' collaborative track is slated to appear on Ruby Hornet 's upcoming compilation, "Closed Sessions" (Vol. 2) . F

Tougher Than Leather: Grimes & Cadence Weapon - "[19]88" (Gorilla vs. Bear Takeover)

Claire Boucher seems to be flirting with the idea of becoming a "Hip-Hop producer," as of late. The Montreal -based Experimental artist who's alternatively known as "Grimes" is currently on a promotional jaunt for her third full-length and major label debut, Visions . It was liberated across North America just yesterday [Feb. 21st], self-recorded @ Claire Boucher 's apartment over a 3 week period, and then skillfully mixed/mastered along with her manager, Sebastian Cowan . Following a minor water-borne run in with the law (2009), Boucher's "street cred" was slightly boosted. Grimes' initial exploration into the world of Hip-Hop was released in conjunction with Visions : Cadence Weapon - "88." The 2 Canadian -bred artists struck up an Internet -based friendship a few months back and Claire Boucher willingly handed over a bare-bones beat version of "Eight." Cadence Weapon then morphed it into a tender ode to H

Tank-Top Ranking: Charli XCX for Fred Butler - "I'll Never Know" (Fashion Week, London)

Charli XCX is a young, 19-20 year old British songstress who's slowly gaining notoriety and managing to niche out her own unique genre: Goth [Dark] Pop . She has a semi-androgynous style that can be easily likened to that of Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie ... and her fashion icons include Spice Girls , Wednesday Addams , and Winona Ryder from "Beetlejuice" (1988). Although she essentially self-released a full album back @ 14, Charli XCX has been garnering a lot of blog-love for her recent batch of singles and a proper 2012 debut is soon expected. "I'll Never Know" was released just yesterday, in conjunction with the kick-off of London Fashion Week ; Recently written and recorded @ Red Bull Studios , Charli XCX 's tune was re-appropriated as the soundtrack to Fred Butler's "Tank Top-Ranking, Tongue-Tied & Twisted" runway show. Soundcloud is making Charli XCX 's Tropical- tinged romp, "I'll Never Know" avai

140 Characters or Less: a Twitter-view with Less Than Jake Bassist Roger Lima (@LessThanRAJ)

Feb. 17-18th... Wee hours of the morning, after Philly Less Than Jake show. Easily my 5-6th time seeing the band live and yet another wild night in Illadelphia: Troc, The Irish Pub, NJ train station, assorted antics and hi-jinx, [impromptu] post-show signing! @SharpCheddar856: "Nice meeting you after the Philly show last night man! I run a blog... interview? Hit me up @ please." @lessthanRAJ: "Just Tweet me individual questions... I'll try to be informative and savvy in 140 characters or less..." (1) I personally love Anthem & Pezcore (cassette from my cuz)! What are your personal favoutite Less Than Jake (LTJ) albums? B Is for B-side, GNV FLA, and The TV/EP. (2) I'm all about Black Flag, Misfits, Fugazi, The Specials... What Punk/Ska bands have & continue to influence your guys' sound? Descendents, Bosstones, Iron Maiden, Josie & The Pussycars (soundtrack), Weird Al. (3) You play in a variety of bands

Back to The Start: Willie Nelson for Chipotle - "The Scientist" (Coldplay, Chris Martin)

I've always really been a sucker for a solid cover or remix. The whole idea of an artist giving their own unique take on someone else's "vision" [admiration] has always intrigued me. I think that the specific Willie Nelson cover presented here is hands down the most compelling/inventive cover I've heard in a pretty long time! It really doesn't even matter that it might have been commissioned by Chipotle for use in a TV commercial; Nelson's rendition of one of Coldplay 's earliest hits is still just as original and heart-felt. And isn't that really the sheer genesis of a "good cover:" When you definitely know that you recognize the lyrics, but just can't seem to place it @ first because the vocals or instrumentation are just slightly tweaked? While it actually debuted online way back in August, "Back to The Start" (Johnny Kelly) made it's nation-wide premier during The Grammy's last week... right after Coldplay

VICE & Project X Present: Nas Escobar - "PARTY LEGENDS" (an oral history of absolute insanity)

The go-to phrase has always been, "Party like a Rockstar," but in recent months, I've almost learned that rappers party even HARDER! In a unique promotional effort for their upcoming film, the people behind Project X teamed up with Vice Records ... producing a series of short animated YouTube clips dubbed, "PARTY LEGENDS." Delicately sub-titled as "an oral history of absolute insanity," a handful of colorful rappers/actors have re-told the tales of their craziest party-fueled experiences. Precursed by the likes of Snoop Dogg , A-Trak , and Tyler The Creator _ Nas is the latest rhymesmith to present his own f*cked up story. He proceeds to lay down the details behind some random Queens[bridge] "kegger" gone terribly wrong, which was then re-re-animated by Jesse McLaren . It's nice to hear these generally "HARD" [tough] rappers mellow out a bit and tell some fun-loving stories! Tales that I bet we can all relate, even if on

That Girl Is Poison: Whitney Houston - "When The Night Knows" (The Hood Internet Mash-Up)

In the wake of R&B/Pop songstress, Whitney Houston 's untimely death this past weekend, an a cappella version of "How Will I Know?" from her self-titled debut (1985) seems to have emerged. Now a batch of aspiring young Dance producers have already started transforming Houston's vocal into their own unique, buzz-worthy edits for 2012. The particular remix featured here @ "The Witzard" is in fact a mash-up from The Hood Internet; In addition, STV SLV also made good use of Chromeo 's infectious single, "When The Night Falls" [instrumental] from their 2010 Electro-Funk revival record, Business Casual . The Hood Internet 's not so cleverly dubbed bi-product, "When The Night Knows," which quite fittingly, now has an underlying air of "Ghetto Fabulous" -ness. Whitney Houston 's sudden death really is a shame because not only did she make great long-lasting Pop music, she was somebody's mother, ex-wife,

"London Bridge Is Falling Down..." Ed Sheeran & Yelawolf - The Slumdon Bridge (FreEP)

While they might sound like an unlikely pairing on paper, Ed Sheeran & Yelawolf actually have a whole lot more in common than you could ever even imagine. Surely "BIG" on their respective shores (England/Alabama), The Slumdon Bridge EP just might push these 2 up-and-comers into uncharted waters on either side of "The Pond." These new-found musical buddies wrote, recorded, and re-mixed 4 tracks over the course of 10 hours-worth of stashed studio time. A genuine mutual admiration really seems to exist between multi-instrumentalist and Redneck rapper . Early favourites from the painfully brief Slumdon Bridge EP include: "London Bridge" and "You Don't Know (For F*ck's Sake)." The best term that I can possibly begin to find to describe The Slumdon Bridge EP is "Alternative Hip-Hop;" Here, we have 4 home-grown, Down Country acoustic Hip-Hop jams - properly laced and flourished by Yelawolf 's very distinctively acce

Best New Artist: Bon Iver/Justin Vernon - "Calgary" & "Perth" (The Roots Pre-Grammy Jam #8)

Bon Iver head honcho, Justin Vernon has somehow managed to become quite the "enigma" in the world of Popular music over the past couple years: An independent, New Age Folk artist who's been able to bridge the gap between Indie Rock and Hip-Hop _ commercial obscurity and "mainstream success." On the heels of his feverishly-awaited 2011 "comeback" album - Bon Iver, Bon Iver , Vernon laid down some studio time in Hawaii with Kanye & Friends (Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, John Legend) , which eventually ended up on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy . Following generally wide-spread fan and critical acclaim alike, Bon Iver, Bon Iver was nominated for a set of 4 Grammy awards near the close of 2011. Shortly after the announcement, a slightly dated and previously unpublished Justin Vernon interview (The New Yorker) was issued; Included within it's pages were a handful of not-so kind words for the people behind The Grammy's . Vernon w

Rock "N" Roll Is Dead: The Black Keys - "Gold on the Ceiling" (World Tour Montage)

In the midst of The Roots' latest concept-heavy 13th album (undun) , I nearly forgot about The Black Keys' most recent release; El Camino was issued on the same day as undun and now that "the smoke has cleared," I've gotten an opportunity to fully digest The Keys' latest Blues -drenched offering. By now, it's pretty widely known that Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney are a couple of pranksters... and they've chosen to align themselves with a cast of equally "zany" characters: Frank The Dinosaur , Mos Def , Danger Mouse , The Black Eyed Peas, Derrick T. Tuggle , pint-sized fighting children, ATL Twins , Dame Dash , and Tennis (Colorado). So, many long-time fans were quite surprised after initially viewing Akron, OH's finest BRAND NEW music video, "Gold on the Ceiling." Said Reid Long -directed video features a continuous stream of grainy, behind-the-scenes footage filmed while on tour. It's very reminiscent of Class

In Search of... Creative Freedom: EdstanleY - "Out West" (Advance Demo CD, 9-Track)

Eventhough they're from Huntington Beach, CA, EdstanleY 's brand spankin' new 9-Track Demo CD somehow manages to effectively channel the sheer angst and passionate, DIY nature of "D.C. Hardcore" (1980's Punk) . I've personally known the guys for about a year now and it's been great to see them gradually progress and morph into what EdstanleY is today. Scott Gripe, Justin "Bobby" Brescia , and Dave Rees have been holed up in the studio these past few months; Steadily chipping away at what has now become this very LP-length demo [read: rough album]. Without giving too much away: EdstanleY Demo is the true audiofile embodiment of what this band really stands for... originality, sun-drenched Rock "N" Roll , peace, respect, and a good fucking time! Genre-wise, I'd say they fit somewhere between Nirvana and Metallica . Following a few days of repeated listenings, my personal [albeit early] favorites from the advance I rece

Pookie Blue Room: Raphael Saadiq & Spacek - "They Don't Know You" (Shelved Album, 2004)

Back in 2004, Raphael Saadiq opened his studio doors to Spacek (band) to produce an album for one of his sub-labels. The album was supposed to be called "Pookie Blue Room" and feature 10 songs produced by both Steve & Morgan [Spacek] with Raphael singing on all of them and featuring guest appearances by Common, Q-Tip, Ledisi , Steve Spacek , and Sir [Fonzworth] Bentley . Anyhow, the album was never completed and therefore, never released. As one of the executive producer of this album, I have been sitting on those tracks for years now... sharing my fav with you now. - Mathieu Schreyer (executive producer)

Dutch Promotape: Dilpo & Don Diablo - "Make You Pop" (Zanger Rinus & Romana Meme)

Pretty simple premise for a "music video" and companion blog post here, if I do say so myself: Philly Dubstep Master and Mad Decent label head honcho, Diplo recently teamed up with Dutch DJ-songwriter, Don Diablo to record the sheer bo(o)mbastic goodness that is "Make You Pop." Soon after laying down and properly "lacing up" said track, Diplo & Diablo quickly sent the final edit over to their Dutch compadres, Zanger Rinus & Romana . Legend has it... the music video below showcases their honest, eccentric reaction(s) while whilst initially listening to the snailmailed "Make You Pop" promotape [cassette]. Internet -savvy fans just might liken Zanger Rinus & Romana 's escapades to something that exists somewhere in-between Napoleon Dynamite and Major Lazer 's recent Lo-Fi comeback clip, "Original Don." Almost positive that a segmented portion of "Make You Pop" was previously featured @ the tail-e

FREE AT LAST: Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt, Back "Home" In Los Angeles... or Not? (James Pants)

Despite [or maybe because of] the fact that he's been mysteriously absent from the Odd Future click since their 2010-11 rise to fame... Earl Sweatshirt quickly became the group's most storied and sought-after member. Sweatshirt managed to release one sole, albeit spectacular, album before disappearing: EARL (2010). Depending on who you ask, Earl Sweatshirt 's mother sent him to "Coral Reef Academy," a boarding school-like facility in Samoa for either drug use, rapping , disobedience, or depression. It's all somehow morphed into a tangled web of truth, lies, and deception that involves an attention-hungry man named "Tyler Craven." But the one thing I think we can all unanimously agree on: EARL was and still is an AMAZING album - Quite arguably one of Odd Future 's strongest, most consistent releases to date! There's been little blog-worthy Earl Sweatshirt -related news since back in Summer '11. While recent web rumblings seemed to

"I wanna be a trillionaire;" a beautifully disjointed interview with jj frotnwoman elin kastlander (gothenburg, sweden)

Mysterious, Hip-Hop -loving Dream Pop duo, jj burst onto the Indie music scene sometime back in 2009. Elin & Joakim soon inked a deal with Sweden -based label, Sincerely Yours . In a similar vein to Nine Inch Nails' "Halo" system, each of jj 's major releases thusfar have been labeled, "jj n° 1-3." My personal favourite jj project, "kills" was quietly liberated over Christmas Break 2010-11; Elin & Joakim 's interpretation of "the mixtape" was pretty similar to the American ideal... and featured 10 well-done, lush flips of a handful of 2010's most Popular hits: Dr. Dre, Taio Cruz , M.I.A. Jay-Z , T-Pain, Diddy-Dirty Money , and Kanye. jj essentially released an album's-worth of complementary material online over the course of 2011, some of which may [or may not] eventually end up re-appearing on "jj n° 4" (IN ETERNITY) . A few weeks ago, I emailed a batch of 10 questions over to jj and just th

Grammy-Nominated Home Video Release: TV on the Radio - "Nine Types of Light" (Film Trailer)

Musicians have been releasing additional video content ("Bonus DVD's") along with their albums since the decline of the CD format - roughly since the early 2000's. I literally have a stack of 10-15 band DVD's in jewel cases down in my basement, but TV on the Radio have quite arguably executed the strongest DVD format-utilizing release. Nearly a year after it's original [digital] release, TV on the Radio have since decided to give Nine Types of Light a proper re-release. Now available on DVD for the first time, the film helps transform 11 lush, Experimental tracks into an intricate, yet completely "sound" video album. Nine Types of Light has since been nominated @ the upcoming Grammy's (2012) in the category of "Best Long Form Music Video." TV on the Radio commissioned various directors and friends to create clips for each of Nine Types of Light 's 11 tracks... an album which was then slightly re-arranged to form an hour-lon

Voodoo-Era D'Angelo DJ Remix: James Blake - "Left & Right" (Harmonimix 5)

It's fairly safe to assume that by now, most of us have heard about D'Angelo 's well-received European "Comeback Tour" and impending, triumphant return after a 12-year self-imposed exile. This is your typical quick rise, great success... EPIC fall, drug problem, arrest(s), companion rumor mill, and long-awaited comeback story. I faintly can remember watching "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" on either MTV or The Box back in like 7-8th grade and not really knowing what to think. It was a suggestive music video which had potential to be pretty "scarring," but look how I turned out: Well-grounded and open-minded nonetheless ha. I can quite honestly say that D'Angelo was my first favourite R&B crooner ! Arguably the break-out "King of Dubstep" (2010-11), James Blake is roughly the same age as me and I bet he saw D'Angelo 's batch of Brown Sugar-Voodoo era music videos on British TV , too. Anyways, fast-forward to pre

One-Eyed Peace Sign: M.I.A. - "Bad Girls" (VICE & Noisey Music Re-hash)

While I honestly can't say that I physically own any of her 3 critically-acclaimed CD's... I can however admit that I've thoroughly enjoyed and loved what visual artist-turned musician, Maya "M.I.A." Arulpragasam has been able to do for both Pop Culture and humanity since 2000-05. I'm just gonna go ahead and go out on a limb, cause we're all "friends" here - Right? There isn't very much ACTUAL news to report on here... But I'm just gonna give it my best shot! While M.I.A. 's latest Romain Gavras -directed music video was debuted online Friday afternoon, along with that new Nicki Minaj -featuring Madonna track, "Bad Girls" is far from BRAND SPANKIN' NEW; It originally appeared on M.I.A. 's post- /\/\ /\ Y /\ odds-and-ends mixtape, Vicki Leekx (2010) and was produced by Timbaland -associate, Danja . M.I.A. performed [a segment of] "Give Me All Your Luvin'" alongside Nicki Minaj, Cee-Lo , and LMFA

Diarrhea Planet Presents: Guitarist Evan C. Bird's Hand-Picked Top 40 "Hitlist" (Jurassic 2011)

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's July 2018 and to be honest, I'm really not even sure what exactly this is/was supposed to be... but from what I can put together, it's some type of "Top 40 "Hitlist"' AKA a breakdown(?) I asked Diarrhea Planet guitarist Evan C. Bird to put together about 6-7 years ago. If you're reaing this now, in 2018, it saddens me to inform you that Diarrhea Planet have, unfortunately, decided it's time for them to disband; however, DP have also, decided to "SHRED THEE WELL" with 2 final shows to be held September 7-8, 2018 at EXIT/IN in Nashville, Tennessee. It seems like Diarrhea Planet has simply, run it's course, but let me just say this: it was extremely fun while it lasted, fellas! Blue Scholars - Cinematropolis: Seattle Hip-Hop ! These guys have been on the top of my list since The Long March (2005). These guys are from Seattle and they're not exactly new, but Cinematropolis is definitely a departure f

Mad Decent Short Film: PO PO - "Teen Dreamz / Let's Get Away" (Clayton Vomero)

Since initially bursting onto the music scene in 2008-09, Philly Psych-Pop band PO PO has somehow mysteriously morphed from "family affair" (3 brothers) to the solo endeavor of remaining member, Zeb Malik . Regardless of "current events," PO PO have signed to home-bred label, Mad Decent and are gearing up to release their long-awaited debut album, DOPE BOY MAGICK . Labelhead Diplo and Nick Launay lent their production talents, but with such a tensured past, it's almost hard to tell how many bandmembers are ACTUALLY present on each specific recording. Zeb teamed up with [art] director, Clayton Vomero on Staten Island to produce the music video for "Teen Dreamz / "Let's Get Away" along with DOPE BOY MAGICK's featured artwork (Noah Conopask) . Stereogum debuted the new PO PO video yesterday afternoon, which for all intensive purposes... is a short film oddly rooted somewhere between the genres of gut-wrenching Horror and Roman