Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I went to my first real Drum n' Bass show last night and let me just say I can't hear shit, my legs hurt and my heart is beating to the Amen Break. Pendulum, London Elektricity and Nu:Tone tore up The Vanguard in Hollywood, the place was packed with an eclectic crowd that only came to get down (pic above).
I am a real novice when it comes to Drum n' Bass, I am just really getting my feet wet so I tend to stick to the songs with vocals, and remixes. Below are some of my favorite joints:
High Contrast- Days Go By
Nu:Tone- 7 Years
High Contrast- What We Do Is Wrong
High Contrast- Tutti Frutti
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I’ve enjoyed all of The Streets’ 3 records, but it’s only at certain times when I go dig them out and play them again. Now is one of those times. I have just had enough with American hip-hop radio. “This Is Why I’m Hot,” “Walk It Out,” and “Laffy Taffy” is the worst kind of shit out there, in any genre.
Mike Skinner is LIGHT YEARS ahead of his American counterparts in lyrical content, flow and storytelling ability. Even the beats are more interesting. On “Blinded By The Lights,” a narrative about trying to find his friends on a crowded rave, the trance beat even slows up when he talks of his ecstasy pill finally kicking in.
On “Could Well Be In” and “Its Too Late,” he speaks of relationships with girls in very venerable and human terms. He has issues and he hopes that it won’t interfere with these relationships with women that he genuinely cares about. Granted it’s not as exciting as “making it rain” $100 bills on hoes in strip clubs, but definitely more interesting and easy to relate to.
“Turn The Page,” the first track off his debut Original Pirate Material is simply a banger, announcing his arrival as the torchbearer of British Hip Hop.
The Streets- Blinded By The Lights
The Streets- Could Well Be In
The Streets- It's Too Late
The Streets- Turn The Page
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Spymob has disappeared off the face of the earth. They first broke onto the scene as the backup band for N.E.R.D., playing background on their amazing debut In Search Of. Spymob's debut disc Sitting Around Keeping Score, released on Pharrell's Star Trak label in 2004 was on of the best albums of the year. But due to inadequate promotion and general industry red tape, the album never really got off the ground. Since then they have been dropped by Star Trak, and have been quiet on the scene for 2+ years now. Guys, get it together, the music was too good.
Spymob- It Gets Me Going
Spymob- Stand Up & Win
Monday, March 26, 2007
"How do you say 'I Love You' to an answering machine?"
Originally bred from the Minneapolis punk scene of the early 80’s, The Replacements were always on the verge of “making it.” Led by Paul Westerberg, who later became rather well known for his single “Dyslexic Heart” from the movie Singles, they were a band that liked to party hard. Their live shows were known for drunken debauchery and inter-band squabble, which led to their demise.
It’s a shame that The Replacements never made it big. Their punk roots provided for very angst ridden lyrical content, even as they became ever more poppy with their music.
"Can't Hardly Wait" and "Alex Chilton" are classic songs in my opinion; I am transformed back to the early 90's whenever I hear them. The contrast between Westerberg's hardened voice and the upbeat melodies provides for that very distinctive Replacements sound.
The Replacements- Can't Hardly Wait
The Replacements- Alex Chilton
The Replacements- Kiss Me on the Bus
The Replacements- Answering Machine
I am going to profile a few up and coming female rappers who are really bringing a fresh sound and attitude to the game.
The debut album from Ms. Amanda Blank that is due out this year is definitely one of my most anticipated albums of 2007. After showcasing her skills on Spank Rock's album along with various mixtapes, Amanda is now in the studio working on her own shit. She combines the nastiness of Lil Kim with the fast rapping ability of Twista, and her songs always manage to wreck dancefloors and have those not in the know asking "who is thisssss!?"
Spank Rock feat Amanda Blank- Bump
Amanda Blank- Get It Now
Spank Rock feat Amanda Blank- Blow
Plastic Little feat Amanda Blank- Crambodia (excerpt)
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Since I'm in the mood to post mixes, and for everyone who is going to Miami for the Winter Music Conference, here is DJ Ayres' Freestyle mix. Freestyle was a type of music in the 80's, made popular in the Latin communities of Miami and New York. It blends elements of electronic music with strong Latin influences and is just damn good to put on, put the top down on your ride and step on the gas.
Ayres kills it with this mix. Its really complete, with some of the most popular Freestyle joints mixed with some lesser known tracks.
DJ Ayres- Fader Freestyle Mix
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The DJs of French House label Ed Banger Records are about to take over the states with their first American Tour, coinciding with the Winter Music Conference in Miami this weekend. DJs Justice, Mehdi and Sebastain have been huge hits in the blogosphere, their high energy beats have packed many a dancefloor with hipsters and electronic music fans alike. The lady of the bunch, hipster pin-up girl Uffie raps over the beats of DJ Feadz, talking shit all the way.
To see what an Ed Banger showcase is really like, watch the madness that ensued at their 4 Year Anniversary party last month in Paris- Video
Be sure to check them out if they come to your city (tour dates above).
Justice vs. Simian- We Are Your Friends
DJ Mehdi- Signature (Thomas Bangaltier Edit)
Uffie- Pop The Glock
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Band of Horses is a Seattle group that makes dreamy pop rock that isn't that different from a lot of other stuff out there, except for one thing- the singer's voice. I have been hard pressed to find much info on these guys, since apparently they broke up soon after releasing their debut Everything All The Time. They don't even have a myspace page!
Band of Horses- The Funeral
Band of Horses- The Great Salt Lake
Band of Horses- The First Song
There is nothing more depressing than when it rains in LA like it is today. It jolts the system, traffic becomes horrible and people bundle up like its monsoon season in Southeast Asia. Here are some jams that always get me in a good mood, no matter how wet and depressing it is outside:
Stevie Wonder- Boogie on Reggae Woman
Slightly Stoopid- Sweet Honey
Sufjan Stevens- Chicago
I tried to hate on this guy because I thought he was just a celebrity fucker who DJ'ed on the side for his rich and famous friends, you know the type. (Benji Madden, I'm looking at you man) But AM is a BEAST on the turntables, he is probably the most consistant DJ I have seen live. He can please any crowd from a drunk sorority girl party who just wants some "Fergalicious" to the hipest hipsters looking for some Ed Banger remixes. Don't sleep on him just because he ran through Nicole Richie and Mandy Moore, that's just a byproduct of his domination.
DJ AM- Live on Power 106 (12/05) - part 1
DJ AM- Live on Power 106 (12/05) - part 2
DJ AM- Live at LAX Banana Split 2/18/07
Monday, March 19, 2007
Brooklyn electro rock dudes Ratatat have been busy in the studio making a remix album with some of hip hop's biggest hits, and its very impressive. They do an amazing job mixing hip hop and electronic sounds and the result is that these beats BUMP. Peep 3 of the tracks off their upcoming remix album:
Beanie Sigel ft Jay-Z- Glock Nines (Ratatat Remix)
Slim Thug, Bun B and T.I.- 3 Kings (Ratatat Remix)
Kanye West- Get 'Em High (Ratatat Remix)
I recently blasted Explosions in the Sky's new album All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone on a 7 hour solo road trip from San Francisco to LA, and it was the only thing that kept me going. Their instrumental jams become more complex each time I listened to them. Watching the sunset over the Santa Barbara coast with the mountains in the background was the perfect time for Explosions in the Sky to pop into my Ipod playlist. But then I got to thinking, when isn't a good time? Throw them on at work, when you are reading, thinking, playing video games, fucking...whenever (well maybe not if you are having a house party and looking for some heat-rocks to keep everyone dancing).
So enjoy my friends, whatever you may be doing right now:
Explosions in the Sky- Your Hand in Mine
Explosions in the Sky- Welcome, Ghosts
Explosions in the Sky- Catastrophe and the Cure
I saw The Parson Red Heads this weekend downtown open for the homies Castaneda, and to be honest I was a bit skeptical when they took the stage at The Bordello. There were 8 people on the small stage, all wearing white head to toe, the guys looking hip-tastic with their scruffy hair, beards and skinny ties. I was about to write them off and head to the bar for some St. Patty's day libations, but their first tune was damn catchy. So was the second. In fact their California pop infused sound had me shaking all through their set. They sort of sound like a cross between The Spinto Band and Call and Response.
Their live show was great because on almost all the songs you got to hear their catchy hooks and male-female harmonies, but they also broke it down and jammed out a little on the end of each song. I suggest you catch them live if you can....check their myspace page for tour dates.
The Parson Red Heads- Mossback
The Parson Red Heads- Punctual As Usual
The Parson Red Heads- Full Moon
Friday, March 16, 2007
Clipse is playing tonight at The El Rey in LA, along with Low Budget and Them Jeans. Buy Tix
They are the kings of coke rap, their flows sound impeccable over some of the Neptunes finest beats. Basically there are head and shoulders above any of the other "gangsta rap" out there today. Here are 3 of my favorite Clipse remixes that have been made recently, as they have become quite big in the hipster DJ/remix world.
Clipse- Coast 2 Coast (DJ Dainjah Remix)
Clipse- Mr. Me Too (Fields Remix)
Clipse- Re-Up Anthem (Catchdubs Mix)
Monday, March 12, 2007
It was 92 degrees today in LA, and I know the East Coast had a little "warm spell" last weekend. All this great weather means summer is just around the corner, so I thought I'd throw up a few of my favorite summer jamz. There will be more in future posts, its only March after all.
TWDY- Player's Holiday
311- Rub A Dub
Jill Cunniff- Lazy Girls
The man himself - Diplo, will be in LA tomorrow night, playing at Safari Sam's along with the first signees to his Mad Decent label, Bonde Do Role. As one half of Hollertonix, he has introduced the world to Baltimore Club music and Brazilian Baile Funk, and created a DJ movement in the process. His can rock a party with any kind of music, so don't expect anything from the man behind the decks, except to be shakin your ass by the end of the night.
Diplo & The Beatles- Shake it Up
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Gold Lion (Diplo Remix)
Diplo - Shake It Over and Over (Hot Chip)
Friday, March 9, 2007
I Love Lily Allen. Its not so much that her music is ground-breaking, and she is cute but not drop dead gorgeous, but I for some reason I love this chick. Maybe its her take-no-bullshit attitude or her quirky street style. Her album "Alright Still" is fun, honest and the perfect summertime jampiece for guys and girls alike. With help from Mark Ronson, Futurecut and Baltimore's own Aaron LaCrate, the production fuses reggae, hip-hop, rock and club music. Her lyrics deal with cheating ex-boyfriends, the seedy side of her hometown London, and guys with small dicks. Her hard partying lifestyle has gotten her in some trouble with the British tabloids, but homegirl is only 21, let her live.
Lily, if you are reading this, get at me baby.
Lily Allen- Nan You're a Window Shopper
Lily Allen- Oh My God (Kaiser Chiefs Cover)
Lily Allen- Sunday Morning
Yes folks, apparently the human robots of Daft Punk will be back to the states again this summer, doing 7 shows in North America. I can't verbally describe how amazing their Coachella 2006 performance was. 2 Robots on top of a multi-story lit pyramid, rocking a tired and sweaty crowd of thousands to a frenzy. Some dude in front of me was kneeling down on the grass after it was over and the house lights came on. His buddies said something like "hey Chris, lets go man!" He replied in a calm, quiet voice, "no, I don't want to leave just yet."
If they come anywhere near your city, I definitely recommend making a night of it.
6/10 Inverness, Scotland - Loch Ness (RockNess Festival)
6/14 Paris, France - Bercy
7/21 Los Angeles, CA - Sport Arena
7/27 Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre
7/29 Seattle, WA - WAMU Center
7/31 Denver, CO - Red Rocks
8/5 Toronto, Ontario - Arrow Hall
8/7 Montreal, Quebec - Bell Center
8/9 New York, NY - Keyspan Park
Daft Punk- Live at Coachella - Track 3
Daft Punk- Live at Coachella - Track 4
Daft Punk- Live at Coachella - Track 6
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Each week on Friday I am going to post some of my favorite jams that I've been turned on to that week. No explinations needed, just songs I'm feeling. Hope you enjoy.
Amy Winehouse- Rehab
K-OS- Sunday Morning
Avril Lavigne- Girlfriend
You know I have to rep my hometown of Baltimore, so I am throwing up 5 classic B-more club songs for y'all to get down to. It seems everyone and their mother are making B-more club remixes these days thanks to the widespread exposure that club music has been getting. M.I.A, Young Leek, Hollertronix and LIly Allen have all made B-more club part of their sound, and DJs have club kids and tastemakers from Sweden to Japan hyped about the raw sounds and ass shaking beats.
I will post some of my favorite new club remixes soon, but wanted to give you an idea of where club music came from. These are original cuts that have been played in clubs like The Paradox in Baltimore for years. And let me tell you its no place any white hipster wants to be.
Its Time For The Perculator
Watch Out For The Big Girls
Tear Da Club Up
Follow Me For the "grown & sexy"
Ah, emos. I'm actually a closet fan of a lot of this "emo" music out there, although you won't see my fat ass out there in black women's jeans and a bandana anytime soon. Here are some tunes from some of the better artists of the "movement." I could do a ton of posts on this, but we'll start you off with these for the next time your girl won't answer your calls or your boss at Blockbuster makes you cut your bangs. Find solace in the music, young emo.
Brand New- Jude Law and a Semester Abroad
Brand New- Last Chance To Lose Your Key
Dave Melillo- Knights of the Island Counter
Bright Eyes- Gold Mine Gutted
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
I had to make my first hip-hop related post about the greatest hip hop group of all time, A Tribe Called Quest. These guys made music that was the soundtrack to my generation's upbringing, but like many groups they saw an untimely demise. Hopefully they can put their differences aside and get back in the studio, but until that day here are 4 Tribe gems for ya earholes.
A Tribe Called Quest- Electric Relaxation
A Tribe Called Quest- Stir It Up
A Tribe Called Quest- We Can Get Down
A Tribe Called Quest- Oh My God
The Killers- When You Were Young (Jacque Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix)
The Killers- Read My Mind (Pet Shop Boys Stars Are Blazing Mix)
I saw these guys open up for The Spinto Band the other night at the Troubadour and they were really great. Apparently they have been quite big on the Chicago scene for a few years now, and were the only unsigned band to play Lollapalooza 2005. Their live show is really something to see, I knew I was in for some shit when the roadies were setting up 2 keyboards and a large xylophone on the stage. Check them out at SXSW:
March 14th @ Metro Party
March 17th @ Habana Calle 6 Annex
The Changes- On A String
The Çhanges- Water of the Gods