Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Holy Sch-nikes! Twice in One Day

"Sunshine Lady Came to My Door"

Like we've said numerous times before, we're suckers for swedish indie pop. Alex from Blog Fresh Daily understands our deepseeded obsession and luckily has given us another outlet to pontificate over soft and sweet Swedish singer-songwriters. In addition to having us on her radio show discussing Jens Lekman and "Friday Night at the Bingo Drive-In" (here), she also had me do a short segment on the new Taken By Trees record, which we covered about a month ago. Click here to listen to the segment.
Below is a wondrous live performance Victoria did on a swedish TV show which may or may not be called Nyhetsmorgon.


Blog Fresh Daily
Blog Fresh Radio
Taken By Trees

Blog Fresh/Jens/Bobka

"Take Up Hippie Names, I'd be Snowfish, You'd be Sunny"

Be sure to check out this weeks edition of Blog Fresh Radio where I chatted with the lovely Alex about Jens Lekman's new single, "Friday Night at the Bingo Drive-In," which we posted about last week (here. Make sure you listen, because aside from Jens & ourselves, Alex is featuring a great track called "Song For an ABBA Tribute Band" by a new British band called Lets Wrestle. Don't know anything about them, 'cept that this track is Jonathan Richman/Art Brut witty and jangly indie as all hell.

Listen to Blog Fresh Radio

Monday, July 30, 2007

This Girl Called Uffie

"Is It Hip-Hop, Is It Electro, Damn Is She Coming from Hell?"

Uffie has been bringing her nu-skool spoken word electro rap to the masses since hooking up with Ed Banger maestro Feadz in 2005 ("Pop the Glock"). Recently, she lent her off kilter rhyme-less rapping to the Justice jump-off "Tthhee Ppaarrttyy" (which is how every summer playlist should start).

Known for her rambunctious, often vulgar, lyrics ("If you just called me a cunt in some other word like __, But after this you'll be the one sucking a whole lot of dicks"), Uffie switches lanes on "First Love," a bouncy bubblegum electro-pop-hop anthem. The surprisingly lovey-dovey I-Miss-You but Fuck Off track could really become a staple on teenage mixtapes in the years to come. It's one of the most saccharine soaked songs I've heard this year, and a huge step forward for the potty mouthed US-via-France rap-tress. She's already dropped a bunch of singles and remixes, but we can't wait for her album, due on Ed Banger sometime in 2007. Uffie's got it.

Uffie- First Love
Justice- Tthhee Ppaarrttyy (featuring Uffie)

Friday, July 27, 2007

we invented da remix: Bjork

"Untouchable/Innocence/ It's Still Here/ But in Different Places"

Been waiting for SMD's remix of Bjork's "Innocence" for a few weeks and couldn't be happier with the outcome. Gone are Timbo's signature stadium sized bass n' drums, replaced by a bassy LCD-esque intro, k-hole atmospherics and Simian's uber-recognizable big beats and bigger breaks. Around 4:30 it really starts breathing heavy, then cools off a bit, before revving right back up into a bombastic head-spinnin rager around 5:39. Another banger from the hot-dog loving, animal house living, tits & acid hustlers known as Simian Mobile Disco.

While on the topic, check out Spank Rock's equally, if not more, delicious remix of "Earth Intruders," which feels like coming up on a fist full of molecule. Adverse reactions may be: spastic bouncing, uncontrollable head bobbing and violent arm flailing. Guaranteed to make our limbs jerk like an infant throwing a temper tantrum in Toys R' Us. Must be the squibbling synths and syncopated hand claps and heavy tambourines. Advice: You should be pre-gaming with Bjork this weekend.

Bjork- Innocence (Simian Mobile Disco remix)
Bjork- Earth Intruders (Spank Rock Remix)

Chunky Pam

"Representing Trenton From Here Until Infinity"

A friend sent this to me. Irresistible novelty. Oh how I long to be kissing in Parsippany.

Jersey. Jersey

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summer Jam

"It's on, It's on, its on its on its on"

I think I finally found my summer jam. Haven't heard the original, but I'm pretty sure Cassidy is the "ho-tel, mo-tel, holiday innnnnn" guy, which makes him A-O.K. in my book. This Cousin Cole remix of "Drink & My 2-Step" is as infectious as Hepatitis C. Be sure to check it out, it'll make August alot nicer.

Cassidy- Drink & my 2-step (Cousin Cole remix)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

classick albums: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

"Soft Silly Music is Meaningful, Magical"

Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane over the Sea is the epitome of a grower record. Overtime, In the Aeroplane over the Sea grows from a sordid collection of darted highlights into a symphonic collage of distorted, neo-psychadelic folk gems. I've heard alot of people say that In the Aeroplane Over the Sea just doesn't "do it" for them. They like "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1" and can sing every beautifully aching word of "Two Headed Boy" but complain that the record is neither consistent nor "genius" enough to live up to the nostalgic hype it's garnered in the 9 years since its original release. I will contend this opinion for as long as I live.

While seemingly difficult at first, In the Aeroplane... becomes increasingly more personable with repeated listens. This familiarity helps make the fuzziest tape loops and brashest drum fills seem like dancing Care Bear accents designed to transform plaintive folk songs into heart-breakingly optimistic, orchestral collages. Jeff Magnum, who started recording under the name Neutral Milk Hotel as a teenager, conceptually based In the Aeroplane... on a series of recurring dreams he had about a Jewish family living in the midst of World War II, using The Diary of Ann Frank as allegory for the innate beauty ingrained in both life and death. The title track features a simple acoustic guitar rhythm behind wallowing funeral horns, an operatic singing saw and Magnum's fragile voice belting a lyrically surrealistic vision of a utopian life & death ("And one day we will die/ and our ashes will fly/ from the Aeroplane over the sea/ But for now we are young/ let us lay in the sun/ and count every beautiful thing that we see"). If that doesn't hit ya in the heart, than you'd probably be better off buying a condo in Boca and taking up Mahjong.

One of the most mesmerizing and, ultimately, signature aspects of the Neutral Milk Hotel sound was their remarkable use of instrumentation, both unique and plentiful. In the Aeroplane... contains each of the following instruments: guitar, vocals, organ, floortom, bowed fuzz bass, tapes, shortwave radio, drums, trombone, flugelhorn, trumpet, euphonium, Wandering Genie, singing saw, banjo, accordion, white noise, home organ, air organ, fuzz bass, one-note piano, zanzithiphone, saxophone and Ulleann Pipes.

Ulleann Pipes? Zanzithiphone?! Wandering Genie??!!

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a complex concerto of literary bedroom pop, which ultimately leaves the listener thinking one thing: Are life and death equally beautiful in their own right? Is it life, or the release from the cycle that we are searching for? A white kid from Ruston, Louisiana's impressions on the Hindu concept of Samsara? Possibly. No doubt Jeff poses these questions throughout the record, on "Oh, Comely" and "Ghost" and especially the closer, "Two Headed Boy Pt. 2", where Magnum sings "And when we break we will wait for our miracle/ God is a place where some holy spectacle lies/And when we break we will wait for our miracle/God is a place you will wait for the rest of your life". Whoa. Well, who knows if he's right, but I'll listen to Mr. Magnum ruminate on the subject, over blarring flugelhorns and hypnotizing singing saws, any day.

If you'd like to delve into the immense history surrounding this seminal recording, pick up a copy of Kim Cooper's phenomenal book, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, part of Continuum's re-dick-u-los "33 1/3" series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for long-time fans and newbs, it contains first hand interviews with members of NMH, Robert Schneider (of Apples in Stereo, producer of Aeroplane) and many others who were hanging around the band during those enlightened, often unsettling months in '96/'97. One classick story recounts a day Jeff and Jeremy spent in San Francisco at a vintage penny arcade warehouse/graveyard and saw a girl who looked identical to Ann Frank. Creepy. The book is also completist's look inside the Ruston-Athens-Denver posse that formed the Elephant 6 Collective and proceeded to make mid-ninties indie rock all the more wunderstruck. I could've spent the rest of the summer writing this post and delving into the history of the Elephant 6 crew, but instead I'll leave you with a few of my favorite tracks and some quality links for more information.

Neutral Milk Hotel- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Neutral Milk Hotel- Holland, 1945

Neutral Milk Hotel Official Site
Elephant 6 Collective
MERGE Records NMH Site, Purchase all things NMH
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea Wiki
Neutral Milk Hotel Fan Site
Pitchfork Review of In the Aeroplane... 10.0

best beieve da hype: Blitzen trapper

"Join that Wild Mountain Nation/ You Can, You Can"

Psychadelic angels Blitzen Trapper have been receiving alot of praise for their new record Wild Mountain Nation. And while hype can prove both positive and negative for a young band, these scruffy gypsy bums from Portland are living up to it, and I mean L-I-V-I-N. No need to dismiss Blitzen Trapper as a Pitchfork branded flava of the week (8.5). Wild Mountain Nation is a platform for the 24-track loving, caravaning, jingle janglers to show off their righteous melodies, broken-jawed arrangements and kick-ass chops, proven on gems like "Wild Mountain Nation", "Future & Folly" and "Summer Town". The twangy pop of "Country Caravan" opens with a woozy pedal steel guitar riff reminiscent of the Shins "Gone for Good," and reveals why the Portland sextet has garnered comparisons to the Grateful Dead's country exploits (think "Dire Wolf"). "Sci-Fi Kid" invokes Bowie, Mellow Gold-era Beck and retro synths in a rapturous cornucopia of new-wavey rock. Always one to keep it interesting, the boys Blitzen follow "Sci- Fi Kid" with a hushed, lo-fi harmonica fueled bluegrass stomper ("Wild Mtn. Jam). These guys have a knack for rockin, whacked out alt-country, albeit an obscured, oddball's interpretation of Nashville's claim to fame. Like a cake with early-
Wilco frosting, Neutral Milk Hotel sprinkles and Gram Parsons-era Flying Burrito Brothers gumdrops. They can rock all bluesy like Exile/Sticky Fingers-era Stones and harmonize like the stoned Beach Boys. A unique, musical representation of dirty cowboy boots, paisley handkerchief neckties, day-glo face paint and the summer sun setting on the forest.

Blitzen Trapper- Sci-Fi Kid
Blitzen Trapper- Country Caravan

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

nu musik: Escort

"21st Century Disco Revival"

Love it or hate it, Disco was a cultural force in the mid to late 1970s. Now over 28 years after the unofficial Death of Disco, the genre is steadily making a comeback, be it with the punkier edge of DFA Records, the spacey Scandanavian groove of Feedelity, and lately, the classic retro stylings of Brooklyn-based Escort.

Formed in 2005 by Dan Balis, Eugene Cho, and Darius Maghen, Escort strives to recreate the fun-loving and dance-friendly vibe of the disco era. They achieve their goal by enlisting a small disco army to help them record the tracks they have written, complete with numerous background vocals, harmonious horn sections, and punchy string arrangements. While the music definitely has a modern twist, it wisely maintains a strong vintage disco feel. Escort performs live whenever they can, or more accurately whenever they can find a stage big enough to accommodate up to 15 musicians. (Their next scheduled date is for August 25, 2007, when they will be performing at the P.S.1 Summer Warm Up concert series).

After releasing four 12" vinyl singles on their own label, the group is busy working on their debut LP. Check out the B side from their 3rd single, and also an incredible, nostalgia-inducing Muppet video for their latest track below.

Escort - All That She Is (from Escort 003)

(Fresh new video for "All Through The Night", from Escort 004)

Monday, July 23, 2007

entur the haters: Architecture in Helsinki

See an album pick it up

A good debut album can be luck. A good follow up can be coincidence. Aussie oddball popsters Architecture in Helsinki will be releasing their third album, Places Like This, in August. The most difficult task for these kangeroo loving dundees will be to impress the massive die-hard followers of their last album, In Cae We Die. The softness of their last album has been replaced with B-52 sounding giddy pop that sounds oddly similar to Helsinki touring partner and "Heart it Races" remixer, Yacht. Places Like This goes in a new direction, emphasizing synthesizers, tribal chanting, and driving rhythms. Fans of their quirky shouting and envelope-pushing hooks will hopefully be more than satisfied with Places Like This. Like all Architecture in Helsinki albums, Places Like This grows on you, getting better with every listen.

Architecture in Helsinki - Like it Or Not

Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races [1st single from Places Like This]

Saturday, July 21, 2007

classik albums: Right Time

The Mighty Diamonds blend soulful Motown and roots reggae

In spite of the lame album art, The Mighty Diamonds 1976 debut album Right Time remains a high point of the roots reggae era. Featuring silky smooth vocal harmonies and rock solid grooves, Right Time is nearly flawless and helped to launch the group out of the poverty of Kingston, Jamaica (just like that other guy).

Led by the emotive vocals of Donald "Tabby" Shaw, The Mighty Diamonds covered many topics on their debut album. Rastafarian-inspired political anthems and spiritual psalms are balanced with sweet songs about love and more everyday troubles such as living without a roof (check out the aptly titled "I Need a Roof" below). Beyond the incredible music, The Diamonds gained fame due to their well-polished and choreographed stage show which was heavily influenced by the R&B music that flooded Jamaica in the late 1960s.

Without having to say too much, it is safe to say that anyone who considers themselves to be even a modest fan of reggae needs to check out Right Time. Not only is it one of the best reggae albums ever created, it also makes for a welcome alternative to all of the reggae you've already heard from that other guy.

The Mighty Diamonds - Have Mercy
The Mighty Diamonds - I Need a Roof

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

nu musik: Chromeo

"Let her see that Fancy Footwork"

As violence continues to ravage the West Bank, two childhood friends have taken it upon themselves to prove that Arabs and Jews can in fact get along, and make killer synth-laden disco pop at the same time. Dave One and Pee Thug are better known as Chromeo, and they have recently released their second LP Fancy Footwork on VICE Records. Think of it as the funky soundtrack to the 'Roadmap to Peace'.

Chromeo's music may be decried as overly kitschy by some, but this is also where its appeal lies: cheesy synth-lines, borderline plastic beats, and shallow lyrics about girls, clubbing, and ego-boasting dominate the album, yet these elements are what makes the music fun and easily danceable. As their name suggests, Chromeo's music is meant to be taken at surface level only. There is no need to overthink what is going on here; instead, hit the dance floor and enjoy the shiny exterior.

Chromeo is currently wrapping up a tour in support of Fancy Footwork with Bobka favorites Flosstradamus sharing the bill. Check out a track and video from the LP below, and help Dave and Pee promote peace in the middle east.

Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin'

a video for the track 'Fancy Footwork':

Monday, July 16, 2007

juzt in: JENS!

"Oh You're So Silent Jens"

Thank god he's not that silent. Here's the new one from the man who made it safe to write songs about Rocky Dennis. This time Mr. Jens Lekman sings about a "Friday Night at the Bingo Drive-in." Another lovely idiosyncratic ditty from Sweden's finest. Thanks to our Swedish friends at DiscoBelle for the mp3.

Jens Lekman- Friday Night at the Bingo Drive-In

Friday, July 13, 2007



Artist Bill Shannon may be the most impressive homosapien since the Spud Webb/ Mugsy Bogues era. While he may not be 5'3, nor able to dunk hard, Shannon, born with a congenial hip defect, sashays through NYC on cruches while breakdancing, skateboarding, freestyle walking and freeze framing in mid-air. Talk about visually enticing. I know we've said "best video ever" before, but this one is a serious contender for the crown. I like to watch as a silent film, even though technically it's a video for an RJD2 song.

Shannons artist statement on his website, Virtual Provocateur, reads like this:
Recently through dance choreography I have juxtaposed abstract forms of urban streetstyle kinetics into a textural landscape with an express focus on time and how it can be used to reinvent the familiar. My role as director and choreographer is in the setting of the pace and creation of mood. The dance I live and perform reflects the same landscape I attempt to define myself as an artist.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


"She's Like A Model Except Shes Got A Little More Ass"

If you know us well you know there are a few things we are HUGE suckers for; Scandanavian music of any sort, the New York Football Giants, super heady Chron Chron, the Garden State and anything associated with Timberlake, Timbaland or Justice. Lucky for us the fates have similar taste, as this week king Wanksta 50 Cent issued "She Wants It" from his forthcoming record, Curtis, featuring both Timberlake and Timbaland (say it like Three 6 Mafia). Timbo slams the production on this one with woozy synths and wobly 8-bit sweeps. 50 aint bad either (go figure).

Even sweeter is the french disco remix of JT's FutureSex hit "LoveStoned" by MDMA-zing electro wizards Justice! Yes, I said MDMA-zing. Shoot me now (or just download both tracks below). Thanks to DiscoBelle for the heads up.

50 Cent- She Wants It (featuring JT & Timbo)
Justin Timberlake- LoveStoned (Justice Remix)

Blog Fresh Summer Mix/OCDJ/BOBKA

"Randolph's finest"

Our friend Alex from Blog Fresh Radio put together a super sunny summer mixtape of all the brightest blog hits of the moment. She's very nice. Nice enough to include our post about OCDJ's "PLS STP TH HSTL." It's number 7 on her mix. It's a good number 7. Be sure to 8-bit your summer with some OCDJ....

...Did I mention OCDJ is a fellow Drrrty Irrrty native?

Blog Fresh Radio Summer Mix

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

nu musick: St Vincent

"Paris is Burning After All"

I have been anxiously awaiting the full length debut from Dallas' St. Vincent (government name Annie Clark) since Gorilla vs Bear posted her phenomenal cover of "These Days" last fall. Marry Me dropped today and is a platform for St. Vincent's talent as a multi-instrumentalist. Stirring compositions like "All the Stars Aligned", "Paris is Burning" and "Jesus Saves, I Spend" showcase her outerworldly fret work, soaring string arrangements, cryptic yet contemplative lyrics and her sweet soaring vocals. She's only 23 and has already been a member of the Polyphonic Spree, Sufjan Stevens touring band as well as opened for the Arcade Fire's.

If the dreamy piano flourishes, haunting harmonies and delicate poetics of "All the Stars Aligned" don't give you the middle school butterflies, then the melancholic cabaret act of "Paris is Burning" will convert you. The Gorilla vs Bear crew know Annie's onto big things. I agree. Big, big things. Her website is www.ilovestvincent.com. It's an appropriate domain name.

St. Vincent- All the Stars Alligned
St. Vincent- Paris is Burning

from the arkives: Neil Young

The story behind "Live at Massey Hall 1971"

After being solidified as one of the great singer/songwriters of his generation following the release of CSNY's "Deja Vu" and his third solo album, "After the Gold Rush", Neil Young embarked on a bare bones solo tour (featuring himself, his guitar, and his piano) during the winter months of 1970/71.

Neil was at his creative peak during this period, writing what seemed like an endless stream of new songs that he was debuting and polishing on the road. His producer David Briggs - sensing the importance of the tour - convinced him to record a gig so that it could be released as an album. As the tapes prove, Neil was on the top of his game when he played two sold out shows at Toronto's Massey Hall on January 19, 1971; unfortunately, the recording was soon forgotten, partly due to the Man in Black, Johnny Cash.

Neil traveled to Nashville a few weeks after the Massey Hall performance to shoot a quick segment for the Johnny Cash show. But true to the Nashville vibe, it wasn't long before Neil found himself immersed in a recording studio laying down the new material with an all-star group of studio musicians including James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Neil was so excited about the tapes that he quickly finished the album (what would become the legendary "Harvest") and rushed it to release, never even giving the Massey Hall performance a second listen.

It wasn't until 1997, nearly 27 years later, that the Massey Hall tapes were rediscovered. They are now presented to us in gloriously mastered sound quality, and as a DVD special edition. And what glorious sound quality it is - it sounds as if you are sitting next to Neil Young on stage, looking out over the awestruck audience. His 'intensely intimate' style is on full display here, drawing the listener in and making them feel comfortably at home. And while it's true that you've heard most of these songs before, it's unlikely you've heard them in this manner: stripped down to their bittersweet core, devoid of the sometimes grandiose arrangements of the studio albums. The strength of Live at Massey Hall 1971 lies undeniably in how well it complements and enhances the rest of Neil's work from the same era. It is a long-forgotten snapshot in time, a detailed portrait of a young artist on the verge of hitting his creative peak.

Neil Young - Old Man
Neil Young - A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold suite

Monday, July 9, 2007

nu musick: Rilo Kiley

"You've Got the Moneymaker"

We've got the brand new single from Los Angeles Indie Darlings Rilo Kiley. "The Moneymaker" hit the 'net the other day is all big RAWK guitars, a super tight rhythm section and Jenny Lewis sounding like a sexy young Joan Jett. No doubt the Rilo sound has evolved with each album, maturing from the minimalist Casio drum laden indie-twang of Take Offs and Landings towards a truly successful mixture of clever indie song writing, ingenious pop sensibilities and classick rock adrenaline on the Execution of All Things & More Adventurous. There's a reason they've won over thousands of wide eyed youngsters and are bound to win thousands more with on August 21st when Under the Blacklight is released. If "the Moneymaker" is any indication, than Under the Blacklight may sound like Rilo got drunk with Siouxsie & the Banshees & Rick James. Seriously. Get "The Moneymaker" and watch the video below. The video is 70's porn in the vein of Fiona Apple's "Criminal". The song is much of the same. Regardless, Jenny looks great shaking her moneymaker. God bless.

Rilo Kiley- The Moneymaker

Sunday, July 8, 2007

juzt in: Iron and Wine

"Everybody's bitchin' there's nothing on the radio"

In April our second favorite man named Beam made indie-America very excited with the news of the first Iron and Wine album since 2004's stunning Our Endless Numbered Days. Although the album, Shephard's Dog, isn't out until September, Beam is feeding us the first single, "Boy With A Coin", as well as two B-sides from Shephard's Dog on an EP July 10th.

On Shephard's Dog, Beam's knack for strirring vocals is intact, as is his omnipotent lyrical imagery. Shephard's Dog contains Iron and Wine's most formal production to date, and sounds less like Beam in his room with an 8-track (something some die-hards prefer). The fresh air on Shephard's Dog comes from the electric guitar. Fans of Iron and Wine's Calexico colab, In The Reins, will be impressed and equally satisfied with tracks like "White Tooth Man", "Wolves", and even the single, "Boy with a Coin". Shephard's Dog will surely attract new fans, with poppy rythmic tunes like "The Devil Never Sleeps", "Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car", and "Lovesong of the Buzzard".

Iron and Wine - House by the Sea [from Shephard's Dog]
Iron and Wine - Naked As We Came [from Our Endless Numbered Days]

Saturday, July 7, 2007

classick albums: Lemonjelly.KY

"What do you do in the bath?"

Fred Deakin and Nick Franglen comprise the UK group Lemon Jelly, creators of whimsically psychedelic downtempo electronica. Their music is known for its irreverent samples, chilled out beats, and hummable melodies.

Released in October 2000, Lemonjelly.KY featured no new material; instead it gathered all of the tracks from the three extremely limited edition 10" vinyl EP's the group had previously released (The Bath [1998], The Yellow [1999], The Midnight [2000]). The album was a critical and commercial success, introducing the group's sound to a much wider audience. The success eventually led to a major label deal and the creation of two additional albums.

Fred Deakin's work as Creative Director at Airside design helped to create the instantly recognizable Lemon Jelly aesthetic -- bright colors, cartoon graphics, and the Lemon Jelly typeface all represent the group's style, which can be found on the packaging of any of the group's releases, and at their website. Even better, the music itself seems to evoke the same characteristics as the visual elements. Check out some tracks below, both of which originally appeared on 1998's The Bath.

Lemon Jelly - In The Bath
Lemon Jelly - A Tune For Jack

Friday, July 6, 2007

masters: Allen Toussaint

"Crescent City Soul"

A while back we posted on the sweet soulful sounds of Loozyana's (Louisiana for the uninitiated) pony ridin' singer Lee Dorsey. While Dorsey is a classick in his own right, his career, and many others in the Bayou, wouldn't have amounted to much without the help of Mr. Allen Toussaint. Toussaint is widely regarded as the king of Nawlin's R&B, a title he earned through years of hard work as producer, songwriter, arranger, session pianist, solo artist and general Nawlin's Soul ambassador and impresario. For proof of Toussaint's uncanny knack for funky sweet horn arrangements, check out "Baby Don't You Do It" from The Band's Rock of Ages. Also, get down on the King of the Crescent City's solo work; "Am I Expecting too Much?" a bouncy bayou rhythm and blues number and "Night People," which cranks the FUNK with a rhythmicly irresistible organ riff capable of making the whitest white people dance. Toussaint has the Bayou version of the Midas touch: whatever he touches turns to hot sticky soulful rhythm and blues, and boy is it sweet. For a good intro to Toussaint's classick American music check out Allen Toussaint The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings.

Allen Toussaint- Night People
Allen Toussaint- Am I Expecting Too Much?

The Band- Baby Don't You Do It

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Coming soon: Bishop Allen

"And when I break another string, and continue to sing, is that courage, I'm not sure"

In 2006, Brooklyn indie-poppers Bishop Allen released a 4 song EP every month, aptly naming them after each month. With the exception of August's live EP, they released 11 months of new material (44 songs). Bishop Allen's new release, The Broken String, their first full length album since 2003's aclaimed debut, Charm School, hits record shops on July 24th. If you're wondering how a band who released 44 new songs last year could possibly still have material left, the answer is they don't. Three quarters of the songs on The Broken String appeared on EP's last year. The album has 3 new tracks including the single Rain, available for free download on their website. For die-hard fans, only two songs on The Broken String (Middle Management, Choose Again) will be unfamiliar.

With all that aside, The Broken String is fantastic. As promised, the 9 tracks from the EP's are all re-recorded and sound better (most of the time) than the originals. For those who loved Charm School, The Broken String delivers more mature, complex pop songs than their debut. The first three tracks contain a driving epicness of feel-good twee they only hinted at on Charm School. The percussion is more elaborate and the tracks have genrally gotten longer. Four years after their dazzlng debut, Bishop Allen has matured and, believe it or not, improved. Check them out later this month on their US tour.

Bishop Allen - Rain
Bishop Allen - Like Castanets

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Born in the USA

Ahh, New Jersey. The haters can hate all they want, but us natives are proud to call the Garden State home, along with other legends such as Frank Sinatra, Allen Ginsberg, George Benson, and of course, BRUUUUCE!!!

In honor of Independence Day, check out some Parisians surrendering to The Boss's rousing performance of "Born in the USA" from 1985:

NASA featuring everyone and their mother

North America South America

So Squeak E. Clean and DJ ZEGON are NASA and they have some really cool friends that they make music with:

David Byrne, Tom Waits, M.I.A., Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O and Nick Zinner, RZA, the late Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Kool Keith, CSS' Lovefoxxx, Spank Rock, John Frusciante, Fatlip and Slim Kid Tre from the Pharcyde, E-40, Gift of Gab, Chali 2na, KRS-One, George Clinton, Seu Jorge, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, the Cardigans' Nina Persson, Amanda Blank, Z-Trip, and DJ Qbert

Check out this sick megamix for the 4th, courtesy of P4K.

NASA MegaMix

"Megamix" tracklist:

01 The People Tree [ft. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift of Gab, and Z-Trip]
02 Strange Enough [ft. Ol' Dirty Bastard, Karen O, and Fatlip]
03 NASA Music [ft. Method Man, E-40, and DJ Swamp]
04 Money [ft. David Byrne, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, and Z-Trip]
05 There's a Party [ft. George Clinton]
06 Way Down [ft. RZA, Barbie Hatch, and John Frusciante]

Monday, July 2, 2007

nu musik: Apparat

"Holdon to all you've got"

When we are not raving about all of the great music coming out of Scandanavia, we can usually be found with (at least one of) our ears tuned in to the frequencies of Berlin. Once a drab Cold War metaphor, Berlin has reinvented itself as a thriving artistic metropolis. It's no coincidence that one of our favorite Scandanavian artists has made Berlin his second home. Besides the warmer weather, Berlin's attractiveness lies in the fact that it is one of the pioneering cities of the 'microhouse' or 'tech house' or 'minimal' or 'whatever-you-want-to-call it' electronic movement.

Apparat (aka Sascha Ring) is a Berlin native and a large figure in the city's musical renaissance. DJ, producer, and owner of his own label (Shitkatapult), Sascha has made important contributions to Berlin's musical tapestry over the years. Released in mid-May, his latest solo album, "Walls", is further evolution of his (and Berlin's) style: the LP infuses glitchy beats, warm string arrangements, and sometimes even classic song structure and vocals (courtesy of Raz Ohara) into colorful tracks that run the gamut from IDM-inspired pop to downtempo sound collages to latenight dancefloor fillers. It is Apparat's variation of style that makes this album his most accessible to date, yet there is somehow a cohesiveness that ties the whole thing together and makes for a rewarding listen from start to finish. While the album most definitely shows its Berlin roots, it also fearlessly extends its branches to create something wholly original and refreshing. Berlin's native son has made his city proud and raised the bar once again.

Check out some tracks below:
Apparat - Fractales Pt. 1
Apparat - Holdon (feat. Raz Ohara)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Classick Albums: The Coast Is Never Clear

"What will you do when your suntan is faded and the summers gone?"

Released in 2001, Beulah's's The Coast is Never Clear is a testament to sunny, beach friendly indie pop. Miles Kurosky and Co. created an album that explored an interesting, Brian Wilson-esque juxtaposition: warm, friendly harmonies and bright, sunny arrangements fused with meloncholy lyrics and hushed nostalgia for golden summer sunsets and sheets covered in sand. Lyrically the record documents the lonely, yet surprisingly hopeful, period Miles went through after a breaking up with a girlfriend.

But Beulah's references are much more than Surfer Girl refrains and Wilson family la-la's: in "Popular Mechanics for Lovers," Kurosky sings "I heard he wrote you a song/but so what/ some guy wrote 69/ and one just ain't enough," a shout out to Stephen Merritt of the Magnetic Fields who released their album 69 Love Songs, (containing 69 love songs of course) a few years earlier. Likewise, "A Good Man is Easy To Kill" is a variation on Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find". Musically The Coast is Never Clear sounds, smells and feels like a California sunset; "Woodie" station wagon, six pack of PBR, sunscreen, wet trunks, silhouettes on the shore, all through Blue Blockers' tangerine hue. A perfect record for early mornings when you can't sleep, mellow afternoons by the pool and other lackadaisical summer activities. Download a few tracks below and peep the video for "Gene Autry"

Beulah- What Will You Do When Your Suntan Fades?
Beulah- Popular Mechanics for Lovers

"When I Get to California I'm Gonna Write My Name in the Sand"