Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Taken By Trees

"Hours Pass Like Centuries"

A sucker for the soft coo of female singers, as well as swedish indie pop, I was super excited when Victoria Bergman - aka Taken By Trees, (formerly of The Concretes and, of course, featured in Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks") - released her latest album, Open Field, last week. Since then, it has quickly become one of my favorite records of the year so far. It's soft and warm like your favorite hoody on a breezy summer's night near the water, and as comforting as the ebb and flow of the ocean. Here's what Victoria has to say:

Here we are at the verge of summer, letting the soft air stroke our skin and the verdure caress our minds. I honestly couldn't think of a more beautiful moment for finally setting Open Field free. It feels solemn and kind of bittersweet. I am now handing it over to you all to have and to hold. Please hold hard, dearest ones. It is no longer mine alone and that is where the bittersweet feeling comes in. Like those early strawberries I tried the other day or forcing myself to jump into the cold but oh so refreshing water. I hope you will take care of Open Field and treat it as a friend through all seasons. May it nourish your imagination to get inspired to try new ways.

By for now,

Peep the incredible video for "Lost & Found" below (it'll make you feel like your lost on a really foreign island). You can download the track too!

Taken By Trees- Lost and Found

Monday, June 25, 2007

ST: Podcasts

A-Trak and Madlib browsing records

Albums aside, Stones Throw, like many indie labels, thrives on the wealth of unreleased material, singles, B-sides, remixes, and DJ sets that their artists have to offer. Combining all of these elements, Stones Throw's continued to release their series of Podcasts (one every month) available for free download from iTunes. Some of this year's highlights include "Thank You J Dila, Act 2," "Madlib Remixes 1997-2007," and "James Brown: A Tribute."

Anywhere from 22 minutes to over an hour, many of ST's podcasts are simply awesome DJ sets, blending remixes, obscure samples, and fresh verses. If anyone was able to check out the tracklists from Wolf's 7 days in LA, the bottom line was that his vinyl collections is so absurd, not a single artist was familiar. ST's podcasts give you a chance to get familiar with some great rare cuts. For those not lucky enough to catch live sets by Wolf, Egon, J Rocc, or any other Stones Throw artists, these podcasts are second best. Check out Egon's Stone Cold Psychedlic Soul (below) as well as a sweet unreleased Madlib track recently available through ST's website.

Stone Cold Psychedlic Soul mixed by Egon
Madlib & Eryka Badu - Real Thing

Sunday, June 24, 2007

nu musik: Ween - The Friends EP

"Friends in life are special"

Ween has been doing the whole 'indie-rock' thing long before it ever was a 'thing' to do. Founders Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) met in 1984 in a middle school typing class, and soon began churning out an endless stream of basement tapes. Over the years, Ween has gradually amassed a sizeable and devoted fanbase, largely without the help of mainstream media. (The closest they ever got to mainstream acceptance was in 2002 when they were hired to write a jingle for Pizza Hut's "Insider Pizza").

In spite of that debacle, Ween has boldly forged on and now presents us with their freshly produced "The Friends" EP. From the official press release: "We have recorded a lot of new material the past year and we wanted to give you an appetizer for the summer. It is the ultimate party record, filled with good beats and good times. Perfect for your barbecue or doing bong hits or whatever it is that you guys do." The EP is five tracks long, and in typical Ween style, covers five different genres of music: techno, rock, reggae, salsa, and 80s pop ballads.

"The Friends" EP is available exclusively through Ween's own label, Chocodog Records, until early July, at which point it will hit record store shelves. Look for the new full length album sometime in the fall. Until then, check out a track from the EP below, which could well be the jam of the summer.

Ween - Friends

Daytrotter: Sparrow House

"Strange Reflection"

Fell in love with Jared Van Fleet's debut release, Falls Ep, under the Sparrow House moniker last Fall (duh) after hearing him perform on GorillavsBear's Sirius show . Luckily, Jared is finally getting around to getting some new music out. Television Show EP, the soon to be released (?) follow up EP, in what was intended to be an EP for every season, may see the light of day soon. Winter has passed and Spring quickly gave way to Summer and still no EP. No big deal, as Jared's been hard at work touring the globe with Voxtrot. Peep an untitled song from Sparrow House's and some stuff from Voxtrot over at La Blogotheque's increasingly wonderful Take Away Show series. Also, our friends at Daytrotter recorded some lovely live Sparrow House goodness at SXSW and just posted some tracks free for download. With sites like Daytrotter, GorillavsBear and La Blogotheque , its a wonder I ever get away from the computer. Probably the three best music sites out their.

Sparrow House & Voxtrot Take Away Show
Sparrow House Daytrotter Session


Saturday, June 23, 2007

ST: Sound Champion (Reissue)

The provenance of Jaylib is something of a storytale...

One upon a time, in a city named Detroit, there lived an MC named J Dilla. Dilla was one of the finest musicians in all the land. Sometime around the turn of the millenium, Dilla's friend DJ House Shoes passed along a copy of Dilla's beats that eventually made its way into the hands of the equally talented Madlib. Madlib toiled and toiled in his lab until he transformed Dilla's beats into beats of his own. Upon hearing these fresh beats, DJ Dilla first cried, "My beats!! What are you doing with my beats? Who do you think you are?" So Madlib calmed Dilla down, and Dilla finally exclaimed, "If you're going to do it, let's do it right. Together we shall make a CD. A CD so great DJ's and producers all over the land will listen and enjoy." Thus became Jaylib, and their album Champion Sound.
In 2003, Stones Throw released Champion Sound, an album made entirely via email between the Dilla and Madlib. The hype was so overwhelming that the album recieved positive yet often unenthusiastic reviews. Four years later, Jay Dee's death has led to a resurgence of his material (no surprise) and the demand for a reissue of Champion Sound was high.

Stones Throw nails it again. The recent reissue of Sound Champion, out last Tuesday, includes 3 unreleased tracks, 9 remixes, and, as always, intrumentals. There isn't much left to say about Champion Sound, except that it sounds as good as it looks.

(On a minor note, The Red and No Games have been re-cut beacuse of sampling issues.)

Jaylib - The Red
Jaylib - The Official (Instrumental)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ST: Bumps

"[sound of snare hit]"

Of the three Stones Throw albums released on Tuesday, Bumps is by far the most audience specific. The latest side project from indie favorite Tortoise, Bumps is comprised of percussionists John McEntire, Dan Bitney, and John Herndon. In its entirety, Bumps contains 23 tracks (only 3 of which are longer than 2 minutes) and runs just under 32 minutes. Those expecting 'intrumentals' will be somewhat disspaointed; the album is nothing more than its title suggests: Beats, Breaks, and Raw Drums.

But as simple as the album might appear, or sound, Bumps is far more impressive. Under the surface lies a varied selection of Afrobeat, Latin, and funk beats, short breaks, and simple kit work that's dying for someone to mix with. Bumps is like a gift to the world of DJ's, rappers, and producers, all wrapped up in a bow with a note saying, 'Love, Tortoise.' Bumps may not be for everyone, but neither is most of Stones Throw's catalog.

Bumps - Nashira

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ST: Chrome Children Vol. 2

In 2006 Stones Throw jumped the gun on their 10 year anniversary and issued a compilation album, Chrome Children. Like Stones Throw affiliate MF DOOM's colab, Dangerdoom, Chrome Children was a joint project with [adult swim].

Following Chrome Children's success, Stones Throw released Chrome Children Vol. 2 for download in January. Copies of Vol. 2 were issued promotionally alongide RE: UP Magazine among others. Later, an unedited version appeared on itunes, and, as of yesterday, the album is now available in stores.

Vol. 2 contains 16 'new' tracks, about half of which are self-produced. Production credits on the other half include Madlib, Oh No, Four Tet, Koushik, and others. Although Stones Throw might be best known for their hip-hop artists, Chrome Children Vol. 2, like the original, features tracks from a variety of Stones Throw's artists (as well as their affiliate labels SoulCal and Now-Again) including jazz and soul artists like Chocolate Star, Gary Wilson, the late Clifford Nyren, and The Jazzistics (although most of these appear towards the end of the album). Unlike the first Chrome Children, Vol. 2 relies less on Stones Throw Ace-veteren Madlib; a sign of the labels diverse growth. (In 2006 ST released: 10 LP's, the most ever; and 32 total releases, second most).

Thanks partly to Madlib's Beat Konducta tracks and two Four Tet productions, Vol. 2 also exhibits a greater presense of electronic sounds. Baron Zen's Theme (Danny Breaks Remix) is mostly synthesizers, break beats, and a child's voice. Even Gary Wilson's Soul Traveling, reminiscent of films like Dolemite and Sweet Sweetback, fuses ambiant lasers and electronic strings. In the end, Vol 2. celebrates less of what Stones Throw has already done, and previews more of what's to come.

Higlights include Gary Davis' instrumental soul number Stay With Me by Chocolate Star, the Chi-town sounding Melton Brothers sample Living for the City by Roc 'C' (produced by Oh No), and Guilty Simpson's Money Motivated Movements.

Baron Zen - Theme (Danny Breaks Remix)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ST: Ruff Draft (Reissue)

To celebrate the completion of Peanut Butter Wolf's 7 days in LA, I'll be posting about Wolf's record label, Stones Throw, for the next 7 days, focusing on albums released in 2007, a year that looks to be Stones Throw's biggest.

I'm gonna start with the familiar, the late J Dilla's Detroit masterpiece, Ruff Draft, reissued with instrumentals as a double disc in March of this year.

In 2002, following the breakup of MCA Records and the shelving of his last two albums, Dilla went back to his underground roots with an album that, according to Dilla, sounded "like it's straight from the...cassette." Originally released in 2003 under his self-run and short-lived Mummy Records, "Ruff Draft represented the best of Dilla's dirty work, its analog haze recalling a time when most producers toiled like mad scientists in their basements and garages" (Ronnie Reese).

In 2006, Stones Throw continued their fan-friendly reissuing trend (The Unseen, Champion Sound) by re-releasing Ruff Draft complete with 4 Bonus tracks, new packaging, and, you guessed it, a second disc of instrumentals.

What makes these double-disc reissues so enjoyable, is that they contain such rich instrumentals; tracks that utilize a variety of instruments and sounds. On Let's Take It Back, Nothing Like This, and Shouts (Alt) Dilla deftly draws from both hip-hop and psychedelia using harpsichords, marimbas, and strange key signtures. The first bonus track, Intro (Alt), possesses distant vocals and harmonic echoes that would make Arthur Russell smile. On the Casio-catchy bonus track Take Notice, feat. Stones Throw artist Guilty Simpson, Dilla expands on the album's first Interlude: stretching it from 49 seconds to 4:25 (the albums longest track). Even with the 4 bonus tracks, Disc 1 is a mere 28 minutes long. J Dilla's Ruff Draft is short yet remarkably sweet.

J Dilla - The $

Under the Covers: These Days

"I've been out walking..."

Let's all thank Wes Anderson for turning us on to old, almost forgotten tunes. The guy sure has a knack for it. The Royal Tennenbaums, my favorite film of all time, introduced me to Nico's fantastic version of "These Days." While this was the first "real" recording of the song, most people don't know that it's actually a cover, written by a wise-beyond-his-years 16 year old Jackson Browne. At 16 I didn't even have a learner's permit, meanwhile Browne is writing one of the most introspective songs of all time. The guy even dated Nico. And then wrote and released "Running on Empty." He's cool.

While Nico's version, from her classick Chelsea Girl, is considered by most to be the definitive, Ms. Annie Clark, who records as St. Vincent, does her own take on the tune and I'd be ignorant to say she doesn't give Nico a run for her money. For me it's become a toss up. I will say I've been on a St. Vincent bender recently. Regardless, make up your own mind down below where you can grab both tracks. Also be sure to check out St. Vincent's Marry Me, which hits stores July 11th via Beggars Banquet.

Nico- These Days
St. Vincent- These Days

more blog fresh love/kid sister!

"Don't Hurt 'Em"

Alex from Blog Fresh was nice enough to include us again on her fantastic radio show. Head on over to Blog Fresh to here McG, 1/4 of the TeamBobka, stutter and "uh uh" his way through an interview about Kid Sister. You definitely want to check this out as McG makes a fool of himself impersonating Kid Sis's rhymes ("Holla Holla Holla Gigolo!") In case you haven't jumped on the Kid Sis bandwagon, what the hell is wrong with you?!?! Hop on cause shits getting high gear. Head on over to Kid Sister's MySpace to hear Kanye's remix of "Pro Nails." Word.

Blog Fresh Radio
Kid Sister

Monday, June 18, 2007

coming soon: Shout Out Louds

"Just don't come up to me and say you like it"

Scandinavian musicians are slowly taking over the world. Where I come from, we call this a fact. The term Swedish indie pop has been appearing more and more in my daily discourse, and although The Shout Out Louds, from, uh, Sweden, aren't always poppy, their newly released single from their forthcoming Our Ill Wills album (out Sept 11 in the US) is sure to get plenty of college radio airtime. The Robert-Smith-sounding single, Tonight I Have to Leave It, has been released alongside two remixes and a track featuring fellow indie poppers The Essex Green. Be sure to check out the kleerup remix as well.

Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have To Leave It
Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have To Leave It (kleerup remix)
Shout Out Louds - Very Loud [from their debut Howl Howl Gaff Gaff]

Saturday, June 16, 2007


"Justice Who?"

Hamburg, Germany based electro duo Digitalism have been quietly making waves in the 'new-rave' scene since 2004, with the release of their first 12", "Idealistic" (see below). Almost three years later, they return with their long-awaited debut LP "Idealism", courtesy of French label KITSUNE.

Comprised of Ismail Tuefekci (left) and Jens Moelle, Digitalism's sound is fearlessly bridging the gap between the indie and electronic worlds. If you happen to be in Europe this summer, odds are they will DJ'ing a festival near you. Check here for dates.

Digitalism - Idealistic (Original Mix)

"A light speed travel from Paris to Copenhagen via Hamburg" (video for the single "Zdarlight"):

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's a Pterodactyl!

"Stole Your Daddy's Car Oh Oh"

Last week after an afternoon of playing with oscillating synthesizers and listening to Daniel Johnston, I ventured downtown with my roommate only to stumble upon a rag-tag group of noize trash art poppers breaking toy instruments, beating a floor tom with a loose microphone and throwing themselves violently into the brick walls of Burlington's indie art house the "Radio Bean". The band was Burlington's own Nose Bleed Island. We entered at the beginning of their song "Pterodactyl" and I've been singing it's infectious hook ever since.
"OHHHHHH, Stole Your Daddy's Car Oh Oh, It's a Pterodactyl"

Last night was my last night in Vermont and I was lucky enough to take in another Nose Bleed Island performance. Their myspace pages describes their music as "the screams of a mother accidently slapping the sunburned backs of her children while their taking shits on their shoes and then she eats them. it sounds like that." They're not lying either, it does sound like that. I love this band. They turn garbage into art, and by art i mean acid washed jeans set ablaze with wd-40 then vomited on by a homeless midget with moose knuckles for hands. Whatever it is there is something absolutely genuine and carefree about Nose Bleed Island that makes me really excited for their album to come out at the end of the month. I'm sad that I wont be able to see more of their gonzo-bat-shit-monkey fucker performances. Download "Pterodactyl" below and peep some others HERE

Nose Bleed Island- Pterodactyl

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

With a Sky Blue Sky...

"So Happy to Leave What Was Our Home..."

I fell in love with Sky Blue Sky from the second the needle hit the wax. This shouldn't come as a surprise as Wilco has been one of the only bands I've consistently listened to for the past 11 years. Like telling someone you love them, one must be both cautious and full of conviction when deciding a band is your favorite, as they could easily break your heart with a string of shitty records. And after years of toiling over the question, I couldn't be happier that I dubbed Wilco "My Favorite Band." For me, with Wilco, it just felt right. And it still does. Growing up with Wilco has been like having a best friend who always understands, regardless of the problem. You put the record on, and suddenly all other concerns are drowned out, and everything is a-ok.

With that in mind I was quite miffed about some of the negative press Sky Blue Sky (someone called it "Dad Rock") received for not being Yankee Hotel Foxtrot II. As far as I'm concerned, the past is the past. Why remake what you've already mastered, when you can move on into uncharted territory. There is no doubt in my mind that they have stayed true to their artistic vision but more importantly, it feels as if they've finally found a home, not just a house, but a comfortable space for all the subtle nuances of their sound, where everything is in its right place. Anyway Sky Blue Sky is an incredible record and this description, from You Ain't No Picasso, sums it up perfectly. "Dad Rock" never sounded this good:

The best / weirdest thing about Sky Blue Sky is that for all its melancholy ways, it still manages to be downright uplifting. If you ever find yourself in need of a mix tape to explain life lessons to a child, or carry an inspiring message to someone hurting, you can fill your cup at Wilco’s well. “What Light” and “Either Way” carry a truth we pick up as kids, but seem to need to relearn at every turn as adults: soldier on. Bad things happen, but you pick yourself up and carry on.

Having a tough time? No need for a shrink, just buy Sky Blue Sky.

"What Light" live from the Loft

Grand Archives

"I'm Sleepdriving Away"

Band of Horses 2K6 release Everything All The Time was one of our favorite records of last year. So when we heard that founding member Mat Brooke was leaving the band, we got all gushy sad inside. Luckily, it didn't take long for him to get back on his, um, horse.

Brooke's new band, Grand Archives, makes sleepy, reverb soaked, "potent dreampop." Warm fingerpicking and ethereal vocals make the wonderfully titled "Sleepdriving" a must for somber, sleepless nights, when a long drive or walk maybe the only thing to calm your mind. We're not the only people that dig Brooke's new project, the Grand Archive-ists have already opened a bunch of shows for fellow Washingtonians and indie powerhouse Modest Mouse. Download two tracks from their demo EP below or preview the entire thing here.

Grand Archives-Sleepdriving
Grand Archives- Southern Glass Home

Monday, June 11, 2007

Coming Soon: Fujiya & Miyagi

"I look through transparent things and I feel OK"

With so much pride for American music, we often wish our favorite bands weren't really from overseas. Take Hot Chip for example. The internet tells me they're from England, but I tell myself they're from Englishtown, NJ, and play at the Stanhope House every Sunday Sunday Sunday. Another of my favorite electro-Brit bands is Fujiya & Miyagi, whose 2006 debut, Transparent Things, has been turning the heads of Fischerspooner and !!! fans everywhere. In preparation for their tour this summer, F&J will be releasing their new single, Uh, along with another new track, One Trick Pony (below).

Fujiya & Miyagi - One Trick Pony
Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things
Lopazz - Migracion (Fujiya & Miyagi Remix)

Fresh Mix: Justice: the Essential Mix

We were first introduced to Pete Tong's incredible Essential Mix series for the BBC's Radio 1 back in '05 when Mort got a copy of Mylo's essential mix, two hours of giddy, effervescent house. Since then there have been a boatload of stellar mixes produced for England's definitive electronic radio station (Check out Trentmoeller's Mix, Thanks NEO). While I've only given it the once over, it's hard to pass up the chance to post anything Justice related. Maybe its the M&M costumes, but these guys are too sweet to resist. Their Essential mix features Daft Punk (duh), Ed Banger friends DJ Mehdi, Busy P and Mr. Oizo, as well as Canadian electro faves Chromeo and fellow Frenchies M83, and PRINCE(!) and Joni Mitchell(?) Joni's "California" rounds out the mix and I'm going to make an educated guess and say it's the first time anything from Blue has ever been used in a French Electro House mix. Just a guess. Peep the tracklist HERE.

Justice- The Essential Mix

the Hood INTERNET: the Mixtape Volume One

You didn't think they could do it again?? Wrong. Those catz over at The Hood Internet have issued their first mixtape, and it plays like a loose history of the Hood Internet's forays in the world of Mash Ups. You get all the old skool hits (old skool like March) and some new ones (TLC vs. Zeppellin "All My Scrubs" & Tag Team vs. LCD SOundsystem "Great! There It Is") Great Party Mix.

The Hood Internet: The Mixtape Volume One

Sunday, June 10, 2007

adulterated rock: Chili Cold Blood

"I'm the man...I'm the fuck you up man"

While listening to RHCP’s “Special Secret Song Inside,” a friend once asked me: “Man, how come bands aren’t tight enough to sing about partyin’ on chicks’ pussies anymore?”

A valid question deserves a valid answer, and that answer comes from Austin, TX. This trio (Ethan Shaw - steel geetar, Doug Strahan – fuckin’ geetar and Matt Puryear on tubs) is the Jimmy Beam of bluesy southern rock – spillin’ out the bottle… then straight down your throat till you wince “God-dayyymn.”

Chili Cold Blood’s put out 5 releases on their indie label Blood Chili Records, though every review I’ve seen claims you really gotta catch ‘em live. Unfortunately, they don’t tour much so unless you’re in TX it's just CDs, vinyl (a recent addition) and their myspace page.

The second LP, released in Feb of ’05 is a live show appropriately titled Jesus Comin’…I’m the Fuck You up Man. With tracks like “Baby’s Poppin’ Pills,” and “Don’t Come Talkin’” (…to my .45), this recording pays homage to the first and second ingredients of hard music – takin’ a bunch of shit and then not takin’ anyone’s shit. A little less polished, and straight out the honky-tonk, it shows what you get when you mix Black Sabbath with Johnny Lee Hooker and throw in that funk. The outcome is grimy – in my case it was a handlebar mustache. (No problem though, go with it. Throw out your fitted for a meshback, you’ll realize everything gets a little cooler).

Lips, CBC’s newest release, came out in 2006 and is a tribute to rock n’ roll’s third essential ingredient: pussy. With neither shame nor innuendo, they get to the point on the opening track “Bush to Be In,” carrying the theme through “Black Ass Woman,” and even manage a shout-out to the most under-appreciated part of the female form with “Back Turns into Ass.” The jams are stankier but the sound-quality's cleaner. Either way this one's still lyrically and instrumentally dirty.

Foot-stompin' or foot-jobbin', headbangin' or fingerbangin', summer's here and it's time to sweat. Apparently, Chili Cold Blood's just served rrrrraw – so GET you some at the only place Caulfield: Waterloo Records

Chili Cold Blood - Back Turns Into Ass (zShare)

Chili Cold Blood - The Way She Moans(zShare)

Chili Cold Blood - Flawed MF (zShare)

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas

"The Kings of Cosmic House"

Hailing from the musical hotspot of Scandanavia (Norway to be exact), Hans Peter Lindstrom & Prins Thomas have helped define a new genre of electronic music lovingly known as "Space Disco" or "Cosmic House." As the name suggests, the music is beat oriented, but much more relaxed and psychedelic than traditonal disco or house music. The "Essential Mix" posted below is an excellent crash course in the unique sound of the genre.

Both Lindstrom and his counterpart Prins Thomas are successful electronic musicians/producers/remixers/DJ's in their own right: Lindstrom owns the Feedelity label and originally made a name for himself in 2005 with the incredible "I Feel Space" 12"; Prins Thomas, meanwhile, maintains an impressive and extensive resume of remixes and production credits. But true to the old saying, two heads ARE better than one, as is demonstrated in all of the duo's work.

The pair originally joined forces in 2003 out of an intense and mutual admiration for each other's work. 2005 saw the release of the aptly titled LP "Lindstrom & Prins Thomas" on Eskimo Records. The album was lauded for its striking originality and incorporation of 'organic' instruments (mainly the drums) in the creation of 'electronic' music. It was so well received, in fact, that the pair recently went back into the studio and remixed the entire album themselves, trying to create a more club-friendly dance floor vibe. The result: Reinterpretations, another exceptional album for the pair and definite milestone in the Space Disco genre.

Check out the results below.

Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix (original airdate of May 06, 2007)
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Boney M Down (Original Mix) (from "Lindstrom & Prins Thomas")
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Boney M Down (Alternate Version) (from "Reinterpretations")

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Explorers Club remake SMiLEY Smile, sorta

"I'm So Glad To Be Alive"

Since Charles continues to inform us on horn-ball club bangers and gratuitous sex jamz, I figure it's a good time to take a step back to a much more innocent time, when teenage lovers shared malts and getting "pinned" didn't necessarily mean 'putting it in your stomach like Robotussin." The Explorers Club from Charleston, South Carolina (my compadres present home) specialize in 60's smiley surf pop in the vein of the Beach Boys. And when I say vein, I mean these guys have been tapping Brian Wilson's arms and using his blood to write infectious sugar soaked songs that scream Summer. No joke, these tracks could easily be from the lost SMiLE recordings. The Explorer's Club, who recently signed to Secretly Canadian/JagJaguwar imprint Dead Oceans, will make you feel like a little bit of lemon in your ice water. Brian Wilson would be proud. Mike Love would sue.

The Explorers Club- Forever
The Explorers Club- Last Kiss

No studio trickery here

Friday, June 8, 2007

Tommy Guerrero

"Golden Gate Indie-Hop"

Tommy Guerrero is no stranger to shredding. When the man is not busting a sicky gnar ollie (or some other absurd skating term) in the park, he can usually be found in the studio ripping it on his guitar. Guerrero has been a professional skateboarder since 1985, but over the years has maintained his passion for music.

Guerrero's music is not afraid to show its San Francisco roots, blending together a variety of sounds that portray a breezy West Coast vibe. It is hard to categorize his music since he is adept at a variety of styles, all of which he layers together with ease. Strains of hip hop, jazz, 'world music', and funk are apparent, but not one single style is overbearing. Categorizations aside, this music begs to be played on a hot, lazy summer day.

Guerrero's latest album, 2006's "From The Soil To The Soul" is available courtesty of Quannum Records.

100 Years (from 2000's "A Little Bit of Somethin'")
Salve (from "...Soil")
1966 (from "...Soil")

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

nu musik: M.I.A.

"Galang Galang Galang"

Hallelujah! Rejoice! She's back. A few more new M.I.A. tracks have surfaced from her forthcoming Kala and they KILL. Maybe that's why the U.S. Government still wont let her into our secure homeland. But who cares, no one can stop her from murdering the streets of the intra-web. Proof positive, two new tracks from the best (only) Sri-Lanka via London rap-tress. Kala, her second LP, is set to drop August 21st. Also posting her Timbo collabo, the bonus cut from his Shock Value. Video for "Bird Flu" below. SUMMER 2K7 is jumping off!

M.I.A.- Hit That(Kala 8/21)
M.I.A.- BOYZ(Kala 8/21)

M.I.A. & Timbaland- Come Around (from Presents Shock Value)


"Prisoner Behind These Xanax Bars"

We LOVE Lil Wayne. So much so that I wrote an analytical paper on his Bush bashing ode to Nawleans "Georgia Bush" in college and one of our contributors, who shall remain nameless, took his girlfriend to the Weezy, Jeezy, Fat Joe, Jim Jones concert for their One Year Anniversary. Romantic, eh? No doubt Young Weezy keeps it hot, hell he's the fucking Fireman! Besides the guy releases an album like every other day, fo' real. Do yourself a favor and download these new Weezy tracks and turn up the hypothetical subwoofer in your hypothetical '97 Civic. It's Weezy!

Ever feel "lonely once the drugs are gone"? Weezy does. "I Feel like Dying," from the forthcoming, Tha Carter III, is Lil Wayne's ode to, well, wanting to die cause the drugs are gone. The track, surely recorded with a gallon of syzurp/purple drank, features poetic stanzas like "Swimming laps around a bottle of Louis the 13th, Jumping off a mountain into a sea of Codeine" and "Playin’ touch football on Marijuana Street, or in a marijuana field, you are so beneath my cleats." His slo-mo drawl of a delivery sounds like he's swallowed a script of Xanax, puffed an L and sucked down a bottle of Nyquil. The ole Bard would be proud. "La La La" is a bit different, sampling children singing "La La La La La." He even gives a shout to the old skool Starter jacket with the logo. We had that too Weez. "Murder she wrote like Angela Lansbury," straight thugging. Also throwing up one of last years best rap songs, "Georgia Bush", from last year's best mixtape, Dedication II. Gangsta Grizzllzz!

Lil Wayne- I Feel Like Dying

Lil Wayne- La La La

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

nu musik: Matthew Dear

"How can I let you forget me? / When you don't even know me already"

You might know Michiganian techno artist Matthew Dear by one of his other names (Jabberjaw, Audion, False) or you might have no idea what I'm talking about. His latest album, Asa Breed, has been getting mixed reviews. People seem to be over-analyzing it, but I love it to death. So check out some of these tracks, buy the album, press play and relax. You'll like it.

Matthew Dear - Pom Pom
Matthew Dear - Shy

Jabberjaw - Girlfriend
Audion - Just Fucking (Roman Flugel's 23 Positions In a One-Night Stand Remix) [from Hot Chip: DJ Kicks]

Alan Braxe & Fred Falke


Our favorite French House production duo is back at it again, this time remixing a track from the "so-hot-right-now" Dragonette, a UK synth-pop band featuring (former?) New Deal bass player, Dan Kurtz.

Braxe & Falke are some of the most sought after producers/remixers in the game right now, applying their Midas touch to everyone from Royksopp, to Annie, to Goldfrapp, to DFA 1979, not to mention one of our favorite remixes ever, "Bossy" by Kelis (see below). While the duo has never released an LP outright, check out The Upper Cuts, a collection of singles released in 2005 that gathered the majority of their songs (ie, not remixes of other people) onto one disc. Check out one of our favorite tracks from the disc, "Rubicon", below.

Dragonette - Take It Like a Man (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix)
Kelis - Bossy (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix)
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke - Rubicon

As an added bonus, relive the glory from Braxe's breakout 1998 collaboration with Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk) and Benjamin Diamond: Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You", the smash hit that craftily sampled Chaka Khan's "Fate", and would end up being the band's only single they ever released.

nu musik: Spoon

"You Will Not Survive""

Lately we've been bouncing to Spoon's new album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. While the record doesn't officially hit digital/physical stores until July 10th (via Merge), the band is releasing a new song every day on its website until June 15th, when the entire album will be available for stream here. "The Underdog" is one of our favorites, and is guaranteed to keep your precious little head-a-bobbing with jingle-jangle guitars, snappy, ahem, finger snapping and horn-y, Mariachi spice. Mmmm handclaps. Think hot salsa, cold Tecate, and bean burritos. Just in time for summer.

Spoon- The Underdog

Monday, June 4, 2007

R.I.P John Pike

We recently received some upsetting news about John Pike, drummer for the Syracuse septet Ra Ra Riot. After disapearing Friday night after the band's show at the Living Room in Providence, R.I., John's body was found in the ocean near Fairhaven, Mass. Ra Ra Riot was one of the first bands we featured on our site. Their three song demo has been one of my favorite listens for almost a year, partly because of the ferocious enegry of Pike's drumming. John will be seriously missed. Our deepest regards to the Ra Ra and Pike families as they struggle to cope with this tragedy.

Ra Ra Riot Live in Boston ("Can You Tell" & "Hounds of Love")

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Classick: Jimi Hendrix

"Let me stand next to your fire"

This 1967 painting by Martin Sharp essentially sums up everything there is to say about Hendrix, so instead of writing wasted words, check out a segment of his performance from the Monterey International Pop Festival from the same year. If you watch closely, you can almost see the colors exploding from his guitar. Coincidently the painting was recently featured in the NY Times and is currently on display at the Whitney Museum in NYC through September 16th.