Archive for December, 2009


2009 In List Form…

2009, the closing of a decade – this past period of 10 years has given me much time to sway my listening habits: explore new genres, turn my back on others, experience the change of mediums, and continue to revel in the decade before. Like last year, 2009 continued to make listening and discovering new acts easier than ever. But with that, came difficulties, too. In one word: Overwhelming. I, and most likely you, simply do not have the time to begin to sit down with even 25% of the released records each year. I try hard to at least sample recommended records from trusted listeners, spin releases in my preferred genres, and definitely make time for trusted artists.

If you read this blog, you might notice who was left off this list. And then I give a nod, a strong one, to the next-generation R. Kelly. A common theme: most records don’t stem from the states. Hit the jump for 10 LPs spun more heavily than the others…

Continue reading ‘2009 In List Form…’


New Soulwax!

Not Belgian style, but Italian style. Thanks to Crookers, a dirty DJ/remix duo out of Italy, my title can stand. We Love Animals features Soulwax. On a predominantly instrumental track, the nite vibe is there; as are those prototypical, staccato, druggy beats sprinkled over recent Soulwax lab work. Something to tide us over, I guess. Crookers are gearing up for a massive guest heavy record, and We Love Animals is maybe an idea of what is to come…

The Belgian brothers have not been up to much, that I know of, this year. We can only hope 2010 will see an unleashing of new material; maybe a true follow-up to Any Minute now? Sure, Nite Versions houses some of my favorite tracks of the past few years. But on that ’04 release, I fell hard for songs like, A Ballad to Forget, where the Dewaeles lay their fingers all over the keys. Traditional style. Not run through any effects or concocted for the ecstasy-laden dance floor. I won’t be picky though – if Soulwax sits down in the lab at nite, or during the day, for a rock-infused record, their output is guaranteed to be stuck on repeat….

Crookers :: We Love Animals (featuring Soulwax)


Rachel’s Little Brass Bear…

The ability to be yourself is an essential ingredient when composing eccentric music on the pop tip. Rachel Goodrich, a Miami-bred songstress making carefree and catchy shake-a-billy, is not concerned what you think – when that comes to her silly compositions, or style of dress she chooses to adorn. Her style has helped to shake up a Miami music scene, too. At first sight, it was her ability to strum her ukulele, blow on a kazoo, and dress up as a ladybug. Witnessing her live, this same exuberance and strong will to make people smile shines through.

In recorded form, or when fortunate enough to experience the lighthearted madness live, Rachel Goodrich was and still is a fresh, welcome addition to my collection in 2009. Another chance to partake in the groove Rachel and her kazoo can generate…

Rachel Goodrich :: Little Brass Bear


Get ‘Dat Jazzy, Electro Swing!

Should we weigh heavily on MySpace musical descriptions and listed influences? The avant-garde go arty and simply use, Other; some aren’t worried about labeling themselves, or possibly pigeonholing their act; others, with unique styles and complete amalgamations of genres, prominently label their vibe. Caravan Palace, a sextet out of none other than Paris, categorize their special blend as: electro, swing, & jazz. Distinct, no? For influences: Justice, Vitalic, Billie Holiday, Daft Punk, amongst others. Again, worth giving it a spin.

Shit jumps; does definitely swing; has an upbeat Basement Jaxx house feel, at times; maybe even a tad too much Scat Man in it though. But as Star Scat presents, the band takes a chance to cool out, too. Regardless, proof that Phoenix isn’t the only Parisian act catching my attention this year…

Caravan Palace :: Jolie Coquine

In video form

Caravan Palace :: Star Scat


46 MCs!

How do you combine 46 MCs in a three minute track? With forward thinking wittiness; or your name is Azeem, a rhyme slayer outta Oakland, who crafts fresh poetry with phrasing like:

I be smokin’ Mary J in a 50 Cent Philly; ain’t nuthin’ Fabulous, I outshine heads daily; that shit is Common – I’m like a Pharaoh…

And it’s not only creative lyricism driving Oakland to Brooklyn; the beat bounces over and over again as Azeem lays down his message, all while dropping more names than some MCs have done their whole career…

Azeem :: Oakland to Brooklyn


Wednesday Again!

The weekday spawns brilliance for TN pop acts – even in b-side form. But as anyone knows, Matt Mahaffey, the musical virtuoso behind sElf, has concocted some of his most awe-inspired work not intended for the a-side. Wednesday Again,an outtake from the impeccable Breakfast With Girls, was recently a re-discovery for me. Eight years (or ’00?) ago, back in 2001, sElf released Selfafornia, an Internet album  – which was like all their other give aways: compositions pieced together so aurally perfect that we’d always question why these were free downloads. Somehow this track was missing from my collection. Listening again, for the first time in many years, I have realized Selfafornia, at only nine tracks, houses some of Mahaffey’s strongest tracks. Ever. My Last FM never lies

sElf :: Wednesday Again

Remember what happens when the other TN act blows it out on the weekday?

Features :: Thursday

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December 2009