Archive for March, 2010


Live Fancy….

If we played Sesame Street’s Which One is Not Like the Other, with my top albums of ’09, you wouldn’t even need to know me to pick which LP doesn’t belong. The-Dream’s Love vs Money was the definite anomaly – my sentiments concerning the LP remain the same: single (i.e. a fuckin’ jam) after single construct this record. A year later, this album hasn’t disappeared into obscurity; nor has it diminished in plays like a lot of records in past lists. If anything, its play count has skyrocketed – become something I struggle to not play in the course of one day. For everything I usually gravitate towards, Love vs Money is not, with its soulful, lustful symphonies drowning in layers of synths. Variety in life, and most definitely in music, is what keeps things fresh.

6 minutes and 30 seconds of this record are what I can’t step away from. Fancy, a track appearing late in the album’s game, is one that begins with a less is more approach. A basic, back and forth piano melody, with The Dream gushing over his materialistic and ostentatious, young catch. The beat is smooth and easy going, but there is a hint of buildup lurking. This buildup lasts over five minutes – the payoff though, is one I, after uncountable repeats, have deemed an epic finale. An explosion of sound, with The Dream’s soft delivery turning into a rapid cadence and the beat erupting every which way. Headphones and your finger on the repeat button recommended….

The Dream :: Fancy


In the Lab With Lidell…

I’m really comfortable now with the idea that I am this many styles….and this many directions….I feel like I can rightfully hold a compass….and feel like I’m not lost; I’m going where I want to be going…..

The soulful German, Jamie Lidell, not scared to experiment with his sound, either on record or in front of a live audience, is preppin’ Compass – his follow up to ’08’s Jim.

If the two tracks below are any indication, we’ll have more slow burners and funky cuts on the blues-tip.

Compass & The Ring

Below, step into the lab for a making and introspective face-time with Jamie, Beck, and Feist as they put it down….


2010’s American Slang…

2010, the year of music, or at least the year of follow-ups to previous stunner of albums. It’s March, and I have lost count of all the HIGHLY-anticipated ’10 releases waiting to be unveiled upon our ears. The Gaslight Anthem are giving me another reason why 2010 is going to be no joke, musically speaking, with American Slang:

The Gaslight Anthem have unveiled the cover art and track listing for their forthcoming album: AMERICAN SLANG (SideOneDummy Records). AMERICAN SLANG is set for release in the U.S. and Canada on June 15th, and around the world that same week. Produced by Ted Hutt (who produced the band’s acclaimed second album, THE ’59 SOUND), AMERICAN SLANG heralds a dramatic leap forward for The Gaslight Anthem.
Tracks such as “Bring It On,” “Orphans” and “Stay Lucky” bristle and burn with the spirit of soul and the artistic adventurousness and impressive confidence of a band that has come into its own and found its own voice.

Stream the title track below….

The Gaslight Anthem :: American Slang


It Has All Been Done Before…

Take from the old, mix with the new, and make it your own. If not your own, make it catchy, something no one should have shame singing along to:  full of shout-along choruses, upbeat rhythms, fun guitar play, and Springstein. Out of ignorance, that last element turned me off; but not because I don’t enjoy Bruce – simply, I’m not familiar with his music. Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem, far from a new act, were too simple at first and were not adding anything to the sound others before them created. Their album sat though; it never met its demise by being digitally trashed. After sporadic spins care of shuffle, their objective became clear to me: crafting energetic rock songs with life-like stories to tell.

Let me go ahead and re-write my best of ’08….

The Gaslight Anthem :: The ’59 Sound

The Gaslight Anthem :: The Patient Ferris Wheel


Nuthin’ But a Hood Thang…

Skeptics beware: This one burns – on the very smooth tip.

The mixologists with patience and respect for a track to let it ride, The Hood Internet, have proved less is more when re-creating 1992…

Hood Internet :: Nuthin’ But a Journal Thang (Dr. Dre vs Class Actress)


Want to put me on the guest list at the Bottle on 4/3?


Wanna Be My Suitcase Pimp?

I made a mistake when composing my best of ’09 list. Like anyone who listens to many records in the course of 12 months, this end-of-the-year ritual – for some – is a challenge; like a post here, one could always go back and make changes, improve upon a previous draft, per se.

Prairie Cartel,the super group of the past few years – in awesomeness and the makeup of the members – unleashed, after many troubling events, Where Did All My People Go – an amalgamation of their former selves, with a serious, mature evolution of the dance meets spacey enthusiasts this quartet has become. 2009 was no joke when it came to records; but if I had to go in and edit, I’d realize, I made a huge mistake.

Prairie Cartel :: Suitcase Pimp


We Were a Fan of the Beats….

that’s all we was doin’ was clubbin….

When you have a chance to drop a Fatlip line from Spike Jonze’s strongest accomplishment, the making of What’s Up, Fatlip – the long player documenting the life and times of Derrick Stewart, A.K.A. Fatlip – you do. ‘Lip is a legend around these parts. From the Freddy Krueger, to the Salmon Dance, the innovator is not one to be taken lightly.

Stemming from Frankfurt’s Booka Shade’s Movements, an at times glitchy, dark house meets techno record with enough bounce to move the club, comes The Birds and the Beats/At the Window; which incorporates an overdub taken from the one and only Fatlip.

Booka Shade :: The Birds and the Beats/ At the Window


Autolux’s Joy Factory…

Building up anticipation is a good thing. There is a reason the headlining act takes that additional 15 minutes to grace the stage. When they do, finally, all that buildup impatiently waiting around, becomes for something. Never do I condone it – but the wait is almost always worth it.

Here I am discussing minutes, where some bands think in other units – like years. Autolux, the treacherous trio armed with a wall of dirty, fuzzy sound capable of erupting, have yet to follow up their debut Future Perfect. Sure, Autolux, continue to wait behind the curtain and keep us salivating. If they do unleash their sophomore LP, and I am holding my breath, 2010 will solidify itself as one hell of a strong year.

So we don’t forget, and I won’t after previous gigs, they are baiting us along with the rumored to be 2010 release of Transit Transit. The latest news:

TRANSIT TRANSIT is going to be released on the following record labels:

U.S. & JAPAN —- tbd records (yes that is actually the name of the label) =
U.K. & THE REST —- ATP Recordings =

but we do have this:

Transit Transit tracklist:

1. Transit Transit
2. Census
3. Highchair
4. Supertoys
5. Spots
6. The Bouncing Wall
7. Audience No. 2
8. Kissproof
9. Headless Sky
10. The Science Of Imaginary Solutions

UNKLE, the London-based act not scared to experiment with all moods, has enlisted Autolux – again – for Joy Factory, a spacey and tripnotic, slow moving dance number.

UNKLE featuring Autolux :: Joy Factory


Mr Field’s Ladies….

Soul burnin’ is what Lee Fields & The Expressions bring to the mix. Last year, I delved into more modern day funk and soul; these lyrical odes to ladies and love continue to linger throughout my head, bring a smile to my face, and make me groove – as always, in my kitchen. If you missed this man and his ability to craft modern day masterpieces, maybe his passion for women can reel you in…

Lee Fields & the Expressions :: Ladies

Fuck, do I miss Schubas…


Urge Overkill’s Girl…

Even if Urge Overkill were talentless musicians, according to producer-extraordinaire Steve Albini, the 90s quartet scored large when Quentin Tarantino decided to perfectly place their Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon – which was originally written and performed by Neil Diamond – in 94’s stunna Pulp Fiction. The soft, intricately strummed piece is almost soothing. The gentleness quickly erupts with a full sound – one brimming with 60s sounding sunshine and possibility. A song capable of setting the soon to be very awkward scene between Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace; and a track capable of placement in a more serious, sentimental moment – like a ceremony of holy matrimony. Versatility.

Urge Overkill reinterpreted Mr. Diamond’s original in a timeless manner. 16 years later, the delicacy is still intact, and I can’t help but hit repeat….

Urge Overkill :: Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon

QT has a strong ear and knows when and how to use a song.

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March 2010