Archive for June, 2010


Captivating Canadian (Sweet) Cacophony…

A musical resource before overwhelmingness kicked in, was a form of networking. I would seek out and follow bands who were friends with one another; listen to a new artist simply because a favorite of mine produced this new-to-me act; or simply looked into acts that consistently toured with favorites of mine. That legwork – which was an enjoyable activity in itself – has disappeared from my listening habits. Now, I simply fire up a board, Twitter, a news site or two, and dive into a band’s output – the research phase has evaporated. This simplicity equals too much music to let one thing settle in, truly enjoy, and want to return to because I copped three new LPs today.

I went back a few days ago and followed a favorite of mine into the studio. Ontario superstar Hawksley Workman worked on fellow Canadian sextet Hey Rosetta! ‘ s Into Your Lungs – an epic orchestral pop album bustling with beautiful, poetic numbers. All songs are full with instrument upon instrument and truly skilled musicianship throughout. Start simple, mellow even, begin to build, and then unleash infinite energy – which seems to be Hey Rosetta’s formula. And it is really working for me…..

R.I.Y.L :: Arcade Fire, Frightened Rabbit, Hawksley Workman

Hey Rosetta! :: Red Heart

From their EP Plan Your Escape….


Rhymefest’s Prosperity….

Chicago-based Rhymefest has a lot to say behind beats and when the needle isn’t down, too. The man is a conscious poet – one who comes across sincerely concerned for what’s happening around him. Recently he sat down with the Chicago Reader and made me respect him that much more.

It’s funny because I live in the hood near Barack, you’d think we’re doing good—but the amount of violence that happens in a ten-mile radius of here, it should be embarrassing to him. He should have more to say about the violence around his hood.
They were fixing things up around here for the Olympics and were going to gentrify the area. I just wonder: How do we get so much money for an Olympic bid, for this Olympic committee, but there is no money for teachers? How is there money for all these new police trucks, money for assault rifles, when we don’t even have enough police in the city? . . .

Chicago Reader interview featuring Rhymefest

And finally, his follow-up to Blue Collar, El Che is upon us. Get funkdafied with his qualms on preying upon the less fortunate on Prosperity


The Sisters’ Night Work…

This blog has already featured the artwork for the disco-infused, club happy, gay as you wanna be Night Work LP from NYC’s Scissor Sisters. Based on the amusing cover, I expected an over the top mixture of upbeat rhythms and hubris for their orientation. Both are packed into Night Work.

I want you to funk me; your battleship destroyed me

What does that mean? I dunno, but this album is uplifting – in a Saturday night fever, swaying from left to right kinda way. From the LP’s producer, comes an explosive remix of the lead single….

Scissor Sisters :: Invisible Light (Stuart Price remix)


A Sunny Bang!

June is for simple, surf inspired pop. Not that I’d expect Denmark duo The Raveonettes –an act who routinely had sweet cacophony makers Autolux hype the crowd prior – to concoct such sweet simplicity, but they did; and it’s in true repeat worthy form. Bang! stems from last year’s In and Out of Control.

The Raveonettes :: Bang!


Don’t Be Crushed….

I strive for diversity with this blog – but the problem is, I’m in a rut, a musical rut. By no means is this negative. The culprit? Discovering how strong and varied Hawksley Workman‘s catalog is. All over again. Rather in glam-rock form, spiritual hymn style, a quirky pop composition, or anything else he is reaching for, HW has been on repeat around here.

I want to share a live clip from ’07, where Hawksley performs Don’t Be Crushed, which also stems from For Him and the Girls. The original is a minimalistic approach, with light drums, feathery keys, a faint shimmer of guitar, and what ultimately ties this song together, Mr. Workman’s vocal instrument.

And in live form, all he needs are the bare essentials. A moving performance….

Hawksley Workman :: Don’t Be Crushed


No Sissies Outta Ontario…

When you’re a solo artist, one who does all the leg work yourself, it’s easier to create, right? Hawksley Workman, who is Ontario’s one-man-jam, is nothing less than prolific. The man has already made his mark on 2010. This eclectic composer has been burning up my charts lately – with sweet simplicity, of course.

An upbeat, brisk pace with a lyrical ode to locking down a particular love interest adorns No Sissies; from HW’s ’01 For Him and the Girls….

Hawksley Workman :: No Sissies

An excellent interview from ’08, where Hawksley showcases how well-spoken, passionate, and insightful he is outside of his music, too.


Rhymefest w/ Groove Armada?

Yea, I didn’t know it either – until I finally took in some of Groove Armada’s ’07 record, Soundboy Rock. When I think about the London dance duo, who are never scared to dip into any genre or groove, the pairing of the Chicago MC – the biggest MJ fan around – with the energetic GA seems more natural than I initially envisioned.

Groove Armada :: The Girls Say (featuring Rhymefest)


My Modern Summer Thrill…..

No longer is it vodka and Zangief springing to mind when someone mentions, Moscow. Now, it’s Tesla Boy and what has officially kicked off the start to my summer: Modern Thrills

With 10 of the 11 tracks banging in at over 4 minutes, with many nearing six, this trio gives you an opportunity to lose yourself in their waves of synths, disco inspired beats, and authentic 80s meets 21st century pop sound. Bright and brilliant…

Tesla Boy :: Synthetic Prince


You can stop now because I’m plenty satiated. But you’re not done – I know this.

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June 2010