Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holidays (Miami Horror & Cassian Remix)

Photo Credit Chantel Baggley

It's time to address the elephant in the room. I didn't want to say anything yesterday because I was honestly worried it was a glitch in the interface, but I've got confirmation and it's true: I'm now listed on the Hype Machine. Wow. At the end of the day, this doesn't effect my blogging at all. I do this because I love it, I love music, and I love sharing it with other people. What it does effect, however, is the audience I'm reaching. My site traffic has sextupled in the past 24 hours. I'm shocked and humbled. Thanks to everyone who has been with me since the beginning. To everyone else: welcome. I'm so excited about this traffic increase because it now means that I can share the music I love so much with an increasingly wide audience. I'm glad you're here, and I hope that you love what I have to share with you as much as I do. Finally, I hope that I might somehow inspire you to go out there and support your local scene and the artists who's music serves to brighten your day. :)

Anyway, on to the good stuff. If you didn't already know, I'm a huge fan of Australia's Miami Horror. Their album Illumination was one of my favorites of the year, providing me with ample amounts the good-times-had-by-all kind of music I so enjoy. Recently I've been getting into another Australian artist, producer Cassian (if you missed his FANTASTIC funk remix of Swick's Grow Up on my year-end post, be sure to grab it here), so it was quite a treat when I saw that the two had collaborated. Sometime this past fall the Aussies teamed up to remix Holidays, Miami Horror's latest single. It was just released a couple weeks ago as a promotion for both the single and Miami Horror’s Illumination Remixes pack, available here on iTunes. Miami Horror's infectious poppiness and big band panache is perfectly complimented by Cassian’s funk styling and driving bass lines, and the collaboration results in nothing less that a toe-curling mesh of both artists’ styles. This song really does feel like a holiday, as its unabashed joyfulness transports you to another time and place. This is the kind of music that has me bouncing around my room using hairbrushes as mock microphones. Embarrassing? Maybe. Excellent? Most definitely.

Holidays (Miami Horror & Cassian Remix)--Miami Horror

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Die Tonight

I'm usually adverse to posting cover art, but this one looks so uncannily like one of my ex boyfriends that I had to include it.

I meant to post this yesterday but fell asleep instead. Which I think is appropriate given the cover art.
Sweden's jj released their first mixtape, Kills, on Christmas Eve via the Sincerely Yours (their label) website, and what a great Christmas present it was. It's a unique and inspiring mix of samples and covers, personalized by original lyrics and production. I've never heard anything quite like it. I guess we should have known something like this was up jj's sleeve, as they've sampled/covered/ripped off pop songs in the past (i.e. the brilliant Ecstasy, which 'ripped off' Lil Wayne's Lollipop), it was only a matter of time before they expanded on that formula. I can only imagine this is going to become the new 'thing' to do among relevant indie-electro acts. But let it be said: jj did it first. And they're probably going to do it the best. Though all the songs are just a step away from genius, I'm posting Die Tonight, the second track off the mixtape. The reason? It samples/covers two of my favorite songs of 2010: Robyn's Hang With Me and my favorite guilty pop pleasure, Taio Cruz's Dynamite (hey, it's a catchy song). It opens with the first stanza of Robyn's lyrics before elaborating, then launching into a Dynamite-driven melody and beat with a completely new set of lyrics. Somewhat amazingly, it not only works, but rocks.

If you like what you hear, be sure to grab the entire mixtape (for FREE) at Sincerely Yours' website HERE.

Right Click to Download: Die Tonight--jj






Sunday, December 26, 2010

Comedown Sunday: Tear Club


There is 6" of snow on the ground here in Chicago...if that not depressing I don't know what is.
Let me tell you, a white Christmas isn't quite all it's cracked up to me. My bruised bum can attest to that after one too many slips on the icy driveway. I know you kids in Florida and California probably won't understand these sentiments, as you're blessed with good weather year-round, but I am in desperate need of some kind of tropical pick-me-up. When craving an island breeze fix, the best remedy (other than a plane ticket to Hawaii) is D.I.S.C.O.Texas, a production collective based out of Portugal, which includes some of my absolute favorite producers, Moullinex, Xinobi, and Justin Faust. Needless to say, today I've been on a total D.I.S.C.O.Texas kick, and while your side of the states might not be experiencing quite the same types of ball-busting weather, I think you will nonetheless appreciate this one. Kick back and nurse your holday hangover with the smooth flute work and airy vocals of Moullinex's beachy Tear Club.

Sorry guys, no downloading this time. Moullinex's Chocolate EP isn't set to be released until January on Gomma Records, and he's not giving any kind of promo downloads in the meantime. This track nonetheless deserves a listen, or several. Be sure to check Gomma's Beatport page in January to buy it for yourself.

Moullinex - Tear Club by Moullinex

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Difficult (SebastiAn's 2006 Parties Remix)

Photo Credit Rachael Crowther

It's Christmas, woohoo. I hope Santa was good to all of you. I've got some bad news though: there's no way in hell I'm posting a Christmas song on here (actually, maybe that's good news). After 2 months of hearing 'Jingle Bell Rock' EVERYWHERE I went, if I never hear another Christmas song again it might be too soon. So, instead of posting a warm and fuzzy joy-to-the-world type of shtick, I'm going to embrace the darker side of the holidays: Consumerism. What better way to do that than with a song practically dripping in dollars? Paris' favorite bad girl Uffie (the original, better Ke$ha) released her single Difficult in October. The EP included a remix her label-mate SebastiAn, with a title invoking the the glory days of the last decade, before the financial crisis hit and the economy went to shit; when times were simpler and all we cared about was having a rocking good time. His remix highlights Uffie's delivery of the satisfyingly slick line, "Don't worry if I write rhymes; I write checks." I think it's pretty poignant in light of the holiday season, which has increasingly evolved to mean less about togetherness and more about conspicuous consumption. Whatever kind of spirit the holidays move in you, let's be real here: If it really is Jesus' birthday, I bet he'd want us to party. Turn up this song and get down.

Difficult (2006 Parties Remix by SebastiAn)--Uffie






Wednesday, December 22, 2010

(Other) Best of 2010, Part 2: Instrumental

Photo Credit luz.de.marfil

Today I’m bringing you Part 2 of Loose Lips’ 2010 Wrap-Up/’Other’ Best, but these songs are of a bit different nature than those I posted yesterday.
After recent repeated journeys through my music library, I realized I hadn’t posted nearly enough of the instrumental music I loved this year. In fact, according to Loose Lips’ archives I hardly posted any. Consequently, I decided that these next 10 songs (11 actually, but I’ll get to that in a second) should serve to fill in all the posting gaps I had this year. Unlike those electronic songs posted yesterday, these 11 instrumental songs (‘instrumental’ meaning music made by a traditional band/solo artist setup, or ‘music that would still sound ok without electricity’) do represent my top 10 ‘best’ or most favorite of the year. Unlike yesterday, where I simply posted the songs in alphabetical order, today’s list is ordered by preference, with the exception of song 11. Song 11 (Kanye) actually might be my number one, but doesn’t quite fit into the ‘instrumental’ criteria, so I chose to tack it on as an afterthought. These songs span a multitude of genres, from pop rock to blues to psychedelic to soul, and everything in between. Despite the discrepancy, they’re all fantastic, and deserved more attention that a quick write-up in a year-end list. In retrospect I wish I had gotten around to it. Thank goodness there’s always next year.

***Update: December 27th, 2010:
I've received a notice of Copyright Violation on this post from the DMCA. I don't know what song the claim is for, so until I figure that out I'm taking off all of the possible violators until I can discern the culprit. They're still available for streaming, so listen away.



1. Tightrope (ft. Big Boi)—Janelle Monáe [from The ArchAndroid]







This is the song of 2010. Ms. Monáe crafted the most creative, genre-encompassing, fresh, and inspiring work of the year, and Tightrope serves as its crown jewel.
If you need any further proof of Monáe's genius, watch the music video:


2. Undercover Martyn—Two Door Cinema Club [from Tourist History]







Two Door Cinema Club exploded onto the scene this year with their unique yet familiar brand of youthful, exuberant power-pop.

3. Tighten Up—The Black Keys [from Brothers]







The Black Keys had been on my radar for years, but it wasn’t until 2010’s release of Brothers that they got my full attention. After polishing and er, tightening up, Brothers saw the band doing what they had always done...but better.

4. Lucidity—Tame Impala [from InnerSpeaker]







I always tell people that Tame Impala sound exactly like post-acid Beatles. However, I don’t think they should be faulted for that, because sounding like the Beatles (in any of their incarnations) could never be less than ‘a good thing.’

5. Come and Get It—Eli Paperboy Reed [from Come And Get It]







2010 saw an emergence in neo-soul music, and may I say, it’s about time. Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed is a white boy who sings like a black angel, and Come and Get It serves to erase any doubts you might have regarding race as a factor in making excellent soul music.

6. Revival—Deerhunter [from Halcyon Digest]







Deerhunter is another band that I had known about for years but never paid much attention until 2010. This is probably the only rock song about Jesus that I’ll ever love, or even tolerate for that matter.

7. Freak Out—Tapes ‘n Tapes







Minnesota’s Tapes ‘n Tapes are set to release a full length in early 2011, but gave away Freak Out this fall as part of a promotional campaign for the album. Thank goodness they did, as there was no better song of 2010 to help me put my shit in perspective.

8. Go Outside—Cults [from Cults 7”]







Released by Forest Family Records, I loved this song even before I started interning for the label. Cults—who just signed to Sony—are going places, and in summer’s perfect big-sky-fresh-air anthem, urge you to do the same.

9. Boyfriend—Best Coast [from Crazy For You]







Indie rocks reigning princess and marijuana don, Benthany Consentino (lead singer/guitarist for Best Coast) proved that stoners can a) have feelings and b) make great music, too.

10. I Walked—Sufjan Stevens [from The Age of Adz]







2010 marked a change in pace for everyone’s favorite folk hero, Sufjan Stevens. He ditched the banjo in favor of synthesizers, which in turn served as a kind of microcosm for the state of independent music today. Despite the lack of Americana on the album, Sufjan’s poignant and moving lyricism is no less profound.

11. Bonus: Lost In the World—Kanye West ft. Bon Iver [from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy]







What’s left to say about Kanye that hasn’t already been said by the man himself? My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was everything he promised it would be, and perhaps a little more. Though it's a hard call to make, Lost In The World is probably my favorite track on what is an absolute masterpiece of an album.

Check back tomorrow for Part 3: (Other) Best Remixes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

(Other) Best of 2010, Part I: Electronic


Here’s my first attempt at a ‘Best of [insert year here]’ list…but it’s not quite.
The thing is, thus far Loose Lips has been entirely dedicated to the songs I’ve loved in 2010. I’ve tried to only post music that’s truly moved me, and consequently the blog’s archives can more or less be read as my year’s ‘best' list. However, there were a few notable tunes that fell through the cracks, so to speak. Whether because I never got around to posting them, I was unable to post them due to copyright issues, or they didn’t fit in with the aesthetic of the blog, for whatever reason they never made the cut, but that’s not to say that I loved them any less. They might not be the ‘best’ by industry standards, but they’re what made me happiest or inspired me most. Anyway, I don’t think I have any kind of right (nor do many others) to make a qualitative list of the ‘best’ music of the year, as music taste really is so subjective.
So without further ado, here’s Part I of Loose Lips’ 2010 Wrap-Up, my “Year’s OTHER Best” if you will.

Pt. I of the 3-part Wrap-Up features my top 10 (downloadable) Electronic songs of the year. 'Electronic' meaning music made by producers versus a traditional band setup. I say 'downloadable' because there are actually 12 tracks here, but seeing as I couldn’t legally post the Grum tracks—which are arguably my top 2 electronic tunes of the year—I included 2 extra. (Make sure you listen to the Grum tracks though, they're stellar.)

Downloading:
Either grab all 10 tracks simultaneously by grabbing the Zip Folder HERE,
or pick and choose by clicking each song link and downloading individually. (Right click, save download...you know the drill.)

After Dark—The Count & Sinden [from Mega Mega Mega]







Continuing my Hervé kick (‘The Count’ is yet another one of his aliases, used when collaborating with fellow British DJ, Sinden), this song shows his playful and—dare I say it—poppy side.

Animus Vox—The Glitch Mob [from Drink The Sea]







The Glitch Mob were one of the most unique groups to break onto the scene this year, both in production and performance style. Animus Vox is creative and intricate yet immediately accessible.

Coma Cat—Tensnake







Tensnake proved to be the little disco engine that could, as Coma Cat became THE club anthem of Ibiza 2010. Can I get, can I get get?

Ghost In My Head—Niva







Niva started 2010 unknown, and remains relatively unknown still, but that doesn’t mean this rainy day electro is any less beautiful.

Golddust—DJ Fresh







While the Flux Pavilion remix of DJ Fresh’s song got all the attention among my peers, the original Dn’B version is what had me coming back for more. You can’t beat the energy of the original. And the music video!


Midnight Walk—Barretso [From Bright City Lights EP]







Thanks Barretso, for giving me my most-played song of the year. IT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER.

My Feelings For You—Sebastien Drums & Avicii







2010 was Tim Bergling's (a.k.a. Avicii) year, and this collaboration with Sebastien Drums proves he’s worth the hype.

Second Lives—Vitalic







Though Vitalic’s album, Flashmob, was released in 2009, the Second Lives Single came out in March, so I’m allowing it to count. Vitalic is one of the best producers in the world today; I’d venture to say top 10. If you don’t believe me, just listen and see for yourself.

Tertre Rouge—Russ Chimes [from the Midnight Club EP]







One of 3 tracks off of Russ Chimes’ epic Midnight Club EP; it’s simultaneously sexy, fun, and slightly dangerous.

This Moment—French Horn Rebellion [from The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion]







French Horn Rebellion provided us with perhaps the year's best electro pop tune, which all but forces you to put a smile on your face and sing along.

Heartbeats--Grum [from Heartbeats]
Popjustice called Grum's Hearbeats 'the greatest song of the 21st century', and they weren't too far off. The thing I love about this song is unlike most songs that start at a '1' and build, climaxing at '10' and gradually fading back down, this song is at a constant '11'. I wish I could give it to you to download. Buy it here instead.

Grum - Heartbeats from Brian McBlade on Vimeo.


Cybernetic--Grum [from Heartbeats]
Oh Grum. Another song, another masterpiece. All in a day's work for Scotland's great electronic hope.


Check back tomorrow for Part 2: (Other) Best Instrumental Tunes.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Comedown Sunday: Nightcall (Breakbot Remix)

I'm giving you a night call to tell you how I feel.


Now that I'm finished with what has been an absolute hell of a semester's end, I'm devoting my time to keeping up with this blog. To start, I'm compiling a years end 'best-of' list, with a number of my favorite tracks from 2010. Going through all the music I've acquired and loved over the past year has been arduous at best, but simultaneously rather inspiring. 2010 was a great year for music, though perhaps not so much for its audiences. With the rising popularity of music blogs, blog aggregators, and artist-direct free downloads, the sheer volume of available new music proved somewhat problematic for a listener (like myself) with a wide range of music taste and a penchant for discovering the next big thing. If 2010 has taught us anything, its that the world's talent pool is endless, and the chance of music celebrity in this day and age is quickly dwindling.

Today's Comedown Sunday tune is a product of this too-much-too-good paradigm. Kavinsky released his Nightcall EP (produced by none other than Daft Punk's Guy-Manuel) in September, as an 'aperitif' to his upcoming 2011 album. In conjunction with the release, Kavinsky and his label, Record Makers, ran a remix contest promising the winner a spot on the EP. In the excitement over the contest, pre-approved remixes became a passing thought in blog posts and reviews. One such remix is by Ed Banger's audaciously talented Breakbot (my favorite breakout artist of the year). I hope this post gives this stellar remix some of the front-and-center attention it deserves, as it oozes sex and funk, and begs repeated listenings.

Right-Click to Download: Nightcall (Breakbot Remix)--Kavinsky







Sunday, December 5, 2010

Comedown Sunday: Destination Pt. II

"Lately I don't know what I should do. I feel it in the air, it's time to go."

Photo Credit Jordan Chark

Destination Pt. II is from the 2-track Destination Single (which was comprised of Parts I and II) released by the now-defunct Damn Arms back in January, 2009. This song was on nearly every chill/cruising/bedtime playlist that I made for the better part of a year, until I kind of forgot about it. It shuffled up this weekend just in time for a night drive, and good thing it did; my highway cruises were incomplete without this song in the mix. I've loved this song since the moment I first heard it, and it still resonates today. It’s ancient by blog standards, but the song’s smooth synths, dreamy soundscapes, and filtered vocals singing about unknown inevitability make this the perfect Comedown Sunday tune. Though the band is no more, Damn Arms' sound is survived by ex-member Yama Indra’s new project, Gloves. He’s been getting a lot of attention recently for remixing fellow Aussies Miami Horror and Bag Raiders, so be sure to support him by checking out his Soundcloud here.

Right-Click to Download: Destination Pt II—Damn Arms







Thursday, December 2, 2010

At My Heels

"I can't come up with any reason why a ghost is following me."

Photo Credit (my dear friend) Doyle Bley

Happy December Everyone. Unfortunately, school/homework has become my new hobby for the time being. It’s frustrating because now I have all these cool new site features, yet no time to post. I know many of you are in the same boat, so with my 5 extra minutes of time today (literally), here's a song that I hope will help ease the studying pains.
Twin Shadow is the brainchild of Brooklyn’s George Lewis Jr., a multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for bedroom-quality production. He creates new new-wave with emphasis on synths and drum machines that sound like the real thing. Some call it ‘dance rock,’ but really the only dancing I’d be doing to this is in my bedroom. His uptempo albeit mournful meditations evoke 80’s legends New Order/Joy Division much more so than Duran Duran. His entire debut album, Forget (released in August), employs the same subtle gloom which the former made so popular. The under-appreciated At My Heels, while never released as a single is nonetheless my favorite off the album. In this song Lewis stretches his silky smooth croon (which has been compared to Bowie’s—listen for it) to its full potential, beautifully ruminating on his attempts to shake off the past.

Right Click to Download: At My Heels--Twin Shadow







Friday, November 26, 2010

Gemini Club vs Hey Champ

Photo Credit MIke Lloyd

Notice anything different? Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I have quite a lot to be thankful for; first and foremost being the KILLER new Loose Lips logos and banners that the fantastic (er...magnificent) Magnificent Beard have graciously provided me. Magnificent Beard are a Dallas-based graphic design team who specialize in absolutely stellar gig posters (and I’m not just biased—they’ve won the Dallas Observer’s Poster of The Week no less than 7 times). I’m also thankful for We Are 1976 for initially referring me to Magnificent Beard this past summer. We Are 1976 is a design shop/gallery located on N. Henderson which houses work by a multitude of independent Dallas designers. Magnificent Beard are regularly featured there, so be sure to stop by and support both the artists and the store. They deserve some serious love. (Thanks guys!)

Finally, I’m thankful to be back home in Chicago. In honor of the Windy City, here’s a pair of songs from two of its up-and-coming electro acts, Hey Champ and Gemini Club. A few months ago these synth-wielding electropop outfits gave each other the remix treatment, and what a treat it is. Hey Champ’s remix of Gemini Club is a groovy disco-tinged joyride (with a bridge at 1:17 that gets me swaying every. single. time I hear it), while Gemini Club’s remix of Hey Champ is a stomping, stuttering piece of pop perfection. These two acts are definitely doing their city proud.

Right Click to Download: Ghost (Hey Champ Remix)--Gemini Club








Right Click to Download: Cold Dust Girl (Gemini Club Remix)--Hey Champ






Monday, November 15, 2010

Heart

Photo Credit Saga Sig

If yesterday’s song was meant to close your week with a moment of ambient reflection, today’s song is meant to jump start your new one with a burst of exuberant opportunism. I can’t take credit for finding this (it showed up last week on Altered Zones), but it nonetheless might be my favorite song I post for the rest of the year. The amazing Heart is brought to us by Vancouver’s Blood Diamonds. After hearing this song I scoured the internet for more Blood Diamonds’ material, but unfortunately there isn’t much, save for a handful of tracks on his soundcloud. This lack of repertoire makes Heart even more special—if this is one of Blood Diamonds’ first works I can’t even imagine how his sound will expand in time. Utilizing the same cutting-sampling-original-materialing hybrid employed by the likes of Star Slinger and Keep Shelly in Athens, Blood Diamonds crafts this beautiful tempo shifting go-getter, experimental enough to pique your interest yet melodic enough to hold it. Marimbas, pan pipes, and tribal drums are offset by swirling synthesizers and the jubilantly admonishing,
“Get ready, cause here I come.”
This mantra represents the perfect attitude with which to greet the day, the week, or the rest of your life, as the music provides the perfect theme.

Right Click to Download: Heart--Blood Diamonds






Sunday, November 14, 2010

Comedown Sunday: Brain Storm (For Erin)

Photo Credit Neil Krug

Today’s Comedown Sunday song comes from Mark McGuire, guitarist for Cleveland’s ambient/progressive rock trio Emeralds. This 6-minute masterpiece was created using only an electric guitar and a delay pedal. These minimalist tools nonetheless manage to craft a complex, twisting soundscape marked by urgent melancholy. The song is intricate yet intimate, soaring yet constricted, and entirely beautiful.

Right Click to Download: Brain Storm (For Erin)--Mark McGuire






Friday, November 12, 2010

Where'd All The Time Go?

"She gets dressed up like a pillow so she's always in bed."

Pillowig Concept by Joo Youn Paek

Dr. Dog played at the Loft last night here in Dallas, but unfortunately I was too busy to see them. It’s a shame, because I’ve been trying to catch them live for the better part of 3 years, and it just never seems to work out. In honor and remorse, here’s a song of theirs that I’ve been holding on to for quite some time just waiting for the right opportunity to post. For those of you unfamiliar with the group, they’re a bit Beatles, a little Neil Young, and a whole lot of spunk; with a plethora of 4-part harmonies to boot. In my opinion they’re far too underappreciated. Yeah, they may sound like every other psychedelic pop outfit that came out of the 60’s, but the novelty is that they are capturing that sound so perfectly now. Where’d All the Time Go? sees the band reflecting on missed opportunities and lost loves, accentuated by scaling strings and rounded off by a killer guitar solo in the last 30 seconds.

Right Click to Download: Where'd All The Time Go?--Dr. Dog






Thursday, November 11, 2010

Somebody to Love Me (Hervé's 'Very Vox' Remix)


The post I did a month ago on Voodoo Chilli was the first time I had come across the work of Josh Harvey, aka Hervé, but since then I’ve been absolutely eating his shit up. I can’t seem to get tired of his work because it exhibits so much range--he releases under at least 5 different aliases spanning every genre from DnB to Acid House. To me, one of the most frustrating things about many electronic artists is their unwillingness to deviate from ‘their sound.’ There’s a large number of producer-DJs relying on formula instead of creativity to push their songs to the top of the charts. While they continue to capitalize now on the sound that made them popular, in 5 years (or sooner) that genre is going to fall out of favor, leaving them to wallow in obscurity. Harvey’s approach to music is just the opposite. His creativity and willingness to experiment is flush throughout his work, and this thinking outside the box actually pays off chart-wise because it all sounds so fresh.

Somebody to Love Me is the first single off of Mark Ronson’s new Record Collection. With vocals from Boy George and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow, it showcases a powerhouse of talent, and as a result has gotten quite the remix treatment. While the Holy Ghost! version has been getting most of the attention, the Hervé remix is the best. Take my word for it. The slow, introspective original had some upbeat elements: chimes, xylophones, and a high, danceable bassline. Harvey capitalizes on these by kicking up the beat and adding some flourishes. The result retains the meat of the original while pushing the emotional tone in a completely different direction. The Hervé remix has a distinctly sunny-day feel; perhaps it could even be called tropical. Think of it as “I want somebody to love me…at the beach.”

Right Click to Download:
Somebody to Love Me (Hervé's 'Very Vox' Remix)--Mark Ronson & The Business Intl







Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Minha Menina

Here’s a little story about serendipity.
I have this random record that I picked up on a whim. It’s a compilation of songs recorded during the Brazilian psychedelic rock movement from the late 60s and early 70s known as Tropicalia It features some of the most influential players of the scene, and showcased songs from the movement ranging from rowdy experiments in guitar reverb to trippy Asian-influenced psychedelic acid rock. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single artist on the record, but I can assure you that it’s good; it’s perfect background music for whenever I’m feeling a little weird. This past weekend I went to Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin. The Saturday lineup featured a band I’d never heard of called Os Mutantes. I gathered from the other festivalgoers that they were a) Brazilian b) Kind of a big deal, so I decided to watch their set on a whim. Halfway through I recognized some familiar, buzzy guitar chords. As I wracked my brain for a connection, the band launched into the chorus and it hit me: “THIS IS MY FAVORITE SONG OFF THAT RANDOM RECORD!” Sure enough, Os Mutantes are ‘kind of a big deal’ to modern psychedelic rock like Willie Nelson is ‘kind of a big deal’ to modern country music. Which would explain why the band members looked so old.

Right Click to Download: A Minha Menina--Os Mutantes






Monday, November 8, 2010

I < 3 U So

Photo Credit Gen Kay

I < 3 U So is the first single off Cassius' new The Rawkers EP, released October 11th on the ever reliable Ed Banger Records. It’s a slow burning piano driven soul tune, modernized by hard stomping kicks and fuzzed out distortion. And when I say modernized, I mean it. Cassius forgo any type of genre snobbery by temporarily eschewing their French Touch roots and exploring one of the most popular new genres, dubstep. No, really. Check it out.

Right Click to Download: I < 3 U So--Cassius








Also take a look at the music video for the song. At first glace it may seem merely a flagrant marketing ploy: the iPhone app featured in the video can be downloaded so the everyman can make their own tribute. But the app is free. And even if it wasn’t, they’re fucking Cassius—they can do whatever they want; flagrant marketing ploys included.

Cassius, I Love you so from WE ARE FROM L.A on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Running Out of You


I am the worst intern ever.
Keep Shelly in Athens are a duo out of Athens, Greece. It was just announced today that their debut EP will be released in late November by Forest Family Records. The irony here is that while I intern for Forest Family, until two hours ago I had never heard the band. Oops. To make matters worse, I confused this band with an unnamed demo I had received earlier this year, so imagine my surprise when I pushed “play” and was greeted by a completely different sound than I had expected. C'mon intern, get with it.

But what a nice surprise it was. I’m way too stoked to wait until Sunday, but this is perfect Comedown Sunday music. Pitchfork classifies KSIA's sound as “Balearic,” but it’s only by virtue of their origin. Whenever I hear the word “Balearic” I immediately expect Ibiza anthems or traditional folk music. That’s not the case here. Instead, chill out to down tempo, ambient lounge music, accented by Sarah P’s wispy vocals. Three-fourths of the way in it’s all met by a triumphant triad progression, heavy kick, and a sampled voice declaring “Break it Down!” KSIA are pulling influences from nearly every genre in the book here, fusing them together to create something entirely sexy, dreamy, and new. I’m wary to make the comparison because of what high esteem I hold the following band in…but KSIA reminds me a lot of Röyksopp. Which is definitely, definitely a good thing.

*Vinyl connoisseurs (or anyone looking to start a collection), be sure to pre-order your 12 inches of beautiful beige HERE.

Right Click to Download: Running Out of You—Keep Shelly in Athens






Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let Go

*A different Let Go. Not to be confused with this one.

Photo Credit Ibai Acevedo

I have no idea where this song came from. I have no idea who Everest are, and I don’t know anything about them except that they’re from LA and their sophomore album was released back in May. Their song Let Go showed up in my iTunes last week, and being an equal-opportunity music listener, I popped it on a playlist. Yesterday when it came up on my shuffle for the first time, it felt like an old friend was stopping by to say “Hey.” I didn’t recognize the band, I didn’t recognize the title, but I knew that I had heard this song before. Where? On the radio? No, it’s not charting anywhere. On Hypem? No, there’s only posts about it from blogs I don’t follow. On TV? No, I asked my roommate—a TV enthusiast—if she had ever heard the song used on a commercial or program; she hadn’t.

And then I realized: I hadn’t heard this song before. At least, not technically. But I might as well have for how familiar its formula is: Minor-chord tinged melancholy post folk sung by a heavily bearded 20-something who probably wears a lot of flannel. Think My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, Minus the Bear (who Everest supported this past fall), etc. It’s been done before, time and time again. But though the formula is tired, it’s still true, and when implemented correctly results in gloriously heartbreaking yet empowering anthems for the vinyl set . Or their mothers, who hear it on the Greys’ Anatomy soundtrack.


Right Click to Download: Let Go--Everest






Friday, October 15, 2010

Ray Ban Vision (feat. CyHi da Prynce)

“I’m like Tom Cruise off of Top Gun.”


This dropped only yesterday over at RCRD LBL, so it’s hot off the block.
A-Trak is one of the world’s greatest DJ’s, and that’s not just personal opinion: he won the DMCs World DJ Championship when he was only 15 years old, and since then has gone on to win basically every major competition the industry holds. His collaboration with Armand Van Helden as Duck Sauce brought us summer’s dance mega-hit Barbara Streisand, and the label he co-founded, Fool’s Gold, is set to release their first compilation CD on the 25th. Still not convinced? He was also Kanye West’s tour DJ for a number of years, which saw him performing everywhere from the VMAs to the Grammys. CyHi da Prynce is an up-and-coming rapper from Atlanta, who is also Kanye’s new protégée. These two members of Team Kanye teamed up to bring us Ray Ban Vision, a slightly ridiculous but undeniably fun song about seeing the world through mirror tints. I hate to say it because I am the whitest person alive…but damn this makes me wanna get crunk. Turn this one on this weekend when you want to feel motherfucking fabulous.

Right Click to Download: Ray Ban Vision (feat CyHi da Prynce)—A-Trak

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Look to You (ft. Kimbra)

"I wanna change the future when I look into your eyes"

Photo Credit Julie Pike

Though the name may be deceiving, Miami Horror are not from Florida. Far from it. In fact they are from Melbourne, Australia, a city that must have something in the water what with the recent surge of dance-pop talent hailing from the area (including Cut Copy and Bag Raiders, to name a couple). I Look to You is the second single off their debut LP, Illumination, which was released back in August. It marks a calculated shift for the band from testosterone driven disco rock to genre-encompassing, glorious pop. Featuring deliciously seductive vocals courtesy of Kimbra, it’s a delight not only for dance enthusiasts but also general music lovers everywhere. With its infectious chorus, driving bass line, and masterful incorporation of unique elements (read: HORN SECTION), I Look to You bridges the divide between indie credibility and mainstream listenability. Basically, it’s the type of music destined for car commercials. But as far as being force-fed ‘relevant’ tunes by capitalist marketing enterprises goes, when it comes to this song I’d be completely okay with that.

Right Click to Download: I Look to You (ft. Kimbra)--Miami Horror






Wednesday, October 13, 2010

She Needs Me (Monarchy Remix)

"This is where I want to be."

Photo Credit We Are Tiny Things

I cannot adequately express how much I love Monarchy, but that story (tirade) is for another day. Here the focus is on Fyfe Dangerfield, a singer/songwriter out of London with a pretty fantastic name. She Needs Me is likewise a pretty fantastic song, made even more fantastic by Monarchy’s expert production skills. Monarchy highlight Dangerfield’s triumphant realization of “She needs me, and it’s okay!” with equally triumphant strings, and a pulsating rhythm that gallops along into the sunset; into which Dangerfield is undoubtedly riding with his dependant, albeit willing, lover in tow.

Right-Click to Download: She Needs Me (Monarchy Remix)--Fyfe Dangerfield






Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Map of the Problematique

“I can’t get it right since I met you.”

Photo Credit Thobias Faldt

This song is over four years old, so it was quite a surprise when I heard it being used last night as the theme music to a new movie trailer.

Hearing it, I remembered why Muse was my favorite band for the better part of 5 years, and why I’d made a concerted effort to attend every one of their live shows that ever came within 100 miles of me. And how, regardless of the now-tired usage of conspiracy theory themes, occasional campiness, slightly whiny vocals, and Radiohead comparisons (which I personally think are pretty unwarranted), when Muse gets it right, they fucking rock. Nobody does bombastic progressive rock better, and if you need a soundtrack to your next world conquest, this is right on point.

Right Click to Download: Map of the Problematique--Muse







Sunday, October 10, 2010

Comedown Sunday: Breathe (MiM0SA Remix)

Comedown Sundays: The Soundtrack to Your Hangover

Photo Credit Melodie McDaniel

It’s that day again. This Sunday’s comedown tune comes from Télépopmusik via the up-and-coming, LA-based dubstep producer MiM0SA. MiM0SA is one of the few notable American dub artists; his West Coast breakbeats have been winning him legions of fans since he sprung on the scene a couple years ago. His new album, Silver Lining, dropped just last week. Pick it up and hop on the MiM0SA bandwagon—in terms of North American dub this guy is at the top of the pack. Here he remixes the gorgeous Télépopmusik classic, Breathe. The original mix of this song is nearly flawless, and I was skeptical that a dub remix could do it justice. MiM0SA’s attempt passed with flying colors. Instead of implementing the currently popular (and highly over-used) dramatic dub formula of build-DROP-womp-womp, he approaches the remix from a trip-hop and break angle. The result is more reminiscent of acts like Burial or Potrishead than the recent crop of dubstep producers concerned only with wobble. He capitalizes on the hopeful, bated-breath mood of the original song with high octave arpeggiation and ever-nostalgic windchime effects. Perfect for a day of reflection. Even if the reflecting is just trying to recall what in god's name you did last night.

**MiM0SA will be playing this Wednesday, October 13th at the fabulous Trees in Deep Ellum. Check out the Facebook Event page HERE, and be sure not to miss it.

Right-Click to Download: Breathe (MiM0SA Remix)—Télépopmusik






Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fuck You

"I see you driving round town with the girl I love and I'm like, fuck you."


Cee-Lo Green's Fuck You is more or less old news. It's been dominating the Hype Machine charts for a couple months, its been featured as "Best New Music" on Pitchfork's playlist, and has been getting a ton of mentions by people in the industry. But it's new to me!

Seeing the rather explicit name, I assumed that it was going to be one of those ghetto rap numbers that P4k likes to include in their charts every once in awhile to seem more "mainstream" and to "appeal to a larger demographic." I wouldn't call myself a fan of ghetto rap (at all), so I avoided the song like the plague. Finally today, after seeing mentions of it everywhere, I cracked and downloaded. That's when I realized that my assumptions couldn't have been more wrong, it was the exact opposite of what I had expected, and HOLY LORD IF THIS ISN'T ONE OF THE BEST SONGS I'VE HEARD IN...at least the past week. Instead of being gangster rap about thug life and stickin it to the man, its mowtown baby. This is pure 1960's soul and r&b modernized with rather explicit but knife blade-sharp lyrics about a gold-digging ex.

That just goes to show, never judge a book by it cover, er, a song by its title.

Right Click to Download: Fuck You--Cee-Lo Green






Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Follow

Photo Credit Neil Krug

I have been waiting waiting waiting for the album release so I could buy and post this song. I guess I could have always posted the video or the soundcloud, but it’s so much more satisfying to have a song tucked safely away in your iTunes versus streaming it on the vast world wide web.

Anyway, here’s a song by Crystal Fighters, a band comprised of very attractive hippies hailing from Navarre, Spain (an area I’m currently studying about for my European Culture midterm). Their debut album, "Star of Love", was just released on October 3rd. If you dig the following song be sure to pick the entire album up HERE. Crystal Fighters are unique not only because they’re Spanish (can you think of any notable Spanish bands? I can’t), but also because their music is a certifiable hodgepodge of what seems to be a thousand different genres. They draw inspiration from everything from flamenco to folk, from dance to dubstep. However, rather than get lost in a sea of competing influences, Crystal Fighters are able to strike the delicate chord between paying homage to their predecessors and creating a unique sound all their own. Follow is a bouncy psychedelic rock number with a dose of flamenco. I guess the contest for my affection was over before it started, as anything with even the slightest Latin influence gets me every fucking time. Regardless, it’s delightful.

Right Click to Download: Follow—Crystal Fighters








Also, check out the super trippy/cool music video for the song HERE.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Way Back Home

Photo Credit Melodie McDaniel

BAG RAIDERS’ DEBUT ALBUM COMES OUT TOMORROW….in Australia.
No word yet on when it’s going to be released in the US, but until then I’m waiting with bated breath. These guys are great, and from what I can tell by listening to the 30-second song clips available for streaming on iTunes Australia, so is their new album (yes I’m so anxious for the release that it’s come to this).

Bag Raiders craft luscious house/disco/electro-pop songs with an inexplicable knack for getting themselves stuck in your head. Their first single and blog hit, Shooting Stars is a tricky little number: It starts as a slow-burning bower ballad, and just as it ensnares you in it's melancholy web it suddenly hits you upside the head with a chorus comprised of glittering major chords and a vocal line pulled straight from mid-90’s boy-band era pop music. Before you have time to question the overtly mainstream change in tone, you’ve been hooked. At that point all you can think is, I LOVE THE WORLD AND I LOVE THIS SONG.
Honestly I don’t know anyone that doesn’t thoroughly enjoy Shooting Stars. There’s something to be said for feel good, pop-for-the-sake-of-pop music: It’s catchy. Those aforementioned boy bands didn’t make millions of dollars and legions of adoring fans because they thought outside the box; they reached fame and fortune because their music made you feel good. I’m not saying that Bag Raiders lack artistic credibility—they are clearly talented musicians—but their formula works so well because it’s warm fuzzy feel good pop that can appeal to everyone. If Justin Beiber were to cover a Bag Raiders song could it be a Billboard #1? Absolutely. It’s just really, really good pop music.

Way Back Home, the first single off the new album (and the BR-proclaimed sequel to Shooting Stars), employs the same pattern of slow-build-then-in-your-face-pop-explosion, to the same toe-curlingly delicious effect. It's vibe is decidedly more dancefloor-oriented, but is still pop gold nonetheless.

Right Click to Download: Way Back Home--Bag Raiders


*And if for some reason you don't have it, here's Shooting Stars as well. Mmm mm good.

Right Click to Download: Shooting Stars--Bag Raiders

Monday, September 27, 2010

Upcoming Concert Showcase: Ratatat


Tomorrow the fabulous Ratatat will be gracing the Palladium Ballroom for what is sure to be a fantastic show. For those of you unfamiliar with the duo, Ratatat are from Brooklyn, NY and were pioneers of the present day indie-electronica scene; though few have been able to match their technical and melodic prowess, or achieve the same kind of mainstream success the band has found. Their live show is a crazy audio and visual experience; if drugs are your thing I’d recommend them for this one. Their videoscreens basically beg you to be tripping on acid. Think their Shempi video, but weirder, with a lot more Indian people. Though maybe this time it will be more like their Drugs video. Just go see for yourself.

To help pump you up in preparation for the event here’s a few old school remixes from their famous Mixtapes. Released in 2004 and 2007 respectively, the two albums featured creative and catchy remixes of classic rap and hip-hop songs.
If you want new material, support the band and go buy their LP4.

Rick-Click Links to Download.

From Mixtape Vol. I: Get 'em High--Kanye West







From Mixtape Vol. II: Stomp--Young Buck, T.I. & Ludacris







From Mixtape Vol. II: Allure--Jay-Z & Notorious B.I.G.