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


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.