Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daft Punk

In celebration of finally learning the release date of the TRON Legacy soundtrack (November 23rd!) composed by none other than my absolute favorite electronic act, here’s a Daft Punk-related post.

First off, I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this soundtrack to come out. If you want to preview six of the tracks click here. I was overwhelmingly surprised by them—they don’t sound anything like Homework-era Daft, which is what I had been expecting. Instead of samples and electronic sounds, Daft Punk seems to have utilized a full orchestra. Wow. Here it is everyone: Infallible proof that electronica artists can be just as talented at songwriting and composition (sometimes even more so) as their ‘traditional instrument’-wielding counterparts.

Asking me to pick a favorite Daft Punk song is like asking me to pick a favorite child, but here are a few of what I consider to be all-time bests. These aren’t the most famous of Daft songs, and haven’t really gotten any radio play in the states, so hopefully these are new for some of you. Two fast-paced bangers and two slower, sexier pieces.
Right-click to download.

Live it up:

One minute into it, a guitar solo consisting of an unending sequence of arpeggios commences, and every time I hear it my face practically melts.

Spinal Scratch

Ok technically this isn’t Daft Punk. But, it’s Thomas Bangalter, who is one-half of Daft Punk. This song features some of the best scratching I’ve ever heard on a track. Incredible.

Take it easy:
Something About Us

More guitar solos on this track, this time in a smooth-jazz style. A simple love song about that certain je ne sais quoi that makes you keep loving someone more and more, even if they don’t quite reciprocate

Make Love

As the title suggests, I could totally get down to this.

*By the way, if you for any reason haven't seen the TRON Legacy trailer yet, STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING IMMEDIATELY and go watch it here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I promised myself I would never post a song right after having downloading it from one of my favorite music blogs. I think it’s kind of a cheap move, like taking credit for something you didn’t discover. But I just can’t help myself with this one, because I really want to share it with everyone I know. And I guess in the grand scheme, we don’t all follow the same music blogs; and some of you don’t follow music blogs at all unless I tell you to come on here and download something (Hi Emily). So here’s to hoping most of you don’t catch my faux pas. Thank you to Et Musique Pour Tous for introducing me to this artist, and here you go.

The following song, Mornin’ is by Star Slinger. He’s a relatively new producer out of the UK, and I’m loving his stuff. His music is ‘Hip-Hop’ in the same way that RJD2’s work can be called Hip-Hop. In other words, don’t expect rapping about big booty hos here. Instead, Star Slinger utilizes a vast catalogue of samples, both vocal and instrumental, ranging from every genre of music from reggae to 80’s rock. He ties it all together with shuffling rhythms involving lots of bongos, lazer sounds, and the occasional synth motif. While original instrumentation is normally the standard in terms of ‘musical integrity,’ people who can sample the shit out of a song are just as impressive in my book. It takes a great ear and a lot of creativity to successfully assemble an entirely new song out of a handful of pre-made parts. The way Star Slinger combines all these different elements is no easy feat, and the end result is chilled-out hip hop with a whole lot of mojo.

Mornin’ is a joyous, filtered, shuffling celebration of love in the early morning. Pre-Afternoon Delight if you will. The vocal sample is from The Staple Singers’ Let’s Do it Again, which unabashedly proclaims,

“Let’s do it in the morning, sweet love in the summertime…No worries ‘bout nothing, just getting good love.”


Right-Click to Download:
Mornin’—Star Slinger

***If you like what you hear, you can download Star Slinger's entire new mixtape for free here.

Bonus: An earlier release (not on the mixtape)
Close to Me--Star Slinger and Teams

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dark Night of the Soul (Album)

Talk about a super group.

First there’s überproducer Danger Mouse. He’s one-half of Gnarles Barkley and rose to fame after the release of his epic The Grey Album. Then there’s Mark Linkous. His critically-acclaimed Sparklehorse project was known for its somber subject matter. Sadly, he committed suicide in March of 2010. Finally we have David Lynch. Yes the David Lynch, who directed such classic films as The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, and Mullholand Drive.
What are these three doing collaborating on an album together?

Story has it that whilst Danger Mouse was working on producing Linkous’ 2006 album Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain, an idea formed for an even more in-depth collaboration. Apparently Linkous had a few original songs in his catalogue that he didn’t feel comfortable singing. Mouse suggested that he commission others to sing on the tracks, and the project was born. Mouse and Linkous employed a number of indie greats to contribute to the tracks, including Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips; Julian Casablancas of the Strokes; James Mercer of the Shins; and Scott Spillane of Neutral Milk Hotel, to name a few. Each artist was given a considerable amount of interpretive wiggle room, and their respective individual sounds are all present on the album. As no concept album is complete without corresponding artwork, Danger Mouse called up Lynch and asked if he would take a series of photographs that helped to visually convey the albums overarching themes of pain, loss, longing, and dreams. Lynch said yes, and contributed more than a hundred photos to the project. He also loaned his vocals to two different tracks on the album—the first time he’s ever recorded for commercial publication.

Speaking of commercial publication. The final product, an album/visual booklet compilation entitled Dark Night of the Soul, was supposed to be released in 2009, but due to a messy distribution dispute with EMI Records, it looked as though it might never see the light of day. In May 2009 the team released Lynch’s photography booklet for sale on their website, but the songs were still unavailable for purchase. Gradually they were released and distributed via peer-to-peer websites and music blogs, but it wasn’t until early 2010 that distribution dispute was settled, and the album was given the green light. Just a week ago, on July 13th 2010, it was finally released in full, complete with the visual booklet of Lynch’s photographs.

The following 3 songs are my favorite from the album.
I’d say more about them, but this post is already way too long. I think it goes without saying, they’re all excellent. To reiterate, Dark Night of the Soul is a collaboration between David Lynch, Danger Mouse, (the late) Sparklehorse, and the reigning kings and queens of indie rock…So really, how couldn’t they be?

Right-click to download.

Little Girl (feat. Julian Casablancas) Julian is the lead singer of the Strokes

Everytime I’m With You (feat. Jason Lytle) Jason headed the band Grandaddy

The Man Who Played God (feat. Suzanne Vega)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let Go

“Your love is just a game, I’ll teach you how to play.
Your life is just a phase, I’ll never let you go.”

(And I'll never be able to get this song out of my head.)

Photo Credit Tim Walker

“Let Go” is a killer indie-dance/electropop track by Short Circuit. He releases music through Binary Entertainment. Binary is a music collective/record label based out of LA, which features some amazing electronic artists, including (most notably) Fabian, NightWaves, LexiconDon, and the aforementioned Short Circuit. To quote Binary themselves:

“All artists are first and foremost songwriters and producers, unlike the DJ centric dance scene in Southern California. Binary’s mission is to bring the song back to the dancefloor…Binary has established itself as a tastemaking entity, spreading its own brand of dance pop and dreamwave music.”

Ever heard of the “Dreamwave” genre? Well, these guys not only coined the term, but also all but wrote the book on it. If you have yet to hear any Dreamwave, you've been missing out. I suggest you read the Binary Blog to collect some seriously mood-lifting, spacey jams that tend to evoke glistening beaches and starry skies.
**I guess this is a bit of a plug, but Binary is especially close to my heart because I just recently started writing for their blog. Check out my first post on Vancouver’s FM ATTACK here.

As for “Let Go.”
À la the classic Police song “Every Breath You Take,” this song is at its heart a bit stalkerish and kind of creepy. But in the grand scheme that doesn’t matter in the least because it’s so goddamn catchy. This song showcases the power of the four-to-the-floor kick pattern as it stomps along, commanding your attention. Synthesizers arrpegiate under a robot voice singing about his inability and unwillingness to let go of a failing relationship. His lover wants out, but he's incapable of coming to terms with the fact. Instead he swears “I’ll never let you go.”

The singer may be a controlling lover, and he may be a bit delusional, but his walk matches the talk. His melody is so infectious, the beat so driving, that you can’t help but be convinced by him and indeed sympathize with him. My bet is that before the song is over you too will be singing along with his “Woah oh oh oh oh.” Call me a sucker for an infectious hook, but I know that if I were the girl in question, I wouldn’t really mind if he kept on ‘coming back for more.’

Download: Let Go--Short Circuit

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Crave Paris

"Why can't you want me like the other boys do? They stare at me while I crave you."

Photo Credit Camilla Akrans

In celebration of reaching 10,000 fans on Facebook, Belgium’s fantastic Aeroplane released this mash-up entitled “I Crave Paris.” This song combines the vocal track to Flight Facilities' “Crave You” and a sampling of the instrumentals off Aeroplane’s own epic remix of Friendly Fires’ “Paris.” As a general rule I despise mash-ups, but every once in a blue moon, one is created by a DJ or producer who actually knows what the heck he’s doing. Every time that happens, an angel gets its wings. It isn’t very often, but damn if discovering a good mash-up doesn’t make up for having to filter through all the other shit that’s out there.

“I Crave Paris” is one such excellent mash-up. It’s a beautiful, bittersweet lament on unrequited lust.

“I simply want him more because he looks the other way.”

I think I like this song so much in part because it describes the vast majority of all of my sexual encounters; I feel like I might as well be singing this song. For whatever reason, I always want only who I can’t have. Forget the easy targets, I’m captivated by the one person who doesn’t want me back. Call it a string of bad luck or bad choices on my part. Whatever the reason, even if the man of the moment isn’t interested, I now at least have a song that perfectly describes my feelings regarding the situation. So to hell with getting what I want; I’ll just turn on the music and keep craving away.

Right Click to Download: I Crave Paris--Aeroplane

Here's the original tracks Aeroplane sampled for this mashup. They're great on their own as well. Click to download.

Paris (Aeroplane Remix)--Friendly Fires

Crave You--Flight Facilities

Thursday, July 1, 2010

All Together Now (Beatles Cover)

*I finally got music streaming up and running!*

Photo Credit Emir Ozsahin

I’m hoping that you all already have this song. It’s all over the internet; even Kanye West posted about it on his blog. But just in case you don’t, here it is for your (undoubtable) enjoyment.

Here we have Andre 3000 covering The Beatles’ “All Together Now.” The original song was featured as the closer to the Beatles’ legendary “Yellow Submarine” film. Paul McCartney purportedly meant for this song to sound like an audience sing-along from the bygone music hall/vaudeville era. He succeeded. By the end of it you have to nearly fight yourself to keep from joining in.

Though the original tune is itself a bouncy, sing-along-ready pop gem, Andre 3000’s cover takes it to new heights. Andre’s “All Together Now” is not only modern R&B at its finest, it also sets the bar for what a cover should sound like. While retaining the integrity of the original song, Andre 3000 amps it up a few notches while putting a fresh and funky spin on it through the incorporation of tambourines, bluesy piano riffs, and even a male vocal ensemble doo-wopping in lieu of an upright bass. These elements, topped by Andre’s distinct scratchy-albeit-powerful vocals, make for a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, boisterously good time.

Right Click to Download: All Together Now (Beatles Cover)--Andre 3000

**Dear Andre 3000,
Please re-reunite with Big Boi to continue making epically amazing music as OutKast. While you are both genius in your own right, the world is a much duller place without your combined talents.