September 30, 2009
If you have seen this trailer (below if you haven't) and you like either film, music (the song is a reworking of the Arcade Fire's "Wake Up") or childhood then you are excited to see this movie. I have been dying for months for the opening to come and it is just two week and a half away (opens October 16th), but who's counting. Official site here: LINK
Karen O (the director's, Spike Jonze, wife) has been commissioned for the soundtrack and she has a lot of very talented music friends. With members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Karen O's band), Deerhunter, The Dead Weather and a children's choir along for the ride, this is the most anticipated movie soundtrack of the year (Outside of the New Moon soundtrack - kind of kidding, but time will tell) .
The soundtrack can be streamed in its entirety here: LINK This should hopefully keep me at bay until the movie's release.
Thom Yorke has announced on Dead Air Space (the Radiohead blog LINK) that he has formed a new band (!) to play his Eraser solo material and the new material that has been coming out over the past few months (and peppered all over this blog)! The new band (pictured above) includes longtime producer, Nigel Godrich and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea (crazy!) among others. On top of all of this, they have decided to play their first two shows in Los Angeles at the Orpheum Theatre downtown THIS Sunday and Monday. This is a lot for me to take in. I am heading to both shows and will follow-up with a concert review and some footage. I imagine this will be the start of some sort of tour with the new band so for prep for those in LA and elsewhere listen to highlights from The Eraser on the Lala playlist in the upper right hand side. For those unfamiliar "Cymbal Rush" is a brilliant piano driven epic accented with Kid A esque electronic pulses - it has been a staple of Radiohead live performances of late. The title track, "The Eraser" LINK is a true highlight and demonstrative of the album's concept - focus on the uniqueness and beauty of Yorke's falsetto.
Check out his new stuff, "Pulled Apart By Horses", etc. in the post below and the brilliant cover "All For The Best" in previous post HERE is as well.
There also may be a "secret" show at Echoplex on Friday night - will keep you posted.
Enjoy and (hopefully) see you at the shows,
September 21, 2009
As always you will find the newest in Radiohead related news. "Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses" is a "radical rework of an old tune thats been kicking around without a home since 2001". "Reckoner" (a personal favorite off In Rainbows) was said to be born from the same song (not seeing that). I am really digging this though. It is not going to be for everyone and seems pretty experimental and not fully polished for a full single release, but the bassline is dancey, groovy and the rhythm just builds and plays all around it. Feels like Eraser (Thom Yorke's solo album) mixed with Hail to the Thief.
Check out the old tune below and see if you see any lingering similarities.
Finally the b-side off the new single, "The Hollow Earth". This feels like a b-side to Eraser - not getting me too excited. But still new Radiohead continues to be better than 99% of the stuff out there - just not so great for Radiohead.
September 17, 2009
Only the best remixes, mashups and reimaginings of other tracks. Remixes are basically the hipster excuse to listen to pop music without having to fully admit to likely the underlying pop song.
I have been really into female vocalists recently (yeah I can admit it). And like the hipsters I feel more comfortable admitting to liking the remixes as opposed to the original (sometimes very poppy) pop song. More seriously, I think the best remixes focus primarily on enhancing the strength of the vocal track either through minimalist striped down beats to fully illuminate the vocal i.e. La Roux "In For The Kill" (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Mix) or kicking up the dance beat and energy where the original was a bit lacking i.e. both of these Marina & the Diamonds remixes. At least that's what I am telling myself.
These are my favorite 3 female vocalists of the moment currently blowing up all over the remix circuit: La Roux, Marina & the Diamonds and Little Boots (concert Friday at the Roxy with Dim Mak!). These are my current favorite remixes by each one:
La Roux - "In For The Kill" (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Mix) LINK - My favorite remix of the year so far hands down.
La Roux - "I'm not Your Toy" (Jack Beats Remix) LINK
LINK - Check out the rest of Gold Panda's remixes and his originals (particularly the fascinating "Quitter Raga" here: http://www.iamgoldpanda.com/music
Marina & the Diamonds - "I am Not a Robot" (Penguin Prison Remix) LINK Loving this!
Little Boots - "Stuck on Repeat" (Fake Blood Remix) LINK Little Boots is almost definitely the most remixed artist of the year and for good reason. She is the Robyn, Annie, Kylie of this year and she is playing the Roxy tomorrow night with Dim Mak's slue of Djs! Check out more remixes here: LINK
P.S. you all know how I feel about the XX album (if not see previous post) and Them Jeans (great LA DJ/producer) does the original justice with his "Shelter" remix LINK
P.S.S Not part of this female vocalist kick but just listened to this Animal Collective remix that kind of blew my mind.
Animal Collective - Sumemrtime Clothes (Dam Funk Remix) LINK : This is why I love remixes - not every note works, but it is all about experimenting. This songs is equal parts AC, Prince and 70s porn music - somehow it works brilliantly.
September 16, 2009
September 15, 2009
This new concept is simple - the illest, freshest tracks in hip-hop. These require your immediate attention:
Jay-Z - "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z just dropped The Blueprint 3 (maybe you haven't heard since he has only be promoting it on everything from the VMAs to Jay Leno for God's sake) and it is sick, if only a bit inconsistent. There is nothing inconsistent about the track "Empire State of Mind" though. This track could have fit squarely on the original (The Blueprint is probably my favorite of all of his brilliant albums) amongst the likes of "Izzo (H.O.V.A)" and "Heart of The City" (my all-time favorite Jay-Z track). With bouncing piano riff and a loose rhythm section Jay just slays the verse absolutely dominating the track. On top of all that Alicia Keys lays down the best hook of the year - if this song doesn't get you feeling some serious NYC love nothing ever will. I have listened to this song nearly 50 times since it came out a week ago (so the answer is yes I have problems). LINK
Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon (LP): "I got 99 problems and they all bitches" - best first line off a debut album I can remember. Still soaking in the new Cudi album that dropped today, Man on the Moon, but Cudi has crafted one of the most distinct and unique styles amongst the new up and coming MCs. His flow is smooth, slow, thoughtful and he drops gems like that first line often. Highlights are "Soundtrack 2 My Life" LINK, "Day N' Nite" (obviously), "Make Her Say", "Man on the Moon" and "Pursuit of Happiness" (which features MGMT and Ratatat to give him the indie cred, not like he needs it)
September 11, 2009
After posting about the Beatles, I have decided to institute a new section called simply Best of the Best. This section is reserved for the classics plain and simple. The Beatles themselves I had decided were above this categorization - they are in a category of their own. For the other mere mortals this is the best it gets. Thought Best of the Best had a better ring to it then Not The Beatles But Still Very Good.
Kicking off this section is one of the albums I have played most in my lifetime the self-titled album by The Stone Roses. It is somewhat fitting (and a huge compliment to The Stone Roses obviously) for The Stone Roses to be following The Beatles. In the late 80s, British music was stale and completely stagnant. The Smiths had broken up in 1987 and British pop music was in complete disarray. The Stone Roses came along and picked up the pieces where the Smiths had left off - taking the psychedelic pop sounds of the 60s and infusing it with some real rhythm. The Stone Roses pioneered (along with Happy Mondays) this "Madchester" sound and the result are staggering. More importantly they redefined Britpop - their influence on the British music that followed is huge. For starters, Oasis would never had existed without this band for two reasons: 1. they rip off their sound almost as much as the Beatles and 2. the Gallagher brothers decided to start a band after going to and because of a Stone Roses show (truth). Other greats like Beta Band, Spiritualized, Primal Scream - all hugely Stone Rose influenced.
Second Coming. By 1996 they called it quits.
Listening to the just released remastering The Stone Roses (20th Anniversary Legacy Edition) ever sonic texture is enhanced, each drum beat crisper, each guitar note more ethereal. This is the version you MUST get (it is $16.99 on iTunes or Lala but worth ever penny more than the other and this is from someone who has only listened to this new version today). It sounds as fresh, new and exciting as it must have been back in 1989.
Key tracks include "I Want To Be Adored", "She Bangs A Drum", "I Am The Resurrection" LINK, "This Is The One" and "Fool's Gold" (this one is epic, awe-inspiring genius - if you listen to one track listen to this one and it will hook you for good).
Listen to all the tracks on the remastered version for FREE once through on Lala.com. If you don't know this site, definitely check it out.
September 10, 2009
The Beatles are absolutely the greatest band in the history of modern music - really almost indisputable. Their influence is profound. The are not just an influence on all music that followed but on our culture as a whole. They have re-released their entire catalog on (number 9/9/2009) with a significant re-mastering enhancing the sonic detail of each of their albums. In conjunction they have released The Beatles: Rock Band.
If you are only familiar with the Beatles catalog through radio and their best known hits (shame on you), here are my top few albums of theirs that you should pick up immediately:
The Beatles (Also known as The White Album)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
And my personal favorite few songs:
"Tomorrow Never Knows"
"A Day In The Life"
"Let It Be"
"In My Life"
...and this list can go on forever which brings me to my next point...
I have always been fascinated with the amazingly diverse and brilliant catalog of the best band ever and what is so shocking ever time I think about it or read about it is just how quickly (just 6 1/2 years) they went from Liverpool unknowns to boy band superstars to the greatest most experimental pop artists we have ever known to leaving it all behind. At the end of his review of the re-released Abbey Road (obviously receiving a 10), Mark Richardson for Pitckfork sums it up perfectly:
"The Beatles' run in the 1960s is good fodder for thought experiments. For example, Abbey Road came out in late September 1969. Though Let It Be was then still unreleased, the Beatles wouldn't record another album together. But they were still young men: George was 26 years old, Paul was 27, John was 28, and Ringo was 29. The Beatles' first album, Please Please Me, had come out almost exactly six and a half years earlier. So if Abbey Road had been released today, Please Please Me would date to March 2003. So think about that for a sec: Twelve studio albums and a couple of dozen singles, with a sound that went from earnest interpreters of Everly Brothers and Motown hits to mind-bending sonic explorers and with so many detours along the way-- all of it happened in that brief stretch of time. That's a weight to carry."
Just by way of a fun comparison: my favorite band, Radiohead, put out their first album Pablo Honey in 1993 and their seventh album, In Rainbows in 2007. That is a little more than half the number of albums The Beatles amassed in 3X the amount of time (as we now stand almost 17 years into Radiohead's run). Even more crazy to think is that while Radiohead put out their magnum opuses in years 4-7 (OK Computer (1997) and Kid A (2000)), within The Beatles time together, they seem as on top of their game as ever with In Rainbows nearly as brilliant as those two apexes. What might The Beatles have continued to accomplish...
26, 27, 28, 29 YEARS OLD and they were done. Shocking and incredibly heartbreaking ever time I think about. But they sure as hell went out on top.
September 3, 2009
TV on the Radio is one of the most exciting bands making music today. Unfortunately, they announced today that as a band they would be taking a year off to pursue other interests and just live life. So I thought for all those not yet priviledged to their music, this would give you a year to learn their back catalog and get amped up for their return. The Brooklyn band melds a diverse array of genres from rock, electronic, jazz, soul to hip-hop. For me their music's focus is the beat. Everything centers around it and builds outward with subtle accents, textures and layered production from their production genius David Sitek. Their vocals are also fantastic led by singer Tunde Adebimpe with harmonies provided by Kyp Malone. Sitek though is the star and one of the most exciting producers in the game today working with other acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Liars. Which leads me into my next section...
Fact I Refuse To Acknowledge:
Sitek is also the producer behind Scarlett Johansson's reimagining of Tom Waits songs. Let's just move on...
Trivia / Hipster Cred Knowledge:
The band's first album was self-released and titled, OK Calculator - one of the least subtle references to a band influence I have ever seen (but pretty funny). Apparently (since it is not widely available and I have not heard it) it varies dramatically from what has become the TVotR song - it was more hip-hop and electronica. The band added Kyp Malone to the group and then released what is their more commonly referred to debut, Young Liars which catapulted them on to the scene with the brilliant anthem, "Starring At the Sun". LINK
Album / Song Highlights:
Young Liars (EP): The aforementioned "Starring At the Sun" and the subtler but just as brilliant "Blind"
Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes: "Starring At the Sun" in its currently loved form and "Poppy" LINK
Return to Cookie Mountain: "Wolf Like Me" #6 on PMA's best of the decade here: LINK (Hard to disagree with that) and "Province" is my personal favorite.
Dear Science: This was my album of the year last year - just brilliant the whole way through. "Love Dog" is my other personal favorite. Also killer is "DLZ"
Kyp Malone just released a single off his soon to be released solo album as Rain Machine with bizarre album artwork below. But this song "Smiling Black Faces" LINK is epic, brilliantly penned and beautiful. Album out 9/22.
Lead singer Adebimpe just did a new track with Massive Attack that's pretty cool too.
So there is likely to be more from these guys even if it is not as TVotR for now.