Friday, April 29, 2011

Glad All Over

Song: Glad All Over
Artist: Dave Clark Five
Album: Glad All Over

Two things I love... the Internet, and desert island album lists.  The Internet is pretty obvious, and vast in its seemingly limitless information, garbage, porn, and people putting a little of themselves out there into the world.  Facebook has been the biggest, most recent big way of exposing yourself to everyone you know, and blogs came around several years ago as a way for people to express themselves and put out opinions about whatever they find interesting in the world to everyone, all over the world.  A sort of pseudo-intellectual masturbation in public.  As you know, I do it daily.

So thanks to the internet, I came across a random blog by some guy in Rhode Island that's main content isn't important, but he randomly had a list of his top five "desert island albums."  Basically, the top albums that if you were stuck on an island, you couldn't live without.  (which is patently kind of ridiculous, because no matter if you've got MP3, CD, cassette, or vinyl... you're not really going to be plugging them in anywhere to actually PLAY these albums on a deserted bloody island. But I suppose that's not the point.)  Anyhow, this random dude had a random blog that I randomly come across The Dave Clark Five album "Glad All Over," which I didn't know, now feel like I should have... and it's all around totally rad.

The Dave Clark Five were an English pop rock group who had the distinction to be the second group of the British Invasion to play the Ed Sullivan Show, right after this other band had done so and went on to much success.  They were called The Beatles.    This was just shortly after their single "Glad All Over" knocked off that bands "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" off the top of the UK singles chart in January of 1964.  Over the next three years, the band was more popular here in the States than they were in their native Britain, though had a resurgence there after the US heyday.

The group disbanded in 1970, obviously not matching the Beatles cultural significance, but had several top ten hits in both the US and UK, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

"Glad All Over" the album was their first US release, and has that British Invasion  sound all over it, yet is varied, fun, and just a great rock album.  "Glad All Over" is a groovy energetic song, a perfect slice of classic rock & roll that includes some hints at psychedelia, with a "Green Tambourine"-esque echo effect.  Instrumental "Chaquita" sounds ripe for a Tarantino movie.  "No Time to Lose" sounds A LOT like a "Twist and Shout," and their covers of classics from the Motown era, "Stay" and "Do You Love Me" crackle in ways the originals don't.  Killer.

Discovering "Glad All Over" is a reminder of something I already knew... (aside from "the internet is awesome.") there is still tons of great music to discover, and you never know when it's going to pop up.  It's another little thing that makes life so great and exciting.  The old can be new again, and the discovery is the story.  (sigh)  Happy Friday.


Glad All Over

Bits and Pieces

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Underworld USA

Song: Underworld USA
Artist: Cold Cave
Album: Cherish the Light Years

Cold Cave are an experimental synthpop band based out of New York City fronted by Wesley Eisold, the chief member and singer-songwriter.  The band currently includes Dominick Fernow from Prurient, and Jennifer Clavin, frontwoman for Mika Miko.  "Cherish the Light Years" is their sophomore album, released on Matador Records.

My friend Luis introduced me to the band via the track "Underworld USA," a goth-electro track that's very very 80's.  The album as a whole has this dark, new wave vibe to it, synth-heavy and rather catchy.  It's a bit of New Order, a bit of Joy Division, and a whole lot of Depeche Mode.

Opening track, and first single, "The Great Pan is Dead" is a hard-driving, pummeling, and noisy track that none-the-less soon hits the soaring synths and highs of Eisold's pleading vocals, which turn it into a pop track before you know it... which it typical from the rest of the album.  I really like the light (as the album goes) "Confetti" which has some serious Depeche Mode-ian guitar, as well as the almost Modern English-ish "Catacombs."  The driving "Icons of Summer" is also a highlight.

Listening to Cold Cave, and "Cherish the Light Years" is almost like a count-the-80's influences game.  But beyond that, Eisold writes some killer songs, that without would make this JUST a retread.  I'm still getting into this record but have a feeling it will be a situation where once I know it better, I will only hear Cold Cave, and not all of the influences from bands in the past.  He's a talent... and I'm interested in checking out the debut record, "Love Comes Close," which was released in 2009.

But "Cherish the Light Years" is highly recommended for fans of those aforementioned Darkwave bands of yesteryear.


Underworld USA

The Great Pan is Dead


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cover Your Eyes

Song: Cover Your Eyes
Artist: The Shoes
Album: Crack My Bones

The Shoes are a French duo who craft electronic-influenced indie-rock.  Their debut album, "Crack My Bones" was released just last month.  It contains collaborations with Esser, Primary 1, Wave Machines, and CocknBullKid, and was mixed by Lexxx (Crystal Castles, Everything Everything, Golden Silvers.)

I've been trying to wrap my head around "Crack My Bones" for a while.  Upon a couple initial listens nothing really grabbed me, no instantly catchy hooks to grab onto, and yet the music and vocals were so intriguing that I've kept listening.  It certainly is upbeat and joyful, especially the stomper "Time to Dance" and shimmering opener "Stay the Same."  The majority of the album is comprised of mid-tempo dance-rock, these songs just take a little while to unfurl themselves for you.

I hear a wide range of influences, from Empire of the Sun, Yeasayer, MGMT, Scissor Sisters, etc. and hear elements of Drum & Bass, Electro, House, and Dubstep... though this is a rock record.

I like the clangy "Cover Your Eyes" which gives me a little Duran Duran.  "People Movin'" is swirling and manic yet the vocals ground the song, it's quite special.  Things slow down for the dramatic "Wastin' Time," which is cinematic and classic sounding.  (Are these the worst descriptions I've ever written?  How much can I say without saying anything at all?)

"Crack My Bones" is a pop record that I can't seem to get my head around or put into words.  But I like it, I recommend it... you're just going to have to check it out yourself. ;)

You can read more about the band on their official website.


Cover Your Eyes

Stay the Same

Wastin' Time

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two Against One

Song: Two Against One
Artist: Danger Mouse & Danielle Luppi
Album: Rome

With each new project, writer/producer Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse, becomes one of the hottest musical collaborators to have come around in some time.  His projects keep taking interesting turns, working in a variety of styles and more and more high profile projects.  As much as The Grey Album blew me away back when it came out, I certainly didn't expect all of this from the man.

Hot off the heels of his Grammy win for Best Producer for his work on the Black Keys' "Brothers," Broken Bells self-titled debut, and Sparklehorse album "Dark Night of the Soul," Danger Mouse has two very interesting high-profile projects he's working on for this year.  One being what has quickly become the next U2 album.  They began working together in 2010, and Bono has stated they did twelve songs together, which may come out sometime this year as "it's just happening so easily."  Will it be like his work on Beck's "Modern Guilt," or more funky like Gnarls Barkley?  Probably... something different.

But first comes the project "Rome," with film composer Daniele Luppi.  "Rome"" has been described as a Spaghetti Western-style album and uses musicians that have worked with Ennio Morricone on his scores.  Vocals are mainly being handled by Norah Jones and The White Stripes Jack White, who sings on the first single, "Two Against One."  The track has a pretty acoustic guitar, light drumming, and then of course, Jack's unmistakable vocals.  Sounds get layered and the song become slinky, sexy, and mysterious.  It's cinematic, which is to be expected... but it's so subtly cinematic, quite interesting.

You can hear one of he Norah Jones-assisted tracks below entitled "Black."  I'm dying to hear this album in its entirety, which is scheduled for release in the middle of next month.  This guy seems to be able to do no wrong!


Two Against One


"Rome "Trailer

Friday, April 22, 2011

He's Frank (Slight Return)

Song: He's Frank (Slight Return)
Artist: The BPA
Album: We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat

I recently was looking up Fatboy Slim (AKA Norman Cook) to see what the man was up to and found out that before the excellent "Here Lies Love," he'd done a compilation under the moniker The BPA (Brighton Port Authority.)  He was moving away from Big Beat, the genre that put him on the map, with his last album under the Fatboy Slim name, '04's "Palookaville," and the BPA album, "We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat" bridges a gap between that effort, and the more eccentric pop of "Here Lies Love."

The album is comprised of twelve tracks, each with a different singer.  Iggy Pop, Pete York, Martha Wainwright, David Byrne, and Dizzee Rascal all contribute to the album.  Things kick off nicely with the Iggy Pop assisted "He's Frank (Slight Return)" a cover of the Monochrome Set track.  Its got an infectious clean guitar lick, and of course Iggy's deep growl, very fun.  I also like the slinky second track, "Dirty Sheets" with Pete York.  It becomes clear that Cook is moving away from his beat focused work under the Fatboy name, possibly why this release comes as The Brighton Port Authority.

"Should I Stay or Should I Blow" featuring Ashley Beedle has a light reggae vibe, the Bowie sounding Justin Roberts sings on "Island," which sounds like a re-do of the New Order track "Temptation," by-way of the Moby cover.  But I like it.  All in all the album is pretty varies in styles and sounds but the tracks work together.  They're not held together by a concept like "Here Lies Love," but do work as a whole.

It does make me wonder, given that we're seven years from "Palookaville," if he has no plans to release another Fatboy Slim album.  Or possibly the trappings of that name and genre were constrictive... who knows.  But this BPA album, as well as "Here Lies Love" are winning substitutes.


He's Frank (Slight Return)

Toe Jam

Dirty Sheets

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Song: Windshield
Artist: Acid House Kings
Album: Music Sounds Better With You

When I first heard of the Acid House Kings, and the name of their Stardust-biting latest album, "Music Sounds Better With You," I expected some hard-hitting dance music, but the Swedish band couldn't be farther from it.  The Kings made upbeat Twee Pop of the highest order.

The band formed in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden.  Upon the release of their debut album "Pop, Look, and Listen" in 1992, the band decided they wanted to make an album every five years so they could have a trilogy of albums by 2002, which they accomplished.  "Music Sounds Better With You" is the bands fifth album, which they began in the summer of 2007 for release in 2008, only to have it pushed back until now.

Immediately upon hearing the Acid House Kings, I was reminded of the band I'm From Barcelona, also from Sweden with a similar sound.  I loved their debut album, was a bit disappointed in their second, and am just getting into their fourth and most recent album, "Forever Today."  To me, "Music Sounds Better With You" is the I'm From Barcelona follow up I was waiting for but didn't get from them.  Haha.

Immediately from the start of album opener and first single "Are We Lovers or Are We Friends?" you get the bands vibe, jangl-y guitar, goofy woodwinds, hand claps and sun! sun! sun!  Honestly, it's easy to poke a little fun at music like this, but the band won me over.  I really liked the 60's girl group-biting "Windshield" that's built for sunny drives with the top down.  It merges a bunch of styles and familiar touches and yet remains its own thing.  The rest of "Music" is more of the same in the best way.   They're a bit tongue-in-cheek at times, as their song titles suggest, such as "(I'm In) A Chorus Line," "I Just Called to Say Jag Alskar Dig" and the Smiths nod, "Heaven Knows I Miss Him Now."

I'm enjoying this band, check them out.



Are We Lovers or Are We Friends?

Would You Say Stop?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

6 Underground

Song: 6 Underground
Artist: Sneaker Pimps
Album: Becoming X

After doing research on CocknBillKid yesterday, I started reading about producer Liam Howe, whom I wasn't 100% familiar with.  Though I did find out that he was the main producer and creative force behind on of my favorite records of last year, "The Family Jewels" by Marina & the Diamonds.  But Howe came up again while I was listening to the new Sophie Eliis-Bextor album, which he produces a couple of tracks.  He's also done work for Ellie Goulding, The Whip, Adele, and Tom Vek.  But Howe is maybe best known as one of the founding members of 90's trip-hop pioneers Sneaker Pimps.

When trip-hop was coming up in the 90's I was in college and a little too into a lot of American Alternative to get into a lot of the pioneering electronica acts of the time.  Although Sneaker Pimps had two huge inescapable single in that era that I do have fond memories of.  I always loved "6 Underground," their slinky hit from their debut album, 1996's "Becoming X."  Also from that album was "Spin Spin Sugar," another favorite that I thought was bested by the Armand Van Helden Remix.  Amazing.

Sneaker Pimps was formed by Howe and Chris Corner who then recruited Kelli Dayton to supply vocals.  They hit gold with "Becoming X," but in the recording of demos for their second album, they decided Corner's scratch vocals worked better for the material and ultimately dropped Dayton to make him lead singer. Possibly because of this, I know nothing from their two follow ups, 1999's "Splinter," and 2002's "Bloodsport."

Admittedly, Dayton's vocals on "X" seem unremarkable, but they work, and really fit with the material.  So who'd to say... anyhow, "6 Underground" is pretty much required to have for any singles collector, and "Becoming X" is quite a good album.  Though in retrospect, it sounds less "trip-hop" to me than other touchstones of the period like Portishead's "Dummy" or Massive Attack's "Blue Lines."


6 Underground

Spin Spin Sugar

Tesko Suicide

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Asthma Attack

Song: Asthma Attack
Artist: CocknBullKid
Album: Adulthood

I've recently been flipping for the new single "Asthma Attack" by new UK artist Anita Blay, best known as 'CocknBullKid.'  This is the third single by the artist, her debut album is expected sometime this month on Moshi Moshi/Island Records.

Blay was born to Ghanaian parents in Hackney and began getting into music while songwriting with rapper Plan B when she was sixteen.  At twenty-three, in 2008, she was releasing her first single "On My Own."   After a couple of smaller releases, including an independant EP entitled "Querelle," she signed to Moshi Moshi/Island and in November of last year released the single "One Eye Closed" and then the follow up, "Hold on to Your Misery" just last month (which Hercules and Love Affair Remixed.)

"Adulthood" featured production work from Liam Howe of Sneaker Pimps fame, and guests include Gonzalez, and members of Peter, Bjorn, & John, and Metronomy.

I've been listening to the various tracks available on YouTube and she has a very wide rage of influences in her music.  Her recent singles are pop on a grand scale, though with an edge.  I felt that way when first hearing "Asthma Attack" as well as "On My Own."  But songs like "Shake" remind me of Kelis meets Prince, and "Hot Potato" follows a similar much harder dance/electronic vibe.  Very interesting.

But "Asthma Attack" had me immediately interested in this new quirky artist.  She's opened for both Marina and the Diamonds as well as Kele Okereke, which seem like perfect fits.  Check out the video for "Hold on to Your Misery" below, it's very cute... and positive.


Asthma Attack

Hold on to Your Misery

One Eye Closed

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dancing With the Devil

Song: Dancing With the Devil
Artist: Wolf Gang
Album: Dancing With the Devil EP

Wolf Gang is a very promising new band from the U.K. from musician Max McElligott.  They have opened for the likes of Florence and the Machine, Miike Snow, and Metric.  Their debut album, "Suego Faults," was written solely by McElligott and was produced by Dave Fridmann.  It is set for release sometime this year on Atlantic Records, but in the meantime the band have released an E.P. prior to the albums release.

The E.P. consists of the single "Dancing With the Devil," and track "Lions in Cages," plus demos "Back to Back" and "Something Unusual," as well as an acoustic version of "Devil" featuring a vocal duet with Kyla La Grange.

"Dancing With the Devil" is a (semi) epic Brit Rock track with a hint of 70's Meatloaf and a touch of Glam.  I really really dig it... going for some real rock and roll drama, something that has been missing from rock.  "Lions in Cages" is also really stellar, adding a solid beat and some sweeping piano into their rock and roll grandeur.

While Fridmann's production is a star in their music, the two demos show that the jewel is really McElligott's songwriting.  I'm really excited by this band and look forward to "Suego Faults." There's a Shoes remix of "Devil" with other current UK up and comer Cocknbullkid that adds beats and additional vocal drama and a rap!  Very very cool.  Check it out below.

Check them out.


Dancing With the Devil

Lions in Cages

Dancing With the Devil (Shoes Remix ft Cocknbullkid)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Groove is in the Heart (Gigamesh Remix)

Song: Groove is in the Heart (Gigamesh Remix)
Artist: Deee-Lite
Album: Groove is in the Heart

I loved Deee-Lite, and am proud to say that that their debut "World Clique," was the first compact disc I ever got.  I wrote about that album way back when and still pull it out to listen to it, as well as their much maligned sophomore album "Infinity Within."

But the band never really overcame their biggest hit in the eyes of the popular public, despite releasing three pretty great albums of "Global Village" the-world's-a-party dance music that grabbed elements of the past with a positive nod to the now growing-distant future. (Why do the 90's seem so far away now?)

But the track that put them on the map, "Groove is in the Heart" has transcended time (and space) and now fills a great place between a culture-shift relic of the past and wedding staple.  It just never gets old.

For this Friday I thought I'd share this insane light-house remix of the classic track by Gigamesh, whom I know very little about aside from specializing in taking older songs and giving them the house treatment.  Apparently a proper Gigamesh EP is set for release this summer, you can read more about the one-man production unit here on his official website.

I love this remix, and in researching find that he's done really great mixes of odd alternative rock choices like Radiohead's "Everything in it's Right Place," and even Lykke Li's "Little Bit."  His take on "Groove is in the Heart" does in fact have a new killer groove that I do deeply dig, pitching the vocals at different speeds and  rejuvenates the song to something new and exciting.  This alone made Gigamesh someone to watch.  And then... there is this.  Whoa.

But if you only know "Groove is in the Heart" from Deee-Lite I highly recommend their debut, but you can also start with their greatest hits package linked on the left.  See... only $1.37 on Amazon.  You can't lose!  I'd argue that they no longer sound even a bit dated given today's look-back-to-yesterday style of grab-bag indie-dance.  Long live Deee-Lite!


Groove is in the Heart (Gigamesh Remix)

Everything in it's Right Place (Gigamesh Remix)

Dancing Machine (Gigamesh Remix)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Summer Kisses Winter Tears

Song: Summer Kisses Winter Tears
Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: Elvis By Request

This one is a little random.

I first heard this song as part of the Soundtrack to the 1991 Wim Wenders film "Until the End of the World."  In the film it is sung by Julee Cruise, best known for her work with composer Angelo Badalamenti and Director David Lynch.  In the film the protagonist, Claire (played by the enigmatic Solveig Donmartin,) sings along to Cruise's version as the film opens and she is driving, fleeing the city, because a rogue satellite threatens to crash and kill all electricity on the planet on the dawn of the new millennium in 2000.  Despite that being only a minor point to the kooky plot, I highly recommend the movie.

So anyhow, yesterday Julee Cruise came up for another reason... but it led me back to "Summer Kisses Winter Tears," which I knew was originally recorded by Elvis, but knew nothing else.  Well, it turns out that there is very little info on the song itself, though I did find it and find it as surprisingly mysterious as Cruise's version... and somehow seemed to fit in this odd Is it Winter/Is is Spring? thing we have going on in NYC.

The song was recorded in 1960 and was written by Ben Weisman, Fred Wise, & Jack Lloyd."  It was intended for the Elvis film "Flaming Star," and was one of four songs recorded but was cut from the film.  It subsequently was put on the E.P. "Soundtrack" entitled "Elvis By Request" which included the title track to the film, but dropped the second song that made it into the film, ("A Cane and a High Starched Collar") and added Elvis hits; "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and "It's Now or Never."

I've always liked this song, love the melancholy, and again the mysteriousness of it.  Cruise got both down perfect, but so does Elvis... whom I can't say I'm a huge fan of.  Don't dislike, just never got into his music.  But this is a great song, check it out.


Odd, the Julee Cruise version isn't on YouTube or any linkable site.  You're only getting the King...

Summer Kisses Winter Tears - Elvis

Actually... I did find Julee's version used in this short film I know NOTHING about:

summer kisses winter tears from Cremance on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Contact High

Song: Contact High
Artist: Architecture in Helsinki
Album: Moment Bends

It was a little over a year ago I was introduced to Australia's Architecture in Helsinki.  I first heard their single "That Beep" via my friend Rob, which was released back in 2009, and then the excellent "Heart it Races" via an inter-office reel's background music.  It made me get their last album, 2007's "Places Like This" which I liked, though thought "Heart" was the standout by far.

The band is releasing their long waited follow-up "Moment Bends" this month which includes first single "Contact High" as well as "That Beep," previously released as a stand-alone single.  It seems the band has fully embraced the electropop sound, as "Moment Bends" seems to stray away from their more experimental pop leanings.   And that's not a complaint.

Opening track "Desert Island" is a tropical slice of pop that has traces of Matthew Wilder's goofy 1983 hit "Break My Stride," but stands alone as a laid-back, Caribbean-influenced party starter.  "Escapee" ramps up the energy, bringing an indie-pop sensibility to the new found electro bliss.  Aforementioned first single "Contact High" is next which was admittedly a grower... but I quite like it.  Synths mix with the beachy vibe that they established with "Desert Island."  Processed vocals and a persistent beat keep the whole thing afloat.  Fun.

Despite not having a track that is as mind-blowing as "Heart it Races," I think "Moment Bends" is a better album as a whole than "Places Like This,"  It's more consistent, but also more accessible... which could be a debt if you prefer their more out-there experimental leanings, though it is not a radical departure by far.  I recommend this album, a perfect slice of summer... when it's all I'm thinking about!


Contact High

Desert Island


Monday, April 11, 2011

Out of My Mind

Song: Out of My Mind
Artist: Tyson
Album: Die on the Dancefloor

I always like a good mystery, and even better when it's steeped in modern-day, retro-sounding disco.  (Haha)  Making a bit of a splash across the blogosphere is a mysterious unknown named simply "Tyson" who has released just a couple mind-blowing dance tracks that truly sound like classics.  He's opened for A-Trak, Chromeo, Boys Noize, and Justice... but who is this guy?

You won't find much info on his MySpace page, and while I've 'liked' him via Facebook, his posts have just consisted of links to music, moody photos, or odd phrases like "Dressing good is a way of life!" or most recently, "Man is man!"

But without these killer tracks we wouldn't care, and thus far I've managed to find just three amazing songs that all sound like throwbacks, yet in different styles, the first of which being the Giorgio Moroder-meets-Sylvester epic "Die on the Dancefloor."  It starts with a familiar sounding beat, and then Tyson's amazing falsetto-dipped vocals appear.  It's quite amazing, filled with as much disco drama as you can pack into seven minutes.  (I'm referring to the extended version, but you can listen to the edit on the MySpace page.)

"Out of My Mind" has an 80's vibe to it that is so familiar yet I can't place it.  I hear a little Laura Branigan... but mostly I see it being played over scenes in the Karate Kid with William Zabka's nasty Johnny. (Despite not making sense lyrically for Mr. Sweep the Leg.)  Recent leak "Ran for Love" sort of splits the different between the two songs, but is equality brilliant.

Hard to pick just one but you can listen to all three tracks below.  There has been a handful of remixes I haven't checked out yet, so this guy is making the rounds... but who is he?  I'm going to keep on the look out for new info and new songs, but in the meantime, we'll let the retro-disco mystery be.


Out of My Mind

Die on the Dancefloor (Extended)

Ran for Love

Friday, April 08, 2011

Make Some Noise

Song: Make Some Noise
Artist: Beastie Boys
Album: Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2

The Beastie's are back!  And returning a bit to form after the disappointing "To The Five Borough's" from 2004. (2004!  Well... that's if you don't count the good but instrumental "The Mix-Up" from 2007.)

It's sort of hard to wrap my head around the fact that the Beastie Boys have been together since 1979.  That's thirty-two years as the court jesters of hip-hop, fusing rock, punk, surf, samples, you name it into a completely unique sound.  Nobody sounds like the Beasties... certainly not before, and not since.  I've been a fan of theirs since their debut "License to Ill" from 1986 but was, as many were, a bit underwhelmed with that last proper album... but when I first heard official first single "Make Some Noise" from their upcoming follow-up, it's hard not to feel it... this shit is pretty raw.

With a killer groove, the Boys trademark wordplay, blips, bleeps, and crazy rhythm's throughout... "Make Some Noise" has all the elements of vintage Beasties for our modern times.  Exciting!  The band had already released two other songs from the upcoming record, "Lee Majors Come Again," a buzzy rock track that will remind you of the harder punk on "Check Your Head" as well as "Too Many Rappers" with Nas, a pretty hardcore rap track that still feels unmistakably Beastie.

I'm totally confused about exactly how many albums the boys are releasing.  They stated that they were working on "Hot Sauce Committee," but recorded too many songs... so they recorded more to make a "Part 2."  But Part 2 got finished before 1, so they are releasing that first... and then the tracks on Part 1 became Part 2, which is coming out on time... but Part 1 is "indefinitely delayed."  ??? Actually, see if you can suss this out.  From Mike D during a Drowned in Sound interview:

"Pt. 2 is pretty much done. Basically we were making ...Pt 1, had too many songs, so we recorded some more songs. Which sounds bizarre but it actually worked out, because it made it clear to us which songs were going to be on ...Pt 1. Then we had this whole other album of songs: ...Pt 2. ...Pt 1's going to be your regular CD in the stores and to download, but ...Pt 2 is going to be released in...we're still figuring it out, but a different way. More of a 2009 style. You could get in the shower one day and, boom, all of a sudden you're showered with MP3s. Or we might send people a seven-inch every few weeks, so you have a whole box set."

From the Boys email list:

"In what can only be described as a bizarre coincidence, following an exhaustive re-sequence marathon, Beastie Boys have verified that their new Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 will be composed of the same 16 tracks originally slated for inclusion on Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. The record (part 2 that is) will be released as planned in spring 2011 on Capitol. The tracks originally recorded for Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 (which now are actually back on Part 1) have now apparently been bumped to make room for the former Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 material. Wait, what?"
"I know it's weird and confusing, but at least we can say unequivocally that Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 is coming out on time, which is more than I can say about Part 1, and really is all that matters in the end." says Adam "MCA" Yauch. "We just kept working and working on various sequences for part 2, and after a year and half of spending days on end in the sequencing room trying out every possible combination, it finally became clear that this was the only way to make it work. Strange but true, the final sequence for Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 works best with all its songs replaced by the 16 tracks we originally had lined up in pretty much the same order we had them in for Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. So we've come full circle."

You got me.  Regardless, they have a new record out.  It sounds like they are invigorated.  "Make Some Noise" is like totally dope.  What more do you need to know?

"Hot Sauce Committee Part 2" is scheduled for release on May 3rd.


Make Some Noise

Too Many Rappers

Lee Majors Come Again

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Heart Attack

Song: Heart Attack
Artist: Raphael Saadiq
Album: Stone Rollin'

I was a big fan of Raphael Saadiq's last album, 2008's vintage soul-sounding "The Way I See It."  He hit all the right notes in capturing that old time sound, but more importantly, he just wrote some great songs.  I was excited to hear that he had a new record out and it seems that the style is carrying over as "Stone Rollin'"keeps that sound, but adds a little modern touch.

Things start off strong with the rocking "Heart Attack."  Cymbals, chugging guitar, and then Saadiq's pleading vocals, it's all very propulsive and infectious.  That flute cracks me up in the middle, and yet it totally works.  Things slow down on "Go To Hell" which turns into gospel-esque Age of Aquarius psychedelia.  "Radio," which was the album first single, has a rockabilly vibe and matching urgency.  By track three, I was hooked.

The album continues with one quality throwback after another.  The title track is a bluesy rock number that's slinky and sexy. (there's that flute again!)

These songs sound like they're from another era, but have a modern sensibility that reminds me, in a different way, of Winehouse's "Back in Black."  But this type of throwback isn't a walk in the park, Saadiq just happens to make it look easy.  There is real emotion and vitality in these songs that overcome "the concept."  But I suppose the man himself would argue that there isn't a concept here, there's just music.  And damn good music.


Stone Rollin'

Good Man

Preview of "Stone Rollin'"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Song: Civilization
Artist: Justice
Album: Civilization

French electronic duo Justice burst onto the scene in 2007 with their debut album "."  They had a hit with their third single "D.A.N.C.E.," which I fell in love with, but couldn't get into the rest of the album, despite the world falling in love with them as the second coming of Daft Punk.  They are prepping their still untitled sophomore album for sometime this year, but have released the first single, "Civilization."

I suppose my confusion over Justice, was that "D.A.N.C.E." was sort of a sunny single, compared with the pummeling beats of the rest of the album, it didn't seem to represent what they were actually like.  I immediately liked "Civilization" though, and while catchy, it does seem more in line with their other work on "."  Regardless, I think I need to take another listen to that debut.

The band have quite a lot to live up to with their sophomore album based on the splash they made from their debut, which made them instant scenesters.  "Civilization" certainly has me interested.... what do you think?



Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sound of Love

Song: Sound of Love
Artist: Husky Rescue
Album: Ship of Light

A reader introduced me to Helsinki's Husky Rescue a little over three years ago.  I'd sort of forgotten about them, despite loving their sophomore album, '07's "Ghost is Not Real," so much.  Well, it turns out they released a third studio album in January... of 2010.  Whoops.

"Ship of Light" came out on the Catskills label just over a year ago.  Lead singer Reeta-Leena Korhola's vocals immediately brought me back to the chilly vibe of the bands music, and yet it seems they have gone even more towards a "band" sound, versus the trip-hop/ambient vibe of their debut "Country Falls."  That's not to say that "Ship of Light" isn't atmospheric and loses any of their chill out vibe... it just sounds a bit more organic than they have in the past.

I immediately connected to the second single released from the record "Sound of Love," a very pretty yet propulsive track, that shows the band at their mysterious and almost mystical best.  Again, Korhola's vocals really shine here and once again I'm reminded of the Cardigans as her vocals share the same girlish but sexy quality Nina Persson's does.  Magical.

The rest of "Ship of Light" is moody and "cinematic" sounding, much like their previous work.  I'll be honest; I didn't connect with this album as much as I did their previous efforts, but still think it is worth the listen.  A little quirky, a little scary... Husky Rescue are certainly an interesting band with an interesting mission.  But I dig it... and if for nothing else, "Sound of Love" is 100% worth a listen.


Sound of Love

They Are Coming

Fast Lane

Monday, April 04, 2011

No One

Song: No One
Artist: Federico Aubele
Album: Berlin 13

I'm a fan of chill-out and "lounge" music but often have a hard time keeping it straight.  A bit like jazz... which I like a lot, but since I relegate it to more background music (vs. something I's listen to with headphones, or even traveling in the car) I never seem to remember song titles or artist name, let alone the album... this has much more to do with me than the music itself, but because of this I tend to really go for full albums with a sound that's great for the background from start to finish.

I recently discovered the new album, "Berlin 13" by Argentinian singer-songwriter Federico Aubele, a continent-hoping mix of global influences that borrows from his roots in Buenos Aires, his many years (as the title suggests) in Berlin, Germany, as well as his current city/county, Barcelona Spain.  The album is about his move to Berlin, yet also seems to be more about his acceptance of his South American roots. The album starts out on a pretty but somber note, with tracks like "No One" and "In Your Name" using deep electronic beats and Spanish guitar to create a moody vibe that while exotic, hints at a bit of melancholy.  The music is still sexy, but a significant turn happens with instrumental track five; "Kreutzberg."  Things seem to pick up a bit, and the remaining songs on the album are sung in Spanish, many including vocals by his wife, Natalia Clavier.

Aubele moved to Berlin in 2001 during the Argentinian crisis and emailed a demo to the Thievery Corporation whom quickly signed him to their label.  He was soon releasing his first album, "Grand Hotel Buenos Aires," which was produced by Thievery Corporation.  That band is a perfect touchstone in terms of understanding Aubele's global trip-hop/lounge sound.  They also roduced his follow-up, 2007's "Panamericana."  "Berlin 13" is his fourth album.

In some ways, given what I mentioned before, the songs themselves are indistinguishable from each other, aside form the shift from English-sung to Spanish.  That should not be considered a debt by any means, because from start to finish, "Berlin 13" has an entrancing, transcendental power that's perfect for an early quiet morning, a romantic dinner, or just a chill-out vibe for late-night conversation.  I'm really digging this one.  Check it out.


No One

Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue

"Berlin 13" Introduction

Friday, April 01, 2011

United Province of India

Song: United Province of India
Artist: Cornershop
Album: Cornershop & he Double 'o' Groove Of

I became a big Cornershop fan immediately upon hearing their incredible 1997 single "Brimful of Asha," and the very very good album it lived on, "When I Was Born for the 7th Time."  I liked their side project Clinton and the subsequent album, "Disco and the Halfway to Discontent," as well as the Cornershop follow up, the genre-hopping brilliance of "Handcream for a Generation."  But their last album, '09's "Judy Sucked a Lemon for Breakfast" was ultimately a disappointment given the powerhouse albums that proceeded it.  They've gone in a different direction for their follow up.

Back in 2004, Tjinder Singh the leader of the band, discovered the unrecorded New Delhi-born, Lancashire-raised housewife Bubbley Kaur singing in a laundromat.  He convinced her to record a song with the band and they released the track "Topknot" (which included M.I.A.) as a single.  It proved popular, with legendary DJ John Peel saying he "played it to death."  After the release of "Judy," Singh contacted Kaur to begin work on an entire album with her singing in Punjabi... hence, "Double 'o' Groove Of."

I was intrigued, as I am with anything that Cornershop do, but was surprised at just how much I connected with it.  The band keep the hip hop beats and electronic/dance elements to their music, a global stew that continues to unfold with each listen, but this time they focus in on their Indian influences, married with Bubbley Kaur's beautiful voice... it's quite magical.

Opener "United Province of India" jumps right into the sound you can expect throughout the album.  An infectious mix of sitar, tabla, and then subtle synthesizers.  Very cool.  "Topknot" is next, though a prettier, M.I.A.-less version.  Kaur's vocals are pure in this version, which I like a bit better.  I really dig the next track, "The 911 Curry," which has a great 80's hip-hop beat and some trippy keyboard work, as well as "Supercomputed."  I don't have a clue what Kaur is singing about on any of these songs, and yet I feel them somehow.  It's hard to explain.

This obviously won't be everyones cup of tea, but if you like the sound of "United Province of India," you'll enjoy this record throughout.  It's got me smiling about Cornershop again, and I plan to get their very first records, which I haven't heard to see where it all started.


United Province of India