Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Ok it's been awhile since I have dropped some hip hop on you.

In the last few years, the Neptunes have definitely made a difference in hiphop. Sometimes they put out absolute crap (Diddy....) but everytime I think they have lost it, they come back with something that reminds me why they get so much praise. The problem is, they save the best beats for their friends, and for some reason, those records take years to actually come out. One that finally made it's way out is the latest from Clipse.

Now I can honestly say that the reason I love Pusha T and Malice (as well as Fam-Lay, another Neptunes brother in arms) is that I actually do not doubt a word they say. I belive that they are or have been drug dealers. They know more about luxury goods than most folks on 5th Ave. because they definitely buy this stuff, and I am 100% sure that they have shot people. I know that's not something to be praised, but the thing is, the realism and honesty with which it is all delivered, is painfully moving. Add to this the fact they have the most interesting flow and rhyme schemes/wordplay in the game today and you have some classic tracks.

Hell Hath No Fury so far gets an 8 (after one listen). Lord Willin' gets a 9.5. Cop both now if you love hip hop.

Clipse- Wamp Wamp (feat. Slim Thug)
Clipse- When The Last Time

Whenever Fam-Lay gets a record released it will be a classic. Mark my words.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Fever

This post goes out posthumously, as a few months ago, The Fever played thier final shows. I should have gone, but I didn't. For awhile there (about 2 yrs. ago) I saw this band every 2 weeks for about 3 months in a row. The first time I saw them was actually at some special spring CMJ one off show with the 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster. I was expecting great things from EMBD, but was wowed by the Fever even more.

The tunes were great, even the choice of a Sheila E cover, but what really did it for me was their energy and thier sense of urgency. If there is one thing missing from most bands I see nowadays is that sense for urgency. That's what rock and roll is about. We may die tomorrow, so let's rock as hard as we can tonight. But I digress.

After the release of their first EP, Pink on Pink, the Fever followed it up wth a very good LP, Red Bedroom. But soon after the lead guitarist left, and I guess that was the death knell. But they do leave some good tunes that definitely deserve lamenting. Here's one from their EP (which I give an 8.5) as well as one from the fulll length (which gets a 7 from me). R.I.P. The Fever

The Fever- The Glamorous Life

The Fever- Grey Ghost

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jarvis Cocker

So of all the big names in britpop, I honestly can't say that Pulp were ever at the top of my list. Not to say I didn't like them, they just weren't at the top of my list. I bought all the records, enjoyed them live when I finally got the chance to see them, and all that jazz, but they definitely came after Oasis, Blur, Charlatans, Radiohead, etc.

But I have always believed that Jarvis was one of the best song writers of his generation. And he has kept it going with his first solo release, pleasantly titled, Jarvis. It's a bit less morose than latter day Pulp releases, and is even somewhat sunny. At least in terms of a Jarvis Cocker release. As usual he's whip smart, has a touch with poppier arrangements and is just basically having a good time. And you can tell. After just two listens, I give Jarvis an 8.5.

Jarvis Cocker- Black Magic

And if you are a podcaster, check out his interview with the Times Observer. As usual, he's hilarious.

The Times Sounds Podcast- Jarvis Cocker

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Paddingtons

Let's keep the rock going... The Paddingtons are from the UK and are doing a simple rock and roll/punk rock thing. Not a whole lot of innovation here, but they also never claimed to be doing that. And it's that honesty that you have to respect.

Of course it helps that Owen Morris is producing their debut. (He produced Oasis' Definitely Maybe.) It's also telling that they are signed to Alan McGee's Poptones label. (He discovered Oasis.) But this band doesn't sound like the Gallaghers at all. Think more Clash, Buzzcocks and even at their worst, a bit like Rancid. Not that that is particularly a bad thing.

I like simple punk rock. And the Paddingtons get it. First Comes First gets a strong 7.5.

The Paddingtons- Some Old Girl

The Paddingtons- 50 To A £

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Burning Brides

So I am DJing this party tomorrow night where I'll be "opening" for the Queens of the Stone Age. Weird I know. But they are cool and it's a corporate event and those are always fun, so I am excitedto do it. The fun thing is I rarely get to play "rock" sets, so this will be a good exercise.

In looking for rock records, I remembered how much I love the Burning Brides. I never really figured out why they never broke, but it's probably a confluence of things. They don't look particularly different. The sound isn't rock enough for metal folks, and not punk enough for punks. It's just kinda heavy but tuneful rock and roll. Which is exactly why I love them. I'd give their first record an 8, and their second a 7.5, but both are definitely worthwhile. Hopefully you'll dig this one and spend some cash on their records.

Burning Brides- Plank of Fire

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hot Chip/CSS

So it's time for some more hating. It just wouldn't be me without a dash of hate, so let's keep this endeavor honest...

Two acts that those "in the know" have been squawking about for awhile now are Hot Chip and CSS.

Ho Chip is from the uk and they do their version of the electronic dance rock thing that folks have been digging for the last few years. I didn't enjoy the debut, and I can say the same for their latest as well. It's not bad music. But honestly it's just in no way interesting. How is this supposeed to make me excited?? Perhaps I am just too much of a simpleton to get the subtleties, but to me it's really just wallpaper. I can't see people remembering this band for their music. Maybe for their geek chic, their "designer" heavy stylization, perhaps, but not for the tunes. I give Hot Chip's two records 4.3

Hot Chip- Playboy

Our next contestant in the hipster music olympics is CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy- which means "tired from being sexy). Brazilian/Asian girls in long bangs and hipster sensational clothes and some less than half thought out tunes. They even make the "tre-cool" msuic allusions (see "Let's Make Love, and Listen to Death from Above"). The problem here is that the playful attitude, the crowd surfing, the nom de stage (Lovefoxxx is the lead singer's name- blech) just screams "self conscious." But when it comes down to it, again, it's really about the tunes. And these are bad. Live they are atonal and not in a cool art way. More in a "We thought it would be fun to be in a band, we never figured we'd have to learn how to play. We're girls! Tee hee." Awful, pointless blip in music. Let's hurry onto our next untalented girlie indie crush band... Lavender Diamond anyone?? CSS gets an F, and a 4 out of 10.

Wake me when these bands are OVER.

CSS- Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex

(P.S.- You may ask, "if you hate these bands why post about them?" Well basically, I do this just to keep you, my friends, abreast of what I hear is going on in music. and my taste is MY taste. You may love the Grateful Dead, I don't. You may hate Oasis. I don't. I am just trying to keep your options open.)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

TV On the Radio

Some folks consider this band the only good thing going. I will say this much, I do appreciate TV On the Radio's efforts. I am glad they don't sound like the rest of the indie canon. I'm glad they aren't doing some emo thing or some folk thing. They are definitely unique in the music scene today. (alhough they are heavily remiscent of early solo career Peter Gabriel.

Problem is I just can't get into the sound. Their art rock vocals and the layered sound is just one of those things that you either love or hate. I'm all for layering but I just can't deal with the vocals. And beyond that, I again appreciate the avant nature, but the structures of the songs also just don't provide enough "pop" for me to get into and really enjoy.

I do like the first single off their new record, and the video is also interesting as well, as I am a bug fan of werewolves. Which made me think that maybe this time, with their second record, Return to Cookie Mountain, I might finally get what all the folks were raving about. Turns out it's just the single I like. I have to give the record a 6.5 (with 1.5 of that being just on the grounds of respect, more so than enjoyability). I'll give you two tracks here:

TVOTR- I Was A Lover
TVOTR- Wolf Like Me

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche is a little elfin boy from Norway with a knack for writing inpressively catchy songs. More in the vein of Elvis Costello than Justin Timberlake. Although I think if he put his mind to it, Sondre could give JT a run for his money. He has been pretty prolific of late and I have yet to catch up to his latest stuff, but maybe this will force me to think about him more often and give his most recent effort its due.

I can't find "Two Way Monologue" right now and when I find it, I'll post that song, but for now, take the single off his latest effort, and the video for "Two Way Monologue."

Sondre Lerche- Minor Detail

and the video for Two Way monologue: