Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not that kind of rave. Put down the glowstick.

buddy holly mediafire Pictures, Images and Photos

“We like this kind of music. Jazz is strictly for stay-at-homes.”

--Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly would have celebrated his 75th birthday this September if he had not died in a plane crash in 1959 at the age of 22. That plane crash, as you might know, also took the lives of Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.

Holly was only a relatively new star. In the Fall of '57, his single with the Crickets, "That'll Be the Day," had gone Number One. Two years was enough time to record a prolific amount of tunes that many consider set the stage for the British Invasion. The melodic joy and fierce independent streak at the core of his artistry is profoundly felt on Rave On Buddy Holly, a 19-song collection of Holly covers that was released on June 28th, 2011.

Known for his work with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson and Todd Haynes, esteemed film-music supervisor Randall Poster was sought out to produce and oversee the project. “As the tracks from various contributors were gathered for the album,” explains Poster “we seemed to be gathering pieces of a complex and original puzzle … that traces back to the roots of rock and roll and shapes so much of the music that followed.”

The album is a who's who of awesome bands and artists you should know about; The Black Keys, Modest Mouse, Cee Lo Green, and Fiona Apple to name a few. The compilation is filled with both "by the book" remakes and completely re-imagined cuts. I think this mix is a good balance to make any Buddy Holly fan happy.
Paul McCartney

One of my favorite covers off the album is by one of my favorite musicians/songwriters ever. He also happens to own the publishing rights to all of Holly's work. Paul ­McCartney rocks "It's So Easy" like a sex-crazed maniac on a bender.

Click to play Paul McCartney - It's So Easy (Buddy Holly cover)

There are a few disappointments, as usually is the case on projects similar to this. Julian Casablancas of the band The Strokes seems to phone his cut in. The biggest flop is the cover of "That’ll Be the Day" from indie favorite Modest Mouse. When I found the album in the record store, and saw that Modest Mouse was on the project, I pretty much made up my mind I was buying the album. That's why my disappointment was magnified after hearing their take on this timeless Buddy Holly track. Luckily, the rest of the album is so good, that I can still recommend it to you with out feeling dirty. With 19 tracks, there is bound to be tracks on here you will love, like, and hate. The price makes it easy to swallow any of the chewy bits...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big O

I’ve been on a big soul kick for quite a while and just can’t get enough Otis Redding. So much so, that I named my fern after him. If only my fern would serenade me. We got jipped when we lost this legend at age 26. Imagine what else he would have done if it wasn’t for that tragic day in 1967. There’s a lot of great music out there today, but it’s rare that we see this kind of passion anymore. Seriously, how can you not shake your ass, tap your foot, or whatever it is, music makes you do, when you listen to this!? And men, pay attention, you can learn something from the lyrics. Simply put, “Try a Little Tenderness”.



And some of the greatest love songs have been written by Otis. Songs that grab your heart and make you long and ache for your lover. Songs that make you want to hold that special person close and whirl together so tightly on the dance floor.



CLICK TO PLAY THESE ARMS OF MINE

Beyond his great music, the Otis Redding legacy lives on through THE BIG “O” YOUTH EDUCATIONAL DREAM FOUNDATION who’s mission is “Progress Through Education / Enlightenment Through Music.” To honor Otis’ dream, The Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation provides opportunities for youth to improve their academic performance by helping them make choices in life that enrich rather than endanger. By providing programs that ignite dreams in our future generation of leaders, they remain dedicated to connecting the universal relevance of music to serve as a catalyst for education, health, fitness and other youth oriented initiatives. You can find more info about the foundation at otisredding.com/foundation/

CLICK TO PLAY I'VE GOT DREAMS TO REMEMBER

For those of you in Macon, GA September 9-10, you can catch the celebration of the legend’s 70th birthday. Unfortunately I won't be there, but I will definitely be celebrating!

The Legacy Continues




Friday, August 26, 2011

Songs About Girls Like You

Their first full-length album dropped just about a year ago in New Zealand. Since then, they have played constant live gigs. Tour in UK in Feb/Mar while the album hits the UK. Tour in US/Canada in Apr/May after the full format release. Over the summer, The Naked and Famous hit just about every worldwide festival that existed.
Germany's Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, Germany's Melt festival, UK's Glastonbury, Great Escape, Wireless, Reading & Leeds, Latitude, Japan's Fuji Rock Festival, M for Music in Switzerland, Oxegen Festival in Ireland, Lisbon Alive in Portgual, Notodden Schools Out Festival in Norway, T in the Park in Scotland, Northside Festival in Denmark, Pukklepop in Belgium, Lowlands in the Netherlands, and Lollapalooza in Chicago!

They weren't finished after that. Throughout August they've been all over North America. I know I plan to see them next Tuesday in Las Vegas immediately after they play Leeds in UK and then a show in France! Throughout September they will be all over Europe. I see no end to this schedule as they come back to North America for October and then to the UK for November!

Now that I've exhausted you with this band's crazy tour schedule, let's get to the music!



Click to Enjoy The Naked and Famous - Girls Like You

Alisa Xayalith provides backup vox on "Girls Like You" whereas she is the lead singer of this band and on the rest of the 13 tracks on Passive Me, Aggressive You. Before arriving at that final track, "Wolf in Geek's Clothing" and "The Ends" also provide a departure from the normal structure of the songs on the rest of the album, and the entire band seems to come together to perform a kaleidoscope of ehtereal electro sounds.

"Young Blood" was the first and most popular release so far from this album, but the bulk of the album is full of share-worthy tracks.

Click to Enjoy The Naked and Famous - Young Blood


The Amazon price is a steal! Get the album now.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Melon Ballz

I've been getting harassed by a fan and friend of this blog for a new "mix" of music. The last one was an X-mas version, and wow, it's already deep into summer. I don't like to disappoint our peeps, so here it is.


You might want the tracklisting:

Penguin Prison - The Worse It Gets (Shook Remix)
Band Of Horses - The Funeral (Buckmaster Remix)
The Overtones - Gambling Man (Club Junkies Club Mix)
Empire Of The Sun - Walking on a dream (Go Go Bizkitts Summer Falcon Jam!)
Bulgarian & Spoek - Zombie Door (Santiago and Bushido Remix)
Major Lazer - Hold The Line (Tommie Sunshine Reggacid Mix)
Pixie Lott - Boys And Girls (Hot Pink Delorean Dub)
Krafty Kuts - Shake Them Hips (Punk Rolla Mix)(Dublic Rerub)
Inna - Amazing (Buzz Junkies Club Mix)

I think all of these songs can be found on hypem or easily on our good friends at google +mediafire.

I tried to pick tracks that screamed summer time pool parties. A happy, fun vibe always tends to be the soundtrack to my summer mix albums, and probably those of most DJs in general. I'll highlight a few of my favorite tracks from the set, since I'm obligated to create some content, and not just promote my mix and bounce out.

Penguin  Prison
(Why would we ever put penguins in prison?)
Penguin Prison - The Worse It Gets (Shook Remix)
http://www.penguinprison.com/

Chris Glover aka Penguin Prison is from New York and has been tearing up the Disco House scene with some excellent releases and remixes. The track has a funky bass line and some sparkly synths that make it very danceable and catchy. Sparkly? I've finally run out of adjectives to describe music. Shoot me.

Empire Of The Sun - Walking on a dream (Go Go Bizkitts Summer Falcon Jam!)
http://www.gogobizkitt.com/

Empire Of The Sun is an Australian Electronic music duo whose self-titled debut album was a top 10 hit in their country and mentioned on music blogs everywhere. Go GO Bizkitt aka Tom Nelson brings the Frech Disco House flavor to this track. Here again, the secret formula, is big bass line and shimmery synths. It's what I think the summer sounds for 2011 are: shimmery. Shimmery...I need one more "S" adjective for the big closing alliteration.

Pixie Lott - Boys And Girls (Hot Pink Delorean Dub)
http://www.pixielott.com/

Who is Pixie Lott? Immaterial. Why? This is a Dub remix, which means that the vocals have been left out. Dubs get used a lot by DJs. One use is to lay an a capella over a dub to create a new song. Sometimes a dub gets thrown in, just for a break in a mix that has too many vocals and voices. I love playing tracks with vocalists...but the end product tends to get "busy". Dub is a great way to break it up a bit. That's why I went with it here. Hot Pink Delorean never miss. Their releases are always spiffy (desperate...I know...).  If I see them on a track, I know it's going to be good. They have been on the electronic scene since 2007, and even four years later sound just as fresh and relevant.

If you want an MP3 of the set, you gotta work for it. Send an email to inallcapsATgmailDOTcom and tell me why you like the blog or the set. Put SEND ME THE MIX in the subject line. I'll shoot you a URL to download the link in a reply email. I think you will find the August 2011 mix to be all things Sparkly, shimmery, and spiffed to the max!

   

Friday, August 19, 2011

Soulshine


My favorite lyrics to any song, paired with one of the greatest guitar players ever (and quite possibly the hardest working man in rock n’ roll) equals... GENIUS. My favorite version of “Soulshine” is from Bonnaroo 2003, when Warren Haynes took the stage early in the morning with South African singer Vusi Mahlasela. Pure magic!


Click To Enjoy Warren Haynes' Soulshine From Bonnaroo 2003

The Crossroads 2010 version with Derek Trucks is a pretty damn good version too.



The lyrics speak for themselves. For me, they’re like my family or closest friends... always there for me. They’re a hug on a bad day, they’re a smile in the least likely of places. And perhaps if more people listened to songs like this, we would not be a “Prozac Nation”. Ah... music therapy. So here's my gift to all of you. A powerful, beautiful, comforting song that will hopefully inspire you to let your soul shine.

When you can't find the light,
That guides you through a cloudy day,
When the stars ain't shinin' bright,
You feel like you've lost you're way,
When those candle lights of home,
Burn so very far away,
Well you got to let your soul shine,
Just like my daddy used to say.

[Chorus]
He used to say soulshine,
It's better than sunshine,
It's better than moonshine,
Damn sure better than rain.
Hey now people don't mind,
We all get this way sometime,
Got to let your soul shine, shine till the break
of day.

I grew up thinkin' that I had it made,
Gonna make it on my own.
Life can take the strongest man,
Make him feel so alone.
Now and then I feel a cold wind,
Blowin' through my achin' bones,
I think back to what my daddy said,
He said "Boy, in the darkness before the dawn:"

[Chorus]

Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness,
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul.
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this.
And when your world seems cold, you got to let
your spirit take control.

[Chorus]

Oh, it's better than sunshine,
It's better than moonshine,
Damn sure better than rain.
Yeah now people don't mind,
We all get this way sometimes,
Gotta let your soul shine, shine till the break
of day.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feels like forever when your mind turns to fiction


There are endless ways to find new music. We've been raving on and on about our addiction to turntable.fm, but pay attention, because new sources of music can hit you anywhere. Check your local city guide for free events you might not have otherwise attended. Is there an amphitheater anywhere in your county? Who's playing? Just go see them. Especially if it's free. Library or other cultural center? You might be surprised what you will find.




Mookie and I went on a long-awaited Big Celebration Date Night recently and decided afterward to wait in a lounge while a band unknown to us set up. And set up they were! You wouldn't believe how many instruments were being set up on an impossibly small stage. A cello? An organ! Drums, guitars, lots of band members... What were we about to witness?

Click to Enjoy Other Lives - As I Lay My Head Down

Ladies and Gentlemen, it was Other Lives from Stillwater, Oklahoma. And those were also castanets you heard, and we saw. Add that to the list of instruments this quintet expertly styles to lend to their unique sound. Fourteen months to craft their current album, Tamer Animals, which happens to be their Sophomore release.

The sound is intense and specific. There is no feeling that this is a jam session. You're listening to the beautiful accompaniment to what could be a journal entry or a random bit of prose that the artist conjured after it came to him.





Saturday, August 13, 2011

you caught me smiling

Few people have changed the face of music as much as Sylvester Stewart, better known as Sly Stone. From the late 1960s on, the development and advent of styles such as funk, hip-hop, and rap owe a huge debt to his talent and vision. Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Prince...the list of artists who cite Stone as an influence is large and impressive. Sly and the Family Stone also happens to be one of my favorite bands, which is the most important thing. Right?

Outside his amazing musical career, Sly Stone has seen some troubled times. The band broke up around 1975 amidst a flurry of drug abuse and contention. Stone released a few more albums on his own before he slowly disappeared from the public eye. In the past 20 years he hasn't released an album and has only made a few public appearances. That will all change next week.

The album I'm Back! Family & Friends is scheduled to drop on Tuesday, August 16th. This will feature 3 new songs, the first new material we've heard from Sly in a long time. The other 11 tracks are reworkings of well-known songs from his earlier catalog, often featuring guest artists. It's an exciting release; one of those once-in-a-lifetime deals. I'm in a bit of a quandary over it, though. Will it be good? Will it fall flat and bum me out? I don't know, and I refuse to listen to any previews. I'm going in with an open mind and hoping for the best.

I may do a further writeup on the album later, but I wanted to mention it for any fans out there. Keep an eye out and come back here to let me know what you think. In the meantime, here are original cuts of some of the tunes that will be on the new record. At the very least we can all agree that these songs are, and will always remain, great.

Click to play Sly & The Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Click to play Sly & The Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime

Click to play Sly & The Family Stone - Family Affair

Click to play Sly & The Family Stone - Dance To The Music

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nerdcore is Punk Rock!


These guys are the nicest of the nice, and rather than focusing on bitches and guns they instead rhyme about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Halo. This journey might lack the drama of, say, a Motley Crue tour as it replaces sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll with videogames, tea and wookie rhymes, it nevertheless gives the viewer time to get under the skin of these unlikely superstars. [sic]
-Chris Tilly (IGN UK)

Have you heard of the genre Nerdcore? It is a subgenre of hip-hop that isn't afraid to be smart. In fact, you might need to really be in-the-know to even get some of the lyrics. I recently watched the documentary Nerdcore Rising so I'm totally qualified to tell you all about it now! The documentary follows the leading star of the Nerdcore movement, MC Frontalot, on his first national tour. Beginning in South Carolina and culminating at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Frontalot wonders if it is possible to achieve mainstream success.


MC Frontalot struggles to legitimize nerdcore as a real genre of hip-hop and to share the music with as many people as he can. The behind-the-scenes of Frontalot and his band are what really make the documentary so interesting. Frontalot and Gaby Alter, a.k.a. G Minor 7, are childhood friends, and both met bass guitarist Brandon Patton, a.k.a. Blak Lotus, in college. Strugis, the drummer, tries to fit in as the new member.

Old school trailblazers like Prince Paul and contemporary hip hop aficionados like J-Live examine the legitimacy of nerdcore as a subgenre of hip hop. Nerd king "Weird Al" Yankovic discuss the origins of nerdcore while Penny Arcade creators Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins expound on the digital revolution that enabled the nerdcore movement.

The segment where they interviewed people who didn't like the performances of MC Frontalot was possibly the defining scenes of the movie. It gives it an unbiased feel and the willingness of the director to show that this wasn't a fluff piece.

On to the music?

MC Frontalot
http://frontalot.com
After watching the documentary , I really went on a tear listening to some of the artists I became acquainted to through the movie. Of course, Frontalot being the fulcrum of the movie, it's necessary to mention him first. MC Frontalot was born Damian Hess in San Francisco. He grew up in Berkeley and secretly recorded rap songs to tape. While working as a web designer in 1999, he resurrected his rap hobby by creating a website for MP3s of his homemade music, the beats credited to the imaginary DJ CPU. In a song of the same name he coined the phrase "nerdcore hip-hop". Frontalot has 5 studio albums, and every single one is worthy of a purchase. Check out the track below.

Click to listen to MC Frontalot - First World Problems

MC Lars
http://mclars.bandcamp.com/

MC Lars is in the documentary, and is one of the best nerdcore artist (although he prefers to be called "post-punk laptop rapper") I discovered as a result of watching the movie.

He's clever and has talent. His flow has a wide range and his rhymes are clean and tight with a nice dollop of humor. He weaves some great references to popular culture that might date the tracks to some, but for me, the nostaligia makes me love it infinitely more. The man is educated at Stanford and loves mixing hip-hop beats with punk guitars. His Not sure what more you might want before checking it out...

How about some more music? Check out one of my favorite MC Lars tracks.

Click to listen to MC Lars - Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock

That band on that track is The Matches from Oakland California.

Check out the bandcamp link for a free mixtape from MC Lars that includes KRS-One, MC Frontalot, Sage Francis, and too many more to mention!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let There Be Songs To Fill The Air


It’s a bittersweet 8 days every year between August 1 and August 9 for Jerry Garcia fans, celebrating his birthday (August 1, 1942) and the anniversary of his death (August 9, 1995). I have to admit, I wasn’t always a fan. It wasn’t until 1994 when someone shook some musical sense into me and took me to my first Dead show, that I realized what all the hype was about. (Thank you Aric, I am forever grateful). Up until that point, I was an 80’s hair band girl. Yes, BIG hair and all! Oh what you can do with a blow dryer and White Rain hairspray!

Now every August 9th, I remember where I was the day I got the news of his death. I still get a tear in my eye. I guess it’s the same for those who remember the passing of Elvis or Lennon. I was fortunate to see Jerry a couple times live and actually saw his 2nd to last performance at Solider Field in Chicago in 1995. A show I will never forget. Although he slipped on some lyrics that night, the passion behind “Visions of Johanna”, was well... words don’t do it justice. You just have to listen for yourself...

Click to enjoy "Visions of Johanna"

So thank you Jerry for giving us amazing songs that continue to fill the air.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Secret Sisters



While “attending” the Newport Folk Festival Sunday (from my couch. thank you NPR), I was reminded that my music collection consists of “The Secret Sisters”, (which by the way, should not be a secret) and how I should be listening to them more often.

The Secret Sisters consists of Laura and Lydia Rogers who are really sisters and hail from Alabama. The sweet, simplistic blend of their vocal harmonies that only family can capture, take you back to the innocence of the 50’s, while their traditional country sound makes me want to grab a lemonade on the porch or cry in my beer.

While onstage at Newport...

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/31/137184180/newport-folk-2011-secret-sisters-live-in-concert


the elder sister admitted they do fight a lot on the road together, but she has been a fan of her sister’s voice since the day she was born. I can see why. The new to the scene twosome are finding their way quickly and shared the stage with Amos Lee at NFF, have played with Willie Nelson, are currently on tour with K.D. Lang and have collaborated with Jack White on the cover of Johnny Cash’s “Big River”.



While most of their self-titled, debut album, consists of covers such as George Jones’ “Why Baby Why, and Hank Williams’ “Why Don’t You Love Me”, original tunes include “Tennessee Me”

Click to Play Tennessee Me

and “Waste the Day”

Click to Play Waste the Day

and at NFF they played “River Jordan”, which will be on their upcoming album due out early 2012. Can I get a hallelujah?