Thursday, April 19, 2012

Coachella Preview - Fitz and the Tantrums, Real Estate, and Jimbo Jenkins

We drive to Indio tonight. Bummed that the temps are in the 100s, when weekend one had such nice temperatures. That's life tho. I'm still praying for El Nino on the lineup.

The one nice thing about going to weekend two is that you can peek at some of the live footage and make a decision on what bands to see in a particular time-slot.

Real Estate
We had planned on seeing Fitz and The Tantrums on Sunday. I love the album Pickin' Up the Pieces so I was stoked to finally see them live. Catching their set on Coachella's youtube channel changed my mind. It could have just been a bad sound engineer, but I didn't like the way the mix sounded. We are pivoting and seeing Real Estate instead.

Click to listen to Real Estate - Beach Comber

Real Estate's latest, Days, is a real gem. It still had all the great aspects of their self-titled debut, but was a much cleaner end product.
It was considered to be in the top 50 albums of 2011 by many blogs and music sites. Not bad for a psychedelic pop album.



The 11:00 slot was open for us on Sunday, so I looked into Jimbo Jenkins. That guy is dope! Totally looking forward to having Mr. Jenkins start our last day! Click his name above to check out his website and download his last two mixtapes. Your dancing feet will be happy you did!

Also, be sure to check out his Travis Portishead project. It's a mashup project that you might dig. I know I do!

Click to play Jimbo Jenkins -Travis Portishead - Bring It Back x Sour Times


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Coachella Preview - Beirut, Company Flow, Justice, and Calvin Harris

Beirut is not a band I think about very often. Sometimes I used to forget what they even sound like. I do that a lot. When you review a lot of bands, you sometimes forget that you've ever heard of them. And then you read a great review you wrote and you think... Oh.
So when I saw that Beirut was up against Girl Talk in Coachella's lineup, I made a mental asterisk to figure out how much I want to see Beirut. I knew I liked them, I knew I wanted to see them, but couldn't remember why.
Click to play Beirut - A Candle's Fire


Because... I really like Girl Talk. He is the one of the only DJs who can get me working out when I don't want to.
But I accidentally caught part of the live stream that Coachella put up of Beirut... And forget it. I am sold. Live horns. Oh yeah, that's right. Yes. I'm really looking forward to this.


Unfortunately this time slot also features Calvin Harris. To be quite honest, I am not sure I could point out a Calvin Harris track either, although since Rihanna joined him at Coachella I guess I can surmise that he had something to do with the "We Found Love" track? Mookie is going to be so disappointed that I even chose to include him in this post for my lack of knowledge, but we've still got a good several dozen of artists to cover before Weekend 2 begins!
Check out Calvin's Soundcloud channel here.

And in the interest of fairness, let me share that Company Flow and Justice also overlap the Sunday 8 PM set time.
Being that I only seem to like rap if it was released in the mid- to late-80's, no thanks to Company Flow for me. But I'll share some of their work with you here. Company Flow I guess is technically hip-hop, but I will still call it rap. And even though they've been around for 20 years, it's just not my style. Ben Westhoff, contributing to LA Weekly, says they are "seminal" and bemoans the low attendance to their show. Listen. Most of the concertgoers were just doing the fallopian luge when Company Flow hit the scene. There's that.
This is "8 Steps to Perfection," one of the singles released in 1996 off their debut EP.
Click to play Company Flow - 8 Steps to Perfection

I have no idea who Justice is either - we're on a roll - but they are playing the main stage. French Electro Duo. Oh. They're the ones with the big cross on the stage. They're the ones with the track called "D.A.N.C.E.". I don't have it. You can watch the VMA-nominated video here.









Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coachella Preview - pt 4 All The Bands We Loved Before

This is the final installment of "All The Bands We Loved Before", where I share with you Coachella "previews" by reminding you about bands we've already written about in blogs past.

Weekend 1 of Coachella has concluded. Most acts could be seen live via streaming, and many more could be re-broadcast through Coachella's YouTube channel. This tool has been totally invaluable in helping us decide who to see when we venture out for weekend 2. One of the tough decisions is skipping Arctic Monkeys. Yep. And even though Mookie swore he wasn't going to miss them in September, well... He did. They were scheduled a week before our wedding, and he was probably busy trying to catch pinkeye from a stripper that night. Mookie has since discovered Wu Lyf, and their coinciding performance looks like it's going to trump the primates.

But I'll still share some tunes with you. Track 11, title track, Click to play Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See


tUnE-yArDs is an act that Mookie had on the list, but I want to see The Head and The Heart, so boom. Trumped again. Besides, as Mookie put it... "I never put that voice with tits"


Looks like we will be seeing Yuck, though, as we scamper away from the end of the Givers' set to catch this band. Check out "Holing Out" from their self-titled album.

Click to play Yuck - Holing Out

We've had to make a lot of tough decisions because of the schedule that does things like puts M83 and Explosions in the Sky against The Black Keys... Feist against The Shins and Kasabian... Bon Iver against Miike Snow, SBTRKT, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor... Sleeper Agent against Fanfarlo, Gardens & Villa, and Morgan Page... Fitz and the Tantrums against Real Estates... Band of Skulls and Metronomy against Le Butcherettes... Beirut against Girl Talk... Maybe our music tastes are just too varied. If you can help, please send up a comment!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Coachella Preview - Madeon and Martin Solveig

Here's a post of two artists appearing at Coachella that I WON'T get to see. It's not because I don't want to see them, but the difficulties in planning my schedule for the three day event. The post is going to tie in both artists with one song submission. Madeon recently remixed Solveig. Let's take a listen: Good! Let's break it down.

French music is hot right now. I've always been a fan of French House music like Daft Punk and Cassius. Recently there has been a few hot rock/indie bands out of France. The one that most of us in the states know is the band Phoenix. Vocalist Thomas Mars of Phoenix is who we are hearing on "The Night Out".

Martin Solveig is an electronic DJ and producer from Paris. He's got five albums under his belt and is rated 26th best DJ in the wold according to DJ Mag. Martin was also named a producer on Madonna's latest album MDNA, but who gives a shit about that album...You probably most know of his work from his hit song "Hello" that was used in a Trident gum commercial.

Madeon
Madeon is an 18 year old electropop genius from France that has been featured several times on "15 Minutes of Fame", a segment of Pete Tong's radio show on BBC Radio 1. He usually performs in a blazer and a white v-neck t-shirt. He makes crowds of bows in girls lift their hands as if in rapture. He makes asses shake too. Is an 18 year old that good?
39 samples and nearly 10.5 million views makes Madeon legit, for sure. Dying to know all the samples played? I'm here to serve...

Alphabeat – Boyfriend
Alphabeat – Fascination
Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars
Black Eyed Peas – Gotta Feeling
Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
Capsule – Can I Have A Word
Chromeo – Momma’s Boy
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Daft Punk – Aerodynamic
Daft Punk – Around The World
Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)
Deadmau5 – Right This Second
Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed
ELO – Mr. Blue Sky
Girls Aloud – Biology
Gorillaz – Dare
Gossip – Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix)
Gwen Stefani – What You Waitin For (Jacques Lu Cont Mix)
Housse de Racket – Oh Yeah
Justice – DVNO
Justice – Phantom Part II
Katy Perry – One Of The Boys
Ke$ha – Take It Off
Kylie Minogue – Wow
Lady Gaga – Alejandro
Linkin Park – Crawling
Madonna – Hung Up
Martin Solveig ft. Dragonette – Boys and Girls
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
Nero – Me and You
One Republic – All The Right Moves (Danger Remix)
One-T – Magic Key
Ratatat – Shempi
Solange – I Decided (Freemasons Remix)
Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You
The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star
The Killers – Losing Touch
The Who – Baba O’Riley (SebastiAn Remix)
Yelle – Que Veux Tu (Madeon Remix)

Missing Pop Culture surrounded by a group of fans is about the biggest Coachella regret I'm likely to have.

Bummed to miss both acts, but if you end up seeing either of them, please let us know what we missed!



Sunday, April 15, 2012

(not) lost in translation

Somehow, a recent conversation with a friend turned to a discussion of English-language covers of foreign songs. I'm not exactly sure how that happened (the conversation, not me having a friend) but it inspired me to write this post and share a few of my favorites. Warning: this is going to be Flash-y. I want to include specific videos so I'm going to keep it all in the same format for consistency.

Let's begin. And yes, I know the photo is completely unrelated. I'm doing a thing here, so just let it go.

An oldie but goodie (on both sides of the pond) is "La Mer." Charles Trenet wrote and popularized the song in French in 1946. Later that same year, Jack Lawrence wrote English lyrics and the song became "Beyond The Sea." You've probably heard Bobby Darin crooning it. Here are both versions.





It's hard to say which I prefer. Trenet had an amazing voice and gets credit for penning the tune, but Darin just swings it so hard. Let's call it a draw and make sure both are in your music library.

Moving from France to Germany: Harry Winter had a hit in 1948 with "Und Jetzt Ist Es Still." Here's the original song.



Three years later it was Americanized and became a hit for Betty Hutton as "It's Oh So Quiet." More recently, a crazy cool singer called Björk covered it, complete with Spike Jonze video. I'm going to post that one because, um, Spike Jonze.



I'll also give Björk's version props for being my favorite. No offense to Ms. Hutton but those screams blow me away every time. And the original is a bit stuffy, no?

Finally, the song "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" has been popularized by a few different acts over the years. Nat King Cole loved performing it, Doris Day has a classic version, and Cake helped reintroduce it to a younger generation. That's just to name a few of the many, many covers through the years. Here's the Doris Day version from 1964.



The song was originally by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farres and became a hit in 1947. "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" is still a Latin staple. Here's the amazing Gaby Moreno doing an acoustic cover.



I'm not sure you can beat that version. Point, set, and match to Gaby.

Like I said, these are just a few of my favorites. Feel free to add yours in the comments or pass them along to us. I'm always interested in hearing the origins of a song I love.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Coachella Preview - Wu Lyf


WU LYF
"I wanna feel at home."

I checked into the live video streaming Coachella was doing for the first night of the festival and caught what might be a must see show when the inALLcaps street team catches the festival next weekend.

I caught the last three songs of Wu Lyf's set, and was instantly mesmerized by what I heard and saw.

First, let's fill you into the Wu clan (I couldn't help my self....) is and where they come from. You should pronounce WU LYF like "Woo Life" and the name is actually an acronym for a longer band name. Unless you think World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation isn't very hard to fit on a CD cover. The band is from Manchester, England and has created some mystery about themselves by rarely releasing information about the band and often declining requests for interviews. The band describes the music on it's first full length album "Go Tell Fire To The Mountain" as "Heavy Pop" and it was unconventionally recorded inside of Saint Peter's church in Ancoats, Manchester. The band consists of four members:
  • Ellery Roberts — Vocals, Organ
  • Joe Manning — Drums, Piano
  • Evans Kati — Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
  • Tom McClung — Vocals, Bass, Guitar

I happened to catch the live set as the band began playing 14 Crowns For Me & My Friends. Granted, the lead singer is a little hard to understand live, but that's no different than what you will hear on the record. His accent, combined with a voice that sounds like it's been sauteed in acid, makes it difficult to capture the words. Even still, the passion behind the words was not lost on me.

Click to play Wu Lyf - 14 Crowns For Me & My Friends

The expansive and atmospheric sound of the quartet remind me of Explosions In The Sky, and help to amplify the anthemic lyrics of Ellery Roberts.

I'm going to try and catch Wu Lyf at Coachella next weekend. There isn't really a try, but the sad thing is we might have to bail early on the Arctic Monkeys? It's so tough to figure out how we will traverse this schedule...



Friday, April 13, 2012

Coachella Preview - Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog

The lineup set-times is finally available for Coachella. All I can say is, FML. There are at least 5 very tough decisions to make. I'm guessing The Little One will be making us see At The Drive-In which makes seeing Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog an easy thing, since they are both at the same stage. At least a few things in this lineup worked out.

Snoop and Dr. Dre
I've seen a few weird news postings about the Dre and Snoop set. Since we are attending the second weekend, I guess I'll get a confirmation of exactly what's going on. Let me summarize what I've heard thus far.

  • Warren G posts on his website that he will be joining Dre and Snoop onstage along with Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa.
  • This announcement was later pulled by his rep Domenick Nati who released the statement saying: "Warren G is not announcing that he and Eminem will perform with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Warren had no knowledge that any such announcement was being made until after it was posted. Any postings involving him and other artists were made without his knowledge or consent and he is not willing to confirm or deny anyone's involvement in this years Coachella event. We apologize for any confusion that this caused."
  •  Then the headline Nate Dogg will be appearing with Dre and Snoop passes my eyes. That shocked me, since Nate is dead now a year.
  • Nate Dogg is appearing as a hologram onstage with Snoop and Dre on multiple songs.
  • JUST NOW - Tupac confirmed to appear as a hologram! WTF!

    I'm left assuming the others might also appearing as a hologram? I mean...what is going on? Is this just some ruse to attract publicity? How high do I gotta get to believe that Tupac has finally decided to come out of hiding? This is just cray. 



Click to play The Recipe - Kendrick Lamar featuring Dr. Dre
Click to play  Young, Wild & Free - Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coachella Preview - pt 3 All The Bands We Loved Before

There are more! There are still more bands for Coachella we haven't covered. There are still more bands that we've covered in the past who happen to also be playing Coachella this year. We aren't done yet, and Coachella begins TOMORROW!
Well, we don't head out there until next week's installment, but folks... COACHELLA BEGINS TOMORROW! Are you ready?

Explosions in the Sky plays at 10 PM in the Outdoor theater Friday night. Kilter gave us a preview of this post-rock band almost a year ago. "They build lush, extended (most songs are over 7 minutes long) soundscapes that really draw you in," he said. No new album, but you can check out a track from Take Care, Take Care, Take Care here: Explosions In The Sky



Girl Talk plays the outdoor stage Sunday night at 8:25 (this is the second-to-last show Sunday night on that stage.) He's up against Calvin Harris on the main stage at the same time, Company Flow on the Gobi stage, and his set will end just before At The Drive In is set to take the Coachella stage. Yikes. One of many tough losses for fans who have to cut out of a show early or give up seeing one of their favorites altogether.



James plays the Coachella stage at 3:50 on Friday, and Miike Snow headlines the outdoor stage Saturday night at 10:10.

Hard to know for sure whether they will juggle set times for Weekend 2... It would be nice to have this much time to plan ahead!

Prepare yourself by getting all the music using the links below!





Thursday, April 5, 2012

Coachella Preview - pt 2 All The Bands We Loved Before

I'd like to take you back to a time when I actually typed the words, "I had never heard of The Black Keys before." It's hard for me to imagine a time that phrase could have been true. But it was true for far too long. The band had already sold a shit ton of records by the time I wrote that in January 2010. Today, I am seriously pooping myself that I can finally see them live. As headliners at Coachella no less. I never get sick of any of their songs. They feel too damn good. "Take a listen to this bluesy rock sound and heartbreaking guitar..." I said back then.
I don't have to be original. I can say the same damn thing today. This music kills me. And you've heard it a thousand times. Can't love it more. Can't NOT get caught up.

Click to play The Black Keys - Lonely Boy

Check out the post I wrote the first time around... What a set of interesting coincidences. Maybe you'll find a new book you want to read, too... Check out The Black Keys

And who didn't love this video!





Next in this grouping of bands we've loved before and will love again at Coachella... More soul coming your way with Florence And The Machine!





Other Lives was a band we were pretty fortunate to stumble upon in an amazing free show here in Las Vegas. Now I don't know who has more fortune... Other Lives to be on tour with Radiohead, or inALLcaps to see them at Coachella! OK, that was a cheesy thing to say. I give you that. But seriously.

I can still hear them introducing themselves on a stage that barely held them. "We are Other Lives from Stillwater Oklahoma." And now they are touring Germany, Amsterdam, Belgium, the UK. What an amazing ride. They deserve it. So talented. I want you to go right now and play their album. Melt away your stress. Immerse yourself in the symphony.


Oh, and go buy something from this band. You know you want to!





Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Coachella Preview - pt 1 All The Bands We Loved Before

As you may or may not have noticed, we're insanely ecstatic to be going to Coachella this year because SO MANY of our FAVORITES are playing. We've double and triple and quadruple covered some of them so far in the years our blog has been running AND in the current Coachella preview series. I'm going to try to get through all the rest of the bands that we have covered in the years past, who are also playing Coachella.

Back in September 2010, I was feeling pretty spent. You know what's funny, but not really, is that it was a month before I received a health diagnosis that told me that uh, yeah, you have a reason to be a bit worn down. At any rate, I claimed this album helped me find my soul.

Check out Grace Potter and The Nocturnals.


Earlier that year, in January of 2010, I discovered a lil band called Fanfarlo. Now in their 6th year together, they've recently released their second full-length album, Rooms Filled With Light. It's so new that I haven't given it all that many spins yet. So let me randomly pick a track to share with you. Of course we all have our opinion on which track is the best track of an album, but for me, it's usually 4 or 5. Track 4 is "Shiny Things", and we all like shiny things don't we?

Click to play Fanfarlo - Shiny Things

You can probably find them somewhere near you. They're on tour now and will pick up again in the fall. Check out what my initial impression was: Fanfarlo

Mookie discovered The Black Angels in a conversation with a barfly. Wait. Can males be barflies? What are males who are ever-present bar patrons called? Either way, Mookie decided they were "good stuff." Check out Black Angels


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Coachella Preview - Manchester Orchestra (Part 2)

There isn't going to be a post for today.


Bonus Track: Manchester Orchestra - April Fool (The Joy Formidable Remix)

visitors you won't want to leave

Well hello there. I know it's been a while since I contributed anything to the blog. Let's call it an unexpected hiatus. Luckily, you've been in the best hands possible with the rest of the crew. Anyway, I'm here now and I've got a doozy for you.



Johnny Roset Cervini is the front man for Just Visiting, and the founder of Black House Records. The former is an up-and-coming rock outfit from New York. Their press kit came our way and I was struck by two things: their music, which is a tuneful throwback to early 90s rock (I'll lovingly and nostalgically call it grunge), and Johnny's story. Cervini won a hard battle with crack and heroin addiction and is turning his experience into an awareness campaign via his band, label, and the #impactchange hash tag. Here's their current single, "Life In A Shoebox," with an additional interview excerpt added for good measure.



Wanting to know more about Johnny's projects, I sent over some interview questions. I'll post the entirety of that below. In the meantime, here's another video. Did I mention that Just Visiting is a bilingual band?



I'll let the music speak for itself. Actually, I'll let Johnny do the same.

kilter: Your press release mentions Nirvana and Audioslave, and I hear some other early 1990s influences. Who else would you list as inspiration? Do you draw from other bilingual and non-English-speaking acts?

JRC: I would say blues artists. I know that I studied a lot of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Hendrix, and other artists whose foundation lay in the blues. I'd like to be well-rounded and say that I draw from non-English-speaking acts, but the truth is that I don't. I can appreciate artists like Mana and La Ley, but I don't feel the inspirational push that I might feel from an Alice In Chains song. My heart and musical soul belong to the dynamic that the Pixies created and Nirvana perfected.

kilter: I'm researching #impactchange and will definitely include it in my writeup. I'd like to hear more about it in your own words. What is the message you want to get out? Does your personal history inform your songwriting?

JRC: My songwriting comes exclusively from battles I've won and battles I've lost. The message I'm trying to get out with #impactchange is that drug addiction only defeats you when you are not informed. When I was doing NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings, I met a ton of people in their 30, 40, 50s, even 60s that were doing rehab for the ninth or tenth time.

Had someone exposed me to their stories as told in their own words before I picked up a crack pipe in 2004, I think I would have never done it, but since I wasn't exposed to the unholy brutality that hardcore drugs and their effects have on a person over decades, I just lost myself in the momentary high. I was lost there for five years and successfully quit on December 23, 2009.

kilter: You've started your own label, which can be a big undertaking. What led you to that decision? Did you work with other labels along the way who weren't receptive of your message/approach?

JRC: I started a record label because coming out of college, it was the only idea that captured my entire attention and ambition. I just had so much respect for people like Clive Davis, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Lyor Cohen and how they masterminded their labels from inception through expansion and ultimately success and visibility in mainstream culture.

I never worked for another label, but I did intern at a few labels. They were all crucial experiences when I was just getting my hands wet in the music industry.

kilter: How did Caspa Narkz get involved with Black House Records?

JRC: Well, growing up in the East New York section of Brooklyn, I was always drawn to the catchiness of certain hip hop songs. I started studying Diddy's business moves, and I had friends in the neighborhood that would be in studios. I started tagging along to see what the creative process was like. I was almost exclusively studying the motions of writing, recording, and releasing a hip hop song. I actually developed a true love for rock only after I had become obsessed with the full circle that encompasses hip hop. 

kilter: Are you currently courting any other acts for the label, or do you plan to in the near future?

JRC: At the moment, we are quite comfortable with a two-artist roster. Just Visiting NYC and Caspa Narkz are a handful, but in time, and probably in 2013, we'll be looking for new talent to mold, manage and represent.

kilter: If you overheard someone talking about your band or label, what would you want to hear them say? What would you hate to hear them say?

JRC: I'd hate to hear them say anything negative, but that's just the Aquarius in me. If I heard them say something good, I would hope to hear that we consistently put out hit music, our videos are dope, and our live performances are awesome. 

kilter: What does the rest of 2012 look like for Just Visiting, Black House Records, and yourself?

JRC: The rest of 2012 will find us (Caspa Narkz and Just Visiting) on the road separately rockin' shows and giving people their money's worth. We will also be releasing new material all the time and looking to secure respect from top blog, magazine, and industry publications. I want to get on Billboard and knock some other artists out of their boxes. Finally, and most importantly, I want all music from Black House Records to eventually be in heavy rotation on radio and the music videos on MTV, VH1, BET, Fuse, etc.

You can check out the label at blackhouserecords.com. You can learn more about the band at justvisitingnyc.com or on Facebook. Be sure to give them and Caspa Narkz a listen, and pick up their albums on iTunes.