Thursday, September 29, 2011

earbuds. Episode 1 - The guys ramble on... like Zeppelin

Hey everyone this just like our banner above says we have a blog and a podcast. Well this is it. This is the podcast. Below are a few songs that we talk about during the podcast. Listen up and let us know what you think. Oh... here are those album covers, you can see that LMFAO has no creativity in that department.

Florence & The Machine - Shake It Out (The Weeknd Remix)

The Weeknd - The Birds (Part 1)

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire - Huzzah

Ida Maria - Forgive Me

Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans

Childish Gambino - Bonfire


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Track Review! -- Lana Del Rey "Kinda Outta Luck"

Lana Del Rey "Kinda Outta Luck"    This song serves as an adequate mission statement for the type of retro-pop diva aesthetic Lana Del Rey and her label are trying to cultivate. The intro begins with a lonely guitar plucking in dusty sepia tones that summon the same early 70's pulp feel of a Quentin Tarantino movie while Del Rey lazily laments along to before a rush of popcorn drums enthusiastically race to the sonic forefront and announce the song proper. Lana immediately switches gears and bounces along with the simple, but effective 1-2-3-4 step bassline singing "Femme Fatale/ Always on the run/ Diamonds on my wrist/ Whiskey on my tongue" with an air of knowing sweetness and don't-give-a-fuck confidence that you can almost smell a mixture of vanilla perfume and whiskey vapor coming out of the speakers.

     The chorus brings in a cadence of hand-claps as Ms. Rey begins an ocsillating sing-song voice that coolly rubber bands up and down as she playfully asks if it's, "wrong wrong THAT I think it's KINDA fun WHEN I hit you IN THE back OF THE head WITH A gun". She comes off like a female sociopath version of Ferris Bueller who always gets what she wants but you still can't help but think she totally deserves to get away with all of it.

     Lana Del Rey has been getting a lot of attention based on just a few songs which is a weird consequence of our modern "gimme gimme gimme" attitude towards music and right now she hasn't produced another track as unabashedly pop as "Kinda Outta Luck", and seems to be leaning towards a more moody fair based on the few other .mp3's I've heard. Hopefully I'm not getting excited over a fluke of a song and in-spite of her growing visibility, and the artistic pressure that brings, Lana Del Rey remembers to take a day off and just have some fun every once in a while.


Monday, September 26, 2011

...the week that R.E.M. broke up (a few tracks)

Last week was a pretty crazy week. R.E.M. broke up before I had a chance to see them live! How unfair is that! Lets count on them getting back together in a couple years for one last shot.

Thrice - Yellow Belly
This throwback to 2003 sounds like it was modeled after a song on a video game soundtrack, a selection in the Madden series perhaps.  Thrice is past their prime in my eyes, this sort of screaming/alt-easy-metal had it moment in the sun and they are just releasing some hold-over tracks. Something has to be working though, this album is pulling a 94 on Metacritic. It does sound cleaner than their previous songs. Its like they are just now getting the production that they could of done with years back. Check out the song and twitter about it or something.
Thrice - Yellow Belly

tUnE-yArDs - Gangsta
This is exactly what I needed this week, some creativity on a track! This highly experimental and fun track has me grooving while I am sitting here enjoying a carne-asada burrito. I love everything about this highly catchy and infectious track. The bizarre beats and often off time samples are just what intrigued me into catching this track. If you like Animal Collective you will like this better. Forget those guys, listen to tUnE-yArDs.
tUnE-yArDs - Gangsta

Mastodon - Curl of the Burl
Wow! This is Mastodon doing their best Queens of the Stone Age impression and it is so much better than anything off of Crack the Skye. That album just seemed so forced to me. This feels like an actual follow up to Blood Mountain. This is a great song to get your metal fix out too. I would suggest playing this song at maximum level with safe distances around your dome for heavy metal meat-head head banging. GET IT!!!
Mastodon - Curl of the Burl

R.E.M. - What's the Frequency Kenneth?
OK, OK so I can't start a music blog that reflects on the previous week and leave out the biggest story in music. Its just that, R.E.M. broke up a couple of days ago and it is already starting to become old news. Everyone is tired of hearing about the "break-up", "retirement", "hiatus", what have you. This is my favorite R.E.M. song, I am not sad or happy about whatever happened to them. I am sure Michael Stipe will still preform and the others have bands. This won't be the last we have heard of R.E.M. For now enjoy What's the Frequency Kenneth?
R.E.M. - What's The Frequency, Kenneth?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a few tracks to hear this week...

I decided to go ahead and listen to a few songs that are NEW to me, maybe not so new to you.

Nero - Promises (Skrillex Remix)
I realized that I hadn't heard any new dubstep in a long time and this song is quite the way to get back into the groove! Skrillex pimped the fuck out of this track. I mean it still sounds like typical Skrillex but its so smooth. It looks like Corey Feld... err... I mean Sonny Moore really learned something in his quick rise to laptop DJ fame. Nero hasn't put out anything yet that I haven't liked. Good solid mix for the two. Kudos.
Nero - Promises (Skrillex Remix)

Insane Clown Posse ft. Jack White - Mountain Girl
I don't know what the fuck Jack White is thinking? I guess that it doesn't matter, music is music in his eyes. He looks at music from that kind of point of view I bet. I still don't think that he has heard the final cut of the classic Leck Mich Im Arsch. Well this whimsical tale of love, rednecks, incest, and meth is everything that a good song by a couple of christian rappers should be. I am assuming that the Westboro Baptist Church's youth will be asking (Santa?) for a certain ICP CD this (Christmas?)? This is so painful to listen to... I can't even tell if Jack White's guitar playing is good, it sounds horrible. The vocals, if you would call them that, are completely drowning out the western twang of Jack White's git-fiddle. SKIP IT... No rubbernecking. Believe me its that bad.
Insane Clown Posse ft. Jack White - Mountain Girl

Nirvana - Breed (Smart Studios Version) // Previously Unreleased
There has been quite a bit of unreleased material getting to see the light of day, recently. Here we have Nirvana as grungy as ever. Mic pops and heavy scratches make this newly released Demo version of Breed. I love this song it is so damn raw and Kurt Cobain had just the right voice for the crappy recording. I love Nirvana so this is cool to hear.
Nirvana - Breed (Smart Studio Version)

Daft Punk - Drive // Previously Unreleased
Drive is a previously unreleased song released by the french progressive house duo known as Daft Punk. I barely see anything special about this song and so far (1:46) wouldn't mind if the song stayed unreleased. This is too repetitive for my nature. I like electronic music but this song isn't winning me over. Even when signature samples are used. I cannot bring myself to like this... Its a long song too clocking in at just over seven minuets.
Daft Punk - Drive

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SBTRKT - SBTRKT (The Commercial DJ)

SBTRKT is an eclectic DJ that experiments with different sounds. I haven't heard his stuff outside of Spotify and YouTube so far. So listening to his debut album should be interesting. He reminds me a lot of Flying Lotus or TokiMonsta, he has that eclectic taste for samples. I guess the best thing about listening to alternative electronica is that you never know what is going to come next. Not one track sounds like the last. The album that I am going to be picking apart here is the self titled SBTRKT. The beats on the album are, of course, provided by SBTRKT who is supported with guest stars like Little Dragon, Sampha, and Jessie Ware. The album is a little thin and it doesn't take the twists and turns that a DJ like Flying Lotus would take. it is pretty listenable though.

Is SBTRKT just another DJ behind a mask? SBTRKT is one of many emerging artists that have decided to keep their "personal life" separate from their "professional life". He even hides his face with a mask! Does this mean he is just trying to be sneaky, or just trying to create some sort of buzz about him? It has to be a combination of both. He is both hiding his face from the crowds of people while creating buzz at the same time. It worked for countless other DJ's that I think are actually hiding themselves from crowds because they secretly have a fear of preforming in front of people. The mask makes him feel safer.

Also, when did this music start to pop off? Has eclectic electronica always been around and I am just now jumping on that hype-train. It seems that in 2010 - 2011 this neo-chillwave/experimental alternative electronica has become a household thing. There are tons of artists; SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, TOKiMONSTA, Joy Orbison, Mount Kimbie, just to name a few. There seems to be a new "Hot" electronica DJ every month.

Well I am seven songs into SBTRKT's debut album and it is really good to get stoned too, other than that I don't ever see myself re-listening to this. It would be pretty cool to see this guy live and dance to the craziness but I don't see myself going back to this. The re-listen value is very low. The music seems just too thin, like it wouldn't exist if you turned away from it. It sounds like SBTRKT was influenced by early 90's Woman's Apparel Store background music. I can just close my eyes and flashback to the early to mid 90's when my mom was dragging me into crappy stores like Wet Seal and Forever 21. I would sit bored on some bench near the changing rooms while my mom "just browsed". That kind of music came a dime a dozen back then. I am afraid that this album has just enough teeth to be played in Jamba Juice or Starbucks... some sort of corporate background music. I guess SBTRKT is making the music equivalent of commercial art. Yes that was a stab at commercial artists. ;)

The end of the album jumped up pretty quickly, that means the album is short. I haven't truly enjoyed it but there are a few songs that caught my fancy. Like I said above though, i wouldn't re-listen to them. The songs are good for the time that you play them, other than that... its just background music. This music is perfect in the commercial setting. I could also see this music being played at an office, at a very low volume. Just barely in ear's reach. Czech it out if you really want to, you might come up with something different. I challenge you to listen to the album and not think about congested mid-grade clothing stores, I dare you.

Artist: SBTRKT
Label: Young Turks
Country: UK
Spotify URI: Sbtrkt – SBTRKT