Sep 7 2012

New Music: Ben Folds Five, Kanye West, The Joy Formidable

-Yeezy has dropped another banger from his G.O.O.D. Music comp, which drops later this month. This one’s a doozy, featuring Jay-Z and Big Sean, and a pretty hilarious shout-out to West’s lady of the moment, Kim Kardashian, a “superstar all from a home movie!” Listen at Pitchfork.

-Ben Folds Five just gave us a track from their new album, but they’ve already delivered two more. The Sound of the Life of the Mind will be released September 18th. Listen to “Sky High” and “Michael Praytor, Five Years Later” at Consequence of Sound.

-The Joy Formidable’s new album isn’t set to be released until January 2013, but we already have another taste called “Cholla,” which you can hear below.

-Finally, a trio of ambitious British DJs have completed what many have tried for years: discovered and compiled every sample from the Beastie Boys’ seminal album Paul’s Boutique. The hour-long mixtape is as sprawling and awesome as the original inspiration, and is aptly dedicated to the sorely missed MCA. Read more and listen at Consequence of Sound.

May 15 2012

Watch: Little Kids Re-Enact The Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” Video

Like the rest of the Internet, I’ve become somewhat obsessed all over again with the Beastie Boys after the sudden passing of Adam “MCA” Yauch. As a tribute, director James Winters enlisted the help from a few young relatives to recreate the revolutionary Spike Jones video for “Sabotage,” offering a heartfelt, hilarious, and incredibly adorable spin on the 70’s cop show sendup. It’s without a doubt the coolest thing you will see all week.

Compare it to the original, still awesome after all these years.

May 4 2012

RIP Adam “MCA” Yauch

Today we’ve lost one of the greats. I’m incredibly devastated at the death of MCA today. I’ve been a Beastie Boys fan since I was ten years old. My love for hip-hop spawned from listening to Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. Paul’s Boutique is one of my favorites of all time. And Adam Yauch was without a doubt my favorite Beastie Boy. His raspy, laid-back delivery shined alongside the more frenetic, high-pitched sidekicks Ad-Rock and Mike D. He was a profoundly gifted lyricist, a dedicated Buddhist, a devoted human rights activist, and a legendary artist and musician.

Naturally, watching YouTube videos of Beastie Boys performances only strengthens my sadness. Knowing that with the loss of Yauch means the loss of the world’s greatest rap group, and knowing I’ll never get the chance to finally see my favorite hip-hop trio perform live puts a significant mark on today’s news. With the untimely death of MCA, the Beastie Boys are no more. All we have now is the music and the legacy they leave behind, which will undoubtedly influence millions for years to come.

Dec 25 2011

Honorable Mention Albums of 2011

We’ve discussed the overrated and the disappointing, but there were also a ton of albums in 2011 that were absolutely great. Since I only make a Top 50, there were several I felt deserved recognition, but had strong superior competition. Here, in alphabetical order, are 25 of the best albums of this year that just missed the final cut. Spotify/Download/Buy links provided below.

Battles – Gloss Drop

Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

The Cars – Move Like This

Cheeseburger – Another Big Night Down the Drain

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

Clams Casino – Rainforest EP

Cults – S/T

Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lenses Alien

Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong

DJ Quik – The Book of David

Dom – Family of Love EP

Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx – We’re New Here

Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

J Mascis – Several Shades of Why

Cass McCombs – Humor Risk

Panda Bear – Tomboy

Pictureplane – Thee Physical

R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now

Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

Martin Solveig – Smash

Thee Oh Sees – Carrion Crawler/The Dream

Shugo Tokumaru – Port Entropy

White Denim – D

Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers

Dec 22 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – 50-21

50. Surfer Blood – Miranda

To whet our appetite in between LPs, Surfer Blood released a rocking little EP featuring this excellent little tune.

49. Starsmith – Lesson One

Another band I know little about, but this played nonstop in my car last spring. A great ode to the unrequited and the ones that got away.

48. Cloud Nothings – Understand At All

Another catchy lo-fi power pop rocker from this group’s self-titled debut. Enjoy it while you can, because the follow-up promises to be darker and more ambitious.

47. Kreayshawn – Gucci Gucci

This Internet sensation crept onto FM radio with this undeniable, absolutely fun track. Bonus points for rhyming “over me” with “ovaries.”

46. Born Gold – Decimate Everything

My first introduction to the newly named Born Gold, and I was immediately hooked. There is a remarkable gift here in making the unorganized sound so irresistible.

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Dec 18 2011

Best Music Videos of 2011

Thirty of my favorites from this year, unranked, in alphabetical order.

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Jul 24 2011

Sunday Night Videos 7/24/11

Hooray For Earth – “Sails” from Dovecote Records on Vimeo.

Jul 1 2011

Quarterly Review – April-June 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

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May 3 2011

Quick Rants and Raves 5/3/11

Anyone that knows me knows I am a man of impeccable taste and opinion. Also: humble. So when many things all at once are on my mind, and the 140-character beauty of Twitter just isn’t doing it for me, I will take to the blog to sing my praises and wag my finger.

Rant: Austin City Limits Music Festival

I have ranted about this fest before. Major fests just aren’t my bag for a number of reasons. However, correct me if I’m wrong, but does any other major fest sell out three-day passes (or for that matter, even have them on sale) before the official lineup is announced? Probably more than any other fest, ACL seems to have a loyal gathering of people who decide they’re going every year, even before they find out the horrible, dreadful, increasingly worse list of bands playing. Or maybe C3 just doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing in regards to scalpers. I mean, if I really wanted to go to ACL, I could find tickets in Austin pretty easily via Craigslist/word of mouth. But it’s a matter of principle, and convenience, to buy them directly from the festival itself.

Rant: Who Gets Credit for Killing Osama Bin Laden?

It didn’t even take 12 hours for the Beltway and nonstop news cycle to ask the question: who gets credit for the execution of Bin Laden? And now, two days after Obama’s prime time announcement Sunday, they won’t shut up about it. MSNBC’s drinking the Obama Kool-Aid, and Fox News makes sure to mention every five minutes they think the Bush administration deserves a lot of kudos for this (they actually do deserve credit for the initial launch of the intelligence mission, though it was Obama who made it his #1 national security priority, and, of course, he was the President to sign off on the raid and watch it via a live video feed). And then there’s CNN, who are amping up the “retaliation” speculation, as they are wont to do in order to boost their god-awful ratings. How about we just wave our flags and chant a little more? This is a win not for Obama, or Bush, but for our entire country. You know who deserves the MOST credit for killing Osama? The heroes that did it.

Rave: Z-Trip Beastie Boys Mega-Mix

A career spanning mix of new and old Beastie tracks, from one of the best mashup artists out there. Check it.

Apr 24 2011

Sunday Night Videos 4/24/11