At a recent production (recent being circa 1995), permatanned paddywhacker Michael Flatley and his Riverdance crew performed an impromptu tap routine to the tune of Adebisi Shank’s 2008 smash ‘Snakehips.’
When asked to comment on the performance, Flatley was unresponsive, lending credence to rumours that his face may, in fact, be constructed entirely of wax.
So the sun finally came (and stayed) out today, meaning it is officially time for sick summer mix tapes. What’s that, it’s only April? This is England. Got sun? Got shorts? Got temperatures above 20 degrees celsius? Got summer. Besides, Buddy Peace deserves to be heard by everyone, at all times of the year – anyone who can make MF Doom seem right at home in Jose Gonzalez’ IKEA kitchen is clearly doing something right. So dig out that SPF factor 50, whack on them sunnies, and enjoy the scorchingly mild heat to the tune of one of the best mix tapes of the last decade in Wolf Diesel Mountain. The track below is a minimix of that album, with a few extra bits thrown in for good measure.
Starkey is a Philadelphia producer who is releasing his second full-length LP, Ear Drums and Black Holes, on April 19 with Planet Mu Records. Starkey’s bouncy, major-key sound is a bit out of place on the usually abstract Planet Mu, but the convoluted details in his production and the active, heavy beats fit in nicely. The two tracks below represent the two distant poles of Starkey’s sound. “OK Luv” is ever-changing and throbbing like any good club banger, whereas “Stars” is introspective and sidereal, which works well with Anneka’s guest vocals. Make sure you also check out the Lala sidebar because I’ve uploaded an alternate version of “OK Luv.”
Starkey – “OK Luv”
There is a curious phenomenon that I’ve only come across a few times in my music listening history. Think about an album that you’ve been listening to for a few years or more, an album so familiar that you wouldn’t be able to begin to count how many times you’ve heard it. Now, think about the last time you listened to that particular album. Did you really listen to it, or did it simply wash over you? I’m not implying that you didn’t enjoy it, but you probably feel like you’ve heard all there is to hear, you’ve felt all there is to feel. The music is well worn and well loved, but you regret that you can’t regain the way you felt when you first heard the album.
Every now and then though, I listen to a song that I’ve heard hundreds of times, only it feels like the first time again. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you put on a record you love but haven’t heard in awhile. Something you grew tired of a few months ago and haven’t thought about until now. That’s a great feeling, but it’s the same as when you jump back into a pool after adult swim is over. The air is cold, the breeze sharp, but the water welcomes you when the whistle blows. Very common. The one I’m describing is much rarer and deeper.
Specifically, I was listening to blink-182’s self-titled album. This is an album that I’ve…
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t attracted in the least bit to Best Coast because of their music. This isn’t because their music is bad, of course (well, it mostly isn’t) – “The Road”, found on the band’s Something in the Way EP, is one of the best songs of this young year. But what intrigued me was that Bethany Cosentino, the muscle behind the project, was also affiliated with a Cali band called Pocahaunted, which is a totally psychotic psych-folk band that doesn’t sound like it should have any associations with something as phosphorescent as a band like Best Coast. Questions brewed in my mind: why would someone like Cosentino want to take part in a lo-fi, unapologetically trendy project like this? For fleeting recognition from bloggers? (She succeeded in that regard.) Or, perhaps, and this is what I believe to be the case, Cosentino got hung-up in the confines of Pocahaunted, a band so experimental that doing something more traditional would seem like a cop-out. Thus, a new moniker, and a new beginning from those who don’t discover your music through means that involve your former band, was born.
It won’t surprise me, however, if Cosentino totally defies her past allegiances; “The Road” is a step towards doing so. While “Something in the Way” and “Wish He Was You” were sunshiney to the point of being vexatious, “The Road” is immediately a different beast: its opening riff is hard and instant, and propels the rest of the song…
For those of you who haven’t checked out one of Japan’s most endearing songwriters (and why haven’t you??), now is certainly as good a time as any to seek out Shugo Tokumaru who, for this lowly critic’s money, released one of last decade’s strongest pop collections. Shugo is gearing up to release his fourth album, Port Entropy, in Japan on April 21, three years after Exit’s sugar rush. Based on the new video below, we are in for some more indelible, colorful, very foreign folk music. No news yet on release dates around the world, but that shouldn’t stop you from eating up the rest of this man’s discography. It is weird and humble in a very, very good way.
Last month, Pantha Du Prince released “Stick to My Side”, a collaboration with Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) of Animal Collective, as a single. The song comes from his superb February release Black Noise. With the single came five remixes, two of which are posted here. The former is a Four Tet remix, which brings the song closer to a dancefloor jam a la “Love Cry” with enhanced bass and synths. The second takes a completely different spin on the song and makes it more of an Explosions in the Sky cum Toro y Moi affair, emphasizing the hidden guitar riff in the song and altering Panda Bear’s vocals with heavy delay and modulation. Both are excellent interpretations of an already great song.
Thera is a 5-piece band out of Alaska. Their core sound could most generically be described as alternative or emo, but there’s more to it than that. Thanks in large part to the vocals of Stephanie Plate, the band’s music takes on an epic feel despite the short duration of the songs. Her voice is very unique and capably conveys the raw emotion of her lyrics. Musically the band creates pieces that can move from uplifting highs to crushing lows within the span of a single song. I know it’s still early, but this may very well be one of my top 3 albums of 2010.
– The Aftermath
– The Downpour
– Don’t Hesitate
Blame it on my peers (who have been a bit slow to this new genre reveal), but dubstep has been infecting the air lately. Spreading to this disease is former Seattle-based producer Deceptikon (Zack Wright), whose latest release Mythology of the Metropolis has dropped the womp-womp kick right into his chill electronic work. The result is nod-worthy tracks like Mythology’s propulsive opener, “Tokyo Burning,” which shows just how far dubstep has come at creating a legitimate and uniform sound, and how artists like Deceptikon are splaying it across their own influences. “Tokyo Burning” even bangs a bit like old school hip-hop, flopping seamlessly between a woodpecker beat and a two-step jig worthy of the illest Biggie verse never recorded. Makes one wonder what might happen if Flying Lotus decided dubstep was his thing.
Mythology of the Metropolis was released March 16 on Daly City Records
Eyes Set to Kill have always occupied a weird niche that left people a lot of room to dislike (or dismiss) their style of music. It was always too poppy for the metal crowd (and having a female vocalist never helped), but it was always too heavy for the mainstream rock fans (mainly due to the screams). With the release of the band’s first single “All You Ever Knew” from their upcoming album Broken Frames it’s not certain whether or not they’ll be able to break from that niche, but they’re definitely trying. This track is more powerful than anything the band has ever done before. The screams are finally not a hinderance (as they’ve been pretty poor on every other album), and even Alexia Rodriguez has stepped up her vocal performance. Behind them is music that finally has more in common with metal than the pop of the past. Listen and judge for yourself. The album comes out on June 8th through BreakSilence Records.
Read an interview with Alexia Rodriquez about the new single at RevolverMag.com.
As if a song from a guy named Gonjasufi could sound like anything else. Today’s song of the day is a hazy, stoner friendly trip hop track off Gonjasufi’s latest release, “A Sufi and a Killer.” The track, “Ancestors,” is one of the tops off the album, a hypnotic, mysteriously ominous prayer catering to Gonjasufi’s weirdly desperate voice. Produced by Flying Lotus, this shit’s pretty fuckin good. Toke UP.
A music video that makes you enjoy a song you’d otherwise hate is a rarity. It only occurs once in a great, great while (usually, once a month, but hey sometimes it can even be two months!), and it’s usually accompanied by either a pop-culture reference typhoon, or Lady Gaga. The new video for Hot Chip’s “I Feel Better” off of their newest One Life Stand breaks this convention by being an entirely serious, stylish affair replete with incredible production values and hypnotizing camera work and dance moves. Before you blow this off as hipster garbage, I implore you to take a look at the world Hot Chip create in “I Feel Better”.
By the time Angel Dust came out in 1992, Faith No More were already an established band. Their previous album, The Real Thing, had gone platinum but it wasn’t enough to make the band rehash the same sound again. Angel Dust almost seemed to be a reaction against the fame that the band were receiving. They took the metal and funk of the previous albums and combined them with some of the most off-the-wall elements — and it worked. Faith No More, and Angel Dust in particular, went on to influence a whole generation (or two) of new musicians and when you listen to this album you’ll understand why.
I like dogs. I work at an animal hospital, so I’m around them every day. If dogs were music genres this is what they would be. As with previous and all future Chan’s Plans, images are credited to my partner in crime charlesfishowitz, who worked a lot harder on the pictures than I did on the descriptions, and for that I will always be grateful.
Bassett Hound/Shoegaze: Proven to be the most pathetic creatures in existence, Bassett Hounds perpetually look sad and can make you give them whatever they want just by turning those droopy eyes your way. While walking, they always look down at their feet with their nose on the ground, continually sniffing out the most strategic place to piss. Also, they’ve got those big ears to pick up as much reverb and feedback as possible.
bassett hounds are masters of sparkling reverb
Bullmastiff/Doom: Stockier than the horse-like English Mastiff, Bullmastiffs are crushingly powerful, blundering but not stupidly so, and capable of aggression when their master commands. Yesterday, I was dragged down a hill and through some pine trees by a 110-pound specimen named Blue. All I could do was salute him with a \m/.
Boston Terrier/Metalcore: They are intensely cute as puppies, but as they age, numerous health problems arise. As a brachycephalic breed, breathing problems are common and can lead to a general raspy sound emanating from their throats. Over time they become a general…