Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Music: Green day "Cigarettes and Valentines"

Green Day debuted a new, never-heard before track during a performance in Denver over the weekend. watch the performance below, and get the full story over at Spin.com.

Album Review: Le Vice (Self-Titled)

The words “live band” and "organic" have become increasing rare in describing R&B and hip hop acts, as many artists have journeyed into the land of Auto-Tune, drum machines, and purely electronic production, never to return. San Francisco-based foursome Le Vice seek to bring live music lovers back to the promise land however, blending sampling and DJ techniques with a sound that combines dance grooves and indie rock guitars. Hip-hop hipster funk if you will.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Remix Of The Week: Mary J. Blige "Real Love"

One of Mary J's best remixes, and it was the first time we heard Biggie on the mic. Take a listen below:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Album Review: Tera Melos Pantagonian Rats

It's hard to pin down the sound of Tera Melos' full-length debut Pantagonian Rats. The songs--with titles like "The Skin Surf," "Aped," and "Trident Trail"--include everything from crashing guitars drowned in distortion to eerie background vocals and a jazz combo. And perhaps that's the point. But what is clear is that Tera Melos know a good musical hook when they hear it, and Pantagonian Rats is full of them.

Artist Profile: The National Rifle

 The Philadelphia-based quartet has a knack for crafting energetic rock that combines heavy guitar with everything from brassy horns to cowbells. Their fourth EP Vanity Press, which will be released on August 31, has several stand out tracks such as "She's A Waste," that feature angular guitars that almost jump out of the speakers. "Jazz History Of The World" even works in a subtle nod to Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World." Take a listen below:

She's a Waste by The National Rifle

Jazz History of the World by The National Rifle

Love Crack by The National Rifle

Baby Stole My Gun by The National Rifle

Artist Profile: The Black Pacific

 L.A.-based trio The Black Pacific, made up of former Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg, drummer Alan Vega and producer Shaun Lopez, specialize in making short blasts of anarchic metallic fury. Listen to two tracks from their debut album Side One Dummy for aural proof below:

When It's Over by The Black Pacific - Official Page

The System by The Black Pacific - Official Page

Monday, August 23, 2010

Artist Profile: Kele

Since Bloc Party declared itself on hiatus last year, member Kele has stepped out onto the solo platform with his debut The Boxer, released in June. Kele's solo material has taken a decidely more synthesized, dancier direction than his work in Bloc Party's. Which is all good for me. The dancier the better I say. Kele, who came out in a magazine interview with Butt Magazine a few years back, is also one of the few openly gay black artists of any genre, a fact he sees as important in showing the diversity of the gay community. "If I’d have had someone saying it’s okay to be you when I was a teenager, I’d probably be a very different person. That is why I’m doing this now, after years of not doing it. It’s good to show that gays come in all shapes and sizes.” Anywho, take a listen to a few tracks and watch the "Tenderoni" video below:

Tenderoni by KELE

Everything You Wanted by KELE

The New Rules by Kele;Kele Okereke

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Artist Profile: Cut Copy

For those who like their dance music served with a side of synths and the occasional guitar riff, Cut Copy have what you need. The Aussie trio's music packs plenty of synths, trippy samples, strings, pulsating basslines and cool, catchy vocal melodies. Current single "Where I'm Going," and album track "Feel The Love" offer more of a straightforward pop/rock approach while still retaining a groove. The band is currently working on a follow up, set for release in early 2011, to their 2008 release In Ghost Colours. Listen to a few songs below, and download "Where I'm Going" here:

Feel The Love by Cut Copy

Far Away by Cut Copy

Hearts On Fire by Cut Copy

First Listen: The Tings Tings "Two Hands"

The Tings Tings, of "That's Not My Name" fame (in case you didn't know-and sorry about slipping into verse, I'm a little tired right now lol:), have released "Two Hands" from their upcoming sophomore disc Massage Kunst. The song definitely has an dance/80's pop feel to it, and in the words of Myspace "has Duran Duran written all over it." Hmmm, I smell a "Rio/Hungry Like The Wolf" mashup. Take a listen below:

Hands by The Ting Tings

Friday, August 20, 2010

Remix Of The Week: TLC "Baby Baby Baby"

One of my favorite songs from my favorite girl group remixed in one of my favorite performances. In case you can't tell I like TLC lol. Get into the performance below:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Artist Profile: Javelin

Brooklyn-based Javelin, made up of cousins George Langford and Tom Van Buskirk, have an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to making music.  Blending old school R&B, hip hop, rock, electronica and even samples from Mike Tyson's Punchout (a classic-I'm just sayin'), they manage to twist them into something danceable, catchy and spectacular. I love it. The sound can laid back, or more aggressive and in your face. The duo, fresh from playing Lollapalooza,  released their debut No Mas in May. Listen to a few tracks below:

TWYCE by Javelin

Radio by Javelin

Susie Cues by Javelin

Intervales Theme by Javelin

Artist Profile: Meriwether

I'm a sucker for melodic hard rock, and today Baton Rouge-based quintet Meriwether is giving me my fix. According to their Myspace page, the band has been around for about five years and is currently unsigned, but it seems like they're making out okay(they have a newsletter and an official street team, so something must be going right:).  Listen to a couple Meriwether tracks below:

Aye Julian by Meriwether

I Sleep Alone by Meriwether [twitter @meriwether1]

Abandon All Hope [Lucky Star] by Meriwether [twitter @meriwether1]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vid Pick: Marilyn Manson "Sweet Dreams"

The video is still creepy, but still so good. Get freaked out below:

Artist Profile: Kaoz

Many an editorial has been written about whether an openly gay rapper could ever reach mainstream success. Rapper and spoken word artist Kaoz could be the one who breaks through. Kaoz pulls no punches in his music, tackling addiction ("White Girl") homophobia ("Boy Next Door 2010") and relationships with powerful poetry and nimble rhyme play. Kaoz has a couple of free downloads at his official website and you can stream the entire EP here. Listen to a few tracks off his Tyler Durden EP below:

Album Review: Priscilla Renae Jukebox

Twenty-one year old You-Tube sensation Priscilla Renae has more to her than meets the eye. While her first single, the independence anthem, "Dollhouse" sounds like standard issue dance pop (very good standard issue dance pop thank you very much), the rest of her debut Jukebox, is a diverse exploration of her musical influences.

The Florida native channels piano-heavy pop ("Love Sick," "Bacon and Eggs") acoustic ballads ("Pretty Girl," "Stone Garden") and hip hop-soul/funk mash-ups("Rockabye Baby"). Insecurity is the topic on the album closer "Fixing My Hair," where Priscilla feels she may not measure up to her man's expectations. "Either way you tell me I'm so pretty/I need to hide all of my insecurities."

"Rockabye Baby," tells of the woes of teenage parenthood, playing on old nursery rhymes with the lyrics "Little Miss Mary Mack/Got buttons all down her back/She let Georgie loosen them up/And now her belly's fat." Things don't get much better for Georgie and Mary by the third verse. "Screamin' Georgie Pordgie let me in/Saying not by the hair of my chinny chin chin/She scribbled down I hate you on his subpoena papers."

The bouncy "Mr. Workabee" takes to task a workaholic boyfriend who forgets he's "got a queen at home,"  and call outs the potential cheater, singing "The buzz around town is you creep around/So what are you workin' on." But it isn't all broken teenage dreams and heartbreak. The playful kiss-and-make up jam "Bacon and Eggs" and head over heels pop rock of  "Love Sick" balance out the more somber moments. Although she can really let loose vocally, Priscilla smartly exercises restraint, only giving the tracks what they need instead delving into diva belting.

If Jukebox has any flaws, it's that it gets a little too ballad heavy towards the end. Having another uptempo dance track could've broken up the album's slow pace. It'd be easy to compare Priscilla Renae, who played most of the album's guitar and piano parts, to Sara Bareilles, FeFe Dobson or a pre-Rated R Rihanna. While she's certainly has similarities with those artists, Jukebox proves she has her own identity.


Listen to a few of Jukebox's best tracks below:



Rockabye Baby

Fixing My Hair

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Artist Profile: Florrie

Twenty-one year old Florrie specializes in making U.K.-style electro pop. Lest you think the Bristol-born singer is another wannbe pop tart with a bottle of peroxide and a push up bra, Florrie is a drummer and guitarist who writes and remixes her own material. The hooky, frenetic and energetic music combine with Florrie's bouncy, sultry vocals are to get people to the dancefloor. But she also played her first performance at age seven dressed in a fish costume, so the girl knows how to have fun too. All of Florrie's songs are currently free to download at her website. Here are a few of my favorite tracks below:

Call 911

Come Back To Mine

Panic Attack

You Wanna Start Something

New Music: Mama's Boyfriends

Ye' busted out this new track off his upcoming fifth album during a performance in New York. The rapper's song, which samples a Billy Joel piano riff,  had assistance from John Legend on the keys. Watch the clip below:

For details about the performance and Kanye's album, read the full-story at RollingStone.com

Album Review: Big Boi Sir Luscious Left Foot...Son Of Chico Dusty

In bands or duos, fans and critics always find a way to relegate the individual members, no matter how talented, to individual roles. In the case of Outkast, Big Boi was cast as the earthy, street everyman to Andre's 3000's P-Funk mothership fashion statements and extraterrestrial lyrical prowess. While 2003's Speakerboxx showed Big Boi's knack for making smooth, futuristic funk, Sir Luscious Left Foot, his first proper solo disc, proves there's room for more than one musical genius in Outkast.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Artist Profile: The Dollyrots

The pop punk trio, based out of Los Angeles, is released their third album, A Little Messed Up, on August 17th. The band, which has been around for more than decade, formed in Florida while in college and released their first album, 2004's Eat My Heart Out on Lookout Records. A stint on the Warped tour led to band signing with Joan Jett's Blackheart Records label. 2007's follow up Because I'm Awesome led to supporting tours with Bowling for Soup and The Buzzcoks and television appearances.

Personally I'm not aware of much of the band's back catalogue, but the two tracks I've heard from the new album tell me I might've been missing out. Besides, a co-sign by Joan Jett is pretty dependable. Download "A Little Messed Up" and "Rollercoaster" below, and check out the band's official site here.

A Little Messed Up


Vid Pick: Dev "Booty Bounce"

You can never have enough DJ-play-my-song anthems. L.A.-based dance artist Dev makes her contribution to the cause with "Booty Bounce." Watch the video for the song below:

Artist Profile: Murdocks

Anyone looking for loud, nasty, metallic power pop rock need look no further than Murdocks. The Texas-based band has all the ingredients needed for three-chord catharsis. Roaring power chords? Check. Screaming vocals? Check. Melodies and riffs that lodge themselves in your skull like a venereal disease?Check.

The band's new album Distortionist, set for release on Septemeber 14th, will contain plently of guitar-heavy, melodic music if the songs on their Myspace page are any indication. Some of the tracks, with titles like "Bloodsicle" and "OMG" sound heavily influenced by Dookie-era Green Day, but Murdocks don't come off like imitators. You can download four tracks from Distortionist by clicking on the widget below, and watch the band's video for "Black Jesus Knocking."

Artist Profile: Le Vice

This San Francisco foursome, made up of vocalist Alex Lee, bassist/keyboardist Sean Stillinger, guitarist Renzo Staiano and drummer Darrin Thomas, specialize in a unique brand of hip-hop soul-influenced hipster funk. Think the Roots with Laruyn Hill or Erykah Badu as a frontwoman, or Maroon 5 with MC Lyte or Salt-N-Pepa occasionally moonlighting.

Le Vice's musical influences include everyhing from rap and R&B to jazz and metal. Such diversity is on full display with tracks like the hip hop/indie rock mash up "2 O Clock," showing Lee in full, braggadocious emcee form, and dancefloor gems like "Hard To Be Ill," and "Shy Guy." Le Vice's self-titled debut comes out on August 17th.

Check out the group's official site here, and listen to a few downloadable tracks below:

2 O'Clock

Hard To Be Ill

Shy Guy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vid Pick: Kanye West "Power"

I can't stop watching this video. To be honest it's really more like an ancient Greek or Renaissance-era painting than a music video. And it's less than two minutes! Mr. West has again shown that hip hop videos can be more than Money. Cash.Hoes.Rinse in champagne/other expensive alcoholic bottles. Repeat. And for the uniformed, a quick P.S.A: "Power" draws from The Sword of Damocles, an ancient Greek myth about allure and perils of having power. It is not confirmation that Yeezy is part of some secret Illuminati/Devil worship society hell bent on destroying us all. K? Now watch the clip below:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Album Review: The Limousines Get Sharp

"The kids are disco dancin'/They're tired of rock n' roll/Don''t bother telling them that drum machines ain't got no soul," vocalist Eric sings in The Limousines' Buggles-inspired "Internet Killed The Video Star." Don't take this statement at face value however. The San Francisco-based act, made up of Eric and beatmeister Gio, seem set on proving that the groove is not only in the feet but in the heart as well.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Remix Of The Week: Aaliyah "At Your Best"

For this week's remix I thought I'd slow things down a bit while taking us back to the glorious mid-90s, one of the best eras for R&B as far as I'm concerned. While it's hard for me to pick a favorite Aaliyah song, this one is definitely in my top 5. I can't believe she's been gone almost 10 years. Rest in peace Aaliyah. Get into the clip below:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Could It Be...

L-Boogie just might make a comeback for 2010. The singer recently performed at the Festival Dos Oceanos in Libson, Portugal in front of 40,000 fans. Watch a few performance clips, including one of The Fugees' classic rendition of "Killing Me Softly" below:

h/t Rod 2.0

Vid Pick: Janelle Monae "Cold War"

Janelle Monae channels Sinead O'Connor(and a little bit of D'Angelo-check the bare shoulders) in her new up-close-and-personal video for "Cold War." Watch below:

Pride Tiger

Back when I was a sophomore in college (waaay back three years ago:) and working at the campus radio station, I got Pride Tiger's The Lucky Ones in the mail. If you've ever worked at a station, you already know one of the chief responsibilities is sifting through mountains of crappy music to find one or two(if any) gems. Luckily Pride Tiger was one of them. Their music was catchy and melodic, but still had edge. Think Thin Lizzy but updated for the 2000s. Sadly, when I looked up the band to see if they'd released any new material since, I'd discovered they had broken up. Oh well. At least I'll always have memories of The Lucky Ones *starts to sing Boys II Men's "It's So Hard."* Okay enough of that lol. Check out some of the group's music, as well as a live performance below:

What It Is by Pride Tiger

Fill Me In by Pride Tiger

Forget Everything by Pride Tiger

Monday, August 2, 2010

Artist Profile: Sleigh Bells

Picture this. A soundtrack of sputtering drums that sound like atomic bombs, beats that reek of Southern hip hop bouncing alongside crushing metal riffs, while light, girlish vocals are delivered above all the mayhem courtesy of a former-teen pop singer-turned- fourth-grade teacher turned rock star. Lil' John meets Metallica with a dash of Phil Collins. Sounds like it a recipe for a Grade A Hot Mess doesn't it? But Sleigh Bells, a Brooklyn noise pop duo made up of guitarist/producer Derek Miller and singer Alexis Krauss and signed to M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T. label, are anything but. Their album Treats has been deemed one of 2010's best albums and with good reason. The group's music manages to pull off the difficult balance of simulatneously being fun, catchy, danceable and aggressive. Listen to a few tracks below:



Riot Rhythm by SLEIGH BELLS


Infinity Guitars by SLEIGH BELLS
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