Monday, January 31, 2011
Take a listen to this smoothed out remix of Robyn's "Hang With Me" done by the Drop Out Orchestra. The endlessly deep bass line, twinkling bells and 70's style disco strings are definite highlights.
Robyn - Hang With Me (DROP OUT ORCHESTRA REMIX) by Dr.Kable
H/t Hard Candy Music
"We exist in more than time and space." Those words should already clue you in on the music of Montreal-based Young Galaxy. Such high-minded sentiment requires a bombastic backdrop, and the band doesn't disappoint--huge, layered guitars, booming drums that pound like 2 ton atomic bombs, and waves of synthesizers that feel so celestial that it sounds like Major Tom could drop in at any moment. Take a listen below:
Friday, January 28, 2011
Whitney switched from new jack swing to a deep house groove with the remix to her 1990 hit "I'm Your Baby Tonight." Watch the video or listen to the full six minute extended mix below:
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Watch this amazing clip for art rock group Eatliz's "Lose This Child." The video, done by Yuval and Merav Nathan, lives up to the song's title, but its stop motion technique is surprisingly poignant. Take a look below:
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Imagine a mixtape featuring Das Racist, Chiddy Bang, Dev Hyne and KOOL AD rapping over music from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Pure awesomeness right? Well imagine no more because Darwin Deez has made many a music and movie geek's dream a reality.
The up and coming pop superstar recruited the hottest of rap's burgeoning underground to create Wonky Beats, a full-length mixtape consisting entirely of samples from the surreal 1971 classic. According to Deez, Wonky Beats is no ordinary mixtape.
“It's a high concept mix-tape, tailor-made for multi-generational impact ... it's like the Grey album but with Chocolate.[I was] inspired by Das Rascist's "You Oughta Know," lazily singing along with the choruses. Chunky as hell beats. The film is a great allegory. I never knew it was allegorical until a stoner pointed that out to me though."
Deez said music from original score, such as "Cheer Up Charlie" and "Pure Imagination," were perfect hooks for his guest stars to rap over.
"I just always loved the songs. Really special melodies and chords. [I] thought they'd make good hip hop choruses."
The singer is releasing Wonky Beats for free online. Fans can download the album here. But that's not all boys and girls. Five lucky fans will find a golden ticket inside their zip folder when they download the mixtape. Those who get the golden ticket can redeem them in exchange for a lifetime supply of Darwin Deez's music and tickets to his headlining shows.
Get a taste of Wonky Beats by listening to "Where's The Chocolate" below:
Darwin Deez-Where's The Chocolate
Feel like watching basketball, back flips and belly dancing, but don't feel scouring YouTube to get your fix? No problem. Just take a look at The Asteroids Galaxy Tour's video for "The Golden Age," where what should amount to a craptastic spectacle (a series of random, nonsensical moments and characters) actually turns out to be weirdly charming. Watch below:
"Sight Over Sight" a bubbly electro pop/rock confection by L.A. based trio Twin Falcons, contains all the right ingredients a song needs to lodge itself into your skull: catchy melodies, musical hooks in the bevy of synths and samples, and a good beat to keep your head nodding against your will. There's even a nice instrumental break at towards the end. Listen below:
Sight Over Sight by Twin Falcons
Monday, January 24, 2011
It looks like Kanye is gearing up for a busy 2011. Although it's only been a few months since the release of the critically-acclaimed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the rapper tweeted that a follow up should be out as early as this summer.
"MY NEW ALBUM OUT THIS SUMMER," he posted with trademark enthusiasm. "THIS IS HIGH END RAP MUSIC," he later tweeted. "I just threw some bassoon on this motherfucker." West also gave details on the release dates of "All The Lights" and Watch The Throne, posting that the video, featuring Rihanna, should be out within the next week, while his collaboration with Jay-Z should drop in March.
So are you ready for another Yeezy extravaganza or do you think he should wait a minute for another solo release?
Icelandic chanteuse Hafdis Huld crafts a warm acoustic pop sound, with a little electronica thrown in here and there, which allows her lyrics, full of quirky images and characters, to take center stage. Huld's topics of choice veer from infatuation ("Action Man"), irritatingly perfect friends who will always be cooler than you ("Tomoko") and the struggle to find a place in the world ("Synchronized Swimmers"). Listen below:
Hollywood-based Ringside specialize in a off-kilter brand of pop/rock, melding atl-rock guitars with dashes of warbled, electronic keyboards and the occasional symphonic choir-style chorus. Such inventiveness pays off in spades: "Money" is a delightfully dirty piece of garage rock, while acoustic guitars and ambient sounds give "Stay" and "Lost Days" an added emotional depth to the tracks' intensely personal lyrics. Listen to a few tracks off the band's Lost Days album, set for release tomorrow, and download their Money EP below:
Friday, January 21, 2011
One of Hov's best(and IMO most underrated) cuts. Although I can't say the same for the video--obviously this was pre-"Big Pimpin.'" But I digress. Get into the video below. And for the record I didn't just finish watching Entourage.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Grab your glowsticks. Paper Diamond, set to release his debut EP Levitate on Pretty Lights' digital record label next Tuesday, has released his remix of Kanye West's "Power." The producer also known as Alex B, crams enough bottom-heavy bass, sped-up synth lines and driving drums to send the rave crowd into an electro feeding frenzy, while still retaining the hip hop swagger of the original. Download below:
Power (Paper Diamond Remix)
Check out this clip of Le Vice performing "Find You" at Studio SQ in San Francisco. The new song continues in the same hip hop/indie rock vein as the band's self-titled debut. As a bonus, look at the band's video for "Hard To Be Ill" below:
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Download the song and look at the full list of tour dates below:
January 18 – Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
January 19 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
January 20 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
January 22 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
January 24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
January 25 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
February 26 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
February 28 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
March 1 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
March 3 – Sacamento, CA @ Blue Note
March 4 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
March 5 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
The Concretes-My Ways
Big Brother, conspiracy theories and war seem like pretty heavy topics for the realm of electro pop, but Poster Child, a.k.a Enzo Tiano, handles them with aplomb. "Hey little brother/We're watchin' you" he croons on "Watchers," perhaps one of the catchiest stalker anthems since The Police's "Every Breath You Take." "Sinners Of The Holy Land" takes war and senseless violence with the lines "Blood is spilled on sight/From individuals believing they would never die in vain."
While Poster Child's lyrics are chatty, musically the songs are sparse, with stabs of synths and samples that often whoosh in and out before returning to the shadows. Luckily the tracks are supplied with enough drum and bass grooves to keep the tracks from devolving into meandering dirges. Take a listen below:
Imagine Chris Robinson fronting The Ramones. Or a 21st century version of Creedence Clearwater Revival. That just about describes the garage punk and southern rock style of Black Pistol Fire. The duo, originally based in Toronto before moving to Austin, have definitely soaked up their new environment's musical traditions. "Jezebel Stomp" and "Suffocation Blues," reek of bluesy bar room rock, while "Where You Been Before," starts out as mid-tempo jam before transforming to a thrash-inspired freakout. "Trigger On My Fire" seems to perfectly meld the band's two styles, combining southern fried riffs with a relentless punk rock attack.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
There's nothing better than pop songs that combine upbeat music with introspective lyrics. And Daddy Lion's new song "The Scientist's Lament" does just that, mixing bouncy drums, twangy guitars, and even a little bit of electronica with contemplative lyrics about finding purpose and the meaning of life. Take a listen below:
The Scientist's Lament by Daddy Lion
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Holy Ghost! are busy working away the self-titled debut album for DFA records, which is due out April 5th. The duo are offering fans a taste of what's to come with the album's first single "Do It Again," The deep, driving bass and layers of synths and samples manage to pay homage to 80's new wave while still sound sleekly current. The stuttered 'do it agains' are also a hooky highlight. Think 1999-era Prince meets The Cars. Holy Ghost! will be playing their entire album for NYC fans at the Mercury Lounge on February 2nd. Listen to "Do It Again" below:
Holy Ghost - Do It Again by DFA Records
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
On Monday Janet Jackson announced dates for a North American tour that will begin in Houston on March 4th and end in Las Vegas on April 23rd, according to RNBMusicBlog.com. The pop superstar wants to make this tour shorter on pyrotechnics and longer on personal interaction. The press release reads:
“This tour is Janet more revealed, more intimate, and more personal than ever before.Don’t look for special effects. Just listen to and look at Janet, as you have never seen her before.”
The singer, who is only expected to perform her classic hits from her 2009 release Number Ones, also said she wants each performance to be different. The dates for tour are listed below:
Houston, TX March 23
Chicago, IL March 7 & 8
The Chicago Theatre
Toronto, ON, Canada March 12
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Uncasville, CT, March 16
Mohegan Sun Arena
New York, NY March 18
Radio City Music Hall
Washington DC March 22
DAR Constitution Hall
Atlantic City, NJ March 25 & 26
Borgata Spa & Resort Event Center
Atlanta, GA March 29
Saint Louis, MO March 31
Grand Prairie, TX April 2
Denver, CO April 6
Wells Fargo Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center
Phoenix, AZ April 8
Santa Barbara, CA April 9
Santa Barbara Bowl
Los Angeles, CA April 14
San Francisco, CA April 19
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Las Vegas, NV April 22 & 23
Caesars Palace – The Colosseum
Who knew one album could have this many legs? After turning American Idiot, their 2004 politicized musical tour de force, into a hit Broadway play, Green Day may be taking the musical to the silver screen.
As playwright and American Idiot director Michael Mayer explained in a New York Times interview, the leap to the big screen is a strong possibility.
“We’re definitely in talks. There are people who have the ability to make it happen, who have expressed genuine interest in it, and we want to do it, so I think it could happen.”While Mayer was mum on potential producers, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are said to be interested, according to news reports. Lead singer Billie Joe would likely play the role of St. Jimmy in American Idiot's film version. "I think that's a no brainer," Mayer said.
Armstrong also expressed an interest in writing an original musical with Mayer.
“I think I’d be interested in the future of really getting into writing specifically for a show, that’s something I’d really love to do. The kind of music that I like is very immediate and very catchy, and you identify with it quickly, and I try to write that way. And in musical theater it’s the same thing: you identify with the songs immediately, the good ones anyway.”
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Singer/songwriter Seth Glier trades in the kind of confessional pop/rock sound pioneered by Elton John and Billy Joel. Glier's arrangements, built around somber piano chords, strings, bouncy bass and the occasional fuzz of distorted guitar, leave enough room for him to tell stories of human frailty ("The Trouble With People"), complicated relationships ("Naia," "Someone Else To Crown") and the desire to leave it all behind ("Gotta Get Away") Take a listen to a few songs and download "Lauralee" from his new album The Next Right Thing below:
This remix to Brooklyn-based duo Creep's "Days" keeps the original's sinister, seductive edge while pumping up the bass Chicago-house style. Featuring guest vocals by Romy Madley-Croft, "Days" other-worldly groove will have the goth kids shuffling in place and puffing on cancer sticks until the sun comes up. Take a listen below:
Monday, January 10, 2011
Vacation doesn't seem to be in Derek Vincent Smith's (a.k.a Pretty Lights') vocabulary. Smith is starting off the new year by launching his record label, Pretty Lights Music, and preparing two new digital albums for electronic music fans to devour.
The first is Further Than Our Eyes Can See by Break Science. The new EP will feature the New York-based duo's mix of jazz, funk, soul, electro and hip hop, as well as collaborations with Talib Kweli, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Sierra Leone-based rapper Bajah and Falu, who hails from India.
Meanwhile, Colorado-based producer Paper Diamond is set to release Levitate, his debut EP. The veteran knob twiddler's sound is full of synthesizers, deep bass and catchy melodies that are sure to lead to many inebriated sing-a-longs across clubland.
Both EPs will be released digitally on Pretty Lights Music's website on January 25th. If you want a little preview, listen to Break Science's "Zion Station" and Paper Diamond's "From Now Till" below:
Zion Station (featuring CX) by IndiesUnder
From Now Till..... by IndiesUnder
Sunday, January 9, 2011
At first listen, Seattle-based band The Monday Mornings may sound like your standard issue folk-pop. However, tracks like "Shift The Sea, with its hushed harmonies and strings that are by turns tense and soothing, and the fluid guitars of "Shotgun Smile" show there are more to the songs than meets the ears. "Rhinestone Revolutions" builds its melancholy soundscape with churning drums and exotic guitar work, providing the perfect backdrop for vocalist and songwriter Michael Mearns' soft musings on love and the state of humanity. Take a listen below:
Friday, January 7, 2011
Bedtime Stories, Madge's 1994 foray into hip hop and R&B, was long on lush balladry and mid-tempo grooves but short on dance tracks. Luckily Junior Vasquez came to the rescue with this remix. Get into the clip below:
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Kanye's clip for "Monster" definitely lives up to its title--with scenes of severed heads, dead models and an assortment of other nightmare creatures--along with the traditional bloody gore. The video's intense imagery may have another source besides the macabre minds of West and director Jake Nava however.
According to TheVillageVoice.com, "Monster" bears a striking similarity to a 2008 clip for "The Ark," by Philadelphia indie rockers Dr. Dog. West even posted the video on his blog two years ago, and featured stills from the video under the heading "Beautiful."
When reached for comment by PopEater.com, video director Adam Kurland was diplomatic about the situation.
"I agree there are some obvious visual similarities. But these are two very distinctly different videos with different tones and messages. Perhaps the Dr. Dog inspired moments in the video, but I could not say this conclusively either way."
"If Kanye or the director watched it and saw something in it and said, 'We want to do that,' then I'm flattered. Really," Kurland added. "I think that the video work that Kanye has produced for his albums has always been outstanding. He chooses to work with incredibly talented artists and never shies away from taking chances, and I don't think that this video is any different."
So was Ye' inspired by Dr. Dog or was this a rip off? Judge for yourself below:
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Lupe Fiasco is gearing up for the release of Lasers, his follow up to '07's concept album The Cool. According to XXL.com, the disc will feature collaborations with Trey Songz and British rapper Sway, while The Neptunes will also contribute on the production side.
Lupe explained to Billboard.com that the album's first single, the Modest Mouse-sampling "The Show Goes On," is "a big controversial record ... a lot of ears should perk up on this song. “It really is what the direction of Lasers is all about.” Lasers is due out March 8th. Take a look at the clip for "The Show Goes On" below:
Most stars find it tough to deal with touring. The instability of waking up in a new city everyday and the inevitable feelings of homesickness can break down even the biggest rock gods. Luckily dance-pop diva in training Neon Hitch will be well-prepared for such scenarios. The London-born singer grew up as part of caravan of street peformers, traveling all over the English countryside and lived in India for a few years before deciding on a singing career.
Since then she's racked up collaborations with Ke$ha and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, opened for 50 Cent and created a Twitter sensation with her cover of Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot." Neon Hitch talks with Indies And The Underground about her favorite rappers, eating fire and swimming with crocodiles. And yes that is her real name.
How did growing up as a traveling street performer influence you as a person and as an artist/performer?
NH: It kind of taught me everything I need to know to be on stage now, so it just comes naturally.
Along with being a singer, you're also a trapeze artist, stilt walker and fire swinger. Will you be making use of these talents in live performances?
NH: Soon as I have the budget I will definitely be swinging off the roof and eating fire.
You also make your own clothes. Who and/or what influences your design ideas?
NH: My mum!
At 16 you ran off to India to "find your place in the world." How did your parents react?
NH: I was a rebel so it really didn't matter to me at the time what my parents thought. I'm sure they were worried and I'm very sorry now. But everything I've been through made me who I am.
What sorts of activities did you get involved in while you were in India?
NH: Making jewelry, riding elephants, [and] swimming with crocodiles. But the most fulfilling thing was getting to look after the young children out there.
How does living in New York stack up to your previous residences?
NH: It's the complete polar opposite of anything I've done before, but I finally feel at home so I can't complain.
Has living such a nomadic life put a damper on romantic relationships and friendships?
NH: Haha, yes. I like my freedom.
You've done covers of songs like "Cooler Than Me" and more surprisingly, "Drop It Like It's Hot. " What inspired you to remake Snoop's song?
NH: I'm a big fan of Snoop and I think when you do a cover, you should make it your own and not sound like the original artist. And although I'd love to, I don't sound so much like a west coast rapper.
You've also opened for 50 Cent a few years back. Do you have any other favorite rappers?
NH: Yeah that was amazing! I think Eminem is probably one of the best rappers alive. I like people who let you into their world instead of just rapping about cars and bitches.
What other artists have influenced you musically, visually etc.?
NH: Bjork, sia, micheal jackson, the beatles, madonna, erykah badu...
You've written songs for and worked with artists like Ke$ha, 3OH!3 and Bruno Mars. Is it hard letting other people sing your songs?
NH: I love it! it's so surreal.
What was it like to work with Rivers Cuomo?
NH: He's definitely a character! He's such a legend and he really knows what he's talking about.
What is your creative process like when it comes to songwriting and working with producers?
NH: It's always different, but mostly I'll hear a basic beat and then start coming up with melodies and build around that. If you have a good melody, lyrics come easy.
What can we expect from Beg, Borrow and Steal, musically and lyrically?
NH: A world where you're all welcome.
New York-based band And The Wiremen may hail from the Big Apple, but their haunting sound--marked by jazzy horns and bluesy guitars--sounds like the result of many a night spent in New Orleans, barhopping through Canal Street. Indies and the Underground tracked the Wiremen, composed primarily of quintet John, Paul, Tony, Eric and front man/vocalist Lynn Wright, down to talk favorite authors, improvisation and the influence of the Big Easy.
Where did the name And The Wiremen come from?
ATW: And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Our Dead was taken.
What were your early musical influences?
ATW:There is about a 25 year age difference between the oldest and youngest member of the band, so one member’s early influences are in some cases other member’s early bands.
We were all at one point or another influenced by free jazz, blues, R&B, left-of-the-arena rock, dub, and, of course, Miles Davis – anything and everything – though the more recent influences of West African and Colombian music had as much or more of an impact on the album than anything we listened to early on.
Lynn: Paul and I were influenced by church hymns – the rich sound of the chords, the piano, and the almost overdriven organ – before we were even old enough to know what the words were or why people were singing them. I hear this in the vocal arrangements of “Lines” and “Pick Myself up Slowly”, but it wasn’t intentional.
Like a lot of songwriters and producers I know, I would have never written a song or made a record had I not heard Swordfish Trombones by Tom Waits.
Have any other forms of art (books, films, paintings, photography etc.) influenced you?
ATW: We have all been influenced by other art forms, primarily through collaboration with choreographers, dancers, filmmakers, and installation artists. Of course, there is a long list of people whose work has inspired us, and to avoid writing a very boring treatise on the interrelation of art forms in the 21st century, we'll just name a few.
When Lynn was writing the lyrics for the album he was reading a lot of Faulkner and Cortazar, which crept into the lyrics here and there. Surrealism with the exception of Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Robert Gober, Emmet Gowin, Kara Walker, Rothko, Antonioni, Flannery O'Connor, Faulkner, Quim Monzó… Mark Richard... Rachel Cohen, Douglas Henderson, Chris Becker.
Jon: I remember when Lynn and I met at the early Bee and Flower rehearsals (and before I realized that he was a guitarist that I already admired in his former band that I loved "James Hall"), we found that we shared an admiration for William Faulkner and a strong distaste for the music of Styx.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Gaga announced the release dates for her upcoming disc Born This Way and it's first single on Twitter. According to PopMusicUniverse:
"'THE SONG 2 13 11 THE RECORD 5 23 1,' GaGa tweeted. If that looks confusing to you for some reason, the single will premiere on February 13th (Grammy night) and the album will be released on May 23rd."
The singer also tweeted a brand new image. View it after the jump: