Wednesday, November 30, 2011
After four cinematic trailer and three full songs debuts, we finally get to listen to The Roots' concept album undun in it's entirety thanks to NPR. I'm going to wait for the proper release (Dec. 6th) myself, but can't fault you if you get the itch for a sneak peek. Despite it's dark overtones, this one figures to be a gem of the extra shiny variety.
Stream: The Roots - undun
The bio on Lewis' Twitter handle says he grew up on Late Registration and The Blueprint. Makes sense here as he takes on Usher's "Gladiator" instrumental with a Yeezy flow and the Russell Crowe reference that was famously sampled in Jay's "What More Can I Say". Got to admit it's so fucking hard to knock this kid's hustle, especially when he keeps dropping quality tracks.
Download: Lewis - "Gladiator"
Ryan Adams stopped by the iconic Abbey Road Studio to perform a breathtaking performance of "Oh My Sweet Carolina" off his first solo LP Heartbreaker. It's intriguing to see how quickly he can go from playful banter ("Does my hair look stupid?) to introspective frailty. Along for the ride is young UK folk talent Laura Marling, who has openly admitted Ryan Adam's is her hero. Lets get our collab on kids.
MySpace: Ryan Adams
It's been 13 years since Mos Def and Talib Kweli united to drop Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star, cementing a place in the pantheon of underground hip-hop classics. A lot has changed since, most notably Mighty Mos starring in Dexter and changing his name to Yasiin Bey. One thing that certainly hasn't is their masterful lyrical abilities, as they will soon display via a tribute album to Aretha Franklin. Check out the first two cuts off the release: the boombox-ready "Fix Up" produced by Mad Lib and the overtly soulful "You Already Knew" courtesy Mad Lib's little bro Oh No.
Download: Black Star - "You Already Knew"/ Black Star - "Fix Up"
MySpace: Black Star
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Cee Lo updates the lyric video for new single "Anyway"--set to appear on the platinum edition of The Lady Killer--with an official jaunt. I could care less about either, but I take any excuse to give this fucking awesome song some play.
MySpace: Cee Lo Green
Abel is back giving love to House of Balloons not on a Friday or a Saturday, but on a Thursday. I was too busy stuffing my face to keep up with his musical drive, so now is the time to enjoy a chopped-and-screwed version of "The Morning" and a beautifully shot, futuristic short film for "The Knowing". Good way to keep this holiday weeknd daze rolling along.
The Weeknd - The Knowing (Official Video) from xoxxxoooxo on Vimeo.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Florence Welch made an appearance on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge and treated those in attendance to a wonderful re-imagining of the standout title track from Drake's Take Care. There's added power and intimacy in her version, due in part I'm sure because she noted Drizzy, Rihanna, and Jaime xx (who was behind the boards on the song) are three of her "absolute favorite" artists.
I'll be spinning this numerous times in the foreseeable future and Ms. Welch might have just convinced me to pick up a couple of her LPs too.
Download: Florence and the Machines - "Take Care" (Drake Cover)
MySpace: Florence and the Machines
Wale takes a step back from the disappointing Ambition to showcase visuals for one of his best tracks off his Eleven One Eleven mixtape. The Maybach duo of Jon J. and Dre did an awesome job splicing together these clips, although the absence of any Redskins footage was both upsetting and understandable. And I definitely with the decision to give Michelle Beadle a little face time. Or should I say, Michelle Sabia.
That menacing grim reaper of a man is still stalking the street's of Philly in the latest video off undun, this time for the album's somber opener featuring Aaron Livingston. Most YouTube viewer comments are disgustingly off-based, ignorant, and offensive, but two things said concerning this video were on point: 1) How songs like this are being passed over for Katy Perry and Justin Beiber is incomprehensible. 2) How does this video only have 51,000 views when a video of a cat getting tickled has 8 million? Silly world we live in.
And undun is shaping up reeeeeeeeeal nice.
MySpace: The Roots
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Anthony Green and Colin Frangicetto of Circa Survive made it down to Occupy Philly to perform an intimate acoustic set for the gathered 99%. There wasn't any pepper spray or human microphones; just a tender take of "Miracle Sun" and the more appropriate "Imaginary Enemy".
Props go out to Property of Zack for shooting this and C.J. of Bedwetting Cosmonaut for grabbing the scoop.
MySpace: Circa Survive
Time to get on my Thanksgiving grind. Right now, I'm thankful T.I. is blessing his own beats and riding his trademark effortless flow. Now if he can just keep his life, and his fitted cap, straight.
Trouble Man is due out in 2012.
Download: T.I. - "Pyro"
Anthony Gonzalez and his band of gyrating synth players took to Jimmy Fallon's stage last night to serenade the audience with the squishy beats of their lead single off Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, complete with the raging sax solo. And they say the bass players are always the ones off in the shadows.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Doomtree are dropping a new LP--No Kings--tomorrow and I had no idea. Fortunately all us people late to the party can catch up quickly with a video for lead single "Bolt Cutter" that is as manic as the song's schitzo beat. I missed ya'll.
Watch: Doomtree - "Bolt Cutter"
I think I'm one of many people currently in a honeymoon phase with Take Care, totally willing to gobble up anything related to the record right now. Perfect timing for UK producer Danny Williams a.k.a. Star Slinger, who promptly dropped a remix of the introspective opener that replaces it's spacey wandering with rapid-fire snare hits and a killer reggae dub groove.
Download: Drake - "Over My Dead Body" (Star Slinger Remix)
Adele's slow-burning ballad "Turning Tables" is definitely one of my favorite cuts off the masterful 21, even more so after "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You" got played out like those "Flo" Progressive commercials. Here she is performing it during her concert at the Royal Albert Hall--a show filmed for her live DVD/Blu-Ray that will be released on Nov. 29th--once again demonstrating why she's the queen of making something so subtle also so moving.
Having the best-looking 12-piece orchestra this man has ever seen doesn't hurt things either.
2011 has been good to UK dubstep it-boy James Blake. So good, in fact, he wants to squeeze in one more release before the year is done. He'll drop a three-song EP, entitled Love What Happened Here, sometime next month and you can check out 66.6% of the song off it--the earthy "Curbside" and the Thom Yorke-esque "At Birth"--below. Cheers bruh.
Hear: James Blake - "Curbside"/ James Blake - "At Birth"
MySpace: James Blake
Thursday, November 17, 2011
We're all familiar with Rihanna's new single "We Found Love" by now. Well, so is Ri-Ri's close friend Chris Martin. Difference between he and us is that we can't hop on a piano and turn the throbbing dancefloor anthem into a hypnotizing, intergalactic ballad.
Download: Coldplay - "We Found Love" (Rihanna Cover)
If anyone could make a song sound like it's equal parts breezy retro soul and gloomy Pagan chanting it's this Swedish songstress. And that is exactly what she does on Letterman's stage with plenty of smoke, stained glass, and cultish backup singers.
Breaking out Wounded Rhymes again soon, thank the bears for the awesome picture above.
Watch: Lykke Li - "Silent My Song" (Live on Letterman)
MySpace: Lykke Li
B.o.B drops a new single off his upcoming mixtape Epic (Every Play is Crucial). The instrumental is mellow and burns slow, but when Bun B and Big K.R.I.T. show up, it gets to be a real southern affair.
Download: B.o.B - "On The Kush" (feat. Bun B & Big K.R.I.T.)
I finally got around to checking out Avalanche United and I'm extremely glad I did. Definitely harkens back to the in-your-face pop-punk (emphasis on the latter) that Vinnie Caruana trademarked while with The Movielife. The video follows suit, patching together black-and-white shots of Vin barking at the world, as a bunch of Brooklyn punks follow suit.
MySpace: I Am the Avalanche
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Another undun trailer from The Legendary Roots Crew. This time our anti-hero runs around sticking up whomever he can to the bluesy sound of "Stomp" featuring long-time collaborator P.O.R.N. I'm going to go ahead and assume they'll unveil the fourth--and apparently final--trailer next Tuesday. Stay tuned.
MySpace: The Roots
We haven't heard from Ant in awhile, so it's only fitting he comes through with a new song and tour dates. Exploring a much more full sound than the material off Avalon, the noodling "Get Yours While You Can" is trademark Anthony Green all the way down to it's ominous title. It's doubly awesome that you can tell the song is a grower and I'm already digging it.
Beautiful Things--dropping Jan. 17th--indeed.
MySpace: Anthony Green
After teaming up over the weekend to perform "Lotus Flower Bomb" on SNL, Wale and Miguel drop an official video (with no trailers) for the single. The song's a serious slow jam and they shot the video with that in mind: plenty of steamy shower scenes, lingerie, and those momentary flashes of white light. But alas, what would a hip-hop video be without a late cameo from that yellow Nuvo shit? Fucking smh on that.
Also belated congrats to Mr. Folarin for moving 164,062 units of Ambition, good for 2nd on the current music charts. Making the DMV very proud bruh.
The Dangerous Summer took to the English countryside to film a video for one of my personal favorites off the quality War Paint. Not a lot to the concept, besides a lot of Albion landscape shots and British spelling. I have heard A.J. Perdomo say the song is about the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, so they definitely picked a fitting leading lady.
MySpace: The Dangerous Summer
Monday, November 14, 2011
Cee-Lo Green penned this with Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, so it's kind of a surprise when it comes out as as a pulsing disco tune instead of fuzzy pop-rock. Thankfully these two crafty dudes have enough wit between to throw in barbs like "Your mother seems to like me/but your father wants to fight me/but you still love me anyway."
MySpace: Cee-Lo Green
Chris Martin and Co. take to the SNL stage for a neon painted-aided take on "Paradise" sans elephant suits. I haven't given Mylo Xyloto a quality listen yet, but this has to be one of their best single choices. Holy fuck, I love this song.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Wale hit Jimmy Kimmel's stage with the lady-killin' Miguel Jontel and a backing band repping D.C. hard (enough Nationals caps?) to show off a loungey take on "Lotus Flower Bomb". Solid performance of one of my favorites off the somewhat disappointing Ambition. Either way, I see this post as one last hurrah for Mr. Folarin before Take Care continues to spin uninterrupted for the foreseeable future.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi met up with Baeble Music at the sunny M Studios for a very productive session. The guys discussed topics such as songwriting (they largely penned "Yellow Belly" in one day,) the double meaning behind Major/Minor, and how it all feels eight LPs later. If that's not good enough, they mixed in acoustic performances of "Promises", "Yellow Belly", and "Anthology".
Watch: Thrice - Baeble Acoustic Sessions
Here's the second of four videos slated to come off undun, this time for a previously unheard cut featuring the ever-present Dice Raw. It may or may not pick up where "Make My" left off, but it looks like our modern day Grim Reaper is surveying the worst parts of his hood, looking for whose time is up next.
MySpace: The Roots
Moving Mountains deciding against appearing in their video for the celestial "The Cascade", instead opting to let Christian Sorensen Hansen piece together three weeks worth of shots he took in Iceland into a breathtaking work of art. Good decisions all around.
"Our goal was to create something together that was unconventional, and to truly capture the feeling of the music. It's the product of collaboration on visual arts, and music - in a way, making a singular piece of art, rather then a traditional music video. We hope you enjoy."
Watch: Moving Mountains - "The Cascade"
MySpace: Moving Mountains
The bears at weworemasks gave all their loyal readers (myself included) an awesome introduction to South Jersey's Lewis via his HOMME mixtape earlier this week. The 18-year-old dropped a brand new track today, the soul-sampling "Window", and it's on some serious lyrical shit. Lots of promise here ya'll, give it a listen.
Download: Lewis - "Window"
Even though Janelle Monae was sparingly used in the record version of "We Are Young", she makes a substantial contribution in this polished, in-studio video for a more stripped down take on the single. Love the song, the smiles, and realizing that Nate Ruess is just a skinny version of Marky Mark.
Some Nights drops Feb. 21, 2012.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Andy Hull's proteges O'Brother dropped two new tracks off their soon-to-be released LP Garden Window, which hit stores on Nov. 15. "Malum" filters all the heaviness of 90s grunge through a kaleidoscope of hypnotic powers usually reserved for Thom Yorke. In regards to "Lo", I'll let vocalist/guitarist Tanner Merritt explain:
"'Lo' was the first song we had written with a more traditional song structure – whereas most of our songs up to that point had been longer with less repeating sections. The goal was to write a song that was a bit more accessible than the rest of our material, but still sort of summed up the band. Also, lyrically the point was the same. 'Lo' is track two on the album and the lyrics set a foundation for the rest of the record,"
Hear: O'Brother - "Malum" / "Lo"
Wale goes in over Gangstarr's "Mass Appeal" (R.I.P. Guru), laying down another flawless freestyle with nods to the MJ, Def Jam Poetry, and the Black Ranger. What's with MMG sneaking trailers into their videos nowadays, though? Smh for realz.
Ambition is in stores now.
Pusha celebrates the drop of his debut solo LP The Fear of God II: Let Us Pray (stream it here) with visuals for his Lex Luger-propelled "Tony Montana" freestyle, featuring a pretty lookin' white girl who is trying her damnedest to be the next Victoria Secret angel.
MySpace: Pusha T
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I don't think I've heard this song/listened to this band since high school, but this is pretty awesome. Those high notes are straight ridiculousness.
MySpace: Panic! at the Disco
This is apparently one of what will be four videos set to come off the band's forthcoming concept record undun (out Dec. 6.) The run time of 1:57--achieved by splitting the song in half and cutting out Big K.R.I.T's verse entirely--is the perfect length to unravel a silent, black-and-white inner-city homage to gritty Clint Eastwood movies. Go ahead punk.
MySpace: The Roots
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Mumford & Sons stopped by Philly's Radio 104.5 to perform a new song off their forthcoming LP. Delicate and tender at it's onset, a gravel-throated Marcus Mumford does everything in his power to thoroughly coat the song in mourning soul before whipping it into the back porch folk harmonies we've come to know and love them for. New album now preeze.
MySpace: Mumford & Sons
T.I.P throws up visuals for his first official release since the start of Comeback Pt. 2: Electric Boogaloo. Pretty standard "ATL got my back" type deal, but this song is so on point it doesn't matter. Keep on the looks for a quality Bobby Ray sighting as well.
My Morning Jacket took to Jools Holland's stage prepped with material off Circuital, working through a saxy rendition of "First Light" and a trance-enducing take on "You Wanna Freak Out" complete with a slide guitar. I still really, really need to see these guys live.
MySpace: My Morning Jacket
Friday, November 4, 2011
I think we've gotten used to a laid-back, jazzy Common. Well apparently he was just on some sleeping giant shit and someone has gone and woke him up over another excellent pounding beat courtesy No I.D. Nothing "sweet" about this.
The Dreamer, The Believer is due out Nov. 22nd.
Download: Common - "Sweet"
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Thrice drop their first official video off Major/Minor, a record I have been sleeping on to a criminal degree. It's a pretty understated affair, but considering the subject matter, the distance and distortion between the shadowy man and woman gets the point across just fine.