Monday, April 30, 2012

The Gaslight Anthem - "45"

The Gaslight Anthem will release their third studio LP Handwritten this summer and one of the first cuts from the record made it's way onto the internet today. A massive track, "45" is packed with arean-ready licks and a hook powerful enough to force your car windows down so you can belt out along with it. Brian Fallon's vocals are also noticeably polished, albeit without losing any of the earthy, gritty qualities that have evoked many Springsteen comparisons over the year. I can't even begin to guess how many times I will listen to this song over the next days/weeks/months. Give it a listen below.

Video: Nas - "The Don"

Nas does his boastful, Heavy D-assisted "The Don" justice with equally in-your-face visuals. If there was ever any dispute over whether Mr. Jones ruled New York, it's over now. See: white Phantom, ring of fire.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nas - "Daughters"

With tracks like "Nasty" and "The Don," it's clear Nas has no problem flexing his lyrical muscle in full-on, hard-hitting braggadocio fashion. Surprisingly, God Son flips the vibe on the heartfelt "Daughters", spending more time on rhymes about the awkwardness of parenting a teenage daughter as a single father than on Philly blunts or Jerome's niece getting shot in her dome piece on Jones Beach. No I.D., continuing his torrid batch of instrumentals from the excellent collection on Common's The Dreamer, The Believer, deserves plenty of props as well. Life is Good is out on July 17th.

Video: Alabama Shakes - "Be Mine" (Live on Jules Holland)

Jules Holland hooked up an all-star lineup of musical guests last night, booking the likes of Jack White and Canadian indie sensation Grimes. Too bad for those two big names that he also rounded off the evening with up-and-comers Alabama Shakes, who decimated the stage with their down home mix of Stax Record soul and boozy classic rock. I've already professed my love for Brittany Howard's boot-quaking voice and flowing flowery dresses, but who knew she had a menacing glare to throw around with that bluesy howl. Check the footage below and go grab Boys & Girls the first chance you get.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stream: Ryan Adams - iTunes Sessions

Seeing Ryan Adams perform a solo-acoustic show was one of the single best musical experiences I've had in my life. Sounds hyperbolic, but absolutely true. For those who haven't gotten a chance to catch him on his recent string of solo shows, the next best thing is his forthcoming iTunes Sessions. The nine-song EP touches most of his deep discography, most notably linking classic cuts from his solo debut Heartbreaker ("My Winding Wheel", "Oh My Sweet Carolina") to standouts from his most recent Ashes & Fire ("Dirty Rain", "Chains of Love.") Hit the link below to check out the entire thing. Shouts to Spinner on the goods.

Stream: Ryan Adams - iTunes Sessions

Wiz Khalifa - "Work Hard, Play Hard"

Wiz Khalifa lost many of the fans that built his grassroots (no pun intended) base after Rolling Papers because he ditched the hazy beats and minimalist lyrics of Kush & Orange Juice for bombastic production and radio-ready hooks. The man made a short return to form with his most recent mixtape Taylor Allderdice, even admitting at the end of "Guilty Conscience" that he may have done things wrong on his first studio LP. Respect was given, sins were pardoned, and eyes were turned towards his next move. Well, here is that much awaited single from his second LP "Work Hard, Play Hard," and it's an extremely generic Stargate-produced track that sounds just as phoned in as anything of his debut. One step forward, two steps back. Feel free to get at me if you can explain why rappers nowadays save their good material for mixtapes and phone in the albums because I don't understand it. Check it out for yourself below:

Video: Portugal. The Man. - "All Your Light (Times Like These)"

Portugal. The Man. already released an animated video for "All Your Light (Times Like These)" back in October, but opted to drop more "traditional" visuals today that include RZA's recent remix of the song. Notice the quotation marks as there is almost nothing standard about the video's concept, which includes a woman embarking on a trailer trash spirit quest after a boy finds said women's severed head in the desert and presents it to her. If that isn't weird enough for you, just wait until the horrifyingly bloody confusion. Definitely NSFW.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Video: Frank Ocean - "Forrest Gump"/"Tell Him" (Lauryn Hill Cover)

Frank Ocean impressed many with his showmanship at Coachella 2012. Fortunately, his stage presence wasn't the only worthwhile takeaway, as the Odd Future crooner not only announced that he was working on a new LP, but debuted a soulful cut off it under the working title "Forrest Gump" and a flawless cover of Lauryn Hill's "Tell Him" off her seminal Miseduction of Lauryn Hill. The video quality is so-so, the audio is not. Check it out below.

Video: fun. - "Why Am I The One" (Acoustic)

While this polished video for Fun.'s Queen-esque "Why Am I The One" dropped awhile ago, it's just too good to neglect. There were a number of songs on Some Nights that really caught my attention, but this one looks like one of the few I'll actually come back to years from now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Video: Curren$y - "What It Look Like" (feat. Wale)

Curren$y took an odd approach to the lead single off his debut LP The Stoned Immaculate (out June 5th) in letting Wale handle the first half of the song and borrowing heavily from his go-go sound. But Mr. Folarin's verse is on point and Curren$y matches him well. Consider me impressed. And as far as the video concept goes, two words: jet life.

Aesop Rock - "Zero Dark Thirty"

It's been five years since underground hip-hop demigod Aesop Rock last released a proper studio LP, a sad streak that will end when he drops Skelethon on July 10th. Hit the link below to grab lead single "Zero Dark Thirty", which proves in the blossoming world of head-spinning spitters, Ace Rock is winner and still champion.

Download: Aesop Rock - "Zero Dark Thirty"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Frank Ocean - "PDA"

I've been spinning Nostalgia/Ultra a lot recently so the the timing was perfect for Frank Ocean to drop this robotic slow jam as an unreleased track, which is rumored to be a possible Backstreet Boys reference track (wtf?) It sees him getting funky, intergalactic, and as smooth as ever. Grab it below.

Download: Frank Ocean - "PDA"

Video: Good Old War - "Calling Me Names" (Glassroom Sessions)

Good Old War are back with the second video from their Glassroom Sessions, the first being the tender rendition of "Amazing Eyes". This time they take on "Calling Me Names" with equal beauty. The excellent Come Back As Rain will see it's deluxe edition, which features the b-sides "Lost At Sea", "Close To Honesty","Take It Slow", and the above-mentioned version of "Amazing Eyes", hit stores soon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Video: Drake - "Take Care" (feat. Rihanna)/"HYFR" (feat. Lil' Wayne)

While Kanye West celebrated Good Friday with a new song, Drake made sure Passover didn't come and go uneventfully by dropping two official videos of his own. "HYFR" maintains it's care-free nature as it showcases "footage" of Drake getting re-Bar Mitzvahed, a Manischewitz and Patron splashed affair featuring cameos from DJ Khaled, Birdman, Trey Songz, and Weezy in a panda mask. "Take Care", on the other hand, stays in it's own emotive lane as a blonde Rihanna snuggles up against Mr. Graham in between scaling shots of snowcapped mountains and wild animals. Not sure how these can co-exist, but they're both worth a watch.



Video: Good Old War - "Better Weather" (Live on Conan)

Good Old War made their national television debut when they stopped by Mark Hoppus' show on Fuse last month. The Philly boys upped the ante this past Friday when they became official members of Team CoCo and took the stage to perform "Better Weather", the fourth different song they've played off Come Back As Rain live. You have to love that.

Video: Good Old War - "Better Weather" (Live on Conan)

Moving Mountains - "Alleviate" (Alternate Version)

The past week was a big one for Moving Mountains. Not only did they break through the mainstream ranks when their video for "Alleviate" was deemed buzzworthy by MTV, but they also announced a new EP New Light, which will drop April 24th and feature this alternate version of the song. Triple Crown Records were nice enough to fashion a lyric video that you can check out below.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stream: Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

Alabama Shakes will release their debut LP Boys & Girls on April 10th and NPR was nice enough to post a full album stream for all us impatient folk. The Athens, Alabama foursome have been creating waves for the past two years with their soul-injected, hard-hitting rock sound, in part because vocalist Brittany Howard boasts such powerfully versatile pipes that are part Otis Redding and part Robert Plant. On Boys & Girls, the band fully explore these contrasting styles, effortlessly floating from boozy barroom blues ("Heartbreaker") to retro Motown ballads ("Hang Loose"). It's only April, but we may have an album of the year contender already.

Stream: Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Florence + The Machines - "Jackson" (feat. Josh Homme) (MTV Unplugged)

Florence + The Machines filmed a 10-song set for MTV's Unplugged set to air on April 21st. There are plenty of songs coming off both Lungs and Ceremonials, but the most intriguing track is Flo's duet with Queens of the Stone Age frontman and fellow redhead Josh Homme on Johnny Cash and June Carter's "Jackson". Who said gingers have no soul?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Video: Good Old War - "Loud Love" (Live on Unplugged & Unrehearsed)

Good Old War's most recent Come Back As Rain is a solid album through and through, so it's great to see that they aren't wedding themselves to one particular single and exploring a number of songs off the record. The Philly trio took to AltarTv's Unplugged and Unrehearsed last week and gave "Loud Love" a go, offering up both an explanation of the song's meaning and a twangy performance.