I recently moved my blog to wordpess from posterous. it was supposed to automatically import all my blogs but I guess there are glitches in the system. The following is a repost of my April blog.
I really wish I had about 30 hours in a day so that I could listen to all the music I want to listen to and still get everything done. Sadly I’ll have to make do with what I’ve got.
Anyway, so people who know me know that I have pretty terrible eyesight. My optical challenges are no match, however, for the continually baffling myopia of the record industry. I came across a superb mashup by a dude called Wait What that mixed songs fromBiggie’s first two albums (and a few other random songs from the late hip hop artist) withThe XX’s eponymous debut album. The mashup was available for free download from his website until a few days ago when The Man forced him to take it down, possibly fearing that his mashup may actually expose listeners to their artist’s music (as it did for me; I had heard of the XX but never got around to listening to the album). I’m wondering how long these guys will continue to try to suppress the tidal wave that is the internet with their tiny little legal bucket. But back to the mashup. Wait What has created a gem of a record somehow meshing Biggie’s superbly delivered tales of ghetto grit and redemption with the dreamy, nostalgic sounds of the young British Indie group that strikes me as a mix between the Thievery Corporation and Gorillaz. Check it out. Luckily the album is still available from this link. And if you haven’t yet heard the XX album, check it out. Highly recommended!
Artist: Jonsi Album: Go
Jonsi is the lead singer for Icelandic post rock group Sigur Ros, and has released his first début album (don’t worry, it is a side project, Sigur Ros lives!). True to form, Jonsi has created a truly engrossing musical experience with the characteristic texture, complexity, and catharsis that has made Sigur Ros such a huge success. The album is more than just a Sigur Ros album masquerading as a solo project, however. ‘Go’ is clearly designed to be more accessible and optimistic, incorporating a more traditional approach to songcraft through more direct usage of melody and compact, individual songs as opposed to the vast and connected soundscapes that characterized Sigur Ros albums. Oh, and Jonsi has decided to largely jettison singing in ‘Hopelandic’ ( a largely made up language), adopting english as the primary language for ‘Go’. All in all, ‘Go’ is a beautiful record. My only complaint is that it is far too short (only about 45 mins long) and left me somewhat unsatiated. Great record for people new to the Sigur Ros sound. Iceland DOES produce more than failed banks and volcanic ash!
Top Songs: Go Do, Grow Till Tall
Artist: Citizen Cope Album: The Rainwater LP
I came across Citizen Cope just after I finished college, and his ‘Clarence Greenwood Recordings’ album really had a huge impact on me (almost made my top 20 of the decade, but got on honourable mention!). Cope’s unique mix of hip hop cadence and rhythm (he is a former turntablist), acoustic rock, and other string and horn instruments makes his music a strange urban-folk-jazz concoction that is really interesting yet not at all pretentious. I’m actually surprised that he hasn’t become more of a mainstream star.
Top Songs: The Newspaper, Lifeline
And finally, my good friend Jon Jaggi came across a superb DJ Premier mixtape recently. The mixtape is a tribute to Malcolm McLaren (former manager of The Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls who recently passed away), and it blends excerpts from old interviews with music that he inspired, was involved with, or helped popularize. The mixtape takes us on a historical hip hop journey, starting all the way back in 1980 when McLaren randomly bumped into a random black dude in Harlem who was wearing a Sex Pistols shirt. The random black dude happened to be Afrika Bambaataa, now revered as one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop. I’m not sure this mix is for everyone, but if you like Hip Hop, pop culture, or rock & roll history, check it out!! Here is the link (legal stream or download from Premier’s website)