Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Roots - How I Got Over

It's the truth.

stay green.

Cyndi Lauper - Memphis Blues

Imagine running into an old cousin you used to hang out with when you were little in a dive bar on the outskirts of Memphis. The cousin you try to avoid now because she reminds you of all the dumb shit you used to do back in the 80's, but secretly wish you still had the balls to do. You see her and you make eye contact so now you're stuck you can't ignore her, so you go over and smile over small talk and raise an eyebrow when she tells you she's still performing. A far cry from the 80s blaring Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, she still has her psudo punk look; red hair and assortment of jewelry, but now starts schooling you on how the blues is the foundation of everything any singer anywhere in the United States sings.

She takes center stage and even though you want to be judgmental because Time After Time is privately repeating in the back of your mind, the first track slaps you into the present giving promise that she really did do her homework. Her voice, even though still quite girlish, stands up to this art form like any other heavy brooding blues singer from our past. And just in case there was any doubt in her credibility, she shows up with all the credentials: Charlie Musselwhite, Allen Toussaint, BB King and Johnny Lang. This new, 3 years in the making album is fun, even though at times it's a bit more Beale Street than dive bar for my taste.

"grills before there were grills"

Macy Gray - The Sellout

In an era of completely unoriginal Black pop playing itself off as R&B that's been killing me to the point of self destruction, this album came along and saved, maybe my month. I love Macy Gray's raspy voice and lack of fear or care of whether you like her or not. Although the title track talks about how she might be ready to make some real money, but questions whether it will make her a sellout, which is respectable too, because she explains why she's slightly autotuned, which in turn pokes fun at the ones not quite so honest. With nothing to hide because she can actually sing, she uses whats popular in hip hop to experiment rather than compensate, writes lyrics that move you thoughtfully and yet doesn't lose anything in the translation of wanting to have a good time. 

Top Tracks
That Man
The Sellout
On & On

Zoe Keating - Into The Trees

Zoe Keating is one of the most hauntingly beautiful musicians of my time, both phenotypically and artistically. Her music creates environments like a movie score to your life, setting moods as heavy as San Francisco fog but giving you a distant light to follow in the dark. Into The Trees is a masterpiece, a well anticipated follow up to Natoma. Her mutli-use of her cello is simply amazing, from stringwork to percussion, she creates entire songs with just herself, her cello and a pedal. If you get a chance to see her live you'll be left speachless at this slightly shy but very confident musician.

Into The Trees, if you listen closely, is telling a story. Much like a classical score to a ballet that might be covering Alice in Wonderland, the heroine runs into the trees, gets lost and can't find her way. She's guided along a path with twist and turns, inevitable darkness and when all seems almost lost, she soars above everything in the end, making the journey worth taking.

You will not be disappointed with this purchase.
Into The Trees

Salman Ahmad - Rock & Roll Jihad

I love what the world is doing with rock. I've been reading Delta Blues by Ted Gioia, and he's giving me clear perspective on how Rock music emerged. I find it fascinating that it is doing the same thing all over the world now, giving a voice to the destitute and creating a call to arms for people of color. In West Africa what's known as Desert Blues is now evolving into Desert Rock, and it's BEAUTIFUL. They hold notes that are reminiscent of how blues started in the South, the long notes from the Muslim call to prayer and slightly nasally vocals. It's like Rock/Blues is coming full circle.

Listening to Salman Ahmad's new album (which I was stalking on twitter for the release date) has been no less than amazing and a walk through a landmine of electric guitar bliss. He has added to the growing diversity of what I would like to call Desert Rock, which includes other groups like Tinariwen and Tamikrest, developed by the sound of such greats as Ali Farka Toure. On it's own this album has a very uplifting feel, and has all the elements of American and British rock while at the same time inserting his Pakistani identity which creates something like a masterpiece. Buy this album and support the diversity of rock music.
Top tracks:
I am Because U R

I think the title is so appropriate, because aren't we all on a bit of a Rock & Roll Jihad?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Anybody want to hear Ron Artest's new single?

Yeah I didn't either. But after watching him thank his hood and his therapist and then plug his album, I had to. For hilarity's sake.

New NERD album coming this fall

Plus they are doing the soundtrack to Despicable Me. I don't know if I like the title track yet. Maybe I'm just not into self degradation right now...?

Also have you guys heard the new Uffie track NERD produced? It's a blonde chick talking about getting massively high at a party. WTF is wrong with people these days? That's not attractive no matter how much you digitize her voice. Didn't we learn from the techno era, and the 80's rock era, and NOW while rock stars are turning up dead all over the place from accidental overdoses? It's not entertainment ya'll. It's a death sentence. But I guess if the world is going to hell I'm glad to be the one holding the handbasket.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Ettes Want YOU to direct a video

You direct and submit a video for Take it With You
(I will be)
Then submit on youtube and send it to them on facebook.
Fans win!