Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stinking Lizaveta - Sacrifice And Bliss out today!!

Hey Kids:

The new Stinking Lizaveta record called Sacrifice and Bliss is out today on At A Loss Recordings.

Pick it up here from the good folk of At A Loss.


Free Ice Cream Party - Tomorrow 4/2 at Bell House

Hey Kids:

Party at The Bell House with the Free Ice Cream posse:

Peep the skinny below


Kats and Domer Present: FreeIceCream.net

Hi Friends,

Time for another Free Ice Cream Party! We'll be celebrating the release of DJ SmutVillain's solo album, The World's Strongest Millionaire at The Bell House in Park Slope on Thursday, April 2 @ 9PM. As always, we’ll hook you up with a FREE copy of this brand new album! And as always, it will be available for FREE download at www.freeicecream.net that same day. Plus we’re good for a FREE drink or two...featuring Maker’s Mark Whiskey (while supplies last) and the super-delicious Maker’s Mark Vanilla Ice Cream Milkshakes...FREE!

The Bell House is located at 149 7th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. HERE's the Facebook invite.

World's Strongest Millionaire will be one of seven FREE downloads currently available at www.freeicecream.net ... so if you are new to our list, or missed one of our previous releases, make sure you get them all! And if you like what we're doing, please help us spread the word about all this great FREE stuff - forward this e-mail to one or two people who may not know about us. We really appreciate it!

Hope to see you at The Bell House...Peace!

Kats, Domer & DJ SmutVillain

FreeIceCream.net is dedicated to creating fun and giving it away for FREE. Our FREE parties always feature FREE drinks, FREE music give–aways, and of course, FREE Ice Cream! So make sure to check in regularly for details on the next one. We also have FREE downloadable albums, and a variety of super cool "Free Ice Cream" t–shirts, which we sell to help us pay for everything, so buy one please!

FreeIceCream.net was founded by two New York hip–hop artists, Kats and Domer, following the success of their free BBQs and parties at the Huckleberry Bar in Williamsburg and shows at the Knitting Factory Mainstage, Crash Mansion, 3rd Ward, Public Assembly, Cutting Room, Death By Audio and other notable New York venues.

FreeIceCream.net is home to great FREE music, including Kats and Domer’s Almost Fameless Mixtape series, Business Casual, and projects by DJ SmutVillain and Das Wyld Saloonatiks.

- The Almost Fameless Mixtapes feature Kats and Domer collaborating with some of New York City’s premier MCs and producers. Each mixtape is a ten–song party of all new material chocked full of bangin beats, top–notch rhymes and memorable guest appearances.
- Business Casual combines the lyrical styles of Kats, Domer, brokeMC and the Metermaids with Domer’s hip–hop remixes of your favorite indie rock bands, including the White Stripes, Spoon, MGMT, the Black Lips and more.
- DJ SmutVillain and his crew, Das Wyld Saloonatiks, weave old school hip–hop into 80’s dance beats and blend pop hits with dusty viny gems to create feel good party mixes.

So thanks for visiting FreeIceCream.net, and if you like what we’re doing, sign our e–mail list, buy a t–shirt or make a donation to support the cause.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha review up at The Tripwire

Hey Kids:

Review of the new Appleseed Cast record Sagarmatha is up at The Tripwire.

Here's a link.

Thanks to Derek Evers at The Tripwire


Cursive - Mama I'm Swollen

Oh, Cursive. There was a time that I was so infatuated with you. Remember when I flew out to Chicago just to see you with the Dismemberment Plan? It was when you were in that abusive relationship with Crank (and in Kasher's case with his liver and lungs) and you wanted to yell a lot over a driving backbeat and post-emo (think Rites of Spring, not the new-school of jerk-offs) guitar. Those were good times.

Where did the love go? Maybe we grew apart like me and the lady in Chicago. Still, Storms Of Early Summer / Semantics Of Sound remains one of my favorite midwestern records from that era, up there with Frame and Canvas. Even post-Domestica putting them on the average person's radar, I couldn't fault their success, but wished they would go back to that sound, even though it seemed like it had gone with Steven Pedersen's departure. 

Recent years have found Cursive pursuing a more expansive sound. Singer Tim Kasher has always pursued fiction writing. His combining of his literary and musical influences are finding Kasher becoming sort of the Nick Cave of the alternative set, pairing increasingly allusory lyrics with strings and brass experimentation. The flirtations with cellos and horn sections have expanded their fanbase extensively and exposed them to an audience well-beyond the DIY scene that spawned them. It's been a double-edged sword that got Cursive into some interesting situations, the tour with Mastodon and Against Me! being a pretty decent example. I really can't see that having gone well. I demurred on seeing the show, even though, in retrospect, watching Mastodon fans pulverizing Against Me! college politicos might have been a good time. Drummer Clint Schnase seemed to feel the same way, bailing after that very tour and being replaced by Engine Down's Cornbread Compton. 

This is the second record with the line-up. Kasher's moved to LA, which does not bode well, but Mama. I'm Swollen is by no means sunny. There are the usual dark ruminations on mortality and physicality, see: tracks like I Couldn't Love You and the lead-off single From The Hips. Mama, I'm Satan is no ray of sunshine either. If you like the last couple of Cursive records, you should be down for Mama I'm Swollen. The same asethetics are in place and the songs are all solid, although it does blur the increasingly indistinct lines between Cursive and sister band The Good Life. Mama I'm Swollen is not going to get a ton of play at the JS-NYC HQ, but it's a hell of a lot better than Animal Collective or Of Montreal (who will never darken my speakers). You make the call.

Get Mama, I'm Swollen from Saddle Creek in a myriad of forms here. They have a sliding scale deal going on that keeps thing on the cheap if you're balling on a budget. 

Cursive HQ is here. They are evidently touring with Man Man currently.  Look forward to JS-NYC missing that.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Slaughterhouse - The Mix Tape

Wu-Tang are a hugely influential rap unit. Sure they are all fierce on the mike, but arguably the biggest influence they have wielded has been in the business world. Their deal with Loud pioneered the idea of non-exclusive contracts for band members, allowing the nine members of the to Wu sign as a group, but leaving the door open for each member to sign solo deals outside of Loud.

Then there are groups that do things the other way around: take a bunch of artists with solo deals (and perhaps growing/fading fanbases) and put them together and hope to capitalize on the sales. See: Boys N Da Hood. It's something that's happened through the ages with varying degrees of success. Looking at the four members that comprise Slaughterhouse, it's a sure sign of a recession economy. All four of these MCs are absolute terrors on the mike and each dominate their hometown scenes, but have yet to really blow up outside their baliwicks. 

Let's break down the four men that comprise the Slaughterhouse: Joell Ortiz is the reason for me checking in on the Slaughterhouse in the first place. I can't say enough good things about Joell. The Aftermath contract buzz has been good for him, but he needs to get something out there for the mainstream kids to grab on to and this just might be the arena for him. Joe Budden I was never all that familiar with. I knew that people were all on his dick like they were new jacks like Papoose and was vaguely aware of his Saigon beef. There was some female (and maybe jail?) drama and his running the normal Def Jam contract/release schedule limbo gauntlet to keep him on the radar, but before the early Slaughterhouse singles I never gave him a lot of credit. Crooked I was in the same boat. I knew about the Death Row thing and his weekly freestyles for hiphopgame, but never really heard it. Royce The 5'9" is the elder statesman of the franchise, a guy who was the King of the Midwest before one Marshall Mathers blew it up, but never was able to capitalize on the post-Em shine. All of these guys can rhyme, but are they really going to work as a group?

I'd say no, but I'm a cynical bastard. While we wait for the actual record release, it might do us well to check out some of the members previous and solo work. Cue Slaughterhouse: The Mix Tape.

1. Wack MCs
2.Fight Club
3.Bout My Money (Joell Ortiz)
4.Blood On The Wall (Joe Budden)
5.If You Ever Hear Me (Crooked I)
6.Part Of Me (Royce Da 5'9)
8.Memories (Joell Ortiz)
9.Pain In His Life (Joe Budden)
10.Shake This (Royce Da 5'9)
11.Crooked Go Hard (Crooked I)
12.Move On
13.Covering The Classics Pt. 1 (Joell Ortiz)
14.Hottest In Da Hood (Joe Budden)
15.3 Bitches (Crooked I featuring Knoc-Turnal)
17.Crack A Brooklyn Bottle (Joell Ortiz)
18.Go To Hell (Joe Budden)
19.Too Soon (Joell Ortiz)
20.I'm The Shit Fool (Royce Da 5'9)
For me, it's great that there are mad Joell joints here. None of the tracks do anything to dispel the notion that Ortiz is anything but a rhyme titan. Check out the old-school tribute Covering The Classics to hear Ortiz kill Pete Rock and Eric(k)s Sermon and B beats. As for the reason why we're here, the full-on Slaughterhouse tracks are decent, especially Move On. None of the solo tracks are out and out terrible, but there are a couple contenders: I can't say I'm dying to hear narrative rap stuff like Royce's Part Of Me (wherein a man's cock is stolen by shady female organ thieves, really!) again, but it's obvious that all the parties involved are MCs rather than mere rappers. Whatever the motivation, that's a refreshing change of pace. You can get Slaughterhouse - The Mix Tape for free with a little bit of internet investigating. I don't think it's official, but it's a nice taste of what might be coming down the pike. I'll believe the record when I see it, though. 


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Live: The Love Story at Cake Shop 3.27.9

The Love Story have been around for a while now. The trio released a great EP on their own Blonde Records in 2004, following up with their first full-length , the self-titled The Love Story in 2007. The band has a mid 90's Midwestern sound, with early Liz Phair stuff being a good touchstone. No bass, although singer Molly Donahue handles that role nicely with some tasty single note lines that mesh nicely with co-guitarist Renn Cheadle's more textural contributions. Donahue uses a fair amount of reverb on her voice, filling out the band's sound without going all Mazzy Star on us. She's been tentative live in recent years, but the recent shows have found The Love Story a lot more comfortable in their own skin.

The band was plagued by the usual monitor problems a band playing Cake Shop has to weather, but The Love Story really tore the place down. They might not have been able to hear themselves, but the rest of the room could and their loss was definitely our gain. There is a quiet intensity to The Love Story that a lot of bands really lack. They also lack drummer Jason Trammel, an absolute metronomic terror whose swing is as strong as his stagewear is questionable. Five years as a band have coalesced the band into the only band around today that I believe I can reasonably support that doesn't have an actual bass player in their ranks. 

The Love Story have a new record called Mink out now. Look out for a review here soon, but don't postpone joy waiting for the JS-NYC seal of approval. You can buy Mink in tangible or digital form here from Blonde Records for a mere $10. Buy the vinyl and get a cd copy with it. You could do a lot worse for a sawbuck. Keep track of TLS here.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Keep Your Soul: A Tribute To Doug Sahm

Doug Sahm came on my my radar first through my Freddy Fender fixation and The Texas Tornados, a relationship reinforced by his appearing on the last Uncle Tupelo record and Wilco doing Take Back The Key To My Heart a lot live after Doug's untimely passing in '99. I still don't really want to hear another rendition of She's About A Mover, with all due respect to Sir Doug and Augie, but the rest of the Sahm canon is pretty untouchable, mixing Texas rock, Bay Area psychedelia and traditional Mexican music into a salsa well-loved by reefer aficionados since the 70s.

In 2002, the Bottle Rockets did an entire record of Sahm covers for Bloodshot Records called Songs Of Sahm. It's not the biggest-selling record in their catalog, but it did a lot towards exposing Sir Doug to a younger, non-Texan audience. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Doug's passing and Vanguard Records has put together fourteen covers of Sahm material to commemorate his passing. Entitled Keep Your Soul: A Tribute To Doug Sahm, the fourteen tracks are a rarity in that they are both well-done and performed either by peers or by true torch-carriers of the Sahm cosmic music continuum. She's About A Mover opens the proceedings with 60's rocker Little Willie G's version of the oft-mangled Nuggets classic, then proceeds a bit deeper into the Sham canon with great covers by Greg Dulli and Dave Alvin. 

The rockers are great, but to ignore the Tejano influence on the Sahm music is to obfuscate a huge portion of his canon. Texas Tornado compadre Flaco Jimenez weighs in with a stellar Ta Bueno Compadre and Joe "King" Carrasco does the same with Adios Mexico. The Texas royalty appears in the form of Delbert McClinton and Charlie Sexton. Perhaps the best cover of all from that camp is Jimmie Vaughan, who kills his version of Why, Why, Why. The horns and staccato guitar are just right, as is Shawn Sahm closing the proceedings with Mendecino. It's a shame that Doug has passed, but with covers like the ones on, it's obvious that the Cosmic Cowboy and his energy will be influencing music for a long time to come. 

You can grab virtual or actual copies of Keep Your Soul: A Tribute To Doug Sahm from the good folk of Vanguard here

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Art Brut NYC Residency!!

Hey Kids:

Block out some time from June 1st through the 5th, cause the mighty Art Brut are coming to town and playing Mercury. They gots themselves a new record called Art Brut -vs- Satan coming out on 5/12 on Downtown Records. Produced by Black Francis even!

This bodes well for a good night, although perhaps not the same kind of next morning. See you all there!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Golden Age Of Radio - Get Awesome EP at If You Make It

There are a host of new delights up at the ever-awesome If You Make It site. You'll be hearing about a bunch of them soon, but our first patient is The Golden Age Of Radio, who have a four song demo EP called Get Awesome up for free there. Here's a link.

Express Train has shared mail and female vocals ala Bridge and Tunnel that work for the most part, save for a particularly pitchy female section towards the end. I, Pirate gets a little more towards Lauren Measure territory in a very nice way.  This is only four songs, and definitely has some mixing issues, but there is some strong material lurking behind the overly loud vocals. The Golden Age Of Radio show a lot of potential. They have a way to go before they earn the stature alluded to in the EPs title, but another six months and a little more attention to levelling and pitch, and I can see us hearing a lot more from this Brooklyn foursome. Keep tabs on them here and follow their path to awesomeness.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Isis - Wavering Radiant

Isis have come a long way from late 90's noise jams in their native Boston and self-releasing their material on guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner's then-nascent Hydra Head Records. Wavering Radiant is their fourth record for Ipecac Recordings and their third since relocating as a band to Los Angeles.

The band has expanded it's sound from it's Neurosis/Godflesh indebted early material in recent years, adding more electronic and clean vocals to their raging sound. It hasn't gone unnoticed by the public or their peers. Isis have really increased their profile in recent years, headlining bigger and bigger rooms and opening for the likes of Tool in stadiums. It's been a mixed blessing for the intensely private band, Turner in particular, but lucky for us, it hasn't deterred Isis from recording a new record. It's called Wavering Radiant, and while it's not Oceanic by a long shot, it's a damn solid record.

There are vocals, but they aren't the major focus of the songs. Isis are very much of a band to think of in terms of textures. Wavering Radiant is the wrong place to look for a sing-a-long chorus, unless you are perhaps a Wookie, but Isis balance the light and shade in their usual capable fashion. The title track is a minute and a half of ambient electronics, but for the most part all of the tracks are seven minutes at the very least, stretching to ten when they deem it necessary. Expansive length aside, Turner and Co. are no strangers to cutting the fat to make the song heavier. Consequently, there are no extended solos or other wankery to clutter the proceedings where a quiet passage can do the job more effectively. There's something close to a solo on Stone To Wake A Serpent, but the sound is more shrapnel than Shrapnel

If you liked Isis before, and aren't so hardline as to start hating the band post-Oceanic, chances are you'll be all over Wavering Radiant. It's a lot like later-period Justin Broadrick Jesu material. If you were exposed to them through the tour, or are maybe just a mark for Tool, Adam Jones plays on a couple of the tracks. It's not out until May 5th, but pop on over here and pre-order it from the good folk of Ipecac. Keep track of Isis here.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Harlem Shakes record release Thursday 3/26 @ Williamsburg Hall Of Music

Hey Kids:

Check out the Harlem Shakes at their record release shindig this Thursday 3/26. It's called Technicolor Health and it's out on Gigantic Records.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thursday - Common Existence

Thursday are from New Brunswick, NJ. Together with My Chemical Romance, they represent the most successful of the bands that came from the heyday of that city's fertile basement scene, releasing five full-length records since 1997 on labels like Victory and Island. Common Existence is their latest and newest release and their first for Epitaph.

If you have followed Thursday through the years and aren't a sixteen year old girl (or perhaps boy, now that I think about it...) you have been struck by the Thursday conundrum: how can the music be so good and the band so successful with a singer who pathologically cannot sing in tune. Tom Waits is an Irish Tenor comparison, and Thursday singer Geoff Rickley is without the benefit of the Waits charm. Or mystique. Most of the lyrics are wincingly high school, but maybe I'm aging out of the Epitaph demographic. Either way, Cher uses less auto-tune than Rickley. The spoken word parts don't do that much for me, either, but zillions of suburban 'punks' dig them, so what do I know.

Vocals aside, Common Existence does have some great moments. The riffs that drive 'friends in the armed services' and 'you were the cancer' are top-notch and Tom Keeley definitely deserves a lot of credit for keeping things interesting in the Thursday camp. Dave Fridmann is behind the boards again for Thursday, no doubt giving a host of Fredonia's finest ample practice comping vocal tracks.  He adds some interesting textural elements and keeps the Thursday sound as big as we've come to expect it. It's a little bright and shiny for my tastes, but it sure is some ear candy. Not really my thing, but if your idea of good political punk bands are Rise Against and Anti-Flag, Common Existence should be next on your list of records to get stat.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saigon and Statik Selektah - All In A Day's Work

Saigon's The Greatest Story Ever Told is rapidly becoming hip-hop's Chinese Democracy. I'd venture it hasn't been afforded the same budget, as Sai Gitty isn't exactly profiling in Ferraris, but the record has been gestating for an eternity. David Banner even released a great record with the same title last year. The record has been bouncing around from label to label. God knows where Just Blaze has it now, word is perhaps the new Jay-Z imprint, but in the interim, Sai has been beefing with Joe Budden and releasing some mixtape joints.

All In A Day's Work ups the ante a bit for the average rapper on the grind, purporting to have been recorded in a single day (ok, 26 hours). It's dropping on the previously dissed Amalgam Digital and while it's only a little over a half-hour, it's not going to make heads fiend any less for The Greatest Story Ever Told. The Yardfather is on fire here, rhyming over eleven Statik Selektah beats solo for the most part, save for a Busta Rhymes cameo. I don't envy rappers who are going to have to drop records in the wake of All In A Day's Work. Pick it up here from the good folk of Amalgam Digital. Saigon and Statik have set a new standard for hip-hop collabos. All you wack-ass marks best start writing. The Yardfather is back and he's got Statik with him. Consider yourself warned.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Live: Aldenbarton with Spirits Of The Red City @ The Creek 3.19.9

Aldenbarton have busy lately. The gents have been on studio duty in Brooklyn lately crafting their new full-length, but took some time to play a couple of shows with the Twin Cities powerhouse that is Spirits Of The Red City. The bands played Fontana's together the previous Sunday, took some time off so Spirits could do a little time and a show by themselves, then got together again at The Creek for a last hurrah.

It's a short ride from the JS-NYC HQ on the swinging Lower East Side of Manhattan to LIC and The Creek. I came in for the last half of the Spirits Of The Red City set. They are a ten piece band (although I don't think they were all out on tour) with limited amplification and a whole lot of harmonies, as well as the loveliest bassist I've seen in some time. That's a whole lot of people, but if you want cello and muted trumpet in your band, you make space in the van. Spirits Of The Red City are getting quite a name for themselves in the Twin Cities, selling out two release shows for their debut Hunter Moon before embarking on their first tour. This show was pretty sparse, but it was by no means a reflection of the quality of the music. The band is pretty spartan for it's size, with economical arrangements and very little in the way of solos. It's a good idea, much more Lambchop than Phil Spector. More bands should exercise such restraint. Main singer Will Garrison has an earthy voice that sounds years older than his baby face might suggest and he's in the company of a gang that are no stranger (or joke) with a harmony. 

While there are a number of voices in harmony at some points, don't think that you're getting the Danielson Family or Polyphonic Spree. Choral music makes me want to shoot myself, but quality harmony that doesn't go all CSNY is a pretty good thing. Spirits Of The Red City are closer to Low than they are any of the afore-loathed bands. I have fantasies about decking Graham Nash in medias doo-doo-doo-doo-doot, but the Minneapolis collective soothed this savage beast and made him buy a copy of their new record Hunter Moon. You should, too. Here's a link. You can keep tabs on Spirits Of The Red City here.

Aldenbarton had a tough act to follow, but did their usual stellar job. Some of the songs that will turn up on the new release made appearances, including the stellar Winter. Their pretty aces Damian Jurado cover made an appearance, reminding everyone assembled that Aldenbarton are just as good with other people's songs. That hasn't gone unnoticed by underground phenom Jason Anderson, who has tapped the trio to back him for a May residency that should have the City buzzing. While we're all waiting for the new Aldenbarton record, pick up their debut Exodus Of The Eldest on Itunes. Keep tabs on the Granite State beard aficionados here and stay tuned for some Drew St. Aubin solo shows soon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Buried Inside review at The Tripwire

Hey Kids:

Review of the new Buried Inside record Spoils Of Failure is currently up at The Tripwire. Check it here.

Thanks to Derek Evers at The Tripwire


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

David Bowie - iSelect

Forgive me, but I was never the hugest Bowie fan. The Thin White Duke occupied the ever-growing (but then nascent) category of 'artist/band that I liked the girls that liked', but as a dyed-in-the-wool music dork, I was always a much bigger fan of the Bowie band members than I was the guy in front. From the early days with Mick Ronson and Iggy, there have always been a gang of heavy hitters in his band. Gail Dorsey and Carlos Alomar are pretty untouchable, not to mention Robert Fripp or Reeves Gabrels. It still boggles the mind that Stevie Ray Vaughn tenured in his band for a spell.

Bowie is above all things an artist, and arguably a Pop one (as in Art not popular music). He can be forward thinking to a fault from where I'm sitting, but our David seems to be always under the spell of a different muse. Over the past decades, mercurial leanings and label politics saw some tracks fall by the wayside. Cue iSelect, a compilation of tracks that Bowie enjoys but aren't necessarily his biggest hits.

The tracks on iSelect date from as early as Hunky Dory (1971) and as late as Never Let Me Down (1987). I haven't heard any of the recorded songs before, but they sound modern despite their being compiled decades after their original release. There are selections from an assortment of Grammy award winning producers and engineers like Tony Visconti, Hugh Padgham and Mario McNulty and exceedingly well-done liner notes for each song by Bowie himself.

Save for the live version of Hang On To Yourself that closes iSelect, the MM remix of Time Will Crawl is the high point for me, adding some killer live drum tracks from Sterling Campbell to a new vocal and string parts and spawning a track that would be equally ass-shaking at home or in the club. The track with the Carlos Alomar and Robert Fripp trading guitar lines appeals to the shredder in me, too, so my artistic and autistic leanings are both well-sated. I can't see iSelect appealing to the average passing Bowie fan, but for the Bowie obsessive in your midst, the rarities here are worth investigating.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Capone-N-Noreaga - Channel 10

Queensbridge stand up! QB's dynamic duo are back with a new full-length. It's called Channel 10, no doubt to remind you that you're reminded that these are the same guys who dropped The War Report last century. CNN have been through their trials and tribulations in recent years. It's often forgotten that the shooting incident and subsequent perjury that got hot tranny mess L'il Kim sent upstate arose from an altercation with the CNN crew. 

Neither party in CNN is an angel. Capone spends a lot of time catching cases and/or violating parole, which allows Nore (or N.O.R.E., for contractual reasons) ample time to be hip-hop's Luther Vandross and gain/lose a hundred pounds at a time when he's not releasing lukewarm reggaeton. This is the skinn(ier) Nore, so his breath control is pretty tight and he comes hard with it. I'm always kind of a Nore hater until he drops something, and once again I'm kinda feeling him.

Capone I was never the hugest fan of, but he holds his own here. I certainly don't want to hear another Capone solo record, and anyway, N.O.R.E and Capone together are a good thing. They do another conversation type track in The Argument, cracking dozens and generally bickering over a pretty banging beat. There are guest shots from cameo king Busta Buss (on the first single Rotate) that almost make up for the shitty auto-tune hook that Ron Browz cooks up and decent verses from The Clipse and Maino on My Hood. The Dogg Pound contribution on that track is best unmentioned. I can't believe that I'm this taken with this record, but Channel 10 is definitely one of the best hip-hop releases so far this year. It's out today and is really worth checking out, even if you're not toting Glocks and/or slinging rock. Pick up Channel 10 here and keep tabs on CNN via this handy link.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Justin Townes Earle - Midnight At The Movies

If there's anyone this side of Hank III that is growing up in a bigger shadow of their family, it's probably Justin Townes Earle. If you haven't done the math, JTE is one of the sons of Steve Earle, a man who is pretty definitively this generation's Johnny Cash.  

To be frank, Steve's had a lot of wives, and most certainly wasn't around much for Justin's formative years. JTE has been pretty candid about the large numbers of Nashville kids he grew up with that had single mothers and wanted for a father figure in their lives. These kids, Justin included, shied away from the music industry as a result, but the younger Earle was soon playing bitten by the music bug and finger-picking up a storm. He came up in old-time combo The Swindlers and eventually played in a gang of rock bands to boot. 

His increasingly formidable chops garnered him a gig touring with his Dad, but he managed to lose it in pretty short order due to substance abuse issues. I trust that all parties involved were aware of the ironies therein, but Justin has remained on the straight and narrow, releasing a his debut full-length The Good Life and EP Yuma last year to much adulation and acclaim. Midnight At The Movies is his second full-length for Bloodshot. I haven't been all that crazy about the newer acquistions to the Bloodshot roster, but I can't say enough good things about this record.

Earle is smart enough to know that comparisons with his father are inevitable, but he is hardly a clone of his old man. His fingerpicking and arpeggiation are obviously influenced by his Dad, as are songs like Someday I'll Be Forgiven For This, but the songs on Midnight At The Movies assert JTE as his own man. Walk Out is a good example, with rollicking harmonica and swaggering vocals that should get young and old out on the floor and two-stepping. Lest you think that JTE is trapped in a slavish old-school mentality, the bluegrass inflected Replacements cover of Can't Hardly Wait reminds us of his past in his old Nashville rock band The Swindlers and shows us he's got a broad base of influences that favor Paul Westerberg and Jackson Browne as it does his namesakes and Lightnin' Hopkins. Midnight At The Movies is definitely a record that has one boot in the past and another firmly up the ass of the future.  

Justin Townes Earle is the real deal, a hell of a player and singer who has managed to prosper despite having not one, but two, albatrosses hanging conspicuously around his neck. He gets better with every show and every album. Midnight At The Movies is his best record yet, but listening to the songs here, it's very obvious that we'll be seeing the young Mr. Earle doing very big things in the very near future. Justin Townes Earle can be found on the Interwebs via this link. See him in the small rooms while you still can, and pick up a copy of Midnight At The Movies immediately here from the good folk of Bloodshot. Support independent roots music!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Halftime Show 11th Anniversary Show download - part two

Now this shit is crazy. Second half of the Halftime Show 11th Anniversary Show set featured DJ Premier, Tony Touch and the Beatminerz. As you might suspect, it's pretty fucking bananas. 

Primo sets it off with some cuts from Heather B and Rakim, then rubs it in for another fifteen or so, before closing by chiding DJs that don't know their cuts and threatening to battle any other 42 year old DJs. Classic! Big Up Primo. Keep tabs on Primo, All Day Records and Works Of Mart here.

Tony Touch steps up next and tears shit up in a pronounced fashion. No deep cuts, or all that many out and out songs for that matter, but even in truncated form it's obvious that Toca is a master of the blend. Plus he thought that he was supposed to spin the next day and showed up in like an hour's notice. Time to prepare aside, you'll nod your head and shake your ass for the duration. Toca's up to Vol. 86 of the mixtape series and is gearing up for a redo of the 50 MCs tape for release 100, so keep an eye out. Check his whereabouts here.

With only fifteen minutes left, Da Beatminerz kinda got the short end of the stick, but Bushwick never has fucked around, so Evil D dropped platter after platter of Boot Camp griminess until the bell rang. Lots of deep cuts, old Smif and Wessum and Buckshot stuff, plus some KRS-One Nelly diss shit for some old school flavor. Boot Camp is always banging, and despite the fact that I'd would have like to have heard more Sean P up in the set, they were pressed for time and Mr. Walt didn't even get on. I shudder to think what crap pre-empted the Beatminerz set, but keep tabs on all things Beatminerz here. Duck Down!

Big up WKCR and The Halftime Show. Thanks to Robbie at Unkut for hosting the downloads.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Halftime Show 11th Anniversary Show download - part one

If you take a trip over to the mighty Unkut.com, with a little bit of investimatigation you can find a free download of WKCR's The Halftime Show with a gang of hot DJs spinning fire for the show's 11th Anniversary. There are two hour and fifteen minute sets for your pleasure. 

Halftime co-host DJ Eclipse chairs the show's proceedings, and casts the first stone on the opening half, throwing down a pretty hot set with some unreleased Common and Nas joints. DJ A-Trak of Kanye infamy drops a set that shows why he spends a lot of time clocking Euros, closing his set with some turntable pyrotechnics that prompts even the mighty Primo to jump on the mike and give props. DJ JS1 from Rock Steady kicks it off with a Fat Albert sample, then wrecks shop on break beat after break beat. Good stuff, but check in for the next half with its sets from DJ Premier, Tony Touch and Da Beatminerz.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Live: Propagandhi with Paint It Black @ Highline Ballroom 3.12.9

(photo at left stolen from D.P. Rubino)

I hadn't been all that impressed by Propagandhi previously, but Eric had always been a big fan and his taste is usually pretty golden, so when I heard the boys were coming through town with Paint It Black, I made a point of getting tickets. It ended up being kind of a hot ticket, and Highline was pretty packed by the time I made my fashionably late entrance.

I crossed threshold and pushed my way in to find Yemin stalking the stage and attending to a small but exuberant copse of finger-pointers. Eric had staked out some good real estate stage right and we got a good earful of the time-honored Paint It Black Philly hardcore, including a handful of new tunes that will be recorded with Kurt Ballou at the end of this tour for their Bridge Nine debut. Save for the inevitable Paint It Black/H20 tour, it seems like the new label will be a win-win for all parties involved.

Propagandi were up in short order afterward. They are Canadian, and beer drinkers and, no doubt owing to their Fat tenure, attract many a drunken jackass. Two or three of the most flagrant offenders were bounced before Propagandhi even took the stage, but there were some closet heroes that showed their true colors in short order. The first song prompted a disjointed flurry of flailing limbs and high blood alcohol levels that was maintained for the duration. Despite the drum kit being a million miles back and the new guitarist being Danny Spitz short, the Propagandhi boys sure did bring it; Chris Hannah brought the noise in admirable fashion, tearing off ripping leads with wild abandon when he wasn't baiting NY hockey fans and dropping revolutionary politics. They played an hour or so, had Yemin come out for Fuck The Border and even played an encore. It's a show you should really check out. Propagandhi don't tour all that often, so you'd do well to work whatever hipster magic you can to check out the show at Music Hall Of Williamsburg tonight before they head back North.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Propagandhi - Supporting Caste

It's record number five for Canada's Propagandhi. They've been around in one way, shape or form since 1986, making political punk rock from their stronghold North of The Border. I came to the Propagandhi after developing a pretty serious Weakerthans infatuation and discovering that John K. had tenured with them previously. I expected them to be a lot more introspective (ie: Weakerthans-esque) and didn't give them too much notice as a result. Even a show at Wetlands that internet nostalgists hold in high regard bored the pants off me. Of course I've been wrong before, and didn't like Left And Leaving the first time I heard it, either, something that is a bit of a chin scratcher for me to this day, so I was eager to check out Supporting Caste when it came my way.

Although Supporting Caste is on their own G7 Welcoming Committee Records (with help from Smallman) Propagandi used to be on Fat, and were arguably the political Fat Mike era NOFX when the California kids were still mining a vein of post-R.K.L pun punk.  The band recently expanded to a four-piece with the addition of second guitarist Dave 'The Beaver" Guillas and continues to move in a harder direction. Suffice to say, you can tell that Rise Against have Propagandhi records in their collections. Like most of the records of today, Supporting Caste was recorded at The Blasting Room, Bill Stevenson works his usual magic, capturing one of punk rock most chops-flexing bands at the height of their powers. There is thrashier fare like This Is Your Life, but for the most part it's all about big hooks. They drive tunes like Human(e) Meat and The Banger's Embrace and will have you shouting along regardless of your politics. Said Meat track also sports one hell of a solo from Chris Hannah, who is a fucking force. It's going to be back to barre chords for a lot of fools after this record gets around.

Of course it's around now. It popped up on the web a bit beforehand, and there was some sort of pre-buy thing going on for two songs in advance of the release Supporting Caste this past Tuesday, but this will no doubt be a lucrative endeavor for the anti-materialist politicos of Propagandhi. I can see a lot of Winnipeg non-profits benefiting from this record. Propagandhi have been touring with the mighty Paint It Black for the last couple weeks and show up in town tonight at Highline Ballroom and tomorrow out at Music Hall Of Williamsburg. I'm interested to see if I enjoy the live show as much as I enjoyed Supporting Caste. Pick up Supporting Caste here from the good folk of G7 Welcoming Committee in the cd, vinyl or download form. See you tonight at Highline.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rodriguez - Coming From Reality

Rodriguez was one of the bigger surprises of last year for me. There was a lot of hype behind the re-release of Cold Fact, both from the press and indie rock players of the moment. To keep it 100, there are only so many bands full of twenty-year olds extolling the virtues of obscure 60's crap that I can take without wanting to go Ted Nugent on various Foxes, Bears of the Grizzly and Panda varieties, and/or any other Collectives of Animals that I might be able to get in my sights, but eventually I threw it on and was really taken with it.

Rodriguez is a Mexican-American from the Detroit area who released his debut full-length Cold Fact in 1970 to find it received as sort of a Mexican What's Going On. Light In The Attic re-released it last year in a deluxe form that's well worth checking out. Coming From Reality was the second record he did for the UK label Sussex. This record was supposed to be his version of the perfect pop record and features some of the heavy hitters of the day, including Chris Spedding. The record was meant to be the paradigm of contemporary 70's pop, but it holds up well in this millenium. Rodriguez always had a sharp eye for social commentary and he shows the same Mayfieldian consciousness on Coming From Reality. There are a couple moments, like the Shel Silverstein influenced stream of consciousness A Most Disgusting Song that get a little grating for me, but for the most part Coming From Reality is a nice slice of genuine Terry Callier-eque soul-folk. Pick it up soon here from the good folk of Light In The Attic.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Superchunk - Leaves In The Gutter EP

With all the ridiculousness going on in this world, it's refreshing to know that there are certain things you can count on. For me, the mighty Superchunk are that bedrock upon which I can weakly cling to in this world of shitty reverb bands and horrible electronic ear rape. 

Superchunk have been up on blocks for the most part of the last five years. There were the odd gigs for anniversaries, Dinosaur reunions, and Obama rallies, but they've made it tough for those of us who can't get enough of the sweet Chunky goodness. Those shows have featured smatterings of new material, most notably for me Learned To Surf, but save for Misfits and Mistakes popping up on the soundtrack to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie (with Meatwad on vocals), the new stuff has gone unrecorded.

Cue the happy dance as Mac announced the release of the Leaves In The Gutter EP, which has full band and demo versions of the afore-lauded Learned To Surf, along with two new tracks and a Mac fronted Misfits and Mistakes. Three guesses as to whether I think this is fabulous? Ok, you beat it out of me: this is pretty great and yes, you should use this link and preorder Leaves In The Gutter prior to it's actual release on 4/7. You can stream the songs there, too.
Superchunk are playing the Cradle next month as well as Coachella. Get the skinny here and stay tuned for the Chunk 20th Anniversary shows soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Jon Snodgrass - Visitor's Band

Jon Snodgrass is one-half of the songwriting Cerberus that is Ft. Collins mainstay Drag The River, a band whose records you should purchase immediately. Visitor's Band is his first solo release, comprised of ten new songs and the time-honored bonus track in the DTR tradition that reprises the entire album as a single track. While Drag The River used this to ensure they could monopolize jukebox time, Jon breaks a little from tradition by reprising the entire record in a string of demo versions. 

As is becoming the norm for Suburban Home releases, Visitor's Band is a great singer-songwriter record. Snodgrass has a voice that is equal parts Don Rich and whiskey; warm yet ragged throughout, despite the fact that the record was recorded on the fly at various impromptu sessions across the US. Brave With Strangers and Long Way Found are two of the higher points of Visitor's Band, but all of the songs are top fucking notch. Buy it here from the good folk of Suburban Home. Jon's been hitting the road pretty hard as a solo artist, recently returning from a West Coast tour with Joey Cape. He's in Europe through the middle of next month, with an East Coast tour scheduled for May. Keep track of all things Snodgrassian here and look out for some Drag The River dates soon.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Live: OnPoint @ Ace Of Clubs 3.7.9

It's nice to see OnPoint making moves in 2009. They've had their ups and downs and now with Olga on the mike things have really been taking a big step forward. Matt and Dylan play damn well together for a couple of long-hairs and the crowds just seem to get bigger and bigger. I'm not sure what the deal is with the kids that dress up like dead people is, but if it fills the room, more power to them. For the record, I'm not talking corpse paint, I'm talking Fangoria.

While a lot of bands in this town make me wish I was dead, I'm glad that OnPoint isn't one of them. Keep tabs on them via the link here and ask them when we're going to see some recordings.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Live: Zazen Boys @ Cake Shop 3.6.9

The boys are back in town. Zazen Boys that is. They've been recording their new record with Dave Fridmann in recent months and judging by the material they've been throwing down in the live shows recently, it's going to be pretty raging. 

Zazen Boys is the project that ex-Number Girl frontman Mukai Shutoku has dedicated most of his efforts towards in recent history. There's is a spastic rock, very much like a Japanese Dismemberment Plan in it's herky-jerky rhythms and frantic bass pummelling with freak-out vocals tossed on top. It's as danceable as it is indescribable. 

The band is normally frightentingly tight, and this night was no exception. It's always an eye-opener when these guys can come over and straight-up kill on borrowed gear with nary a bit of complaining. There's always a big Japanese ex-pat crowd, but while it was a pretty packed room, shockingly enough I didn't have any problem seeing. It might have been better if I didn't, as watching bassist Yoshida Ichirou always makes me want to sell off my entire stable of four-strings. It was a pretty short but mindblowing set that I'm told was comprised of most of the new Zazen Boys IV record. Gotta get my hands on that. They play tonight at The Saint in Asbury Park and tomorrow at Pianos. Check out Zazen Boys on the web here.


Friday, March 6, 2009

DJ Shakim - SOHH Old School Mix

Respect due to SOHH.com. They are on top of all the hip-hop goings-on, have good video stuff, and most troubling for Allhiphop.com, seemingly have more bandwidth than the average site. There's a pretty good little old-school mix there, courtesy of the Atlanta branch of the SOHH and DJ Shakim of the World Famous Super Friends. Nothing out of the ordinary, save for a Special Ed joint that isn't I'm The Magnificent. It's worth a listen if you want a little taste of the old school but don't want to mix it yourself. Snag it off the link here

Speaking of free good things, freeicecream.net has got a gang of free mixes over at their site. Big up to Kats! Look for a dedicated series on their stuff in the coming weeks. While you're waiting for the JS-NYC spotlight to shine it's light, check out freeicecream here


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Insubordination Fest 2008 CD/DVD

Insubordination Fest was a blast last year. It was my first time, but save for the logistical snafus that had me missing The Hold Steady, being able to see Off With Their Heads, The Copyrights, Dear Landlord and a million other bands in one place over a couple days was well worth the trip down Charm City way. If you have way too much free time, try finding JS-NYC in full 'oh my frickin' God it's the Copyrights' mode on the picture to the right.

This handy CD/DVD combo documents single songs from 29 of the bands that played over those three days. If you're wondering, those bands are:

Deep Sleep -Text Book Timebomb
Dopamines - Easy Living
Dear Landlord - Don't Just Stand There
Off With Their Heads - Die Today
Parasites - Young and Stupid
The Drunken Cholos - We'd Have a Riot Doing Heroin
Kepi Ghoulie - Girlfriend
Cletus - I Don't Mind
Ann Beretta - Angry All the Time
Copyrights - 57 North
Ergs! - Bill Moon
Dateless - Taking Over Me
Backseat Virgins - Striptease
Proteens - Nothing but Trouble
Karmella's Game - The Pit
Chinese Telephones - Stay Around
Doc Hopper - Zapruder Frame 313
20 Belows - Look Out Below
Lemuria - Mechanicals
Leftovers - Dance With Me
Steinways - Today is the Day We are Getting Married
Zatopeks - Jumble Sale
Beatnik Termites - Red Haired Girl
The Crumbs - Girl You Make Me Rock and Roll
Sweet Baby - Baby x7 (I Love You)/Pretty Baby
Weston -Retarded
Sludgeworth - Someday
Sloppy Seconds - Let's Kill a Trendy
The Queers - Girl About Town

The sync is a little sketchy on some of the tracks, unless Lemuria is a band full of ventriloquists, but for $12 for a CD/DVD combo, you can't really go wrong. The lineup for this year is due in the next month or so, so pop on over to the good folk of Insubordination here and get your bookmark on. The link for the CD/DVD is here.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nick DiPaolo - Funny How?

Funny How? is album three from Nick DiPaolo, your go-to when it comes to crass truthful comedy that falls on the far side of the line of political correctness. Not a problem for this asshole, but if you have delicate sensibilities you might want to look for a Demitri Martin record or something.

Obama, Rosie O'Donnell and mall comedy are covered, along with a host of other topics best not re-discussed around the water cooler. You can get this for $10 from the good folk of Itunes or grab one from Nick at his live shows. Keep track of DiPaolo here and thank me later.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

DJ Babu - Duck Season Volume 3

It's been out a bit, but Volume 3 of the ever-banging Babu Duck Season comp series is here and terrorizing earholes everywhere. Dilated always bring it, but it's nice to see the DJ community's Filipino Elvis get a little shine his own self. The beats are hot, as you might suspect, and the Primo-esque scratching will always get the JS-NYC hype, but it's the world-class guest shots that we're hunting for come Duck Season.

Once again, Babu fails to disappoint. If you want to start with my go-to's, I will tell you that the Sean Price track (a collabo with someone named Doom) is fucking hot, as are the Guilty Simpson and M.O.P. tracks. Old schoolers like Percee P and AG make appearances and there's even a Little Brother track that I kinda dig. Whouda thought! My East Coast bias aside, there are a gang (ha!) of West Coast heavy hitters here, too. Evidence and Rakaa Iri represent for the home team and Cali Agents and Bishop Lamont kinda bring it, too. 

It wouldn't be Duck Season without the odd Bugs Bunny sample, but they pass quickly, usually in the wake of some break ya neck head-nodding track, but the scratching and rhyming more than make up for any passing irritation this cranky bastard might find.  Pretty much every one of the 18 tracks here get props, save for the kid rapper track that closes the proceedings. Volume 3 is another must-have from Babu for the hip-hop head in your life. I'll help you out: Buy Duck Season: Volume 3 here. Keep track of the Dilated Junkie himself here.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The Jealous Sound - Got Friends

I'm not sure how this flew under my radar, but The Jealous Sound have a new EP out. I had seen a clip on punknews that there was a record in the pipeline, entitled Got Friends. Then back in October, the kids released an I-Tunes only EP, also called Got Friends, comprised of three tracks and two remixes of the now-ubiquitous Got Friends. Both of the remixes are of the techno variety, my apologies if there is some particular subgenre that Mssrs. Figurine and J. McGinnis belong to that I'm (blessedly) out of the loop on. They remind me a lot of Jimmy Tamborello's Dntel stuff, and lo and behold! As I googled Tamborello to get the Dntel spelling right, I see that Figurine is Tamborello, so chalk one up for the home team. Either way, it sounds like The Jealous Sound, or perhaps more accurately a Blair Shehan record, and that's a good thing. It's been a long time, almost six years, since we've heard anything from TJS, and the three songs here seem well worth the wait. Pick up Got Friends from the good folk of I-tunes and keep track of all things The Jealous Sound via this handy link.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

O Pioneers!!! - Neon Creeps

O Pioneers hail from the Lone Star State of Texas, Houston to be exact, but damn if they don't sound like they are one of the If You Make It bands from my fair city of NYC. Think Thousandaires or Get Bent. There are some gruffer parts, like on 9am Every Day, where it gets kind of early Hot Water Music, but for the most part Neon Creeps seems indebted to the mid 90s Midwestern rock that I hold so dear. 

O Pioneers have released just under a million records since their inception. If you believe what you read on the interwebs, there have been six members in and out of the band since the last recording. The ones that stuck around sure have made one hell of a good record.  Neon Creeps is the first for Asian Man. I suspect Mr. Park will be pleased with results. I know I was. I'm even more pleased to find that they are playing at Lost & Found, provided this winter weather doesn't strand them somewhere. Buy a copy of Neon Creeps from Asian Man here, see them at Lost & Found, and keep tabs on their Texas asses here