Monday, September 30, 2013

What's New(s)?

Flaming Lips and Tame Impala cover each other

The sonic minds behind the Flaming Lips and Australian-band Tame Impala, will soon be doing a psychedelic swap and covering each other for a forthcoming EP release. According to Flips fansite Future Heart, the vinyl EP will feature two covers from each band and be sold at their upcoming tour run together in October and November. For their part, Wayne Coyne and crew will cover Tame Impala's "Runaway, House, City, Clouds" and "Elephant", while Impala will take to "Are You A Hypnotist" and "Silver Trembling Hands", the later of which you can see a live performance of below.

In other Flaming Lips news, Wayne Coyne has announced the band is recording for the Ender's Game soundtrack and dropping an additional 6 song-EP entitled Peace Sword for a Record Store Day Black Friday event.

"Silver Trembling Hands" (Cover)- Tame Impala

David Bowie announces The Next Day Expanded Edition
David Bowie's comeback year will continue with the re-release of his gripping 24th album The Next Day. Out November 5 through Columbia, The Next Day: Expanded Edition features the original album on Disc 1, a 10-track blend of remixes and unreleased items on Disc 2, and a DVD featuring the album's four accompanying videos on Disc 3. Including unheard offerings named "Atomica" and "Like A Rocket Man", the second disc also contains a remix of Next Day track "Love is Lost" produced by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy. The second disc tracklist is listed below, along with the video for "Valentine's Day". 

The Next Day: Expanded Edition
1. "Atomica"
2. "Love is Lost" (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy)
3. "Plan"
4. "The Informer"
5. "Like a Rocket Man"
6. "Born in a UFO"
7. "I'd Rather Be High" (Venetian Mix)
8. "I'll Take You There"
9. "God Bless the Girl"
10. "So She"

"Valentine's Day"

Don Trip & Starlito debut new video


Don Trip and Starlito's original Step Brothers mixtape was flat-out one of the best rap release of 2011. For nearly an hour plus, the pair barreled through: fistpumpers, gutbusters, and "tearjerkers" with equal aplomb. Couched inregional affectations, trap rap drums and bucolic soul samples, the Tennessee natives transcended any area code for something more relatable and impossibly enjoyable. 

A large part of that enjoyment stemmed from Trip and 'Lito's camaraderie, they traded lines like a rap tag-team of 20 years, though they'd only known each other for a year at that point. If new cut "Caesar and Brutus" (from Step Brothers 2) is any indication, the ensuing two years has only strengthened that camaraderie. Starlito continues his emotive mumble while Trip's affective snarls croaks over a brooding string section and crisp snaps. They don't tinker with the original recipe one bit, they just "leave it be and be quiet". 

Step Brothers 2 is out October 17 and you can expect a review of it here on AllFreshSounds after it drops.

"Money Ain't No Issue" ft. Future & Fabolous- Meek Mill

Bankrolled by the paper-printing Maybach Music "empire", Philadelphia flamethrower Meek Mill doesn't need to pay money any mind for the foreseeable future, though you'd never know it from the harried "Money Ain't No Issue". Appearing on the third installment of the Dreamchasers series, the cut careens out of the gate with a chaotic harpsichord sample that shatters when a hard-rock guitar chord stomps in and Mill commands "let's get this f****ng money". Mill dizzily moves from one spending spree to the next, parking in six-figure "whips" to pick up "red bottoms" and "Jordans". Future's typically sedate robotic vocals shift into hyperdrive here, "screwed up I ain't slowing down" he delivers while dropping a quarter mil on a new car. For his part, Fabo' plays the wizened veteran, use to the money and all the trappings it entails. "Mo money mo problems" Meek Mill raps, summoning the ghost of the guru on conspicuous spending. Right now, Milly's only problem is stopping to enjoy his earnings.

Dreamchasers 3 is available now for download at Datpiff

Friday, September 27, 2013

In Revue- "Nothing Was The Same"

“I might be too strung on compliments, overdosed on confidence,” Drake delivered on massive hit single “Headlines”. 2011’s Take Care saw Drake straddling self-importance and paranoia. “HYFR”s exuberant chorus deflated into “Practice”. That confidence he was so strung-out on couldn’t help him on the drunken stupor of “Marvin’s Room” and he was left pleading, “you can do better.”

Nothing Was The Same’s sample flipping opener “Tuscan Leather” makes good on the promise to do better, Drake spitting stately raps “Prince Akeem they throw flowers at my feet n****” over a chipmunked Whitney Houston vocal. “Tuscan Leather” carries all the grandeur of Just Blaze production “Lord Knows” and for a full seven minutes the Toronto MC promises to never compromise and moves past proving “s*** to no one except yourself.” One track in, the golden armor cracks and Drake is left exposed, “I’m honest I make mistakes I’d be the second to admit it.” As My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy reminded us all, heavy is the head that wears the crown.      

The thumping bass and buried piano of “Wu-Tang Forever” sees Drizzy enter into the ring of southern-rap royalty. Here he takes accusations of his tenuous H-town connections head-on assuring, “I just gave the city life, it ain’t about who did it first, it’s bout who did it right, n****s looking like preach.” During the bridge as a miniscule RZA vocal sample fights for space, Drake adapts an affective snarl delivering “only f***ing out of spite” with the right amount of venom.

“Too Much”s placid vocals (courtesy of London R&B artist Sampha) temper Drake’s feeling trapped in his own house while his mom stays cooped up in an apartment. The chorus’ words “don’t think about it too much” are pearls of wisdom Drake has passed by before in his career. Outside Kanye West, he’s the ultimate rap obsessive, intensely scrutinizing every choice he makes. Short texts turn into treatises. Late night conversations become graduate level discourses. No detail is irrelevant, everything is open to discussion. 
Bilious “Worst Behavior” sees Drake trying out a new voice; a throaty shout that didn’t need to be heard. The song conjures what would happen if Rick Ross’ undersized sibling attempted to hop on one of his bangers. It’s a self-inflicting banger in parts, Drake consumed by the notion “motherf***ers never loved us.”  As a miss it’s engaging; one imagining Drake’s conflicted conscious erupting in the open.

Jhené Aiko feature “From Time” becomes that outright onslaught, a toxic amalgam of mixed emotion and oversharing. In verse one he details the rocky relationship with his missing in action alcoholic father. “I've been dealing with my dad, speaking of lack of patience, just me and my old man gettin' back to basics. We've been talking' 'bout the future and time that we wasted, when he put that bottle down, girl that n****'s amazing” he breathlessly raps over the airy beat. Round 2 pulls no punches; getting more personal in the process. Drake’s late-night drunk dialing presented in the wispy “Marvin’s Room” landed in him in hot water with a former flame. However, “Marvin’s Room” was an abstraction compared to the photorealism of “the one that I needed was Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree, I’ve always been feeling’ like she was the one to complete me. Now she engaged to be married, what’s the rush on commitment? Know we were going through some s**t, name a couple that isn’t.” A chronic condition of celebrity is to want what you can’t have and “From Time” makes it apparent Drake has a permanent affliction.

Aforementioned chest-pounder “Wu-Tang Forever” eventually flatlines and Noah “40” Shebib’s aqueous synthesizers underscore Drake’s emotionally robotic vocals in the first verse of “Own It”. “And next time I spend, I want it all to be for you” he warmly mumbles.  Twitches and a bellowing “own it” soon open the floodgates into a torrent of incisive insults “n****s talk more than b****es these days” and enquiries targeting those who can’t commit to the “yolo” lifestyle, “when the last time you did something for the first time?” It’s one of many album moments where Drake tows the thin line of crippling fragility and invincibility.

One of the most alluring aspects of Drake’s junior release is the constant conflict the music and lyrics are locked in. “Furthest Thing” refuses to hold any applause; mechanical clapping drowning out admissions of selfishness, “I made every woman feel like she was mine and no one else’s”. The sturm un drang trap-rap drums and snaps Mike Zombie provides “Started from the Bottom” mask Drake’s insistence on former struggles. Past the stunting “wearing every single chain even when I’m in the house”, he’s confronting charges of comfortable living that have pursued him from day one. “Boys tell stories ‘bout the man, say I never struggled, wasn’t hungry, yeah I doubt it n****” he confrontationally raps. Even Drake’s lyrics occasionally oppose each other.  “Connect” castigates “Own It”s pipe dream plans to try something new; why attempt to swing when a strikeout is ensured?

Musically, no track belies its lyrics quite like album centerpiece “Hold On We’re Going Home”. A muscular bass line and disco strut stand dichotomous to Drake’s stark emotions, “I can't get over you, you left your mark on me, I want your high love and emotion endlessly”. Take Care calcified my belief Drake stands second to Kanye in another category, self-conscious confidence. All the swagger of “just hold on we’re going home” will inevitably lose its sway and only a stop-gap measure remains. Now the concept of the dual album covers seems less nonsensical, 5 years in Drake is caught between starry-eyed adolescence and sobering adulthood. Nestled somewhere in the middle of “I want it and I got it".

"Hold On We're Going Home"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Banger (MOSHPIT)"- Schoolboy Q

Habits and Contradictions provided a near-perfect summation of Black Hippy Crew member Schoolboy Q's inherent personae on that LP. Q split the difference between the lurid and the lovely, between harmless stunting and reckless gangsta posturing. "Hands on the Wheel" he was joyously "too high to stand," by the lurching zombie of "Oxy Music" he became a tour-guide through a blood-stained narcotic scene where death lingered in the air. "Blessed" the self-confessed sinner dipped a toe into holy water, while the former "Sacrilegious" had him realizing he was doomed to "marinate in Satan's sweat". Hard-knocking new track "Banger (MOSHPIT)" fits into the unsanctified side of the equation; Q playing host to a party where bodies are left and no one says a word. Guitars quietly quiver and the bass rattles as Schoolboy Q rumbles with beasts and loads up the ammo. Even in these grey situations, Q notices the minor details, the "yellow tape by them candles" and how his shoelaces happen to match "the flannel". In Schoolboy's stark world it's often impossible to breathe, but there's always the occasional gulp of fresh air to be found. 

Schoolboy's third studio album and first major label release Oxymoron is set to drop sometime this year via Interscope/TDE, but there's still no official date. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's New(s)?

Sleigh Bells remix Phoenix's "Chloroform"

Following R. Kelly's silky croon remix of "Trying to Be Cool", Sleigh Bells have reconfigured the electronic-ballad "Chlorform" into a blaring bit of twitching synthesizers, cavernous drums, and saccharine vocals. In other words, they lay-waste to the original track and sift through the rubble for a Sleigh Bells track. Phoenix vocalist Thomas Mars makes an appearance amidst the carnage only to be swallowed up. It's less remix and more reclamation; one that could readily appear on their forthcoming Bitter Rivals release.


Kurt Cobain childhood home for sale

Kurt Cobain's childhood home will soon be up for auction according to the Guardian's reporting. The Aberdeen, Washington locale where Cobain lived for many of his early years is being put up for sale by Cobain's mother Wendy O'Connor and sister Kim Cobain. The two are currently asking $500,000 for the "bungalow" located at 1210 E. 1st St. in the hopes of connecting with someone interested in turning the home into a museum. Located two hours for the city of Seattle, the former Cobain residence still bears scrawls of Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin written in Kurt's room, along with an old mattress of his. Putting it all into perspective Kim Cobain had this to say, "We've decided to sell the home to create a legacy for Kurt, and yes, there are some mixed feelings since we have all loved the home and it carries so many great memories. But our family has moved on from Washington, and feel it's time to let go of the home."

The 20th Anniversary edition of Nirvana's final studio LP In Utero is out now and features a new 2013 remix of the album.

"Heart Shaped Box"

A$AP Rocky unveils "Fashion Killa" video

The floating synths and distended vocals of LongLiveA$AP cut "Fashion Killa" now have an equally airy video, featuring none other than Rihanna. The original track bore the line "Her attitude Rihanna, she get it from her mama," so it's only appropriate the muted, mostly white and black video spotlight the pop singer. The fashion conscious couple scour abandoned boutiques, as the tags they eyeball pop up on screen.  "Fashion Killa" detours briefly to spotlight A$AP Mob member A$AP Ferg performing an acapella version of the booming "Murda Something", from his excellent Trap Lord LP. Reflecting on the choice of Rihanna, Rocky told Park 106 "She's a fashion killa in my eyes. I respect her jiggyness. I respect her fashion sense."

"Ainome"- Laurel Halo

Laurel Halo's "Ainome" begins with what for all intents and purposes is the sound of a spaceship steadily humming through space. Not long into the flight, an emergent synthesizer opens up a portal into another dimension that swallows the steady hum. Carried further in, drums judder as a far-flung bass begins to pulsate like so many stars. Soon enough, the bass subsumes the song in the manner of a black-hole and all that can escape are those resilient drum strikes. In the final two minutes, the song pushes through to find its own stargate, populated with transcendent synth crawls. Past Laurel Halo efforts have been demarcated by noxious electronic sounds, though nothing here conveys an air of anxiety. The early unease of the trip is steadied by the pure joy of the journey.

Laurel Halo's A Chance of Rain is out 10/28 on Hyperdub.  


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's New(s)?

Kanye West full interview now available

Yesterday part 1 of the Kanye West/Zane Lowe went up and amongst other things we heard West discuss: his status as "the #1 rock star on the planet", his calling to "f*** s*** up" for modern radio, and how he owes his career to Michael Jackson. Rather than wait for a steady stream of Kanye gems to pop up in parts 2-4 throughout the rest of the week, we are now privy to to the full-interview of Yeezy's unfettered thoughts. During the course of the full 60, West shares what "dopeness" means to him, how he strives to one day be as "zenned-out as Jay Z", and his eager anticipation to talk with Kendrick Lamar out on the Yeezus tour heralding him "he's one of our future messengers." The entire thing is brimming with Internet-baiting quotes that would talk too long to parse all of here, so check it out below.

Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack dropped

Grand Theft Auto continually delivers with some of the greatest video game soundtracks around, but this time out they might've outdone themselves. Following suit from last Thursday's drop of the official mixtape featuring: Action Bronson, Tyga, Prodigy, and Kool G Rap, Rockstar has now released three volumes of music via iTunes. Volume 1 includes efforts from: Flying Lotus, Wavves, Tyler the Creator, and others. Volume 2 delivers the game's original score crafted by a collaborative effort of: Tangerine Dream, the Alchemist, Oh No, and composer Woody Jackson, as reconfigured by DJ Shadow. The final third includes an additional helping of in-game tracks ranging from Jai Paul to Bob Seger. Like the game itself the soundtrack's highlights will keep you busy for the foreseeable feature, so start now with the booming Clams Casino cut "Crystals" which can be downloaded here.

 M.I.A. unveils album art

Taking time out from her busy schedules of throwing shade at the NFL, M.I.A. has rolled out the album cover for her forthcoming Matangi release. The Sri-Lankan artist included the above image on her official Tumblr accompanied by two similarly psychedelic photos. Matangi is out November 5 via Interscope, and you can listen to her globetrotting 60s girl pop single "Come Walk with Me" here and if you still haven't seen her video taking aim at the NFL's $1.5 million fine of her (calling the move "a massive display of powerful corporate d**k shaking) that seething video is provided below.

Check back in tomorrow for more of the newest in new(s).

"Turn Your Color"- The Men

Raucous New York band the Men have maintained a steady album per year clip now, all while keeping up a constant road presence. In continuing that harried tradition, the band is issuing a new EP to sit alongside 2013's New Moon release. The soon to be released Campfire Songs as the name suggests was recorded in the glowing light of a fire. Previously cut "The Seeds" danced around the crackling fire as unobtrusive shakers steadily kept time. For "Turn Your Color" the ragged guitar approach remains, but the RPMs have been significantly reduced. "Turn Your Color" doesn't so much slow the car down as it does pull the E-brake. A dawdling organ-like figure undergirds the entire six minute track, while the fragmented guitar playing grabs for a conclusion that can't be reached. Vocals rise up like smoke rings in the night, only to be snuffed out by Rich Samis' cymbal washes. "Turn Your Color" is the sound of the fire slowly dying out when the night's still far from over.

Campfire Songs is out 10/15 on Sacred Bones Records.

Monday, September 23, 2013

What's New(s)?

Yeezy sits down for an interview

Kanye West engagements with the media haven't always seen the greatest results from his paparazzi skirmishes to diatribes masking as blog posts, but he was able to set some of that contention aside when he said down for a four-part interview with the BBC Radio's Zane Lowe. In part 1 of the illuminating interview (out now), West discusses his duty to go against the grain of radio and "f*** s*** up". Yeezy also finds time to state his intentions for Yeezus, what Michael Jackson's success means to his own career, reterms his infamous "rants" as motivational speeches, abd  proclaims rap "the new rock and roll". The monster's come alive again and you can check him out below. 

Look for parts 2-4 to appear throughout the rest of week and catch Kanye West on tour with Kendrick Lamar starting in October.  

Chance the Rapper announces North American Tour

Chicago spitballer Chance the Rapper's ecstatic Acid Rap mixtape remains one of the most dizzying releases of the 2013 and now Chance is taking that potent high-octane concoction out on the road. Out on the "Social Experiment Tour" Chance will be accompanied by fellow Chi-town natives DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn. Check out the concert dates below (tickets go on sale tomorrow), which Chance says he's "changing the rules for". And while you wait, listen to his head-spinning verse on James Blake's "Life Round Here" remix.

Tour Dates:
10/25 Champaign, IL - University of Illinois
10/26 Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar
10/27 Washington, DC -The Fillmore
10/29-30 New York, NY - SOB's
11/3 Montreal, Quebec - Club Soda
11/4 Toronto, Ontario - The Danforth Music Hall
11/7 Buffalo, NY - TBA
11/8 Oxford, OH - Brick Street Bar
11/10 Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall
11/12 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre and Cafe
11/14 Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
11/17 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
11/19 Tempe, AZ - Club Red *
11/20 Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater *
11/22 Dallas, TX - Tree's *
11/23 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live *
11/25 Atlanta, GA - The Loft @ Center Stage *
11/26 Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom *
11/29 Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre *
12/03 Oberlin, OH - TBA
12/4 Indianapolis, IN - TBA
12/5 Columbia, MO - TBA
12/7 Miami, FL - TBA  

"Life Round" (Remix) ft. Chance the Rapper

The National wrote a song for the Hunger Games

Taking a page from Coldplay, the National recently announced in NME that the band penned a track for the forthcoming Catching Fire soundtrack. The still unheard "Lean"  was originally entitled "Dying Is Easy", but as frontman Matt Berninger told NME, "the song almost didn't make it because it was too dark for the Hunger Games soundtrack, which I thought was sort of funny because it's about killing kids, I don't know how a song can be darker than that?" 

There's no official tracklist yet, but look for Coldplay's "Atlas" to make an appearance along with "Lean", and check out the tie-loosening video for Trouble Will Find Me highlight "Graceless" below. Also the band's Dessner brothers have begun recruiting the likes of Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, and Kurt Vile for a Red Hot charity album covering the Grateful Dead. 

Check back tomorrow for more of the newest in new(s).
The song almost didn't make it because it was too dark for The Hunger Games soundtrack, which I thought was sort of funny because It's about killing kids, I don’t know how a song can be darker than that?
The song almost didn't make it because it was too dark for The Hunger Games soundtrack, which I thought was sort of funny because It's about killing kids, I don’t know how a song can be darker than that?
The song almost didn't make it because it was too dark for The Hunger Games soundtrack, which I thought was sort of funny because It's about killing kids, I don’t know how a song can be darker than that?

"Harold's"- Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib serving up a dish called "Harold's" named for a Chicago fried chicken chain is a near perfect recipe. Like a plate piled high with fried chicken the Gary, Indiana rapper's flow is greasy, near to the point of escaping grasp. His staccato rat-a-tat flow punctures any target in its way and continues on through scenes of "weed crumbs on my plush seats" and donning ski-masks to avoid identification. For his part, Cali's mad experimenter Madlib crafts an airtight synth/clap track crispier than a French fry. When Gibbs lobs shots at haters, the booming bass makes the insults that much saltier. Early on in his second verse, Gibbs namechecks KFC and it's an illustrative reference. Gibbs has never been a Fortune 500 entity in the rap game, he's the guy with the mom and pop corner store scraping by. What he and Madlib cook up here is far more nourishing than factory-line fried chicken.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's Deeper EP drops tomorrow and their long-awaited Piñata is slated for a 2/4/2014 release through Madlib Invazion


Saturday, September 21, 2013

In Revue- "Wise Up Ghost"

Reading Wise Up Ghost’s unembellished cover is unquestionably one of the most jarring musical experiences this year. Two artists separated not just by race, creed, and color, but by continental divides, decades, and musical differences. When Dylan and the Band joined forces they united under the banner of Americana. David Byrne & Brian Eno were audiophiles, hell-bent on bringing their genre-crossing/crate digging to the masses. Pearl Jam were fawning tots at Grandpa Neil Young’s feet when they concocted Mirror Ball. Meanwhile, the wild pairings can be disastrous. R. Kelly’s off the map musings rudely clashed with Jay Z’s carefully calculated personae, and The Best of Both Worlds brought out the worst in both. Lou Reed seemed eager to forget Lulu in the midst of recording with Metallica. That said, these are the Roots and Elvis Costello we’re talking about, two artists who’ve staked a certain claim on collaborative streaks.

Despite the Roots veritable status as the hottest house band on late night, Costello is the bedrock upon which Wise Up Ghost is built. In the past his chameleonic shifts have been served by a revolving door of willing cohorts. From the main stay Attractions of his early years to legendary composer Burt Bacharach and Allen Toussaint, Costello has scored in the service of more teams than career journeyman Juwan Howard. He is a troubadour in the most literal sense, as comfortable kicking up his feet in Nashville as he is in London or the back stages of the Jimmy Fallon Show. Akin to countryman David Bowie, his insatiable musical appetite ensures he’ll never settle down. If there’s one rallying point for these disparate parties, it’s the outward avoidance of stasis. Roots drummer/de-facto bandleader ?uestlove’s impeccable time-keeping is all that holds the band in place.

Even with this bond of musical transience, collaborative efforts demand a feeling out period, achieved on opener “Walk Us Uptown” through the fidgeting of knobs and obsessive volume adjusting. ?uestlove quickly eschews the formalities and soon the song comes into focus. “Walk Us Uptown”s portentous groove recalls a pulpy crime novel; Costello’s lyrics amble down dingy alleyways and pray for solace from the crossfire and cross-currents. An uncouth siren cuts the foggy night air; signaling the concrete jungle has claimed another victim.
Follow-up “Sugar Won’t Work” bears a broken heart, but lightens the mood via an elastic guitar riff courtesy of Captain Kirk Douglas. The string section floating overhead recalls Wake Up’s breezier moments although Costello’s coping to stupidity is far dourer than that record’s soulful effervescence. “Wake Me Up” wades through a similarly restrained funk undercurrent to Costello’s bedroom bedlam where Easter becomes a slaughter. Images of “A.C. trained on the TV” to avoid a windswept eye and “decorated girl(s) strapped to the steel trunk of a Mustang” puncture, though Costello chews some of the bloodstained scenery for far too long.

Elsewhere, the title track earns its six and a half minute length. Rambling scenes of lost girls found on the radio and 1930s iron piers populate the dismissive narrative where Costello points a finger at ghosts of the past. A rapidly descending string section lends the song a spectral quality, like a mad dash down a staircase in a dilapidated mansion. Similar to “Wise Up Ghost”, “(She Might Be A) Grenade” threatens to “pull out the pin,” but never quite explodes; choosing to steadily smolder. After an early drum roll, ?uestlove’s playing saunter’s along as the Roots crew coat the track in a 70s soul glaze. 

“Refuse to Be Saved” dips further back by way of 60s superhero organ shrieks and a “Subterranean Homesick Blues” bluster Costello adapts. Douglas’ whas on “Stick Out Your Tongue” are prime late 60s psychedelia and lyrically Costello is mired in the halcyon swamp of his songbook. Here, he liberally borrows from the 4th Estate fomenting “Pills and Soap”. If anything about Elvis’ performance could be considered “hip-hop” it’s his not so subtle genuflecting at the altars of prior albums. Aforementioned “Stick Out Your Tongue” also appropriates pieces of Mighty Like A Rose’s “Hurry Down Doomsday” to claim press-credentials. Foreboding epic “Wise Up Ghost” pulled out the pin for 2004’s Delivery Man. Highlight “Tripwire”s twinkling waltz held its first dance during Spike cut “Satellite”.     
Though the pairing rips out pages of the past, they quickly cast them into confetti.

Boisterous “Come the Meantimes” teases a Black Thought verse that never comes, instead fading into a fuzzed-out guitar solo.  “Cinco Minutos con Vos” features a bloody battle between Elvis Costello’s nervous pleading and La Marisoul’s unflappable calm, backed up by ?uestlove’s in-the-pocket drum part. Piano ballad “If I Could Believe” closes out the album pulling at heart strings and slowly twisting the knife into Costello’s faith. Costello & the Roots wax self-referential for much of Wise Up Ghost, however foreknowledge is no prerequisite for enjoyment, or as the man himself puts it “just because you don’t speak the language, doesn’t mean that you don’t understand.”


Thursday, September 19, 2013

What's New(s)?

James Blake and Chance the Rapper have more in store

As previously reported on Tuesday's edition of "What's New(s)?" James Blake and Chicago spitballer Chance the Rapper teamed up for a dizzying remix of Blake's "Life Round Here", but the remix wasn't a one-off release. In an interview with XXL, Chance admits "the two kept in touch and started working together on a couple of tracks, including some original material." According to Chance, there's also a second version of "Life Round Here" we've yet to hear. Chance continued, "I love his records...So to do another version of one of his songs that I felt was already completed was… you know… you don’t wanna f**k somebody’s s**t up. I jumped on it and people seem to like it a lot. But I’m really excited for our other s**t too." After the chilled out/hyper-kinetic blend they brought on Tuesday, Chance can't be the only one excited.

Stream Mazzy Star's new album

This coming Tuesday, California dream-pop royalty Mazzy Star will release Seasons of Your Day, their first album of all new material in 17 years. The follow-up to 1996's Among My Swan, is streaming now on the Guardian and the orotund duo doesn't appear to have lost a step. Despite the near two decade delay, guitarist Dave Roback informed the U.K. publication "we were always recording and writing. We just didn't release any of it publicly." In a companion interview, vocalist Hope Sandoval the silence saying, "I don't think it's unusual at all. I don't think we were really in the mood to release music." 


Danny Brown debuts new video

The "adderall admiral" has debuted a new video "Dip" in the run-up to his soon to be released OLD LP. The video for the chattering synth track (directed by Rollo Jackson) features the Detroit rapper rattling through steamy back-stage scenes and raucous live performances. Brown pays tribute to Mac Dre and warns against being let into his zone. There's also cartoon animated pill popping, teeth gnashing, and eye bulging. In other words, it's exactly what you'd expect from a Danny Brown drug track.

 OLD is out September 30 via Fool's Gold.

Check back in tomorrow for more of the newest in new(s).

"MC ILLIN"- Mondre M.A.N.

"MC ILLIN" doesn't boom out of the speakers in the mold of 80s bap tracks, it explodes like C4. Producer Al Jieh's thudding instrumental is a lead pipe clobbering you upside the head and abandoning you as Green Ova Undergrounds rapper Mondre M.A.N. snaps and stunts over your suddenly limp body. Mondre mines classic rap tropes for much of the shuddering track, he's on his hustle and can be found "cold illin" when the infective chorus hits. Amidst the craters the propulsive track creates, Mondre finds space for throwing shots back and bringing laughter to a room full of self-serious MCs. Even backed by the gargantuan beat, Monde can pinpoint minute details with eagle eyes, "the Mishka pea-coat cheesecake insides" and the hammer fitting snugly on your side. It's this deft attention to detail that makes Mondre wise beyond his years, or as the M.A.N. defines himself "I make a lot of plays, John Madden type veteran." 

"MC ILLIN" can be found on They Say I Struggle Rap, Mondre M.A.N.'s debut solo album, which is out November 12 via SWTBRDS.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What's New(s)?

Kendrick Lamar appears on Arsenio

Last night Kendrick Lamar sat down for an interview on the newly minted Arsenio Hall Show. During the discuss, Lamar talked with Hall about witnessing Dr. Dre & 2Pac film the "California Love" video when he was a kid. The Compton MC also tore through a hellatious rendition of "m.A.A.d city"  and teamed up with Black Hippy crewmate Schoolboy Q to gallivant during earworm "Collard Greens" from his forthcoming Oxymoron LP. Q isn't going to pass up the chance to rock a bucket hat and Kendrick kicks back until it's to deliver his bilingual blast. "Chidi ching ching". 

Le1f releases Tree House mixtape

After two release hiccups, Le1f has followed up the industrial judder of January's Fly Zone with the equally constricting Tree House. Featuring 15 tracks and production from The-Drum, Falty DL, and others, the tape suffocates with stereo rattling numbers "Plush" and the appropriately titled "Swerve". The tape demands repeat listens if for no other reason than the hypnosis it lulls you into during first engagement. You can download it here and listen to the oppressive burble of "Cane Sugar" below.

Le1f has also announced the "Tree House Party Tour" which will feature Antwon and Lakutis and crisscross the U.S. for the next month. Tour dates can also be found below.

Tree House Party tour dates:
9/25 Washington, DC - U Hall
9/26 Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
9/27 New York, NY - Santos Party House
9/28 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall 
10/3 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry 
10/4 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle 
10/5 Vancouver, British Columbia - Celebrities 
10/6 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey 
10/8 Portland, OR - Holocene 
10/10 San Francisco, CA - Stereo Mighty 
10/12 Los Angeles, CA - Los Globos 
10/16 Austin, TX - Holy Mountain

Check back in tomorrow for more of the newest in new(s).