Thursday, April 28, 2011

tUnE-yArDs - Pretty Sure Merrill Garbus Is Crazy...

In the best way.

Hands down my favorite album so far in 2011.  Hear the goodness on KCRW's blog, here.

Aural Fixation - Cinco de Mayo Edition

Cinco de Mayo inspired treats for the ears and tummy courtesy of kick ass blog, Tadpole Audio.

Get your Aural Fix HERE.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Feminists, Put Your Earmuffs On

Everyone else, enjoy Rafael Casal's "B*tch."

In case you were wondering, that delicious sample is courtesy of "Get Out My Life, Woman" by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Rafael Casal has impeccable delivery.  His rhythms flow effortlessly along with that cheeky inflection.  Combine this with saucy lyrics and compelling samples (<--click that for a good time) and you find an intuitive nod to old school hip hop. 

I spent way too much time creating this clean, DJ-friendly version of "B*tch," so thought I'd share: "B*tch" - Rafael Casel (Sierra's Clean Version)

Hailing from the Bay Area, Casal, aka Mr. Getback is a writer, first and foremost.  He began as a spoken word artist, ditching high school to teach his craft to other teens.  By 16, he was touring, performing and teaching spoken world nationwide, donating his time to the Youth Speaks project, all while simultaneously getting his own high school degree.  He explains, "I had a unique interest in language, and felt that it was the best tool/weapon for anyone looking to better themselves and their environment.”

Let me just be lame for a second and quote Wikipedia: Rafael Casal is a "2-time (Inter)National BNV Poetry Slam Finalist Champion, a 3-Time cast member of Russell Simmons' Def Poetry, and has shared the stage with the likes of Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, KRS-ONE, Kanye West, Alanis Morisette, De La Soul, George Clinton, Carole King."  And he's only 26.  Dayum.

Enjoy the funked out "Foxy Girls (Candy Store)" while you download both The Monster LP & The Bay Boy Mixtape for free courtesy of Rafael's bandcamp

"Foxy Girls (Candy Store)" - Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs

Monday, April 18, 2011

Agesandages Is Not A Cult

Or so it says on their label's website. 

Hear more from this Portland septet on my blog for The Next Family.

Happy Monday folks.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brian Lopez - Or As I Like To Call Him B-Lo

Brian Lopez is a man after my own heart.  Somewhere during the last few years I completely fell for Latin culture.  The food, the art, the language, and of course the music.

Here's a sneak peak at Brian's new solo project.  Mind you, this is a LIVE recording...

"El Pajaro Y El Ciervo" - Brian Lopez

So jealous of people who can whistle.

Spanish, English and even a little French combine in a pseudo chamber-folk setting on the upcoming album Ultra, courtesy of Funzalo Records.  Brian's sublime vocals are perfectly fitted for the warmth and drama of this solo effort.

His Devotchka-esque sound evolved naturally.  There was no master plan.   Perhaps it was his trip to Barcelona that influenced the multi-cultural sound.  Or it could be his more recent run with Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta, the indie mambo collective (definitely worth checking out, if only for the fact that they describe themselves as "indie mambo").  Maybe it was simply divine fate, a romantic thought fitting for such an album.

You might recognize that impressive voice from Lopez' other project, Mostly Bears.   A completely different sound - edgy psychedelic indie rock.  While most of their songs fit into that category, there was one, namely "Leda Atomica," that always stuck out to me.  Brian's voice, so haunting and nostalgic, really drew me in and elevated that band to a new level.  He kindly reworks this song into an epic 7 minute ballad on his solo LP, infusing it with strings and, my absolute favorite, Spanish spoken word.  I have no idea what he's saying.  He could be talking about nachos and I would gladly melt like cheese. 

But, friends, you'll have to wait to hear the goodness as there isn't a set release date for the full length. In the meantime, you can purchase some of the tunes on his El Blanco - EP.

Going to leave you with another gem to set your Friday off on the right foot, "Vagabundo."  Do yourself a favor and grab the full song here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why Can't You Want Me Like The Other Boys Do?

Flight Facilities' "Crave You" is one of the sexiest songs I've heard in a long time.  Try to keep your clothes on people...

This track has been around for a little while now, but only recently found it's way into my DJ sets.  It's always the song that brings people up to my turntables begging, "Please, I need to know who this is!"

Let's just start with the lyrics.  Giselle Rosselli's seductively casual vocals deliver a candid "I want you" longing that can heat up any room, making this the perfect addition to your make-out playlist.  And oh, when that beat kicks in... Every time I listen to this song my heart jumps in anticipation of that warm sultry pulse, an aphrodisiac of a rhythm.  Consider this the chilled-out flirty update to Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me." 

It's definitely worth your while to dig into the countless remixes as well.  The C90s' driving rework is a favorite.

The anonymous DJ duo known as Flight Facilities are rumored to hail from Sydney, Australia, though their music possesses a definitive Euro-vibe in my opinion.  While "Crave" is their first original piece, it is their remix ability that first turned heads.  They've reworked tunes from Bag Raiders, The C90s, Lowbrows, Toecutter, and more. 

Love the subtle disco vibe they put on Cut Copy:

"Take Me Over (Flight Facilities Remix)" - Cut Copy

You can find more goods from Flight Facilities as well as other freebies on their label's website Bang Gang 12 Inches.  I could comment on the name of that label, but I'm going to let it slide because they have such a wicked roster.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dubstep 101

In case you've been hiding in a cave for the last few years and need to get your dubstep edumecation on, here's a little tutorial I came across.

But seriously...

Dubstep was once a counter-movement in music, but what you may not realize is how widespread its influence has become.  From Radiohead's subtle interpretation on King of Limbs to Britney Spears' candy-coated adoption on Femme Fatale, that characteristic abstract bass has wobbled on over to the mainstream.

With artists like James Blake pushing the boundaries of this relatively new genre, infusing it with warmth and soul, it's clear that dubstep has yet to peak.  Whether you like the style or not, it's opening the door for more challenging music to infiltrate the pop scene, and that can only yield great things.

I'll leave you with a piece from Sir Dubstep himself, Bassnectar.  Strap on your unnecessary glasses and get your grime on peeps.

"The 808 Track" - Bassnectar Featuring Mighty High Coup

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Belle Brigade have a secret...

They are awesome.  Secret's out.

Listen to my favorites from their debut and watch a bathtub acoustic session at The Next Family.