Friday, May 27, 2011

Villagers Meet Charlotte Gainsbourg

Oh happiest of Fridays.  This long weekend couldn't come soon enough.

Let's leave the week with some beautiful singer-songwriter tunes.  Mercury Prize nominee Conor O'Brien (of Villagers) kindly wrote this lovely piece for the one and only Charlotte Gainsbourg.

It's called "Memoir."

Aah, perfection.  This little gem was released last month on Record Store Day (April 16th).  It will appear on her much anticipated upcoming LP to be released in the Fall.

It's recently been rumored that Conor will record this piece himself for his own upcoming album.  In case you don't know Villagers, take a minute to raise your hand, open your palm, reach out wide, and swing it swiftly into your cheek.  Then listen to this amazing piece from their debut full-length, Becoming A Jackal (Domino Records).

"Pieces" - Villagers

Yeah, he howls.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RAC Take On The Indie Greats

Remix Artist Collective, aka RAC have been reworking our favorites for the last three years. They're known to stray from the typical club remixes to re-imagine choice selections in a novel way.

Take their interpretation of "Houdini" by trending indie pop rockers Foster The People:

(On a complete side note, if you love "Houdini" you need to check out DJ Valida's remix, which you can stream and download HERE)

The international group of DJs and producers know that the most important element in creating a remix is to start with a great template.  Tackling artists as diverse as Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Massive Attack, John Legend and Lenka, they put their own spin on songs they love, and offer it up to the public for FREE.  Yes, for free on their website.

Listen to their take on Phantogram's "When I'm Small."

Here's a list of my favorites, all downloadable:
"When I'm Small (RAC Mix)" - Phantogram
"Repetition Kills You (RAC Mix)" - The Black Ghosts
"Rescue Song (RAC Mix)" - Little Boots
"Walking On A Dream (RAC Mix)" - Empire of the Sun
"Heavy Cross (RAC Mix)" - The Gossip
"Super Mario Brothers (RAC Mix)" - yes that's exactly what you think it is, but better.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Julianna Barwick ~ The One-Woman Choir

Turn off the ADD for four minutes, and get sucked into the choral layers of "Prizewinning."

Known as the one-woman choir, Brooklyn native Julianna Barwick has been experimenting with sound ever since she discovered the loop pedal.  Her third album The Magic Place (released February 22nd on Asthmatic Kitty) is her most sophisticated work yet.  Rather than her usual homemade recordings, she was able to secure a space with instruments at hand, including a baby grand which comes up quite a bit on the full length.  The Magic Place is a lush and stunning ambient journey, perfect to play as your falling asleep if you're into weird dreams.

Barwick's love affair with reverb, layers, effects pedals and wordless vocalizations yields stunning results not unlike that of Asthmatic Kitty founder, Sufjan Stevens.  She reaches back to her church-singing roots and allows for a free-form experiment in sound to take place.  There is a sort of faith that happens when she begins her improvised harmonies as she never knows where they will go, and this spiritual, almost haunting presence lingers long after each song is complete. 

Alias Pail brings us a percussion heavy, loop happy remix of "Prizewinning," a feat I wasn't sure could be done tastefully.  This is one worthy of the turntables.

"Prizewinning (Alias Pail Remix)" - Julianna Barwick

In her own words, Julianna aims to create "that kind of decaying sound that rings in the architecture."  I must say, mission accomplished.

Monday, May 16, 2011

k.d. lang Confesses

She's guilty of a fantastic new video and full length - k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang - Sing It Loud.

For a woman who supposedly suffers from writers block, this album is a testament to her innate talents.  Read more on my blog for The Next Family.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Telepopmusik - Mad Fresh. Just Gets Fresher

I only just discovered the likes of French trio Telepopmusik, but I've been jamming to "Da Hoola" nonstop for the past week.  This song makes me want to rock a gold tooth and a cardigan.  Check it out peeps.

"Da Hoola" - Telepopmusik

"Mad fresh, just gets fresher." Truer words have never been spoken.  This little gem came out in 2002, and has only ripened with time.  That rap is killer.  To be honest, I still can't make sense of the lyrics, so I'll just chalk them up to free-form poetry.  And that groovy instrumental is just begging to be sampled. 

Telepopmusik's album Genetic World was released nine years ago on Capitol.  It made a splash for a hot minute with a major synch on a Mitsubishi commercial, but soon faded off of our radar.  While "Da Hoola" is an anomaly on the LP, the rest of the songs are definitely worth a listen.  They have more of an acid house/trip hop liquid lounge feel.

If you have a taste for Air and Portishead, you'll enjoy their video for "Love Can Damage Your Health."

I did notice some activity on their myspace page, so I'm keeping my hopes up that we'll be hearing more from them soon...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rainbow Arabia - Local Goods

Echo Park is home to hipsters, eccentrics, and artsy coffee shops aplenty. It's also home to indie prog pop duo Rainbow Arabia.

Pull up your ripped skinny jeans and take a listen at my KCRW blog.

Disclaimer - If the joker from Batman scares you look away children. Look away...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Paul Simon - Channeling Harry Nilsson, and God

That's right folks.  His latest album might be his best.  Check out some tracks via my blog for The Next Family.

Happy Monday.  It's friggin HOT.